Santa Cruz hardcore band Scowl may have released their debut album How Flowers Grow in 2021, but 2022 was really their year. They toured constantly, and played some sets that have become iconic even to people who weren’t there, from their last-minute show at a Sonic drive-thru with Gel to their packed Sound and Fury set (Fugazi cover included) to opening for Limp Bizkit. I caught them on tour with The Bronx, The Chats, and Drug Church at Brooklyn Steel, where they absolutely ripped. They’re wrapping up 2022 with two West Coast shows with Circle Jerks and TSOL, and they’ve already got big plans lined up for 2023 too, including a tour supporting Show Me The Body, alongside Zulu and TRiPP JONES; their label Flatspot Records’ Baltimore and Brooklyn showcases; festival appearances at Outbreak in the UK, Bamboozle in NJ, and the stacked new Sick New World fest in Vegas; and more. If they play near you, don’t miss ’em.
As this banner year for Scowl comes to a close, all five members of the band caught up with us to tell us about their favorite albums of 2022. Each member made their own list, with commentary on each album, and their picks include fellow hardcore and hardcore-adjacent bands like Punitive Damage, Anklebiter, End It, Soul Blind, High Vis, Militarie Gun, Terror, Long Knife, Anxious, Glitterer, The Flex, Spice, and more, and other stuff ranging from indie-punk cult heroes Joyride! to death metallers Mortuous to Waxahatchee & Jess Williamson’s alt-country project Plains to French punks Syndrome 81 to crossover thrashers Municipal Waste to Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. There are tons of cool albums on these lists, and it’s worth reading what the members had to say about each one. Check out their full lists below.
Kat Moss (vocals):
Soul Blind – Feel It All Around
Love this band, one of my favorite live bands from 2022.
Ethel Cain – Preacher’s Daughter
So glad I discovered Ethel Cain this year, I loved listening to this record while on tour this year.
Yung Lean – Stardust
The FKA twigs feature is amazing!
Punitive Damage – This Is The Blackout
BAD ASS BAND! BAD ASS RECORD!
Anklebiter – Demo 2022
It was such a fun experience to tour with this band! Excited to see where they go.
Billie Eilish – Guitar Songs
Can’t get enough of Billie Eilish.
Taylor Swift – Midnights (3am Edition)
Best T Swift record ever. Obsessed with Jack Antonoff’s production. 3am Edition is just perfect.
Malachi Greene (guitar):
Terror – Pain Into Power
It’s not easy to put out great albums year after year but Terror does it.
End It – Unpleasant Living
Everything about this album is great. I especially enjoy Akil’s vocal style and flow.
Ballista – Ballista Territory
Heavy, angry, pissed lyrics and great front to back.
High Vis – Blending
I love this release. Super catchy and still very aggressive.
Militarie Gun – All Roads Lead To The Gun (Deluxe)
One of the best doing it right now.
Long Knife – Curb Stomp Earth
This release is so sick. One really cool thing is the bass really pops on this album with a lot of creative bass lines. The bass doesn’t just sit in the mix behind the guitar like a-lot of mixes it adds a lot of dynamic.
Field of Flames – Constructing A War Against You
Bailey Lupo (bass):
The Berries – High Flying Man
I was completely floored the first time I gave this a spin. The perfect soundtrack for a drive alone at night to a dried up quarry with nothing to your name but half a pack of smokes, a few tall cans of coor’s banquet and perhaps a long conversation with the ghost of Tom Petty.
Sumerlands – Dreamkiller
My most replayed record of 2022. Imagine all the infectious & operatic attitude of Dio-era Sabbath perfectly meets the rapturing & dynamic story telling of Manilla Road. An instant heavy metal classic in the modern day.
Joyride! – Miracle Question
The mighty and triumphant return of my favorite Bay Area group. There’s something nostalgic and relatable tucked away in this onslaught of catchy hooks and punchy bass driven indie punk jams. If you aren’t lucky enough to have driven from Santa Cruz to San Francisco on Highway 1 late at night with some friends blasting music on a cassette tape and felt the embrace of the fog takeover then I suggest you listen to this album. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to that feeling.
Innumerable Forms – Philosophical Collapse
Painfully heavy. Hellishly crushing. This album is packed with so many twists, turns & tempo changes it feels like being lost in a labyrinth that’s sinking into the sea.
Plains – I Walked With You A Ways
Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson completely swept me off my feet with this one. I’ve cried to this album more than any release this year.
Mortuous – Upon Desolation
SAN JOSE DEATH METAL MOTHERFUCKER. A beautifully putrid masterpiece. Riffs that will turn you into the Toxic Avenger.
Mikey Bifolco (guitar, also of Chemical Fix):
Punitive Damage – This Is the Blackout
This band absolutely rips! Saw them live before I checked out the LP and was completely blown away. This is my favorite style of fast pissed-off hardcore punk and they executed this LP perfectly. Do not sleep on this band.
Fearing – Desolate
I’ve loved every release from this band and this new EP is one of my favorites. Darkwave / post-punk to dance to.
Syndrome 81 – Prisons Imaginaries
Randomly stumbled across this band on Spotify a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. This new LP is even better. Solid blend of post-punk with modern hardcore riffs. I don’t really know what they’re saying cause it’s in French but I def vibe with it.
Vestron Vulture – Super Liger
I love driving at night to this record. Darkwave with drony vocals, catchy post-punk riffs, and a drum machine…the perfect combo.
Desmond Doom – Surf Goth
Honestly the name of the LP describes it just fine.
Yambag – Strength in Nightmares
Played with this band randomly in Austin TX. I knew once I saw the McGruff the Crime Dog stuffed toy on stage that I was gonna be on board. This is a perfect hardcore punk EP. 7 songs in 8 minutes. Early 2000s fastcore vibes. Short. Fast. Sweet.
Municipal Waste – Electrified Brain
I fucking love this band. They are the best band ever. Period….
Cole Gilbert (drums):
Alex G – God Save The Animals
Alex G doing what he does best. I really hope I get a chance to see him in 2023.
Anxious – Little Green House
This album and the singles they’ve been releasing this year are incredible. Always great to see your friends win.
The Flex – Chewing Gum for the Ears
NWOBHC goats proving that they’re still the best to do it.
Glitterer – Fantasy Four
An awesome EP I did not see coming at all this year. Love the direction this band is going in.
Jacky Boy – Mush
When I first met Steve from Jacky Boy, I told him I loved his band “Tommy Boy.” Anyway, amazing LP, catchy fuzzy ass alt rock.
Momma – Household Name
I wish I had found out about this band before because my lord. This is without a doubt my favorite album of the year. Got lucky enough to see them play with Pardoner as well.
Spice – Viv
This album just hits every mark. Incredible live band too, got lucky enough to see them at their record release for this album.
Turnover – Myself in the Way
One of my favorite bands continuously putting out amazing music. This album kind of sounds like a Daft Punk album with how funky it is and I’m not mad about it.
Weezer – SZNZ: Autumn
I was a little worried about the “quantity over quality” factor when I found out they were doing four EPs this year, but I haven’t been able to stop listening to this one.
Young Guv – Guv 3 & 4
Okay yeah it’s technically two albums but Ben simply does not miss, I can’t talk about just one. How he continues to release perfect album after perfect album is beyond me.
Scowl — 2022/2023 Tour Dates
12/29 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s w/ Circle Jerks, TSOL
12/30 – Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theater w/ Circle Jerks, TSOL
1/28 – Baltimore, MD @ Disturbin’ the Peace w/ Trapped Under Ice & more
with Show Me The Body, Zulu & TRiPP Jones:
2/9 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
2/10 – Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall
2/11 – Durham, NC @ Motorco
2/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
2/14 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
2/15 – Miami, FL @ Gramps
2/16 – Gainsville, FL @ The Wooly
2/17 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea’s Live
2/18 – Dallas, TX @ The Studio at The Factory
2/19 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
2/21 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
2/22 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
2/24 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
2/25 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
2/26 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
2/28 – Orange County, CA @ The Observatory
3/1 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
3/3 – Santa Cruz, CA Santa Cruz @ Vets Hall
3/4 – Berkeley, CA @ UC Theatre
3/5 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
3/7 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
3/8 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
3/9 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
3/10 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
3/11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Soundwell
3/12 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
3/14 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
3/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Underground Music Venue
3/16 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
3/17 – Detroit, MI @ Tangent Gallery
3/18 – Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
3/19 – Montreal, QC @ Corona
3/21 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
3/22 – Albany, NY @ Fuze Box
3/23 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
3/24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
4/8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Monarch (Flatspot World)
5/5-7 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Bamboozle
5/13 – Las Vegas, NV @ Sick New World
6/25 – Manchester, UK @ Outbreak Fest