Hard to compile all the great 2017 releases into such a compact list, but here’s my best effort. Many honorable mentions at the end.
MuteMath ‘Play Dead’ This record has been out for several months, but it’s only recently shown itself to me. I’ve been listening to it every day. The loss of a couple long-time members of the band including monster drummer, Darren King, has made it even more impactful.
Quicksand ‘Interiors’ Hey, did you hear the mighty Quicksand are back with their first album in twenty years?! It’s no slouch either. I swear every song is good. Really can’t think of a musician more prolific than Walter, but this particular band just has a sound from another place- A heavier place.
Queens of the Stone Age ‘Villains’ Honestly their last several releases haven’t done much for me as compared with the S/T, “R” and ‘Deaf’. This time it’s different. A different sound- A get down sound. Excellent cover art as well, with a G. del Toro sort of influence. Plus, who knew J Homme was such a dick?
36 Crazyfists ‘Lanterns’ Though this album wasn’t as immediate as past works, it quickly hit me pretty hard. Great heavy songs featuring some of Brock’s best lyrics to date and amazingly full production by Holt. Also, that nimble and robust rhythm section! Kyles’s drumming is some of the most technically skilled out there, currently.
Mastodon ‘Emperor of Sand’ I’m a sucker for concept albums and nobody pulls them off like Mastodon. Best band in hard music today made up of four geniuses that all bring a strong quarter of brilliance to the table. Also, don’t miss the four song ep ‘Cold Dark Place’.
Manchester Orchestra ‘A Black Mile to the Surface’ Soaring performances and epic production. Can’t stop listening.
Wolf Alice ‘Visions of a Life’ Second full-length from UK dream rock band.
Eccentric Gentlemen ‘A Man Said to the Universe’ That one release that’s too amazing not to share, yet frustrating that many or most will never hear unfortunately. Last summer I reconnected online with one of my favorite independent musician/producers, Aaron Starr (Absent, Grazert), and was shocked to hear his new band Eccentric Gentlemen. Though Aaron has one of my favorite singing voices, this endeavor features features vocals from Ryan Taverna (Coytah), which are fantastic as well. Well-crafted, hooky pop songs so immediate it’s unbelievable.
Death From Above ‘Outrage! Is Now’ Can two guys raise any more sonic hell??
The Life and Times ’The Life and Times’ Music to get lost to. Good thing the cover is a map….a glorious skull map.
Junius ‘Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light’ Dark, heady and intense are words I use to describe the latest effort from Junius. I’m not smart enough to understand completely all their concepts, but I feel them. My favorite album of 2017.
So many of these could have just as easily been in my list as well: St Vincent, Chelsea Wolfe, Afghan Whigs, Ride, Slowdive, Lana Del Rey, Arcadea, Dead Heavens, Vanishing Life, He Is Legend, Venn (Runes), Bladerunner sdtk, Cloakroom, Nine Inch Nails, Royal Blood, Seether, Juliana Hatfield, Speak the Truth…, Demon Hunter, Private Lives