Home Read Features Rewinding May | The Best Punk & Metal Albums

Rewinding May | The Best Punk & Metal Albums

From Amyl & The Sniffers to Wildhearts, here are my favourite albums of the month.

You love it loud? Sure you do. And there was plenty to love in May, with heavy music coming from all corners of the globe. Here are the biggest and baddest of the bunch, listed in alphabetical order. Just click on the cover picture to find the original review page (where you can also listen to the album in full):

Amyl & The Sniffers
Amyl & The Sniffers

Meet a gang of Australian guttersnipes — fronted by firebrand vocalist Amy Taylor — whose short, sharp debut disc of punk firecrackers unabashedly worships at the altar of Iggy Pop, The Damned and anything else that remotely qualifies as young, loud and snotty. It’s the perfect soundtrack for huffing glue, drinking vanilla extract and breaking things down by the railroad tracks.

World Shaker

I love Motörhead as much as the next guy — assuming, of course, that the next guy isn’t a member of Asomvel. Then I’m definitely a distant second. These British bruisers have blatantly worshipped at the altar of Lemmy and co. since their earliest days — and not surprisingly, they stick to their blazing guns on their third album. Sure, they’re not doing anything that hasn’t been done before. But they do it better than anyone else alive.

Bad Religion
Age of Unreason

We all knew this was coming. But who knew it would take this long? Or be this good. Age of Unreason, the 17th album from eternal L.A. punks Bad Religion, arrives six years after their last disc — and more importantly, two years after the most divisive election in American politics. As you’d expect, lyricist Greg Graffin and his cohorts have plenty to say about the way things have been going in their homeland. And as usual, they don’t pussyfoot or mince words.

Black Mountain

Vancouver’s veteran psychedelic / progressive / space / stoner / boogie / indie-rock warriors get their fearless freak on for this full-bodied fifth album, heading out on a loose, trippy and freewheel-burning journey through outer (and inner) space, toggling between shape-shifting epics and hypnotic riff-fuelled megajams. It’s one helluva ride. But remember: Nobody rides for free.

Emil Bulls

A veteran crew of German alt-metal rockers — none of whom is named Emil Bulls, BTW — flex their muscles on revved-up revamps of unexpected fare like Destiny’s Child’s Survivor, Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart, Bruno MarsGrenade and even The Weeknd’s The Hills. It’s a miracle of modern German engineering — and the coolest covers collection since Weezer’s Teal Album. No bull.

The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids are all grown up. It’s been nearly 25 years since the emo quintet first came together in Kansas City — and almost a decade since they reunited aftera lenghty hiatus. But on the magnificent Problems, their sixth LP and first full-length in eight years, it’s clear that they’re not getting older; they’re getting better. Granted, that’s saying something. But this dozen-song release says it loud and clear, with songs that hit heavier, drive harder and sprint faster than they have in years. No problem here.

Guitar Wolf

Look out! Like Godzilla, Guitar Wolf have risen again. And like the massive killer lizard, the Japanese garage-punk power trio are a fearsome beast that cannot be tamed, contained, pacified or reasoned with. The leather-jacketed noisemakers’ 13th album LOVE&JETT — released on Jack White’s Third Man Records, as if we didn’t already have enough reason to love him — storms out of the gate and delivers devastating sonic destruction for the duration of this 10-track sonic squall. After more than three decades, somehow the Wolf still manage to sound as awesomely awful as they always have. With any luck, they always will.

Readjusting the Locks

These Texas punks recently pulled up stakes and relocated from Austin to the Big Apple — all the better to feel downtrodden, one assumes. It comes across on their third and most focused collection of surging power-chord riffs, crash-bash cardboard-box drums and guttersnipe vocals excoriating everyone from banks and politicians to fascists to neo-liberals.

The Wildhearts
Renaissance Men

If you’ve never heard of The Wildhearts, I pity you as I would the village idiot. And I am willing to bet you’re from North America. For some reason, these fearsome and fantastic British hard-rawk rebels have never been able to get traction on this side of the Atlantic. Here’s your chance to make up for that. The long-overdue Renaissance Men is the on-again, off-again band’s ninth album and first new LP in a decade. It’s also a balls-out blast of wall-to-wall punk and metal that’s as good as anything they’ve ever released.