January 5, 2015
by Bryne Yancey

2015 is here! Everyone has already posted their Best of 2014 lists, and then hopefully printed them out and thrown them in the garbage. The music industry returns from its holiday sojourn today. Let those press releases and lyric videos start rolling!
I made 19 predictions for 2014 and five of them ended up happening—that’s about a .263 batting average, not enough to win any MVP awards but just enough to keep me from the minor leagues.

With that in mind, here are my completely unscientific, access-free predictions for 2015. Some bold, some not so bold. Let me reiterate: I have exactly zero insider info. Just hunches.

The new Refused album will be something completely different.
The band, one would think, is aware that The Shape of Punk to Come was a massively influential, generation-defining record. They may outwardly portray a sense of ambivalence about it, but I have a feeling it will subconsciously work itself into their songwriting. I hope it’s a really weird record.

The new Descendents album will finally be recorded and released.
In a live chat on Punknews.org in October, Bill Stevenson mentioned regarding a new Descendents album that “we have a lot of songs going. we will get focussed [sic] on it majorly in spring” which, you know, inspires a certain sense of certainty. I predicted this last year and ended up being wrong and will continue to predict it every year until it comes true. I still think Rise or Epitaph makes the most sense for it, label-wise.

The Sidekicks will go on some weird tours in 2015.
So far, everything released from Runners in the Nerved World (out 1/20 on Epitaph) suggests a softer, airier, though not necessarily less affecting brand of rock from the Sidekicks. With a fine-tuned sound, more label support and a desire to create new fans, it seems likely that the band will take on some weird tours in 2015. Don’t be surprised if they end up as an opener or direct support on a tour with a bunch of pop bands.

Shinobu will release an awesome new record.

Exister will be Hot Water Music’s final album…at least, for a while.
The band’s upcoming 20th anniversary collection (out 3/24) would in all likelihood, fulfill their two-record deal with Rise. It doesn’t mean they won’t do another one, but the chances may have just gotten a little lower. It’d be a shame if it were true, as Exister was a fiery comeback record for a band many assumed had relegated themselves to a live-only act.

Andrew W.K. will finally perform at The Fest.
The Fest is a giant party/family reunion cleverly disguised as a music festival, and who better to perform than The King of Partying himself? It might help that most, if not all of his band is based in Florida—Andrew is flying into the Sunshine State for a weekend of full-band shows at the end of January—so logistically speaking, why wouldn’t it happen at some point?

The Weakerthans will start working on a new album.
This is mostly just wishful thinking on my part. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were done. Want to feel old? We’re now eight years removed from Reunion Tour. The world needs new music from this band. We needed it five years ago.

Rozwell Kid will blow the fuck up.
The West Virginia band’s new full-length
Too Shabby has already turned a lot of heads, and for good reason: It has a teetering weirdness to it that’s occasionally off-putting (“Weirdo” sounds like a Pinkerton b-side) but like Pinkerton, it’s perpetually challenging and engrossing. I’d be shocked if the band weren’t picked up by a larger label—say, Run For Cover, No Sleep or Tiny Engines—for a wider release of the album.

The new Fake Problems album will finally come out.
It’s apparently already recorded and has been for some time. Chris Farren has kept himself busy with so many other projects since 2010’s
Real Ghosts Caught on Tape that his band has almost become an afterthought. Hopefully their label limbo has been solved and we can finally hear what they came up with.

2015 will be a banner year for hardcore.
New albums from Blacklisted, Drug Church, Ceremony, War on Women, and Defeater are already either announced or in the works. They will very likely all be great.