It is that time of year when everyone looks back on the past 12 months. Here at Already Heard we have once again been blessed with some superb releases this year. That is why for this year’s Record of the Year list we have decided to cover more releases and highlighted the top 25 releases from 2015.
As always, the Already Heard team have discussed (and argued) to make a definitive list of album releases from the past year.
We are at halfway point in our list, and today we reveal what made 15 through to 11 in our Records of the Year.
15. Foxing – Dealer (Triple Crown Records)
It is very rare a record comes along and sweetly charms you off your feet. However with ‘Dealer’ that is what Foxing exactly did. It offers an insight into a dynamic band who are more than willing to push themselves. ‘Weave’ eases you in with its breezy, atmospheric execution. Whilst ‘The Magdalene’ and ‘Night Channels’ are poignant and ‘Winding Cloth’ is one of the most stunning instrumental tracks of the year. From to start to finish, ‘Dealer’ had a tendency to pull at the heartstrings, leaving us in a blissful daze.
Through their vulnerability and endearing style, ‘Dealer’ saw Foxing produce an engaging and captivating record that is pure and beautifully crafted. (SR)
14. Faith No More – Sol Invictus (Reclamation/Ipecac)
Sitting proudly as the elder statesmen of this year’s best-of rundown, Faith No More proved in 2015 that form is temporary but class is permanent. 17 years after their last album the San Franciscan mischief-makers threw the mind-boggling ‘Motherfucker’ at as before following up with an album that’s as sharp, sarcastic and tense as ever.
They might have a career and album count that’s longer and higher than half our list combined but with songs like ‘Superhero’ and ‘Separation Anxiety’ proving every bit as instant and beguiling as tunes from the bands classic early 90’s albums Faith No More are back and strutting about like never before. (RF)
13. Tellison – Hope Fading Nightly (Alcopop! Records)
Tellison remain one of the UK’s best underground acts; forever on the cusp of breaking out, yet adored by a fiercely loyal, hardcore, fanbase.
‘Hope Fading Nightly’ perhaps comes closest to bridging these two opposites, being an album which has delighted those already on board with Tellison’s gorgeous pop-rock and enticing enough – and accessible enough – to those who sit on the outside. It starts with ‘Letter to the Team’, one of the most stark and earnest songs of the year. A gut-puncher of the highest order, it actually sounds like a farewell letter before pulling you back in with a line about Keanu Reeves. It’s heartfelt and slightly irreverent but perfect, classic, Tellison.
What’s most surprising about ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ is just how straight it is. The angular, yelping edges of their early output are a world away, leaving an easy and accessible sound that gives Stephen Davidson’s quite brilliant lyrics a chance to breathe and shine. The result is the most rounded collection of alt-pop/rock songs of 2015 and an album which contains so many memorable choruses and lyrics it’s a dazzling, dizzying, literary triumph. In January, the quartet will play the album front to back as part of the Alcopopalooza winter special. You’d be foolish to miss it… (RM)
12. Turnstile – Nonstop Feeling (Reaper Records)
‘Nonstop Feeling’ is everything you want from what can only really be considered a funk hardcore record, and we’re more than okay with that! Influences are quite obvious, with Bad Brains being a high contender, but either way this record is SO good. Opener ‘Gravity’ is a fan favourite, whilst the incredible ‘Can’t Deny It’ resembles Rage Against The Machine in places.
‘Blue By You’ is the absolute standout track of this album, showcasing their ability to break from the hardcore to offer a shoe-gazy output that is seemingly universally liked from all fans.
Turnstile are honestly one of the most exciting hardcore bands around. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and that shows in how fun and almost joyful this record can be in places. Having seen the reception to them live very recently, we can only see them doing better and better for themselves, and if they continue to make records like this then kudos to them and we’ll be there with them supporting them every step of the way. (RK)
11. Disturbed – Immortalized (Reprise/Warner Bros.)
After a four-year studio absence, Disturbed return with a spectacular claim to be ‘Immortalized’ as metal icons. The winds of change have blown in their favour, producing a brand new powerful self-confidence and maturity oozing from every pore.
From the trudging title track to the hopeful ‘The Light’, an entire emotional spectrum passes with every track, especially through the demanding ‘What Are You Waiting For’ that will be stuck in your head for days. The authoritative ‘Who Taught You How to Hate’ proves to be just as contagious and ‘Never Wrong’ spits venom in every direction, but it’s a completely unexpected cover that steals the limelight. Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ is the last thing you’d expect David Draiman to tuck into, but its heart-wrenching, piano-driven atmosphere suits his deeply raw vocals perfectly, aiming a solitary spotlight on his talent that may well have been forgotten after all these years.
A truly versatile record to prove against all controversy that Disturbed are by no means ready to give up, ‘Immortalized’ continues their reign of menacing innovation. Listening from beginning to end is an exhausting emotional experience, yet one that should not be missed. (AC)
Words by Sean Reid (SR), Rob Fearnley (RF), Rob Mair (RM), Rosie Kerr (RK) and Ali Cooper (AC).