Kids These Days
Tom on Warped Tour
The Laziest Gnome
Big Guy in Big Kid
9: Iron Reagan - Worse Than Dead
Before I had heard Iron Reagan I only listened to a single other thrash metal band, and that was Municipal Waste. Both bands have the same vocalist, so go figure! If you like your music loud and fast, be sure to check this album out.
8: Har Mar Superstar - Bye Bye 17
The ever talented Sean Tillman has many musical projects and has penned songs for some of your favorite artists, but I believe he’s at his best when releasing music under the Har Mar Superstar moniker. His 2004 album “The Handler” is one of my favorite albums of all time and while “Bye Bye 17” is a rather big departure from the super-pop sounds of the former, his songwriting skills and killer crooning abilities are all on display here. The record has a nice upbeat soul vibe to it and there’s a giant nod to “You Can’t Hurry Love” in here (Restless Leg) that is just as infectious as the original. Give it a damn spin!
7: Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy
When you spent as much time as I did playing video games in the 8-bit era the one thing that will forever stick with you is the music. There have been many wonderful chiptune artists to arise in the last decade or so (trust me, I have the iTunes library to prove it), but few do it with the true artistry that Anamanguchi does. This album will make you feel like you’re riding a unicorn around one of the Rainbow Road levels in Mario Kart, and I can almost guarantee you’ll love every twist and turn that comes your way.
6: Protest The Hero - Volition
I was recently tasked with having to describe Protest The Hero’s sound and I eventually arrived at the following: “They’re the culmination of everything that someone could love about metal.” It borders on power metal at times, there are breakdowns, brutal screaming, whirring guitars and a rhythm section that performs at breakneck speed. I am often surprised to find out that fans of metal haven’t checked this band out, so I consider them a hidden gem in the heavy music world. This album is “brighter” than their other offerings but it retains all the Protest trappings that make them so unique and wonderful.
5: Less Than Jake - See The Light
Not much needs to be said about this band. If you’re not a fan, it’s probably too late to fall in love with them (what is this now, the 10th ska revival era?) But, if you love them, this is their best album in years, easily their best since 2003’s Anthem. Catchy hooks and some of the best harmonies you’ll find in a punk band, this album will brighten up your day in a heartbeat.
4: Cartel - Collider
Talk about an underrated band! They’ve been victim to the major label machine. Essentially being chewed up and spit out in 2007 when their label suddenly realized they didn’t know how to market a power pop album. Cartel’s singer has one of the best set of pipes you’ll ever hear live and that translates to their albums just the same. They write some of the catchiest songs around and they didn’t stop with this album.
3: Tyler, The Creator - Wolf
I had written Tyler, The Creator off as a one-trick pony after his disappointing sophomore album, Goblin, but this album put him back in my good graces upon first listen. It’s the exact album hip-hop needed in 2013 to make me forget how bad and unoriginal everything in the scene had become. Tyler displays amazing growth both lyrically and in his production on this album.
2: The Dillinger Escape Plan - One Of Us Is The Killer
This album is so crushingly brutal. It will leave you wondering what just happened when you’re done listening to it for the first time. This is possibly their best album to date and that is saying a lot for a band without a single miss in their catalog.
1: Paramore - Paramore
There aren’t enough proper words to express the joy this album makes me feel. There are enough hooks on this thing to make a fisherman jealous and the production is pristine and crunchy all at once. There is a heavy 90’s influence on this album that really whets my appetite. I still can’t put this album down, as it’s the most feel-good record I’ve heard in a long time. Do yourself a favor and give this album a listen, you may just find yourself singing along in your car with a big smile stuck on your face.
Dewy Mac With The Sticky Raps
TreeJ Gone Vertical
Neiman Marcus Swag