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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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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Gnarwolves – Outsiders

Us Brits do a hell of a lot of things right when it comes to music. Punk, metal and rock and roll, we have it all. However, if there’s one thing that America nails and we don’t, it’s skate punk bands who discover feelings and get all earnest on us. Which sounds like an insult but is intended as nothing of the sort. There’s something about America’s long roads and tiny towns that breed bands like The Wonder Years and The Menzingers that we just don’t have here. Or at least we didn’t.

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The Smith Street Band – More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me

The ability to tell a story through music is an incredible thing. There are millions of bands on the planet, but the number who can sit down, play a song and take you on a journey is much smaller. It’s a talent that turns good songs into masterpieces. It allows you, as the listener, to connect with them in a way that a good riff just can’t do by itself. And it’s a talent that The Smith Street Band have.

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Body Count – Bloodlust

It’s not unfair to say that Body Count have always been a bit of a joke. Not in a ‘look how stupid they are’ way, but in the sense that in the past they’ve written songs about murdering your mum. Ice-T seemed to view his heavy metal side project as a chance to kick off his shoes and have a laugh. Yet, with the world seemingly intent on shooting itself in the guts for a slow and painful death,  a politically fueled Body Count suddenly seems like a great idea. And they’ve delivered.

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