2014 has been a pretty good year for Dallas music. It's a bit of a cliche for the members of any music community to say their scene is "on the rise," but around here it's pretty hard to argue with. Bands have signed to labels, venues have opened, festivals have flourished and, perhaps most importantly, Deep Ellum is the strongest it's been in a decade.
But as the year winds down, it's time to look ahead to 2015 -- and for those plugged into the punk scene in North Texas, there are no shortage of bands to be excited about it. Here are five such artists that we have a good feeling about for next year.
For uninitiated parties, Slimy Member sounds like the grossest name imaginable. For the initiated, it is a smile and a nod to famed anarcho-punk/death rock band Rudimentary Peni. Hailing from East Dallas, Slimy Member's eight-song demo, released in the summer of 2014, was quietly well-received by listeners. Musically, the band does well to stay true to their anarcho and death rock influences and the result is really good. The band puts on a great live show which goes a long way in the realm of hardcore punk. Expect to see and hear more from this band, who insist that they are writing songs at a prolific pace these days.
Afraid of Life
Hailing from Crowley, Texas is Afraid of Life. Playing '90s-influenced straight edge hardcore a la New Age Records is one thing; to do it at the age Afraid of Life are is something else. Most of the band is still in high school. When you also factor in the remarkable learning curve its members are bound to undergo stylistically, you realize you are seeing something special start to develop. Afraid of Life isn't just one to watch for 2015, but for years to follow as well.
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The Sentenced is arguably the biggest of this article's lot as they're pretty much on the cusp of breaking out. This is confirmed by the fact that they recently featured at the latest edition of the November festival Not Dead Yet in Toronto. The band regularly is asked to play the bigger hardcore punk tours that come through Dallas these days. They just released a new EP on Christmas Day called Euthanasia. 2015 is the Sentenced's year to make a name on the national level. Call 'em whatever you want, just don't say they're not ready for it.
Featuring a who's who of Dallas hardcore punk mainstays, Lacerations play USHC with some traces of European influence in it. The band is great but for some reason, when it comes to this style of hardcore, the story is usually the same: They will play a good amount, drop a couple of releases, not garner a ton of love from their local crowd with some marginal national attention and then break up. Then somewhere along the way the band's output will get dug up and be praised with kids asking the question, "Why didn't they get big?" Change that model now. Lacerations are here. Enjoy them in 2015 because they're damn good.
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Sick Symptom is a band who was designed to break out. They feature a vocalist from Pennsylvania with a deep pedigree in hardcore and members with strong sensibilities and the network to back it up. Locally, the band features personnel from bands such as Modern Pain (Jay Chary and Noah Boyce) and Pulled Under (Ryan Hughes). Despite having never played Dallas before, they've already played Orlando's FYA Festival and are now out on an East Coast tour. Their well-received demo is an excellent performance of hardcore influenced by the early 2000s Virginia scene and Grave Mistake Records sound. Sick Symptom has a lot to look forward to in 2015. There's a distinct prospect of getting picked up by a label (they're currently unsigned) as well as the opportunity to tour more and play nationally.
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