If you’ve been paying attention to anything we have been writing or saying since the beginning of January, you’ve hopefully picked up on our excitement for 2015.
Without a doubt, this year has given us some of the most amazing music of any year we can remember. With countless jaw-dropping records from numerous artists, 2015 by far has the making of being one of the best years for music – and it’s only June!
Now, with that said, how do we pay respect to all the great albums that have been released thus far without getting too ahead of ourselves? Well, that’s easy: Instead of busting out some asinine list counting the 50 or 100 best albums so far, we’ve decided to break it down by artist A-Z.
So enjoy, and remember, if you’re favorite album didn’t make the list, that’s probably because it’s lame…
A) Anti-Flag – American Spring
Sorry All Time Low fans but the honor of the
best “A” album goes to the punk rock purists, Anti-Flag. For any band to
be around long enough to release nine full-length records is cause for
celebration, but how about when that album is just as impressive or impactful
as ever before? Well, with tracks like “Sky Is Falling,” “Fabled World” and
“Brandenburg Gate” shaking up listeners all across the world with powerful
messages of protest and peace, it earns you a spot on the list of the best
albums of 2015 so far.
Notable Tracks: “Sky Is Falling,” “Fabled World,” and “Brandenburg Gate”
Honorable Mentions: Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful; Adventures – Supersonic Home; All Time Low – Future Hearts; August Burns Red – Found In Far Away Places; AWOLNATION – Run
B) Being As An Ocean – Being As An Ocean
As we’ve said time and time again, placing the
word “melodic” in front of “hardcore” should never been seen as a
weakness. Case in point: the Alpine,CA natives Being As An Ocean. While they
may not be shoving forceful breakdowns and mosh pits down your throat like some
hardcore acts – which isn’t a bad thing by the way – these passionate rockers
instead try and focus on fulling the title of being labeled as an artist. And,
thankfully, their new self-titled release proves just that.
Notable Tracks: “Little Richie,” “Ain’t Nobody Perfect,” and “Sleeping Sicarii”
C) Cancer Bats – Searching For Zero
you’re in search of non-stop chaos and nose-to-the-grindstone-like grit piled
throughout ten grimy and relentless tracks (twelve if you count the bonus
songs), look no further than Cancer Bats’ Searching For Zero. Beating their chest across 33 minutes of uncompromising rock and roll, Searching For Zero is Cancer Bats’ vengeful return to
hardcore dominating any naysayer and/or pit-goer standing in their way.
Notable tracks: “Satellites,” “Arsenic In The Year of the Snake” and “All Hail.“
Honorable Mention: Chon – Grow; Citizen – Everybody Is Going To Heaven
D) Dance Gavin Dance – Instant Gratification
beauty and grace, force and precision, Dance Gavin Dance’s Instant Gratification lives up perfectly to its title proving
why they are one of Rise Record’s most consistent and successful acts. From
beginning to end, Instant Gratification shakes, thrills and chills listeners with a flawless blend
of guitar exploration, soulful vocals and overall fury.
Notable Tracks: “We Own The Night,” “Awkward,” and “Shark Dad”
Honorable Mention: Desaparecidos – Payola
E) Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep
When diving into any new Enter Shikari project, you never know what you are going to get. Is it going to be post-hardcore or is it going to be trance? How about both? Well, that’s the beauty with Enter Shikari’s fourth full-length The Mindsweep as listeners are kept on their toes with a frenetic and fun-filled pace. Maintaining a commanding and political stance throughout, Enter Shikari somehow finds a way to bring light to such grim subject matter.
Notable Tracks: “The Last Garrison,” “Anaesthetist,” and “There’s A Price On Your Head”
F) Falling In Reverse – Just Like You
Say what you will about Falling In Reverse and their larger-than-life frontman Ronnie Radke, there’s no denying their musicianship and overwhelming ability to write a catchy song or two. Putting aside all off-the-stage allegations and concerns, Just Like You is a fusion of all things engaging about the Nevada four piece. Whether it’s the modern and straight forward “Chemical Prisoner,” the classic Escape The Fate-like “God, If You Are Above…,” the more-than-memorable “Just Like You” or the incredibly heart-wrenching “Brother,” Falling In Reverse’s new record is an ideal fit for any era of Radke supporters.
Notable Tracks: “Chemical Prisoner,” “God, If You Are Above…” and “Brother”
Honorable Mention: Four Year Strong – Four Year Strong; From First To Last – Dead Trees
G) Ghost Bath – Moonlover
While this may rank as one of the more unfamiliar names on our list, it should in no way deter your ears from giving it a listen. Representing an already overlooked genre, Ghost Bath’s black metal banger Moonlover is a desperate and painful piece bound to pull on your heart strings. Haunting listeners with next-level emotion and desire, this seven-track release delicately sums up what it feels like to yearn after something – or someone, for that matter – deep down you know you will never receive.
Notable Tracks: “Golden Number,” “Happyhouse,” and “The Silver Flower pt 2”
H) Hundredth – Free
With the release of their Hopeless Records debut album Free, South Carolina noise-makers Hundredth are on a mission to sonically destroy all living organisms in and around their tightly-packed warpath. Representing a rapidly growing hardcore community, Hundredth has slapped together eleven no-holds-barred tracks bound to stir a few emotions.
Notable Tracks: “Unravel,” “Inside Out,” and “Daze”
I) iwresteledabearonce – Hail Mary
If we were to take a second and sum up Hail Mary’s frenzied and disorderly sound, we’d most likely describe it as herding sharks – essentially, a bizarre sense of controlled chaos only iwrestledabearonce can master. Unleashing their second album with frontwoman Courtney LaPlante at the helm, Hail Mary is everything you’d expect and more from the not-so-serious yet totally kickass experimental-core veterans.
Notable Tracks: “Gift of Death,” “Green Eyes” and “Erase It All”
J) Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool?
Former Bomb The Music Industry! frontman and current DIY punk rock heartthrob (ps. have read the definition of “heartthrob” lately?) Jeff Rosenstock is on a mission to become the coolest anti-nonchalant musician of all time. Spazzing out twelve of the hippest, simplified singles fans of both Weezer and Joyce Manor can get down to, We Cool? is an instant rad-fest come to life.
Notable Tracks: “Nausea,” “I’m Serious, I’m Sorry,” and “Hey Allison!”
Honorable Mention: Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$
K) Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Look kids, we’re not gonna lie, we at The Noise are huge fans of 90′s hip-hop. From Dr. Dre and Tupac to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, no matter what people try and say, the 90′s was absolutely the golden era of hip-hop. So, when we first heard Kendrick Lamar’s authentic hip-hop masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly, it was without a doubt love at first listen.
Notable Tracks: “King Kunta,” “Institutionalized,” and “Mortal Man”
L) Like Pacific – Like Pacific
Pop-punk newcomers Like Pacific have made a splash with their self-titled, Pure Noise Records’ debut EP. Hitting listeners with their The Story So Far-like passion, “stay pissed” attitude and impressive musicianship, the sky is the limit for this Canadian five-piece.
Notable Tracks: “Suffering,” “Eviction,” and “Clarity.”
M) Mod Sun – Look Up
While there were multiple choices for the best “M” release, we decided to go with Mod Sun’s Look Up. The more-than-positive emcee has an irreplaceable vibe and mood that even the most glass-half-full people can’t achieve. Displaying love, peace and happiness all throughout his hippy-friendly debut studio album, it’s hard to deny Mod Sun the spotlight he deserves.
Notable Tracks: “Never Quit” (feat. Travis Barker), “Howlin’ At The Moon,” and “My Hippy (feat. Dizzy Wright).”
Honorable Mentions: Man Overboard – Heavy Love; Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor; Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves
N) Nai Harvest – Hairball
If you’ve ever wanted to listen to emo without all the dark and morbid thoughts that come along with it, Nai Harvest’s alt-garage, emo-revival-ish release Hairball is just for you. Laced with peppy upbeat drums and catchy sing-song sensibility, this Top Shelf Records’ act has found a way to make sad feel fun.
Notable Tracks: “Sick On My Heart,” “All The Time” and “Ocean Of Madness.”
O) Oddisee – The Good Fight
Opening up with the feel-good smash “That’s Love,” Oddisee’s The Good Fight is an inspirational and uplifting LP built on rhythm, funk and soul. Memorizing listeners with his impeccable production and lyricism, Amir Mohamed is undoubtedly hip-hop’s best kept secret who won’t stay secret for much longer.
Notable Tracks: “That’s Love,” “CounterClockwise,” and “Belong to the World”
Honorable Mention: Our Last Night – Younger Dreams ;
P) Palisades – Mind Games
In today’s world of copycat creations and cut-and-paste impersonations, coming across an act ahead of the curve who knows exactly who and what they are is refreshing. With an indisputably impressive sense of self, this New Jersey party-first-ask-questions-later act provides listeners with a fashionable festivity of heavy and fun tunes.
Notable Tracks: “Player Haters’ Ball” (feat. blackbear), “Bad Girls” and “Mind Games” feat. Champs.
Honorable Mention: Periphery – Juggernaut Alpha/Juggernaut Omega
*Okay, you got us: We failed to find an obscure “Q” band to impress you all with. So, here’s a Quasimoto video to vibe out to and help forget this whole thing ever happened.
R) Refused – Freedom
Anytime a band can be labeled as the “future of punk,” disappear for years on end and then return with a total “fuck you” to the doubters, you know we’re going to give them some love. Shocking fans with the announcement of their first new album since 1998, Refused has not only returned with Freedom but they have also reclaimed their throne atop the punk rock hierarchy as well.
Notable Tracks: “Elektra,” “Dawkins Christ” and “Françafrique.”
Honorable Mention: Rotting Out – Reckoning; Runaway Kids – Better Days
S) Silverstein – I Am Alive In Everything I Touch
While picking an “S” artist may have been the toughest decision of all letters, we knew deep down there was no way we could not include this record. I Am Alive In Everything I Touch is the most Silverstein record Silverstein has ever written. Out of their entire eight-album repertoire, this album best represents the Canadian post-hardcore outfit. It’s not an album trying to fit a sound or scene and its definitely not an album trying to maintain whats leftover from the band’s best years. No, this record is an honest, white-knuckled statement showing fans – and other acts alike – why Silverstein has been able to stick around and dominate for well over 15 years.
Notable Tracks: “A Mid Western State of Emergency,” “Heaven, Hell And Purgatory,” and “Milestone.”
Honorable Mentions: Senses Fail – Pull The Thorns From Your Heart; Sleeping With Sirens – Madness; Sorority Noise – Joy, Departed; Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer; Stick To Your Guns – Disobedioent; Superheaven – Ours Is Chrome; Sworn In – The Lovers/The Devil
T) The Story So Far – The Story So Far
Releasing probably one of the most anticipated albums of the year, The Story So Far has not only met but absolutely crushed all expectations with their self-titled full-length album. Surrounded in a genre that can be sometimes repetitive and monotonous, these Nor-Cal pop-punkers have found a way to not only break the routine but also create their own tone-heavy, emotion-led sound.
Notable Tracks: “Heavy Gloom,” “Solo,” and “Mock”
Honorable Mention: Title Fight – Hyperview; Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
U) Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
Oh, you didn’t think we like to dance huh? You think just because we enjoy breakdowns, mosh pits and harsh vocals we also don’t like to boogie? Well, shame on you because Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Multi-Love is a funky-filled fun-fest perfect for summer groove parties spent by the pool.
Notable Tracks: “Multi-Love,” “Like Acid Rain,” and “The World Is Crowded”
V) Veil Of Maya – Matriarch
With new lead singer Lukas Magyar now fronting Veil Of Maya with his sometimes-clean vocal style, Chicago’s own Veil Of Maya has somehow not only found a way to overcome the frontman change but also come out sounding better than ever. Bypassing the possible kiss-of-death that is switching up your band’s sound, Matriarch gives Veil Of Maya a fresh new take and even more accessibility than ever before.
Notable Tracks: “Mikasa,“ “Aeris,” “Three-Fifty”
W) While She Sleeps – Brainwashed
Out of the UK, While She Sleeps has found a way to quietly – as far as the US goes – concoct a Parkway Drive meets Ghost Inside sound that is just as infectious as it brutal. Combining melodic gang vocals and vicious guitar work with non-stop, loose cannon energy, Brainwashed is a young headbanger’s dream come true.
Notable Tracks: “Four Walls,” “Our Legacy,” and “No Sides, No Enemies”
X) Xavier Rudd & The United Nations – Nanna
While Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd has been known for his one-man musicianship, this Nettwerk Music Group artist has decided to step away from the norm and embrace his worldly spirit via his new band The United Nations. Encompassing a peaceful earthly vibe throughout this thirteen-track, full-body-massage friendly album, Nanna is a record one may lose themselves in and come out a better person.
Notable Tracks: “Flag,” “While I’m Gone,” and “Rainbow Serpent”
Y) You Blew It! – Pioneer Of Nothing
Instead of focusing on the fact this EP only contains three tracks and weighs in at less than ten minutes, why don’t you just appreciate that You Blew It! has given us yet another release to swoon over. While Pioneer Of Nothing hits with less force than the majority of 2014′s Keep Doing What You’re Doing, the melodic sensibility on this Jade Tree Records’ seven-inch is fitting and much appreciated.
Notable Tracks: THE WHOLE EP, YA DINGUS!
Z) Zun Zun Egui – Shackles Gift
Taking a Mutemath/Grouplove approach and turning into a global, afrobeat, rock and roll shakedown, Zun Zun Egui’s Shackles Gift is a fun and energetic record demonstrating the group’s many influences. While unfortunately the Bristol outfit has announced their break up, Shackles Gift will hopefully live on and inspire other adventurous acts in the future.
Notable Tracks: “African Tree,” “City Thunder” and “The Sweetest Part Of Life”
BONUS) 10 Years – From Birth To Burial
Providing a dark and atmospheric vibe throughout their seventh studio album From Birth To Burial, alternative metal act 10 Years has found a way – three years after their previous release Minus The Machine – to again give listeners exactly what they want to hear.
Notable Tracks: “From Birth To Burial,” “Miscellanea,” and “Triggers And Tripwires”