I live in a city where you have to actively try to not be exposed to an abundance of music. On any given day that are a handful of amazing DIY shows going on, and concerts at bars or large venues. And sometimes you have to pass up going to all of them to feign adulthood. Simply put, this list was ridiculously hard to narrow down and features almost east coast acts exclusively.
My album of the year list should be called ”Top 10 Albums of 2015 For People With Short Attention Spans” or just “For Punks That Like EP’s”. Most tend to stray away from citing Eps in their album of the year list, somehow thinking that it is in some way cutting corners or cheating. Well, I for one enjoy taking the easy way out and am not afraid to admit it. But honestly, my record collection consists of mainly 7”s. Listening to new music is more or less what I do in order to pay my bills, and I am in no way complaining about it, but when I listen for pleasure I tend to gravitate to familiar records, or the impossibly short.
With that being said, I am not entirely dismissive of records that have over five songs and there were some amazing full-lengths released this year so I have broken my list into two easy-to-distinguish sections.
The Rentiers – Here Is a List of Things That Exist
I’ve spent a lot of time listening to, and writing about this record. And it is something I keep on coming back to. It is information overload, which is completely relateable in this day and age of constantly being plugged in. In a way, it is almost cathartic and heavily anecdotal. This collaboration between Joel Tannenbaum, Anika Pyle and Mikey Erg is probably the farthest thing from “punk”, but quirky and fun.
City Limits – Homebodies
“Homedbodies” is the latest effort from New Jersey’s City Limits. These guys have grown a lot lately, and it definitely shows. This record is almost a coming of age for the quartet, with guitarist Dave Lopez taking more of an initiative with the songwriting. If you’ve ever been a 20-something coming to terms with growing up, this one’s for you.
Brackish – Young People
When I was sent the advance copy of Brackish’s debut “Young People”, it took my all to not share it with everyone. (Don’t worry, I didn’t. Journalistic integrity and whatnot. Even a self-entitled music blogger can have it sometimes.) The perfect mixture of apathy, self-loathing, and the restlessness of coming to terms with foreseeable change, Brackish wraps it all up in a neat little package. A throwback to 90s emo, “Young People” is delightfully melancholy without entering the realm of whiny.
Moto Surf – Stem
This one is breaking the rules since we were specifically told to only include band that we cover. But rules aren’t punk rock, and Moto Surf is probably about to become your favorite band. “Stem” is the Philadelphia act’s sophomore release and could be classified as “matured pop punk”. Guitarists TJ Carricato and Austin Lotz both lend their affected vocals to the tracks, creating a full sound that keeps its edge. I would recommend giving the title track a spin (er, bandcamp play) or two.
Chris Farren – Where U Are
Three songs. Three songs and I was hooked, and my coworkers were simultaneously enraged because they were forced to incessantly listen to them. Punk rock celebrity Chris Farren’s solo-effort can only be described as fuzz pop, plus Brian Fallon is featured on the record. What more could you want?
Ma Jolie – Jetpack Mailman
This is easily the best thing Ma Jolie has released to date, and unfortunately will be their last. Nothing released in the past 12 months quite shreds likes these four songs. They are heavy and hooky as hell.
Frank Turner – Positive Songs for Negative People
This album took me a couple of listens to get into. It is true that the singles do not hit as hard as those from Tape Deck Heart or say, England Keep My Bones, but as a record it is pretty close to flawless. Positive Songs manages to maintain the classic Frank Turner sound without feeling stagnant.
Roger Harvey – Twelve Houses
Twelve Houses is gorgeous. There is no other way to say it, so I won’t.
Podacter – Plays The Millennial Blues
Punk rock singalong central. Podacter’s Plays The Millennial Blues are where Dear Landlord, Iron Chic, and The Menzingers meet. Every song is somehow even better than the next and has been stuck in my head since its release in August. Keep your eyes on these dudes in 2016.