2016 was the year that I discovered that there are some really wonderful queer/feminist hardcore and punk bands out there that are talking about really important things – they’re breaking binaries and giving people voices in the process.
It’s been difficult to narrow my favourites down to just five albums because there were many that I fell in love with this year. Finding stuff that you can relate to on multiple levels is beautiful and many of these choices have made it into my top five because of that (not forgetting the fact that they’re bloody brilliant too).
Anyway, here are my top five…
1). Against Me! – Shape Shift With Me
I didn’t think they could top 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues (one of my favourite albums of all time) but this album hit me like nothing else has this year. Laura Jane Grace’s voice offers validation and reassurance for so many who never hear or see their experiences represented in media/film/music. Brave and uplifting, but painfully cathartic at times, the album is a refreshing take on relationships and life in general from a trans perspective. I can’t stress the importance of this release enough – it’s a must hear.
2). Petrol Girls – Talk Of Violence
Petrol Girls will give you something to be angry about – within a few minutes of listening to this album you’ll find yourself ready to protest and smash things up and that’s why I loved it. They’re angry for all the right reasons (misogyny, binaries, sexism, borders) and it’s about time people started paying attention to the invaluable things they have to say.
3). Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it came out in the summer. It’s a refreshing slap in the face, upbeat and always helps to pick up my mood. Lyrical honesty, irritatingly catchy tracks and hooks are what makes this political pop/punk album really really fun to listen to.
4). The Hotelier – Goodness
Goodness is a poignant, cathartic and collected release. It’s full of everything I love about The Hotelier and more – riffs that bloom with vigour, raw spoken word sections, and lyrics that advocates individuality and encourages you to live and love harder. It’s saturated with palpable emotion and is an album that you can drift serenely along to, and you’ll feel a weight lifted from your shoulders by the end of it.
5). Doe – Some Things Last Longer Than You
I played this album on a loop for days when I first heard it. Yes, it is that good. The tracks are brimming with potent sincerity and yet they’re addictive as hell, Doe are a band whose future I’m really excited about!
Here are some others that were also so good that I just can’t go without mentioning them…
Nervus – Permanent Rainbows
Milk Teeth – Vile Child
Oathbreaker – Rheia