The High Fidelity generation loves to make lists. Top five this, top ten that. But 2017 has made life difficult for those of us who like to collate our favourite albums of each year.
Still, nice problems to have. Let’s go.
By the way, both Chris and I have fed our favourite song from each of our Albums Of The Year into a banging playlist on Spotify.
Click here for numbers 10 to 1 and for Chris Nee’s picks, or here to listen to our podcast about these albums.
20. The Homeless Gospel Choir – Presents: Normal (A-F Records)
Something of an outlier to start my 20, but discovering the acoustic, political and, often, downright hilarious music of The Homeless Gospel Choir has been one of my favourite things of 2017. This album is full of hooks, full of punchlines and is exactly the sort of thing I’d like to do, if I ever did an ‘acoustic’ thing. [Spotify]
19. Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand (Reprise Records)
This slot always felt like it would go to a metal release, and Mastodon just edged Trivium on repeat listens. This is Mastodon’s finest album in years, the songs are gargantuan and, while an obvious choice, ‘Show Yourself’ is one of the year’s finest rippers. [Spotify]
18. Deathbreaker – Disconnect (Facedown Records)
I love everything this album does – lumbering and hulking riffs with some surprising melodies thrown in to keep you on your toes. This record delivers when consumed in one go, but also has plenty of punch if you just dip in and out. It’s heavy, nasty, heartfelt and wonderful. [Spotify]
17. Get The Shot – Infinite Punishment (Get The Shot / New Damage Records)
For any album to knock Power Trip from my Top 20, it would have to have some weight to it, which is exactly what Get the Shot have in abundance. From the mosh call to start the album, through the remaining slabs of straight-up hardcore, this record is glorious. [Spotify]
16. Blood Command – Cult Drugs (Fysisk Format)
What’s not to like about a record of hardcore disco pop? Spoiler: nothing. This is aggressive, catchy, full of cool little electronic bits and generally just a banger of an album. On the back of this, I can’t wait to go back and discover their previous work. [Spotify]
15. Gnarwolves – Outsiders (Big Scary Monsters)
This lot are one of the UK’s finest live acts and this album really captures the rumbling brilliance that they have on stage. It’s their best collection of songs yet, and those songs will get stuck in head after the first listen. Wonderful stuff from a wonderful, vibrant band. [Spotify]
14. Wear Your Wounds – WYW (Deathwish Inc)
Hearing the other side of Converge’s Jacob Bannan, in the form of this hypnotic, brooding album is simply fascinating, but that’s not to belittle the quality on show here; this is a terrific album. Progressive, melodic, heavy and darned brilliant. [Spotify]
13. Higher Power – Soul Structure (Flatspot Records)
This record might sit in the realm of hardcore, but I hear a tonne of grunge and early 90s alt-rock here and I love it. Guitars with bite that wash over you, cool vocals and big hooks. And, having seen them recently, they can pull it off live too. [Spotify]
12. Backwards Dancer – Backwards Dancer (Equal Vision Records)
It would be easy to throw this in as a replacement for Brand New, but I’ve loved this record since before we knew we needed a replacement for Brand New. That style of music is something I really enjoy and Backwards Dancer do it as well as anyone. Great melodies and wonderful guitar work can be found in spades on this one. [Spotify]
11. Stray From The Path – Only Death Is Real (Sumerian Records)
2017 needs this album. It is aggressive, poignant and full of bounce. It’s also their best complete album – they might have written better individual songs on other releases, but as a complete journey, this is their finest. [Spotify]