WARNING: Before you trolls try to shit on our list, these are our picks for the most underrated albums of the year – underrated meaning “underappreciated and/or overlooked.” So for anyone asking why Paramore, All Time Low, Code Orange, AFI, At The Drive-In, Knuckle Puck, Circa Survive, Movements, The Maine, Neck Deep, Counterparts etc. didn’t make the list, that’s why.
In today’s world of stream-it-and-leave-it – you know, where you skim through an album once or twice on Spotify then move on to the next – it’s pretty likely you’ve actually done yourself a disservice as that record you skipped might of had the potential of becoming one of your all-time favorites.
Now of course, the records we’re referring to aren’t the ones you’ve been dying to hear for months. We all know those records get the time and attention they deserve. Instead, we’re talking about the “oh yeah, I heard that was coming out” record you spend about fifteen minutes listening to while checking your Instagram and Twitter.
“Those records” are the ones we’re here to acknowledge today because whether it was done knowingly or not, you definitely missed out on some of the best music of the year. So, in order to help highlight all the fantastic releases you overlooked or simply had no idea even existed in the first place, we put together a list of the 12 most underrated albums of 2017 we here at The Noise are most thankful for – you know, cause “holiday spirit” and stuff. To check out our list, be sure to look below. Afterwards, make sure to find us on Twitter @thenoise and tweet us your list so we can pointlessly argue until someone decides not to tweet back in shame. Enjoy!
‘68 - Two Parts Viper
Before we begin to drool all over ourselves about ‘68′s ear-shattering release Two Parts Viper, we have to admit a couple things. First, anything Josh Scogin creates will always be a part of whatever “Best Of” list we’re making. The man is a musical gift to this earth. Secondly, a part of us are taking this chance to praise Two Parts Viper because, in order to promote the new album, we thought it would be an incredible idea to ask ‘68, well, 68 questions – because how perfect, right? Well, we ended up doing it and Josh was an absolute trooper throughout the entire, drawn-out thing. Thank you for not hating us, Josh.
Now on to Two Parts Viper. Serving as a well-polished and fine-tuned follow-up to their debut In Humor And Sadness, ‘68 took what they excelled at on their first release (simple-yet-enjoyable groove-filled riffs, ear-popping guitar effects, honest and heartfelt lyrics) and really honed in on it. Providing songs like “Whether Terrified or Unafraid,” “This Life Is Old, New, Borrowed and Blue” and “No Apologies,” Scogin showcases his undeniable and ever-growing abilities as a songwriter and lyricist.
A Lot Like Birds - Divisi // Sufferer - Sufferer
In 2017, vocalist Cory Lockwood had himself quite the year releasing not one but two new albums with two different bands. One album, A Lot Like Bird’s devastatingly emotional Divisi, served as the vocalist’s primary outlet as he dealt with the passing of his mother Shelley. Heartbroken and devasted, Lockwood rallied around his bandmates to help put together an impressively experimental and vibe-heavy record – one that wouldn’t feature co-vocalist Kurt Travis as he and the band decided to part ways. As for Lockwood’s second release of 2017, he and supergroup Sufferer (which includes members of I The Mighty and Hail The Sun) took a more destructive path releasing their extraordinarily chaotic and helter-skelter self-titled LP – the kind of chaotic some A Lot Like Birds fans might remember from 2011′s Conversation Piece. While the two LPs might attract different listeners for different reasons, both of which are extremely well-deserving of our most underrated list.
Stray From The Path - Only Death Is Real
There are three things we absolutely love about hardcore records: Head-pounding breakdowns, guest vocals and honest lyrics calling out all the bullshit happening in our world today. With Stray From The Path’s Only Death Is Real, you can without a doubt check off all three categories on their heart racing 10-track LP. Supplying breakdowns galore, guest vocals from Every Time I Die’s Keith Buckley, Knocked Loose’s Bryan Garris and Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks as well as tracks about beating up Nazis and a fucked up government, Only Death Is Real is a bonified classic in our books.
Trapped Under Ice - Heatwave
Easily our shortest-yet-most-electric album on the list, Trapped Under Ice’s Heatwave is a firey fourteen-minute punch to the gut from beginning to end. Serving as the band’s first album since 2011′s Big Kiss Goodnight, Trapped Under Ice’s latest was well worth the wait with standout bangers like “XL,” “Throw It Away” and “Other Side.”
Greeley Estates - Calling All The Hopeless
We don’t know about you guys but we here at The Noise have a definite soft spot for comeback records. Even though Greeley Estates’ Calling All The Hopeless is only an EP, it’s certainly everything we’ve been waiting to hear since 2013′s Devil Son. Supplying listeners with six brand new tracks, all of which having some sort of influence from one of the band’s previous five LPs, Calling All The Hopeless is the perfect release for any era of Greeley Estates fan.
Northern Ghost - Happy: Sad: Depressed: Suicidal
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of premiering Northern Ghost’s emotional music video for their incredibly infectious track “Heart Of Stone.” In doing so, we were introduced to a young post-hardcore outfit absolutely bursting with raw talent. After obsessing over their single and playing it about 150 times, we quickly turned to their debut album Happy: Sad: Depressed: Suicidal. Just one listen in, we were hooked. Long story short: Go listen to Northern Ghost.
Can’t Swim - Fail You Again
Debut albums are difficult to write. You know the saying, “You have your whole life to write your first album.” However, in the case of Can’t Swim songwriter Chris LoPorto, he was only granted a few months to churn out Can’t Swim’s infectious 12-track LP Fail You Again as he and his bandmates were looking to top the success of their 2016 EP Death Deserves A Name. Doing just that, LoPorto and company ended up putting together a fabulous record of catchy earworms that have stuck with listeners since its release back in March. Don’t believe us? Go ahead and give “What’s Your Big Idea?,” “We Won’t Sleep,” and “Stranger” a listen and just try not to get sucked into those big choruses. Good luck.
Ghost Atlas - All Is In Synch, And There’s Nothing Left To Sing About
Unless you’re a pretty big Erra fan, there’s a good chance the name Ghost Atlas might not jump off the page at you. Which is fine, however, after reading this don’t let it happen again. Serving as Jesse Cash’s side project and ode to the less-metal-more-post-hardcore bands he grew up listening to like Circa Survive, his debut album All In In Synch, And There’s Nothing Left To Sing About is easily one of Cash’s best musical releases. Now no disrespect to Erra but what Cash was able to pull off on his first-ever solo full-length is utterly jaw-dropping. From start to finish, All Is In Synch’s flawless pursuit of producing accessible groove-laden rock anthems is, well, perfect. Go listen to “Legs” and try to tell us otherwise.
Envy On The Coast - Ritual
Just in case you weren’t paying attention to what we said earlier during our Greeley Estates write up: WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE COMEBACK RECORDS AND WILL INCLUDE (most of) THEM ON ANY AND ALL BEST OF LISTS. Now that’s out of the way, Envy On The Coast is back and graced us with their first new release since 2010. As if that’s not reason enough to love their six-track EP Ritual, the newly reincarnated duo of Ryan Hunter and Brian Byrne put together a sensationally hip, Incubus-like record we haven’t stopped jamming since it was released this summer. If you, like us, have completely destroyed your six copies of Low Country by listening to it way too much, we strongly suggest switching over to Ritual.
END - From The Unforgiving Arms Of God
Coming in as the record none of us expected to make this list, mainly because none of us even knew this project existed before it was announced, From The Unforgiving Arms Of God by END is an absolute must-listen for any fans of “heavy” music. From the EP’s brutal opener “Chewing Glass” to its merciless ender “Survived By Nothing,” you will not be the same person after hearing this record – mainly because your face will be rearranged by the time you finish “Necessary Death.” Featuring members of Counterparts, Fit For An Autopsy, Reign Supreme and more, END has an incredibly bright future ahead of them if the members choose to pursue it – which we sure hope they do.
Have Mercy - Make The Best Of It
When news broke that Have Mercy was going through a member change for their new album, a part of us grew worrisome wondering what that would result in. After hearing Make The Best Of It, we now wish all our favorite bands would go through lineup changes right before releasing a new record – just kidding, member changes are no fun. As the title suggests though, remaining member Brian Swindle made the absolute best of his unfortunate situation and ended up releasing Have Mercy’s greatest album yet.
Honorable Mentions: While She Sleeps, Chon, Free Throw, Loathe, The Menzingers, Rozwell Kid, Sorority Noise, Ho99o9, Spiritbox, Crazy 88, nothing,nowhere.