It’s that time again for the Kerrang! Awards and this year it’s pretty big: among the nominations are a couple of huge London Slipknot shows, the return of GNR, battle of 5 newcomer punk bands and a huge clash of British titans. The announcement comes today after the Nominees Party last night, with live performances from Creeper amongst others.
The ceremony takes place (followed by a show headlined by Asking Alexandria) on Thursday 9th June so keep that date clear, and will be presented by The Darkness‘ Justin Hawkins and Skindred‘s Benji Webbe.
Grab your tickets here and see the full list of nominees below, and as per usual you can have your say here!
BEST EVENT – Presented by Kerrang! TV
Guns N’ Roses – Las Vegas Reunion Shows
5 Seconds Of Summer – Sounds Live Feels Live tour
Slipknot – Alexandra Palace shows
You Me At Six – The Ghost Inside Benefit Show
Biffy Clyro – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
BEST BRITISH NEWCOMER – Presented by Help Musicians
BEST INTERNATIONAL NEWCOMER
The Dirty Nil
BEST TRACK – Presented by Kerrang! Radio
Moose Blood – Honey
Against The Current – Running With The Wild Things
Burton-upon-Trent punks Max Raptor are back in the limelight and frankly for good reason with this third full-length record.
Max Raptor comes as a follow-up to 2015 EP Damage Appreciation and features the title track from it as track 9/12, and was produced by Dan Weller [Enter Shikari, Young Guns, SikTh], so was in expert hands from the very start of the writing and recording process.
The record comes as a cross between hardcore, roots punk and good old rock n’ roll (as have their other releases), but this one gives another level the band have not reached on previous releases.
The vocal style throughout is excellent, keeping a very old-school technique while having a refreshing new crunch when combined with the excellently mixed instrumental, but particular credit has to go to drummer Pete Reisner, who keeps the beat going with ease and suits the punk vibe to a T. While the guitars aren’t particularly technical (which is to be expected of a good punk band), the mix leaves them gritty and messy which creates a definite mood to provide the backing for Wil to do his thing.
The influences of early punk bands are evident, especially in tracks like Day Release and When I Was A Gentleman which hold those really solid, huge “woah oh” gang vocals that create that finishing touch to the roughness to make it feel that next step up, but there are also elements that have clearly been brought about from touring with Press To Meco and a couple of moments (namely the styles of some song endings) sound reminiscent of them.
Standout tracks are the aforementioned When I Was A Gentleman and the far more bluesy Last Words which display how excellent this band is with a variety of styles, while keeping their fingerprint very much on the style.
Usually, weaker tracks get discussed to give a fair and balanced viewpoint but it can genuinely be said this record is made of 12 fantastic tracks for any occasion that will be the making of this band.
The technical highlight has to be the bass-mimicking of the guitar on several tracks but most evident on Day Release, where throughout the whole verse the bass plays the riff with the guitars to create a fully immersive instrumental that packs a massive punch like very few bands can deliver in the modern market.
This band are so underrated and deserve so much more exposure, and this release just goes to show they are at the very top of the modern hardcore game, which is hardly surprising considering their support slots with the likes of The Stranglers [2010 tour].
Washington prog metal/djent band Periphery have just announced their fifth studio album, entitled Periphery III: Select Difficulty.
The record comes as a follow-up to 2015 double release Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega and will mark the end of the relatively short album production cycle, having started in the dying days of 2015. It has been produced by Adam “Nolly” Getwood, the band’s bassist, despite his departure from the touring lineup.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the album artwork looks like this:
Periphery III: Select Difficulty will be released worldwide on July 22nd
The band also play this year’s Download festival on 12th June at Donington
Pierce The Veil have premiered their newest song from upcoming album Misadventures on BBC Radio 1 tonight and it has hit YouTube too. The track, titled Circles is the third to be released ahead of the full album and plays at number 6 of 11 songs on the standard edition (of 13 on the deluxe).
Along with the song came an announcement from the band on air of a November UK tour that will hit the biggest club venues in the country (Brixton Academy being a size-guide). Check out the dates on the poster below.
Misadventures will be released May 13th in the UK.
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 Windfollowed 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 Comawhich, 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
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
Reading & Leeds Festival organisers have today made a huge announcement of yet more bands, along with the crucial stage splits that can make or break a day’s experience.
The biggest names on the bill come in the form of bands like Good Charlotte, Tonight Alive and the return of Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, this time with the backing of The Crowes.
While this morning hasn’t been without its issues (Reading website being completely factually incorrect before the fix was put in place), the lineup has been met with pretty great acclaim and the splits have been universally declared a good fit; acoustic rocker Frank Turner opening up Main Stage on the Friday at Reading, followed by pit-inducing Frank Carter, both of whom are bound to make a stunning opening to the weekend.
Despite early worries by many that the bill would be lacking depth and quality this year, even the smaller bands on smaller stages are great; the inclusion of Area 52 on the Festival Republic stage follows up from their BBC Introducing… stage appearance at the 2015 festival. Building on this is the huge return of Nothing But Thieves, last year opening during the Babymetal set to a half-empty NME tent, this year being half way up the Main Stage bill which really shows what a festival appearance and a Muse world arena tour can do for a small band.
Elsewhere in the festival, Tonight Alive (previously a band destined for the Pit) have been placed midway down the NME lineup after their huge reinvention as they shift into the Limitless era, and concept-album rockers Coheed & Cambria (somewhat surprisingly) making it to Main Stage.
The full list of new artists to hit the lineup:
Coheed and Cambria
The Temper Trap
Brian Fallon And The Crowes
Clean Cut Kid
Pulled Apart By Horses
The Magic Gang
Lewis Del Mar
The Vryll Society
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
Heck (Baby Godzilla)
Danny L Harle
Fred V & Grafix
The Japanese House