Best hardcore records of 2014

So far

Jake Roach, Staff Reporter

1. ‘68 – “In Humor and Sadness”

If hardcore is in your playlist, then Norma Jean has undoubtedly come up at some point. The former front man of the almighty group was none other than Josh Scogin and ‘68 is his newest endeavor in music. This duo of guitar and drums brings a unique vibe, and creates a sound that crosses The Chariot (another Scogin project) and The White Stripes in a beautiful way. There’s enough chaos to be hardcore while having an indie rock vibe to take the edge off.

Favorite track: “R”

2. Every Time I Die – “From Parts Unknown”

This is the seventh venture from Buffalo natives Every Time I Die, and it does not disappoint. Produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, this record takes Every Time I Die’s raw status to a new level. it is also incredibly honest in its heaviness. Because of that, it isn’t easy to digest. A first listen will not turn a skeptic into a believer, but after a few, influences from their past work start to show up as artifacts in songs and makes this a solid addition to their discography. The whole record slaps the listener in the face in a beautiful way.

Favorite track: “Moor”

3. Beartooth – “Disgusting”

Beartooth has really grown since their “Sick” EP, not only in status, but songwriting as well. This record delivers a wide pallet of songs, each with a different vibe to them. Drawing hardcore roots, many of the songs are fast and bone crushingly heavy. Some of the others explore the more melodic side of the band, sounding very poppy at times. I personally enjoy the change of scenery, but dedicated fans to the genre may not appreciate it. The rawness and honesty doesn’t show it’s face as much here as it does in other additions to this list. The record sounds more produced with clear cut songs and not much wiggle room. Disgusting isn’t a surprise, but is definitely pushing the genre in which it’s classified (chugcore) in more of the hardcore direction.

Favorite track: “Ignorance is Bliss”

4. Code Orange – “I Am King”

This record surprised me. I had never heard of Code Orange before a YouTube suggestion of the record. Against moral standards, I listened to the record there to see if I could find a new favorite for at least a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. As opposed to the fast hardcore like the other records on this list, this is slow, sludgy, and overall dirty. The vocals take the backseat for most of the record, but that doesn’t disregard the crushing sound of this record. Many of the songs will bleed together since most of the record is completely unpredictable, and I found myself looking to see if I was still on the first song to find out I was halfway through the record.

Favorite track: “Slow burn”