Saturday, October 30, 2021

Gothtober- the Top 10 Post Punk Albums of 2021

It's that time of year again.  It might seem early to start these now, but record labels have pretty much sent me most of what this year has to offer already, by the time I am done sorting through the top 10 albums of all the respective genres, I will use them, to compile the top 10 albums of the year. As I predicted last year 2021 was not much better than 2020, as things continue on a downward spiral ug dark music more important as a soundtrack for this.   As far as 2021 goes for post- punk, musically I think these albums are better than last year. Some faces that appeared on last year's list reoccur, and three new bands on this year's list.  The very fact these bands made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are, so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more. After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Perhaps you can find your next favorite on this list; and have included links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 post-punk albums of 2021 

10- Flood Twin - 'S/T" 

They have the tension part right and are dark enough to make it work, vocals are their weak spot , but they make up for it with the aggression in the guitar that keeps an unsettling tone going that works for me. 

9-Fotocrime - "Heart of Crime"

Uber-retro synths and more spoken vocals caught me off guard, guitars and more actual instruments come in on the second song things begin to feel more familiar. There is a touch of Sisters of Mercy, though at time the guitars make me think of Bruce Springsteen. Often early80s moods creep in and get dancey seeing a progression from post-punk into this

 8- Pink Turns Blue - "Tainted"  

Here is a comeback album I did not expect. Less creepy than their early years, they are less dark wave and starker post -punk. The album sounds great, alongside bands like the Cure and Joy Division these guys have been doing this since the 80s so it is pretty much like riding a bike. Much like riding a bike they allow themselves to coast along on songs that are really easy on the ears.

7-Liars - "the Apple Drop" 

The 10th album from this experimental project whose only consistent member is the founder Angus Andrew. They continue to throw electronic music against post-punk and see what happenings. Each album has a different result, this one is no different in that regard. Perhaps equal parts moodier and darker. At times conforming more to conventional song writing than previously expected. His melodies range in shades of depression and unhinged tension. 

Abysmal Hymns: Liars : " the Apple Drop"

6- Spectres - "Hindsight"

This is not a return to the kind of goth infused sound they gave us on "Nothing to Nowhere", but it is their best album since then, even if some of the punk moments, keep it being just shy of perfect there are enough almost Smiths like moments to compensate for it and put it at the number 8 spot here.  

5-Johnny Marr- "Fever Dreams pt 1 "

"I Can't Stand Morrissey but Johnny Marr is a great guitarist. While it is true Marr is great this is a common phrase uttered by many a poseur to afraid of what people think of think them to admit to listening to the Smiths. Funny enough the press release by BMG does not mention the Smiths but calls him a legend, which is funny because The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse and the Cribs did not make him a legend. What he did in the Smiths works here. 

4-Rope Sect-  "Proskynesis"

The German lords of gloom are back. This time we only get 6 songs, but I will take whatever I can get. This album finds them going down the dark road. Less aggressive than their previous offering in terms of the guitar attack, the mull on the melodies more and give the vocals room to breathe. This album is odd as the first three songs are three parts of the title track. 

Abysmal Hymns: Gothtober - Rope Sect :" Proskynesis"

 3-Old Moon- "Altars"  

This album beat out Rope Sect for the number three spot which says a lot. While Rope Sect continued to be themselves, this project carved its way into the world with modest ambition and roughhewn charm in their sound that is familiar enough to still be different. 

Abysmal Hymns: Gothtober- Old Moon : "Altars"

2- Viagra Boys - "Trailer Park Jazz"

This is another band that makes solid argument for Scandinavian post-punk. This album is also a stylistic shift for the band in many ways. Punchy yet still manages to be very danceable. The horns that crop up bring the Stooges to mind  at times even though the groove has a more electronic feel.

Abysmal Hymns: Viagra Boys : " Welfare Jazz"

1- Black Country New Road- "For the First Time" 

This album reminds us post-punk can span from many things. It emerged in the 1970s as a more artful way to add thought from a somewhat cruder punk rock movement. It is thinking man's punk in many ways. Not content with being a Joy Division cover band, This band is an example of how the best of the genre seems to be now comings from England. This group embraces the tension and inner darkness and explore how to convey starkness with more sonic colors

Abysmal Hymns: Gothtober- Black Country, New Road : "For the first time"

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