Best of October 2015

By Ben Tipple

October is always a pretty crazy month, mainly because it either plays host to or immediately precedes the world’s most iconic punk-rock gathering, FEST. You may have gathered by our social media that we had a brilliantly debauched time out in Florida. But before that we’ve been getting our ears around some of the best new music to grace the online and physical world, and here’s what’s been getting us excited away from the Floridian sun.

Beach Slang – ‘Ride The Wild Haze’

Beach Slang occupies that space between dark pop punk and shining indie shoe-gaze, with tons of fuzz, gloriously singing guitars echoing in the background, an intense aggression, and lyrics that hit home. ‘Ride The Wild Haze’ should be the anthem for every pop punk kid. From the opening line, “I feel most alive when I’m listening to every record that hits harder than the pain” to sentiments of being the misfit but not caring, self-medicating only to find it doesn’t change anything, and to wanting to party and rage harder and louder, just to be able to feel…something, this song speaks directly to many of us, as if Beach Slang were there with us all our lives. “Fuck it all,” the song seems to be saying to us, “just get out there and live!” [Paul Silver]

Drug Church – ‘Hit You Head, Greedy’

Drug Church is gloriously unsophisticated. Musically, it’s akin to the guy who buys beer for minors and hangs out at high school parties despite being 23. On what serves as the title track for their new album, this is the archetypal Drug Church song. Crushing riffs and bleak lyrics that paint a perfect picture of an imperfect person. The band’s sound has matured and the subjects in their songs are still regressing. Stopping and starting over again and again. ‘Greedy’ is a reminder that life can always get worse but also that music doesn’t get a whole lot better. [Jay Papandreas]

H2O – ‘Skate’

It’s nice to have them back with a new full release for the first time in 7 years. It’s classic H2O so if you love them you will love the record/song and the video is super fun with Steve Caballero guesting. [Olly Hanks]

Signals – ‘Lungs Apart’

If Paramore were geek/sheek. Beautifully crafted pop vocals, Perfectly timed hooky riffs and a rhythm section that put most others to shame. [Lee Male]

Arcane Roots – ‘If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves’

Even though I’d seen the band live once, I never really listened to them before I had the chance to review their new EP. This song has really won me over with its mixture of heavier elements with classic rock sounds. [Kathryn Black]

Foxing – ‘Glass Coughs’

Foxing surprised with their new direction on this month’s ‘Dealer’ LP, seeing them draw their experimental sound into expansive, sorrowful soundscapes. ‘Glass Coughs’ sits as one of the more powerful tracks on the record, with vocalist Conor Murphy sounding more honest and intense than ever before. It builds towards a climax that never is, but never sounds incomplete. Reserved and momentous all at once, it’s just stunningly beautiful. [Ben Tipple]

Crooks – ‘Dear Reader’

The progression in Crooks’ sound, from the vocals to the instrumentals, is huge on their debut album and this track demonstrates how far they’ve come in one tidy, infectious package. [Mark Johnson]

Seaway – ‘Best Mistake’

With their sophomore album ‘Colour Blind’, Seaway have served up a host of nostalgia-tinged pop-punk and ‘Best Mistake’ is one of the highlights. It may not break any boundaries but it has everything that makes a great song; a memorable hook, vocal harmonies, and a energetic, bouncing chorus. A perfect antidote to the cold and grey winter months. [Chris Hilson]

Pinegrove – ‘New Friends’

You know when you hear a song that perfectly suits the weather? ‘New Friends’ is a song that perfectly suits those perfect, crisp, sunny autumn afternoons. It’s dreamy with some cheeky banjo thrown in. Lyrically it deals with that uneasy feeling of being somewhere new on your own and trying to make some friends. “I resolve to make new friends, I like my old ones but I fucked up so I’ll start again” hits home in a lot of ways. What more could you want in a song? [Maryam Hassan]

Press to MECO – ‘Family Ties’

‘Family Ties’ is the first track from the first album by genre-bending British riff merchants Press to MECO and it very much sets out the band’s stall, sounding as it does like Absolution-era Muse covering 80s pop classic ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’. If that doesn’t make you want to go and listen to the rest of their ‘Good Intent’ album in its entirety then nothing will, except perhaps witnessing their live show – they’re tighter than a catsuit on Steven Seagal and every bit as heavy. [Rob Barbour]

Coheed & Cambria – ‘Atlas’

By now someone has probably screamed at you about how good Coheed & Cambria’s new album ‘The Colour Before The Sun’ is; ‘Atlas’ is a phenomenal example of how Coheed & Cambria have stepped it up on this album. Written by singer Claudio Sanchez to his (at that point still to be born) son, Atlas is a rock ballad to end all other rock ballads. A soaring, emotional chorus, and a verse that retains Coheed & Cambria’s already strong prog-rock sound but done to a degree that even those who haven’t got on board with the band before can enjoy. One of the best songs on an already phenomenal album. [Andy Leddington]

Rain – ‘Slur’

Having yet to release their debut record, Rain have made a huge ripple with this mighty opening statement. Cementing heavy and crashing grunge into the UK DIY scene, this band are sure to be one to watch in the future. [Alex Hall]

Boston Manor – ‘Trapped Nerve’

Having just smashed a record deal with Pure Noise Records (The Story So Far, State Champs, Four Year Strong etc.) the Blackpool quintet are taking a giant leap in their career with forthcoming EP ‘Saudade’, out mid-November. The first taste of the new record comes in the form of ‘Trapped Nerve’, an angsty dollop of emo-tinged pop-punk that allows Boston Manor to prove who they are and what they’re about. Henry Cox’s voice hits you in the face and demands that you listen while the guitars swing around your head in feisty whirlwind. This is only the beginning of great things for Boston Manor and we can’t wait to see what’s next. [Tamsyn Wilce]

Fightstar – ‘Sink With The Snakes’

After a long hiatus, Fightstar came crashing back last year with a run of reunion shows and recently released a stunning new album, ‘Behind The Devil’s Back’. This 3 minute banger is one of the heavier cuts and shows that whilst he can croon, Charlie Simpson is at his best when screaming and bellowing like a mad man. A heavy riff underpinned with very obscure electronics and pounding drum work, this is easily one of the highlights in the heavy scene this year. [Adam Rosario]

Sheer – ‘Uneasy’

Through their fuzz-drenched guitar melodies and lush vocals, LA’s Sheer are an absolute delight to listen to. The title track from their forthcoming debut album ‘Uneasy’, takes the cascading walls of noise from shoegaze and effortlessly marries them to pop-driven hooks. After cutting their teeth for the last year on the underground circuit, they are now working with The Native Sound (Koji, Miserable), and ‘Uneasy’ will surely see them steal a lot of hearts towards the end of the year. [Glen Bushell]

Roger Harvey – ‘Tezcatlipoca’

Roger Harvey’s song ‘Tezcatlipoca’ off of his debut album ‘Twelve Houses’ is filled with nostalgic feelings and life lessons learned, all the while guitar nuances appear throughout. The song and record are packed with Harvey’s influences; the biggest one being Neutral Milk Hotel. The song has a plethora of instrumental effects that play nicely with the honest lyrics and the horn piece played at the end. The album is out on Black Numbers. [Daniella Heminghaus]

Beach Slang – ‘Young and Alive’

Youth and vulnerability are familiar themes, a cathartic release from whatever has been or did stifle you, usually emotions surrounding the fancied sex or some other first world problem. But, Beach Slang, named after a skater girl’s description of frontman Alex’s day to day prose, are doing it with a freshness and energy that are catapulting the band to new, uncharted territory. ‘Young And Alive’ is a punchy, emotional, killer tune. “We are young and alive”, spoken word, drives the song behind a wall of crisp drums, floated backing vocals and the strong, moving first vocal parts which will, gig-wise insight sore throats and sore limbs aplenty. [Dave Bull]

The 1975 – ‘Love Me’

Do I even need to sell this? It’s The 1975, they finally put out new music, and it’s awesome. ‘Love Me’ has differentiated The 1975 from every other “pop” band today. The song mocks current pop culture and grooves with a classic 80’s pop feel while also boasting a futuristic plethora of tinging tones and funky beats. One cannot help but be intrigued by the exploratory nature of this new track. My only concern in anticipating the next record as whole is whether or not Matt Healy’s ego is going to stand in the way of The 1975 producing the music their audience craves. The band released ‘Love Me’ through BBC Radio 1, and Healy obviously contradicts himself throughout the interview, first admitting he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of the record and later saying that they are surely concerned with being received positively. He complains about being sick of the lack of “good pop bands” out there, self-proclaiming themselves as one of them, but you might remember the intro to their ‘Girls’ video when he states “we’re not a pop band.” Well, The 1975 is a pop band, and ‘Love Me’ is the truest proof of it. [Tori Pisco]