Luis Hernandez of Alpha & Omega
In July, Alpha & Omega’s juggernaut second full-length album dropped via Bridge Nine. Drawing from the influence of hardcore mainstays such as Cro Mags and Integrity as well as crossover and metal like Crowbar and Metallica, the resulting sound is one that is 100 percent their own. No Rest, No Peace was also the first album the band wrote together; each song featuring input from every member. And with Chad Gilbert producing and Kyle Black recording, this record sounds tougher while more accessible than anything Alpha & Omega has done thus far. The band immediately headed out in support of the album with Terror. In short, it’s been an incredible year for Alpha & Omega, which included a lot of van time for music and movies.
You Indie recently caught up with A&O vocalist Luis Hernandez to ask about his favorite albums of and movies of the year. This is what he told us he was digging.
1) Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob
2) Twitching Tongues — In Love There Is No Law
3) Down To Nothing – Life On The James
4) Haim — Days Are Gone
5) King Nine — Scared To Death
2) The Conjuring
3) The Iceman
4) West Of Memphis
5) The Place Beyond The Pines
(Visit Luis and his band here: https://www.facebook.com/alphaandomegahc.)
Jacob Bannon of Converge, Deathwish, Inc., Wear Your Wounds
In the hardcore world there are few more involved in the advancement of the genre than Jacob Bannon. He’s the vocalist, lyricist, and graphic artist for Converge, and the founder and owner of Deathwish Inc. Additionally, Bannon is an incredible visual artist, whose work has been almost as integral a part of the independent music community as his output.
Naturally, You Indie sought to find out what Bannon’s top albums of 2013 were. And he delivered. Here they are.
Best of 2013 in no particular order:
Depeche Mode — Delta Machine
Zola Jesus — Versions
ASG — Blood Drive
Mazzy Star — Seasons of Your Day
Nails — Abandon All Life
Magic Circle — Self Titled
Carcass — Surgical Steel
Satyricon — Self Titled
Enforcer — Death by Fire
Red Hare — Nites of Midnight
Blast! — Blood
Friends and loved ones
Diamonds and Rust
All things Deathwish
(Visit Bannon here: http://www.jacobbannon.com/)
Sean Pieffer of Lazer/Wulf
I recently encountered Lazer/Wulf for the first time during their Summer support run with Kylesa, although I was first tipped off by Kylesa vocalist/guitarist Phillip Cope, who has been working behind the boards with the band on their forthcoming full-length. To say the experimental, genre defying trio captured my attention with their virtuosity and spitfire performance would be an understatement. The fact that bassist Sean Peiffer was so gracious and hilarious during our post-set conversation sealed the deal. I grabbed the band’s contact information (on a business card that proclaimed them “Attorneys At Rock”) and circled back with the band weeks later for an interview.
A few month after that, the band were back in Ohio supporting Orange Goblin, and he and I had the opportunity to rekindle our bromance. His band rules, and he rules, which made him a natural go-to for a year’s end albums list. This is what he was digging.
No Particular order. Shit, couldn’t decide.
Ulcerate – Vermis
Another extremely dissonant, challenging album from Ulcerate. These New Zealanders’ riffs are a complete anomaly. Sometimes, I find myself going into a trance-like state when listening to this band. Eviscerating.
Gorguts – Colored Sands
I think it might be true. Call me a fanboy, but Luc Lemay might have conquered music with the addition of Dysrhythmia’s Colin Marston and Kevin Hufnagel to Gorguts. Brilliant record.
KEN Mode – Entrench
Been cranking this one pretty hard since its release. but, it was not until I saw them in Ottawa with Full of Hell that I was truly blown away by this band. Perfect mix of raw intensity and solid songwriting.
Kylesa – Ultraviolet
I heard these songs every day for six weeks when Lazer/Wulf was on tour with Kylesa. I’m still not tired of them. That says a lot. It’s hard to find a record that is super heavy and psychedelic while still being chilled out and groovy.
Carcass – Surgical Steel
Didn’t want to get my hopes up after being burned by reunion albums in the past. But, in my opinion, this is truly Carcass 4.0. An updated, well oiled, Frankenstein robot comprised of Carcasses old and new.
Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
To me, Dillinger Escape Plan are the Michael Jackson of math metal, which means it is undeniable.
Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam
Punishingly heavy and technical, while still being extremely listenable and not sounding over-produced. Suffocation are still slamming away at their genre-defining, distinct Death Metal sound. Frank Mullen rips harder than any death metal vocalist.
East of the Wall – Redaction Artifacts
Love this band. Every song I hear surprises me, which does not happen often enough. Giving newer progressive metal a good name. I even like the squeaky clean singing, which is usually hard for me unless you are Enslaved, Opeth or Dillinger (I might have left some out, shit maybe I do like clean singing).
Nails – Abandon All Life
Crushing. That’s about all I need to say.
And the last entry cheats because I really enjoyed:
Voivod – Target
Earth Autopsy – Headless Ritual
Anciients – Heart of Oak
All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature
(Visit Sean and Lazer/Wulf here: http://www.lazerwulf.com/.)
Nick Steinhardt of Touché Amoré
Touché Amoré is sure to be enjoying their own end of the year accolades in coming weeks for their incredible recent, third-full-length LP, Is Survived By, which was released in September. However, guitarist Nick Steinhardt did take a moment to tell You Indie about the effort of some others who have rocked him this year. Here is his list of the Top 5 Best Songs of 2013.
Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”
AFI, “17 Crimes”
Chelsea Wolfe, “The Waves Have Come”
VOW, “Make Me Young”
(Visit Nick’s band here: https://www.facebook.com/ToucheAmore.)
Jonah Bayer of United Nations
Some know Jonah Bayer as an outspoken music journalist, others know him as the guitarist of Ronald Reagan mask wearing screamo supergroup United Nations, and one Saturday Night Live cast member calls him a brother. However you know him, Bayer has long had his pulse on the indie underground in one way or another.
While winding down from the band’s recent run of shows with Circle Takes The Square, Bayer took time to tell You Indie about his favorite releases of the year. Here they are:
Bottomless Pit — Shade Perennial
Deafheaven — Sunbather
Touche Amore — Is Survived By
Jake Bellows — New Ocean
Jason Isbell — Southeastern
Laura Stevenson — Wheel
Overseas — Overseas
Russian Circles — Memorial
The Night Marchers — Allez Allez
The Head And The Heart — Let’s Be Still
(Visit Bayer’s band here: http://www.unitedfuckingnations.com/.)