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|My Top 10 of 2011|
Haven't made a list in a while and might as well make my top records rof 2011.
Give Me Rest
I first learned about this band from Solace?s studio video (Misery
Signals frontman Karl Schubach?s solo project). The vocalist from Hands,
Shane Oschner, was featured on the studio. He only had one line
but his scream intrigued me. It so happens that Hands was releasing a new
album at the time I watched the video. I listened to the single and it gave
me a Misery Signals feel (which is one of my favorite bands). I purchased
the album when it came out and by the end of it I was blown away.
Shane?s vocals have a lot of variety, he has a low growl (similar to that of
Karl Schubach), a mid cry (the one he utilize in Solace?s video), and above
this he can sing, and even varies his singing. The atmospheric and melodic
guitars coupled with his voice gives you an uplifting feel (see Jovian). The
drums stay reserved, as does most of the album, but they know when to
let loose (see Cube) and know how to build up to a crushing ending (see
The Helix, Water). Once you reach the last song, you don?t get a
culmination of the album?s sound, you get a sense of ending, giving the
album a packaged feel, making it seem?complete.
Listen and Forgive
Transit, Transit, Transit. Their popularity is ever-growing, and for good
reason: Non-stop touring and non-stop releases. With Listen and Forgive,
you realize the progression they?ve made and how much they?ve matured
from This Will Not Define Us, and even the hardcore-tinged Stay Home EP.
They?ve turned into an alternative/indie/emo type of band while still
retaining elements of their core pop punk sound. You can see this in the
first song, soft guitar, melodies, piano, acoustic guitar. Also, Joe has taken
most of the vocal duties while Tim has less parts, but that further exposes
the improvement in Joe?s voice.
|3||The Story So Far|
Under Soil and Dirt
This album is pop punk gold; catchy songs, relatable lyrics, and the
powerful voice of Parker Cannon. While high-pitched, Parker?s voice isn?t
whiny like most pop punk and it actually has some strength behind it,
making you want to sing along with him to the too-honest lyrics he is
belting out, making this one of the definitive summer pop punk releases.
|4||The Dangerous Summer|
The story of a man who goes through shit; that?s the concept of War Paint.
It has something that everyone can relate to. Frontman AJ has one of the
most distinctive voices ever, although not 100% understandable. To truly
understand this album, you need to read the lyrics while listening. The
echoey, distorted guitars give the album an atmospheric, indie-rock-ish feel,
perfect for a summer release.
|5||The Devin Townsend Project|
THE most relaxing, soothing thing I?ve heard in my life. Fact.
The Current Will Carry Us
Turning from a melodic metalcore band on Prophets, they?ve changed to a
more hardcore sound while still retaining the melody, and of course, the
passion. While they seem to take ideas from other bands (see Reflection,
tell me one of the chord progressions doesn?t sound like the one in The
Commentator?s Despair by 7A7P), they change it in a way that fits their
sound. In the first song, you?re treated to an onslaught of passionate
hardcore which paves the way for an album that trumps other bands in the
melodic hardcore scene.
House of Balloons
It was hard choosing between this and Echoes of Silence, but I?ve had
almost all year to listen to House of Balloons, so that won. Abel?s soothing
voice coupled with the eerie R&B beats fused with indie-rock/indie-pop
influence make for a very intriguing album. The lyrics deal with the party life,
while I?m not into that myself, it was interesting listening to another man?s
story who is associated with that.
|8||Stray From the Path|
One of my favorite bands, if not my favorite (they?ve played Syracuse 3
times this year, usually the same bands don?t come around here that often,
and they?re coming again in February), it was obvious they would be on
here. A continuation of Make Your Own History, SFTP sheds light on the
shitty metalcore scene (see iMember) and even music in general (see Bring
It Back to the Streets). While not as good as MYOH in my opinion, it still
packs a punch, they?re passionate about what they do, and they?re not
afraid to shit talk about bands they despise.
|9||The Dear Hunter|
The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)
What else can be said about this that hasn?t already been said? The fact
that Casey made this many songs in that amount of time is a credible feat
|10|| ||Couldn't pick #10|
It's between a number of albums, including The Swellers's Good For Me,
Polar Bear Club's Clash Battle Guilt Pride, I Am the Avalanche's Avalanche