January 2017 Alt Col Picks

janpicks

A bunch of great albums appeared in January, so here are our favorite releases of the month! (In no particular order.)

  • As It Is – Okay.

As It Is expertly avoids a sophomore slump with Okay., a pop punk album that evidently displays the band’s maturation and improvement in lyricism, musicianship, and vocal delivery. Patty Walters has toned down the nasal aspect of his voice, and guitarist Ben Biss also contributes some stellar vocals throughout the record. Standout tracks include the singles, “Hey Rachel,” “Soap,” and “Until I Return.” Okay. will appeal to fans of State Champs, Real Friends, and Neck Deep.

  • Starset – Vessels

The galactic, cinematic style of Starset is expanded upon in their second full-length, Vessels. The four-piece efficiently blends rock, electronic, and orchestral inflections to create an interstellar masterpiece that transports listeners out of this world. Vessels is mesmerizing and captivating and reaches for the stars. Standout tracks include “Monster,” “Satellite,” and “Die For You.” Vessels is sure to attract followers of Crown the Empire, Falling In Reverse, and Red.

  • Dryjacket – For Posterity

Dryjacket’s first long-player For Posterity is a solid debut characterized by twinkling guitar melodies and energetic percussion with soaring brasswinds. It offers enough angst to be labeled pop punk and enough eccentricity to be considered indie rock. Standout tracks include “Epi Pen Pals,” “Misused Adrenaline,” and “Two Toasters.” For Posterity will capture listeners of Driver Friendly, Glass Towers, and Bayside.

  • Colony House – Only the Lonely

Alt-rockers Colony House return for a smashing sophomore album that proves their musical prowess and lyrical aptitude. Only the Lonely provides danceable rock anthems and earnestly heartfelt ballads defined by amped-up guitars and boisterous drumming. Standout tracks include “Cannot Do This Alone,” “1234,” “You & I,” and “I Want It All.” Only the Lonely is sure to interest fans of Fatherson, Relient K, and Finish Ticket.

  • WSTR – Red, Green, or In Between

The debut full-length, Red, Green, or In Between, from WSTR (pronounced Waster) is sure to fit in the music library of any pop punk fan. While the similarities to other acts *cough* Neck Deep *cough* are painfully evident, WSTR does bring their own flavor to the classic formula and sound. Standout tracks include “Featherweight,” “Footprints,” and “Lonely Smiles.” Red, Green, or In Between will appeal to followers of Neck Deep, Face Value, and State Champs.

  • One Ok Rock – Ambitions

After touring with the wildly popular 5 Seconds of Summer, One Ok Rock, a Japanese rock band, has put out a fabulous LP outlined by elements of rock and ardent libretto. Ambitions implements fiery orchestral articulations and lofty vocals to craft a delightful rock album with plenty to offer. Standout tracks include “Take What You Want,” “Taking Off,” and “We Are.” Ambitions is bound to attract listeners of Sum 41, A Day to Remember, and Rise Against.

  • The xx – I See You

The xx return to craft their third ethereal indie pop record that melds euphoric production and a dark aesthetic together for one enjoyable listen. With nearly five years separating I See You from its predecessor Coexist, The xx have surely matured and reached a point of self-transcendence musically. Standout tracks include “Say Something Loving,” “I Dare You,” and “On Hold.” I See You will capture fans of Oh Wonder, Lorde, and Broods.

  • Deaf Havana – All These Countless Nights

Image result for deaf havana all these countless nights

Nostalgic songwriting and savory musicianship are highlighted on Deaf Havana’s latest long-player, All These Countless Nights. Catchy as hell melodies coupled with impassioned lyricism makes for an infectiously delectable record from start to finish. Standout tracks include “Trigger,” “Like a Ghost,” and “Ashes, Ashes.” All These Countless Nights is sure to satisfy followers of Mallory Knox, The Gaslight Anthem, and Lonely the Brave.

  • Palisades – Palisades

Palisades’s self-titled album proves the band has certainly matured and found an alluring balance in their musicality. The assertive style and atmospheric rock is embellished all throughout the record and underlined by the mix of clean vocals and vigorous screams. Standout tracks include “Let Down,” “Aggression,” and “Memories.” Palisades will surely entertain listeners of Issues, Crown the Empire, and Bring Me the Horizon.

  • Greywind – Afterthoughts

Enticing vocal performance and captivating choruses shape Afterthoughts, the audacious full-length debut by rock duo Greywind. Enchanting guitar refrains and luscious percussion show Greywind is here to make a name for themselves, and they’re off to a fantastic start with this refreshing debut. Standout tracks include “Afterthoughts,” “Forest Ablaze,” and “Car Spin.” Afterthoughts is bound to please fans of Fort Hope, Mallory Knox, and Hey Vanity.


Honorable Mentions
  • As Lions – Selfish Age

Standout tracks include “Aftermath,” “Deathless,” and “World On Fire.” For fans of I Prevail, Memphis May Fire, and Of Mice & Men.

  • Clouds Nothings – Life Without Sound

Standout tracks include “Modern Act,” “Enter Entirely,” and “Up to the Surface.” For fans of Wavves, Neon Indian, and Local Natives.

  • Foxygen – Hang

Standout tracks include “On Lankershim,” “Follow the Leader,” and “Avalon.” For fans of Real Estate, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Woods.

  • Horse Thief – Trials & Truths

Standout tracks include “Another Youth,” “Empire,” and “Mountain Town.” For fans of Glass Oaks, Fossil Collective, Half Moon Run, and Gideon Grove.

  • Under Fire – Blackout (EP)

Standout tracks include “Blackout,” “Paralyzed,” and “Set Adrift,” but the whole EP is fantastic! For fans of State Champs, The Story So Far, and Knuckle Puck. Keep an eye on this band!

  • Bitter Thieves – Alluvium

Standout tracks include “Parade,” “Dissolution,” and “Lore.” For fans of … well. You’re just gonna have to check it out for yourself because Alluvium is really something else.

  • Gone Is Gone – Echolocation

Standout tracks include “Sentient,” “Dublin,” and “Echolocation.” For fans of Big Business, Deftones, and Redfang.


Let us know what you think of January’s releases down in the comments below!

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November 2016 Alt Col Picks

novpicks

Many great releases appeared in November this year, so here are our favorite albums of the month! (In no particular order.)

  • Waterparks – Double Dare

Waterparks, hailing from Houston, Texas, is known for efficiently blending electronic elements and high-energy pop rock, and the amalgam continues on their full-length debut album, Double Dare. The pop punk luster is not covered up by the computerized components, but is instead perfectly complemented. Standout tracks include “Stupid for You,” “Hawaii (Stay Awake),” and “Royal.” Double Dare will attract fans of State Champs, As It Is, and With Confidence.

  • Highly Suspect – The Boy Who Died Wolf

The hard rock and bluesy accents of Highly Suspect’s abilities are capitalized upon in this mesmerizing, head-bobbing release. The Boy Who Died Wolf showcases a rollicking yet leisurely approach to crisp, amplified guitar work and smooth percussion. Standout tracks include “My Name Is Human,” “Little One,” and “Serotonia.” The Boy Who Died Wolf is sure to appeal to listeners of Deftones, The Pretty Reckless, and Evans Blue.

  • Masketta Fall – Golden

A sheer pop band, Masketta Fall has begun moving away from the rockier sound of their 2012 release Something Beautiful to a more radio-friendly style leaning heavy on the pop side. And hey, don’t let that turn you away from checking this album out! Guitars are still prevalent and amped up, even if the pop aspects shine through. Standout tracks include “Mercedes,” “Defenceless,” and “Butterflies.” Golden will interest followers of The Vamps, The Summer Set, and Crash the Party.

  • Black Box Warning – Black Box Warning

Album art.jpegThe debut self-titled long-player from metal band Black Box Warning has something for every rock fan: breakdowns, screams, clean vocals, and deep lyrics. The stellar musicianship and execution is simply something to marvel, and the emotional passion bolsters it even more. Standout tracks include “Nothing is Everything,” “Neon Mind,” and “Hypnagogia.” Black Box Warning will attract fans of Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Bullet For My Valentine.

  • Homesafe – Evermore

Looking for some decent pop punk to listen to? Well, here’s a great cut to come from November. Homesafe recrudesces with an 8-track album filled with solid rock jams and some of their best work to date. The crisp production and talent of this band refuses to be overlooked and begs for you to listen in. Standout tracks include “Float Away,” “Two (Bare) Hands,” and “Exoneration.” Evermore will certainly appeal to followers of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and Sleep On It.

  • Broken Back – Broken Back

Jérôme, under the stage name of Broken Back, debuts an electro indie folk album that surely leaves one scratching their head at how to properly label it… Broken Back fuses together many different styles to create a wonderful collection of upbeat earcandy displaying acoustic guitars, electronic principles, and raspy vocals. Standout tracks include “Lady Bitterness,” “Excuses,” and “Better Run.” Broken Back will interest listeners of The Shoes, ALB, and Mai Lan.

  • Summer Lights – From Start to Finish (EP)

Another great pop punk release, the From Start to Finish EP by Salt Lake City band Summer Lights boasts rock gravity and brilliance from start to finish. Hopefully these guys will hit it big in the scene soon because this EP deserves to be heard, and we can’t wait to hear more! Standout tracks include “With You” and “Pick Up the Pieces.” From Start to Finish is sure to attract fans of Sleep On It, Knuckle Puck, and You vs. Yesterday.

  • Royal Teeth – Amateurs (EP)

Smooth pop rock band Royal Teeth returns with Amateurs, an EP that proves they’re far more than just amateurs. With artwork that resembles this 5 Seconds of Summer photo, there’s no doubt this EP will capture an upbeat pop rock vibe that balances the two adjectives expertly. Standout tracks include “Kids Conspire,” “Only You,” and “Is It Just Me.” Amateurs will appeal to listeners of 5SOS, The Summer Set, and The Colourist.

  • The Griswolds – High Times for Low Lives

The Griswolds gained traction in the scene from touring with power pop band Walk the Moon and singles from their previous album, but hopefully this release will launch them farther into stardom! This LP is a masterpiece of alt-pop grandeur that you don’t wanna miss. Standout tracks include “Out of My Head,” “High Times for Low Lives,” and “Feels So Right.” High Times for Low Lives will interest followers of POP ETC, Passion Pit, and Neon Trees.

  • Heavy English – Pop Wasteland

Pop Wasteland, the debut full-length from New York City trio Heavy English, boasts various styles and approaches all in the vein of glossy alt-rock that packs a punch. From the denser, darker guitar melodies of “Black Dog” to the buoyant beat of “21 Flights,” this album truly has a lot to offer. Standout tracks include “21 Flights,” “Black Dog,” and “Washed Up Tongue.” Pop Wasteland is sure to attract fans of The Dear Hunter, White Arrows, and NGHBRS.

  • Half Hearted – Terrified (EP)

Half Hearted utilizes clean vocals and impassioned screams to develop contrast on their latest EP, Terrified. The hooky guitar melodies are hauntingly unblemished and the overall musical ability of this group is enthralling. Poignant lyricism and a desire to capture the listener certainly pay off amazingly well. Standout tracks include “Terrified,” “Ghosts,” and “Storm Chaser,” but honestly, the entire EP is fantastic! Terrified will interests listeners of Currents, Wage War, and Beartooth.

  • Woes – Woes (EP)

Pop punk done right yet again! Woes debuts with the 5-track self-titled extended play that is bound to get stuck in your head. While some lyrics are cheesy and troubadouric, this youthfully energetic EP still shines and will fit comfortably in the library of any pop punk fan. Standout tracks include “Winter Sun” and, well, the entire EP! Woes will appeal to followers of Knuckle Puck, Neck Deep, and State Champs.


Honorable Mentions
  • Icon for Hire – You Can’t Kill Us

Standout tracks include “Supposed to Be,” “You Can’t Kill Us,” “War,” and “Get Well II.” For fans of Tonight Alive, Digital Daggers, and New Years Day.

  • DNCE – DNCE

Standout tracks include “Body Moves,” “Truthfully,” “Good Day,” and “Be Mean.” For fans of Maroon 5, Olly Murs, and Set It Off. (Upside Down era.)

  • An Untold Sadness – Sonorous

Standout tracks include “The Truth,” “What of Your Riches?,” “This Far, and No Further,” and “Flowers.” For fans of Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and Crown the Empire.

  • Cold Collective – Through w/ That (EP/Single)

coldStandout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Through w/ That.” For fans of Transit, Man Overboard, and Misser.

  • pronoun – There’s no one new around you. (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “a million other things.” For fans of Knox Hamilton, A Silent Film, and Summer Camp.

  • The Japanese House – Swim Against the Tide (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Good Side In.” For fans of Hayley Kiyoko, Scavenger Hunt, and Summer Camp.

  • Ready to Fire – Satellites (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Nerve.” For fans of 5 Seconds of Summer, Paramore, and All Time Low.


Let us know what you think of November’s releases down in the comments below!