How the fuck are we half way through the year already? WHERE DOES TIME GO?!? Oh well, seeing as we are in June, whether we like it or not, I thought I'd run down my favourite albums that have come out so far this year. There have been some crackers!
Adam and Bones - Don't Move (29th April)
I must admit I don't really have a clue what is going on in UK Hip Hop these days, aside from what I sometimes notice mentioned on Twitter, but I am a big fan of Adam the Rapper. His 2012 release 'The Letters EP' with Cuth was brilliant and this year's collaboration with producer Sherlock Bones is no different. I may be biased because these guys are from Brighton and I've been them live a bunch of times but I think this album is rad. Plus it's FREE!
Favourite songs: 'Me And The Liquor', 'P45 Shit', 'Don't Move'
We The Heathens - Self titled (20th February)
3 piece folk punk from Wisconsin. These guys remind me a lot of Mischief Brew, if Mischief Brew wrote songs about dragons and wolves and playing Hammerschlagen. This is a fun album, one that is best played loudly and with copious amounts of cider for company. The album is available on their Bandcamp for 'pay what you want' but don't be a douche and get it for free, chuck them some monies!
Favourite songs: 'Rah Goes The Dragon', 'Drink 'em Down', 'Oh, Apathy!'
Arroyo Deathmatch - Through The Fear Of It (18th January)
The band describe themselves as 'evil folk for evil folks' and HOLY FUCK I LOVE THIS BAND! The beauty of this album is its simplicity; it is predominantly just drums, a ukele, a flute and a shouty shouty bastard. There is so much energy captured in the recording of this album that I can only salivate at the thought of what their live shows must be like. Again, this is up for 'pay what you want', chuck the some money, support independent music!
Favourite songs: 'Death Rides A Bike', 'Gouging Out the Eye Of Providence', 'Swimming The Witch'
The Lawrence Arms - Metropole (28th January)
I have to admit that I am not familiar with The Lawrence Arms' back catalogue. Singer Chris McCaughan's acoustic band Sundowner (of which I am a fan) have released three albums since the last Lawrence Arms album in 2006 so this album kinda came out of nowhere. Like I said, I have no idea what their previous albums sound like but to me, this is what happens when pop punk gets old, gracefully. That sounds lame, but I mean it in a good way. The term 'mature album' is also hella lame but fitting, I think.
Favourite songs: 'You Are Here', 'Metropole', 'The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic'
Perkie - Time Machines (1st April)
I first heard Perkie a couple of years ago in the brilliant folk band Feralus (Check out fellow Feralus member Ren Aldridge's rad hardcore band Petrol Girls) and Time Machines is Perkie's debut full length album. It is difficult to describe as it is almost beyond any rational categorization; An indie pop/folk/DIY/piano punk extravaganza. It's just fucking amazing. Listen to it right now, then listen to it again. It's only a fiver!
Favourite songs: 'Teachers', 'Things That Make Us Different', 'Walls Come Crashing Down'
Maid of Ace - Self titled (19th April)
I am a sucker for female fronted punk bands, yes, but not only are Maid of Ace ALL female but they are ALL sisters. Parenting WIN! I may be a tiny bit biased towards this band because they are from my home town, but I can honestly say that I would LOVE this album no matter where they were from. It is gritty and aggressive and does not give a single fuck.
Favourite songs: 'Nothin' On Me', 'Dirty Girl', 'Dickhead'
Ducking Punches - Dance Before You Sleep (2nd May)
Ducking Punches are a folk punk band from Norwich and are one of my favourite bands at the moment. Front man Dan Allen is a fucking brilliant song writer (not to mention a fan of Charles Bukowski, John Fante, a friend of Frank Turner and a bad ass illustrator), every track on this album is equal parts passion, raw emotion and awesomeness. It is surely only a matter of time until these guys blow up.
Favourite songs: 'Cursed Luck', 'Big Brown Pills From Lynn', 'Six Years'
Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues (20th January)
AM! are my absolute favourite band. Of ever. It was a long four year wait from 2010's White Crosses album, especially with everything that happened in that time, but this album did not disappoint. A return to the gritter, lo-fi sound of their earlier work but certainly their most honest and hard hitting album to date. Singer Laura Jane Grace kicks arse!
Favourite songs: 'True Trans Soul Rebel', 'Osama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ', 'Black Me Out'
NB: I haven't had a chance to listen to new Menzingers album yet, but that would probably have featured here if I'd gotten around to it. I fucking love The Menzingers.
I hope the second half of the year is as good as the first half! Tell me in the comments below what albums you have been listening to so far this year.