Jeff Cunningham (Bridge&Tunnel), Tom May (The Menzingers), Dan Rock (Lock and Key Collective)

We here at Punknews always try to remember the, "Reason for the season." The "season" of course is "End of Year list" time and the "reason" is, "Bands who are kind enough to talk to us." That said, let us adorn ourselves in our finest robes in celebration of this very special "Best of 2011 (ever)" edition featuring Jeff Cunningham (Bridge and Tunnel/Answer Key Recordsl), Tom May (The Menzingers) and Dan Rock (Lock and Key Collective). So eat, drink and be merry!

Jeff Cunningham - Bridge and Tunnel/Answer Key Records

Bridge and Tunnel

  1. Senders - Lucidity/Lividity
    15-year-old me is losing his shit over this record, so is 28-year-old me. Both want to sit in his bedroom blasting this all day. The kind of album that can just never get loud enough.
  2. Des Ark - Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker
    Probably the most powerful and emotive album I heard all year. There is a song on this called "FTW Y’All," which I heard them play live a bunch of months before this album came out. The guitar riff from that song was in my head for so long just from that one show. The recorded version didn’t disappoint.
  3. Laura Stevenson and The Cans - Sit Resist
    The songs move from somber and quiet to energetic and fun without any hiccups, the ebbs and flows are beyond smooth. As per usual, Laura is a powerful force on this album, but the layering of instruments underneath her beautiful voice really shine on here, the rhythm section in particular.
  4. Capital - Giver Takers
    Tommy Corrigan’s vocals are always completely captivating. He just has that kind of delivery that resonates and draws you in. You can’t put your finger on why, but it is always there and every line he screams, yells, sings, or speaks is just so believable.
  5. The Smith Street Band - No One Gets Lost Anymore
    Probably the most listened to album in my car this year. It was always a hit with all of the passengers too. Great story telling from these Australians on their debut album. Kinda reminds me of a punker The Hold Steady.
  6. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man
    AJJ are witty as ever on this one. A little droneier than their previous stuff, but there are still a lot of those classic, upbeat, bouncy numbers that the folk-punkers look to them for.
  7. Weak Teeth - What a Plague You Are
    The lyrics are exceptionally self-aware and thought provoking. Kinda difficult to understand the singer recorded, so you gotta read along. That’s how I like my hardcore though, so it works for me.
  8. Greg MacPherson - Disintegration Blues
    Live, his voice fills a room like nothing I have ever heard before. This album is more of what I have come to love about this guy. Crazy vocal range, fluidly shifting from totally belted out to low toned and breathy.
  9. Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys
    The production on this album is ridiculously good. It makes sense, I’m sure they got more money to record it than everyone on this list combined and then quadrupled. That being said, the songwriting is out of this world, and the songs deserve that kind of production.
  10. The Carrier - Blind To What Is Right
    Dynamic hardcore with a sense of true melody. This Boston hardcore band stays within the genre, but just does it sooooo well.

Tom May - The Menzingers

The Menzingers

  1. Static Radio NJ - We Are Wild Beasts
  2. Title Fight - Shed
  3. Bright Eyes - The People's Key
  4. Bomb The Music Industry - Vacation
  5. Touche Amore - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
  6. Restorations - Restorations
  7. The Front Bottoms - The Front Bottoms
  8. Spraynard - Funtitled
  9. Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
  10. Lee Corey Oswald - Moon Songs

Dan Rock - Lock and Key Collective

In no particular order:

  • Touche Amore - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
  • Reverse The Curse - Hither & Yon
  • Signals Midwest - Latitudes And Longitudes
  • Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
  • White Wives - Happeners
  • Red City Radio - The Dangers of Standing Still
  • Make Do And Mend - End Measured Mile
  • Iron Chic - Not Like This
  • His Day Has Come - Where I Belong

But definitely the best album of the year…
Fucked Up - David Comes To Life