Review: All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell

PVRIS are one of my favourite newer bands.  The Massachusetts three piece exploded onto the scene back in 2014 with the awesome single St. Patrick, followed up at the end of that year by their debut album, White Noise.  PVRIS’s sound combines post hardcore guitars and drumming with pop and electronic influences, seamlessly blending genres and bringing something a little bit different to the table.

White Noise is a brilliant debut record, so I was extremely excited to hear the lead single for their second album, Heaven, back in April.  You can watch the music video for the track here:

I fell in love with this track from first listen, so it’s safe to say that I had high expectations for All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, which was released on Friday after a short delay to their original release date.  Spoiler alert: if you enjoyed the singles, then you will definitely enjoy this record.

The album opens with Heaven, which sets the tone for the rest of the record with its huge chorus.  Even though this album can’t really be described as heavy instrumentally, and although the pop and synth sound has definitely been dialled up in this latest record, PVRIS’s lyrical content has brought AWKOHAWNOH to another level.

Discussing toxic and unhealthy relationships as well as vocalist Lynn Gunn’s own mental state, this record definitely isn’t a lighthearted listen.  Lines such as “I don’t belong to anyone else” from Anyone Else and “don’t need a metaphor for you to know I’m miserable” from What’s Wrong are backed with raw emotion, Gunn firmly stepping into the role of front woman on this record.  Whilst White Noise dealt with mature lyrical themes as well, AWKOHAWNOH takes those struggles, shoves them into the spotlight and tackles them head-on.

Even amongst these heavy hitting lyrical themes, the catchy and inevitably crowd pleasing instrumentals are hard to find fault with.  Lead guitarist Alex Babinski and bass guitarist Brian MacDonald shine on this album, creating tracks which will fill dancefloors at rock clubs and energise crowds at gigs and festivals.  Highlights include the beautiful, dreamy harp at the end of Walk Alone, the crashing riffs during the chorus of No Mercy, and the up-tempo album closer Nola 1.

One criticism I have of the lead-up to AWKOHAWNOH’s release is that PVRIS have already released five out of the 10 album tracks as singles.  Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy hearing new music by the band, but the excitement of listening to a new record for the first time was dampened down slightly considering I’d already heard 50% of its content.  Maybe this means there’ll be a deluxe version of the album, like there was for White Noise?  I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if that could be a possibility.

Overall, in case it wasn’t evident from the tone of this review, I absolutely LOVE All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell.  The only downside to PVRIS releasing this masterful body of work is that there’s now yet another contender for my album of the year. You guys aren’t making my job of choosing the best record of 2017 any easier, you know.

Highlights: Anyone Else, What’s Wrong, Walk Alone, Separate

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altrocklife’s birthday music haul

Good afternoon altrocklifers! After taking a month out to focus on job hunting, I’m back with another blog update.  Last month I celebrated my 22nd birthday, and what better way to celebrate than to go and spend lots of money in Lush and HMV?  I decided against detailing all of the products I bought in Lush, as they were almost all items I’ve spoken about on this blog before, so instead I decided to go over all of the music I bought, and how I’m enjoying listening to the albums so far.

Young Guns – Ones and Zeros

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I reviewed this record back when it was released in 2015, and I wasn’t massively excited about it back then.  I think I was comparing it to their previous record, Bones, too much, which meant I wasn’t able to appreciate Ones And Zeros for what it is.  I’ve listened to this album in my car a few times, and I’ve really enjoyed driving along to it – it’s a solid record in its own right, and I’d recommend anybody who wasn’t sure about this album back in 2015 to give it another go.

The Amazons – The Amazons

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I couldn’t resist picking up The Amazons’ debut album: over the past few months their tracks Black Magic and Junk Food Forever have had regular appearances in my Spotify daily mix, as well as getting a decent amount of airplay on BBC Radio 1.  This record is a really solid debut album, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it.

Lorde – Melodrama

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am basically in love with Lorde.  She’s got a beautiful voice, creates great electronic music, and comes across as a total babe in interviews.  I knew during my first listen of Green Light that Melodrama was going to be an incredible album, and I was right!

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?

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I loved this album when I reviewed it in June, so I absolutely had to buy a hard copy so I could listen to it on my daily commute.  Hook, Line & Sinker has become one of my favourite tracks of the year so far.

Imagine Dragons – Evolve

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Imagine Dragons are like a gift that keeps on giving.  It’s been just over two years since they released their second full-length album Smoke + Mirrors, so for the band to put out another record so soon is no mean feat.  This album probably has the most electronic influences of their entire discography, but it’s still a solid album, and I really enjoyed my first listen.  I’m looking forward to hearing more of it over the coming weeks.

The Pretty Reckless – Who You Selling For

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I also enjoyed this album when I reviewed it last year, so I was excited to buy a physical copy and stick it in my car.

Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound

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I wasn’t completely enamoured when this record was released earlier this year, but much like The Amazons, I’ve heard a number of tracks from this album on my Spotify daily mix, and slowly but surely Safe In Sound has grown on me.


What do you think of these albums?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Review: After Laughter

Paramore are currently a three piece band from Tennessee, having shifted genres and reshuffled line-ups many times since their formation in 2004.  Friday marked the release of their fifth full length studio album, After Laughter.  Their current reincarnation is that of a cutesy pop-rock three piece with 80s vibes, demonstrated by the album’s lead single, Hard Times.  You can see the video here:

Hard Times is the opening track for the record, and it definitely sets the tone for what is to come.  Gone are the days of Paramore’s emo classics like crushcrushcrush, or their more acoustic, stripped back numbers such as Misguided Ghosts.  This track is chock full of fun pop elements, such as gang vocals, fun synths and the wacky “and I gotta get to rock bottom” garnishing each chorus.

Williams’ songwriting has continued to grow over the years, and at some points is in direct contrast to the light-hearted pop sounding instrumentals.  Williams seems content to lay out her feelings of anxiety, frustration and pessimism with more nuance and grace than ever before.  Whilst the instrumentals on After Laughter often sound sweet, the actual lyrical content sometimes leaves a sour aftertaste, and I really appreciate the band’s complexity.  One of the best examples of this is Fake Happy, with its cheerful sounding veneer and “ba-da ba-da ba ba” backing vocals sugar coating feelings of sadness and the pressure to maintain appearances.  Another is the incredible Idle Worship, where Williams purposely distorts the sound of her voice to illustrate her confusion and frustration with being put on a pedestal.

This album has also allowed Williams to change things up with her vocals.  Williams has an incredible vocal talent, and previous albums really stretched to demonstrate that – think back to All I Wanted from Brand New Eyes, for one example.  Nowadays she no longer has to prove her vocal prowess, and to me it sounds like Williams has taken a small step back.  She’s the front woman of Paramore, that’s not up for discussion, but After Laughter seems to focus a little more on their musical experimentation than vocals.  To me this is best demonstrated in tracks such as Rose-Colored Boy and the slower paced Forgiveness.

The sound of After Laughter reminds me a lot of Walk The Moon’s second record, Talking Is Hard, in terms of its vaguely 80s vibe and fun, summery upbeat themes running throughout.  This is absolutely a compliment, as both albums confidently combine pop elements with more mature and complex songwriting.  I’m looking forward to getting hold of a hard copy of After Laughter so I can put it in my car and listen whilst driving down the motorway, windows down: this is the perfect record for those long drives.

Some Paramore fans seemed to express surprise and the band’s new pop sound, but in my mind, After Laughter was the next logical step for the band.  Brand New Eyes took the band further away from their emo origins with a number of more chilled, acoustic tracks, and their self titled fourth record was the album that garnered them the most commercial and critical success.  As the band have grown older and wiser, it’s obvious to me that they would shed their angsty teen attitude to songwriting and cultivate a more mature sound.  The songwriting in After Laughter is miles away from the petty and venomous “once a whore you’re nothing more, I’m sorry that’ll never change” from Misery Business.

Overall, I honestly think After Laughter is a strong competitor for one of the best pop records 2017.  Fans of Paramore’s self titled album will definitely enjoy their latest LP, and although fans of their first two records may feel that the band have lost their way, I for one think that they’ve found it.  Williams, Farro and York seem to be creating the music they really want to make, and if that’s the case, then I am 100 per cent behind it.

 Highlights: Hard Times, Fake Happy, Grudges, Idle Worship

Review: Same Sun Same Moon

Little Hurricane are a rock and blues duo from San Diego, California, formed back in 2010.  Over the years the band have released three records, including an album of cover songs, and Friday marked the release of their fourth album, Same Sun Same Moon.  The first single from the album, OTL, was released last month, and you can watch the video here:

Now, on to the album.  Same Sun Same Moon begins with the title track, which is a bassy, upbeat start to the record with cutesy, optimistic lyrics.  This leads into Bad Business, a more bluesy number with a grungy, guitar led chorus.

This record is anything but predictable.  Tracks shift between high tempo, riff heavy sounds and more indie, acoustic vibes, keeping the listener guessing as to where the record will take you next.  There are also occasional touches of brass, ukulele and piano which demonstrate that Little Hurricane are willing to experiment a little with their music, and don’t let themselves be restricted by the ‘blues’ label.

I’m a big fan of frontman Anthony Catalano’s vocals throughout this record.  His voice can be clear and crisp, or rough around the edges, depending on the tone of the track, and I really like that versatility.  Plus, the occasional female vocals from drummer Celeste Spina add a pleasant, soft contrast to Catalano’s deeper voice.  Plus, it helps to illustrate the evolution of their relationship –  since forming the band, the two have fallen in love and married, as discussed in OTL.

I also like the combination of drummer Spina’s indie/bluesy playing with programmed electronic beats.  This combination helps to add a more pop-sounding vibe to some tracks, like the bridge and chorus of Isn’t It Great, as well as a more grungy sound to tracks like March Of The Living.

This was my first listen to Little Hurricane, and I’m a little sad that I’ve been missing out on their music all these years.  It almost defies belief that such a well-rounded, mature sound can come from just a two-piece.  If you’re a fan of groups like Band Of Skulls or Foals, you definitely need to get this indie/blues duo on your playlist, stat.  Same Sun Same Moon is a great all-round record, with compelling lyrics and an upbeat, hopeful sound.

Highlights: Bad Business, Take It Slow, Mt. Senorita, Slingshot

Review: Wired

Friday marked the release of Cambridge band Mallory Knox’s third full length album, Wired.  Hype for this record started building when the band released its lead single and opening track, Giving It Up: you can watch the music video for the track here:

Giving It Up is a fantastic opening to the record, with its bassy, grungy introduction and vocalist Mikey Chapman changing up his usual style to favour a falsetto in the chorus.  In fact, I pre-ordered the record on the strength of both the lead single and Better Off Without You, so it’s safe to say I have big expectations for Wired.

The second track, California, is an awesome song with summery vibes, and not just because it references the golden state in its title.  Its huge chorus with layered backing vocals bring to mind the image of driving down a palm tree lined boulevard, with the windows down and car speakers blasting.

Lyrically the record is even more personal than the band’s previous efforts: For You and Better Off Without You discuss bassist/vocalist Sam Douglas’s struggle with mental health and use of antidepressants in a raw and honest way.  These tracks are definitely the jewels in the Wired crown: Mallory Knox are at their best when being open, honest, vulnerable, and willing to take chances.

Another favourite is the gorgeous Falling In Love: it starts slow and quiet, with the focus on the emotion in Mikey’s voice, which builds with more layers of raw vocals and powerful guitar riffs as the track plays out.  Plus, Lucky Me is arguably Mallory Knox’s most aggressive track yet, and I absolutely love it.

That’s not to say that Wired is perfect, however.  Midnight is a pretty generic track, with little imagination in terms of the instrumentals or its lyrical content.  It’s not an awful song, don’t get me wrong, but to me it screams “filler” and the album wouldn’t have suffered if it hadn’t made it on to the final track list.

Overall, it’s obvious that Mallory Knox have grown and matured as a band when comparing their latest album to their previous records, Signals and Asymmetry.  The band have grown together, and are experimenting with new musical elements without leaving their signature sound behind.  The band’s incredible atmospheric choruses and thought provoking lyrics have evolved and simply become better and better over the years.  Mallory Knox are already doing pretty well for themselves, but I predict Wired will help launch the Cambridge lads towards further success.

Highlights: California, For You, Lucky Me, Saviour, Mother

Review: Safe In Sound

Lower Than Atlantis are a British four-piece rock band who are celebrating ten years since their formation this year.  It seems fitting, then, that Friday marked the release of their fifth studio album whilst still riding the wave of success following their self-titled fourth record.  Hype for Safe In Sound began back in August of last year with the release of  Work For It, and excitement built steadily until the album dropped this week.

Jumping straight into the review, it’s obvious from the first track that more effort has gone into post-production on Safe In Sound than on the band’s previous records. A number of tracks feature either autotuned or artificial echoed lead or backing vocals, or programmed drums or clap sound effects.  Plus, Boomerang is probably the most heavily produced track in Lower Than Atlantis’s discography. Overall I think these added electronic elements have paid off: they certainly help each individual track to stand out from the rest of the record, and the end result is an extremely polished album with few rough edges.

However, the band’s ability to write catchy choruses and creative riffs layered with guitar solos has not been compromised.  Drummer Eddy Thrower has taken his playing to the next level, with a number of inventive drum fills peppering the record.  Another thing that hasn’t changed over time is lead vocalist Mike Duce’s signature velvet-smooth voice.  Lyrically the record still discusses similar themes to previous records, which shows that even though their sound might have changed slightly, Lower Than Atlantis are still, at their core, doing what they do best.

My Safe In Sound highlight is by far Work For It.  It’s probably the heaviest track on the album, and it’s whoa-ohing chorus is perfect for crowds at gigs and festivals to shout back at the band.  I also love the lyrics to Could Be Worse, which discuss every day stresses and struggles that everyone listening can relate to.

The last few tracks of the record seem to lose their way a little bit.  I Would and Money are tracks chock full of lyrical cliches, and to me it feels like there wasn’t a massive amount of thought or effort put into the songwriting.  I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore is a pretty downbeat track, which seems out of place on the record.  Thankfully, Safe In Sound ends on the high note of A Night To Forget, a great party track with an uplifting chorus.

Overall this record is hit and miss, and although the hits do outnumber the misses, I had higher expectations for Lower Than Atlantis’s fifth record.  I think the band struggled to find the right balance between their rock/hardcore roots and pop influences, and because of that the record was slightly confused.  Safe In Sound was overall enjoyable, but I hope that their next record has a more cohesive sound.

Highlights: Long Time Coming, Work For It, A Night To Forget

altrocklife’s top 5 albums of 2016

Hello altrocklifers! Today marks the last blog post I will be writing in 2016, and I thought the best way to conclude the year would be to round up the best albums released over the past twelve months.  Going back over my posts written throughout this year, as well as trawling my iTunes library to keep track of all the albums I’ve purchased, gave me a real nostalgia trip.  This year has been brilliant for rock and alternative music, and with new music from You Me At Six, Mallory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis, Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes and more planned for release next year, I can’t wait to see how 2017 will be even better.  Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the best albums of 2016.

The Stage – Avenged Sevenfold

Without doubt, The Stage is the album that had the biggest impact of 2016.  It was released as a surprise with very little promotion or marketing, and it did a great job of shaking up the world of rock and metal music.  As I said in my review of the album, anyone who was expecting a sequel to Hail To The King was proven wrong, as Avenged Sevenfold’s latest record harked back to their City Of Evil days and showed that the Californian band are anything but predictable.  Hopefully this record influences other bands to produce the music they love, without pandering to the mainstream audience and without giving a thought to what their fans or critics might think.

Bad Vibrations – A Day To Remember

When I originally reviewed this album back in September, I wrote that Bad Vibrations was going to be a competitor for my favourite album of the year.  Three months later, that assertion still stands true.  It’s not often that I can write an album review without any negative feedback, but A Day To Remember’s sixth full length album was one of the minority I listen to that get a 100% approval rating.  I’m constantly listening to this record: whether I’m doing my hair and make-up, or if I’m chilling in my bedroom, or I’m in my car head banging on the go.  I genuinely think this is one of the best records released all year, and I really hope I can see the band perform some of these tracks live next year.

Take Control – Slaves

When Slaves found mainstream success with the release of their first album, I was worried that the band would fade into obscurity or change their sound.  Thankfully their second record, Take Control, is just as fun and aggressively punk as its predecessor.  You can tell from the band’s music videos, such as the one above, that the Kent duo are having a brilliant time making music, and I’m having just as much fun listening to them.

If I’m The Devil… – Letlive.

I was the first to admit when reviewing this record that I’ve not listened to a lot of music by letlive.  I’d heard a few singles, sure but I had no idea what it would be like listening to one of their records from beginning to end.  If I’m The Devil… is an album bursting at the seams with anger and passion, but with a sound evolved enough from previous releases to demonstrate their progression as a band.  In my opinion, letlive. are one of the most underrated bands out there at the moment, and if you’ve not listened to their music extensively, then I’m sure that their latest album will have you hooked from first listen.

Death Of A Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco

This record was released in January 2016, and to me it seems like it’s managed to stick around and remain popular and in the public eye all year.  Even though Panic! At The Disco have abandoned their emo roots and become a one man pop band, I think Death Of A Bachelor‘s jazzy sound and vintage 1950s aesthetic has a mass appeal which seems to have won over even old school fans.

What were your favourite albums released this year? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Reviews: How have my opinions changed? altrocklife revisits old reviews

Today I thought I’d go back and look over some of the records I’ve reviewed over the years here at altrocklife.  I always write reviews whilst listening to albums for the first time, so they make for a good analysis of my first impressions.  However, often these first impressions no longer represent my feelings about an album after I’ve listened to it three or three hundred more times.  I often make predictions about how I’ll feel about an album in the long term, so I thought I’d go back, re-read my old reviews of some of these albums, and decide if those predictions were correct.

Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis (Deluxe)

When I reviewed this album last month, I said that I found the record daring and unpredictable, but the track Small Wishes was very much out of place.  I’ll be honest, it is a little jarring when Small Wishes plays, and it’s definitely the outlier of the album.  However, it doesn’t disrupt my listening experience too much, and I enjoy the record now much more than I did when I initially reviewed it.  Learnig Simon’s lyrics following multiple listens has definitely improved my listening experience.

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

Whilst I didn’t do a full review of this record (I featured it in my June album haul), I did say that I wasn’t sure whether it would top their previous album, Collide With The Sky.  I’ve listened to it a few more times, and whilst I do enjoy Misadventures a lot, their previous record is still my favourite by the band. I was very passionate about Collide With The Sky, and I still am, so their latest effort had very big shoes to fill, and it didn’t quite manage that for me.

Bullet For My Valentine – Venom (Deluxe)

If you read my review of this album, you’ll be aware that I was definitely not a fan.  I’ve since made a few more attempts to listen to the record, and it still falls just as flat as ever for me.  To be honest, I’ve definitely grown out of the style of music that BFMV produce: if you’re still into it, then good for you and I hope you enjoyed Venom, but I certainly didn’t, and I’m not one to write a positive review if I didn’t feel positive about the record.

Don Broco – Automatic (Deluxe)

As per my prediction, I did add a number of tracks from this record to my party playlist, and enjoyed them whilst sunbathing in my back garden and drinking a cider.  I still think that the effort Don Broco put into the album is obvious, as the production value is much higher.  The record retained the attitude of Priorities but managed to smooth out the rough edges.

Young Guns – Ones And Zeros 

In this review, I stated that I wasn’t sure whether I’d end up enjoying this record more than their 2012 record Bones.  In hindsight, Ones And Zeros just didn’t deliver the raw emotional and musical impact than their previous record did, and it doesn’t feel like Young Guns reached their full potential with it.  If any other band had released Ones And Zeros I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more because it didn’t follow Bones…if that makes sense?  As a standalone record it is good, and I did enjoy it, but in my eyes it just wasn’t as good as Young Guns have proven themselves capable of.

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

One of my only criticisms of this record was that, with only eight tracks, Sonic Highways felt a bit too short for me.  This still harks true: even now, almost two years after its release, I still expect another track or two to follow the album closer I Am A River.  Hopefully whatever Foo Fighters does next will pack more of a hefty punch.

What did you think of these records?  Do you still feel the same about them as you did on first listen? Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

altrocklife album haul: 06/06/16

Hey altrocklifers and welcome to my blog’s triumphant return! Over the past nine months I’ve essentially been a hermit due to the final year of my university course keeping me extremely busy, so unfortunately updating this blog had fallen by the wayside. But fear not! Now I’ve finished university I’ve got a lot more free time, so altrocklife is being revived.  From now on the blog will focus much more on music news and reviews rather than fashion and lifestyle posts, and after today I’ll be changing my upload schedule, from Mondays and Thursdays to Wednesdays and Sundays.

So, what better way to kick things off than with a review of my recent musical purchases?

Gallows – Desolation Sounds

Ever since Frank Carter of The Rattlesnakes fame left the band in 2011, Gallows seem to have dropped off the radar a bit; their 2012 self-titled album as well as Desolation Sounds didn’t get much attention. However, I think the album is dark and raw, and I absolutely love it. I bought it a couple of months ago and I’ve been listening to it pretty regularly since then.

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

If I’m ever in the mood for more indie guitar-led tracks, Wolf Alice’s first LP is my album of choice. My Love Is Cool has a great mix of chilled, acoustic tracks and more upbeat ones.

PVRIS – White Noise

I know I’m super behind the times here: White Noise has been out since 2014 and I only picked it up last month. Of course I already knew and loved the singles St. Patrick, My House and Fire so buying this album was definitely a safe bet.  If you’re after strong female vocals and synthy rock, this is the album for you.

Band Of Skulls – By Default

Band Of Skulls are one of my favourite bands, and to be honest I didn’t even realise they had a new album coming out until I spotted it on the shelves of HMV the other week.  It’s absolutely fantastic and definitely their best album yet.

Foals – What Went Down

Foals’ latest album is heavier than their previous efforts, and I’m a big fan of the slight shift.  Singles What Went Down and Mountain At My Gates are brilliant tracks, and two of my favourites on the album.

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

Following the success of Collide With The Sky, Pierce The Veil had big boots to fill with the follow-up album. Misadventures is pretty fantastic, but I’m not sure if it tops their previous 2012 album yet.  I’ll be giving it a few more listens before I make my decision.

Now on to a couple of albums I picked up today and haven’t had the chance to listen to yet.

Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves

If you followed my blog last year and kept up with my ‘incredible tracks you need in your life’ series, you’ll remember that I featured Nothing But Thieves multiple times throughout those posts.  I’m a massive fan of this band, especially vocalist Conor’s fantastic voice, so I’m certain I’ll love the album. Itch was one of my favourite songs of 2015, which definitely bodes well.

Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor

Whilst I was a big fan of Panic’s first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, I stopped actively following the band not long after its release and the rest of their albums seemed to pass me by. However, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time caught my attention and I decided I needed to hear the rest of the album.

Lonely The Brave – Things Will Matter

I saw Lonely The Brave supporting Deaf Havana in December 2014, and they absolutely blew me away.  I haven’t got round to listening to their previous album yet, but I heard Rattlesnakes and Black Mire from the new LP and I really enjoyed both tracks. I can’t wait to get my teeth into Things Will Matter.

So that’s my summary of my recent album purchases. Are you a fan of any of these albums? What records are you looking forward to this year? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

altrocklife’s favourite underrated albums

Hello altrocklifers! As a music blogger, it’d make sense for me to be obsessed with all things rock, punk and alternative music.  I’ve actively been seeking out the best new music since I was in secondary school, and all of my friends and family know that when I discover a new album I don’t stop talking about it until everyone I know has a) listened to it and b) is as in love with it as I am.

That said, there are a number of albums that I feel haven’t received the appreciation they deserve.  Whenever I mention said albums, even to fellow rock and punk fans, they’re often met with “I’ve never heard of that band”, “I heard that album was rubbish”, or “I didn’t like the band’s earlier/later music so I didn’t bother listening”.  So I’ve put together a list of my favourite underrated albums and my reasoning for why they’re so damn good.

Gallows – Gallows

Understandably, a lot of Gallows fans were disappointed when vocalist Frank Carter left to pursue his now defunct side project, Pure Love.  After being replaced by Wade MacNiel (previously of Alexisonfire and Black Lungs) many fans shunned the band, suggesting that without Frank Carter they could no longer call themselves Gallows.  Now, I love Frank Carter as a musician as much as the next person, but he left Gallows of his own free will, and he needed to be replaced.  The band’s self titled album is an absolute cracker, and is in fact the album that introduced me to Gallows in the first place.  It seems like a number of people simply wrote the band off after Carter’s departure, which is a real shame.  Here’s Cross Of Lorraine, one of my favourite tracks from the album.

Band Of Skulls – Himalayan

It seems to me like Band Of Skulls are a criminally underrated band.  They have slow, chilled acoustic tracks back-to-back with the wailing guitar solos of their heavier tracks, and who can resist a band with both a male and female vocalist?  One of the album’s singles, Asleep At The Wheel, got a little radio airplay last year, but definitely not as much as it deserved.  The video for Hoochie Coochie is really interesting, and a great fit for one of my favourite Band Of Skulls tracks.

Avenged Sevenfold – Diamonds In The Rough

This album, released alongside the band’s Live In The LBC live DVD, seems to be regularly forgotten by A7X fans.  That is, aside from their cover of Pantera’s Walk, which is pretty much unanimously considered a fantastic cover.  Diamonds In The Rough includes B-sides and a number of tracks never heard before its release.  Unfortunately there is no official video for either of my favourite songs from the record, Girl I Know and Until The End.

The Blackout – Start The Party

Start The Party was the last full-length album by The Blackout, and it definitely struggled to get the recognition it deserved.  Some would argue that the album was a lot more pop oriented, and I wouldn’t disagree with that entirely.  Unfortunately the band’s (intentional or otherwise) attempt to appeal to the masses didn’t seem to work, and just over two years later The Blackout is no more.  One track which never fails to get me in the party mood is the record’s title track below.

Twin Atlantic – Great Divide

Following the huge success of Twin Atlantic’s second studio album, Free, many fans believed that their third album was made to appeal to a wider, more mainstream audience.  While it’s true that Great Divide isn’t quite as heavy as its predecessor, there are still a number of awesome tracks alongside poppier numbers.  Take a listen to Cell Mate, one of my highlights of the album.

Green Day – ¡Dos!

Due to lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong’s admission to rehab around the time of the release of Green Day’s trio of albums, neither  ¡Uno! ¡Dos! or ¡Tré! received the recognition they deserved.  Unfortunately, publicity was focused on Armstrong rather than the release of the albums. Out of the three, ¡Dos! is by far the best, as it demonstrate’s Green Day’s ability to incorporate a number of different genres and styles in one punk-rock package.  Stray Heart was the only single released from this album, which is a shame as tracks such as Nightlife are, in my opinion, much stronger.  Make your own mind up about Stray Heart below.

What do you think of the albums I mentioned?  What’s your favourite, criminally underrated album?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: BonesYoung Guns