This year, as I’ve already shared my best-of lists with The Current, my dad is bringing us his top ten albums of 2017 – enjoy!
“What makes a great record? For me a great song or album should evoke some emotion, get a mosh pit going in my head, or just a good zone out. With those parameters in mind, I hope that this list will hit some of you like they did me. If you haven’t heard of some these bands I really encourage you to step out of your music panic rooms and give them a spin.
10. Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion
I stumbled upon these guys after Maia and I saw Caspian live this past year. They have that post rock feel, but with vocals. The song writing is brilliant, and has pounding percussion and heavy low end riffs throughout the record. Stand out track: “March of the Samsara”
9. Pallbearer – Heartless
Hailing from Arkansas, these gents have a sludgy groove and spacey sound to them. This record has been in a constant rotation on Spotify. Stand out track: “I saw the End”
8. Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down
Love Him or hate him, he’s had a good run and showing no sign of slowing down. Although this record feels like left overs from his previous album, The Pale Emperor (2015). Still a great album, give it a go. Stand out track: “Blood Honey”
7. Nine Inch Nails – Not the Actual Events / Add Violence
I am combining these two EPs to make one full length album. This record feels like Trent Reznor might be beginning a return to the the agro-industrial titan he was early on in his career. I have, will, and always dig anything Trent does. Fan boy? Yep! Don’t care! Stand out tracks: “The Idea of You,” “Less Than”
6. Code Orange – Forever
Ok, so when this album dropped, the entire metal world went, and still are going ape shit over this album. I gave it a couple of plays and was like, “I don’t get it, I don’t hear the magic.” As the year went on, I gave it another spin and was like “Ok, I think I hear it,” but still wasn’t all in. Then, when I heard they’re nominated for a flipping Grammy, I thought, “I have to be missing something, let’s give it another go.” And like a switch went on in me, I get it.
This album comes out the gate wind-milling sledgehammers. It is some of the heaviest music I have ever heard. They have taken sounds and stylings from hardcore, metal-core, and industrial, brilliantly mashed it together, and have come up with an amazing sound. This may take a couple of spins to get but it’s worth it. Stand out tracks: “Forever,” “Bleeding the blur,” “Adeline-shade” (Alt J cover)
5. Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage
Having grown up with all three of the bands that make up this super group (Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Cypress Hill), together they fight improprieties of the current presidential administration, and social and environmental injustice. Tom Morello, the outspoken mouth piece for the band has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Harvard, he knows his shit. If you want to get your protest on, or just need a good release from our current state of political affairs, this is the record for you. Stand out track: “Unfuck the World”
4. Kamikaze Girls – Seafoam
I don’t know a whole lot about this Brit duo having just recently came across them, but I do know that this record is a gem. They have fused punk, shoe gaze, and some early nineties alternative, and came up with an absolutely amazing album. This is one of those records that from the opening chord, it’s a good one and has been on heavy Spotify rotation. This is a must hear. Stand out tracks: “One Young Man,” “I Don’t Want to Be Sad Forever”
3. Hundredth – Rare
Here’s a band that has had a career as a hardcore band and has been successful. At some point they had become uninspired by the music they were making, so they changed it up. They created a very different, dark, and moody album. They felt so confident in their new music, that on the 2017 Vans Warped Tour they only played tracks from this album. A bold move, giving them some very mixed reviews from older fans. This is a must listen if you’re a fan of The Ravonettes, Lush, Low, or My Bloody Valentine. Stand out tracks: “Vertigo”
2. Chelsea Wolf – Hiss Spun
The album title is the only thing I don’t like. This is a very dark record with A plus musicianship and production. She has taken her sound and song writing to the next level, and holy hell has she nailed it. If you’re into the darker, melodic, industrial, goth sound – this is a great record start to finish. Stand out track: “16 Psych”
- 3TEETH – Shutdown.exe
Maia and I were fortunate enough to see these guys live last summer. I wrote a review of the show, but I don’t feel like I did it justice. I will make up for that now. This record is everything the industrial revolution of the late 80s – early 90s was. These guys have nailed the sound, the right amount of guitars, drums, programming, and keys, and have honed in on the massive sound that is industrial music. 3TEETH are on the leading edge of a new revolution in industrial music. The chugging guitars, pounding percussion, and lyrics are very reminiscent of early NIN, Ministry, KMFDM, and Skinny Puppy. I can’t say enough good stuff about this record and band. If given the chance to see them live, do it! Stand out track: “Pit of Fire”
So there it is the top 10 of 2017 – what a flipping year!
Heads Up and Be Well,
JJ (a.k.a. Maia’s Dad)
In closing, I would like to send my condolences to the family, friends, and fans of the late Chad Hanks, from Minneapolis’s own American Head Charge – “To Be Me”