I was going to post a Top 10, but man there was a crap tonne of amazing music this year, so here are 20 bands that defined my 2019 (in no particular order).
Amyl and the Sniffers – S/T
The Aussie rockers dropped an absolutely killer record of mulleted sharpie punk and roll. I played the hell out of this record and had tickets to see them but something came up and I missed the show in the sweltering summer heat of a small sold-out Toronto club.
Cat Clyde – Hunters Trance
Her voice is a force and her sophomore record ‘Hunters Trance‘ is flawless. I finally did manage to catch her live this fall and she did not disappoint. A true talent.
Cherry Pickles – Will Harden Your Nipples
Medway-style, lo-fi garage rock, via the UK and Brazil. If they don’t harden your nipples, at least they will get your foot tapping and put a smile on your face.
angelic milk – Divine Biker Love
Shoegazing Russian goth-pop, this debut came early in January, but it stayed on my list.
WAAX – Big Grief
Brisbane quintet WAAX released their debut ‘Big Grief‘ this year and hit it out of the park. All killer, no filler with hooks that are impossible to kill.
Mind Rays – Course of Action
Belgian garage punks follow up their excellent debut with ‘Course of Action‘ 10 tracks of savage, furious ragers, post-punk, and 60s garage.
SadGirl – Water
‘Water‘ the debut from SadGirl sounds timeless and is a visceral masterpiece. You can almost taste the salty California ocean air.
UBIK – Next Phase
Ferocious and politically charged ‘brat-beat’. It’s short but carries a wallop.
Dead Arms – Simply Dead
The world is a fucking mess and Dead Arms have provided the soundtrack.
Flesh Panthers – Holy Roller
Back to back collections of rootsy and down-home rock and roll fused with garage rock from the Chicago troubadours. Just waiting for my vinyl!
True Dreams – No. 1
No-frills, perfectly crafted, retro garage pop with irresistible hooks.
Virvon Varvon – Mind Cancer
Blistering, gritty punk with a bubblegum center. Noisy and abrasive but catchy as hell.
The Shiverettes – Real Shrill Bitches
‘Are you listening, when I’m talking?’ Haley Muir asks. Furious, angry punk, Calgary’s The Shivertettes are not background music.
Karrion – Forsaken World
Diabolical vocals over maniacal thrashing, Karrion, and archival label Supreme Echo delivered one of the best metal releases of the year even though it’s from 1987.
The Dollyrots – Daydream Explosion
This album could’ve been called ‘Earworm Explosion’. Impeccable pop-punk for those dark days of winter ahead.
The Darts – ‘I Like You But Not Like That’
Retro, sinister, psychedelic garage rock from the Arizona desert.
Trampoline Team – S/T
The New Orleans punks absolutely tear everyone a new one with their furious noise.
Ladrones – S/T
Raucous Puerto Rican punk rock fueled by the ferocious delivery of vocalist of Valeria Sánchez.
Francie Moon – All the Same
Shimmering, atmospheric, and trippy garage-psych.
Baroness – Gold & Grey
Shapeshifting, emotive, and multi-layered heavy music. Baroness keeps getting better.