10. I Am the Avalanche - Avalanche United
IATA returned in great form. They made a great straight to the point punk rock album, and it’s obvious this is best at what Vinnie’s doing.
Favorite Songs: You’ve Got Spiders, Holy Fuck, This One’s on Me
9. The Horrible Crowes - Elsie
One of those perfect albums that’s best listened to on a rainy day or at night. So much emotion, it’s nice to hear Brian Fallon’s voice in a more stripped down setting, it really lets his vocals shine on this album.
Favorite Songs: Go Tell Everybody, Black Betty & the Moon, Behold the Hurricane
8. Thursday - No Devolucion
Finally. Thursday made an album they wanted to make, and not something they wanted to force. Every album before has hinted at this direction being taken, and it was great to see them take it. This album is haunting and experimental. They really stepped up their game on what would be their final album. There simply wouldn’t be a better way for them to finish off their career than this album.
Favorite Songs: Turnpike Divides, Stay True, Fast to the End
7. Thrice - Major/Minor
Another album which will be their last (for now). It picks off where Beggars left off. It still retains the raw sound from that album, but in a heavier style. While Beggars was more stripped down and peaceful, this album has all members showcasing their talents.
Favorite Songs: Call it in the Air, Words in the Water, Anthology
6. Bomb the Music Industry - Vacation
This has easily become my favorite BTMI album over the course of this year. It’s odd to hear Jeff singing more optimistic lyrics, and have songs that are more structured than before, but it works wonderfully. It’s a perfect summer album, but one that I can still enjoy throughout the entire year. From Beach Boys to Weezer influences, the album not only has a perfect flow from one song to the next, but also manages to still be interesting on each listen.
Favorite Songs: Hurricane Waves, Can’t Complain, Felt Just Like Vacation
5. The Swellers - Good for Me
This is the album that turned me into a massive Swellers fan. Before I thought they were just okay, and didn’t really give them much of a chance. From the first listen of this album, I knew it was something special. It managed to capture the energy that the Swellers have live. It’s an album that each time I listen to it, I have a new favorite part and a new favorite song. It’s helped me through a lot of tough shit this year, and I really love it for that.
Favorite Songs: Runaways, Warming Up, Inside My Head
4. Bayside - Killing Time
Bayside has always been the band I can rely on for bitter and sad lyrics, and this album is no different. It’s what drew me into Bayside years ago. Bayside’s one of those bands that don’t change their style drastically, but still find a way to stay interesting. From the different key changes of Mona Lisa, to the catchy guitar riff in It’s Not A Bad Little War, they always have something unique in each song that makes it worth multiple listens. The anger and bitterness is increased ten-fold on this album, and is my “angry” album for the year.
Favorite Songs: Killing Time, Already Gone, Sinking and Swimming in Long Island
3. Fireworks - Gospel
Talk about a change of direction. Fireworks went from a typical pop-punk band, to something much much more unique and distanced themselves from the competition. There’s so many little country influences on this song I never thought I’d actually enjoy, but they make it work. They’ve improved on every aspect of their musicianship, and have created one of the most interesting albums of the pop-punk scene this year.
Favorite Songs: Oh, Why Can’t We Start Old and Get Younger?, Life is Killing Me, The Wild Bunch
2. Saves the Day - Daybreak
These next two albums have had such an impact on my life this year, it’s shocking. Both have helped me through everything this year, and have a special place in my life. Starting with Daybreak. I never thought I’d see the day when this album would be released. Chris Conley finally finishes his trilogy of albums, and what a closer he’s made. An album about accepting who we are as people, including all the good and bad inside of us. This album has really helped me learn to be okay with myself, and realized it’s not worth going through all the torture of hating yourself. With a ten minute opener that displays themes from the entire trilogy, I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion. Arun’s guitar parts really add to Saves the Day, and are very dreamy and odd in parts. Daybreak exceeded every expectation I had for it, and will always be important to me.
Favorite Songs: Daybreak, Undress Me, E
1. The Dangerous Summer - War Paint
Say what you will about the drama this band has. Say what you will about the members being assholes and any other negative things that seem to follow this band around. When it comes down to it, all that matters is the music. And they have made my album of the year. I thought it was going to be near impossible to make anything half as good as Reach for the Sun, but they shattered any doubt in my mind. This album is heart-wrenching. This album displays so many emotions that it tears at your own. It’ll make you think back to the moments in your life when you were at your lowest, and sometimes even your highest. Not many albums affect me in this way, but they’ve managed to do it twice now. AJ writes some of the best and most relatable lyrics, while still managing to keep them artistic and vague. It’s so hard for me to even begin to explain how much this album means to me. No matter how many bad things you’ve heard about this band, do yourself a favor and block those thoughts out and listen to this album, and enjoy. Think back on all moments in your life, and just listen.
Favorite Songs: Work in Progress, No One’s Gonna Need You More, Everyone Left
Huge honorable mentions that were painful to leave off:
Dear Hunter - Color Spectrum
La Dispute - Wildlife
Lydia - Paint it Golden
The Cinema - My Blood is Full of Airplanes
Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
New Found Glory - Radiosurgery
Polar Bear Club - Clash Battle Guilt Pride
Silverstein - Rescue
Transit - Listen & Forgive
The Wonder Years - Suburbia
so many good albums this year..
going to be impossible to make a top 10 list. shit.
Saves The Day - Daybreak
Beyond blown away by this song and album.
seriously, this. I can’t find the damn thing