15 Great Albums You Didn't Hear in 2014

A power-pop supergroup, a Nigerian rap star, a prog Hall of Famer, gamelan rock, noise-dance and more you may have missed

Youth Code, 'A Place to Stand' EP

Youth Code, 'A Place to Stand' EP

What happens when a former hardcore singer meets a heavy metal roadie? They form an industrial band, of course —but one with a punk-rock heart. Black Flag-inspired bass lines slither through mechanized Wax Trax! clatter; a pissed, pogoing riot grrrl spits boiling blood on chilly synths. Youth Code's 2013 debut full-length was a promising, if primitive, introduction; A Place to Stand, the coed duo's eight-track follow-up (four original songs, four remixes of older ones) sees the L.A. band beginning to harness its potential, reeling out both its most hardcore-infused tantrum (the floor-punching "To Burn Your World") and its most melodic cut yet (the glitchy, Crystal Castles-esque "For I Am Cursed"). "A Litany (A Place to Stand)," meanwhile, is Youth Code's manifesto, a spoken-word diatribe against discrimination, animal cruelty, hate and apathy set to a piston-pumping noisescape. The crash of collapsing new buildings rarely sounds so constructive. By Brandon Geist

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