Top Five EPs of 2017
Last year this Australian four-piece released one of my absolute favourite EPs of 2016, last year I didn’t include it on my end of year list because I only included full-length albums. This year I’m not making that mistake! Living With. Being Without. is four tracks of emotional pop punk with some sweet melodies and lyrics that are at times self-deprecating but at others honest and hopeful. This band hasn’t released a full album yet but I certainly cannot wait for when they do.
Favourite song: London
Easydread are a 7-piece reggae-rock band who I’ve had the pleasure of seeing play live loads of times over the past year or so. They are pretty local to where Colin and I live, also being located in Bedfordshire, and we’ve seen them as support for the likes of The Toasters, [Spunge] and New Town Kings. When Fyah, a five track EP, was released on Bandcamp in February I already knew all the songs from seeing them played live. These are catchy, entertaining and danceable tracks by some super talented musicians. I am particularly fond of The Wake Of You and often find myself singing ‘The water’s choppy…’ in my head whilst swimming.
Favourite song: The Wake Of You
This is only a three track release and I have listened to these three song SO MUCH this year. They are each brilliant in their own way but the lead song, Don’t Get It, absolutely blew me away the first time I heard it. The other two tracks are also great with some amazing lyrical content. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to catch Empty Lungs live this year (nor have I seen them at all in previous years) so I really hope I get to see them next year – and maybe they’ll have a full-length album in tow!
Favourite song: Don’t Get It
This EP came out of nowhere for me and ended up being the single release that got me the most excited in such a short space of time – especially considering I had never heard of the band before. I was so excited and so in awe of what I heard that I sat down to review these six tracks the day after first hearing them. I can’t even really sum up what it was that hooked me, Sounds From The Massachusetts Turnpike is just awesome. Rebuilder are simply awesome. My absolute favourite new band discovery of the year without a doubt. I can’t wait to see them live! (ps. Please come to the UK, Rebuilder.)
Favourite song: The World Is An Asshole
Yep. The Burnt Tapes. We love The Burnt Tapes at Colin’s Punk Rock World (and not just because one of our members happens to be in the band). They are the band I (and I guess Colin as well) have seen live the most times this year and for good reason – they are bloody incredible. I had Alterations, which is six tracks, in my car for months and happily sung along with it every day on the way to work. The lyrics, the melodies… the band members themselves are lovely chaps too. The Burnt Tapes are destined for greatness.
Favourite song: Wayne Regretzky
Top Ten Albums of 2017
The Smith Street Band are one of my absolute favourite bands and in 2017 Colin and I went to three of the dates of their July tour. Despite this, their fourth album did take me quite a few listens to get into and that’s probably why this appears at number 10 rather than higher up the list. Number 10 or not, there are some amazing songs on this album. My favourite is still the first I heard, Death To The Lads, but Forrest, Passiona and Run Into The World (featuring Laura Stevenson) are wonderful too. I think the lyrics on this album seem even more personal to their author, Wil Wagner, than previous releases so kudos to the band for being that brave.
Favourite song: Death To The Lads
At the time of writing this Top Ten Albums Of 2017, I have recently read Richard’s review of You Can’t Stay Here. He talks in depth about how good this album is so I will leave you to check that out for all the finer details. What I will say is that I found this album to take Iron Chic on a slightly different path to what I expected them to with album number three, by which I mean this album doesn’t sound quite the same as the previous two. I love the classic sounding tracks on this album but I also like the surprising slower paced ones that are interspersed. I am looking forward to hearing these live at Manchester Punk Festival 2018!
Favourite song: My Best Friend (Is a Nihilist)
This was one of those albums that I knew I’d like based on the fact that I knew this was a gravelly-vocaled punk band with a bit of a folky influence to boot. Yet Responsibilities actually managed to exceed my expectations. This album is the perfect combination of gruff punk melodies and warm Americana-influenced tones that well and truly succeeded in getting my head nodding and feet tapping. It was also louder in volume than I was expecting, with only one acoustic track. Not that I dislike acoustic-based music by any stretch of the imagination, but the bigger sound was pleasant surprise!
Favourite song: Whiskey & Blood
This is another album that one of my fellow CPRW writer’s reviewed for the blog and, in this case, it was Robyn’s recommendation that made me want to listen to the album for the first time. I had not listened to Bad Cop, Cad Cop previously although I had heard the name. It didn’t take too long for me to be hooked. It’s the perfect combination of pop punk melodies and catchiness with plenty of hit-you-in-the-face moments too. The overall feeling I got from listening to this album the first few times was empowerment. The term ‘feminist’ gets thrown around a lot today but I don’t think that should ever be a negative thing.
Favourite song: Womanarchist
If you’ve read any of my album reviews previously – or glanced down at some of the other bands on this list – then you probably know I am a massive fan of a bit of folk with my punk. However Never Settle is a bit of an odd one because I will be the first to admit that this is not a punk album at all. The duo is formed of two people who have previously been a part of the punk scene but if you didn’t know that then the word ‘punk’ wouldn’t cross your mind when listening to this album. However genre is beside the point when it comes to why this album made my list – the songs are equal parts beautiful, raw, heartbreaking, uplifting and inspiring. It’s just lovely really.
Favourite song: Who’s Gonna Hold Your Hand
This was one of my highly anticipated albums of 2017 and I was so excited when Colin got sent an early copy – then let me do the honours of reviewing it. I loved Matilda’s Scoundrels’ previous EP releases, as well as their live shows, so this was bound to be love at first listen too. The album wasn’t quite what I expected, as it was a bit angrier and heavier than previous tracks, but it showed progression. Thinking about it now, although I’m not sure I specifically said this in my original review, As The Tide Turns perfectly captures the rowdy energy of the band’s live show – and what’s not to love about that?
Favourite song: God Forsaken Sea
I feel like I was waiting for Dave Hause to release his third solo album forever. Needless to say, because of this, I eagerly listened to Bury Me In Philly as soon as I could – ahead of its release date on a live stream I believe. It turned out that this album was worth the wait. It was simply wonderful. The album has a fuller and generally happier sound than his previous two and in my review of it I compared him to Bruce Springsteen. This statement still stands. I’m a big fan of both. I was also pretty chuffed to see Dave Hause and his full band, The Mermaid, live this year – this album sounds great live as well.
Favourite song: My Mistake
After The Party is not On The Impossible Past but I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I really liked this album on my first listen. On the one hand, The Menzingers are one of my absolute favourite bands so I was bound to like whatever they did but, on the other hand, what if I didn’t? The title track has got to be my song of the year – I’ve probably listened to it more than any other. Plus there’s a lot of other really great songs on this album with plenty of relatable themes like getting older as well as the big old Menzos singalongs we all crave. And it’s probably for the best that it’s not just another On The Impossible Past as that would be pretty boring. After The Party was released in February and I’m not a bit bored yet.
Favourite song: After The Party
This is latest addition to my Top Ten Releases of 2017 as it was only released in November but it sure is an awesome album – or, to quote my original review, an epic album. I have found it so, so hard not to put Foreign Skies as my number one album. Maybe if it was released earlier in 2017, and I had listened to it a hundred more times, it might have pushed the next album off the top but for now I’m placing The Dreadnoughts at number two. This album cemented the band as my absolute favourite of the folk punk genre. I rave enough in my actual album review about how great this is – read that.
Favourite song: Foreign Skies
Lincoln Le Fevre is my favourite Australian songwriter (sorry, Wil Wagner) and this year he released a full-band follow up to 2012’s solo release, Resonation. I reviewed this album in September, two months after it was actually released because life got in the way, and since then I have loved it more and more with each and every listen – and I was pretty complimentary to begin with in my review anyway. You know when an album just gives you ‘all the feels’? Well, that’s what Come Undone does for me every single time I hear it. I can feel it right now just thinking about it, so I’m going to put it on right now – that’s what makes an album Emma’s number one release of the year.
Favourite song: Constellations