It’s been a good one, so here’s a few end of year lists from us and some mates. Should be more to come in another post.
Favourite song: The Number Ones – ‘Heartsmash’. This band is too too too good. LP is like a greatest hits.
Favourite demo: Shrapnel, nailed the style, all of the instruments were recorded at the same time on one microphone, and it sounds cooler than most recordings people pay money for.
Favourite 7″: Step Forward 2nd EP. Took long enough but another little masterpiece from the Boston lads. DFJ and CC’s drum/guitar interplay is superb.
Favourite LP: Foreseen – ‘Helsinki Savagery’, been on constant rotation since I heard it, literal slamming savagery start to finish. Like SLAYER condensed with the mosh turned up to 11.
Best artwork: Shrapnel – Frenzied State 7″, sick disco sleeve
Favourite new band: Response, hard California straight edge from the boss men!
Best show(s): Waste Management/Boston Strangler/Peacebreakers/Shrapnel in London, I pretty much moshed myself to oblivion when WM played, and Sam & DFJ put me to shame doing covers for VR. Damaged City Fest, Foreseen in Leeds, LiamStock Day 2 and Snugglefest too.
Favourite new discovery: DEATH ANGEL! How the fuck did I never hear this band? Classic Bay Area thrash by kids who were between 14 and 19, mental. ‘Mistress Of Pain‘ was my December jam. Them or the New Breed (band) ’88 demo, uncanny Breakdown impression from the source. Apparently the drummer is now a tenant of Freddie Alva’s, crazy.
Band I thought was bad but turns out I really like them now: As a general rule I dislike all that 90s Madchester shit, but I like ‘She Bangs The Drums‘ by The Stone Roses now. Oh and Waka Flocka is sick.
Predictions for 2015: Shrapnel and Foreseen will take over the world, more people will sell out and wear dangly earrings, more emo bands named after parts of the house
Honourable mentions: Boston Strangler ‘Fire‘, Ajax demo, Urban Spirit demo, Hounds Of Hate ‘Hate Springs Eternal‘, Shrapnel ‘Frenzied State‘, Detergents 7″, AC/DC ‘Rock Or Bust‘, Vanity ‘Vain In Life‘ LP
Favourite demo: Udusic demo – A real nasty vibe from these mid-westerners. Front woman that sounds a lot like Donna Damage of No Thanks, with music that alternates between the late 90’s phase of Out Cold (whom they also cover), and Cows & Beer era Die Kreuzen. 7″ in 2015 on PKR.
Favourite 7″: Arms Race “Gotta Get Out” – 2014 was a landmark year for the whole crew in Mongrel land, and Arms Race really topped it off for me. Smash-and-bash tunes like early Ripcord and Chaos UK with some rough NYHC of the Trip 6/AF/Krakdown mold mixed in as well. American Press on PKR also coming in 2015.
Favourite LP: Hounds of Hate “Hate Springs Eternal” – It was a slim year for notable album releases, but the Hounds managed to upgrade their debut by making it leaner and catchier without losing their sound in the process.
Best artwork: Struggling Harsh Immortals – “Lucifer Rising” 7″ cover – A cover image both as colorful and unexpected as their musical mix of “Nihil” and “SoniCRIME TheRapy”.
Favourite New Band: Aggression Pact! – 7″ arriving in early 2015.
Best show – any non-fest
Favourite New Discovery – John Gallow “Violet Dreams” – Not a hardcore release, and it doesn’t hit the mark 100% of the time but I admire the audacity of a 60+ minute solo lp of Italian style prog-metal. A really impressive and excessive debut. The transition between Ancient Tears & Maelstrom of Consciousness is massive.
Band I thought was bad but turns out I like: Ajax – whom I wrote off based on the hideous prefab Death Traitor art but who play a good strain of fast USHC that reminds me a lot of other recent acts like Wasted Time, Urban Blight, and plenty others.
Predictions for 2015: Two-Tone Ska revival with “post punk” fans. Horror Punk bands formed by 82-core kids. Atari Teenage Riot gets big with crasher crusties. More pro-core bands that sound like Slipknot (the one with masks).
Favourite song: Primetime – Tied Down
Favourite demo: Sievehead
Favourite 7″: Die – Vexed
Favourite LP: Total Control – Typical System
Best artwork: Guttergods – Innersense (don’t reckon the LP was actually up to much but the artwork with that zine inside is boss)
Best live band: Hank Wood, S.H.I.T., DiE (With Ralph and Foxy), UV Race, Waste Management, No Form, Foreseen, Loop, Hookworms, Eagulls
Favourite new band: The Wub
Best show(s): Static Shock Weekend, I’ll Die If I want 2, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Leeds.
Favourite new discovery: Lust for Youth
Band I thought was bad but turns out I really like them now: Total Control (though I didn’t think they were bad as such, just didn’t have the songs to fit the instrumentation), Turnstile (thought these were shit until I saw them play)
Predictions for 2015: More keyboards
Honourable Mentions: The Lowest Form – Negative Ecstacy
Mob Rules – Nothing Left
Eagulls – LP
Perspex Flesh – LP
The Number Ones – EP
Pharmakon – Bestial Burden
Impalers – Psychedelic Snutskallar
Hookworms – The Hum
Institute – Giddy Boys 7″ & Salt EP
Shrapnel demo n 7″
VR – Dead End 7″
Song: The Flex- “The Herd”
7″: Big Zit – Electric Zit Vol. 1
LP: Boston Strangler – Fire
Artwork: Impalers – Psychedelic Snutskallar LP (disco sleeves are ill)
Live Band: Turnstile
Favorite New Band: Fury
Best Show(s): Boston Strangler record release gig @ The Boiler Room w/ Zoom, Some Nerve, and Protester in Boston, Pentagram @ American University w/ Satans Satyrs, Coke Bust, and Unholy Thoughts in DC, Violent Reaction, The Flex, Barge, and Zoom @ Union Arts in DC
New Discovery: Mexican food on the west coast smoked mexican food on the east coast.
Band I Thought Was Bad But I Like Them Now: Blazing Eye. (to be fair, I hadn’t checked them out but was convinced that I wouldn’t like them. I’m an idiot)
Predictions for 2015: No Tolerance 12″ will be the best record of the year, DC bands will keep killing it, and I will still eat Chipotle too goddam much.