2016 has already produced some massive events in the alternative and rock history, with the breakup of Funeral For A Friend, the kicking of a fan from the stage at a The Story So Far show and the return of the godfathers of modern pop punk in Good Charlotte, not to mention the infamous Matt Willis tweet telling the world to go and buy [2016 Creeper EP] The Stranger, saying they’ll go far. Such a massive year has inevitably had some pretty big record releases; the afformentioned The Stranger EP, Panic!’s Death Of A Bachelor and Asking Alexandria’s The Black within the first three months alone, which has set up a pretty huge contest for top record of 2016, and here are a few that have the potential to blow the above out of the water (in no particular order, of course…)
Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
03. Phantom Fear
05. Gone With The Wind
06. The Empty Hourglass
07. A Match Made In Heaven
09. All Love is Lost
10. From The Wilderness
11. Memento Mori
This release got announced on Daniel P Carter’s Rock Show on 6th March this year, much to the surprise of the fanbase. The record has been recorded in the same as [2014 release] Lost Together // Lost Forever in Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden in more or less complete secrecy and no hint at all to any of the fanbase.
The previous release in the Brighton 5-piece’s catalogue was a definite step above the rest and really allowed the band to break through into the very top level of British metalcore bands, rivalled by very few others and the first 2 tracks from this 7th installment only accentuate their dominance of the field. A Match Made In Heaven was the first song released, premiered on BBC Radio 1 along with the interview where frontman Sam Carter unveiled the newly completed work. Second single Gone With The Wind followed on April 11th and marks the first sound of clean vocals in the AOGHAU era of the band, to much excitement from the fans.
This is a band that remains incredibly heavy while having hugely catchy choruses that won’t ever leave your head and this record is shaping up to top the scene once and for all.
All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us will be released in the UK on May 27th
Issues – Headspace
01. The Realest
02. Home Soon
03. Lost-n-Found (On a Roll)
04. Yung & Dum
05. Made to Last
09. Rank Rider
10. Blue Wall
11. Someone Who Does
12. I Always Knew
13. Slow Me Down
Fusion-core rockers Issues have given many interviews recently about how they’re doing a huge reinvention to break down even more genre boundaries than the  first album and the 2 EPs [2012, 2014], wholeheartedly renouncing their metalcore genre assignment of previous incarnation Woe, Is Me.
This one has had huge trouble in the making; Tyler Carter has spoken out on a few occasions about how this recording and writing process has very nearly ripped the band into 5 pieces, but after the departure of Ty “Scout” Acord they announced a barrier-breaking, death-defying new record called Headspace via Carter’s Facebook page.
The first 2 tracks are a clear tone-setter for the record, with first single The Realest proves their distinct musical styles with Sky’s funk basslines, Tyler’s hip hop/pop and Michael’s core (and for the first time, unclean singing!) vocals, and the heavy guitars and drums from AJ and Josh respectively, but it mixes together to form a (ignoring their past catalogue) surprisingly fantastic track which is only enhanced by second single Coma which, again, is a winner.
Headspace will be released on May 20th in the UK
Real Friends – The Home Inside My Head
01. Stay In One Place
02. Empty Picture Frames
03. Keep Lying To Me
04. Scared To Be Alone
07. Isolating Everything
08. Well, I’m Sorry
09. Basement Stairs
10. Door Without A Key
12. Colder Quicker
Real Friends are back and they’re back with something to prove, if the first couple of songs are anything to go by. The Illinois pop-punks are a staple grain in the pop punk diet, having released 6 EPs and 1 full length and supported bands as big as All Time Low on massive tours, and they only seem to be getting better.
The vulgar yet tuneful tracks of the band give them a rough-edged sound that so many have had polished away by producers and labels, and that definitely makes them stand out. The emotional sound of their first song Colder Quicker, however, is not a usual sound for them, as they have a deep look back to past events and placing it at the closing of the record seems to indicate a definitive ending to a powerful record.
The Home Inside My Head will be released May 27th in the UK
Of Mice & Men – Live At Brixton & [As Yet Untitled]
01. Public Service Announcement
02. Glass Hearts
03. Broken Generation
04. O.G. Loko
05. Let Live
06. You Make Me Sick
07. This One’s For You
08. Feels Like Forever
09. Bones Exposed
10. Would You Still Be There
11. Another You
12. Identity Disorder
13. Second & Sebring
14. The Depths
15. You’re Not Alone
These Orange County metalcore masters have been plagued with [vocalist] Austin Carlile’s multiple hospitalisations due to Marfan’s Syndrome, but that hasn’t stopped them releasing Live At Brixton. As the name suggests, the album was recorded on March 28th 2015 as they played their biggest headline show to date at O2 Academy Brixton in London which is to this day regarded by many of the members of the crowd as the best they have ever attended.
The release is coming out with a range of bundle options, all of which including a huge cinema-style poster commemorating the night. It comes as a CD/DVD pack or a 2x LP DVD pack (limited to 300 for the OM&M direct variant) and will be released via the band’s usual label Rise Records.
In addition to this, the band are currently tracking an as-yet-untitled 4th studio album as a follow-up to [2015 deluxe re-release]Restoring Force: Full Circle.
Live At Brixton will be released May 27th in the UK and the next full length is expected to be finished in May with a subsequent release
Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
02. Makeshift Love
03. 40 oz. Dream
04. Life Can’t Get Much Better
05. Keep Swingin’ (feat. Kellin Quinn)
06. Reason to Stay (feat. Simon Neil)
07. Stray Dogs
08. Stick to Your Guns (Interlude)
09. The Outfield
10. Cars Full of People
12. Moving On
13. Rise (Bonus Track)
At long last, Good Charlotte are back and if the first 2 singles and the multiple shows are anything to go by, the last 6 years on a break has made them better than ever before.
After a charting first single post-hiatus (Makeshift Love), a gargantuan tour with All Time Low and a huge period of teasing the finished product, the band announced this fantastic artwork on March 30th, along with second single 40 oz. Dream (to commemorate 20 years of GC) which involves a rundown of how music has changed even in the relatively short period of the twins’ lives.
Not only does the album boast the return of a huge band but it also plays host to guest appearances to Sleeping with Sirens’ Kellin Quinn and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, neither of whom would be first thoughts for most to guest on a GC song but this has the potential to be a fantastic addition.
The band have not yet announced UK touring plans though have been announced as performing at Reading & Leeds this year (if you didn’t know about that, you probably need to click here!).
Youth Authority will be released July 16th in the UK
Moose Blood – Blush
This second full-length from the Canterbury emo rockers marks their move up in size and stature from No Sleep Records to Hopeless, and with it comes a particularly aesthetically pleasing record. Vinyl variants are designed especially to work with the plain colour scheme of the sleeve and the single word track names are there to give it a simplistic and minimalistic finish.
First track from the record Honey was debuted on Radio 1 this Sunday along with multiple other releases, but this got most of the attention from the listeners (despite names like Gerard Way being among the other exclusives) so this band have made it a long long way in the past year. They are playing Slam Dunk at the end of May on Main Stage, which again is a huge step up from the smaller stages they played in the past and can only mark bigger things to come.
Blush will be released on August 5th in the UK
Pierce The Veil – Misadventures
01. Dive In
02. Texas Is Forever
03. The Divine Zero
04. Floral & Fading
05. Phantom Power And Ludicrous Speed
07. Today I Saw The Whole World
08. Gold Medal Ribbon
11. Song For Isabelle
Deluxe Edition from Firebrand Stores
12. Today I Saw The Whole World (acoustic)
13. Floral & Fading (acoustic)
Last but by no means least is the long, long awaited return of PTV, an album many joked would never happen. Misadventures was teased for a long time in interviews by the band and the depression lead singer Vic Fuentes developed during the highly pressured writing process is well-documented, but it seems to have paid off. The announcement was followed up more recently with news of a Mexican release-day show and subsequent US tour whereby the band would play the new album in its entirety (presumably along with a few other tracks to finish) but sadly, nothing has been confirmed for GB as of yet.
First single The Divine Zero hit the internet music world as a complete shock back in summer 2015 as the band embarked on the lengthy Vans Warped Tour around the US and has since been played at Reading & Leeds festival, and on the remaining few dates of their tour. Second single Texas Is Forever was released alongside the album announcement, much to the acclaim of the fans.
Misadventures will be released on May 13th in the UK