If you're heading to Reading and Leeds just for Pulp then you're missing out on what the festival does best ? here's Kerrang! editor James McMahon with the weekend's top rock highlights
?�Discover music and videos from all Reading and Leeds artists
Rarely do the alt-metallers grace a music festival without becoming one of the highlights. Formed 23 years ago in a Sacramento garage, they've cemented a place for themselves as one of rock's most consistently innovative acts ? their last record, Diamond Eyes, won the 2010 Kerrang! critics' album of the year award by a landslide. Added bonus: live, there's always the possibility/hope they might play their cover of No Ordinary Love by Sade.
Much like the Beano's Bash Street Kids if they'd been raised on a steady diet of Iron Maiden and E numbers, Merthyr Tydfil six-piece the Blackout's dual vocal attack and pseudo surrealist banter make them a highlight ? albeit one that may see your eyeball punctured by a thrust microphone. And now for the best fact ever: the Blackout blagged their way on to Limp Bizkit's 2010 European tour, just by sitting on Twitter and tweeting "duuuuude" at Fred Durst for days on end.
In my opinion, the most exciting rock band in the world today. Here is the evidence: singer Jason Aalon Butler looks like a character in a John Hughes movie, sings like bees are making honey in his throat, and rarely manages a full song without performing a 360-degree forward flip. He's also friends with Tyler, the Creator, and spends his free time skateboarding with the Odd Future man. This weekend sees the California band make their Leeds and Reading debut ? you'd be foolish to be caught watching Two Door Cinema Club instead.
Bring Me the Horizon
When Sheffield's BMTH formed in 2006 they embodied insipid metalcore mush. But that seems like a long time ago now. 2010's There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret, is so beloved in the Kerrang! office that, when it wasn't nominated for the 2010 Mercury prize, the magazine office decamped to the nomination ceremony with placards protesting their snobbish exclusion.
My Chemical Romance
After four albums, 21 gold discs and marginally less drummers than Spinal Tap, New Jersey heroes My Chemical Romance return to the UK to celebrate their 10th year of being perhaps the biggest cult band in the world. Interesting fact: frontman Gerard Way's talents don't end on stage. He's also responsible for The Umbrella Academy graphic novel series that, perhaps disappointingly, isn't about a brolly design school (it's about superheroes).
It's no exaggeration to say that bands don't come much more influential in Kerrang!'s world than Glassjaw ? the only exception to the rule would be undisputed greats such as Black Sabbath, Metallica and Iron Maiden. Despite enduring multiple lineup changes and only recording two albums in a decade (sadly as a result of singer Daryl Palumbo suffering from Crohn's disease), their always abrasive, sometimes sensual rock has shaped the sound of more contemporary bands than could be counted on a thousand hands.
Until a few years ago, there was a gaping hole in the mariachi punk market. Step forward LA's the Bronx, who after spending their formative years being seduced by the likes of Black Flag and Hispanic-flavoured local radio, donned traditional sequined-uniforms and recorded an album so authentic that they joined the bill at the London Barbican's Viva El Mariachi festival last year. Don't fret if tales of love and loyalty soundtracked by guitarr�ns and trumpets don't float your boat though ? you can also catch them playing their white-hot punk blasts during the weekend too.