Chicago-via-Dominican Republic hardcore band La Armada have a new album, Anti Colonial Vol. 2, on the way, due out February 11 via Lockjaw Records (UK/EU), Thousand Islands Records (CAN), and Mal De Ojo Records (USA), and they've shared a new single from it, "Le Fe No Abasta." It's another melodic hardcore ripper, and about it, the band say, "A requiem for a terminally ill post-pandemic society. 'La Fe No Abasta' reflects on the futility of the 'thoughts and prayers' culture, the ongoing environmental destruction of our planet and the devastating consequences of corporate greed." Watch the accompanying video, directed by Jamezz Hampton, below.

We've been asking bands about their favorite albums of 2021, and guitarists Jonathan Salazar and Paul Rivera each obliged us with their own lists. Read those, commentary included, below.

La Armada's Favorite Albums of 2021

Jonathan Salazar's List:

Jupiter and Okwess - Na Kozonga
I stumbled across this band’s previous release Kin Sonic in 2017 during a time when I was on the hunt for new music. That album was groundbreaking and fresh to me at the time and as a result it may or may not have been all I listened to for a full year...
5 years after Kin Sonic, Jupiter and Okwess finally released Na Kozonga and it was well worth the wait. My favorite part about this album is the Latin American, Caribbean, and Jazz influences weaved in perfectly to their steady afro rock sound.
Filed under: “The album that will bring you back to life”

Gojira - Fortitude
This one took me a few listens to understand entirely-not the album I was initially expecting to hear from a band whose prior records/releases are as heavy and relentless as L’Enfant Sauvage. Every time I listened to Fortitude, however, I grew a greater sense of appreciation for the production, texture, small but clever details, and instrumentation. With themes centered around ecological and human consciousness this one is a pleasant (but still very fucking heavy) surprise.

Obscura - A Valediction
This band is always pushing the limits of technicality in death metal. Love/hate relationship with this 2021 release. Love: basically all of the tracks. Hate: the nagging feeling it gives me after listening that my guitar playing ain’t shit! Check out "Solaris" for an ego busting, ear shredding good time.

Alfa Mist - Bring Backs
A must listen- Alfa Mist has somehow managed to craft a sound that is everything I like in 1 band: from hip-hop to jazz with intricate rhythms and melancholy melodies. All together “Bring Backs” just evokes a delightful sense of dark tranquility.

Pop Smoke - Faith
When Pusha T said “That’s where the kings go down in Santo Domingo” in "Hard Piano," that line was probably about La Armada (Right? Maybe?). Anyway, King Push is featured on not just 1 but 2 tracks on this album and both are bangers. Filled with bass heavy beats to keep the trunk speakers knockin and the tinted windows vibrating. Favorite record for cruising around town.


Paul Rivera's List:

Westside Gunn - Hitler Wears Hermes 8 (Side B)
Westside and the whole Griselda movement have been a huge influence on me the last couple of years. I get pretty frustrated by how stale and in-the-box the heavy music genres can be in terms of how we release and promote music. Westside has been a positive influence in not being afraid to try things differently (Like releasing the six singles we did this year). This album is a great mix of the raw and gutter-like sounds you come to know and expect from the Buffalo rapper, but mixed with slightly more polished production and way more high-profile appearances. In particular Side B (released as a separate album) had me hooked for days on end.

Nas - King’s Disease 2
Nas followed up his Grammy-winning King’s Disease 1 with an equally great, if not better sequel. It’s an album full of consciousness, self awareness and an overall theme of self improvement and personal growth. A veteran artist in his bag, at the peak of his artistry.
The production is top notch, the lyrics are some of his most thoughtful, the features are deeply satisfying and the Dominican references that pop up here and there definitely don’t hurt.

Riccie Oriach - Maquiné
Dominican Neo-Folklore Artist and long-time friend Riccie Oriach is probably unknown to anyone reading this list but if you are looking for something tropical, with meaningful lyrics and incredible instrumentation give this latest album by him a listen.
He’s been on the rise in the Latin-American alternative and indie scene and Maquiné is by far his most developed yet still brutally honest record. The hardest thing to do on a record is be yourself and this is Riccie’s specialty.

Belvedere - Hindsight is The Sixth Sense
Belvedere has been one of my favorite punk bands for a long time and it amazes me how they continue to put out quality work throughout the years. Even with line up changes the band delivered a quality album this year that touches on many modern day issues; highlighting our seemingly perpetual race towards destroying ourselves as a species, but leaves in just the right amount of hope. Musically the band feels as good as ever and the passion in lead singer Steve Rawles’ voice sounds like it did on day one. If you’re looking for some straight up ripping and melodic punk, give this one a spin.

AFI - Bodies
I fell out of it with AFI after Sing The Sorrow because what came next was just a hair too soft or overly produced for my taste. I gave this record a chance without listening to any of the singles and I was immediately hooked. They managed to create a dark, new-wave punk record that musically sounds like they landed where they intended to be a few releases ago. I really enjoy how the songs are very stripped down in a way, nothing too flashy, nothing over the top, just great depth and feeling.

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