No need to make this extra wordy. I'll keep it to a few sentences and let the music do the talking.
I broke it up into my favorite "rock" albums and my favorite "punk" albums.
My favorite "rock" albums of 2011:
10) Amebix - "Sonic Mass" - Honestly, I like this album just fine. But it wouldn't have made the top ten without this song. This song might be my favorite of the year. The video is stunning as well.
9) Other Lives - "Tamer Animals" - I imagine an African plain when I hear this. This sounds like the Lion King if it were an indie rock band.
8) D. Vassalotti - "Book Of Ghosts" - Even though I'm sick to death of this shoegaze revival bologna, this album knocked my socks off. For fans of The Cure or Jesus & Mary Chain with a drop of grit and dirt to it. Listen to it here.
7) Sallie Ford & The Outside Sound - "Dirty Radio" - Forget Adele and Amy Winehouse. I like my soulful lady singers with a dab of 50's and no budget.
6) Deer Tick - "Divine Providence" - Well, it took 30 years but somebody finally and truly channeled the spirit of "Hootenanny"-era Replacements.
5) Low - "C'mon" - Gotta respect a band that's from Duluth and lasted nearly 20 years. The originators of the slow sound. And still great as ever.
4) P.S. Eliot - "Sadie" - The best of the numerous Crutchfield sisters' bands. It's 90s punky indie pop brilliance.
3) Arrington de Dionyso - "Suara Naga" - It's been years since I heard a band that made me go "Waaahh??" I don't even know what to call this guy/band other than scary, psychotic and utterly brilliant. He is from the US but learned Indonesian to impress a girl and now sings that way in his band. This is NOT for everyone. I felt he even warranted a double video post.
2) Tom Waits - "Bad As Me" - Tom Waits puts out his best album in years. It's like a greatest hits sampling of his various sounds since the 70s. He's earned it.
1) Cloud Nothings - "Self-Titled" - I haven't been this excited about a band in years. I love wimpy singers who sound aggressive. To me, the Cloud Nothings channel the spirit of the Violent Femmes meets early Built To Spill/Modest Mouse meets punk rock energy. Every song is gold. I'm not even sure which song to pick so I'll just take one at random. They also just released a new 2012 album that's even better than this and sounds totally different. Future stars. Check out their youtube page in full: http://www.youtube.com/artist/Cloud_Nothings?feature=watch_video_title
Honorable Mention: Bon Iver "Self-titled", Fucked Up "David Comes To Life", Jeff The Brotherhood "We Are The Champions", The Men "Leave Home", Atmosphere "The Family Sign" (it's rap but whatever - he sings a lot now), J Mascic "Several Shades of Why", Ty Segall "Goodbye Bread".
And my favorite punk albums of 2011:
10) Sharkpact - "Ditches" - Keyboard punk. Screamers meets early Against Me!
9) GG King - "Esoteric Lore" - I know nothing about this person/album other than that it came out in 2011, it feels like something from 1981 and I like it.
8) Joyce Manor - "Self-Titled" - The Jawbreaker comparison gets tossed around a lot because of their lyrics, but really they're more like a punkier, early Promise Ring.
7) Marvelous Darlings - "Single Life" - It's not technically an album so much as a collection of singles, but it's so damn catchy and infectious. Every song on here is just power-pop punk perfection.
6) Fuck Knights - "Let It Bleed" - Minneapolis' own garage rock heroes. Catch them live, they're the best.
5) Royal Headache - "Self-Titled" - Sometimes punk doesn't sound punk. This is 100% punk attitude, with a singer that sounds almost like Rod Stewart. And that's a good thing. Just listen to it. They're amazing.
4) Future Virgins - "Western Problems" - Future Virgins are possibly and quietly the best punk band in the world right now. The only reason it's not higher is because I just got it.
3) Trash Talk - "Awake" - Best hardcore band around today, hands down. The whole album is eight minute's long. Punk's not dead, bitches.
2) Night Birds - "The Other Side of Darkness" - Surfy punk that channels the Dead Kennedys without ripping them off. Sounds old school and fresh at the exact same time.
1) ADD/C - "Busy Days" - I love this band so much that I wrote a joke about them (coming up on my soon to be released CD on Rooftop Records). They were on my 2010 punk list as well because this was released so close to New Years that I'm not sure what year it counts for. It's tops in both! And the cherry on top is that they have the same drummer as Future Virgins. Check out my story about ADD/C here and (because they have no web presence) watch their only video: