DS Staff Picks: Top 10 Albums Of 2013 (Screeching Bottlerocket)

Yo, I’m Screeching Bottlerocket and I’ve been writing for Dying Scene since the summer of ’69. I’ve written countless stories, attended some of the best shows of my life for free, and met some of the coolest people ever during my time as an editor for the site. It’s been a hell of a ride but it’s not over yet. Anyway, now that I’ve introduced myself…

Lots of good great records came out this year! My favorite band of all time put out their first full-length in five years, other established bands released pretty good albums, and a lot of new bands I had never heard of before surprised me with their awesome debut efforts.

And, as always, it was nearly impossible to whittle my list of favorite albums of the year down to a mere ten releases. But I miraculously did it so you, the readers, could have something completely uninteresting to read!

You can find my list of what I think were the 10 best records released in 2013 below.

10. Face To Face – “Three Chords and a Half Truth”

It pains me to say it, but I really wasn’t that impressed by this record. A majority of the songs lack the energy I’m used to hearing in Face To Face’s music. However, the album has its moments with songs like “Bright Lights Go Down,” “123 Drop,” and “Across State Lines.” On top of that, the songs they played when I saw them live earlier this year sounded a whole lot better than they did on the record. The band sped them up a little bit, eliminating the sluggish feel may of the tracks have.

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9. Jetty Boys – “Let ‘Er Rip!

“It’s on Eccentric Pop Records so you know it’s good” – That’s what I said when I posted about this album streaming on the Dying Scene facebook page, and I stand by that statement 100 percent. Eccentric Pop just never stops cranking out great pop-punk records and this one is no exception. Lots of catchy lyrics and phenomenal songwriting.

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8. Implants – “From Chaos to Order”

Great record from a band that should sound great, considering its members’ pedigree. I mean, when you hear a band has members of Strung Out, Pulley, and Ten Foot Pole, you know damn well they’re gonna sound awesome. Rob Ramos’ is one of my all-time favorite guitarists and his playing is on the money on this record. I repeat, this is a great record!

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7. Dan Vapid and the Cheats – “Two

A solid pop-punk record from a band fronted by one of the most experienced guys in the genre. I have no idea how many bands Dan Vapid has been in but I’m certain the tally has reached triple digits by now! Anyway, he’s a cool guy and he writes awesome, catchy music.

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6. Bad Religion – “True North”

Come on, do I really have to say anything about this one? It’s Bad Religion, for Christ’s sake! Alright, I guess I’ll say that this is the band’s strongest, most cohesive record in a while. I loved “The Dissent of Man” and “New Maps of Hell” but there’s just something about this album… something those two didn’t have. Anyway, it’s great! I love it. I own 3 copies of it.

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5. The Mizzerables – “Every Last Stitch

It’s hard for me to put my thumb on exactly what genre The Mizzerables’ music falls under. Some of their stuff’s pop-punk, other stuff’s punk ‘n’ roll-ish, and they even dabble in a little ska and bluegrass. Their debut full-length “Every Last Stitch” may be one of the strongest debut efforts I’ve ever heard. Most bands sound like they’re still uncertain of how they wanna sound on their debut full-lengths. The Mizzerables, on the other hand, have their shit together and sound like they’ve been playing together for many years.

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4. The Murderburgers – “These Are Only Problems”

Another super solid pop-punk record. The Murderburgers blew me away with their last record “How To Ruin Your Life.” The whole record was pissed, catchy, and fast as a motherfucker, with songs like “Unemployment, Here I Come” and “Moron” that will probably be regarded as pop-punk classics in the future. This one’s a little bit slower at times and the band seems to have refined their sound a tad (not that it wasn’t refined before). It’s phenomenal either way.

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3. Mad Choice – “Safety Net

Gat. Damn. I can’t recall how I came across Mad Choice but they are simply amazing. Their debut full-length “Safety Net” is another example of a band having their shit together on their first 10+ song record. I guess they broke up shortly after forming in 2003, reforming in 2011 and recording an EP along with this full-length album, so it’s not like they’re completely new to the game. Anyway, if you like fast-ass 90’s melodic punk like Slick Shoes, Pulley, Ten Foot Pole, etc. you’ll love this band to death.
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2. The Real Danger – “Down and Out

Awesome, awesome, awesome melodic punk rock. Coincidentally, The Real Danger sounds a lot like Face To Face did back in the day. The singer’s slightly shouty voice is kinda similar to Trever Keith’s and the instrumentation sounds like it would fit in perfectly on the self-titled album or “Reactionary.” This is a great record.

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1. Less Than Jake – “See the Light”

Perfect. Just perfect. Less Than Jake is by far my all-time favorite band and this record has quickly become one of my favorites in their extensive discography. It’s got fast punk songs, fast ska songs, slow reggae songs, mid-tempo pop-punk songs, and much more. I think I’ve listened to the record from start to finish at least 300 times now and I own 4 copies of it, if that means anything.

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And here are some of the best EPs released in 2013 (a lot of these are free to download):

5. Houdini’s Liquor Cabinet – “We’re a Band!

Awesome pop-punk from good ol’ Gainesville, Florida. I saw these guys when they opened for Less Than Jake on the first night of their 2nd annual Wake and Bake Weekend and was blown away. Then, they released this EP and I was blown away yet again! Good stuff fo’ shizzle.

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4. The Moguls – “30 Helens Agree

This is just all-around great stuff. “30 Helens Agree” and The Moguls’ other EP “Legitimate Grape,” which was also released in 2013, are almost too perfect. Fun pop-punk with a rough edge from Madison, Wisconsin. Oh yeah, they do a mean cover of the “Bed Intruder” song as well!

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3. After The Fact! – “Limit Break

Phenomenal ska-punk band from Ft. Myers, Florida and some of the most awesome people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and playing music with. Sadly, they ended up calling it quits a few months after releasing “Limit Break” and I was devastated, as was everyone else involved in the Florida music scene. They had a live show like no other, with paper airplanes, balloon hats, and occasionally piñatas. I got onstage to butcher vocals on my favorite song of theirs – “This Time” – on a few occasions as well.
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2. Attention Anyone – “This Just In

Another awesome pop-ish punk band but these guys are from Ontario, not Gainesville. Their frontman Warren’s an awesome guy and he gave me a pair of LTJ shoelaces to include their debut EP on this list *sarcasm*. “This Just In” a great release, though and for a band that’s only been around for a year, Attention Anyone has their shit together.

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1. Hey Mister! – “A Trip for Biscuits

This is another band from Ontario that I randomly came across while browsing the interweb. All I have to say about their debut EP is it’s fucking awesome! I love MxPx and the songs on this EP sound like they could have (and should have) been on “Plans Within Plans.” Fast, melodic, and catchy. Shite rips.

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Alright, 1,140 words should just about do it! If you read all of that nonsense, you’re a true champion. Until next year’s Top 10 list, peace out!


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24 Comments

  1. mitchattitude
    mitchattitude12/18/2013 5:20 PM | Permalink

    Great list!!!

  2. imaturmomzhouse
    Screeching Bottlerocket12/18/2013 7:04 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Mitch! Hope you found some new stuff to listen to :)

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