If 2016 was the year of the Brit-Rock underground, 2017 looks set to be the year the big hitters fight back.
Milk Teeth, Muncie Girls, Black Foxxes and chums have blown apart the established order over the last twelve months, dropping solid gold records that firmly established them in the big leagues, but the first few months of next year are packed deep with bands returning with something new.
From You Me At Six’s drop on the first Friday of 2017, through to Deaf Havana’s long awaited return, vital statements from Frank Carter and Lower Than Atlantis, the pop-punk perfection of As It Is and a big step up for Mallory Knox, there’s a lot of awesome being packed into a few short months.
Add to that the most anticipated rock debut in years – Creeper’s ‘Eternity In Your Arms’, and it’s already looking like a year to believe in. Here’s what to expect.
You Me At Six take to the night
YMA6 aren’t just about fighting the evil tout scum. They’ve got a new album on the way too. ‘Night People’ is set to be the first big release on the block in 2016, dropping on 6th January.
“Our only aim on this record is to make the best record we could at that moment in time,” Josh Franceschi told us earlier this year. “There’s this one pretty obvious theme in the record: it’s just a rock band sounding like a rock band. As sort of blasé as that may sound, that was our intention – to make a great rock record. We’ll see what people will think of it; I’m sure they will be pleasantly surprised.”
They’ve certainly been laying that down with the first few tracks to emerge from the record. The title track alone fizzes with the energy of a band determined in what they want to be, sweaty leather jackets and all.
Deaf Havana are back, and mean business
Announced from the stage at Reading Festival 2016 and set for release in late January of next year, Deaf Havana’s new album ‘All These Countless Nights’ is the sound of a band reborn.
“We’re more into it now. We’re all passionate about it,” explained vocalist James Veck-Gilodi, backstage at the festival this summer. “We were in debt, nothing was going right, and we were just sick of it. I couldn’t be bothered anymore. Now I’m into it.”
“We did Reading two years ago and went home. We left it for three months,” expands drummer Tom Ogden. “James had some new songs and asked ‘do you want to do Havana again?’” It wasn’t an instant yes, though, with Tom definitely having to think about “if I was committed or not but once I heard some songs, I knew I was well into it. I’ve not long had a baby so if we’re going to do it, we’ve got to do it properly. I’m not being involved in this if it’s going to be a shambles again. So far, it’s going great.”
And while the band weren’t giving much away at the time (they’ve dropped more songs from it since), the record is influenced by real events. ‘All These Countless Nights’ is about “just the frustration of not achieving what you wanted to achieve, that spurred me on,” explains James. It’s also, brace yourself, “a bit more diverse.”
“I think it makes it interesting doing things outside of our comfort zone,” explains Tom. “The slower songs are slower, the heavier songs are heavier. It’ll go from the slowest, most beautiful song we’ve written to something filthy. I like stuff like that. We’re all ready to go.”
Lower Than Atlantis are ready for their throne now
The ascent of Lower Than Atlantis has been picking up pace over the past few years. Fast becoming daytime radio’s rock band of choice, these days they’re just as likely to pop up on the car stereo as Little Mix, battling it out with Bring Me The Horizon for the airwaves. ‘Safe In Sound’, set to drop this February, should be the album that sees the rest of their game scale up to match.
“Everything we achieved with the [previous] self-titled [record] completely surpassed our expectations and now it’s time to make an album that can really take us to the next level.” explains frontman Mike Duce.
“We’re headlining the biggest shows we’ve ever played so we’ve written what we think is a record big enough to be played in those venues. We’ve spent a lot more time refining our sound as well as trying some new techniques, Ben has engineered a lot of the record and Eddy has designed the aesthetic so this project is definitely very close to our hearts. We just wanted ‘Safe In Sound’ to be a true representation of where this band is nearly ten years on!
“We’re certain that this album is the best work from this band and can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”
Frank Carter’s Rattlesnakes bite back
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes aren’t being shy their new album ‘Modern Ruin’. Due on 27th January via International Death Cult, it’s packing “the defining hardcore song of a generation,” apparently.
“We wrote that and then I was like, ‘we don’t need anymore, boys. Let’s change tack’,” Carter explains.
“It sounds really sexy. [Debut album] ‘Blossom’ is a very aggressive record and in a lot of ways, this one is more aggressive, but it’s a little more palatable for everyone.
“The entire record is about human relationships and how they affect us, good and bad, and the communications surrounding them. There’s a lot in there about falling in love, there’s a lot in there about falling apart and there’s a lot in there about how we treat our fellow man and woman. Some of it’s good and some of it’s not so good. It’s inspired by everything I see around me. It’s nice, both these records have felt very immediate but this one feels quite classic as well. But we’ll have to wait and see. It’ll be ten years before we can decide that.”
Mallory Knox are ‘Wired’
Yep, MK are back with a brand new record. Titled ‘Wired’, the album will be released on 10th March next year.
“Sometimes the biggest part is the realisation that you are fucked up,” vocalist Mikey Chapman says, “and you do need to sort yourself out if you’re ever going to find a pathway to happiness, that leads you away from the vices that deafen you daily.”
They’ve previewed the record with first track ‘Giving It Up’. According to bassist and songwriter Sam Douglas, it’s “about the frustration of giving everything to something you’re passionate about and truly believe in, only to have other people step in who don’t share the same passion as you and hinder your progress. The song illustrates that when you keep all the frustrations and anger inside, it leads you to a breaking point of desperation where you feel like you might as well just “give it up”.
Come in, pop-punk. As It Is have properly arrived
Sure, As It Is were no slouches with their debut record, but there’s something about the follow up ‘okay.’ – set to arrive on 20th January – that already feels like a step up.
“These are by far the most personal and honest songs we’ve ever written,” vocalist Patty Walters explains. “We made a conscious effort to truly push ourselves musically and lyrically, to create something that didn’t feel entirely safe or calculated.
“We wrote songs about our families, our personal lives, and our struggles more vulnerably than ever before, hoping to encapsulate sincere moments in our lives. We feel a huge sense of pride having created this record, and we’re immensely excited to share it with the world.”
Creeper’s year zero changes everything
With so many big names returning, you’d be forgiven for worrying about a new band trying to get their debut noticed in the first quarter of 2017. But then Creeper don’t really count as a new band. Sure, March’s ‘Eternity In Your Arms’ may be their first full length, but its destiny is already cast in solid gold.
Creeper, see, aren’t your average band. They’ve been anointed – and not, as usually is the case, on a wave of vapid buzz and hype alone. With a series of 5 star, near flawless EPs and a live show that inspires hope and belief like no other, they’ve earned every drop of it. The real deal, there’s no element of their world which isn’t crafted to perfection.
Inhabiting their own universe, even the announcement of the record was a thing of wonder. Removing themselves from the world after leaving Reading 2016 – sending their social accounts into blackness – they started a magical mystery tour unrivalled – finally climaxing in the big reveal of ‘Suzanne’. The record’s first cut, it doesn’t just feel like a step up; it’s immediately iconic. When Creeper finally arrive proper, all bets are off. It’s year zero. Everything can, and will, change.
Lots to keep up with, right? Fear not. We’ve stuck tasters of what you can expect in a lovely playlist for you to enjoy. Give it a follow and check it out below. Then get some rest. 2017 is going to be massive.