Backbone 100 Countdown (20-11)

20. Gassed Up ‘Section 20’

This is the toughest song of the year bar none. Section 20 fucks so hard that I let the number dictate it’s position. If it was Section 1 it would’ve won the whole countdown, if it was Section 215 I would do a Backbone 215 Countdown just so I could talk about it. The literal lyrics at one stage are. 

We need more unity 

Don’t think you act on impunity 

Don’t throw away opportunity 

Sort your life out help your community 

Then Gassed Up say fuck you and your community with the biggest breakdown of the year. It’s absolute carnage, shout-out to all the UK grime core bands, I love you all. 

19. DREGG ‘INTERNET’

The internet is a wild place. I remember back in Year 9, anytime we were allowed to use the computers, we would try and get someone to look up penisland.com. We’d sell the idea as if the website was pronounced pen island instead of the obvious penis land. Nothing got a bunch of 14 year olds more excited than seeing someone fall for the oldest trick in the book. I can’t even remember what the site looked like, I assume a Ferris wheel of cock or something similar. Anyway, moral of the story, be careful about what you do on the internet….

18. Keepsake ‘Passivity’

That goddam sexy bass, what else is needed to be said? When I initially heard this track for the first time, I was kinda floored. Melodic hardcore has a very strange place in my heart, and while I didn’t listen to many new songs of the genre this year, this was by far my favourite. When I first discovered Keepsake, they had 0 monthly listeners, now they have 813. Now, I’m not saying I’m responsible for all of them, but I am expecting a cheque in the mail Christmas Day. Amazing track that deserves far more credit, one of the best discoveries of 2021. 

17. Bad/Love ‘Follow the Leader’

Life Imitates Art is great, and while the name Bad/Love still infuriates me, it’s hard to argue with the quality being presented. Follow the Leader is arguably the best Korn album (The Path of Totality anyone?), so my expectations were understandably high for this track. Despite us not receiving a 90s style nu metal banger, Follow the Leader is a structurally tight number that allows everyone to have their shining moment. It’s not too busy, the chorus hits so fucking hard, and when it’s time to fuck, Bad/Love hit all the right notes. Disclaimer: in this context ‘time to fuck’ means ‘to go heavy’ you filthy gremlins, I do not know how Bad/Love operate within the bedroom….yet. 

16. Turnstile ‘Blackout’

Fun fact, out of all the songs I showed my dad, this was easily his number 1 favourite song. Most of the other songs either were too heavy, not enough bass or way too many double kicks. Pretty sound critique all round Frowny Sr, he loved the cowbell and thought the lead guitar was ‘cracked out’ whatever that means. Turnstile feel like one of THE must see bands right now, that Hate5six video was just incredible viewing front to back. If they don’t sell out stadiums next time they’re down in Australia ima be very angry with all of you. Get behind Turnstile, they deserve it. 

15. To Octavia ‘Sleep’

I love stories like this. When I first heard To Octavia, I wasn’t impressed at all, it all felt so typical and undercooked. Fast forward to last year, I remember doing a reaction for the track ‘They Tell Me They’re With Me’, it felt like a completely different band. Now with their new EP sounding so polished, To Octavia sound like they’re levelling up with every release. Sleep sees the band focusing on their song structures to create one of the catchiest tracks of 2021. Some people will find the obvious BMTH inspired vocal stylings a bit too on the nose, and that’s ok. But for me, To Octavia sound like a band who are having fun with Sleep being a perfect example of that. 

14. Knocked Loose ‘God Knows’

This track is fucking vicious. I’m convinced that everything off A Tear in the Fabric of Life was just too chaotic to make an impending album, so they said fuck it and released a surprise EP. The Knocked Loose influence is starting to be seen across heavy music, but nobody is doing it like the kings themselves. Bryan Garris sounds certifiably insane on this whole EP, so instead of linking 1 song, ima link the whole EP. Watch the video and thank me afterwards. 

13. Every Time I Die ‘White Void’

I like to think Every Time I Die wrote this song specifically for a wrestling pay per view. With Andy Williams being a staple of AEW Dynamite, I think this theory has some legs. Radical rules, but we all knew it was going to, Every Time I Die are a victim of being so consistently good. It’s almost too predictable to see them release amazing music which is potentially the dumbest thing I’ve ever said. Keith Buckley sounds so sexy on this cut my lawwwwwd, he’s top 5 sexiest singers in the scene without question. 

12. Karnivool ‘All It Takes’

Karnivool are a league above the rest in the Australian music scene. Themata is a perfect 10/10, Sound Awake is a perfect 10/10, Asymmetry is like a disappointing 5/10, but we don’t have to talk about that. Is this the first Karnivool track in 8 fucking years? If so, what a return to form for Ian Kenny and co. This is a 5 minute masterclass in songwriting, I feel blessed to exist in the same cinematic universe as Karnivool. That being said I’ll never forget you declining me an interview at Good Things 2019

11. Reliqa ‘The Bearer of Bad News’

For 27 odd years, Karnivool were the exception to my hatred of prog, then Reliqa showed up. Credit must go to Paul from The Gloom in the Corner for showing me this behemoth of a track. Reliqa are another band gaining serious momentum right now, playing both Full Tilt & Monolith festival across Australia in 2022. Vocally this song excels, but fuck me christ if I didn’t mention the breakdown at the end I’d feel like I’m selling the track short. Are we allowed to crown Perth the prog capital of Australia? Either way I’m doing it, a must listen to song, you will not be disappointed.


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