There was ton of great music released this year. Coming up with a best of list this year has been quite difficult. Because there were a lot of really great albums this year this is by no means the only good albums that came out this year. What you see is the result of much internal deliberation.
10. Fight the Good Fight by The Interrupters
Released June 29 via Hellcat Records.
I admit first of all that I am generally not a huge fan of ska. I can count on one hand the number of ska/punk bands that I enjoy. This Los Angeles-based one, fronted by Aimee Allen (aka Aimee Interrupter) definitely makes that list. This album was produced by Tim Armstrong and has actually made it on Billboard's Top 200. My favorite tunes on this one are "Title Holder," "She's Kerosene," "Gave You Everything," and "Leap of Faith."
9. Desire Paths by Turnspit
Released February 16 via Dodgeball Records.
And then there's Turnspit. A Chicago-based punk band that really should be bigger than they are. Desire Paths is their first full length album. My favorite songs on the album are "Irish Name," "Walk Away," and "Skin" (probably one of the best songs of year).
8. A Confrontational Effort by This Obsession
Released March 16 via Wiretap Records.
Here's another one from what is quite possibly the best punk rock label of our era. Rob of Wiretap really has a great nose...errrr ear, for great bands. This Chicago-based trio was formed in 2009. Heavily influenced by bands like Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms and Against Me!, This Obsession is a great sounding band. This sophomore full-length of theirs contains some great gems like "Arm in Arm," "Bottoms Up," "Yo, I'm No Good," and "Pop Out My Eyes."
7. Beneath the Pines by The Creeps
Released independently on May 4.
Coming from a Canadian band, Beneath the Pines came out back in May but for whatever reason, it didn't hit my radar until later in the year. Since listening to it though, it really grabbed me. This 3-piece band from Ottawa started up in 1999 (and why I'm just now hearing about them this year is disturbing) and have released 6 albums and a good chunk of EP and splits.
6. Fucked by The Shell Corporation
Released March 2 via La Escalera Records.
The Shell Corporation are a band that I just discovered this year. They got together in 2011 in California. This album was the band's 3rd full length album (they have also released a few EPs). It is pretty easy to say that the band is politically charged and this album makes it obvious that they are no fans of the current administration. My favorite tunes from the album are the opening track "Kumbaya" as well as "Make It Rain," "Fighting For" and "All Down to Me."
5. The White Album EP by The All Brights
Released June 22 via Red Scare Industries.
This was an interesting little 6-song EP that The All Brights put out this year. It follows their 2015 EP ...Are Wild for the Night. I like the All Brights because they remind me in some ways of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They don't do punk covers of other songs but something about them just reminds me of them. My favorites on the album are "Last Blue Text" and "I'm Buying a Boat." The latter features guest vocals by Poli Van Dam from The Bombpops.
4. Seatbelts for Aeroplanes by Brand New Friend
Released April 27 via Xtra Mile Recordings.
Formed in 2016 in a little town called Castlerock in Northern Ireland about an hour north of Belfast, this band grew out of a solo acoustic project started by guitarist Taylor Johnson. After releasing a slew of demos and singles, the band released their first full length album back in April. This is one of those albums that came out of nowhere for me and since the first listen I knew it was going to end up on this end-of-year list. My favorite cuts from the album are "Mediocre at Best," the title track, "I Was an Astronaut," "Why Are You So Tired," "Sleep On My Floor," and "Hate It When You Have To Go." I am looking forward to hearing more of this band in the future.
3. SkyTigers by Red City Radio
Released March 9 via Red Scare Industries.
This Oklahoma City-based punk band never disappoints. Their albums have consistently made my top albums of the year lists and this EP is certainly no exception to that. It has five tracks that clock in at a whopping 21 minutes. This band continues to evolve.
2. Into the Agony by Smoking Popes
Released October 12 via Asian Man Records.
Into the Agony is this band's first album since 2011's This Is Only a Test and their first album with the original lineup since 2001's The Party's Over. This Chicago-based band has a habit of making some great pop-punk songs and the tunes on Into the Agony are a part of that great tradition. My favorites on the album are "Amanda My Love," "When You Want Something," "Little Lump of Coal," and "Melting America" (which includes some guest vocals from Flatfoot 56's Tobin Bawinkel.
And here it is, the #1 album of the year.......................................
1. Be More Kind by Frank Turner
Released May 4 via Xtra Mile Recordings.
This album is amazing on so many levels. The music is great. It's catchy. It reminds me of Frank Turner (which is never a bad thing). But aside from the music, the message of the album is fantastic. This one almost made #1 on this year's list exclusively for that. The overall theme of the album is summed up in it's title. Be More Kind. Don't be a jerk. Be nice to people. Simple message. Great album.