Rancid – Trouble Maker

The way to approach a Rancid album in 2017 is very different to the way you would have approached one in 1997. You can no longer expect genius, and you need to figure out exactly what you need to make you happy. It’s not going to be And Out Come The Wolves… and after the disappointment of …Honor Is All We Know and  Let The Dominoes Fall, merely good might be enough. A couple of great punk tracks could be all we need.

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Mutoid Man – War Moans

If you were to guess what a side-project from members of Converge and Cave In was to sound like you might hit on something close to Wear Your Wounds the album released by Jacob Bannon earlier this year. It’s a dark and unsettling piece of music and while you’d struggle to call it heavy in the way you do Converge, it most definitely is. What you wouldn’t expect, is Mutoid Man.

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Gnarwolves – Outsiders

Us Brits do a hell of a lot of things right when it comes to music. Punk, metal and rock and roll, we have it all. However, if there’s one thing that America nails and we don’t, it’s skate punk bands who discover feelings and get all earnest on us. Which sounds like an insult but is intended as nothing of the sort. There’s something about America’s long roads and tiny towns that breed bands like The Wonder Years and The Menzingers that we just don’t have here. Or at least we didn’t.

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The Smith Street Band – More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me

The ability to tell a story through music is an incredible thing. There are millions of bands on the planet, but the number who can sit down, play a song and take you on a journey is much smaller. It’s a talent that turns good songs into masterpieces. It allows you, as the listener, to connect with them in a way that a good riff just can’t do by itself. And it’s a talent that The Smith Street Band have.

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Body Count – Bloodlust

It’s not unfair to say that Body Count have always been a bit of a joke. Not in a ‘look how stupid they are’ way, but in the sense that in the past they’ve written songs about murdering your mum. Ice-T seemed to view his heavy metal side project as a chance to kick off his shoes and have a laugh. Yet, with the world seemingly intent on shooting itself in the guts for a slow and painful death,  a politically fueled Body Count suddenly seems like a great idea. And they’ve delivered.

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Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

Bursting with punk rock exuberance and gothic theatricality Creeper’s rise over the last few years has been fascinating to watch. From disappearances to Peter Pan inspired tales they’ve found a way to grab the attention of an already fervent fanbase despite not having a full-length album to their name. Which is where the problem comes in. Will all that work fall apart if Eternity, In Your Arms isn’t good enough?

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