(orginally from January 1, 2008)
Well 2007 came and went and I figured now would be the time to give my pick for album of the year. A little disclaimer before I reveal my decision, my opinion of what was the best album of 2007 will likely change as I listen to more albums that came out in the past year. I considered doing what Fat Mike did and make a list of my top 10 purchases of 2007, but have decided against it for formality's sake. So with that said my choice for 2007 album of the year is...
New Maps Of Hell- Bad Religion
After all these years Bad Religion has proven that they're still at the top of their game, they're not doing anything revolutionary, just following the same pattern of playing songs about government and religion. While we've seen a sea of these types of songs from a number of bands Bad Religion sets themselves apart of the pack. Bands like NOFX will write songs like this while mixing it with humor, and bands like Leftover Crack will mix it with anger and radicalism, but Bad Religion is different from their contemporaries in that the songs have a level of intellectualism that is unmatched. New Maps Of Hell is what you'd expect from a Bad Religion album, and for me that makes it a damn good album.
Sitting Army- Cobra Skulls
My decision for album of the year came down to the last day of the year. It was between two choices, and after listening yesterday to both Sitting Army and New Maps Of Hell, I came to the conclusion that NMOH was the better album. Still I would like to give this disc it's props. The Cobra Skulls really came out of nowhere, they were a band who had released an EP on a no-name label when they were signed to Redscare Industries back in August.
I actually first heard of them right after the signing when Toby Jeg, the owner of Redscare posted the news on a message board, I figured I'd give their myspace page a listen and was blown away by how good they were. While they're easily classified as a punk rock band, their sound has elements of reggae and rockabilly that draws comparison to The Clash, without being a ripoff. Like The Clash their lyrics are also politically tinged, song subjects range from Iraq to Ted Haggard. My only complaint is that they thought it would be a good idea to include the word "Cobra" in to every song title (is that really necessary?). All in all though, Sitting Army is an excellent album, and I expect big things to come from the Cobra Skulls.
Orchestra Of Wolves- Gallows
When I decided to make an entry on album of the year this album was one that I was considering along with the other two. However after doing some research I found out that this was originally released in the U.K. in 2006, and was released in America in 2007 with the addition of some tracks including covers of Black Flag and The Ruts. I guess this disqualifies it from being named 2007 album of the year, but it's a great album and deserves mention. The Gallows are probably the best punk band to come out of England in a long long time. At first I was kind of apprehensive about them because they were signed to Epitaph, and seemed to have heavy media coverage from shitty music magazines. After listening to them my doubts were erased, and I was further convinced that these guys kick ass after hearing the singer (who is a professional tattoo artist) plans on getting a tattoo saying "Fuck The NME" after the band was named in NME's 2007 "cool list".