Ramblings About’s Top Twenty Albums Of 2017

Why do I get to choose twenty albums when I only do ten films? I have no idea; it’s just the way I do it. I’m not planning on over thinking it because I listened to a lot of new music this year, and most of it was good. Much like my film list, this had to be cut down from around fifty choices, and I’m still not entirely sure I’ve got it right. It’s what I’m going with, though, so let’s get on with it.

As usual, this is all my opinion so don’t bother telling me I’m wrong. I’m also not going to go into great detail because there are twenty of the buggers. I will give you a song to listen to, though. Ain’t that nice?

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Enter Shikari – The Spark

I like a lot of things about Enter Shikari. I like the fact that they are an innovative band who are willing to take risks. I love that they stand up for what they believe in and I think Rou Reynolds is smart and articulate. Even when their politics go a bit Standard Grade Modern Studies and ‘fuck the man’, I tend to agree with the general point. The only problem is, I’ve never got along with their music.

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Get The Shot – Infinite Punishment

Hardcore is a simple genre. I love it, but it’s true, and its punk roots are still strong in that regard. However, even simplicity can be tinkered with and over the last few years, there has been an influx of bands who use hardcore as a base. A base from which they can branch out into other genres. A big part of this is melding hardcore with its metallic brothers but not in the vein of the million identikit metalcore bands that roam the planet. Instead, these are actual hardcore bands with actual metal influences.

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Cursed Earth – Cycles of Grief, Volume 1: Growth

The best EPs are the ones that leave you unfulfilled. They tease you with greatness and as they finish all you can do is howl for more. With its five songs coming in at under ten minutes, Cycles of Grief, Volume 1: Growth from Australian metallic hardcore band Cursed Earth does exactly that. Although after it has punished you for its entire running time, there’s a chance you’ll be curled in a ball on the floor while you do the begging.

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Heck

Heck are – and soon will have been – a special band. A band that made rock and roll exciting and dangerous. Seeing them live was like dancing along the edge of a cliff in the rain. There was always the chance they could slip, but while they balanced there, it was the most thrilling thing in the world.

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RIP Chester Bennington

If the last 24 hours has made anything clear, it’s that a generation of rock and metal fans still hold Linkin Park in their hearts. The music may have veered wildly off course in the last few years, but their brand of arena rock, rap and nu metal inspired a million kids into a passion for everything heavy. A huge part of which is because of the voice of Chester Bennington.

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Kamikaze Girls and Nervus w/Goodbye Blue Monday

Edinburgh on a Wednesday night can be a tough place to play a gig. Always a harder city to pull a crowd in than Glasgow getting anyone through the doors of Bannerman’s should be considered a success. When you’re selling a bill of emotionally switched on indie punk bands, it should be seen as a God damn triumph. This particular Wednesday night was nowhere near a sellout, but there was a healthy crowd for the double bill of Nervus and Kamikaze Girls.

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Fuck You Gene Simmons

Rather than using pictures of Gene ugly mug I’m going to fill this post with music from young bands that represent the rock scene that is apparently dying.

 

 

 

In what may be the least of his crimes but perhaps the one that sums him up the best, Gene Simmons has attempted to trademark the Devil’s Horns. Yes, you read that right, he wants control over the hand gesture thrown by a million heavy metal fans and adopted as a central part of our culture. Why? Because in his twisted little mind he believes he invented it. Even if you ignore the falsehood of that in light of the claims of Ronnie James Dio and pictures of Coven doing it in 1967 six years before KISS formed, this is still the act of a puckered old arsehole and should be the final nail in the idea that we should care about Gene Simmons.

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Rancid – Trouble Maker

 

The way to approach a Rancid album in 2017 is very different to the way you would have approached one in 1997. You can no longer expect genius, and you need to figure out exactly what you need to make you happy. It’s not going to be And Out Come The Wolves… and after the disappointment of …Honor Is All We Know and  Let The Dominoes Fall, merely good might be enough. A couple of great punk tracks could be all we need.

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