DS Staff Picks – Hopeless Romantic’s (Meredith) Top 10 Albums of 2016

It seems like just yesterday I was putting together my 2015 list, but alas, here we are again at the end of another year. 2016 was a great year for new albums and it was harder than usual to put together this list, but I guess I shouldn’t complain about too much good music. Check out the soundtrack to my last rollercoaster of a year below.

#10 – The Falcon – Gather Up The Chaps

 

This album is all about the sing-alongs. The Falcon is the kind-of supergroup made up of some of my favorite people in the punk scene – how can you go wrong? Gather Up The Chaps is pure fun, guaranteed in 30 minutes or less. Check it out here.

 

#9 – Against Me! – Shape Shift With Me

 

In 2014, Against Me! topped my year end list, and I was excited to continue to see the evolution of the band’s music. Against Me! is the kind of band who can experiment with different sounds on every album, but it always very distinctively AM! This album definitely did not disappoint, and has stayed in pretty heavy rotation since its release. Check it out here.

 

#8 – Davey Dynamite – Holy Shit

 

This album took exactly 2 minutes to end up on this list. The title track kicks into high gear at the 2:00 mark and I exclaimed “Holy Shit” out loud to my husband and was faced with the task of eliminating one of my previous top 10 albums to make room for this one. This will now be in my constant rotation and I love that Davey Dynamite is part off the Dying Scene family! Check it out here.

 

#7 – Jeff Rosenstock – Worry

 

If you’re sensing a theme to my list, I love songs that make me want to sing along at the top of my lungs. Jeff Rosenstock’s Worry is full of these kinds of tracks. I put off listening to this for a long time thinking I wouldn’t really be into it, but then I gave it a chance and immediately knew it would end up on my year end list. It’s a sing-along/scream-along gem. Check it out here.

 

 

#6 – Bouncing Souls – Simplicity

 

The Bouncing Souls are my favorite band. That being said, while I like individual tracks on both “Ghosts on the Boardwalk” (one even made it into my wedding) and “Comet,” I still felt both albums were a little uneven. On my first listen, I thought Simplicity would fall into the same category, but after a few more spins, I realized how much more complete and cohesive this album really is. It’s more reminiscent of earlier Souls’ records and balances the heavier riffs with the melodic cadence of Greg’s voice. It’s a great addition to their catalogue. Check it out here.

 

#5 – Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate

 

It’s easy to have high expectations when a band like the Descendents puts out their first new music in over a decade. Luckily, this was worth the wait. From the first time I heard “Victim of Me” and “Without Love,” I knew we were getting another classic album. I saw them live in October and the new songs blended seamlessly into the setlist with the tried-and-true favorites. Let’s just hope it’s not another 12 years before we get more new music! Check it out here.

 

#4 – Get Dead – Honesty Lives Elsewhere

 

I almost forgot this album came out until my husband reminded me! We saw Get Dead live this year for the first time and they blew us away with their raw energy. This album is the kind of gritty “leave-it-all-on-the-floor” punk rock that makes you pound your chest and sing your heart out. The blending of styles make the sound unique and fresh and I can’t get enough of this album. Check it out here.

 

#3 – Pup – The Dream Is Over

 

The songs on this album are the kinds that pop into your head randomly and you have to immediately put the album on and turn up the volume. I was a huge fan of Pup’s debut album and was skeptical of the sophomore release, but I actually think I like this one more (overall). Pup’s music is infectious and encourages the best kind of “throw caution to the wind” sing-alongs. Check it out here.

 

 

#2 – NOFX – First Ditch Effort

 

I’ve always loved NOFX and, to me, they have always balanced insightful social and politically commentary with completely irreverent humor. As someone who is growing up right alongside my music collection, I really appreciate the introspective lyrics and new territory on this album (although previous work flirted with different thematic elements, this album seems to be much more blatant about it) while also still having some fun. Having read The Hepatitis Bathtub… this year, I think this album resonated a little deeper and hit a little harder. Check it out here.

 

#1 – Pears – Green Star

 

Pears‘ Green Star is the opposite of the sophomore slump. Wow. When this album was released in April, people were already calling it as their favorite album of the year. While I resisted the urge, as I knew many of the albums that ended up on this list would come out in later months, this one has still emerged victorious. I’m not sure how they manage to pack so much awesomeness into one album, but alas, they have done it again. Check it out here.


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