14 Songs You Need To Hear from October 2015
Sometimes the rock world can get noisy, and we don’t just mean in decibels or static. Often the signal-to-noise ratio is more noise than signal. But no worries: We read, listen to and watch everything so we can sort it for you. Here are some of our favorite new songs and videos of October 2015, brought to you in partnership with our friends at CreativeLive.
Pentimento - “Sink Or Swim”
Pentimento have crafted an instantly exciting and endlessly memorable record with I, No Longer, and no track better encapsulates the band’s jumps in songwriting prowess than “Sink Or Swim.” Reminiscent of Good For Me-era Swellers tunes, takes the best hook the band have written to date and marries it with vocalist Jeramiah Pauly’s soaring, flawless falsetto. An urgent arrangement and relatable lyrics that perfectly illustrate feelings of inadequacy ensure that “Sink Or Swim” will stay in the contemporary pop-punk fan’s essential canon for years to come. We can’t wait to see fans react to this track on Pentimento’s fall tour with Better Off and A Will Away. —John Bazley
Modern Baseball - “The Waterboy Returns”
With their new EP, Modern Baseball take a huge risk that pays off exceptionally well. Following their goofy (if endearingly sincere) sophomore record, You’re Gonna Miss It All, Modern Baseball’s “The Waterboy Returns" trades mentions of Instagram, coffee breath and vocalist Brendan Lukens’ too-far-away TV for a shockingly real look at depression, self-harm and the societal stigmas involved with both. Despite the serious lyrical tone, all of the band’s signature charm stays in place with lines perfectly delivered (“That’s so typical Bren / all you sing about is girls”) a catchy chorus and garage-rock inspired low-fi production values. If the leaps and bounds in songwriting presented in “The Waterboy Returns” and the rest of the new MOBO Presents: The Perfect Cast EP Featuring Modern Baseball are any indication, the band’s 2016 LP, Holy Ghost might be their mature departure record à la Pinkerton. We couldn’t be more excited. —John Bazley
A Will Away - "My Sitter"
While technically released independently back in March, A Will Away's Bliss saw an official release through their new home on Triple Crown Records on October 23, making the lead single "My Sitter" one of the month's best tracks. Featuring a characteristically knockout vocal performance from lead vocalist Matt Carlson and some tasteful guitar interplay from Carlson and lead guitarist Collin Waldron, the song's relaxed pace allows the band to explore their refined sense of melody. Rounded out by the song's hypnotic rhythm section, "My Sitter" is an expertly engineered alt-rock song that succinctly displays what A Will Away are all about. —John Bazley
5 Seconds of Summer - “Waste The Night”
“Waste The Night” is an exercise in how to write songs when you know they will be played in stadiums. With the band departing on another world tour next year, something tells us this will be the new live anthem made for grabbing the pal next to you and clicking on your lighter (or, let’s be real, phone flashlight...) and sobbing along to every repetition of “I don’t wanna waste it/Don’t wanna waste it.” How dare you, Calum Hood…how dare you. —Mackenzie Hall
She Is We - “Boomerang”
Rachel Taylor, former frontwoman of He Is We has returned with the infectiously catchy single “Boomerang” off her debut solo project, She Is We. A far descent from the chilled-back melodies of He Is We, “Boomerang” proves to be an empowering, heavy-hitting pop anthem that will leave you singing “Boom baby, hit you like a boomerang” all day long. —Jake Hanson
Picturesque - “Unannounced"
It's not shocking that Lexington, Kentucky's Picturesque are influenced by hometown heroes Emarosa (Relativity era), but their own strengths earned them a scoop by Equal Vision Records. Lifted from their upcoming Monstrous Things EP, “Unannounced" has plenty to take in, with post-hardcore guitars tirelessly filling the space and vocalist Kyle Hollis just crushing northern notes that would have EVR alums Anthony Green and Claudio Sanchez patting him on the back. —Brian Kraus
Hands Like Houses - "New Romantics"
Australia's post-hardcore powerhouse revved up their Dissonants album cycle with "New Romantics," a punchy and pummeling lead single. Slappy bass shoves the funk in your face, while the scathing, hanging notes of the chorus are a throwback to Bush and Filter's alt-rock reign. This natural progression from Unimagine should keep everyone onboard.—Brian Kraus
Petal - "Heaven"
The newly released full-length from Pennsylvania's Petal is a 2015 sleeper hit, one sure to catch on with fans of Tigers Jaw, Turnover and Allison Weiss, once they finally realize what they've been missing. "Heaven" is a heart-on-your-sleeve alt-rock paragon, succeeding in its simplicity; an impressive bar set for every bedroom singer-songwriter on a mission to put their emotion to song in the most effective way possible. Kiley Lotz has a hit on her hands—not just with "Heaven," but the whole of her new LP, Shame. Don't let it slip by you. —Brian Leak
Much like the majority of Foxing's newest album, Dealer, "Weave" is a soothing, elegant cut with lush and intricate, layered instrumentation and a comforting, career-best vocal delivery from Conor Murphy, backed by a beautiful female accompaniment. The arrangement is stunning; the track, so easy to digest that you'll find yourself replaying it until life grabs you by the shoulders and tells you to snap out of it. It's hypnotizing and a mere fraction of a real "Album Of The Year" contender.—
- "Emperor's New Clothes"
This month, the world was gifted with the new Panic! At The Disco single accompanied by a slightly disturbing music video, the official announcement of their new album, Death of A Bachelor and an added clip of Brendon Urie turning up to “Shots” while made up as a demon. In typical Panic! Fashion, the song is perfectly theatrical while showing off Urie’s vocal range. He might be the only founding member left, but he isn’t going to let that stop him from “taking back the crown.”—
RETOX - "Let's Not Keep In Touch" (Blood Brothers remix)
Recently, Blood Brothers guitarist Cody Votolato and Retox frontman Justin Pearson have been spending time in Head Wound City, reducing clubs and performance spaces to burnt cinders. Here Votolato patently screws up Retox's hardcore fury with more weird loops and time-stretching that will piss off sweaty pit warriors and dance-club denizens alike. While it seems that Metalcore Nation embraces electronics in an effort to be nothing more than skinny-jeaned competition to Danny Elfman, Votolato's drunkenly vibrant sonic vistas make for a bout of motion sickness you won't mind feeling. —Jason Pettigrew
METZ - "Eraser"
The union of Toronto rock maniacs METZ alongside the similarly twisted powers that be over at Three One G is a marriage made in noise. Sure, it's only a single (check Sub Pop for digital versions if your life is turntable-deficient), but it's the best single of the whole year. Alex Edkins throttles his guitar like it punched his mother in the face, while the rhythm section of Chris Slorach and Hayden Menzies shore him up with enough horsepower to drive the tumult into your chest like you were a vampire needing terminated. The visceral thrill of this single approximates what it's like when you watch your worst enemy fall 300 feet through several panes of mirrored glass. (Bandages not included.) —Jason Pettigrew
Adele - “Hello”
Singer/songwriter superstar Adele has made her triumphant return with “Hello,” a take-no-prisoners ballad that builds before crescendoing over a climactic, glistening chorus. It may have been three years since we last heard from Adele, but it’s quite clear she hasn’t lost the signature edge that catapulted her into the atmosphere in 2011. With “Hello,” she has refined that sharpness and come out swinging harder than ever before. —Tyler Sharp
Fearless Vampire Killers - “Keep Smiling”
Fearless Vampire Killers finally released their highly anticipated mini-album Bruises last Friday. In our 4.5-star review and AP Recommends feature in our Mayday Parade issue, we praise track three, “Keep Smiling,” as a standout mixture of pop-punk and musical theatre that would make Queen proud. The band get uncomfortably real as they chronicle dismissal from clueless industry types, shout that they “don’t subscribe to the view that [they] hold dominion over [them],” and counter it all with a bitter smile. It’s shiver-inducing enough that we’re thinking certain somebodies who scoffed at the band’s past work are shaking in their boots about now. (Wink.)—Cassie Whitt