Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top EPs and 7" singles of 2011

In continuing with our year end Best Of special, today we're reviewing the best EP's, splits and 7" releases of 2011. So much great music was put out in the last 12 months that it was hard to really break it down to the Top 10 releases. But I had to do just that. So many great bands and releases. Some bands are well known. Some are up and comers who happened to release some really amazing material this past year. Here are some of our personal favorites from this year. Again, it's not ALL punk please be kind. I hope you'll check out these bands and show some support for some really talented musicians.

1 - Teenage Bottlerocket - "Mutilate Me" 7"
This band just keeps getting better and better with every release. And this 3 song 7" is no exception. From the ode to bondage title track to the bands AMAZING cover of Bad Religions "Henchmen", it's just wall to wall greatness. The band is really on fire here. I can only imagine the next release (due out in 2012) will be just as powerful and riff heavy.

2 -
Kurt Baker - "Rocking For A Living"
If Kurt Baker were born 20 years earlier he would have been a huge in the post punk/new wave scene of the early 80's. And this 6 song EP is proof. This guy has hooks for miles. His Elvis Costello and Off Broadway influence is so obvious, but he's in a class all his own. This young man has a bright future ahead of him! And I can't wait to hear more.

3 -
About The Mess - "Anthem Of Imperfection"
ATM is one of Chicago's best kept secrets! A powerhouse band full of talent and originality. They have a style and sound that's new and refreshing. Check these guys out now! They won't stay unknown for much longer.

4 -
Mixtapes - "Hope Is For People"
Nobody can harmonize the way Ryan Rockwell and Maura Weaver do on the EP. Add to that smart, funny lyrics and catchy pop punk and you have a modern day classic. So good!

5 -
The Enders - "Stop This/Static"
Hardcore is alive and well on this 7" single from Lafayette, Indiana's favorite son's. Raw, heavy and aggressive is the order of the day here. If you like it hard and fast, this will be right up your alley!

6 -
The Larroquettes - "Quartet Loser"
Garage rock that would make Iggy & The Stooges proud. Bad ass and riff heavy. A real win win!

7 -
Red Novella - "Red Novella"
Red Novella isn't a punk rock band. They play metal. Not Nu Metal, or old school metal. It's melodic without being corny. Hard without being TOO hard. And vocalist
Jameel Lawson is one of the best metal singers to come out of the Chicagoland area in many years. And the live show is second to none! Do yourself a favor and check these guys out.

8 -
The Mustard Men - "Snuff EP"
THIS is snotty punk rock that'll kick your ass up, down, sideways and back again. Funny and obnoxious in a good way. Some people may not get the joke. But if you don't have a sense of humor you have no right listening to punk in the first place. Such a great band.

9 -
The Flips - "Damn You & Damn Me, Too"
I've always been a sucker for great riff driven so called "alternative" music. And The Flips are a great mix of Silversun Pickups and The Lemonheads. It's got the power and passion in the music that will grab you and hold you in a trance until the end. I can't say enough great things about this band.

10 -
UGLYBoNES - "Die Partying EP"
Another great hardcore band that will tear your face off with power and intensity. Hardcore can be either great or shitty. Thankfully UGLYBoNES has it down to a science and does it right!

Honorable mentions that just BARELY missed the Top 10.

About The Mess - "Give Me The Mic, I'm Drunk Already"
This live EP was the debut release from ATM. Such a great little piece of live music that showcase how great the band sounds live. The energy and the chops are there in full force. Seriously, you NEED to see this band!

Sundials/Caves - split 7"
2 songs each from a couple of my favorite new bands. If you know either of these bands, you'll know what to expect. Honest lyrics with energetic music. A great split worthy of anyone's record collection.


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