Number 5 – Heights – Old Lies For Young Lives
Yet another young British hardcore band and my favourite one, Heights made a big change in their sound for the second album and they pulled it off. Adding a lot more of a melodic edge and at times moving towards a metalcore sound OLFYL is one of the most interesting albums of the year as it shows a young band having the balls to do something different. The likes of “Eleven Eyes” and “The Noble Lie” are huge tracks destined to open pits in any environment. While “Stray Rats” show they haven’t quite left their hardcore roots behind quite yet.
Number 4 – Bring Me the Horizon – Sempiternal
The future of British heavy metal lies on the shoulders of my BMTH. A band who have had so much hate that the fact they’ve struggled on is enough to commend them to anyone, when you throw it that in Sempiternal they’ve released their best music yet they deserve a medal. I don’t care what you thought about Bring Me The Horizon previously, if you haven’t given this album a shot you don’t deserve an opinion. Tracks like “Antivist” and “Go To Hell For Heavens Sake” are huge and it contains by far my favourite use of the word cunt, a personal favourite of mine, in a song. This band are the future, accept it now.
Number 3 – Hey! Hello! – Self Titled
Ginger Wildheart is on a run of creative form that can’t be rivalled by anyone at the moment. Therefore, it’s no surprise that his collaboration with Victoria Liedtke would yield success. A collection of twisted lyrics sung over cheerful distorted pop tracks, this is an album that will wriggle it’s way into your brain and will stay there. Tracks like “Black Valentine” and “I’m Gonna Kiss You Like I’m Going Away” have been the soundtrack to my year and “How I Survived the Punk War” was named by none other than Duff McKagan as one of the punkest songs he’d heard in years. With Ginger taking it on the road to support himself in The Wildhearts 2014 may see Hey! Hello! cement themselves as a proper band and not just a side project and if it does the world will be a better place for it.
Number 2 – Clutch – Earth Rocker
My album of the year for a long time Earth Rocker is Clutch at their best, with it probably be the best album they’ve ever done. Full of insane lyrics about Time Lords this is an album of fuzzed up rock tracks that see’s Neil Fallon and co on top form. Fallon sounds suitably demented while Jean-Paul Gastier makes a run for the position of the best drummer on the planet. This is blues filled stoner rock being done by people who know how to write a fucking great rock song and I can’t understand how tracks like the title track and “D.C. Sound Attack” can’t make you want to just go mental. With a UK tour in 2014, miss it at your peril.
Number 1 – Letlive – The Blackest Beautiful
What can be said about The Blackest Beautiful that hasn’t been said before? Letlive are one of the most pure, exhilarating and exciting bands on the planet and this is the work that will make sure they will keep that position. Jason Aalon is on superb form and he pulls off that demented preacher role better than anyone not named Bray Wyatt. (Sorry that’s a wrestling reference). Meanwhile the songs are shorter and more to the point while losing none of the fire that they displayed on their debut. Throw in the fact that these guys are a fantastic live band and I think you can argue they are the whole package. If you didn’t pick up The Blackest Beautiful go out now and pick it up for yourself as a late Christmas present and enjoy this post hardcore genuius.
So there you have it. My top twenty albums of the year. Over the next couple of days I shall also be putting up my films, gigs and video games, a new category for the site. Let me know what your favourite album of the year is! Tell me how wrong I am or just say hi in the comment section below.