DS Staff Picks – The Torchbearer’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Well hello there.  I’m Jerry, and I’ve been writing stories for Dying Scene for the past couple years.  You may have also seen some of my album reviews pop up from time to time this year.  2015 has been an awesome year in music.  I discovered so many new bands that I’ve given up trying to keep count.  Old and new favorites put out new albums this year, and the shows I went to were incredible (FEST FEST FEST!)  Somehow I managed to take the 75 or so potential albums I’ve liked this year and narrow that down to my 10 favorites.  Take a gander below!

10) Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp


This has been my go to chill out album all year.  Sometimes after listening to heavy, fast punk and hardcore, I need to take a break, and when folk punk just isn’t enough, I turn to Waxahatchee.  Ivy Tripp is full of catchy indie/folk/synth-pop with just enough of a punk drive leftover from Katie Crutchfield’s early days in the scene to keep me coming back over and over.  Listen here.

9) Radioactivity – Silent Kill


I’m pretty late to the party on this one, as I only got into Radioactivity when I heard Silent Kill for the first time last month.  It has quickly become a favorite and I listen to it at least a couple times a week.  Driving garage punk with a slight dark tinge to it, they make exactly the kind of music I have become obsessed with this year.  Listen here.

8) Night Birds – Mutiny At Muscle Beach


Night Birds are a force to be reckoned with.  All their albums are a whirlwind of fury and energy and Mutiny At Muscle Beach is no different.  This is an album I think anyone who has ever been into 80’s hardcore will love, if they don’t already.  Listen here.

7) Leftover Crack – Constructs of the State


11 years is a long time to wait, but the new LoC album was totally worth it.  There are some shortcomings that I was surprised to hear after so long, but the strong points far outweigh those moments.  The album features some of my favorite bands and artists as guest musicians, and it’s awesome to see some lesser known bands get to collaborate with a group as tenured and influential as Leftover Crack.  On top of all this, “System Fucked” might just be my favorite song of the year.  Listen here.

6) Fools Rush – We Have Clementines


This one was one of the many surprises of 2015.  I had never heard of Fools Rush until seeing a video for a new song on Dying Scene early in the year.  That got me interested, and once We Have Clementines came out, I decided to check it out.  I ended up listening to it on my way to work and back every day for about a month, and I still listen to it pretty regularly.  It’s great, jangly mid-tempo punk that has a strong feeling of As The Eternal Cowboy era Against Me!  I love it.  Listen here.

5) We The Heathens – Regicide


Folk punk is probably my favorite subgenre of punk, or at least the one that I listen to the most, and the one a lot of my favorite bands play.  Diving further into the subgenre hole, my favorite folk punk is the kind influenced by crust, and We The Heathens are probably the best representation of this.  Instead of just sounding influenced by crust, they sound like a crust band playing folk music.  Regicide is just an amazing album, front to back.  Listen here.

4) Oh My Snare – Hoyeste Gang


Another surprise this year.  Kind of similar to Fools Rush, but a little more emotive.  This was the first band I caught at this year’s Fest, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off that awesome weekend.  Listen here.

3) Blackbird Raum – Destroying


Blackbird Raum is another crust influenced folk punk band, but with every album, they push their music to another level.  2013’s False Weavers added small psychedelic touches and more Crass influences.  Destroying on the other hand explores even more of their traditional folk influences than usual, and the outcome is superb.  Much of, if not all of the album, is in collaboration with Irish folk act Lynched, which adds even more to the folky elements.  Leftover Crack sure took note, as they covered this albums lead single “Last Legs” for their Constructs of the State.  Listen here.

2) Black Tower – The Secret Fire


It’s no secret that I love the band Crusades (just look at my username).  So anything the members of that band do, I’m automatically excited.  Even more so when it turns out to be as good as this.  Nerdy, black metal influenced punk/metal; this was my most anticipated album of the summer and it did not disappoint.  Listen here.

1) Nervosas – S/T


I can’t say enough good things about this album.  The dark post-punk guitar mixed with the dirty bass and lightning quick drums is the perfect recipe of sound when it hits my ears.  This self-titled album is the most cohesive work I’ve heard in quite a while.  From the moment the first song kicks in, the band pulls you along for quite the ride and doesn’t let go for the 25 minutes the album runs.  Perfection.  Listen here.

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