Best of 2011 - Chris's picks (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Best of 2011

Chris's picks (2011)

staff picks

Chris is the video editor - ed.

2011 was full of some great surprises in new bands, and confirmation of the deserved and continued success of others. I've kept my list at a simple 10, as these were the releases I found myself continuously listening to throughout the year.


Landmines: Commerce & Marx

Paper + Plastick

The band's final release is stellar, catchy melodic hardcore with clever lyrics and anthemic choruses.


The Horrible Crowes: Elsie


Sure, it sounds like "slowed down" Gaslight Anthem songs, but that's a good thing...


Screeching Weasel: First World Manifesto

Fat Wreck Chords

All Ben Weasel drama aside, this is a great record. Real "pop-punk."


Frank Turner: England Keep My Bones


Frank Turner continued to prove on this release why he is one of the top solo singer/songwriters.


Nothington: Borrowed Time

Red Scare

Last minute addition - I completely forgot about this record. New label, new lineup, but Jay and Chris continue to be one the top duo of vocalists in punk rock.


The Copyrights: North Sentinel Island

Red Scare

This band just can't do wrong, and on this year's release they showed more variation than on any prior release in their growing catalog.


Samiam: Trips


Highly anticipated, and living up to the hype, Samiam delivered by releasing one of the best post-hardcore/punk records of the year. Every song on this record is infectious, and will have you singing along after the first few listens.


Face to Face: Laugh Now, Laugh Later


I'll admit, I've been a huge Face to Face fan for years and anticipated this record more than any other release in 2011. I think of it as a "greatest hits" collection of new songs in the sense that everything on the album is reminiscent of prior material (in a good way).


Banner Pilot: Heart Beats Pacific

Fat Wreck Chords

Banner Pilot started 2011 as one of the most underrated bands in punk rock. This year's release seemed to have finally garnered the attention they deserve. They are the long-lost Epi-Fat band, 10 years too late to the party, but not really giving a shit.


Red City Radio: The Dangers of Standing Still

Paper + Plastick

Fun, catchy and completely out of left field; Red City Radio have gone from small-time buzz band to being on almost everyone's radar. Expect big things in 2012 from these guys.


Banquets: Top Button, Bottom Shelf

Black Numbers

For a band that rarely tours and does this for fun, Banquets sound like a well-seasoned group on their debut LP. Great pop punk/Americana record. If you take anything away from my top 10 list, get this record--I promise you'll thank me later.