15 albums that will stay with me forever – 2010 vs 2017

Does anyone else remember Facebook notes? Back in the early 2010s they were all the rage in my friendship group.  People would tag their friends in questionnaires about inane topics like their favourite colour, and I probably filled out about 4 notes a week at my peak.

Nowadays I know that kind of thing is pretty cringey, but in 2010 I was merely an annoying little 15 year old with too high an opinion of herself, so I was under the impression that literally EVERYONE wanted to know all about whether I’d kiss the last person I sent a text to.  (Note: usually the last person I’d sent a text to was my Mum, just to demonstrate how thrilling my answers were.)

Well, earlier this week I was reminded about the existence of notes, when a note I had written back in 2010 popped up in my Memories page on Facebook.  The title read 15 albums ❤️, and the ‘rules’ that invariably came along with a Facebook note read as follows:

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what albums my friends choose.

When I read over the list of albums I’d chosen, I laughed to myself. Most of these albums didn’t stick with me for much more than a couple of years, let alone a lifetime.  So today I thought I’d show you my list of 15 albums from 2010, and compare with albums I’d choose today.

2010:

  1. Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
  2. This is War – 30 Seconds to Mars
  3. The Flame in All of us – Thousand Foot Krutch
  4. One-X – Three Days Grace
  5. Infinity on High – Fall Out Boy
  6. Streets of Gold – 3OH!3
  7. Betrayed – Lostprophets
  8. The Defamation of Strickland Banks – Plan B
  9. In Your Honour – Foo Fighters
  10. Meteora – Linkin Park
  11. Black Holes and Revelations – Muse
  12. Only Revolutions – Biffy Clyro
  13. 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day
  14. Curtain Call – Eminem
  15. In Silico – Pendulum

Well, isn’t this list a throwback? It really demonstrates how little my music taste has changed in seven years, as to be honest I still listen to tracks from 11 out of these 15 albums on a regular basis.

The four I’ve left behind? Lostprophet’s Betrayed, for obvious reasons – after Iain Watkins was convicted of being a paedophile, I deleted all of their music from my iTunes account and I’ve never listened to them since.  The knowledge that Watkins had been doing unspeakable things to kids whilst making that music makes me sick to my stomach.

I’ve also moved on from Eminem’s Curtain Call and Plan B’s The Defamation of Strickland Banks.  I’m not massively into rap any more, and besides, I’ve grown out of Eminem spitting bars about how he’d like to murder his mother, ex-girlfriend Kim, or any other lady who takes his fancy – violence against women isn’t my favourite genre.

Plus, Streets of Gold by 3OH!3 is essentially a 2010 time capsule.  It perfectly captured the music and sentiments of the moment, so I honestly feel like I’m 15 again every time one of its tracks comes on shuffle, and it’s all just a bit cringe.  To be fair, though, the line “tell your boyfriend, if he says he’s got beef, that I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fuckin’ scared of him” is still lyrical genius.

To be fair to my 15 year old self, the rest of the albums on this list still hold up today.  Meteora is still an amazing Linkin Park album 14 years since it was released, and if I ever feel the urge to listen to some drum and bass, In Silico is usually the record I turn to.  I don’t listen to Thousand Foot Krutch or Three Days Grace very often any more, but I still feel pretty nostalgic for those albums, so I don’t feel bad at having included them.  Plus, my first ever proper gig was to see Green Day on their 21st Century Breakdown tour, so that album will always have a special place in my heart.

But with no further ado, what are the 15 albums that will stick with me forever – 2017 edition?

2017:

  1. Blossom – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
  2. Puzzle – Biffy Clyro
  3. Ceremonials – Florence & The Machine
  4. All Hope Is Gone – Slipknot
  5. Minutes to Midnight – Linkin Park
  6. Toxicity – System of a Down
  7. Bones – Young Guns
  8. Wasting Light – Foo Fighters
  9. A Flash Flood of Colour – Enter Shikari
  10. Folie à Deux – Fall Out Boy
  11. Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow – We Are The Ocean
  12. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  13. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys
  14. Black Holes and Revelations – Muse
  15. Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold

I’ve gotta say, this was a seriously difficult list to compile.  The thing I found hardest was trying to discern in my mind between albums I’m obsessed with right now, and albums that hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll likely love for a long time.

For that reason, records like If I’m The Devil… by Letlive., Bad Vibrations by A Day to Remember and Asymmetry by Mallory Knox didn’t quite make the cut – whilst I love those records, I’m not 100% convinced that I’ll still love them as much in years to come.

You’ll notice that only one album is still on this list: Black Holes and Revelations by Muse.  I struggled with choosing a Muse album, because I love all of their records for different reasons, but Black Holes and Revelations is one I always go back to without fail.

There is a fair bit of repetition of artists on this list, though: Foo Fighters, Muse, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park and Biffy Clyro all make a reappearance, even if my favoured records on their discographies have changed a bit.  In fairness, most of these bands have put out at least two records since 2010, so I had a broader spectrum of choice.

And what of the new appearances on my list? About a year after I wrote this note, in 2011, I started listening to bands like Avenged Sevenfold, System of a Down, Young Guns and Slipknot.  Without being too sappy, they honestly changed my life and the way I listen to and interact with music, and now a lot of my music taste revolves around these three acts.

Whenever any of the tracks from the above 15 albums come on shuffle, I feel relieved that my iPod has come up with a good shuffle, for once, and ignored the many years worth of crap music which still resides in my iTunes library. (Note to self: clear it out, you’ll feel better for it.)

I know the premise of the 15 albums note is flawed, because there’s truly no way of knowing how you’ll feel about an album or artist in years to come. Hell, nobody could predict that Iain Watkins would turn out to be a paedo.  So maybe in another seven years, in 2024, I’ll take on 15 albums ❤️ round three, and we can see how my tastes have evolved – or not – yet again!


What are your 15 albums that will stay with you forever? What do you think of my selection? Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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10 great bands to see live in winter 2017

If you’ve been following alternative music news as closely as I have, you’ll know that there are some awesome bands set to play UK tours towards the end of this year.  Today I thought I’d run through some of these upcoming live dates, whether I’m planning on attending one of the gigs or just wish I could.

New Found Glory – September/October 2017, dates here

Pop punk legends New Found Glory, who are celebrating the band’s 20th year, will be visiting our shores in September/October of this year.  Their latest record was released in April, so it will be exciting for fans to hear some of those newer tracks live alongside older classics.

Metallica – October 2017, dates here

Metal giants Metallica will be returning to UK shores this October, but alas, the general sale for all of their dates have already sold out.  Bad luck to everyone who missed out!

Enter Shikari – November 2017, dates here

I already covered the news of Enter Shikari’s upcoming UK tour last month, but I had to include them in this round-up because their line-up is absolutely fantastic.  Lower Than Atlantis put on a great show, and Astroid Boys are an innovative up-and-coming band, so I’m certain this tour will be one to remember.  I’ve already seen Enter Shikari live four times, and their performances are always incredible, so I’d love to make it five in November at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena.

Royal Blood – November 2017, dates here

Royal Blood will be performing their first ever headline arena dates this year, and I can’t wait to see them fill the huge venues with their awesome sound.  The band recently announced At The Drive In and Black Honey as their support acts, so I’m certain these dates will not disappoint.

Alice Cooper – November 2017, dates here

Rock ‘n’ roll giant Alice Cooper will be bringing his incredible live performances and stage shows back to the UK in November of this year.  If you attend one of his gigs, it’s certain to be a night you won’t forget in a hurry.

PVRIS, November 2017, dates here

PVRIS are set to release their upcoming second album, All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell in August, and a few months later they’ll be celebrating its release with a short run of UK dates.

Good Charlotte – November/December 2017, dates here

Good Charlotte’s latest album, Youth Authority, got a decent write-up here on altrocklife, so it would be awesome to see the band perform some of their new tracks live.  Plus, let’s be real, this band are pop punk legends, and it would be a nostalgia-filled trip to the past to see Good Charlotte perform live.

The Kooks – November/December 2017, dates here

Pop rock legends The Kooks are doing a Best Of tour at the end of this year, and it would be awesome to see them live.  Most people I know grew up listening to The Kooks, so I’m sure it would be fantastic to see them perform their greatest hits.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – December 2017, dates here

Everyone who’s seen The Rattlesnakes live know that this group put on an incredible show, and I’m extremely lucky to have already bought my ticket to see them in Nottingham on December 6th.  It’ll be my first time seeing The Rattlesnakes, and long term readers of altrocklife will know how long I’ve been waiting to see this band.  If you’ve got the opportunity to see them live, you’ll regret it if you don’t take it.

Marilyn Manson – December 2017, dates here

Marilyn Manson is one of the most infamous musicians on the scene, with a solid fanbase built over the past 20+ years.  You’d have to be pretty lucky to catch him during this short string of UK dates.


Have you got tickets for any of these tours?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

News: Enter Shikari announce November UK/EU tour with Lower Than Atlantis and Astroid Boys

Fans of Enter Shikari woke up to some awesome news this morning: the St Albans four-piece announced a massive string of UK and EU tour dates to take place in November and December this year.  This will be their second arena tour, following their tour in February 2016, where I was lucky enough to see the band perform at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – you can watch my video review of the gig here.

As well as this, yesterday Enter Shikari dropped a new track, Supercharge, featuring grime/rap artist Big Narstie and produced, in part, by frontman Rou Reynolds.  You can listen to the track here:

This tour is even more exciting because of the support acts. The alternative rock lads Lower Than Atlantis and up and coming Astroid Boys will be joining the band on the tour, and I think that’s an excellent combination of acts.  Enter Shikari are well known for blurring the boundaries between the genres of rock, rap, nu-metal and electronic/dubstep, so this combination of support bands is sure to get the crowd hyped and ready for the main event.

Pre-sale for the UK leg of the gig went on sale earlier this morning, with general sale starting on Friday.  Here are all of the dates – make sure you pick up tickets if Enter Shikari are hitting up a venue near you:

UK leg:

  • 16/11 – Liverpool Arena
  • 17/11 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  • 18/11 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
  • 19/11 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
  • 21/11 – Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
  • 22/11 – Brighton Centre
  • 24/11 – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
  • 25/11 – Alexandra Palace, London

EU leg:

  • 29/11 – Afas Live, Amsterdam, NL
  • 1/12 – Den Atelier, Luxembourg, LU
  • 2/12 – Elysee Montmartre, Paris, FR
  • 3/12 – Cologne Palladium, DE
  • 5/12 – Mehr Theatre, Hamburg, DE
  • 6/12 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DK
  • 7/12 – Huxleys, Berlin, DE
  • 8/12 – Proxima, Warsaw, PL
  • 11/12 – Vienna Arena, AT
  • 12/12 – Tonhalle, Munich, DE

Are you hoping to see Enter Shikari on their November/December tour?  What do you think of their latest track?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Video review: Enter Shikari, Nottingham Motorpoint Arena

On February 20th Enter Shikari played an explosive set in Nottingham, accompanied by The Wonder Years and the King Blues.  Their set list was made up of plenty of songs from their most recent album, The Mindsweep, as well as a lot of older tracks to keep old school fans happy.  But was their first arena tour too ambitious a step? I reported from the Motorpoint Arena once the encore ended.

News: Enter Shikari release animated ‘There’s A Price On Your Head’ video following tour announcement

Today, St. Albans four-piece Enter Shikari released an awesome animated music video for There’s A Price On Your Head, a track from their latest record, The Mindsweep.  You can see my review of their fantastic fourth studio album here.  The video is below – let me know what you think in the comments below!

The video was created by Peter MacAdams, who also worked with the band on an animated clip for their song, Slipshod, which you can watch here.

This video has been released following news that Enter Shikari are due to play their first ever arena dates in February 2016, with support from The Wonder Years.  I’m hoping to see them at the Bournemouth International Centre, but you can check out all of the dates below:

  • 18/2 – Glasgow O2 Academy
  • 19/2 – Edinburgh Corn Exchange
  • 20/2 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
  • 22/2 – Bournemouth International Centre
  • 23/2 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
  • 25/2 – Manchester Victoria Warehouse
  • 27/2 – London Alexandra Palace

Are you planning on seeing Enter Shikari live next year?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: DitmasMumford & Sons

Review: Enter Shikari, Portsmouth Pyramids

My year of gigs started with a bang last night, thanks to Enter Shikari’s excellent Portsmouth Pyramids show.  Three diverse but talented support acts got the crowd excited for the main act.

Unfortunately I was unable to snap any pictures, but here’s my verdict on The Mindsweep Tour’s opening night.

The first support were Glaswegian four-piece Fatherson, and I enjoyed their performance a lot.  The vocals from lead singer Ross Leighton were on point throughout the entire set.  Their style reminded me a lot of Lonely The Brave, which is definitely not a bad comparison to make.  Check out the video for I Like Not Knowing, a track from their setlist last night:

Next up were allusondrugs, and whilst I’m not a massive fan of their style of music, I still enjoyed their performance.  All five band members were dripping with enthusiasm (and sweat), and frontman Jason Moules had plenty of attitude.  Blaming the crowd for the day’s rain may not have been a great move, though.  Check out the video for their track Nervous, one of the better songs from their setlist.

The final support act were Kent five-piece Feed The Rhino, and this is when the night started to get messy.  The pit opened up during this set, thanks to the band’s flawless performance.  I’d never heard any music by these guys before last night, but I’ll definitely be following them from now on.  Here’s the video for their track Deny And Offend to give you an idea of what their set was like.

Finally, Enter Shikari took to the stage.  They started the night with a mash-up of pop and dance remixes giving the audience a countdown until the start of the show.  I’ve never seen a crowd more excited with 10 minutes still to go until the main act appeared.  

They opened with The Appeal And The Mindsweep I, which I wasn’t particularly surprised about, but Shikari definitely have better openers.

Their setlist was fantastic for fans of their latest two albums, The Mindsweep and A Flash Flood Of Colour.  Old school fans may have been disappointed, as the only older songs on the setlist were Destabilise, Radiate, Juggernauts, Mothership and Slipshod.  I was also pretty gutted that I had to leave early to catch my train home and ended up missing Sssnakepit, one of my favourite Shikari tracks.

Their stripped-back version of Dear Future Historians, which included Rou playing an upright piano on stage, was a really beautiful part of the night.  I won’t forget it any time soon.

Although there were a couple of technical hitches, I think Enter Shikari smashed last night’s gig.  If the rest of their UK tour dates go as well as last night, they’re on to a winner.

Currently listening to: Chop Suey!System Of A Down

Review: The Mindsweep

Enter Shikari
Photo Credit: macskapocs via Compfight cc

Now, if there’s anything that’ll get me excited to see a band live, it’s getting hold of new music by them.  With about three weeks to go until I see Enter Shikari live at Portsmouth Pyramids, I was extremely pleased to see their latest album, The Mindsweep, drop through my letterbox the other morning.  In all honesty, I forgot that I’d pre-ordered it, so it was as if Christmas had come all over again!

If you haven’t managed to pick up a copy yet, Shikari have made the album available to stream – isn’t that generous of them?

Now, if you’re an old-school Shikari purist who thought A Flash Flood Of Colour was crap, then the Hertfordshire lads’ latest offering will not be for you.  The Mindsweep definitely follows in the same vein as their previous album stylistically, with plenty of slower melodic elements and political diatribes.  However, their little nod to Sorry You’re Not A Winner in The Appeal & The Mindsweep II tells us that Enter Shikari have far from forgotten their roots, and there are plenty of hardcore breakdowns and screamo choruses to go around.

The Shikari lads have definitely worked out how to start an album; The Appeal & The Mindsweep I starts slow and electronic, building to the fast paced appeal from Rou, and then punching you in the gut with its scream of “I am a mindsweeper!”, crashing cymbals and heavy riffs.  To me this harks back to System…, the opener of A Flash Flood, which definitely does its job of getting the listener in the Shikari mindset.

Backing and accompanying vocals by Liam, Chris and Rob are brought more to the forefront in this album, especially in tracks like Never Let Go Of The Microscope and The One True Colour.  They definitely help to bring something a bit different to The Minsdweep compared to Shikari’s previous efforts.

Lyrically this album does not disappoint, with The Anaesthetist protesting the privatisation of the NHS, and The Bank Of England showing a middle finger to the wealthy elite in charge of our finances.  As long as Enter Shikari continue to challenge political norms in their lyrics and attitude, they’ll still be the same band to me.

With 12 tracks coming in at about 45 minutes in length, The Mindsweep is a significant album to get stuck into.  However, one criticism I have to make is, due to the tracks blending into each other, it’s a little different to work out where one track ends and another begins, especially during the latter half of the album.  Whilst this may make listening to individual tracks a little jarring, however, the overall package is excellent and flows really well.

Overall this album is a little more radio-friendly than previous offerings, if the success of singles Anaesthetist and The Last Garrison on stations such as BBC Radio 1 is anything to go by.  But is that a bad thing?  Considering a number of dates for their Mindsweep tour are already sold out with weeks to go before they hit the road, I’d argue not.

The Mindsweep was released January 19 in the UK, and Enter Shikari return to UK shores for the third leg of the Mindsweep tour on February 16 – my date in Portsmouth!  Having seen the lads perform at Leeds Festival last year, I know this tour will stick in my memory for a long time.

Highlights: Anaesthetist, Never Let Go Of The Microscope, Myopia, Torn Apart

Enter Shikari: the latest tour dates, album title and more

Much to my great joy, as I was scrolling down my Twitter feed in bed with a slice of toast this morning, as you do, I was reminded that today at midday, the tickets for Enter Shikari‘s Jan/Feb 2015 tour went on sale.

Unfortunately I had to rush off to a lecture so I was unable to get tickets at midday, but thankfully I was able to pick up a ticket (and a pre-order of their next album) for their date at Portsmouth Pyramids.  Excited is an understatement!

After seeing Enter Shikari at Leeds Festival earlier this year (you can check out my review of their performance here) and really enjoying their performance, I am so happy to be able to see them perform for a second time.

As well as that, the Essex lads revealed that their upcoming fourth album, The Mindsweep, will be released in the UK on January 19 of next year.

I, for one, cannot wait for their next album, especially after hearing a new song from the album, The Anaesthetistplayed live at Leeds Festival.

If you’re interested in picking up tickets for Enter Shikari’s The Mindsweep tour, the dates can be found here.  Also, if you’re interested in picking up their next album you can pre-order it, as well as other exclusive goodies, on their website.

Currently listening to: WarriorsImagine Dragons

Top 10: the biggest rock ‘n’ roll choruses I’ve ever heard

In my opinion, the chorus of a song is the glue which holds the rest of the verses together.  Here’s a list of 10 songs with the biggest, punchiest and best choruses I’ve ever heard.

10: Alone Together – Fall Out Boy

The message of this song is pretty uplifting overall, but the chorus is the icing on the cake.

9: Forever – Papa Roach

This tune is one of my favourite ever love songs.

8: Sssnakepit – Enter Shikari

Gang vocals are my ultimate weakness, and as someone who gets pretty nervous in moshpits and crowds this song is a nice reminder to leave my anxieties behind.

7: Bite My Tongue – You Me At Six ft. Oli Sykes

Sinners Never Sleep, the album this song comes from, is chock-a-block full of anthems.  This is one of the best.

6: Snuff – Slipknot

This is one of my favourite Slipknot songs.  ‘Nuff said really.

5: Gunslinger – Avenged Sevenfold

Gunslinger is one of the best Avenged Sevenfold songs out there – the entire song’s message is wonderful.

4: Everlong – Foo Fighters

This is a truly great song, which talks about being truly satisfied with your life.

3: Bulls In The Bronx – Pierce The Veil

I can’t really put my finger on why, but this song is one of my favourite songs of all time.

2: Biblical – Biffy Clyro

A really interesting song, once you take the time to really listen to the lyrics.

1: You Are Not (Lonely) – Young Guns

I still have yet to reach the high note in this chorus without sounding like a distressed cat, but I’m certain I’ll make it eventually.

What are your favourite rock ‘n’ roll choruses?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to: The Negative OneSlipknot