Six Noises’ 2015 Extravaganza: Punk Part 2
Welcome to the sixth post of Six Noises’ 2015 end-of-year shenanigans, where I’m letting fly with a bunch of lists cataloguing first-rate metal, punk, experimental rock, and a bunch of riotous New Zealand albums. None of the posts are ranked, because all I really want to do is recommend a whole heap of great music.
The post below is the second of a two-parter highlighting my favourite punk rock releases from 2015. Most of the releases reside on the heavyweight d-beat, crust and hardcore end of the punk rock spectrum, because that’s where my tastes lie. However, there’s also a few post-punk, outré, deathrock and more gothically accented punk releases included.
As always, cheers for stopping by Six Noises. I hope you discover something new on the upcoming lists.
Ajax: Ajax 7″ (Static Shock)
Narcoleptics: Second EP (Warthog Speak)
Koszmar: Nuklearna Supremacja (self-released)
Label Katorga Works released another bunch of rough and gruff punk rock gems in 2015, including more strong material from off-kilter hardcore band Ivy (A Cat’s Cause, No Dogs Problem 7″) and 70s-inspired rockers Sheer Mag (II 7″). But it was street punk heroes Vanity that stood out for me, totally kicking ass on their Yer Fucking Boring 7″. New York City band Ajax followed up their storming 2014 debut 7″ (released on Katorga Works) with a marvellously gravelly and raucous self-titled 7″ via UK label Static Shock. Fellow New Yorkers Narcoleptics released their phenomenal seven-track Second EP, which was jam-packed with maximum-distortion street punk. While formidable Canadian crust punks Koszmar took things to new levels of heaviness and rawness on their rugged free-for-all, Nuklearna Supremacja.
(More noise? My pleasure, mate. No Problem returned in 2015 with their three-track blitzkrieg, Kid Killer. Fatigue released a storming debut 7″ on label Warthog Speaks that’s well worth tracking down. Plus, for a little something European, Spanish d-beat and crust band Usura released a great debut in Legado in 2015. And Paris-based Oi! band Rixie issued their loose, scrappy, and driving 7″ Coups & Blessures.)
Savage Blind God: 2015 Demo (self-released)
Primitive Pact: Acid Rain Demo (self-released)
Mommy: Demo (Electric Assault Records)
Concealed Blade: Demo 2015 (self-released)
There’s nothing like a rip-roaring demo overflowing with passion, energy, and a hearty helping of sneering attitude to get your anticipation for further releases boiling. Savage Blind God’s widely praised self-titled demo did that for me in 2015, with its uniquely twisted blend of ice-cold hardcore and outré goth/deathrock. Primitive Pact’s Acid Rain demo was filled with raw and streetwise UK82 worship direct from the heart of NYC. The 2015 demo from fellow NYC citizens Mommy had a fair amount of old-school bite and bark buried in its ultra-distorted and ultra-nasty depths. While Concealed Blade’s Demo 2015 featured plenty of evocative moments recalling the aggressive and dangerous days of 80s hardcore.
(Loads of other demos caught my ear in 2015. Like the red-raw and heavyweight demo from NYC band Raid. Young guns Strutter duly strutted like hell on their first demo. Bib’s ragged and unhinged hardcore-fuelled mayhem was great too. Combatant’s self-titled demo paid due respect to hulking East Coast hardcore. Vancouver-based Flowers and Fire’s demo revealed deft and frosty goth/deathrock. And, of course, the much-talked about debut demo from G.L.O.S.S was rightly lauded for both its hard-hitting music and message.)
Shandy: Tough Pucker (Longshot Music, Contra Records)
No Class: S/T (self-released)
Bat Nouveau: Metamorphoses (Mass Media)
Inebrious Bastard: Last Rites for Humanity (Crust Almighty)
Over the ditch, Australian bovver boys Shandy drew straight from the Sharpies playbook on Tough Pucker, and they also crammed their debut album with glam rock hooks. No Class’ self-titled debut mined a rougher vein of punk ’n’ roll, with the band’s weather-beaten guitars and gravelled vocals hewing closer to the Rose Tattoo school of brawling barroom rock. Bat Nouveau’s magnificently dark and icy full-length, Metamorphoses, saw a US release in 2015, with the band’s alluring and haunting mix of synth-punk, garage rock, gothic rock, and deathrock finding fans around the world. Meanwhile, on the dirtier end of the scale, heavyweight crust/grind punks Inebrious Bastard released the furious Last Rites for Humanity compilation.
(There’s plenty of other 2015 Aussie fodder worth checking out too. Like Helta Skelta’s widely hailed Beyond the Black Stump. Prag’s riotous self-titled 7“. Scab Eater’s slamming hardcore and crust worship. Masses’ heavier synth-punk elements on their split with Death Church. The Cuntz unapologetic and in-your-face Force the Zone. The Uglies’ ragged and raw We Are the Uglies. Simfuckers’ blown-out and bruising self-titled EP. And Grotto’s snotty and obnoxious Pink Sock demo.)
L.O.T.I.O.N: Digital Control and Man’s Obsolescence (La Vida Es un Mus Discos)
Uniform: Perfect World (Alter)
Perspex Flesh: Ordered Image (Static Shock)
Pig DNA: Mob Shity (La Vida Es un Mus Discos)
It must be time for some first-rate offbeat punk from 2015. L.O.T.I.O.N’s Digital Control and Man’s Obsolescence was a madhouse industrial punk hurricane––with comparisons to “Nitzer Ebb meets G.I.S.M.” being close to the mark. Also in the industrial punk ballpark was Uniform’s Perfect World, with skittery post-and-synth-punk underscoring the band’s excellent debut. Perspex Flesh returned in 2015 with more superlative unorthodox noise on the hypnotically demented Ordered Image. Meanwhile, out-weirding and raising the middle finger sky high to everyone everywhere, was Pig DNA, with the utter industrial/noise/punk mayhem of their Mob Shity album.
(If you’re looking for a little more eccentric punk, I recommend stopping by Dawn of Humans’ Slurping at the Cosmos Spine, for some offbeat and Rudimentary Peni-indebted pandemonium.)
Modern Pain: Peace Delusions (Bridge Nine Records)
Chain Gang Grave: Bury Them and Keep Them Quiet (self-released)
The Bug: What’s Buggin’ You? (Not Normal Tapes)
Visitor: High Speed Savage (Imminent Destruction)
There’s something inherently appealing about stripped-to-the-bone punk rock that hits you like a runaway truck. No doubt it’s got something to do with bands getting to the point as quickly as possible in the most blistering fashion. Like Modern Pain did on their unrelentingly 2015 album Peace Delusions. Or the way New York City horde Chain Gang Grave threw noise rock at punk rock on Bury Them and Keep Quiet and kept only the most infectious riffs. The Bug’s What’s Buggin’ You?, and Japanese band Visitors’ High Speed Savage, were both whirlwind reminders that sheer fucking intensity trumps virtuoso posturing all the time in hardcore as well. Hear, hear, once again, for unrefined and uncultured punk rock.
Pure Disgust: Chained (Katorga Works and Quality Control)
Bricklayer: The Wall (Not Normal Tapes)
Chain Rank: Up Against the Wall (self-released)
No Tolerance: You Walk Alone (Painkiller and Quality Control)
I’m no expert on big, bruising, and brutish hardcore, but four albums definitely stood out for me in the cut-throat and intimidating punk pack in 2015. Pure Disgust’s Chained featured a commanding blend of beefed-up and breakneck DCHC and UK street punk. Bricklayer dealt in barbaric and burly-as-burly-gets hardcore on their 2015 album The Wall. As did DIY hardcore crew Chain Rank, whose Up Against the Wall album paid credit to the band’s Boston roots while sneaking in some powerhouse 80s NYHC elements too. And Boston band No Tolerance released a thickset chunk of titanium-strength hardcore in You Walk Alone that was totally uncompromising and relentlessly hostile.
(For further broad-shouldered hardcore barrages, see Mind Control’s pounding self-titled 2015 release. Blindside USA’s pummelling Wave of Regret. The fast and loose hardcore heard on 2×4’s Eight Song EP. Or the outright thuggery of Night Prowler on Stalin’s Boots.)
Haust: Bodies (Fysisk Format)
Destruction Unit: Negative Feedback Resistor (Sacred Bones)
Soft Kill: Heresy (No Sun Recordings)
Partisan: S/T (Hypertension Records)
A few more blasts of outlier punk rock before I go? How does that sound? Haust’s Bodies drew inspiration from across the dark rock spectrum with its brooding and psychedelic post-punk sound. Speaking of psych punk, no one makes a tripped-out and unhinged noise like Destruction Unit. The band’s Negative Feedback Resistor album crammed everything from hardcore to proto-punk to garage rock to metal to space rock to noise to Stooges-worthy meltdowns into Destruction Unit’s strangest and strongest recording yet. Soft Kill’s Heresy album was an utterly haunting piece of poetic post-punk art. And Belgium-based post-punks Partisan (who have links to the hardcore and metal worlds via shared members with Rise and Fall and Oathbreaker) delivered a driving and darkly melodic self-titled debut that was mastered by famed sonic sorcerer Brad Boatright, and duly sounded utterly massive.
(Before I go, and even though it’s not officially released yet, if you’re looking for some punk rock of “pure hellish intensity”, something that’s going to make you feel really fucking awful about yourself, your future, and the entirety of the world around you, then good news: Total Abuse’s upcoming Excluded LP is streaming right here.)