Sup punk fans. I’m Dave and I founded this here website 6 or 7 years ago. Some of you might recognize me by my pen name Johnny X. I won’t waste your time telling you about the trials and tribulations of 2015 or how much the punk scene means to me. That’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you’re curious what an a-hole like me might have selected for his Top 10 Releases of 2015. You want to know if any of my selections overlap with your own or if you’ll discover an unknown gem or two. Well, find my list below, and I encourage you to stream tracks as you go.
10. Strung Out – “Transmission.Alpha.Delta”
“Transmission.Alpha.Delta” might not make it into my top 5 Strung Out albums of all time, but it was still good enough to squeeze its way into my top 10 albums of 2015.
9. Spanish Love Songs – “Giant Sings The Blues”
If you dig the melancholy themes and emotionally charged vocals of bands like early Run, Forever, Menzingers and Elway then I highly recommend checking out Los Angeles 4 piece Spanish Love Songs. Start with their song “Concrete”, it’s the one that grabbed me the most when I first came upon them.
8. Flirting With Disaster – “Live It Up”
I was a pretty big fan of The Rabble so when I found out their lead singer had started a new band called Flirting With Disaster I was chomping at the bit to hear the tunes. At first I was thrown off because it wasn’t as “street punk” or aggressive as The Rabble, but once I was able to accept “Live It Up” for what it really was – a pop-punk album I found I couldn’t get enough. Listen to the entire album here.
7. Western Settings – “Yes It Is”
The emotional assurance of bands like Jawbreaker and the Replacements but the speed and delivery of Hot Water Music or Bouncing Souls. This release from San Diego’s Western Settings is just absolutely solid front to back and I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to help put this out through Dying Scene Records. Stream the album (and buy it you cheap bastards!) right here.
6. Great Collapse – “Holy War”
Being a huge Strike Anywhere fan the band’s 6 years of relative inactivity since the release of their last album has been no small disappointment. This year, however, we’ve been offered a consolation prize in the form of singer Thomas Barnett’s new band Great Collapse and their debut full-length “Holy War” which to this super fan could easily pass as a new Strike Anywhere album albeit slightly less shouty.
5. Anti-Flag – “American Spring”
I must admit, I wasn’t expecting much from the latest Anti-Flag album “American Spring”. They’re just such a hit or miss band for me its hard to muster much enthusiasm until I can actually give the tracks a listen. Admittedly this album doesn’t hold my attention throughout its entire duration but its shortcomings are carried by the weight of three or four key tracks which in my opinion are some of the band’s finest works.
4. Joey Cape – “Stitch Puppy”
I don’t know if its because I’m getting older or because Joey Cape is but the Lagwagon singer’s solo material just seems to be getting better and better. To say “Stitch Puppy”, Cape’s first solo full-length on Fat Wreck Chords, doesn’t have a bad song on it is an understatement. Every single song on here is a gem and the track “Broken” might be his most hauntingingly beautiful songs yet.
3. Good Riddance – “Peace In Our Time”
After nearly a decade since the release of their last album Good Riddance‘s “Peace In Our Time” might have been one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2015. With that much build up its hard to deliver on the expectations but deliver they did. There might not be a song on this album that tops some of the band’s best hits but there’s also not a single skippable track. As a cohesive set “Peace In Our Time” hold up as one of the band’s best releases.
2. Millencolin – “True Brew”
Millencolin‘s “True Brew” was undisputedly the biggest comeback album of the year. I sorta lost interest in the band sometime after “Home From Home” so when the band announced they were breaking their 7 year silence with a new release it was met with skeptical enthusiasm. Halfway through their first single “Sense & Sensibility”, however, I knew they were going to make a huge splash with “True Brew” and I was right. Such a solid release through and through.
1. Stabbed In Back – “Dasvidaniya”
It seems a little self-serving to put a Dying Scene Records release in my #1 slot, I admit, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was my favorite album of 2015. Stabbed In Back broke up in 2014 right after recording “Dasvidaniya” and shockingly never got around to putting the album out. When I stumbled upon the masters I was instantly in love with the speed, passion and rock ‘n roll swagger they embodied. I determined then and there to make sure the album saw the light of day and after nearly a year of constant harassment Tim finally succumbed and let me put it out on DSR. Stream the entire album here or listen to my favorite track “Missing Pieces” below.
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