Make Do and Mend previously delivered one of my favourite albums ever with End Measured Mile, so it was kind of hard for them to live up to that one. Honestly, they didn't in my opinion, but that doesn't take away the fact this was one of the best releases this year.
If I tell you Chronicles is still one of my favourite EPs to date, and that their split with Perspectives is also one of the splits I enjoyed the most this year, you may be able to imagine how big the expectations for a full length were to me. I feel like they surpassed my expectations and delivered a cohesive, real, honest, and passionate gem of a melodic hardcore album and if this one wasn't released so close to me writing this and I had some time for a few more listens, I'm sure it would end up a lot higher on my list.
Such a catchy record! After loving the EPs, I expected a lot from these guys. Even though it took me a few listens to fully appreciate it, I love it now. Major League are one of the most fun bands to just hang out to in the sun, and they never fail to just bring a smile to my face when I listen to them. Solid release overall.
To me this record shows that "melodic hardcore" as a whole does have a future and that this one might be situated in Europe and the United Kingdom (sorry US, but you've been slacking lately). They bring some solid melodic hardcore to the table but they go way past that genre and just explore different boundaries on this one, and that's what made it stand out to me. Oh yeah, and the fact that they put on a terrific live show and are genuinely nice dudes never hurts too.
I was a big fan of their previous work (especially their Sleep Paralysis EP) so the anticipation for this one was pretty huge. I love the fact that they put a lot more variation in their sound here but still managed to remain true to their other releases and their recent sound. If anything this album sounds more coherent and as a whole than their previous work, and that's a real good thing.
Converge is considered a band you just generally "like" when you like hardcore music. Personally, I managed to get into You Fail Me and Jane Doe, but that pretty much was it. When they released the first single to All We Love We Leave Behind, however, I just knew I'd love this one too and look, it's in my top 5 of the year now. I loved it way more than I expected it to, I can't even really say why, I just know it belongs here.
The progression they made on this LP is immense, their previous EPs were absolutely great but on this one they got phenomenal. Everything has improved: the lyrics, the guitarwork, general song structure... and it's also a release that gets better every time you play it. There is nothing not to love this one and they deserve all the praise they get.
I love it when a band manages to get you so pumped up you just want to crush anything in sight. Well, to me this band gives me that feeling every time I put them on, but that's not the only reason I love them so much. Love is Love // Return to Dust is the (current) peak for a band that has put everything in what they do, they get better every single time they release something, their live shows are insane and I just love the general honesty that comes from them.
This has been on repeat all year long and for that to happen to me is kind of special. It's just an album that I can play whenever wherever and on top of that they raised the bar pretty damn high for upcoming heavy hardcore bands. Oh yeah, it makes me want to punch my neighbour's cat... and I love cats.
Basement is a band that is very close to my heart since they always managed to get me through tough times due to their lyrical content and perfectly fitting music. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this release a whole lot, and even though there is a very obvious change in sound and it took me a while to fully appreciate what was going on it only made me love them more in the end.