The Sounds of 2021: 15 Bands That Made the Year Bearable

In no particular order here are some of the sounds that helped me make it through 2021.

CHUBBY & THE GANG – ‘The Mutt’s Nuts’

‘The Mutt’s Nuts’ is a masterclass in punked-up pub rock and ‘Coming Up Tough‘ rocks with the back alley toughness of early AC/DC.

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LES SHIRLEY – ‘Forever is Now’

As catchy as Omicron, this little ditty was played a lot over the summer. In the car, poolside, and in my head.

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Fierce and rage-filled like a feeding frenzy of piranhas relentlessly stripping the flesh from the bone.


The DC duo makes an awful lot of noise and with dirty metallic riffs, post-punk menace, and face-melting doom.

LYSOL – ‘Soup for My Family’

The album is a buffet of riffs channeling the Stooges, Black Flag, and Motorhead with the distorted garage punk blast of a band like Teengenerate.

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You’ll either dance or go out and rob a bank. Goddamn, I love this band.

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TABLE SCRAPS – ‘Coffin Face’

Table Scraps has always been skilled at incorporating some serious heavy metal chops into their garage-fuzz sound and now the ghost of Dick Dale is haunting this record.

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Chain Whip – Two Step To Hell

More snotty I-don’t-give-a-fuck vibes from Vancouver’s Chain Whip. The band’s instrumental talents propel vocalist Joshy Atomic’s hoarse incensed snarls.

NEIGHBORHOOD BRATS – ‘Confines of Life’

The Brats are pros at delivering fast, loud and tight SoCal punk rock with a truckload of hooks and energy. Lyrically the songs address misogyny, labels, the climate crisis, and the general shitty state of the world.

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CIVIC – ‘Future Forecast’

Built upon a rock-solid foundation of proto-punk like the Stooges and Dead Boys, with a brilliant infusion of post-punk, glam, and power-pop, this music is so goddamn perfect. It’s a shot to the solar plexus for anyone who says rock is dead.

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THE AMENTA – ‘Revalator’

The Amenta return to forge nine tracks of blackened metal with hints of ambient and post-punk. Drop the needle on this one and watch as it sucks all of the air out of the room with its heaviness.

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IDLES – ‘Crawler’

On ‘Crawler‘, IDLES further stretches out their tentacles, experimenting with effects and textures while maintaining the explosiveness.


24-carat snotty punk rock played by the world’s best rowdy bar band.

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PINK ROOM – ‘Putain Royale’

Filthy and hooky and hits a sweet spot somewhere in the vicinity of noise, grunge, and hardcore.

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Imploders – EXD

Toronto’s Imploders use blunt force on their debut release. These songs go hard right off the bat with a classic hardcore fury that will kick your ass into tomorrow.

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One foot in the door
The other one in the gutter

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