Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2011, and already we’ve had some great releases from the likes of Bruno Mars and Social Distortion. Obviously, more announcements will come and go, with bands replacing the likes of these. There will also be a few that I’ve somehow missed announcements for, but there’s still a few here that I’m definitely looking forward to for 2011.

Foo Fighters will be releasing their much-anticipated return after a brief hiatus. A teaser has surfaced online, but there’s not much to be taken from a 30-second clip of one song. Still, Foo Fighters rarely put out below-average material, so the follow-up to 2007’s Echo, Silence, Patience and Grace (no title announced yet) is bound to be worth a listen.

The clip itself sounds heavy, loud and more exciting then Foo Fighters have sounded in years. Not being a big fan of their last couple of records, this just sounds incredible. It might be the production, or the hiatus rejuvenating the band’s sound, but I’m definitely excited for the next stage in the Foo Fighters’ impressive career.

Meanwhile, pop-punk stars Sum 41 look set to return for the first time in three years with Screaming Bloody Murder. They faded a bit in recent years, and admittedly I don’t own an album by them. However, after hearing two of their new tracks, I’m definitely tempted. ‘Always’, released as part of their greatest hits-type collection All The Good S*** a couple of years ago, is a great track, boasting a matured sound.

Similarly, the title track from the upcoming album sounds fantastic. If the rest of the album follows the grittier, more radio-rock style, then Screaming Bloody Murder could save Sum 41’s mainstream career. This could be the beginning of Sum 41 becoming huge again, and I’m hoping I won’t be disappointed.

With the announcement of Fall Out Boy going on hiatus (although it seems like they’ve split up really), Patrick Stump will be releasing his debut solo album in February. Soul Punk isn’t the sort of thing I’d usually listen to (from what I tell based on the two versions of ‘Spotlight’ that have been made available), but Stump’s voice is mesmerising.

Either version could be a huge club hit, and whilst I hope we get some more guitars or a nice acoustic ballad on the record, I’ll still be buying this album regardless of the direction taken on the lead singles.

Soul Punk will hopefully prove how talented Stump is as a musician, and this could be the start of a successful solo career. It’s the true definition of an absolute solo album, with Stump playing every instrument, writing it all and being the solo producer. This is Stump’s sound, and should appeal to FOB fans or haters alike.

Frank Turner will return in the summer with his yet-to-be-titled follow-up to 2009’s Poetry of the Deed. The folk/punk singer-songwriter is currently in the studio recording the album, but he played some of the tracks during his tours last year.

It doesn’t look like Frank’s lost any of his edge or relevance, and touring the States supporting Social Distortion will only serve to help his song-writing (not that it’s needed). ‘Peggy’ and ‘Eva Mae’ will hopefully end up on the album, along with the atheistic, ironically titled ‘Glory Hallelujah’. Frank’s profile is rising, and hopefully this will be the year he truly gets worldwide, mainstream attention.

Avril Lavigne is also releasing a new album and I’m oddly intrigued. Her first two albums were good, in a mainstream power-pop kind of way…they were catchy and harmless. She’s gone down hill since then with her new pop-dominated direction, but apparently her new album Goodbye Lullaby will be a more chilled, guitar-based record.

Finally, Plan B is set to release The Ballad of Belmarsh, which will thankfully see a return to his gritty, UK hip-hop roots. The Defamation of Strickland Banks was a brilliant record, but Plan B is at his best when he’s unleashing thought-provoking but venomous lines that make us feel awkward. His debut Who Needs Actions When You Got Words was one of the best albums of the decade, and hopefully he’ll at least match that with his third album.

Last year ended up being a surprisingly good one for music, with the likes of Alkaline Trio and The Gaslight Anthem putting out fantastic albums, plus singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt releasing the sublime Lustre. Hopefully 2011 throws up similar surprises along with these albums meeting, and exceeding, expectations.

Female First - Alistair McGeorge