PLAYLIST: The Best of October 2016

PLAYLIST: The Best of October 2016

By Glen Bushell

Nov 4, 2016 9:46

October saw a number for change for us here at Punktastic. We said a fond farewell to a few of team who are moving on to other things and headed off into the future. Thankfully during this period we have been able to have a great soundtrack to keep us motivated. With surprise returns, familiar favourites, and some rising talent, we bring you some of the best tracks released throughout the month.

Code Orange – ‘Forever’

In 2014, Code Orange thinned the herd with ‘I Am King’, ushering in a new dawn for metallic hardcore. They have now returned with ‘Forever’, the title track of their forthcoming album, and any misconceptions that they wouldn’t be able to top their previous output have been quickly put to bed. It’s Code Orange at their heaviest, with a harrowing video to match. The breakdowns could floor buildings, and the ferocious vocal assault of Jami Morgan and Reba Myers is simply terrifying. It’s time for them to shatter the mould of hardcore once again. [Glen Bushell]

Green Day – ‘Too Dumb To Die’

People will always complain that Green Day “just aren’t as good as they used to be” – a classic case of music snobbery and more yawn-inducing than an afternoon at your Grandma’s house. For those of us willing to take Green Day as they are – a punk rock band more rock than punk nowadays who are, in some cases, almost as old as our parents – their latest album ‘Revolution Radio’ makes for great listening. Sure, some of the lyrics try to be political but end up nonsensical, but for a simple track with bags of singalong potential, ‘Too Dumb To Die’ is just one of many sublime moments on the record. [Kathryn Black]

Heirsound – ‘Choke’

After the demise of pop-punk outfit Love, Robot, two of the founding members came together to create a fresh and exciting alternative-pop outfit that goes by the name of Heirsound. The brain child of Alexa San Roman and Dane Petersen, they combine bruising and emotional lyrics with slick riffs to create fist-pumping anthems. Once such example is ‘Choke’, the first track off their ‘Merge’ EP – it’s a powerful track, with a huge chorus and massive slabs of melodic vocal work from both vocalists. The best part? The visuals in the video; Heirsound are just as serious about their visual work as they are about their music. [Jess Tagliani]

This Be The Verse – ‘How Can You Sleep’

Like a huge beast rising from the depths of This Be The Verse’ debut self titled album comes ‘How Can You Sleep’ with it’s almost hypnotic beat. Coupled with a powerful riff and attached to one of the catchiest choruses this year it’s a track which perfectly shows off the bands eclectic tastes but also their talent. Blending the industrial with an almost European electro-pop sound it was for me the stand out track, don’t take my word for it though, give it a spin below. [Christopher Lee]

Bitch Queens – ‘R’n’R Idiot’

You’d have to be an idiot to think Rock ‘n’ Roll was dead. It’s not, it’s very much alive and Switzerland’s Bitch Queens are more than enough living proof. ‘R‘n’R Idiot’ is catchy as hell and absolutely drenched with attitude. A presentation of furious guitar riffs fused together with Glam Rock attributes as vocalist Melchior Quitt repeatedly sneers ‘Shut the fuck up’. Taken from their new split 7” with the UK based Garage Punks, The Hip Priests, this is two Turbojugend bands doing what they do best. Three killer songs in less than seven minutes but ‘R’n’R Idiot’ stands out for all the right reasons. [James Davenport]

Great Apes – ‘St. Brasher’

Great Apes’ new album, ‘California Heart,’ is another album chock full of great songs. Like last year’s ‘Playland at the Beach’ EP, this record has a common theme running through the songs, this time one of coming of age as an outcast and dealing with bullying, drugs, boredom, the spark of creativity, depression, and growing cynicism. The third song in, ‘St. Brasher,’ tells the true story of encountering that one cool teacher, the one who introduces you to music, art, and literature, the one that makes you see the good in yourself, and the one that makes you want to create rather than destroy. The song is one of the more raucous Great Apes tracks, and it’s packed with more literary and musical references than should be humanly possible. [Paul Silver]

Bring Me the Horizon – ‘Doomed (Live At the Royal Albert Hall)’

When Bring Me the Horizon released ‘That’s the Spirit’ last year, no one could have foreseen just how well it would do, especially with such a huge change in their sound. Since then, the band have continued to sell out various tours and one-off shows, but two major highlights came out of this: one being the announcement of an arena tour, including two dates at London’s O2 Arena, and a one-off show at the Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra and choir, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. The night itself was a resounding success and the accompaniment of the orchestra brought a new element and dimension to rock music; throughout ‘Doomed’, the choir’s backing vocals are sublime, and the orchestra bring this track to a whole new level. [Jess Tagliani]

AFI – ‘White Offerings’

After a brief cryptic campaign suggesting they were up to something, AFI returned in October to announce their new album, ‘AFI (The Blood Album)’. Instead of just one, they released two new tracks, and either of them could have made this playlist. After much deliberation, the hypnotising ‘White Offerings’ won the toss. Falling somewhere between the dramatic darkness of ‘Sing The Sorrow’, and the scathing ‘Burials’, it proves AFI are still the best at what they do without compromise or regression. Of course there will be cries of “Oh, but they don’t sound like a punk band anymore,” but who cares. They have moved on to become something far more potent and textured. It’s a pleasure to have them back. [Glen Bushell]

Megaflora – ‘Anxious’

For this month’s playlist, I’ve chosen one of the most infectious songs that I’ve heard so far this year. Originally found on their demo, the re-recorded version of ‘Anxious’ sums up all the charming qualities that London band Megaflora have to offer. It is filled with sincerely honest lyrics, bittersweet jangly harmonies and an addictive case of “aahhhs” to boot. It is a cut that is sure to draw you into the indie pop group’s delightful debut mini album, ‘Redwoods’, which is out now on Everything Sucks Music. [Aaron Lohan]

WSTR – ‘Footprints’

Some of the lads at the forefront of the new wave of incredible talent emerging in the UK pop punk scene. Liverpool band, WSTR, have carried on the hype from their brilliant debut EP, Skrewd. An addictive chorus with a hook that is enjoyable as it is memorable with a solid dollop of pop punk guitar behind it. Keep an eye out for their debut album “Red, Green or Inbetween” out early next year. It’s just proper boss Scouse pop punk. [Will Whitby]

Plini – ‘Handmade Cities’

Considering the musician that made this is only 24 and already stunned crowds at Arctangent, Brutal Assault and Tech Fest, ‘Handmade Cities’ is a formidable 4th release from the Aussie prog master. Coupled with some incredible instrumental performances from Simon Grove of The Hex Nebula and legendary drummer Troy Wright, the album is a colourful record with incredibly catchy hooks and riffs that you can’t help but bang your head to. Just take a listen to ‘Cascade’ to get a feel for this excellent album. [Ashwin Bhandari

Metallica – ‘Atlas, Rise!’

Sneaking in on All Hallows Eve is the latest track to drop from upcoming album ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’ for me the last two songs have been solid entries but this one just slams home just what we should be expecting, a return to domination. The riff heavy track sounds like something that could easily have come from any of the early albums and having recently stated that they’re yet to come up with their best album as they’re still improving could we about to get something at least close to the masterful black album or ‘Master of Puppets’? We’ll find out in just over two weeks. [Christopher Lee]

Tiny Kingdoms – ‘Your Bones’

With the release of their new EP ‘I’ll Wait Around’ Tiny Kingdoms have made an effortless and natural alteration to their sound and ‘Your Bones’ is a perfect introduction of what to expect. Gone, for now at least, are the typical crunchy pop-punk guitars, replaced with a wholly acoustic set-up. On ‘Your Bones’, gentle strings complement the guitars, and Nico Muira’s vocals are full of emotion. Far from taking anything away, the stripped back approach adds another layer of depth, and makes the release of ‘I’ll Wait Around’ something very special to look forward to. [Chris Hilson]

Dance Gavin Dance – ‘Deception’

Experimental post-hardcore pioneers Dance Gavin Dance have reached a couple of milestones this year. Not only is this their 10th year anniversary as a band, but ‘Mothership’, their seventh full-length album, marks the first time they’ve managed three consecutive records with the same line-up. This consistency is really paying dividends and ‘Deception’ represents the band’s many elements merging together in perfect unison. Most recent vocalist Tilian Pearson has raised his game like never before and this elevation has brought about the best in those around him as well. ‘Deception’ is Dance Gavin Dance at their very finest. [Mark Johnson]

Korn – ‘Black is the Soul’

October saw the release of Korn’s 12th, and heaviest studio album, ‘The Serenity of Suffering’. Over 23 years Korn have been labeled many unpleasant things, but in 2016, I think they’ve nailed it. Track 3 off the new album is ‘Black is the Soul’ – a withering alt-metal track that has completely captured me. The spoken breakdown into the heavy vocal is the kind of progression that makes you do a little headbang on the train – and frankly, that’s what I want out of a Korn record. Enough groove to make me nod my head, with a heavy enough riff to scare the person next to me. The best Korn I’ve heard in a very long time. [Rhian Wilkinson]

Green Day – ‘Revolution Radio’

The kings of Pop Punk are back and show no signs of losing that edge. Billie Joe is on fire here reminding us that he still writes damn catchy songs! With a nod to their rebellious roots, ‘Revolution Radio’ becomes an anthem of sorts for the next generation of ‘Alternative’ kids. God, I feel old – but ‘Revolution Radio’ reminds me that I’m never too old to enjoy a bit of Green Day. [Mark Gadong]