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The Rock Sound Top 50 Releases Of The Year: 40 - 31

Rob Sayce
Rob Sayce 30 December 2017 at 16.00

Here's the second part of our rundown...

After another incredible 12 months in music, we've rounded up the best, brightest and most life-changing records of 2017.

The full list appears in our current issue, the Rock Sound Awards powered by EMP!

Here's the second part, and you can check out part one here. 

40. CAN’T SWIM
‘FAIL YOU AGAIN’
(PURE NOISE)

Passion. It's what makes us human and what transforms good music into great music. Saying that, the debut full-length from Can’t Swim had passion coursing through it in abundance. Sneering and wounded one minute, sentimental the next and thoroughly hard-hitting throughout, ‘Fail You Again’ was a dark and brooding piece of work from a band who are already well on track to becoming cult legends. Time to dive in.


 

39. MOVEMENTS
‘FEEL SOMETHING’
(FEARLESS)

Lighting up a sad and special place in thousands of listeners’ hearts, Movements finally dropped their debut album this year – putting their stamp on an unusual mix of melody and melancholic spoken word. These tracks added all kinds of new strings to their bow – swaying from powerful choruses to delicate whispers – while frontman Patrick Miranda stepped into the spotlight as a truly captivating frontman. World, take note.



38. DECADE
‘PLEASANTRIES’
(RUDE )

This Bath crew have taken a long and winding road, but on ‘Pleasantries’ it really felt like they found their feet and place in the world. Injecting plenty of ‘90’s alt.rock worship and British attitude into their buoyant pop-punk style, the band’s sophomore record was fresh, bright and a confident step forward. Could they become big hitters in the months and years ahead? Here’s hoping.

 

37. EMMURE
‘LOOK AT YOURSELF’
(SHARPTONE)

While it should never be forgotten that with previous album ‘Eternal Enemies’ Emmure finally went full moron, a completely new lineup (bar vocalist Frankie Palmeri) resulted in what was actually a pretty good album. Tailor-made for those who love brutal breakdowns and manic moshpits, ‘Look At Yourself’ may not have been clever, but it was more than competent. What can we say? It’s bloody decent.



36. SAINTE
‘SMILE, AND WAVE’
(SELF-RELEASE)

Beyond the unique, Technicolor aesthetic and those surreal, unforgettable videos, Tay Jardine’s long-awaited comeback was driven by some of the best alt-pop songs of this (or any) year. Whether it was the shimmering synths of ‘Eyes Are Open’, the just-one-more-play addictiveness of ‘With Or Without Me’ or the heart-tugging vulnerability of ‘Lighthouse’, this EP was sad and inspiring all at once. Most of all, it was a joy to have Tay back.



35. COUNTERPARTS
‘YOU’RE NOT YOU ANYMORE’|
(PURE NOISE)

Sharp, savvy and absolutely fucking furious, 2017 found Counterparts at their very finest. They always had feeling, but ‘You’re Not You Anymore’ ensured that, now more than ever, the Ontario band have a blistering, excellent catalogue of songs to match. It’s impossible to ignore the urgency and straight-up quality of songs like ‘Bouquet’ and the crushing ‘Swim Beneath My Skin’.

 

34. AWAKEN I AM
‘BLIND LOVE’
(VICTORY)

Among Australia’s many current bright young hopes, Awaken I Am certainly turned a few heads with this release. Led by Adam Douglas’ staggeringly powerful vocal hooks, the quintet produced a collection of big, melodic rock songs that hinted at equally big ambitions, sitting somewhere between Sleeping With Sirens andPierce The Veil on the sonic spectrum. Hey, there are far worse places to perch, right?



33. BROADSIDE
‘PARADISE’
(VICTORY)

Many bands have claimed to have perfected the sound of the summer, but very few reached the sunshine-soaked highs that Broadside did on this second album. Combining infectious pop-punk with lyrics that tackled much more serious social issues than just palm trees and piña coladas, ‘Paradise’ captured this band truly coming of age and producing an album that will soundtrack many a July to come.

 

32. ENTER SHIKARI
‘THE SPARK’
(PIAS / AMBUSH REALITY)

It feels weird to say – because every single one of their albums has been incredibly forward-thinking – but Enter Shikari’s fifth effort took that ambition to a whole new level. An album where some songs sounded weird on listen one, confusing on listen two and full-on brilliant by listen four or five, it often required fans to work as hard as the band clearly had, and was all the better for it.

 

31. PAPA ROACH
‘CROOKED TEETH’
(ELEVEN SEVEN)

Few bands have reinvented themselves as successfully – or as frequently – as Papa Roach, and this eighth album saw them kicking down even more new doors. From curveballs like the swaggering ‘Born For Greatness’ and hip-hop driven, Machine Gun Kelly-guesting ‘Sunrise Trailer Park’ to the old-school assault of ‘Crooked Teeth’ and ‘HELP’ – packing one of their biggest ever choruses – this distilled everything that’s made them great.

 
 

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