Monday, 21 December 2015

Top 20 Albums of 2015: Part 1

Originally I was going to do a top ten albums of the year but there was just too many good albums released this year so I decided to do a top twenty (bit of a copout I know). Here are albums 20 to 11.

20. Red City Radio by Red City Radio
Oklahoma's Red City Radio are a band that keep going from strength to strength. In 2015 they released their third full-length album on Staple Records and it continued on from the excellent second album Titles. The album's first single Two Out Of Three Ain't Rad is the best song of the year.

19. Better Whenever by Elway
Elway are a band that have become known over the years for producing some of the best sing-along punk rock music in the world. This year they released Better Whenever, an album which showed a more mature side to the Colorado four-piece. They slowed the pace down and showed off some absolutely fantastic song writing ability.

18. Make The Noise by Rehasher
Whenever Roger from Less Than Jake finds the time to release music under the Rehasher moniker it's a very exciting time. This third Rehasher album did not disappoint. This album isn't quite as aggressive as Rehasher's previous efforts but features some brilliant fast-paced pop punk. I wish Rehasher would be more active, and find a way to play some UK shows.

17. Back To The Drawing Room by Smokey Bastard
Smokey Bastard are one of the top folk punk bands in the country. Late in the year, after a very successful Pledge Music campaign, they released the excellent Back To The Drawing Room. Sometimes folk punk can be kind of samey but this is certainly not the case here; it's a varied album that sees Smokey Bastard play all types of folk punk and play them all very, very well.

16. Paper Bones by Science Made Us Robots
Science Made Us Robots released a pop punk album in a style like I have never heard before. Titled Paper Bones, musically it's fast, fun three-chord punk rock at its best but the vocals deliver a fantastic Celtic tone. There is so much energy and passion displayed throughout the fifteen songs on the album that it’s a must listen.

15. Pocket Universe by Don Blake
Don Blake are another band that released a pop punk album with a more mature sound. Pocket Universe was put out by Round Dog Records and features such topics as dealing with insecurities, dealing with the effects of suicide and learning from your mistakes. I love this record because it shows that great pop punk doesn't just have to be played at a rapid pace and just be about girls.

14. Apologies/Apathy by Dynamite Dynamite
With Apologies/Apathy Dynamite Dynamite really stepped up their game. Utilising two different vocalists with two unique styles these Scunthorpe boys really came into their own with this album. It combines fast skate punk with some excellent melodic punk and features some of the best harmonies heard on any album this year.

13. To The Moon by Popes Of Chillitown
I always love when a band can transfer their live performance to record without losing any of the energy in the recording. This was definitely the case on To The Moon by London's Popes Of Chilltown. Combining rapid fire vocals, big choruses, an excellent horn section and a fine back beat it won't be long until the Popes are the biggest ska band in the scene.

12. Lifestyle Brand by Imperial Leisure
I wasn't the biggest fan of Imperial Leisure's second album Death To The One Trick Pony so when Lifestyle Brand was released I did approach it with a bit of caution. There was absolutely no need for that at all as Imperial Leisure seemed reinvigorated when this album was released early in the year. If you want a good time, party album this is it, from the ultimate good time party band. Probably the only album this year to feature a song about the vajazzle as well.

11. Tales From Wyoming by Teenage Bottlerocket
Teenage Bottlerocket's Tales From Wyoming was a very special album before the tragic passing of drummer Brandon Carlisle in early November. It cemented my belief that Teenage Bottlerocket are the best pop punk band on earth and is a very fitting album for what sadly turned out to be Brandon's last. Teenage Bottlerocket have always had an ability to write insanely catchy songs but on Tales From Wyoming they managed to add a lot of heart to go along with the humour in the songs.