Change the Rotation's Best Albums of 2016 Bracket

Phil Collins - January 2, 2017

Here we are with the fourth and possibly most dramatic installment of Change the Rotation's best albums of the year bracket. Every year we choose our 32 favorite albums and throw them into a March Madness style bracket to determine our site's album of the year. Steve O, Dave Anians and I were joined by Danny Brawlins to make this a four-person bracket committee for the first time. This meant matchups could result in a tie, and a fair number of them did. Thus the extra drama. We had an iron-clad tie-breaking procedure in place. We all individually assigned points to each album (32 points for our favorite, 1 for our least favorite.) In the event of a tie, the four scores for each album were summed up to determine the winner. This couldn't possibly still produce a tie. Could it? Read on and you will see just how close that came to happening at the bracket's decisive moment.

region 1

The bracket started off with a heated matchup between PUP, who are on the rise in a big way right now, and punk stalwarts the Descendents. This one went to a tie and PUP came out ahead, to the utter shock of half the bracket committee. PUP went on to the quarterfinals, where they lost in a tiebreaker to the winner of region one, Against Me! Bombflower v. Iggy Pop and NOFX v. Against Me! also needed tiebreaking votes in this region.

region 2

Gouge Away prevailed in region 2 after a tiebreaker with The Falcon. David Bowie made an early exit here, but as Steve O mentioned many times during the bracket proceedings, outliers usually don't do very well in the bracket.

region 3

PEARS made it through to their second final four appearance in two chances. Audio/Rocketry had a good showing with their first entry on our bracket. Head Wound City v. Pkew Pkew Pkew and PEARS v. Jeff Rosenstock needed tiebreakers in this region.

region 4

Direct Hit! made it through to the final four in their first appearance on our bracket. White Lung advanced to the quarterfinals in their second time on the bracket. Dog Party v. Direct Hit! and UGLYBoNES v. Murderburgers needed tiebreakers here.

final four first matchup

Fort Lauderdale's Gouge Away continued their impressive run. Their debut album knocked off the 2014 champions.

final four second matchup

PEARS got by Direct Hit! for their second final matchup appearance in as many chances.

championship matchup

Gouge Away's , Dies is Change the Rotation's 2016 album of the year! This final matchup went to a tie and Gouge Away prevailed by a score of 110-109. If you're doing the math, 128 is the highest an album could possibly score (if all four of us gave it 32 points.) So, Gouge Away's album was ranked very high by all of us. They join RVIVR (2013), Against Me! (2014) and Leftover Crack (2015) as bracket champions. Congratulations to all the bands on this year's bracket. Links to stream all 32 albums follow.

PUP - The Dream is Over
Descendents - Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Bombflower - Sweeteater
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
Against Me! - Shape Shift With Me
Culture Shock - Attention Span
Trap Them - Crown Feral
NoFX - First Ditch Effort
The Falcon - Gather Up the Chaps
David Bowie - Blackstar
Beach Slang - A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
Antillectual - Engage!
Gouge Away - , Dies
Useless ID - State is Burning
The Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend
Martha - Blisters in the Pit of My Heart
Head Wound City - A New Wave of Violence
Pkew Pkew Pkew - Pkew Pkew Pkew
Street Sity Surf - Things You May Have Wondered About
Audio/Rocketry - Audio/Rocketry
PEARS - Green Star
Weekend Nachos - Apology
Jeff Rosenstock - Worry.
The Taxpayers - Big Delusion Factory
Dog Party - 'Til You're Mine
Brutal Youth - Sanguine
Direct Hit! - Wasted Mind
We the Heathens - The Blood Behind the Dam
UGLYBoNES - Growing Concerns
The Murderburgers - The 12 Habits of Highly Defective People
AJJ - The Bible 2
White Lung - Paradise