The 10 Best Rock Albums of 2019

Australia killed it this year.

The end of 2019 is here, and what a year it has been for rock and roll. Filled with tons of interesting new artists and some great comebacks, there have been too many good albums to count. That said, I’ve tried to narrow it down to 10 essential records that have meant the most to me in 2019.

10. Ezra Furmann: Twelve Nudes {Review}

Overflowing with desperation and nerve, the fifth solo album from the furious Ezra Furmann is a perfect example of keeping rock ‘n’ roll alive and well. Ezra is known for fusing The New York Dolls and E-Street Band into a perfect musical hybrid, and on Twelve Nudes Ezra has turned up the fuzz, speed, desperate vocals to create one of the year’s most sterling punk albums.

9. Lingua Ignota: Caligula

Lingua Ignota—the moniker of California multi-instrumentalist Kristin Hayter—blends classical, industrial, metal and noise to explore her haunting personal experiences with violence and abuse. Her dark, destructive and intensely beautiful third album, Caligula, is a brutal expression of violation and pain, best told through her voice, which alternates between high octave siren to demon-possessed growl. Lingua Ignota might not be for everybody, but once you try to understand her deep and dark universe, you’ll reach the point of no return.

8. The Snakes: The Snakes

On their self-titled debut, Melbourne-based post-punks—who call their sound “reptile rock”—have made an album that makes you wanna dance all night and wear sunglasses well after dark. With fuzzy, lo-fi production, attitude to spare and Aussie charm, The Snakes take you back in time to when post-punk was the coolest thing around.

7. EXEK: Some Beautiful Species Left

There was something special happening in Australia this year. Case in point: EXEK’s weird and amazing third album, Some Beautiful Species Left. Blending post-punk, dub, kraut rock and psych, I have been spinning it ever since it dropped in September, with no sign of stopping soon.

6. Mike Krol: Power Chords

Mike Krol’s latest was one of the first great releases of 2019, and it still stands as one of the year’s most perfect garage punk albums. Featuring catchy tunes and fuzz that goes straight to your heart, it’s a shining example of how you don’t need more than a few power-chords and a great melody to make great rock ‘n’ roll.

5. JOHN (TIMESTWO): Out Here On The Fringes

On their strong and introverted second album, Out Here On The Fringes, London noise-punk duo JOHN (TIMESTWO) demonstrates their unique ability to create a huge sound out of almost nothing. With the simple ingredients of 1) fast, distorted guitar, 2) simple, powerful drums, and 3) desperate dueling vocals, they’ve found the perfect formula for jaw-dropping, ass-kicking rock.

4. Kim Gordon: No Home Records {Review}

Mama K is back and in the best of shape! On her solo debut, the Sonic Youth alum proves once again that you can be punk as fuck and purr like a kitty cat after you hit fifty. Kim Gordon will always be the queen of cool.

3. Amyl and The Sniffers: Amyl and The Sniffers {Review}

On their full-length debut, the Aussie punks that showed the world that punk rock and mullets are far from dead. Amyl proves that a woman can rock as hard as Iggy Pop while making grandpa Lemmy proud.

2. Wet Dreams: Wet Dreams {Review}

The Norwegian boogie rockers play rock ‘n’ roll like it is supposed to be played. Wet Dreams makes you wanna drive fast cars, dance on tables and throw beer cans at people who tell you to turn down the volume. My favorite rock band of 2019! 

1. Orville Peck: Pony {Review}

The country lovechild of Roy Orbison and Jimmy Ellis, Orville Peck has truly been a huge love affair in 2019. At first I was skeptical, but after a little while I caught the Peck-fever and I won’t let it stop!