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Top 10 Albums Of 2011 & Bands To Watch in 2012 (Rock Editors Choice)

HTF’s rock/metal editor Steph Knight gives you her top 10 album releases of 2011 and lets you know who to keep your eyes peeled for in 2012! Read more here..

So readers I could not just pick the one release for the year that I think warranted a merit, I wanted to do my own chart! Below are the rock/ metal albums of 2011 that really stood out for me and literally the ones I could not stop listening too! Well done to the bands on such immense releases and if you are not proud owners of any of these releases than I suggest you invest, quickly!

Steph (Rock/Metal Editor)



Number 10: Don Broco – ‘Big Fat Smile’ EP

Bedford beauties Don Broco have had one hell of a year, this started as they released their ‘Big Fat Smile’ EP on Valentines Day (14th Feb). They owned themselves another batch load of devoted fans to their now well-known established sound, ‘Brococore’.

From seeing these guys in venues the size of a cardboard box to then filling out the whole space at this years Hevy Festival, it is fair to say the only way is up for this mighty four piece.

All five tracks on this EP are undoubtedly Broco classic anthems with ‘Beautiful Morning’ and ‘Top Of The World’ being down right phenomenal live outfits.

Number 9: Steel Panther – ‘Balls Out’

Now if the name is not a give away in itself for you, be warned now that this four piece should be taken with a pinch of salt. Their humour and unstoppable rock onslaught has taken over the UK by storm. Imagine The Darkness with an influx of crude and that is just what this four piece boast to be. It is an epic cat suit loving sandwich!

Get your air guitar out and I promise you from beginning to end you will be jumping around like a mentalist. The vulgar hilarity to the lyrics in every track just adds to this albums pure brilliance and makes it a worthy contender for one of the best releases in 2011.

Number 8: Dangerous! – ‘Teenage Rampage’

Twelve months ago, I admit, I had no idea who the hell these guys were. A successful 2011 saw the end to this and it would seem this Australian ‘alternative grunge’ four piece have only just started.

‘Teenage Rampage’ is hectic in the right places with so much edge and excitement it will have you loosing yourself for it entirety. The album is surprisingly short in length but clearly has an arms length of talent packed full of good tuneage.

Number 7: Dance Gavin Dance – ‘Downtown Battle Mountain II’

Say, what you like about Jonny Craig, the guy can sing. Seeing the return of the front man to the band this year saw a new release from this American five piece.

With an album packed full of anthems that will have your finger fixed permanently on the repeat button, it was inevitable this release would be embed firmly within my top 10.

‘Blue Dream’ being the somewhat stand out track of the record. A genre soup of awesome that will have you captivated for its near five-minute onslaught.

Number 6: Yellowcard – ‘When You’re Through With Thinking, Say Yes’

This band have produced and overwhelming amount of good albums in their years, with this release standing promptly in pride of place for me.

After surprisingly touring with All Time Low at the beginning of the year, 2011 saw Yellowcard reaching out to a whole different fan base. It seemed to coat them with yet more success of course with another exceptional album release to be proud of.

With all single releases being good movers the true gems are easily founded. ‘Sing For Me’ being an easy crowd favourite, with ‘For You And Your Denial’ the worthy album highlight.

Number 5: Spy Catcher – ‘Honesty’

If there were a definition of love for a new band this year, Spycatcher would be crowned that very title. A truly amazing live band that have the backing of a one hell of a debut album release.

‘Honesty’ boasted a stupid amount of good reviews with the band looking upon 2012 with bright eyes and bushy tails.

The gritty vocals and addictive lyrics from leading man Steve Sears, grace the album throughout, with ‘Don’t Like People’ and ‘Good Times’ being the albums best outbursts.

Number 4: We Are The Ocean – Go Now And Live

Just so much pure love for this album it is unreal. Repeatedly you can listen to it and not at any point will it sicken you. The shear talent of this band is immense along with the albums entire track listing.

It truly is impossible to crown just one track that stands out because every single track is a masterpiece in itself. It is so rare these days amongst the industry that an album can pack in so much talent with out just some filling to warrant it a full-length album release rather than just another EP.

We Are The Ocean clearly have so much more to offer British music and ‘Go Now And Live’ is just one example of the expected many years of brilliance they will bring to our ears.

Number 3: Architects – ‘The Here And Now’

So many were ambiguous with the looming release date of Architects third studio album release. Second album offering ‘Hollow Crown’ was such a fantastic album to follow the pressure really was on for these guys to step up in 2011.

‘The Here And Now’ is angry in all the right places with the coating of simplistic beauty tucked in nicely in their back pockets to the warrant them one hell of a good album trophy.

‘Delete, Rewind’ and ‘Heartburn’ being the clear gems of the album with other the other single releases sampling some more of the albums greatness.

Number 2: Lower Than Atlantis – ‘World Record’

This bands fame within the last twelve months has quite literally spiralled out of control. Discovering this at their set at this years Slam Dunk Festival, where the room was torn apart by fans loosing their minds to this bands discography of brilliance; it was expected that ‘World Record’ would be near the top of this album release poll.

The undoubted talent behind this band is leading man Mike Duce whose song writing abilities are beyond exceptional.

This album has it all; whether meaty chorus’ are your thing you can have ‘Beech Like A Tree’, ‘Deadliest Catch’ has an addictable everything with one hell of a music video to go with it, and ‘Another Sad Song’ is arguably the most beautiful release to come from a British band this year.

If you have not got a copy of this album, firstly slap yourself and secondly go get one! It will be the best thing you do all year.

Finally, NUMBER 1: Twin Atlantic – ‘Free’

Never in my entire life have I had so much anticipation for one album, ever. Twin Atlantic do something to their fans to warrant this happening. First album release ‘Vivarium’ was so brilliant it become worrying if they could actually top it.

‘Free’ was released upon the world on the 2nd May 2011 and in so many ways is it loveable. Whether you love the Scottish accent or not the talent that consumes this band is simply black and white. It is true, whilst the album graces your stereos you find yourself actually singing with a Scottish accent, it is that epic.

Every track as good as the last and finally Twin Atlantic have the success they deserve within their sights this year.

I do not think it is possible to count how many times I have listened to this album. I cannot express to you all how much you need to love it. Listen to it over and over again until you think you are Scottish. That is what is needed.

Hands down the best release of 2011 for me.

Ones To Watch In 2012

So I am a little greedy and could not just pick the one band that deserve a mention for the new year. I think there are five really talented bands that seem to have one massive 2012 clasped within their fists.

So many bands are good these days but I think this hand picked few have that something more sparkling under their jumpers. So watch our for these names next year, I am convinced you will be hearing a lot from them!

I Divide

Mallory Knox


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