Hello everyone, and welcome! We're gonna try something fun here and have a place where we can talk about music - after all, we're a record store, so what better way to keep y'all in tune with what we're excited/anticipating/frustrated/hopeful about in the music industry!
To start everything off, we're gonna go to the old standby, the Best Of list. With 2017 in its final days and 2018 just around the corner, we thought we'd share with you some of the record we loved the most this year! Without further ado, here are the ten albums that came out this year that we felt truly defined the year in music!
10: The Flatliners - Inviting Light
Four teenagers from Toronto started a ska band in 2005. You’d think the story would end after a few shows, maybe a small tour and a CD put out by a label you’ve never heard of, but don’t tell that to these boys. The Flatliners are truly a band we’ve been able to watch grow up in front of our eyes (well…ears), and Inviting Light gathers up their entire career and squeezes it into 12 tracks of PBR-soaked punk.
9: Mutoid Man - War Moans
Born from the unholy union of Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky and Converge’s Ben Koller, Mutoid Man’s second full-length draws influence from all around the heavy music world - blistering guitar solos, chugging bass riffs, mathy breakdowns, howling vocals, and sprawling song structures to create one of the most inventive metal albums of 2017.
8: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights
2015's Sprained Ankle was a raw, emotional record that cut through you with its sparseness. For her follow-up, Julien crafts a lush, beautiful, yet haunting record that doesn't so much cut as slowly dissolves you into a puddle of tears. Beautiful, beautiful tears.
7: The Menzingers - After the Party
“Oh yeah, oh yeah, everything is terrible” are the first words you hear on the Menzingers’ latest record, in the Clash-evoking song “Telling Lies”. This record’s for anyone who’s hit that point in their life (whether after their 20s or not) where they feel like, for whatever reason, they have to stop fucking around and get serious. The band continues their strong storytelling aesthetic throughout, and this February release set the stage for a great year in music.
6: Open City - S/T
2017 was a year of women reclaiming their autonomy in all facets of life - from the Women’s March in January, to the #MeToo movement coming to the forefront in the last part of the year, the push for equal treatment was at the forefront of the news pretty much constantly. Open City’s self-titled debut rang out like a clarion call when it came howling out into the world this year. Featuring members of Paint It Black, Bridge & Tunnel, and Ted Leo’s band, this record cuts through you like a buzzsaw while forcing you to confront the fact that the punk scene may not be as perfect as we all want to pretend it is.
5: Rozwell Kid - Precious Art
On the surface, this record comes off like a power-pop parody album - songs about boogers, Mad TV, Weird Al Yankovic movies, and homages to Michael Keaton abound. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a record with a lot to say about insecurity, ennui, and loss. Who can’t relate to using comedy to cover up those deep, hard to talk about feelings?
4: Converge - The Dusk In Us
2017 was a grinding, relentless stream of bad news and unsettling revelations. No one captured that better than Jacob Bannon and company - The Dusk In Us is a grinding, relentless album that perfectly captures what it felt like to live through this year. “Trigger” washes over you with a threatening, insidious groove; “Wildlife” threatens to break your neck dragging you along for its ride. Converge once agains shows us all they’re the ones setting the bar for everyone else in hardcore to measure up to.
3: Sincere Engineer - Rhombithian
Deanna Belos takes all the fun of a Gainesville Holiday Inn singalong and throws in a healthy dose of Chicago punk to give us all an album that sounds fresh and incredibly nostalgic all at once. A record that came seemingly out of nowhere to be one of the best punk records of 2017, and hopefully the first of many awesome albums from Deanna.
2: Lorde - Melodrama
There’s a theme on Lorde’s second full-length. It starts in the upbeat lead single “Green Light” and winds its way through eleven tracks, until the last line of the last song - a feeling of FOMO, of needing to push everything to its absolute limit because there’s always a better place to be, a better crowd to run with, a better time to be had. Then the record hits its denouement and asks us - why are we doing this? What are we chasing? Would we be able to know what do with it if we caught it anyway? Lorde writes with an emotional resonance that few can hope to touch, and Melodrama is proof positive of it.
1: Iron Chic - You Can’t Stay Here
We swear this isn't just because part of the first video for the album was shot in our store, but this truly was our favorite record of 2017. Four years of heartbreak - ruined relationships & lost friends - combine to inspire Iron Chic on their third full-length. Continuing their ability to meld pop-punk riffs with lyrics that hit like a ton of bricks, the Long Island 5 piece will have you screaming along, fist in the air at one minute and crying into your beer the next.
So there's it - our favorite records of the year! We made a playlist featuring some of the best cuts from these records, plus some of our other favorite songs that came out this year - check it out below!