DS staff picks – Best albums of 2011 (whiskeytango6)

I think it’s fair to say that year was overwhelmingly punk’s year to say, “yeah, we can do rock, folk, and blues better than you.” Or at least that’s what I believe, and you can see why in the ten entrees here!

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10. Fucked Up – “David Comes to Life”

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What can I say that hasn’t been said before about “David Comes to Life”? This is probably the first and last time I’ll agree with hipsters/indie kids about anything punk related.

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9. Captain, We’re Sinking – “With Joe Riley”

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Captain, We’re Sinking are angry, angry people, and they want you to know it. Straight forward, anthemic punk laced with intelligent lyrics. All the elements that make the Pennsylvania punk scene so great can be found here.

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8. Larry and His Flask – “All That We Know”

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Going into Riot Fest East, I had no idea who almost any of the opening bands were. That said, my friend Jim and I arrived just in time to catch Larry and His Flask, and they totally blew me away. I haven’t liked a band so much based solely on a live show since the first time I saw Cobra Skulls, and this album follows through with everything their live show promised.

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7. Signals Midwest – “Latitudes and Longitudes”

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Super awesome album from some super awesome dudes. I used to be very strong in my opinion that tapped leads always sounded like the theme from the original Power Rangers, but these dudes are on the frontline of bands that started changing my opinion.

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6. Chuck Ragan – “Covering Ground”

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From the moment opener “Nothing Left to Prove” kicks in, I was sold on this album. So much raw, folk/country passion.

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5. Dave Hause – “Resolutions”
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“C’mon Kid” is one of the two best rock ‘n roll songs from this year. This whole record is like life affirmation in a digital/CD/vinyl package. Honestly, I’m humming “Time Will Tell” as I write this.

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4. Cobra Skulls – “Agitations”

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Cobra Skulls’ full length Fat Wreck debut was absolutely amazing. The rockabilly elements are mostly only found in the vocal melodies now, which are just as great to sing along to as ever. Plus, “Drone” opens with big band grooves! Come on, man!

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3. Dead to Me – “Moscow Penny Ante”

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This record was a spectacular return to form for these guys. I’m pretty sure I’m alone in this, but “Victims of No Ambition” totally blew me away, and I think it’s the best non-Chicken song the band has brought to the table since the opening of “Cuban Ballerina.”

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2. The Horrible Crowes – “Elsie”

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I officially declare “I Witnessed a Crime” the best bassline of 2011, and I dare anyone to argue with me. This whole album is dark and angry in ways punk-related things usually just aren’t, and it’s awesome for that. It’s distorted, soulful, jazzy and bluesy. Check it out.

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1. Dan Andriano In the Emergency Room – “Hurricane Season”

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This is of course the other best straight up rock ‘n roll record this year. All of that classic rock influence that Dan’s been building for the past few Alkaline Trio albums comes to a head with this solo release, and man does it blow me away.


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