11. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart
Punk rock troubadour Frank Turner has finally crashed the mainstream party with his fifth album Tape Deck Heart, and if it tells you one thing, it’s that he ain’t too sharp with the ladies. What’s been described as a ‘break up album’ Turner shares the adult misery he’s gone through but also the great bonds he has with pals on tracks like ‘Oh Brother’. Amongst the triumph and the tragedy’s it’s clear that the success of Tape Deck Heart is Frank Turners defining moment.
12. Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
Bring Me The Horizon were setting out to prove everyone wrong on this record and by golly they sure succeeded. Drawing in elements from electronica and post-rock on top of their trademark slabs of metalcore they found a way to top everyone’s expectations yet again.
13. Danny Brown – Old
Danny Brown‘s OLD is a deprived opus of a record; a schizophrenic showcase of an intriguing character bent on his destruction. Brown is easily among one of the most endearing figures in Hip-Hop, and OLD – whilst not as brilliant as XXX – showcases his ability to switch between two distinct styles with an impressive finesse.
14. letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful
The Blackest Beautiful, the latest release from LA’s inaugural soul punk outfit, grabs their 2010 heart-on-sleeve masterpiece Fake History by the balls and injects it with shots of political gusto, hip-hop flow and Michael Jackson’s hiccuping ghost. We give Jason Butler a punk rock halo for his swaggering efforts and bow down to his almighty beardiness.
15. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll
Fall Out Boy’s comeback record came laden with ambitious pop hooks and a sleek production effort under their belts. Did they actually save rock and roll? It’s up for debate, some things should just be left to Batman.
16 James Blake – Overgrown
Relentless praise seems to resonate everywhere for James Blake, and with good reason. This year, the London native snapped up the Barclay’s Mercury Prize for his mournful and reflective second album that elevates his beautiful electro-soul into stranger yet somehow cosier pastures. Just try and hold back the tears.
17. The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is The Killer
Like a caffeinated Picasso, The Dillinger Escape Plan pounced on the canvas of their fifth full length, with wide-eyed intent to create, tear apart and intermittently piece back together their math-metal signatures. The outcome is a visceral collage of discord and melody, that switches without hesitation between fist-clenching sing-alongs and limb-flailing chaos.
18. Mallory Knox – Signals
Signals has put Cambridge rockers Mallory Knox at the forefront of the UK hard rock movement, just kicking at the heels of You Me At Six. Raucous singles ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Beggars’ showed that these kids have some meat to them compared to most bands in this normally paper thin genre. Mallory Knox have certainly proved they’re not just a passing fad…. Trendy haircuts aside.
19. Palm Reader – Bad Weather
Bad Weather may be the most exciting thing to come out of British hardcore since Gallows’ Grey Britain. Essentially, it’s a white-knuckle assault on the senses that doesn’t sacrifice great song writing in its quest to cave your head in with riffs. Considering that this is only their debut, Palm Reader are definitely one to watch.
20. David Bowie – The Next Day
Ten years since his last record, David Bowie’s latest effort feels like a dam that’s been waiting to burst open for the last decade. Was it worth waiting this long for? After making cameo appearances in Shrek and Spongebob Squarepants it really couldn’t have come any sooner, but we’re happy it finally did.
Words by Louis Kerry, Joe Price, Sean Lewis, Leo Troy and Aidan Ducker