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Best of 2011 - Aubin's picks (Cover Artwork)

Best of 2011

Best of 2011: Aubin's picksAubin's picks (2011)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: JeloneAubin
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Aubin is a news editor at Punknews.org - ed. Hello. My name is… 2011 was a bit of an unusual year for me; I packed up and left Toronto and moved to New York City; I'm not going to spend too much time talking about it, but some of the most severe and painful changes were definitely no.


Aubin is a news editor at Punknews.org - ed.

Hello. My name is…

2011 was a bit of an unusual year for me; I packed up and left Toronto and moved to New York City; I'm not going to spend too much time talking about it, but some of the most severe and painful changes were definitely not problems of geography. I have no doubt that the presence of some albums on this list could be directly attributed to that.

I'll confess that much of my music money this year was spent re-purchasing albums in every improved quality; the 24-bit reissues of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here are gorgeous; sadly, my favorite Floyd album--Animals--didn't receive the same level of treatment. Another gorgeous reissue was bluesman Robert Johnson's Centennial Collection which is some of the cleanest sounding audio w';re ever likely to get from this 75-year-old recording.

I was impressed with Nirvana's Nevermind reissue and heartily recommend the bonus Devonshire Mix which significantly improves on the more radio-friendly mix of the released version. Finally, it's also worth mentioning the solid and enjoyable reissues of Smashing Pumpkins' terrific Gish and Siamese Dream. I also would not hesitate to recommend the great sounding reissue of Lagwagon's Hoss. Archers of Loaf's Icky Mettle or Megadeth's Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, Sebadoh's Bakesale, Ride's Nowhere. Now, where is my remastered version of Alice in Chains' Dirt?

My favorite records of 2011

10

TIm Hecker: Rave Death, 1972

Kranky

The most accessible release yet from the Montreal-based noise artist, though that isn't saying too much considering how willfully opaque some of these songs get. But nonetheless, a spellbinding listen that hearkens back to an instrumental My Bloody Valentine or some of the earliest and noisiest Jesus & Mary Chain tracks.

9

Deafheaven: Roads to Judah

Deathwish Inc.

While lacking the baffling hype of a Liturgy or Wolves in the Throne Room, Deafheaven nonetheless put together the most interest black metal-derived release of the year; with shoegaze texture, it reminds me more of an Envy or Isis than any black metal we've heard before. Only Alcest has stretched this genre as far or as well.

8

Pianos Become The Teeth: The Lack Long After

TopShelf Records

Unapologetically derived from the earliest (and unmistakably) best era of screamo; The Lack Long Long After alludes back to everything from Envy to City of Caterpillar to even At the Drive-In. Incidentally, if you liked this, don't forget to check out Carrion Spring.

7

Balance and Composure: Separation

No Sleep

Another '90s throwback on this list, but this time taking a sound from that era of punk and American indie rock like Jawbreaker, Dinosaur Jr. and even The Colour and the Shape-era Foo Fighters. Good influences are one thing, but the strength of the songs and production really made this one shine for me.

6

Touché Amoré: Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me

Deathwish

Just an awe inspiring hardcore album; not one song overstays its welcome and each one offers a little something to distinguish itself. Not only was this a great album, their live performance was even better.

5

Frank Turner: England Keep My Bones

Epitaph

Having followed Turner since his 2007 solo debut, Sleep Is for the Week, it's been astounding to see him grow as both a songwriter and storyteller. Between the earnestness of the music and lyrics and the ambition of the music, there's little not to enjoy about this cynicism-free bit of Britannia.

4

The Wonder Years: Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing

Hopeless

I honestly had not been interested in this band before this record, but something about the lyrics and music just elevated them past the regular pop-punk that we're so inundated with these days; while name-dropping Charles Bukowski and Blacklisted in the same sentence doesn't hurt, the strength of the songs was the real clincher.

3

Defeater: Empty Days & Sleepless Nights

Bridge Nine

A band that continues to surprise me with both the quality of music and songwriting. This is the second release of theirs to end up on one of my "best of" lists, and it's well deserved.

2

Polar Bear Club: Clash Battle Guilt Pride

Bridge Nine

I know there was definitely some controversy about this one; with a definite Foo Fighters-vibe coming across on some of the songs, but in the end, the quality of the tracks is what matters and it abounds throughout this great bit of post-hardcore.

1

Fucked Up: David Comes to Life

Matador

It really doesn't get more interesting than Fucked Up; their gleeful ability to subvert expectations even as they embrace genre conventions makes for consistently powerful and inspiring tracks. I can think of few bands since the Who with both this level and ambition and the talent to realize it.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsDear Landlord - Dream HomesBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificJawbreaker - Dear YouBanner Pilot - CollapserThe Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimRed City Radio - The Dangers of Standing StillThe Holy Mess - Benefit Sesh [7-inch]Against Me! - Searching For A Former Clarity

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SilentStorms (January 2, 2012)

Holy shit!!! Someone else knows Carrion Spring. Their album was my #3. I guess I should just post it.

10 - Patton Oswalt/Louis CK
9 - The Lonely Island
8 - Boris (Heavy Rocks)
7 - Gifts From Enola
6 - Mansions
5 - Russian Circles
4 - Manchester Orchestra
3 - Carrion Spring
2 - Cave In
1 - The Strokes

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

Score is for the Balance and Composure album I downloaded due to this list. The music is competent and all, if a bit predictable, but the singer sounds like he belongs on FM radio.

tenwestchaser (December 29, 2011)

Solid. I'm going to have to check out some of the stuff that I haven't heard now. Personally sort of disagree with the order, though. I think the new Touche Amore is the best album of the year.

rugget (December 29, 2011)

Obviously I did not get to listen to everything, but from what I have listened to:

LPs

10. Mastodon - The Hunter
9. Revocation - Chaos of Forms
8. Decapitated - Carnival is Forever
7. Former Thieves - The Language That We Speak
6. Adebisi Shank - This is the Second Album of a band called Adebisi Shank
5. Title Fight - Shed
4. Origin - Entity
3. Heartsounds - Drifter
2. Touché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
1. La Dispute - Wildlife

EPs

5. OFF! - Compared to What
4. In Defence - Party Lines and Politics
3. Braid - Closer to Closed
2. Coliseum - Parasites
1. Half Hearted Hero - Running Water

trevor905 (December 29, 2011)

aubin you rule

thepopeofchili-town (December 29, 2011)

Deafheaven!

If I had gotten that record more than a few weeks ago it would have been on my list for sure. Awesome stuff.

EchosMyron (December 29, 2011)

I'm checking out that Balance and Composure album. I agree with his #1 pick.

SloaneDaley (December 29, 2011)

The fact that Balance And Composure's album was so 90s is what bothered me about it. I mean I like some Foos and I spin the first Rusty album quite often but it just bothered me.

telegraphrocks (December 29, 2011)

Boooo.

sundowning10 (December 29, 2011)

Great list, I agree with everything on there except The Wonder Years. For some reason, the band doesn't grab me like they do to everyone else. I'd replace that album with Wildlife, then it'd be my perfect list.

essenceoftong (December 29, 2011)

here's my mixtape for 2011....

captain, we're sinking - foster brothers
cerebral ballzy - junkie for her
cheap girls - wandering days are over
citizen fish - marker pen
candy hearts - good enough
cute lepers - noisy song
dead to me - the world has gone mad
frensal rhomb - bird attack
fucked up - queen of hearts
great cynics - cider for breakfast
h2o - train in vain
i am the avalanche - holy fuck
joyce manor - constant headache
la dispute - the most beautiful bitter fruit
our time down here - tiny teeth
bleached - electric chair
polar bear club - religion on the radio
star fucking hipsters - ana ng
title fight - 27
teenage bottlerocket - mutilate me
the copyrights - trustees of modern chemistry
the dauntless elite - god doesn't believe i exist
the menzingers - irish goodbyes
the pains of being pure at heart - belong
touche amore - home away from here
wax phantom - f-my bod
against me! - russian spies

kursk64 (December 29, 2011)

Good list and agree. Mine would be very similar but with Wildlife and Trips somewhere in the mix

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