That guy who just can’t seem to sit still, musically: Matt Skiba (of Alkaline Trio, Heavens, the Hell) has announced he has yet another musical project in THE SEKRETS. Featuring AFI‘s Hunter Burgan and the current drummer for My Chemical Romance Jarrod Alexander.

Matt Skiba and The Sekrets are tipped to release their debut album Babylon, around April with an EP from The HELL also due out this year.

Top 5 of 2011

It’s that time of the year again, and so soon! As we say Goodbye to 2011, our staff take a look back at their own personal highlights from the last 365 days.

Bella’s top 5 Albums of 2011:

The Horrible Crowes – Elsie

This was far and away my number one album of 2011, and though these aren’t in any particular order, Elsie demands to be at the top of the list. As far as I’m concerned, Brian Fallon can do no wrong and his latest partnership with Ian Perkins is absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous. The album is theatrical and haunting both musically and lyrically from start to finish, and the vocals, as usual for Mister Fallon, are nothing short of magnificent. I don’t throw around the word ‘masterpiece’ too often but I would stick it on Elsie without hesitation.

Kanye West / Jay-Z – Watch The Throne

When choosing my top 5 albums of the year, it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to go past Watch The Throne. What could possibly top two of hip-hops biggest stars of our time, combining their genius and bestowing it upon the world? Not much. The album went platinum, spawned a tour that is currently blowing peoples minds and earned quite possibly the biggest buzz of the year (okay, we’re not counting Adele because she’s magic or something) from critics, publications and fans alike. Both controversial and relentlessly unconventional, there’s something about these two guys that I adore, and by joining up, they’ve just made themselves even more powerful- like when the Power Rangers become Megazord.

Alkaline trio – Damnesia

Is this Technically a cheat? I don’t think I care. Damnesia is a release from 2011, yes. But the songs (save for two and a cover) are not quite new. A re-working of fan favourites, everything old is new again with added acousticy goodness. Some criticised the move to re-release old tracks, but I think with a back catalogue as solid as Trio’s and as many loyal fans, that a ‘greatest hits’ of sorts is earned. The tracks not only stand up to the test of time, but benefit from the keys and strings, the slightly tweeked compositions showing off the skills they’ve fine tuned over the years. Listening to Damnesia is like trying out a new restaurant with a long time lover- ultimately, it’s predictable; you know how the night will play out, but you can appreciate an completely enjoy the different flavours on the way.

Friendly Fires – Pala

Name me a funner, more dance inducing, blessed out live act than Friendly Fires and I will call you a liar. Pala is hands down the ideal summer soundtrack, if ever there was one. It is truly pure stylized excess and unashamedly, unapologetic about it. Rightly so. It’s fast become my go-to for happy times and has barely made it out of my 5 stack player since the week it dropped, well back in march.

Saves The Day – Daybreak

After numerous line up changes and a release date that was nudged back more times than anyone cared to count, Saves The Day FINALLY came back with a stunning return to their glistening best with Daybreak. Chris Conley is quite frankly a legend as far as I’m concerned and has long been a pioneer and a trend setter in the alternative music scene. I don’t think this will be an exception, and that honestly can’t be a bad thing. This album is stunning and well worth the four year wait.

Honourable mention:

Lady Gaga – Born This Way.

Oh. Come onnn


Having postponed their November tour due to vocalist Matt Skiba acquiring a broken foot, Alkaline Trio have announced the rescheduled dates for May 2012:
01.05 –  Pyramids, Portsmouth
02.05 –  Leadmill, Sheffield
04.05 – Met Uni, Leeds
05.05 – Academy 2, Manchester
07.05 – Picturehouse, Edinburgh
08.05 – Kasbah, Coventry
09.05 – Waterfront, Norwich
10.05 – Electric Ballroom, London
12.05 – Barfly, London
13.05 –  Solus, Cardiff
14.05  – Lemon Grove, Exeter

Original tickets remain valid, but it may be wise to contact your vendor if you have not already heard from their regarding refunds, reissued tickets, etc.



Chicago favourites Alkaline Trio have announced that they will return to our shores this November for an extensive UK tour. Dates are as follows:

06.11 – Lemon Grove, Exeter
07.11 – Pyramid, Southsea
08.11 –  Academy 2, Manchester
09.11 – Leadmill, Sheffield
10.11 – Solus, Cardiff
12.11 – Kasbah, West Midlands
13.11 -Metropolitan University, Leeds
14.11 – Waterfront, Norfolk
15.11 – Electric Ballroom, London
17.11 – Picturehouse, Edinburgh


So it’s the end of the year and what a year it was! We thought we’d share our highlights, where America trips feature heavily, as do reunions (every one loves a reunion!) and festivals. Bella also shares her favourite albums of the year. We hope you all enjoyed your 2010 musical adventures as much as we did, 2011 has a lot to live up to!

The reunions: From Something Corporate’s US comeback tour to the long awaited return of blink-182 to British shores, there has certainly more than a little nostalgia value to this year’s music memories for me. No complaints here and I am very much looking forward to seeing the reunions continue in to 2011 with Further Seems Forever confirmed for Groezrock and Rufio joining forces with Allister for their intimate UK tour in April.

The album shows: It may be true that nothing gold can stay but New Found Glory celebrating the anniversary of their self titled release with a full album tour reminded us all that pop punk’s not dead.

The best of British: With You Me At Six flying the flag on Warped Tour and albums by the likes of Straight Lines, Futures and The Xcerts cracking best of the year lists everywhere it’s definitely been a good year to be a British pop-punk fan. Look out for more of the same in 2011 with Francesqa, Deaf Havana, Cuba Cuba, Tiger Please and countless more holding it down this side of the Atlantic.


Bamboozle Roadshow: 2010, for me also, has been all about nostalgia. The bands I grew up listening to have made a glorious return to the scene, and I’ve been able to re-live that feeling that only came while listening to a walkman and three quarter length shorts. It started with Bamboozle Roadshow in Boston- my best friend and I made a pilgrimage of sorts to the festival, and it was easily one of my highlights. Something about (FINALLY!) seeing Simple Plan and Good Charlotte and singing my heart out as if no time had passed made me feel more closely connected to the music I love than I ever have.

Reading Festival: Of course, the pinnacle of my pre-teen pop-punk obsessed years (you know, those ones that preceded my adolescent pop-punk obsessed years) was blink-182. Being as young as I am, I never saw them before the hiatus. Reading Festival, for me, was the best music event of 2010 for that reason alone. Dubbed ‘pop-punk Sunday’ amongst friends, a bill that included Weezer, Limp Bizkit, my favourites All Time Low and blink-182 all on one day will be hard to ever top. I don’t think I’ll forget standing in a field, one thousand people back, singing and dancing to Dammit so much I could barely move or talk afterwards. 2011 will surely be fantastic, but I’ll always remember these moments in 2010.

— Beth

Slam Dunk Festival, Leeds: Slam Dunk is always a highlight, but this year’s line up was particularly brilliant. The queue for The Wonder Years had to be seen to be believed and with Alkaline Trio, New Found Glory AND My Passion all headlining separate stages there was definitely something here for everyone.   Slam Dunk is a gem in the UK festival calendar – after all, where else could you witness members of Set Your Goals and NFG crowd surfing to The Millionaires? Exactly.

Twin Atlantic, ABC Glasgow: 2010 was an amazing year for Twin Atlantic.  Not only did they support mighty acts such as blink-182 and My Chemical Romance, they also completed their biggest UK headline tour to date – which saw them sell out Glasgow’s ABC.  I can’t think of a band who deserve this success more than Twin and I can’t wait to hear what’s in store from them in 2011.

— Lucy

America, fuck yeah!: I took a trip to California in March with fellow CtrlAltRock blogger Fran and it was a music fuelled two weeks. We caught New Found Glory the day we arrived, made an appearance in The Audition’s video for ‘You Ruined This’, saw Something Corporate headline Bamboozle Left and also got to go to the AP tour, where I got to see The Summer Set at last (who really need to come to the UK soon!), saw some of my other American favourites Every Avenue and we even got a bonus acoustic set from All Time Low.

The Return of My Chemical Romance: So after what felt like forever, some of New Jersey’s finest were back on our radios after a rocky few months, which saw the departure of their drummer, Bob Bryar. Whilst I was sad to see Bob go, I was highly excited for their comeback. I loved that they had kicked the monochrome to the curb and excited to hear Danger Days, more so than I had been for it’s predecessor, The Black Parade. They whet our appetites with a mini tour in smaller venues in October, which warmed us up nicely for the arena tour they are going to bestow upon us early next year. My Chemical Romance polarise opinions, you either love them or hate them, it’s safe to say what camp I reside in.

— Beccy

Bella’s Top Five Albums of the Year;

This Addiction – Alkaline Trio: Trio have been in my most adored band list since I bought my first pot of black nail polish and no matter how my musical taste matures or changes, I always love everything they release. This Addiction is no exception to the rule, especially the acoustic versions of songs added in, they slay me. Though, Mister Skiba could probably record himself throwing potatoes at a wall and it’d make me giddy.

My Beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy – Kanye West: Say what you will about mister West. He’s the top of his game and pretty untouchable. Every time he gets out of bed he sets a trend be it musical or fashion or otherwise. He’s a little crazy, but also crazy good.

The ArchAndroid (suites || and |||) – Janelle Monae: Mind blowing voice. This album honestly needs to be heard to be understood.

I Believe You Liar – Washington: I had to get an Aussie on this list and what better way than with Meg Washington? No one else manages to be adorable and hot all at the same time. This is a collection of unashamedly dancey tracks. For fans that like real music and clever lyrics with their pop.

American Slang – Gaslight Anthem: These guys just make my heart happy. I can’t say enough good things.

Bonus album! – All Day – Girl Talk: Okay, so it’s technically 373 overlapping samples of other artists’ songs, but Gregg Gillis is a genius and the album is truly a danceable piece of art.