J’s Top 20 Releases of 2011

Posted on 16/12/2011

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This was easily the toughest thing I have had to this year, and i’m not including studying for my finals OR being banned from playing PS3 for a week.  This year has kinda been a haze of rad music and rad times, so figuring out what actually came out this year, let alone putting it in a ranking order, was incredibly difficult.  I’m still not sure if i’m completely satisfied with this, but it’s the best it’s going to get.  On a brighter note, Merry Christmas!  See y’all next year!

20. Title Fight – Shed

Title Fight have always had a place in my heart, just because of the fact they were one of my gateway bands that lead me to the glorious musical taste I have today.  Having said that, I hate their fans and the stupid fucking lyric reciting pictures they post on tumblr.  At the end of the day though, it’s about the music, and whilst not being their best, Shed is a great album and most definitely deserving of a top 20 mention.

Essential Track: ‘Shed’

Download: (Mediafire)

19. The One AM Radio – Heaven is Attached By A Slender Thread

The perfect blend of electronic and acoustic music, Hrishikesh Hirway continues to put out some of the most pretty, catchy and beautifully composed music in the genre.  This album is no exception, and is actually probably my favourite of his.  When i’m not in the mood for whining or screaming, this tends to hit the spot.

Essential Track: ‘Everyone But You’

Download: (Mediafire)

18. Calculator – New Forms

One of the best screamo albums of 2011 in my opinion.  I was worried that whatever Calculator put out after These Roots Grow Deep…  would fall short, but any anxiety I had disappeared as soon as I finished my first listen.  Calculator do screamo well, and it shines through in this LP.

Essential Track: ‘Through My Head’

Download: (Mediafire)

17.  The Smith Street Band – No One Gets Lost Anymore

I was only introduced to this a couple of months ago, and thank god I was because it’s fantastic.  I’m not a huge fan of the whole ‘folk punk’ genre (I think Andrew Jackson Jihad and Defiance, Ohio are nothing special), but this appealed to me.  Some of the more acoustic songs don’t work for me as well, but when those chimey guitars come in accompanied by those rough, Australian accented vocals, my panties DROP.  Oh yeah, it’s Australian, which makes me very proud.

Essential Track: ‘I Ain’t Safe’

Download: (Mediafire)

16. Kidcrash – Naps EP

I was pretty hyped for this EP, since Kidcrash is probably one of my favourite bands of all time, and it didn’t disappoint.  In usual Kidcrash fashion, the songs kick ass.  A slightly different feel to their other albums, but it’s still got that definite Kidcrash feel to its melodies.

Essential Track: ‘Hibernation State’

Download: (Mediafire)

15. Teenage Cool Kids – Denton After Sunset

The always rad, never disappointing Teenage Cool Kids returned again this year with what is possibly the last album they will ever put out.  If it is, way to end on a high note, since the whole album is absolutely fantastic.

Essential Track: ‘Zealous Convert’

Download: (Mediafire)

14. Dowsing – All I Could Find Was You 

Dowsing make ‘poppy emo’ music, and oh they do it well.  Despite one TERRIBLE song on this album, it still made my top 20, a testament to the quality of the other 6 tracks.  Catchy as all hell, I can’t get enough of it.

Essential Track: Amateur Cartography’

Download: (Mediafire)

13. Beau Navire – Hours

THE best screamo record of 2011, Beau Navire create chaotically beautiful soundscapes that are just so god damned perfect.   Not much else to say, it’s hard to put into words just how good this album is.  I’m sorta regretting not putting it higher up the list…. too late now though.

Essential Track: ‘The Looking Glass’

Download: (Mediafire)

12. Ampere – Like Shadows

Ampere have always been one of my favourite bands, and I think my bias towards them is why this album is in front of Calculator and Beau Navire.  Everything these guys do is sweet as, and while this album doesn’t quite top All Our Tomorrows End Today, it still holds up to expectations.

Essential Track: ‘We Neither Rise Nor Fall’

Download: (Mediafire)

11. Wugazi – 13 Chambers

In terms of mash ups, Wugazi definitely takes the gold.  This is a brilliantly executed combination of Wu-Tang a Capella over Fugazi instrumentals.  It’s incredible how well it goes together, and easily does both artists justice.

Essential Track: ‘Shame On Blue’

Download: (Mediafire)

10. The Clippers – An Evening with The Clippers EP

The only critique I can say here is that the Clippers made an EP, not an LP.  Every song on this EP is ridiculously good, and accessible to everyone.  Catchy, catchy and catchy.

Essential Track: ‘Mature Women’

Download: (Mediafire)

9. Legs Like Tree Trunks – Legs Like Tree Trunks EP

I still can’t get over how awesome this EP is.  I eagerly await a full length, but I can see myself being satisfied with this for a long time.  Folk tinged math rock at its best.

Essential Track: ‘Annabel’

Download: (Mediafire)

8. Touché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me

It’s no surprise that Touché Amoré make my list.  Even if this album was mediocre (which, lets face it, was never a possibility) i’d probably still include it just out of RESPECT.     Touché Amoré are at the top of the hardcore game, and have paved the way for the genre.  Arguably the debut LP still reigns king, but this is a very respectable follow up.

Essential Track: ‘Face Ghost’

Download: (Mediafire)

7. Cities Aviv – Digital Lows

My favourite hip-hop album of ’11, and perhaps even one of my all time favourites, Cities Aviv is one rad MC.  The production on this album is smooth, like butter, and Cities is a wicked rapper.  Still fairly unknown, I expect big things.

Essential Track: ‘Voyeurs’

Download: (Mediafire)

6. 1994! / Snowing / Boys&Sex / Algernon Cadwallader - Summer Singles 4 Way Split 

Ok so just by looking at the quality of bands on this split, you know it’s going to be good.  In fact, I should be getting this on vinyl in the upcoming weeks (depending on shipping and shit).  Anyway, all the songs rule hard.  I especially enjoy the Algernon contribution, so whimiscal!

Essential Tracks: ‘(Na Na Na Na) Simulation’

Download: (Mediafire)

5. Dikembe – Chicago Bowls

I can’t say enough about this album.  The awesome basketball references, the weed puns and of course, fucking Chicago Bulls #1.  Anyhow, behind all the funnies, are some incredibly rad tunes.  Dikembe are a relatively new band, and hopefully an LP is on the way.  Chicago Bowls is definitely a fantastic first release.

Essential Track: ‘Tony Kukush’

Download: (Mediafire)

4. Algernon Cadwallader – Parrot Flies

The most anticipated emo album of 2011, and rightfully so.  Algernon Cadwallader are basically leading the way for emo revival, and constantly putting out righteous tune after righteous tune.  This album is great start to finish, and if you don’t have it I pity you.

Essential Track: ‘Springing Leaks’

Download: (Mediafire)

3. Prawn – You Can Just Leave It All

For anyone who actually bothers to read the little blurbs before we post albums, you will know what I think of Prawn.  Even so, i’m going to say it again.  This is the shit.  Every track is equally magnificent as the next and it rubs me in all the right places.  Or maybe that’s just what I do when listening.  Either way, it was painfully hard for me to put this at number 3.

Essential Track: ‘Clever Hands’

Download: (Mediafire)

2. Pianos Become The Teeth – The Lack Long After

So we’re almost at number 1, and i’m sure that many of you are wondering why this album isn’t there.  For this, I am sorry, I was going to do a tied #1 but that seemed like cheating.  Like a man, I made the tough decision, and i’ll just have to live with it. I didn’t envy PBTT, having to follow up the masterpiece that is Old Pride, but somehow they did it.  In classic PBTT style, this album goes hard start to finish, and leaves you in a state of euphoria after every listen.  (!!!).

Essential Track: ‘Liquid Courage’

Download: (Mediafire)

1. Joyce Manor – S/T

So here we are, at number 1, I give you Joyce Manors 2011 self-titled album.  When I started writing this list, I knew roughly my top 5, and Joyce Manor was definitely there.  It was only after re-listening to it in its entirety again that I knew, without a doubt, this was my favourite album of 2011.  From its angst ridden lyricism, to its groovy punk riffery, I love everything about every song.  So,  I declare, Joyce Manor to be my pick for best album of 2011.

Essential Track: ‘Constant Headache’

Download: (Mediafire)

Also Considered:

Bâton Rouge – Fragments D’eux Mêmes

Four Eyes - Towards the End of Cosmic Loneliness

Park Jefferson – Weekdays

Little Kingdoms – Home

Child Meadow – Crispy BBQ Tofu Burger

Mellowhype – BlackenedWhite [Reissue]

Circle Takes The Square – Decompositions, Volume I, Chapter 1: Rites of Initiation

Childish Gambino – Childish Gambino EP

Into It. Over It. – Proper

Real Estate – Days

Blue Sky Black Death – Noir

Various Artists – CYLS 4-Way Split 

Bridge and Tunnel – Rebuilding Year

Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) – ...On the Shoulders of Those You Love the Most

Flashlights – I’m Not Alone 

Merry Christmas – Her Exceptional Kindness

Deer Leap / The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Are Here To Help You

William Bonney – Good Vibes EP

Featherweight – Worrying Gets You Nowhere

- J -
Posted in: Album Download, List