I needed a Top 10 list but I wanted to do something which celebrates some great bands who have put out amazing records (in my eyes) this year. So, without further ado, here’s my picks for the Top 10 Albums of 2017 (so far).
10.Frank Carter – Modern Ruin
Starting off with a huge record in the world of punk, a band who needs no introduction; Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. What made this stand out for me was its blend of guitars, rhythm and voice that is Frank Carter which if anything is to go by from their last record, is even more distinct than any other projects he’s been involved with in the past. Adding to the fact that this is a quintessential record for the decade, it’s no surprise the band are a highlight for the UK’s Punk scene.
Listen to: Wild Flowers, Vampires
9. Paramore – After Laughter
Well…. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Paramore’s fifth record after hearing the first single, Hard Times because it wasn’t the same sounding Paramore but the record was loveable all the same. There was a bit of backlash to them in comments such as “another band selling out” but the lyrics are always 100% Paramore and that’s what has always drawn me to their music. Nevertheless, the album is different, energetic and an example of what evolving artists do when the band is as ever changing a group that is…. Paramore.
Listen to: Rose-Colored Boy, Grudges
8. Motionless In White – Graveyard Shift.
I honestly wasn’t sure to expect from a Motionless In White album because personally, I’m a new fan of theirs. Nevertheless, I found Graveyard Shift to be a very interesting album. I found parts not as entertaining to my ears as some fans might, but the focus of the album and emotion remained all the same. Especially on tracks such as Necessary Evil, the band are full of tracks to prove to people that they are worth listening to!
Listen to: Necessary Evil, Loud (Fuck It)
7. Linkin Park – One More Light
Firstly, may I say I hope Chester Bennington is resting peacefully and thank him and the other members of Linkin Park for creating this record. At times, this record felt very emotional. I listen to the lyrics of some tracks such as Heavy (feat. Kiiara) and on that first listen I don;’t think much but when a friend mentions this track later, I read the lyrics again and again and then again with the music playing, following the lyrics as it goes and wonder think it puts a lot into perspective of Chester’s state of mind at that time in his life. What’s more though is the record which is a gift to the fans of Linkin Park and one which will always be with us.
Listen to: Heavy. Invisible
Scottish? Check. Rock? Check? Female Fronted Band? They might just be one of the best newcomers to the scene at the moment. Starting from their opening track; La Di Da it shows energy, perseverance and above all, a punchy debut for the Scottish rockers. Having been on the music scene since 2011, they’ve learned and learned to make a stand out album and armed with tracks such as Weirdo, it shows the fans just what they can produce from their experience.
Listen to: La Di Da, Weirdo
So can an actor who has appeared in a Hollywood musical make a great Punk album? The short answer yes! It seems that anything is possible in the world of punk for counterfeit and to be honest, with Frank Carter, they’re up there for another album of the decade. Just take the track For The Thrill Of It as an example. It’s punchy, great vocals and a breakdown the Foo Fighters would kill to have on their music! But as a statement about it being something bigger and better to come from these newcomers? Maybe.
Listen to: For The Thrill Of It, Romeo, As Yet Untitled
4. The Gospel Youth
Rising rockers, The Gospel Youth are quite high on the list? Why is that? Oh because they made one hell of an album. I had it on repeat for a few days because I couldn’t get enough of it. The lyrics combined with the rhythm of the what the band creates blend together splendidly into all tracks to show England what they’re made of. And with a co-headlining tour alongside Milestones, they’ll show the venue’s of England exactly what this album can do!
Listen to: Wildfire, Gin and Black Coffee, Moods Like English Weather
With the weirdness in an almost Blair Witch like disappearance out of the way, Southampton Horror group Creeper release Eternity, In Your Arms. This is a record unlike any other on the list because it’s from a group unlike any other. There are some different approaches which may seem odd in today’s rock world such as the added keyboard element to the track Black Rain. It makes the band in a way sound mysterious in an effort to surpass the expectations of the listener but if one thing’s for certain, the record is anything but ordinary.
Listen to: Black Rain, Suzanne
Possibly the most alternative artist on this list comes from K.Flay who sounds more R’n’B than anything but this is where the heart of the album comes from and it’s because of this, which is what makes it a great album. What makes the record is the blend of lyrics which sound quite confessional and non-restrictive accompanied with the sound on the track of Blood In The Cut to make it an edgy track to match the record which invites us in for more.
Listen to: Blood In The Cut, You Felt Right
Just Missing Out
You Me At Six – Night People
Night people wasn’t the best by some fans standards. Sure it had some great tracks such as Plus One which a few months on is a track I believe will be huge for them looking back on the album as a whole and Give which perfectly played out the album but as a whole it wasn’t a Sinners, it wasn’t Cavelier Youth and some tracks I felt were a bit mismatched in perspective to what the record was as a whole. How it will age though, is an entirely different question but this album just misses out on my top 10.
Listen to: Give, Plus One
1.As It Is – Okay
For me, this has just been the undeniable album of the year. A really strong sounding album where the lyrics are relatable to fans everywhere along with a concept through it’s driven music videos of “Pretty Little Distance’s” American Dance, as well as the apologetic “Hey Rachel” videos shows that As It Is are a force to be reckoned with only two albums into their musical career. I saw the band perform the title track Okay on what was one or their first shows with the track and their set absolutely transformed the sound of the show where it was probably their most honest lyrically sounding track as well as performance to date.
Check out: Hey Rachel, No Way Out, Okay