Frank Carter is hitting veteran status in the English punk scene. It’s been over a decade since he debuted with Gallows in 2005 before leaving the band in 2011. I’ve never been a faithful of the hardcore punk scene, so I must admit to being unfamiliar with Frank Carter. Needless to say his current band Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes flew under my radar before their recently released second album Modern Ruin was given to me for review.
2016 has proven to be a year to forget in respect to my reviews. The amount of albums I accepted and committed to reviewing completely overwhelmed me to the point of practically hiding myself and only coming out every once in a while. This includes writing reviews for the other two great sites that I love writing for. I’ve accepted considerably less albums to review this year and really just stuck with reviewing what I wanted to review, and for all of those emails that I never responded to and to the one or two reviews that I never wrote, I sincerely apologize and I hope that 2017 will bring me back to my old self.
That being said, 2016 was perhaps the best year in a long time for new albums, and as I so love to do every year, I want to talk about my top ten album picks of 2016. There are surely a lot of great independent albums that I passed up that could deserve mentions, and even a major release or two that could have stood a chance. For instance, had I listened to Kaleo‘s A/B in full I’m sure it would probably be on this list, considering how great everything I’ve heard from it is, but I haven’t heard the full album and thus can’t really assess it. But here are the ten picks that I know are great.
And please check out my past top 10 lists here.
I found at one point I kept being asked to write so many reviews of punk bands. I don’t know how that happened, but luckily I was given some pretty good stuff, mostly pop punk, to review. Now it’s been a while so I’m happy to feature Australian skate punk band The Decline‘s Resister album. True to the nature, Resister is fifteen songs long while clocking in at just a little over a half an hour, so just by that you know you’re in for a fast album.
My second review of the day is of a nice little three song EP called Noose by a UK band Downers. Fun fact: even though I posted this after my Deepshade review posted earlier today (read it here), I actually wrote it first. Yup, right now it’s actually Thanksgiving Monday and I’m thankful for the time I have to kill right now that I will dedicate to this grungy rock band who may not have the most original sound, but they still use it to their advantage.
As I get ready to write up this review for Toronto hard rock band Social Strife‘s full length album With Friends Like These…. I find myself stumped at trying to find a clever introduction paragraph. To help, I looked back at the review I did of their self titled EP back in early 2014 (you can read that review here) and I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that for that review I also couldn’t come up with a good introduction paragraph. It’s nothing personal towards the band but more so the coincidence that for both times I guess I kind of burned my whit out. But as I said, this is a review for With Friends Like These…., so just how well so Social Strife sound on a full length album?
Happy Canada Day! I don’t have a Canadian band to review for you, but I do have another pop punk band from the UK. Storyteller have a new EP called A Place By Your Hopes and while I seem to be asked to review a lot of bands of the genre lately, that just makes for an interesting challenge to see just how Storyteller differentiates from recently reviewed bands like Static Fiction, Montrose and Miss Vincent.
When I was given punk band Montrose‘s new EP Monster Under The Bed for review, the first thought that went through my head was “Montrose, the 70’s hard rock band?” It’s obvious when listening to the EP that this is a completely different band with the same name. This Montrose delivers straight forward punk rock, with catchy hooks and fast rhythms in a time when competition is stiff.