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Articles : Mitch Alexander’s Top Albums of 2017

By on December 28, 2017

Because I’m a stinking millennial so in love with his participation awards that I fought for the right to marry them under sharia law, or something, I’m not doing a Top Ten List. Instead, I’m giving out actual annual awards that aren’t custom-made for each entry. I’m doing this because all the bands are winners.

It’s just that Justice For The Damned won harder than the rest of them.

2016’s 2017 Album Of The Year” Award
I slept on this album last year so that’s why it’s here now. I don’t like really anything about black metal, and while these guys are definitely “blackened-something” I even thoroughly enjoy the blackened parts of this rock’n’death party slam silliness. It’s energetic, forthright, and considered without being self-serious.

“The Actual Album Of The Year” Award
Justice For The Damned
Dragged Through The Dirt

When I first heard these guys a couple years back, I thought to myself “man I need to find a bathroom because I think those eggs were sitting in the sun too long.” It was a whole thing. When I first heard the track listed below, however, it was so crushingly heavy and uniquely mature that I literally found that some rascal had smuggled shit into my pants. Not only that, every time I listen to it, which is a lot, and every time I’ve seen them live, which is once, the same thing has happened. It’s almost worth it but I need a tighter belt. I’m listening to eh end of this song now and am fucking heabdbaning at my desk. And I’m gonna keep the typos cause that’s genuine art. They sound like Nails with breakdowns. It’s so fucking heavy. After I heard them live I remember a random fellow next to me going “phwoar, how was that last riff?” and them he just hummed it. That’s pretty high praise. These guys are going to take over.

The Dunking Nerds Into Toilets” Award
Look At Yourself

Hahaha, shut up you fucking loser. Nah, shut up ay, nerd. The only reason you don’t like this album is because you spent your entire time at high school hiding from people like the singer of this band. Metal was your refuge, and now he’s back, and you don’t know how to feel because alongside all the fucking woeful semi-rapping and woeful lyrics, he pumps out some awesome screams, and now he has the underground cred of having his entire musical section made up of member of The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. And they were your band, weren’t they, you wet-lipped loser. And now they’re hanging out with the cool kid that smokes, just like your ex-girlfriend. Yeah nah dude, sweeping over prog rock epics will win her back, keep at it. Fucking loser.

“Soundgarden But Good And Heavy Award”
Employed To Serve
The Warmth Of A Dying Sun

I dare you not to hear the first slide of this song and not do that kissy face when your mate shows you his new car or Playstation or BBQ. Overall, Employed have an old-school Every Time I Die vibe to them (which I’m only realising now I’m listening to them as I write this) which probably explains why I dig this album from start to finish. But where they really shine is in their slower, more plodding and ponderous riffs that even my dad could probably appreciate. Tracks like “I Spend My Days,” “Warmth Of A Dying Sun” and “Apple Tree” and so full of personality that I’ve spent a good leg of this year humming the riffs as if they were vocals. They’re really good.

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” Award
Clever Girl

Sharptooth isn’t doing anything new with their music per se (which isn’t to say they aren’t doing well – it’s one of the best punk/hardcore/metal releases musically this year). But what they’re doing with their lyrics is refreshing and hopefully revitalising. Released before the #metoo movement, they were unabashedly feminist and pissed off about the world. In the wake of everything that’s happened, I can’t help but feel Sharptooth have a more important role in the scene, as the powers-that-be leave power vacuums that need to be filled by new and better bands. It’s also interesting to finally notice how literal and simple these lyrics are – not because they’re bad, but because the lyrics in this genre have always been this simple, they’re just been about the same old topics. With so much re-treading, I stopped noticing how banal the lyrics and their themes are. Sharptooth is finally singing about new things that definitely fucking matter, in clear and unambiguous terms. It’s amazing.

Neurosis When You Don’t Have Neurosis” Award

Australia’s best band you’ve never heard of, that came from nowhere. They’re industry professionals, are very good on record, and are even better live. I can’t tell you much more – they are simply the best metal band Australia has right now. See them live and try to disagree with me, I fucking dare you, coward (also please take plugs they are quite loud).

“YLVA When You Don’t Have YLVA” Award
LLNN/Wovoka split
More slow doomy stuff, from two great bands. Some people don’t like the higher pitched singing but those people are stupid cunts. They play some stupidly heavy stuff, and (unlike some band, OLD MAN GLOOM IM LOOKING AT YOU) the ambient noise never really overstays its welcome. You can enjoy individual songs, or you can, like, go on like, an experience, maaarn.

“Right Place At The Right Time To Manipulate Me Emotionally” Award
Different Animals
Sometimes you’re ready to be emotionally bent over a cliche barrel and submitted to a saccharine rogering. Other times, you’re in such a dire state that you’ll watch Love, Actually in June by choice, tell friends you love them, and not find anything cringe-worthy about Volumes latest album. The first half of my 2017 fucking surrrrrked, and it’s eerie how well the lyrics on a lot of these songs paralleled my life at the time, if my life was being transcribed by a petulant 14 year old. The music and lyrics go between sickly sweet and party-fun, but what’s cohesive is that they stay genuine and earnest. Good on them. More use of the term “dingaling” in metal, please.

“Just Fucking Listen To It You Dorks” Award
Vince Staples
Big Fish Theory
Most rappers have one or two “hard” songs per album – bass heavy, threatening bangers that give me the same sense of “head-bangy” heaviness that metal does. Vince Staples, my knight in shining armour, my guardian angel, has an entire fucking discography of songs just like that, and this album is no exception. Songs like “745”, “Rain Come Down” and “Party People” are fucking pumping, but the standout track by a long shot is “Yeah Right.” Just fucking trust me, it’s weird, heavy and flows like a fucking tsunami.

“Does This Even Count” Award
Literally just two fucking songs
They’re both really good but.

Literally both of the tracks.


Mitch is a 26 year old vegan, socialist, atheist, utilitarian, reductionist metalhead, stand up comedian and philosophy major that hates labels. When he isn't being politely ignored at dinner parties he's being politely ignored on comedy nights around the country.