Before I crack on, it’s worth giving an honourable mention to acts who’s records I’ve only recently got my mits on, and therefore been unable to consider properly, as good and they’ve sounded from an initial listen.
- Jenny Lewis finally delivered something to live up to Rabbit Fur Coat with the Jenny & Johnny album I’m Having Fun Now.
- I can put up with Sleater Kinney’s ‘hiatus’ charade if the Corin Tucker Band can produce an album as good as 1,000 Years.
- Why, why, why did I not pick up the John Grant album Queen of Denmark sooner??
- Engineers have had a tough time of late but the Ulrich Schnauss-assisted In Praise of More sounds really promising.
- Having seen them play as Brother Louis Collective and really liked them, I don’t understand why it took me till late November to buy Boots Met My Face by Admiral Fallow.
- Apparently Ital Tek are classed as dubstep. On the strength of their Midnight Colour album, I think I need to revise my sweeping opinion of that genre.
- Losing Sleep by Edwyn Collins is another one I should have pounced on a bit quicker. Tremendous comeback by a Scottish leg-end.
- Shetlander Thirty Pounds of Bone sound like he drank a bucket of whisky before recording Method. This is a good thing.
- If only Laeto had held on to III until the New Year. Silly boys…
- The first Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan album was great; the second was lacklustre. Hawk sounds like a return to form.
So where was I?
The Manchester prog-metallers recaptured their mojo with this, their fourth album. This sounded absolutely enormous and was everything that you’d want an epic rock album to be. Mike Vennart, who I interviewed in September, delivered some of his finest lyrics and vocals to date and the album comfortably mixed experimental arrangements and commerciality across eleven snarling tracks.
Raucous and filthy, this was a natural successor to the first Grinderman album. Again an outlet for Nick Cave’s garage rock fetish, it wasn’t for the faint-hearted as my original review testified.
Pastoral English folk with a twist. They’ve been plugging away for years to moderate levels of recognition but this album, which I reviewed earlier in the year, feels like a career high. Hustle and Sashimi twinkled with pop nous and snaking Fairport Convention-style guitars crackled throughout. I thought they were custom-built for Latitude but it didn’t happen .
17. LCD Soundsystem
If this truly is to be LCD’s last album, then they’ve certainly gone out on a high. Not everything worked, but from the point where Dance Yrself Clean went supernova to the final bars of Pow Pow, it’s classic James Murphy. The influence of Bowie was massive but this was an homage rather than a pastiche and aside from two humdrum closing tracks, scintillating throughout. Full review’s here.
16. Blood Red Shoes – Fire Like This
A vulgar display of power from the Brighton duo, at least the equal of 2007’s debut effort. Light It Up was punch the air rawk and Colours Fade a blinding drone of an outro. Great stuff.