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.

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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