2019: Tom's Top Ten

by Tom Haugen

I have to say, I was fairly underwhelmed with most new music being made in 2019. Not that there weren't great records released this year, of course, but I had to wade through so much mediocrity to find something truly exceptional. Here are the 10 best releases I tracked down, in no particular order:

badluck_drugphase_150

Bad Luck – Drug Phase

A fairly obscure outfit who blend punk, indie-rock, alt-rock, and rock 'n' roll in ways that would have the 25 year old me dedicating my undying adoration for, the 43 year old me is still quite impressed.

cranberries_intheend_150

The Cranberries – In The End

Though I was only a casual listener of The Cranberries in their heyday, I found myself really taken by the power and melody on this abrasive yet gentle final album.

 theprozacs_ambivalence_150

The Prozacs – Ambivalence

Pop-punk is the sub-genre that, thankfully, refuses to go away, and New England's The Prozacs has been doing it as well as anyone for nearly 20 years now. Here, they return with their sing-alongs, snotty vocals, and buzzing guitar work in top notch form that will be get your Chuck's tapping and your head bobbin'.

 mekons_desrted_150

Mekons – Deserted

I don't feel I'm in the minority when I say that anything Jon Langford does is gold, and this outing from Mekons might be their most adventurous yet in their 40+ year existence.

 imperialteen_nowweare_150

Imperial Teen – Now We Are Timeless

A supergroup of members from Faith No More, Sister Double Happiness, The Wrecks, and hey willpower, Imperial Teen have been milling around the indie-pop scene for 20+ years now. This sixth album has the outfit getting friendly with electro pop, psyche rock, and retro sounds, and is sure to satiate any fan of power pop and New Wave, too.

va_onefamilyoneflag_150


Various Artists – One Family. One Flag

The Various Artists record – the death knell for leftover/unusable songs or the chance to discover previously hidden greatness? Well, in this case, it's some of the biggest and best names in today's punk scene doing what they do best, including Off With Their Heads, Bishops Green, and Territories, to name a few. The Cock Sparrer tune alone is worth the price of admission.



 onesie_umpteenth_150

Onesie – Umpteenth

Fantastic '90s college rock tunes from Brooklyn, this trio knows their way around guitar work that gets jangly, powerful, and punchy in this throwback gem. Remember how you felt the first time you heard Teenage Fanclub? Well, prepare to revisit that feeling.

theviciouscycles_motorcycho_150 
The Vicious Cycles – Motorcycho

More greatness from Canada, The Vicious Cycles brings hooks, melodies, and sing-alongs in spades on this garage rock, proto-punk, and gritty masterpiece. 

gregantitsa_shake_150

Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets – Shake, Stomp And Stumble

An outfit with an impressive resume in the area of Southern California Punk Rock, Antista and company are no strangers to rockabilly, twang, and pop punk on this varied and playful record. The best moment, though, is their tribute to Steve Soto (Agent Orange, Adolescents), who passed away in 2018.

peterlaughner_s-t_150

Peter Laughner – Peter Laughner

Though he died in the late '70s at just 24 years old, Cleveland's Peter Laughner left a lot of work to be preserved on this five disc box set. An extremely raw, expressive, and often primitive collection, Laughner's folk tendencies are explored thoroughly across these 50+ tunes.


 


All content © The Daily Vault unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article or any portion thereof without express written consent of The Daily Vault is prohibited. Album covers are the intellectual property of their respective record labels, and are used in the context of reviews and stories for reference purposes only.