The Best Albums of October 2017

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We can see the end just over the horizon. The year’s final weeks are ticking away and in just another month you’ll be reading about our favorite music released in 2017. Until then, we have one more roundup of our favorite monthly music, with seven records from October that haven’t been able to stop spinning since they were released. Not that November and December won’t have their own gems, but come this time next month, we’ll be surveying the past 12 months of music and seeing where it all fits in. For the time being, read about our favorite releases from the past four weeks.

Destroyer ken review Album of the WeekDestroyerken

Dan Bejar’s been taking inspiration from the past for a few albums now, whether in the sophisti-pop styles of his 2011 abum Kaputt or the glam-rock dramatics of 2015’s Poison Season. Yet with ken, Destroyer finds a different muse: The post-punk gloom of early ’80s Manchester. New Order, The Smiths and Joy Division are in the album’s blood, but so is the malaise of ’80s England, to which Bejar draws parallels to the present. It’s a surprisingly poignant album that just happens to nod to the past. It’s tricky to pull off, but if anyone can do it, it’s him. – Jeff Terich

best albums of October 2017 ExpanderExpanderEndless Computer
(Nuclear War Now!)

The members of Converge have had a pretty big year, what with Jacob Bannon’s debut as Wear Your Wounds, Ben Koller’s releases with Mutoid Man and All Pigs Must Die, and Kurt Ballou producing the new Chelsea Wolfe album, not to mention a proper Converge album. But while Austin thrash outfit Expander’s debut album Endless Computer might not have garnered the most headlines, it’s one of the strongest albums to bear Ballou’s production credit. A psychedelic thrash metal album that marries sci-fi narratives with killer riffs, Endless Computer is one thrilling explosion of energy after another. It’s one of the best metal debuts of the year. – Jeff Terich

Kelela Take Me Apart review Album of the WeekKelelaTake Me Apart

Kelela’s debut album has been a long time coming. The Los Angeles artist received some well-earned acclaim based on her early mixtape Cut 4 Me and 2015 EP Hallucinogen. Yet Take Me Apart is a major step forward for Kelela, offering up a breathtaking and diverse collection of tracks, from the mesmerizing future R&B of “Frontline” to the unstoppable pop hooks of “LMK.” It’s a set of pop, electronic and R&B tracks with few peers. It’s pop’s sound of tomorrow. – Jeff Terich

best albums of October 2017 King KruleKing KruleThe Ooz
(True Panther)

Archy Marshall’s fixed persistence in exploring a wide array of genres has yielded a line of varied and high quality projects since his debut as Zoo Kid. He’s released music under a number of monikers—Edgar the Beatmaker, DJ JD Sports and The Return of Pimp Shrimp, to name a few. The Ooz, Marshall’s sophomore release as King Krule, is his most representative release yet. It plucks influence from each of his previous projects, updated and modified in a sprawling and absorbing double LP. Marshall’s distinct style seeps into the foundation of The Ooz at the same rate the album crawls into the subconscious of the listener. – Patrick Pilch

best albums of October 2017 MelkbellyMelkbellyNothing Valley
(Wax Nine)

Chicago punk outfit Melkbelly released their stellar full-length debut this month—a queasy and gritty exercise in noise-garage rock. After the release of the solid Pennsylvania EP in 2014 and a string of zinger singles, the band has fine-tuned their frantically urgent punk ethos into the eleven tracks on Nothing Valley. Melodic fuzz washes over standouts like “Kid Kreative,” “Greedy Gull” and “Twin Looking Motherfucker,” with frontwoman Miranda Winters’ panicky vocals reflecting James Wetzel’s manic percussion. The album is the inaugural release of Sadie Dupuis-headed Wax Nine records, setting the tone and quality for the fledgling Carpark subsidiary. – Patrick Pilch

Spotlights Seismic reviewSpotlightsSeismic

Mario and Sarah Quintero aren’t wasting any time. Their 2016 debut Tidals was an excellent two sides of atmospheric sludge, but its follow-up—and the band’s Ipecac debut—finds the married duo taking their thunderous sound in a more spacious and epic direction, merging the cosmic alt-rock of Hum and Failure with the heft of Isis. Seismic is unlike few other heavy albums this year in that it seems to exist in two worlds at once, wielding volume and hooks in equal measure. It’s an album that takes the listener on an ambitious journey. – Jeff Terich

Yellow Eyes Immersion Trench Reverie review Album of the WeekYellow EyesImmersion Trench Reverie
(Gilead Media)

New York’s Yellow Eyes made a name for themselves on the strength of their 2015 progressive black metal album Sick With Bloom. Its follow up only ups the ante, intensifying their blackened core while delivering more immediate melodies, complex song structures and intricate musicianship. It’s an album that’s at once furious and fascinating, drawing parallels to similarly exploratory bands like Krallice while showcasing their own uniquely, unexpectedly accessible approach. – Jeff Terich

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