Top 10 Albums of 2017 By Scott Rozell of Blackhouse Records

Here’s the rundown of the favorite stuff we blasted here at the offices over 2017!

10.  Drug Church – “Live on Audio Tree 2017” – Drug Church is a band that truly has fallen into the realm of “You either love them or you hate them”, and we love them.  Almost too much.  Although our number 10 spot isn’t a full length record release, per se, it’s a raw, punk as fuck video session of one of our favorite bands.  Blasted over the speakers at the offices here, the tones are refined, the energy is louder than some of the most extreme music you might have in your collection, and Audiotree killed the mix.

9.  Full of Hell – “Trumpeting Ecstacy” – I mean, c’mon.  Have you HEARD this?  Unbelievable recording, and even though the buzz is HUGE with this record, the hype is clearly deserved and well earned.

8.  Rot Monger x Infrablaster x Honey Badger “It’s Fucking Lit” – Released in the Summer, this record is by far one of the most depressing, ugly, depraved and just flat out angry records we have not only ever heard, but put out in 16 years as a label.  Clocking in at well under 20 minutes in length, these three bands got together to release a portrait of desperation that will wear on your soul.  Why?  Because whether you want to or not, it will relate to you in some fashion when you hear it.  9 tracks of intense life wrecking shit.  Go get it.

7.  The Drip – “The Haunting Fear of Inevitability” – Blackhouse alumni unleash the fucking fury on their second Relapse Records release.  Restless but well crafted, complicated without overdoing it, The Drip crush their way through one of the loudest records we got to blast all year at BHHQ.  Bobby, Blake and Talon create an aural wall of unreal guitar work while drummer Shane Brown authors his own brand of blast, and Vocalist Brandon Caldwell rounds off the record with the most punishing and though provoking lyrics to date.  Unreal.

6.  God Bullies – “Kill The King” – Though not released this year, this is a staple at the Blackhouse warehouse.  Originally released in 1994, we stumbled back across this gem after watching “The Color of Noise” documentary profiling legendary noise rock label Amphetamine Reptile Records and its founder, Tom Hazelmeyer.  “Kill The King” was released on Alternative Tentacles and it still stands up to any heavy record to this day.  Among the most bizarre of bands, God Bullies toted a vocalist obsessed with gospel and fanatical Christian clichés with a demented business-man Elvis persona with some fantastic punk ethos.

5.  Unsane – “Sterilize” – Unsane coming back for another round that leaves a document that never disappoints.  As we have watched the band label-hop over from Relapse to Ipecac, to Alternative Tentacles, and now landing at Southern Lord, Sterilize is the sound any Unsane fan has easily come to love, with Chris Spencer stepping up the vocals and harmonics even more so than on previous records with the rhythm section punishing the overall mix to create something very special.  Not to be missed.

4.  Aaron Cohen “Off the Ground” – Anyone who knows the label background a bit knows that we tend to gravitate toward more extreme genres all the way to hip hop and jazz.  No genre goes unnoticed here, and Seattle, Washington’s Aaron Cohen is no exception here.  “Off The Ground” is a rock solid EP from the gypsy-esque rapper, whom travels quite frequently to Europe (almost more often than he is in the US), showcasing his bass-heavy hip-hop orchestrations with no filler.  All amazing tracks in execution, the man delivers.

3.  Snitch/POMU “Split” – An impulse buy from the mail-order intern at BH, this split embodies everything a good grind or noise cassette would call for; A lo-fi mix, quick breakneck songs, doom-like chord progression (at times), unnerving artwork, and a short run time.  Quick and to the point, this cassette was only limited to 40(?) copies so you better get after it if you want one!

2.  Party Trash – “S/T” – A trip into the dreamscape here with trip hop/electronic project Party Trash.  The brainchild of one of the co-owners of cassette boutique label Candy Drips Records, The Party Trash album comes out on Candy Drips’ imprint label, Sleep on Dreams.  If that doesn’t describe the record right there, I don’t know what would.  Beautiful, relaxing and filled with depth, this is a great record to chill out to, and this tape gets a looooooooot of play here.  Also a limited release, so definitely not to be missed.

1. Oxbow – “Thin Black Duke” – Eugene Robinson, Niko Wenner, Greg Davis and Dan Adams make up the core of arguably one of the greatest rock bands of modern times that you may have never heard of.  With a resume touting releases from CFY, SST, Neurot Recordings, and Hydra Head Records, Oxbow dropped “Thin Black Duke” after a years-long writing period, but it was time put to great use, with this record outdoing previous albums.  The depth and amount of things going on within this record is hard to wrap your head around, yet you won’t be able to stop listening to it.  This band has mastered the art of being the heaviest band possible without actually trying to be heavy, and us at BHHQ couldn’t possibly admire it more that we already do.

For more information on all things Blackhouse Records check out the official website


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