2021 Year-End Favorites
My personal picks for the year's best, many of which are still flying under the radar.
Review: Dome Runner, Conflict State Design (Starving Light Collective, 2021)
Very possibly the most dead-on '90s industrial metal rerun that I've heard in the last 10 - 20 years!?
Song of the Day: Kollaps\e, “Radiant//Static,” from The Pandemic Sessions (Self-Released, 2021)
Stripped down and organic doom/sludge from Sweden; designated for fans of Breach, Cult of Luna, and Neurosis.
Review: J. Robbins/Her Head's on Fire, Split (New Granada, 2021)
Veteran lineups come together for a killer split that will far exceed the expectations of mildly curious listeners.
Quick Hits: Trip Machine Laboratories—Piece of Mind, Rain of Salvation, Malik(s), Faithless, and Jukai
Another great batch of hardcore (and beyond), from the only label cool enough to still send me physical promos!
Review: Manu, Earth (Self-Released, 2021)
An outstanding display of heavy shoegaze-soaked post-rock...
Fading Trail, “Ruined”: Track Premiere + Interview
Absolutely face-ripping death-tinged grindcore out of Helsinki, Finland.
Song of the Day: 7th Grade Girl Fight, “The Long Way,” from 7th Grade Girl Fight (Self-Released, 2021)
Multifaceted indie rock that sways effortlessly between soft/somber and catchy/high-energy.
Damokles, “Bodies Get Bored”: Track/Video Premiere
Another great slice of "everything but the kitchen sink"-infused post-hardcore.
Random Roundup: September, 2021
Shit you should hear from Bleed, Exil, Floating Room, Rid of Me, ShotClock, and Webbed Wing.
Song of the Day: Peroxide Blonde, “No Reason to Pretend” (Jetsam-Flotsam, 2021)
NYC/NJ quartet returns with a somber indie/alternative sound that can only be described as their own...
Freewill, “You”: Track Premiere + Interview
Just ahead of the SoCal melodic hardcore/punk unit's first new full-length since 1988!
Onsloow, “Being With You”: Track Premiere + Interview
Wide-spanning emo/indie-and-then-some from Norway, ahead of what should be quite a captivating full-length debut.
Song of the Day: The Mourning, “Mood Swings,” from Time Well Wasted (Self-Released, 2021)
Semi-shoegaze, or dream pop for the dark and depressed?
Random Roundup: August, 2021
Shit you should hear from Actors, Aschenvater, The Last Stand, Moira, Sunless, and X. Kubrick.
Song of the Day: Eastwood, “Anthropozentrische Kackscheiße,” from Antibiose (Lixiviat/No Time/etc., 2021)
Almost certainly the finest grindcore album of 2021.
Song of the Day: Incinerate, “Room 101,” from Back to Reality (Dead by Dawn Records, 2021)
Top-notch death/thrash out of Belgium that effortlessly captures the old school aesthetic.
Random Roundup: July, 2021
Shit you should hear from Again in May, Ayanyss, Chain Gang Grave, Hamad Balanayed, In Cold Blood, and Zero Trust.