Whenever we say "it's been a great month for music" we truly mean it. We mean it as much as we mean it when we say that THIS month has been pretty poor. Reviews across the board for July albums have been average at best, with Ed Sheeran, Iggy Azalea and Beyonce being unexpected disappointments - though we did manage to uncover a few gems among the rubble... 

Sum 41 - Order in Decline

Most of us haven't listened to Sum 41 since our noughties skater days, but you might be surprised to find that their latest release is far from the cheesy nostalgia that you'd expect. Instead, it's the heaviest album they've ever made and it's this kind of thematically dark and crashing metal that's going to bring them a new kind of respect.

Sum 41 - Order in DeclineSum 41 - Order in Decline

Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains

We're living for this new American indie group who have just released their self-titled debut album. It's strongly evocative of traditional Dylan-esque American folk, with a sardonic sense of humour about it and some truly infectious arrangements. There's nothing quite like Purple Mountains at the moment, and we can't wait to hear more.

Purple Mountains - Purple MountainsPurple Mountains - Purple Mountains

Chance the Rapper - The Big Day

It's his first full-length album and comes after he found success with 2016 mixtape Coloring Book, thus it's been very eagerly anticipated. It's not exactly groundbreaking, but it doesn't disappoint either. It's uplifting and wonderfully optimistic. You just can't feel mad when an artist has such a positive outlook on marriage when there's so much negativity in the world right now.

Chance the Rapper - The Big DayChance the Rapper - The Big Day

Mini Mansions - Guy Walks Into a Bar...

Not everyone loves it, but we're really enjoying the humour and the vibrancy of this LA trio's latest record, and there's a certain pure honesty about it which we wish was present in more indie artists' music. It feels like Mini Mansions have grown in confidence, and aren't afraid to give us something a bit different but still very much them. 

Mini Mansions - Guy Walks Into A Bar...Mini Mansions - Guy Walks Into A Bar...

Machine Gun Kelly - Hotel Diablo

As much as we'd call ourselves Team Eminem, we can't pretend that Machine Gun Kelly's new album isn't a solid release. Credit where credit's due, he's found his stride as an artist with album four. It's cohesive, clever and catchy, and he genuinely doesn't sound like he's trying to be anyone other than Machine Gun Kelly.

Machine Gun Kelly - Hotel DiabloMachine Gun Kelly - Hotel Diablo