Best Of 2022: Post Hardcore and Hardcore Punk – Nat Lacuna

Hey there! This year has been very busy for me with moving, changing jobs more than once, trying to focus on my band as we released our first record in October, traveling for photo gigs, and design work on top of it! A lot of my time has been spent in my car, which thankfully gave me tons of time for music. I am very eager to be sharing quite a few records with you over the course of the next week, as I have got four different lists to share based on genre here at New Noise.

On days that I needed something more attention-grabbing, upbeat, and demanding, I would listen to hardcore and post-hardcore. With a stellar year for the genre nearly behind us it is time to share the ones with you that really stood out and stayed in heavy rotation for me.

10. City of Caterpillar – Mystic Sisters (Relapse Records, September 30)

City Of Caterpillar need no introduction with a back-catalog and legacy like theirs, but for their first new full-length record in 20 years, they made sure that their reintroduction would be as remarkable as ever. Leaning further into their post-metal sensibilities, they have a strong atmosphere built with tracks that glimmer and shine before bursting through with screaming and shredded instrumentation. Also, it came out on my birthday so that was pretty cool. Then seeing them have one of the best sets of the weekend at FEST in Gainesville the month after was a cherry on top.

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9. Clavus – Maybe We’re Not So Far Apart (Self-released, December 8)

The debut record from Athens, GA up-and-comers. The sassier new generation of screamo is doing pretty damn well with artists like this emerging all over the world. The venom and snarkiness comes through so clearly on this record, balancing self-deprecation and outward aggression at the world with similar levels to pageninetynine and Dangers for me. Pop culture references, inside jokes, and razor-sharp wit over devastating riffage. My band are doing a Florida/Georgia run with them in January, and I can’t wait to see them play for ten days.

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8. Collapsed Skull – Eternity Maze (Closed Casket Activities, June 2)

This is a blustering, whirlwind release from members of Full Of Hell and Jarhead Fertilizer. A three-piece for fans of ass-beater riffs and noise. Destructive, brutal, and dominating. Eleven tracks, 11 minutes of shrieks, thundering bass and drums, hip-hop samples, and stuttering electronics that channel into powerviolence, hardcore, death grind, and much more. It’s got it all, but not for long!

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7. Thotcrime – D1G1T4L_DR1FT (Prosthetic Records, October 28)

The Prosthetic Records debut of internet legends Thotcrime. Sassy, emotional, punky cybergrind. Definitely a huge step for them as a whole. A lot of fun to listen to but never falters in its sincerity, while dancing between hardcore, noise rock, hyperpop, and many others. As I said in my review from earlier this year, D1G1T4L_DR1FT is a mesmerizing foray into the extremes of niche subgenres whose main characteristics are attitudes.

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6. Gillian Carter – Salvation Through Misery (Skeletal Lightning, October 7)

Some good friends of mine and a band who has been making incredible music for over a decade did the damn thing again and released another banger record. Their best yet even. Just pure, raw, emotionally harrowing blackened screamo. Gillian Carter has an uncompromising brutality to their music, and jagged production shifts, tempo changes, and noise levels make this record incredibly disorienting in the best possible way.

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5. Deaf Club – Productive Disruption (Three One G, January 6)

The first remarkable heavy release of the year. It is a hardcore punk record built around blastbeats, thrash, grind, and crust sensibilities. All gas, no brakes, no sweetness, just fangs. On top of that, I am a huge Justin Pearson fan, and after seeing this band live at Oblivion Access, it cemented them as an undeniable favorite of mine. Ugly and grotesque protest music.

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4. Gospel – The Loser (Dog Knights Productions, May 13)

What if you made post-hardcore do a prog rock opera? That’s what this feels like. The masterminds behind widely revered classic The Moon Is A Dead World made their return after 17 years and how monumental it was. Synth, major guitar chords, shredding, and solos, percussive mastery, and incredible vocals. Even if it doesn’t sound like your thing, I beg of you to give it a listen because it might just blow you away anyway.

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3. ZETA – Todo Bailarlo (Skeletal Lightning, April 22)

An unforgettable live band doing their best job yet of bottling that magic they bring to the stage. With an extended lineup known as La Orquestra Abajo Cadenas to offer additional instrumentation and vocals, their Latin-infused post-hardcore reaches new heights. Movements built around drum circle rhythms, lyrics comparing spiritual growth to flowers blooming. It is music so centered around beauty, community, and understanding that it feels like what home should be.

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2. Birds In Row – Gris Klein (Red Creek, October 14)

One of the best bands in the screamo/post-hardcore sphere continue to one-up themselves with every album. Girs Klein is a testament to how impactful the genre can be. For how dynamic and detailed the sound is, it’s very hard to believe it was tracked live as a three-piece. Just over 42 minutes long, it somehow finds a way to never drag at any point. From barrages to blissful refrains, it is potent and beautiful and definitely a record I pushed on everyone around me all year. I also got to speak to two of the members earlier this year about the record here.

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1. SOUL GLO – Diaspora Problems (Epitaph Records, March 25)

How do I possibly explain or tell more people about this record? This is genuinely one of the best albums I have ever heard. It is unapologetic, diverse, genre-defying, and absolutely fantastic. Everything on it has so much passion and work behind it; it’s smart, at times funny, other times heartbreaking, heavy, and catchy as hell. Every respective member is a master behind their instrument and everything is perfect in its place. These songs will get stuck in your head, and they deserve to. It’s the modern day The Shape Of Punk To Come except Black as fuck.

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And that’s my list! There are hundreds of really good records that came out this year, but in the world of hardcore and post-hardcore, these are the ones that really hit all my marks. I hope there’s something new for you here, and feel free to let me know your favorites as well.

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