Best of 2016 Playlist

December 5, 2015

Most Disappointing Albums of 2015

2015 has come and gone. So many great albums, but on the same token, so many failures. We had big expectations for some of these bands, and they couldn't have missed the mark anymore. Well they probably could have but we shudder to think what could have been worse seeing as these were so bad. 

Before anyone gets too butthurt, let's try to keep an open mind. Understand, we aren't out to spread hate, we're just sharing our opinion. If you think an album should be included on this list, comment and let us know. Remember, we can only listen to so many albums in a year. Go to our Top 10 / Quick Picks page to see our honorable mentions. And be sure to stay tuned for our Top 10 Albums/Songs of 2015 later this month! 

*These are not organized in any particular order* 

8. Just Like You - Falling in Reverse (6.5 to 7/10) 
To be fair, we didn't have very high expectation for this album to begin with. But upon hearing the first two singles, it appeared Falling in Reverse had finally done something right. FIR has never been known for their, *cough*, high quality music. The band give it their all, or so we think, for their 3rd album. It's a big step up from "Fashionably Late", and an improvement on their debut album. The first two songs released, "God If You Are Above..." and "Guillotine IV (The Final Chapter)", are vocally and lyrically the best the band has to offer. They're straight shooting hardcore songs, with breakdowns aplenty and great choruses. Another bright spot would be "Chemical Prisoner", the album's opening song. It's a solid (7.5/10), with some nice riffs, and good head banging moments. But then you're ears are assaulted with "Sex Drug". The lyrics are juvenile, and sexist at best. This is the side of Ronnie Radke everyone hates. It's the same guy who wrote "Bad Girls Club", which is horrible on it's own level. "Sex Drugs" is about as tasteful as the album artwork (we're not using it, and anyone with common sense should know why). The title track is an attempt at a crossover, with pop production and embarrassingly cheesy lyrics. All in all, and those two tracks aside, the album is good. Not groundbreaking, nor is it a must listen to, but this marks a turning point for the band. Hopefully in the future they will continue their progression. 

7. Venom - Bullet for My Valentine (5/10) 
This band has never been particularly good. With a minimally talented frontman, whose lyrics are about as cut and dry as they come, their album "Venom" delivers nothing more than sub-standard heavy metal chugs and overused musical formulas. The band has crafted the perfect recipe for mediocre albums. Click this (link) to go read our full review. 

6. Ire - Parkway Drive (6.5 to 7/10)  

Where the previous entry on this list has mastered mediocre, Parkway Drive have built a reputation for brutal metalcore breakdowns and Winston McCall's vocals. They threw that all away for this heavy metal attempt. The band takes a stab and ultimately ends up failing. Their intentions were good, break away from metalcore boundaries and try something new. But the execution leaves something to be desired. Click this (link) to read our review. 

5. Drones - Muse (6/10)  

Oh boy oh boy did these guys screw up. Muse is one of those bands who career is like a roller coaster. They peak for a while, then hit bottom. This is the bottom that followed "2nd Law". Muse is up to their 7th album, and by that point in an artists career, fans expect a lot. So there's pressure to deliver a truly unique and fresh experience. The band claimed they wanted to return to their roots, but what we got was more of Muse's brainwashing, suppression, and tyrant themes. Been there, done that, something please. As a concept album, the premise of "drones" is a solid effort. But when it came time to write the protagonists story, something went very wrong. At best this album will top "Guilt Pleasure" lists. At worst, it ends up on more lists like this one. Lead single "Dead Inside" isn't that bad, but compared to some of the band's other songs it pales in comparison. We'd like some more songs like those found on "Black Holes and Revelations" or "The Resistance". Prog. rock meets space rock Muse is better than hard rock meets pop rock Muse

4. American Beauty/American Psycho - Fall Out Boy (6.5/10) 
Well they saved rock and roll, now they've gone and murdered it. It's hard to believe Fall Out Boy released "From Under the Cork Tree", the album that propelled them to fame. Since then, the band have gone on to mix their brand of emo-pop with mainstream rock and pop. It worked with their 2013 album on varying levels, but on this album it fails. The lead single, "Centuries" sounds a lot like fellow pop "band" Maroon 5's "Animals". That alone should say something about the album's overall tone. The album is, simply put, almost too mainstream for its own good. Half the album is actually pretty good, but the other half leaves something to be desired. "Uma Thurman" is a surprising treat, as one would think that mixing the theme song from "The Munsters" with FOB emo-pop is a recipe for a bad song. But it's fun, bouncy, and, most importantly, sounds like Fall Out Boy. Unfortunately the sampling handled on other songs isn't given the same treatment. The band should have waited a couple of months before releasing this, and gone back into the studio to fix some of their mistakes. Had they, this album might have been a hell of a lot better. 

3. Mind Games - Palisades (6/10)  

Nu metal is already bad, but this Issues-wannabe band takes bad to new levels. The band's debut struggled, like many debuts do. But their sophomore album doesn't improve the foundations all that much. If you're looking for something to use an inane background music, this is for you. If you want something more interesting, with less synth and more guitar we'd recommend you look to Wage War's debut "Blueprints". It's hard to take the band seriously when they write songs like "Come Over and Watch Netflix", which is little more than whiney emo garbage. The lyrics of the album are as bad, perhaps worse, than those from the mind of Ronnie Radke. But the band does pull it together for a few songs. They are at their best when they ditch the electronic, and go heavy. "People like Us" featuring Garret Rapp of The Color Morale, is a standout, as is "True Blood". "Whatever You Want to Be" is something of a guilty pleasure, as a pretty generic modern metalcore song that you can't help but bang your head to. 

2. Future Hearts - All Time Low (6.5/10)  
Instead of All Time Low influencing 5 Seconds of Summer, it's seems to have gone the other way around. 5SOS sunk their mainstream pop claws and over produced sound into our fav Baltimore boys. As a result, we were given this lukewarm album. It failed on so many levels, and shouldn't have. The band's previous album, "Don't Panic" is their best yet, and the reissue produced "A Love like War" featuring Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil, so we had high expectations for their 6th studio effort. What we were treated to was an emo pop mess that just barely beats out "Dirty Work" as their worst album. Click this (link) to read our full review. 

1. Madness - Sleeping with Sirens (6/10 on a good day, on a bad day maybe a 4.5/10)  

Don't need to say much about this one. SWS stretched their talents and tried to make everyone happy. The end result lands squarely in the "someone must have had a brain fart" category. Though each song is well written and deserving of a 7 or 8, together they make a messy album that embraces the "madness" a little too much. Overflowing with pop cliches, and far too much emphasis on Kellin Quinn's vocals, the band's next move should be to get back in the studio next year and write a better album, more like their sophomore effort, which is by far the best. Click this (link) to read our full review.