Here are my 13 favorite albums of 2013 listed for your reading pleasure (or displeasure) in descending order of preference.
13. Tres Cabrones - Melvins
Been a fan of the Melvins since 1993's Houdini and actually became a bigger fan when the released their Maggot/Bootlicker/Crybaby trilogy back in 1999 and 2000. I wrote a review of this album last month here on Otter Limits in my Album of the Moment column. My favorite songs on this album are "Dr Mule" "American Cow" and "Stump Farmer."
12. Christmas Songs - Bad Religion
I gotta admit, I'm not a big fan of Christmas music. But when Bad Religion sings Christmas songs, it is not only ironic but they rock. This album, the 2008 Christmas with Weezer album and the 2004 Duvall album O Holy Night are the only Christmas albums worth listening to.
11. Dead End Streets - The Ducky Boys
I never really listened to The Ducky Boys all that much but Dave (aka Lefty) kept talking about them so I finally gave a few of their older albums such as Three Chords and the Truth and liked what I heard so I went out online and downloaded this one and really got into it.
10. Desperate Ground - The Thermals
The Thermals are another band that, strangely enough, I just recently started listening to. In fact, I only started listening to them this year. I heard a couple of songs on YouTube and decided to go out and buy the 2006 album The Body, The Blood, The Machine and fell in love with it. Desperate Ground simply sounds like a Thermals album, exactly how it should sound. No reason to deviate from what works.
9. All Hat & No Cattle - Chris Shiflett and the Dead Peasants
One of the stranger albums on the list, on this one Foo Fighters guitarist takes on a bunch of old honky tonk songs. I did a review of this one back when it was first released in July on Album Review: All Hat & No Cattle. Favorites on this one are "Guitar Pickin' Man" and "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way."
8. My Shame is True - Alkaline Trio
Big fan of this band. Their 2010 album This Addiction was a hard one to top and although I wouldn't necessarily say that My Shame is True is a better album than This Addiction they still brought together a really great bunch of songs like "She Lied to the FBI" and "Young Lovers."
7. Aftershock - Motorhead
Another band that sticks to formula like it should. I reviewed this one back in October on Album Review: Aftershock. Favorites are "Heartbreaker" "Coup de Grace" "End of Time" and "Death Machine."
6. Tape Deck Heart - Frank Turner
I started listening to this British punk rocker turned folk/punk artist with his 2011 album England Keep My Bones. This album is far and away better than that one and there is no doubt he will get better as time goes by. My favorite songs on this album are "The Way I Tend To Be" "Plain Sailing Weather" and "Four Simple Words."
5. In the Throes - John Moreland
Another gem from Tulsa Oklahoma singer/songwriter Moreland. He is another artist that just gets better as he goes. This one includes one of the best songs he has ever written "Nobody Gives a Damn About Songs Anymore" but also includes great songs such as "Blacklist" "Oh Julia" and "Blues & Kudzu."
4. Two - Dan Vapid & the Cheats
The sophomore effort by the project of former Screeching Weasel alumnus Dan Vapid is absolutely amazing. Vapid writes such good songs (like he did with Weasel). This is a band I would love to see live sometime. Favorites songs on this album are "I'm a Contrarian" and "Cold and Rainy Days."
3. Home - Off With Their Heads
Strangely enough, I had never even heard of this band until I saw them open up for Teenage Bottlerocket in Oklahoma City at the Conservatory back in March. After seeing them perform their music, I immediately fell in love with this band. I bought the Home album that night at the merch table but also immediately went out and bought their previous album, 2010's In Desolation. My favorite songs on this album are...uhm....aww hell, I like them all.
2. Devour - Dave Hause
Another punk rocker turned folk/punk/Americana artist, I actually didn't start listening to him until earlier this year either. He was another artist that was referred to me by Dave (aka Lefty). I'm really glad I did. As much as I loved his 2011 album Resolutions this album blows it away. Reviewed this one in October on Album of the Moment: Devour. Favorites songs on this one are "Damascus" "The Great Depression" and (probably the best song of the year) "We Could Be Kings."
1. Titles - Red City Radio
The absolute top album of the year comes from some local boys, Oklahoma City punk rock band Red City Radio. There is nothing I can really say more about this album that I didn't already saw on my review on my Oct 15 Album Review of it. My favorite songs on this album are "Joy Comes With the Morning" "Two Notes Shy of an Octave" "Show Me on the Doll Where the Music Touched You" and "A Joke With No Words."
I really have to say that deciding between the top 3 on this list took a lot of hard-core thinking and re-arranging. I really should just say that there it is a tie between Home, Devour and Titles but this is how things turned out.
Ubergeek - Otisburg
It might seem a little self-serving to include my own band's album in this list but (1) it's not on the actual list, it's an honorable mention, and (2) self-serving or not, it was really good. It's a 5-song EP (including the bonus demo track of an instrumental called "Stop the Car and Pull Over I Think I'm Going To Be Sick"). It also includes a completely re-recorded version of the song "Hey Jennifer" which was originally released on the 2007 EP Born Yesterday. My favorite songs on this one are the title track and the aforementioned "Hey Jennifer."
Well, that's it for the 2013 Best Albums list. See you next year!