By Thomas Pizzola

I hope you enjoy this list of what I consider the best noise rock releases of the past year. Just remember, all lists are subjective and I can’t hear everything, so you can always make your own list if you like.

KEN Mode – Success (Season Of Mist)

KEN Mode has always had elements of noise rock in their ripping metal/hardcore hybrid, but on their new record they go all in, and I must say it’s a sound that suits them. Hell, they even got Steve Albini to record the album. You need to give this album a few spins before it gets its hooks in you, but once it does, it gets them in deep. Success indeed.Ken Mode - Success cover

Fight Amp – Constantly Off (Brutal Panda)

This Philadelphia trio returned after a three year layoff with their most catchy and cohesive album to date, while still crushing the listener. Though only six songs and about 18 minutes, they make it work, delivering the type of listening experience that would take other bands double the time. You’ll definitely want to hear it.Fight Amp - Constantly Off cover

Blacklisters – Adult (Handshake Inc.)

These charming weirdoes from Leeds, England, shatters the sophomore slump, with a second album, that is grimier and darker than their excellent self-titled debut from a few years back. Here’s hoping they find a way to make it across the pond for some shows North America.Blacklisters - Adult cover

Retox – Beneath California (Three One G/Epitaph)

Though some might consider them more a hardcore band, there is definitely a noise rock component to their sound and their third album is their best to date. Some purists might scoff, but who cares, this is one killer record that noise rock fans should dig.Retox - Beneath California cover

Pigs – Wronger (Solar Flare)

This noise rock “supergroup” delivers a new album that puts the rock in noise rock. This slams hard. Dave Curran and company lay down one mean and catchy sound, that even features a guest vocal spot from Julie Christmas. You don’t want to miss out on this one.Pigs - Wronger cover

Grizzlor – Cycloptic (Hex)

Talk about making the most of your time, Grizzlor’s newest release is a seven song, 10-minute excursion of noise rock badassery. If you read my review on this website, you’ll see that they did a great job of boiling down noise rock to its base elements and then giving it a swift kick. Another band to watch.Grizzlor - Cycloptic cover

Elephant Rifle – Ivory (Gentlemen Friends/Humaniterrorist)

This band from Reno deliver a razor sharp dose of noise rock that can hit you fast, slow and every tempo in between. This is a diverse and memorable dose of musical invective. Track this one down.Elephant Rifle - Ivory cover

Arabrot – You Bunch Of Idiots (Eolian Empire)

Oh no, another EP. But like other bands on this list, they make the most of it, reminding people while they are one of the best noise rock bands on the international scene. Hell, they even won a Norwegian Grammy. The release of this album coincided with their first ever extensive United States tour, where they showed us, why they are such a thrilling live act. Here’s hoping they come back, and this just sets you up for the new full-length album which is about to drop early next year.Arabrot - You Bunch Of Idiots cover

Motherfucker – Confetti (Sick Room)

This trio of badasses from Athens, Georgia deliver an invigorating dose of noise rock, that is dynamic and anthemic. Another band you will definitely want to seek out. The album is definitely their name. Killer.Motherfucker - Confetti cover

Cherubs – 2 Ynyfynyty (Brutal Panda)

Who would have thought that a band 20 years removed from their classic swan song of an album (Heroin Man), would come back with a new album that is just as vital as anything else in their back catalog. Well, the did. And you should check this out, confusing interviews be damned.Cherubs - 2 Ynfynyty cover

Honorable Mention:

V/A – Dope, Guns n Fucking In The Streets Volume Thirteen (Amphetamine Reptile)

One of the godfathers of the scene, return with another volume of their long running series, that helped define the genre back in the day. It’s got a cool lineup of bands including Big Business, Whores., and The Blind Shake to name a few. The original vinyl copies sold out in a hot minute when they went on sale, and there was a limited run of CDs available too. If you can track one down, and not break your bank, then get it.Dope Guns n Fucking In The Streets Volume 13 cover

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