In only approximate order of favoriteness, here is my year-end wrap-up. As in previous years, a few of the entries on the following list were released earlier than 2007, but that is when I discovered them, so I'm allowing a little slack. In 2007, I acquired roughly the same amount of new music as I did last year: around 160 new-ish albums, and a similar number of older releases.
You've heard tracks by, I believe, all but three of these bands on the jwz mixtapes so far.
Shriekback - "Glory Bumps"
As you have probably figured out by now, I am a huge, huge Shriekback fan, and this latest album is one of their best. "Amaryllis in the Sprawl" in particular is one of the best songs they've ever done.
Say Hi To Your Mom - "Impeccable Blahs" & "Numbers & Mumbles"
Last year's best band name was "I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness", and this year that title goes to "Say Hi To Your Mom". That aside, these are great albums. I love the guy's voice. They're mostly mellow, sweet-sounding songs about goofy topics like video games, space ships and vampires. Even though the lyrics are really funny, it doesn't come off as a joke: it sounds like he really cares that she beat his high score.
Gram Rabbit - "Radio Angel and the Robot Beat"
Gram Rabbit's made the list for the last two years, and this one's fantastic as well. I'd say it's better than the last one. We had them at DNA Lounge again in September.
Los Abandoned - "Mixtape"
Extremely perky bilingual girly pop-punk... That whole pop-punk category can go very wrong, but in this case, it goes very right. This album is a lot of fun.
Aaaaaand... apparently they just broke up, like a month after I bought their album. Dammit.
Minuit - "Guns", "Fuji", & "Except You"
So, these are an EP and a couple of singles, which don't quite add up to a full album, but I love them so much they make the list anyway, especially for the song "Fuji". They're kind of trip-hoppy, I guess. They have a couple of full-length albums out, but I haven't managed to get my hands on them yet.
The Trucks - "The Trucks"
This album sort of oscillates between a Luscious Jackson-style hip-hoppy electronic indie rock, and Tegan & Sara-ish acoustic tracks. The lyrics are lewd and funny. (You should listen to them despite the fact that I am crappy at describing bands.)
Tiny Masters of Today - "Bang Bang Boom Cake"
Distorted punk in the vicinity of The Kills. Apparently they're a pair of little kids. Maybe this is what Fuzzbox would have been today.
Mon Frere - "Blood, Sweat, & Swords" & "Real Vampires EP"
They sound a bit like the harder side of Sleater-Kinney, I guess. "You Make Me Wanna Destroy Something Beautiful" and "Drain" are my favorites.
The Bastard Fairies - "Memento Mori"
Sweet, mellow, country-tinged acoustic songs about prostitutes and damnation. They're funny. I'll bet they drink a lot.
You Say Party! We Say Die! - "Lose All Time" & "Hit The Floor!"
Fast, shouty female indie/punk, I guess... but they sound kind of like Adult if Adult had more rock, less "Warm Leatherette". (Also, second place for best band name of the year.)
Ultraviolet - "Ultraviolet"
Bratty, poppy electronic rock; are we still calling this kind of thing "electroclash"? This is a great EP, and they put on a really fun show at DNA Lounge in November.
A Place To Bury Strangers - "A Place To Bury Strangers"
These guys fall somewhere between The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. And I mean that in a good way.
Photek - "Form & Function Vol 2"
Well, it's been nine years since the last Photek album, "Form & Function Vol 1", and this one's better! It's very dark drum-and-bass, mostly. This is nice, because I wasn't aware that anyone was still making this kind of thing.
The Birthday Massacre - "Walking With Strangers"
Heh. Goths. It's good in that nostalgic kind of way. They played DNA Lounge in September.
The Nice Device - "Let the Nightlife Down"
Poppy indie-rock, maybe a bit like Metric. They played DNA Lounge in April.
Midnight Movies - "Lion the Girl"
Mellow, moody indie rock, a bit shoegazer-y, a bit 60s. Yeah, I suck at this.
Tegan & Sara - "The Con"
At least as good as the previous album, which made last year's list. Marginally grumpier and less acoustic than the last one.
Faceless Werewolves - "Medium Freaky"
A noisy punk band with mostly female vocals, and very weird topics. The song "One Armed Man" kinda freaks me out.
The Ettes - "Shake the Dust"
Another fast, female-fronted punk band. Easiest comparison: Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Chris Randall - "The Devil His Due" & "Cheap Sensation"
Mr. Sister Machine Gun completes his rejection of all things Industrial by releasing a blues-rock album!
Dandi Wind - "Concrete Igloo"
They are fast and twitchy and sound a lot like Adult. Which is good, because I really like Adult. (Adult is better, though.)
A Kiss Could Be Deadly - "The Pink Noise Sessions"
I guess you might call them "new wave", since they're a rock band with prominent synths and an 80s influence. They played DNA Lounge in October.
Lazy Lane - "The Chills"
Spooky, gothy... folk, I guess. People seem to like to compare them to Mazzy Star, but I found Mazzy Star dull and completely un-spooky.
The Long Blondes - "Someone to Drive You Home"
Hey look, people are still making mid-90s britpop. This is a bit like Elastica with an extra helping of 60s nostalgia.
Stolen Babies - "There Be Squabbles Ahead"
A female-fronted metal band with sort of a carnival feel to a lot of their songs. The stand-out here is "Push Button". I think I'd like this album more if their approach to the carnival thing reminded me more of, say, Oingo Boingo, and less of Marilyn Manson.
Atomica - "Metropolitan"
Very, very Portishead.
Film School - "Hideout"
And in this corner: My Bloody Valentine.
Silversun Pickups - "Carnavas"
Some shoegazery, but a whole lot of Smashing Pumpkins.
Nine Inch Nails - "Year Zero"
It's good, though it didn't keep my interest as long as 2005's "With Teeth" did. There are a few great songs on this one, though, particularly "Zero Sum".
The National - "Boxer"
The first time I heard this it didn't do much for me ("another too-mellow Joy Division wannabe", I thought) but this album grew on me.