Anxiety // 5 Leading-Edge Punk Albums From The Last Decade

Punk has always been reliable, one of the most solid and stable subgenres of popular rock music, and the one that constantly keeps pushing the art form forward with notable outbursts of brilliance, mainly deriving from the underground as per usual. Here are five albums from the last decade which left their mark and helped modern punk rock stay vital and relevant as it ought to be.

5. Girl Band: Holding Hands With Jamie (2015)

After a period of poor mental health, vocalist Dara Kiely provided the rest of Girl Band with the notes he took while he was away in the hospital, which became a good fit to what the band wrote in his absence. Holding Hands With Jamie is the Irish band's only canonical LP thus far, and without doubt their strongest release. Self-produced, gritty and avant-garde, the album feels dangerously chaotic and formidable, and demands careful listening sessions in order for its taken aback listener to get its drift, and ultimately fall for its ingenuity.

4. Preoccupations: Preoccupations (2016)

After changing their name from Viet Cong to Preoccupations, the Canadian band put out their second, self-titled LP, an anxious and nervy record which took in its eighties post punk influences and distilled them into a shrewd blend of edgy punk, articulate lyricism and gloom. Preoccupations is more punk for its bleak, existential poetry than it is for its sound, still, the intricate, heavier in synths approach matches the band's drift very well.

3. METZ: Metz (2012)

On their eponymous debut, Canadian punks, METZ, introduced themselves by showing their teeth which were proven to be pretty crooked and cuttingly sharp. Metz is loud and noisy, it borders on hardcore and it's a grinding listen. After their notable early singles from 2009-10, Metz became the band's first fully realized work, and cut the first turf for their following two records that were equally solid and worth exploring.

2. Priests: Nothing Feels Natural (2017)

Another imposing debut, Priests' first is an aggressive and uneasy album, and the first example that demonstrates the DC band's exploratory propensities, opposed to the grittier previous outings of theirs. Nothing Feels Natural winks playfully to other genres, it even flirts with pop music and to a greater degree  it could have been comfortably accessible, if it wasn't for the striking combination of frantic delivery with a piercingly sharp style of production.

1. Protomartyr: No Passion All Technique (2012)

Recently unearthed and reissued alongside bonus material from the same era, Protomaryr's debut had been out of print and out of reach for a very long time. Having appreciated their more cultivated next records over the years, it is still astounding to see and hear where all this tension and skill originated from, and although it's much rawer and unpolished than any of the Detroit band's other material, it's still an awe-inspiring album, groundbreaking to the core and worthy of countless plays and appreciation.

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