Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums 2019: #1 End of Suffering – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Politics and mental health have been a recurring theme of my top ten albums this year (and were prevalent themes of last years too), and both feature heavily on Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes latest, especially mental health, as Carter continues to battle with the ball of fire that’s been in his belly since he was part of Gallows (and if you haven’t checked their early albums out, fucking do that now!). End of Suffering is a very different album into 2017’s Modern Ruin, in that Carter came across as a very angry man, something he’s made a career of, here he’s more mellow, more self-reflective and challenging his historical views and the effects its had on the health of those around him as well as himself, especially in songs that will become life performance anthems such as Anxiety.

It’s also worth checking out some of the remixes they’ve created from tracks on this album.

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Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Album 2019: #2 Cut & Stitch – Petrol Girls

Petrol Girls need to be so so much bigger than they currently are and I hope they grow and fulfil their potential. They’re a band that I keep trying to expose my daughters to listen to as they discuss so many issues that affect women everywhere whilst tying it all into some absolutely fucking amazing punk music, just listen to Big Mouth, what a fucking track. The whole album feels extremely experimental and yet awesomely polished, this group know exactly what they’re doing, they don’t want you to be comfortable, they’re here to absolutely smash the patriarchy and if you don’t like that then they’re more than happy to tell you “up yours”. Petrol Girls are our this generations The Slits.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums 2019: #3 Strength in Numb333rs – Fever 333

To describe Fever 333 I’d probably turn to a mix of Rage Against The Machine and Linkin Park, theres that political aggression that the former are so famed for, and indeed there are moments you do wonder if you are listening to Zack de la Rocha rapping, then the choruses kick in and there’s a polished Linkin Park feel to proceedings that will, hopefully, allow them so much more exposure and reach out to so many more people as their careers progress. Seriously, listen to Burn It and try and tell me this band haven’t got something special going on.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums 2019: #4 PSYCHODRAMA – Dave

I wrote about this album back in September because it’s such an important piece of work for UK music, for mental health awareness, for the fight against toxic masculinity and for survivors of domestic abuse. It’s an album, that as a man, forces you to reflect, think on the things you take for granted, the things you bottle up and just how easy it is to let things snowball and get out of hand, its an album that forces you to notice the warning signs, don’t write off just because you don’t listen to rap music or because it isn’t designed to be chart or festival friendly like previous releases such as Thiago Silva.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums of 2019: #5 Gold & Grey – Baroness

I’ve been listening to Baroness since 2012’s Yellow & Gold and they continue to blow me away. Some people will notice there’s a distinct lack of Metal on my list this year, but there’s always room for Baroness melodies. There are very few bands out there that, in my opinion, do what Baroness do, where the vocal performance fuses perfectly with the music being played and you are instantly just lost in the wall of noise that they create. Admittedly they can often be intimidating, but the pay off is always absolutely worth it. If 2015’s Purple was about trauma (after the band suffered a massive bus crash which led to two members leaving), then Gold & Grey is about acceptance and heading on to the next stage. Here Baroness very nearly descend into Prog Rock, but still continue to keep things Metal and, as ever, produce something unique and special.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums of 2019: #6 Dogrel – Fontaines D.C.

If Sleaford Mods are almost taking the piss out of their political leanings, Fontaines D.C. are wearing their beliefs on their hearts, with them witnessing their communities struggling to keep up with the modern world. This post-punk outfit are rubbing shoulders with the likes of IDLES and Shame (who both appeared on my 2018 list, IDLES were at #1 whilst Shame came in at #7). Songs like Sha Sha Sha feature repetitive rhythms that drill their way into your mind whilst Television Screen’s almost lazy vocals really get you singing along and lastly Hurricane Laughter has an almost Iggy Pop feel to it.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums of 2019: #7 What’s It Like Over There? – Circa Waves

Circa Waves are probably one of the “safer” artists I’ve listened to this year, their very radio-friendly as popular single Times Won’t Change Me shows. That’s not to discredit them as they’re a very talented group that create some excellent and highly listenable tracks, though it’s probably The Way We Say Goodbye (from How to Train Your Dragon 3) that really caught me off guard and, with the past two years of my life in mind, really brings a lump to my throat every single time I listen to it, its an emotionally difficult track that always gets me teary-eyed and is reminiscent of Jimmy Eat Worlds “Hear You Me”.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums of 2019: #8 Body Bag Your Scene – Riskee & the Ridicule

Grime is usually regarded as the modern equivalent to 1970s punk, however there’s not been a big movement that combines the two. Riskee & The Ridicule are on a mission to rectify this. As you’d expect from such an infusion, Body Bag Your Scene is very politically charged, and its a sign of our times that there is evidently a lot of anger there in both the music and the lyrics follow suit as evidenced on Our Time “Are you scared of the working classes? Well we’re coming for your blood clot arses”, verses are spit fast and loud whilst chorus’ are catchy and a lot of the time have a real Vans Tour pop-punk hook to them. These guys are, in my opinion, going places.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten albums of 2019: #9 38 Minutes – The King Blues

It’s been 15 years since Green Day released American Idiot and yet, as far as I’m aware (and I’m happy to be proven otherwise), no one else has taken on the “punk opera” mould, until now. 38 Minutes isn’t The King Blues best album (that’s probably 2011’s Punk & Poetry), but I’d say it’s their bravest. It tells the story, using (I think fictional) stories of inhabitants of Hawaii and the kind of reactions and emotions that many of the islands citizens would have felt when, in 2018 an alert was sent out to peoples phones warning of them of an imminent missile attack, it took 38 minutes before they were told that this had been a false alarm. It’s best listened to as an album rather than as individual tracks (and the band performed it as a puppet opera) as frontman Johnny “Itch” Fox narrates the stories of his characters throughout, but standout tracks for me are definitely “Boomer and the Severed Goats Head” and “Let’s Go Out in Style”.

Albums of the Year 2019, Music

My Top Ten Albums of 2019: #10 Eton Alive – Sleaford Mods

“Funny” albums are normally a bit shit, but Sleaford Mods, a duo from Nottingham who create a hybrid of electronic, punk and rap, continue to defy the odds, both pointing fun at the world around them and themselves. There’s politics there but not on a national scale, as Policy Cream tackles such heavy topics as having more wheelie bins than you have been allocated by your local council (and who, realistically, hasn’t considered nicking the bin from that house that has just become empty on your street?). The beats here are addictive and you’ll easily find yourself tapping them out absentmindedly, whilst, again, its hard not to believe Williamson may be taking a punt at some of the more outwardly political bands doing the rounds when he spits lines such as “You’re just saying it all to look good”. However, its (purposely) not the easiest to listen, everything here is created to either turn you away or make you persevere and in doing the latter, you’ll be rewarded.