On 24th August 2007, Sophie Lancaster died from brutal injuries sustained after a tragic and unprovoked attack. To honour the anniversary of her passing and to show appreciation for the work The Sophie Lancaster Foundation do for people in alternative subcultures, our team members have chosen albums that help them feel proud to be who they are. Here is what they have chosen.

Lotty: H.E.A.T – Tearing Down The Walls

If I’m not mistaken, I came across H.E.A.T in April 2014. I was instantly taken with their throwback to eighties stadium rock with a modern twist containing bold energy and strong melodies. I discovered them a few months after I had managed to get out of a toxic relationship and I was starting to find myself for the first time in a long time. The album Tearing Down The Walls hadn’t been out long and it was one of the albums that still helps me to this day and reminds me to keep going no matter what obstacles I face. There are some remarkable belters on this album; my personal favourites include the pumping opener Point Of No Return, the energetic Shot Of Redemption, the empowering title track, the thought provoking Mannequin Show, anthem Enemy In Me and reminiscing closer Laughing At Tomorrow. When listening to this recently, it’s a strong reminder of how far I have come and grown as a person. It brings those proud feelings to the surface making this the perfect choice for the theme this month.

Find H.E.A.T on Facebook and Instagram.

Steph: The Rock Horror Picture Show Soundtrack

So I had a plan for my album of the month, having stalked a particular band for an interview. However, Lotty gave us the theme this month of music that makes us proud to be us. Looking at my collection, both physical and online, the thing that came to me was The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack.

Most people know of this great movie and the messages that is sends to us. The thought of being ourselves without fear is a hard way to live. But its something that everyone needs to hear every now and again. Frankfurter may be a beautiful mad man but his love of life and confidence to live his life the way he wants, ‘helping’ others to find what they enjoy is very inspirational to me.

This album has enabled me to have the confidence to be me. Also, the music is fun and catchy, you will be humming these tunes for weeks after just one sitting.

Find The Rock Horror Picture Show on Facebook.

Martin: Slipknot – IOWA

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this week, SLIPKNOT’s Iowa album is hands down my favourite release from the band.

Throughout the latter part of secondary school, this was one of the albums I turned to after being bullied by some of my peers. It helped me to understand that I was better to be myself rather than follow the crowd which ties in with this month’s theme of being proud of who we are.

Undoubtedly the heaviest and darkest album of the bands career to date, this album is still as ground-breaking as when it was released twenty years ago.

Find SLIPKNOT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jacob: The Bad Shepherds – By Hook Or By Crook

Ade Edmondson is a name that will likely be familiar to many among the Rock and Metal scenes. His notable roles include that of Eddie from Bottom and the anarchic punk Vivian from The Young Ones. But few seem to know that Ade is a musician himself. In 2009 and 2010, THE BAD SHEPHERDS released two albums which they described as “folky songs with a punky twist”. It is the latter of these albums that I have chosen.

By Hook Or By Crook includes a variety of covers from MOTÖRHEAD, THE RAMONES, THE BUZZCOCKS and many more using a range of traditional folk instruments. For me it serves as a reminder that sometimes being a little quirky is not only ok but is what often allows someone to shine.

Find THE BAD SHEPHERDS on Facebook.

Jack: Johnny Cash – Man In Black

For August’s album of the month I have gone with an artist who I admire greatly, the late JOHNNY
. In line with the theme for this selection, CASH demonstrated time and time again through his
life that people can and will make mistakes. It is not the mistakes that define a person, but the
lesson learnt from the mistake and doing so gives you the right to be proud of who you are.

I could’ve selected a number of albums from the JOHNNY CASH collection but I chose this one as it
gives me a real feeling of redemption. The titular track Man In Black tells the reason why he was
known for only wearing black clothing – he feels that the world, with all of its troubles, lacked colour
and beauty, so his choice of attire reflected this.

JOHNNY CASH was a man who was not ashamed to be himself and that is something everybody
should be proud to do.

Find JOHNNY CASH on Facebook.

Stefan: Amaranthe – Amaranthe

With this month focusing on albums that make us happy to be ourselves and proud of who we are, this year I’d thought I’d delve a little bit into a band and album that I feel that I have a rather special close bond with that truly ignited my love for the metal genre.

With this debut album, what sort of songs can you expect to hear? Well I can guarantee that every superb song on this album is nonstop hit after hit after hit. Each song is charged with a powerful energy that can be felt throughout songs from 1.000.000 Lightyears and Serendipity to Call Out My Name and more. Many of these songs from this debut album are regularly played by the band to this very day, from the energised anthem Hunger “Hunger – save me. One world depending on me. I have the force in me. The truth will be revealed. Higher – faster. I am the fuel to set you free. I am your destiny.” to the now iconic timeless ballad Amaranthine “Like a sign. Like a dream. You’re my Amaranthine. You are all I needed, believe me. Like we drift in a stream. Your beauty serene. There’s nothing else in life I ever need. My dream, Amaranthine.”

I will leave you in a heart-warming place this month with this … This band has always conveyed powerful positive vibes and messages throughout each album to radiate people’s lives since. During the last 10 years, they have set the perfect example believing in yourself, your own dreams and in doing so they will become reality.

Find AMARANTHE on Facebook and Instagram.

Megan: Danko Jones – Power Trio

DANKO JONES’S latest offering, Power Trio, is a celebration of the band’s 25th anniversary. It’s one of their best albums, despite the fact it doesn’t really do much to mix up the DANKO JONES formula. But the fact that they don’t stray from the path isn’t a hindrance. In fact, it’s an advantage as they’ve really honed their formula and made eleven great rock tracks.

I think the main reason this album makes me proud is because of the review I wrote for it. After leaving university in 2017, I fell out of love with music journalism and focused on my career in marketing. As I advanced in my career, I found that I still had an interest in music journalism. However, the longer I went not writing album reviews, the longer I felt like an imposter. Yet, when I sat down to write the DANKO JONES review, (my third review back) I felt confident in my abilities as a music journalist.

Power Trio was a great third album to review as I love straight-forward rock and roll. My favourite songs are Good Lookin’, Blue Jean Denim Jumpsuit, and Raise Some Hell.

Find DANKO JONES on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok.

What albums help you feel proud to be yourselves? We would love to hear from you. See you in September for the next album of the month.

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