Saturday, January 16, 2016

2015 Year End Best Of List

Horrendous - War Is Still… (Brain Solvent Propaganda)

Horrendous play tried and true D-Beat hardcore with a few mid-paces songs thrown in on this seven song 12”.  Hailing from Sweden, and featuring members of well known bands INFERNÖH and Herätys.  But don’t think of this as just a side band, this record can hold it’s own among the other bands playing this style.  This 12” warranted repeated listens upon first listen.  Recommended.

Violent Reaction - Marching On  (Revelation)

Violent Reaction are back with their 2nd 12”, this time courtesy of the well known Revelation Records.  The band went through somewhat of a sonic revelation on this record, trading the high gain guitars for a more clean, almost jangly sound on this record.  Does it work?  Sure.  Is it as good as the previous 12”?  I’m going to have to say no.  However, Violent Reaction ape some nice early Negative Approach riffs, here and there, and add a few fastcore/blast beat elements to keep things interesting.  Violent Reaction are more than capable of writing descent mosh riffs too.

Poison Idea - Confuse & Conquer  (Southern Lord)

With a revamped lineup, the legendary Portland punk outfit returns sans Pig Champion (RIP), and brings back Eric The Vegetable to handle to lead guitar duties.  The band crafts an lp that still has elements of classic Poison Idea, but adds a couple of twists with styles ranging from rock n roll to full out spaghetti western (yeah, no shit).  This is one of my favorite bands all-time, so of course I can find a spot for Poison Idea on this list.

Noi!se - The Scars We Hide (GMM)

Tacoma street rock contemporaries Noi!se keep up the studio output, releasing their first full length record The Scars We Hide on the well known street rock/oi! Label GMM records.  While these aren’t my favorite batches of songs that the band has released, this record gets repeated spins.  A lot of people criticize the new sound of street rock/oi! being way too pop punk influenced, and I can see where that kind of comparison can be made with the rhythms being very similar, and some of the guitar melodies being a bit too sugary.  However, Noi!se have good lyrics, many of them leaning more towards the tried and true hardcore content.

Dawn Of Humans - Slurping At The Cosmos Spine (Toxic State)

How much art can you take?  This 12” will have you asking yourself just that.  Dawn Of Humans play a unique brand of punk that is noisy, bouncy, and driving.  Lots of 1-2 pogo drumming on this to keep the kids up front moving.  Dawn Of Humans is a band you must see LIVE to fully appreciate.  Part punk show, part performance art.  Toxic State keeps it’s traditions of amazing packaging going, with a huge foldout poster, and full stylish lyric sheet.  If you want to hear something a bit different, check this record out.  SEE THIS BAND LIVE!

Eel - s/t (Beach Impediment)

Total Disorder worship with some nice guitar playing.  Pittsburgh’s Eel say fuck the trends and keep the pogo noise style going into 2015 and beyond.  After a lengthy string of releases, Eel are back with a 3 song 7” one of them being a Disorder cover.  If you are into this style of punk at all, chances are you already have this record.  There is a cool fold out poster too!

Best live show of 2015:

By far, the best live show I saw in 2015 was Raw Power at Lookout! Lounge here in Omaha.  Raw Power proved that age, nor language barrier doesn’t mean shit.  The band played more than 20 songs in 30 minutes, only briefly stopping to talk once saying that it was the first time they have played Omaha since 1988!  The turnout for this show was super weak, and I feel bad for everyone who missed out.

Final Notes:

This may seem like a short list for this year, and I agree it is.  So many classic and/or rare out of print punk and hardcore records have finally been given repress treatment.  Many of these records took up most of my listening time in 2015.  But, as stated in a rant in previous years, no repressed albums will ever make my year end list.  There was also a handful of demo tapes that came out in 2015 that created quite a stir.  However, I just haven’t had the time to set up my cassette player to listen to them to give a fully justified review.  The CCHQ is going through an interior revamp currently, and hopefully I can create enough room for my twin deck within my music listening area to provide better coverage of bands releasing tape formats.

What were your favorite punk releases of 2015?  Cheers!


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