With great power comes great responsibility. That’s all I could think of when building this list. I was afraid to miss something. I asked everyone I came across “what was your favorite heavy drop this year?”. Following hours that became days that became weeks worth of listening, here are my top picks for 2021.
Ljesus chaotic hardcore
Fave track – Super Whatevs
LJesus dropped the best release of 2021 – full stop. When the short, sharp songs end I sing them over whatever comes on next before hitting the back button to listen again. Lyrically and musically To Keep Me From Dying When I Want To Die is nothing short of a masterpiece, a magnum opus by Florida’s king of hardcore.
On 2019 debut Last, the drums, guitar, bass and vocals: all written and performed by the man himself. He’s now met on stage by bandmates for performances, something to catch live if you can.
A continuation of that initial album’s genus, To Keep Me From Dying When I Want To Die has absolutely earned the top spot in this list.
Intercourse noisey hardcore
Fave track – Sweet Dreams Sour Milk
To Intercourse, my heart has long been devoted. With Rule 36 these Connecticut-cuties bless us with yet another fantastic album. So vicious and acerbic are the lyrics that I ofter wonder when it will be, that I pop a fucking blood vessle shouting them.
To the question “Fave Track” I had initially written “Impossible question, fuck right off” as a working title, because every single song, a banger. In fact, every Intercourse album is a banger starting with their self-titled debut in 2014.
If you haven’t yet heard from these babes you’re long overdue for a deep-dive followed by a live set. They play shows in New England often, no excuses.
Cerce hardcore / punk
Fave track – Worthless Cheaters
The Boston-babes of Cerce blessed us all this October with another unparalleled release. Their first drop, in 2012 had once been remastered but until this year, we waited.
Thankfully now, new music is here and it will absolutely scathe you. With lyrics that will throw you for their absurd level of vulnerability and unending anger, Cowboy Music kills. In a hardcore tradition, songs come hard and fast, you’ll be left wanting more.
My friend told me that once while watching them live, Becca Cadalzo (vocals) came by and straight punched him in the face. An icon, and an honor.
Infinity Land noisey deathrock
Fave track – Small Town Ritual Abuse
I was getting pissed at shows. The rest of the front row all excited between sets, talking about Chat Pile. Listen babies, we all love Chat Pile. Chat Pile bangs. But you better not mention them like you’re in-the-know and not have heard of Infinity Land. The peasantry, the audacity.
With lyrics that feel like a horrific possibility, or a memory repressed.. they cut deeper, are more relatable… and are scarier because of it.
I had an impossible time selecting from their two incredible 2021 releases, debut album Honest Comedy and more recently Small Town Ritual Abuse, so I picked both and nobody is going to tell me I can’t cuz ugh.. this is my list babe.
Catch me at any of their live shows in New England, a cannot-miss affair.
Fave Track – Wonderhunt
Addictive is a word fit for describing the 2021 drop from this trio out of Denmark. It is a genre-straddling, hybrid sound that can be enjoyed in many aggressive circles.
Though modern-sounding, I am reminded of the stress-inducing din of early industrial in the punishing tracks. Your heartbeat will quicken, fight or flight arisen.
Previous drops for the crew are just as caustic with 2017’s Modern Genes, arguably better. The desperate urgency of the music, its most charming attribute.
Thanks so much for checking out my picks for the top five heavy drops of the year. See you in the pit.