10. Melenas – Días Raros/Spain
Garage rock, indie dream pop
Trouble in Mind“Días raros” (strange days) is an LP written prior to the pandemic, therefore the album’s title has nothing to do with the current circumstances. This LP has some 80’s vibes with the keyboard arrangements at the beginning of the album that give room to songs waking introspective emotions close to hypnosis. This is why it’s an album that I need to listen at home, being helpful as company during these not very social times.
9. Spice – Spice/ US
Indie rockDais Records
When you’re told that two members of Ceremony started a side project you don’t know what to expect.Curiosity gets intense and when you start to recognise the voices it makes you think about the experience of hosting a friend of a friend, from whom you know chances of not getting along are minimum.
8. Cable Ties – Far Enough/ Australia
Punk with traces of garageMerge Records
The first song starts with only very soft vocals. But after a couple of minutes, an energetic punk rhythm takes over the place. This energy serves the album’s purpose of denouncing the consequences of colonialism, abuse of power, gender and sexual violence.
7. Idles – Ultra Mono/ UK
This post punk LP achieves all the most obvious criteria of the genre: it’s dark. However, this is a complex, anxious, angry, electromagnetic, visceral and motivating darkness. All at the same time.
6. Shopping – All Or Nothing/ UK
Not being able to tour allowed some bands to spend more time in the studio and record with all the concentration needed. That’s how Shopping recorded and released their album in 2020, everything was fast and precise. This is their third LP where the groove is very motivating, an invitation to dance, prejudice free, with the sole purpose of release all the bad vibes thrown at you during the day at work.
5. The Beths – Jump Rope Gazers /New Zealand
Indie rockCarpark Records
When you have a favourite band, it usually happens that the release of a new record may be a test, and you’re afraid of disappointment. Fortunately, it wasn’t the case with the latest record from this New Zealand band. Here, the singer demonstrates once again what she’s capable of with her voice and interpretation, with songs that are one hit after the other. Las February, the band opened for Green Day and Weezer for their Australian tour. Will they have a future as popular as the bands on that tour?
4. Bitpart – Eat Your Mess/France
Punk rock with a voice that reminds me of Dad Punchers during their (not long) time around…Destructure Records/ Boslevan Records
This French trio brightened up my year with their melodies. Both the bassist and guitarist share the lead in vocal duties, which creates two complementary universes. Their noisy/grunge/pop side goes accordingly with the more melancholic parts, wchich reminds usa of RVIVR. Bitpart are not very active in social media, and some may say this is the reason why they haven’t reached the success they deserve.
3. Biznaga – Gran Pantalla / Spain
Punk rock FFO Generación SuicidaSlovenly Recordings
There are bands that make you feel the need to watch them live a second after you started listening to them. Biznaga is a clear example. They sing in Spanish, with an unmistakable voice and tons of anger, a dynamic cocktail to wake up and go out without doing your hair. Critics of virtual consumerism, they discuss the idea of a future pretty much like “Black Mirror”, where we are already immersed.
2. Litige – En Eaux Troubles / France
Punk rock with a touch of oi!, feminist lyrics, incredible art and a lot of black humor – Destructure Records
Litige means “conflict” and just like the name implies, this record is a call to confrontation and not to be silent regarding the abuses of the patriarchal system. Although this is a raw and fast punk record, their innocent melodies can make you feel emotional. There’s a little mismatch in the rhythm that could be annoying at first, but soon becomes part of their charm. Anyway, the album’s art is “beautiful”.
1. War on Women – Wonderful hell / US (Baltimore)
Feminist hardcore/punk – Bridge Nine Records
When we can’t take the streets back during pandemic times, we are happy to have music to boost our enthusiasm about changing the world and fight against all and any injustice. War on Women share a special energy that makes you want to recover trust, specially opressed minorities. Omnipresent guitars, melodies getting closer to the post hardcore side, with rhythms and breakdowns that remind me of Petrol Girls (they toured together in 2019). “Wonderful Hell” seems to reveal the contrasts and paradoxes of our times. Without a doubt, my favourite record of the year, necessary for our minds and hearts.