Whilst we always aim to shine a light on any underground artist that we can that needs our help, alongside the most important cogs to the ever-evloving machine that is our music industry. So, we feel it’s only right that we give you an opportunity to meet the team behind the scenes! As there’s a lot of us, we’re giving each reviewer the chance to share their Top 10 Albums, so you can get to know what they like and if it’s worth getting in touch with them for a review.
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- Funeral For A Friend – Hours.
Bursting with emotional underpinnings and breakneck lyricism, Hours by emo stalwarts Funeral For A Friend, is a pivotal album for the disenchanted. Broken hearted youth took this disc and played it through dark times. It resonated and brought emo music to the forefront, creating an original concept. This fundamental album also geared Funeral For A Friend into popular territory without pushing them too much into the dangers of mainstream classification.
Funeral For A Friend were a humble act, notable for their volatile live performances, struck a chord as an outfit of immense talent and unifying energy. Hours is their masterclass, their tour de force, a riff laden homage to rock. Songs like Streetcar and the poignant History laced the record, proving the band were a force to be reckoned with.
The band disbanded in 2015, ten years after Hours hit the music circuit. We shouldn’t be dismayed, as we can still listen to their catalogue with raised fists.
- InMe – White Butterfly.
InMe are one of those independent, hard-working act’s which have been around for a considerable amount of time. Decisive in their output, the band know the industry inside out, and not all for good reasons. And their collection of albums have invigorated the walking wounded and the alienated. Diversity is key, and the band’s 2005 LP White Butterfly, had all hooks, and grandiosity. Peppered in despairing lyricism, the record served up noteworthy songs that defined InMe’s presence as a fixture in the rock pack.
White Butterfly surges well. Throughout the collection, we’re taken into a world where love burns and pain morphs into agony. Lead singer/songwriter Dave McPherson, lavishes the sound with his stellar vocals on tracks like Faster The Chase, Safe In A Room, and Angels With Snipers. These tracks provide the listener poignancy at the highest level.
- The Menzingers – Rented World.
American punk is on the rise. The Menzingers are flying the flag for emotional, fast-paced, songs. They’re the act on many minds these days, proving that you don’t need to be the most glamourous band to make people take notice. And their 2014 release Rented World attacks all the senses, it conveys paranoia as a niggling pain. The lyricism is spellbinding at times too and the stories which are told burn pictures into the brain.
The songs that alert the most are I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore and Transient Love. Two bangers, two sad assessments of the world.
- Lonely The Brave – This Days War.
This Days War by Lonely The Brave is opus fuelled on emotion. There’s touchy subject matter flowing through this LP. Anecdotes describing cancer, stories about smashed dreams, snapshots of grotesque sightings of rats. It has it all. And this band are kings of melody and lyricism, spearheading their muses like bolts of lightning. There’s also nods to sincerity and hope, with some of the tracks being heart-warming.
Although, at points, hope smiles, but mostly emotion hinders its progression. The best tracks on this LP are Backroads, The Blue, The Green. These songs provide us stellar guitar riffs and startling vocal work.
- Alexisonfire – Crisis.
Spine-tingling songs make up this LP. Canadian Post-Hard-core band Alexisonfire released their seminal album Crisis in 2006. It hit the music industry with a bang and the act became a household name. Not only did they spark hysteria, they worked heavily on their lyricism, and Crisis showcased poetic muscle. Second track on the album, This Could Be Anywhere In The World, is their most notable inclusion.
Crisis also influenced many musicians and bands to put their talents to good use.
- Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light.
By being harshly underrated, Jimmy Eat World’s colossus Chase This Light, is an intelligent album brimming full of concise lyricism and tight instrumentals. The Arizona act smashed through their cocoon and revealed to the world their grievances. Big Casino begins the record. An almighty thump, a guitar driven dream, fuelled on adrenaline. Also Firefight and Dizzy contribute heavily to the drama. It may be audacious to put this record ahead of the blistering Bleed American LP, but in many ways it’s better than that pop/punk masterclass.
- The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation.
Albums like this don’t come along often. A record that is emotionally connecting, an album striking gold on every listen. The Wonder Years designed The Greatest Generation in 2013 and elevated beyond expectation. Album opener There, There and Passing Through A Screen Door, are treats. Not to say that they’re optimistic, because they aren’t. They’re songs worthy of acclaim though.
The Greatest Generation filters out pop punk mediocrity. It is pop/punk but with a lyrical quality which is unparalleled. You’ll not get lyricism like this often through the pop/punk cannon. Also, those abrasive instrumentals add bite. It is The Wonder Years seminal contribution.
- Green Day – Dookie.
Green Day signed on the dotted line in 1994 to a major label in Reprise Records. After the ink dried, the band released an album of 3 chord wonders in Dookie. The album had gone on to sell 11 million units and placed Green Day on cloud 9. It’s a record describing unease, sexual frustration, boredom and suburban decay. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. Sneers of might from leading man Billie Joe Armstrong laced the opus. A bassline from heaven in popular contribution Longview, invigorated the punks.
Many people argue about Dookie’s punk relevance. To be honest, Dookie is a punk record. It has those bratty lyrics running throughout it as well as those quick fired riffs. To many, Dookie is a defining compendium, a short, but incredible homage to drug fuelled honesty.
- Rise Against – Appeal To Reason.
Appeal To Reason is a surge of brilliance. Not on many lists, when it comes to popularity, but an album of sincerity, war wounds, and honesty. When dissecting this LP, the lyrics don’t bombard, but take the listener on an adventure through broken landscapes. Timeless and gracious, the record isn’t in many minds. Many people let it fall through the cracks, but to some it is a punk affair full of subject matter and worth.
Appeal To Reason is Rise Against’s most radio friendly collection, but that doesn’t taint it. It still guides us through stories of heartache and war. As well as this, it is the band’s most instrumentally minded album. Songs to adore are Audience Of One, Hero Of War, and Saviour.
- Green Day – American Idiot.
High on political drama, Green Day’s career defining record American Idiot had a pulse. In 2004, the band was on a slippery slope. Their prior record Warning failed. But, then Armstrong wrote gem after gem, proving he had the lyrical ability to create a masterpiece. In the studio, Green Day knew they had a special opus on their hands. Remarkably whole, American Idiot signified the band’s return to superstardom.
American Idiot sold over 11 million records, eclipsing Dookie. Although many departed the Green Day party due to the band’s commercial direction, many engaged and joined the hysteria. The record is a creation of enormous musicality and range. Armstrong’s guitar presence was diverse and Mike Dirnt’s basslines tight. Tre Cool, as always, proved he was a quality drummer.
American Idiot is a political monster. And Green Day had to write a record which resonated and brought them back from the brink. They did, and people who still listen on, know it is timeless. Songs to listen to are Jesus Of Suburbia, Letterbomb, St Jimmy.