Feedback: My favorite releases from 2022

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As sure as the passage of time brings another year to a close, here is yet another retrospective article about music released in 2022. However, I will not be attempting to declare anything “album of the year” or assert that this list comprises the “best” releases. This new music was a bright spot in a very difficult year, which I hope you also enjoyed or will be moved to check out:

“Pain into Power” by Terror — Pure Noise Records — released May 6 

It’s remarkable that Terror are writing some of their greatest material 20 years after their first release. “Pain into Power” is the result of a band that is completely dialed in — each song feels like its best possible version. Nothing is compromised and it’s an unrelenting pummel of memorable, sick riffs and realness served by iconic vocalist Scott Vogel. 

“Pain into Power” gets me itching to get moving, in both the mosh and motivational sense. I often watch a video of Terror’s set at this year’s Sound and Fury festival because it’s so inspirational. Terror is on top and it seems like they have rightfully secured that throne with “Pain into Power.”

“Aggressive City” by Raw Brigade — Cash Only Records — released June 10 

I had been thoroughly enjoying “Aggressive City,” but after seeing Raw Brigade play at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, I was made a fan for life. “Aggressive City” is fuzzy and tough, blazing through songs which balance being catchy yet unrefined. This is a record I tend to let play a second time when it ends. 

I think this album was exactly what I had been missing in some of my current band listening — something with a classic hardcore punk lean that provides a generous helping of both fast and stomp parts. I’ll be seeing them again at the Gorilla Biscuits matinee, also at the Church, on Feb. 26, and I’ll probably listen to “Aggressive City” 100 more times before then. 

“Split” by Kill Your Idols & Rule Them All — Flatspot Records — released March 4

I think that splits are super cool because they’re a means of discovering new bands. If a band you like does a split with one that you’re unfamiliar with then a new musical avenue is opened. I stumbled upon this split in that same spirit of discovery. I was perusing some archives of WNYU’s punk radio show Crucial Chaos — the 1991 Turning Point session is such a treasure — and wondered if Crucial Chaos was still featuring bands live on the show. Sure enough, Rule Them All was the first result in the videos tab of Google.

I loved what I heard from Rule Them All — a hardcore group inspired by Rush, truly a band after my own heart — and found the split with Kill Your Idols to be very fun. Both band’s contributions are melodic with an attitude. Kill Your Idols are a bit more unpolished compared to Rule Them All, but their songs also possess a dynamic quality. “Simple, Short, and Fast,” which is ironically 3:09 and features an acoustic guitar, was my favorite of their two tracks. As it turns out, I will also be seeing Kill Your Idols play with Raw Brigade and Gorilla Biscuits in February. 

“Hygiene” by Drug Church — Pure Noise Records — released March 11 

It’s a bit of a challenge to describe Drug Church’s sound. They are a band that deals in deceptively pretty soundscapes but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in the process. “Hygiene” feels like the next step in this band’s natural progression. They’re dabbling in new elements while staying in their unique pocket. 

As with anything vocalist Patrick Kindlon is involved in, “Hygiene” is full of confrontational quips and emotional pokes. I am inclined to pause and mull over certain lines before diving back into the fun of the music. This album is aggressive, layered, and at moments it’s downright beautiful.

“Regulate” by Regulate — Flatspot Records — released Sept. 30

I’ve already written about the singles from Regulate’s self-titled, but the full album has exceeded my expectations. After the release of “Hair,” “In the Moment,” and “Why Can’t We?” there was some talk about Regulate going in the direction of Turnstile. Regulate assures us by track two, “The Crime,” that they are their own type of band, thank you very much! That being said, “Regulate” does seem to be their masterpiece. 

What I love the most about this record is that it’s so well thought out and the track listing is perfect. There’s a lot of raw talent and creativity flowing throughout this project, as demonstrated in the instrumental “Ugata,” and its placement between “Hair” and “You and I.” Regulate has put together an incredible blend of their signature angry, political hardcore and fresh sonic flavors. 

Alas, writers are bound to the necessary chains of word counts. But here are some bonus releases that I loved, some of which I have already gushed about in previous Feedback articles:

Sunrise on Slaughter Beach” by Clutch — Weathermaker Music — released Sept. 16

Another Life” by Combust — Cash Only Records — released March 18

The Requiem” by Deadbody — Closed Casket Activities — released Oct. 28

Oh What the Future Holds” by Fit For An Autopsy — Nuclear Blast — released Jan. 14

New Lords” by Mindforce — Triple B Records — released Sept. 16

The Tipping Point” by Tears for Fears — Concord Records — released Feb. 25

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