Rocksins Staff End Of The Year Awards 2014 – Fran

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It’s that time again! Kicking off the 2014 Rock Sins end of year awards is our wonderful photographer Fran. Let’s get started….

1) Album of the year: Polar – Shadowed By Vultures

Shadowed By Vultures was easily one of my most anticipated albums at the start this year and it definitely lived up to my expectations. In the past Polar have released not only two of my favourite EPs but also one of the best d├ębut albums in hardcore. With songs such as Black Days being up there with the best released this year, and not a single weak track on the album, Shadowed By Vultures has not only carried on Polar’s excellent streak but also has upped the game for whatever they have planned next.

Polar - Hevy fest 2014

Honourable Mentions:
Feed The Rhino – The Sorrow and The Sound
Pup – Pup
Twin Atlantic – Great Divide
Yellowcard – Lift A Sail

2) Song of the year: Yellowcard- Transmission Home

Yellowcard released their ninth studio album late this year and despite it being a rather large departure from their classic pop-punk sound, it is still an incredibly strong rock album and one of my favourite albums this year. One song to perfectly represent this is Transmission Home, it can only be described as anthemic, especially when paired with album opener Convocation.

Honourable Mentions:
Polar – Black Days

3) Gig(s) of the year: Your Demise’s final show, the Camden Underworld, 15th March & Parkway Drive, the Roundhouse, 12th December

This was definitely been the most difficult category for me to decided this year, but it has to go to Your Demise’s final two shows in London, especially the second night. It was not just a sad goodbye to the band but more than anything it was a celebration of the UK hardcore scene. Love them or hate them, Your Demise were a crucial part of that scene, especially by being the gateway band for so many people getting into hardcore music, including myself. The final Your Demise show was definitely something special, the band gave it their everything, it’s rare to have such a great atmosphere at hardcore shows these days and ending the entire night with a stage invasion to The Kids We Used To Be was probably my favourite moment of the entire year.Until the 12th of this month, this award was easily going to Your Demise, but then Parkway Drive at Roundhouse happened. Every time I see Parkway Drive they confirm over and over again why they are the best Metalcore band around right now. It’s becoming quite rare to get that much chaos into a room like Roundhouse but this show had exactly that especially due to such a great career spanning setlist, everyone in the room that night left smiling.

Honourable Mentions –
Hatebreed @ Underworld
Feed the Rhino @ Underworld
Pup (supporting Nai Harvest) @ Old Blue Last
Killswitch Engage and Trivium @ Brixton

4) Festival performance of the year: Anti-Flag at Hevy Fest

Anti-Flag have fast become one of my favourite festival bands to ever see, no matter what size stage they always not only play a technically fantastic set but also one of the funnest moments from the weekend, if not from the whole summer, being able to create such a fun atmosphere is definitely a key component for a great festival set to me.

Anti-Flag, Hevy fest 2014 Anti-Flag, Hevy fest 2014

Honourable Mentions:
Pup @ Reading
Heights @ Hevy
The Hell @ Reading

5) Video of the year: Pup – Mabu

Pup’s video for Mabu definitely makes me unbelievably happy if not anything else, a video and song about Stephan’s old car featuring a chameleon, turtles, Wade McNeil as a priest, Pup in dresses and a demolition derby, what more could you need in a music video?

6) Most disappointing album of the year: Beartooth – Disgusting

There were very few albums that truly disappointed me this year, but Disgusting was easily the biggest disappointment. After how good the final release from Attack Attack! was, my hopes were pretty high for Beartooth, but all they seem to have released so far is mediocre metalcore. However there’s no chance I could deny Beartooth have achieved some great things this year, maybe next year I’ll be able to get to a show and they’ll win me over.

7) Saddest moment of the year: So many UK a bands calling it a day

Every year we lose a one or two great UK band but this year has been worse than ever, starting it off in March was Your Demise’s final ever shows, following them were the likes of Pure Love, Kids In Glass Houses, Canterbury, Heights, Save Your Breath, Lost Alone, Golden Tanks and a few more, to top it all off The Blackout recently announced their split and final tour for early next year as well as The Catharsis announcing their hiatus. It’s known not everyone from this far too long list of bands plan to quit music all together, so hopefully we’ll hear some new things soon and I hope they all do well with anything else they plan to do!

Honourable Mentions:
Sleeping With Sirens being above Papa Roach at Reading Festival
Stu’s speech at the final Your Demise Show
Bands thinking they need such awful publicity stunts.

8) Band of the year: Feed The Rhino

To many people it will be no shock that I have chosen Feed The Rhino for this award, but after what they’ve achieved this year, there wasn’t even another contender. Narrowly missing out on my favourite album of the year, The Sorrow And The Sound is absolutely huge, like almost every hardcore or metalcore album ever to be released now, it suffered from all the accusations that it’s not as heavy as the previous and that the band have lost their chaos, but go to a show and come back without being kicked in the head, and then we’ll talk about Feed The Rhino losing their chaos. Feed The Rhino have had this enormous buzz around them throughout 2014 and it’s no secret that this is particularly down to them having one of the most exciting and dangerous live shows around at the moment, this could be proven with any of their shows from the last 12 months, but if I had to pick one it is easily Feed The Rhino’s sold out Underworld show in October, no doubt a special moment in the band’s career, the band gave it their all and its moments like this that prove why I think Feed The Rhino are on track to become the UK’s next Gallows.

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Like Fran’s end of year awards choices? Want to debate them with her on Twitter? You can catch her at @Bloodlines__. Stay tuned for more in our awards series in the next few days here at Rock Sins.