Described as “a volatile, controlled explosion,” Mercy Ties deliver punk and hardcore that is derived from the heavy influences of Seattle’s chaotic mainstays such as Botch, Blood Brothers and Harkonen, Also from Seattle, Mercy Ties have taken what was already considered “complex structure” or “mathy” and have shot it into new altitudes and added elements of rock and grind to create something unsettling, unpredictable and distinctive. Simply, they are redefining what could be done when heavy, aggressive music.

The debut LP, and second release for Glory Kid Ltd., was recorded in Oakland, California by Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City) at Sharkbite Studios and mastered by Brad Boatright (Modern Life Is War, Nails) at Audiosiege. The album, Proper Corruption, will drop this winter.

We caught up with Mercy Ties’ Jon Schmitt to discuss some of 2015’s releases that he thought redefined what could be done with music. This is what he told us:

I have no particular order for these albums but they either have just come out and blew my mind or are non-stop listens this year! It ranges from the most blown out radical hardcore, avant-garde glory and the hookiest of pop songs!

Ruins, Within

I first heard of Ruins name floating around for the past year or so and forgot to check them out and that was a BIG mistake. They recently toured the west coast with San Diego’s Age of Collapse and totally blew me away so I had to grab this LP. Pretty much if you love epic dark melodic crusty hardcore you will be beyond stoked on this!

The Black Heart Rebellion, People, When you see the smoke, do not think it is the fields they’re burning

These folks have been a band I have loved for about six years now and push themselves to make a more unique record every release. I never know how to describe what they sound like at this point but if you like Swans, Neurosis, Grails and indie rock you need to check this out.

Kowloon Walled City, Grievances

How much can be said about Kowloon Walled City that hasn’t already been said? They just keep killing it on their blend of ’90s noise rock meets sludgy dirgy metalish jams. This actually might be the number one album of this list! An added bonus is  they are some of the best people you will ever meet!

Caskitt, This Machine Kills Sadness

Holy shit, This Machine Kills Sadness truly does so… Every song is a certified banger and will be stuck in your head for weeks. Anytime I hear this one come on I cant help but smile and sing along.

The Rodeo Idiot Engine, Malaise

The Rodeo Idiot Engine is another band that keeps pushing themselves with every release and it has me so stoked to hear each release. This one just came out in November and I must say ive played it about 25 times through already. Its an epic blistering record with all the melodic hooks, chaotic/heavy riffs and drumming as well as  some of the most intense atmospheric and emotional songs of the year.

The Helm, Symptoms Come To Light

Riffs… dark upsetting riffs. The Helm seems to have one goal with this newest record and its to make you remember that the world is a fucked up awful place. These songs are dark, nasty and fucking rad. It always makes me think of Cursed mixed with the spectacle and fuck the facts for some reason.

Ex-Breathers, Past Tense

Their first record made me think of the Louisville hardcore scene at its peak… Now years later they have expanded that into their own brand of fucked up radical punk/post-hardcore that is ever so fitting that they are a part of the Hex Records alumni now. Also their tone is beyond perfect. Great, great, great band and release.

Success, Radio Recovery

I remember mentioning HOOKS…. HOLY HELL does this record have those. Every song is a banger. If you want to sing along all night with your friends and dance you need to put this one on.

Brutal Youth, Bottoming Out EP

Do you like Kid Dynamite? Do you like your punk fast pissed and snotty with a little bit of fun and pop to ease the tensions? Check out this and everything these radical canadians have done!

Vvovnds, Descending Flesh

Vvouvnds is a totally radical band from Belgium. I can not get enough of this since our drummer showed me them about a month ago. Its such a rad blend of power-violence, noisey hardcore and reverbed out atmospheric riffs thrown in. So, so, so stoked on this!


Tim Anderl is an American journalist from Dayton, Ohio, whose work has been published in Alternative Press, Strength Skateboarding Magazine, and Substream Music Press. He was previously the web editor of and is currently the editor of, a host of Sound Check Chat Podcast, and a contributing writer for New Noise Magazine, Ghettoblaster Magazine and Dayton City Paper.

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