11. Power Trip, 'Nightmare Logic'
Sure, Power Trip like to thrash it up, but the Dallas five-piece's sophomore effort is no mere battle-jacket-and-high-tops throwback. Rather, Nightmare Logic gathers the band's source material – hardcore, punk and plenty of Eighties speed metal – and distills it into sharply focused and hooky aggo-blasts. Credit in part the clean, modern production of Arthur Rizk (who also worked on Code Orange's Forever), which allows every open-string chug to tear through the mix with razor-sharp definition; but also the uncluttered arrangements and gut-punch performances, spiked with plenty of whammy-bar squiggles and gang-vox bellows. And then there's frontman Riley Gale's ferociously flabbergasted bark: Rather than trading in straight-up rage, he delivers lines like "You're waiting around to die/And I can't fucking stand it!" with something approaching bewildered indignation. R.B.