*Checks Watch* 2011. Tracks. Best. End.

These aren’t in order – it’s just the way I wrote them.

Fucked Up – Queen Of Hearts (‘David Comes To Life’)

I don’t get why people dislike the vocals on Fucked Up. All the best punk bands have a dude that sounds like a bear for a singer: The Bronx (shaved), Paddy from Dillinger Four and obviously Father Damian who is actually a bear (unshaved). Someone said that the video to ‘Queen Of Hearts’ makes them weep and they would be right. However, despite mentioning the vocals, they aren’t even the best bit of the song – no, the best part is the last minute and a half, which is an absolute barrage of fist-in-the-air, hugging-the-person-next-to-you, explosion of ecstatic punk rock guaranteed to make you emote.

Touché Amoré – Home And Away From Here ( ‘Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me‘)

Touché Amoré are one of the reasons why I still haven’t lost faith in hardcore. Like a savage beating, their second album and in particular, this song – will leave you breathless and wheezing (although, you’ll probably still have all your teeth, phone, wallet etc.) Vocalist Jeremy Bolm has this wonderfully strained and scratched voice of a dude consumed with angst and the tightness of the rest of the band make their taunt, aggressively-melodic music something I’ve basically been sticking on repeat since I first heard it.

Three Trapped Tigers – Reset (‘Route One, Or Die‘)

I just wish Matt Berry was talking over this. Or just some samples of him saying “kit kat” or “JEN!” or “WOW A GUN!” or “The Ordinary Boys?” – I think having him at the start of their mind-screw-head-shafting-future-music-odyssey has affected me a little. ‘Lush’ is just one word I’d use to describe it. ‘Deliriously ecstatic’ is another. I imagine this is what’s played in the Soylent Green factories just as your exit, before Charlton Heston ruins everything as usual.

Limp Bizkit – Shotgun (‘Gold Cobra’)


Wes’s guitar solo = more golden than the snake on the album cover, fo’ sure.

And So I Watch You From Afar – Gang (Starting Never Stopping) (‘Gangs‘)

If the bending, sonic noise of this track doesn’t get to you, then there’s a chance you’re possibly dead. ‘Gang (Starting Never Stopping)’ is the second track from ‘Gangs’, their second full-length. A choppy, tribal mash-up of aggressive sound, with elements of punk seeping through the unhinged, cracking chaos – it makes me want to punch out the sun.

The Wonder Years – Came Out Swinging
(‘Suburbia: I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing’)

This was going to be ‘Woke Up Older’, but after some truly amazing news, ‘Came Out Swinging’ pips it, mostly for lyrical content – because you know, it’s about moving on, becoming a better person, and I wrote something about getting better about a month ago, and if I’m being honest…I’m getting there. (Thanks, The Wonder Years).

Down I Go – Poseidon (‘Gods‘)

Kings of concept-core, Down I Go make metal music that is pretty specialist. ‘Poseidon’ is a bending caterwaul of god-worshipping terror. There’s far too much going on here; from ridiculous back-and-forth gang vocals, electronic crackles, howling guitars and even a bloody saxophone. Being unhinged never sounded so good.

Zombi – DE3 (‘Escape Velocity‘)

Not actually sure why I like this. In my review for planet-loud I proclaimed it the best song I’d heard all year – this was back in May. I’m actually listening to it again now, all 9 minutes and 2 seconds of this bastard. As a whole, ‘Escape Velocity’ works best, but ‘DE3’ is still a superb mind-warp of space-rock genius.

Black Spiders – What Good’s A Rock Without A Roll? (‘Sons Of The North’)

Five proper lads, with proper haircuts, playing proper tunes. Actually, they all look like various ex-Motley Crue roadies who haven’t had a wash in 15 years. This is the best song from the under-rated and over-looked, ‘Sons Of The North’ – if you’re after music that sounds like it’s still hungover from a whisky drinking competition, whilst listening to Fu Manchu, then this is for you. Eat thunder, shit lightning indeed.

Hawks And Doves – Hexing (‘Year One‘)

Miserable sounding, gutter-punk done by a man consumed by loss despair. Gared O’Donnell does his best to be as morose as possible on this stabbing, part-Therapy? Part-Hot Water Music diatribe. There’s something about a voice that’s been completely weathered away that really makes music seem incredibly unsettling. In fact, the whole of ‘Year One’ by Hawks And Doves is worth your attention.

Weekend Nachos – Jock Powerviolence (‘Worthless’)


Today Is The Day – Wheelin’ (‘Pain Is Warning’)

Scathing, caustic rock ‘n roll fed through a bastard filter. Frontman Steve Austin (not that one) sounds like a complete manic, barking his screechy voice over dense, razor-sharp metal for about 2 and a half minutes. It’s really, ridiculously loud for some reason, not Coachwhips loud, but getting there.

Other notable highlights:

The Heat Tape – ‘Quotes From An Unopened Letter’, Set Your Goals – ‘The Last American Virgin’, Despise You – ‘Fear’s Song’, Absolute Power – ‘Secrets’, Four Year Strong – ‘Stuck In The Middle’, Goes Cube – ‘The Ban Has Been Lifted’, Wolves Like Us – ‘Shiver In The Heat’, Obits – ‘Naked To The World’, We Are The Ocean – ‘Overtime Is A Crime’, La Dispute – ‘The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit’, Of Legends – ‘Save The Humans’, Red Fang – ‘Hank Is Dead’.


Click HERE for a Spotify playlist featuring all the above songs, AND MORE

By Ross Macdonald

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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