I definitely have a lot less albums from 2015 than previous years. Maybe I'll be playing catchup in 2016, but I think it was a bit of a slow year for good music. Of course it gets harder and harder to keep up with everything and find really good stuff all the time, but I think the good stuff nowadays is mostly a rehash of older stuff. Not that it can't be reworked or perfected. But I think in 2015 I was content with revisiting a lot of old stuff and trying to get my all-time favorite stuff a little more organized.
Some stuff I still need to listen to more from this year:
Negative Self - ST (ST is right, total How Will I Laugh worship.)
Meat Wave - Delusion Moon (Not sure I get all the Hot Snakes comparisons, but I dig it.)
Meatwound - Addio (More meat, only meatier. Heavy, noisy hardcore.)
* Albums *
Maybe if the Foo Fighters had a touch of Dave Grohl's ubiquitous punk past in their music, they'd sound something like this. This is what a rock album should sound like. Heartfelt, urgent, sentimental. But it's not a nostalgic look back at the way things were. It's a renewed hopefulness from a fellow 40 (something) year old who's grown up, but not used up.
Alright, this actually came out a few years ago, but I just found out about it recently, even though I'm a big fan of Man Without Plan. So this is basically MWP with a 2nd singer. I believe the bassist/singer and drummer were from other well known bands, but it's Barclay's signature voice and guitar licks that reeled me in.
Andy Falkous from Mclusky and Future Of The Left goes solo-ish with this new band. As caustic and witty as ever, but maybe a little more memorable than FOTL.
I'm still not sure if I like this better than the debut. It's a little more solid, but maybe missing the hits of Bones. But with their mix of 80's, electro, keyboards and female vocals, I'm not complaining.
These punks from Singapore sound they they belong in Portland, or Southern California circa 1981. A little Observers, a little TSOL. More solid and catchy than a lot of the other bands going for this sound.
I liked Carly Rae Jepsen's album this year, but a synth loving Greek woman named Kristine has created an even better throwback to catchy 80's pop. I came across this singer's work on youtube and through collaborations with retro new wave instrumentalists. Put this next to your old Madonna, Bananarama and Jets albums.
Okay, a lot of modern punk bands get a little stagnant after 3 or 4 albums, but Night Birds keep getting better and better. They achieve that classic punk sound, mixing melody, urgency and memorable music.
This album makes me miss the goth room of the 80's night at Cat Club, which we'd frequent often in SF. Dark and dancey post punk from this female fronted band.
Somewhere between the Misfits and Naked Raygun, but less punk, more rock. Great deep vocals, driving rhythms and tons of melody.
I'll probably always prefer the Observers, but the Red Dons never disappoint. I debated seeing them again the last time they were in town, but I'm so glad I did because they're just one of those bands that bring it live. And on record, more of that catchy Wipers influenced post punk.
This album was pretty hyped up this year, and for good reason. Catchy, garage punk with a touch of mod and Motown.
Sarcastic, aggressive, pounding punk. Like a mix of Nomeansno and Blur.
Somewhere between dream pop and slick 90's emo. Very lush and layered sounding, but loud enough not to put you to sleep.
These guys continue their catchy power pop sound. If there was a benefit show to save the teen center in the movie "Over The Edge," Warm Soda and Sheer Mag would be a good fit.
* Eps *
A shame to see them go, but they've had a good run and are leaving on a high note. Great melodic punk with Jeff P's trademark vocals and whoa oh ohs!
More great Lookout! Records inspired poppy punk. "Ticking Over" is a jam and there's a fun cover of "I'm Into Something Good."
* Reissues *
Great old new wave from this male/female fronted band. Hectic, jerky, off kilter stuff that will make you scratch and bob your head. Includes the 5 songs from their Baby EP as well.
Yeah, not really digging the newer direction of Tenement. I miss their old pop punk sound. Luckily there's this, a collection of their earliest (and best!) material. Maybe I'll give Predatory Headlights another chance sometime.