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The Top 100 Reading Anthems 2012 (35-1)

Two months in the making, we’ve reached the culmination of our countdown right in time for the best festival in the world to open its doors. So let’s get ready for Reading by looking at the 35 tracks that will well and truly set it off this bank holiday weekend.

Catch up: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V

35. SBTRKT – Wildfire

Not every anthem has to involve bellowing and handclaps. In fact of all the genres, none underlies this fundamental truth better than Dubstep, and Post-Dubstep for that matter. “Wildfire” is gorgeous. It’s bass line creeps, it doesn’t blare, even its wind up drop is understated, and the hook (provided by Little Dragon) is just divine. “Wildfire” will provide a moment of release, but not a guttural outburst, more a spiritual break, and a soothingly beautiful moment. David Hayter. 

34. The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea 

‘Sea Within A Sea’ was the success The Horrors needed in order to escape the ‘gothic fashion rockers’ tag. The eight minute song made the haters who their debut debut stand up on their toes and pay attention to a band many thought would never get past the punk fuelled debut Strange House. The Horrors delivered ‘Sea Within A Sea’ from Primary Colours, three years later this one song is still a statement song within the band’s set list. Lyrics are understandable (almost) underneath the fancy synthz and swirling strings, it’s eight minutes of pure memorising stage presence. Simone F

33. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

Blending together the Jersey stadium rock of Bruce Springsteen and the blue-collar punk of The Replacements, New Brunswick’s The Gaslight Anthem’s heartfelt anthem about the death of a friend, is also their signature tune. Using their trademark of reminiscing about Americana of yore, it’s both sentimental and joyful, and it’s the song you’ll find yourself humming along to whether you know it or not. Siobhan Gallagher

32. Odd Future – Sandwiches

It may have been a year, the hype may have dissipated, but that lurching woozy synth line still penetrates. There’s almost no point listening to this track on record, it rocks of course, but it’s all about the pent up energy and unpredictability of the live performance. This is a track for stomping, slamming into one another, shouting, yelping, and doing whatever the hell you feel like (try not to hurt anybody though). It’s a murderous escapist tension reliever, enjoy it while it lasts. David Hayter

31. Enter Shikari – Juggernauts

It’s going to be a chaotic mess but Enter Shikari are going to set it off. From the second that ludicrous maximalist intro kicks in everyone parked in front of the Main Stage will bounce their arses off. Devoted fans will echo Rou Reynolds every word as they wait for the bass to be dropped and the seizure invoking light show to take effect. It’s practically a Reading tradition. David Hayter

30. Mastodon – Blasteroid

It’s Mastodon, one of the most brilliantly intricate prog-metal outfits of the last 20-years screaming “I Want To Drink Your Fucking Blood!” Yeah it’s not exactly Fitzgerald but it is a hell of a lot of fun. The Hunter showed the world that Mastodon could be populist riff riders too, they always had it in them, and you know what? They can do it better than practically anyone else. The NME Tent will be torn asunder. David Hayter

29. Billy Talent – Red Flag

Billy Talent are neither big nor clever, and neither are their songs. That’s no bad thing though; case in point, this short sharp stab of venom, ‘Red Flag’. A driven and repetitive anthem that lodges itself in your brain and sits there for its three minute run time. The band’s vocalist Benjamin Kowalewicz certainly seems to grate on some but that doesn’t matter if you and the crowd are sing along loud enough…Adam McCartney

28. Metronomy – The Look

This sauntering dose of nonchalance is built around a no thrills 80’s-inspired synth riff that plods along in it’s own time. The track is taken from 2011’s The English Riviera, a concept album come ode to a romanticized vision of rural England. “This town is the oldest friend of mine” is now almost as applicable to Reading and Leeds as it is to their native Totes. Adam Grylls

27. The Hives – Hate To Say I Told You So

When The Hives first exploded onto the scene they seemed either ahead of the curve or about 30 years behind the times, and this proto-punk garage infused number is that feel all over. From the opening swirling helicopter guitars into the stop-start breaks that are just designed for jumping and throwing your fist in the air to this song moves at a pace. Bone head, almost meaningless lyrics don’t matter when you’re screaming along and that’s just what their Reading 2012 audience will be doing to this anthem. Adam McCartney

26. Cancer Bats – Sabotage

Sadly, this is quite a poignant song at the moment, however, that doesn’t detract from the merits of this cover. It almost seems as though the song was meant to be hardcore punk; especially being called and about “Sabotage”, the song does gain something from the heaviness that Cancer Bats give it. Whatever the case, there’s no doubting this will be a big and loud, and what else could you want from it? Kyle Prangnell

It takes an extra special band to take another act’s biggest anthem and make it into their own biggest anthem but that’s just what Cancer Bats have done with this Beastie Boys classic. The Beastie’s original was an abrasive, funk, punk, hip-hop song before Cancer Bats got their hands on it and turned up the growl and the distortion but kept all that funk that made the original so great too. Fans of both bands should love this song as it’s been covered so well with all that Cancer Bats bring to a track too.  Adam McCartney

25. Crystal Castles – Baptism

Echoing out through the afternoon air, Alice Glass’ distorted vocals will screech over Ethan Kath’s anti-rave noise manipulation, intercepted with pulsating synths setting an undertone for glitching bleeps. It’s punk rock for dance fans, and rave culture for indie fans, and will be perfect on a drizzly summer afternoon. Adam Grylls

24. The Vaccines – If You Wanna

‘If You Wanna’ is the typical Vaccines song, fast paced, jangling, make-your-knees-tremble guitars and Justin Young’s’ youthful lyrics about being alone. While providing the typical shouty punching chorus of ‘you wanna come back to me’ – expect nothing less than a bunch of teenagers screaming the three minute song back to the band.

‘If You Wanna’ is also the most commercial single of The Vaccines, even bouncing back into the charts after its stint as a reality tv show advert. Simone F

23. Kasabian – LSF

It’s weird, there was a time where it seemed impossible to imagine that Kasabian could write a song bigger than “LSF”. Before “Fire” came along, it seemed like this track was destined to close the Leicester Lads’ sets from now until the end of time. It may have been displaced, but this giant crowd participation monster will keep everyone involved and will have all 40,000 or so hands in the air. David Hayter

22. The Cure – Just Like Heaven

The romantic end of Robert Smiths lyrical spectrum, the song is instantly recognizable for it’s account of a heartfelt love story. Set to the backdrop of one of Simon Gallups best and most throbbing bass lines. It’s an iconic pop song that’s a mainstay on any Best Song lists, and has been covered by a vast array of artists from Dinosaur Jr to Goldfinger to Katie Melua. It’s one of their most famous cuts, and will go down as one of the most loved and influential pop/love songs of all time. Adam Grylls

A gorgeous piece from the legendary headliners. If there’s one thing Robert Smith knows how to do, it’s write a love song, and this one is about as good as it gets. Expect every word to be sung from all around you; a song loved by one and all, and for good reason. It’s a song about one night of magic, which I could say is a great way to describe The Cure’s headline spot, but I’m not that cheesy. Kyle Prangnell

21. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

The song that made them stars almost overnight. Originally released in 2010, its use on a mobile phone commercial in the summer of 2011, saw it storm into the charts and into the subconscious of indie pop fans over the country. There may have been question marks over Foster the People’s position on the bill, but with tunes such as this, they will get the NME stage crowd dancing and singing along without too much effort. Siobhan Gallagher

The Countdown Continues On Page 2.



Author: david

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