Top local musical releases of 2017

I’ve been covering Dayton music for more than two decades but I’m always pleasantly surprised at the end of each year when I reflect back on the quality of music created by area musicians in the past 12 months.

And 2017 was no exception.

In fact, there was so much new music coming out that I wrote a piece in late June looking back at the first half of the year, which included standout releases such as R.Ring’s “Ignite the Rest,” “Time Killer” by Lioness, the Zygotes’ “Circles,” “Mystery Head” from Salvadore Ross and Company Man’s “Endless Growth.”

It was another big year for Robert Pollard. In February, he released “Laughs Last,” the 14th and final Circus Devils album. Two months later, the Dayton-based rocker marked an incredible milestone with the release of his 100th album, “August By Cake,” from Guided By Voices. The band also released the follow-up, “How Do You Spell Heaven,” in August.

Other stand-out releases from January to June 2017 include EPs such as “The Knights of the Morning After” from the Pullouts, “Art Will Not Fix This” from Plasteroid and “The Florals are Dead” from the Florals and full-lengths such as “Loom” from Subterranean, New Regrets’ “Confrontation,” “Toxic Schlock” from SKRT and Bribing Senators’ “Songs from a Disappearing Class.”

If you pay attention to Dayton’s original rock scene, you won’t be surprised the second half of 2017 was equally as fruitful musically. A couple of the best hometown albums of the year came from young-but-established acts like Manray, who released “Two Kinds of Worry,” and Speaking Suns, who released the double vinyl “Range.”

Buffalo Killers dropped its sixth album, “Alive and Well in Ohio,” in October. The psych-rock ripper is the first one recorded and produced by the band members in bass player Zach Gabbard’s Howler Hills Farm Studio. Buffalo Killer’s guitarist Andy Gabbard also released the solo album “Plenum Castle,” another blast of intoxicating pop rock.

It was a boom year for local Americana fans. Some of the best releases in that category include Mack McKenzie’s “Consciousness” EP, “Rustbelt Renaissance” from the Typical Johnsons, Jamie Suttle’s “Country Music Revival” and the solo EP “Cheaper Than Therapy” from David Payne of the New Old-Fashioned.

Other notable releases from the second half of 2017 include Novagold’s “A Pretty Burn,” “Mosh Pits & Mai Tais: The Ultimate Punk Rock Lounge Party” from Jimmy Psycho, Mike Bankhead’s “Echo in the Crevices,” a remix CD from electronic duo Hexadiode and the new EP “Finally Home” from Stailer 2.0.

Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at

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