Despite the common misconception that an act requires an extensive back catalogue in order to forge a legacy, such an idea is nothing more than fallacy. True proof of this is the prolific career of the Sex Pistols, an act who ignited and brought the punk movement into the spotlight of the mainstream on the back of a single, 34 minute long record. With that in mind, here’s our list of our top 10 records released by acts who only ever released one album.
HECK – Instructions (2016)
Originally known as Baby Godzilla prior to being forced to change their moniker due to a threatened lawsuit by Toho Ltd, (Once you’re being threatened by lawsuits, you know you’ve made it as a band), Heck where known for one thing; causing pure mayhem. Known prolifically for their intense and lawless live shows, Heck released Instructions on the back of a string of EP’s to critical acclaim by purveyors of chaos and to confusion and headaches to those unfamiliar with contemporary chaotic music. Intense, sporadic and schizophrenic, Instructions was a relentless journey of energized mentality that went from nought to sixty in 5 microseconds and didn’t relent until you utterly destroyed your surroundings. Technically impressive and chaotically insane, the record proved to be the soundtrack for the destruction of many a venue, with Heck’s reputation becoming legendary in the alternative scene. However, in the true nature of this band, the band announced their demise sporadically just months following the release and performed their last show at ArcTanGent 2017.
Crooks - Are We All The Same Distance Apart (2015)
Originating from Cheltenham, Crooks were simply known as local heroes prior to the release of their debut We All The Same Distance Apart in 2015. Heartfelt, tender and haunting, Crooks presented post-hardcore that substituted the associated aggression of the genre with genuine emotional heft. Evocative, macabre and bittersweet, the record struck a chord with many a listener due to it’s sense of struggle, maturity and masterful handling of post-hardcore motifs. Presenting the genre in which they tackled in a new and original light, the record allowed the group to tour with likes of Coheed And Cambria, Glassjaw, Boston Manor and Blood Youth, bringing their deeply anthemic output to thousands. Whilst the band were looking to be unstoppable yet humble, fans were met with ever growing profound radio silence from the band the year following the release. Whilst a new single and promises of a succeeding record were uttered, there was been no word from the band for a number of years now, resulting in many fans claiming the band to be done and dusted. A true shame.
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows – D.R.U.G.S (2011)
The history of this sadly short-lived project is a messy one indeed, with the group forming following the departure of Craig Owens from Chiodos in 2010. Composing of members of Matchbook Romance, From First To Last and Story Of The Year, the supergroup released their playful debut D.R.U.G.S in 2011 and rapidly built a fanbase following the release. Fitting right into the metalcore and post-hardcore scene that thrived during the time, the release encompassed all the conventions that made the scene so popular, with it’s pop sensibilities, adolescent aggression and quirky, frivolous and fun sentiments and structures. Whilst a follow up was promised and it seemed like the band would ultimately become leaders of the scene, Owens re-joined Chiodos in 2012 and the act dissolved in the weeks following the announcement. Despite their relatively short career, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows toured with the likes of Black Veil Brides, The JCQ, Asking Alexandria and performed a coveted set at Download Festival and still remains to be remembered as an act that soundtracked many adolescences.
Hindsights – Cold Walls / Cloudy Eyes (2015)
The name of this sadly missed act should ring a bell with anyone familiar with the UK emo and pop punk scene at it’s peak a couple of years ago. Following a string of EP’s, the Maidenhead sad lads in Hindsights released their full-length debut Cold Walls / Cloudy Eyes in early 2015 to rapturous applause from both the press and their respective scene. Hooking, enthralling and deeply fresh at the time, the album encapsulated the spirit of the emo scene with it’s massive anthems, sense of evoking melancholy and refined DIY elements. In an age when emo was still associated with juvenile angst by members of the wider spread scene, Cold Walls / Cloudy Eyes challenged pre-existing stereotypes with it’s brilliant, rousing instrumentation and relatable lyricism. Considering the band had been bubbling under the surface for a number of years prior to the release, many cited this act to be destined for the big leagues, on par with acts such as Basement, Title Fight and Gnarwolves in terms of magnitude. However, it clearly wasn’t meant to be. Less than a year later the Hindsights played their farewell show in January 2016, releasing a commemorative zine, live album and the full final show in video form (which you can stream here) in the following months too, immortalizing their short lived but profound career.
Mongol Horde – Mongol Horde (2014)
When most people ignorant of alternative music think of Frank Turner, it’s likely they imagine someone suitable enough to play a wedding. However, prior to indulging to the soft and pleasantly meandering sounds of his current output of work, Turner cut his teeth in the UK hardcore scene, most notably fronting the long defunct post-hardcore project Million Dead. Whilst such fury may be long in the past, Frank returned to the world of post-hardcore in 2014 with Mongol Horde, a three-man project composed of members of Million Dead and The Sleeping Souls. Depraved, often ridiculous but absolutely seething, the trio released their debut in 2014 to gleaming smiles and destroyed venues. A far cry from the placid and amble demeanor of the work of Frank Turner’s main project, the record explored the themes of radical politics, banality of the music industry, Cliff Richard killing The Beatles and Natality Portman being controlled by a tapeworm. Despite covering a range of obscene subjects, the self-titled release became swiftly known for it’s character, it’s humour and above all else, it’s staggering sense of hostility. Thrashing, convulsing and scathing, the record became the soundtrack to a range of highly destructive and energized shows. Whilst the group reunited earlier this year for a string of intimate shows, it’s currently unknown if the project will return to activity again, with the future of this act being illusive at best.