[Brittany Strummer is a news editor for Punknews.org.]
2013 was a roller coaster of a year. As I was making this list I realized how many releases I missed out on but I'm still pretty confident in my choices. So, this is what I loved from what I heard and my dumb opinions about it.
I saw the Slow Death a couple years ago at a small free show at Illegal Pete's with Elway and a solo Mikey Erg performance beforehand. It was wonderful and I was instantly hooked. I will slowly die for this band. Ha, just kidding. That's weird.
My boyfriend kept bugging me to listen to this because it has members of the Marked Men and I already have another release on this list with members from the Marked Men so I couldn't resist and wow, it's great. Look at the Marked Men inadvertently taking over my life.
I was never a fan of Allison Weiss' previous work so I didn't go into this record with high expectations, but I was obviously impressed or it wouldn't be in my top 10. So many great catchy songs on here.
I almost completely forgot about this record which would have broken my heart because A Wilhelm Scream are another one of my "staple" bands. While I don't find this record as hard and fast as their previous efforts, I do find myself enjoying it just as much.
This one almost slipped under my radar. I'm very glad it didn't, considering I absolutely loved Not Like This. Iron Chic are the perfect band to sing along to whether you're feeling hopeless or hopeful over the future as those feelings tend to fluctuate no matter what age you are.
This one came out of nowhere. I wasn't aware of this band until their release this year and I threw it on out of sheer boredom. Totally glad I did because this record is perfection and I can't wait to hear what they put out next.
Comadre made the perfect record to go out on. I was one of the fortunate people who were able to see Comadre on their last tour. The particular show I witnessed was at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in Oakland, CA with my boyfriend, Rich (dante3000), and Adam of Gnarboots. It's quite a sight seeing two dads sharing pictures of their children one minute and then turning into kids twice their age as they sing along to a hardcore band.
Off With Their Heads are one of my "staple" bands which in turn causes me to see them every time they're in town and purchase any release of theirs I come across. They have yet to disappoint me with a release and I will be requesting songs from this album at shows just as much as their previous releases. It was also oddly comforting in a way to hear "Janie." Granted, I still prefer the original but it's always nice to find something familiar in a new place.
When a band says they're making a concept album my immediate thought is usually "ehhhhhh." But when they say it's a concept album about the end of the world well, that sparks my attention just a bit. Then when every song is perfect and I find myself mindlessly singing lines from the album throughout the day that make people question my sanity ("she cut him up, cut him up, with a hacksaw/ in his blood, in his blood, is where she'll end up") is when I immediately regret ever saying "ehhhhh" in the first place. I have fallen so completely head over heels for this record and almost couldn't finish my list because I couldn't stop listening to it.
Oh man. I, like most Against Me! fans, get very excited over acoustic EPs from them and this one exceeded all my expectations. These two songs have given a small preview to how great Transgender Dysphoria Blues is going to be.