Saturday, 31 December 2016

MY 10 FAVOURITE ALBUM RELEASES OF 2016

I thought 2015 was incredible for album releases....2016 has completely blown me away and a top 10 was a massive struggle for me! I've finally managed to whittle the long list down to my favourites, so, here are my 2016 top 10 album releases!

10. Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis
BIFFY_CLYRO_ELLIPSISIn at number 10 is the Kilmarnock threesome that go by the name of Biffy Clyro. The first Biffy album I bought was Only Revolutions back in 2009 and that was when I first found my love for them. A few albums later (their seventh album so far), Ellpsis was released the tracks seem to have a different feel to the previous three but each are individual and demonstrates Simon Neil's songwriting skills. From the energy of 'Howl' all the way through to the much slower tracks such as 'Re-arrange' Biffy have got it spot on yet again.

Favourite Track: 'Howl'


9. Blink-182 - California
BLINK_182_CALIFORNIATHEY'RE BACKKKK! One of my favourite bands have finally released another album and it seems like forever since 2011s Neighborhoods. Five years on and they are back in full force with California minus Tom DeLonge with the addition of Matt Skiba. I've literally seen these guys once at Leeds Festival back in 2014 but I cannot wait to see them tour this new album in July! 'Bored To Death' is pretty much the anthem of the album for me and it just makes you want to sing your heart out. 'Home Is Such A Lonely Place' really reminds me of my all time favourite track 'I Miss You' and Skiba's vocals fit perfectly. The album is full of energy and tracks that probably won't leave your head for some time. I cannot wait for these guys to tour 'California' in the summer!

Favourite Track: 'Bored To Death'


8. Beartooth - Aggressive
BEARTOOTH_AGGRESSIVEBeartooth, a band that absolutely blew the music scene away with one debut album back in 2014 and they were back with Aggressive and that word very much sums up the album...aggressive. There's a mix of commercial sounding tracks such as 'However You Want It Said', throat-shearing heaviness such as 'Always Dead' and some good old Rock 'n' Roll with 'Rock Is Dead'. Sticking with the theme of the previous album of self-worth, 'Loser' perfectly sums up how many of us feel about ourselves and it's pretty damn empowering with the lyrics "I tried to fit in, I got sick of it". Caleb saves something a little less aggressive for the twelfth and final track of the album with 'King of Anything' which sees a stripped back band with just Caleb and his guitar for a slow yet powerful message of self-loathing. All in all a top album from Beartooth and it doesn't disappoint live either - there'll be a review of their Leeds gig coming soon!

Favourite Track: 'Fair Weather Friend' or 'Loser'


7. Twin Atlantic - GLA
TWIN_ATLANTIC_GLAI wish I could give all these bands a number one spot because Twin Atlantic yet again blew me away with GLA and it's so different to their other albums. Welcome a new, heavier Twin Atlantic with Sam McTrusty slaying the vocals. The first I heard of GLA was 'No Sleep' which got quite a lot of airtime on BBC Radio 1 followed by 'The Chaser' (my favourite) which is just asking you to jump up and down and dance away to. Back in October I was lucky enough to attend a signing and a free set in Leeds shortly after the album release which was the first time I heard the tracks live and Twin Atlantic did a bloody good job of performing them which was then emphasized when they played Leeds Beckett SU. Sam's beautiful Glaswegian accent still comes through on each track but sounds much more raw and edgy than previous releases. All in all it's a massive thumbs up from me. 

Favourite Track: 'The Chaser' 


6. Bury Tomorrow - Earthbound
BURY_TOMORROW_EARTHBOUND2016s Earthbound is the follow up to 2014s Runes which was a banger and Earthbound is no different. The Southampton band have never ceased to impress me with their music, the tracks on this album are just how we like them, heavy. Dani has improved vocally and his screams mix incredible well with Jason Cameron's clean vocals (which are very much underrated I must say - he deserves much more recognition). 'Cemetery' is the latest single they've released a video to and it's nothing short of wet, and overall fantastic. The album flows well throughout, from the opening riff of 'Restless & Cold' through to the powerful vocals and chorus of 'Memories'. Bury Tomorrow are FINALLY touring this album next April here in the UK after supporting many bands over the past year such as Parkway Drive and Architects. Make sure you catch them - I'll hopefully be heading to Leeds and Manchester!

Favourite Track: 'Earthbound'


5. The Amity Affliction - This Could Be Heartbreak
THE_AMITY_AFFLICTION_TCBHIn at number four is The Amity Affliction with This Could Be Heartbreak. If you read my latest review of their gig in Manchester in December (you can read the review here) you'll know that I never really listened to the band much prior to seeing them and now I'm completely hooked. The vocals across the boards are tip-top from Ahren Stringer and co-singer Joel Birch who is so bloody underrated as a screamer. 'All Fucked Up' is a slower track on the album but with lyrics that hit the core whereas 'Note To Self' relights the heavy riffs and the screams. This album is a fantastic array of metalcore tracks from the Australian band which are growing all the more popular over here in the UK. 

Favourite Track: 'Wishbone' or 'O.M.G.I.M.Y'


4. A Day To Remember - Bad Vibrations
ADTR_BAD_VIBRATIONSA Day To Remember are my favourite band of all time and when 'Paranoia' was released back in March everyone kept saying there'd be a new album but the band denied it and wouldn't say a word, that was until Bad Vibrations was announced and released back in September. This album sees A Day To Remember mix between their heavier roots with 'Reassemble', slowed down tracks such as 'In Florida' and pop punk madness with 'Naivety'. The beat behind 'Bullfight' will just make you want to dance and sing along at the top of your voice while 'Forgive and Forget' makes you want to get your lighters out and sway along with Jeremy's flawless vocals. It really is a mix of all of their previous albums and to be honest I was unsure about it at first but it's grown on me massively over the past few months and I can't wait to see it live. I was lucky enough to see 'Paranoia' performed live when I headed across the pond for their own festival, Self Help Fest, in California back in March and they smashed it.
Catch them touring the UK in January with one hell of a line up (New Found Glory, Neck Deep and Moose Blood)- expect confetti, smoke machines, Jeremy running around the crowd in a hamster ball and t-shirt cannons.

Favourite Track:  'Bullfight'


3. Issues - Headspace
ISSUES_HEADSPACEHeadspace is Issues' second album and it's just as good as the incredible self-titled debut. Released back in May this has been the soundtrack to my summer and I have literally had it on repeat so much. With a blend of R&B and metalcore, two genres you wouldn't put together in a normal situation, this album has received mixed reviews, positive and negative. From my aspect and viewpoint I don't really have anything negative to say about it. Yes, it's different but that's what makes Issues so unique, from added violins to the collaboration with American Country singer, Joe Langston during 'Yung & Dum' and backing screamer Michael Bohn becoming more vocal on this album both screams and cleans which works so well! 'COMA' sees a whole wacky mix of genres but the mesh together makes Issues, Issues. The band have evolve positively, allowing them to remain one of the hottest bands of the moment. If you're heading to Download make sure you catch them at the Avalanche stage!

Favourite Tracks: 'Made To Last' and 'COMA' 



2. I Prevail - Lifelines
I_PREVAIL_LIFELINESI Prevail, a band who have found a huge fanbase by mastering the use of social media and of course covering Taylor Swift's 'Blank Space' on Punk Goes Pop Volume 6. The Michigan metalcore band released their debut album in October and it is something else. They've gotten pretty big over in America selling out multiple venues of headline tours as well as supporting Pierce The Veil and Neck Deep which is pretty damn big! The tracks very between a mix of metalcore and hints of pop punk and it's the perfect blend for me personally as those are my favourite genres! The album is literally 13 tracks of catchy, energetic music (one catchy one in particular, 'Stuck In Your Head'...literally) barring a couple of slower tracks such as 'Alone' and 'My Heart I Surrender' which are just amazing. I cannot wait until they announce some dates in the UK - I know there's a hell of a lot of people like me that are waiting! 

Favourite Track: 'Scars' or 'Come And Get It'


1. Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
ARCHITECTS_AOGHAU
Now, my favourite album of the year! Architects have completely blown it out of the water with All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. I don't think there's a track on this album that I don't like and it literally speaks volumes in terms of lyrics. The album was released in May and Architects were all set to perform at Download Festival the following month which unfortunately they had to cancel their set and a fair bit of their headline tour around the world. This all became clearer when the unfortunate event of Tom Searle's passing was announced in August. The fact that Tom had carried on writing and performing all throughout his illness just proved what a hero he was and how much music meant to him so from his aspect alone, the album deserves to be number one everywhere. Bravely, the band stood by their promise to tour the album and it was nothing short of sensational (you can read that review here). Their future in terms of writing new music is uncertain so if you have chance to see these guys please please please do! They're playing at Reading and Leeds 2017 as well as a few other festivals around the world. Chosing a favourite track was difficult. Very difficult.

Favourite Track: Can I choose the full album?! No? Okay - 'Gravity'

So, there you have it. My top 10 albums of 2016. Other noteable albums of the year include:
  • Green Day - Revolution Radio
  • Hands Like Houses - Dissonants
  • Emarosa - 131
  • Trashboat - Nothing I Write About You Can Change What You've Been Through'
  • Panic! At The Disco - Death of a Bachelor
Here's to many more in 2017!


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