All the other editors have cool pictures where they’re posing in their DS t-shirts with punk bands. I’m old and dorky, so I’m with my dog. She’s the punkest mofo I know, anyway.
For me, 2013 is the year where I got kind of bored with the same-ol’-same-ol’ of punk rock. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the old guard makes really good music (my Bouncing Souls tattoo is pretty clearly visible up there, yo), but they’re far from the only ones worth hearing. So I’ve been challenging myself to find new stuff.
I’m especially trying to support quality female musicians, so that’s what my list is. This is 10 great albums put out this year by groups with at least one woman playing. They may not all have a sound that’s classically “punk,” but they’re all awesome and worth hearing. Check ’em below.
10. Gorgon – “Greatest Hits”
This is a three-woman punk band from Vermont. This is a 5-song EP (you can get it for free!) that’s raw and screamy from beginning to end.
9. Lemuria – “The Distance is So Big”
Since Lemuria is from my birthplace of Buffalo, NY, I always want to pull for them. They probably say “pop” and “you guys” and know what a Loganberry is, so they can’t be all bad. Fortunately, they also made a really good album this year, so I get to include them.
8. The Thermals – “Desperate Ground”
These guys (and gal) never really disappoint. Somehow I managed to miss that they’d released an album this year for while, so I didn’t even hear this until about six months after it came out. Totally work the wait. Especially because I didn’t know I was waiting.
7. Beyonce – “Beyonce”
I am completely uninterested in any feedback telling me this isn’t punk enough to be on here. About 5 seconds after this album dropped (by complete surprise, because Bey does what she wants) I was trying to figure out an angle to get it onto my top 10 list. It’s that good. Thankfully this article summed up everything I was thinking. Bow down, bitches.
6. Sleigh Bells – “Bitter Rivals”
Sleigh Bells have a sound that’s a mix of pop, punk, indie, and electronica, and it comes together in a really awesome way on their 2013 release.
5. Stick Shift Records – “Clarion Call Compilation”
A whole bunch of righteousness, anger, and yelling comes together to make one extremely excellent compilation record. Ch-check it here.
4. Stick Shift Records – “First Gear: Feminism in the Northeast”
It was a tough call between the two Stick Shift compilations, but I decided to let this one edge out the other because it name-checks the coolest region in the country. We rock harder up here to make up for the cold. Grab it.
3. Against Me! – “True Trans” EP
I wasn’t sure if I should include a two-song EP on the list, but I had to. I saw Laura Jane Grace perform a solo show back in August, and she did a lot of tracks from the upcoming full-length, so I know they’re representative of a phenomenal album that’s full of heart. Plus, even without that, these two songs are good enough to stand up against any full-length out there.
2. The Julie Ruin – “Run Fast”
I’ve missed out on hearing Kathleen Hanna’s previous groups while they were still together — I’m just a touch to young to have been a Riot Grrrl, and I didn’t hear Le Tigre until they had already split up. But having exhausted the libraries of both of those groups, I’m really excited Hanna is back on the scene and releasing new stuff. And this doesn’t disappoint.
1. Allison Weiss – “Say What You Mean”
Weiss has a sound that’s mostly powerpop, with a bit of acoustic indie rockness in it. It’s fun and addictive as hell. Plus, you’ve got to admire that she was an early Kickstarter success story, funding her 2009 album using the site.