End of the Year Twenty Two: Ant Barlow

By Maryam Hassan

Throughout December we at PT:HQ are bringing you end of year lists from bands, labels and promoters. We’ll have a new one for you everyday so keep your eyes peeled for them! See all the lists here.

Ant Barlow


Top 3 Albums:


PUP came out of nowhere this year, blindsiding the punk scene at every opportunity, and it’s for that reason that they’ve taken the top spot on my list. Fresh and intense, their debut album blew me away. I’ve not heard anything like it for years and hardly a week has gone by that I’ve not played it at least once. They’re also one of the best live bands I’ve seen all year – just ask anyone who saw them at The Fest how good they are – and I hope to see a lot more of them next year.

The Smith Street Band – Throw Me In The River

Throw Me In The River is the album I was most excited to hear in 2014 and it didn’t disappoint. Raw and frenetic, it’s The Smith Street Band’s biggest and best effort to date and affirms my belief that Wil Wagner is the best songwriter in punk today. Never have raw power and acute honesty been pared together so well.

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players – It’s A Wonderful Christmas Carol

Never did I think that a Christmas album would make it into my ‘album of the year’ list, but it has. The Retrospective Soundtrack Players are the most underrated band in the UK right now and It’s A Wonderful Christmas Carol is their magnum opus. The way, singer/songwriter, Kyle Evans has seamlessly blended the stories of two classic Christmas films with his own experiences is genius and keeps this from being just another Holiday special.

Honorable mention: Mark McCabe – A Good Way To Bury Bad News because it’s awesome and it’s the first LP release on Under The Bridge Records.

Top 3 Songs:

Antarctigo Vespucci – ‘Don’t Die In Yr Hometown’

Chris Farren at his inspirational best. Go and see the world people, you won’t regret it!

Creeper – ‘VCR’

The catchiest track on the gothy punk’s brilliant debut EP. Reminds me of early Alkaline Trio with a bit more of a post-punk influence.

Helen Chambers – ‘Caravan’

I’ve heard this song so many times and it never gets old. It’s beautiful and brilliant.

Pick For 2015:

Boston Manor’s Debut LP

Boston Manor have had an brilliant couple of years and if Driftwood is any indication their next release is going to be incredible. They’re doing pop-punk unlike anyone else out there right now and I can’t wait to see what they can do when they’re faced with recording a full length. They’ve got the ability to do big things and I think it’s only a matter of time before they do.

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