Ahhh 2016, collectively the shit stain year of the decade. Admittedly, I haven’t had a chance to post many reviews as I’ve been busy/concussed (forced to limit screen time) so I didn’t post anywhere near as much as I would have liked, including for many of the albums in my top 10. Nonetheless, I’ve been putting this off long enough, but here’s my top 10 albums of 2016. So without further ado:
10. Dark Thoughts – Self Titled
I’ve said before how these guys are one of the Philly bands to look out for, and the 3 piece proved it with their debut Self Titled. Mixing fast, supercharged Ramones punk influenced tunes with the perfect amount of grit, Dark Thoughts are definitely worth your time.
9. The Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Milo, Stevenson, Egerton, and Alvatraz have returned and reunited with their 7th studio album and their first album since 2004’s Cool To Be You. Proving why they are the pop-punk kings, Hypercaffium Spazzinate not only holds up to plenty of their albums, it completely fucking surpasses plenty of their earlier work. Consistent, catchy, and melodic all the way through, The Descendents are still killing it well into their 50s.
8. Jeff Rosenstock – Worry
I’ve been a fan of Jeff Rosenstock ever since Arrogant Sons of Bitches were still a touring band, all the way through all of BTMI’s albums, and his solo work. I can say with full confidence, this is his best “solo” (quotes because it seems like he has a steady lineup at this point for his solo work) album to date, with it flowing seamlessly from one song to the next all the way through. It’s got ballads, ska tunes, shit… it even has a 30 second hardcore song. Songs about life in your 30s, relevance in a digital age and everything in between, Worry is definitely a solid listen.
7. Dangers – The Bend In The Break
Cali hardcore punks Dangers are back with some of their heaviest work yet, and most experimental to date for them. Continuing where they left off with Five O’Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World the band manages to slow things down tempo-wise without losing any of their heaviness. The songs are just as pissed off, but where earlier albums like Anger was unleashed fury, The Bend In The Break is more pointed and targeted.
6. The Bouncing Souls – Simplicity
I’m from NJ originally, and growing up these fucking New Jersey mooches have always been my favorite band, however I haven’t been too fond of their later albums where they’ve been mellowing out. Sure, they weren’t bad, but it wasn’t up to the Souls back catalog. I can firmly say this is my favorite album of theirs since Anchor’s Aweigh. Their first album with new drummer George Rebelo of Hot Water Music, and everything just clicks and sounds like classic Souls on Simplicity.
5. Ghostlimb – Difficult Loves
2016 was certainly a busy year for Justin, who not only released Difficult Loves, but also The Bend In The Break with Dangers and Crime Traveler with Graf Orlock. Ghostlimb is often shadowed by Dangers success, which is a damn shame, because these guys fucking rip. Difficult Loves manages to be incredibly enraged pissed off heavy hardcore, while remaining melodic the entire time. A must for any hardcore fan.
4. Warthog – Self Titled 7 Inch
Speaking of musts for any hardcore fan, New York’s Warthog’s self titled 7 inch is worth your time. Ok, not technically a full album but fuck off, this is too good to not include. With the speed and riff ripping aggression, this 7 inch reminds me a lot of The Cro-Mags Age Of Quarrel, and that is never a bad thing.
3. Nancy – With Child
Brooklyn’s Nancy is easily the most underrated band on this list, and their latest album With Child is some of the most catchy and fun garage punk I’ve heard in a long time. This two piece doesn’t take themselves seriously at all, with songs about how tough their moms are (both member’s mothers are named Nancy), wishing they were albino, and being in love with their TV. Taking the spirit of bands like The Dictators and The New York Dolls and playing at “I just did 4 lines of cocaine” speed, Nancy’s latest is a must.
2. Mean Jeans – Tight New Dimension
Ramones influenced punk at it’s finest (although that’s a fucking stupid term, all punk is obviously influenced by The goddamn Ramones), Portland’s party band Mean Jeans are back with their latest ripper. Catchy, fast, and fun, you’re fucking up hard if you’re not listening to Tight New Dimensions.
1. PEARS – Green Star
Is this really a surprise to anyone? After their debut release of Go To Prison, I didn’t think that New Orleans PEARS would be able to possibly match the aggression and melodies of the first album. Yet on Green Star, PEARS takes their ability to seamlessly blend hardcore and pop-punk hooks to make for an extremely aggressive, energetic yet catchy as fuck album. If you only listen to any new album of 2016, let this be the one.