DS Staff Picks – Top 10 Albums of 2014 (vdubowner)

Hey folks, I’m Bruno and I’ve been contributing stories on Dying Scene since last year. Before I joined DS my music repertoire consisted mostly of bands I first heard about 20 years ago. I wasn’t even trying to get to know new bands or stay up to date with the scene. So in my case 2014 was all about catching up and making great discoveries. In fact, I’ve been so impressed by some releases from new and less known bands that I had to give them a spot on my list, I even ended up kicking out some releases by well known veteran acts. Like it or not, here’s my top 10 below.

10. Addington Lennox – “At Sixes And Sevens”

Debut album from these Canadians. Typical catchy pop-punk, good from first to last. The kind of album where you never skip a song, only press repeat and enjoy the ride.

9. Brian Wahlstrom – S/T

The first time I heard Brian was when he played with Scorpios. I later found out about Joey Cape’s Bad Loud, in which he also took care of the keyboard duties. I’ve never been a die hard fan of piano/keyboard solo acts and this might sound a bit cheesy, but I believe that Brian is responsible for making me enjoy that instrument as much as I do now. The release of his solo album through One Week Records is really something I was hoping for, to finally hear his vocal and piano skills aside from playing in a full band. Blue Screen Light is one of my favorite songs on the album and I’m looking forward to hearing new stuff from him in the future.

8. Fullcount – “Concessions And Compromises”

Nothing less than a blast to my ears (in a good way). These guys play highly technical melodic/skate punk, mixed with some gravel-throated vocals.

7. Flanders 72 – “Dummyland”

One of the discoveries I was talking about. Makes me think of early Green Day, mostly in terms of vocals.

6. Chumped – “Teenage Retirement”

I’ve said it before, I’m a sucker for female fronted pop-punk. Chumped is no exception. I’ve been keeping an eye on these guys since their first EP came out. Mix heartfelt lyrics with a fast poppy-sometimes-messy sound and you get a record that grows with each listen.

5. Stray Bullets – “Ghost Town Rockers”

Street punk at is best. In-your-face vocals, heavy bass lines, a great dose of ska and on top of that: class acts. What more can you ask for? Being signed to Dying Scene Records? Dude, it was taken care of a while ago.

4. The Lawrence Arms – “Metropole”

I’ll be honest just as much as this record is: This ain’t my favorite Larry Arms album. But I have to admit that they really made a successful comeback with Metropole.

3. Rancid – “Honor Is All We Know”

If I was looking for something new, then Rancid probably wouldn’t have a spot on my list. But they came up with an infectious blend of songs that only the boys of Rancid can recreate, also everything has been kept simple and well produced by Brett Gurewitz. In my opinion, “Honor Is All We Know” was truly worth the wait.

2. The Interrupters – S/T

My “Feel Good Album Of The Year”. I’ll never get bored of listening to this record which is filled with so many skanking party anthems. Aimee’s gritty vocals makes me think of a Gwen Stefani/Bif Naked mash up. Seriously, I f*cking love this album.

1. Lagwagon – “Hang”

I’ve been waiting for this album for the past nine years just like all the Lagwagon fans out there. A slight dose of each previous album was infused in the making of this record and it turned out to be a damn good masterpiece. My only concern now is how can Lagwagon top this album? They’ve set the bar pretty high, and please guys, don’t make us wait 9 more years before putting out the next record.

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