I’m not bothered by the end of the year; lying to myself with “resolutions” for a “new year, new me” or being all soppy and reflective over a simple change in date. And for the most part, 2016 was filled with mass negativity and nationwide pissed-off-ness. However, 2016 wasn’t all that bad, for instance, here I am going to rattle off about the five albums that made me say “holy fuck, I love this” the most at some point ever the previous 31, 557, 600 seconds of our lives.
5) Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual
Raging Speedhorn announced their return back in 2015, and as soon as I discovered the pledge for a new album, I was all over that mother. The majority of bands who disappear for years and return with a new album, well, produce something underwhelming. Lost Ritual kicks as much ass as Raging Speedhorn ever did. Right from the get go the album gives any fan everything they could have hoped for; loud and infectious brutality. Any lover of thrash, speed metal, and anything in between should own this one.
4) Mike & The Melvins – Three Men And A Baby
This is a weird one. Three Men And A Baby was originally recorded by The Melvins and Mike Kunka back in 1999, but wasn’t actually completed until 2015. The result; some amazing new old Melvins material, with the added twist of Mike Kunka’s input, and perfectly balancing out the fucking bizarre release of Basses Loaded months later. Three Men And A Baby is fantastic from start to finish, and has been one of those albums that simply won’t tire no matter how much I play it.
Buy Three Men And A Baby from Amazon, or wherever.
3) Heck – Instructions
I didn’t realise Heck were Baby Godzilla, who had to change their name following some copyright stir that the Japanese government started to kick up. Instructions I listened to little snippets of before being convinced to make the purchase, and oh my god was I please. Instructions pretty much satisfies the majority of my musical cravings; the hardcore riffs, the variance to each song structure and catchily screamed vocals. Heck became my morning wake up routine for a while, perfectly setting me up for a day in the office, and also proved surprisingly suitable for painting fences to. Thoroughly recommended.
2) CJ Wildheart – Robot
I really didn’t know what to expect from CJ Wildheart’s solo effort. In fact, I had been put off from buying it through not thinking I would like it. Well fuck. Robot is my new happy album. Something about the Robot feels uplifting, while batting out some satisfyingly heavy tunage. Once it had all sunk in fully, I realised there isn’t a bad song on the album, with hair-raiser Light It Up and the 5 minute epic Sleep Deprivation. If you want something loud to sing along to, Robot is the album to get.
1) Surgical Meth Machine – Surgical Meth Machine
Well. I only had to hear 10 seconds of Surgical Meth Machine to be sold. Al Jorgensen of Ministry unleashed this one on us, which doesn’t feature much new in the way of his production style, but damn, imagine the best, heaviest side of Ministry being pumped up an extra notch of a programmed high, resulting in a post-industrial/post-hardcore something or other. Surgical Meth Machine is unrelenting, unforgiving, and non-stop loudness that grips you by the ear drums and fucks you into oblivion. Smash And Grab has to be the least melodic, but somehow most addictive of the tracks, and followed up by the biggest shredder Unlistenable, which ends in a comedic anti-band pisstake, then a bizarrely great Devo cover. The end of the album is entirely marijuana influenced, but closer I’m Invisible is… the strangest and most fantastic choice for a single ever. Seriously, this is the biggest noise junkie fix of the year. Go do it!
Now, there are a few things I can’t not mention.
Firstly, the Descendents return with Hypercaffium Spazzinate. It was a fantastic return from the punk legends and one that no punker should have missed.
I also have to mention a personal favourite, the EPs released by Jaws Of Deaf. I have resisted mentioning until the first album is released, which will comprise of re-recordings of a selection from the first 5 EPs. But if you haven’t heard them already, go and check out the first 7 that are currently available.
And finally, everything that has been reviewed on this site. I’ve tried to avoid only writing positive reviews, but I haven’t had the time to delve into everything that has come out over the last few months that I have heard. So yeah, that.
So, there you have it. Now go and get wasted and a load of shit you would regret if you could remember it, or whatever it is people do for celebrating the new year. I’ll be lying in bed playing Xbox all night and getting annoyed at the sudden shouting outside.
Jake Hancke – 31/12/2016