As politically poisoned as 2019 was, man, did we get some killer hardcore records to help cleanse our brains with. Whether you're into the metallic-driven riffing stuff, the fast-paced kind, the melodic-minded, and/or any other of the multitudes of strains of hardcore, there was more than enough releases to satiate your listening needs.
It was very tough for me to pick my favorite hardcore record of the year this time out. Point of Contact, Magnitude, Never Ending Game, Dominant Force, and Envision all came close to claiming the title for me, but when it came down to it, Gazm's Heavy Vibe Music took the prize home.
In his No Echo review of Heavy Vibe Music, Michael D. Thorn brought up Dmize, Transilvanian Hunger-era Darkthorne, and Leeway to help break down what the Montreal band cooked up on the album, and if you know me well, you'll understand why that explanation illustrates why Gazm appeals to me on such a deep level.
Gazm's stew of NYHC-styled hardcore, crossover, and Excel-like thrash packs flavor for days, but what I'm most impressed with is how goddamn catchy each song is.
Every track has something truly memorable about it going on, which is something I can't say about a lot of the hardcore records that I've listened to lately (don't shoot me). It's for that reason why Heavy Vibe Music wins out for me in 2019.
Yes, I love caveman guitar riffs as much as the next asshole, but when you also deliver the hooks with said riffs, I'm all yours.