DS Staff Picks – Malcolm’s Top 10 Picks of 2015

So, I’ve been a writer at Dying Scene for all of two months or so. Here I am writing a top 10 article as if I’m qualified. This year was an interesting year for me…I think. I feel like I don’t remember half of what I did. But I know I saw a lot of live music and traversed almost as much road as a touring band in doing so. As I sit here, aching from being in the middle of following a tour I realize I did not listen to nearly enough records this year. But I was also very fortunate to hear exactly the releases that I needed to hear when I heard them.

Without any (more) ado here’s what I dug in the year of our lord, two-thousand and fifteen. Enjoy.10. Super Unison – Super Unison 7”

A new group from Meghan of Punch doing some great post-hardcore. It has a little less bite than Punch did, but since I don’t often go for the overly brutal stuff, that suits me just fine. This is a great debut that foreshadows great things to come from Super Unison. You can listen to it and buy it here.

9. No Weather Talks – Undoing Defeat

Germany punks No Weather Talks have put out two EPs to date, but Undoing Defeat marks their full-length debut. It’s chock-full of music that’ll get your blood flowing and put a smile on your face. While I’m not sure pop-punk is the right categorization, they are definitely an incredibly catchy band and it shows in Undoing Defeat. You can listen to it and buy it here.

8. Red City Radio – Red City Radio

Gruff punks, rejoice! RCR’s new release is finally here and it sounds lovely. The production on this one is a bit more polished and it’s a bit more mainstream but this record still packs a punch in songs like “Rest Easy” and the last two tracks “In The Meantime…” and “…I’ll Catch A Ride” which rank up with some of RCR’s best, even if the closing track is nearly 8 minutes, there isn’t a dull moment. You can stream it here.

7. Teenage Bottlerocket – Tales From Wyoming

These guys have been doing their Ramones-core for a while, but it hasn’t sounded as good as it has on this record. Between “Too Much La Collina” and “They Call Me Steve,” “I Wanna Die” releases an uncharacteristically shreddy spate that is incredible. However, my favorite tune on this record is still the acoustic album closer “First Time,” which takes on a very sad significance in light of Brandon’s recent passing. You can listen to the album here.

6. Winter Passing – A Different Space Of Mind

I fell in love with Winter Passing when I first heard their song “1990.” They are what would happen if Slingshot Dakota and Save Ends had an Irish baby. I don’t really know how to describe them otherwise but they self-identify as “whatever” so I guess that’s pretty punk. Standouts include “Penny Chains,” “Daisy,” and “Grazed Knees.” You can listen to it and pick it up here.

5. After The Fall – Dedication

After The Fall have created an incredibly emotional record in Dedication about their founding member who passed away in 2013. It’s honest, it’s simple, it’s heart-breaking, and it’s fantastic. You can listen to it and pick it up here.

4. Wilderness Dream – Wilderness Dream

Wilderness Dream was born from the ashes of Light This City! and appeared out of nowhere earlier this year, dropping some pretty brutal crossover punk-metal-whatever-I-don’t-know-genres-well on an unsuspecting world. A far cry from Ben and Trey’s other active band, Heartsounds but no less powerful as they prove in this 15-minute (give or take) EP. You can hear and buy it here.

3. Strung Out – Transmission.Alpha.Delta

Finally! Strung Out’s new effort comes six years after their last but was more than worth the wait. A heaven for punks who love technically-proficient and shreddy punk, but my favorite part of this record is still the passion in Jason’s voice, particularly on standouts like “Nowheresville” and “No Apologies.” You can listen to and buy it here.

2. Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

I think James Alex himself summed up the band best in “Too Late To Die Young” when he says ‘The punks are wired and these records feel tough. It’s loud and wild, but I swear it feels soft.” Their music has a warmth and love underneath the loud and wild sounds that is undeniable and makes it feel like a cocoon of sound that will keep you safe. You can listen to and buy it here.

1. War On Women – War On Women

This band is legitimately one of the best going in punk rock right now. Along with many of the releases on this list, this is a debut for War On Women (of full albums, anyway) and they kill it with an incredible straight-forward ferocity that takes no quarter and pulls no punches. While their 10” focused primarily on the issue of street harassment, the topics are far more varied here. Ranging from the more personal in “Jordan” to the political of “Pro-Life” and “Glass City.” This is what punk is meant to sound like: Pointed, poignant and angry as hell. You can listen to it and pick it up here.

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