2017 had everything going for it. After a pretty disastrous 2016, it wasn’t really that hard to make things better and to be a fairly successful year, however, it became clear pretty early on that this wasn’t going to be any straightforward year. This is my year in review. I’ll start with the more personal/harder bits and then move on to my media picks of the year before rounding off!
TL;DR – Devolver is a refreshingly inventive album from the frontman that brought us Reuben. Bringing the two halves of ‘Muscle Memory’ back together, Jamie Lenman pushes his songwriting skills further than we’ve ever seen before in this modern masterpiece. (★★★★★)
Those that have read my post on albums that impacted me as a teenager will know that I have great respect for Jamie Lenman as a songwriter from his days in Reuben so I was excited to hear that he was releasing more new music this year.
There’s sad news coming out of Cardiff. The Full Moon on Womanby Street has announced they’re closing due to lack of confidence from their creditors. This is the latest blow to hit Womanby Street following the closure of Dempseys and The Moon Club. Alongside this, there have been announcements of both a Wetherspoons hotel and a new residential development planned for the street which puts the rest of the venues under even more threat.
TL;DR – Modern Ruin is a sophisticated Punk album for the modern ages. Frank Carter has proved once again that there is more to him than the hardcore punk front man that we first met with Gallows.
Frank Carter is a name that has carved it’s way to the centre of the hardcore, punk and rock scene over the last 10 years. After first being unleashed with the furiously wild Gallows, Frank decided to try something slightly calmer in his second band, Pure Love. While this left some fans somewhat confused, Frank explained that he needed to escape the angry lyrics to keep his psyche in check.
After Pure Love decided to take a hiatus in 2014, we were left wondering what was going to happen next. Never being one to stay still for long, Frank Carter started exploring his heavier roots and thus The Rattlesnakes were formed. Their debut album, ‘Blossom‘ (★★★★½) was a rip-roaring frenzy of punk, hardcore and even some blues. ‘Modern Ruin‘ takes a step away from that again in to something a lot more refined.
Ah 2016, the coffee stain on the desk that is the 2010’s. It’s certainly been a bit of a weird year! Politics have turned down a road that no-one expected. Not even those leading the way saw this coming! On top of this, there are claims of the year being cursed thanks to a constant stream of big name deaths from all corners of the entertainment industry. 2016 has certainly been a year that many want to be over!
TL;DR – This is a career defining album that plunges Every Time I Die to darker more personal song writing than we’ve heard before, representing the band’s various styles from the last 18 years.
I first heard Every Time I Die in 2005 when I had Scuzz TV on in the background of whatever I was doing at the time and Kill The Music came on. Those killer riffs and great range of vocals had me hooked from the get go and I’d soon booked tickets to see them play at The Legendary TJ’s (Newport, South Wales) a few months later. Their energetic live show sold it for me and I was a fan for life.
Low Teens is most definitely the culmination of all their work, spanning their 18 year career so far.