ASFAR’s top albums of 2015

ashortfanzineaboutrocking:

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Nick Mann created A Short Fanzine About Rocking in 2001 to
showcase hardcore and punk which had a major impact on the underground music
scene across the UK and beyond. Earlier this year, one of the shining
lights in the British hardcore scene was tragically lost.

Inspired by its inclusion in the permanent collections of
both the British Library and the zine collection at the London College of
Communications (LCC), I have rallied friends, contributors, bands and labels that
Nick loved to choose their favourite records of the year. Included are some
excellent albums which I’m sure he would have loved (some of which I’m sure he would
have accused of not containing nearly enough “mosh”) and featured in ASFAR.

Thanks to everyone for their help, especially to his lovely
wife Jen who is the bravest person I have ever met. I know that we could not
possibly match Nick’s enthusiasm or excellent writing but it would be a shame to
not take this opportunity to celebrate something he put an abnormal amount of
effort into. Our thoughts go to his family.

If you would like to help further then there are a number of
charities that Nick supported – WWF, London Air Ambulance, Refugee Council,
Save the Children and the LCC. More
information can be found at the Nick Mann memorial fund.

Before this ends up becoming a novella, I have included a
playlist at the bottom for the lazy ones/those who cannot read. And finally
keep going to shows, support local music and make awful mosh moves to keep
Nick’s memory alive.

Thanks

Mike

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Goatsnake – ‘Black Age Blues’ (Southern Lord)

I’ve been a fan of Goatsnake for a long time and didn’t even think they would come back, nevermind with their best album to date. Monstrous, catchy, thick-as-hell riffs; glorious vocals and irreverent lyrics; perfect production and sick artwork. The vinyl only bonus tracks are great too. This is a perfect rock album.

Alex Fitzpatrick, Holy Roar Records

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xRepentancex – ‘The Sickness Of Eden’ (Carry The Weight Records)

From the moment I put this record on I was blown away, the musicianship and overall sound of this is absolutely spot on. Pure 90’s vegan straight edge metal worship, the lyrics are hard hitting and to the point. The only thing better than the delivery of this record is their live show!

Ben Saker, Breaking Point

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Foreseen – ‘Helsinki Savagery’ (20 Buck Spin)

This LP hit the tail end of 2014 but the vinyl came out in early 2015 so I am counting it as a release from this year because it’s THAT good. Perfect blend of 80’s thrash and New York hardcore (particularly later Cro-Mags and Leeway). Every element of the music is relentless from start to finish and it’s the real deal – no posing or contrived desperation, just authentic aggression. The artwork is great to top it off and the LP is a great follow up to the ‘Structural Oppression’ 7" from a couple of years back.

Pat Hassan, Carry The Weight Records

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Rafael Anton Irisarri – ‘A Fragile Geography’ (Room40)

While I feel a lot of new records have passed me by this year, this is one I’d been looking forward to since hearing an EP he put out earlier this year. Powerful ambient//drone music that falls somewhere in between Tim Hecker and Godspeed. Always underpinned with beautiful melancholy. The perfect record to listen to on headphones and  tune out of everything else to.

James Spence, Rolo Tomassi

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Hometown Hate – ‘Worthless’ (Self-released)

It’s definitely not a ground breaking album, but its great to hear the this type of heavy hardcore done so well in 2015. Check out this Pittsburgh band if you’re into No Retreat, Build Upon Frustration, End of Humanity or other PA bands. It’s free to download on a their Facebook page.

Mike Wylde, ASFAR Contributor

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Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’ (Young Turks)

I’d been waiting for this record to come out for a couple of years since the singles (especially Girl/Sleep Sound and All Under One Roof Raving) so I always knew i’d like In Colour, however I didn’t expect it to actually surpass my expectations. The original sounds he has crafted by carefully selected samples is just mind-blowing. A special mention has to go to the fantastic artwork and contrary white label records that have surrounded this release as well.

Anthony Sykes, Last Witness

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Turnstile – ‘Nonstop Feeling’ (Reaper Records)

Effortlessly old skool 90s hardcore mixed with chill indie wibes, Nonstop Feeling isn’t just one of my favourite albums of the year but of all time! Amidst all the terrible brocore that exists hides this wonderful gem that isn’t afraid to give songs space and dare I say it *cough* have some bloody fun.

Mike, ASFAR Contributer

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Segwei – ‘GUSH’ (Fellow Travelers)

A band many may know from their split with End Of A Year (Self Defence Family) a few years ago. This 6 track mini album is their best work so far though. Their sound comes from a combination of many styles including revolution summer emo, 90s melodic UK punk and even a bit of 90s alternative. At no time does this album ever feel like a straightforward homage to any of this though, they have their own unique sound. The three main things that set this band from the majority of similar bands though are the drums, the catchy choruses and the vocals which ooze character.

Sam Knight, Renounced

Honourable mentions: 

The Spook School – Try To Be Hopeful (Self-released)

Radiator Hospital/Martha – Split (Specialist Subject Records)

Title Fight – ‘Hyperview’ (ANTI-)

Blacklisted – ‘When People Grow, People Go’ (Deathwish Inc.)

Harms Way – ‘Rust’ (Deathwish Inc.)

Build And Destroy – ‘Vanished Crusade’ (Lockin’ Out Records)

Xibalba – Tierra y Libertad (Southern Lord)

Malfunction – ‘Fear of Failure’ (Bridge 9)

Black Breath – ‘Slaves Beyond Death’ (Southern Lord)

Counterparts – ‘Tragedy Will Find Us’ (Pure Noise Records)

Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – ‘Exile’ (Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions)

Palm Reader – ‘Beside The Ones We Love’ (In At The Deep End)

Coldburn – ‘Down In The Dumps’ (BDHW)

Cancer Bats – ‘Searching For Zero’ (BMG Rights Management)

Drug Church – ‘Hit Your Head’ (No Sleep Records)

The Cowards – ‘Rise to Infamy’ (Throatruiner Records)

Forced Order – ‘Vanished Crusade’ (Revelation Records)

Employed To Serve – ‘Greyer Than You Remember’ (Holy Roar)

Loma Prieta – ‘Self Portrait’ (Deathwish Inc.)

Of Feather And Bone – ‘Embrace the Wretched Flesh’ (Good Fight Music)

Sleater Kinny – ‘No Cities To Love’ (Sub Pop Records)

Blistered – ‘The Poison of Self Confinement’ (6131 Records)

Deathrite – ‘Revelation of Chaos’ (Prosthetic Records)

Stray From The Path – ‘Subliminal Criminals’ (Sumerian Records)

Femme Krawall – ‘Femme Krawall’ (Spastic Fantastic Records)

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