1. Full of Hell - Aurora Leaking from an Open Wound (Ocean City, Maryland)
“I have the utmost respect for purists of any genre, but for me it’s boring to stay in one lane. Full Of Hell has always strived to be the band that we wished existed when we were kids. We’ve always liked the deep, jarring contrast of blending a lot of styles together.”
That’s vocalist Dylan Walker talking about the genre-bending blitzkrieg of powerviolence, grind and death metal that has propelled Full Of Hell to the forefront of extreme music in the last decade. He and guitarist Spencer Hazard, drummer Dave Bland and bassist Sam DiGristine steamrolled the underground with their 2017 breakout album Trumpeting Ecstasy and 2019’s Weeping Choir, both of which ranked high on year-end best-of lists from the likes of Decibel, Revolver and Cvlt Nation.
Emerging from the pandemic with their fifth full-length, Garden Of Burning Apparitions, Full Of Hell have added new dimensions to their warp-speed hellscape. “This one is definitely more influenced by noise rock,” says Hazard, crediting his participation in Philly AmRep mainliners Eye Flys with a spillover effect. “But these FOH songs are more influenced by stuff like Zeni Geva and Harvey Milk rather than Helmet or Unsane. I wanted to balance that sound with our usual death metal/grind approach.”
Produced by Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Garden Of Burning Apparitions also sees Hazard incorporating new guitar tunings into Full Of Hell’s sonic palette.
2. Bayside - The Red EP (Bayside, Queens, New York City)
Genre: Emo / Pop-Punk / Rock
A veteran New York punk outfit with a strong melodic emo sound, Bayside rose to mainstream success in the mid-2000s with a series of records for the Victory label. After enduring a tragic 2005 van accident, the group rallied to release 2007's The Walking Wounded, kicking off a streak of increasingly successful albums including 2011's Killing Time and 2014's Cult, which, at number 24 on the Billboard 200, marked their highest chart performance to date. Along the way, the Queens-based combo expanded their sound with several acoustic releases, a live album, and a set of eclectic covers. After releasing 2019's Interrobang LP, Bayside capped off two decades together with 2020's Acoustic, Vol. 3.
Singer/guitarist Anthony Raneri formed Bayside in late 2000, taking the band's name from their local neighborhood in Queens. ,Raneri’s bassist Andrew Elderbaum, and drummer Jason Enz recorded the band's 2001 debut EP, Long Stories Short, and began to build up their fan base through heavy touring and festival appearances. After a 2003 split EP with West Coast band Name Taken, Bayside signed with Victory Records, which issued their full-length debut, Sirens and Condolences, in January 2004. For their follow-up album, the group defied convention and, instead of using any of their own genre's go-to producers, hired Shep Goodman and Kenny Gioia, a team whose credits included Lee Ann Womack and Mandy Moore. Their gamble paid off when 2005's self-titled Bayside album cracked the Billboard 200 and helped usher them into the mainstream. On October 31 of that year, after a tour stop in Colorado, Bayside's van skidded off an icy patch of road in Cheyenne, Wyoming, killing then drummer John Holohan and seriously injuring bassist Nick Ghanbarian. and lead guitarist Jack O'Shea were shaken but received only minor injuries.
After the tragedy, Bayside moved on to enlist drummer Chris Guglielmo for their third album, 2007's aptly titled The Walking Wounded. Guglielmo's arrival helped cement the consistent lineup that would carry the band through their most successful period. Improving on The Walking Wounded's already impressive chart performance, their 2008 album Shudder hit number 54 on the pop chart and was accompanied by the group's first live album, Live @ the Bayside Social Club. At the turn of the decade, Bayside was in the catbird seat, with a strong catalog behind them and a steady live presence. For their fifth album, they hired British producer Gil Norton ( Pixies, Echo & The Bunnymen, Foo Fighters ) and began recording in Woodstock, New York. Released in 2011 by , Killing Time was both a critical success and a commercial improvement on its predecessor. To commemorate a massive fall tour with Saves the day, I Am The Avalanche, and Transit, Bayside contributed a track to a four-way single featuring each of the bands.
Raneri issued his first solo project, a 2012 EP, after which Bayside offered up the eclectic Covers, Vol. 1, which saw them taking on songs by Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, and Van Morrison. After signing with the Hopeless label, the group worked again with Shep Goodman, who along with Aaron Accetta co-produced 2014's Cult. The album peaked at number 24, giving Bayside their highest position yet, and kicked off a year of heavy touring with Alkaline Trio, Senses Fail, Seaway and others. After 2016's Vacancy, the quartet recorded a follow-up to their 2006 Acoustic EP, simply titled Acoustic, Vol. 2, which featured stripped-down renditions of songs from recent albums. Bayside's eighth studio album, Interrobang, arrived in October 2019, along with the announcement of an online Battle of the Bands in which local groups could compete for a chance to open a show for them. In 2020, Bayside were forced to cancel a major 20th anniversary tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They issued Acoustic, Vol. 3 in December of that year. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi
3. Knifeplay - Animal Drowning (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Knifeplay’s take on dream-pop can be grand and almost orchestral, as on opening track “Nobody,” which builds to a finale where the keyboards soar like a symphony. They can also be hushed and ghostly, as on advance track “Ryan Song.” They don’t forget the “pop” side of the hyphen — “Lonely Sun” is phenomenally hooky even when waves of static come ripping across the mix — yet the same song that’s as hauntingly gorgeous as Cocteau Twins ends up as crushingly heavy as Nothing. There’s a lot more than just ethereal texture happening under the surface here.
As promising as it was, lead single “Promise” did not prepare you for how beautiful and invigorating Animal Drowning can be. Taken together, it’s just a spectacular collection of music, and you should immerse yourself in it below at the first opportunity.
- Chris Deville at Stereogum
4. Architects - The Classic Symptoms Of A Broken Spirit (Brighton, United Kingdom)
As a band who never stop writing, the kernels of the songs that make up ‘the classic symptoms of a broken spirt’ were already in progress before the ink had time to dry on the artwork of their last record. Architects were on a creative roll, and the record was born of that creative freedom. Produced by Dan Searle and Josh Middleton, with additional production from Sam Carter at Decon’s Middle Farm Studios and their own Brighton Electric Studios before being mixed by Zakk Cervini, the band were buoyed by finally being back in a room together after their last album was made mostly remotely due to COVID restrictions. The result was something altogether more “free, playful and spontaneous,” Searle explains.
5. Frankie Cosmos - Inner World Peace (New York, New York)
Genre: Indie Rock
Guided by the succinct, sweet, and self-conscious tendencies of singer/songwriter Greta Kline, indie pop group Frankie Cosmos started as a prolific home-based solo project in the early 2010s. As young teen in the late 2000s, she tapped into the quirky vibes of New York's SideWalk Cafe anti-folk scene, which had given birth to The Moldy Peaches early in the decade, as well as the D.I.Y. ethos of K Records . Her songs appeared mostly online in various albums, sometimes on a monthly basis. Growing in popularity and influence, Frankie Cosmos made her studio and label debut with Zentropy in 2014. Two years later, Next Thing was her first Top 40 independent album. Though Kline had been recording with a backing band since Zentropy, the project's first official outing as a group was 2018's Vessel, Frankie Cosmos' Sub-Pop debut.
A native New Yorker, Kline is the daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. Having played piano and drums and settled on guitar by the seventh grade, she frequented local underground rock shows in her youth. After being introduced to a small community of encouraging artists at Purchase College in Westchester, she began writing and recording her own songs. Kline herself attended N.Y.U., where she studied poetry. Though she began uploading songs under aliases including ingrid superstar, Little Bear, and the Ingrates as early as 2009, by 2012 Kline had dropped out of college to focus on music and was playing shows and recording under the name Frankie Cosmos.
Following dozens of home-recorded, self-released collections, Frankie Cosmos' label debut, Zentropy, arrived on Double Double Whammy in 2014. It represented Kline's first studio album, completed with the help of a full band. She soon signed with Bayonet Records , which issued the four-track Fit Me In EP a year later. The second Frankie Cosmos studio album was written as the songwriter transitioned into her twenties. Titled Next Thing, it saw release in 2016, also on Bayonet. Next Thing spent a week at the number 13 spot on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and was a Top 40 independent album.
Kline joined Warehouse members Alex Bailey and Doug Bleichner on side project Lexie in mid-2017, issuing the eight-track debut Record Time! Ava Luna's Carlos Hernandez recorded and mixed the album. That same year, Frankie Cosmos officially became a four-piece and signed with Sub Pop Records.
Featuring Kline with Lauren Martin on keys, David Maine (aka Main) on bass, and Luke Pyenson on drums, they made their Sub Pop debut with Vessel in 2018. It was a Top Ten Heatseekers album and reached number 21 on Billboard's independent albums chart. Alex Bailey, who contributed guitar to the album, replaced Maine as the group's bassist in time for subsequent touring. A digital-only collection consisting of piano songs recorded by a solo Kline and first issued as weekly singles, Frankie Cosmos' Haunted Items followed in April 2019. Back with bandmates Martin, Pyenson, and Bailey, that September's Close It Quietly was tracked with engineer/co-producer Gabe Wax. ~ Marcy Donelson & Fred Thomas, Rovi
6. Billy Cobb - Halloween VII (Pennsylvania)
That one guy who made the punk version of Gary's Song
7. Pinkshift - Love Me Forever (Baltimore, Maryland)
Pinkshift is an angsty rock band new to the scene from Baltimore. Inspired by dissonant heavy tones of 90s grunge and powerful hooks and breakdowns of 2000s pop punk, the band walks the lines between grunge, punk rock, and post-hardcore. Altogether they embrace their diverse influences to create an authentic and powerful sound. Pinkshift is Ashrita Kumar (vocals), Paul Vallejo (guitar), and Myron Houngbedji (drums). Photos by Leigh Ann Rodgers
8. Inclination - Unaltered Perspective (Louisville, Kentucky)
Genre: Straight Edge Hardcore
"Unaltered Perspective, the upcoming album from the Louisville-based straight edge hardcore band is their debut full-length album and is scheduled to be released in October this year, via Pure Noise Records.
Speaking about the upcoming debut album, bassist Caleb Murphy says, “the lyrical aim of Unaltered Perspective was capture the anguish and sadness wrought by a series of observations and lived experiences. Frustration from being at the mercy of a society. that treats people as a commodity, or the despair of a friend throwing their life away for nothing. The record is about looking at these experiences as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth, and making a conscious decision to not let your past limit your future. It’s about finding the strength to keep fighting. The record draws a lot of influences from 90s metallic hardcore but also treads into territory that is new to INCLINATION. We wholeheartedly think it is our absolute best material to date.” Alongside the announcement of the new album, the band have released a new song from the upcoming album; Epidemic. The new song is the third single to be released from the upcoming album; following on from Thoughts And Prayers and A Decision, which were both released back in February.The new song features a guest appearance from INDECISION vocalist Tom Sheehan. Speaking about the new song, vocalist Tyler Short says, “the message in Epidemic stems from the wanton destruction brought on by the pharmaceutical industry in the United States. Politicians and policy makers happily look the other way and get rich while the opioid crisis kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. Tom Sheehan from INDECISION recorded a part on the track and his unmistakable voice and style really amplify the frustration and desperation conveyed throughout the song.”
- James Weaver at Distorted Sound Magazine"
9. Witch Fever -Congregation (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Genre: Emo/ Rock/ Indie
It’s already shaping up to be a brilliant year for Witch Fever. After opening for emo legends My Chemical Romance back in May and delivering one of Reading Festival 2022’s best sets, – which NME described as “the future of heavy music” – the Manchester punk quartet are now looking to close out 2022 the only way they know how: with a dose of ear-splitting, blaring anger.
Their debut album ‘Congregation’ kicks off with ‘Blessed Be Thy’, which snarls into life with a burst of seething, grunge-influenced guitar. The track is named after a hymn that lead vocalist Amy Walpole used to sing at weekly services while growing up as part of a Charismatic Church – a branch of Christianity that worships the miracles and modern day workings of the Holy Spirit. In the hands of Witch Fever, however, ‘Blessed Be Thy’ is reimagined as a vicious rallying cry against an oppressive religious establishment: “A slow decline, the cursed divine,” leers Walpole, who left the church at 16. “You’re dumb to think I would choose this.”
This anti-church sentiment is a motif that courses through the entire album. Title track ‘Congregation’ laments the unhealthy grip that many churchgoers are trapped in (‘Wracked in guilt / The whole congregation”), while ‘Market’ is a attack on communion that’s rife with twisted, spiritual lyricism (“The flesh and bone the body and wine, Drink it up oh child of mine”). ‘Bloom’, meanwhile, explores escaping a religion that represses personality, and its stifling imagery goes a long way towards explaining why Witch Fever’s music sounds like the unleashing of years of pent-up rage. “They won’t take no for an answer / As if they ever fucking ask,” roars Walpole in rousing punk anthem ‘Sour’, which calls listeners to action with an urgent chant: “Yeah, we incite this violence / Nothing ever changed in silence.” Combined with ‘Congregation’’s riotous energy, these confrontational lyrics cement the album as an essential punk listen – Witch Fever’s rage at our broken institutions is righteous, and delivered with confidence, feeling and vitality. But it’s not all fire and fury: Witch Fever serve up a one-two punch at the end of the record that hints at what else they have left in their sonic arsenal. The aptly named ‘Slow Burn’ may be the album’s most subtle track – drifting along on a measured, expanding guitar twang – but it sets up ’12’ to close out proceedings with one last furious, full-blooded scream. It’s hard to envision a future where Witch Fever’s debut album doesn’t win them hordes of moshing fans: ‘Congregation’ is a fiery, relentless punk blowout that pulls no punches against priests, patriarchy and those who abuse power from the top of our society.
10. A Wake In Providence - Eternity (New York City, New York)
Eternity' is the latest and most ambitious offering from A WAKE IN PROVIDENCE. Essential for fans of Lorna Shore, Chelsea Grin, Septic Flesh and Crown Magnetar - AWIP bring American Modern Deathcore at it's absolute finest from one of the OG game changers in the genre. As one of US Deathcore's initial leading beacon acts, A WAKE IN PROVIDENCE rose to notoriety for their explosive live shows with then-vocalist Will Ramos, now in LORNA SHORE. With the addition of powerhouse ADAM MERCER in 2017 taking over vocals, AWIP released 'A Darkened Gospel' followed by the album 'The Black Sun : The Blood Moon' in 2019. 2022 sees them exploding back into the spotlight with an unstoppable new opus, ETERNITY.
11. Jobber - Hell In A Cell (EP) (Brooklyn, New York)
Genre: Indie-Rock/ Grunge/ Alternative
The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be
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