The Best of 2016: Ben Wilson


In 2015, we reached out to a host of our comrades who had been involved with Birthday Cake For Breakfast somehow during the previous 12 months, getting their take on the best releases of the year. For 2016, we’ve looked closer to home – those who’ve contributed to the site itself and been influential in such a prosperous 12 months!
In the lead up to 2017, Birthday Cake For Breakfast will feature Top 5’s from our contributors. Take it away, Ben…

5: Terrible Love – Change Nothing (Big Scary Monsters)

“Featuring an all-star line-up from bands such as Bastion and Funeral For A Friend, Terrible Love unveiled five tracks of aggressive and emotive post-hardcore goodness on their debut EP. The amount of impact this record has when it kicks off is incredible, with the title track setting the tone with its contemplative lyrics and heavy instrumentation for the rest of this cut.
I was surprised by this EP, having no real prerequisite about Terrible Love’s prior bands, but I’ve been listening to ‘Change Nothing’ all year and have seemingly bought most of their merch in the process, so I must bloody enjoy this band.”

4: Toska Ode to the Author 

Instrumental prog trio Toska officially released their fairly highly anticipated debut in February of this year, and all those waiting on its release were not disappointed. Sporting members of alt-rock band Dorje, this long EP of brutally heavy riffs and textured interludes is an excellent way for Toska to truly introduce themselves to the world. There is so much happening on this record, with every single note in this 30-minute EP being placed with deadly accuracy and all of its varying styles being performed flawlessly. The whole vibe of this EP is just amazing, with the record feeling akin to an experience of moving through a vast landscape of prog.” 

3: Nova HandsR-EP

Coming out of pretty much nowhere, Nova Hands dropped their second EP of the year to their unsuspecting following, basically blindsiding them with riff, upon riff, upon riff. It’s an EP for Nova Hands to be truly proud of – the amount of detail this EP goes into with triple guitar sparkly cleans, as well as high and soaring vocals, before dropping down to one huge, filthy riff. Nova Hands are kind of the underdogs of this Top 5, and that’s pretty ridiculous considering how incredible they are – everyone on the At The Drive-In and Oceansize hype need to get to know about Nova Hands. You will not regret it.” 

2: TOY MOUNTAINS – I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again (Crooked Noise Records)

I’d been waiting pretty much all year to hear a proper release from TOY MOUNTAINS with their debut single ‘I Could Care Less’ giving me the tease I needed to get hooked on this band. ‘I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again’ is one of the most emotionally heavy collections of songs I’ve listened to in a long time, with some of its content jerking tears upon first listen. The massive change in dynamic, from intense shouting to woeful sobbing, replicates the fickle and fragile nature of high emotion in someone, which is something that TOY MOUNTAINS have captured beautifully. The only downside to this EP is the fact that after listening to it, I instantly wanted more. I’ll just sit here patiently, I guess…”

1: Classically Handsome BrutesProlegomena

Now, I’ve been a bit cheeky, since this EP was released at the tail-end of 2015. But since the EP didn’t really receive mass recognition until the turn of the new year, and considering it has been the EP I have listened to most this year, I figured I could wriggle it in there. Another disclaimer – Classically Handsome Brutes are my favourite band, so this is gonna be praise all day, every day, every damn day.

Prolegomena is the most visceral first listening experience I’ve had in a long time – with this EP not giving you any room to breath until you have swallowed every riff and scream it has to offer. The only thing I can liken it to is having a very large fat man sit on your chest for ten minutes, to the point where you are almost about to gasp your last breathe, before this behemoth of a man gets up, letting all the life back into your lungs. In a weird way, you just want him to squish you again and again… I think that makes sense? The combination of brutal math-core, two-stepping dance punk, and twinkly jazz on this EP are all melded together so creatively and chaotically.
If anyone ever asks me what bands to listen to, I will always tell them Classically Handsome Brutes, they are just one of those special bands that you don’t wanna stay away from.” 

Listen to the sounds of 2016 for Birthday Cake For Breakfast in our jam-packed Spotify playlist!

Like what you see? Why not stick around and check out the other articles and interviews!
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