50. Of Mice & Men - 'Cold World'
Of Mice & Men’s new album may not have ended up as the commercial smash some predicted, after their stints on the road with big hitters like Slipknot and Linkin Park, but it was the album they wanted to make. Pained, raw and epic all at once, ‘Cold World’ is what this band have been building towards for years.
49. Area 11 - 'Modern Synthesis'
An explosion of neon, synths and off-the-wall concepts, Area 11’s second album would stand out any year. Looking and sounding like no one else, the four-piece put their idiosyncrasies to good use – blazing a trail to #27 in the UK Albums Chart. For an independent, proudly uncompromising band, that’s a huge achievement.
48. Out Came The Wolves - 'Strange Fate'
Every truly great rock band has an iconic leader in their ranks – people who light up a club or arena, who are worth their weight in gold. In frontman Cameron Burns, Out Came The Wolves are in possession of one such figure. Their debut album is a maelstrom of rollicking metalcore, and sets 2017 up to be even more intriguing for the Minnesotans. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
47. Hands Like Houses - 'Dissonants'
The important stuff shone through on ‘Dissonants’. No pretension, no ego or cult of personality, just a collection of smart post-metalcore with a smattering of electronics and soaring anthems. It all made for one of the most engaging, challenging releases of the year, and the best thing Hands Like Houses have ever committed to record.
46. Simple Plan - 'Taking One For The Team'
These pop-punk veterans proved they could still hang in 2016. Simple Plan’s first album in half a decade was full of youthful energy and naivety, and boasted guest vocalists ranging from New Found Glory to Nelly. A collection of high octane pop-rock anthems that weren’t big and were by no means clever, but damn, they were catchy.
45. Crown The Empire - 'Retrograde'
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, as illustrated here. Reining in the grandiose concepts of their previous releases, the Dallas crew showed a more direct and personal side to their art, while still delivering monstrous anthems by the truckload. As the metalcore scene cries out for new ideas, these guys look ready to lead the charge.
44. Thrice - 'To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere'
This is how you make a comeback. Deep, timely and often flat-out beautiful, Thrice’s long-awaited ninth album summons a lifetime’s worth of emotions and doubts, and fashions them into songs of rare quality. From the desperate fury of ‘Blood On The Sand’ to the heartbreaking ‘Stay With Me’, this is rock music at its most powerful.
43. Boston Manor - 'Be Nothing.'
If you thought pop-punk was all skateboards, pizza and Californian accents, think again. Boston Manor’s debut is a self-professed exercise in a ‘nihilistic’ take on the genre, but while there are lashings of sarcasm, regret and northern grit on show, these are also some of the best four-chord songs we’ve heard all year. A collection which deserves to take the band to the next level.
42. Taking Back Sunday - 'Tidal Wave'
No one expected this. Taking Back Sunday returned this year, but not as we knew them. The clues were there from the rollicking punk rock of the eponymous first single and continued on a record that nodded to blue-collar rock as much as it did the band’s emo history. We like it when our favourite bands experiment, especially when the results are like this.
41. ROAM - 'Backbone'
A debut full-length that was everything it needed to be and more. With a potent dual vocal attack, deft softer moments and an ear for a killer hook throughout, the Eastbourne pop-punk crew did all of their early hype justice with ‘Backbone’, and took a place at the bustling top table of UK pop-punk in the process. After a string of stellar EPs, the five-piece stepped up their game in style. What they go on to do next, could be even bigger again...