Happy new year folks! Wish you all the best for 2016, especially tons of great new records, shows, new bands…whatever! So far this year has been pretty tough for me but, honestly, it has also been one of the most important years of my 28 years of existence on this planet. I’d like to thank all my friends and family for their support, all the DROIDxRAGE crew for being cooler than cool, and all the people I’ve met working on this website: Swedes – don’t forget /!\ FREE LINUS /!\, Gabriel, Leo, Joel, Emelie, Filil, Tor, Klas; UK – Paolo, Connor, Tom, MERCY, Ben, Jérémie, Sam, Rodney, Luke; Americans, Balaram Shakti Das (AKA Gjared), Lucas, Jean-Pierre, Connor; Canada: Karl; Brazil: Athos; Belgium: Jens; Bulgaria: Nikolay; Australia: the Fitzsimmons twin brothers; Germany: Adrian; France: Alexis and Alexis(!) Elyas, Antoine… (sorry for those I forgot!)
Here is my 2015 top releases (photo credits (c)myself)
XREPENTANCEX “The Sickness Of Eden” LP (Carry The Weight/UK)
So many things have been said and written about this band’s demo and live performances before they released their first full-length album this year, I don’t know if describing again and again how good it is towards the fact it is THE best tribute to 90s edge metal worth it.
I wrote dozens of time on DROIDxRAGE I had to face some serious medical issues since May 2014 and, there are actually two current bands which really helped me from day 1 and XREPENTANCEX is the first of ’em. My friend Jérémie, who lives in Nottingham, got me “In Violation Of Asa” 7″ from guitar player Robb when I entered the rehabilitation center in June 2014. Then, “The Sickness Of Eden” came out when I started to walk on my own again and had to face each therapist, each employee and each long-term patient within the rehabilitation center when we were eating or working together. They noticed I was vegan, they always tried to prove me how wrong I was and, what was really strange as to me, a huge part of the patients who, like me, had a brush with death, were still talking about drinking booze and partying. Some of them have had awful car accidents… Sometimes because of drug or alcohol abuse. I’ve been straight edge for years now, and I’m still afraid of the furious energy surrounding these bad habits. It might sound pretty stupid but, it’s been a year and half since I’m focused on my health and recovering from this congenital disease and “The Sickness Of Eden” has been a part of my medication!
TURNSTILE “Nonstop Feeling” LP (React Records/USA)
So this is the second 2015 release which had really helped me to face the events I was previously dealing with. I guess within the worldwide hardcore microcosm, TURNSTILE has been, for good or ill, one of 2015 best topics of conversation. As to me, “Nonstop Feeling” is a perfect refreshing mix of what some 90s haters love to talk shit about (much good may it do to you, folks!) and a perfect shaker of groove and joy, which was perfect for your servant to regain that lost range of movements and leave that damn wheelchair!
So, let’s be brief and to the point: thank you TURNSTILE!
GUIDANCE “Path Of Grace” LP (Ugly And Proud Records, The Underground Fraction, Monument Records/UK)
GUIDANCE split-up in 2014 and this record came out posthumously earlier this year. I made an interview of the band on DROIDxRAGE if you want to learn more things about GUIDANCE. It was a really cool band featuring members of several really good current English bands. It’s a different taste of 90s hardcore than XREPENTANCEX, more inspired by bands like 108 and TURNING POINT, but it’s definitly a great record. R.I.P. GUIDANCE.
BUTCHER “Holding Back The Night” 12″ (Butcher Records/USA)
What a great fucking record. What a great tribute to POISON IDEA or G.I.S.M. If the cover art reminds you of WORLD BURNS TO DEATH’s “Totalitarian Sodomy” on Hardcore Holocaust I just want you to know that even if BUTCHER wants to keep a bit of mystery, the band is fronted by the one and only Jack Control, from the same WBTD and SEVERED HEAD OF STATE. Drummings are performed by Jon Weisberg from ASSHOLEPARADE, LIFECHAIN, RELIGIOUS AS FUCK, STARVATION and WORLDS, bass player is Tim Hutchens from HOT GRAVE and guitar player is Adler Moore (look after his profile on Discogs, this is pretty astonishing). This record is extremely good: ten tracks of pure fucking raw/thrashing hardcore punk in the vein of this insane name droping list I just wrote. Fuckin A+!
GASMASK TERRÖR “Chape De Plomb” 12″ (Destructure Records/FRA)
Third album from my boys and, honestly, my favorite. Every lyric is written in French and the production is very solid. Don’t know how many times I saw them on stage this year but each set was a freaking good teaser of this geniune piece of d-beat/raw punk record.
NEGATIVE SELF st LP (High Roller Records/SWE)
I invite you to read the NEGATIVE SELF interview I posted on DROIDxRAGE earlier this year. Like a huge part of the records I’m dealing with in this column, this st LP is a tribute to a specific branch of hardcore punk. The NEGATIVE SELF LP will remind you of the 1988-1990 era of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, the crossover thrash revival at his peak.
TURNOVER “Peripheral Vision” LP (Run For Cover Records/USA)
“Peripheral Vision” must be THE most beautiful record I’ve been listening to this year by far. If you already know the work of Run For Covers Records you won’t be surprised to listen to a band flirting with alternative, indie music or even emo and a shoegazing sound. This is THE record you must pick-up on your shelves and listen to comfortably sit in a soft armchair with a cup of tea when the sun goes down. Perfect for sundays afternoon, while the cat’s purring on your knees and you want nothing but the calm of your living-room and a tiny light.
On the contrary, I guess this record would be perfect during a sunny mountain hike! Top record!
DRAB MAJESTY “Careless” LP (Dais Records/USA)
“Careless” is one of my personal latest discovers of this year, and I’m so glad to be able to listen to this really intense record on my turntable right now. DRAB MAJESTY is a two peace band, fronted by the enigmatic character of Deb DeMure which will probably remind you of Genesis P-Orridge. The sound waves between classic new wave and synth-pop. As to me, every song is a hit and this is definitly the “post-punk” record of my top 2015 (I was about to chose between several rap records but “Careless” is definitly a must have).
PRESSING ON “No Defeat No Capitulation” 12″ EP (Even Worse Records, Way Back When Records/USA)
Well this is definitly an awesome release. I was able to order this 12″ version several weeks ago from my friend Alexis’s distro and label Offside Records. Typical Portland, Oregon style of hardcore punk: PRESSING ON features members of PROTEST STAGNATION, RAW NERVES, ANIMAL FARM, COLDBRINGER, DEMISE, LIVING UNDER LIES, TALK IS POISON, WARCRY, FROM ASHES RISE and COPOUT. The sound is extremely powerful and catchy due to fucking refrains and really aggressive guitar riffs. Fun fact: the introduction of “Breaking Through” reminds me of WARRIOR KIDS’s (famous 80s French street punk/Oi! band from Marseille) “Personne” intro!
SOME NERVE “Sense Of Control” 12″ S/Sided EP (Triple-B Records/USA)
2015 was a terrific year for Triple-B Records and my favorite release is definitly “Sense Of Control” by Massachusetts band SOME NERVE. This band plays really fast and short cut hardcore punk tunes. For more informations about SOME NERVE, you’d better read the interview Tieuma did with them for DROIDxRAGE a few months ago.
DIGRESS “The Seventh Day” 7″ EP Limited Edition (Carry The Weight Records/UK)
This is another great tribute to nineties vibes brought us by English record label Carry The Weight. DIGRESS will probably remind you some 90s American straight edge band. This band is kind like a “supergroup” of pals known for playing in bands like RENOUNCED or XREPENTANCEX. Bass player Ben and drummer Oli play in a new band called FRAME OF MIND, watch out folks!
PUBLIC ASSAULT “No Way Out” 7″ EP (Foreign Legion Records/USA)
“No Way Out” is probably my favorite tribute to 80s USHC which came out this year, in early 2015. It really reminds me of bands like YDI or VOID because of the really fast and catchy tunes. When I’ve listened to it on the Internet I’ve automatically purchased it, like: “I just need this record.” Some members also play in ZAP if you haven’t already checked this band.
STRESS SS “Fest” 7″ EP (Adult Crash/SWE)
Seriously, what do you expect from Per-Olof “Poffen” Frimodig? The guy played/plays in TOTALITÄR, KRIGSHOT, MAKABERT FYND, KRIG I HUDIK, NAPALM A.D., INSTITUTION and DISSEKERAD (which has recorded a new LP this year but I haven’t listen to it yet) and has started a new band, released a new 7″ which had been really well promoted in Maximum RockNRoll #390 of November 2015. Like it or die!
SYNDROME 81 “Désert Urbain” 7″ EP (Destructure Records/FRA)
This 7″‘s definitly one of my favorite 2015 EPs. SYNDROME 81 is a street punk/Oi! band from Brest, France. Their demo sounded more like NEGATIVE APPROACH (they even recorded a cover of “Nothing”) but “Désert Urbain” is more a sad mix of BLITZ and two bands coming from my hometown of Bordeaux, France, CAMERA SILENS and BOMBARDIERS. Their lyrics are really sad, that’s the main reason why I love this band. The second is that it was (plus XREPENTANCEX and TURNSTILE) one of my facorite bands to listen to while spending time at the hospital.
PILLAGE st 7″ EP (Residue Records/USA)
This record is probably the most violent release I’ve been listening to in 2015, I can’t help thinking the pit would be more violent during a PILLAGE show than any beatdown crappy band. PILLAGE features members of LOS CRUDOS and CHARLES BRONSON to name a few and I’m glad these guys still play in such good hardcore acts in 2015!
TRUE VISION demo (Quality Control HQ/UK)
Another killer straight edge band coming from England. Five tracks of furious hardcore punk dealing with angry straight edge topics. Nothing new, nothing incredible, but it’s always a pleasure to ear some new materials like this one.
G.L.O.S.S. “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit Demo 2015″ 7” EP (Sabotage/USA)
Definitly one my 2015 favorite release. Extremely powerful hardcore punk coming from Olympia, dealing with political, social and human questions I’m really interested in. From d-beat to aggressive “machomen” type of hardcore punk, this record totally rips. Fuck WHIRR, viva G.L.O.S.S.
UNION OF FAITH demo (UNION OF FAITH Self-Released/USA)
Cleaner than TRUE VISION, more melodic, this demo will remind you some of Boston early 00s straight edge bands.
BURST OF RAGE demo (Mosher’s Delight Records/USA)
How many cool bands come from Washington D.C.? Honestly, it’s been years since a new bunch of incredible bands settled here made of their town an incredible place for 10s hardcore punk. Check out Ed’s interview with’em.
CHAVIRÉ demo (CHAVIRÉ Self-Released/FRA)
Can’t wait to see this French screamo band for the first time tomorrow in my hometown. It’ll be the first time I’ll met this band I’ll made an interview with several months ago, and this tape is still one of my 2015 favorite release.
LITIGE demo Offside Records/FRA)
I saw LITIGE opening for SHEER MAG a week ago and, honestly, I preferred LITIGE. It sounds like melodic punk rock influenced by post-punk sad melodies, I really love that tape and the lyrics are really cool.
CONCEALED BLADE “Concealed Blade Demo 2015″ 7” EP (Hardware Records/USA)
Featuring members of NO TIME, HOUNDS OF HATE, ASHKENAZI, CREEM and the list goes on, this band is a digest of classic 80s USHC with a street punk vibe.
COURTYARD “Forgetting Something” tape EP (Wolf Town DIY/UK)
Ok, this is an EP. My bad… But I really wanted to put this release in these rankings. Plus, the tape format fits more to a demo, in my humble opinion. Anyway, it’s impossible to me to honestly describe COURTYARD’s music. I guess they are influenced by an amount of indie and emo bands but this tape sounds like anything I ever listened to. Pretty cool tape.
XLAIRX “Wrath Of The Immaculate” tape (Cause & Effect Records/AUS)
Ordering this tape from C&E wasn’t a walk in the park… Anyway, I’m glad to own one of these tapes (16/20). I’ve already done an interview with the Fiitzsimmons twin brother who sing in XLAIRX and run Life.Lair.Regret if you need more informations about this band and this demo tape. This demo tape has been made for metalcore fans.
DIKTAT demo (DIKTAT Self-Released/FRA)
Some grindcore band from Paris called DIKTAT too “asked” my pals from DIKTAT to switch their name to something like “DIKTAT BDX” (because they come from Bordeaux, France) if they wanted to avoid judiciary issues… When I heard that story I was like anybody in the venue where we were hanging, just stocked like “What the f…?!” Anyway, DIKTAT is like the Old guard of Bordeaux d-beat, this band is build upon GASMASK TERRÖR, FACE UP TO IT! and WARNING! WARNING! members. They play classic d-beat tunes, sung in French and their logo looks like WARCRY’s one!