What a brutal, beautiful, terrifying year. Everyone I love struggled and everyone I love strove to do their best. I don’t really know what else to say. There was tragedy and triumph, and most importantly communities getting stronger. Here’s some of the music I loved this year.
2017 Year End List Mix
- Cold Cave – Glory
- The Gift – Blank Stare
- Converge A Single Tear
- King Woman – Hierophant
- Falls Of Rauros – White Granite
- Outreau – M.D.H.
- Clayface – Sister Is Dead
- Hide – 91 Lashes
- Ritual Veil – All Black
- Chelsea Wolfe – 16 Psyche
- Bromure – Catacombes
- Akatharsia – Groveling Towards Oblivion
- Vatican Shadow – They Deserve Death
- Ritual Howls – Their Bodies
- Nidstang – Ergi
- False – Hunger
- Cigarettes After Sex – Each Time You Fall In Love
- Rixe – Tenter Le Diable
- Limp Wrist – Como Vos
- Wear You Wounds – Shine
Favorite records, in slight order:
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper LP – (Profound Lore)
This is actually my favorite LP of 2017. The only reason it didn’t make it on the mix is because the song is massive, clocking in at 83 minutes. If you somehow haven’t heard this, go listen to it. Easily one of the most haunting doom metal records ever recorded.
Cold Cave – Glory (Heartworm)
Cold Cave rarely release a record that’s a miss for me. Glory is no exception. Maybe I’m a fanboy buying into the hype, but goddamnit, this song is just so catchy and Wesley Eisold is one of my favorite lyricists, constantly capturing the foul ennui and alienation of a burning world, but making you want to dance your black heart out as it burns down around you at the same time.
Ritual Veil – Wolf In The Night Tape (Self Released)
Go to Ritual Veil’s bandcamp right now and order a copy of this tape if they have any left. These things went fast. Ritual Veil make you feel like the 80’s and 90’s just never ended I mean this in the best way, because listening to this, I’m transported back to the smoky blacklit clubs of my youth while still feeling like this tape is just so fresh and exciting. You get the feeling this band is headed for big things!
King Woman – Created In The Image of Suffering (Relapse)
I was first introduced to the music of Kristina Esfandiari sometime in 2015 or 16 and have been obsessed ever since. Forlorn, hypnotic, heavy and intense. Created in the Image of Suffering doesn’t let up, even in it’s quieter moments. Somewhere I have a photo of their live date in Olympia. Kristina had just dove into the crowd, wearing a homemade shirt that says “LORENA BOBBIT”, seemingly a message to all the meathead metal bros, not ready to relinquish their stranglehold on the scene.
The Gift – Running around This Town (Time For Action)
I surprised myself with how much Oi! I listened to this year. A friend recommended this, and I grabbed it on a whim. Oi/Punk/Power Pop from France. This record is light and infectious from start to finish. Perfect for listening to on those crushing days when you want to forget the world for a minute and focus on dressing sharp as hell and loving your friends.
Outreau – LP (Une Vie Pour Rien?/Crom Records)/Rixe – Bapteme Du Feu (La Vida Es En Un Mus)
More OI! from France, but this is what you listen to when you want to psych yourself up for throwing rocks at cops and setting Nazis on fire, looking good while doing it. Music for hooligans, by hooligans. Morte Aux Vaches
Clayface – Sister is Dead LP (Total Negativity)
Local to Olympia, I have seen this band a bunch, but didn’t manage to grab a copy of this LP until almost the end of the year. This is the authentically tragic DIY Goth record Robert Smith wishes he could still make. Deeply personal and haunting.
False – Hunger EP (Gilead Media)
I also surprised myself by how little Black Metal I listened to this year. False was a big exception. Crushing, weird, and unlike most of the other metal out there. Best experienced in all their throat shredding live glory.
Hide – Black Flame EP (Joyful Noise)
Having heard Hide’s previous EP, Widdow and I went to see them at sparsely attended show with an odd mix of bands at an upscale bar in Seattle. Indie rock, dream pop, and then HIDE in all their menacing, industrial glory. For forty minutes the bar transformed into a strobe lit, black leather and lace monster. Widdow and I were so inspired that upon returning to Olympia, we swore an oath on the shores of the Puget Sound with the full moon as a witness that we would start playing music together. Maybe we’ll get around to it in 2018.
Limp Wrist – Facades LP (Leguna Armada)
Can you name a better hardcore punk record by a band that is approaching their twentieth anniversary? Me neither. One of the best queer punk bands of all time. If you want to fight about it, I will see you in the pit with all the other sweaty homos.
That’s it for now. I’m sure I forgot a ton of records that I loved. I’m sure I slept on a bunch of records that other people loved. I also loved every single record that made it onto my mix. I guess I just didn’t have it in me to write about every single record, especially considering the fact that I don’t actually know how to write about music. Anyway, the sun is out and I need to take my dog for a walk before the Pacific Northwest is plunged back into gray washed out rainy waste for another four months. Thanks for listening. Thanks for reading. ❤