Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Gothtober- the Top 10 Post-Punk Albums of 2022

 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. 2022 was perhaps marginally better than the previous year, though given the current climate of the world we are progressing on a downward spiral, making dark music more important as a soundtrack for this.   As far as 2022 goes for post- punk, musically I think these albums are better than last year.   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 2022

10-Crime of Passing - "s/t" 

This band out of Ohio released this album back in April and it is time for it to coast under your radar no more. This band is also pretty self-aware. You can hear it in the mix. The vocals are actually better than most bands of their ilk but are mixed back against the guitars. Rather than sounding like punk rock Karaoke, it packs a punch


9-Black Math Horseman- 's/t"

Sera Timms of Ides of Gemini is back with this project that features Chelsea Wolfe's live guitarist Bryan Tulao. Marginally less goth than Ides, they occupy a more metallic space that succeeds in brewing up tension that is dark enough to feel heavy. They occupy a shadowy sonic space that blends elements of many genres. They waste little time building the tension, like clouds gathering over the ocean. Her voice cries out in a melancholy moan.

8-Killing joke- "Lord of Chaos" 

The world needs Killing Joke more than ever.  The band is currently working on a full length to that the two new songs on this ep are setting the tone for. Hopefully we will see a new album from them before the world ends, but if we do not then this will have to serve as their last will and testament, as it is the first new music in 7 years. They have gotten even heavier over the years with their brand of industrial strength post-punk.

7-A Place to Bury Strangers - "See Through You" 

Before the current wave of post punk revivalists were a thing this band was at it. They continue to be more experimental and put together a rather bleak tapestry of sound. It gets darker as it progresses.

6-Deeper Graves-'the Colossal Sleep" 

The second album from this project, finds the band growing in the songwriting department and perfecting their sonic balance to weight darker almost industrial sounds against dense atmosphere, while focusing on writing songs not just making cool sounds. 

5-Nyx Division -"Dark Star" 

 Another goth leaning post-punk band, which given my taste is no surprise, this band from Portland bucks many of the hipster genre expectations, though are certainly in more of a punk mode than really laying the Halloween on thick. Siouxsie-tinged vocals that weave outstanding melodies that earned their place here.


4-False Figure-"Castigations" 

Wonderfully written post punk from a band that once leaned in a rawer death rock direction. Some of those Halloween decorations are still left up in their sound though this works off an urgent tension that feels like the Oakland underbelly they crawled from. 

3- Dead Register- "Alive" 

 This album picks up where they left off, but in a more refined manner. They groove with smooth syncopation into industrial stomps devoid of gear grinding abrasion. There is more of a 90s grunge influence in the drumming this time around. The blend of brooding shadows is streamlined as the song writing is more noticeably matured

2-Lesser Care -"Underneath, Beside Me"

This Texas band has their shit sounding great. All too often bands in this post-punk genre are so dead set in trying to get a retro sound rather than caring about how the album as a whole sound. Here the drumming and bass playing are more nuanced so that factors into their need for clarity to keep these performances crisp and popping. This barely got edged out of the number one spot. 

1-Vision Video- "Haunted Hours"

This one was a tough call that went in favor of the Athens based band due to the fact that the catchy and melodic nature of what they do drew me in for more repeat listens. They remind me of the Twilight Sad, so I am fine with that. They are also huge fans of the 80s and pay homage while crafting wonderfully infectious songs. 

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