In our November issue, we asked you for your Big Opinions on the last twelve months in music. You didn’t disappoint – so here are the results. Remember, this is all on you guys. Not us. You’ve nobody to blame but yourselves.
Band of the Year: PVRIS
Runners Up: 2nd. Bring Me The Horizon 3rd. The Wonder Years
They’re your band of the year, they’re our band of the year. Well done everyone.
‘White Noise’, released at the tail end of 2014, is an album bursting with potential. Since it dropped, it’s slowly been demanding attention and pushing PVRIS to bigger, scarier things. The band have embraced every step with faultless charm and abounding confidence. From their tentative steps back in April during their first international tour to the recent, arena dominating shows with Bring Me The Horizon and everything in between, PVRIS have not only risen to each and every ludicrous expectation: they’ve exceeded them. 2015 has been their year, but they’re not slowing down yet. With their first proper headline tour, a deluxe, expanded edition of ‘White Noise’ and beyond, PVRIS are going to be enchanting us for years to come.
Album of the Year: The Wonder Years – ‘No Closer To Heaven’
Runners Up: 2nd. Bring Me The Horizon – ‘That’s the Spirit’ 3rd. Turnover – ‘Peripheral Vision’
“This is inarguably and unequivocally our best album yet,” offered The Wonder Years’ Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell ahead of the release of ‘No Closer To Heaven’. It was a rare moment of absolute self-belief from the frontman, but even then he was selling himself short. Not only is the fifth Wonder Years album their best ever, it’s your best album of 2015. From the grand opening of ‘Brothers & Cardinals’ until the quiet epiphany of the title track, The Wonder Years ask questions of change. It’s an album with heart, soul and hope but that doesn’t stop every track going off.
Banger of the Year: Bring Me The Horizon – ‘Throne’
Runners Up: 2nd. Creeper – ‘The Honeymoon Suite’ 3rd. Wolf Alice – ‘Giant Peach’
It’s no surprise that the lead single from Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘That’s the Spirit’ is gargantuan. The album secured the band’s ascent to rock’s echelon and ‘Throne’, fearsome, dangerous yet oh-so-catchy, provided the launchpad.
The twitching electronics that open the track are part club anthem, part noughties, neon race circuit and this is just the beginning. From here on out the band dash between all out chaos and threatening moments of calm with Oli Sykes promising, “Every wound will shape me. Every Scar will build my throne.” ‘That’s The Spirit’ sees Bring Me The Horizon fighting back and ‘Throne’ soundtracks their victory march.
New Band Who Will Make 2016 10/10 Amazing: Creeper
Runners Up: 2nd. Milk Teeth 3rd. Black Peaks
You guys have some pretty high expectations for Creeper and that seems wise. Every track the band has released thus far has been a 10/10 smasher but more than that, Creeper are a band trying to build something. Their candlelit fairytale of ‘The Callous Heart’ was a world of vibrancy and escapism in five tracks and even their debut self-titled EP, a release they expected few people to hear and fewer people to care about, is a fully-formed initiation to their gang.
“I was that kid at school who would just play with a deck of cards and do magic,” frontman Will Gould told us earlier this year. “I hated how boring everything was and I didn’t like how a lot of the people at school treated others, so I’d escape into a bit of fantasy. I just loved the idea of it because it makes the real world seem a bit more magical. It makes it seem like anything’s possible.”
“Our band’s always been about escape,” he insists. That, above anything else, explains why Creeper are special – they’re refusing to inhabit the mundane. They’re marvellous and they want you to be marvellous too.
Best Live Act: Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice played a lot of shows in 2015. Over 150, if you want to get technical about it, as well as slots on pretty much every TV show that allows live music. It’s a work ethic that’s sculptured Wolf Alice into a proper force on stage. Those little flourishes of personality that dart about debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ come into focus onstage and give the band yet another dynamic. From the commanding indulgence of their headline shows to the rough and ready attack of festivals, Wolf Alice are a band for any occasion. They’ve also got a confetti cannon – and “whatever you do, it’s always more fun when you have a confetti cannon,” according to Theo. And us. With no let up in touring in 2016, Wolf Alice are just going to continue to get better. See you in the pit.
Best Video: Wolf Alice – ‘Giant Peach’
“Keep rolling, keep rolling,” insists tony Gardner aka the dad from My Parents Are Aliens aka Professor Tony Shales in Fresh Meat at the start of this video. “Wolf Alice? Yeah, yeah. What do you mean you’re not coming,” he asks as the whir of ‘Giant Peach’ springs into life. Moments later you find out he can’t even get his own mother down to the show, setting the scene for his bumbling, interfering managing to wreak havoc with our dear Wolf Alice. It’s The Office for The Jilted Generation as rock clichés are mocked and the band gently put to bed any worries that they’re going to be anything but themselves. AND THEN they go to the woods. There’s a flute solo, some lute shredding as well as a murder. It’s bloody ace. Bet you didn’t think you could love Wolf Alice anymore, but here we all are.
Best Festival Type ‘Thing’: Slam Dunk
Any festival that’s got PVRIS, The Wonder Years and Moose Blood is ok by us, but throw in Taking Back Sunday, Roam and Architects and you’ve got yourselves a great day out. You Me At Six played a bunch of classics from their debut, Gallows got to show off their ‘Desolation Sounds’ and it was the last time we got to see Fireworks for “a while.” 10/10, would go again, and with Panic! At The Disco, Issues and Every Time I Die confirmed for the 2016 event, we’ll probably see you there.
Slam Dunk. Reading & Leeds. We don’t need to get into specifics because PVRIS were incredible at both. From bossing an almost impossible early main stage slot at Slammy D (their first ever festival performance, fact fans) to setting off a security alert as people rushed to see them at Reading Festival it turns out PVRIS, despite their lights off/headphones on vibe, are actually really ruddy great at those big ol’ festival moments.
Best Cover Version: Slaves – ‘Shut Down’
There’s been a lot of really good covers in 2015 but none more surprising than this one from Slaves. What started on Radio 1’s live lounge as a pretty great song took on a life of its own when Skepta later joined the band onstage and shut down the place. It’s funny, dangerous, highlights the joint spirit of both artists AND it sounds superb. Good shout.
Band Who Split, But In Reflection It Would Be OK Now If They Un-Split: My Chemical Romance
Look, if we all keep asking maybe it’ll happen? Recently all four members of My Chemical Romance have all been hanging out together so if/when they do reunite, you can take a portion of the credit.
The Brand New Award For The Band Who Most Need To Get A Move On And Get A New Album Out ‘ASAP’: Brand New (obviously)
Lyric books, new tracks, live shows, one lonely interview in Spanish, old tracks released on tape, more live shows, promising new music and then saying that the band wouldn’t last forever in the same breath, Brand New have been peak Brand New this year. One moment they look like they’re on the cusp of releasing a new album, the next it looks like even they don’t know what’s going on. No wonder you lot are hungry for another album. At least we know the band is in the studio, which is exactly the same position as we were this time last year. Oh.
Band Who Really Need To Get In The Bin Right Now, TBH: 5 Seconds Of Summer
Maybe it’s the transition from YouTube celebrities to pop-punk rockers that’s annoyed you. Maybe it’s because they’ve toured with One Direction and gone straight into playing arenas without bothering to earn their stripes in smaller venues. Maybe you’re fed up of the never-ending debate about Rock Bands and Not Rock Bands. Or maybe it’s because you think the songs of 5 Seconds of Summer are a bit rubbish, whatever genre you want to call ‘em. We didn’t decide these awards, you did, so you’ll have to let us know.