Rock music is dead. It’s not in the charts anymore, the festivals it’s based on are crashing down, and all the kids are looking someplace else. With that, let’s see what I think are the five best rock albums of the last six months.
5. Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour
Stop. Okay? Take your fingers away from the keyboard a second. Just… calm down. Okay? Are we ready? Let’s continue. Enter Shikari‘s third adventure into their genre defying post hardcore mixup, and it’s becoming evident these are guys with a plan. This album stands out, personally, because of the progression the boys have made as a band – from spazzy and technical beginnings to a more controlled, mature sound; produced fantastically by Dan Weller of SikTh, meaning A Flash Flood Of Colour is sonically pleasing as an audio experience as well as a musical one. Just… watch out. You may find Rou’s rants on politics and the music industry a little bit protrusive and a tiny bit pretentious. It’s okay.
4. Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror
Still with us? This one’s a lot less controversial, I hope. The sophomore effort from pond skippers Sleigh Bells is a loud, noisy, romantic record that has high hopes for the 2 piece. Alexis Krauss‘ voice has come a long way, leading to dreamy floaty vocals as heard in “Crush“, the stadium rock-esque track with an ambiguous infatuation/vengeance vibe going on? If that last sentence wasn’t enough, then please allow me to iterate the smooth and precise nature of the backing tracks curtosy of Derek “The guy from Sleigh Bells” Miller. From “True Shred Guitar“, his slick, but in your face style just about prefaces everything you need to know about this band. This album is one you’ll keep coming back to.
3. Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love
Now for Reading and Leeds wonder boys Pulled Apart By Horses with Tough Love, follow up to the widely acclaimed self titled EP that they’ve been touring on for what seems like forever. From the get go, you’re thrown into this quick, erratic beat and intricate guitar lines with lead single “V.E.N.O.M“. Pulled Apart By Horses are more than big bangs and loud crashes though, they are simply one of THE most catchy bands in existence. Come August, I dare you to find a single person in the Reading/Leeds crowd who isn’t screaming V! E! N! O! M! at the main stage. Tough Love is not a Sunday chill out album. It is a car album, it is a couple of mates in the garage head banging album, it’s an air guitar till your arms scream out in pain album.
2. Jack White – Blunderbuss
If you’re reading this list, you have at LEAST a vague interest in rock music, right? So I don’t actually need to explain this at all, right? In case you’re just browsing (or if you just love to hear it), here’s who Jack White is. He’s the man behind rock’s early 2000 revival, who led The White Stripes with ex-Wife Meg White. He did the “Seven Nation Army” one. He was in The Raconteurs, they did the “Steady As She Goes” one. He’s also rumoured to be producing the new Rolling Stones‘ new album. Put simply, the man lives and breathes rock music. He has… a something. He has the Jack White effect. Whatever he touches is pure gold. So to have an entire full length album of just Jack White doing what he does best? Blunderbuss is the Jack White effect in motion. Proper rock, no gimmicks, no fancy production, just good, old fashioned, old school rock and roll from the man who will go down in history for his input to rock music. Did I get carried away?
1. DZ Deathrays – Bloodstreams
Who? DZ Deathrays are an Australian dance-punk band who’ve actually already featured on Strictly New Music before. Bloodstreams, their debut album, is a couple of tracks released already in the Brutal Tapes and Ruined My Life EPs with a couple new tracks thrown in. DZ Deathrays really shine in the honesty of their music, it’s no frills, no nonsense Death From Above 1979 style dance rock – with a primary focus on their exploits of just having an awesome time with life. Songs about partying, chilling out, and girls. Funky grooves, smooth drum tracks and lyrics that will stick in your head for days, my favourite of which being the chorus to “Gebbie Street”: “Your eyes like diamond speckled gold / You know our bodies make the right conversation”. DZ Deathrays are ones to watch out for and I don’t hesitate to say Bloodstreams is one of the most exciting and interesting debuts I’ve heard in a long time. Watch this space.