So Kasabian’s Serge recently made some pretty interesting comments about the current state of rock music, claiming that the band’s new album is all about “saving guitar music from the abyss- because it’s gone.” Hmm. The word ‘abyss’ surprised me, as that implies guitar music is well and truly dead and gone, when in reality it’s more prominent in current day rock music than ever before. I’ve been out at gigs every weekend of this year so far (no lie), and the amount of sick new bands I’ve seen has been astonishing. To me, the concept of guitar music is referring to the authenticity of rock’n’roll, with the passion and vibrancy and energy of the music coming from loud blaring guitar riffs and rich heavy basslines. Guitar music may seem to have been engulfed by a rise in synthetic/ electronic rock music (for example bands like Blossoms, and ironically Kasabian themselves), but the current rock scene is dominated by these rough DIY guitar rock bands.

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Mr John Hassall’s guitar (The Libertines & The April Rainers)

This is thanks to a lot of things- politics for example, leading to anger and frustration and subsequently more assertive guitar rock bands, like False Heads or Strange Bones, bringing back a rough 70s punk aura, which was very much so built on this idea of guitar rock. It’s also down to a rise in independent promoters, big shout out especially to Scruff Of The Neck, This Feeling and Double Denim Live. I thought I’d round up my top current guitar bands, who all embody that rock’n’roll rawness and authentic edge which makes guitar music so fucking brilliant. These bands are all small, new upcoming groups and you can support them by following them online, buying their merch and going to their gigs. Get on them now!

Mummy

This band embody rough DIY punk perfectly, with this pure London punk edge to them. Like bands such as Wonk Unit and Slaves, Mummy are full of blaring riffs and heavy crashing guitar which is explosively mind-blowing. Having seen them live before, it’s the guitar which makes Mummy so sick; it builds up and up and up before crashing down in the heaviest, most brutal way it can do. What Mummy are doing is revitalising what guitar punk rock really is, and they’re intimidating and raucous in doing so.

Top tracks: Hey & Busy Doing Nothing

False Heads

Fresh off the release of new EP Gutter Press, False Heads have this distorted heaviness reminiscent of early 90s Nirvana, and have this wild abrasive attitude on stage and on record. Luke plays lead guitar with Jake on bass and Barney on drums, and this combination is deadly. The riffs are enthralling, with this immensely powerful mosh pit-esque edge. Riff wise, their music is ridiculously catchy and mesmerising too- which is maybe why I’ve had Gutter Press playing on a loop since its release.

Top tracks: Slew & Twentynothing

485C

An explosive five piece managed by Andy Ross (who only went and discovered Blur), 485C feature two lead guitarists (Dom and Rory), with vocalist Adam occasionally playing rhythm guitar too, all backed up by Sam on bass and Lucas on drums. It’s intricate guitar rock, bringing back a raw 80s guitar rock’n’roll sound. They’re incredibly unique and captivating, with a fantastically meticulous way of playing perfectly in sync as a band. And when the four guitars play together, the heavy intensity and rich vibrancy their sound has is simply mindblowing.

Top tracks: American Walls & Strange Medicine

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485C live

Strange Bones

Politically charged lyrics, staggeringly loud vocals and raucous fucked up riffs come your way with Strange Bones; the band are full of anger and aggression and power, and they channel this in the most heavy gritty way possible. Their riffs are stellar, with an immense heavy bite and pure sense of punk authenticity. Their abrasive riffs are savage and honest and raw, with crazy amped up distortions adding to this punk aggression.

Top tracks: Dead & Spitfire

Yes Problem

This band are a pretty last minute addition to this piece, but having seen them live over the weekend at the Windmill in Brixton how could I not include them? The set up of Yes Problem is what’s so enthralling and unique about them. With a huuuge pedal board, the band have one lead guitar and two bass guitars, one of which is played almost as if it’s a lead. This slightly weird combination made for the most gritty, heavy sound I’ve heard in ages; the sound this band produce live is bulky and weighty, full of this aggressive punk power which just ripped the venue to pieces. What a mental sound to hear in such a tiny venue- Yes Problem alone promise a hell of a lot for the future of guitar music.

October Drift

I saw October Drift live last year, and it’s safe to say I’m yet to recover from it. They have this manic, hectic aura which makes their music all the more intense and vivid and dark. It’s very rich and raw and brooding, with the most aggressive bass ripping through their tracks. Their roaring riffs are really vibrant and filthy and rough, with this nasty unrefined edge which just makes them all the more captivating. To me, it’s the blaring madness of the two lead guitars and rich graphically deep bass which make October Drift such a sick guitar band, especially on stage.

Top tracks: Cinnamon Girl & Cherry Red

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October Drift live

King Nun

Cocky indie rock with a post punk slur would be the best way to describe Londoners King Nun. My reaction the first time hearing them has been the same each time I listen to this group, and it’s one of bewilderment, and a thrilled sense of anxiety almost. Their music puts you on edge, and this comes down to the heavy weighty guitar and those deep fucked up riffs. Latest single Hung Around has one of the most staggering opening riffs I know, with a gritty clever little riff played over the richness of the bass and lead guitar which crash in sync with the drums and vocals. King Nun mix indie rock with post punk, putting a refreshing spin on grungy guitar music.

Top tracks: Hung Around & Tulip

Some of my favourite snaps of guitar bands over the last few months…

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The Scruff
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The Scruff
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Luke of False Heads’ guitar
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John Hassall & The April Rainers
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Fiende Fatale
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Asylums
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485C
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485C
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485C
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MONO 01
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False Heads
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October Drift
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False Heads
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Small Victories
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BlackWaters
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Asylums
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Black Honey
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Black Honey
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Blaenavon

… who the fuck says guitar music is dead?!

© All photos Sahera Walker

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2016 has proven an explosive year for rock music, with the emergence of bands such as Black Honey, INHEAVEN, Spring King, Yak and Blaenavon into the mainstream rock scene. With releases from large rock acts like Catfish and The Bottlemen (The Ride), Jamie T and Slaves (Take Control), and comebacks to the industry from The Last Shadow Puppets, Radiohead and The Stone Roses, the amount of rock music dominating 2016 has been unreal. But whilst these large more mainstream bands have released hit after hit this year, the emergence of small groups has been what’s made the rock scene so thriving, with more intense indie-rock grunge bands popping up in local venues (i.e. Fiende Fatale and False Heads), as well as more bad-ass women emerging (i.e. Nova Twins and Jess in Calva Louise). This list will round up some of my favourite new bands, who are definitely ones to watch for the new year.

  1. Demob Happy

I caught this band live supporting Black Honey at The Lexington early October, and the heaviness and blunt grit to their sound blew me away. They’re such a fierce powerful force of grunge rock, very intense and aggressive on stage; their talent is more clear on stage too than it is on record, and the band are one who are a blistering explosive act to catch live. The Brighton four piece released debut album Dream Soda last year, a class album full of raw distorted vocals and killer heavy riffs. The colossal force of the band has carried through into this year with ease, and I hope they’re able to channel even more of their dirty rock sound into 2017.

Top tracks: Wash It Down & Succubus

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Demob Happy
  1. False Heads

Reminiscent to me of early Nirvana, False Heads have the most exciting interesting image and sound I’ve come across all year; their tracks are full of heavy blistering riffs which rip through their music, giving it a heavy, weighty bite. With the support of Gary from The Libertines (the band are signed to Gary’s 25 Hour Convenience Store record label) and rock icon Iggy Pop, it’s clear why False Heads are growing into the dynamic force that they are. Live, they are a killer presence, and are building this reputation up and down the UK for being one of the most uncompromising edgy new rock bands. The opening riff on Slew also happens to be one of the catchiest, most hardcore riffs out there.

Top tracks: Slew & All Eyes

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False Heads live at The Water Rats, 5.11.2016
  1. Mummy

Pure punk force and a vivid aggressive on stage presence is what you’ll get from Mummy; it’s hardcore punk at its best, which when witnessed live is unreal. Mummy exist in the coolest London DIY punk scene, with bands like Slaves, Pizzatramp and Wonk Unit part of their circle. Seeing them live supporting Slaves last month was one of the most killer sets I’ve experienced; the guitar is messily loud and blaring, building up and up until crashing down in their roaring choruses. The Milk EP is easily one of the best EP releases of the year, with Bed For Good being one of the most aggressive tracks I know. If punk music overall is being revitalised, it’s Mummy who are leading this.

Top tracks: Hey & Busy Doing Nothing

  1. J.W Paris

I caught this unique three piece live earlier on this month at The Horn St Albans supporting The Amazons, and what I loved about them was the dirty grit and rough gravel their tracks had. The band embody DIY punk, with elements of indie rock to their music. Their tracks are similar to bands like Pulled Apart By Horses and Baby Strange, with a ‘no-shit’ attitude on stage which gives them an unapproachable, intimidating edge. Attitude is so key in rock music, and J.W Paris embody this with ease. The fantastic thing about J.W Paris too is how unique they are; they’re a three piece (like False Heads), with a messily gritty bite and unorthodox sound. Like Demob Happy, it’s live where the band excel; for my gig review of the band at The Horn, you can read it here.

Top tracks: Berlin & Rapture

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J.W Paris supporting The Amazons at The Horn, 1.12.2016
  1. October Drift

October Drift are manic, a chaotic hectic band whose grit transcends in their music both live and on record. They are a crazy burst of grunge rock, with a mesmerisingly heavy aura on stage. Kiran’s voice is deep and raw and dark, paired by the crashing roaring sound of the guitar and drums. Live, the band are able to tear up the venue, with their intense strength and force ripping apart each track. They’re a hypnotic presence, a really filthy burst of roaring riffs. What I like about the band, especially live, is how uncompromising they are; they come across as strange and weird, and this unique approach to their music gives them a killer aura. Their music is mad, frantic and mental…all you could want from a punk rock band.

Top tracks: Cherry Red & Cinnamon Girl

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October Drift live at The Horn, 17.12.2016
  1. Fiende Fatale

I’ve been lucky enough to catch Fiende Fatale live twice now, and the thing about them which makes them so enthralling is the refreshing burst of punk energy they possess. Dom, Rolph, Alex and Matt have been playing for a couple of years now, something which is apparent through the meticulous riffs and intricate drumming. Dom always blows me away on the drums, with brilliant drumming on tracks like Car Crash and Good Intentions. There’s a lot of eccentricity to their tracks, with the heavy riffs and Matt’s cocky North London vocals giving their music a unique edge, a really harsh gritty rock’n’roll bite which comes through especially on new track Script. Re-energising the meaning of DIY punk and giving garage rock a whole new meaning, the London four piece embody the rawness and grit of punk music perfectly, 100% a group to keep your eye on.

Top tracks: Dizzle & Yours Untruly

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Fiende Fatale

Other bands to keep your eye on…

  1. Calva Louise

For fans of: gritty grunge bands like Nirvana, messy punk rock, killer riffs and bad-ass women in punk

Top track: I’m Gonna Do Well

  1. BlackWaters

For fans of: fun indie rock, hectic moshpits, classic British 70s punk

Top tracks: So Far Out & Jarr’ed Up Generation

  1. The Black Roses

For fans of: feel god indie rock, The Libertines, 2000’s indie-Britpop

Top tracks: She Makes The Rain Dance & Utopia

You can read my interview with The Black Roses here

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The Black Roses
  1. Asylums

For fans of: blaring guitar rock, satirical sarcasm, cynical indie-punk

Top tracks: I’ve Seen Your Face In A Music Magazine & Wet Dream Fanzine

  1. The Wholls

For fans of: raw indie grit, raucous live crowds, raspy rock vocals

Top tracks: Angry Faces & X21

  1. Sisteray

For fans of: intense rock’n’roll, politically charged rock, blaring guitar riffs

Top track: A Wise Man Said

You can read my interview with guitarist Daniel Connolly here

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Sisteray (photo by Alberto Pezzali)
  1. Artbreak

For fans of: soothing indie-pop, quirky rich vocals, energetic music you can dance to

Top track: Polaroids in Paris

  1. Night Owls

For fans of: killer grunge, intense heavy rock, deep and dark power with heavy riffs

Top tracks: Call Me Out & Gilded Lily

  1. Pages

For fans of: fun feel good indie, light chilled guitar, The 1975, early Wolf Alice and The Japanese House

Top tracks: The Road

You can read my interview with Pages here

  1. The Night Café

For fans of: Peace, The Bohicas, anything edgy with elements of indie rock and pop

Top tracks: Mixed Signals & Addicted

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The Night Cafe
  1. TAMSYN

For fans of: romantic indie, soft light music, The Smiths, JAWS, Circa Waves

Top tracks: Just Need You & Things Change

You can read my interview with TAMSYN here

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TAMSYN
  1. MISS

For fans of: Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, heavy basslines and soft harmonising vocals

Top tracks: Smokescreen & Ant vs Elephant

You can read my interview with MISS here

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MISS
  1. Three Day Weekend

For fans of: Britpop, classic indie rock, Babyshambles, Suck It And See-era Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg

Top tracks: Oh Well & Dreams

You can read my EP review & interview with Three Day Weekend here

  1. MONO 01

For fans of: messy post-punk/ garage rock with unique twists and elements of indie

Top tracks: The Narcissist & Girl on The Other Side of Town

You can read my interview with MONO 01 here

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MONO 01 live at The Horn
  1. The Feckless

For fans of: The Jam, The Clash, anti-establishment savage rock music, brutal 70s/ 80s punk

Top tracks: Take Back The Streets & One Way Street

You can read my EP review & interview with lead singer Joe here

  1. Thelma Ball

For fans of: American rock’n’roll, The Strokes, sunny indie rock

Top tracks: Healthy Pupil & Start A Fight

You can read my interview with Thelma Ball here

  1. Strange Bones

For fans of: hardcore punk, savage riffs, Marmozets, Alexisonfire

Top track: God Save The Teen

  1. Pretty Citizens

For fans of: old school British indie rock, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses

Top tracks: Lost Control & Wolf Whistle

You can read my interview with Pretty Citizens here

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Pretty Citizens
  1. The Vitrines

For fans of: Royal Blood, Jack White, blaring guitar riffs and anything heavy with loud roaring bass lines

Top tracks: Mindgames & Bad Lucy

You can read my interview with The Vitrines here

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The Vitrines
  1. The Visitors

For fans of: quirky indie rock with an attitude, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Top track: Partying All Night

  1. Nova Twins

For fans of: killer kick-ass women in punk, distorted bass lines and an infectious ‘couldn’t give a fuck’ attitude blending grime with punk

Top track: Bassline Bitch

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Nova Twins
  1. Gutxi Bibang

For fans of: raw cutting edge rock vocals, artistic fashionable 60s flares, a mixture of LA rock’n’roll with classic British rock from the 70s, Hendrix & The Rolling Stones

Top track: System of a Gun

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Gutxi Bibang

29. The Clause

For fans of: Britpop, 90s indie rock, fun loud moshpits & feel good proper rock you can dance to (for fans of The Stone Roses, DMA’s, The Twang)

Top track: Shut Me Out

30. Fish

For fans of: Wolf Alice, Nirvana, Pixies, raw gritty vocals and heavy cutting edge grunge rock mixed with indie

Top track: Wished

For more of these artists, you can listen to the Spotify playlist below

…or the SoundCloud playlist below

A few months ago I published a top 50 music videos post; since then, I’ve become a fan of so many more bands, and have really explored a greater variety of musicians and music genres, from hardcore rock, to desert-rock grunge, to light indie music. Videos can be such a vital accompaniment to a good track too, and some videos are so aesthetically stunning with such insane production and editing that they become a stand out piece of art in their own right. This list will round up my top 50 videos (part 2), with a playlist of all these incredible tracks at the end. Enjoy!

1..Is This What You Wanted- The Last Shadow Puppets

2. Sticks ‘n’ Stones- Jamie T

3. If You Wanna- The Vaccines

4. Make A Man- Estrons

5. Snap Out Of It- Arctic Monkeys

6. Loveblood- Sundara Karma

7. Charlemagne- Blossoms

8. Nervous Energy- Slaves

9. I Punched A Lion In The Throat- Pulled Apart By Horses

10. Why Do You Hate Me?- Marmozets

11. Karma Seeker- VANT

12. No Care- Daughter

13. Let’s Pray- Blaenavon

14. Heart of The Matter- The Libertines

15. You Don’t Get Me High Anymore- Phantogram

16. Duet- Everything Everything

17. The Sound- The 1975

18. National Anthem- Lana Del Rey

19. White Knuckle Ride- Slaves

20. Ten Tonne Skeleton- Royal Blood

21. High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive- Pulled Apart By Horses

22. Cave Song- Pretty Vicious

23. Hello Today- Black Honey

24. West Coast- Lana Del Rey

25. Girls and Boys- Blur

26. Don’t Look Back in Anger- Oasis

27. Baby’s Alright- INHEAVEN

28. People That You Meet- Slaves

29. Hell Is My Head- Blaenavon

30. Blush- Wolf Alice

31. Born To Die- Lana Del Rey

32. Move, Shake, Hide- Marmozets

33. Into The Night- Blaenavon

34. What Doesn’t Kill You- Jake Bugg

35. Video Games- Lana Del Rey

36. Naive- The Kooks

37. Born Young and Free- Marmozets

38. I Will Be The World- Blaenavon

39. Miracle Aligner- The Last Shadow Puppets

40. Consume or Be Consumed- Slaves

41. High By The Beach- Lana Del Rey

42. Up The Bracket- The Libertines

43. Let It Happen- Tame Impala

44. Supersonic- Oasis

45. Teddy Picker- Arctic Monkeys

46. Broken- Jake Bugg

47. Giant Peach- Wolf Alice

48. Hey- Slaves

49. Lizard Baby- Pulled Apart By Horses

50. Arabella- Arctic Monkeys

 

Listen to these tracks on the go here:

 

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Who they are: Black Honey are made up of Izzy B Philips (vocals and guitar), Chris Ostler (lead guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass guitar) & Tom Dewhurst (drums)

Where they’re from: Brighton

For fans of: Tarantino movies, desert-rock indie music, & 50s glamour

Top tracks: ‘Spinning Wheel’ and ‘Black and Blue’

Black Honey in Dubai May 2016 shot by Charlotte Patmore @voteforpatmore

Black Honey are Brighton’s coolest four piece, with a desert rock glare, and messy grunge edge. They encompass Tarantino style thrills, straight out of a 90s neo-noir film. With captivating mesmerising soft tracks like ‘Madonna’ and lively roaring choruses on tracks like ‘Hello Today,’ there’s a soft, melodic romanticism in their lyrics. Izzy’s vocals are stunning, particularly her eerily gripping screams on ‘Spinning Wheel’ and the light,  melancholy spirit in her voice when she broods the line ‘tell me how you sleep, I drag you back from every dream’ (‘Madonna’). The guitar is blaring and sharp, with a melodramatic distortion on tracks like ‘Spinning Wheel’ and ‘You Said It All,’ which are heaven to the ears performed live. Straight out of a desert cowboy film or Tarantino movie, the band are messily stylish with such an artistic fashionable flare to them; they dress like rockstars, like characters from a film, with Izzy’s wide eyes coated in mascara, and her messy pale blonde hair and stained red lips. They’re quite theatrical and intense, with a creative artistic flare on stage, and they’re trendy and stylish with a stunning aesthetic and aura of glam elegance. Izzy’s ‘girls only’ guitar is a beauty in itself, as well as their drum kit with the band’s striking black and white logo. They’re similar to bands like Peace, Sundara Karma and Wolf Alice; their music is messy and grungy but aesthetically soft and carefree too. The melancholy distortion and hectic mad beauty they have encaptures audiences live, and pulls listeners in on record. Their album artwork has this beautiful pop-art style, with a clear appreciation of art and fashion visible. For fans of unorthodox, interesting rock music, that’s messy and indie but has flamboyancy and elegance about it, Black Honey are perfect. Their immensity on record is one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard, and their stylish image is reminiscent of rock’n’roll perfection.

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For more on the immense distorted four piece, you can check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify

Music videos have always played a huge role in rock music- they add an element of intensity to a track, bringing a bite and edge to it. Many focus around black and white filters, other on the atmospheres of live shows, and others on soft indie aesthetics. I’ve listed my top 50, most being from the last couple of decades. I’ve tried to focus on modern indie rock and grunge, most being from the last few years. The tracks themselves are amazing, so make sure to check out the Spotify playlist at the end too. Enjoy!

  1. Inhaler- Foals

2. You’re a Germ- Wolf Alice

3. Sockets- Slaves

4. Song 2- Blur

5. Flame- Sundara Karma

6. Fake ID- RATBOY

7. Kathleen- Catfish and the Bottlemen

8. Little Monster- Royal Blood

9. No Fun- The Magic Gang

10. To Die For- The Bohicas

11. Leave Before the Lights Come On- Arctic Monkeys

12. Reptilia- The Strokes

13. Sway- The Kooks

14. Everyday I Love You Less and Less- Kaiser Chiefs

15. Lazarus- David Bowie

16. The Hunter- Slaves

17. R U Mine? – Arctic Monkeys

18. Robbers- The 1975

19. Gunga Din- The Libertines

20. Everything You’ve Come to Expect- The Last Shadow Puppets

21. Aviation- The Last Shadow Puppets

22. Honey- Swim Deep

23. Moaning Lisa Smile- Wolf Alice

24. What Went Down- Foals

25. Parklife- Blur

26. What Kind of Man- Florence and the Machine

27. Where You At- The Bohicas

28. Perfect Skin- Peace

29. Come Closer- Miles Kane

30. Girls- The 1975

31. Brianstorm- Arctic Monkeys

32. Je M’appelle Alex- Wonk Unit

33. Carmen- Lana Del Rey

34. Coachise- Audioslave

35. New Born- Muse

36. Had Enough- The Enemy

37. Cheer up London- Slaves

38. Bad Habits- The Last Shadow Puppets

39. Wonderwall- Oasis

40. When the Sun Goes Down- Arctic Moneys

41. Rectifier- Spring King

42. Cold- Blood Red Shoes

43. Control- Chase & Status feat. Slaves

44. You Only Live Once- The Strokes

45. Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys

46. Mr Brightside- The Killers

47. Elephant- Tame Impala

48. Chelsea Dagger- The Fratellis

49. Feed the Mantaray- Slaves

50. She- Wolf Alice

Listen to all these tracks on the go here:

Narrowing down my top albums ever  was a pretty tough job, but this is my final list of the top 101 albums you need to hear. From synth indie-pop to indie rock to grunge, I’ve tried to encompass a range of different artists, genres and eras. No doubt this list will change over the next few months, but all the albums here are ones that I love and listen to regularly. Definitely check out as many of them as you can, and take a look at the Spotify playlist at the end too. Enjoy!

  1. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not- Arctic Monkeys, 2006

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2. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace- Foo Fighters, 2007

3. The Division Bell- Pink Floyd, 1994

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4. Sgt, Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band- The Beatles, 1967

5. My Love is Cool- Wolf Alice, 2015

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6. Meat is Murder- The Smiths, 1985

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7. Hunky Dory- David Bowie, 1971

8. Up The Bracket- The Libertines, 2002

9. Nursery Cryme- Genesis, 1971

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10. In Utero- Nirvana, 1993

11. London Calling- The Clash, 1979

12. Are you Satisfied? – Slaves, 2015

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13. Parklife- Blur, 1994

14. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis, 1995

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15. Led Zeppelin III- Led Zeppelin, 1970

16. Total Life Forever- Foals, 2010

17. Is This It- The Strokes, 2001

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18. Inside In/ Inside Out- The Kooks, 2006

19. Empire- Kasabian, 2006

20. The Age of The Understatement- The Last Shadow Puppets, 2008

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21. Appetite for Destruction- Guns N’ Roses, 1987

22. The Balcony- Catfish and the Bottlemen, 2014

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23. Jake Bugg- Jake Bugg, 2012

24. Yours Truly, Angry Mob- Kaiser Chiefs, 2007

25. The Stone Roses- The Stone Roses, 1989

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26. Suck It And See- Arctic Monkeys, 2011

27. You Could Have It So Much Better- Franz Ferdinand, 2005

28. Rumours- Fleetwood Mac, 1977

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29. Angles- The Strokes, 2011

30. Sound & Color- Alabama Shakes, 2015

31. Waterloo to Anywhere- Dirty Pretty Things, 2006

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32. The White Album- The Beatles, 1968

33. Humbug- Arctic Monkeys, 2009

34. Wasting Light- Foo Fighters, 2011

© Brantley Gutierrez

35. Magical Mystery Tour- The Beatles, 1967

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36. Physical Graffiti- Led Zeppelin, 1975

37. Parallel Lines- Blondie, 1978

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38. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols- Sex Pistols, 1977

39. A Tonic For The Troops- The Boomtown Rats, 1979

40. Chasing Yesterday- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, 2015

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41. Lonerism- Tame Impala, 2012

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42. Royal Blood- Royal Blood, 2014

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43. Alas Salvation- Yak, 2016

44. At The Speed of Sound- Wings, 1976

45. Songs About Jane- Maroon 5, 2002

46. Let it Bleed- The Rolling Stones, 1969

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47. The Fine Art of Surfacing- The Boomtown Rats, 1979

48. Coexist- The XX, 2012

49. Lungs- Florence & The Machine, 2009

50. Plastic Ono Band- John Lennon, 1970

51. The Kick Inside- Kate Bush, 1978

52. You Gotta Go There To Come Back- Stereophonics, 2003

53. Favourite Worst Nightmare- Arctic Monkeys, 2007

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54. Nevermind- Nirvana, 1991

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55. Revolver- The Beatles, 1966

56. The Dark Side of The Moon- Pink Floyd, 1973

57. Led Zeppelin IV- Led Zeppelin, 1971

58. Anthems for Doomed Youth- The Libertines, 2015

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59. Sugar Coated Bitter Truth- Slaves, 2012

60. The 1975- The 1975, 2013

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61. Blackstar- David Bowie, 2016

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62. That’s the Spirit- Bring Me The Horizon, 2015

63. Metallica/ Black Album- Metallica, 1991

64. Shangri La- Jake Bugg, 2013

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65. Don’t Forget Who You Are- Miles Kane, 2013

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66. Costello Music- The Fratellis, 2006

67. Aladdin Sane- David Bowie, 1973

68. Ultraviolence- Lana Del Rey, 2014

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69. AM- Arctic Monkeys, 2013

70. Rubber Soul- The Beatles, 1965

71. Wish You Were Here- Pink Floyd, 1975

72. In Love- Peace, 2013

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73. St Jude- The Courteeners, 2008

74. An Awesome Wave- alt-J, 2012

75. Demon Days- Gorillaz, 2005

76. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust- David Bowie, 1972

77. Nervous Racehorse- Wonk Unit, 2014

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78. Zipper Down- Eagles of Death Metal, 2015

79. Audioslave- Audioslave, 2002

80. Everything You’ve Come to Expect- The Last Shadow Puppets, 2016

81. Origin of Symmetry- Muse, 2001

82. Back to Black- Amy Winehouse, 2006

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83. Abbey Road- The Beatles, 1969

84. We’ll Live and Die in These Towns- The Enemy, 2007

85. Colour of the Trap- Miles Kane, 2011

86. The Weird and the Wonderful- Marmozets, 2014

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87. A Day at The Races- Queen, 1976

88. A Night at The Opera- Queen, 1975

89. To Pimp a Butterfly- Kendrick Lamar, 2015

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90. Konk- The Kooks, 2008

91….Like Clockwork- Queens of The Stone Age, 2013

92. Lazaretto- Jack White, 2014

93. Overgrown- James Blake, 2013

94. Paradise- Lana Del Rey, 2012

95. The 2nd Law- Muse, 2012

96. Definitely Maybe- Oasis, 1994

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97. English Graffiti- The Vaccines, 2015

98. Caustic Love- Paolo Nutini, 2014

99. Atom Heart Mother Suite- Pink Floyd, 1970

100. Sonic Highways- Foo Fighters, 2014

101. Are You Experienced- Jimi Hendrix, 1967

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Listen to my top track from each album here:

laurie sevenLast Saturday night (19th March) saw Slaves guitarist Laurie Vincent debut his first solo art exhibition at the Amersham Arms in London. Away from sold out gigs with punk vocalist and drummer and other half of Slaves, Isaac Holman, Laurie tattoos, paints, and owns his own clothing brand Young Lovers Club. As an artist, Laurie’s work is rich and intense, with controversial connotations behind the bold in your face street art style pieces. His creativity and originality is clear in everything he does; ‘As long as I can remember I have created things. It’s healthy, it’s kept my imagination alive and made the world more colourful and interesting.’ In Q magazine last year, Laurie described his paintings as ‘cheap thrills. Bright and trashy. Sexy.’ And they really are. His art is full of character and personality, and makes you feel something; they’re evocative and provoke discussions and confusion at the hidden suggestive features in his art. Based in Lewisham, Laurie’s work is bold, intense and full of motifs and mockery, and on Saturday night it was all on show at his first solo art exhibition. Despite the pub having strict licensing laws (meaning I wasn’t technically allowed to be there,) Alex from Wonk Unit was lovely enough to take me upstairs and show me Laurie’s art anyway. The room where the art was being displayed was packed with his vivid paintings, and full of vibrancy and brightness and colour. He had an array of paintings on show, including ‘Balaclava,’ ‘Mike’ (a witty cartoony street art style painting of Mike Tyson) and ‘Streatham’ which features the motif on plastic bags which crops up throughout his paintings. Despite the cartoony style in some of his work though, Laurie’s paintings are far more intriguing and sophisticated, with more thought provoking backgrounds to them. For example, ‘Mind Control’ is ‘based on the theory that fluoride- which is in your drinks and toothpaste- actually blocks out your third eye and suppresses it. If you avoid fluoride- using natural toothpaste and drinking bottled water instead of tap weather- you can open up your third eye.’

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The mockery of religion is another running theme in Laurie’s paintings. ‘Religion is humorous to me’ Laurie told NME; ‘I love churches- it’s mad that they built these massive stone buildings when everyone was still living in huts- but I don’t like what they stand for.’ But religion isn’t necessarily a bad thing he told NME. ‘I think faith is wicked and I admire people who believe in a higher power. The skateboarder Rodney Mullen is so intelligent he’s come to the conclusion that you have to believe in religion because there’s no answer. If you’re super intelligent, you think: Fuck! There has to be more [to life] because it’s insane.’

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My favourite piece from the exhibition was definitely the mermaid in a balaclava holding a machine gun, with ‘BURN BABYLON!’ inscribed at the bottom of it. Balaclavas are used a lot in Laurie’s work, and you can even purchase one of them from the Young Lover’s Club website (link below). Other innovative intriguing pieces included the painting modelled on a plastic soldier (according to Alex) with the words ‘kill, kill, kill’ at the top of it. It also features teeth dotted on the side of it and an unfinished sketch of Laurie’s infamous flower design; his paintings are random and messy, yet refined and intricate at the same time. The flower painting, which was used in the exhibition advertisements, is more simplistic than the vibrancy and dynamism of his other paintings, but just as interesting. ‘Flower Pot’ is like a crossover with Laurie’s clothing brand, and when speaking about the painting he said; ‘another thing I love about art is the simplistic kids’ drawing style. I love Andy Warhol because his whole thing was: ‘What can I get away with?’ This took me 10 minutes but maybe one day a Russian billionaire will pay millions for it and I’ll be like, ‘what a dickhead.’ This love for Andy Warhol is clear too; many of his pieces strike resemblance with some of Warhol’s pieces, like ‘Ten-Foot Flowers’ (1967) and ‘Cologne Cathedral’ (1985.)

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To see more of Laurie’s work, check out his website or his Instagram at @laurieslavesvincent

©Photos one and two: Jordan Hughes, NME

Kent rocker Laurie Vincent is the heavily tattooed grime punk guitarist from the hardcore punk band Slaves, alongside skinhead drummer and singer Isaac Holman. But he’s not just a musician; Laurie also has his own clothing brand, he tattoos, and is now set to launch his first solo art exhibition next week. Last year, Laurie put some of his work on show at the A-side B-side gallery in London, but this upcoming exhibit is his first solo debut. The pop up exhibition is taking place at the Amersham Arms in London, open all Saturday evening (19th March) as well as all of Sunday. And it is set to be an amazing exhibit. Laurie’s art is vivid, intense and highly distinctive. He uses a range of media as well, from acrylic on canvas to lithographs. His artistic streak has always been clear from within the band too; Laurie designs most of their band posters, especially ones advertising gigs from a couple of years ago, and he designed the infamous artwork for the ‘Cheer up London’ single. Laurie’s not just a painter though; he also has his own clothing range, Young Lover’s Club. The quirky, street art designs are highly popular, especially with fans of the band, and Laurie’s ‘hateful’ skull design has gone on to be a firm favourite. Other designs he does include the ash grey balaclava sweatshirt, and white seagull club t-shirt. His tattooing is fantastic as well, with his most notable pieces including skulls, flies, dinosaurs and roses.

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His work is on display at the Amersham Arms SE14 6TY from 7pm-10:30 Saturday 19th & all day Sunday 20th

http://www.youngloversclub.com/

Each decade is defined by its music, and the bands that dominated the music scene; the 60s was the Beatles, 70s was Led Zeppelin, 80s was The Smiths, 90s was Oasis (or was it Blur?) and then you get to the 21st century. Whilst pop music kind of became the mainstream, given the rise of shows like X-Factor, rock music has never been stronger. Whilst most of us wish we were around in the 90s (let’s be honest) for the vibrant grungy Britpop scene, the last 16 years have seen some incredible bands emerge; this list rounds up the top ten debut albums so from this century.

  1. My Love is Cool, Wolf Alice (2015)

Wolf Alice are definitely the most exciting grunge rock band to come out of the UK in years. Their debut, ‘My Love is Cool’, released just last year has resulted in instant fame for the four-piece band from London. Ellie, Joel, Joff and Theo make up the crazy, rowdy glittery band with fans who are head over heels in love with them. Fronted by Ellie Rowsell, with her oversized black clothing and messy dyed blond hair, the band bring a new sense of energy and intensity to the music industry. Originally an acoustic band, they quickly ditched this and burst into the rock scene with a brand new edgy sound and look. With a sell-out tour UK tour coming up, as well as a host of US dates with Slaves supporting, and a Grammy nomination, Brit nomination, and Mercury Prize nomination behind them, the band are only at the start. The album is full of a variety of experimental sounds and genres; from the melancholy haunting tracks like ‘Turn to Dust’ and ‘Soapy Water’ where Ellie softly whispers ‘If life is easy what is this?’, it’s also full of heavy grunge tracks too, like ‘Giant Peach’ and ‘You’re a Germ.’

Top tracks on the album include ‘Fluffy’ and ‘Your Loves Whore’

Wolf Alice performs at JBTV Music Television on May 4, 2015

  1. Inside in / Inside out, The Kooks (2006)

One of indie-rock’s finest, The Kooks released their brilliant debut album just over a decade ago and it’s full of brilliant cutting edge rock tracks. A mix of heavy music and softer more acoustic stuff, the band displayed their potential in a variety of styles and genres in their album ‘Inside In/ Inside Out.’ Although their newer stuff is well received at gigs, the fans always go crazy for their early stuff, especially huge crowd pleasers ‘Ooh La’ and ‘Naïve.’ As mentioned, a variety of styles are explored; there are some beautiful soft tracks like ‘Seaside’ where Luke sings ‘I’m just trying to love you, in any kind of way…’ As well as that, heavy rock tracks with catchy rhythmic guitar riffs fill the album too, most notably ‘You Don’t Love Me’ and ‘See the World.’ Luke’s voice is insanely good too; it’s raspy and has a proper cutting indie edge to it, which adds to the intensity of tracks like ‘She Moves in her Own Way.’ Since then, the band have released 4 other albums but each time they play gigs they always make sure to play a large chunk of their early music. The casual album cover and the witty tongue in cheek lyrics make it clear that the band were just a group of mates who made an album, and a bloody brilliant album it is too.

Top tracks include ‘Eddie’s Gun’ and ‘Ooh La’

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  1. Employment, Kaiser Chiefs (2005)

The mid 2000s were a brilliantly exciting time for British music, especially for indie rock. And one of the most exciting guitar rock bands at this time were post punk Leeds rockers Kaiser Chiefs. ‘Employment’ brought together all the things that rock bands want to encompass in a debut; catchy intricate guitar riffs, vivid imaginative lyrics, and a sense of fun and humour. Tracks like ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ and ‘Oh My God’ are the popular well knows ones which always get screamed back at festivals and gigs, but there are some wild hidden tracks on the album too like ‘Born to be a Dancer’ and ‘What Did I Ever Give You?’ Ricky’s witty lyrics draw on the reality of post 90s life for young people in the UK. Rather than glamorising and amplifying this image, the band simply say it like it is, talking about how ‘girls scrabble round with no clothes on, to borrow a pound for a condom’ and getting sick and disgusted by boring cliché relationships. The fun guitar sound really brought an element of creativity and excitement back to British music, which was just what we needed.

Top tracks include ‘I Predict a Riot’ and ‘Oh My God.’

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  1. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand (2004)

Franz Ferdinand (aka Scotland’s finest rock band) emerged in 2002 to drop their killer indie rock post punk debut album two years later in February 2004. The band are said to be responsible for bringing post punk indie music back, alongside fellow northern bands Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys. Nominated for a Grammy and Mercury Prize (which it naturally won,) the catchy guitar riffs which will stay stuck in your head for days and heavy vocals propelled the band’s debut to the top of the charts. The album is dark and vivid, with a simple name and simple artwork, but complex intricate tracks with heavy guitar lines, complex drum patterns, and poetic lyrics. The album is generally a heavy rock album, but does feature softer tracks like ‘40”,’ which really exposes and shows off Alex’ vocals. The debut marked the middle of the indie rock revival, as it was sandwiched in between The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys; full of captivating lyrics like ‘you see her, you can’t touch her’ (‘Auf Achse’) and ‘you are the latest adventure, you’re an emotion avenger’ (‘Darts of Pleasure,) the album, brings together poetic intricate lyrics and famous guitar riffs, such as the famous one from ‘Take Me Out.’ No wonder the album reached the top 5 in the charts (made it to no. 3 actually) and went on to sell over 3.6 million copies worldwide. The Scottish band revitalised indie rock, and made the genre fresh, new and invigorating.

Top tracks include ‘Tell Her Tonight’ and ‘The Dark of the Matinée’

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  1. Up the Bracket, The Libertines (2002)

Coming in at number six is ‘Up the Bracket,’ the stellar debut album by hardcode indie rockers The Libertines; a musical masterpiece, the album is easily one of the top albums of the 2000s. Carl, Pete, Gary and John formed in London in the late 90s, and released their debut in 2002, seeing it eagerly snatched up by young rock fans. The album is full of poetic lyrical lines, written by Carl and Pete, who as song writers are like Lennon-McCartney. Tracks such as ‘I Get Along,’ ‘Time for Heroes’ and ‘Horrorshow’ are punchy and energetic, featuring Gary’s skilled drumming and an array of heavy guitar riffs and lines. The lyrics are poetically stunning too, with an element of light heartedness and wit to them too; the lyrics capture the listener each time, and it always feels like the first time listening to it even if it’s your hundredth. Lyrics like ‘he drinks and smokes his cares away, his heart is in the lonely way’ (‘Tell The King’) and ‘the poor dancing girl, she won’t dance again’ (‘Radio America’) are particularly memorable and evocative. The riffs are so popular too, that at their sweaty messy gigs the fans scream back the guitar notes as well as the lyrics, which truly is the mark of a good band.

Top tracks include ‘The Good Old Days’ and ‘Up The Bracket’

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  1. Are You Satisfied? Slaves (2015)

British rock music has always had a rough undertone to it, especially given the anarchic revolutionary punk scene from the 70s, with bands like The Clash, The Boomtown Rats, Sham 69 and the Sex pistols. And Slaves’ raw gritty debut in 2015 has shown that punk/ grime music is needed more than ever. Rough grime vocalist and drummer Isaac Holman and the heavily tattooed guitarist Laurie Vincent come from Kent, and have gone from playing small pubs to selling out venues like the O2 Forum in London. Despite the fact they already had an EP out (‘Sugar Coated Bitter Truth’ full of savage tracks like ‘Suicide’ and ‘Black Rose,’) 2015’s ‘Are you Satisfied?’ is officially their first album, and resulted in a Mercury Prize Nomination for the band (which they really should have won.) The singles from the album, ‘The Hunter,’ ‘Hey,’ ‘Cheer up London,’ and ‘Sockets’ are full of heavy intense riffs from Laurie, paired with Isaac’s aggressive drumming and raw screamy fierce vocals. The album does have two moderately slow tracks (‘Are you Satisfied?’ and ‘Sugar Coated Bitter Truth’) but even these have harsh lyrics like ‘try to talk, but they have cut out your tongue. How will you fight back with no hands? Bones are broken so you can’t run.’ Punk grime at its finest.

Top tracks on the album include ‘Wow!!!7am’ (perfect for alarms) and ‘Hey’

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  1. Royal Blood, Royal Blood (2014)

Royal Blood’s heavy killer debut album shook 2014, and earned them a Brit award the following year for Best British Band, presented by none other than rock legend Jimmy Page. The band have since gone on to play the main stage at Reading & Leeds festival as well as support Foo Fighters on their tour, having already played to thousands supporting Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park back in 2014. The set-up of the band is what intrigues their listeners most it seems; Mike plays bass guitar and sings, whilst Ben plays drums, and the tracks they produce are insane. Intense, killer guitar riffs in tracks like ‘Out of the Black’ and ‘You Can Be So Cruel’ paired with Ben’s heavy smashing on the drums make for a fiery aggressively electric album. Mike’s lyrics are poetic though, with a sharp cutting edge, most notably lines such as ‘I went to church and stopped believing’, ‘you say you’ve got nothing, so come out and get some’ and ‘I’ve got a gun for a mouth and a bullet with your name on it.’ The ferocious hard-core nature of this garage rock album proves why the Brighton two piece have support from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane, Dave Grohl and Jimmy Page, as well as the thousands of fans who made their album the fastest selling debut in years to reach number one, following Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird’s debut in 2011.

Top tracks include ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Better Strangers’

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  1. The Balcony, Catfish and the Bottlemen (2014)

Not only did 2014 see Royal Blood’s stellar debut top the charts, it also saw Catfish and the Bottlemen release ‘The Balcony.’ A gripping, lyrically stunning musical masterpiece, the Welsh indie rock band released their debut in September 2014, and it literally doesn’t have any bad tracks. From start to finish, the entire album is gripping and enthralling, full of beautiful poetically sensual lyrics, and massive guitar riffs which have filled out concert venues and festival gigs. The band saw Castlefield Bowl tickets sell out almost immediately, as well as their tent at Reading being so packed out eager fans were even standing outside the tent and signing along. Tracks like ‘Homesick,’ ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Kathleen’ are the more well-known ones, but the tracks nearer the end of the album are packed full of grit and raw rock talent too. As a debut, the album is extraordinary; ‘Rango,’ ‘26’ and ‘Sidewinder’ are crowd favourites, and the ending track of ‘Tyrants’ with its electrifying heavy drop finishes the album off spectacularly. The album also features intense, beautiful lyrics like ‘go ahead girl frustrate me,’ from ‘Sidewinder’ and ‘mess my place, chest infect me, waste my days’ from the stunning acoustic track ‘Hourglass.’ All in all, the debut has set them up to be the band to watch in 2016.

Top tracks include ‘Rango’ and ‘Cocoon’

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  1. Is This It, The Strokes (2001)

The only American band to make this list, the New York rockers brought on a new wave of indie rock guitar bands, following their brilliant first album ‘Is This It.’ The album is quality, full of iconic tracks which Alex Turner has described in Q magazine as the album that changed his life. The catchy blaring guitar fills the album with something fresh and new, and the sound really did shape indie rock music for the early 2000s. Julian uses a retro sounding distorted microphone to blur his voice, giving the album an old rock’n’roll edge, like it came straight out of 60s London. The garage rock revival gave American rock a new meaning; the 90s was dominated by indie Britpop in the UK and grunge in the US, and the Strokes almost fused these iconic genres by creating an album full of heavy riffs with a heavy indie edge. The lyrics observe life in New York City, talking about sex and drugs and the mysterious glamour of the city. The album opens with the track ‘Is This It’ which features Casablancas’ heavy vocals and the famous metronomic drum line. The softer attempts at ballads come in throughout the album, but there are also heavy rock tracks like ‘Take It Or Leave It and ‘Barely Legal’ which features the edgy sex infused lyric ‘I wanna steal your innocence.’

Top tracks include ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Soma’

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  1. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m not, Arctic Monkeys (2006)

Easily one of the best albums of all time, Arctic Monkeys’ insanely vivid debut album tops the list. Released back in 2006, the album is full of sharp, witty lyrics about Sheffield life, and this paired with Matt’s intense drumming and guitar riffs from Jamie and Andy, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ is an intense, electrifying album from start to finish. The album went straight to number one and sold over 360,000 copies in its first week, and has gone on to be the fastest selling debut album in history. The track is full of crazy head-banger riffs from tracks like ‘The View From The Afternoon,’ ‘From the Ritz to the Rubble’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.’ It’s also full of insanely witty, tongue in cheek cocky lyrics about life in High Green; from moody girlfriends (‘Mardy Bum’) to dickhead bouncers (‘From the Ritz to the Rubble’) to scummy men and prostitutes (‘When the Sun Goes Down.’) One of the top tracks is ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco’ which features the infamous Sheffield phrase ‘fucking wank’ and talks about crap gigs and the realistic, gritty shit atmosphere around. The softer, more acoustic tracks like ‘Riot Van’ show of the intensity and vivid tone of Alex’s voice. Having received the 2006 Mercury Prize for Best Album, the album saw a string of EPs and B-sides follow, with tracks like ‘Settle for a Draw,’ ‘Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts’ and ‘Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?’ further proving just how much the Sheffield four piece had to offer. Turner’s lyrics (who wrote the album when he was just a teenager!) are beautifully poetic, and reminiscent of work by John Cooper Clark and Paul McCartney. The artwork is also a piece of art in itself; it features the band’s mate Chris McClure smoking which drew in criticism from the NHS. It’s a 10/10 album no doubt about it

Top tracks include ‘Mardy Bum and ‘A Certain Romance.’

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