I’ll say it here, for all the complaints people have for 2017, and I have a couple of my own, the Arizona music scene is strong. They are killing it in this last year. It made my choices tough. Fighting the urge to make it the longest list since 2016, I have cut it down to my top 10 local Phoenix and Arizona band albums. You can see my genre of preference in it, but I’m sure you will find surprises. So without further adieu…
- Alex Squared “Mexican Fishing Tricks”
This last minute release came in swinging, knocking Cockswain out of the ten. It showcases Alex Squared’s broad range from screaming lyrics, hardcore punk style, to slowing it down for an acoustic guitar personal song. There is an in between that brings in catchy punk lyrics, sung in pitch too. All of this package done in a great sounding album.
- The Father Figures “Heavy Lifting”
This is my first full Father Figures album I have picked up. “Heaving Lifting” is a heavily political, well written album pushing the messages that have only been magnified in 2017. With these lyrics and the musical talents of this local superband, I am not surprised one bit that “Heaving Lifting” hits this strong.
- Dadadoh “Can’t Rap Forever”
Dadadoh’s album shows a broad stroke of blending genres. One track could be leaning more hip hop, while on the next track he busts into punk and garage rock. He is able to bridge the genres with fantastic skill for one of my favorite albums to listen to this year.
- Twin Ponies “Twin Ponies”
In a list dominated by punk rock, Twin Ponies bring me an album that is a blend of excellent instrumentals and vocals from the Alternative Rock genre. A little slower at times, but can find it a bit rocking too. Their self-titled album is one great to just sit, listen to, and zone out the world.
- Corky’s Leather Jacket “Absolute Power”
This album I love for its raw energy through the songs. It feels like a love letter written by guys who have grown up on punk rock. Political and personal views making you want to thrash around while listening. It comes across loud and clear on this.
- The Linecutters “Anthill”
In their first full release on Slope Records, the quality shines in the Linecutters’ music. It is a little hardcore punk, a little ska, and just a fucking well produced album. The talent that created a cannonball size splash into the Phoenix scene for the band is only reinforced by the fantastic songs they have written for this album.
- First or Last “…Kinda, But Seriously”
FoL hits with a strongly written get your body moving album. More impressive is you have an album where different members take lead vocals on different songs with no drop in quality or cohesion of songs. This album’s catchy tunes, like “Not Today,” just leave the album bouncing around my head.
- Exxxtra Crispy “They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is But It Do”
This is a band unabashed about singing about sex and drugs. They aren’t going to let anyone censor them. Exxxtra Cripsy brings this garage rock sound and crashes it into punk and ska. The energy on this album makes me want to bounce around just listening to it.
- Kill Your TV “Gas Mask”
This album may only be a four song EP, but the first day I had it I enjoyed it so thoroughly that it was looping for two hours. I fucking love the energy. I fucking love the rebellion in their tone. I fucking love the entire punk rock album. I can’t wait to hear what they do to fill a full LP.
- Playboy Manbaby “Don’t Let It Be”
Not only is this my favorite local album of the year, it is among my top listened to albums on the year in whole. Playboy Manbaby’s songwriting shines on this album. It brings a political and personal angle with each song. Touching on things a lot of us go through in life with a sarcastic dressing and energy. “Don’t Let It Be” is a unique sound that is mostly covered by calling it punk rock, but with a flavor of their own.
Honorable Mentions with more of 2017’s amazing music include: Contradiktion “Self Made Disaster,” The Venomous Pinks “We Do It Better,” Cockswain “For the Whiskey,” Captain Squeegee “Harmony Cure,” Mega Ran “Extra Credit,” Skull Drug “Sinful Life,” Mind Upside “Stuck in the Web,” Manual Sex Drive “So Much For the Tolerant Left,” Ghost in the Willow “Missing Persons,” Good Rust “Good Rust,” Painting Fences “Lay It On the Line,” Perfect Sense “Out To the World,” Manic Monkeys “Business,” General Anxiety “Self Harm,” American Standards “Anti-Melody,” Mr. Incommunicado “Flud,” Ass Wipe Junkies “Sounds From the Junky Cave,” and plenty more. It was was a great year of local music in 2017!