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Janky Smooth Top 10 ALBUMS of 2017 Rated By Contributors

Top Albums of 2017
FEATURED IMAGES: Jessica Moncrief & Alyson Camus
Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe at the Regent Theater by Dillon Vaughn

Year end album reviews remind us at Janky Smooth why we’re so lucky to be covering the underground music scene in Los Angeles. Maybe, if there was no underground and all you could listen to was the chart toppers, then you wouldn’t even think there was anything special about 2017. What we have on our hands is actually a phenomenal year of music. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released five albums in 2017… FIVE. King Krule transformed his career with The OOZ. And the direction of entire genres became more clear with releases by future heavyweights, like High-Functioning Flesh to industrial or Ho99o9 to hardcore punk… or is it the hard trap songs by the 999 we should be focusing on? Lets also not forget that Lil B, the Based God, finally blessed us with his much anticipated Black Ken.

You can see music veering into more electronic and experimental directions both in the mainstream and underground spheres. Still though, the bands that use traditional instrumentation and vocals only seem to stay truer to their roots. Janky Smooth attempted to whittle down the best of 2017 down to ten albums and here are our expert opinions:

King Krule

King Krule at FYF Fest 2017 by Jessica Moncrief

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2017 – LP/EP/MIXTAPES

Michael Haight, Photographer at Janky Smooth

  1. Charli XCX – pop 2
  2. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
  3. Terror Jr. – Bop City 2
  4. Julien Baker – Turn out The Lights
  5. The Schizophonics – Land Of The Living
  6. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
  7. Menzingers – After The Party
  8. SZA – Cntrl
  9. Poppy – Computer
  10. Smino – blckswan
Vince Staples

Vince Staples at Outside Lands 2016 by Johann Ramos

TOP POSTS: SATANIC MANIC: LETHAL AMOUNTS HONORS ANTON LEVAY ON HALLOWEEN WITH ‘DISOBEY’ GALLERY
RAW EMOTION SELLS: SOPHIE AT THE TERAGRAM BALLROOM

Lawrence Rengert II, Author at Janky Smooth

  1. The Chillz – Live at the Underground Exchange
  2. Chris Stapleton – From a Room: Volume 2
  3. The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
  4. The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood
  5. Mapache – Mapache
  6. Ariel Pink – Dedicated to Bobby Jameson
  7. Cleo Lynx – Met a Girl
  8. Brian, Dave and the 40 Hour Work Week – Still Drunk
  9. Entrance – Book of Changes
  10. Acetone – 1992-2001 
Ariel Pink

Ariel Pink at Desert Daze 2017 by Alyson Camus

TOP POSTS: THE LEMON TWIGS AT TERAGRAM: A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS

Brent Smith, Author at Janky Smooth

  1. Weasel Walter – A Pound of Flesh
  2. The Regrettes – Feel Your Feelings Fool!
  3. Frankie And The Witch Fingers – Brain Telephone
  4. Ho99o9 – The United States of Horror
  5. The Schizphonics – Land of the Living
  6. L.A. Witch – L.A. Witch
  7. Shannon Lay – Living Water
  8. The Side Eyes – So Sick
  9. Cherry – Apocalipstick
  10. Tyler the Creator – Scum Fuck Flower Boy 
Ho99o9

The OGM of Ho99o9 at Cloak and Dagger Festival by Jessica Moncrief 

The Side Eyes

The Side Eyes by Jessica Moncrief

TOP POSTS: ECHO PARK RISING (FIVE POINTED) STARS: TWIN TEMPLE
GLENN O’ BRIEN IS DEAD & THE SQUARES ARE BACK IN POWER: THE TIME TO PARTY IS NOW

Rob Shepyer, Author at Janky Smooth

  1. Integrity – Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume
  2. Incendiary – Thousand Mile Stare
  3. Alex Cameron – Forced Witness
  4. Career Suicide – Machine Response
  5. Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
  6. Ho99o9 – United States of Horror
  7. High-Functioning Flesh – Culture Cut
  8. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
  9. Lil B – Black Ken
  10. Quicksand – Interiors
Incendiary at Sound and Fury 2017 by Alyson Camus

Incendiary at Sound and Fury 2017 by Alyson Camus

Lil B

Lil B at The Regent by Taylor Wong

TOP POSTS: CLOAK AND DAGGER FEST: THE HEART OF LOS ANGELES BLED FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
FOR THE CHILDREN 2017 AT ECHOPLEX: HARDCORE IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Jessica Moncrief, Photographer at Janky Smooth

  1. Egrets on Ergot – Surfeit of Gemutlich
  2. N.E.R.D. – No One Ever Really Dies
  3. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
  4. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
  5. Tenement Rats – Pigs and Dogs
  6. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy
  7. Various Artists – Gold OST
  8. David Bowie – No Plan
  9. Gorillaz – Humanz
  10. Ride – Weather Diaries

Pharrell Williams and Jessica Moncrief at private NERD listening party

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop at FYF Fest by Jessica Moncrief

Kendrick Lamar get lit af at FYF 2016

Kendrick Lamar get lit af at FYF 2016

TOP POSTS: BURGER BOOGALOO 2017: THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND IGGY
THE MURDER CITY DEVILS CAST VOODOO SPELLS AT TERAGRAM BALLROOM
Dreamdecay trip out hard at The Griffin

Dreamdecay trip out hard at The Griffin

Danny Baraz, Publisher at Janky Smooth

  1. Dreamdecay – Yu
  2. Ho99o9 – United States of Ho99o9
  3. King Krule – The OOZ
  4. Chicano Batman – Freedom is Free
  5. Dead Cross – Dead Cross
  6. Metz – Strange Peace
  7. Wand – Plum
  8. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
  9. Thundercat – Drunk
  10. High-Functioning Flesh – Culture Cut

Honorable mentionalthough none of the 5 albums released by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard made my top 10 albums directly, I can’t stress enough the respect I have for this band of passionate Aussies who are a part of the re-emergence of musicality and musicianship and prodigious play being cool, once again. Because there was a time not that long ago that the guitar solo was as pass√© as the fedora has become in fashion.

As much as I love the raw emotion and empowerment that occurs between a group of friends inside a garage in the novice stage of their musical development, there is just as much love and an over abundance of respect given to those who have become the masters of their craft to such a degree that I know there are certain parts of or even entire songs that I couldn’t begin to approach with my own guitar or bass.  And while bands and artists like King Gizzard, Ty Segall, Chicano Batman and Jack White were born of the garage, their mastery of their instruments and nuance of some of their arrangements are only possible due to a combination of being born pre-disposed to excel in music but would not reach their apex without a lifetime of putting every free bit of time and energy into achieving their mastery.

Thundercat

Thundercat at FYF Fest by Jessica Moncrief

Cory Hanson crooning at The Griffin

Cory Hanson of Wand crooning at The Griffin

TOP POSTS: JAWBREAKER AT RIOT FEST: THE MOMENT I STOPPED HATING POP PUNK
BORN IN THE U.S.H. – UNITED STATES OF HORROR

Dave Unbuckled, Author at Janky Smooth

  1. Brand New – Science Fiction
  2. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
  3. Alex G – Rocket
  4. Run The Jewels – RTJ3
  5. Thundercat – Drunk
  6. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
  7. The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
  8. Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds from Another Planet
  9. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice
  10. Sadgirl – Volume Three: Head to the Mountains
Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels at FYF Fest by Jessica Moncrief

SadGirl

SadGirl at Echo Park Rising by Grace Dunn

TOP POSTS: THE GROWLERS LOSE THE BEACH GOTH BATTLE BUT WON THE WAR THIS WEEKEND
FYF FEST 2017 STEALS COACHELLA’S THRONE AS SO-CAL’S PREMIERE FESTIVAL

Aria Silva-Espinosa, Author at Janky Smooth

  1. Antwon – Sunnyvale Gardens
  2. Chynna – Music 2 Die 2
  3. Chastity Belt – I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone
  4. Hovvdy – Taster
  5. Ty Segall – Ty Segall
  6. Gold Star – Big Blue
  7. Ghostemane – Hesxada
  8. Prettiest Eyes – Pools
  9. Caddywhompus – Odd Hours
  10. Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds from Another Planet
Gold Star

Gold Star at Echo Park Rising by Grace Dunn

Prettiest Eyes

Prettiest Eyes at Desert Daze 2017 by Alyson Camus

TOP POSTS: Echo Park Rising 2017: Long Lines Couldn’t Slow Fresh Faces In All Places
Prettiest Eyes & Egrets On Ergot: The LA Sound Explodes Out Of Harvard & Stone
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