12.31.2016

BEST ALBUMS OF 2016

BEST ALBUMS OF 2016

A lot happened this year. Some good, some bad, some heartrendingly horrible. However, for all the awful and evil shit that happened this year, music is arguably at its best right now. So many cool records and bands came out this year.
So let's focus on that, and not the bullshit that flooded this calendar.

Gucci Mane - Everybody Looking

Gucci came home this year after he turned his whole life around. Got off drugs, got accused of being a clone for getting in shape, got engaged... It's been a big year for Mr. Zone Six. His first project released after being let out of jail and it served as a strong reminder why we looked at Gucci as a powerhouse in the first place. He brought Kanye West, Drake, Young Thug, Zaytoven, and Mike WiLL in to make you remember who he is, as if you'd forgotten. 



Future - Purple Reign

2015 was truly Future's year, Beast Mode, What a Time to be Alive, and DS2 were released and it was apparent he wasn't slowing down anytime soon. So when this year rolled around the FutureHive and rap fans everywhere looked to see what the Atlanta rapper would return with and he did not disappoint. Purple Reign plays with a lot of common themes we see in his music—self-loathing, drug abuse, escapism, carelessness. The things anyone carrying about that much pain who has to hide it would have in their lyrics. It is Future's ability to spin his pain into both deeply philosophical lines and party anthems that we love him for and there was no shortage of that here.

 Pity Sex - White Hot Moon

An album I've had on repeat since it came out, with its subtle verses, fuzzy-buzzy guitars, booming choruses, and solid percussion foundation this was an easy choice. Pity Sex has always been one of the few bands that can elicit an emotional response from me due to their poignant lyrics about love and death. Unlike other bands in their genre they touch on what it's like to be the one doing the wrong in a relationship instead of being a victim of it. With songs like "Plum" and lyrics like "I'll always think of your lips/when I'm moving mine against his" this album hits core emotional spots and the prowess with which they do it make it a classic.

Angel Du$t - Rock The Fuck On Forever

Angel Du$t is a band that I was skeptical of when they first came into play but after seeing them live shortly after Xtra Raw came out I was made a believer. This band is fun and carefree in every sense. With song themes almost exclusively about girls and relationships in general you'd think they'd be a sadder band but not at all. Rock The Fuck On Forever makes that point time and time again. It's all the excitement and buzz of having a crush and the in-betweens of success and failure of holding that crush's hand pressed into wax.

 Antwon - Double Ecstasy

Okay, this is an EP but I make the fucking rules here so it's going on the list.

Double Ecstasy is my favorite Antwon release to date for a lot of reasons but the biggest one is instrumentally alone this is a strong and well thought out album. Add on the witty lyrics and "stuck in your head" hooks and this EP fits the criteria to make this list easily.


Human Garbage - Promo 2016

Also not technically an album, but again, I don't care.

Human Garbage specializes in raw anger and auditory assault. What makes them special is the simple fact that the people in this band are writing what they live. Throughout all their releases, Human Garbage is less "look what I'm holding inside" and more "here's another of example of how I feel in case talking to me didn't get the point across" in a realness brought on by lived experience. Solid lyrics and instrument composition make for a release that's as fun as it is angry.

YG - Still Brazy

A lot of people overlook the story YG told on this album for the club bangers like "Twist My Fingaz" and "Why You Always Hatin" but this man has mastered the ability of tying the two together without sacrificing the power of either. With "Who Shot Me?" detailing all the thoughts and feelings he had after being hit and political anthems like "FDT" and "Blacks and Browns" YG shows versatility and is a famous example of what people in the hood have been saying forever: just because I look/act/talk a certain way doesn't mean I have no concept of the world outside my hood. With high replay value, a nostalgic feel of stories old heads in the projects tell you, and the ever-present element of danger of someone whose life is treacherous, this is a classic.

Culture Abuse - Peach

When this initially came out I gave it a review that is more emotional than objective and that's exactly what this record is to me. It's ten tracks of feelings with the overall one being "do whatever you want" followed closely by "keep your loved ones really close" and a quick listen to this will put your feet back on the ground when you're starting to feel disconnected from everything. Bearing incredibly catchy lyrics and great parts to dance to and sing along with, Peach is a one of a kind album. A Hayley's Comet kind of album.

Criminal Instinct - Zone 6 Music

Controversial. That's the one word anyone needs when talking about Zone 6 Music or Criminal Instinct in general. They pull no punches and give you the reality of a (violent) situation whether you want it or not, like it or not. Zone 6 Music followed their first LP Fever and despite the time between records not a shred of talent was lost. Z6M is harder and angrier although less raw but that just shows the focus of rage with age. With grittier, deeper vocals, biting guitars, and relentless percussion to drive home lyrics that hold the human condition with no love, this album solidified Criminal Instinct's place as one of the most irate bands in hardcore today.

21 Savage - Savage Mode

There's nothing to say about this album that hasn't already been said about Charles Manson. It's dark, brooding, and violent. 21 Savage's complete lack of emotion in his flow is what gives this record its leg up on others. Where other people rap he simply retells stories about his life. His deadpan tone leaves you with the impression that not a single line was exaggerated. With excellent production from Metro Boomin and a feature from Atlanta counterpart Future, Savage Mode is just a small flex of prowess from a young rap king.

12.14.2016

SPOTLIGHT: FULL MEASURES

SPOTLIGHT: FULL MEASURES

If you've ever been to Atlanta for a show then you've probably at least heard of these guys.

Full Measures is a four piece hailing from the A. In 2016 there is certainly no shortage of bands, you can find just about any style of punk you'd like to suit yourself. The only downfall to this is that people forget about bands with a sound that's tried and true. Thankfully, we have Full Measures to remind us.

Throughout their catalog they show a wealth of growth without drastically changing their style. They didn't do the "let's try this... okay that sucked let's try this..." thing a lot of bands go through. They decided on their style and consistently improve upon it, something few bands can say. Their most recent release is their two song promo for their full length which will be out in 2017.

If you enjoy a classic hardcore sound without any excess bells and whistles, this is the band you should be listening to right now.

You can listen to the new Full Measures promo on Bandcamp and keep up with them on Twitter.