5. Moving Mountains – Waves
This was album was at the top of my list for nearly half a year, until the last minute rush of albums in 2011. I don’t think I listened to any album this year as much as I did Waves. While many complain over the fact that the group dropped their post-rock stylings, Greg Dunn and co. have never sounded better and wrote some of the more touching songs this year.
4. Thrice – Major/Minor
You know it’s a good year for music when a Thrice record is released and it’s fourth on my EOTY list. And not just any Thrice record, but one of their best. The mix of their former heaviness with the groove that they found on Beggars makes for a near-perfect record. And with their recent hiatus, it makes the album that much bittersweet, though it’s good to know they went out on a high note.
3. Transit – Listen & Forgive
So yeah, I basically said everything I need to right here. This is the best pop-punk album of the year. I don’t think there is a single singer in music this year that has improved more than Joe Boynton. And if you don’t swoon over the guitar riffs from Tim Landers and Torre Cioffi, then I don’t even know what to say to you.
2. Defeater – Empty Days & Sleepless Nights
This album is the one that took the most time to grow on me. But once it did, I fell in love. With the brutal storyline driving the electric, hardcore portion of the album, Derek Archambault solidified himself as one of the forefront lyrcisits in music. And he isn’t a slouch at singing, either. The guitar work from Jay Maas and Jake Woodruff also manage to set the tone for the aggressive album, while remaining clean in tone quite often. And with the acoustic tracks, the band became one of the more versatile groups from the scene.
1. The Horrible Crowes – Elsie
Do I even need to say anything else? This is an all-time album. Perfection.
Polar Bear Club – Clash Battle Guilt Pride
Death Cab For Cutie – Codes & Keys
Best Live Show:
The Felix Culpa (farewell), Monday’s Hero (reunion), Sainthood Reps, and El Oso (reunion) at The Metro, Chicago, IL on Dec. 9th
Bad Books – TBA