These records went some way towards making me the person I am today. I'll be posting them (near as I can) in the order I discovered them, so that a general trend can be seen in my music taste. So I guess you can blame some angry Americans for my sarcastic, angsty demeanour and my general hatred for the human race.
Apart from Hercules and Love Affair. Hercules and Love Affair are lovely.
10. The Slim Shady LP by Eminem - Foul-mouthed, explicit and disgustingly funny. I was probably way too young to hear this when it came out (I was 12) but it's a masterpiece.
LISTEN TO: 'As The World Turns'
9. Significant Other by Limp Bizkit - Hanging my head in shame a little bit. But pretty much everything I do is for the nookie.
LISTEN TO: 'Break Stuff'
(Side note: why the fuck is Jonathan Davis from Korn in the video for this? He doesn't feature on the track, he's got nothing to do with anything. He and Fred Durst sucked each other off WAY too much back in the 'Significant Other' days. I now don't know who irritates me more. At least Korn had the decency to continue making decent music for a bit, even if it WAS basically all about paedophilia.)
8. Evil Empire by Rage Against The Machine - The first album I heard that made me realise you could be seriously pissed off and eloquent about it. Listen to that moment of pure frustrated anger during 'Down Rodeo' when he screams 'Just a quiet, peaceful dance...' - Makes me shiver every time.
LISTEN TO: 'Bulls On Parade'
7. Adrenaline by Deftones - This record defined my first year of university and remains one of my favourite records of all time.
LISTEN TO: 'Nosebleed'
6. Blackwater Park by Opeth - I don't even care if you're not a metal fan, this is a phenomenal piece of work. 68 minutes of some of the most outstanding musicianship these guys have ever come out with.
LISTEN TO: 'Bleak'
5. Lateralus by Tool - Mathematics, philosophy, Fibonacci sequences, it's all here. Probably the most pretentious band out there but my God they can write.
LISTEN TO: 'Lateralus'
4. Hercules and Love Affair by Hercules and Love Affair - This is a dance record, completely steeped in the old-school New York house vibe and absolutely stunning. These people are clever, interesting and will blow your mind. I always go to Hercules and Love Affair if I feel stressed or upset and their music alway calms me down.
LISTEN TO: 'Blind'
3. You Fail Me by Converge - It's a record about drug addiction. It's not pretty, it's not fun, it absolutely does not glorify drug taking in any way and is completely and utterly bleak. Fuck Trainspotting - give your kid a copy of the lyrics to this to deter them from drug abuse. 'This is for the hearts still beating...' Chilling.
LISTEN TO: 'Eagles Become Vultures'
2. Jane Doe by Converge - Don't ever cheat on an angry vegan, because you get their seminal album dedicated to you and pretty much every song on the record is about how much you fucked up their life and you're a bad person. I challenge anyone to listen to this album in full and not feel completely ruined by the end of it. Not to mention the death-mask face on the cover and the pure, unbridled rage that spills out of Jacob Bannon's mouth (especially the bitter way he screams 'I'll take my love to the grave' during 'The Broken Vow'). There's a reason that they rarely play anything other than 'Concubine' off this record, because as an experience, this album is just so emotionally painful to hear. I would hate to have been the girl this album was written about.
LISTEN TO: 'Thaw'
1. Sunbather by Deafheaven - This is a new-ish album, just released in 2013 but already ranks among the best heavy music I've ever heard. Crushing, complex and in places very beautiful, these gentlemen deserve your full attention.
LISTEN TO: 'Dream House'