Ben Walton picks out ten of his favourite albums of 2015
10. Metz - II
Toronto's Metz returned with their obviously titled second outing this year, offering up a relentless 30 minute blitzkrieg of feedback riddled guitars and pounding drums. They didn't make any huge changes to their usual formula, but II adds some impressive new tunes to the bands back catalogue, including the unhinged opener Acetate, the aggressive dirge of Spit You Out and the blistering I.O.U. Metz are an incredible force and are fast cementing themselves as, if not the best guitar band on the planet right now, then certainly the noisiest.
9. Ringo Deathstarr - Pure Mood
For a few years now, Ringo Deathstarr have plied their trade as a solid, if fairly unremarkable shoegaze act, but on Pure Mood - their third album in four years - their time spent touring with The Smashing Pumpkins has rubbed off, and the grunge dial has been turned all the way around to 10. There's big riffs aplenty splashed all over Heavy Metal Suicide and guitar histrionics in Guilt. This album is a huge step forward for Ringo Deathstarr.
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Albums Of 2015
More bands join the line-up for Camden's hottest rock event, and there's more to come.
New Model Army and ex Sex Pistols' bassist Glen Matlock are among the newly announced additions to London's coolest rock event, Camden Rocks 2015, which will take place in May across some of Camden's hottest and most recognisable venues.
Jaws also join the Camden Rocks 2015 line-up
80s post-punk legends New Model Army join the already electric line-up alongside Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols, Birmingham's Jaws, post-hardcore four-piece Glamour of the Kill and Australia born bluesy duo The Graveltones according to the latest announcement for the festival, which is set to arrive on May 30th 2015, with a very special headliner who is yet to be unveiled.
Download Festival 2014 was a tamer affair than in previous years, largely owing to the event's tightened alcohol and drugs searches, bands being instructed not to encourage the crowds to mosh, more mainstream main stage headliners, fewer boobs being shown on the live camera feed, and the sombre tone of the renamed 'Stephen Sutton Stage'. Instead of holding a silence for the cancer-struck teen, festival attendees took part in a minute of respectful applause, which was paralleled by comedy pop punk band Bowling For Soup's tribute to the late comic, Rik Mayall.
In memoriam sections aside, the festival managed to transform what could be perceived as a weaker line-up compared to its preceding year into a three-day celebration of a broad range of the rock spectrum, filled with bespoke performance gems and quality heavy metal memories. First night closers Avenged Sevenfold brought a larger stage to Donington than they'd ever taken out of the US and combined imposing crypt-inspired adornments with an explosive set that proved on a world stage that they are worthy successors to titans Metallica and Iron Maiden.
The beady-eyed punter will have had a ball spotting the odd and hilarious happenings across the weekend, including a "face-melting" washboard solo from Berlin faux cowboys The BossHoss, punk's immature popsters Bowling For Soup asking a knight to decapitate a giant inflatable sheep, full contact medieval fighting from Battle Heritage, and Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach inviting the crowd to "dance responsibly" to a particularly heavy breakdown. Ribs were probably broken in the latter instance.
Continue reading: Download Festival 2014 Review
Sometimes, the name of a band can tell you more concisely what a band will sound like than any description ever could. This is certainly the case with Turbowolf, a Jagermeister sponsored band from Bristol. The Big Cut EP delivers hard hitting heavy rock anthems. It doesn't really offer any surprises, but it kicks ass. Big time.
Continue reading: Turbowolf, The Big Cut EP Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.