Backbone 100 Countdown Top 10

10. Northlane ‘Clockwork’

As we approach the finish line, a song like Clockwork seems quite fitting. Alien was such a monster release back in 2019, in all honesty I was worried the band wouldn’t be able to back it up. Well, that’s why I’m a fucking moron and Northlane are one of the best bands in heavy music. Ever since that PunkRockMBA guy used Clockwork as an example of a bad chorus in a prog song, I’ve been furious. I would threaten him, but I feel like he’d beat the shit out of me. Clockwork is an S tier Northlane song, I cannot wait for LP6

9. Void of Vision ‘The Lonely People’

I must commend Void Of Vision for their productivity throughout our many lockdowns. Hyperdaze Redux put a fresh coat of paint on an already great album, something I hope more bands do in the future. Now we have Chronicles I: Lust, which sees Void Of Vision get a little bit darker and fully committing to this new sound. The Lonely People contains a wicked Linkin Park reference with the line ‘put me out of my fucking misery’, which I love because Given Up is a top 5 Linkin Park song. This crushingly heavy tune gets topped off with a breakdown that will be remembered for years to come, you gotta love it. 

8. Thornhill ‘Casanova’

I’d like to make an official apology to Thornhill. When Casanova was first released, I trashed it pretty hard, even saying that the guitar solo ‘set the scene back 5 years’. Fast forward a few weeks and I finally unlocked the secret to Casanova, having a sexy state of mind. If you don’t enjoy this track, you ain’t sexy, plain and simple. Combining elements of Deftones and Muse, Thornhill have returned with a song unlike anything in their catalogue, that alone should be commended. 

7. Make Them Suffer ‘Contraband’ feat. Courtney LaPlante

Every year we’ve done this countdown, Make Them Suffer have released a song that has nearly taken out the number 1 spot. 2018 we had 27, 2019 Hollowed Heart, 2020 Erase Me, and now Contraband in 2021. If nothing else it shows how fucking consistent this band are. We all know how great this track is, but the one thing holding it back is the feature from Courtney LaPlante. At the time I loved it, looking back now, I may have been swept up in the Spiritbox hype. That being said, Make Them Suffer have still delivered another epic banger to add to their collection, I cannot wait to see this live.

6. Starve ‘Sour Times’ feat. Zach Hatfield

The frantic nature of Nausea reaches claustrophobic levels of heavy on Sour Times. Starve find a perfect balance of crushing the listener and then giving them just a brief second to breathe before launching back into carnage. Truly this is the definition of an all killer, no filler assault, Zach Hatfield complements the overall tone of the track, adding the final piece to this fucked up puzzle. Oh yeah, that drum sound kills me on every listen, that’s what live drums can do kids, learn from this.

5. Diamond Construct ‘Hit It Back’

Arguably the best video of 2021. My partner in crime was lucky enough to see Diamond Construct live on the recent Alpha Wolf tour. The very next day he called me demanding Hit It Back go Top 10, out of fear I obliged. Every time I listen to this cut, I love it that little bit more. The Diamond Construct formula WAS getting a little bit stale, Hit It Back sounds like a band reinvigorated and re-energised. Huge riffs, massive chorus and a strong vocal performance sets this apart from the rest. This is 2021 Party Rock (sorry LMFAO).

4. Speed ‘We See U’

Previously I said that Section 20 by Gassed Up was the toughest song of the year, I was wrong, Speed are the toughest band in existence. If haven’t yet, watch this video and then go re-evaluate your life choices. The moment in which the vocalist gives us the double pythons out of a moving car is the shot of the year. We See U is 1 minute of a band flexing about how much better they are than everyone, I love every second. Also, shoutout to that cheeky Bret Hart sample, big fan.

3. Don Broco ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’

This is everything. From the David Beckham lookalike, all the way to that acid bass that pulsates throughout, Don Broco have produced something truly unique. Keep in mind that I’m a pretty big Tottenham Hotspur supporter, so having anything positive to say about this hurts my soul. Can somebody please bring Don Broco down under so I can see this sexy band live in person. Good lord that singer has the finest head of hair I’ve damn near ever seen. 

2. Turnstile ‘Holiday’

Every second of Holiday feels necessary, every moment feels earned, Holiday is a near perfect song. In 5 years time, Glow On will be looked back on as the album that sent Turnstile to the next level, and Holiday will partially responsible. Do yourselves a favour and watch the video below, it does wonders for the track and somehow makes it better. 

1. Starve ‘(On Account Of My Emptiness)’ feat. Jack Bergin

100 songs, 78 bands, ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the 2021 Backbone 100. 

When we started compiling songs for this years countdown, we had over 250 to choose from. You can tell pretty early which songs are contenders for the number 1 spot, but as the months go on, that list changes. Certain songs get brought into the discussion, other songs fall out, On Account Of My Emptiness has been in contention since it was released, and it never left the discussion. 

I don’t need to sell this track, it sells itself. Starve have had an immense year despite so many setbacks. Nausea is perfect chaos, the live show at Stay Gold is my gig of the year, as hard as it is to choose a winner every countdown, this was a no brainer. 

Merry Christmas, take care of each other and take care of yourself.

Finally I can have a rest.


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