Mini Reviews – My Top 5 Albums of 2011

It’s been a pretty good year for music in Milly-land, with some of my favourite bands bringing out new albums as well as some new discoveries! But which releases made my Top 5? 

5. You Me At Six – Sinners Never Sleep

I’ve liked You Me At Six since the ye olde ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ days, and they’ve just seemed to get better with every album. Sinners Never Sleep kicks off with the insanely catchy, gang-chant infused ‘Loverboy’. There are also some great guest appearances from Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall (‘Time Is Money’) and Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes for single ‘Bite My Tongue’. I’m not really much of a BMTH fan, but it’s quite strange hearing Oli bellowing away on Radio 1 at lunchtime! Contrasting these guest appearances are softer tracks such as ‘Crash’ and melancholy closer, ‘When We Were Younger’.

4. Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows – D.R.U.G.S

Chiodos frontman Craig Owens plus band members from Story of the Year, From First To Last and Matchbook Romance? Yes please! Thankfully, my high hopes for their debut were fulfilled, with plenty of high-energy post-hardcore tracks. Owens’ incredible voice soars across frantic melodies, and the album has a similar feel to The Used at their best – ‘The Only Thing You Talk About’ demonstrates the spot on combination of heavy and catchy, with a chorus made for live sing-alongs. There’s more than enough anger to go around, demonstrated both in the lyrics and vocal performance itself. But considering Owens’ apparently rather unfriendly departure from former band Chiodos, that’s probably quite unsurprising.

3. Example – Playing In The Shadows

Playing In The Shadows has plenty of the dubstep and dance-infused radio-friendly tunes that become synonymous with Example’s releases, such as number 1 singles ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ and ‘Stay Awake’. But tracks like ‘Lying To Yourself’, a sung piano ballad, and ‘Microphone’ show a softer side to Mr. Elliot Gleave. ‘Wrong In The Head’ tells a story of a wayward night out and as the rapper states himself, The Streets’ style of tongue-in-cheek storytelling shines through the track. However, my standout track by a mile is latest release ‘Midnight Run’ – definitely a contender if I could be bothered to do a ‘Top 10 songs of 2011’.

2. Rise Against – Endgame

Rise Against have made a name for themselves at the forefront of alternative rock with an underlying political message, and Endgame is no different. ‘Help Is On The Way’ is inspired by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. ‘Make It Stop (September’s Children)’ is a harrowing track, commenting on childhood and LGBT orientated bullying. But it’s not just about the messages behind them, as the songs themselves are well-crafted punk inspired masterpieces, with punchy riffs and intricate solos.

Read the full review at Rhythm Circus.

1. Alkaline Trio – Damnesia

How could it be anything else? My all time favourites celebrated their 15th anniversary by releasing a ‘greatest hits’ with a twist – shaking up some of their best known and more obscure songs in a semi-unplugged setting – along with two new original songs. The setting really allows the band’s magnificent lyricism to shine through, detailing love without being soppy and creating twisted yet beautiful metaphor.  Even those who aren’t fans of Alkaline Trio’s punky sound can appreciate the album, and for us fangirls and boys it’s a chance to hear some of our best loved songs in a completely different way.

Read the full review at Rhythm Circus.

So how about you? What music did you love in 2011 – any recommendations for gems I might have missed?

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  • laurdows

    love examples album, he is amazing live!
    laur x

    http://www.betwixtlaur.blogspot.com

  • Milly

    So jealous that you've seen him live! I had the chance to go for free, but I was away 🙁 x