YEAR END! Top Records of 2021

As another year closes, so does a year end list get posted into the void that is online music discourse. This list is not a fair depiction of what I really listened to this year. Being weird and isolated in the frozen wasteland of Minnesota had me listening to a lot of old jazz records. I have no recommendations based on that. This isn’t that kind of a blog. No one wants to hear my opinions on jazz fusion (I mostly don’t like it) or smooth jazz (actually pretty cool if you can get over the Weather Channel of it all).

In an attempt to feel less street team, I am focused on actually posting stuff in 2022. I got stuck in a cycle of posting about the same three things. To that point, I’ll post a thing about that new Overo / Zochor / Punch On! / Coma Regalia split next week. That would have probably made the list had it come out earlier. Beyond that, I hope to at least get something out on a regular basis. Just not sure what “regular” means in that regard.

Blah blah blah. The list. Let’s fucking go. Top whatever of whatever. In alphabetical order:

Beach Bunny – “Blame Game”
Bnny – “Everything”
Bruce Lee Band – “Division In The Heartland”
Catbite – “Nice One”
The Copyrights – “Alone In A Dome”
Dan Vapid and The Cheats – “Escape Velocity”
Danz CM – “The Absurdity of Human Existence”
Drug Church – “Tawny”
Faye Webster – “I Know I’m Funny haha”
Floatie – “Voyage Out”
Girl K – “Girl K Is For The People”
Hospital Bracelet – “South Loop Summer”
Japanese Breakfast – “Jubilee”
King Woman – “Celestial Blues”
La Luz – “La Luz”
Laura Stevenson – “Laura Stevenson”
Marissa Nadler – “The Path Of The Clouds”
Mia Joy – “Spirit Tamer”
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “When God Was Great”
Moontype – “Bodies Of Water”
Neighborhood Brats – “Confines Of Life”
Parting – “Unmake Me”
Pet Symmetry – “Future Suits”
PONY – “TV Baby”
Real Sickies – “Love Is For Lovers”
Regional Justice Center – “Crime and Punishment”
Scowl – “How Flowers Grow”
Steady Holiday – “Take The Corners Gently”
Tashaki Miyaki – “Castaway”
Tigers Jaw – “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me”
VIAL – “Loudmouth”

This list would probably look different had I listened to everything I was keeping track of. There’s still one shit-million records I need to work through. It’s what it’s, I guess. Anyway. Go pre-order that new Perennial record. That band fucking goes.

Obligatory playlist:

REVIEW: Dan Vapid And The Cheats – "Dan Vapid And The Cheats"

Oh, Danny Vapid. The guy has a hell of a track record. I have spent so much time listening to Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, The Mopes, and The Methadones in the last god knows how many years. So, compared to a ridiculously great back catalog, how is this new shit? It is pretty good.

Dan Vapid And The Cheats is basically power pop / pop punk. As far as the line up goes, It is basically The Methadones. Vapid, Mike Byrne, and Mike Soucy are there. The only difference is that bassist Pete Mittler has been replaced by Simon Lamb (who was in Screeching Weasel for a second or two). That being said, it basically sounds like The Methadones. Well, The Methadones taking their love of power pop to the next level.

For being so simplistic, this record is kind of all over the place. The opener, “Torture Chamber,” has a pretty serious Cheap Trick meets Ramones vibe. “Girl Group” has a 50’s doo wop thing going on. The back up vocals are fucking great on that track. “Die Trying” and “Just Like Cleopatra” are straight up pop punk burners. Basically, the whole record, save for “Devo On Speed,” could have been on a release for any of Vapid’s prior bands. Some songs are right out of The Riverdales songbook, some are more The Mopes. The lion’s share is very much The Methadones.

Really, this is a Dan Vapid band that sounds like what a typical Dan Vapid band would sound like. If you like any of his other bands, this certainly won’t disappoint. Great pop punk written by a guy who has done more for that genre than damn near anyone else.

Dan Vapid And The Cheats
Stream It (Bandcamp)
Buy It (the band links directly to Interpunk)

(NOTE: Normally I link to the label who put this out. This is put out by Torture Chamber. I can’t find anything resembling a website for it. Sorry.)