With 2015 almost over, now is the perfect opportunity to take a look back at this year’s most impressive alternative rock records. It’s been a strong year for the genre, with releases from massive bands, promising debuts, and a few glances at what will be heading our way in 2016. So here we have it, Celebmix’s Alternative Rock Wrap-up 2015.
Fall Out Boy, American Beauty/American Psycho:
Kicking off the year on January 16th, alternative rock giant Fall Out Boy revealed their sixth album American Beauty/American Psycho. The record is the long-serving band’s second release since they reunited in 2013, and there’s little argument that it’s the best of the two. American Beauty/American Psycho is gritty and ambitious in the way you’d expect from Fall Out Boy, but it still lacks the dark lyric constructs that were characteristic of their earlier releases. That being said, Fall Out Boy remain one of the genre’s main players, consistently releasing tracks just pop enough to land them substantial radio play. This time it was ‘Irresistible,’ ‘American Beauty/American Psycho,’ ‘Uma Thurman,’ and ‘Centuries’ that hit the airwaves, confirming that yeah, Fall Out Boy have still got it.
Check out ‘Irresistible’ here:
All Time Low, Future Hearts:
All Time Low have been the marmite of the alt. rock scene since their major label debut Dirty Work back in 2011. Before then, the Baltimore-born quartet were massive in their own right, experiencing terrific amounts of success from 2007’s So Wrong It’s Right, and 2009’s Nothing Personal.
All Time Low releases have always garnered insane amounts of hype, but since Dirty Work, the records have systematically fallen flat. Future Hearts—the band’s latest effort—was released on April 3rd 2015, and just might be the album to break this trend. But that’s not to say All Time Low are back at the standard of their earliest releases. Future Hearts contains a fair few collaborations, and consequently tighter lyrics, cleaner production, but a complete lack of structure. Tracks like ‘Kids In The Dark,’ ‘Missing You,’ and ‘Runaways,’ more than prove that the band is headed in the right direction, but does Future Hearts redeem All Time Low’s past four years?
You can listen to ‘Kids In The Dark’ here:
twenty one pilots, Blurryface:
twenty one pilots have had a busy year. The duo have toured across the US, sold out shows worldwide, and released their second major label record Blurryface. The album follows twenty one pilot’s 2013 release Vessel, and it illustrates perfectly how the band have grown since their breakthrough last year. Blurryface is an album built on intricacies, with the character of ‘Blurryface’ weaving throughout the lyrics, videos, and even the album’s production. The result is a powerful overarching message: anxiety, depression, and worry exists in all of us, but it doesn’t define who we are.
Blurryface has gained twenty one pilots an epic amount of exposure, but it’s all well deserved. The Ohio-born pair have taken risks in their music (introducing Reggae to bass driven tracks, and trumpets to a rock album), and created something phenomenal.
Check out the video for ‘Stressed Out’ here:
Badlands is (without a doubt) the breakthrough alt. rock album of 2015. Ashley Frangipane—who performs under the moniker ‘Halsey’—burst onto the scene with the release of her debut record on August 28th 2015. Although Halsey did release an EP—Room 93—in 2014, Badlands gained her an incomparable amount of exposure.
The album is haunting, combining synth-heavy production with much darker lyrical undertones. It’s result is something incredibly sincere, and it isn’t difficult to understand how Halsey has already captivated an entire generation. Badlands is both commercial and off-beat in a way only a few can balance. With an ethereal sound, and the ability to create such an accessible narrative, it’s safe to say Halsey is an artist we’ll be seeing much more of in the future.
Listen to ‘New Americana’ below:
Bring Me The Horizon, That’s The Spirit:
We haven’t heard Bring Me The Horizon like this before. The Sheffield-born quintet have been metalcore since their debut, with a few more widely accessible pop-rock tracks thrown in here and there. That’s The Spirit (which has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK) is something entirely different: the record retains the band’s heavier roots whilst still brandishing anthemic, radio ready tracks. It’s the best songwriting we’ve seen from the band, with multi-layered atmospherics, and the introduction of electro into almost every track. Bring Me The Horizon have done something no band have before, and although it’s clear they haven’t buried their past, That’s The Spirit is the future of a fatigued genre.
Watch the video for ‘Throne’ here:
Panic! At The Disco, Death Of A Bachelor singles:
Panic! At The Disco might not be releasing their upcoming album Death Of A Bachelor until 2016, but the singles they’ve unleashed this year have more than earned them a place on this list. ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Victorious’, ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘LA Devotee’, and ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ are some of the best tracks we’ve seen from the band since their 2011 release Vices & Virtues. It might be too early to hail Death Of A Bachelor a top release, but it’s definitely one of our most anticipated albums of 2016.
Check out ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ below: