So 2015 is done, and thank god. On a personal level, it wasn't the greatest year for me. But at least keeping the blog going didn't seem like too much of a chore this year either for some reason. The main problem was just trying to spread out the records, as I only received two big parcels from my friend in the States (one in April and one in September) and that was it. I mean, I bought a few bits myself, but 95% of my records came in two deliveries which I then spread over the year in terms of blogging. Long gone are the early days of this blog when I posted about something on the day I acquired it. Anyway, my aim is always to do ten posts a month, which is 120 for the year, and I just about managed to achieve it despite a very slow start with barely any activity in the first four months.
In terms of the number of records I acquired this year, I picked up 220, which represents a 17% reduction from last year's 264.
The number of 7"s was down by 14%, from 113 last year to 97 this year. The number of 12"s was also down, by 20% from 151 to 121. The number of 10"s, however, was up by infinity percent, from zero to an incredible TWO (one of which I kinda wish I didn't buy at all, but never mind). The next graph shows the monthly profile, although to be honest it doesn't really mean much these days, as it's more when the records hit the blog rather than when I picked them up. But it's kind of a tradition at this point.
Looking at it this way, it seems weird that August was the pinnacle of blogging activity. I mean, in theory it was summer, and has never has been a high point of posting before. I can't even remember why this was the case. I think I was probably trying to get everything up before the next delivery arrived from the States at the start of September.
TOP 10 NEW RELEASES IN 2015
For once it seemed that there were a lot of cool new releases in the year. I think this was the first year that I bought so many new releases that I was spoilt for choice to come up with a top ten. After way too much consideration, this is what I came up with as a list of my favourites:
Note - The photo doesn't put them in order of preference. It was simply arranged in the way that seemed to reflect the least amount of light. If you need someone to blame then I'd suggest December's daylight hours and the positioning of the windows in my house.
One thing I noticed when I got the records out to take this photo was that they all had either black or white covers. Turnstile were the only band who used any colour on their cover (well, Into Another & Done Dying did too, but their colours were pretty dark so I'm conveniently ignoring them). Anyway, if I were forced to put these records into an order of preference, this would be it:
01. Chain Rank 'Up Against The Wall' LP - the best release this year by a country mile. Short blasts of Boston HARDcore that somehow didn't seem to contain DFJ or CC.
02. Into Another 'Omens' 12" - Twenty years after their last release they came back, and sounded better than ever. This only loses points because there were only five songs.
03. Fade 7" - this 7" sparked a small obsession with this band for me towards the end of the year. So rad that this band is british. Hopefully I will get to see them play one day.
04. Sweet Jesus 'You Destroy Yourself' LP - I played this LP a lot before the vinyl landed. Because, let's be honest, nobody could have waited THAT long to hear this.
05. Title Fight 'Hyperview' LP - this actually came out on my birthday, and marked a change in sound for the band that I really enjoyed. This was my most listened to record on holiday this year laying on the beaches of southern France.
06. Turnstile 'Non Stop Feeling' LP - goddamn, this is a good LP from quite possibly the biggest hardcore band in the world right now, but why did they have to shove it in one of the worst covers of all time?
07. Stick Together LP - this was a bit of a slow burner for me, but once I got into it I loved it. Seems most other people forgot about this band though.
08. Violent Reaction 'Marching On' LP - a british band on Revelation is certainly worthy of celebration. I don't think this was as good as the last LP, but I still ended up playing it loads.
09. Done Dying LP - a great debut LP from a bunch of veterans. What I love about this guys is that they're still cracking out new music, unlike most of their generation who are still touring records that came out 25 years ago.
10. Blacklisted LP 'When People Grow, People Go' LP - I was a little sceptical about a new Blacklisted LP, but I shouldn't have been. This sits somewhere between their last two, and made my iphone crash not once but twice.
THE YEAR'S TOP PICKUPS
Aside from new releases, I was pleased with the year in records. I picked up some pretty rad items. My favourites are the ones in this photo:
For those of you with poor eyesight or recognition skills, the photo contains: 7 Seconds 'The Crew' LP on blue vinyl Faith 'Subject To Change' LP on red vinyl Godspeed 'Swimmers Ear' 12" test press Swiz 'Down' 7" test press Jawbreaker 'Whack & Blite' 7" on grey vinyl Vision 'Undiscovered' 7" on green vinyl Bold 7" on pink vinyl Rain 'La Vache Qui Rit' 12"
2015 WANTS LIST ATTACK
When the year started I decided to try to make a big dent in my wants list. Now, that may sound like a stupid thing to say, but a lot of the items on my wants list have been there for years. For some reason, I seem to spend most money and time picking up stuff that isn't on my wants list at all, so the damn thing never gets any smaller. As I'm not getting any younger, I decided to try to reduce the size of the list this year. Overall I did ok, but not great. I picked up 24 items, which averages two per month, although I have to admit that I had hoped to cross off more. I probably shouldn't complain though as some of these were long-standing wants. Here's the full list of items I crossed off, in alphabetical order:01. Admiral 7" on Soulforce Records 02. Avail 'Front Porch Stories' LP on red vinyl 03. Black Flag 'Six Pack' 7" on baby blue vinyl 04. Bold 7" on pink vinyl 05. Cave In / Piebald split 7" on pink vinyl 06. Coalesce 'Functioning On Impatience' 12" on purple vinyl & orange vinyl 07. Comeback Kid 'Turn It Around' LP on white vinyl 08. Dirt Merchants 7"s x 2 09. F.U.'s 'Kill For Christ' 12" on X-Claim! 10. Faith 'Subject To Change' 12" on red vinyl 11. Floorpunch 'Division One Champs' 7" with NJ/DC cover 12. Harvest 'Living With A God Complex' LP on orange vinyl 13. Integrity / Creepout Split 7" Japanese press with hand numbered sleeve 14. Integrity 'Black Heksen Rise' 7" on Indie Recordings on white vinyl 15. Jawbreaker 'Whack & Blite' 7" on grey vinyl 16. Life's Halt 'Demo' 7" 17. Mind Eraser 'Teenagers' 7" 18. No Warning 7" on purple vinyl 19. Rain 'La Vache Qui Rit' 12" 20. Samiam 'I Am' 7" on clear vinyl 21. Soundgarden 7" on Sub Pop on purple vinyl 22. Statement 7" on blue vinyl 23. Supertouch 'Lost My Way' 7" with RSD elephant cover 24. Vision 'Undiscovered' 7" on green vinyl
There were two others I picked up which are still sitting in the States waiting to be shipped, so unfortunately they don't count. They'll wait until next year though...
The funny thing is that I've just spent a little time revising my wants list, which means adding more items on, so in total the list has actually got longer this year. #fail
OTHER STUFF I LISTENED TO A LOT
Sometimes I listen to stuff that I don't have on vinyl. Or I get into stuff too late for it to qualify as a new release. Or I get impatient and download a new release without having the vinyl. So here's a list the other stuff that I spent a lot of time listening to in 2015.Life Of Agony 'River Runs Red' LP Life Of Agony 'Ugly' LP Flight Of The Conchords 'S/T' LP Flight Of The Conchords 'I told You I Was Freaky' LP ALL 'Allroy Saves' LP Jaguarz 'Jungle Jamz' 7" Mutoid Man 'Bleeder' LP Neck 'Should My Fist Eye' LP Smashing Pumpkins 'Gish' LP Higher Power demo & 7" Negative FX LP Shockwave discography True Identity Demo Unborn 7"
If you've read this far then here's an extra visual treat for you. I decided to put a pic of every record I picked up this year into video format. If you missed any posts this year and can't be bothered to go back and read them, this is the format for you. Enjoy...