We’re hitting the end of one more trip around the sun, and you know what that means…. time for the mandatory best of 2016 wrap up. I’m not going to go on endlessly with some hyperbole about how this was the worst year ever because I think that well has pretty much been run dry. 2016 had its ups and downs, but if you are reading this you are still alive, which means this year couldn’t have been all that bad. 2016 definitely had some extreme low points but it also saw me get married, Golden Pelicans return to the west coast, the Final Fuck Off, a honeymoon in Puerto Rico, and another year of great music. Here’s a list of my favorite non Total Punk tracks to come out in 2016.
Counter Intuits- Sunglasses After Death (MonosyllabillyLP / Pyramid Scheme)
You guys can keep mourning all the celebrities we lost in 2016, but I’ll be celebrating that we still have artist as amazing as Ron House in our ranks and that at 60 years old he is writing his best stuff yet.
Dance Asthmatics- PG (Lifetime of Secretion 12”/ Ever/ Never)
This band went from being completely off my radar to filling the entire screen with the release of “Lifetime of Secretion.” Lurching hypnotic rhythms that sound like they come from the deepest depths of the ocean. I could have just as easily picked “Liquid Lunch” but PG’s hook is too undeniable to pass up. My only complaint is that this song isn’t three times longer because I could honestly get lost in it for hours. 2016 was a great year for Ever/ Never.
Rik & The Pigs- Life’s A Bust (Life’s A Bust 7”/ Feel It)
In case you haven’t noticed I’m a big supporter of Rik & The Pigs and “Life’s A Bust” is my favorite song of his yet. A loose slow-driving jammer that stands tall with “Sewercide” as one of my favorite downer punk tunes of all time. Also Michael Liebman's guitar playing on both this and the newest Total Punk single is absolutely scorching. LP coming in 2017 on Total Punk
Andy Human & The Reptoids- Sarcastic (Sarcastic 7”/ Goodbye Boozy)
My most listened to song of 2016 as anyone who went to Denise and I's DJ night can attest because it got played nearly every week. Sax filled space punk ala Von LMO. The LP on S-S was great but this single and the Tour Tape that followed have me very excited for Andy and his Reptoids.
Primetime- Pervert (Going Places 7”/ La Vida Est un Mus)
I was late to the party because Primetime put out an equally awesome 7” in 2014 (also on La Vide Es Un Mus and also still available). If like me, you hadn’t been paying attention it’s time to take note because this band is seriously addictive and “Pervert” is their best track yet. I’m a sucker for song stops and this song uses them to great effect. Killer all female Rough Trade style punk with great songwriting. The band is currently on hiatus (I know this because I went all goo-goo over them and asked to put out a single), but hopefully 2017 will see them reform and send me a single. Also I'm currently out of both 7"s but have copies of both on their way to me.
Cowboys- She Wants to Be French (S/T LP/ Lumpy Records)
Golden Pelicans played with these guys in Bloomington a few years back. I thought they were great then, but it wasn’t till after seeing them, after listening to the record over and over again, that it was really drilled into my head just how fantastic of a band they are. These guys have the pre-punk Midwest thing nailed down, Keith’s got a voice that could stand with Chris Bailey's, and “She Wants to Be French” has some of my favorite lyrics of the year.
Whipper- Chase the Rainbow (Shit Love 7”/ Aarght!)
A total ripper from Whipper. An Australian power trio featuring members of Cuntz, and Bits of Shit that should be turning way more heads. All three tracks on this 7” are killer but “Chase the Rainbow” is a full throttle rocker and has become a DJ staple. I hear talk of an LP in 2017!
THE WORLD- Managerial Material (Managerial Material 7"/ Upset The Rhythm)
The World makes really catchy post punk that makes you want to dance. Bouncy bass lines, simplistic drum beats, warbly female vocals, and a dual sax attack! What's not to love? One of the most instantly catchy tracks of 2016.
Midnight Mines- Artificial Light (If You Can’t Find a Partner Use a Wooden Chair LP/Mystery Plane)
First vinyl release from Lemmy Caution’s (Black Time) latest project. The whole record is phenomenal but there wasn’t another song released in 2016 that put me in my happy place quite like “Artificial Light.” (skip to track 3)
Perverts Again- Brute in The Bathroom (Our Big Party 12”/ Non-Commercial)
“Our Big Party” is aptly titled because it became the late-night party record of choice at the Total Punk residence. They also have the best mascot going in all of modern rock. Grade A weirdo hardcore from Cleveland. It’s hard to pick a favorite because it’s so solid start to finish, but “Brute in The Bathroom” probably gets stuck in my head the most. Sadly, only 300 were pressed and all are gone, but I highly suggest tracking down a copy for yourself.
Well here end's the last transmission of 2016. Thanks for the good times and good tunes. See you in 2017