Tag Archives: Strengthen What Remains

The Best of 2015

It’s that time of the year again when I share what I consider the best records of 2016. This list only includes records that I listened to. I listened to almost half the amount of records I usually do in a year, so you’ll have to forgive me if I missed something. It should probably be my favorite records of the year, but we’ll stick with the best.

Honorable Mentions:

Crystal Lewis – Crystal Lewis
Levv – Arrow
Doug Burr – Pale White Dove
Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion
Emery – You Were Never Alone
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
Boysetsfire – Boysetsfire

 

25. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
a0622773824_10This record could just as easily be higher on the list. Fast and vicious, yet featuring these absolutely beautiful moments that make the musician in me smile. New Bermuda is less lush and more raw than Sunbather, but it also has more musicianship and technical prowess. A great record for the music geek and the metal fan.

 

24. Strengthen What Remains – Justice Creeps SlowBAI060_1500xJustice Creeps Slow is straight up the heaviest hardcore record I’ve heard since Point of Recognition’s Day of Defeat. Just heavy tough guy hardcore. Not frills, all fight!

 

23. The Ongoing Concept – Handmade11141205_10152998987894118_318439366170224581_nIf a band says they’re going to make all the instruments for their new record, you’d applaud them and call them crazy. That’s what the Ongoing Concept did for their sophomore record, Handmade. While I thought Handmade was less interesting than Saloon, it’s more consistent and concise. Plus, they make the best of list just because they made their own instruments!

 

22. Soft Lions – SpellbreakerSoftLions-SpellbreakerSpellbreaker is a great ep. It could just as easily be the soundtrack for a 1950’s zombie beach movie. It’s got punk spirit with the lo-fi indie vibes. A band to pay attention to!

 

21. Moving Mountains/Prawn – Split EPMM_PRAWN_SPLIT_1024x1024I wasn’t sure we’d ever hear new music from Moving Mountains, so I was super excited when this split was announced. I actually like both of these Moving Mountains tracks more than the bands previous self-titled full-length. And both the songs from Prawn ring of emo’s glory days!

 

20. Alert 312 – The Upside Eternal12046756_10153750986869529_1768712839276259843_nI find myself seeing this cycle where Alert 312 releases this super creative and innovative eps and their full-lengths don’t seem to have the same punch to my ears. And that was my first impression of The Upside Eternal. I still liked the record, but it just didn’t strike me the same way that Singular Vision did.But upon further listens you hear the intricate layers of sound and the hard work that went into the beats.

 

19. Ivadell – Maybe TomorrowBCR-052_Cover_1500Maybe Tomorrow has more depth than just another emo revival album. The arrangements are intricately simple. Interesting, but not overly complex. The dynamics on this record are great. When the band wants to sound huge, they’ve left plenty of room for the sound to grow and overwhelm your speakers. An absolutely stunning record.

 

18. Five Iron Frenzy – Between Pavement and StarsFIF_BTPASMore great music from Five Iron Frenzy on their second go around. B-sides from Engine OF A Million Plots, but most of these songs are good enough to have made the record. I’m really glad Five Iron is back!

 

17. Zao – Xenophobe/Fear Itselfcover Yes, a 2 song 7″ was good enough to make the top 25. And if these songs are an indicator, Zao’s 2016 full-length will be an album of the year contender. The rawness and insanity from The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here is back and I’m not sure Zao has ever sounded better.

 

16. Fireflight – InnonaInnovaI’ve always liked Fireflight and their brand of hard rock. But I never thought I would’ve fallen in love with them as a pop group. I said when I reviewed Innova that I thought it had all sorts of commercial radio friendly singles on it, and I still believe it. This should’ve been a huge record for the band.

 

15. Envy – Atheist’s Corneaenvy2Atheist’s Cornea is a great record that seems to span most of Envy’s career. Less post rock and more of the hardcore sound that was featured early in the band’s career. But Envy provides a sound that is unique to them. Beautiful and chaotic at the same time.

 

14. Sollunar – The Observatorya2136106054_10I love post rock. And the solo effort of Florida artist Josiah Bibb was a surprise for me. The best post rock record I heard this year.

 

13. Slow Meadow – Slow Meadow11168915_923398681053340_6452009618947456584_nThe first release on Hammock’s new label is an absolute gem. A beautiful ambient record that you would expect Hammock to release.

 

12. Eshon Burgundy – The Fear of GodEshon+Burgundy+-+The+Fear+of+GodStraight up gospel rap. Beautiful Eulogy and Daniel Steele’s production just knocks it out of the park. It’s the type of record where the music is so good that you just want an instrumental version. That’s not to take anything away from Burgundy. The verses are strong and I really love his flow on this record.

 

11. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other DistressGodspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet, and Other DistressI was not a huge fan of GY!BE’s reunion record, ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! It just didn’t strike a chord with me. Not so the case with Asunder. The record had me hook from its first note. The shortest Godspeed record to date, which is sad because it’s my favorite record from the band.

 

10. Better Off – MilkfolderI already like Better Off a lot. But when you write a record that sounds like Jimmy Eat World and The Promise Ring, you’re speaking my musical love language.

 

9. Owl City – Mobile OrchestracoverI’m a sucker for Adam Young’s brand of electro-pop. There’s a fun innocence to it and the songs are always super catchy.

 

8. Haste The Day – CowardCowardHaste the Day’s reunion produced the best of the band’s career. The interplay between Jimmy and Stephen’s vocals are perfect. There are moments where you hear the natural evolution of the band, and also the potential evolution had Jimmy never left.

 

7. Defeater – AbandonedDefeater - Abandoned (2015)The concept behind Abandoned is so compelling and the way lyrics intertwine between songs makes it a record you have to really pay attention to. It’s a killer hardcore record, but it’s really the lyric concepts and themes that make Abandoned a worthwhile listen.

 

6. Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Usa2813479087_10A shoegazey punk rock record. Tons of fun. The music feels like Smashing Pumpkins 1979 music video. Reckless and fun.

 

5. Dustin Kensrue – Carry The Firedustin-kensrue-carry-the-fireCarry The Fire is the post-Thrice record I’d been waiting to hear from Kensrue. Dirty, bluesy rock and roll. Plus we get the catchiest hooks Kensrue’s ever written.

 

4. J Givens – Fly ExamFlyExamAnother Humble Beast release where the beats are super unique. Unlike The Fear of God, this beats are more minimal and leave a lot of room for Givens unique delivery style. It’s a record I had been waiting for a year to hit shelves and it didn’t disappoint.

 

3. Josh Garrels – Homeoriginal-coverHome would make the top 25 for Born Again alone. Every time that songs plays, it’s like chicken soup for the soul. I’ve admittedly been a little lukewarm on Garrels, but this record is an absolute thing of beauty. Bluesy and soulful. A wonderful work of love.

 

2. Bandit – Of LifeBandit-OfLife-CoverWe’re splitting hairs between number 2 and number 1 because both records have been on my turntable constantly since they’ve been released. Of Life is a perfect indie rock record. Another record with terrific dynamic range that creates these beautifully chaotic moments when the songs explode, yet mellow out for Angela Plake’s vocals to shine.

 

  1. mewithoutYou – Pale Horsesv600_Pale_Horses_CoverPale Horses is epic. mewithoutYou hasn’t abandoned their indie rock tendencies, but they bring back their post-punk fury and explode all over Pale Horses. The lyrics are some of Aaron’s most indistinguishable as he blends multiple themes and ideas in each track. So this creates this abstract work of art that matches the ever shifting nature of the music. I’m glad this version of mewithoutYou is back!

 

 

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Strengthen What Remains streams “Rewriting the Past” on Bandcamp

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Strengthen What Remains is streaming “Rewriting the Past”, the first single off their newest effort, Justice Creeps Slow, available everywhere June 9th. The song can be found streaming now at https://bloodandink.bandcamp.com/album/justice-creeps-slow

Strengthen What Remains will be touring this summer in support of their newest release, Justice Creeps Slow. Dates can be found below.

May 27 Hamilton, ON @ Doors Pub
May 28 Toronto, ON @ The Smiling Buddha
May 29 Montreal, QC @ On Rock Community Centre
May 30 Sherbrooke, QC @ The Murdoch
June 03 Worcester, MA @ The Raven
June 04 Pawtucket, RI @ The Space
June 05 Brooklyn, NY @ The Place
June 06 Virginia Beach, VA @ Hookup*
June 07 Littleton, NC @ Wilden House*
June 09 Columbia, SC @ Foxfield*
June 10 Savannah, GA @ Sweet Melissa’s*
June 11 Jacksonville, FL @ Murray Hill Theater*
June 12 Tampa, FL @ Florida Rules Fest*
June 13 Tampa, FL @ Florida Rules Fest*
June 14 Tampa, FL @ Florida Rules Fest*
June 17 Orlando, FL @ Uncle Lou’s*
June 18 Tallahassee, FL @ Pug’s Live*
June 19 Warner Robins, GA @ House show*
June 20 Columbus, GA @ The Plug House*
June 21 Nashville, TN @ Exponent Manor*
June 24 Mt Union, PA @ Creation Festival^
June 25 Mt Union, PA @ Creation Festival^
June 26 Clarksburg, WV @ The Mainstreet Cafe^
June 27 Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness^
June 28 Windsor, ON @ Great Lakes Heavy Fest^
June 29 Lansing, MI @ Basement Show^
June 30 Grand Rapids, MI @ Take Hold Church^
July 01 Chicago, IL @ Borelli’s^
July 02 Urbana, IL @ AudioFeed Festival^
July 03 Urbana, IL @ AudioFeed Festival^
July 04 Urbana, IL @ AudioFeed Festival^**
July 05 Urbana, IL @ AudioFeed Festival^**
July 06 Indianapolis, IN @ The Hoosier Dome^**
July 07 Evansville, IN @ Wired^**
July 08 Lexington, KY @ Icthus Fest^**
July 09 Lexington, KY @ Icthus Fest^**
July 10 Lexington, KY @ Icthus Fest^**
July 11 Chattanooga, TN @ Cloud Springs Deli^**
July 12 Herrin, IL @ HITTS^**
July 13 Joplin MO @ Solace^**
July 14 Merriam, KS @ Aftershock^**
July 15 Des Moines IA @ Sonburnt Fest^**
July 16 Somerset, WI @ Sonshine Festival^**
July 17 Somerset, WI @ Sonshine Festival^**
July 18 Somerset, WI @ Sonshine Festival^**
July 19 Grand Rapids, MN @ Pierced Festival^**
July 21 Fargo, ND @ The New Direction^**

*w/ Dwell
^w/ Comrades, Household
**w/ Conveyer

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Strengthen What Remains to release “Justice Creeps Slow”

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BLOOD & INK RECORDS is proud to announce the release of STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS’ newest effort, Justice Creeps Slow, available everywhere June 9th. Pre-orders and more details coming soon.

*****

Throughout their nonstop tour schedule over the past year (including two European runs), STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS crafted six new songs of potent, metallic-hardcore that once and for all prove their genuine steadfastness. Drawing influence from the likes of 100 Demons, All Out War, Figure Four, and Zao, this newest taste of STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS’s musical direction will impress fans both new and old. Recorded by Corey Williams (Unified Right, Vices) and mixed by Dean Baltulonis (Madball, Sheer Terror, Trapped Under Ice), Justice Creeps Slow is a brutal new direction for Florida’s heavy hitters, STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS.

STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS, Justice Creeps Slow will be available everywhere June 9th via Blood & Ink Records.

*****
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TRACK LISTING
1. Shame
2. Rewriting the Past
3. On the Subject of Race
4. Whitewashed
5. Belly of the Beast
6. Moral Majority
*****

STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS will be touring this summer in support of their newest release, Justice Creeps Slow. Dates can be found below and also at Blood & Ink’s website, http://www.bloodandinkrecords.com.
STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS TOUR DATES

May 21 Greencastle, PA @ The Breathing Room
May 22 Annapolis, MD @ Unified Underground
May 23 Annapolis, MD @ Unified Underground
May 24 Staten Island , NY @ The Cup
May 26 Rochester, NY @ Vineyard Community Space
May 27 Hamilton, ON @ Doors Pub
May 28 Toronto, ON @ The Smiling Buddha
May 29 Montreal, QC @ On Rock Community Centre
May 30 Sherbrooke, QC @ The Murdoch
June 03 Worcester, MA @ The Raven
June 04 Pawtucket, RI @ The Space
June 05 Brooklyn, NY @ The Place
June 06 Virginia Beach, VA @ Hookup*
June 07 Littleton, NC @ Wilden House*
June 09 Columbia, SC @ Foxfield*
June 10 Savannah, GA @ Sweet Melissa’s*
June 11 Jacksonville, FL @ Murray Hill Theater*
June 12 Tampa, FL @ Florida Rules Fest*
June 13 Tampa, FL @ Florida Rules Fest*
June 14 Tampa, FL @ Florida Rules Fest*
June 17 Orlando, FL @ Uncle Lou’s*
June 18 Tallahassee, FL @ Pug’s Live*
June 19 Warner Robins, GA @ House show*
June 20 Columbus, GA @ The Plug House*
June 21 Nashville, TN @ Exponent Manor*

*w/ Dwell

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Strengthen What Remains Kick Off 2015 With Ultimhate Tour

STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS have announced that they will kick-off their 2015 with a tour alongside Ultimhate from France. You can check out a full list of dates below and also at www.bloodandinkrecords.com.

STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS W/ ULTIMHATE
02/08 – Orlando, FL – Uncle Lou’s
02/09 – Tallahassee, FL – Atmosphere
02/10 – Panama City, FL – A&M Theatre
02/11 – Albany, GA – Knights of Columbus
02/12 – Birmingham, AL – The Forge
02/13 – Chattanooga, TN – Cloud Springs Deli
02/14 – Mansfield, OH – Belchers House of Rock
02/15 – Grand Rapids, MI – Take Hold Church
02/16 – Toronto, ON – Smiling Buddha
02/18 – Albany, NY – Bogies
02/19 – Montclair, NJ – The Meatlocker
02/21 – Brooklyn, NY – Coco 66

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Strengthen What Remains – Turning A Blind Eye

It seems like it’s been ages since I listened to a pure hardcore record. So hitting play on Strengthen What Remain’s debut full-length, Turning A Blind Eye, was nice. Turning A Blind Eye is old school hardcore through and through. I’m reminded a lot of Point of Recognition and Call to Preserve when listening to Strengthen What Remains.

Only one song over 3 minutes keeps the record moving at a quick pace. It’s the perfect soundtrack for circle pits (The Narrow Path, Gouge It Out, Indoctrination), windmills (Turning A Blind Eye, Somethings Change), picking up change (Humanity Is My Stumbling Block, The Noble Lie), and whatever other form of hardcore moshing/dancing you can think of. The songs are raw and heavy with songs of standing up for your beliefs and fighting the system, and not letting anyone put you down because you’re young. It’s hardcore to the bone.

And I love that. In a world where metalcore, melodic hardcore, and whatever other genre tags get used, Hardcore, pure and simple as it may be at times, is lost in this world. And it’s nice to hear a band just deliver a strong, straightforward hardcore record.

Turning A Blind Eye is a great hardcore record that hardcore fans, old and young, should pick up.

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