Best of 2017
Max Power's Picks (2017)
Well, another year has come to pass and I have listened to my fair share of records. 2017 has been an interesting year, some obvious ups and downs, but musically speaking things have been pretty solid. There are some new bands here, and some old bands
that have come back from a long-term hiatus. 2017 might be the year of the reunion, but I guess we will see what 2018 brings. So with my lame introduction aside, I hope the avid Punk News reader enjoys my yearly recommendations as much as I have – and
if you don’t, well, then eat my shorts and have a fantastic New Year! As always, the top 20 doesn’t always leave room for everyone – so my 2017 honorable mentions include (Just to name a few):
You Vandal – I Just Want To Go Back To Hell No Trigger – Adult Braces Elder Abuse – Burnt Such Gold – Deep In a Hole
Top 20 of 2017
Prophets Of Rage: Prophets Of Rage
I loved Rage Against The Machine, and Prophets Of Rage tap into a special kind of nostalgia for me. Perhaps this record isn't the most intellectually stimulating album of the year, but it grooves. It grooves maaaaan.
Code Orange: Forever
Code Orange have quite possibly put out the heaviest record of 2017. With influences ranging from Alice In Chains and Nine Inch Nails, to Disembodied and Obituary - what isn't to love? I have a lot of respect for a young band that is able to successfully
use handwork to move themselves from the DIY hardcore world and enter the mainstream metal arena. That takes work, and Code Orange have earned it.
Sciatic Nerve: Sciatic Nerve
anxious and angry
Sciatic Nerve is a great debut album from seasoned musicians. If you like old school 80's style hardcore with a modern punk rock twist, look no further than San Francisco's Sciatic Nerve.
Ten Foot Pole: Setlist
Setlist may not be a completely new full-length, it includes all of your favorite Ten Foot Pole tracks that have been rerecorded and revamped for 2017. On top of a fantastic array of past Ten Foot Pole material, Setlist features two brand new songs that
both rip in that special 90's skate punk way only Ten Foot Pole are capable of. While not all of the material is new, it sure feels like it.
AFI: AFI (The Blood Album)
AFI have walked an interesting path throughout their career. There have been ups and downs, peaks and valleys, some that fans argue about to this day. This record works to combine my favorite aspects of AFI, chaos and melody with a creepy goth undertone.
There is a little something for everyone here, check it out.
88 Fingers Louie: Thank You for Being a Friend
Bird Attack Records
I love fast punk rock, and I love 88 Fingers Louie (I also love old Rise Against but that seems to be beside the point. Thank You for Being a Friend was a no brainer for me - it is fast, technical, and catchy as shrimp related food poisoning. Simply put,
this is a great record by a great band.
Iron Reagan: Crossover Ministry
First of all, "Fuck the Neighbors" is almost enough for this record to make my list in and of itself, but to Iron Reagan's credit, they are an amazing thrash band. This band adds an extra shot of 80's hardcore attitude to their metal style, and it creates
a very enjoyable listening experience. This record is my favorite middle finger to the world for 2017. Enjoy.
Body Count: Bloodlust
Everyone's favorite Law & Order character coming back to his metal roots must be something special. While this record is at times comical, it kept a steady place in my rotation this year. This is why we ride, right?
Prawn was a new band for me this year. They pull equal parts emo and pop punk, and create a melodic and enjoyable trip into the world of late 90's emo-rock. Finding Prawn was a happy accident, thanks Renaldo! ;)
Big Scary Monsters/Tangled Tal
Gnarwolves are an awesome pop punk band from Brighton, England. The band had flown under my radar for quite some time, but when Outsiders was brought to my attention I was very pleased. The band boasts a great back catalogue of music, but Outsiders seems
to be the most matured and put together sound yet. Awesome record, great band.
Brand New: Science Fiction
Procrastinate! Music Traitors
I will begin this entry by saying that I am aware of the recent controversy and outrage associated with Brand New and the actions of Jesse Lacy - which I do not condone in any way, shape or from. Quite frankly, I spent some time seriously thinking about
whether or not I should be including this release in my list this year. At the end of the day, while I cannot disregard the seriousness of the situation - it unfortunately does not change the fact that I really enjoyed this record, or the fact that
it spent a significant time in my personal listening rotation. So I won't draw this out, but it would be disingenuous of me to act as if I did not enjoy this record. That is all I have to say about that. Shall we continue forward? Hooray!
The Movielife: Cities In Search Of A Heart
Coming from a long time Movielife fan, I will admit that this record took a few listens for me to fully appreciate. I was slow to warm to this album, and seeing the band play a few of the tracks live helped expedite this process, but once it clicked,
it clicked. The Movielife have created a mature and cohesive record that I find catchy and enjoyable on many repeated listens. Give this one a chance, it's worth it.
Iron Chic: You Can't Stay Here
Side One Dummy Records
The songs are catchy, and more than anything, they are Iron Chic from the ground up. The production value took a few listens to grow on me, but the melodies are infectious. I have a feeling this album will grace more than a few top 20 lists this year.
No Warning: Torture Culture
I have heard mixed reviews from fans on this one - but I love it. No Warning have done an awesome job at progressing into a new and well rounded sound that incorporates more influences, but still stays true to their hardcore roots. The groove has been
a staple for No Warning since the beginning, and you get a serious dose of it here. Screw the hate, this record bangs.
Integrity: Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume
2017 has been a good year for hardcore and metal. That being said, Integrity have released some stinkers in their career, but this album stands apart. It has sick shredding and the pseudo goth element all Integrity fans love. Hit it up.
The Menzingers: After The Party
I have heard this record more than any other record of 2017, and I am somehow not sick of it yet. It is widely loved, and I can understand why. This is the bands best work to date. The songs are memorable anthems that will stay on peoples playlists long
after the year is through.
The National: Sleep Well Beast
The National may not be a punk band, but they are an amazing band nonetheless. This is one of my favorite releases of the year, it is atmospheric and well put together. I recommend it to anyone with ears, enjoy.
Turnover: Good Nature
Run For Cover Records
Turnover are a band that have steadily progressed with each release. This record followed the dream pop route, and It paid off. I miss some of the solos from Peripheral Vision, but this record grew on me a lot. Turnover know how to put together a pleasing
melodic and beautifully layered songs - one of the best rock bands going right now.
Queens of the Stone Age: Villains
One of, if not, my favorite rock and roll record of the year. Make fun of me if you will, but I will always have a soft spot for QOTSA.
The Flatliners: Inviting Light
The Flatliners are one of the best punk rock bands out there right now. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews regarding the direction of this release, but I think all of the negativity is nonsense. The Flatliners have progressed into a well oiled punk rock
machine, and while Inviting Light is a bit more streamlined, it holds all of the best aspects of the band from past releases. It is catchy, it is still fast, and more than anything, it still sounds like The Flatliners.