Favourite Punk Albums of 2011
Published Feb 02, 2012To wrap up 2011, we published our picks for the best Punk albums of the year, featuring releases from Fucked Up, OFF! and Iceage, before turning the vote over to you, the fans, with our year-end Readers Poll.
After receiving our most entries ever, the results are finally in, including the "intellectual" Canadians you crowned the "best punk band in the business," "the working man's spokesmen" flying the flag for Ireland and the "resurgence of old school tendencies" thanks to some Orange County favourites.
Check out the full Punk results below and read why they topped your playlists in 2011.
Exclaim! Readers Poll: Top 10 Punk Records of 2011:
1. Fucked Up
David Comes to Life (Matador)
"They're prolific, unusual, a great live band and intellectual. In short: not your average punk band."
Tom Thwaits, Meaford, ON
"Sometimes punk can get repetitive, it is the progressiveness balanced with punk roots that make this band so interesting. It's smart, layered, heavy, yet accessible. Third and best album."
Scott Wolfe, Winnipeg, MB
"Some naysayers may dismiss this band as not being 'hardcore,' but Fucked Up's ambition lets it transcend musical boundaries in a way that few artists today can. And while the narrative in David Comes to Life isn't easy to decipher (especially if you're trying to figure out what Damian Abraham's growling without a lyrics sheet), the incredibly layered, musically diverse album stands as one of the most unique punk gems since Husker Du's Zen Arcade."
Mathew Blenkarn, Ashton, ON
"Probably the best thing to have ever happened to punk. And the fact that they are Canadian makes them the best punk band in the business. Also, they are my favourite band."
Jordan Matheson, Saskatoon, SK
"No other punk or hardcore record this year or for the past decade has come close to this one. It makes the switch from muscular to melodic seem effortless, expansively ambitious, and somehow both challenging and accessible, Fucked Up reminded me why I love punk rock. Astounding."
Aaron King, Wilberforce, ON
2. Dropkick Murphys
Going Out In Style (Born & Bred)
"An upbeat album, with surprising depth, as seen in such tracks as 'The Hardest Mile,' which examined the murder of Irish migrant workers at Duffy's Cut in the 1800s."
Shannon Palmer, North Bay, ON
"These guys don't release any bad music."
Callum Campbell, Toronto, ON
"Hitting you hard and fast, Dropkick keeps the Celtic punk coming with a blend of old school sound and matured musicianship."
Brett Smith, Saskatoon, SK
"These guys are the working man's spokesmen!"
Victoria Handysides, Moncton, NB
"Always a blast to see live!"
David Riddles, Burlington, ON
3. Social Distortion
Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (Epitaph)
"Social Distortion always make great albums."
Nials Everett, Almonte, ON
Grace Struthers, Calgary, AB
"Real rock 'n' roll!"
Paul Walsh, Conception Bay South, NL
"They just keep makin' em better."
Michael Barnes, Toronto, ON
"Big year for the resurgence of old school tendencies."
Rebecca Hook, Mississauga, ON
New Brigade (What's Your Rupture?)
"Loud and sharp, but with a light dusting of melody that kept me coming back."
Andre Todoroff, Toronto, ON
"Yep good stuff."
Simon Fazakerley, Montreal, QC
"Though punk may not be for everyone, I don't think there is one person on this planet that can't name at least one punk song that they like. I'm loving Iceage's new album."
Julia Spencer, Ottawa, ON
First Four EPs (Vice)
"Old school punk like Keith Morris was meant to be."
Scott Breese, Toronto, ON
"A great release from a true hardcore punk pioneer, Black Flag's Keith Morris."
Brad Schmale, Toronto, ON
"Not sure it qualifies for 2011, but what a blast of energy. Nice to be reminded you are never old enough to know better."
Darin Strukoff, Delta, BC
"The return of Keith Morris. It's the best hardcore band since Circle jerks and Black Flag ruled the American '80s hardcore scene!"
Ian Burmaster, Edmonton, AB
"Came out last year - but they suddenly became the new big thing in punk this year - saying something for old guys!"
Luke Pallaris, Toronto, ON
"Great to see a '90s band come back to the scene and release something great after not having an album for 8 years. Also amazing that it was produced by Mark, Tom and Travis only."
Kyle Butler, Stoney Creek, ON
"After much controversy and tragedies since their original demise, Blink-182 is back, and Neighborhoods proves they have not lost their touch for writing witty, poignant songs."
Matt Seaborn, Toronto, ON
"Fantastic!! Waited way too long for this."
Steven Teslic, Stoney Creek, ON
Rene Blais, Brookside, NS
7. Black Lips
Arabia Mountain (Vice)
"After the release of 200 Million Thousand and the King Khan-Black Lips collaboration Almighty Defenders, I was a little worried about the future of Black Lips. The songs were weak, almost sounding unfinished. But then 2011 finds the 'Lips in a fancy studio with Mark Ronson, and voila! The old magic seems to have returned! Songs like the opener "Family Tree" makes you remember why you loved the Black Lips in the first place; dirty garage rock that will stick in your head."
Harris Leach, Thunder Bay, ON
"I haven't had the internet so I'm a little behind, but the Black Lips have always been pretty consistent."
Kai Davey-Bellin, Toronto, ON
8. Living With Lions
Holy Shit (Black Box Recordings)
"Honest, hard working punk rock band puts out a killer album and fights to keep it that way."
Mike Dojcsak, Brantford, ON
"Hands down best artist/album in punk."
Rene Fitzgerald, Woodlawn, ON
"Well made. Best album of 2011. Well produced. Great lyrics and music."
Sagiv Ghosalkar, Thornhill, ON
"2011 marked a resurgence of the pop punk genre, with solid releases from NFG, Man Overboard, Transit, Chixdiggit and more, but LWL rise to the top thanks to Stu's gravelly vocals & a boost from the album art controversy."
Dustin Blumhagen, Galahad, AB
9. Rise Against
"Nearly 15 years into their career, Rise Against continue to kick ass – I'm torn between headbanging, playing air guitar, and singing along at the top of my lungs."
Chris Hibbard, Lethbridge, AB
10. The Brains
Drunk Not Dead (Stomp)
"This band just gets better."
Chris MacIsaac, Lawrencetown, NS
Allan Dennis, New Westminster, BC
"A male-fronted answer to the Creepshow. They wear their mohawks and leather without irony. Zombirific!"
Christine Leonard-Cripps, Calgary, AB