#5) Descendents, Hypercaffium Spazznate
First things first; what a poor choice for an album name in 2016. Still, Descendents came back swinging in 2016 with their first album in 12 years. A long break between records is nothing new for the band that has been operating as the Godfathers of Pop Punk for nearly 40 years now. The band, now firmly in their 50s, show very little signs of aging; the songs about consuming fast food burgers are reworked – focusing on their gastrointestinal aftermath on ‘No Fat Burger’. Musically however, Descendents have never missed a beat – delivering the hook-ladden, punchy, Pop Punk they always have.
#4) Jeff Rosenstock, Worry.
You may have noticed that Jeff Rosenstock appeared in our list of 2015’s Best Punk Albums for his debut solo release We Cool?. One year later Rosenstock is back in our Top 5 with his follow up album Worry. The former frontman of Bomb The Music Industry! has released one of his most ambitious and far reaching albums to date. On Side B of Worry, Rosenstock blasts through a rough history of alternative music with precise and bombastic bursts of smart and engaging punk music; An Abbey Road for weird Emos, Punks, and Indie Rockers.
#3) PUP, The Dream Is Over
PUP not only took out the award for ‘Album Cover of the Year’ with The Dream Is Over, they also pushed themselves further than ever before. Look no further than the opening one-two punch of ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You I Will’ and ‘DVP’ – tales of misery and touring vans that combine to make the finest punk outburst of 2016.
PUP went bigger and better with their sophomore release, creating a more cohesive record than their last. An album that never stays still, but lets you enjoy every twist and turn they make.
#2) Safe Hands, Tie Your Soul To Mine
Novocastrian outfit Safe Hands have been keeping their nose to the grindstone for over a decade. Through an ever changing sound and lineup, the one thing that has remained the same is the soul of the music; always heavy and uncompromising, always intense and passionate.
However, Tie Your Soul To Mine is the biggest departure for the band to date, in the best way possible. From the tamborine-laden outros (‘The Great Affair’) to heartwrenching acoustic ballads (‘Wagtails’); Safe Hands changed the formula without losing any of the magic. This album is one of the most criminally underrated works of the year.
#1) Camp Cope, Camp Cope
This time last year Camp Cope were in the studio recording their debut album. With a one song demo and a handful of shows to their name, former acoustic singer/songwriter Georgia Maq, bassist Kelly-Damn Hellmrich, and drummer Sarah Thompson came through with one of the most impressive debut albums of the decade.
What makes Camp Cope’s debut album so engaging is its bare bones; there are no smoke and mirrors here, no manufactured hype or studio trickery – just songs. Camp Cope lay all their cards on the table for you to see. Maq’s lyrics are honest, casual, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Hellmrich’s bass playing is an innovation, no doubt to be copied in countless 2017 releases. Thompson keeps the entire band in the pocket through smart playing and subtle touches. Camp Cope’s debut will be seen as an Emo/Punk benchmark for years to come.