5. Dead and Divine – Antimacy
Dead and Divine’s third album is them at their most mature (and most angry). Every single song is a brutal, intelligent punch, with lyrical content ranging from lost love to the hypocrisy of religion. Dead and Divine is certainly not for everyone, but for those looking for post-hardcore that’s a little more outside the box (think Every Time I Die with less insanity) and not afraid of its own convictions, this may be the album for you.
4. I Am Abomination – Passion of the Heist
I Am Abomination’s intriguing EP about Jesus being abducted by aliens, and then transformed into an alien, and then leading an invasion on humanity is eerily brilliant. The band has taken concept to a whole new level, making the story a part of every instrument; a part of every vocal delivery. Even if you’re not sold on the lyrical content, listen for the amazing and intricate guitar work. It’s an experience in itself.
3. A Lot Like Birds – Conversation Piece
Blending the insanity of his days with Dance Gavin Dance with a newfound emotional center, Kurt Travis shines on this album, lyrically and vocally. But it’s the rest of the band, who manage to keep up with Travis’s unique and beautifully odd vocals, that really shines here. Conversation Piece should place A Lot Like Birds on the map, and set them on the road to bittersweet, emotional glory.
2. The Wonder Years – Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing
My favorite pop-punk album of the year, perhaps ever created. This album spoke to me in ways that no album ever has before. The lyrics seem to invite us into Dan “Soupy” Campbell’s own personal life to share his woes, demons, struggles, and resilience as a human being. It’s an incredibly open and emotional experience. This is an album, whether you like pop punk or not, to be experienced.
1. La Dispute – Wildlife
The biggest, and most emotionally packed album of the year, possibly in quite a few years, Wildlife transcends your basic post-hardcore album. Every song is a story, and every story is a haunting and sad and overwhelming display of brilliance. La Dispute has more than topped their acclaimed debut Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair, they’ve created a piece of art that should put other acts in their genre to shame, and set the bar for every aspiring band to rise to one day: a pure and balanced album that tells heart wrenching stories, with the musical talent to back it up.