We listen to a lot of new music at the AP bungalow. A lot of it is good; some of it is bad; but a very small amount is so transcendently awesome. Because of this, we must continually shower praise upon its creators even years after their initial releases. Naming a top 10 isn’t easy, but we do what we can.
With that said, please enjoy our top albums celebrating five years in 2019.
1. Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
The former My Chemical Romance frontman battled depression, ennui and other assorted malaise to make a record devoid of overarching concepts and teeming with plenty of guitar and pedal abuse. What makes Hesitant Alien so intriguing is how Gerard Way and his backing band, the Hormones, are so malleable, offering driving rock, anthemic glam-pop and heartfelt balladry for an album that’s more sincere than showy.
2. La Dispute – Rooms Of The House
La Dispute function on such a higher plane than most bands in the universe that it’s almost unfair to hold anyone else up in comparison. Rooms Of The House is a tense, uncomfortable listen that’s worth every hour spent listening to it.
3. Beartooth – Disgusting
Attack Attack! were never the most popular band in the AP office, but we approached ex-AA! singer Caleb Shomo’s new band, Beartooth, with open ears—and were we blown away with the results. Shomo single-handedly (and impressively) wrote and recorded all of Disgusting, and the result is a ’roided-up hardcore ripper that belongs in weight rooms across America. Do you even lift, Sho?
4. Issues – Issues
Hip-hop, soul, pop and EDM are all carefully packaged into this metalcore banger. On their debut LP, Issues mixed the smooth sass of Tyler “tough guy dies a little inside” Carter with the ferocity of Michael Bohn (“Talk shit! You mean nothing!”) to achieve the perfect pop-metalcore album. Glistening with all the right effects, the production is out of this world, and the grooves are catchy as hell.
5. Marmozets – The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets
Leave it to British rock engineering to develop a hybrid of heavy music and delectable melodies. On their debut full-length, Marmozets offer riffage that’s both high-tech and gloriously propulsive Vocalist Becca Macintyre alternately peels paint and hits notes that 90 percent of the world’s singers haven’t yet.
6. Frnkiero and the Cellabration – Stomachaches
Former MCR guitarist Frank Iero did nothing to change anyone’s opinion that he’d rather be playing in a 500-capacity club with sweating walls and gross restrooms than arenas. Playing nearly all the instruments himself, Iero imbued mosh pit soundtracks and some reverb-laden sensitivity, sometimes both in the same song.
7. Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End
This was truly the album Weezer fans had been waiting for since the late ’90s, and for the negative nancies who continued to dog the band’s post-Pinkerton efforts, this album is excellent enough to get you to (hopefully) shut up and listen.
8. At The Gates – At War With Reality
Did the long-awaited follow-up to 1995’s Slaughter Of The Soul change the face of metal in the way its predecessor did? Certainly not, but it’s easily one of the best death metal albums of the last decade. On At War With Reality, At The Gates delivered the finest guitar work—epic rhythm, evil leads—and vocalist Tomas Lindberg became the fire-spitting dragon of Gothenburg.
9. This Wild Life – Clouded
This Wild Life was scouted off YouTube for AP&R years ago, we had the refreshing experience of watching them blossom and eventually blow up with their debut. Though their music is acoustic, it stands up and somehow even fits in a world where heavy reigns. This duo’s soft sincerity was the surfacing gasp the scene needed and belongs on any top 10.
10. LostAlone – Shapes Of Screams
It’s a tragedy this underrated U.K. trio who put out one of the best albums of 2014 met a grudging end following their impending winter tour. With a rare gift for constantly four-upping their previous work, LostAlone gave fans and critics alike hope for the future with Shapes Of Screams, a multi-layered, gigantic-sounding album that plays more like a movie epic than your everyday CD.
Did we miss any crucial 2014 releases? Sound off in the comments below!