Tag Archives: Wolf & Bear

Top 10 2019 by Yannick

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And yet another year comes to an end. 2019 has been an exciting musical year and it definitely allowed this decade to go out with a bang. As usual I put together a small list of records that particularly stood out to me, which you can either use as inspiration for a last minute gift or just to pass the time during the (boring) holidays!

#10 Andrés – Once Upon A Time In Bakersfield

Andrés is one of those artists that can’t really be put into a specific genre and so far each of his three records sounded fairly different. The style of this one appealed less to me than the other ones’, but nevertheless it still is a killer record for those sad boy moments. Also, added bonus: I got to experience him live in London this year, which was an absolute blast!

#9 Kurt Travis – There’s A Place I Want To Take You

I was very excited when it was announced that one of my favorite vocalists was finally releasing the follow-up to his 2014 solo record. The fact that it includes a studio version of one of my favorite songs (It’s You) by him, which he only performed live thus far, definitely added immensely to how much I liked this album.

#8 Sleeping With Sirens – How It Feels To Be Lost

I’ve been a SWS fan for quite a while now and I stuck to them even through their two less-stellar records, this year it all paid off because their sixth record might just be my favorite one thus far. A real retour-de-force and an absolute beast live!

#7 Fusion Bomb – Concrete Jungle (review)

While there were quite a few very solid Luxembourgish releases this year, I think it’s safe to say that Fusion Bomb trumped them all. The ferocity of their debut full-length is just out of this world and the immense success they’ve had locally and internationally speaks volumes. If you haven’t jumped into the Slam Tornado yet, what are you waiting for?

#6 Thank You Scientist – Terraformer

Despite writing reviews and “having to” listen to new music regularly, I am usually very reluctant to get into new bands. But when a friend of mine sent me the title track of this record, I immediately fell in love and went ahead and ordered it immediately. The video clip alone is worth your while, and the whole album will keep your ear holes busy for a while.

#5 Bring Me The Horizon – amo

Ever since their style change BMTH have been either loved or hated by the music scene. Their newest release saw some more musical experimentation and, at least in my eyes, it led to a beautiful result. Nihilist Blues has such a spacey vibe that when I first heard it, I had to check if I was still on planet earth.

#4 Knocked Loose – A Different Shade Of Blue

I had first properly noticed Knocked Loose in 2017 when I saw them open for Comeback Kid & Every Time I Die and they definitely delivered a powerful show, but it wasn’t enough to win me over. However, when they released the first single off their second record this year it blew me away completely. I recommended the record to friends as the most genuinely hate-filled record since IOWA, and a high-speed ride on the highway while being dragged behind the car, naked, while somebody punches you in the face simultaneously. Don’t ask.

#3 Emarosa – Peach Club

Another band that strayed very far away from their post-hardcore roots, and opted for a much more pop-orientated sound, where it absolutely paid off. Peach Club is an experience from start to finish that will have you shaking your butt and crying your heart out just minutes later. Give it a listen!

#2 Issues – Beautiful Oblivion

Headspace was a nearly perfect record, which is why it landed so high on my list back when it was released. The follow-up is something else for sure, since it lacks screams almost entirely, but this to me is the definitive Issues sound. While it is not for everyone, I would recommend a listen to everyone!

EP-Special
Nova Charisma – Exposition I & II
Origami Button – Button Season
Unimagined – Friendless
Wolf & Bear – Wolf & Bear EP

Continuing the tradition of the EP shout-outs: Nova Charisma is a side-project of Hail The Sun‘s Donovan Melero on vocals and Royal Coda‘s Sergio Medina on guitar that is very experimental and their two EPs are very varied releases. Origami Button is a band that really caught me with their melodic approach to post-hardcore and their EP has been in my playlist at different times all throughout the year. Unimagined is a horror-themed post-hardcore band that has a very unique vibe and is a perfect pallet cleanser. Finally, Wolf & Bear are a band that have enormous potential and it is, once again, proven on this amazing EP.

#1 Royal Coda – Compassion
Secret Band – LP2
Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

I said it once before: if Slipknot release a record, it is a given that it will land on my top ten somewhere. This year they managed to make it to my number one spot because We Are Not Your Kind was definitely what I wanted after a, in hindsight, mediocre fifth record. Secret Band released their second full-length by surprise on 4/20 this year and when I first listened to it on my train ride from Vienna to Bratislava, I smiled the entire time. This is, by far, the most ferocious album of the year for me, despite being with filled with utter nonsensical lyrics, and if you do not like this record, I do not like you. I kid. I think. Last but not least, Royal Coda followed their fairly good debut with an amazing album this year and it’s been on heavy rotation since its release a bit more than six weeks ago.

All in all, 2019 was a super interesting musical year, with many unlisted records from all sorts of genres that I discovered and thoroughly enjoyed. However, I am salivating when I’m thinking about 2020, because it will see the release of the tenth studio record by my favorites Dance Gavin Dance, the new Eidola record is also finally due to be released, as well as a new Every Time I Die album. Locally, most likely the new Scarred record at some point and some other interesting releases fairly early in the year. So, with that being said, I hope to be able to welcome you back next decade! Party hard and be safe!

Top 10 2017 by Yannick

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Another year comes to an end and while it has, arguably, had the lowest of lows in the history of mankind in some areas, it has also stood for acceptance and social evolution in many other areas. However, what is truly relevant at least on this platform is the music…and it has definitely been another strong year with many brilliant releases. I’m here to give you my personal top 10, which will, again, include a majority of records that I didn’t get to review.

#10 While She Sleeps – You Are We

I’ve seen WSS live twice over the past few years and while I was always impressed by their energetic and spot-on performance, their albums never really convinced me. However, with You Are We the quintet have definitely hit a new level and managed to put themselves not only on my radar but gained my deep appreciation.

#9 Paramore – After Laughter

What started out as a crush on the lead singer all those years ago when Misery Business was released, developed into a real fascination with their music by the time they released their self-titled record five years ago. Naturally when they announced a new record, I was fairly excited and looking forward to their evolution; and After Laughter did not disappoint: not only was the music fresh, but the songs were also lyrically very honest, at times even too much.

#8 Taylor Swift – Reputation

Well. How do I put this? After buying the previous record when Shake It Off was released, I realized that it’s actually great pop! When the first single off the new one was released I felt a bit disappointed but I decided to give the record a chance anyways…and I was rewarded. It’s debatable, but I would say that this is her best record to that. Give it a shot, seriously!

#7 Adventurer – Sacred Grove (review)

When I first discovered Adventurer, around three years ago, I was immediately enamored with their chaotic yet highly melodic sound, reminiscent of The Fall Of Troy. Naturally, I was super hyped for their, at the time already announced, full-length album…but it took until fairly recently to be released. And the wait was definitely worth the while! You can read more thoughts on it in my review.

#6 Andrés – Strange Memories On This Nervous Night

By far my biggest surprise-discovery this year was Andrés! His tongue-in-cheek lyrics, his charismatic performances and his pure talent simply shine in every corner of his debut solo album! I had the chance to meet him earlier this year in London and I’m confident in saying that the future will hold some big things for this dude. Get on the hype train before it’s too late!

#5 Wolf & Bear – Everything Is Going Grey

Let’s not kid ourselves…pretty much every Blue Swan release will usually make it on my top 10. The second one on the list, so far, is the debut album of Wolf & Bear, a band that is fairly similar to Dance Gavin Dance in terms of their setup (they even share the same bassist), but are different altogether in their song structures and sound. This one has been on heavy rotation for quite a while on my playlist.

#4 Asking Alexandria – Asking Alexandria

Another, so to speak, surprise entry: the fifth full-length by Asking Alexandria was just released five days ago, but I can safely say that the return of their original singer was the best thing that could happen to the band. A re-vitalized sound, a very open-minded songwriting and a lot of weird, but good, stylistic choices make the self-titled album a force to be reckoned with and put the quintet back on the map.

#3 Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence

When Trivium released their screamless Silence In The Snow, I accepted their change of direction and was ready to follow them down that path. But when the first teaser for their eighth studio album was released, I knew that I might have lied to myself at the time. Because THIS is what I first loved about the band: a perfect blend of heavy and melodic with loads and loads of details to be discovered with every subsequent listen. TSATS is the epitome of what this band is about and I can only recommend it to everyone!

#2 Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights

This one is a bit weird for me…since I haven’t even listened to it more than ten times. But I feel like it deserves a spot this far up simply for what it did to me on every single listen. Julien Baker‘s debut album already affected me deeply, but Turn Out The Lights is one a whole new level. It is not for everyone, but for me it was a very cathartic experience that I believe should be had by everyone.

EP-Special
Eternity Forever – Fantasy
Hail The Sun – Secret Wars
Happy Hour – What’s Your Poison
Push Over – Demo

I know, I know, I’m kind of bending my own fictitious rules here…but this year saw the release of quite a few really solid EPs, that I think deserve a quick shout-out! Two of those feature one of my favorite vocalists, Kurt Travis, and they are both very different. The, sadly, already defunct Eternity Forever is one of the dreamiest things I’ve gotten to hear all year and Push Over is a fun project with Thomas Erak, of TFOT. Happy Hour is another very DGD-y band, but they managed to stand out to me because of some very unusual elements like a reggae part in one song. Another band that I have fairly high hopes for. And last, but certainly not least, is Hail The Sun‘s new release Secret Wars, which has them going back to their roots, so to speak and just delivers on every single level. What a treat!

#1 A Lot Like Birds – Divisi (review)
Sufferer – Sufferer
Eidola – To Speak, To Listen (review)

While last year had a clear winner, this year I will have to settle for a three-way tie. I’ve written reviews about two of these, so I will just say a few words about the one that eluded me. In the past I’ve dealt with anxiety quite a bit and, while I never dove into real depression, it has definitely made many aspects of my life fairly difficult and it was a real struggle to overcome the hard times. While I have managed to rid myself of the majority of those things on my own, Sufferer is a record that, I feel, can serve as a form of self-therapy to some people out there. (note: of course it does not replace actual therapy) It certainly put a lot of things into perspective for me and, besides, it is just a phenomenal work of musical art.

All in all, I really enjoyed the dynamic this year. I was a bit more active, writing fifteen reviews, and I managed to cover all the local releases that were relevant, to me. However, looking into the future at the moment is a bit weird since, aside from a new Dance Gavin Dance record, I have very few albums I’m actively looking forward to…maybe 2018 will be the year of surprises!