Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is EXTREMELY late, but here it is! My favorite Albums of 2017. There were so many great releases last year that this list is only a fraction of all the great music that I heard. 2017 was the year of noise rock as you will see below. Once again, I do these lists for many reasons, they are super fun to make, I like getting the names of new bands, albums, and artists out there, I enjoy reading other people’s top picks and I love getting feedback from people who read my lists and can recommend me music that I may have missed.
Unfortunately like previous lists, I couldn’t get really in depth with each album; I am currently working on a full-length horror movie, Death Drop Gorgeous, which is taking up all my time. But enjoy the list and check out all these releases!
1. Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now
You can fight me on this one but I think Pissed Jeans is one of the most important bands of the last decade… Our government and it’s use of media continue to successfully control our country by praying on male psychology and the fragility of the “masculine” ego as evidenced by the current political party in charge and their voracious followers made up of all man- babies that want to keep suckling off our president’s man boobs.
Vocalist Matt Korvette’s lyrics remain some of the most scathing and pertinent social commentary out there and on Why Love Now he proudly highlights the coal rolling, knuckle dragging, pussy grabbing, Nazi sympathizing, science/fact denying, meat loving, female hating culture that we currently are all trapped in; whether we participate in it or not, we are here and unfortunately immersed in it and Why Love Now is a wake up call to the men out there that we need to start holding each other accountable and be in the corners of women when they need us.
Why Love Now is the band at it’s strongest and most comprehensive. Every song on the album is just as Pissed soaked as all their other previous releases; the snarling, noisy, and driving rock is alive and well but this album seems to be much catchier than their previous releases and you’ll catch yourself humming these tracks to yourself for weeks after your first listen. Matt Korvette also has a killer music review blog, so when you’re not reading Bearded Gentlemen Music, check it out.
2. Krallice – Go Be Forgotten
The Oh Sees of metal, Krallice, are a music making machine and out of the 3 excellent albums they released this year, Go Be Forgotten is a vicious masterpiece exploring the darker side of the bands psyche. As usual, the song’s surrealist landscapes of ever-shifting structures is there but the outer worldly dimensions you find yourself in are far more cruel and heavier than previous releases. I don’t think it is possible for this band to make a bad album and I hope they keep them coming. If you have never listened to Krallice, Go Be Forgotten is a great place to start.
3. Boy Harsher – County Girl
Yeah I know it is only 4 songs, but it is 4 of the best songs written this year. There is definitely an over saturation of the synthwave, darkwave, gothwave, etc. right now but Boy Harsher is ten steps ahead of the pack and one of my favorite active acts; I am counting down the days until they take over the world. “Motion” is the best song of 2017 and I cannot wait to hear what else they have in store. If you haven’t heard them yet, any one of their releases is a good start.
4. Melkbelly – Nothing Valley
I love a good tempo change and when songs get gnarly and Melkbelly has successfully bred their own little post rock/noise rock pop mutants. Songs will dive in and out of hummable melodies and careen off a cliff into wall of screeching feebdcack/scathing noise riffs. This is a very rare creature and I am happy that Melkbelly is out there melting minds. For fans of Cacaw, a pinch of Lightning Bolt, early Joanna Gruesome, Thumbnail, Screaming Females, Beat Drun Juel, etc.
5. Bad Breeding – Divide
Reckless and aggressive yet thoughtful and fun noise-punk from the UK that rivals most of their influences. The songs are short and sweet and pack a punch. For fans of Battleship, Zulus, Worst Case Scenario, early Clockcleaner, Young Ginns, etc.
6. Tombouctou – Ceiling Coast
Disorienting and manic noise rock from France and probably one of the best albums of this style I have heard in a long time. Ceiling Coast is a musical misfit and not one to miss. For fans of Sunday Puncher, Divorce, Three Second Kiss, Colossamite, Uzeda, Bride of No No, etc.
7. Endon – Through the Mirror
Though Through the Mirror was not as maddening as their previous album MAMA, Endon has successfully made minced meat out of the metal genre once again, creating a metal album that would like one of the mutated creatures in John Carpenter’s The Thing if it were to materialize. The music is definitely more focused on structure but still manages to be an ugly collage of all types of metal. I got to seem them live last year and I can promise you this is not a band to miss.
8. Plyers – Clear
Clear is a spastic onslaught of deranged noise rock (which is my favorite kind). Another rare animal you don’t hear often and I can’t wait for more from this band. For fans of early White Suns, KLS, Microwaves, Take A Worm For A Walk Week, etc.
9. Lana Del Rey – Lust for Life
She’s back and dreamier than ever; she’s like Freddy Krueger on Nyquil and just passes you a blunt instead of mauling you.
Read my full review of Lust For Life here.
10. Blattaria – s/t
Blattaria (means cockroach, duh), is a one man, hyper-psychedelic, noisy, “black metal” band from Oklahoma City who I stumbled upon on the Fallen Empire Record’s mailing list (this is a great label that consistently puts out quality metal). Anyone who reads my stuff knows that I tear on black metal all the time because it seems like a ever expanding blob of corpse paint and scowling, so when I hear bands like Blattaria do something fun and exciting with it, it makes me happy.
This self-titled album is a rapid-fire stream of nightmarish, shoegaze in a K hole that is constantly on the verge of a full blown panic attack…orchestrated and executed by one dude. For fans of Thantifaxath, Pyrrhon, Jute Gyte, Krallice, Dendritic Arbor, etc. or anyone else that wants to their brains addled.
11. Sloth Herder – No Pity, No Sunrise
Unpleasant and brutal death grind from Baltimore. It’s just as maddening and depraved as most of the metal that comes out of that city. For fans of early Khann, Yuatja, Dendritic Arbor, Genevieve, Piss Vortex, etc.
12. Jute Gyte – Oviri
This album is a complete and total mind fuck; an atonal and disturbing perversion of metal. It is a challenging and strangely beautiful all at the same time. Even if you hate Jute Gyte, you have to give this one man band credit for creating such a monster. For fans of hallucinogenic drugs, taking other types of drugs on hallucinogenic drugs, etc.
13. Hot Nerds – Tirades in the Mental Arcade
These maniacs are back with another album you just want to shove into a locker and squish it’s bagged lunch. Just as high energy and frantic as Strategically Placed Bananas Hot Nerds rules and you should own all of their music. For fans of xbxrx, Black Cat #13, Holy Molar, etc.
14. UT – SYEB
Throwback to 90’s post rock, noise rock in the spirit of Touch and Go records. This whole album start to finish is full of angular hooks and breakdowns and everything fans of this era of music have been craving. For fans of Shellac, Rapeman, Three Second Kiss, Thumbnail, Big’N, etc.
15. Bummer/PINKO split – s/t
I had the pleasure of seeing PINKO live last year and was completely blown away by them. Angular and driving post rock that seems to just get heavier and nastier as the songs progress. I hope these guys lead the revival of that Drive Like Jehu, Thumbnail, early Akimbo post hardcore, post punk, math rock that is bound to happen. Bummer is driving and sludge rock that as heavy as it is clever because this type of music can go south quick. For fans of Kittens, Mannequin, Shallow North Dakota etc.
16. Biblical – The City That Always Seeps
I don’t poke around in the “stoner rock” genres often because I usually come back empty handed and severely annoyed, but I found this album to have that little something else to separate it from the rest. It is dreamy, proggy, aggressive at times, fuzzed out, and it’s even got some synths. Maybe if Queens of the Stone Age, Blue Oyster Cult and Hawkwind had some brain damaged, hippy love child? Either way I am not sure how these guys slipped through the cracks of 2017.
17. Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie
Every time Yellow Eyes and/or Immersion Trench Reverie is mentioned, it is followed by how “the band was just in Russia and they record all their albums in a cabin in the middle of the woods of Connecticut”; it is stuff like this that makes me want to make fun of this band so badly; when black metal takes itself way too seriously, I automatically need to crack a joke…but on the other hand…the devotion that metal musicians put into their brand and aesthetic is commendable and in some cases, takes a lot of time and effort.
Finding inspiration for your music in the wilderness of Russia is actually pretty great and you can hear the desolation and biting temperatures of this vast landscape in every track. I really enjoyed their previous and unrelenting album Sick With Bloom and Immersion Trench Reverie follows a lot of the same paths, but here we are seeing more restraint and a few other surprises woven into the music such as animal sounds, a ghostly female choir, bells, etc. Along with the brilliant songwriting, it’s little things like this that can elevate your metal above others.
18. YC-CY – Todestanz
Explosive and aggressive noise rock with guitars that are screaming in both ears and a rhythm section that is punching you in the gut. Again, elements of 90’s noise rock but much higher energy. Microwaves, Asterisk, Dmonstrations, etc.
19. Yowie – Synchromysticism
Yeah, it’s Yowie and they are doing Yowie and doing it well, except this is probably their heaviest and darkest release. I am still not sure how they remember their songs. If you’re looking for some music to make you cross eyed maybe you should get into some Synchromysticism and let yourself go. For fans of long division, trigonometry, and other maths that haven’t been discovered yet, Gorge Trio, early Hella, Grand Ulena, etc.
20. Pyrrhon – What Passes For Survival
More metal that has to be zero fun to play; it’s complex and mathy and is constantly shifting tempos and timings to the point of disorienting nausea. I am not sure how bands like this do it but this is a great listen and I am seeing these lunatics next month in Providence. For fans of Artificial Brain, Gigan, Imperial Triumphant, early Dillinger Escape Plan, Ulcerate, etc.
21. Natural Velvet – Mirror to Make You
Post punky , no wavey, sonic rock from Baltimore releasing another killer album. Songs range from gloomy to aggressive and are loaded with surprise squalls of noisy goodness. These guys are touring soon so keep an eye out! For fans of Dustdevils, Live Skull, Sonic Youth, Toupee, early Ume, etc.
22. Meatwound – Largo
Aside from being one of the best live bands I have seen this year, Largo is the raucous and pummeling post hardcore assault you needed in 2017. This is the soundtrack to clubbing a brontosaurus to death and eating its giblets in your cave. This is a style of music that is hard to make interesting and fun, but Meatwound has it down pat. For fans of KARP, early Coalesce, Great Falls, etc.
23. USA/Mexico – Laredo
Blown out psychedelic sludge rock from King Coffey of Butthole Surfers and members of Todd, Shit & Shine and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth…I can’t imagine not going deaf after seeing this live, but if you could capture an audio version of ODing on cough syrup during a mudslide, this is what it would sound like. For fans of Goslings, Shit & Shine, Rusted Shut, Butthole Surfers, etc.
24. Weeping Icon – Eyeball Under
Upbeat, shoegazey noise punk that makes you want to dance and/or throw a brick through the window of the closest car with a MAGA bumper sticker. Summertime driving music at it’s finest. For fans of Huggy Bear, Ikara Colt, Solids, etc.
25. Video Duct – Small Pets and Kitchenettes
Low-fi, trashy, blown out noise rock that feels like you were ab
ducted by aliens while wrestling lawn furniture, butt drunk on Steel Reserve. For fans of The Hospitals, Psychedelic Horseshit, Harry Pussy, etc.
26. Batpiss – Rest in Piss
Spaced out and swampy noise rock from Australia that ranges from up tempo bangers loaded with off-kilter hooks and breakdowns where the guitars strings are hanging on for their dear lives to dreary, mid tempo, noise rock fever dreams. For fans of Dustdevils, Bi-Polar Bear, The Wobblies, Metz, etc.
27. Shimmer – s/t
Just fucking gross. This album is an assault to the senses in all the right ways. The vocalist sounds like she is choking on barbed wire and the music sounds like it is completing disintegrating then randomly collapsing back into a perceivable melody and pattern. Bravo to all of this and this album rules. For fans of U.S. Maple, Normal Love, Trumans Water, Tips For Twats, etc.
28. Thantifaxath – Void Masquerading as Matter
Some bands just do black metal better than others and Thantifaxath is one of them. For fans of Krallice, Imperial Triumphant, etc.
29. Super Thief – Stuck
I have noticed that there has been a revival of that dark and dirty grunge era noise rock and I am loving it. Super Thief are for sure the front runners on this one and released quite a rockin and filthy album. For fans of Green Magnet School, Sweet Pea, Spore, etc.
30. Gigan – Undulating Waves of Rainbiotic Iridescence
Spastic, spacey and tripped out mathy, death metal. Th
ese guys are doing something really great and I hope they just get weirder and more psychedelic. For fans of Gorguts, Artificial Brain, Gigan, Ulcerate, etc.