It has become the norm for music lovers around the world at this time of year to compile a list of their favourite records throughout the year.
Just an Insight is no different, but before we get into it we would like to take a moment to just acknowledge how much great music has been released this year. Even though our main listening has been in the hardcore punk realm, there has been some great albums all across the board.
We would love to compile a top 100 list but that would inevitably expand into a top 150 and so on. So we have based this list on what JAI has listened to most in 2016. So here goes.
Number 10 – Honeyblood “Babes Never Die”
This was a record that we came on to quite late in the year, but what an album.
Right from the start of the title track “Babes Never Die” the record consists on non-stop bangers. There are so many hooks in this album and after the first listen you will be singing along to the choruses of the duos songs.
Ever since seeing the duo a year ago JAI has been craving more from them, and now that this record has been released into the world the wait was definitely worth it.
Number 9 – Frank Ocean “Blond”
An album that almost came out of nowhere, Frank Ocean’s latest offering is once again very fitting of the man who doesn’t stick to genre types.
A bit more of an abstract and experimental sound in comparison to Ocean’s previous releases “Blond” is a bit of a grower rather than an instant classic.
The song “Nikes” has also became many people’s top song of 2016 and it is easy to see why.
Number 8 – Nails “You Will Never Be One of Us”
One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2016 did no disappoint in the slightest. Fast, aggressive and on point. With each record Nails progress and little bit more and show an darker more intense side to their music.
For the purest in some people “You Will Never Be One of Us” is a step away from the grind / powerviolence sound that some have become some accustom to with this band, but that isn’t to say that it isn’t a bad album, because in our opinion it really is a great record.
Number 7 – Gatecreeper “Sonoran Depravation”
Quite possibly one of the heaviest records JAI listened to this year.
With riffs for days, Gatecreeper were a band that weren’t really on the JAI radar until this album came along.
Now, “Sonoran Depravation” is probably the go to rag album to just bang your head to. With a crossover between metal, hardcore and thrash, it offers up something for all fans of all things heavy.
Number 6 – The Hotelier “Goodness”
In the last couple of year’s The Hotelier have slowly become one of JAI’s favourite bands, and this was cemented when seeing them live at the start of the year.
So when news of the band release a new full-length surfaced we became very excited. “Goodness” did not disappoint.
It is a bit of a move away from “Home, Like No Place There Is”, but in a progressive way and if it is possible The Hotelier have shown an even more vulnerable side with this record.
On top of this “Goodness Pt2” is up there with one of our favourite songs for 2016.
Number 5 – Let it Die “The Liar & The Saint”
It seems like talk of this album has been year’s in the pipeline, even to the point where it never looked like it would see the light of day.
But the day Let it Die’s debut full-length dropped it changed the game for UK hardcore. The truly pummelling record is like a gunshot to the heart.
Similarly to Gatecreeper it has riffs for days, and as a band JAI has seen grow from day one, they deserve all the acclaim they are getting off the back of this release.
Number 4 – Wet “Don’t You”
There is only one word that can describe this album, beautiful.
We didn’t even know Wet existed until a few months ago when they were mentioned on a podcast we JAI had to immediately check them out.
As a result we listen to the entire back catalogue which culminated in 2016’s “Don’t You”. Compared to most of the records on this list it is very chilled out, but it is an album that we keep going back to and has been on repeat on car journeys quite a bit.
Number 3 – Pinegrove “Cardinal”
If 2016 wasn’t full of such great music, this album would have hands down been our number one.
In so many ways it is absolutely perfect, lyrically and musically it is pretty much faultless.
The only reason it is not higher on this list is it didn’t have the play on repeat factor which the records in first and second place have.
That being said it does not take away how much JAI absolutely loved this record.
Number 2 – Angel Du$t “Rock the Fuck on Forever”
With the excessive amount of “moshcore” bands in hardcore today, JAI has become a bit disheartened by the modern hardcore scene.
Then came along “Rock the Fuck on Forever”.
Admittedly, we previously we not Angel Du$t fans, but this record just seemed to hit all the right buttons.
Right from “Toxic Boombox” all the way through to “Stranger Things” the record is what you want from a fast paced hardcore record.
Number 1 – PUP “The Dream Is Over”
All that can be said about this album is bangers for days.
From the moment it was released “The Dream Is Over” has not been far away from the top played record in the JAI house.
Like Angel Du$t the album is perfect from start to finish and there is not a single weak track.
So there you have it our 2016 top 10 albums of the year