Hi, I’m Andy and I’m a Dying Scene scribe. I’ve had to overcome many obstacles in my life, but none quite as difficult as compiling this here top 10 list. 2013 has been such a great year for quality punk that narrowing this year’s releases down to just 10 was extremely challenging . The albums in their present order have changed a hundred times over, with many amazing albums not even making it. So if you don’t agree with some releases on the list, your alternate was probably on there at some point. Here goes…
Check out my list below.
10. The Songs of Tony Sly: ”A Tribute”
Nothing has ever quite rocked our global punk community like the devastating passing of Tony Sly. I was surprised at quite how upset I was with Tony’s death; someone I’d never met. Other idols of mine have died but this time it was different. No Use For A Name were, for so many of us, a huge part of growing up and growing older and when Tony left us he left a void that couldn’t ever be filled. I of course didn’t know Tony, only his music, but a lot of those who did know him, toured with him and called him brother got together to release The Songs Of Tony Sly: A Tribute. The sheer number of bands who offered up renditions of Tony’s work was testament to the great man. Musically some covers are better than others but they all have Tony’s spirit at their core and that’s why it makes my list. How could it not?
9.Hey! Hello! – ”S/T”
This one may not be all that familiar with many Dying Scene readers but believe me, Hey! Hello! should be in your life. Formed by The Wildhearts main man Ginger Wildheart alongside singer Victoria Liedtke, the album consists of 12 tracks of fuzzy, punky, fizzy, dizzy, dirty, flirty rock anthems that are more addictive than crack laced donuts (not that I’d know, I don’t eat donuts). This is my wild card, with wild being the operative word!
8. Snuff – ”5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps?”
For as long as I have loved punk I have loved Snuff, and even from the perspective of a life long fan I was surprised at just how good this album was. I was fortunate enough to review this for Dying Scene, and my hugely optimistic opinion of it hasn’t waned, in fact I love it now more than ever. It really is no fluke that after all of this time the likely lads are still doing their thing, and doing it in style.
7. Swingin’ Utters – ”Poorly Formed”
When the Swingin’ Utters reformed and released the extremely solid Here Under Protest in 2011, fans couldn’t have really asked for a better album; But two years later they got one. Poorly Formed was one of the albums I reviewed for Dying Scene this year and it was an absolute pleasure to do so. Tracks like ‘Dreadlock Dread Reggae’, ‘Brains’ and The Fake Rat Of Dave Navarro’ not only proved the band’s continuing relevance but also that they had just arguably released the album of their careers. Utterly brilliant.
6. Anakin -”Emergency Broadcast System”
Despite this only being an EP it makes the list due to all 5 tracks being of the highest standard. I have been waiting for a band like Anakin for a while now; dreamy, ethereal and catchy as hell. To me they are a beautiful mix of bands like No Motiv and Mae. From first track ‘ Descend To Ascend’ to last track ‘Upside Down’, it’s a melodic masterpiece. Go and listen to it on their Bandcamp page and duly fall in love.
5. Iron Chic – ”The Constant One”
For me there aren’t many bands that have raked up more plays this year than Iron Chic. I had to be patiently content with their 2010 debut Not Like This and the odd split release for my daily Iron Chic supplementation; then they released The Constant One and the wait was more than worth it. From start to finish the album takes you on a journey that you just don’t want to end! From the superb 8-bit infused ‘Spooky Action At A Distance’ to ‘Wolf Dix Rd.’, Iron Chic have undoubtedly released one of the albums of the year.
4. The Swellers -” The Light Under Closed Doors”
There weren’t many 2013 releases that I had been anticipating quite as much as The Light Under Closed Doors. Having put past issues behind them and finding a new home on the well matched No Sleep Records, things all seem to have aligned for the foursome. The Swellers are one of hardest working bands on the planet and their music matches that enthusiasm. Nick Diener is a fantastic songwriter which he proves again and again with tracks like ‘Big Hearts’ and ‘Great Lake States’. The Swellers deserve every bit of success they get and judging by this album, they should have plenty heading their way.
3. Direct Hit! – ”Brainless God”
There are many reasons that concept albums generally don’t work, with far too many to mention here, but one of the most remarkable things about Direct Hit’s Brainless God is that they have managed to avoid every single one. The album tells a tale of our planet’s final days with each song cleverly linking up with the next to spin a cohesive and classic yarn of Armageddon. The songs work as well collectively as they do individually, with no weak moments. If this is the end of the world as we know it, then I’ll see you in the pit!
2. Off With Their Heads – ”Home”
It’s always great to see a band you love transform from a good one into a great one, which is exactly what’s happened with OWTH. Home is more experimental in sound than previous efforts with songs such as ‘Nightlife’, which is literally one of the best songs ever written to ‘Always Alone’, a song that sadly many of us can relate to. With Home OWTH really have hit the mark, and like many albums in this list it held the top spot for a while
1. Saves The Day – ”S/T”
Along with many others, my teenage years were mirrored perfectly by Save The Day’s music. If I had a karaoke song it would be ‘At Your Funeral’. In all honestly I had presumed the band consigned to history; that was of course until I heard their new self titled album. From the first few seconds of the stunning ‘Remember’ to the last few seconds of ‘Stand In The Stars’ what you have is a superbly crafted pop record. If you don’t like this album then you probably don’t like things like puppies or ice cream; there is nothing to dislike about it. Even the front cover is refreshing.
Jimmy Eat World-”Damage”
The Murderburgers- ”These Are Only Problems”
Poor Me- ”Ready Made”
Attention Anyone- ”This Just In”
Dan Vapid & The Cheats- ”Two”
The Wonder Years- ”The Greatest Generation”