I Am The Avalanche members discuss their 10 favorite albums of 2020
I Am The Avalanche returned earlier this month with their first album in six years, DIVE. Ahead of its release, we interviewed frontman Vinnie Caruana about the new album, the songs that influenced it, the chaos of 2020, and more, and now Vinnie, guitarist Mike Ireland, and drummer Brett "The Ratt" Romnes have made us a list of their 10 favorite albums of the year.
The list includes fellow punk veterans like Strike Anywhere (who put out their first record in 11 years) and Be Well (the new supergroup fronted by Brian McTernan, who produced the classic albums by Vinnie's band The Movielife), as well as non-punk stuff like Sturgill Simpson, Rufus Wainwright, and Jehnny Beth, and more. They also gave commentary on each pick. Read on for what they had to say...
I AM THE AVALANCHE'S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2020
Hum - Inlet
BRETT: After over 20 years it is a great feeling to hear new music from Hum. The songs don’t feel forced and come across as a genuine progression. It's like they never left.
Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow the Rules
BRETT: One of my favorite songwriters who has yet to deliver anything less than a 10/10. His music feels timeless and always from the heart.
Jehnny Beth - To Love is to Live
BRETT: Lyrics, tone, imagery. Jehnny really surpassed all expectations I had for this album. I am a sucker for anything involving Atticus Ross or Flood.
Strike Anywhere - Nightmares of the West
MIKE: Whenever I play a Strike Anywhere song for my friends in New Orleans, the response is always “HOLY SHIT WHERE IS THIS BAND FROM“ and I love to proudly say they are from Virginia, my home state. So much incredible punk music has come from Virginia and Strike Anywhere continues to carry the flag with this release.
Be Well - The Weight And The Cost
MIKE: Members of Battery, Bane, Fairweather, Darkest Hour, etc. This records fucking RIPS. It’s amazing hearing Brian singing in a hardcore band again. There was one month during this pandemic when I listened to this record at least twice a day. Perfectly crafted, soul baring, emotional punk songs. Hey, Be Well, let’s tour together when this fucking pandemic ends, shall we?
Sturgill Simpson - Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions
MIKE: This was such a pleasant surprise for me. This record is in heavy rotation in my truck while I drive through New Orleans trying to figure out what the fuck I am doing with my life. Sturgill made a rootsy stripped down record with bluegrass versions of some of his best songs. It makes me really miss bellying up to the bar with my best friends.
The Menzingers - From Exile
MIKE: I love the people in this band and I love the music they make together. I feel like they saw the end of the world coming in Hello Exile. Listening to From Exile is like being at a funeral for what used to be.
The Lemon Twigs - Songs For The General Public
VINNIE: Genius kids from Long Island. '60s and '70s power pop that can get proggy at times, and a little psychedelic other times. Huge tunes. I just love them.
The Flaming Lips - American Head
VINNIE: Yoshimi is my favorite Lips record, and with American Head, I’m hearing some dreamy Yoshimi style production and songwriting going on and I like that a lot. "You n Me Sellin’ Weed" is already one of my favorite Lips songs of all time.
I Am The Avalanche - DIVE
VINNIE: We only get about one Avalanche record every 5 years. It’s so special and precious to me. I like this record more than any of the others listed. Fuck it. AVALANCHE FOREVER.