Best of 2016 Playlist

July 31, 2015

Quick Picks: 10 Bands to Watch (Mid 2015 edition)

A "Quick Picks" countdown, here we will be counting down the 10 bands you should be watching in the coming year. Be sure to leave comments if you think we missed a band!

10. I the Mighty -  

I the Mighty released their 2nd album through Equal Vision Records this June, and we were floored by the amazing work the guys did. So naturally it only make sense to let them kick off this Top 10. Their debut album was nothing short of phenomenal, and "Connector" didn't disappoint. A serious move in the right direction, I the Mighty are slowing climbing the road to the top of the post hardcore world. Note worthy ItM tracks include "Speak to Me", "Failures", "Playing Catch with .22" and "The Hound and the Fox", the latter two from said sophomore release. If you're into Hands Like Houses or Pierce the Veil, we highly suggest you keep an eye on these San Fran boys.

9. As It Is -  
A pop punk act whose lead singer is a bit of a Youtube celebrity, As It Is are another example of the internet bring us amazing musicians amidst the horde of crap ones. Posting covers of many, many hit pop songs, this band has come into their own on their debut album "Never Happy Ever After". If you were to tell me that pop punk is dead, you'd be wrong. While they haven't released anything as memorable as say "Weightless" or "Dammit", the band are on their way to the big leagues. Songs like "Dial Tones", "Can't Save Myself" and Concrete" prove this band is more than capable to being pop punk stars. 

8. Youth in Revolt -  
A hardcore outlet from New Jersey, their frontman, True Arahill, has vocals not unlike Kellin Quinn. It'd be foolish to say they weren't worth watching. With a sound somewhat reminiscent of early Sleeping with Sirens, they have spent the past year or so honing their craft. Their debut EP, "Love is a Liar's Game", is a must listen to in my book. Their debut album is set to be released sometime this year, or possible early next year. If you haven't heard "There For You", then you're missing out my friend. 

7. Too Close To Touch -  
Having had one of the best debut albums of 2015, this band is sure to ascend to the top spot in the "alternative" music world. Their style fuses alt. rock, post hardcore, progressive rock, and experimental rock in a way very similar to Hands Like Houses or I the Mighty. Singles like "The Deep End" and "Pretty Little Thing" are great representations of what the band is capable of. But still, this was only their debut. So what they will achieve in their sophomore release can only be better. We eagerly await as one of our new favorite bands. 

6. Alive Like Me -  
Vey much like Too Close to Touch, this band draws influences from post hardcore and alt. rock to give listeners a very unique sound. Their first album, released last October, was met with positive reviews, and debuted at #26 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Their live shows are just as impressive. Songs like "Our Time Down Here" and "Slip Away" are the two highlights from this debut. Written in the same vein as Hands Like Houses, you'd be foolish not to pay attention to these Seattle boys. 

5. Neck Deep -  
Easily one of the biggest breakthrough bands of 2014, they became pop punk's latest heavy weights upon releasing their debut album "Wishful Thinking" last January. They band captures the classic pop punk vibe that can be found in 00s blink-182 and Sum 41. "Losing Teeth" is rightfully the lead single. Their sophomore effort, produced by Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember and his former band mate Tom Denney, is set to be released this August. i suggest you go pick up the album's first two singles, "Can't Kick Up the Roots" and "Gold Steps". 


Originally a pop punk, ska, emo rock band, in recent years ICE NINE KILLS has proven to be a rising star in metalcore. With song titles like "Let's Bury the hatchet... In Your Head" and "The Fastest Way to a Girl's Heart is Through Her Ribcage" you should get a fairly good idea what kind of band this is. Spencer Charnas is the only remaining original member, and his talents have only gotten better since the band's inception. "Jonathan" is a standout, written about a close friend with mitochondrial disorder. An excellent song all around, the acoustic version only makes the track that much better. 

3. SECRETS -  

Though they went through a major line up change early 2013, SECRETS have been going stronger than ever. They have recently been working on their 3rd album, and earlier this year they released an incredible acoustic EP (which we reviewed in June). The band's skills are often over shadowed by fellow Rise Records label mates like Memphis May Fire, Issues, or Of Mice and Men. Which is a shame since they are more than capable of holding their own against those heavy weights. "Dance of the Dead", "Infinite Escape", "How We Survive" and "Maybe Next May" are must listen to tracks. Richard Roger's provides brilliant clean vocals, complimented by Aaron Melzer's gruff unclean vocals. A much better match than previous vocalist Xander Bourgeois' deeper, and much heavier screams. 

2. New Years Day -  

A band whose spin on hard rock is more like a full blown Halloween party, New Years Day are hardly new to the game. Their debut album was released in 2007, back when the band was an alt rock, pop punk outlet. Skip ahead to 2010, and they turn the tables on listeners with a much darker, heavier sound. Their sophomore album, "Victim to Villain" was released in 2013, and their EP "Epidemic" last November. The band seems to have finally found their niche, and fans can't get enough of them. After years riddled with band member exits, label switches, and heartache, the band is coming into their own. "I'm No Good", "Angel Eyes feat. Chris from Motionless in White", and "Other Side" are just a few gems the band has thrown our way. 

1. PVRIS -  

As said before, do we really need to explain this decision? PVRIS is one of the best bands in the industry today, as well as being one of the youngest. Formed in 2012, they band quickly developed a fan base after a brief stint on Warped Tour 2013. They were then signed to Rise Records, and released their single "St. Patrick". "My House" and "Fire" quickly followed, and then their full length, "White Noise". I dare you to find an album better than that from 2014. A darker take on electronic rock, the band draws from multiple sources including Paramore and Ellie Goulding, to create a truly unique sound that has captured the hearts of millions.  

Honorable Mention -
  • This Wild Life
  • Beautiful Bodies 
  • Chasing Safety
  • I Prevail 
  • Candy Hearts 
  • Sirens and Sailors
  • Oceans Ate Alaska