Drop This Team: “My Album of the Year Is…”

It’s coming towards the end of the year, and you know what that means; it’s time to reflect on the past twelve months, whether that means good or bad things, perhaps pretend you didn’t make those mistakes and smile at the happy memories, all that malarky. In the music world, however, the end of the year signals one thing- time to look back at the albums that were unleashed and round up our favourites from the year. Here are our contributors’ top album picks of 2016!

billie-marten-albumMy album of the year is…
Writing of Blues and Yellows – Billie Marten

“In a year when Green Day released a new album, which marked a return to absolute top form for the American punk-rock trio, it was going to take something pretty god damn special to make me put something else in the slot that takes up my album of the year.

That special creation comes in the form of Billie Marten‘s Writing Of Blues And Yellows. Full of emotional, dynamic and honest songwriting, with effortlessly stunning performances from the main lady and her backing outfit, this really is an album that, for me, not only stands out as the best release of 2016, but one of the best releases as far back as I can remember.

If there is any justice in this crazy world we live in, 2017 will be the year that Miss. Marten will become a household name and deservedly so. If you’ve not picked up a copy of this absolute gem yet, now is the time to do so. You won’t be able to look back.”

Other notable mentions: Revolution Radio – Green Day // Blush – Moose Blood // You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen

Mitch Emery

death-of-a-bachelor-albumMy album of the year is…
Death of a Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco

“Now I know that Panic! At the Disco have changed a hell of a lot over the years, but it makes sense with being in the music industry for over 12 years. There’s also been some debate over whether it is the same band all together with some member changes, but one thing has remained the same – Brendon Urie and that incredible voice. Death of a Bachelor, which was released in January this year, hit the number one spot immediately, and it’s very clear why. It’s full of beats that you can’t ignore, a vocal range you won’t believe, and an evolution of musicality for the band. What makes this album more impressive is that Urie recorded every instrument himself (excluding the horns, but that’s still pretty amazing!). It’s jam packed full of hits that it’s hard to pick a favourite song on the album. Panic! have always been a band to adore for me, and their most recent album definitely secures my top spot for 2016.”

Other notable mentions: Who You Selling For – The Pretty Reckless // In Our Bones – Against the Current // Youth Authority – Good Charlotte

Jasmine Marceau

instigator-kevin-devineMy album of the year is…
Instigator – Kevin Devine

“2016 brings us the 9th album from the singer/songwriter powerhouse that is Kevin Devine. The vocalist associated with such bands as Brand New and Manchester Orchestra gives us another set of songs that maintain his trademark sound of acoustically charged pop punk whilst tackling themes that are prevalent to this year; he’s a voice of reason in this year of confusion. With such track highlights as ‘No History’ and ‘Daydrunk’ the album shows us a new level of vulnerability yet maintains it’s politically charged edge making it a cut above the rest when compared his already strong and extensive back catalogue.”

Other notable mentions: Blackstar – David Bowie // First Ditch Effort – NOFX // Drive North – SWMRS

Ben Smart

farewell-my-love-albumMy album of the year is…
Above It All – Farewell, My Love

“The album I have chosen as my favourite from 2016 is Above It All by Farewell, My Love. The album came out during the summer and I haven’t stopped listening to it since, I still love every track! Every single one seems to have a message behind it, not to mention being seriously catchy. The album also includes a mixture of both slow and upbeat songs, which I believe is what makes an album great. I love this album because I feel that it has different sound compared to many other albums that were put out by other bands within the rock/punk/pop-punk genre this year, and this album is what makes Farewell, My Love truly unique.”

Other notable mentions: California – blink-182 // Death of a Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco

Amy Frampton

meshuggah-albumMy album of the year is…
The Violent Sleep of Reason – Meshuggah

“2016 saw loads of great albums released but it also saw technical metal titans Meshuggah release new music for the first time in four years. It had been a long wait since their previous release, Koloss in 2012. When The Violent Sleep of Reason dropped it did not disappoint. It was a mind bending masterclass in musical complexity, featuring all of the trademark musical elements one comes to expect from the band. While it may not be to everyone’s taste, once you break down the dense layers of polyrhythms, polymeters, chromatic riffs, and unusual hypermeters, it is an extremely rewarding listening experience. What makes this record even more impressive is that the band were all recorded playing at the same time to capture the essence of playing together, which is a rarity in an age where tracking instruments individually is common practise. The album doesn’t rely just on high speed playing to impress. One song may start off with a high paced riff, but a slow, sludgy, chromatic riff won’t be far behind. The first track from the album, ‘Clockworks‘ suitably prepares you for whats to come.”

Other notable mentions: Metal Resistance – Babymetal // Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence // Gojira – Magma

california-blinMy album of the year is…
California – blink-182

“There is no way that blink could release an album that wasn’t in my top four, but California is probably my favourite release of 2016. I don’t know if it’s because of the Tom DeLonge drama, or the fear of losing blink all together, or if the album is just that good, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t care. The summer had me playing ‘Sober‘ and ‘San Diego‘ on an endless loop–I’ve listened to these two songs too much to not make this my album of the year. California pays homage to classic blink, but with the addition of Matt, the album almost sounds like a fresh start (maybe even a new band). I really like this album, and I really love blink. blink-182 life. For life.”

Other notable mentions: Misadventures – Pierce the Veil // Tidal Wave – Taking Back Sunday // Death of a Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco

Sadan Brooke Mustafa

weezer-white-albumMy album of the year is…
Weezer – Weezer (White Album)

“2016 saw Weezer follow up their 2014 album Everything Will Be Alright in the End with another self-titled album. The White Album is another perfect example of just how damn good the new-old Weezer are! Returning to a sound similar to their classic albums such as Pinkerton and the Blue Album, they somehow found a balance between sounding how the fans want them to sound and progressing from their last release. The jewel in the crowd for me comes towards the middle of album with ‘King of the World’ which, in my opinion, is definitely up their as one of the best tracks they’ve ever written; it has it all! Catchy melody, a great riff and classically Weezer-esque lyrics! This is by far the best album I’ve heard all year and for a massive Weezer fan like myself I hope they stay on top of their game for the foreseeable future!”

Other notable mentions: Time and Tide – Eat Defeat // California – blink-182

Andy Sargent

hardwired-metallicaMy album of the year is…
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct – Metallica

“My album of 2016 is the much anticipated Hardwired…To Self Destruct by Metallica! It’s their first true Metallica release since 2008’s Death Magnetic (we don’t talk about Lou Lou…) and my God have they come back with a bang! To say the album is flawless is perhaps too strong but it has everything I want from a Metallica record. Heavy bone crushing riffs? Check! Gritty vocals? Check! Shreddy solos? Check!

This is Metallica’s best release since The Black Album came out way back in 1991 and is the first truly great Metallica record released in my lifetime. Every track sounds like a classic song from their discography; there’s some ‘Whiplash’ in there, a bit of ‘Sad But True’ and just a whole heap load of raw 1980’s aggression that has been so wonderfully captured on this release.

Stand out track for is ‘Halo On Fire’, up there as one of the best songs the band have ever written and I would implore anyone who may have written Metallica off to give this album a listen and see if it doesn’t change your mind.”

Other notable mentions: Be Nothing – Boston Manor // Vile Child – Milk Teeth // The Stranger EP – Creeper

Zandro Morreale

catfish-bottlemen-rideMy album of the year is…
The Ride – Catfish and the Bottlemen

I’m not usually a big fan of Brit-rock guitar bands, most of whom stem from the ‘00s indie boom or ‘90s Britpop, and in fact I’d say I haven’t loved such an album since Arctic Monkey’s debut way back in 2006. But then I started to hear singles ‘7’ and ‘Twice’ from the new Catfish and the Bottlemen album in the car, at work, on the radio- everywhere!-, and they began to catch on. I found myself hooked and decided to check out the album on which these singles were born, The Ride, and it was probably the best decision of my year (I’ve made a few bad ones to be fair, but whatever…) The album is full of earthy, charming British rock anthems, from the sentimental, down-to-earth ‘Glasgow’ to the fun, bouncy ‘Oxygen’. With plenty of heart and a whole load of guitar, this latest release from Catfish and the Bottlemen has got to be, surprisingly, hands-down my favourite album of 2016.

Other notable mentions: Weezer – Weezer (White Album) // Lounge Kittens – Sequins & C-Bombs // ROAM – Backbone

Sam Lawrie

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