Past the halfway point in our albums of the year countdown, the top spot creeps slowly into view!
The Rock Sound Top 75 Albums rundown reaches the halfway point as Pulled Apart By Horses, Four Year Strong, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World all jockey for position!
To see who else has made the list so far check out the first and second parts of the feature and come back Thursday for positions 30 - 16!
45. Pulled Apart By Horses ‘Pulled Apart By Horses’ (Transgressive) Whether it’s the recapped earlier material from previous singles or the newer songs displayed on their debut, the Leeds four-piece’s punchy math sound is a sure-fire success, thanks to the rock-song sensibilities at its core.
44. Coheed and Cambria ‘Year Of The Black Rainbow’ (Roadrunner) Were it delivered by any other band, ‘Year Of The Black Rainbow’ might’ve seemed a bit excessive. With its overwhelming prog-rock drama and meticulously conceived sci-fi narrative, it’s borderline silly. It’s to Coheed And Cambria’s immense credit, then, that this fifth album yet again finds them expanding their songwriting and storytelling horizons without ever sounding like they were overdoing it.
43. Lower Than Atlantis ‘Far Q’ (A Wolf At Your Door) A beer-soaked collection of outsider anthems played with the bitterness and fervour of a band whose life begins and ends in a battered Transit van. Being young and lost never sounded so good.
42. Parkway Drive ‘Deep Blue’ (Epitaph) Government scientists in Finland have been researching what constitutes the perfect blend of breakdowns, mosh calls, two-step sections, choruses and outros for 12 years now. They were livid when Parkway Drive dropped this puppy.
41. LaFaro ‘LaFaro’ (Smalltown America) Loud, slick and DIY, LaFaro’s pissed-off mix of thuggish beats and snarling lyrics from mouthpiece Jonny Black prove that the punk rock spirit lives on… and they’re from Ireland and are funny, which is extra cool.
40. The Swellers ‘Ups And Downsizing’ (Fueled By Ramen) It’s one thing to receive critical acclaim, but a better thing to not really need it – and The Swellers’ fourth record requires no bigging up for listeners to notice its potential. While displaying less riffage than previous album ‘My Everest’, taking their technicality down a notch makes their sound more accessible without compromising their core influences. Setting melodies and lyrics that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jimmy Eat World or Saves The Day song to a backdrop of double pedals and palm-muting, songs such as ‘2009’ and ‘The Iron’ are simultaneously retrospective, current and miles ahead of their peers.
39. Jimmy Eat World ‘Invented’ (Interscope) Its polished production is a reach for the sky, for sure, but once you’re past it? Songs like ‘Coffee And Cigarettes’ and ‘Evidence’ prove that the grown-up emo kids have still got it – in excess.
38. 65daysofstatic ‘We Were Exploding Anyway’ (Hassle) AKA the moment the four humanoids known as 65dos subsumed themselves into the digital machine for good. Dialling down guitars in favour of electronic gurgles never sounded so good.
37. Foals ‘Total Life Forever’ (Transgressive) Eschewing the disco-punk frippery of their debut for a trippier, more expansive sound, the Oxford quintet used their second album to show us their vision of a cold future. And it’s a worryingly brilliant one.
36. Crime in Stereo ‘I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone’ (Bridge Nine) The Long Island quintet’s fourth record ended up being their last – luckily, it’s a textbook execution of their measured, emotionally-charged melodic hardcore to perfection before their split last summer. A fine – if untimely – send-off.
35. Weezer ‘Hurley’ (Epitaph) This eighth full-length comes close to emulating the insanely high standards set by Weezer’s first three albums. Preceded by awesomely entertaining sets at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, it restored many fans’ faith in the band’s enduring quality.
34. Circa Survive ‘Blue Sky Noise’ (Atlantic) All the best bands hit their stride on album three. With this, Circa Survive add their name to a long and revered list by delivering a soaring album that combined beautiful noise with truly haunting lyrics.
33. Lostprophets ‘The Betrayed’ (Visible Noise) The ‘Prophets amp up everything that rocks about them for their fourth album – meaning more powerful guitars, super-sized choruses and a heavy dose of their signature industrial sampling to offset their innate commercial appeal.
32. Touché Amoré ‘…To The Beat Of A Dead Horse’ (6131) One of the records twisting hardcore into bright new shapes, Touché Amoré’s debut is a raw look at singer Jeremy Bolm’s most closely guarded secrets, set to a thrillingly frayed soundtrack of thudding drums and razorwire guitars.
31. Four Year Strong ‘Enemy Of The World’ (Universal / Decaydance) The perfect combination of pop-punk, hardcore and beards, FYS bring manly punk rock to the fold with their third original album. ‘It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right
Now’? Not in 2010…
As the end of the year edged into sight, we had one more round of tour madness before the festival downtime kicked in. Here's what you missed in November (spoiler: contains pop-punk, tears and BABYMETAL)
For some unexplained reason, a bunch of Twitter accounts sprung up recently where people draw pictures of their favourite bands. Except, y'know, poorly. Some are truly crap, others are magnificent. Here's our Top 12 that we've found because it's Friday and WHY THE HELL NOT?