Hi, my name is Jonathan. I have been writing for Dying Scene since I was in 10th grade – about 6 years now. My top 10 includes big names and smaller local names that I am hoping will grab your attention and help push DIY music further. I love local bands and I hope you do too. Here are my top 10 albums of 2017!
Fellow Toronto rockers have never disappointed me in the past and Inviting Light was no exception. I always like when a band does something new, and whereas this album is not my favourite of theirs, there were definitely a lot of songs that I really enjoyed. The new sound is very refreshing.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this album is pretty corny as a whole, but the first half of it won me over enough to make my list for 2017’s top albums. There are weird mysterious qualities to Cameron Boucher and Adam Ackerman’s voices that calmed me down a lot while I was on tour with my band and for that I will hold this one near. Beyond the first half it does get dull, but honestly – checking out the first few songs is worth it.
Toronto just has the best bands, eh? I never really liked this style of punk music until this album dropped. It is perfect in every sense of the word. The rhythm + lead guitars are masterfully executed and puts all the other bands in the same vein to shame. My love and appreciation for their music increased ten fold when I tried out for the band – it is honestly so fun to play and listen to.
This North Dakota band blew me away when we played with them and honestly, I had only listened to a few of their songs beforehand. But when this was released I instantly knew that they were one of my favourite bands that we met on tour. A mix of all my favourite artists like Jeff Rosenstock and American Football, not only is this band full of amazing people, but the songs are really catchy.
Toronto may be pumping out some great bands, but Propagandhi will probably always be the Canadian kings. I will admit, I was not excited for this album after hearing the title track. I lamented about it to my friends and even compared it to Nickelback – I know, I am terrible. But I have eaten my words and have to say that this was definitely one of the best albums of 2017, hands down.
Has anyone ever really been disappointed by anything this band has done? I imagine it would be hard to follow up 2014’s Throw Me In The River, but these fellas cleared house and delivered a close-to-masterpiece. Not much else I can say besides that, the feel-good vibes of the album speak for themselves!
More Canadians? Hardcore punk fans who follow CAREER SUICIDE know what they are all about, but I don’t think anyone could have anticipated this. It’s heavy, it’s fast, it’s intense, and it is completely raw in its delivery. Machine Response is the band pretty much telling us that they are never stopping and I am OK with that.
3. Wasted Potential – Living Up to the Name
These are some good friends of mine and it goes without saying that every time they put out new music I am blown away. I have watched them live a lot and they always play my favourite songs, but for a while I could not listen to any of them because they were not released or I just couldn’t find them (lol). So of course when they released Living Up to the Name I flipped out and listened to it at least 300 times. There are fast punk songs and there are more mid-tempo tunes that are kept just as energetic with intense vocals and heavy riffs. I have always been fond of how these dudes have been able to blend feel-good punk with hardcore. RIP.
2. Kamikaze Girls – Seafoam
I had been listening to bands like Drug Church, Simmer, The Hotelier, and PUP a lot last year and was trying to find a band that was a combination of all of them. I had no luck until the end of the year when this album came through my inbox from a friend. Kamikaze Girls are literally the perfect combo of all of the bands above. Screamy vocals in the vein of PUP, indie-emo sounds like that of the Hotelier and Simmer, with big chugging guitars like Drug Church. “Teenage Feelings”, the 3rd track, also reminds me of Korean indie-punk band Startline, which sold me on the whole record.
1. Harbor – Two Hours with Wayne Scott
My #1 for 2017, hands down, is Harbor’s Two Hours with Wayne Scott. It was a tough decision for me between Kamikaze Girls and this, but ultimately I find myself replaying this album at least once a day. My band played a few shows with these guys last summer and I fell right in love. Their tones are on point and they deliver a sound that I love a lot. It’s sad, indie, aggressive, and progressive in some parts. If you are into any semblance of emo music (think The Hotelier, Balance and Composure), then you will probably be able to see why it is such a loved release.