In the words of Michael Buffer – “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s, tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime.”
Time for The Colour Of Vinyl’s Album Of The Year, that is. Previous winners are Sharks (2012), Frank Turner (2013) and Rancid (2014), so who will take the gong this year? Go see.
10. The Real McKenzies – Rats In The Burlap
Scottish and proud, the McKenzies combine breakneck punk rock with traditional folk flairs to bring an album full of rowdy original tracks and covers of traditional ballads. Bags of bagpipes are accompanied by both electric and acoustic tracks, an album that has everything. Even a song about a haggis eating cat.
9. Franz Nicolay – To Us, The Beautiful
Former Hold Steady man Nicolay returned with his 4th solo album this year, and a boisterous 12 tracks later I was left feeling that it might be his finest to date. A bit more straight rock than previous offerings, however this record keeps the beauty of Nicolay’s lyrical prowess. “And to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out…” precisely, Franz.
8. Great Cynics – I Feel Weird
A hook filled 25 minutes signals the return of the London/Devon punk rockers, who manage to sound fresh yet familiar simultaneously. This is a record for old fans, as well as being a starting point for new fans, which is an extremely difficult skill to master. Lead single ‘Lost In You’ epitomises the whole album; a big, bold singalong that was built for the live stage.
7. Smokey Bastard – Back To The Drawing Room
‘Back To The Drawing Room’ is a shining example of what a folk-punk album can be, Smokey Bastard deserve more praise and recognition than they get and are a gem in the UK’s music scene. They manage to retain their edgy punk rock and mix in the perfect amount of traditional influences in both lyrics and music. A touch of class.
6. Brawlers – Romantic Errors Of Our Youth
The Leeds based punk rock ‘super-group’ proved that romance isn’t dead in 2015 with their début full length, an offering made up of 10 melodic and upbeat tracks with an underlying theme of love. A near flawless record, Brawlers are gathering momentum towards being one of the biggest names on the UK punk scene.
5. Slaves – Are You Satisfied?
The Kent duo have had a massive 2015; loads of Radio 1 backing, a sold-out UK headline tour, slots at some of Europe’s biggest festivals, and a sophomore album nominated for the Mercury Prize. Laurie and Isaac are on a speeding upwards trajectory, and that’s not changing any time soon.
4. Skinny Lister – Down On Deptford Broadway
A master-class in folk-punk singalongs, Skinny Lister discarded the ‘tricky sophomore record’ cliché with contempt this year, signing to Xtra Mile Recordings along the way as well as touring with label mates Frank Turner and Will Varley. The album is perfect from start to finish, and if catchy folk is your thing, this is the album for you.
3. The Skints – FM
This album is the sound of the streets, make no mistake about it. It’s heart on sleeve, yet creative and playful reggae that gives a real insight to the London of today, as seen through some of its’ own. The songwriting is superb, the musicianship flawless, this album dominated our summer. And rightly so.
2. Teenage Bottlerocket – Tales From Wyoming
For a band that say they strive to make every album like the last one but just a little bit better, Teenage Bottlerocket have played a blinder with their 6th full album. Bill Stevenson’s production is on the money, and the songwriting is a mixture of light-hearted fun, angst and hopeless romanticism. The death of founding member, dummer Brandon Carlisle was a tragedy last month, so it’s fitting that this album is so excellent, as his final release.
1. Frank Turner – Positive Songs For Negative People
The king of the UK underground did it again in 2015, marking a full decade since he left post-hardcore band Million Dead. Turner returned with album #6 this year, and continued his development into the songwriter for a generation, a voice in the wilderness a few decibels above the rest. The album, like its predecessor, reached #2 in the UK charts which in itself shows the growing popularity of the man. His band The Sleeping Souls are on fine form, and the musicianship has grown to another level yet again. Congrats Mr Turner and the Souls, Album of the Year for the second time.