Yes, it’s already July, which means it’s time for AP’s annual mid-year report. Yesterday, we brought you the 12 best songs of 2016 (so far). Today, we’re breaking down the 12 best albums of the year thus far. Check them out below and be let us know your thoughts!

 

BeartoothAggressive

The ’Tooth have captured many ears and hearts of the AP staff, and their latest record should place them firmly at the top of any “Best Live Bands” conversation. —Josh Bernstein



 

CreeperThe Stranger EP

Yes, this isn’t a full-length album, but fucking fight me, because within the span of five songs, Creeper absolutely stomp the guts out of any other release this year. Continuing the story of the Callous Heart, The Stranger conveys misery in a dramatic punk-rock style that often echoes Alkaline Trio, but is ultimately all their own. These APMAs Best Underground Band nominees are aiming straight for your heartstrings with this collection of work: Upon hearing it, very few are likely to walk away denying the band’s je ne sais quoi. —Cassie Whitt

 

Head Wound CityA New Wave Of Violence

Too caustic for the metalcore instruction manual, too bored with hardcore's bro convention and too inspired to drink the Kool-Aid of wannabes, the men of Head Wound City delivered every promise they hinted at on their 10-year-old debut EP, with a proper debut album. Jordan Billie can go from dark mantra intoning to full jet turbine shrieking in mere seconds; guitarists Nick Zinner and Cody Votolato create parts uglier than videoclips of your parents on their third date and the engine room of bassist Justin Pearson and drummer Gabe Serbian make racing time trials looking laughable by comparison. HWC remain five to seven years ahead of what everyone else on the planet are doing anyway, so feel free to lie about being there while it's happening now. You fucking kittens. —Jason Pettigrew

 

Modern BaseballHoly Ghost

Something about Holy Ghost hurts in your bones. It could be the incisive familiarity of some of the worst feelings, or the humbling distance of being a part-time voyeur in someone else's problems. Either way, you get the sense that the album is as much for you as it is for me as it is for Modern Baseball, and it's the best gift I've gotten this year. —Kika Chatterjee

 

IssuesHeadspace

Metalcore futurists Issues have left their first record in the dust with the freshly addictive Headspace. The production is on another level thanks to Kris Crummet, Erik Ron and Tyler “Scout” Acord. Ever the genre-neutral visionary, frontman/AP cover star Tyler Carter, delivers his finest vocal performances to date. But in reality, everybody in this band has raised the bar, from co-vocalist Michael Bohn debuting aggressive clean singing, A.J. Rebollo reigning as the band's unsung guitar hero, drummer Josh Manuel becoming a technical beast behind the kit and Skyler Acord ripping shirtless bass solos. —Brian Kraus

 

letlive.If I'm The Devil

I could namedrop a dozen artists heard as influences on this album, and they would span everything from pop to punk to metal. But with this effort, it would be a disservice to say letlive. sound like anybody else. They have created something that's all their own on their own terms. This album sounds like letlive., and it's sick. If you're a fan of music, period, you'll love If I'm The Devil. —Rabab Al-Sharif