Best Music Of 2011: Small Band Roundup

author PP date 12/01/12

Everyone loves lists. They convey a great amount of interesting information in a quick glance. At this time of year, lists are in. Shopping lists, wish lists, guest lists, you name it. And of course lists that hopelessly try to summarize an entire year's worth of music from a wide variety of genres in a ranked order. The latter are what we here at Rockfreaks.net specialize in, usually receiving confused looks and voices of concern for our mental well-being once our opinions are out in public scrutiny. So we figured that in 2011, we'll ask some other people who might know better: a number of well-known and up-and-coming bands from the local scene. So in the coming weeks, you'll see a series of like-minded articles shaped as lists every couple of days as we go through the Danish music scene to discover what they thought were the ten best albums in 2011. Oh, and don't worry - you won't be cheated from our misguided and thinly veiled lists of favoritism either. Those are coming as well.

The previous editions of this article have revolved around the most successful bands of the Danish underground and their thoughts on which albums were among the best music in 2011. In the final article of the series, we'll take a round trip across some of the smaller and lesser known bands from the Danish underground from a wide variety of genres: What Worms Inherit, Mighty Midgets, What Are You Like, Trusted Few and New Discolour have all contributed with their lists for the best albums in 2011. Check them out below:

New Discolour

1. F.U.K.T – Falling

2. Hatesphere – The Great Bludgeoning

3. Vildhjarta – Masstaden

4.Darkest Hour - The Human Romance

5. Today I Caught The Plague - Lore

6. Architects - The Here And Now

7. Thrice – Major/Minor

8. August Burns Red - Leveler

9. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

10. VIRA – Vira

Comment by Lasse Mikkelsen (drummer):

2011 has neither been a year for metal, electronic or alternative. The way we see it, it has rather been a year for diversity. 2011 has been a super cool year for both the Danish and the international scene! There have been some seriously awesome releases. It's hard to simplify all of 2011 down into a list of only 10 entries. That said, these 10 albums and artists are the ones that we have found to be the coolest and catchiest throughout this enjoyable year! Unfortunately (!) this was also the year that Danish band VIRA broke up after having released a really good debut.

2011 has been a great year for us in New Discolour! It was the year we got signed by a label, released our debut album "Short Of Ink" and shot a music video for "HEXAGON". In the band we are looking forward to new exciting challenges in 2012, so stay updated!

2012 will hopefully be another good year for the metal scene both in Denmark and abroad. Already now, as we're hearing rumours about a new Meshuggah record, as well as releases from bands like Periphery and Gojira, all of us in New Discolour are looking forward to a good year! And even if nothing else great happens, at least we will be seeing you for a fuckload of concerts and much more!

Merry christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Discolour on Facebook


What Worms Inherit

1. Symphony X - Iconoclast

2. Machine Head - Unto The Locust

3. Mastodon - The Hunter

4. Textures - Dualism

5. Animals As Leaders - Weightless

6. Opeth - Heritage

7. TesseracT - One

8. Protest The Hero - Scurrilous

9. Ghost Brigade - Until Fear No Longer Defines Us

10. Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two

Comment by Lasse Skov:

2011 has been What Worms Inherit's first year as an active band with recording and lots of concerts. And throughout the Danish underground venues we've found a lot of different talent, but sadly a lacking of attention towards the aspiring young musicians. 2011 has offered some long-awaited releases from the major icons of heavy metal, some were awful and some were fantastic. But we hope that the new year in front of us will inspire people to realize, that bands like Hatesphere and Volbeat are old dogs waiting to be put to sleep by the new talented Danish artists. ¡Viva la Revolución!

What Worms Inherit on Facebook


Trusted Few

Vira - Vira

Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch the Throne

Adele – 21

Mastodon – The Hunter

Malk de Koijn – Toback To The Fromtime

August Burns Red – Leveler

Tyler – Goblin

Decapitated - Carnival Is Forever

The Psyke Project/As We Fight - Ebola

Vola – Monsters EP

List in no particular order

Comment:

As we were 5 dudes making this list, we did not want to enter the discussion of trying to rank them, so we took the pussy way out and just threw 10 awesome albums up there. A lot of new and exciting stuff happened this year. We have a tendency of having a wide spectrum of genres represented in our playlists and 2012 looks very promising as Danish bands we’ve played with, like By the Patient, Siamese Fighting Fish and Scarred By Beauty are releasing their albums next year. Oh.. and we’ve heard a rumor about movement in the Trusted Few camp in 2012.. exciting stuff. Merry Christmas and happy new year to all who cares!

Trusted Few on Facebook


Mighty Midgets

Troels H. Sørensen's picks:

in reversed alphabetic order:

Frank Turner – England, Keep My Bones

Frank Turner is second to none when it comes to writing honest and passionate songs, and this record includes fifteen songs, no fillers.

 Trapped Under Ice - The Big Kiss Goodnight

Tough guy hardcore played with enough emotion and sincerity to make it not-so-tough, which is cool.

Touché Amoré - Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me

A passionate and heartfelt record. Perfect mix between rock, hardcore and punk.

The Supervisors - …Supervising the Industry

The record that actually delivers hope for skate punk music here in 2011

Revenge of the Psychotronic Man – Four Band Split

Six songs ringing in at seven minutes. Excellent!

Pianos Become the Teeth – The Lack Long After

Brutal and eclectic record. Emo never sounded this good

Manu Armata – From the Heart in Your Face

Speaking of brutal, this is honest brutal music wrapped up in four splendid hardcore songs.

Malk de Koijn – Toback to the Fromtime

Malk is toback! Well-though, well-put, well-said record that might as well be their best record to date. If all hip-hop was this good!

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Don't call it a comeback, but it is! One of the best records they released, but still not close to "The Colour and the Shape".

Defeater – Empty Days & Sleepless Nights

Might be the record of the year. Hardcore with feeling, poetic enlightenment and honesty. A record full of atmosphere and straightforward thinking that it should make all the hipsters shit their pants and comb their frog moustache.

Close, but no cigar:

Eddie Vedder - Ukulele Songs

Stream City - Welcome Paramnesia EP

Soul Control - Get Out Now

Polar Bear Club - Clash Battle, Guilt Pride

Old Kerry McKee - 7"

Living with Lions - Holy Shit

Ceremony - Rohnert Park LP

Casey Jones - I Hope We're Not the Last

Beans on Toast - Trying to Tell the Truth

I normally discover the best records of a year when the records are outdated and sold for 15 DKK at a second-hand shop. So hopefully this year will, in the years to come, reveal some more awesome records before me. As for the year in music, I think it has been a quite stagnant one. As the big four became three (not talking about the thrash bands, but the awful major labels), the music industry came a leap closer to obliteration. As Spotify was introduces in Denmark, yet another, fine tool of sharing music got sued, so there you go: we are back to square one, which means more money for the record companies and less money for the artists, which again means the bands need to get higher payments for playing shows, which again means the music loving people (read: you!) have to pay more to get to shows with bands, which again means you only go to the shows with your favorite bands, which again means no one wants to see the new and exciting bands, which again means the new and exciting bands will not be able to make a living from making music, which eventually means it sucks to be a fan of exciting and alternative music!

The positive side effect of this negative spiral will in the end be that the new and exciting bands will make records on their own and develop a routine to avoid the major labels. The Danish music scene surely reflects this, and there are tons of great bands out there just waiting to burst into the consciousness of music lovers everywhere - and if they manage to do so, ironically, the bands will get signed to a major label. There you have it - the definition of stagnation: "to stop developing or making progress".

Niels H. Sørensen’s picks:

The Supervisors - …Supervising the Industry

Norwegian skate punk that can compete with the best.

Kvelertak - Kvelertak

Black 'n' roll the way it was always meant to be played mixed up with hardcore and a perfect production. I think it was released last year (but in the US this year) but it is so fucking awesome that I is my favorite this year!

Malk de Koijn - Toback to the Fromtime

Malk live up to their past reputation which is an achievement on its own

Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Tom is back and bad as always. I have not listened enough to the record but it deserves a spot on the list.

The Chariot - Long Live

Another one released late 2010 but I'm slow when it comes to picking up new records. Brutal and powerful with enough energy to add a few funny details here and there.

Against Me! - Black Crosses

Best AM! record since Clarity. I really hated White Crosses and in my opinion they should have just released this one instead. Stripped down and quite quiet but way more intense than the original release. Because of the Shame is actually a quite strong track with a lot of emotion something that was completely lost in production on the White Crosses.

Other mentions:

Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

Nice to see some punks with a lot of ambition. Too bad they went on hiatus just now that it has become really interesting to follow where they were going to go next.

Chuck Ragan - Covering Ground

Nice, stripped-down acoustic stuff. Good thing to have in your ears while working...

Hexis – XI

(Yeah, I Know Hexis is not out yet, but it’s one of the perks screaming on it. Trust me, it’s good)

Metallica & Lou Reed - Lulu

Honorable mention for being the worst album in many years – James Hetfield yelling 'I am the tablet' is best laugh of the year. Oh, how the giants have fallen...

Mighty Midgets on Facebook


What Are You Like

Peter:

1. Banner Pilot – Heat Beats Pacific

2. Dropkick Murphys – Going Out in Style

3. Farewell Continental – ihey, hey Pioneers!

4. Rise Against – Endgame

5. Scorpios – Scorpios

6. The Aquabats – Hi-Five Soup!

7. New Found Glory – Radiosurgery

8. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Sing in Japanese

9. Yellowcard – When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes

10. Panic at The Disco – Vices and Virtues

Dan:

1. Mute – Thunderblast

2. Angels And Airwaves – Love Part 2

3. Yellowcard – When You Are Through Thinking, Say Yes

4. Blink 182 – Neighbourhoods

5. Skrillex – More Monstors and Sprites

Christian:

1. The Old Firm Casuals – The old Firm Casuals

2. Blink 182 – Neighbourhoods

3. The Shell Corporation – Force Majeure

Ahh – The top albums of the past year! – When a new year starts, the music scene is like a blank piece of paper – what musical wonders will fill the vast empty spaces between ones ears – what emotions will the music evoke, how much damage will the songs provoke on ones vocal chords? AT LAST the results are in! What Are You like are very proud to present the music that have filled us with joy over the past year – at top ten from Peter, at top 5 from Dan and a top 3 from Christian.

Enjoy! WAYL

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