Well it’s the time of year when stocking fillers are top of mind and what better to use than some seasonal hardcore. No, it's nothing to do with mustachioed lotharios but yes it is time to sweep up some challenging music and share it with your nearest and dearest, and a lot of it is British, so you’re helping those green shoots of recovery too. Keep reading for some suggestions for some essential last minute gift items, complete with YouTube video playlist.
Breaking The Day – 'Survived By None'
First off, a band from my own home town of Chatham, Kent who have taken their influences from the likes of Cult Of Luna and Devil Sold His Soul. This, their debut album, is heavier than figgy pudding and much more thrilling than a Christmas jumper. So clear gran from the moshpit and play it loud.
Most festive track: 'The Streets Will Rain With Blood Tonight'
TRC – 'Bright Lights'
Take Rage Against the Machine and Machine Head twist together and send 5,000 volts down the line. The result is a debut album fast and furious, filled with energy and anger, and a scathing reflection on the state of the nation. So something to follow the Queen’s Christmas speech perhaps.
Most festive track: 'Go Hard Or Go Home'
While She Sleeps – 'The North Stands For Nothing'
From the proggier side of the tracks, Opeth obviously an influence, another debut album perfect for a family occasion such as a reflective post-turkey-dinner chill out.
Most festive track: 'Proud Of The Demon In Me'
Heights – 'Dead Ends'
Fresher than the mince pie crumbs in Santa’s beard. More debut material from the new wave of British hardcore – total commitment and great songs.
Most festive track: Eye For An Eye
Down I Go – 'Gods'
Across the Atlantic now, this band are the crazies of hardcore for sure. A bit like The Mars Volta on steroids. Only an EP (and apparently their last ever) – so even your dementia-ridden uncle’s attention span wont be challenged. Atlas and Icarus aren’t Gods but never mind – wonderful band.
Most festive tracks: 'Poseidon', 'Atlas'
Will Haven – 'Voir Dire'
The ghosts of Christmas past and one of my favourite bands of all time have come back from the dead with their finest album since 2001’s career best 'Carpe Diem'. Fragile front man Grady Avenell is back for now, this album kicks ass and 'Lives Left to Wither' starts like a carol service so you can slip it in early doors.
Most festive tracks: 'Lives Left To Wither', 'Midas Secret', 'Harvesting Our Burdens'
Watch the video playlist at YouTube or embedded above. Click here for more playlists.