Best of 2011 - Punknews.org's Picks (Cover Artwork)

Best of 2011

Best of 2011: Punknews.org's PicksPunknews.org's Picks (2011)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Who We Are Punknews.org is staffed by volunteers. These volunteers write and edit in their spare time and largely of their own individual motivations. There are no full time Punknews.org staff. Everyone has a day job, a school to attend, or a life to lead otherwise. There is no editorial mandat.

Who We Are

Punknews.org is staffed by volunteers. These volunteers write and edit in their spare time and largely of their own individual motivations. There are no full time Punknews.org staff. Everyone has a day job, a school to attend, or a life to lead otherwise. There is no editorial mandate at Punknews.org. There are no bands we collectively plan to pay attention to. Likewise we do not plan to praise or pan any individual album or band in reviews. For the record, Punknews.org does not accept money in exchange for news coverage or reviews.

In short, we're barely organized and it's astonishing that we haven't spectacularly imploded yet. Punk rock.

In that spirit, most members of the Punknews.org staff are seeing this list for the first time when the public does.

How this works

This overall list is determined entirely by math. In late November members of the Punknews.org editorial staff, review writing staff and interviewer staff along with a small handful of Org alumni were asked to submit a ranked top 20 list of LPs and a separate list of EPs. These lists were submitted in isolation and each person's list was kept private from the rest of the staff. While a majority of the people involved in Punknews.org submitted lists, several missed the deadline or otherwise chose to abstain, and as such their opinions may not be reflected here. The individual lists were weighted so that we could tally up the results. For example, a person's #1 pick was worth 20 points, #2 was 19 points, and so on down to #20 being worth 1 point. The summation of those rankings determined the list you see below. No additional weighting was given to how many times a record appeared on those lists, nor have we corrected after the fact if the staffer chose to re-order the albums on their publicly published list. Only a subset of the participants in this process have published a solo "Best Of" lists on Punknews this year.

While we believe you'll find a nice cross-section of the tastes of the Punknews editors and reviewers here, the real meat of our yearly retrospective can be found in the individual lists. Make sure to check them out, as there are quite a few this year. Also, don't forget about YOUR list, the top 20 releases of the year as voted by the Punknews community. That list should be posted following this one.

All clear? Smashing. Let's rock'n'roll‚?¶

Punknews.org Staff's Top 5 EPs of 2011


Jimmy Cliff: Sacred Fire EP [12-inch]

Collective Sounds

Talk about a comeback. Jimmy Cliff's legacy was already assured, but hearing something like Sacred Fire this late in his career is got-damn inspirational. Between the stellar covers (The Clash, Rancid, Bob Dylan) and the awesome originals, it feels good to be rude again. -Joe Pelone


Big Business: Quadruple Single [12-inch]

Gold Metal

On Quadruple Single, Big Business takes everything that is great about the band, riffs that rumble like tanks, ghostly wails, inventive song structure and general wackiness, and condense it into a tight four tracks. While rapid-drone-stomping has been done before, Big Biz's approach, which is equally appreciative and self aware, trims the fat, takes the genre in new directions, and includes one element that most heavy bands forget: The songs actually sound good. Really, really good, in fact. On the final track the band declares "Guns! Guns! Guns are better than everything else!" If that's true, then firearms beat this release by the width of a hair. - John Gentile


The Sidekicks / Tigers Jaw: Split [7-Inch]

Shout Out Loud Prints

While the Sidekicks and Tigers Jaw both occupy the poppier side of the indie/punk spectrum, they have very different approaches to their craft. The Sidekicks' upbeat power-pop has soaring vocal melodies and catchy hooks that are so immediately satisfying they do little to betray the beautiful lyrics and sophisticated guitar work contained within that you only discover upon repeated listens. Tigers Jaw, on the other hand, have a more intentionally obscure path they take you on with their music, having a heavier debt to '90s Midwest emo and alterna-rock, and yet there is something localized rather than universal about their music. Their lyrics are more abstract, their tempos are slower, and their guitar parts shift just enough so they make you wait for that one sweet spot in a song rather than delivering right away. Putting these two bands together proves to be an interesting and overall successful experiment. The Sidekick's cover of of Elvis Costello's cover of "(Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" not only respects the original but builds upon it, which is an extremely rare feat for such a classic song transforming this from a great seven-inch into something really special. - Sloane Daley


Against Me!: Russian Spies [7-inch]


Against Me! amp up the energy level (Thanks in no small part to new drummer Jay Weinberg) and deliver two extremely catchy punk rock anthems. If their next full-length can keep up this level of quality, we may very well be looking at the future holders of the "Album of 2012" title.- Tori Pederson


Hot Water Music: The Fire, The Steel, The Tread b/w Adds Up to Nothing


The long-awaited followup to 2004's The New What Next from beardpunk's most heralded is a seven-inch teaser that's simply delightful. Sure, it basically sounds like a split between Chuck Ragan and the Draft, but the grizzled recording tone is a fresh feel, and both turn in yearning, ruggedly endearing performances. - Brian Shultz

Punknews.org Staff's Top 20 LPs of 2011

20 (Tie)

Andrew Jackson Jihad: Knife Man

Asian Man

As fans of this band are more than aware, they have a gift for writing about the most dark, twisted and upsetting moments of life with a certain kind of clarity. Sean Bonnett's delivery of these gut-wrenching tales has the power to be either depressing as all hell, or surprisingly uplifting. From discussing his own straight, white, male privilege, to the inadequate system we have for taking care of our nation's poor, to the pure desperation in realizing how far any of us can fall, it's hard not to feel something listening to the record. AJJ may not yet present solutions, but they urge their listeners to pay attention to the people around them and the situations they're in that may not be entirely their fault. The moral of the story? Have compassion, don't feel bad for your own suffering, and stay true to your convictions. - Katy Hardy

20 (Tie)

Night Birds: The Other Side of Darkness

Grave Mistake

It's surf punk meets Dead Kennedys. You want something longer than that you're taking too long for Nightbirds. - Rich Verducci


Defeater: Empty Days and Sleepless Nights

Bridge Nine Records

Remember when hardcore was the poster child for stagnation? Well Defeater and their ilk are making sure that the aforementioned poster is ripped up, burnt, and stomped on. On Empty Days and Sleepless Nights the band keeps it rough, but drops in twilight tapping, acoustic numbers‚?¶oh and a story about the aftermath of mass destruction from flooding. What, you thought only one hardcore band was allowed to make a concept album about catastrophe this year? - John Gentile


Samiam: Trips


Trips serves as both a literal return for Samiam and A spiritual return of sorts for the band. After five years between this and their last proper LP, Whatever's Got You Down, Samiam has created a generally upbeat collection that is perhaps their most immediate release since You Are Freaking Me Out. Trips continues exploring thoughtful and mature melodic punk in a way that only a band who has been around for twenty years can but expands upon a foundation of more traditional guitar pop like they never have before. Lyrically the themes of perseverance through life's trials and tribulations might not be complex but they really ring true both for the band and hopefully the listener. Maybe these tricks aren't entirely new but they are more focused and inspired than anyone might expect. This should be everyone's go-to "feel good" album of the year. - Sloane Daley


Touché Amoré: Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me


I sort of don't want to like this album. There are certain parts of it that tend to drag on me and the lyrical content is about as far from uplifting as you can get. Still, there are parts (like the line "If actions speak louder than words, I'm the most deafening noise you've heard" on the opener "~") that can't help but make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Jeremy Bolm has a way of using a few words to convey complex concepts in an incredibly forceful manner and the musical aspect keeps the album from ever relying strictly on the vocals. It's a testament to how good this album is that it's an epic downer that you keep revisiting. - Rich Verducci


Elway: Delusions

Red Scare

Legal issues aside, Colorado's Elway usher in their new moniker beautifully, with 11 killer, melody-laden punk songs. The new takes on the 10-4 Eleanor material, alongside the new songs, are fantastic, and the hooks will get firmly stuck in your head. - John Flynn


Chuck Ragan: Covering Ground

SideOneDummy Records

It's difficult to stress just how warm and comforting Chuck Ragan's solo work sounds, to me at least. There's a lot of flack gets thrown at punk and hardcore musicians who have embarked on more folk-based solo work in recent years, and I've never really understood that. As I see it, the song is everything, and the songs, reduced to their most essential and timeless components, are the things that stand out most in Chuck's work, as well it should be.

Covering Ground isn't a huge departure from the musical styles of Feast Or Famine or Gold Country, and that's no bad thing. It's no secret that Chuck is a gifted songwriter and musician, and his solo work continues to show us a man with everything to say, but nothing to prove. That Chuck seems so comfortable in his work, speaking for myself, allows me to listen to his work in comfort, even when that work deals with uncomfortable things. This year I've come back to this album again and again, on those nights when I'm feeling rough, and there's nobody on hand who can talk to me. When nobody is around to listen, I listen to Chuck, and it's like getting understanding and advice from a true friend. Magnificent. - Andrew Waterfield


World/Inferno Friendship Society: The Anarchy and The Ecstasy


The Anarchy and The Ecstasy is the definition of a "grower record." Much more subtle than their past releases, World/Inferno switches their swinging ‚??20s horns for meditative acoustic ballads and opera-influenced duets. It takes some time to sink in, but once it does, it shows that this might be the album, with all its quiet nuances and sly tricks, to define the punk-cabaret collective. Plus, the lead single, "I Am Sick of People Being Sick of My Shit" is not only the best song they've ever recorded, but it probably encapsulates a band in three minutes with more definition than a documentary could in 12 hours. - John Gentile


Balance and Composure: Separation

June 28 on No Sleep Records

The '90s became nostalgia territory well before 2011, but its emotive, powerful musical landscape continuously provides an expansive spectrum to pull from. Case in point: The first proper full-length from Doylestown, Pa.'s Balance and Composure, Separation digs its heels in and grinds out a cathartic and thunderous display drawing blood from the likes of Nirvana, Neutral Milk Hotel, Jawbreaker, Red House Painters and countless others. The running cliché about musically thoughtful bands brilliantly mining their record collections has admittedly become a tiresome one (although, as noted in my review back in June, there's a metaphor for B&C that's quite literal). But Separation's unrelenting drive of dynamic exercises, unpredictable turns and persistently distraught tensions puts Balance and Composure in a class all their own--in other words, its title creates just that for the band.- Brian Shultz


Banner Pilot: Heart Beats Pacific

Fat Wreck Chords

Banner Pilot writes really great songs about drinking and/or failing. When played at sufficient speeds, these songs almost sound triumphant. So while Heart Beats Pacific reads like a depressing, endless winter journal, it plays like a beautiful piece of punk spirit. I'm pretty protective of the Jawbreaker tag, but Banner Pilot is one of the few bands I would compare them to, at least in spirit. - Joe Pelone


Restorations: Restorations

Tiny Engines

I took a long time to warm to Restorations' self-titled full-length. The Philadelphia band shares a certain aesthetic with my post-punk heroes the Constantines and that similarity made my standards impossibly high. It was a long buy-in on my part, but it was cemented with a brilliant, life-affirming set from the band at a small bar in Gainesville this October closing out The Fest. These punk-informed rock'n'roll songs are pensive, slow-building and ultimately deeply rewarding. That's a lot of what made me love the Cons, and Restorations are more than worthy of taking up that banner. - Adam White


Title Fight: Shed

SideOneDummy Records

I remember the first time I saw Title Fight was January 2009. While a flood of kids were losing their minds, the most memorable moment for me was when they kicked off "Youreyeah". I had heard the song before and yet still thought, "Oh, cool, they're covering something from Can't Slow Down." Obviously, they weren't, but that kind of mistaken perception sums up their nascent material well: sloppy, emotional pop-punk/melodic hardcore that might have been a little derivative for its own good. And sure, Shed still reeks of its influences (namely Lifetime and Jawbreaker), but the variety and depth Title Fight achieves with their long-anticipated full-length debut is warm and enriching. They're growing leaps and bounds, and you can hear it in both their enthusiastic, signature speeds and slow-churning, gravelly mood pieces. - Brian Shultz


Laura Stevenson and the Cans: Sit Resist

Don Giovanni

While it was no surprise that I was taken by her gorgeous voice and the wealth of accordion and brass backing, it is a bit surprising that it was the 'Org that introduced me to Laura Stevenson and the Cans. As un-punk as they may be, they seem intertwined in the scene and everyone is the better for it. Sit Resist improves upon A Record in both production and breadth of songwriting, and Stevenson's voice fits marvelously whether it's a lilting stripped-down track, bouncy indie pop, or full-tilt folk rock. - Greg Simpson


Frank Turner: England Keep My Bones


Songs like "I Am Disappeared", "Redemption" and the controversial "Glory Hallelujah" make more effective use of Turner's band The Sleeping Souls than we've heard to date and are some of the finest songs he's ever written. Other than that weird a capella bit in the middle, England Keep My Bones is consistently great from front to back. - Tori Pederson


Red City Radio: The Dangers of Standing Still

Paper + Plastick

Following a handful of splits and an EP, 2011 was finally the year of the proper Red City Radio full-length release. And it's a goodie. The quartet from Oklahoma City had been kicking around for a couple years before their first LP came out this year on Paper + Plastick. The Dangers of Standing Still has a healthy dose of "woahs," fast guitars, gruff vocals and sing-along choruses. It's super accessible and helps remind you how fun punk really can be. I look forward to singing along loudly with my fist in the air at one of their shows soon. Come play DC, y'all. Fav Track: "Drinking Yourself Into The Future" -Kira Wisniewski


The Horrible Crowes: Elsie


I've never given a 10/10 score to an album in my time at Punknews, finding that rating reserved for classics of the Rain Dogs/In the Aeroplane Over the Sea variety. However, if I had written the review for Elsie, I would have been compelled to do just that. In pulling from influences beyond what is expected of him, Brian Fallon has created an instant classic, not to mention the perfect breakup album. Elsie is a masterpiece. - Tori Pederson


Dead To Me: Moscow Penny Ante

Fat Wreck Chords

It's Dead to Me V3.0 (Or Dead To Sam or Ken to Me or whatever). It's hard to imagine a band that changes co-songwriters two times still managing to forge ahead but Dead to Me has done it and come out better for it. Lyrics about everything from songs about personal difficulties to songs about 19th century pioneers for gay rights. Fantastic music form 1/2 of Western Addiction, 1/4 of New Mexican Disaster Squad, 1/4 of Enemy You and 4/4 of Dead to Me.- Rich Verducci


Bomb the Music Industry!: Vacation

Ernest Jenning / Really

I highly anticipate every Bomb the Music Industry! release yet somehow I wasn't expecting this record to be as great as it turned out. BtMI! are a band whose sound is constantly evolving and Vacation is the result of the band's creativity at it's absolute best. This record contains a side of BtMI! that we have never seen before with a more mature, polished sound but still accompanied by Mr. Rosenstock's relatable lyrics. I believe they truly outdid themselves on this record and my obsession for this band is reaching dangerous levels. - Brittany Strummer


Fucked Up: David Comes to Life


If Fucked Up is truly winding down, this would be a wonderful way to go out. David Comes To Life is a career-defining record. Of course it only works as a concept album if you can follow whatever narrative established between Damian Abraham's shouts and growls, and I can't, but that doesn't matter when the songs are so good. Fucked Up remains gloriously over the top. Their sense of play is second to none. Their willingness to flaunt the conventions and pretenses of hardcore punk is no less daring now than it was early in their career. This is a monster of a record, and only a brilliant band like Fucked Up has the levity to pull it off without being consumed by it.- Adam White

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. - Aubin Paul


Joyce Manor: Joyce Manor


Joyce Manor remind me of past Punknews "record of the year" winners the Sidekicks, both in their raw pop-punk sound and their ability to slice across the entire spectrum of our editorial staff and please just about everyone (and probably for different reasons). There are huge hooks in these songs, but they never stick around long enough to overdo it before you're hit with the next. The majority of these tracks clock in well under two minutes and that's exactly what the makes this work so well. The first asshole producer to talk this band into padding out their songs is fired from punk. - Adam White

Joyce Manor is everyone's favorite new artist. Those who disagree are clearly lying because I know for a fact that no one can listen to "Constant Headache" and not enjoy it. It's impossible and I don't believe you if you say otherwise. - Brittany Strummer

A little over two years ago I saw Joyce Manor open up for Andrew Jackson Jihad. At the time they were an acoustic two-piece that weren't too impressive but since then have grown to become a full four-piece band that released one of my favorite albums this year. The energy found on this album is virtually unmatched by any other release this year and with lyrics that give Blake Schawarzenbach a run for his money what's not to like? - Armando Olivias


People who liked this also liked:
Joyce Manor - Joyce ManorDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastIron Chic - Not Like ThisBomb the Music Industry! - VacationThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDear Landlord - Dream HomesJoyce Manor - Of All Things I Will Soon Grow TiredAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseRed City Radio - The Dangers of Standing Still

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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.
itsAgiftANDaCurse (January 15, 2012)

What a surprise (not), once again the punknews staff puts out a list that's completely different from mine. I've been a loyal visitor to this site since the year 2000, and I'm glad they still give updates on "Epifat" bands even though most of your staff clearly hates that type of music now. My taste certainly has changed over the years too, I've embraced a lot of metal and prog-rock, but I still love the late-90's style catchy as hell skate/pop punk. Here's my top 20 of 2011:

20. Dead to Me-Moscow Penny Ante
19. Old Man Markley-Guts N' Teeth
18. Pour Habit -Got Your Back
17. Theocracy-As the World Bleeds
16. Banner Pilot -Heart Beats Pacific
15. The Sounds -Something to Die For
14. Set Your Goals -Burning at Both Ends
13. Cobra Skulls -Agitations/Bringing the War Home
12. The Artist Life -Impossible
11. Pagan's Mind -Heavenly Ecstacy

10. Screeching Weasel-First World Manifesto

9. Rise Against -Endgame

8. Symphony X -Iconoclast

7. Heartsounds -Drifter

6. We Are the In Crowd -Best Intentions

5. Stratovarius -Elysium

4. Frenzal Rhomb -Smoko at the Pet Food Factory

3. Amaranthe -Amaranthe

2. Dream Theater -A Dramatic Turn of Events

1. Dropkick Murphys -Going Out in Style (fist punk album to win my top prize since 2004)

calvinrhodes1 (January 7, 2012)

1 Fucked Up ‚?? David Comes To Life
2 Kvelertak ‚?? S/T
3 The Roots ‚?? Undun
4 Touche Amore ‚?? Parting the Sea Between‚?¶
5 Red City Radio ‚?? The Dangers of Standing Still
6 Bon Iver ‚?? S/T
7 Kurt Vile ‚?? Smoke Ring for My Halo
8 Andrew Jackson Jihad ‚?? Knife Man
9 Trap Them ‚?? Darker Handcraft
10 Mastodon- The Hunter
11 The Decemberists ‚?? The King is Dead
12 Sharks ‚?? The Joys of Living
13 Fleet Foxes ‚?? Helplessness Blues
14 All Pigs Must Die ‚?? God is War
15 The Horrible Crowes ‚?? Elsie
16 La Dispute ‚?? Wildlife
17 Crazy Arm ‚?? Union City Breath
18 Defeater ‚?? Empty Days and Sleepless Nights
19 Wilco ‚?? The Whole Love
20 Banner Pilot ‚?? Hearts Beat Pacific
21 Yuck ‚?? S/T
22 Bomb the Music Industry ‚?? Vacation
23 Nothington ‚?? Borrowed Time
24 The War on Drugs ‚?? Slave Ambient
25 Skeletonwitch ‚?? Forever Abomination

deadxlast (January 6, 2012)

Mute - Thunderblast, or Forus - We?

Fast punk does not matter anymore?

bastardized (January 4, 2012)

can't believe NO ONE had No Problem's "And Now This" LP anywhere on their lists. unbelievable. record of the year, hands down. aggressive, melodic, abrasive, memorable punk rock. I guess no one heard it. probably too busy listening to folk records. and the Swingin' Utters' "Here Under Protest" only made 1 list? wow. such a great comeback record.

1. NO PROBLEM ‚?? And Now This (Deranged)
2. SWINGIN‚?? UTTERS ‚?? Here, Under Protest (Fat)
3. MASTODON ‚?? The Hunter (Reprise)
4. DEAD TO ME ‚?? Moscow Penny Ante (Fat)
5. NIGHT BIRDS ‚?? The Other Side Of Darkness (Grave Mistake)
6. SHARP OBJECTS - s/t (Modern Action)
7. MOT√?RHEAD ‚?? The W√∂rld Is Yours (Motorhead)
8. HOOKERS - Horror Rises From the Tomb (Green Mist)
9. GYPSYHAWK ‚?? Patience And Perseverance (Creator-Destructor)
10. TOXIC HOLOCAUST ‚?? Conjure And Command (Relapse)

1. PAPER BAGS - s/t (self-released)
2. NO PROBLEM - Paranoid Times (Handsome Dan)
3. NIGHT BIRDS ‚?? Midnight Movies (No Way)
4. YOUNG OFFENDERS/HEX DISPENSERS - Sister Series 7‚?Ě (Razorcake)
5. COMPLAINTS ‚?? Falling Down (Self-Released)

CowboyKiller (January 4, 2012)

I've been a huge Joyce Manor fan for a couple years so this was really cool to see them at #1. I wouldn't go so far to say that their lyrics are on the same level as Jawbreaker. They are a very awesome band however and I am getting anxious for their release in March (on Asian Man).

Icapped2pac (January 4, 2012)

For anyone who may be interested in the slow, old opinions of a punknews vet of 10 years, I finished my list last night.

BarleyPat (January 2, 2012)

Wow. Between a baby and an intense work/travel schedule, I haven't kept up at all. I only have 2 of the top 20 (Samiam and Horrible Crows)

ozmanx (January 2, 2012)

Late to the party but here is ma Top 15 List:

1. Swingin' Utters - Here, Under Protest
2. The Horrible Crowes - Elsie
3. Chuck Ragan - Covering Ground
4. Dead to Me - Moscow Penny Ante
5. The World/Inferno Friendship Society - The Anarchy and the Ecstasy
6. Larry & His Flask - All That We Know
7. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
8. Beatsteaks- Boombox
9. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man
10. The Living End - The Ending is Just the Beginning
11. Destroyer - Kaputt
12. Rezurex - Dance of the Dead
13. Banner Pilot - Heart Beats Pacific
14. Dropkick Murphys- Going Out In Style
15. The Black Keys - El Camino

awesomesnacks (January 2, 2012)

No Tenement???????

lushj (January 2, 2012)

I always enjoy reading the best of's for bands I'd forgotten released something or new stuff I should check out, so thanks for that. A lot of the more popular stuff I can't stand, but there's always something! (And that Jimmy Cliff record is something else- glad it snuck into the overall top 20 somehow)

Top 4 punknews best of:
4. Tyler
3. Rich
2. Katy
1. Sloane

JerryCola (January 1, 2012)

How on earth can the entire staff of punknews be completely oblivious to the greatness of TENEMENT? Best thing to come out of Wisconsin since beer, cheese, and the Chinese Telephones. Seriously people, listen to Napalm Dream http://tenement.bandcamp.com/album/napalm-dream

jeffrocentric (December 31, 2011)

here's my take


thestowaways (December 31, 2011)

i started a zine. the new issue has a joyce manor interview. we talk about the upcoming record etc.
send $2 to

the stowaways
5082 wendover road
yorba linda, ca 92886


sleepwalker (December 31, 2011)

I too am baffled by the Joce Manner hype, but I'd rather listen to that record a million times over than sit through Restorations again trying to understand what so many people see in them. My two cents: Basement, Deafheaven, La Dispute, Trap Them.
Also: hip-hop had a great year, one of the best in a long time. Surprised none of it made anyone's lists.

keithus (December 31, 2011)

The singer for BTMI made a comment like "Number 3 album of the year" at their show tonight.

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

Yeah, I deleted Joyce Manor's album over 10 months ago after one or two listens, so I had forgotten how terrible and listless most of their songs are. That chorus is hilariously awful, as is the singer's vocal range and enunciation. They make New Found Glory seem fast, energetic and talented.

slowstupidhungry (December 30, 2011)

Haha, had never actually heard or heard of Joyce Manor before the video in this article. Fucking terrible! "Greatest band" holy shit, I can really not imagine anyone over 15 thinking that about what sounds like a community center pop punk band from 2002.

levidolphin (December 30, 2011)

Im surprised that Spraynard is not on here.. I would say its just as good if not better than Joyce Manor but still a pretty good #1 Now i gotta check out this band - Fucked Up, they have made every list... everywhere i look its Fucked Up this and fucked up that

levidolphin (December 30, 2011)

Good list... But one small issue... Did everyone forget Small Brown Bike made an awesome album? And has anyone ever heard of Atlas Losing Grip? that record is the shit those two records are missing from everyones lists. I must have shitty taste in music i guess

onegirlarmy (December 30, 2011)

I'm not a fan but he reminds me of the dude that goes out of his way to diss Spraynard every time they come up.

kevgren (December 30, 2011)

Joyce Manor must've slept with a close relative of EchosMyron's. That's the only explanation.

teaessare (December 30, 2011)


And you are a dick.

onegirlarmy (December 30, 2011)

Joyce Manor does suck

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

"Joyce Manor is the best band playing music right now, and the album is arguably (in my opinion), the best in the last four or five years. It totally deserves to be number 1. They're only going to get better, and I can't wait for the next album."

You're fucking delusional.

patod (December 30, 2011)

That's rad that JM is number one. Awesome band and this is one of the best debuts I've heard in a while.
1. Blithe Field- Two Hearted (Everyone should listen to this record, my number one by far. Sicksicksick loops)
2. The Wonder Years- Suburbia
3. Mixtapes- Successful Party/Hope is for People/Companions
4. The Slow Death- Born Ugly Got Worse
5. Into It. Over It. - Proper
6. Polar Bear Club- Clash Battle Guilt Pride
7. Joyce Manor- S/t
8. Hold Tight!- Call the Zoo
9. Lie Captive- The Hopeless North
10. Laura Stevenson and the Cans- Sit Resist
1. Dikembe- Chicago Bowls
2. Dads- Brush Your Teeth Again ;)
3. Captain, We're Sinking!- With Joe Riley
‎4. Secret Plot to Destroy the Universe- Montau
5. Frontrunner- A Billion Arnies

amateurchemist (December 30, 2011)

My top 10:
NIght Birds-Other Side Of Darkness
Title Fight-Shed
Monument-Goes Canoeing
Caves-Homeward Bound
Fucked Up-David Comes To Life
Dwarves-The Dwarves Are Born Again
Shabazz Palaces-Black Up
Algernon Cadwallader-Parrot Flies
Crazy Arm-Union City Breath
Bangers-Small Pleasures

Joyce Manor was pretty rad too, but I never listened to it that much. Maybe I'll give it a few more shots

ugh2468 (December 30, 2011)

Joyce Manor is so hyped I just don't get it.

likebats (December 30, 2011)

The lack of Tenement on this list is disturbing.

keithybobeefy (December 30, 2011)

Best two albums of the year:

The Mountain Goats-All Eternals Deck
Manchester Orchestra-Simple Math

teaessare (December 30, 2011)

Joyce Manor is the best band playing music right now, and the album is arguably (in my opinion), the best in the last four or five years. It totally deserves to be number 1. They're only going to get better, and I can't wait for the next album.

kidecono (December 30, 2011)

It's worth remembering that this is a collective list, and so only really represents where our tastes overlap the most. Most of the albums people are complaining are absent are featured in the personal lists.

Oh, and boobthemusicindustry, I had Rain Over Battle on my top 20 list, but it didn't make my final 10. Love that band, and fully expect to plug the shit out of them for years to come.

jizzo (December 30, 2011)

Future Virgins "Western Problems" Really?? Come On now people?

hey_sailor (December 30, 2011)

Pretty perfect in my eyes.

hey_sailor (December 30, 2011)

Pretty perfect in my eyes.

telegraphrocks (December 30, 2011)

This morning I checked out the albums from Restorations and Bon Iver, two bands I kept seeing on lists that I haven't heard before.

Restorations- not my thing, but I guess I understand the appeal to the beard-os and what-not. I was expecting something mind-blowing, but it seemed like I heard it before by better bands. Again, not bad though.

Bon Iver- Are you kidding me? If I had nothing to live for, I would have shot myself in the fucking head when I put this on.
I can't stand Fucked Up, Bomb The Music Industry!, and some others people go on and on about, and I usually TRY to hold back my asshole comments... though (because I admittingly am an asshole) they slip out of my fingers. So, for that I truly do apologize. I don't like it when people shit-talk stuff I'm into, and I kick myself when I do the same to others. I have a short fuse, and I do regret the shit-talking I do.
But Bon Iver fans... how? How?

luca (December 30, 2011)

did none liked the new circle takes the square EP? I know it`s not 2003 anymore but those guys are still great!

alpod4 (December 30, 2011)

you're complaining about lyrics but love gbv?
"hey man, what are hardcore ufo's? wtf does that even mean? hipster ramblings, man."

Kevgren (December 30, 2011)

It blows my mind that the Horrible Crowes record was so well received. Still, I like the diversity in this list.

kylewagoner (December 30, 2011)

Needs more Dan Andriano and Bright Eyes, but I'm pretty satisfied with how this list turned out. So many good records this year. Pianos Become the Teeth, Pulling Teeth, Cobra Skulls, Swingin Utters, Smoking Popes. So much I was and am still into. Need to get into Joyce Manor, though.

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

Oh look, it's Mrs. Joyce Manor herself!

alpod4 (December 30, 2011)

hey EchosMyron, get a life.

Misinterpreter (December 30, 2011)

Sometimes it's the flaws make the art that much more relatable.

ashtraymonument (December 30, 2011)

its ok buddy, your taking it way too personally. i'm starting to think you're blake's 3rd split personality

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

You must have meant to write "the inexperience and delusions of grandeur of youth." And stop excusing their flaws! What ever happened to celebrating bands with actual musical and lyrical talents?

Misinterpreter (December 30, 2011)

"I`m surprised at the almost complete lack of any actually aggressive release. what about trap them, pulling teeth, punch, trash talk, full of hell etc.."

I agree, I can't get over the lack of Trash Talk on their EPs list. That's one of the best EPs I've heard in a long time. And Darker Handcraft is as catchy in its own way as any of the pop punk releases here.

vocalyouth (December 30, 2011)

EchosMyran: i like joyce manor because they embody the sound of youth (to me). it's not as mature or as well written as jawbreaker, and that's alright. it's rough around the edges and i fucking love it.

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

Who can legitimately explain to everyone what an "ashtray petting zoo" is?

"I had money riding on your decomposure.
Money won't buy me a sense of closure.
Gaining momentum, and hitting its stride.
Nothing but reasons to go for a ride. (Again, what is this "it" he continues referring to? Anyone?)
God bless you (???), ashtray petting zoo."

And now Schwarzenbach, whose compositions tell decipherable stories that one can follow:

"Did that no one ever live a life this hard? It gets hard.
The bills are scattered in the yard.
Ashtray monument.
A life spent waiting in cement.
After all, it's not that bad.
I still have pictures.
I look back at all the things that we once did.
You said, "I love you."
I guess you did.

Remember our life?
I did the dishes while you read out loud.
Best friends, strangers now.
Were our kids all we could call common ground?"

Again, fuck Joyce Manor and their empty, talentless, pretentious scribblings.

punker001 (December 30, 2011)

I can't take any list serious that doesn't have The Black Keys new album.

RaganYouth (December 30, 2011)

Math is not very crisp I guess.

luca (December 30, 2011)

I`m surprised at the almost complete lack of any actually aggressive release. what about trap them, pulling teeth, punch, trash talk, full of hell etc..

nobody in the punknews staff listens to anything heavier than defeater and touche amore? and if you like melodic stuff what about that new la dispute album? different tastes I guess..

punker001 (December 30, 2011)

I hate to say it as a big fan but I think Dead To Me's new cd is very overrated! the worst of the 3 for me. Although it does have some Amazing songs. (No Lullabies being a personal favorite) but it has a few songs I can't even listen too.

boobthemusicindustry (December 30, 2011)

Not being a dick, just saying:

Flatliners-Count Your Bruises
Dirty Tactics-The Divine Middle

Rain Over Battle-These Rocks In Our Bodies
(These guys are really, really good)^

Pretty good list though, not too many complaints.

punker001 (December 30, 2011)

Mute - Thunderblast
Black Keys - El Camino
Craig's Brother - The Insidious Lie
Frenzal Rhomb - Smoko at the pet food factory
Cobra Skulls - Agitations
Hightime - Ishi Prende
I am the Avalanche - Avalanche United

Should be in everyones lists :)

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

". . .and with lyrics that give Blake Schwarzenbach a run for his money what‚??s not to like?"
- Armando Olivias

Okay, this comment really pisses me off. Joyce Manor's lyrics are trite, faux-angsty amateur poems with predictable rhyme schemes:

Compare this nearly incoherent passage, from "Constant Headache":

"I could hear you coming so I hid by the couch.
You were talking so loudly, I don't know what about.
I never ever felt so cool disguised in your sheets.
But I'm a constant headache, a tooth out of line.
They try to make you regret it, you tell them, no not this time.
It's just a constant headache, a dead pet device.
You hang me up, unfinished with the better part of me no longer mine.'

to these evocative lines from Jawbreaker's "Chemistry," which are simpler, more elegant, and drive the point forward without any obfuscation:

"This must be the place.
I can tell by your glare.
I wouldn't touch you on a dare.
Seven months to June and even then, so what?
My mouth is open, my book is shut.
My air guitar is out of tune.
My stupid hair is so '82 to you.
At least I don't fit in.
Corner me in Chemistry.
It's all just simple math to me.
Call me your names.
Make them stick.
I'll laugh until I am sick."

Joyce Manor:

"I miss the way we talked before you went away to school.
Now all you seem to say is "Baby, how could it be you?"
I hate the way you're leaning and you're looking at your phone.
I hate the way I feel like dying when I'm alone."


"Moving units and tracking charts. Will they ever learn?
It isn't who you know, it's who you burn.
It means nothing. Selling kids to other kids.
If you think we changed our tune, I hope we did."

Fuck this band!!!

Misinterpreter (December 30, 2011)

v They're over your head.

polarbearsummer (December 30, 2011)

I try really hard to like any of the Fucked Up albums, but I just can't.

EchosMyron (December 30, 2011)

Joyce Manor is the Latterman of 2011.

Misinterpreter (December 30, 2011)

Trash Talk.

nicknocturnal (December 30, 2011)

Pretty good list...and I hate to be one of those dudes that's like, "What? No blah blah blah?" But...no Nothington?!?! For real...come on, that album was great.

stagedivecity (December 30, 2011)

Great list and a great year for music!

Also Joyce Manor is the perfect number 1 for a collected list. With a band like Fucked Up or BTMI! you are going to have people that love it and people that despise it but Joyce is just a good record that pretty much everyone can agree on (I know the commenters will prove me wrong on this)

sketchyjoe (December 30, 2011)

"Surf punk meets Dead Kennedys"? Isn't that like saying "Oi! meets Cock Sparrer" or "Ska-punk meets Less Than Jake"?

Thrusters (December 30, 2011)

I don't get the love for Joyce Manor or Vacation. I do enjoy that Joyce Manor record and think it's good for a debut, but it certainly wouldn't have made my top ten or possibly even top twenty. I might agree that Vacation's the best BTMI! record, but to me, that's not saying a whole lot as the only other things I've liked by them have been Scrambles and Adults!!!

My top ten (in no order):

Banner Pilot - Heart Beats Pacific
Restorations - Restorations
The Copyrights - North Sentinel Island
Nothington - Borrowed Time
The Horrible Crowes - Elsie
Red City Radio - The Dangers of Standing Still
Dead To Me - Moscow Penny Ante
House Boat - The Thorns of Life
Hawks And Doves - Year One

jacknife737 (December 30, 2011)

No particular order.

Banner Pilot ‚?? Heart Beats Pacific
Frank Turner ‚?? England Keep My Bones
Screeching Weasel ‚?? First World Manifesto
Old Man Malarkey ‚?? Guts‚??n‚??Teeth
Mighty Mighty Bosstones ‚?? Magic of Youth
Dead to Me ‚?? Moscow Penny Ante
Horrible Crowes - Elsie
Nothington ‚?? Borrowed Time
Samiam ‚?? Trips
Dave Hause ‚?? Resolutions

killtaker (December 30, 2011)

"Everyone has a day job, a school to attend, or a life to lead otherwise. "

Really...because I heard you were all a bunch of talkers and not a bunch of doers.

veep (December 30, 2011)

I haven't seen a single list with an EP section giving love to Jon Snodgrass' "Tri-State Record". So, so, so good.

thepopeofchili-town (December 30, 2011)


SloaneDaley (December 30, 2011)

For those that might say our tastes are all the same or anything like that. I doubt that each one of us individually share more than a handful of these albums of our individual lists. I have four on mine.

For someone asking about Direct Hit! perhaps others felt as I did. I enjoyed the album a lot and think it is really fun pop-punk BUT all the songs on it are old and I felt like I had already played the album out a lot by the time it came out and in some cases prefered the original versions.

gunner (December 30, 2011)

Weird, I know a lot of the org staff have to be around my age, so why do I hate everything you guys like? Checked out Joyce Manor and found it super annoying and repetitive, very boring melodies.

ericaisawesome (December 30, 2011)

Cool, all my faves of the year are scattered around this thing. Hooray!

telegraphrocks (December 30, 2011)

I'm so fucking glad that "David Comes To Life" and "Vacation" weren't number 1... those albums are so fucking terrible.
The HWM 7-inch is god-awful too... I'm stunned that got the #1 EP spot.
Other than those, good list.

thepasswordistaco (December 30, 2011)

would have liked to see the front bottoms sneak on here. but not a bad list this year.

jo_punk_promoter (December 30, 2011)

Good list and Joyce Manor definitly deserve all the credits they're getting, such a great record/band. I'm a bit surprised that Timeshares didnt make anyone's list though.

lmchc (December 30, 2011)

No direct hit! or Wonder Years? Aw man. You fuckers are bad at having fun.

Rodeo (December 30, 2011)

Dirty Tactics - "The Divine Middle" was EP of the year. And fuck yeah, Joyce Manor.

eatdogs (December 30, 2011)

joyce manor FTW!!!

Drewshaw (December 30, 2011)

JOYCEMANOR!!! I'm drunk?!!

timahelm (December 30, 2011)

no Frenzal Rhomb?!?! this is really strange... But I guess punknewsers didn't like it as much as I did :)

vischypunt (December 30, 2011)

Stoked to see Elway make the list.

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