Like a lot of folks, I’ve been working harder for less—oscillating between the cabinet shop and hot rod shop depending on who’s busy—while still maintaining Spacecase Records and contributing interviews to Termbo and Bored Out. Undoubtedly, I missed some great releases this year. That’s my fault. Nevertheless, compiling this best-of list I’m reminded of the outstanding work underground labels continue to do. Kudos to them. Although nowhere near as varied or complete, I wanted to take it back to the Creem Readers’ Polls of the late ‘70s, because it seems to me that certain people deserve more credit than they’re receiving. (That said, Andy Mackay was a shoo-in for best horn player every year. Certain people were a lock.)

Unfortunately, Namella Kim passed away in 2017. Nam was a rock writer going back to the Flipside years and was an influential person in my life. She was incredibly erudite and always wore several hats—managing bands, playing bass and, of course, writing about music. She will be missed. -Ryan Leach


USA/MEXICO, Laredo, 12XU
Gary Wrong Group, Self-titled 2XLP, 12XU
Des Demonas, Self-titled, In the Red
Aquarian Blood, Last Nite in Paradise, Goner
feedtime, Gas, In the Red
Angie, Shyness, Rice is Nice


Spray Paint/Ben Mackie, “Friendly Moving Man”, 12XU
Kid Congo Powers, “Spider Baby”, In the Red
BloodBags, “Dead Eyes”, 1:12 Records
Life Stinks, “Hanging from the Ceiling”, Total Punk
The Suburban Homes, “Unemployed”, Total Punk
Andy Human and Das Reptoids, “Pee-Pee”, Goodbye Boozy
Brain Bagz, “Got Hates Bagz”, Sex Tape Records


Chris Brokaw, Canaris LP, Omentum Records
And Band, “Noli Me Tangere” 7” EP, Look Plastic/Noisyland
Look Blue Go Purple, Still Bewitched 2XLP, Captured Tracks
Sites N’ Sounds, “The Night is so Dark” 45, Black Gladiator/Slovenly
Trendees, We Are Sonic Art , Alberts Basement, Melted Ice Cream

Rock Writers/Archivists:

Ryan Richardson
Andrew Schmidt (New Zealand)
Byron Coley
Mitch Cardwell
Layla Gibbon
Dale Merrill
Jay Hinman
Fuckin’ Record Reviews


Los Angeles

Back to 2017 Main

To see past winners of Termbo Awards go here and to check back on full Year End lists please check the archives.