Sup punk fans. I’m Dave, the super punk looking mofo in the above pic, and I founded this here website 7 or 8 years ago. I won’t waste your time telling you about the trials and tribulations of 2017 or how much the punk scene means to me. That’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you’re curious what an a-hole like me might have selected for his Top 10 Releases of 2017. You want to know if any of my selections overlap with your own or if you’ll discover an unknown gem or two. Well, find my list below, and I encourage you to stream tracks as you go.
10. Wicked Bears – “Turning Out”
Typically I like my punk a bit more on the aggressive and angry side but every once in a while there’s a straight forward pop-punk album that really catches and holds my attention. “Tuning Out” by Wicked Bears is one of those albums. I’m not tempted to skip a single track when listening to it but if I had to pick a favorite track it would be “Nickel Arcade” which I implore you to listen to below.
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9. The Riptides – “Canadian Graffiti”
Before I discovered punk I almost exclusively listened to oldies. I especially loved Beach Boys and doo-wop, so it’s maybe not too much of a surprise that I’m a sucker for pop-punk bands that pull from those types of influences. The Riptides do a fantastic job channeling 1950s rock ‘n roll in a decidedly modern punk rock fashion.
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8. The Lillingtons – “Stella Sepiente”
I have to admit that until “Stella Sepiente” I didn’t quite see how The Lillingtons had garnered themselves such a strong cult following over the years. Now I think I have to go revisit their entire back catalog because I enjoyed this album start to finish.
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7. Jesse LeBourdais – “Grief Intensity Friendship”
The older I get the more these folk-punk solo efforts from former punk front-men appeal to me. Or maybe its just that folk-punk itself is getting more refined. In any case, Jesse LeBourdais of Vancouver punk act Cambridge is one of the latest to dabble in the genre, and his full-length “Grief Intensity Friendship” is as lyrically sincere as it is musically enjoyable.
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6. Deforesters – “Leonard”
Deforesters have been on my radar for a couple years now after first hearing the demos for a few tracks that would eventually find their way onto this album. I was intrigued enough to invite them to put the album out on Dying Scene Records and to date they are the only band to turn me down. Not one to take it personally I’m just thankful the fellas finally found a way to bring this gem of an album to the masses.
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5. Voice Of Addiction – “The Lost Art Of Empathy”
I’m embarrassed to say that Voice Of Addiction released “The Lost Art Of Empathy” last July and it managed to completely slip past the Dying Scene radar. That is, until last week when a request to review the album came across my proverbial “desk”. My consternation at dropping the ball as a punk news agency was almost immediately outweighed by the thrill of discovering a new band, and better yet, an album worthy of my Top 10 list! Angsty, politically driven punk rock at its finest.
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4. Bad Cop/Bad Cop – “Warriors”
Admittedly, I haven’t been enamored with the previous material from Bad Cop/Bad Cop. I liked their style but for whatever reason, I never found myself cranking up the volume and nodding along to any of their tunes. For that reason I went into “Warriors” with low expectations and ended up shocked by how instantly I connected with it. And not just a couple songs either. This album is solid top to bottom.
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3. 24 Hour Punks – “Why We Fight”
I still don’t fully understand this mystery band. There’s no Facebook profile for them. No official website. And worst of all, no contact email for a discerning punk fan/journalist like myself to reach out and beg for more music. All we have is this description from bandcamp:
“A charity EP: Written, Rehearsed and Recorded in 24 Hours. “24 Hour Punks” feature musicians from Popes of Chillitown, Bar Stool Preachers, Call Me Malcolm, Skaciety and Millie Manders.”
And of course, we have the 3 magnificent tracks from this single release. Guys, if you’re reading this, please record more music together and let me know when you do!
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2. Propagandhi – “Victory Lap”
I’ll be a little shocked if I don’t see Propagandhi’s “Victory Lap” on the vast majority of Top 10 lists this year. For me it was their best release since “Less Talk, More Rock” though I wouldn’t compare the two in styles. The band has continued on the same path they’ve been down for the last few albums but this release was just more listenable from start to finish than its predecessors.
1. Davey Dynamite – “Holy Shit”
OK, yes, if you’re an astute DS reader then you might think choosing Davey Dynamite‘s “Holy Shit” as my #1 release of 2017 is both self-serving and cheating. Given that I released the album on Dying Scene Records last year I’ll admit you have a bit of a point. BUT, the album was released on December 20th thus rendering it nearly impossible for people to discover, let alone digest quick enough to put on their 2016 Top 10 lists, which I’m confident they would do after just a couple listens. If you think about it, I’m really doing you readers a tremendous favor by bringing this album to your attention so merry Christmas, and you’re welcome.
In all seriousness, this is one of the most sincere and relatable punk albums I’ve ever heard. It’s the soundtrack to my own adolescence – the questioning and despair, the fury and the hope. But it’s more than just great lyrics. Davey makes it sound f’ing awesome!
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