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Rock Sound’s Top Releases Of 2016: 40-31

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 28 December at 19.50

The countdown continues.

40. Weezer - 'Weezer'
The album that Weezer felt forever destined to write, finally realised and made flesh. Tapping into Rivers Cuomo’s love of The Beach Boys on songs inspired by er, actually being on the beach, it was a joyous blast of classic-sounding alt.rock, that confirmed that after a few years of duds and missteps, the kings were back on their throne.

39. Sleep On It - 'Lost Along The Way'
With former Bonfires vocalist Zech Pluister stepping into the fold, these Chicago emo punks felt complete and their debut EP is a total gem. Recorded with Seth Henderson (Real Friends, Knuckle Puck) and State Champs’ Derek DiScanio these five songs absolutely sparkle, tackling themes of loss and hurt. A debut album can’t come soon enough.

38. Like Pacific - 'Distant Like You Asked'
Pop-punk with heart, smarts and massive, shirt-tugging choruses? Canada’s Like Pacific did it better than almost anyone else this year – hitting us right in the feels with bruised but defiant songs like ‘Assisted Breathing’. Whether you’ve been through tough times or simply want something to yell along to, this is a record to savour.

37. Blood Youth - 'Closure'
Further establishing these Harrogate bruisers as one of our favourite homegrown bands, the four songs on ‘Closure’ proved they were far from one shot wonders. Amping up the riff-fuelled heft and accessible melodic tendencies introduced on their debut EP, this only served to further whet appetites for what this band might do when they channel that irresistible punch into an album.

36. Creeper - 'The Stranger'
Another year, another groundbreaking EP from Creeper. If haunting ballad ‘Misery’ doesn’t send chills down your spine, you may already be dead – and that’s but one of the ghoulish delights on offer here. With its cocktail of shadowy drama, confessional lyrics and massive choruses, ‘The Stranger’ was a Rock Sound office fave. Time to join the cult... 

35. Twin Atlantic - 'GLA'
A gritty, bittersweet love letter to the city of Glasgow, ‘GLA’ paints Twin Atlantic in a whole new and fascinating light. By stripping back and refusing to censor themselves, the four-piece produced one of the year’s rawest and – at times – raunchiest albums; shot through with more swagger than their previous releases combined. It’s fair to say that the risk has paid off.

34. Columbus - 'Spring Forever'
One of those records that seemed to come from nowhere and floored all who heard it. Detailing the rise and fall of a relationship as the seasons change, with songs that follow suit, ‘Spring Forever’ was an audacious debut from this promising Aussie trio. Finding the sweet spot between pop-punk and emo, this is an album that rewards those who take the time to love it.

33. Biffy Clyro - 'Ellipsis'
Scotland’s most popular export since deep-fried Mars bars came back swinging on their seventh full-length opus. It might not quite match up to the drool-inducing standard set on the trio’s last three efforts, but it certainly does demonstrate that Simon Neil remains one of the finest songwriters in the game. The solid gold sing-along of ‘Howl’ ensures this album’s spot in this top 50 virtually on its own. 

32. The Devil Wears Prada - 'Transit Blues'
The Devil Wears Prada have always been hell-bent on reinvention, and ‘Transit Blues’ was the mark of a band who are damned if they’re going to make the same album twice. From the desperation of ‘Praise Poison’ to the raking title track that bookends everything, it’s a thrilling blend of all that they’ve learned so far, and one of 2016’s essential metal releases

31. BABYMETAL - 'Metal Resistance'
Establishing Babymetal as a genuine metal prospect and not the novelty act some assumed, even the Japanese phenomenon’s biggest critics were left eating their words after this one. And it was all down to its endless and undeniable tunes. ‘Metal Resistance’ was tons of fun and it backed that up with riffs galore.

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