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Kerrang! The Album '08

Kerrang! The Album '08

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

KERRANG! magazine hails itself to be “the undisputed modern day saviours of rock” and they have teamed up with Rhino Records to compile “the most essential and hardest rocking tracks of 2008”. Expect to see some discharge from the ear-drums afterwards.

According to magazine editor Paul Brannigan, rock has never been away, or sounded better. Kid Rock supplied the soundtrack to the summer with All Summer Long, while the likes of Green Day, Linkin Park and Nickelback are among the biggest bands in the world. It’s difficult to argue.

There are some cheats among the selections. Green Day’s American Idiot wasn’t released in 2008… but that’s perhaps being churlish. It’s one of the standout tracks.

On the whole, this is a riotous – even thunderous – collection of songs from the rock acts that currently matter. And as with all really good compilations, there’s a nice balance between the well-known (that draw newcomers in to begin with) and the waiting to be discovered.

Kid Rock’s All Summer Long will be an obvious favourite, as will Nickelback’s Rock Star, while Linkin Park demonstrate their rockier side with Given Up and My Chemical Romance crop up with their mini-epic Welcome To The Black Parade – the song that really put them on the map.

But the real gems are those songs that exist just under the radar… from the likes of Biffy Clyro, Weezer, Billy Talent and…. It’s these acts who might suddenly benefit from being included on such a high-profile compilation CD, even though – in some cases – they’ve been doing their stuff for some time.

Hence, the really worthwhile songs are Weezer’s Pork & Beans, a cheeky ode to rebellion and non-conformity that recaptures their Buddy Holly era; Biffy Clyro’s vibrant Saturday Superhouse, which admittedly finds them channelling the spirit of Foo Fighters; Black Tide’s Warriors of Time, which draws on a Latin influence in its lush guirtar work early on before entering into a crowdpleasing “wooh ooh” style anthem; Dillinger Escape Plan’s no-nonsense Black Bubblegum; The Gaslight Anthem’s classic rock The ’59 Sound, and Scars On Broadway’s They Say, a heavy hitter that shows the System of a Down duo have lost none of their energy or enthusiasm as they seek out pastures new. All those are on CD1.

CD2, meanwhile, begins with a trio of well-known, obvious crowdpleasers (American Idiot, Welcome To The Black Parade and This Aint A Scene, It’s An Arms Race) before mixing things up a little more. And the highlights include Simple Plan’s synth-rock combo When I’m Gone; Panic At The Disco’s ELO-esque bundle of sunshine that is Nine In The Afternoon; Alkaline Trio’s fratboy rocker Love Love Kiss Kiss; Billy Talents’ fast, furious Red Flag; Fighting With Wire’s Everyone Needs A Nemesis; HiM’s Wings Of A Butterfly and Avenged Sevenfold’s epic, strings-laden Afterlife.

There are the obvious headache inducers from the likes of Slipknot and Enter Shakiri, but that’s what the skip button is for. And, hell, this is a heavy rock album after all…

Download picks: Pork & Beans, American Idiot, Given Up, Warriors of Time, Love Love Kiss Kiss, Red Flag, Everyone Needs A Nemesis, The ’59 Sound, They Say, Saturday Superhouse, Afterlife

Track listing:
Disc: 1

  1. Kid Rock – All Summer Long
  2. Nickelback – Rock Star
  3. Weezer – Pork And Beans
  4. The Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound
  5. The Nightmarchers – I Wanna Deadbeat You
  6. Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild
  7. Biffy Clyro – Saturday Superhouse
  8. Good Charlotte – Keep Your Hands Off My Girl
  9. Pendulum – Propane Nightmares
  10. Enter Shikari – Sorry, You’re Not A Winner
  11. Linkin Park – Given Up
  12. Slipknot – PsycoSocial
  13. Serj Tankian – Empty Walls
  14. Black Tide – Warriors Of Time
  15. Killswitch Engage – Holy Diver
  16. Dillinger Escape Plan – Black Bubblegum
  17. Scars On Broadway – They Say
  18. Bullet For My Valentine – Waking The Demon
  19. Slaves To Gravity – Mr Regulator
  20. Coheed And Cambria – Feathers
  21. 30 Seconds To Mars – The Kill

Disc: 2

  1. Green Day – American Idiot
  2. My Chemical Romance – Welcome To The Black Parade
  3. Simple Plan – When I’m Gone
  4. Elliot Minor – Parallel Worlds
  5. Panic At The Disco – Nine In The Afternoon
  6. Fall Out Boy – This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
  7. Alkaline Trio – Love Love Kiss Kiss
  8. The Blackout – Spread Legs, Not Lies
  9. Funeral For A Friend – Waterfront Danceclub
  10. Madina Lake – House Of Cards
  11. You Me At Six – If I Were In Your Shoes
  12. Billy Talent – Red Flag
  13. Fighting With Wire – Everyone Needs A Nemesis
  14. HIM – Wings Of A Butterly
  15. Avenged Sevenfold – Afterlife
  16. Machine Head – Aesthetics Of Hate
  17. Atreyu – Falling Down
  18. Kids In Glass Houses – Give Me What I Want
  19. Kill Hannah – Lips Like Morphine
  20. Cancer Bats – Hail Destroyer
  21. Gallows – Orchestra Of Wolves