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The Year In Review 2021

The Year In Review 2021

Full Pelt Music looks back on 2021 for our Year In Review

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2020 was a year that we all wish we could forget. Could 2021 be any better? Well, it started off just as the previous year ended; with the live music industry on its knees. Lockdown restrictions still ruled out any live in person shows, with even socially distanced shows initially outlawed.

Come late spring, things began to look up and a number of “test” events were planned. We were lucky enough to attend the Pilot Download Festival and the euphoria of being amongst fellow music fans in a field can’t truly be put into words. Things were looking up!

Live music would eventually make a full return but sadly as we write this The Year In Review 2021 feature, the sector is once again holding its breath waiting for the Government to take action. Alas, true normality may still be a long way off, but for a few months this year we got to feel alive again.

That alone elevates 2021 above 2020, but there is plenty more to unpack. We recently undertook our now annual countdown of our top albums of the year over on our social media. 2021 was a truly exceptional year in terms of album quality. Those musicians kept in lockdown last year certainly found their creativity and compiling a list of the top 50 albums of the year was highly competitive.

Read our Album of the Year 2021 feature

In our The Year In Review 2021 article, we will be revealing our end of year award winners. As with last year we will announce our Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Artist of the Year, Gig of the Year and Festival of the Year.

This year however we have an additional award to hand out. 2021 was a big year for Full Pelt Music, our first full year in existence. We’ve grown and we’ve enhanced our focus on new music. We launched initially our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify through which we highlight the best up and coming artists.

We also launched not one but two Podcasts this year, including the accompanying ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast where we truly shine the spotlight on your new favourite acts. As such, this year we will also be awarding the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Before we get to those awards though, let’s run you through a few of our highlights this year. First of all, as mentioned we also launched The Full Pelt Music Podcast this year. Fittingly our inaugural guest was Frank Turner, the winner of both our Gig of the Year and Artist of the Year awards in our 2020 Year In Review.

Across the Podcasts this year we’ve had the pleasure to talk with Press To Meco, Beans On Toast, Miss Vincent, Planet Fatale, Mercutio, Light By The Sea, Freddie and the Fabs, The Damned Few, Project Renegade, Icarus and Smoke! Be sure to check out these conversations, and also to Subscribe on Youtube or wherever you listen to your Podcasts. After all, we will have plenty more for you to enjoy in 2022.

The Music Industry has seized on the opportunity to entertain this year both live and on record. We’ve reviewed 66 albums, 2 festivals and 27 gigs in 2021 as fans have been treated to incredible releases and some truly stunning live shows. Again, perhaps the enforced break has allowed creativity to breed innovation.

So with that in mind, let’s work through those award catagories!

Album of the Year

As we’ve already referenced, the pure quality of releases this year made compiling our Top 50 Album of the Year List very tricky. It was hard work but we did it, and you can read the full list here.

The quality is demonstrated best by last year’s winners IDLES only reaching a still respectable number 7. The winner however had to be ‘Blue Weekend’ from the incredible Wolf Alice who continue to go from strength to strength. After three stunning albums, there is no ceiling for this band and we can’t wait to catch songs from the album live in 2022.

Winner:

‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice

The Contenders:

‘Written & Directed’ by Black Honey, ‘Typhoons’ by Royal Blood, ‘Seize the Power’ by Yonaka and ‘Transmute’ by Press To MECO

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES

Single of the Year

We move on now to our award for the Single or Song of the Year. This year has again seen us locked down for considerable amounts of time and many will have sought solace in Playlists such as our Spotify Hot List.

In selecting our track of the year we considered which songs we’ve come back to time and time again, which songs remain as fresh now as they did on first listen and what songs simply just resonate on a different level.

Our winner is an incredible track from the fantastic album ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO. ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ ticks all of the criteria and also sounds absolutely massive live.

Press To MECO – ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’
Winner:

‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ by Press To MECO

The Contenders:

‘My Town’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ‘Afterlife’ by Holding Absence, ‘Midnight’ by Creeper and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ by Frank Turner

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud

Artist of the Year

Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Last year we gave the award to Frank Turner for his incredible work for the #SaveOurVenues campaign through his Independent Venue Love series.

This year our winners are a band that also dabbled with livestreams during that first lockdown. This year however has been a hugely important year for Biffy Clyro. A new album, ‘A Myth of the Happily Ever After’ came hot on the heels of last year’s ‘A Celebration of Endings’. It’s another quality album from a band that continue to deliver consistently great music.

The band also had a huge impact on the live music scene this year. Firstly, the band rode to the rescue by stepping in as late replacements for Queens of the Stone Age to once again headline Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Secondly, the band played huge outdoor shows in Cardiff, Glasgow and Margate to help signal the return of live music after around 16 months of lockdown. Highlights of both their Reading and Glasgow performances aired on the BBC.

Lastly, the band played a completely sold out and very intimate ‘Fingers Crossed’ Tour across the UK. Their shows this year giving fans an opportunity to witness songs from not one but two albums live for the first time.

Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt / Unknown Male 01’
Winner:

Biffy Clyro

The Contenders:

Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Creeper and Wolf Alice

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner

Festival of the Year

Festivals made a belated return from lockdown restrictions in late summer, although the majority of the usual seasons events were still cancelled. For our Festival of the Year however we can’t look anywhere other than the special event that laid the groundwork for all events to return, the Download Pilot Festival!

Back in June the Government test event was the first opportunity for music fans to camp in a field and rock out for three days. The camaraderie and atmosphere this situation created, combined with the uniquely intimate Download layout and line-up made for a once in a lifetime experience.

British bands took centre stage and delivered an incredible weekend of music; with bands and fans both desperate to experience live music again. Thanks to all involved we can hopefully experience a full fat Download Festival again this summer.

Read our review of the Download Pilot Festival!

Winner:

Download Pilot Festival

The Contenders:

Reading Festival and Lost Evenings

Previous Winners:

2020 – Wild Fields Festival

Gig of the Year

Last year’s winner of Gig of the Year was a socially distancing outdoor affair, this year however true live music returned! Picking a winner this year is difficult because the pent up frustration of lockdown on both musicians and fans vented fully across some amazing gigs.

We reviewed 27 of those shows this year and there were some very special moments amongst them. The winner however must go to Bring Me The Horizon who stormed the O2 Arena with You Me At Six and Nova Twins in tow.

The night was a massive middle finger to any remaining doubters and the band solidified themselves not just as arena fillers but as festival headline ready. Fitting therefore that they have recently been revealed as headliners for Reading & Leeds Festivals next year.

Read our review of Bring Me The Horizon live in London

Winner:

Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena

The Contenders:

Creeper @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Idlewild @ Electric Brixton, The Offspring @ Wembley Arena, Biffy Clyro @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Vukovi @ Norwich Waterfront Studio and Royal Blood @ Norwich UEA

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner @ Nottingham Arboretum

‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year

Our final award is a new award for this year where we shift focus on to the future. Having launched our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast this year we wanted to honour an act that we have featured and for whom the future is bright.

With their debut album ‘A Funeral For Youth’ cracking our top 20 for the year, Miss Vincent take the inaugural ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Miss Vincent – ‘Rosaline’
Winner:

Miss Vincent

The Contenders:

Planet Fatale, Dead Nature and Thumper

So, it hasn’t been a usual year again, in fact at times it has been just as hard as 2020. 2021 has however reminded us of what we were missing. Stunning new music, incredible live shows and a return to some normality (nobody say ‘new’ normal!), make 2021 a year that will live long in the memory for many reasons.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2021 feature and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good one!

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Categories
Album Reviews

Planet Fatale

The Cycle Repeats

Planet Fatale The Cycle Repeats Album Cover
Planet Fatale – ‘The Cycle Repeats’

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PLANET FATALE – THE CYCLE REPEATS – ALBUM REVIEW

Planet Fatale formed from the ashes of various Cambridge based bands, and on their debut album, ‘The Cycle Repeats’ a phoenix rises!

It’s all too easy these days for new metal bands to sound… well, generic. This album is a breath of fresh air that manages to avoid such pitfalls. You can certainly hear some clear influences on the record, but they are enveloped and honed into an assured, confident sound that acts as a statement of intent from a band ready to take the metal world by storm.

WATCH ‘BREAK FOR YOU’ ON YOUTUBE
Planet Fatale – ‘Break For You’

From opening track ‘Talking To Myself’ and fellow single ‘Break For You’ through ‘Shotgun Riders’ and ‘Fight Club’ there is a undercurrent of considered fury. This helps set the tone for an album designed to get your head banging and your foot tapping.

Listen to ‘Talking To Myself’ our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Whilst most definitely and defiantly a heavy metal record, there is a poppiness to the songs that makes then very moreish. It won’t take long for listeners to be lured into this spiders web of hard hitting goodness.

It can be all too simple to stick with what you know and not try anything new, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. This album is certainly worth your time and Planet Fatale have set themselves a high standard for future releases.

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We recently spoke with singer Hels Johnson for the ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast, where we discuss ‘The Cycle Repeats’ and their upcoming tour plans. Be sure to check out our chat here or watch the video edition below.

‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 5 – Planet Fatale

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’ from Iron Maiden

Categories
News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

Full Pelt Music News Report

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week in our News Report. To stay up to date with the biggest news be sure to follow us on our social channels:

Tramlines to go ahead as Government ‘Pilot’ Festival

Tramlines Festival News Report

We start our News Report again with the subject of our beloved summer music festivals. Sadly this week has seen more events fall foul of the Governments refusal to properly support the sector.

One festival that has been lucky enough to receive ‘pilot’ status is Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival. That guarantees that the event will go ahead as planned at the end of this month. Festival fans are out of luck though as the event is already sold out!

Organisers have however confirmed the line-up that ticket holders will get to witness. Highlights on the bill include headliners The Streets, Royal Blood and Richard Ashcroft.

They are joined by The Kooks, Circa Waves, The Pigeon Detectives, Lauran Hibberd, Lottery Winners, The Fratellis, Jake Bugg, The Snuts, The Hara, Vistas, Chubby And The Gang and many more.

Check here for more information.

Read our review of ‘Typhoons’ from Royal Blood

Standon Calling stands firm

Standon Calling News Report

Whilst many festivals have had to concede to the inevitable, Standon Calling is standing firm. The organisers stated that they are confident the event will take place at the end of this month.

The final line-up was revealed this week to include headline acts Bastille, Hot Chip, Primal Scream and Craig David. They are joined by the likes of Jake Bugg, Mystery Jets, Squid, Dry Cleaning, Porridge Radio, Working Men’s Club, Pigs x7, Lauran Hibberd and Bob Vylan.

Tickets available here.

Check out ‘How Am I Still Alive?’ from Lauran Hibberd on our Spotify Hot List!

Outbreak Fest unveil 2022 line-up

Outbreak Fest News Report

With the festival scene this year looking unstable, hope now turns to 2022, and this week Outbreak Fest announced an incredible line-up for next years edition.

The Manchester event will host Turnstile, Knocked Loose, Basement, Higher Power, Loathe, Venom Prison, Chubby And The Gang, Static Dress and many more across three days from 24-26 June.

Tickets here.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival 2021

Sabaton set for UK Tour

Sabaton News Report

We turn our News Report now to the latest tour announcements. Sabaton have this week revealed the ‘Tour to End All Tours’ with special guests The Hu and Lordi. The trio will play four huge arena shows in the UK in March 2022.

Tickets will be here.

Gorjira announce huge UK Tour

Another huge metal tour heading to large venues across the UK is set to feature Gojira and special guests Alien Weaponry and Employed To Serve. Playing there largest UK shows to date, Gojira will be heading to the likes of Alexandra Palace in March 2022.

Tickets here.

Press To MECO debut ‘A Test of Our Resolve’

Press To MECO – ‘A Test of Our Resolve’

New music time now as we plough on through our weekly News Report. First up this week, a new single from Press To MECO. ‘A Test of Our Resolve’ comes ahead of the release of the bands upcoming album ‘Transmute’ on August 20th.

Pre-order here.

Listen to ‘Gold’ from Press To MECO on our Spotify Hot List!

Haggard Cat unveil ‘Amateur Dramatics’

Haggard Cat – ‘Amateur Dramatics’

Another hard rocking outfit releasing new music this week has been Haggard Cat. Their latest single is called ‘Amateur Dramatics’ and you can listen above. Their new EP, ‘Cheer Up’ arrives on September 3rd.

Pre-order here.

Listen to ‘Quit Your Jobs’ from Haggard Cat on our Spotify Hot List!

The Hot Damn! debut first single ‘Dance Around’

The Hot Damn! – ‘Dance Around’

This week saw the release of the debut single from The Hot Damn!. A band packed with talent made up of members of The Amorettes, Tequila Mockingbyrd and Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics, ‘Dance Around’ gives a stunning glimpse of what is to come.

Check the single out here.

Introducing the Full Pelt Music ‘Discover New Music’ Playlist

We at Full Pelt Music are proud to support new music and to that end we have just launched our brand new ‘Discover New Music’ Playlist on Spotify. Listen here.

To kickstart this new Playlist in style we have added 13 tracks from some of the hottest new bands on the planet. The first track added is the new single from The Islas‘The Absence of You’. You can check out the track on Youtube below:

The Islas – ‘The Absence of You’

Other artists featured in the inaugural wave of additions are Smoke, Sister., One Step Closer, Planet Fatale, Hamish Hawk, Hardwicke Circus, Dead Nature, Modern Women, Nerves, Witch Fever and SCALPING.

The final addition of this first wave is the track ‘Gravity’ from punk rock outsiders Miss Vincent. The single precedes their debut album ‘A Funeral For Youth’ which arrives September 17th, and can be pre-ordered here. You can check out the video below:

Miss Vincent – ‘Gravity’

Read our review of ‘Below’ from Beartooth

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Check out The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner