Next up in Rock Sins annual End Of Year Awards, it’s the turn of Connor to fly the Irish flag on the team. He’s selected some of his countrymen in one of the awards, but to find out about that, and his other choices, you’ll need to read on….
- Album Of The Year
Code Orange – Forever
In a year that has produced so many phenomenal albums, it’s been ridiculously hard to even settle on a Top 20, nevermind deciding what the best out of everything was. Code Orange take the title this year after releasing the mammoth rager that is ‘Forever’. The album is packed with energy, heaviness, melody, unsettling industrial noises and plenty of surprises throughout. What Code Orange have crafted this album so carefully and everything just falls into place like clockwork. The band can go from producing absolutely crushing songs like the title track or ‘Real’ to more melodic songs like ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ and ‘Ugly’ with it still sounding undeniably like Code Orange with everything else they do in between. Take the time to listen to this album if you haven’t already done so, it is a modern classic.
Alt-J – Relaxer
While She Sleeps – You Are We
Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life
And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmering
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
2.) Song Of The Year
Milk Teeth – Owning Your Okayness
If you’ve been keeping up to date with your brilliant British bands, you’ll know that Milk Teeth are one of the best up and coming bands in the UK at the moment. You’ll also know that we were treated to TWO EP’s from the band this year. This first song to be released from either of them was ‘Owning Your Okayness’ and it’s a bouncy, happy, punk/grunge anthem and my god is it catchy. A fantastic addition to Milk Teeth’s back catalogue, and one that’s already sparking some big sing-a-longs at their live shows.
You Me At Six – Plus One
While She Sleeps – Feel
Citizen – In The Middle Of It All
Turnover – Bonnie (Rhythm & Melody)
Code Orange – Forever
3.) Gig Of The Year
And So I Watch You From Afar – Belfast, Telegraph Building
Watching And So I Watch You From Afar is never anything less than a religious experience, but seeing these unfathomably talented fellas play their biggest headline show in their hometown of Belfast was something else entirely. Yes, it was freezing standing in a what was basically a warehouse building in the middle of December. Yes, I dropped my pint. And yes, I had bruises all over my body for a solid two weeks afterwards. But none of that took away from the absolutely flawless performance ASIWYFA gave. This band are able to go from hectic songs like ‘Search:Party:Animal’ to something beautiful and so carefully written like ‘The Voiceless’ in a matter of seconds and make it seem so effortless. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands, moshing and singing along to every chant and note. As I’ve said previously in a review of a their recent Manchester show, see them if you’re ever given the chance as words can’t even come close to doing this band justice.
While She Sleeps – Sheffield, O2 Academy
Oathbreaker – Leeds, Brudenell
Deafheaven – Leeds, Stylus
Bury Tomorrow – Huddersfield, The Parish
Enter Shikari – Belfast, Limelight
4.) Festival Performance Of The Year
Title Fight (Outbreak)
Outbreak Festival this year was unlike anything I have ever experience before. A reasonably big venue with no barrier and a shitload of Hardcore bands. Throughout the day there was an open space right in front of the stage for hardcore fans to do what hardcore fans do, however, when Title Fight took to the stage with their post-hardcore, shoegazy goodness, that open space turned into a sea of bodies crushed together. With this being their only European show of the year, it’s fair to assume there will have been a lot of people there specifically for Title Fight. The set saw them play a set spanning their entire discography, playing more Outbreak-appropriate songs like ‘Coxton Yard’ to slowing things down with ‘Head in the Ceiling Fan’. For the hour they played there was a never ending onslaught of crowd surfers, stage divers, and people literally running on people’s heads (a particular highlight for this being ‘Symmetry’). The whole thing was mental and I loved every minute of it. Also, bonus points if you spot the chubby fella in a Deafheaven shirt!
The Dillinger Escape Plan (Download)
Agoraphobic Nosebleed (Damnation)
Biffy Clyro (Download)
Every Time I Die (Download)
Dragged Into Sunlight (Damnation)
5.) Music Video Of The Year
Enter Shikari – Live Outside
Whilst ‘The Spark’ has been a very slow burner for me this year. One thing that I can’t fault Enter Shikari for is the video for the lead single ‘Live Outside’. It tells a story, compliments the music beautifully and almost feels like it could be a very short episode of Black Mirror! It’s also worth pausing at 1:49 to see an eyebrow raise that could put The Rock to shame.
Architects – Doomsday
Code Orange – The Mud
Creeper – Black Rain
6.) Most Disappointing Album Of The Year
Being As An Ocean – Waiting For Morning To Come
As someone who adores Being As An Ocean’s previous three albums, this section of my awards is a difficult one to write. There was a lot of excitement for this album as the first two tracks ‘OK’ and ‘Dissolve’ were great. Waiting For Morning To Come was originally scheduled to be released in June but was delayed until September due to issues with their label and was eventually released independently by the band, only it left a lot to be desired. Being As An Ocean were clearly trying to do something different with this album, whilst there was still the usual melodic hardcore mixed with more atmospheric sounding sections. Unfortunately this whole thing falls flat on it’s arse with interludes that didn’t really feel needed, songs that can’t decide what they want to do and just feel messy, a re-recorded (worse) version of ‘Dissolve’ and a song that plays backwards. It’s clear that Being As An Ocean have a lot of ideas, and done right they could sound great, but the execution just wasn’t up to scratch.
You Me At Six – Night People
Enter Shikari – The Spark
7.) Favourite New Band Of 2017
There has been a huge amount of brilliant bands appearing recently in the last few years, one in particular that has caught my attention are a band called Sleep Token. Sleep Token are a somewhat Djenty band of masked musicians who worship a deity named “Sleep”, hence ‘Sleep Token. The music is very easy listening with interesting use of keyboards, an often hypnotic vocal and some very large sounding instrumentation. So far the band only have 2 EP’s, but they are a fantastic pair of EP’s with a lot going on. Definitely one to keep an eye on in 2018. Oh, they also do a cracking cover of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’.
8.) Band Of The Year
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in 2017, you will have been seeing the name ‘Code Orange’ everywhere. Code Orange have had a phenomenal year, they released their critically acclaimed major label debut “Forever” at the start of 2017 through Roadrunner, and the wheels haven’t stopped turning since. From touring with System of a Down and Gojira and playing The Dillinger Escape Plan’s last ever show to finding themselves on the cover of the likes of Kerrang! and Revolver, performing on WWE NXT to being nominated for a Grammy. Code Orange have made it abundantly clear that they’re here to take over and they’re here to stay. Don’t expect 2018 to be any different.
While She Sleeps
You can also check out selections from other members of the Rock Sins team on the links below:
Shaun Browns’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Jack Fermor-Worrell’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Fran Dignon’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Jamie Giberti’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Simon Crampton’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Sam Savigny’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Sam Dignon’s 2017 End Of Year Awards
Philip Whitehead’s 2017 End Of Year Awards