Top 10 albums of the year

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway

Kiedis and Co are certified rock legends and 2016 saw the release of their 11th studio album, which was a huge step up from their disappointing 2011 release ‘I’m with you’. In tracks like ‘Goodbye Angels’ and ‘Dark Necessities’ we get the funk aesthetic that we crave from such a prestigious band, if you haven’t already go check out the album, especially those tunes.

9. The Wytches – All Your Happy Life

Back with their second full length LP, the Wytches have diversified their sound and created a ghostly new record full of shrieking melodies and fascinating instrumentation. Tracks like ‘C-Side’ and ‘Ghost House’ are my personal favourites; seeing the new material live was a madness too.

8. Eagulls – Ullages

An anagram of the band’s name, ‘Ullages’ is an album that would be sinful to not listen to all the way through, it is a modern take on some 90s classic indie and truly develops their own sound, if it wasn’t unique enough already. Go listen to ‘Lemontrees’ and ‘Skipping’.

7. Kaytanada – 99.9%

This is one of the best albums I have ever heard from the mind of a self-confessed ‘Producer’. On the strongest debut LP of the year, Celestin shows he is much more than what he is labelled as, he is a true artist and one of the most important figures currently in world hip hop. Listen to ‘Drive Me Crazy’ and ‘Got It Good’.

6. Glass Animals – How to be a human being

Bringing even more tropical vibes to the world, Glass Animals second LP was highly anticipated and it didn’t fail to impress. Based around true stories that Dave Bayley heard from strangers he got talking to last year, the album exposes the realities of life in a way only Glass Animals could. Listen to ‘Pork Soda’ and ‘Youth’.

5. Flume – Skin

Harley Streten’s second album has proved he is one of the most gifted and intriguing electronic artists to have emerged from the broad landscape of electronic music. Collaborations with Vince Staples, Vic Mensa and even Beck shows just how versatile he can be in his production, check out ‘Helix’ and ‘Smoke and Retribution’.

4. Jamie T – Trick

An alternative idol, Jamie Treays released his latest LP back in September. Full of future classics, ‘Trick’ is a grittier album than the cleanliness of ‘Carry On The Grudge’, it truly establishes the rapper-songwriter-producer as a one man genre and thankfully he still hasn’t left the talent he possesses with his sampling. Go check out ‘Tinfoil Boy’ and ‘Solomon Eagle’.

3. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

The Detroit born mentalist that is Danny Brown dropped the most ambitious and experimental album I believe he ever has this year. Inspired by everything from Joy Division to Rage Against The Machine, this LP isn’t for the faint hearted but is one of the most important releases in modern rap, listen to ‘When It Rain’ and ‘Pneumonia’.

2. Skepta – Konnichiwa

2016 saw many album releases from the grime greats, whether it was Giggs or Kano but since its discharge, there hasn’t been a day gone by where I haven’t listened or heard a song from ‘Konnichiwa’. It was definitely one of the most anticipated British albums of the year and Skepta did not disappoint, as he rarely does. Just listen to the whole thing.

1. Slaves – Take Control

If you know me well then you are probably thinking this is the most cliché number 1 I could have chosen but the roar punk energy of Slaves is something that no one can get near to at the moment. Produced by Mike D and perfected by Isaac and Laurie, it is an album of nothing but straight up punk bangers. Features from the likes of Baxter Dury just tops the record for me and makes ‘Take Control’ slightly more versatile than what ‘Are You Satisfied?’ was, you have to check out this album, buy it for yourself and everyone this christmas.

Slaves + Life + Shame // Cambridge Corn Exchange gig review 14.11.16

Whenever I see Slaves there is a unique atmosphere, the kind of vibe that would only surround one of the most important British bands over the past few years. In the space of an annum they have gone from playing a tiny pub, called the Portland Arms, in Cambridge to the biggest venue the city has to offer. Adding to everyone’s pure ecstasy to see the duo, we were treated by two up and coming English punk bands called ‘Life’ and ‘Shame’ who did more than warm up an emphatic crowd.

Kicking off with ‘Shame’, a band with the swagger of The Fat White Family, the outfit took me by surprise. I had never really checked out the 5 piece but I sure will be over the next few days as they soared through a visceral live set with the pressure of supporting Slaves evidently never phasing them. Over the last few weeks ‘Shame’ have debuted a couple of tracks in ‘Gold Hole’ and ‘The Lick’ and if they don’t make you want to go and see the South London band then I don’t know what will.

By the time ‘Life’ came on, the venue was already rammed with Punks, Skinheads and Indies; despite evidently making punk bangers Slaves have a versatile following and the main support lived up to this as well as any band would. Their performance was gritty and the snarling tone of Mez’s vocals enhanced the sweaty aroma of the audience.

This was the 7th time I had seen Slaves and, as cliché as it sounds, this was by far the best I had seen them. With new material from recent release ‘Take Control’ Isaac and Laurie had a setlist rich in absolute belters, they played their classics, like ‘Cheer Up London’ and ‘The Hunter’, but personally the tracks that sent me into madness were ‘Same Again’ and ‘People That You Meet’. You just can not fault the raw energy of the Kent based lads, they powered through a triumphant headline show, looking down upon a sea of moshers and dedicated crowd surfers that gave the security a hell of a night. Finishing with the lead single from their new LP, ‘Spit It Out’ topped off an amazing night and one that I will not be forgetting for a while. Go and check out the support acts latest releases and of course Slaves’ unbelievable new album ‘Take Control‘.

Slaves cover The Weeknd’s ‘The Hills’

Slaves have only gone and covered The Weeknd for BBC Radio 1’s live lounge. It’s a weird match up but the remix does genuinely work. A cheeky fact for you is that the drum kit Isaac is using was donated to him by no other than comedian Al Murray, you can see it feature in the vid below.

This follows the release of their belter of a new album ‘Take Control’ which is available pretty much anywhere, they played their lead single from the LP titled ‘Spit It Out’ for the live lounge too.

Slaves release music video and the title track of their new album ‘Take Control’

When Slaves announced the news of their second album the one worry I had was whether they’d turn into softies, like quite a few heavy bands have over the years. However after hearing their new material, including ‘Take Control’, it seems I shouldn’t have questioned this for a second. Produced by Mike D of the Beastie Boys, the song is 2 minutes of nothing but hardcore punk and I’m loving every second of it. The provocative lyrics, crunching baselines and thrashing drums will smash you into life, it’s quite possibly one of the best songs I’ve heard all year and will be hailed by punk rock fans for some time.

The music video is pretty cool too, Isaac and Laurie ride around on a two seated bike screaming their lyrics into the camera; it seems to have been filmed in the style of an old, grainy VHS video. There’s no band out there quite like Slaves, they are exactly what our generation needs, they speak truthfully and realistically; ‘Take Control’ only emphasises this. The album comes out on the 30th of September and you can preorder it now.

Check out the vid here:

 

Slaves are also going on tour, if there is a gig you have to see this year, this is it!

Uk tour dates

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European tour dates

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