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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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: How Did We Get So Dark?

Today I’m extremely excited to review How Did We Get So Dark?, the second full length album by Brighton rock duo Royal Blood.  This band burst onto the scene in late 2014 with the release of their eponymous first album, and their latest record is its highly anticipated follow-up.  The band released its first single, Lights Out, back in April, and you can watch the brilliant music video here:

Now on to the record.  The album opens with the title track, a strong opener with undulating bass throughout the verses and grungy riffs adding depth to the chorus.  It features a great outro, with fantastic drum fills and staccato backing vocals repeating the album name over and over again, which adds a creepy vibe to the song.

Then follows the lead single, Lights Out, arguably one of Royal Blood’s best tracks yet, with a catchy chorus easy to sing – or shout – along to, and a fantastic bass solo.  Next is the album’s second single, I Only Lie When I Love You, a grungy track positively dripping with swagger and attitude.  The lyrics discuss relationships and break-ups, which are a consistent lyrical theme throughout the record.  But then, isn’t love and loss present regularly in everyone’s lives?  Vocalist Mike Kerr’s voice remains as strong as ever, switching between sounding soft and emotive and louder, on the verge of shouting, with ease.  Plus, the drumming throughout the record, provided by Ben Thatcher, is masterful.

Hook, Line & Sinker is this album’s Ten Tonne Skeleton: it’s hands down the best song on the record, with fantastic catchy lyrics and imaginative instrumentals unmatched by anything else the band have put out.  It was pretty difficult for me to list my highlights of this 10-song album, because the entire record is fantastic, but Hook, Line & Sinker is truly on another level.

To me, How Did We Get So Dark? is reminiscent of Biffy Clyro’s work: the drums layered with additional percussion and higher pitched backing vocals draw parallels to their Opposites and Ellipsis albums.  Plus, the bass towards the end of Lights Out has a distinct Black Chandelier vibe.

Recently Royal Blood explained to NME that they took inspiration from David Bowie to create this album, but to me it seems clear that their influences are many and varied.  This band have been compared to Queens Of The Stone Age and Muse amongst others, and their latest album sounds like they’re trying to live up to those massive comparisons.

Overall, this record is dark and moody, and a fantastic follow-up to their first album.  My only criticism is that, at 35 minutes long, there isn’t nearly enough of How Did We Get So Dark? to keep me occupied until Royal Blood release their next album.  This band are a fantastic example of home-grown UK talent, and I’ll be following their future success very closely.

Highlights: I Only Lie When I Love You, She’s Creeping, Look Like You Know, Hook, Line & Sinker

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.

9 incredible tracks you need in your life – April 2017

Hi altrocklifers, and welcome to my first update on a Wednesday, thanks to my new schedule.  Now you’ll have even less time to wait in between updates: lucky you!  It’s nearly the end of the month, so you all know what that means – today I’ll be looking back through April and sharing the best new tracks released this month.

Tonight Alive – World Away

Tonight Alive’s previous record, Limitless, had a more pop-rock feel to their first two albums.  To me it sounds like World Away is a return to the band’s more punk-pop/alternative rock roots, and that’s definitely no bad thing.

Paramore – Hard Times

This track is probably the most pop-inspired track ever put out by Paramore, and the electronic influences and music video have a serious 80s vibe.  This is a very upbeat and summery track, and whilst some Paramore fans are against the new sound, I really like it!  I’m excited to hear the rest of their upcoming record, After Laughter.

Obey The Brave – On Our Own

Sometimes you just really need some new metalcore tracks in your life, and Obey The Brave’s latest offering really scratched that itch.

Royal Blood – Lights Out

For the past year or so, I’ve been wondering when Brighton duo Royal Blood would return with new music for their eager fans.  Thankfully the band returned earlier this month with the first single from their upcoming second album, How Did We Get So Dark?, and it’s a real banger.

Have Mercy – Good Christian Man

I reviewed Have Mercy’s latest record, Make The Best Of It, on Sunday, and this track was one of my highlights from the album.  You can read the full review here.

New Found Glory – Party On Apocalypse 

New Found Glory are one of those bands who have stuck to the same sound for years, and their consistency makes them one of the best pop-punk bands around.

Of Mice & Men – Unbreakable

Unbreakable is the first track released by Of Mice & Men since previous lead vocalist Austin Carlile had to leave the band due to ongoing health issues.  When it was announced that the band would be continuing as a four piece, fans were concerned as to whether vocalist and bass player Aaron Pauley would step up and sing both clean and harsh vocals on their new tracks.  This track answers that question with a definite yes: Pauley is more than capable of filling Carlile’s shoes, and I can’t wait to hear more from the group.

Papa Roach – American Dreams

This latest track from Papa Roach sounds like the band are harking back to their earlier days, especially throughout the verses.  I can always appreciate a band who takes elements of their old sound and bring them up to date, so I can’t wait to hear their upcoming record, Crooked Teeth.

Blondie – Long Time

My Mum is a massive fan of Blondie, so I’ve been listening to the classic voice of Debbie Harry since I was a kid.  Long Time proves that the band have still got what it takes to put out great sounding tracks.


What do you think of these tracks?  Are there any awesome singles I missed?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.