17 for ’17: Next Year’s Most Anticipated Albums
Name one person — other than Donald Trump or Mike Pence — who isn’t ready to get the hell out of 2016 and try to rebuild the pieces of what's left. Other than the massive “f you” that is the big orange man entering the big white building, there's a lot to look forward to in 2017. We swear. Here are 17 upcoming albums that will (hopefully) keep your chin up.
MASTODON - TBA
Earlier in the year, Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher reported the band’s plans to release their seventh LP, which follows 2014’s Once More 'Round the Sun. He’s framed the Atlanta titans’ new material as a continuation of its predecessor’s heightened melodic ambitions, with a sound described as "'dark' and 'pop' at the same time." With the band marching closer and closer to the mainstream, a takeover appears imminent, and not a moment too soon.
POWER TRIP - NIGHTMARE LOGIC
More battering ram than band, Power Trip are shaping up to take their thrashy, sludgy goodness global on February 24 with Nightmare Logic, their sophomore album and the Dallas barnstormers’ latest release on Southern Lord. If the LP’s attention-grabbing first single “Firing Squad” serves as any indication, the new record is bound to carry the band out of the underground and into the modern-day metal pantheon, right alongside Iron Reagan, Black Anvil and the rest of the latter-day vanguard.
CLOAKROOM - TBA
Self-proclaimed “stoner emo” outfit Cloakroom recently signed to Relapse for their follow-up to 2015’s Further Out, making them the catchiest band on the storied label’s roster next to Nothing. Having recently hit the road with everyone from Best Coast to Modern Life Is War, the Indiana band isn’t exactly subtle about their inclusive ambitions. If those treks didn’t make it clear, then recent single “Big World” — a murky, multi-faceted psychedelic wonderland — certainly does the job.
TY SEGALL - TY SEGALL
Would it be a year without a new Ty Segall record? Ty may be the most prolific and consistent musician of our time.
AUSTRA - FUTURE POLITICS
That Kate Bush-style croon has returned, and we’ll be able to catch Katie Stelmanis back in front of her synth-pop project as early as January of 2017. What’s not to like?
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN - DAMAGE AND JOY
Arguably one of the best and most influential bands in alternative music returns after almost 20 years away. Sure, it’s going to be hard to top their previous output, and Munki wasn’t exactly a shining star in their catalog, but fuck … it’s the Jesus and Mary Chain.
DRAB MAJESTY - THE DEMONSTRATION
Dark, romantic '80s stylings are the key to the Drab Majesty sound, spinning the proceedings for a new era. “Cold Souls” is a good sneak peek into the progression since Careless, and frankly, we can’t wait.
SLEAFORD MODS – ENGLISH TAPAS
The (bad) boys are back in town, serving up awesome storytelling to similarly compelling beats. What’s more, the duo will be part of a documentary called Bunch of Kunst that follows them from pub gigs to their current standing as an arena band.
JAPANDROIDS - NEAR TO THE WILD HEART OF LIFE
This may be Trump's America right now (gulp), but all signs point to it being that of Japandroids, too. Five years removed from their beloved Celebration Rock, the duo has returned for a highly, highly anticipated (to put it mildly) LP on ANTI-. The title track points to more big choruses and Springsteen / Americana-influenced rock 'n' roll.
CLOUD NOTHINGS - LIFE WITHOUT SOUND
Listening to Cloud Nothings' new single “Internal World,” it’s hard not to feel all warm and fuzzy about how far the Cleveland punk band has come. In a single song, they’ve taken elements of their past three records and harnessed them into a song full of confidence and attitude, rightly assured of their kickassedness. Life Without Sound is set to be another stake in Cloud Nothings' claim in the world of punk.
THE MENZINGERS - AFTER THE PARTY
Not many bands have allowed themselves to get as honest as the Menzingers, and that’s a shame for them. The band’s new songs have all been knockouts, tracks like "Lookers" showing them thinking back to days of lost youth, a bittersweet reminder of what they used to be. After the Party is bound to be a slugger, sonically and emotionally.
CODE ORANGE - FOREVER
Oftentimes, the most freeing feeling in music can be allowing oneself to give into uninhibited rage. And guess what? Code Orange’s Forever is going to be one of 2017’s most violent records. After whittling their sound to its bare elements on 2014’s I Am King, Code Orange are building things up again, incorporating unpredictable moments of noise and effects to surprise the listener, not unlike being shanked in a dark alley. It’s unapologetic, unflinching and hungry, a challenge to all records in the genre to step up.
FULL OF HELL - TBA
After a series of collaboration albums, it’s time to see what Full of Hell have gleaned from working with the likes of Merzbow and the Body. For their third solo LP, the band has teamed up with Kurt Ballou and GodCity Studio, an extra kick in the ass to make sure this record is going to be thick. As heard on their recent split with Nails, FOH still have their most aggressive and intricate work ahead of them, a good sign of annihilation to come.
PISSED JEANS - WHY LOVE NOW
Everything leading up to the new Pissed Jeans record has been pretty wonderful. From the incredible promo picture of the band obscured next to Philly’s Kurt Vile mural to the bounce and jangle of “The Bar Is Low,” all signs are pointing to a newly energized Pissed Jeans, set to keep their train of attitude-filled punk chugging along.
PALLBEARER - TBA
It’s felt a little empty this year without an album from Arkansas doom warlords Pallbearer. Sure, we were held over not too long ago by their Fear & Fury EP, but nothing comes close to a full-length from this band, promising new seas of textures for us to slowly dip into.
ALLISON CRUTCHFIELD - TBA
With P.S. Eliot dead and gone (R.I.P.) and nothing new on the Swearin’ front as of late, Allison Crutchfield has made a welcome return to her steadily expanding solo career, showcased most recently on 2014’s Lean in to It EP. Recorded in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn, Mary Lattimore), her debut solo album, Tourist in This Town, takes Crutchfield’s intimate sound and expands it considerably, marking what she referred to in a press release as “a sonic transition in the way I think about the element of space in music.”
SHEER MAG - TBA
It's hard to believe how much Sheer Mag have ruled thus far, but it's pretty obvious they're only getting started. With a trilogy of punky, ambitious EPs under their belts, the band is set to drop their debut LP next year. We don't know who is going to put it out, or exactly when, but we heard from a little birdie that it will definitely appear in 2017. So, set aside some cash to buy a million copies when it drops.
ICYMI, here are best-of lists from Fred Pessaro, John Hill and Zoe Camp: