Described on their Facebook page as “ambient, indie, post rock”, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Athletics’ debut release Why Aren’t I Home?. Could something really be ambient, indie, and post rock, and actually work? Well, it seems that yes, yes it can. From the outset, the opening track, bearing the same name as the album, is Athletics’ way of saying “Here we are. This is what we do.”

My Sunday began with a jaunt to the water point. On my travels I was approached by two young men wearing g-strings and corsets, who drunkenly informed me that Karnivool were about to play on the main stage, and that they were “the best band in the world.” Well, who was I to argue with two vagrants with such impeccable dress sense and the ability to maintain some level of awareness at 11am after two solid days of alcohol consumption?

Sonisphere day two. Or hangover day one, as many of us will remember it. For the festival-goers who were up early enough (or perhaps hardcore enough to just not have been to bed yet) Family Force 5 took to the Saturn Stage. If you’re unfamiliar with them, as I was, then I can tell you they’re a little like Hollywood Undead mixed with 3Oh!3 and Brokencyde. Certainly not to everyone’s taste, but they put on a decent show nonetheless, as was evident from the slightly confused smiles on the faces of a questionably metal crowd.

As 55,000+ rock fans descended upon Knebworth this year for the second annual UK Sonisphere Festival, it became apparent that Sonisphere has been swift to throw its dirty, sweaty elbows into the likes of Download and the Reading and Leeds Festival to become one of the premier festivals in Britain. While promoters Kilimanjaro are highly experienced in the live music scene, Sonisphere’s virginal inception last year raised a few questions – would they be able to top 2009’s awesome headlining bands Metallica and Linkin Park?

Some artists simply don’t require an introduction. Santana is one of them. And considering his latest release, Guitar Heaven, is an album of covers of classic rock songs, the songs themselves don’t really require an introduction either. The magic of this record is that it maintains a steady flavor throughout despite adding subtle inflections of seasoning with the help of collaborators including Chris Cornell, Jacoby Shaddix, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale, Joe Cocker and Chester Bennington.

I always feel so out of touch when I discover a band I like, and then realise they broke up two years prior. My most recent experience of this was with Mumm-Ra, a British indie rock band who disbanded in 2008 after eight years of making music together. So why am I still recommending them? Well, they’re just that good.

As the opening track from Oholics’ Disgraceland started playing in my iTunes library, I loved it so much that I immediately opened the IM conversation I’d been having with a friend and told him how good it was. I desperately wanted the rest of the album to be just as enjoyable. Was it? Well… not quite. But it was still pretty darned good. The first two songs, “Step Inside” and “Columbine” respectively, simply have a pure and frenetic kind of energy that the rest of the album can’t quite live up to.

Any album that starts with an introductory track called “The Requiem” automatically places itself on the border of moderation and pretentiousness. When the second track proceeds into a sound-byte of a Robert Oppenheimer quotation, the border whooshes into oblivion and the album sits quite firmly at the top of Ostentation Mountain. Such is A Thousand Suns, the latest release from Linkin Park.

You should listen to Army of Freshmen! Of all the independent, unknown and obscure bands I’ve come across in recent years, Army of Freshmen are probably the one band I recommend most to people. You might be surprised to hear that the California-based six piece have been together for over ten years, and have played over 1,000 shows, including the UK’s Download and Sonisphere Festivals, as well as sold out arena shows with…

Probably best known as the lead vocalist in Dream Theater, James LaBrie is definitely a veteran of the rock world. Since his first release with Dream Theater in 1992, (their ’89 album When Dream and Day Unite featured Chris Collins as lead vocalist) LaBrie has appeared as a guest on countless records, put out two releases with the band MullMuzzler and released a solo album in 2005 entitled Elements of Persuasion. Enter present day and September 2010 welcomes his second solo effort into the world, Static Impulse.

Wheatus is an odd band. They had a major hit back in 2001 with “Teenage Dirtbag”, followed it up with an Erasure cover, then due to a dispute with their record label Sony, disappeared completely from the limelight. But it’s a little known fact that they’re still skulking around the music world, working totally autonomously out of their studio in Northport, Long Island. The band are now pioneers in Super Audio CD, a high resolution format that hasn’t been widely accepted…

Ahh. Nothing says fashionable dysthymia like a bottle of black hair dye and a HIM CD. As Finland’s finest, emo rockers HIM released the oh-so fervently titled Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, you just know that a million angsty teenagers all over the globe finally felt like someone understood them. So who is this god amongst men? Why, it’s unaffected frontman Ville Valo. Sure, he looks a little like a Tim Burton character, but the man certainly knows how to capture the hearts of the emotionally wavering youth of today.