- Heat – Overnight
A fuzzed-out blend of Post-Punk and Indie-Rock stylings that makes you want to drive right into the sunset on the cover without a care in the world. The lead singer’s cartoonish raspy croons juxtapose perfectly with the beautiful melodic guitar licks. Sometimes all you need to nail is the mood and everything else just falls into place, which is exactly what these Canadian up and comers have done.
- Code Orange – Forever
This is real now, motherfucker. Forever sheds Shoegaze elements so prevalent on “I Am King” in favour of heavy Grunge and Industrial influences. What makes this genre mixing so effective for the band is the unapologetic way they implement it, throwing the listener from blistering guitars to ominous Electronics with little to no warning. Truly great Hardcore albums never became so by sticking to the formula, and Code Orange completely ditch the rulebook on their latest.
- Souvenirs – Posture of Apology
Souvenir’s take on Emo/Indie-Rock is far from original or even particularly exciting, but there is precision in the way it is executed that can’t be denied. The band brings their mid-tempo tracks to life with a careful approach to instrumental diversity and a good helping of earworm hooks. The lyrics on here have to be the album’s dark horse though; they contemplate loss and change while never shedding its hopeful veneer.
- Pain of Salvation – In The Passing Light of Day
I have a shaky relationship with prog and usually bands who try to play even a little bit of the earnestness on display here straight make me wince. But something about how well these guys sell it has won me over, from the off-time guitarwork to the impassioned croons, this album is prog cheese in its finest form.
- Aversions Crown – Xenocide
Technical Deathcore is a fickle muse; it is difficult to find many bands within the scene that really differentiate themselves from the roaring and chugging pack. The genre isn’t dying without a fight though with Aversions Crown’s latest being one of the best Deathcore releases in recent years. The blistering instrumentation, ungodly shrieks and thunderous breakdowns that attracted people to the genre are all here in spades.
You Me At Six – Night People
I’ve said all that needs to be said about this in my full review, syrupy Alt Rock that the band can’t even muster the enthusiasm to play.