It looks like we have saved some of the tastiest for last. Just a few days after the end of the year, tour longtime collaborator, Italian folk punk rocker Gab De La Vega of the amazing DIY hardcore punk label and distro Epidemic Records is ready to launch his retrospective, looking back at the year in worthile records with his Top Albums of 2017 Wrap=Up, which we’re truly honored to present below! Gab has been promoting great artists for years, and we’ve featured a number of his releases over the years and we can’t wait to see what Epidemic has in store for us and the rest of the DIY community in 2018. Any other favorites from the year? Feel free to use the comments section below the article.
I’m probably not really good at rankings because sometimes I more in the mood for one record that another. So don’t take this as a chart, but more as a short list of 2017 records I’d recommend to check out in case you missed them. There are probably so many others I liked and enjoyed but I probably can’t remember all of them, so, off the top of my head, here’s my list. I’m pretty sure that I’ve missed so many very good records I’ve been listening to all throughout 2017. So even if I missed some good ones, I hope I gave you a good reason to listen to this small selection. – Gab
Propagandhi is one of those bands that never let me down. Victory Lap is such a good record. I wonder if they found some ancient magic almanac with all the most killing riffs in some dusty attic. This is the only explanation.
This album makes you mosh no matter what you’re doing or where you are. I consider them an underrated band, they should be bigger than they are, but I’m glad to see this record made it to more than one “best of 2017” list.
I listened to this album just recently, while I was on tour in the US / Canada with my friend Greg Rekus. I really enjoyed it in the van. It’s really good. ComebackKid is a big band and there’s a reason for that. They’ve been around for a while and yet here they are, putting out a killer album.
This record is a punch in the face. Period. I haven’t got the chance to see them live yet but I hope to make it in 2018. Listen to a song like “Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe)”, you’ll know what I mean.
Solid band, solid record. Sounds like a revamped version of classic anthemic straight edge hardcore punk, but it is so powerful and fresh at the same time.
If you like heavy riffs and screamed vocals, this record was a nice surprise. No frills hardcore for fans of… hardcore!
Ok, this record is probably going to appear twice. My label Epidemic Records released it but if I were to list records I enjoyed as a mere music listener… this album couldn’t be left out without a mention. It sounds so good, songs are extremely catchy and well written. The band is very young and it’s so good to see something so good coming out of Italy and not the US for a change. Seriously, listen to it!
I love this band’s 90s rock/metal vibe. They are not afraid to play what they like and this is something not so easy to find nowadays, when trends steer even bands’ tastes sometimes. This album is really cool.
Some long time fans of Quicksand might disagree, but I was so excited about this album. I think that for a band that hasn’t released anything for more than 20 years, this album is really a good work. I tried not to be influenced by the fact that this is Quicksand and it’s a good record. Then I thought “but this is Quicksand” and I was happy to see that they could make quality music, without trying to imitate themselves, which is probably the hardest. Watched them live in Milan and they were really good. If all the reunited bands were like this… I’d welcome reunions with a different spirit for sure! Unfortunately sometimes reunions suck, but this is not the case.
I love this Canadian band. I really enjoyed their previous “No Peace In Hell” and it’s good to see that they are growing. One of the heaviest records I’ve heard this year. So good!
It’s not easy to play extreme music for years and meet fans expectations from one record to another. The recipe can’t change too much, you’re probably limited at some point, you can’t diverge to much… Well, this record is still a very good one. They are still doing their thing but I also appreciate the effort when it comes to put some innovation. They really try hard and I think they can say they won the challenge. Well balanced, well written, well produced (of course). Converge is still Converge, luckily!
Heavy, political, angry, wild, loud. Such a good hardcore punk record. I saw them live and I was really looking forward to this. So good to see a band with something to say putting out such a good album musicwise. Double win.
I really liked their previous album. This one is not as heavy as its predecessor, but it’s undoubtedly a very good record. Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes pushed the boundaries of their music and heavy music in general towards to territories. So yes, I see it’s not as heavy, but it’s still very good.
And here’s a small list of something completely different. Records from other genres that I really enjoy listening to. Broaden your horizons, listen to different stuff. There’s so much good music out there!
Tim‘s probably my favorite singer songwriter. I love all his albums and I was so excited that 2017 brought a new one. Listen to him, whether you liked his old band Avail, whether you like solo projects. I’ve been to Richmond, Virginia, his own town, on my first day on tour and I felt like I already knew the place. When you’re a storyteller and this happens to who listens to you, it means you’re doing it right.
Shocker: I’m a big Oasis Fan. Yes. I know. Whatever. I also have a soft spot for Noel Gallagher’s new band “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds”. I loved their previous stuff. When the first single from this record came out I was a bit puzzled. Kinda like I couldn’t figure it out. When I had the chance to listen to the whole record a couple of times, I fell in love with it.
It wouldn’t be fair not to mention Liam Gallagher‘s new solo album. I appreciate the effort and it’s actually better than I expected. He wanted to let people know that he is still Liam Gallagher. Well done Liam, even if you’re crazy and often out of line, I really liked this!
Ryan Adams – Prisoner (and Prisoner B-Sides)
I’ve recently asked for records I might have missed in 2017 via Facebook and this was among those I didn’t listen to. Prisoner is a really good record and even its B-Sides collection features very good songs. Always ask friends for new stuff to listen. You might be surprised!
Epidemic Records’ releases:
As for Epidemic Records, 2017 was a challenge and I feel I won it. I really wanted for the label to step up and get bigger, do good releases and spread good music both via Epidemic Records E-store and as a label that puts out records.
Six good releases under the Epidemic Records‘ belt in 2017.
2017 saw my own solo project Gab De La Vega come out on my own label! Weird? Well, I never wanted to put out my acoustic music on my label, and I always wanted to cooperate with other labels, also to try to reach to a different public. But this time I wanted someone who worked hard on their releases, who was motivated and trustworthy. And I actually knew a person with all these quality… myself! I thought that I Want Nothing was a good single and so I decided to put it out on a 7” vinyl. B-side is a cover of Some Kinda Hate from the Misfits. Backbite Records and Vegan Records joined the release.
And then, Disavow. I really like this band and this 7”. Sweden has so many good bands. This is a great EP of pure hardcore punk. They also got to work with Derek Archambault (Defeater) and Fredrik Larzon (Millencolin) on this debut 7”. How cool is that? Listen to them and don’t miss them live! They’re a blast!
My Turn from Greece got in touch with me and with my friend Mo at Backbite to release their self titled LP. It was sitting there with no physical support, waiting to come out. It took a while, but I’m happy with it. A good piece of tough hardcore punk with heavy riffs.
Zeit from Venice (Italy). They repressed their demo Zoe/Bios (2014) and released it with a new artwork and a new song. I worked with other labels to make it available on CD. My friend Alessio from Assurd Records (Italy) took care of the vinyl version. I also took care of the digital release, which is now available on the main platforms for streaming and download, just like all Epidemic Records releases.
Regarde, Leavers LP, I’ve already mentioned. I love this band and these guys. When I got their email I listened to the whole album twice in a row. I couldn’t believe how good it was. Italy has so many good bands, I’m so happy I got to work on this record. Make yourself a favor and listen to it!
Ornaments is a well known post-rock / instrumental metal band from Italy. They released their album “Drama” in 2016 via INRI (a quite big Italian underground music label) but there was no vinyl format. So they asked Epidemic, Sangue Dischi and ShoveRecords to make it available on double LP. It took months to set everything in motion. It’s a great album! Due to a delay in the delivery we are getting the copies now, but it’s still up for preorders on Epidemic Records E-store!
Lastly, Gab commented on his plans for 2018:
What’s next? 2018 already has a few projects in the work. Bands I can’t really wait to put out. Good music from good people. That’s what I like to do. I really want to keep pushing, make Epidemic Records bigger and make it a positive force in the underground scene, cooperating with bands and people alike to deliver good music.
Last but not least, check out Epidemic Records and its releases, but take also a look at these friends labels and their works: Backbite Records, xCatalystx Records, Refuse Records, Powertrip Records, Agipunk, Here And Now Records, Grindpromotion Records, Shove Records, Sangue Dischi, Adagio830, Assurd Records, Indelirium Records, La Agonia De Vivir, Straight And Alert Records, Ugly & Proud Records…. All these (and many more!) deserve your support and attention!