Happy birthday altrocklife!

It’s official: altrocklife turns one today!  Today marks the first anniversary of the first post I ever wrote for this blog, so I thought I’d go back in time and recap some of the best – and worst! – moments in music and fashion over the past year.

BEST MUSIC NEWS

Easily the best music news in the past 365 days was the news that the ex-Lostprophets lads were forming a new band, No Devotion.  Unfortunately interest in the band petered out, and evidently they were not meant to be.  Even so, the hype when No Devotion first entered the scene was pretty incredible!  Read more about it in my article here.

WORST MUSIC NEWS

On the other side of the coin, I was absolutely devastated when news of The Blackout’s split broke.  The band are about to head on their farewell tour, and I’m heartbroken that I’m unable to attend any of the dates.  altrocklife wishes the whole band good luck in their future endeavours, musical or otherwise!  You can read more about my reaction to the split and their final farewell here.

BEST ALBUM REVIEWED ON ALTROCKLIFE

I struggled immensely to narrow down the best albums released in the past year, so here are the top five albums that I’ve reviewed here and on Scene Better Days:

5: Oui Legionnaires: It’s Not What You Need, It’s What You’ve Got (so shut it.)
4: The Lion And The Wolf: Symptoms
3: Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways
2: Slipknot: 5: The Gray Chapter
1: Enter Shikari: The Mindsweep

BEST FASHION TREND

I’ve written about quite a few different fashion trends so far on altrocklife, so here’s a list of my three favourite tried-and-tested fashion finds.

3: Double denim
2: Statement jackets
1: Collar tips

WORST FASHION TREND

This trend is in fact the only trend I’ve ever openly slated on altrocklife.  To those of you who like this style, I’m sorry but I simply cannot stand it.  Of course I’m talking about the “90s suburban mom” look: you can read my angry ravings about that trend here.

BEST LIVE ACT

Since starting altrocklife I’ve attended Leeds Festival, as well as a number of both small venue and stadium gigs.  Here are the top 10 live acts I had the privilege to see this year.

10: Deaf Havana @ Lincoln Engine Shed
9: A Day To Remember @ Leeds Festival
8: Papa Roach @ Leeds Festival
7: Mallory Knox @ Leeds Festival
6: Pure Love @ Lincoln Engine Rooms
5: Royal Blood @ Leeds Festival
4: Of Mice & Men @ Leeds Festival
3: Band Of Skulls @ Leeds Festival
2: Enter Shikari @ Portsmouth Pyramids
1: Linkin Park @ O2 Arena

WORST LIVE ACT

Thankfully, my fantastic live experiences were not tarnished by some of the, ahem, not so excellent acts I’ve seen in the past year.  Here are the three live acts I wish I’d never bothered seeing.

3: Jake Bugg @ Leeds Festival
2: La Dispute @ Leeds Festival
1: FACT @ London KOKO, supporting Memphis May Fire

So there you have it!  What do you think of my best and worst moments?  Let me know in the comments or as always on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Mz. HydeHalestorm

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altrocklife’s Top 10 sale shopping dos and don’ts

Hello readers!  Hope you all had a fantastic holiday period – I certainly enjoyed my time at home during the Christmas break chilling with my family and drinking far too many cocktails.  I know you’ve probably missed my updates terribly, but never fear, altrocklife is back for 2015 with plenty in store for you lucky people.

First off, I’m sure I’m not the only person who clears old, outdated and ill-fitting clothes from their wardrobes in December, am I?  It makes sense to do this boring task in December, to make way for the inevitable tsunami of post-Christmas sales purchases.

I was out first thing on Boxing Day, and again on New Year’s Eve, to make the most of the gift cards and spending money gifted to me by my generous friends and family.  Although we’re now well into January, there are still plenty of deals to be had if you look closely enough!  Here are my Top 10 hints to help you get the best deals.

DO – try and wait until January to buy expensive items

If your winter coat is starting to look a little worse for wear, or your favourite boots are starting to let the rain in, try and hold out until January to purchase replacements.  I bought a new pair of boots in November for full price because my old ones had a hole in the sole so large I could fit my thumb through, but if I’d just made do with the shoes I already own and waited until the post-Christmas sales, I could have bought them for half the price.  It may feel like you need replacements for your worn-out items NOW, but it pays to be patient.

The best high-value items to purchase during sales are:

  • Handbags
  • Coats and jackets
  • Anything made of real leather
  • Footwear

DON’T – buy for the sake of buying

Yes, I know that it’s tempting to go overboard during the sales, but chances are you may end up buying items that you never would have purchased at full price, simply because they’re discounted or ‘seem like a good deal’.  When I’m out sale shopping, for every item I pick up I try to imagine two or three different outfits from my existing wardrobe I could wear it with – if I struggle to come up with ideas, I put it back.  Sale items aren’t a bargain if they stay scrunched up at the back of your drawer with the tag still on!

DO – have an idea of what you want before you hit the shops

Before I hit the high street on Boxing Day, I already had a mental list of items I actually needed to buy: black ankle boots, jeans, a denim shirt, a dress, and a handbag.  By the time I was finished shopping, I’d crossed four out of five off the list.  Just remember that half of the fun of Christmas shopping is the element of surprise, and it’s OK to deviate from the list if you spot something – or multiple things – you really love.

DON’T – spend too much on wardrobe staples

My best finds this shopping season were discovered by nipping into the denim section of Primark and discovering that their super skinny jeans were only £11 per pair.  I would advise going to cheaper retailers for items such as jeans, leggings, tights, socks and job interview clothes, so you have more to spend on higher value statement pieces.  I bought three pairs of jeans for £33, when my previous three pairs of jeans cost me over £50, so that £17 saving went towards my annual December sale HMV raid.

(One tip, though: make sure you try on Primark jeans before buying as they tend to run small, and I had to buy size 14 denim when usually I’m usually a 12.)

DO – spend gift cards first

I know it’s tempting to save gift cards for a special occasion, but if you’ve essentially been given a card with FREE MONEY to spend in a specific store, why would you choose to spend your own hard-earned cash there when you could spend that money in a shop you don’t have gift cards for?  I was the lucky recipient of two New Look gift cards this Christmas, which added up to a total of £70.  After my Boxing Day blitz, I only have £3.79 left on one of the cards, but I hadn’t touched any of the cold hard cash I was gifted.  On the other hand, my sister – who also received £70 of New Look gift cards – went Boxing Day shopping, forgot her gift cards, and ended up not being able to afford to buy items in other shops because she had to spend her actual money in New Look.

DON’T – buy online

This may seem like strange advice, considering my dependence on online shopping, but during busy periods I find buying online is more of a hindrance than it is convenient.  Often websites can’t keep up with how quickly items are selling, and there have been too many occasions where I’ve put an item I like in my basket, only to find it’s sold out of my size by the time I check out.  Plus, due to the sheer volume of orders postage takes far longer than normal, which means if you need an item for a specific day, there’s a chance it may not arrive on time.  Obviously for people who live in rural areas online shopping is the best option, but if you have the chance to actually visit a store and do your shopping the flesh, take it.  At least in a shop you know exactly how many of each item there are available, and you can try things on!  Which leads on to my next point:

DO – try everything on

I’ve already brought this up in two of my previous points, but I think it’s important enough to warrant a segment of its own.  During sales, many stores adopt different policies which means if you buy a sale item and then have to return it, you won’t get your money back – you’ll either have to hope you can exchange it, or get a credit note.  I know that the queues to the changing rooms can look daunting at times, but the feeling of satisfaction when you take your sale purchases home with the knowledge that they all fit perfectly is compensation enough.

DON’T – be tempted to buy items even if they’re the wrong size

Following on from the last point, have you ever been shopping and spotted the most beautiful item of clothing you’ve ever seen, but felt your heart shatter into tiny pieces when you realise there’s only one left and it’s not in your size?  I’ve experienced that tragedy too many times.  Sometimes people purchase clothes that are too small for them as an incentive to lose weight or tone up, which could work, but on the other hand it could also become extremely demoralising if you don’t slim down enough to fit into it.  Don’t run the risk of that beautiful garment gathering dust in the back of your wardrobe – if you truly love something, you must set it free, and hopefully someone else will give it a loving home.

DO – set a budget

I’ve left one of the most important points until last.  If you’re like me and you received a fair amount of cash for Christmas, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and spend EVERYTHING in the post-Christmas sales.  However, this could lead to problems later on – say your bag breaks in February and you need a replacement, or you urgently need to visit home and have to buy pricey train tickets, you could be left in an unpleasant financial predicament.  I always make sure to put at least 10% of all my Christmas and birthday money away in my savings account, which I’m currently using to save up for driving lessons and my next tattoo.  Every little helps!

DON’T – get into fights over clothes

Am I the only person still haunted by CCTV footage of this year’s Black Friday debacle?  I hope not.  My final point is a simple one: don’t take inspiration from Black Friday shoppers.  At the end of the day, it’s only clothes you’re buying, and believe it or not you can live without that exact shirt, so no need to rip it out of someone else’s hands.

What do you think?  Did I miss out anything obvious?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to: Let’s Talk About Your HairHave Mercy

Top 10 tracks you need on your party playlist

You know how it is, your friends have just invited themselves over to your house to pre-drink before heading off on a night out, or you’re hosting a party for a housemate’s birthday, and you need to come up with the perfect playlist to get your guests in the mood for going out to dance (and drink) the night away.

If you’re heading off to a metal bar or a nightclub which cycles alternative, rock and punk on its playlist, here are my Top 10 songs which will get you ready to rock out – but not too hard, or you might spill your drink.

10: When The Sun Goes Down – Arctic Monkeys

This track never fails to be a crowd pleaser, and even your one friend who isn’t much of a rock/metal/alternative fan will be tapping their foot along to this track.

9: Bury My Bones – Pure Love

Frank’s strong vocals are always great at stirring up passion in people, and who doesn’t love a nice ‘yeah-yeah-yeah’ to sing along to?

8: Planetary (GO!) – My Chemical Romance

This track is one of MCR’s more upbeat songs, and it really packs a punch.  Perfect for getting hyped up before going out to a club.

7: Last Night – Good Charlotte

I think the lyrics of this track explain why it deserves to be on this playlist perfectly.

6: Fat Lip – Sum 41

Fat lip is a song most people associate with their childhood and teenage years, so it’s great for stirring up nostalgic feelings and getting everyone to sing along.

5: Blame It – Of Mice & Men

This cover is a guilty pleasure of mine – no matter what you think of it, you can’t deny that it’s great at getting people in the party mood.

4: Higher And Higher – The Blackout (featuring Hyro Da Hero)

A chorus with words that are easy to remember even after having a couple of drinks – check.  A bangin’ rap verse – check.  What else do you need to get a party started?

3: Just A Day – Feeder

Another nostalgic number here, and one which some of your guests may not even realise they know until the chorus kicks in.

2: All My Life – Foo Fighters

What kind of playlist would this be without a contribution from the gods of rock ‘n’ roll?  Whilst not their biggest commercial success, All My Life is one of the Foo’s most well known tracks, and for good reason too.  A winner all round.

1: Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) – Woe, Is Me

I have to make sure I only listen to this song if I’m getting ready to go out, because if not I get myself hyped up to party only to snap back to reality and remember I’m on the bus to my 10am lecture.

So, that’s my Top 10 list of going out tracks – what do you think?  If you agree with my choices or think there’s an obvious track I missed, let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to: English Kids In AmericaLower Than Atlantis

altrocklife’s Top 10 freshers dos and don’ts

Can you believe it’s that time of year again?  For anyone who has or is attending university, freshers week always stirs up plenty of nostalgia: from memories of doing your first supermarket shop unattended to possibly the worst series of hangovers you will ever have the misfortune to experience.

As a second year student, I like to think I have some useful tips for this year’s incoming freshers – some of these may sound a little Bournemouth-centric, as that’s where I study, but most should be applicable wherever your university is situated.

DO – go to as many events as possible

You don’t want to be that person with hardly any friends because you stayed in your room playing video games during the freshers celebrations.  Even if you’re not a social butterfly, try to aim for at least a couple of friends on your course to make group projects and collecting missed notes easier, and a few drinking buddies for when you find yourself wanting company on a Friday night.

DON’T – overdo it

I know, I know – you’re a fresher, and you feel like you’re invincible.  However, there are only so many Jägerbombs one person can take before you start feeling like death and stop wanting to leave your halls at all.  Plus, nobody likes that guy who gets wasted and starts vomiting outside of clubs before midnight, so avoid that at all costs.  You’ve got an entire week (or longer!) of partying ahead, so no need to go OTT on the first night.

DO – go out with your housemates 

My biggest regret from freshers was only going out with my housemates once.  We didn’t bond very well, so the rest of the year was filled with awkwardness and I could go days without speaking to any of my housemates.  Whether you host pre-drinks at your place, go clubbing together or just grab a meal and a pint at your local pub, make sure you spend a lot of time together – you could create some of your fondest freshers memories.

DON’T – force yourself to spend time with people you don’t get along with

Unfortunately, whenever you meet new people there will always be a select few that you immediately decide that you don’t like, for whatever reason.  There is hope, though: because you’re going to meet so many people during freshers, it should be easy to avoid people you’re not into.  If you have a lot of mutual friends with them, just stay civil and try to avoid drunken bar fights.

DO – join clubs/societies to meet people with similar interests

Fun fact: I didn’t know many people on my course – that is, until I went to a Baking Society meet-up and discovered some of my friends there had two of the same interests as me – food and journalism.  Wearing your favourite band t-shirt on a night out or playing Pokemon in the library might get you a few approving nods, but if you want to find people who like the same things as you, join as many societies as you can.  Even if you’re too busy to attend meet-ups, most will have a Facebook group so you can still interact with other members.

DON’T – spend too much of your student loan

Once that massive deposit of money hits your bank account, it can be all too tempting to splash the cash on a new laptop, a shopping spree, or drinks in the most expensive nightclub in town.  I’m not saying you need to watch every penny – just remember that the money you get in September has got to pay for your rent, food, books, travel, nights out and more until January.

DO – eat real food

Speaking from experience, surviving on microwave meals, toast and 3am kebabs is no way to live.  You’ll start feeling lethargic and tired all the time, plus your hair and skin will suffer and hangovers will feel even worse.  Even if you just eat a piece of fruit with your breakfast or choose veg instead of chips as a side dish when you’re eating out, try and get as many vitamins and nutrients in your body as possible.

DON’T – go out too many times in a row

Freshers events are always packed into a fairly short length of time, meaning once you’ve bought tickets for all the events you’re interested in you could end up going out three or four nights in a row.  It can be tempting to say ‘screw the rules’ and go out every night from Wednesday to Saturday, but what this does is accumulate each night’s drinking into the ultimate Super Hangover on Sunday morning.  If you still want to go to every event, be smart: leave early on the quietest nights, and drink fairly moderately to reduce the Super Hangover’s effects.

DO – take loads of photos

As annoying as the song #SELFIE is, it has a good message – with all the drinking you’re likely to be doing, photos could be the only way you remember who you spent your night with, especially if you met with people you didn’t originally plan on seeing.  Getting people to tag their friends in your photos is also a great way of accumulating Facebook friends and Instagram followers – bonus!

DON’T – feel pressured to drink

As hypocritical as this might sound considering the past nine pieces of advice, if you’re still feeling delicate from the night before or simply have no interest in drinking alcohol, don’t force yourself to drink just to impress your new friends.  Newsflash: everybody is out to impress everyone else, and it’s not just you trying to make new friends.  Your university should have organised plenty of alcohol-free activities during the day to give yourself – and your liver – a break.

What do you think of my advice?  Is there anything obvious I missed?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to: I’m Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?A Day To Remember

altrocklife’s Top 10 festival dos and don’ts

So, if you haven’t already worked it out from my Twitter, I’m going to be attending Leeds festival this year.  This will be the first time I’ve ever attended a festival for the entire weekend, so I’m really looking forward to it!

If you’re going to be attending, whether you’re a first timer or a R&L veteran, here are some dos and don’ts which, if you follow them, will ensure you’re a dream festival attendee.

DO – wear sensible shoes

Make sure your shoes are comfortable and practical in wet or muddy weather.  I recommend Doc Martens that are already broken in, hiking boots, combat boots or sturdy trainers.  Flip-flops, sandals and high heels are a BIG no-no.

DON’T – complain constantly about your aching feet

I get it, you’ve been waiting for the main stage headliner for hours now, and standing in a field to keep your spot secured isn’t the most pleasant way to spend a day.  However, everyone else is in the same boat as you – if you really dislike standing that much, buy a seated ticket at a gig next time.

DO – take more money than you think you’ll need

Budgeting is difficult at the best of times – even worse during festivals due to inflated food prices.  It’s far better to come home with some spare change instead of run out of cash on Sunday morning.

DON’T – spend all of your money on alcohol

Festivals are a great way to kick back, relax, and have a laugh with your mates whilst watching some awesome bands.  However, getting completely bladdered before midday and spending the best part of the evening – when all of the best bands are playing – throwing up or sleeping off a hangover is a serious waste of time and money.  Plus, if you’re drunk, all of the sober people around you in the mosh pit will hate you.

DO – keep an eye on your drinks and belongings

Nothing will put a dampener on a festival more than your phone, iPod, or wallet being stolen.  I even heard of a girl whose brand new £99 Doc Martens were stolen when she left them outside her tent overnight.  Keep your valuables in a rented locker or on your person at all times.  Not only that, but having your drink spiked is always a possibility, especially for girls, so never leave your drink unattended and keep your hand over the top of the cup or bottle to avoid something being slipped in.

DON’T – be a shover

Unfortunately at every festival there will always be those awful people who barge through the crowd to get as close to the front as possible, even if there isn’t a clear pathway though.  Everybody wants to get as close to the stage as they can, but forcing your way through everybody else is a bad choice – getting to the stage early and picking your spot always pays.

DO – stay hydrated

You don’t want to flake out halfway through the day due to dehydration, especially if it’s a hot day.  And no, drinking cider does not count as keeping yourself hydrated.

DON’T – spend all of your time taking photos and videos

If you’re going to watch the entire festival through the screen of your phone or camera as you take photos or record videos, you might as well have stayed at home and watched the festival highlights on the telly.  My advice is to snap your photos during the songs you don’t know or like, or during the opening and closing song, so you can spend the majority of the set enjoying yourself.  Plus, unless you have an extremely high quality camcorder or camera, recording videos is usually pointless as the sound quality will probably end up terrible.

DO – bring plenty of hygiene products

Nobody wants to be shoulder-to-shoulder with someone who stinks of body odour and mud.  Wet wipes, deodorant and fabric freshener for your clothes are must-haves, along with plenty of clean clothes.

DON’T – forget to be prepared for every type of weather

Over the course of a weekend – or even longer if you have early entry tickets – the good ol’ British weather can change dramatically.  Remember to take something for every type of weather: sun cream; wellies; a sun hat; a waterproof; a thick coat or jumper for the cold; and airier clothes for warmer weather.

Can you think of anything I missed off the list?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to – Brothers and SistersTwin Atlantic

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

#tbt: 10 noughties albums you need in your life

I’m sure everybody reading this post remembers the noughties fondly – for me, it was when I first got interested in alternative music, and where my love of fashion started to develop.  The 2000s were truly an amazing time for rock and alternative music, with bands like Kings Of Leon, Pierce The Veil, My Chemical Romance and Arctic Monkeys forming during the decade.

For this throwback Thursday, I have decided to take on the momentous task of revisiting my favourite albums released from 2000 to 2009 – if you spot any albums in this list that you don’t already have in your album collection, consider making room for them, as they are absolutely amazing.

10: Wheatus – Wheatus

I have my Mum to thank for my love of this album – she was the person who first introduced me to Wheatus, and for that I am forever grateful.  I think everybody with common sense loves Teenage Dirtbag – whilst waiting for Green Day to take to the stage at Reading Festival in 2013, Teenage Dirtbag started playing and I swear, the entire crowd started singing along.  It was awesome.  As well as that, Hump’em And Dump’em and Love Is A Mutt From Hell are brilliant songs which still make me want to get up and dance.

9: Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge – My Chemical Romance

My Chem have this album to thank for their sudden popularity and fame, and it’s still well loved today – watch Kerrang! TV for any length of time, and chances are you’ll come across the video for I’m Not Okay (I Promise) or Helena soon enough.  Plus, The Ghost Of You is a really thought-proving song that still evokes some pretty strong emotions.

8: All Killer No Filler – Sum 41

Sum 41s debut album is a brilliant, feel-good album – Heart Attack and Summer are awesome album tracks, which are unfortunately overlooked due to the popularity of singles In Too Deep and Fat Lip.  All Killer No Filler was truly a sign of great things to come for the Canadian rock band.

7: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys

Now, in my opinion the Arctic Monkeys have a little bit of a chequered past – Suck It And See, for instance, was an instantly forgettable album – however, their debut LP is truly brilliant.  I’ve lived in the Midlands for the past 9 years, so hearing Alex Turner’s Sheffield accent throughout the album is kind of comforting amongst all of the American artists on my iPod.  Plus, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor still sounds just as good 8 years on, as do Fake Tales Of San Francisco, When The Sun Goes Down and Mardy Bum.

6: One X – Three Days Grace

Canadian rockers Three Days Grace are one of my favourite bands of all time.  Their second album, One X, is a polished yet still emotive album, inspired by lead singer Adam Gontiers stint in rehab due to an addiction to OxyContin.  Lead single Animal I Have Become reminds me of my pre-teen angst-filled years, and Never Too Late is just as poignant today as it was when the album was released in 2006.

5: Mezmerize/Hypnotize – System Of A Down

I know that technically these are two albums, however I simply couldn’t bring myself to separate them.  The slow-burning introduction to Mezmerize, Soldier Side (Intro) gets you tingling with anticipation at the amazing things to come, before B.Y.O.B. kicks you in the gut with its heavy riffs and punchy lyrics.  In my eyes, System Of A Down can do no wrong – that’s why they came top of the chart of my favourite 90s albums, which you can take a look at here.

4: Puzzle – Biffy Clyro

This album represented a turning point for Biffy Clyro, because it marks their emergence into mainstream popularity.  The opening track, Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies, is a real anthem, as are Who’s Got A Match? and The Conversation Is…  Machines is the beautifully emotive penultimate track, and the entire album as a whole turned out to be an indicator of the great success to come for Biffy Clyro.

3: In Your Honor – Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters’ fifth double album covers a multitude of stories, emotions and memories for front man Dave Grohl – the most poignant of these is probably Friend Of A Friend, which was inspired by his former Nirvana band mate Kurt Cobain.  In Your Honor has songs for every mood, split between the heavier first disc and quieter more acoustic second disc, which is what makes it so perfect.

2: Minutes To Midnight – Linkin Park

Minutes To Midnight was a little bit of a change of direction for Linkin Park – they switched focus from more electronic elements and ended up creating a true rock ‘n’ roll experience.  Throughout the album there’s a great contrast of heavier tracks such as Given Up, and slower ballads like Leave Out All The Rest.

1: Avenged Sevenfold – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold’s fourth LP, also known as the White Album due to its album cover, is truly brilliant, and a real summary of what makes the Californian band great.  If I was going to introduce somebody to Avenged Sevenfold for the first time, I’d tell them to listen to this album first, as it is definitely one of their best.  It’s difficult for me to quantify how much I adore this album – from Gunslinger to A Little Piece Of Heaven to Dear God, this album really does have it all.

So, that concludes my Top 10 noughties albums!  Do you agree with my line-up?  Let me know what you think on Twitter or in the comments below.

Currently listening to: SssnakepitEnter Shikari