Thursday, 14 November 2019

Top Tens: Top Ten Unreviewed Albums (Part 3)

The amount of fantastic new releases in 2019! We missed so many for full reviews so Colin is working his way back through 2019 and sharing some gems that weren't originally featured on CPRW. This is part three of this series. Feel free to go back and read the other two posts in this series so far.

Mike Vidal – The Diners
Mike Vidal is the lead singer and guitarist of New Jersey punk band Nine Eighteen. This year he decided to swap his electric guitar for an acoustic one to release a solo EP. Recorded by the legendary Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls, The Diners features four stripped back acoustic punk and folk songs. Mike's gravelly vocal really shines on this superb EP.

Blind Man Death Stare – Comin' In Hot
Melbourne skate punk band Blind Man Death Stare have certainly made a name for themselves in the UK since releasing Comin' In Hot. I criminally overlooked the band when the album was released in March and am extremely pleased I eventually made my way back to it. The Australian skate punk scene really is thriving at the moment and Blind Man Death Stare do a fantastic job of standing out with a more "rough around the edges" sound. I'm excited to see the band back in the UK next year with a set at Manchester Punk Festival in April.

Dan Vapid & The Cheats – Three
Dan Vapid is best known as the guitarist from Chicago pop punk bands Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales, as well as the lead singer of The Methadones. Since 2012 he has also been releasing albums with his band Dan Vapid & The Cheats. This year they released their third album, imaginatively titled Three, and it's another album of Ramonescore pop punk bangers. Vapid has one of my favourite voices in the genre and it's as good as ever here. Three is one of the best power pop albums you'll hear all year. Probably not a big surprise given Vapid's history in the genre.

Versus You – Worn And Loved
Luxembourg's Versus You have been together since 2005 and have been steadily making a name for themselves throughout Eastern Europe. Worn And Loved was my first exposure to the band and I quickly became a fan. Blurring the lines between pop and punk rock, Worn And Loved is full of thoughtful and introspective songs by a band that are now masters of their craft. The album also includes a great cover of Straight Into Darkness by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers.

Madaline – "It Is What It Is"
There have been some great ska punk albums released in the United States this year and one of my favourites as been "It Is What It Is" by Madaline. The North Texas seven piece play an energetic brand of third wave with superb dual vocals and some frantic brass lines. There's not a song on the album that will fail to get you dancing and it's always great to hear more and more fantastic underground ska bands from the States.

Patch Kid – Guts
Patch Kid are an indie punk/math rock three piece from Brooklyn, New York. The four song EP Guts is a refreshing take on the indie punk sound. On Guts, Patch Kid have produced a varied EP that showcases a variety of styles but also remains firmly Patch Kid. By that I mean that despite playing some different styles, you'll know instantly it's Patch Kid. This says a lot about the songwriting ability of the band.

Blind Adam & The Federal League – Mansions On The Boulevard
A-F Records always put out top quality releases so I don't know how I managed to miss Mansions On The Boulevard by Blind Adam & The Federal League. Combining punk rock with a little bit of country, I quickly fell in love with the three songs on this release. The Chicago based band play that fists-in-the-air style that so many of us love these days. I love the everyman quality to the songs. It feels like music by the people, for the people. This is how punk rock should be.

Thurman – A Day Called X
Thurman are a powerful emotional punk rock trio from Portland, Oregon. A Day Called X wasn't an EP that grabbed me immediately, as sonically it's not really my go to genre, but the more I listened to it the more it grew on me. Featuring big guitars, pounding drums and vocals that vary from indie pop to emo howling, Thurman do a wonderful job in keeping you on your toes throughout the EP. I imagine Thurman are absolutely fantastic to see live.

Nightmarathons – Missing Parts
I had every intention of reviewing Missing Parts by Nightmarathons when it was released in March but sadly never got around to it. I've felt bad about this all year because Missing Parts is a stunning album. All eleven songs are big bangers and always get me pumped whenever I listen. The Pittsburgh four piece play up tempo gruff punk with brilliant gang vocals and harmonies (my favourite thing about all songs) that needs to be shouted along to. Missing Parts is truly one of the best albums of the year. Hopefully nobody reading this overlooked it like I did.

The Muslims – Mayo Supreme
Mayo Supreme by The Muslims could be one of the most important punk albums to be released in 2019. It's a striking album as the band spread their political and social message by merging classic punk rock and afropunk along with elements of hardcore and rap rock. The album is relentless and I'm surprised that it didn't explode in the scene in the same way that G.L.O.S.S. did a couple of years ago. If you haven't listened to Mayo Supreme yet then I implore you to do so, not just for the music but for the message and content within.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.

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