Under The Radar: The Overlooked Albums Of 2017

All in all, I’d say that 2017 was quite a win when it came to music. In a world where many say that rock n’ roll might be dead, bands still seemed to flourish. But there was such an intensity in the amount of the releases this year that a lot seemed to get lost in the mix.

I’m going to post some albums that I feel didn’t get the recognition that they deserve. I also hope you will too. If there’s an album that you loved that you feel didn’t get a whole lot of lip service, please let us and everyone know about it. Here they are in order from “should be on your radar” to “criminally overlooked.”

16. Big Thief – Capacity

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15. R.Ring – Ignite The rest

14.Pile – A Hairshirt of Purpose

13.Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

12.Six Organs Of Admittance – Burning The Threshold

11.METZ – Strange Peace

10. Feral Ohms – Feral Ohms

Released close to the beginning of the year, Feral Ohms is a great way to have rock kick your ass. A live album released near the end of last year by the legendary Castle Face Records, Feral Ohms self-titled album is a Motörhead mash of hesher hung riffs and super sonic caveman psych. The album is no nonsense and doesn’t overstay its welcome. It will just simply have you begging to be punished again.

9. Once And Future Band – Once And Future Band

This album was released in January and easily slipped under the radar. Once And Future Band’s self-titled album is a beautiful marriage of spacey YES prog and immaculate ELO harmonies. Also, when Terry Reid takes notice you have to understand these guys are something special. An album that needs more attention for sure.

8. The Black Angels – Death Songs

One of the albums that I was sad to not write a review on is The Black Angels’ Death Songs. Following up the disappointment that was 2013’s Indigo Meadow, Death Songs was a psychedelic breath of fresh air. First of all, their name is a call out to the Velvet Underground. Second of all, the group has a strong worship for famed, Texas innovators The 13th Floor Elevators. I see no problems here and neither should you.

7. Guided By Voices – How Do You Spell Heaven

What do you do after you release 100 albums? Release album 101 and of course. Guided By Voices really put fans in a pinch this year. Their first offering this year, August By Cake, would count as main member Robert Pollard’s 100th LP. Then a couple months after that they released the follow up How Do You Spell Heaven. GBV always deserves our attention and not just solely based on output but, consistency too. How Do You Spell Heaven is a working mans rock record pack with prog, power-pop, and British invasion bombast. In a world where rock might be suspected of dying, have no fear GBV is here. The club is open!

6. Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

Pissed Jeans is here to rub shit in your wounds and have you enjoy it at the same time. Ordained in the church of fuck it all, these Allentown, Pa. punk heroes are here to bludgeon you with the monotonous happenings of every day life. Why Love Now reflects on topics such as: Shitty politics, locker room talk, internet trolls, chauvinist assholes, oh and relationships that run their course quickly like shit yogurt. This album made it feel good to get down.

5. Elder – Reflections Of A Floating World

This one came to me quite late but after more then a few listens I knew it had a place here. Elder’s Reflection Of A Floating World is a monolithic album that moves mountains with its musical makeup and creates valleys with its timeless riffs. When looking up more on this album, the term “magnum opus” is being thrown around. If your a music fan that needs some sort of escapism then fret no longer, turn to the floating world.

4. Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Japanese Breakfast is a bedroom project that doesn’t sounds very bedroom at all. Michelle Zauner has released one of the best shoegaze albums this year and it didn’t get the praise that it deserved. If you want to know more you can always read my review here. Soft Sounds From Another Planet is a personal introspective on how Zauner has created her strange little world. It’s not only deep, but catchy as well.

3. CFM – Dichotomy Desaturated

A student in the school of riffs and fuzz, Charles Francis Moothart’s Dichotomy Desaturated shows strengths not only in the fuzz and riffs but in the song writing as well. The Moothart name is usually associated with Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin and Fuzz, which is quite a pedigree if you’re paying attention. Dichotomy Desaturated is one of the best So Cal garage albums to hit this year and out of the pantheon is near the top. With hints of lo-fi pop, jangled stoner riffs, and straight forward punk Moothart really has something here.

2. ORB – Naturality

Caught in King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s shadow, Aussie group ORB with their sophomore album have broken that mold and released one of the most overlooked albums this year. Naturality is this year’s catchiest form of Sabbath worship I’ve heard in a long time. Easily in my top five of this year, just talking about the album doesn’t do it justice. Its vintage feel, sinister grooves, and doomy garage simplicity with have you flying through psychedelic cosmos looking for the rainbow’s end before you know it.

1. Richard Edwards – Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset

Released on Joyful Noise Records, I find it criminal that this album (cover pictured up top) didn’t get more attention. If you want to know Richard Edwards’s history and why I loved this album so much, go and check out my review. But the long and short of it is that Edwards has been an incredible musician dating back to his first short-lived band Archer Avenue. Continuing to shine in Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, then being able to focus those skills on his first solo effort, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset is a deeply personal affair that hits on all the right feels. The most criminally overlooked album of this year.

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