Now we come to the second of two lists, from listening to over 50 local releases. I posted up my 10 favorite local EP’s from that list, and now comes my top 10 favorite full length albums from the Phoenix music scene.
10. Off the Mark – Aging Disgracefully
This is another older band making a return, however I had not listened to last they were active. Their first track screams album anthem with the alternating guitar tones to begin. It leads into quality sung and played tracks. The album invokes similarities to sounds you would coming from a Face to Face or Strung Out. If this is their return, I can’t wait to see what is coming next from Off the Mark.
9. Teek Hall – The Living Daylights
Teek is an artist that I got introduced to through Mega Ran and my interesting in Nerdcore. This album is the more traditional Hip Hop. It shows me there are artists in the genre with lyrics I can get into without it being all nerdy topics. He hits on things that are smart. He raps about things like how he prefers a college educated woman against tropes people associate within other rap songs. In addition, this album is home to a favorite I have caught him perform in “Mr. T.” My music tastes continue to expand further, and Teek Hall’s The Living Daylights sits atop favorites as it grows.
8. Critical Miss – Anthropy
This is a prime example of why I waited until the end of 2018 to start considering my favorites of the year. Critical Miss in her debut album channels her inner punk and puts it to the folk tracks. Songs clearly inspired by life’s experiences that written into cleverly lyrics. They come through on one of the best recording mixes on this list. That’s not even including awesome tidbits like bringing in the legendary Chip Hanna on the couple drum tracks. Critical Miss’s debut is one I don’t think anyone should miss.
7. Fourbanger – Never Let Go
This album just screams quality. It makes me question how these guys are just local after all these years. They harness a talent that is up there with the big pop punk bands like New Found Glory and Assuming We Survive. You can hear it in these songs they know their way around with the instruments. Never Let Go is quite a big splash that Fourbanger makes with their latest album.
6. 2 Tone Lizard Kings – Robert Face Plant
Songs that they have been performing live for a while are finally out on a fantastic recording. This album hits all generations of the genre, from the reggae inspiring roots to the 2 Tone of their name meanwhile touching on the 3rd wave. The mix and sound of these recordings is refined and perfect. The 2 Tone Lizard Kings show what puts the “King” in their name on this one.
5. Playboy Manbaby – Boundless Vanity
It is strange to have one artist occupy two slots on this, but after listening to it many times, there is no way this one doesn’t sit high up on my favorites of the year. While edged out slightly to me by Lobotomobile, it ranks up there for the same reasons. “Personal Privacy” kicks you in the face with the perfect lead off track and the rest of the album doesn’t let me go until the exhilarating ride is over.
4. Sad Dance Party – Spontaneous Human Combustion
Sad Dance Party not only appeared on my radar in 2018, but they managed to put out a quality album. I describe the album as AJJ meets Dead Kennedys. Peter’s vocals give me a Sean, of AJJ vibe, with backing audio on the faster paced tracks reminiscing of Dead Kennedys. The couple acoustic tracks deliver strong despite the contrast of the faster songs on the same album. If this is a starting point, I can’t wait to see how they build on this.
3. Playboy Manbaby – Lobotomobile
With Playboy Manbaby responsible for my favorite local album of 2017, it shouldn’t shock you that they continue to produce music that I am left entranced with. It is full of a fantastic social commentary with a sarcastic overtone throughout their songs. Song favorites on this album include “Strange Plastic Surgery,” the perfect commentary of “Thoughts & Prayers,” and the unique sound of “The Fun.” It was only by a little that this one edged out their other full release in 2018.
2. Celebration Guns – (Probably) Worth It
This is an album that just the guitar chords being played will resonate and standout to my ear on tracks. Then there is the superb sound of the songs that keep me entranced with the album. It brings in an atmospheric feel while they let their sound go where they want to. The album, and the band, doesn’t seem confined by saying this is their defined genre. They are a little bit folk, a little bit rock ‘n roll, and a little bit alternative in one package.
1. Fairy Bones – 0% Fun
Fairy Bones delivers on my favorite local album of 2018. The sound on this album represents a maturation of their skills from instruments to song writing. Their last album felt like it jumped around with ideas where this one feels like one cohesive piece. Chelsey’s vocals continue to shine with the quality recording mix only bolstering the album. They manage to capture an indie and garage rock sound with just the right amount of pop in it.