Drew Beringer’s Top Albums of 2021

Best of 2021

unfortunately 2021 felt a lot like 2020, huh? we’re fighting another wave of covid as I type this, our government is still putzing around, 40% of the country refuses to listen to science, etc. so that’s a major bummer but thankfully I’m vaxxed and boosted and if you are too, thank you. for me personally, the past 12 months were a whirlwind. my wife and I bought our first house this fall and a month ago we welcomed our first child into the hell world, a beautiful baby boy. so I can’t be anything but thankful for that. hopefully 2022 brings better things for all of us. anyways, below are the albums and EPs I liked the most – thanks for reading as always.

favorite extended plays

05. Militarie Gun – All Roads Lead To The Gun I + II

04. Mannequin Pussy – Perfect

03. Camp Trash – Downtiming

02. Home is Where – I Became Birds 

01. Knocked Loose – A Tear in the Fabric of Life

favorite albums

50. Angel Du$t – YAK: A Collection of Truck Songs

49. Vial – Loudmouth

48. Pet Symmetry – Future Suits

47. Indigo De Souza – Any Shape You Take

46. Spiritbox – Eternal Blue

45. Lucy Dacus – Home Video

44. Strange Ranger – No Light in Heaven

43. Kacey Musgraves – star-crossed

42. Hayley Williams – FLOWERS for VASES / descansos

41. Julien Baker – Little Obvilions

40. The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art 

39. Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine of Hell 

38. Harmony Woods – Graceful Rage 


36. Midwife – Luminol 

35. Claud – Super Monster 

34. Worst Party Ever – Dartland

33. Regional Justice Center – Crime & Punishment 

32. Alien Boy – Don’t Know Who I Am

31. Hovvdy – True Love 

30. Hurry – Fake Ideas 

29. Closer – Within One Stem


27. Full of Hell – The Garden of Burning Apparitions 

26. The Hold Steady – Open Door Policy 

25. Portrayal of Guilt – We Are Always Alone 

24. God’s Hate – God’s Hate 

23. Scowl – How Flower Grow

22. Low – HEY WHAT 

21. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights 

20. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe – Bloodmoon: I 

19. King Woman – Celestial Blues 

18. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God 

17. The Armed – ULTRAPOP 

16. Adult Mom – Driver 

15. Origami Angel – GAMI GANG 

14. Ovlov – Buds 

13. Fiddlehead – Between The Richness 

12. Deafheaven – Infinite Granite

11. Portrayal of Guilt – CHRISTFUCKER 

10. Downhaul – Proof 

09. Illuminati Hotties – Let Me Do One More 

08. One Step Closer – This Place You Know 

07. Every Time I Die – Radical 

06. Turnstile – Glow On 

05. SeeYouSpaceCowboy – The Romance of Affliction

04. Foxing – Draw Down The Moon 

03. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Illusory Walls 

02. Lingua Ignota – SINNER GET READY 

01. For Your Health – In Spite Of 

The five albums that defined my 2021 were from SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Foxing, The World Is A Beautiful Place, Lingua Ignota, and For Your Health. Back in May, SeeYouSpaceCowboy front woman Connie Sgarbossa tweeted that her band’s new record was gonna bring back the Myspace choruses of the yesterscene. The Romance of Affliction is a true, brutal look at how addiction can kill you and Sgarbossa laid her experiences bare throughout the record’s bombastic mix of emo, screamo, and metal core. A fresh take on a sound from a decade ago, no band does it quite as well as SeeYouSpaceCowboy.

Foxing and The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die both released their boldest and arguably best records (Draw Down The Moon and Illusory Walls) in the face of uncertainty – whether it was the ongoing pandemic or the trials and tribulations of being a critically acclaimed band trying to make a living with music. I was fortunate to speak with Foxing’s Conor Murphy and TWIABP’s Chris Teti about their respective albums and everything else. In 2021, these two band’s may have been left for dead but they emerged with their strongest performances yet.

Kristin Hayter under her Lingua Ignota project probably releasing the most visceral, jarring, and haunting records of 2021 with SINNER GET READY. Replacing some of the harsh noise of Caligula with traditional Appalachian instrumentation. Her voice has total control throughout – especially on a track like “I Who Bend the Tall Grasses” (undoubtedly one of the five best tracks of the year). The record’s nine tracks is intense in its religious inquiries – a journey in which one seeks love and acceptance and never has it returned. The more you listen the more you realize that empathy is trying to rise above all the malice and hatred that organized religion and misguided love that create. SINNER GET READY is more than just 55 minutes of music, it’s Hayter’s entire self and being – you feel the pain, the sadness, and everything in between. Every time I listen to this record I feel it throughout my being. Just an transcendent work of art.

I knew For Your Health’s In Spite Of could be my favorite album of the year last November when hate5six released the full video of the Columbus, Ohio, quartet playing In Spite Of in full at Landmine Studios in New Jersey. It captivated me instantly and immediately put the record on my radar. And once the band sent me an early album advance, it was in constant rotation for the duration of the year for me. It’s a perfect punch in the mouth of all the genres I adore (yes I know their band camp link updated to the amazing remix of the record – something you should also check out). 

Hayden Rodriguez turns in one of the best vocal performances I’ve heard in the genre in a really long - equally frenzied as it is controlled, the screams and harmonies working seamlessly together in trying to escape the claustrophobic atmosphere surrounding it (thanks to guitarist Damian Chacon, bassist Johnny Deborde, and drummer Mike Mapes). Tracks like “I Slept with Wes Eisold and All I Got was an Out of Court Settlement,” “Birthday Candles in the Effigy,” and “You're so United Ninety-Three, We're so Flight One Eighty” perfectly encapsulate the energy and bite of the record, while of course a track named “If Anyone Asks We’re Already Fucked” is In Spite Of’s prettiest moment. Unapologetic, abrasive, and imperfect, In Spite Of is the best seventeen minutes of 2021 and the record soundtracked my 2021.