The Murlocs, “Virgin Criminal” — The start of a life of crime is chronicled in The Murlocs’ ’60s-inspired psychedelic punk rock tune from their next album, Rapscallion, due Sept. 16. Frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith describes the song as being about the protagonist breaking his first crime and getting off on the thrill of being an outlaw.
7. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Infest The Rats’ Nest or Fishing for Fishies – Daniel J. Willis
There was a debate among our nominating committee which of the two albums King Gizzard released this year should go on the list. It wasn’t easy because they’re so wildly different. The first, April’s Fishing for Fishies, is a psychedelic rock throwback with bluesy undertones, reminiscent of the early ‘70s. The second, August’s Infest the Rats’ Nest, is a Metallica- and Motörhead-inspired thrash metal manifesto about environmentalism. Eventually we realized that if a band releases two albums worthy of consideration that aren’t even in the same genre, they had a good enough year to crack the top 10 with their combined effort.