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Favorite Releases of 2019

It’s that time of year again! Time to reflect on the great music released this year! I chose to call this my favorite releases because a) best of is relative and b) not all of these are albums. We have some ep’s and 7″ records that make up my favorite releases of this year. So let’s go!

Honorable mentions:
Refused – War Music
Shin Guard – 2020
As Cities Burn – Scream Through The Walls
Palamino – Palamino
Parkway & Columbia – Wanderer
Reveries / Chalk Hands / Okänt – split ep
Starflyer 59 – Young In My Head
High and Dry – Headroom
Two Hands One Engine – Janice
True Blossom – Heater
Nanami Ozone – NO
Flash the Ready – Circles
Maker of the Bear – Clarity
Thrice – Deeper Wells EP
Korn – The Nothing
Slick Shoes – Broadcasting

30. Crossed Keys – Savior

https://crossedkeys.bandcamp.com/album/saviors
Punk

29. Circle Back – Terminus

https://circlebackhc.bandcamp.com/
Hardcore

28. Spoken In Tongues – The Nail That Sticks Up Will Be Hammered Down

https://spokenintongues.bandcamp.com/releases
Punk/Indie Rock

27. Jimmy Eat World – Surviving

Emo/Alternative

26. Spotlights – Love & Decay

https://spotlights.bandcamp.com/album/love-decay
Hard Rock/Space Rock

25. Norma Jean – All Hail

Metalcore

24. Zao – Decoding The Transmissions From The Möbius Strip

https://officialzao.bandcamp.com/album/decoding-transmissions-from-the-m-bius-strip
Metal

23. Unwed Sailor – Heavy Age

https://unwedsailor.bandcamp.com/album/heavy-age
Post Rock

22. Jay Som – Anak Ko

https://jaysom.bandcamp.com/album/anak-ko
Indie Rock/Singer Songwriter

21. Stranger Kings – Blue LP

https://store.northernrecords.com/album/blue
Shoegaze

20. Radar State – Strays

https://radarstate.bandcamp.com/album/strays
Rock and Roll

19. Queen Of Jeans – If You’re Not Afraid, I’m Not Afraid

https://queenofjeans.bandcamp.com/album/if-youre-not-afraid-im-not-afraid
Indie Rock

18. Field Mouse – Meaning

https://fieldmouse.bandcamp.com/
Indie Rock/Shoegaze

17. Mineral – One Day When We Are Young

https://mineralofficial.bandcamp.com/
Emo

16. The Get Up Kids- Problems

https://thegetupkids.bandcamp.com/album/problems
Emo

15. Surprises – Natural Disaster

https://surprises.bandcamp.com/album/natural-disaster-2
Indie Rock

14. Leem Of Earth – Chapter EP’s

Shoegaze

13. Defeater – Defeater

https://defeaterband.bandcamp.com/album/defeater
Hardcore

12. The Darling Fire – Dark Celebration

https://thedarlingfire.bandcamp.com/album/dark-celebration
Emo/Indie Rock

11. Charly Bliss – Young Enough

https://charlybliss.bandcamp.com/album/young-enough
Indie Rock

10. Copeland – Blushing

R&B

9. I, The Mountain – Saga

https://ithemountainuk.bandcamp.com/releases
Metalcore

8. The Menzingers – Hello Exile

https://themenzingers.bandcamp.com/album/hello-exile
Punk

7. Cursive – Get Fixed

https://cursive.bandcamp.com/album/get-fixed
Emo/Indie Rock

6. Oso Oso – Basking In The Glow

https://osoosoband.bandcamp.com/album/basking-in-the-glow
Emo

5. Pedro The Lion – Phoenix

https://pedrothelion.bandcamp.com/album/phoenix
Emo/Indie Rock

4. Comrades – For We Are Not Yet, We Are Only Becoming

Post Metal/Post Rock

3. Cave In – Final Transmission

https://cavein.bandcamp.com/album/final-transmission
Space Rock

2. American Football – LP3

https://americanfootball.bandcamp.com/album/american-football-lp3
Emo

1. Brutus – Nest

https://wearebrutus.bandcamp.com/album/nest
Post Metal

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The Meltdown 3.115


The Meltdown – The Meltdown 3.115

This week I have new music from Thrice, Foxing, The Spirit of the Beehive, mewithoutYou, and more.

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The Meltdown 3.51

the-meltdown-3-51


The Meltdown – The Meltdown 3.51

This week I have classic tracks from Brand New, The Starting Line, The Juliana Theory, TwoThirtyEight, Saves The Day, and more.

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New Hopesfall Record is Coming!!!

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Hopesfall has returned!! The band has signed with Equal Vision and Graphic Nature Records. This January, the band will head into the studio with Mike Watts (Glassjaw, The Dear Hunter) to record their first new album in ten years. Guitarist Josh Brigham said “The motivation for making this new album comes from a genuine desire to remain creative by continuing to write and play music together again. We won’t lie, between having jobs, relationships, kids, and other responsibilities, it can be tough to make time to play, but as long as we feel like we still have something good to offer, we will find a balance.” The line-up will be Jay Forrest (vocals), Josh Brigham (guitar), Dustin Nadler (guitar), Chad Waldrup (bass) and Adam Morgan (drums).

Equal Vision is also re-releasing the band’s final 3 record (The Satellite Years, A Types, and Magnetic North) on vinyl. You can pre-order those LP’s at http://equalvision.merchnow.com/catalogs/hopesfall.

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MewithoutYou Announces Fall Tour

mewithoutyou1_by_ben_sassp
mewithoutYou has announced that they’ll be hitting the road this fall with Into It Over It, Yoni Wolf, and Needle Points. You can find tour dates below. Tickets go on sale this Friday (7/29).

w/ Into It. Over It. and Needle Points
10/14 Pawtucket, RI @ The Met (Evan Weiss solo performance)
10/15 Hamden, CT @ The Ballroom (Evan Weiss solo performance)
10/16 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Showcase Lounge (Evan Weiss solo performance)
10/17 Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
10/18 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (only Needle Points)
10/20 Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
10/21 Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
10/22 Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe at the National
10/23 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
10/24 Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival
10/26 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
10/27 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
10/28 Palatine, IL @ Durty Nellie’s
10/29 Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose
10/31 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
11/01 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
11/02 Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard

w/ Yoni Wolf (of WHY?) and Needle Points
11/04 Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom
11/05 Memphis, TN @ 1884 Lounge
11/06 Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
11/07 Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
11/09 Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
11/10 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
11/11 Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s Live
11/12 Washington, DC @ Black Cat

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Dischord To Reissue Scream’s Fumble

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Dischord Records has announced that it will reissue “Fumble,” the final full-length by Washington, DC’s Scream. It features nine songs recorded in December of 1989 by Eli Janney at Inner Ear Studios.

Formed in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia in 1981 by brothers Peter and Franz Stahl, bassist Skeeter Thompson, and drummer Kent Stax, Scream released four albums on Dischord Records. Dave Grohl, a punk kid who grew up in nearby Springfield, VA, replaced Stax on the drums in 1986. “Fumble” was the second Scream record to feature Grohl – the first was “No More Censorship,” which was released on RAS Records – and it includes his sole lead vocal for the band, “Gods Look Down.”

Though “Fumble” was recorded in 1989, the tapes spent a few years on the shelf as Scream split up while on tour the following year. It was only in 1993 – once Pete and Franz had formed Wool and Grohl had joined Nirvana – that the record was finally mixed and released.

Long out of print, this reissue has been remastered by TJ Lipple. The instrumental “Crackman” has been left off of this version to allow for higher sound quality, but will be included as part of the digital download.

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A Common Goal – Blessings and Battles

A Common Goal is a cool, old school, greaser punk band. The kind that always reminds you of Social Distortion. Blessing and Battles is a great easy listening record that carries a nice edge and intensity when needed.

ACG is like a punch in the face when you hit play. It’s a great hard hitting song with a catchy hook. It’s about as crazy as A Common Goal gets. The rest of Blessing and Battles is a solid, easy to listen to record. Frame Of Mind is a fun song about the great times in life.  Hope is a great song about how no matter what is going on in the world, there is still hope and goodness in Christ. The track starts off with news clips of terrible tragedies in the world. Musically there’s a great intro lead kick the song off and a catchy chorus to help get the message of hope across. Problems has a fantastic country western slide guitar that gives it an extra dimension and adds something more to A Common Goal’s sound. That’s followed by Nothing Left, which is the only real circle pit punk song on the record.

Blessings and Battles is full of catchy choruses, songs of remembering the past and having hope for the future. The title of the album is a beautiful description of the lyrical content and just the nature of life. A Common Goal have done Boston proud with Blessings and Battles. A fun, laid back punk record.

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Eisley – Currents

There are only a handful of bands as consistent as Eisley. With each release the band matures and grows. And with each release the band improves and adds to an impressive discography. The band’s fourth full-legnth is both something new for Eisley and more of what they’ve always given us.

Currents is actually quite a departure from the band’s previous pop rock work. But the indie/shoegaze stylings on Currents is something that’s always been hinted at, just below the surface of some of Eisley’s best work. The title track on the band’s last ep, Deep Space, was just the beginning of what the band had in store.

There’s an open disconnected feeling musically that starts Currents. The song takes it’s time to form, giving way to a sense of accomplishment and resolution when the full instrumentation kicks in. It’s still has the rock elements that The Valley had but its not nearly as lush. It’s a more complex arrangement than anything Eisley has delivered before. Blue Fish has a level of ambience that gives the song an added element to the Eisley’s beautiful melodies and harmonies. The Piano riff that runs through Drink The Water is absolutely gorgeous and reminds of why I love Ester Drang’s Infinite Keys so much.

Save My Soul is a punchy rock song with a great hook. The string section that glides through Find Me Here is magnificently beautiful. Lost Enemies has a great quirky guitar riff and a cowbell giving the song a nice offbeat touch. Shelter closes out the record and is just another song to die for. Beautiful harmonies and huge sweeping strings.

Eisley has taken a risk with Currents and it’s paid off in a huge way. Maybe not the follow-up to the Valley people were hoping for but every bit as good. Currents is a beautiful record. Eisley has outdone themselves again.

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On The Attack Records Relaunches

On The Attack Records announces its official relaunch, featuring new bands LIV., Refuge, and All The Departed.  Founded in the Bronx, New York in 2003, On The Attack Records has to relocated to Santa Cruz, California.  New bands.  New intensity. Same positive energy.   Youth Crew, Straight Edge, and Hardcore Only.  
You can download a free 6 song sampler at: 

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Altars – Something More

I’ve been a huge Altars fans sing the release of the Strike First Records debut, Opposition. The european metalcore influence of the debut had me hooked. The band switching things up and going the melodic hardcore route on Conclusions didn’t stop my fandom. The band was still heavy and the shift in sound was perfect.

On Something More, Altars shifts their style again, and again the band is super successful.

The album’s opener and title track, Something More, is a straight up hardcore song in the vein of band’s like Comeback Kid and Close Your Eyes. By the time Question Everything finishes, I’m convinced that Something More is a hardcore record. In fact through two songs, Something More sounds like a heavier, better version of Close Your Eyes. But the album begins to shift.

Eternity is a little more like what we heard on Conclusions. Great melodic guitar riff to open the track. The lyrics leading into the breakdown will smack you right in the face.

Pray for me 
Because we don’t see eye to eye 
The word has promised life 
Yet you condemn billions 
Billions to die 
You’re committing religious mass genocide”  


The lyrics are a driving point of Something More and Altars gives us some great depth in their lyrics. There’s a questioning of faith and the status quo. It’s an honest struggle for the listener to hear and even engage in. It’s a fresh perspective in Christian hardcore, at least lyrically. And it’s nice to hear an album that’s engaging  lyrically. The band even takes on the Westboro Baptist Church, with the great message “I will always love you.”

Something More is a great hardcore record with a strong message. Altars might not get the same love or press as some of their peers but they should. A band that continues to grow and evolve, and evolve well without taking a misstep, should get credit for trying new things and doing them well without losing what’s made them a great band from the start. Something More is another great record from one of Facedown’s best artists. 





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