by Jeff
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


a photograph of an open safety pin

Here are 30 incredible punk songs from 2015. I don't make any claims about these being "the best," and they don't appear in any order other than alphabetical, but I love them all. Think of this more as a scrapbook than a list. So many great records came out and there were so many wild shows this year, so my hope is that this can be a small time capsule, a way to remember all the amazing songs that we lived through in the troubled year of 2015.

About "punk": I'm not a stickler for any style or definition. I see the international do-it-yourself punk scene as a free space for people to make whatever they want. On the list there's power-pop, street punk, hardcore, raw noize, pop-punk, even some twee. I hope you like these songs. Some are harsh listening, while others are tuneful, soulful; happy, sad. If you don't like one song skip ahead, and you might love the next.

Support the bands if you can! Go see them play if you get a chance. When you're there buy a shirt, or a seven inch. Bring a friend. Support the scene, for real.


All Dogs - "That Kind of Girl" [buy]
This record is hard melodic nouveau-nineties gold that perfectly balances catchy riffs with heavier bursts of fuzzy catharsis.

Barcelona - "Pasión" [buy]
The seven songs on Barcelona's debut EP epitomize the dense, meticulously-constructed HC sound that has emerged from the Catalonian capital over the past decade. Their singer spits hellfire all over these tracks. Her enraged, emotionally-raw delivery is the beating heart of this band.

Destruction Unit - "If Death Ever Slept" [buy]
Fuzzed out and roaring. This is what dragons listen to while flying over the wastes, looking for a village to burn to the ground.

DIÄT - "Nausea" [buy]
A post-apocalyptic shanty from a thermonuclear war that never happened. Eighties-vintage anxiety recreated with icy guitars and distant voices.

Downtown Boys - "Monstro" [buy]
Two fed up marching band sax players on the run got picked up by a political punk band while hitchhiking a few years ago; they joined forces and never looked back.

Frau - "No Time" [buy]
Frau's music lies on the borderlands between the cool affect of minimal punk and the psychological darklands of hardcore. On stage, the tension between these two poles exerts an enormous pressure. Each Frau song is a perfect black diamond, sharp and hard.

G.L.O.S.S. - "Outcast Stomp" [buy]
"The freaks are coming!" A twenty-first-century call-to-arms for freaky-ass folks of all stripes.

Heathers - "Downtown Cop" [buy]
"Downtown Cop" is narrated by an officer on the wrong side of history, sneering at the marching masses and protecting the status quo. Heathers know you have to understand your enemy before you can destroy them.

Ivy - "Head Business" [buy]
Information overload is a big headache, Ivy says. Let's know as much with our hearts as we do with our heads, alright? This NY band pulled out all the stops for their final seven inch.

Joanna Gruesome - "Last Year" [buy]
A lovers' argument in miniature: what starts with yells ends in sweet two-part harmony. This is sweater-wearing music for mix tapes and cool fall days and a certain kind of longing.

La Misma - "Kanizadi" [buy]
Hypnotic bass, siren-y guitar, and vocals in Portuguese. Starts slow and melancholic, then blooms into fist-throwing HC near the halfway point. This song keeps surprising from the first to the last.

Lightning Bolt - "The Metal East" [buy]
Twenty years in, Providence's Brian-trust are still exploring the outer reaches of their practice space and finding endless new dimensions.

Metz - "Spit You Out" [buy]
METZ are masters of repeating a part, upping the tension, until it feels like you're going to rip your eyes out if the song doesn't hit the rock-out part soon. In a good way.

Mommy - "Medicine Blues" [buy]
This Toxic State band's first seven inch is a haunting exploration of their personal experiences with the mental health complex. Pounding drums, vocals sung through sewer grates, rusty guitars. Goblin music.

Needles//Pins - "Bored" [buy]
As we wait for their sure-to-be-excellent third LP, N//P was kind enough to drop two hits on a split seven inch. They just keep outdoing themselves over and over again. You've got my heart Needles//Pins.

Obnox - "Grease" [buy]
Perfect soundtrack to a movie about going out and getting things done one bright Saturday. Crossing off the items on the to-do list: haircut, bank, post office, grocery store, then by nightfall hitting up the BBQ and getting blazed. Grease is no less than the stuff of life.

Orden Mundial - "El Gobierno / Desesperenza" [buy]
Electric shock, electric shock, electric shock. Orden Mundial still sound like they record in a closet on Majorca and they still make the most vital HC in el mundo.

Partner - "The 'Ellen' Page" [buy]
"Hot Knives" might rock harder, but the second song released by Sackville's finest is a hearfelt tribute to Halifax-raised megastar Ellen Page coming out of the closet, and gives me the most feelings. Spike says it may be the best Atlantic Canadian queer anthem since "Outport Lesbian." Most anticipated LP of 2016, for sure.

Pavilion - "In Your Hands" [buy]
The sound of rain turning to ice against your bedroom window. Haunting vocals, hard drums, moody times.

Poor Form - "Ain't Clean" [buy]
Poor Form play blackened pop punk with so much grit and heart and Vancouver dirt pressed into it. Legs's raspy voice was one of the biggest revelations of 2015 for me and every song on her band's seven inch is an instant classic.

Prag - "Winter Mute" [buy]
That point in the blizzard, when the snow is coming down so thick that the world disappears and all you see is white. Yeti tunes.

Rixe - "Larmes De Crocodile" [buy]
I missed Rixe when they played Loud House, which is good because now nothing will stop me from imagining that they are a band of mild-mannered silverback gorillas escaped from the Paris zoo, dressed in Fred Perrys and suspenders.

Royal Headache - "Another World" [buy]
Isn't this what we're all dreaming of? New Royal Headache music seemed unlikely at the dawning of the year, but here we are, with another scrappy small miracle.

Sheer Mag - "Fan the Flames" [buy]
Sheer Mag are an electric shock. Their scrappy songs overflow with soulful vocals, a wicked back beat, and spry guitars that unleash sweet solos at the drop of a hat. This band manages that impossible thing, sounding familiar without being like anyone else.

Shopping - "Straight Lines" [buy]
The first time I heard Gang of Four I couldn't believe that a rhythm section so bumping could be so anti-capitalist. I'm feeling that way again listening to Shopping from London. They bring all the punks to the floor with their funking bass and tight critique. (Thanks for the tip Erin!)

Tenement - "Feral Cat Tribe" [buy]
Wind blowing through a screen door on one of the first warm days. / Sitting on the porch and knowing you'll be seeing your friends soon. / Petting a cat that's not your own. (SST-style double album. Take that, Huskers!)

TV Freaks - "Thirteen" [buy]
Smooth destruction. Hardcore with no rough edges, perfect for old guys like me on the Metro ride to work. Their OXW 2015 set at the Dominion Tavern, where I wasted so many of my young nights, was perfect.

Ursula - "Relief" [buy]
That sleepy Sunday morning feeling, when you wake up at someone else's house, and then slip out to the diner for a cheap breakfast and sit remembering everything that happened the night before.

Vacation - "I Wish I Could Be Someone Else" [buy]
Vacation from Ohio destroy with their tuneful, amped up, snotty songs. "I Wish I Could Be Someone Else" is a back-to-school anthem for kids who dropped out long ago.

Vexx - "Sleeping in the Attic Again" [buy]
A song about living in a fucked up spot and needing to find a new place. This makes me think of all the broken houses in X songs, but Vexx have staked out their own real estate.

Thanks for reading and listening!

Love, Jeff

Posted by Jeff at December 17, 2015 2:00 AM

Thanks for this. It has been difficult for me to keep up with current punk. This collection is a great way to catch up on what I have missed. By the way, I love this site and have been lurking for many years enjoying everything you and your team share (words and music).

Posted by Shawn at December 31, 2015 12:00 PM

nice list jeff, a good few i haven't yet heard but will be doing so. i've done something similar on my blog, my top 30 punk songs of 2015. hopefully you might want to check it out http://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.co.uk/

Posted by Mick Fletcher at January 1, 2016 11:59 AM

Hey Shawn, Thanks for your note. So glad to hear that you enjoy the blog. I hope you find some punk gems you love on the list! Thanks for reading and listening, Jeff.

Posted by Jeff Author Profile Page at January 3, 2016 10:41 PM

Hey Mick, thanks for checking out the list and sharing yours!

Posted by Jeff Author Profile Page at January 3, 2016 10:41 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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