New year, new music. It’s only the first week of January, so there’s still a lot of time for even more great albums to be announced (or just come out of nowhere like Jeff Rosenstock’s I Look Like Shit did last year), but here’s a list of 11 albums that I’m particularly looking forward to in 2013:
11. Saves the Day – TBA
Details on Saves the Day’s eighth studio album are scarce right now (I don’t think they even have a working title yet) but last year’s Pledge Music Project revealed a demo of their song “Ain’t No Kinda Love”, proving that they are working toward something new. Daybreak only took a few years to come out, so the fact that they’re already working on new material is exciting.
10. Alkaline Trio – TBA
Alkaline Trio has been done recording their album since the end of last October, so it’s only a matter of time before it comes out. The as-of-now untitled album was produced by none other than Bill Stevenson (Descendents) and features Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms) doing backing vocals on some tracks (or maybe all of them, I don’t know). No word on how it will sound, but if it continues at all in the same vein as This Addiction I’ll be a happy camper.
09. Junior Battles – TBA
A lot of these albums sure are speculation, aren’t they? Junior Battles is one of the best pop punk bands out there today, combining properties and elements of bands like Latterman, Green Day, and even Fall Out Boy. Right before Fest last year the band released a two song EP previewing what their new material would sound like. Here’s to hoping that the full length will sound just like the EP.
08. Night Birds – TBA
Much like how Junior Battles are one of the best pop punk bands out there today, Night Birds tear it up as one of the best modern punk bands. Armed with a sound that is accurately described as “Adolescents meets Dead Kennedys”, Night Birds sound like they would fit in perfectly in 1980’s LA. They’ve made several announcements via Facebook that they will be putting out both a full length and a 7-inch single in 2013, and even though it remains untitled for now, I can guarantee that the album will crack my Top 10 of 2013.
07. Direct Hit! – TBA
This one is more speculation than anything else, but it’s been a few years and Direct Hit! is rumored to start recording a new album this year. Last year saw them release at least three splits (with Hold Tight!, The Haverchucks, and Braver), all three of which saw the band heading in a new, more vicious direction. It’s become apparent that Nick Woods and company have been listening to a lot of Mean Jeans lately- not that it’s a bad thing. Anything that Direct Hit! puts out is guaranteed to be a high octane thrillride, and if they manage to capture that sound while combining it with the spacey pop punk attitude of Mean Jeans I’m all for it.
06. Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Descension
Finally something on my list with a title! Coheed and Cambria surprised me last year with The Afterman: Ascension. I had lost interest in the band at some point between the releases of No World for Tomorrow and Year of the Black Rainbow, but The Afterman toned things down a bit to where the songs weren’t getting high off their own story telling. The only thing that kept Ascension off my 2012 list was because it didn’t really feel like it was a “complete” album. I enjoyed it a lot, but it just felt like it was missing a crucial something. I’m hoping that this sense of being “incomplete” is just due to the fact that it Ascension is incomplete… and that the release of Descension will fix that.
05. Pure Love – Anthems
Pure Love is the new project from former Gallows front-man Frank Carter. The band’s goal is to sing about more positive things than Carter did with his previous band. They’re loud, not very punk, and incredibly anthemic (hence the album title, one would suppose). Anthems was supposed to come out last year but then for some reason it never did. However, it’s been rescheduled for a February release, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be released for real this time.
04. Broadway Calls – Comfort / Distraction
I know I just gave all my pop punk praise to Junior Battles, but I honestly believe that Broadway Calls could be the next Green Day if they want to be. They’ve certainly got the song writing chops to write catchy songs about girls and they can do it without sounding like a boy band or by having stupid haircuts. They recently took a bit of a stumble when their line-up had to be shifted, and 2011’s Toxic Kids EP saw them trying to work back into their groove a little bit. Last year’s Vision Quest split with Mixtapes was a wonderful return-to-form and reignited my hope for them.
03. Bad Religion – True North
Have you heard “Fuck You” and “True North” yet?? Despite that True North is going to be Bad Religion’s sixteenth album, it already sounds more like their third or fourth album. Bad Religion is one of the few bands that doesn’t get too much hate for recording albums that generally sound the same, but True North is gearing up to be one of those rare times when a band is praised for recording an album that sounds like something that’s already been done before.
02. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
It dawned on me recently that I’ve been an Against Me! fan for almost ten years now. It was summer 2003, I was away at camp, and my friend Sabina played “Baby, I’m An Anarchist” for me and I fell in love with it. Here we are in 2013 and I’ve stuck with the band through everything. With maybe one or two exceptions, all of the band’s new songs have been pretty solid, and I’d be pumped for this even if it weren’t supposed to be a concept album about Laura’s struggles with gender dysphoria and her experience transitioning- but knowing the extremely personal nature of the album does add to the excitement.
01. Streetlight Manifesto – The Hands That Thieve / Toh Kay – The Hand That Thieves
This album was going to top everyone’s Best of 2012 lists, but then at the last second (literally) it was announced that it wasn’t ready to come out because fuck the fans, right? Allegedly the band has finished recording the album, and the mastering process has begun, but until this album is in my hands I’m not sure what to believe. Should it come out this year though, I (along with many other fans) will be an extremely happy and satisfied customer. Additionally, I have included the solo version of the album in this spot because they were scheduled to come out at the same time and I assume that this is still the case.
XX. The Ataris – The Graveyard of the Atlantic
This album has been in the works since at least 2008, while the release dates have been coming and going since at least 2009. Essentially, it has become the Chinese Democracy of pop punk. The songs that have been released so far sound pretty good (kind of like a more grand version of So Long, Astoria), but it’s taking so long that I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to hear the whole album. At the very least, there will always be the All Souls Day / The Graveyard of the Atlantic single that came out in 2010.