Cool-Tite's Best Albums of 2016


This year has been a gnarly one, to say the least. We survived what felt like a never ending wedding season (including that of our own Cool-Tite Crystal and Sergio!), felt the repeated shock and loss of an insurmountable number of personal heroes, legends, and people we’ve long looked up to, aaaaannnnd not to mention the tumultuous political reality we’ve been forced to withstand. Nonetheless, we still found the time and energy to make it out to a butt-load of awesome shows, including The Smell’s 18th Birthday Party, Levitation (aka Austin Sike Fest), In The Red 25th Anniversary Fest, Save the Smell benefit shows, and the beautiful Joshua Tree trip that was Desert Daze.

It was a wild ride, but we made it out alive and with some photos and stories to tell. And to top it off, there was some dope bands making bad-ass music. These are Cool-Tite’s best albums of 2016, in order of release date. This is the music that helped get us through the year in one piece.


Cool-Tite’s Best Albums of 2016


HindsLeave Me Alone.  Mom + Pop.  January 8, 2016.


This album was less of a new release as it was a compilation of their previous singles and demos. But I ain’t mad about it. This is Hinds first full-length album and one of my favorites of the year. Their adorable Spanish accents and chill-garage vibe keeps me coming back to this band. – Crystal


Ty Segall. Emotional Mugger. Drag City. January 22, 2016.


Ty Segall has a special talent that allows him to change styles on every album while still maintaining a signature sound. Emotional Mugger is no exception. It’s still very much Ty Segall, but weirder and creepier with a slightly apocalyptic feeling. It’s an album that makes you feel a little uncomfortable and yet feels so right to listen to. – Sergio


Night BeatsWho Sold My Generation.  Heavenly Recordings.  January 29, 2016.


The term psychedelic may be off-putting, making you think of hippies with floral shirts and patchouli oil. Erase those images from your head because Night Beats’ “Who Sold My Generation” is the new psychedelia. You hear the influence but it’s darker, harder hitting, grungier, and features some of the best guitar you’ll hear on any album this year. – Sergio


FeelsS/T.  Castle Face.  February 26, 2016.


Although this is the first full-length album from LA-based band, Feels, it feels like they’ve been making music together forever. Their music is heavy, melodic and addicting… “For you, it’s true, I break my brains in two”. This album was definitely on rotation all year. Obsessed with “Small Talk”, “Play it Cool”, and “Tell Me”. – Crystal


Adult BooksRunning From The Blows.  Lolipop Records.  April 2016.


This was probably the album I listened to the most this year. Catchy, surf-punk combined with a darker 80’s LA post-punk sound. The album is melodic and bouncy, yet gritty at times, and takes you on a history lesson through Los Angeles punk while sounding fresh and modern. – Sergio


Parquet CourtsHuman Performance.  Rough Trade.  April 8, 2016.


I’m gonna go ahead and assume this is probably the only Grammy nominated record on our list – sure, it may be for “Best Recording Packaging,” but cool nonetheless!  This LP sees Parquet Courts continue to put out intense and challenging, yet witty and catchy-as-hell tunes.   Not all punk has to be gritty and pissed off.  This record proves it.  – Mat


CFMStill Life of Citrus and Slime.  In The Red Recordings.  April 8, 2016.


Charles Moothart’s first solo venture sounds like a dusty, old record you pulled out of your dad’s 70’s hard rock collection. Heavy, fuzzed out guitar riffs, sharp solos, and a catchy surf vibe. The album plays like a stream of consciousness straight from the mind of Moothart – Sergio


The CoathangersNosebleed Weekend.  Suicide Squeeze.  April  15, 2016.


The Coathangers are such an awesome band to see live and this album captures that energy. “Make It Right” and “Watch Your Back” are upbeat and bouncy jams with punk attitude. “Squeaky Tiki” is a cool song because the squeak sounds are made from dog toys, which typically make our pups go a little nuts. – Crystal


Acapulco LipsS/T.  Killroom Records.  April 15, 2016.


Seattle based band Acapulco Lips released their full-length debut album earlier this year. Their music is a fun blend of garage-surf-psych rock with sweet vocals from bassist/singer Maria-Elena Juarez. “Awkward Waltz” is the jam on this album. – Crystal


Kevin MorbySinging Saw.  Dead Oceans.  April 15, 2016.


From Woods to the Babies to developing his music as a solo artist, Kevin Morby just keeps getting better and better. With his Bob Dylan-esque voice, modern and thoughtful lyrics, a 60’s/70’s acoustic style combined with beautiful musical arrangements, this album is a solid one all the way through. Favorites: “I Have Been to the Mountain”, “Dorothy”, and “Singing Saw”. – Crystal


King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardNonagon Infinity.  ATO Records.  April 29, 2016.


The eighth album in just four years (with another FIVE records promised for 2017), Nonagon Infinity returns to the psych-out sounds of 2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz.  The album is meant to run on an infinite loop of jammage, with every song bleeding into the next.  Nonagon Infinity feels like a well-balanced machine and makes sense whether you’re listening to a single track, or taking a ride through the whole thing.  Kraut-like chugs, harmonica wails, and funky grooves make this album one hell of a good time.  – Mat


Death Valley GirlsGlow In The Dark.  Burger Records.  June 10, 2016.


Serious boogie-down, 666 rock ‘n’ roll straight outta your favorite horror flick.  Raw and unabashed, this record captures everything we like about DVG!  – Mat


CCR HeadcleanerTear Down The Wall.  In The Red Recordings.  June 17, 2016.


Bought this record on a whim, and it did NOT disappoint.  This thing starts out in a frenzied, full-sprint of madness, and progresses towards the more sticky, sludgy sounds the Bay Area is known for.  So chunky, you can literally “Eat This Riff!”  – Mat


GØGGSS/T.  In The Red Recordings.  July 1, 2016.


Ty Segall’s fuzzy guitars and Charles Moothart’s whirlwind drums pair perfectly with the raw punk vocals of Chris Shaw. This album is pure punk but not sloppy and fast, it feels precise. From beginning to end there’s an aggressive attitude, even when the music gets slower it’s somehow more hectic. – Sergio


OrbBirth.  Castle Face.  July 1, 2016.


If you were ever beamed up by a UFO with a Black Sabbath sticker on the back, this is what the aliens would be listening to. Sludged-out metal guitar riffs, heavy bass and wicked drums will have you head banging in your living room. This album flew a bit under the radar, but it’s a banger. – Sergio


Frankie and the Witch Fingers.  Heavy Roller.  Permanent Records.  July 29, 2016.


Heavy Roller is nothing but good times!  Sugary psychedelic garage rock from Los Angeles with tons of energy, catchy hooks, and no crash.  Sounds vintage, but feels so fresh!  – Mat


Sex StainsS/T.   Don Giovanni Records.  September 2016.


The debut full-length from LA’s Sex Stains feels equal parts confrontational activism and dance party. A modern riot grrl feat rooted in the genre’s past (i.e. Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile) with an LA twist – Sex Stains bring an edge of empowerment through very personal accounts, experiences, and observations on life today backed by sun-soaked post-punky grooves.  – Mat


NotsCosmetic.  Goner Records.  September 9, 2016.


Nots was the aggressive, noise-punk band we needed this year. This 4-piece band is fronted by vocalist/guitarist Natalie Hoffman, with synth sounds by Alexandra Eastburn. If you’re looking for something cute and sweet, this isn’t the album for you.  – Crystal


Ex CultNegative Growth.  In The Red Recordings.  September 23, 2016.


Ex-Cult’s newest album picks up right where the last one left off. A flurry of post-punk meets hardcore that captures the intensity of their live shows. Shaw’s aggressive vocals cut through the wall of distorted guitars and don’t let up. The album feels like it gets faster as it progresses before finishing up with the chaotic yet groovy “New Face On” – Sergio


Cory HansonThe Unborn Capitalist From Limbo.  Drag City.  November 11, 2016.


Swoooon! Now here’s a late contender that really snuck up on us and totally blew us away.  It’s a much needed calm to the shit storm that has been 2016.  Lush sting arrangements accompany Hanson’s deep, reflective lyrics and earthy folk delivery to create something so magical.  A very different flavor from everything else on this list, but super TITE nonetheless!  – Mat


Here’s an easy playlist we put together of our top picks – everything but the Drag City and Castle Face releases 😉  Hope you dig, and cheers to an even better 2017!