There have been a lot of solid album releases this year. I’ve talked about a few, but in the grand scheme it would be next to impossible for me to cover each album by myself.
So, instead, I’m going to highlight some of my personal favorites to come out over the last few months. Let’s start things off with:
The punk icons Descendents are back on Epitaph Records, and they’ve delivered this fantastic album. “Hypercaffium Spazzinate” (man that is a mouthful!) is a wonderful commentary on how much getting older sucks, and frontman Milo Aukerman delivers his signature upbeat self-depreciating lyrics alongside the band’s top notch musicianship. After all these years, Descendents sound as great as they did when they debuted, and this album should definitely be on your play list.
This next album was…unexpected, to say the least. Paul Banks, frontman of iconic indie band Interpol, has teamed up with RZA from Wu-Tang Clan to give us Banks & Steelz debut album “Anything But Words.” It took a few times to listen through to wrap my head around exactly what I was hearing. Not to imply that’s bad, it’s actually quite good. Banks’ vocal style mixed with RZA’s rapping over guitars and 8-bit sound bites and electronics made for a most unique listening experience. Couple this with guest appearances from Florence Welch, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Kool Keith, and Masta Killah, and you’ve got yourself an album the likes of which I’ve never really heard before.
And now for something completely different. Post-Hardcore masters of encouragement and self realization The Color Morale are back with “Desolate Divine.” Coming out just two years after their previous release “Hold On, Pain Ends,” The Color Morale show that they’ve got no plans of stopping anytime soon. I would go as far as saying that this band is easily my favorite of their genre, and I would be as bold to say that frontman Garret Rapp has the best voice to coincide. Rapp’s signature lyrical styling encourages the listener to not dwell on past mistakes and instead strive to overcome them. And hey, it makes for good circle pit music as well! “Desolate Divine” is another highlight to be added tot eh band’s already impressive catalog.
Another release on Epitaph records, emo heavy hitters Saosin reunite with original frontman Anthony Green to give us “Along the Shadow.” The band took this album as a chance to re-imagine themselves as a post-hardcore outfit, ditching the now outdated Emo genre. I know, two post-hardcore release in a row, but bare with me here. The genre switch really works for Green and the gang, as it shows the growth they’ve undergone not only musically, but personally as well. “Along the Shadow” opens up with the hard-hitting, yet musically satisfying “The Silver String,” and proceeds to do nothing but impress from then on. Personally, I rather enjoyed the track “Ideology is Theft” the most, but honestly the whole album is solid throughout.
To close us out, we’ve got the seventh studio album release from legendary Alternative band Taking Back Sunday. 2016 brings us “Tidal Wave” just two years after “Happiness Is” was released, and is brought to us by the band’s original lineup. Taking Back Sunday is one of those bands that have gotten significantly better with each album release, and “Tidal Wave” is no exception. With matured vocal stylings and that signature locked-in instrumentals, Taking Back Sunday prove once again that they’ve earned their place in music history. The opening track “Death Wolf” is exactly as intense as it sounds, and reminds me of the type of tune I’d play at the local pool hall with my friends on a late Sunday night. There is a variety of ups and downs throughout the entirety of the album, but never once does it waiver from TBS’ signature sound.
Well, that does it for album reviews for now. What are some of your favorites that have come out this year?