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Zac Hobbs’ Misanthropic 2011 End Of The Year List

 I suppose I don’t really understand “Best Of” or “End Of Year” lists. It seems every time I read any music critics assessment of the past year, they always seem to have somewhere between 25 and 30 “favorite” records. This seems counterintuitive to the idea of favoritism. I don’t have 20 favorite types of Soda; there is Diet Coke, and then there is everything else. Music for me is sort of the same thing.

Personally, no record from 2011 came close to Restorations debut full length. A lot has been made about this record and band being for the “old punx,” and as silly as that statement sounds, it’s actually pretty accurate. When you get bored with all the same old Fat and Fest Punk bands, something like Restorations is indefinable. For me, it reignited an interest in songwriting and DIY music that had been dormant for almost two years. This record is pretty great because, for all the people who are in their late twenties can’t relate to Off With Their Heads and don’t recognize 80% of the bands being covered on Punknews, this record embodies where you are in your life.



 So, Restorations was my favorite record of the year, and what follows is, in no particular order, a rather predictable list of records that were also really good.





– I loved this record at first, and then fell out of it, and now it is growing back on me. I’m just glad the band tried something different. I love “In A World Of Ghosts” and “Pants” as much as the next guy, but I was really happy to the band reach outside their niche and comfort zone



 I Am The AvalancheAvalanche United
– If it takes 6 years to release a new record, you definitely have to bring you’re A-Game. Luckily this record suffices for the 6 bands 6 year absence of new material




 Title FightShed
– I played a basement show with Title Fight in DC in early 2009. Two years later they are on the cover of AP. I’d like to hate on these guys, but they are about as real as it gets as far as pop-punk goes these days. They are the measuring stick for every fast punk band out there.




 BanquetsTop Button Bottom Shelf
– The only good think about New Jersey is its punk scene, am I right?!?






 Fucked UpDavid Comes to Life
– I wore this record out when I first got it, but eventually I just had to take a break from it. There is just too much going on. It’s so long and so dense and it just makes my brain hurt trying to peel back all the layers of this record. I am not smart enough to fully grasp David Comes To Life.




 Junior BattlesIdle Ages
– Remember when punk bands sang out something other than drinking beer and how shitty life is? This record is great because it touches on how much it sucks to get old, but deals with it in a better way than “My life is so shitty / so I drank a beer / whoa-oh-oh-oh!”




– Everyone needs to listen to this record. It is way more interesting than Bomb The Music Industry.






Since my end of year has been pretty boring (and because I didn’t name my blog STAY NEGATIVE for nothing), since a lot of bands decided to call it quits this year, here is my list of the Five Best Band Breakups of 2011. And by favorite I mean that I felt a slight bit of elation when these bands released over-emotional tomes about not playing in a band anymore. (Editor’s Note: Zac’s a misanthrope. The rest of the site’s writers were bummed about these break ups. Well except for REM. About time on that one.)

Five Best Breakups Of 2011

5. REM
The Emotron once famously documented a long-winded rant about how in 10 or 15 years, no one will remember REM. They are the most forgettable of any band to have a platinum record.

4. The Measure [SA]
Am I the only person that was bored to tears by this band?

3. The Riot Before
As a rule I am pretty underwhelmed by folk inspired punk. This was the most underwhelming of all the underwhelming bands.

2. Landmines
Somewhere between “meh’ and “eh” is where this band exists.

1. O’Pioneers!!!
It’s about time, Eric.

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