End of the Year Thirty Three: Radio Alcatraz

By Maryam Hassan

Throughout December we at PT:HQ are bringing you end of year lists from bands, labels and promoters. We’ll have a new one for you everyday so keep your eyes peeled for them! See all the lists here.




Exes – Phantasmaboring

Without doubt, this is my album of the year. Ex ‘Meet Me In St Louis’ and ‘Bullet Union’ members mix together a perfect blend of angular riffs, catchy vocals and powerful rhythms… and simply awesome songwriting. Recorded pretty much live without any studio tricks, and released themselves – this is everything rock music should be in 2014.

Mongol Horde – Mongol Horde

I’m not really a Frank Turner fan. Whilst I still love some of the early Million Dead stuff, I actually find him a bit irritating these days. Everywhere you look, Franky T seems to be there with another folkypunkpop album or some other kind of underground DIY announcement – like playing the Olympics or Wembley arena. When I heard he was doing a ‘new hardcore band’ I actually cringed a bit. Until I heard the album. Mongol Horde is 3 guys effortlessly making some of the best Post Hardcore you’ll hear today. It infuriates me that not only is this just a side project, but they make it all seem far too easy. Awesome songs, lyrics, arrangements, riffs, drumming and of course Frank’s undeniably brilliant vocals. Why he doesn’t just continue doing this kind of thing and live on the breadline instead of being a wealthy minor celebrity, I have no idea.

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – IX

This band never seem to let me down. Now on album number 9, the Texan art rock veterans return with what some might consider their most consistent record to date. After some line-up changes along the years, they’ve settled down and written one of the best albums of their career. The vocals have never sounded better too. Legends. Buy it.


Freeze The Atlantic – Hectares
Track 3 from their self titled second album. New vocalist too. Absolute banger.

Gnarwolves – Boneyard
Awesome track from their debut album proper. Surely the best punk band in the UK right now?

Catfish And The Bottlemen – Pacifier
Wildcard here, forgive me. But it is just so good. The opening and closing riffs are pure class.


Palm Reader – Beside The Ones We Love

After what seems like forever, Palm Reader have finally announced their second album, which will be available next year. These boys have been on the rise in the UK Hardcore scene for a while now, touring relentlessly and perfecting their craft. I happen to know the Bass player pretty well, so I’ve sneakily had this record for some time. This is not your childish bullshit hardcore that plagues the music channels or the magazine that gives away free stickers – this is pro-level-grown-up-big-boy-hardcore. If you’re finally out of nappies, and you miss the likes of Poison The Well – you’re in for a real treat. This album is the benchmark for UK Hardcore in 2015. Get ready…

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