Top 25 of 2017 (based on most listens - updated daily from Nov 30 - Dec 24)
#12 Sean Rowe — New Lore - You know I have absolutely no idea how I came across this fella, I think "Gas Station Rose" was the clip of the week on some website or something... anyway, once I heard it I was hooked. It's the standout but the rest of the record is pretty solid too. The gravity in his voice must be heard, definitely track this down if you're up for a little baroque pop (yeah, I didn't know what it was either before I read his bio)
#13 Rise Against — Wolves - a favourite since I got the chance to see them live supporting System of a Down. There is definitely a more polished performance, more melodies and less yelling but I don't know that that means necessarily less passion. The soapbox lecturing is still there, although it sounds a little more tired, it's still worth a listen
#14 Mutoid Man — War Moans - I'm calling it - discovery of the year - thank you Mastodon radio! (yes, another Spotify plug...) I don't even know how to describe this - it's loud but not overly heavy and the songs are catchy as. I'll be spending a lot of time next year exploring this band I think.
#15 Beck — Colors - it pays to listen to other it seems... I've had a seriously on off thing with Beck, actually, mostly off - something I just couldn't grasp. I never doubted the talent but it rarely got me ("Sea Change" is an exception) but at the urging of a good friend I gave this record a spin. And then I didn't stop for a week. Equal parts dancey joy and pisstake, it's an excellent record.
#16 Leprous — Malina - I have Spotify's Release Radar to thank for this. I'd never heard of this band until it randomly played me one of their older songs. In that vacuum that is waiting for a new Tool record I find myself drawn to the combination of heavy riffs and soaring vocals. In the past I've found it in bands such as Rishloo and 2017 gave us another great record by the Contortionist as well. If you're liking the names I'm mentioning then cue up Leprous!
#17 Dead Letter Circus — The Endless Mile - reimagined songs to celebrate the original EP's anniversary. Don't get me wrong, the songs are good and I've listened to it a bunch of times for that reason, however none are better than the originals. Probably my favourite Australian band of the past decade, so I will always listen - but new stuff would be good!
#18 Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit — The Nashville Sound - don't tell my Dad ('cause this is a country album essentially) and we've argued for years about the merits of our respective favourite genres... I'm not conceding, simply saying that this a little bit country and I liked it (a little bit). Seriously, the lyrics in "If We Were Vampires" are worth checking out the record alone.