Welcome to our annual end of year wrap up, as we celebrate 2013, the year that was. Hard to believe another year has slipped by so fast. 2013 was a busy year in the realms of punk/hardcore. A lot of established bands put out new releases and a lot of bands reunited, some nobly and some well... let's just say they reunited. 

We've added a few new categories this year in our wrap up lists, including a more comprehensive look at local releases, as well as a round up of some outstanding demo releases. In fairness to others and to avoid accusations of bias, we left out our 2013 releases for Boneless and Postblue. Good to see they made other people's highlight lists though.

Without any further ado...

TOP 10 Australian Hardcore Releases

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1. VIGILANTE – Quality Of Life (Resist Records)

The two-year wait between the release of their demo and these ten new songs has been worth it for Sydney's Vigilante. Drawing on a wide array of traditional NYHC sounding bands, Vigilante mix the intensity of Breakdown with the guitar licks of Warzone and the social justice themes of Agnostic Front to create their own unique approach that is an instant appeal for any hardcore purist. They redo the track "Eliminated" off the Split Scene comp and even throw in an Altercation cover of "Vigilante Song" and surprise you before its all over with a dub outro.

2. CRISIS ALERT – Urban Decay (Resist Records)

Adelaide's Crisis Alert return with their debut full length offering of 16 new tracks with two of them being a reworked intro and outro that pays homage to the classic SSD tune "Glue". Continuing their flat out, straight up early 80's hardcore approach, only two songs on this release make it to over the one minute mark. Mid way tracks "Aggression" and "Urban Decay" slow things down just a touch before the foot is back firmly on the accelerator. Its so great to hear a local band playing a style so well that no one else is currently doing in Australia. Real refreshing breath of fresh air to hear powerful aggressive music achieved through speed rather than tuning.

3. SHACKLES – “Disposed Of” (Urban Rage)

They've done it again. Shackles have shown with their latest release, 'Disposed Of', that they can write incredible songs whilst keeping it fresh and exciting.  This record is a fast, aggressive, face melting experience, barely reaching the 5 minute mark. For those who aren't aware of what Shackles sound like imagine Infest meets Extortion meets Mind Eraser. The recording has a rough sound with a load of amp feedback and various other noises, which weren't edited out, giving it a raw, gritty edge. It seems to have left off where their 'S/T' ended and not so much like the tracks on their earlier releases. Huge things are coming from this band. Keep an ear to the ground.

4. THE OTHERS – Red Eyes (Shaman Records)

Perth five piece deliver their debut full length offering after a string of EP releases. Eleven new songs on show that are a mix of melodic hardcore, with some bass driven bounce, tribal drumming and a snotty vocal approach. Not exactly hard nor hardly soft, upbeat and catchy rather than slow and heavy, there is something about this band that really appeals but is yet hard to place an exact finger on.

5. I EXIST – From Darkness (Resist Records)

I Exist return with their third full length offering of 12 new songs rounded off with a bonus musical outro. Musically they continue along the same path, blending a mix of sludgey guitars with bluesy rhythms, tipping the hat to their influences Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and EyeHateGod along the way. Like their past releases this new album boast a few faster paced heavier onslaughts mixed in with some toe tapping groovier numbers. This band solidifies their sound with every release, with this latest offering perhaps their finest to date. The amazing artwork completes the journey that one embarks on listening to this release.

6. AGAINST – Bring The End (Midnight Funeral)

Brisbane's Against return with 11 new tracks after last releasing Loyalty and Betrayal way back in 2007. This album went through a lot of hurdles to be released, having been recorded twice, but was worth the wait. Musically this is how you expect it to be, it has that fast heavy approach kind of like mixing Terror with Slayer. Slayer indeed comes to mind when you hear the opening riff of first track, Legions Of Parasites. Greg has really refined and controlled his vocal delivery compared to releases of the past and there are some catchy lyrical phrases, even borrowing from one of their influences in that of Trial. This is easily the best Against release to date and was well worth the wait.

7. RELENTLESS – Turn The Curse (6131 Records)

Sydney band Relentless return with their second full length album, the follow up to "Set In Stone" boasting 11 new songs. Production was handled by Terror drummer Nick Jett who has helped add a new dimension in layers mixing up the band's sound with more guitar tracks and leads. This is by far and above the best release to date from Relentless, not only in production, but also song writing too. Its hard not to draw comparisons between Terror or Trapped Under Ice, but by no means is this a poor man's version of the aforementioned. This is a real solid, awesome, world class release that will no doubt put these guys on the international hardcore map.

8. RUST PROOF “S/T” (Old School Cartel)

Debut 5 track 7inch for this Geelong based band made up of ex members of Tenth Dan, Speartackle, Blood Money and Deviator. Rust Proof have that heavy yet traditional hardcore sound, kind of like a mix of Madball, Strife and Brisbane's Against perhaps. This comes across as hard sounding without falling into the trappings of being boring, slow and repetitive. Vocal delivery is angry yet lyrically comprehendible and the use of double kick keeps the pace moving along nicely. Having all served plenty of time in other bands, Rust Proof have nailed their sound with just their first release and this comes across like a well seasoned band who have been hard at it for years.

9. OUTSIDERS CODE – “Exiled From Birth” (Resist Records)

Debut ten track LP from Melbourne's Outsiders Code that marks a return to vocals for former Her Nightmare frontman Baina. This has a real Hatebreed and Madball vibe to it mixed in with hints of Biohazard even. While I find myself bored listening to a Hatebreed record, here the music is kept interesting with an array of leads, overdubs and even some clear channel. Vocal sound is angry and tough, with gang vocal backups but not overdone and suits the music perfectly. Huge production sound on this recording with mixing and mastering handled by Zeuss (Terror, Madball, Hatebreed). Lead track "The End" is a definite standout, with a catchy melodic chorus and undertone.

10. METALSTORM – “Fully Loaded Nightmare” (Call To Arms)

Debut four track 7inch out of Melbourne for this five piece thrash band who sound like golden era Slayer or Testament mixed with modern day Municipal Waste. There is some seriously tech shredding on show here in these four songs and had this band been around in the 80s they would have risen straight to the top of the Australian metal scene. All the classic ingredients are on display, double kick drumming, blistering solos, evil vocals and neck breaking riffage. If you're a traditional head banging, thrash fan this will no doubt appeal to you. Looking forward to more from these guys in the future.

Honourable Mentions:

SICK PEOPLE – Fakes Rule 7” (Urbn Rage)

BLACK COFFEE – A.I.B.C 7” (Arrest Records)

WARBRAIN – “Void Of Confusion” (Resist Records)

MANHUNT – “Human Detritus” (Life Liar Regret / One Brick Today)

DEADLIFT - "Tried and True" (What Remains Records)


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TOP 10 AUSTRALIAN – Not so hardcore releases…

1. HAZARDS “S/T” (Midnight Funeral)

This debut 4 song 7 inch from Newcastle’s Hazards topped the list for a number of reasons. Firstly the style is a throwback to melodic DC bands of old, something we love whole-heartedly. Each song on this release sounds vastly different, yet vaguely similar and easily identifiable as the same band, no easy feat. Luke’s vocals sound human with real highs and lows, no studio trickery, just a raw natural sound. Lyrically this is brilliant too, witty, intelligent and even some great storytelling mixed in. The cover photo of the band’s favourite record store in Newcastle complete with the owner Ricey out front, further ticks the boxes. The fact there is a Hazards poster in the window tips the hat to Husker DU’s “Metal Circus” cover. According to my iTunes the track “Remedies” was my most listened too track this year.

2. VIOLENT SOHO – “Hungry Ghost” (I Oh You)

I gotta admit that I am a real late addition to the Violent Soho fan club. I had heard their name mentioned often in passing or the odd song on Triple J, but that kind of cemented the thought they were just another shitty hipster rock band with a terrible name. A lot of people whose opinions I respect kept telling me to check out this album, so eventually I did. Much to my surprise I was instantly hooked. Hungry Ghost is kind of like a mix and mash of sounds from the 90s so called “grunge” era. I hear elements of Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, the Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins and even Pavement throughout the 11 tracks on here. Violent Soho have taken the best parts of bands from that era and magically crafted them into some of the catchiest tracks going. For a collection of 11 tracks, most of these are really fun and listenable tunes too with only one or two duds. Much of the appeal is the uniqueness of hearing this sound again in this day and age, full marks on the brilliant musicianship to somehow meld it all together.

3. PADDY McHUGH & THE GOLDMINERS "Trials & Cape Tribulation" (Arrest Records)

Honestly when I first received this record my immediate thought was "not another fucking solo acoustic record". Reluctantly I gave this a spin and I gotta say I was an absolute idiot to think this would be the same ole, sad bloke grew a beard and picked up an acoustic guitar release. You may already be familiar with Paddy McHugh as he was formerly in Sydney City Trash and is a great storyteller, bloody magnificent even. They say the true test of one’s songwriting ability is the stories they tell and at times this really reminds me of Redgum, as the story telling is that good. This has a real folky Australiana feel to it complete with banjos and some times a full band and electric guitar. Opening track "The Snowmen" is somehow a real catchy ode to the asbestos victims and their case against James Hardie. How this could be conveyed into one of my favourite songs I've heard all year speaks volumes really.

4. ARMY OF CHAMPIONS “Burning Alive” (Loch & Quay)

Brisbane four piece, Army Of Champions deliver their third release and second EP "Burning Alive" through their own record label after previously going through Arrest Records. Five new tracks on offer on this 10" that have the traditional Hot Water Music cross Against Me! vibe going on. These new songs are perhaps their finest material to date, a combination of harmony and melody, delivered gravelly, making for an infectious listen. If this band was from Melbourne they would no doubt be huge by now, I kind of feel being hidden away in Brisbane is a bit of a hindrance to their popularity. Then again you get the feeling the band probably couldn't care less about being popular anyway so more power to them.

5. NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS – “Push the Sky Away” (Bad Seed Ltd.)

Mindsnare/Frenzal drummer, Gordy Forman was recently quoted as saying “he would rather staple his dick to a homeless man’s foot than have to listen to Nick Cave” and before I heard this album I was in total agreement with him. In the past I often found Nick Cave’s deep voice to be totally out of sync with what was happening musically, it was like the guy had no timing or rhythm to me. Finally on his 15th release, Nick Cave has got it right. “Push The Sky Away” is one of the most atmospheric, dark and brooding records released in 2013. Yet what is most remarkable is that it somehow has a subtle catchiness to it and I found myself singing along to some of the tracks after only a handful of listens. But yet it’s not what you’d term an album of singalong anthems. This album quickly became my peak-hour-traffic soother on the commute to work and if you can approach it with an open enough mind you just might be surprised in what you hear. Surprised enough to track down a staple remover quick smart.

6. BEAVER “On The Record” (Arrest Records)

Debut 7 song EP for Adelaide pop punk, three piece Beaver. When I say pop punk, I am referring to the golden era Epitaph / Fat Wreck sound of the 90s. On the back of their awesome demo, Beaver deliver another solid release with this debut 7". In a throwback to the Satanic Surfers, drummer Dan Jones provides vocals for Beaver. Dan is perhaps best known for fronting God So Loved The World or Seraphs Coal and comes across a little like Down By Law era Dave Smalley on this recording. Musically this has a modern Descendents feel to it and is rounded off by awesome covers of Face To Face and Dag Nasty. All of these ingredients earn you top marks with me.

7. BODYJAR "Role Model" (UNFD)

Twelve song comeback album for Bodyjar, having last released a selftitled album way back in 2005. The latter era lineup, post Ross & Ben, make up the band again these days and they pick up right where they left off from the last record. I have a real soft spot for Bodyjar that stems back to the days of "Rimshot" and have always felt they really were ahead of the punk rock game on an international level. This new album was nothing ground breaking or real different, but rather exactly the type of catchy songs, melodies and singalongs that Bodyjar fans have been missing. I feel like the world is definitely a better place with Bodyjar still around making music.

8. PAPER ARMS – “The Smoke Will Clear” (Poison City)

Adelaide’s Paper Arms have been flying the Hot Water Music / Small Brown Bike flag for well over 5 years now. Their debut full length “Days Above Ground” was an instant hit with me and I’d been looking forward to its follow up. Thirteen new tracks on offer here that haven’t really altered too much in sound, but perhaps have maybe matured in approach. This is pretty much the path you’d have expected the band to evolve along since their last release 3 years ago. Still very upbeat, melodic and instantly likeable, proving it wasn’t just the midas touch of Walter Schreifels last time around.

9. APART FROM THIS – “In Gloom” (Poison City)

Debut 12 track full length from this Melbourne quartet who play a melodic punk rock version of I guess what one would term as modern day emo. Think bands like Basement, Daylight, Balance and Composure, Make Do And Mend etc. and you’re on the right path. While some bands of this genre fall into the trappings of the same-same approach, Apart From This don’t mind themselves a bit of variety and mix things up in the energy department with different paced tracks on offer. To paraphrase Yazz and the Plastic Population, when your debut full length offering sounds this good, the only way is up baby.

10. FLOWERMOUTH – “Nostalgia” (Hindsight Records)

Debut 6 song EP release for this Perth based four piece who play a mix of upbeat modern day emo (see description above) with some elements of grunge thrown in for good measure. Some real fine songwriting skills and musicianship on display here, with softer acoustic numbers mixed in with more hard-hitting tracks to mix up the variety. There is enough catchiness in the whiney vocal delivery that really works well with what is happening musically. This release kind of came out and flew under the radar for most people, but you should definitely hunt it down as Flowermouth well definitely be a band you’ll be hearing more about.


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TOP 10 INTERNATIONAL – Hardcore releases…

1. RED HARE – “Nites Of Midnite” (Dischord Records)

Debut eight track LP from Red Hare that features 3/4 of the Swiz lineup with the addition of former Garden Variety drummer Joe Gorlick. These eight songs could easily have been released as Swiz as these are really top notch and are miles above the efforts of their post Swiz bands SweetBelly Freakdown and Jesus Eater. Everything you loved about Swiz is back. The catchy melodies, the natural soothing aggression of Shawn Brown's vocals and the refreshing song writing approach. This will all take you back to the late 80s and the DC sound these guys helped pioneer. I really flogged the hell out of this album when it first came out, it’s still on high rotation and I’m not yet sick of it.

2. IRON REAGAN – “Worse Than Dead” (A389 Recordings)

There is definitely something in the water of Richmond, Virginia. Latest amazing export is Iron Reagan made up of Municipal Waste singer Tony Foresta and Landphil making the switch from bass to guitar, along with two former members of Darkest Hour. Landphil's shredding abilities are really nothing short of amazing. While this sounds somewhat like a Municipal Waste record and there is still that unmistakable 80's crossover DRI style, the most noticeable difference is that the lyrical content is a lot more serious in nature. Even with nineteen songs in total, this album passes by in a flash, as most songs barely break the 1.5 minute mark. This far exceeds the demo they released and will impress any Municipal Waste fan who wished their message was a little more serious.

3. NIGHT BIRDS – “Born To Die In Suburbia” (Grave Mistake)

Finally the follow up to 2011's brilliant 'Other Side Of Darkness' release. This new album features 14 new tracks (13 really if you include the EP release) that deliver from go to woe. Night Birds have that 80s So Cal surf punk sound down perfectly, coming across like a mix of the Adolescents and Dead Kennedys. Musically and lyrically nothing has really changed, just slightly improved songwriting and this sounds like exactly how you were hoping. Most releases feature an instrumental and this one is no different with "Escape To New York" an absolute cracker. This band can do no wrong in my eyes and this release is easily their best to date.

4. TAKE OFFENSE – “United States Of Mind” (Reaper Records)

Ten new tracks from one of my favourite modern day hardcore bands who somehow manage to blend the sound of Terror with "How Will I Laugh" era Suicidal Tendencies. While most of the references to ST usually come from the Mike Muir esque vocal approach at times, this new record has more Rocky George leads and Mike Clark riffs than ever before. Amongst the ten tracks on this record, there are a couple that lean more towards the Terror approach, these would be my least favorites, while the tracks that do heavily tip the hat to ST, I think are amazing. It's almost like the band are torn between the two styles at times. Either way no other band currently sounds like this and they should.

5. ANGEL DUST – “Xtra Raw” (React Records)

Debut 8 song EP for this band made up of members of Trapped Under Ice and Mindset. Angel Dust’s sound is far from what you'd expect given the background of the members. This isn't hard and heavy or really all that hardcore at all, but more fast and melodic punk rock, kinda like a mix of early Suicidal, H2O, SNFU and Ten Foot Pole even. These songs are real fun and playful, with well thought out guitar leads and overdubs, cheesy lyrics and a really varied vocal track. You get the feeling this probably started out as a bit of a joke side project band, that has produced some surprisingly good tracks. This whole release comes across as really fun and not too serious and I'm an instant fan.

6. POWER TRIP – “Manifest Decimation” (Southern Lord)

Debut 8 song full length from Power Trip after a string of EP and demo releases since the band's inception in 2008. Power Trip have an old school thrash sound to them ala early Slayer, Nuclear Assault or even "Ride The Lightening" era Metallica coupled with a Dwid-like, early Integrity vocal approach. This recording has a lo-fi production feel to it, authenticating the sound of the early thrash metal movement. There is no shortage of neck breaking riffage on here, making you think twice about growing your hair out should they ever tour. All in all an amazing record from start to finish clocking in at around 35 minutes and another band I’m hoping will one day tour.

7. PAINT IT BLACK – “Invisible” (No Idea)

It feels like forever since I've heard new music from Paint It Black and well to be fair it has been nearly four years with their last two EPs "Amnesia" and "Surrender" released back in 2009. Now they return with a new 5 song 7 inch, on a new label in that of No Idea, having released records via Fat Wreck, Bridge 9 and Jade Tree in the past. Fronted by the anguished screams of Dan Yemin, best known for his guitar wizardry with Kid Dynamite or Lifetime, his intelligent lyrics really set this band apart for me. Combine that with the band's unique melodic hardcore approach and this sounds more aggressive and confronting than 100 of today's hard riff bands.

8. ALL PIGS MUST DIE “Nothing Violates This Nature” (Southern Lord)

Second full length release from All Pigs Must Die that features Kevin Baker from the Hope Conspiracy on vocals along with Converge drummer Ben Koller and two guys from Bloodhorse. Who? Doesn't matter they shred beyond belief, trust me. Think of the heaviest album in your collection and why you think its heavy, then imagine this to be twice as heavy, yet twice as listenable too. This is seriously an assault on your senses that floors you from the opening riff. This far eclipses the output of the former band's mentioned and kind of reminds me of a mix of Black Breath with Nails perhaps. In a word this is Brutal with a capital B, and you'll need to lay down after listening to it.

9. DEFEATER – “Letters Home” (Bridge Nine)

Defeater's latest record, 'Letters Home', is another incredible narrative installment to their near perfect (so far) discography. Musically the album is similar to 'Empty Days & Sleepless Nights', with the contrast between hard hitting aggressive blasts and melodic interludes perfectly balanced, making this album that much more enjoyable to listen to. Anyone familiar with the band will know there is only one way to listen to a Defeater album. Front to back, reading along, thinking about the story portrayed through the lyrics and music. Bands that can convincingly pull off concept albums always amaze me and this Defeater have mastered to a tee.

10. THE RIVAL MOB – “Mob Justice” (Revelation Records)

After 2009's Raw Life and follow up Hardcore for Hardcore, The Rival Mob deliver their debut LP on a new label in that of Revelation. There are 12 songs on here and most clock in at around a minute and a half, with only 2 topping two minutes long. This is fast, hard, raw and brutally intense that hits like a punch in the face. While they haven't really changed their Boston 80s approach at all, ths is by far the most easily accessible release yet from the Rival Mob. Was always going to be interesting to see if they could keep up the consistency of quality on a full length, but have done so with flying colours. This band deserve their hype and this release does stand out from the pack.


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TOP 10 INTERNATIONAL – Not so hardcore releases…

1. IRON CHIC – “The Constant One” (Bridge Nine)

Iron Chic first came to my attention with the release of their 2010 debut album “Not Like This”, simply because the band featured members of the awesome Capital. While Capital tend to go down the old school melodic hardcore route, Iron Chic play an upbeat, multi layered melodic punk style that sits somewhere between The Get Up Kids and a less abrasive Hot Water Music. While I always thought they were a pretty cool band, they never really grabbed me that much. The release of this new album’s first 7inch ‘Spooky Action At A Distance’ really peeked my interest, as suddenly Iron Chic had taken the step up from sounding pretty good to fucking amazing. Admittedly an improvement in production has played a part, but the song writing on here is so well thought out, there is not a single misplaced lead. It is pure genius and melodically infectious. It almost sounds like a completely different band, a much refined and better version than the one on “Not Like This”. This is how you progress the sound of your band. You create one of the best albums this decade.

2. TRUE HEAD “S/T” (Youngblood Records)

Debut six track EP for this band made up of ex members of Lion Of Judah and The First Step taking on a DC Revolution Summer inspired style that was even recorded by Don Zientara of Inner Ear Studios. This has a real cool 90s post hardcore, rocking vibe to kinda like Soulside, Embrace, Fugazi or even Into Another at times. Vocals remind me of Pete Cortner of Dag Nasty fame who came after Dave Smalley. These guys have set out to recapture a sound and style from the past and nailed it, much like what Give have done too. Love putting on a release and instantly falling in love with it, my only qualm is that its only 6 songs long or should I say short.

3. BAD RELIGION – “True North” (Epitaph)

Apparently BR decided to make a faster record than previous outings largely inspired by the latest Pennywise effort. True to their word, this is exactly what they have delivered. The three part harmonies are still present, as is the thesaurus of lyrics. Noticeably different however, is that the tempo is more upbeat, often masqueraded in the catchy melodies. But focus on Brook’s drumming, especially in tracks like “Vanity”, and you’ll hear this sped up influence really shine through. Of these 16 new tracks, I count maybe two as filler and there is the odd strange bit of vocal effect going on here and there. This is easily their best album in a very long time, could easily have followed  “Generator”.

4. TITLE FIGHT – “Spring Songs” (Revelation Records)

Spring Songs is 4 new tracks that have a familiar feel to them much like their previous album 'Floral Green'. Having been a band for 10 years now they are continually moving further and further away from the 'corny pop punk' sound with every release and maturing in their song writing and lyrical style. This is by far their most visionary songwriting effort to date. Two songs on either side, split between their two vocalists makes for an interesting contrast when listening to this release as a whole. I’m definitely a bigger fan of the more upbeat Side A. Believe the hype around this band, they are really that good.

5. MASKED INTRUDER – “S/T” (Fat Wreck Chords)

Re-release of the debut album from Masked Intruder by Fat Wreck that originally appeared on the Red Scare label, so technically wasn’t released this year, but I only heard of them this year. Masked Intruder have that Screeching Weasel influenced 90s pop punk sound, very much along the lines of Teen Idols, The Queers or Teenage Bottlerocket. Vocals are noticeably a lot higher in pitch than the bands just mentioned, but sit well with the music, kind of like Bracket perhaps? Masked Intruder is a concept band where members wear masks and lyrical themes are about home invasions and burglaries, which all adds up to a lot of fun. These thirteen tracks have that infectious foot tapping vibe to them from the first listen and this release slots in perfectly to the 90s golden era of Fat Wreck.

6. SUPERCHUNK – “I Hate Music” (Merge Records)

The tenth album to date for Superchunk is also the second in their series of comeback albums following up “Majesty Shredding” in 2010. Superchunk have always been the kings of catchy power pop tunes and this album is no different. Even when dealing with darker themes such as death, they still come across as incredibly catchy. There are more flat out upbeat traditional punk tracks like “Staying Home” that are followed by the melodic pop sensibilities of “Low F” to remind you that there is no end to the appeal of Superchunk.

7. INVSN – “S/T” (Razor and Tie/Shock)

This is the debut 10 track release for INVSN that features Dennis Lyxzén of Refused on vocals along with members of International Noise Conspiracy playing a synth poppy style. Imagine a more modernised version of Joy Division mixed in with electronica era The Cure and a touch of Interpol and Depeche Mode and you kind of have the sound of INVSN. I wasn't expecting to really like this album much, but there is no denying how well crafted and catchy these songs are. This is a really atmospheric record and the combination of electronic drums and synth blend perfectly together and I can’t believe I just wrote that. I really will be surprised if this band doesn't become huge.

8. DAYLIGHT – “Jar” (Run For Cover)

Having been around for over five years now, an existence that’s even included two visits to Australia, Daylight finally released their first full-length release after a string of EP releases. In that time the band have evolved away from an upbeat melodic hardcore sound to one of a more subdued atmospheric style ala Balance and Composure perhaps. On this album Daylight take a lot of cues from the grunge era of the 90s with influences like Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins shining through. Twelve tracks in total that are powerfully melodic and catchy with an instant likeability and appeal to them. This will help fill the void left by the departure of Basement for a lot of fans.

9. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS – “Home” (Epitaph)

Twelve track follow up to their awesome “In Desolation” release of 2010. OWTH play an upbeat, toe tapping positive sounding brand of pop punk. Vocally and lyrically it’s very hard hitting, raw and honest, but yet delivered in a more abrasive Face To Face kind of way. Has that gravelly vocal sound that works well with smooth harmonies and the catchy music. Great pick me up record.

10. BALANCE AND COMPOSURE – “The Things We Think We’re Missing” (No Sleep/Shock)

Balance and Composure’s follow up to their acclaimed “Separation” release of 2011 is a touch heavier, moodier and not as easy to digest. Though the band haven’t strayed to far from the sound you’d be expecting to hear, this album takes a little more getting used too. This album is a real rollercoaster ride with a lot of ups and downs, rise and falls, both musically and vocally with the vocal track sitting right back in the guitar sound. If you give it enough of a chance you’ll appreciate the complexities involved in the sound of this album more and more.


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TOP 5 Documentaries

1. Cosmic Psychos – Blokes You Can Trust

Matt Weston (The Nation Blue) directs this infectious story that chronicles the global domination of legendary Victorian beer swilling farmers, the Cosmic Psychos. If you are familiar with the band you’ll know how much of a storyteller frontman Ross Knight is. He relives the band’s history with all of its ups and downs, touring the US, their relationship with L7, the overdose of former member Rocket and so much more. Even if you’re not that much of a fan, this is compelling viewing.

2. Filmage: The Story of Descendents / ALL

Had we actually have seen this documentary then it would be no doubt be our fave, but unfortunately it only got a premiere in Melbourne. How could a documentary on one of the greatest bands in the world be nothing short of amazing?

3. A Band Called DEATH…

If you’ve seen “Searching For Sugarman” then this doco would no doubt be the punk rock equivalent. Three brothers formed and disbanded their own punk band before punk even existed. Way before the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Bad Brains and everyone else. Rather than say anymore and spoil it for you, let us simply say it’s a great story and one that is pretty hard to fathom.

4. The Punk Singer – A Film About Kathleen Hanna

Kathleen Hanna was the frontwoman for 90s band Bikini Kill and really paved the way for women in the punk scene, having being credited as the originator of the Riot Grrrl movement and a leading feminist in the scene. This doco follows her life in Bikini Kill and what comes after in Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin, her battle with illness and her marriage to Beastie Boy, Ad Rock. Really inspiring tale that is a must for the guys, as much as the girls.

5. Sound City

Real cool historical look by Dave Grohl at the great records recorded at this legendary studio including Nirvana’s classic “Nevermind”. The second half of the doco is not so great as Grohl relocates the soundboard to his home studio and records on some forgettable collabs with the likes of Paul McCartney. Had he held off filming the doco till he remixed the BL’AST “Blood” album then the second half of this doco would probably be as good as the first.


TOP 5 Shows / Tours

1. Youth Of Today @ The Reverence Hotel

Easily the best show of the Youth Of Today tour. 200 people from Sydney and Melbourne jammed into the Rev for pile ons, sing-alongs and stage dives. No tough guy antics, no ego, just people having a good time spreading the positive vibe. Throw in Vigilante and Right Mind for good measure and a set of classics from Youth Of Today and there was not one disappointed person in the room.

2. Black Breath @ Hermanns

Thrash has never sounded so good in the flesh. Not only a display of technical wizardry but also more hair whips and rubber necks than you can poke a stick at.

3. Mindsnare 20 Year Anniversary @ The Annandale

It’s Mindsnare. In a small room. Celebrating their 20-year existence. Duh!

4. Descendents @ Luna Park

Not the most ideal venue, but the Descendents could play in a septic tank and I’d still walk out happier than a pig in shit.

5. Title Fight @ The Annandale

Great to see “Floral Green” tracks live in a venue more suited to the vibe of Title Fight than when they last toured.


TOP 5 Demos You Needed To Hear in 2013

1. UPPERGROUND – Man’s World

Real cool new band from Sydney who play a 90s NYHC style with a hip hop female vocal that reminds me a lot of bands like District 9, Downset and even early Rage Against The Machine at times. Musically this borrows a lot from Leeway and is quite different to everything else happening around the country at the moment. This demo has gained Upperground a lot of attention from all corners of the globe, which is pretty incredible as at the time of writing this, they are still set to play their first show.

2. CONTROLLED – Overclass

Another new Sydney band that features Adam Coyle from Vigilante / Ill Brigade fame on drums with some new bloods playing a style that is a mix of abrasive upbeat hardcore punk along the lines of early DYS or Think I Care. It’s refreshingly great to hear the younger generation exploring this type of hardcore and bucking the trends, rather than adding to the growing population of hard riff bands.

3. MOOD SWING – Endless Cycle

Sydney produces another good young band made up of members of Phantoms and Legions playing a modern day hardcore style influenced by the likes of Righteous Jams, Mental and the Wrong Side. For a demo this already sounds like a band who have solidified their approach and sound. Real impressive first release that was won them a lot of fans and is a good sign of things to come.

4. LEVEL – Demo 2013

New Adelaide band featuring the return of Pete Abordi from No Apologies fame on vocals with Weber from ShotPointBlank / Day Of Contempt on drums, Moose from The Weight / Starvation on guitar and Shaun Cash on bass. Level are another band bucking the trend and playing their own style that to me sounds a lot like Burn, taking a groove laden NYHC approach.

5. HIGHER POWER – Demo 2013

Melbourne supergroup made up of Lloyd Denovan from Within Blood / Hit List fame, with Baina from 50 Lions / Outsiders Code on bass, Colin Kercz of Most Precious Blood on drums with Oscar McCall from 50 Lions singing. Lloyd is a one-man riff machine with a flawless track record and this new band is no different.

Honourable Mention:

IT RUNS DEEP – Demo 2013

Sadly in the space of a year, this Brisbane based band have formed put out this demo, played some shows and since broke up. If you liked Mouthpiece in some sort of capacity you’ll instant take a liking to this demo. Band features Allan Reid on guitar from Just Say Go who isn’t ashamed of his love for Mouthpiece.


kill-the-music-logo-rip

Biggest Dissapointment of 2013

Have to say it was a real bummer to hear the news that independent punk and hardcore record store Kill The Music was closing its doors come Jan 5th, but yet at the same time wasn't totally suprising. In its 7 year exsitence, Kill The Music played host to many an instore show and signings, as well as providing a go to information hub/resource and not to mention a huge stockist for anything punk and hardcore related in Brisbane. Located in the heart of the city, why this store didn't receive the support to survive can only really draw conclusions to the lack of "supporting your scene" and sense of community in Brisbane. We keep saying it time and time again, why are you giving your money to a corporate chain like JB Hifi? What the fuck have they ever done for your scene? Every time you buy something from JB Hifi a small part of an independent record store dies. Sure you may save a few bucks buying from a chain store that buys stock in bulk for a cheaper rate, but the end of the day wouldn't you rather see the $3 you saved put towards supporting a record store that puts back in to the scene you love?

Sadly record stores closing is becoming too much of a regularity these days and it really makes no sense. Right now international postage rates are through the roof and the value of the Australian dollar has dropped sharply. It really is cheaper to buy a record from a record store than from an overseas mailorder. Plus it doesnt get lost or damaged in the post and the money you spend in some way shape or form gets recycled back into your scene. Think about it...

I have worked in an independent record store for over 10 years now. When you see first hand how much blood, sweat and tears the owners put into their stores to keep them afloat, you find a whole new level of respect and admiration for these establishments and I really hope they don't become extinct.

BF

The whole Greg Ginn / Black Flag / Flag lawsuit was a real dissapointment and a total debarcle too. I always presumed Greg Gnn would never reunite Black Flag. He seemed to appreciate and understand the band's legacy and what it meant to a lot of people. In the past he fired memebrs left right and centre because he felt they were letting the band down musically, then he reforms the band with an incompetent drummer who can't even play the songs properly. Not to mention he wears red leather pants, picture Bill Stevenson in red leather pants? No I don't think so either.  That was the first sign to me he didn't give a fuck about the band really. Then the lawsuit against Flag doing Black Flag songs better than his poor reincarnation of the band was just plain jealousy and real sad. Then firing Ron Reyes or Ron quitting, depending on whose side you believe. Even Ron addressed the elephant in the room and said what everyone else was thinking. I guess at the end of the day maybe he needed a new pool for his backyard or a new holiday house perhaps? Never before has one man's actions so blatantly obviously reeked of such selfish cash grabbing greed.

And that's not even taking into consideration the new Black Flag album "What The?" Honestly never can I recall a band putting in so little effort, passion and thought into the release of an album. I fail to see how anyone can be proud of this album. The whole package looks and sounds like they just don't give a fuck. They know Black Flag can release any steaming pile of shit and it will sell. Well done on tarnishing the legacy of one of my favourite bands Greg Ginn you cunt.  I'm actually partly ashamed of my bars tattoo now.


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Prediction for 2014

In 2013 the reunion trend continued to flourish. I never thought a band like INFEST or JUDGE would get back together, but they did. Have a long hard think about every band you've ever loved or thought was important to hardcore in some way, shape or form and they have probably reunited in the past couple of years and broken your heart doing so. To me Minor Threat remains THE only band from the past history of popular hardcore to not reunite. I'd like to think that would never happen as Ian Mackaye is a man of ethics and values. Kind of like the last pillar of hope left for hardcore. I'm predicting in 2014 MINOR THREAT will not get back together and will remain the only band to resist the urge.


2013 BEST OF LISTS...

So enough of what we thought where the highlights of 2013, below is a collection of what a bunch of people from around the country from all walks of life made of 2013... Thanks again to everyone who participated.


Matt “Footy” Horvath (Clarity Records / Crisis Alert / Starvation / Stolen Youth)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away

3. Bl'ast - Blood

4. Church Of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum

5. Nails - Abandon All Life

6. Rival Mob - Mob Justice

7. Volcano Choir - Repave

8. Kadavar - Abra Kadavar

9. Vigilante - Quality Of Life

10. The Bronx - S/T (IV)

For further reading on my top 15 for 2013, including my top 5 7"s read here -

http://clarityrecords.net/2013/12/the-best-of-2013/

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ Thebby

Manhunt / Starvation tour

Mindsnare 20th Anniversary show, Melbourne

Biggest disappointment:

Black Flag – What The...

New Years Resolution:

Learn how to play drums and put out more records.

Also, to knock off a bunch of records on my wants list... if anyone wants to help me out http://deadformat.net/tradelist/MrFootball/wants

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Hopefully having a kid

Prediction For 2014:

I predict something bad will happen to Andrea in the Walking Dead comics. She won’t die, but something that might separate her from Rick.

Will Rick defeat Neagan and the Survivors and unite all the communities and become the leader over everyone? It’s a possibility.

Also Khalessi is going to destroy everything and everyone in the next season of Game Of Thrones and it will be epic. I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know what will happen.


Jelena Goluza (Outright)

Top 10 Releases For 2013 (in no particular order):

Rotting Out - The Wrong Way

Nails - Abandon All Life

Crisis Alert - Urban Decay

Ramming Speed - Doomed to destroy, destined to die

Power Trip - Manifest Decimation

Rival Mob - Mob Justice

High Tension - Death Beat

Left For Dead - Devoid of Everything

Weekend Nachos - Still

Incendiary - Cost of Living

Honourable mentions: All Pigs Must Die, Shai Hulud, Manhunt, Paint It Black, Doomriders, Iron Reagan, Vigilante, Shackles

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Tragedy - Bendigo Hotel

Black Breath - Reverence Hotel

Descendents - Festival Hall

and I'm including the Kathleen Hanna documentary 'The Punk Singer' as another type of "show" because it's a fucking game changer

Biggest disappointment:

Rotting Out pulling out of their Australian tour

Ozzy Osbourne singing with a teleprompter at a Black Sabbath gig - actually, naahh that was pretty funny, especially in between "This song is called God Is Dead. Thank you. God bless you all!"

New Years Resolution:

Finding balance.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Recording and touring the new Outright record, and releasing some new bands through my label, Reason and Rage Records.

Prediction For 2014:

Kids demanding and creating a more supportive and thoughtful community, and finally appreciating mixed bills!

And more awesome shows, releases and silly photos from Life.Lair.Regret Records, but that's a given.


Dave Immerz (Vigilante)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

Crisis Alert ‘Urban Decay’ 12"

Controlled demo

Bl'ast! ‘Blood!’ 12"

Out Cold ‘A Heated Display’ 12"

Hazards s/t 7"

Sick People ‘Fakes Rule’ 7"

Red Hare ‘Nites Of Midnite’ 12"

Sectarian Violence ‘Upward Hostility’ 12"

Boneless ‘Unstoppable’ 7"

The Others ‘Red Eyes’ 12"

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Youth Of Today at The Rev

All Mindsnare shows

All Iron Mind shows

Biggest disappointment:

Greg Ginn

New Years Resolution:

Same as everyday, quality of life.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Iron Mind s/t 12", Frozen Over/Mood Swing split, Crisis Alert live

Prediction For 2014:

A great Sydney hardcore show on January 4 at Hermann's Bar with Upperground, Deadly Visions, Vigilante, Ill Brigade and Relentless to benefit Sydney homelessness charity The Station Ltd.


Andy Hayden (Poison City Records)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. WILD MOTH 'Over, Again'

2. THE SMITH STREET BAND 'Don't Fuck WIth Our Dreams'

3. IRON CHIC 'The Constant One'

4. JEN BUXTON / LINCOLN LE FEVRE 'Split'

5. RESTORATIONS 'LP2'

6. GRIM FANDANGO 'Flicker Noise'

7. SUPERCHUNK 'I Hate Music'

8. DEEP HEAT 'New Design'

9. SWEARIN' 'Surfing Strange'

10. PITY SEX 'Feast Of Love'

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

1. THE SMITH STREET BAND / JOYCE MANOR / CHEAP GIRLS Tour

2. SWERVEDRIVER @ Northcote Soical Club

3. CLOWNS - Album Launch @ Public Bar

Biggest dissappointment:

- The federal election result.

New Years Resolution:

- Skateboard more.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

- Working on new Harmony, Postblue and Luca Brasi records. 

- Putting together The Weekender fest 2014

- More recording/ shows with Freak Wave

Prediction For 2014:

- Fugazi casually announce they've been working on a new album.

- Metalcore kids suddenly embrace a Ska revival - because someone on the internet told them to.


Allan Reid (What Remains Records / Cutting Away Zine / It Runs Deep)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

CleanxBreak - demo cassette

Deadlift - Tried & True 7"

Vigilante - Quality of Life LP

Crisis Alert - Urban Decay LP

Risk It - The Only Thing 7"

Starvation - S'T LP

Guidance - Age Of Vice 7"

Sectarian Violence - Upward Hostility LP

Against - Bring The End LP

Survival - S/T 7"

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Deadlift release show at Sun Distortion with Charlie Banana, Restrictions, The Struggle and Deathgrip.

Edge Day weekend in Brisbane and Byron Bay with Mood Swing (Syd), Right Mind (Melb), Machina Genova (Canberra), Sick People, Deadlift, Marathon, The Struggle, Common Enemy and Gruel.

Vigilante LP release weekend in Sydney.

Biggest disappointment:

Meeting Porcell

New Years Resolution:

Put on more shows in Brisbane. Release a couple of records for local bands. Finally get Cutting Away issue 4 ready to print.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Seeing Australian hardcore continue to grow in an organic fashion. More DIY venues and projects. Less machoism in hardcore. More community mindedness.

Prediction For 2014:

I think that the world is in an interesting time right now, where exposure through social media has led to an awareness of certain causes and issues. You can definitely see a shift in the hardcore and punk scene over the last year or so. I think that next year will (hopefully) see an increase in hardcore with a message/agenda.


Matt Higley (Setbacks)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:
I had to do two, cause a lot of great records came out this year, and the lists are alphabetical cause I couldn't decide on an order for longer than about 10 minutes.


Australian:
Boneless - Unstoppable
Crisis Alert - Urban Decay
Distance - No Funeral
Endless Heights - New Bloom
Flowermouth - Nostalgia
Hazards - Hazards 7"
Sick People - Fakes Rule
Vigilante - Quality Of Life
Violent Soho - Hungry Ghosts
We Set Sail - Rivals

International:
Bad Religion - True North
Daylight - Jar
Iron Chic - The Constant One
Modern Life Is War - Fever Hunting
The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Nightbirds - Born To Die In Suburbia
Pity Sex - Feast Of Love
RVIVR - The Beauty Between
Sainthood Reps - Headswell
Turnover - Magnolia

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:
Mindsnare 20 Years of Brewtality @ the Cambo
Title Fight @ the Annandale
Vigilante Quality of Life launch @ Hermanns

Biggest disappointment:
Missing out on seeing the FMD reunion due to a back injury and the Bruins losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

New Years Resolution:
None, I always break them anyway.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014.
More shows, more records, more new bands

Prediction For 2014:
It will be pretty similar to 2013


Colby Bignell (Flowermouth)

TOP 10 RELEASES:
1. Power Trip - Manifest Decimation
2. Balance and Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing
3. Violent Soho - Hungry Ghost
4. Dead In The Dirt - The Blind Hole
5. Paper Arms - The Smoke Will Clear
6. The Love Junkies - Maybelene
7. Nails - Abandon All Life
8. Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
9. Pity Sex - Feast of Love
10. Whirr - Pipe Dreams

Fave 3 Shows:
Tame Impala @ Belvoir Perth

Bane + Power Trip @ Underworld London

Finally seeing Blink 182!

Biggest Disappointment:
Trying to grow my hair and looking like that Carrot Top guy.

New Years Resolution:
To not continue failing chemistry or cracking cymbals.

Looking Forward To:

Spending more time in absence of general routine and cooping up in a studio again.

Prediction For 2014:

Hopefully a seriously contended power struggle, Fuck Tony Abbott.


Lachy Pitcher (Reactions)

Top 10 Releases For 2013 (In no particular order):

Balance and Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing

Alpha & Omega - No Rest No Peace

Down To Nothing - Life on the James

Reactions - Out of the Dark (he-he)

Cruel Hand - Vigilant Citizen

Take Offense - United States of Mind

Relentless - Turn The Curse

Post Blue - Lap Year

Mood Swing - Endless Cycle

Endless Heights - New Bloom

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Probably all from our East Coast tour ha-ha but mentionable: Earth Crisis, Expire & Break the Ice

Biggest disappointment:

Backtrack not coming to Adelaide and a lack of international hardcore tours in 2013. Also lots of Adelaide bands breaking up

New Years Resolution:

To put on a lot more local shows and bring Adelaide scene back so international bands continue to come here.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Some shows that we have planned and a Perth trip

Prediction For 2014:

Mood Swing will take off probably with some sort of tour, Endless Heights will tour and possibly go overseas.
Down to Nothing/Alpha and Omega tours hopefully


Pete Abordi (Level)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

I haven't had the time this year as I have had in previous years to sit down and actually listen to a record from start to finish. I have 30+ records that I have bought, but have yet to even put on my turntable yet, so I can't include them and I've probably missed something, but here goes…

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds- Push The Sky Away
The National- Trouble Will Find Me
Vigilante- Quality Of Life
Down To Nothing- Life On The James
Terror- Live By The Code
Daylight- Jar
Citizen- Youth
Survival- S/T 7"
Turnstile- Step To Rhythm 7"
Postblue - Lap Year 7"

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Vigilante- 10/7/12-Enigma Bar
Parkway Drive- 17/9/13- The Gov
Here & Now Fest- 4/10/13- Enigma Bar

Biggest disappointment:

The constant stream of bands doing reunions

New Years Resolution:

Eat less chocolate/ swear less

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Watching my son grow up

Prediction For 2014:

The world will keep spinning


Nathan Garland (Reincarnation, Born Free)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

Turnstile - Step 2 Rhythm
Angel Du$t - Xtra Raw
Controlled - Overclass Demo
The Others - Red Eyes
The Rival Mob - Mob Justice
Power Trip - Manifest Decimation
Downpresser - Don't Need a Reason
Shackles - Disposed Of
Shackles - S/T
Shovelhead - Suffer In Life

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Cold World @ The Gasometer
Title Fight @ Phoenix
The Others East Coast Tour

Biggest disappointment:

Fleetwood Mac canceling their tour.

New Years Resolution:

Eat right, get fit, hit the pit (maybe)

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:
The birth of my son
Survival LP
Frozen Over/Mood Swing Split
Turnstile Tour, would actually pit.
Colossus records
More Angel Du$t

Prediction For 2014:
I know of some great bands are being formed as I write this. Hopefully they all stick!


Aaron Osbourne (I Exist)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. Exhumed - Necrocracy
3. Twitching Tongues - In Love There Is No Law
4. Haim - Days Are Gone
5. Portal - Vexovoid
6. Weekend Nachos - Still
7. Harm's Way - Blinded
8. Sumeru - EP
9. Gorguts - Colored Sands
10. Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Harms Way/Twitching Tongues/I Exist European Tour - was a blast, made new friends, went to crazy countries!

Eyehategod - Budapest, Hungary - C'mon.

My Mum's wedding. One of the best gigs ever.

Biggest disappointment:

Seeing Integrity live.

New Years Resolution:

Not giving up on my health/fitness goals, while still maintaining my current level of semi alcoholism and enjoyment of having extreme fun with my friends.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Seeing Eyehategod again, and the eventual release of their album, seeing Snoop Dogg and whatever other awesome shit I Exist will be allowed to do.

Prediction For 2014:

I have a blast, I spend lots of money, I miss Canberra, I go to Canberra, I drink, I eat, I play guitar. Hopefully at some point in there I work out how to make that more financially beneficial for myself.


Nick Horsnell (Miles Away)

Top 10 Releases For 2013 (In no particular order...)

World Collapse "Casket/Frost"

Pure Love "Anthems"

The Others "Red Eyes"

Violent Soho "Hungry Ghost"

Down To Nothing "Life On The James"

Vigilante – “Quality Of Life"

Hatebreed “Divinity of Purpose”

Title Fight "Spring Songs"

Terror "Live By The Code"

Rotting Out "The Wrong Way"

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Youth Of Today - Perth Spoken Word/Banter show

Metallica - Soundwave

Pennywise 25 Year Show at Metros 

Biggest disappointment:

No Fun At All last minute Perth cancellation.

New Years Resolution:

Spend more time at Bunnings.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

E-Town Concrete OZ tour.

The World Cup.

Prediction For 2014:

Dockers for the Flag. Chain Wallets. Wetsuits and Rash Vests for band merch. Eyebrow Rings (Maybe). 


Jasper Caverly (Rest Assured)

Top 10 Releases For 2013 (In no order as I cant decide):

Shackles - Disposed Of

Machina Genova - Weathered Heart

Turnstile - Step 2 Rhythm

Title Fight - Spring Songs

Touché Amoure - ...Is Survived By

Power Trip - Manifest Decimation

Nails - Abandon All Life

Daylight - Jar

Citizen - Youth

Rival Mob - Mob Justice

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Title Fight

Cold World

Brutality Will Prevail

Biggest disappointment:

TUI hiatus and the HC13 AA turnout

New Years Resolution:

Stay out of debt and do well in school

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

New albums, new tours

Prediction For 2014:

Down To Nothing and Turnstile Australian tour please?


Brett Eitzen (Outright)

Top 10ish Releases For 2013:

Iron Reagan - Worse than Dead

Carcass - Surgical Steel

Ramming Speed - Doomed to Destroy / Destined to Die

Power Trip - Manifest Decimation

Nails - Abandon all Life

Crisis Alert - Urban Decay

High Tension - Death Beat

Weekend Nachos - Still

Paint it Black - Invisible EP

Starvation – S/T

Incendiary - Cost of Living

(Yeah, it's technically 11, but fuck it. They're all rippers!)

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Black Breath - Reverence Hotel

Tragedy - Reverence Hotel / Bendigo Hotel

Palm - Bendigo Hotel

Biggest disappointment:

That despite a social conscience being back on the rise in punk/hardcore again, with more and more bands and individuals within the scene looking for ways to contribute back to the community, there are still a small few who still seem to feel the need to act like they're above it and look/talk down on efforts of compassion and kindness in an attempt to play at being cool or hard. I've been around long enough to know there will always be people who try to knock down what others attempt to build in a desperate attempt for attention, but in this case it doesn't make them look hard, cool or any other mask they want to hide behind.... They just come off as self-centred arseholes!

New Years Resolution:

Outright will get our act together now we again have a full lineup again and record/release the LP we had planned to have out in 2013.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Seeing a bunch of exciting new bands that none of us have even heard of yet, and by extension, having a brand new band finally play it's first show, and all of the nerves/excitement/anticipation that go along with being on that side too.

Prediction For 2014:

More mixed bill shows! I love these shows because seeing four or five bands all with the same couple of influences can make for a long draining night (although there are a few notable exceptions), whereas hearing a melting pot of musical and lyrical ideas is such a great catalyst for personal growth and inspiring a next generation of bands with an even greater diversity of ideas.


Adam Thomas (Declaration / Call To Arms Music)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. Down To Nothing – Life On The James

2. Shai Hulud – Reach Beyond The Sun

3. Iron Chic – The Constant One

4. A Wilhelm Scream – Party Crasher

5. Alpha & Omega – No Rest, No Peace

6. Shitripper – Brain Defect

7. Rotting Out – The Wrong Way

8. After The Fall -Unkind

9. Incendiary – Cost Of Living

10. Metalstorm – Fully Loaded Nightmare

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

SICK OF IT ALL / MADBALL / VISION OF DISORDER – The Espy, St Kilda VIC - 27/02/2013

HIGHTIME – The Metro, Adelaide SA - 13/09/2013

MUNICIPAL WASTE / SHITRIPPER / EXTORTION – The Corner Hotel, Richmond VIC – 23/06/2013

Biggest disappointment:

New Black Flag Album/Artwork

New Years Resolution:

Less work, more fun

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Personal = Getting Married,

Music Related = New releases from my friends in Outright, Cold Ground, Goodtime Boys, Anchor, Toe To Toe and Stolen Youth.

Prediction For 2014:

The rest of Australia will catch on that Crowned Kings are fucking awesome and will blow up in 2014!


Simon Walker (Rest Assured)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. After The Fall-Unkind

2. Tegan & Sara-Heartthrob

3. Off With Their Heads-Home

4. Bad Religion-True North

5. The Rival Mob-Mob Justice

6. The Others-Red Eyes

7. The Flatliners-Dead Language

8. Red Hare-Nites of Midnite

9. Outsiders Code-Exiled From Birth

10. Billy Bragg-Tooth & Nail

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

1. Good Riddance/The Flatliners/A Wilhelm Scream/Beaver (Northcote Social Club)

2. NFAA/Bad Astronaut (the Tote)

3. Youth Of today/Vigilante (The Reverence)

Biggest disappointment:

Face To Face-Three Chords and a Half Life

Black Flag/Greg Ginn

New Years Resolution:

Buy more records

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Seeing Billy Bragg in March

Prediction For 2014:

Greg Ginn will try and sue me


Luke Dolan (Hazards)

Top 11 releases:

Red Hare “Nites Of Midnite” LP (DC still rules all)

Bl’ast! “Blood” LP (Dave Grohl should remix everything)

Manhunt “Human Detritus” 7” (Crossed Out meets Left For Dead w/ female vocals yes please)

Sick People “Fakes Rule” 7” (Early Sheer Terror having unprotected sex with an 82’ Boston band)

Lemuria “The Distance Is So Big” LP (Power pop perfection. Possibly the catchiest band on the planet)

DJ Format & Phill Most Chill “The Foremost” LP (Forget Kuntye West & dig on this. True school hip hop 2013)

Night Birds “Born To Die In Suburbia” LP (Clockwork Orange County punk rock… from Brooklyn) 

Vigilante “Quality Of Life” 12” (Dub track outro = full marks)

Infest “Days Turn Black” 7” (Unremarkable out takes from an earlier session. Infest could record a rehearsal room conversation and it would make my top 10) 

Superchunk “I Hate Music” LP (Power pop perfection. Possibly the catchiest band on the planet)

The Abused “Loud And Clear” LP (I realise it’s 2013 not 1983, but this is probably the best looking re-issue I’ve ever seen. NYHC holy grail).

Fave 3 shows:

Bob Mould @ The Factory Theatre

Descendents @ Luna Park

Daylight Robbery + Infinite Void + Hazards @ The Terrace Bar

Biggest disappointment:

Black Flag’s new album/artwork/tour. Or maybe I should be grateful cause’ I didn’t go. 

New Years Resolution:

To finally get the Hazards LP recorded & released on Rest Assured Records ;)

What you’re most looking forward to in 2014:

Playing with Lemuria at the Hammo Station Hotel next month. Oh and the Slapshot tour if it happens.  

Prediction for 2014:

I will re-take up skateboarding and then quit again at least 6 times


Oliver Cation (Broken Hive Records / Clipped Wings)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

Incendiary - The Cost Of Living

Starvation - Starvation

Machina Genova - Weathered Heart

Shai Hulud - Reach Beyond The Sun

Nails - Abandon All Life

Flowermouth - Nostalgia

Endless Heights - New Bloom

Trainwreck - Fresh Air/Dead Lungs

Remembering Never - This Hell Is Home

Daylight - Jar

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Every Time I Die @ Manning

Machina Genova @ Jura Books

Expire @ Yours & Owls

Biggest disappointment:

Fleetwood Mac cancelling their Australian Tour

New Years Resolution:

Travel more in 2014.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

New challenges and new surroundings.

Prediction For 2014:

Aggressive Pop Punk will be a thing. Have mercy on us all.


Paul Voge (Kill The Music)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. Violent Soho "Hungry Ghost"

2. The Appleseed Cast "Illumination Ritual" 

3. Daylight "Jar"

4. Front Bottoms "Talon Of The Hawk"

5.The Jealous Sound "Kill The With Kindness" (re-issue)

6. The Jealous Sound "A Gentle Reminder" (re-issue)

7. Cloakroom "Infinity" 

8. Moving Mountains "S/T"

9. Dads "Pretty Good"

10. Nirvana "In Utero" (re-issue w/DVD)

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Violent Soho at The Zoo in Brisbane.

Daylight at Crowbar Brisbane

Giggle and Hoot at QPAC with my daughter was awesome to see her enjoy that show.

Biggest disappointment:

Having to close the store is defiantly a pretty shitty way to end your year that's for sure. I also didn't dig that new Balance & Composure record. There I said it!

New Years Resolution:

Stop eating shitty food (I will fail that), do more stuff with my family, release more material with my band, continuing growing my wedding celebrant business, pay off the debt from my record store. SHIT..I got a busy 20014 ahead....thanks for making me realise Ryan.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

That's easy, hopefully spending more time that ever with my daughter. Just change in general, I have done music retail for like 15 years! 2014 is hopefully a get out of debt normal person year...will keep you posted. New Mary Jane Kelly I am excited for!!!! Then hopefully more old man bands will tour for me to enjoy ha-ha.

Prediction For 2014:

Hmmm tough one. Hopefully We Set Sail will feature in a Ryan Gosling movie and become tumblr successes and I never have to work ever again. Failing that I hope Violent Soho save us all from whatever terrible shit Triple J is forcing people to suffer through (they should just have Stu and Short Fast Loud on 24/7). Hopefully grey hair becomes a new trend in 2014 as I am already there!!! 


Joel Attenborough (Issac Graham Band / Old Music For Old People)

Top 10 Punk Rock Albums (in no order)

AFI Burials

Face To Face Three Chords and a Half Life

The Bronx - IV

Rotting Out - The Wrong Way

The Rival Mob - Mob Justice

Bl'ast - Blood!

Tony Sly Tribute Album 

We Set Sail - Rivals

Vigilante - Quality of Life

Bodyjar - Role Model

Top 5 7"

Paint It Black Invisible

Hazards - S/T

Tigers - S/T

Nofx - Stoke Extinguisher

Against Me - True Trans

Not Punk Rock Top 5

Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt

The National - Trouble will find me (also - fave album of the year!)

Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork

Isaac Graham - Glorious Momentum

The Kyle Gass Band - S/T

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Descendents Tour

Tenacious D @ the Opera House

Joey Cape / Brian Wahlstrom Tour

Offspring ‘Ignition 20 Year Anniversary’ shows

Biggest disappointment:

Abbot getting elected - and all the fuck ups that have come along with it so far (and only 3 months in)

Kill The Music deciding to close its doors

Last Nerve STILL didn’t reform

New Years Resolution:

Never be Deterred in my Quest for ALL

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Getting a new band started with BXE, Chase and Ed.

Taking Gringo Bandito (the hot sauce I import) to more people, more stores, more mouths and more restaurants.

Prediction For 2014:

I'll have 'Last Nerve STILL didn't reform' in my 'biggest disappointments of 2014'.

Fast 90's punk revival is due any day now - Tigers are flying the flag for new bloods, Bodyjar releasing a new album and Frenzal are still the best band in Australia - so it's about time the style gets it's chance to shine again.

The Mixed bill line ups of the 90's will come back in a huge way - Extortion, Hazards and the Bennies will play shows together and no one will bat an eye lid.

People will realize that everything (Greg Ginn's) Black Flag did this year - The art work, the interesting performances, the theromic (even though people didn’t do their homework on that one) was calculated, and was in the true form of what Black Flag have always been about - except for Mike V kicking out Ron Reyes on stage - that, whilst it may have been calculated - was a fucking dog act, and he can get fucked.


Carl Whitbread (LO!)

Top 10 Releases For 2013 (In no particular order):

Nails - Abandon all Life

The Old Wind - Feast on Your Gone

Mogwai - Les Revenants Soundtrack

The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of us is the Killer

Cult of Luna - Vertikal

Kvelertak - Meir

Sigur Ros - Kveikur

NIN - Hesitation Marks

Cloudkicker - Subsume

Queens of the Stoneage -Like Clockwork

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Enmore Theatre

Converge / Old Man Gloom - Manning Bar

Mindsnare 20 year show - Annandale Hotel

Biggest disappointment:

Tony Abbot becoming our leader.

New Years Resolution:

Think of a good New Years Resolution for 2015.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Getting married and going to Iceland!

Prediction For 2014:

I predict it will take place in the future.


Nick Larter (Deadly Visions)

Top 10 Releases For 2013 (A-Z):

1- Harms Way - Blinded

2- HurtxUnit - Can’t Relate

3- Outsiders Code - Exiled From Birth

4- Pure Love - Anthems

5- Sumeru - ST 

6- Thelma Plum - Rosie

7-Throwdown - Old ones and Re-runs

8-Toe To Toe - Still Fighting

9- Upperground - Man's World

10- Vigilante - Quality of Life

I’m pretty sure Boneless & Survival were released late last year, but I didn’t get them until 2013, so they get a mention by technicality, both 7"s are awesome.

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

1- Mindsnare at the Annandale

2- Found My Direction at the Cambo

3- Expire/ Iron Mind

Biggest disappointment:

Missing Municipal Waste show.

New Years Resolution:

I’m 24 now I should really put some effort into getting my drivers licence.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

New Iron Mind

New Ramallah

Sydney’s Wasted Youth compilation

Prediction For 2014:

The world won’t end

New Iron Mind will be epic

I wont get my license 

Deadly Visions will prob play some shows, write some new songs and hopefully finally release the songs we recorded this year.


Mel Kraljevic (Resist Records)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

LONG ONES

01. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

02. Balance & Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing

03. Touché Amore - Is Survived By

04. Defeater - Letters home

05. Citizen - Youth

06. Violent Soho - Hungry Ghost

07. Modern Life Is War - Fever Hunting

08. Pity Sex - Feast Of Love

09. Restorations - LP2

10. Daylight - Jar

Honourable mentions: 

Iron Chic - The Constant One

Grim Fandango - Flicker Noise

Harm Wulf - There's Honey In The Soil So We Wait For The Till 

Sebadoh - Defend Yourself 

Doomriders - Grand Blood

SHORT ONES

01. Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves - How Much Shit Can You Take? / Aliens 

02. Make Do And Mend / The Flatliners - Split

03. Title Fight - Spring Songs

04. Paint It Black - Invisible 

05. Dad Punchers - These Times Weren't Made For You

Top 3 Fave shows or tours: 

Sorry I’m going with 4.

BDO tour with Against Me! was a great experience.

Converge tour - Seeing them play every night for a week was awesome

Title Fight / Luca Brasi tour  - Nicest dudes playing the sweetest tunes. 

Corner Hotel Poison City Weekender show for the fact it was possibly the most fun I’ve had at a show all year.

Biggest disappointment:  

Probably the fact I couldn’t hear any of Daylight's vocals at Hermanns the other week.

New Years Resolution:

Keep up with my running, skate more, travel more and buy an apartment.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Mate’s weddings overseas and at home, travelling and obviously turning the big 3-0

Prediction For 2014: 

New Against Me! album is going to be great. Hopefully some rad tours in the works for next year. 


Stephen Kelly (Hurt Unit)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:

1. Neighborhood Brats - Birth Right.

I swear I must be close to wearing the grooves on this 7" completely flat. Mid paced, female fronted punk gold.

2. Violent future - Violent future

Listen to the first 15 seconds of 'street prowler'.

3. Deep Heat - New design

Usually there is good musical growth and there is bad musical growth with a very distinct line between them but this is neither...this is perfect.

4. AFI - Burials

I couldn't be happier that Davey Havok is having relationship woes. My 90's AFI tattoos have never felt so slightly passable.

5. Neo Cons - idiot circus

I always loved this band but didn't truly appreciate them until I caught their last show. One of those rare occasions that punk is a feeling and not a spectacle.

6. The Flex - Scum on the run.

Hands down the best cover art of the year. I'm not sure what is happening in the U.K right now but between these dudes, STAB and Violent Reaction they are poised to take over in a very hostile manner.

7. Incendiary - Cost of living.

The best 90's inspired band currently doing the rounds!

8. Left For Dead - Pre-7" tape.

Left for dead could release a Gregorian chant record with Greg Ginn playing guest theramin and I would still buy 47 copies. Luckily for me this new material is insanely good.

9. The National - trouble will find me.

My favourite mopey bastard band right now. Can't imagine peak hour traffic without this as the soundtrack.

10. Guilt Trip - Demo

Kids from a local beach town that are completely building their own scene, driving out to support every single show in Newcastle and writing really cool hardcore that reminds me of everything good in the world, including bodyboarding. I couldn't be a bigger fan of these guys.

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

1. Judge Reunion's at Webster hall NY.

My favourite band in one of my favourite places to watch shows. Any expectations I had were surpassed a million times over, they sounded incredible, looked like they were playing for their lives and blew two gigantic line-ups of supporting bands clean off the stage.

2. Infest / Left for dead Austin TX

Left For Dead have been the dream band for me for over half my life so seeing them open for Integrity (another favourite and this was the best I've ever seen them play) and the legendary INFEST was surreal. I've been very fortunate this year.

3 - FMD reunions Newcastle

FMD are what every reuniting band should aspire to be. They took it extremely serious and it showed. The fact that they, along with a lot of other amazing bands and individuals, were more than happy to donate all profits to local charities just solidified their place in history for me. I'd just like to take this chance to thank all those involved in that charity show also! We raised some serious money and have now, finally, after dealing with a lot of pirates found a rural fire service to donate the money to where the funds go directly to aide, not the "managers".

Biggest disappointment:

Anything to do with Black Flag, the Murphy's L aw tour cancellation, Rick Ta Life still not using PayPal (seriously, money orders in 2013?!), missing Boneless at the FMD show, Civil War not having an LP out and consistent balding.

New Years Resolution:

To stop eating Cheezels.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

The new Taken by Force and Mark my Words records!

Really excited to get this new HURTxUNIT record out, we're all comfortable in the band and the boys have been writing great songs .

Going through Chippa's multitude of cassettes and converting some lost treasures to MP3!!


Pepper (Impact Zone)

Top 10 Releases For 2013: In No order...

Rival Mob - Mob Justice

Vigilante - Quality Of Life

Hounds Of Hate - ST LP

The Flex - Scum On The Run

Sick People - Fakes Rule

Intent - Demo

Big Contest - Demo

Mood Swing - Endless Cycle Demo

Violent Reaction - City Streets

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:

Straight Jacket Nation/Gutter Gods/NS Mayhem - Under Flemington Bridge

Scab Eater/GG/Sick People - Under the same bridge

Either AG Front or Madball tour

Biggest disappointment:

The new Robocop film being made

New Years Resolution:

To boycott said Robocop film

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:

Moshing more to Frozen Over and Mood Swing

Prediction For 2014:

Iron Mind to take over the world and Battle Ruins LP to be album of the year. Also more moshing


The Fitzsimmons Brothers (Life.Liar.Regret / It's Still OK Not To Drink Zine)

Top 10 Releases For 2013:
1. The Rival Mob - Mob Justice
2. Starvation - Self Titled
3. Dead In The Dirt - The Blind Hole
4. Crisis Alert - Urban Decay
5. Down To Nothing - Life On The James
6. Shackles - Self Titled
7. Incendiary - Cost Of Living
8. Vigilante - Quality Of Life
9. The Others - Red Eyes
10. Sectarian Violence - Upward Hostility

Top 3 Fave shows or tours:
1. Vigilante record release shows in Sydney with Iron Mind and Reincarnation
2.Starvation/Manhunt record release show at Animal House in Adeliade
3. Youth Of Today in Melbourne with Vigilante and Right Mind.

Biggest dissappointment:
Fights at shows
Street wear still being a thing
People thinking it's ok to say faggot

New Years Resolution:
More releases, more shows and maybe another zine.

What you're most looking forward to in 2014:
New Foundation
More 90s influenced bands
More great Australian releases to come out

Prediction For 2014:
Hornets Nestz to be the biggest band in Australia.




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