DS Staff Picks – Catherine Dempsey’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

I’m Catherine Dempsey and I’m one of the many features writers here at the good ol’ Dying Scene. You may have seen my list of Philly Bands You Need To Hear, my rants about Green Day, or you may have sent me hate mail for sharing my opinion (I’m looking at you, JungleJim4322).

If you must know, I enjoy the occasional cheesesteak, long walks through the cemetery, and pretending to be a professional publicist at all times. Regardless of our futuristic, virtual relationship together, you and I can safely agree on one thing: there were plenty of sick albums released this year. I found it hard to get this list down to ten. It took a lot of sitting and staring at the wall, contemplating what needed to be cut, which is why this is being submitted late as hell (sorry, Dave).

Here at DS, we love to look back on the records that made us laugh, cry, scream, and thrash. Whether you sat in your room alone, or danced to it live, we’re gonna talk about it. I would also like to point out that this list is in no particular order. Each record here is equally as important as the last. I look forward to your hate mail. My inbox is always open and I am always down to fight on the Internet. It’s great cardio.

You can read more below.

War Is Still…

This album is absolutely murderous. War Is Still… is the band’s debut record and with high production quality and an intense d-beat sound, it absolutely shreds as one of my favorite albums of 2015. Plus the cover art is so damn cool, I almost wanted to frame it and hang it on my wall as soon as I got it in the mail. Even if you don’t like d-beat, or if you’ve yet to explore the genre, War Is Still… is a great introduction. I’ll always be a sucker for d-beat.




Posers EP

What praise can I give the Posers without repeating myself? The Philly outfit is abrasive, unapologetic, and creative. They’ve managed to put the fun back into punk rock, along with the catchy hooks and melodies that have been missing for a few years. Thank God for this EP. This band takes some major risks and pulls it off with style and edge. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Posers – a full length would be nice (wink wink).



The Libertines
Anthems For Doomed Youth

The Libertines have proved themselves to be just as shambolic and energetic in this latest release, even after a 10-year break up. All the punk rock sensibilities are still there, along with the addictive hooks and melodies. Albion still sails. While not often considered a “punk rock” band, The Libertines play and write with the same mentality and ferocity. If the British band ever finds themselves on this side of the planet, despite Doherty’s past criminal record, you better know I’ll travel as far as I have to to see them live.




Frank Turner
Positive Songs For Negative People

I love what Frank Turner keeps churning out album after album. Positive Songs is a time bomb waiting to explode throughout. A lot of these tracks still have that folk-punk aggression that made me fall in love with Turner’s work in the first place. What a great record. Lots of angst, lots of beautiful melodies and instrumentations and all the violence one would expect from a Turner album.





Mischief Brew
This Is Not For Children

Mischief Brew is one of my all time favorite bands. I was quite literally counting down the weeks and days for This Is Not For Children to be released and I was not disappointed by any track on this album. This is rare because I’m an incredibly critical person and I hate everything. O’Pennsyltucky makes me cry in a really punk rock way. Shout out to Erik and company for writing yet another kick ass album.





Leftover Crack
Constructs of the State

Leftover Crack is also one of my favorite bands of all time. I felt lucky to be alive this year. After 11 years, we finally got to hear some new LoC tracks that spoke to current issues and events, but held on to that gritty, dirty sound that the band is known for. It’s full of collaborations, sound bites, and rage. I love this album.





Kyle Trocolla
The Stranger

Kyle Trocolla is taking folk-punk and adding a little bit of country. This is his debut record and it’s both moving and elusive – where does one draw the line for folk-punk? Trocolla’s lyrics shine here, as well as his gruff and passionate vocal performance, and all of his songs are based on real life experiences. I’ve listened to this record so many times, I’ve lost count. The real gem here is “Throw Away Kids”. I’m looking forward to hearing a second record from him.



The Erections
Stupid, Dirty Punk

This 7-minute EP was limited to only 200 copies, so I feel lucky that I even got my hands on it. If you haven’t heard of The Erections, they’re from Japan and they’ve played with Who Killed Spikey Jacket? It’s always cool hearing punk songs in languages other than English, and every track on this EP is fun and full throttle. Don’t miss this band when they eventually tour the states.






This album is fucking terrifying in the best way possible. It’s so noisy and harsh and I think it’s my most listened to album of this year. It’s easy to listen to on repeat because each song is so short and compact – I almost wish this EP was longer. But it also gets me very psyched for a full-length record if and when it ever comes.





Against Me!
23 Live Sex Acts

I haven’t actually seen Against Me! live yet, so this record felt like a small glimpse into what I could expect when I eventually do. Hearing these tracks come to life in a live setting was really impressive to hear. I feel like I’ve been missing out on the magic this band can perform on stage. I need to see them live now.

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