Lizard Hips’ Top 10 Albums of 2016

I’m sure in many, many, MANY years, 2016 will be studied as the “what the fuck happened in THAT year?” as a history module. 2017 has got to be better, right? Thankfully, there was some good music this year, amongst all the badness (Ken McCray dying was a total bummer and you know, the other stuff) so, what better way than countdown my top 10 albums of 2016. I won’t lie to you, this was a tough year. Double tough. Similar to opening those horrible plastic-shrink wrapped packets. You know the ones, and you need a knife to cut into them and when you do pierce the plastic, the shards of it will slice your hands to ribbons. Wait, where was I? Oh yeah. TOP TEN.

Cover - Seraphim_Polonium_11121510. Polonium – Seraphim (Controlled Burn Records)

Billed as a “not-serious metal band” Polonium (aka, The Austerity Program, but if they listened to Bolt Thrower) are a terrifying prospect. Seraphim is a collection of tracks from over 20 years ago, re-recorded back in 2013-2015 and given a new lease of life. For the most part, this is an industrial pound of unrelenting, turbulent hate and burning noise-rock intensity. “I spent the best years of my life and now they’re gone” chants guitarist Justin Foley on one track, whilst around him the cold, mechanical, inhuman pound of the drum machine churns and boils with seething indignation and crushing despair over the 49 minutes running time. (Review)

Top track: Angry

graf-orlock-19. Graf Orlock – Crime Traveler (Vitriol Records)

Probably the best thing about this album is all the cheesy samples that Graf Orlock have added in from their fake/not-fake film about a time-travelling Canadian sent back in time to bring down the United States. Dual vocals collide like two runaway trains, whilst the bro-core blitz of high-fives and thrash mashes itself into a bloody pulp of good times and untameable energy. Oh it’s not clever in anyway, but it’s a refreshing and hilarious take on hardcore that this cinema-grind band have locked and loaded with pulse-rifle perfection. Take me to Recall. (Review)

Top track: Difficult Decisions in the Yutani Mess Hall

a3692279875_108. Holy Fuck – Congrats (Innovative Leisure)

Endlessly inventive, oddball and intriguing, Canada’s Holy Fuck create one hell of a noise on Congrats, their fourth full length. The sound on this is huge; crushing and monstrous, bending and shaping their ever-evolving electronic nuances. It’s songs such as the creeping, nighttime/Kavinsky/Drive pulse of Tom Tom, the noisy, laser-blast techno-scribble of the excellent House of Glass and the nu-rave, circus pulse of Acidic that make Congrats a riotous, embracing and addictive jam. (Review)

Top track: Tom Tom

12485918_10153826369944029_6092260689951324429_o7. Future of the Left – The Peace and Truce of Future of the Left (Prescriptions)

The musical equivalent of an episode of The Day Today, The Peace and Truce of Future of the Left wears its dark, malevolent, cackling cynicism and mocking tone for all to see. The bass has never sounded more sludgy on this; especially on the tense noise-bend of Running All Over The Wicket and the rumbling punk-splatter of Grass Parade. Part of the brilliance though is the lyrics; from leaving gammon on the bed, to Ron Perlman’s gas tank, sinister criminal conspiracies and wearing a hat indoors – Future of the Left continue to be utterly sublime and surreal in equal measures – the proper music abounds. (Review)

Top track: Running All Over The Wicket

bq-fd6. The Black Queen – Fever Daydream (Self-released)

Shape-shifting out of the hardcore spectrum, Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan adopts an entirely different guise in the form of The Black Queen. Accompanied by  Joshua Eustis and Steven Alexander,  Fever Daydream pushes certain boundaries in electronica/noise, from moments of joyful synth-pop grandeur, to brooding, yet inventive synthwave, to darkwave ambience with a little R&B thrown in for good measure. From the chilling glitch-rock of Ice To Never, to the flamboyant Nine Inch Nails-esque pulse of Apocalypse Morning, this is an intriguing and refreshing blast of inventive soundscapes and stunning vocals from Puciato. (Review)

Top track: Secret Scream

headwoundcity-newwaveree5. Head Wound City – A New Wave Of Violence (VICE)

Definitely perfectly acceptable to emerge from hibernation after 11 years and record one of the best hardcore albums of 2016. Super-fucking-group Head Wound City mash out acerbic blasts of noisy, hip-shaking, nerve-shredding energy in the form of A New Wave Of Violence, a record that scorches the landscape to a barren waste and throws you head first into the pit. Tracks like the post-punk gloom of I Cast A Shadow For You, the noise-core Scraper and the crushing Love Is Best are just three of the highlights on this pulverising 10 tracker. (Review)

Top track: I Cast A Shadow For You

ltb-twm4. Lonely The Brave – Things Will Matter (Hassle)

In my review of Things Will Matter, I stated that it was “a beautiful, raw-sounding and emotive journey...” I stand by this fact; this Cambridge five-piece have crafted an album that takes a somewhat darker path than their debut; but is no less emotive and intense. From the Deftones-crunch of Black Mire, through to the scuzz-pop of Radar and the anthemic raw-rock of Dust and Bones, this is a punch to the heart and an utter joy to experience and love. (Review)

Top track: Strange Like I

whores_vinyl_mockup23. WHORES. – Gold (Eone)

A debut album that breathes so much fire, that the walls begin to melt in the vicinity of it. Gold by WHORES. is a vile,  caustic battering ram of noise/punk/hardcore and is simply sublime. From the slovenly sludge-metal grind of Baby Teeth to the spitting fury of the hate-filled Charlie Chaplin Routine, this hostile, shredding attack is nothing short of incredible. “DEAD, INSIDE! WE’RE ALL DEAD INSIDE!” screams vocalist/guitarist Christian Lembach on the incendiary opener, Playing Poor – as he strangles angry note after angry note out of his instrument, whilst the rhythm section of Casey Maxwell and Donnie Adkinson smash everything apart in a battering ram of metallic-fuzz. Raw. Fucking. Power. (Review)

Top track: I See You Are Also Wearing A Black T-shirt

taco-incorrect2. Christian Fitness – This Taco Is Not Correct (Prescriptions)

If you have found this in a landfill site in something like 2050, please be aware that cd technology (probably now obsolete in your time) was mostly used for evil, and should be expunged from the record.” – Andy Falkous continues his prolific delivery of excellent new music, with another album under the Christian Fitness moniker. This Taco Is Not Correct is a blast from start to finish – oozing with acidic wit, the driest humour imaginable and some of the best songs (and song titles) of the year; an absolute riot of perverse brilliance and corrupting rock. (Review)

Top track: Reggie Has Asbestos Training

Kvelertak_Nattesferd1. Kvelertak – Nattesferd (Roadrunner Records)

Credit to Kvelertak for always keeping their sound interesting, refreshing and more importantly an infectious listening experience. For me, Nattesferd is their best album, sure, there are moments of large-ham classic rock sandwiched in-between the Norwegian battle-cries; some of the guitar work is utterly ridiculous (in a brilliant way) and it sounds so fucking happy as it tears past. From the Eye of the Tiger/Edge of Seventeen intro riff on the infectious Svartmesse, to the rollicking space-travel title track and the speed-rock ‘n roll of Bronsegud, this is an album that will make you want to hug everyone and enjoy life. This is a night journey you need and Kvelertak are the driving force. (Review)

Top track: Svartmesse

Other highlights of 2016:

Against The Current – In Our Bones

Arms – Blackout

Astronoid – Air

Babymetal – Metal Resistance

Beach Slang – A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings

Boys Noize – Mayday

Cleft – Wrong

The Display Team – Shifts

Dog Days – Heat

Godzilla Black – Press The Flesh

GosT – Non Paradisi

Hey! Hello! – Hey! Hello! Too!

House of Lightning – House of Lightning

Milk Teeth – Vile Child

MSTRKRFT – Operator

Palehorse – Looking Wet in Public

Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley

Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Show Me The Body – Body War

Truckfighters – V

Uxo – Uxo

Vomitface – Hooray for Me

White Miles – The Duel

Wrong – Wrong


Holy Gold – Feral Children

Tolva – Wide Shot

Cotillion – Korean Fan Death

PABST – Skinwalker

Downard – Agony City

Ultra Panda – The New Bear

Terrible Love – Change Nothing

Tvivler – Negativ psykologi 2

DTHPDL – The Future

Night Owls – Informaldehyde


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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