DISCLAIMER: I am not a music critic. I am a music fan. If you don't agree with any of the albums on this list, good. As they say; opinions are like arseholes, everyone's got one. So, without further ado, here is my
Charlie Simpson - Long Road Home (4th August)
I know what you're thinking: "Charlie Simpson? That dude from Busted?" or "Great, another white boy with a guitar signing about 'feelings'" ...Yes! I don't care how many punk points I lose for liking this album. Whilst the rest of Busted are prancing around like complete idiots still singing faux-pop punk songs that made them famous fifteen years ago, Charlie is doing his own thing. And 'his own thing' is pretty damn good.
Favourite tracks: 'Comets', 'Haunted', 'Would You Love Me Any Less'
The Menzingers - Rented World (22nd April)
I feel slightly bad for The Menzingers because no matter how good this album is (and it is is very good) it was always going to be in the shadow of their previous album, 2012's On The Impossible Past. Following up a legit modern classic is always going to be tough but Rented World is a great album it its own right and you'd be a fool to overlook it.
Favourite tracks: 'I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore', 'Where Your Heartache Exists', 'In Remission'
The Lawrence Arms - Metropole (28th January)
The first survivor from my mid year list. In that review I described this album as 'Pop punk gets gold gracefully' and I stand by that. There is nothing worse than men in their late 30s still singing songs about skating and getting dumped etc (See my previous comment about Busted). This is a thoughtful and mature album that from a band that knows neither them nor their fans are kids any more (but doesn't let that stop them doing stupid shit).
Favourite tracks: 'You Are Here', 'Drunk Tweets', 'The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic'
The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River (31st October)
The third album from these Australian punks. One of the things I love about singer Will Wagner's song writing is that he is so honest, brutally honest at times. He certainly isn't afraid to highlight his flaws. It is that honesty and rawness that makes their songs so personal and relateable. Plus they are one of the best live bands around today. I saw them supporting The Menzingers this year and they stole the show.
Favourite tracks: 'Surrender', 'East London Summer', 'Throw Me In The River'
Perkie - Time Machines (1st April)
Another survivor from my mid year list. In that review I described the album as 'an indie/pop/folk/DIY/piano punk extravaganza' and if anybody has come up with a better description of the album since then I wanna hear it! It's a fantastic album that's guaranteed to put you in a good mood and get you tapping your feet.
Favourite tracks: 'Teachers', 'Things That Make Us Different', 'Walls Come Crashing Down'
Moose Blood - I'll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time (7th October)
This Canterbury based 'emo' band are probably sick to death of being compared to American 90s bands like Knapsack and Jawbreaker, but the truth is, if you dig those bands then you will likely dig Moose Blood. This album is fucking great. It is one of the few albums that no matter what mood I am in, I can put it on and enjoy it- and that is no meat feat.
Favourite tracks: 'Gum', 'Swim Down', 'Bukowski'
Gnarwolves - Self-titled (15th September)
Gnarwolves have only been in existence since 2012 but it feels like they have been around forever. They generate quite polarising opinions in the punk scene- People either LOVE them or think they're over hyped and average. Obviously I fall into the former category because I think that this is one seriously fucking rad album. I caught the band's Brighton homecoming show at the end of their recent UK tour and it was fucking crazy. Definitely one of my favourite gigs of the year.
Favourite tracks: 'Boneyard', 'Bottle to Bottle', 'Smoking Kills'
Maid of Ace - Self-titled (19th Apil)
A survivor from my mid year list and probably the album I have listened to most out of all of these this year. It is gritty, aggressive and does not give one single fuck. I am a sucker for female-fronted punk bands and the awesome thing about Maid of Ace is that not only are they ALL female, they're ALL sisters. They're like punk rock Nolan Sisters, or something. They're also from my home town so I've seen them a whole bunch of times.
Favourite tracks: 'Nothin' On Me', 'Dirty Girl', 'Dickhead'
Ducking Punches - Dance Before You Sleep (2nd May)
These Norwich DIY folk punks are one of my favourite bands at the moment. This album, short as it is at only nine tracks, is jam packed full of awesome. No filler here. As the title suggests the theme of this album is living life to the full before it is gone. Singer Dan Allen crafts songs that are equal parts passion, raw emotion and sing along anthems.
Favourite track: 'Cursed Luck', 'Big Brown Pills From Lynn', 'Six Years'
Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues (20th January)
It was a long wait from AM!'s 2010's album White Crosses to this one, especially with everything that happened in that time, but it was worth the wait. A return to the lo-fi, grittier sound of the band's early work. This is probably the most important punk album since 1977. It is more than an album, it is a call to arms and a middle finger in the face of every cretin that ever make a joke (or worse) at the expense of a trans person.
Favourite tracks: 'True Trans Soul Rebel', 'Obama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ', 'Black Me Out'
Rancid - ...Honor Is All We Know
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Christmas Island
PUP - Self-titled
The Holy Mess - Comfort in the Discord
Chuck Ragan - Till Midnight
Officer Down - Dead Lands
We The Heathens - Self-titled
Arroyo Deathmatch - Through the Fear of it
Adam and Bones - Don't Move
Lee Scott - CactusOwlMoonGoat