DS Staff Picks – Best Albums of 2014 (Jerry)

Hey everyone!  I’m Jerry and I’ve been writing for Dying Scene a little over a year now.  This is my first best albums list, and man is it hard to narrow down your favorites (hence the honorable mentions).  This list has some ska, hardcore, folk, pop-punk, and just a little bit of everything, so check it out below!

Honorable Mentions:

The World/Inferno Friendship Society – This Packed Funeral

I probably just need to give this more listening time because I absolutely love World/Inferno and was very excited for this release, but it hasn’t quite grabbed me yet like their other albums tend to do.  I did want to mention it here because it is a great album, but I just haven’t listened to it enough to put it in the top ten.

Also: Some Nerve, Iron Reagan, and Punch – 3 great bands put out 3 great hardcore albums.  They are all different variations of this thing we call hardcore, but its bands and albums like these that keep me coming back to hardcore and punk in general.

Now let’s get to it!

Top Ten Albums of 2014

10) The Interrupters – S/T

Even though this is the bands’ first release, something about this album just reminds me of high school.  Probably because it’s in the vein of all the Hellcat style ska punk I used to listen to and play with my friends back then.  I haven’t really been finding to many ska bands that grab my attention lately, but The Interrupters managed to break that streak with an all-around great debut album.  It’s catchy and really fun to dance to.

9) Enabler – La Fin Absolue Du Monde

This release sees Enabler embracing more of the hardcore and metal elements that have always been a part of their Tragedy-like brand of hardcore crust punk.   While in my eyes this doesn’t touch their perfect All Hail The Void album, La Fin Absolue Du Monde is still a ripper of an album, and if you’re a fan of the heavier side of punk rock, I definitely recommend you check this out.

8) Chuck Ragan – Till Midnight

I don’t really have much to say about this album other than it’s just really good.  Chuck Ragan really knows how to write a song, and he seems to just keep getting better.  I’m really excited for The Flame in the Flood, the new video game in which Chuck is handling the soundtrack.

7) Chumped – Teenage Retirement

I’ve never been real big into pop-punk, but lately I find myself finding some new bands in this genre I can really get into, and Chumped is definitely at the top of that group.  Their debut EP blew me away last year, and their full length did the same just a few months ago.  Seriously, check this out if you somehow haven’t yet.

6) Betty and the Boy – The Wreckage

These guys and gals aren’t really punk or even folk punk, but this is a damn good album.  I first heard about this band when they put out an EP on Joey Cape’s One Week Records.  After listening to that EP a dozen or so times, I looked for some of their older stuff and realized they put out a full length early this year.  At times moody and melancholy, and others upbeat and traditional, The Wreckage is a great collection of folk songs that any fan of the genre should check out.

5) Morning Glory – War Psalms

I didn’t get into Morning Glory until this album came out.  I’m not sure why, because when listening to Poets Were My Heroes, I realize what a great album that is.  War Psalms is just as great (maybe better?) and I spent many days in the spring with this album blasting through my speakers.  I love how Ezra and company seem to take some of the influences from his past bands (metal guitars, catchy choruses) and turns them into something completely different.  This is just an all-around great punk record.

4) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Against Me! was my favorite band throughout high school and college and even though I wasn’t fond of White Crosses, I still held the band in high regard and would go see them whenever they came through my town.  Then in January I got my first listen to the new album Transgender Dysphoria Blues, and the old Against Me! fan in me was pleasantly surprised.  It seemed like a return to form with catchy but aggressive songs that you could really feel coming through the speakers, just like when I first heard Reinventing Axl Rose.  It sure has me excited for what the future holds for the band.

3) Andrew Jackson Jihad – Christmas Island

According to my Spotify Year in Music review, Andrew Jackson Jihad was the soundtrack to my summer this year.  I just couldn’t stop listening to Christmas Island.  I’ve always loved the simple 2 guy, 1 guitar 1 bass dynamic, and the super weird lyrics that the Jihad has been known for, so I was a little skeptical as the band started adding more and more instruments.  After listening to this record though, I realized there was nothing to be skeptical about.  More instruments and more experimentation just means more interesting songs, and the lyrics are still just as awesome as ever.  This actually might be one of my favorite albums by Andrew Jackson Jihad.

2) Arroyo Deathmatch – Through The Fear Of It

Days N Daze did it last year, and Arroyo Deathmatch did it this year.  A random folk-punk album I came across and downloaded on Bandcamp that just had me pressing repeat over and over.  These guys are very experimental in their approach to folk punk and you’ll begin to notice that one song could be made up of 3 different ones.  Yet they pull this off with such perfection.  I also really like the non-traditional instruments this band uses, like ukulele, flute, washboard, banjolele, bejota (I still don’t know exactly what this is), and more.  I’ll be catching these guys on tour late December/early January, and I’m sure they won’t disappoint.

1) PEARS – Go To Prison

What’s not to love about PEARS?  Fast, aggressive hardcore punk with melodic tendencies abound in the 20 or so minutes Go To Prison runs.  This is a hell of a first album and I expect to see many great things from these NOLA boys.


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2 Comments

  1. angusturtle
    AngusTurtle12/16/2014 5:28 PM | Permalink

    La Fin Absolue Du Monde was fantastic, I actually liked it better than All Hail The Void. Defentily in my top 10 as well.

  2. bob9746
    bob974612/16/2014 6:51 PM | Permalink

    PEARS once again on the top !!!!

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