As you get older you’ll hear people say things like “music today isn’t what it used to be” or “bands now a days don’t do it right” — we beg to differ. If anything, music in 2014 has been better than ever, and the following list is a testament to that. Here are our favorite releases that came out this year; it includes a few EPs and a handful of albums that showcase truly amazing work. Thanks to all these bands for giving our ears something fun to get off to.
We have a feeling that 2015 is going to be a big year for Chon. The band recently inked a deal with Sumerian Records and they’re at work on their debut album which is expected out early next year. This EP is a precursor or sorts — it includes six tracks of instrumental goodness, and one that actually has vocals on it. Take a spin. It may actually make you say Woohoo!
09. UNITED NATIONS
The Next Four Years
It’s about time this record made its way to shelves. The long-awaited album from United Nations, a project featuring former Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly, had endless setbacks and complications. But boy did it deliver. This collection of songs will steal your breath and make you grit your teeth for 30 minutes. And that’s a good thing.
08. NO MACHINE
Somehow Billy Rhymer & co. always end up making our end of the year lists. If you remember, we put NK at #2 on our list in 2013, and this year is no different. This NK offshoot has loads of chemistry and their EP shows that they’ve indeed got their shit together. The only bummer with the release is that it’s so short (clocking in at 10 minutes)! Please put out more.
07. RX BANDITS
Gemini, Her Majesty
(Mash Down Babylon)
Rx Bandits get more impressive with age. Far removed from their ska origins in the mid-90s, RXB’s highly anticipated follow-up to Mandala demonstrates just how much the band has evolved over the years into a phenomenal powerhouse. From start to finish, the album grabs your attention and mesmerizes you with its catchy hooks and Fugazi-esque energy. Listen to it all right meow.
06. SILVER SNAKES
Year of the Snake
If you come to our site often, you know we’ve been on the Silver Snakes bandwagon for quite a while. And with good reason. Dark, moody and 90s-inspired, the sophomore album from this Los Angeles band will infect you with its venom for weeks after a first listen. We have a feeling they’re going to gain a lot of steam in 2015, which means next year may actually be the year of the snake.
A Voice Within
Let’s be frank, we’re super bummed that Mike Semesky is no longer doing vocals for the band. We weren’t sure what to expect when they put him up to the mic, but were totally blown away when we heard this record. It’s like a heavy Emery without the Christian BS. And we’re into it.
In Humor and Sadness
Josh Scogin seems to have the magic touch for creating jams that connect with people. His first project since The Chariot disbanded, ’68 is a power duo that’s like The White Stripes on acid and a bunch of other drugs. Raw and organic, ’68’s music will absolutely make you want to 69.
Hey ladies, you may want to ditch your lover for a new boyfriend — or Boyfrndz, that is. These four dudes from Austin, Texas will make you swoon with the nine tracks that make up Breeder, their second full-length album that’s hypnotic and seductive. So stoked these guys got to tour with Palms this year, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2015.
If you’re looking for something to give the hairs on your arm an erection, stop what you’re doing right now and look no further. Along the lines of bands like HRVRD and Glassjaw, this Salt Lake City quintet blows everyone out of the water west of the Mississippi. The band are currently working on a full-length album, and our crystal ball says big things are on the horizon for these guys. Hats off to you, Visitors, for putting out one of the best releases this year.
Above & Down Below
(The Mylene Sheath)
What can we say? We’re a sucker for ÆGES. The 90s throwback band from LA knows how to play on our heart strings, and we give nothing but praise for their sophomore release Above & Down Below. From its opening track “Echoes” to its closing jam “As I Grow Old,” the record is captivating and just what the doctor ordered for those in need of something refreshing. Click play now. Trust us, it’s not wasted time.