Here are 25 albums that have at some point this year have made sweet love to my ears.
25. Fang Island
- Fang Island
Riffs, riffs and more riffs. What more could you possibly want?
- We Were Exploding Anyway
Local boys ditch put their post-rock tendencies on a backfoot and bring their more electronic side to the the forefront and even bring Robert Smith from The Cure
on for the ride.
23. Portugal. The Man
- American Ghetto
P.TM show their hip-hop influences to add to their already eclectic sound and creating a record that is catchier than a cold.
22. These New Puritans
An album that came out of nowhere that combined Influences from the prog, classical and even grime genres to create and album that showed the band's ambition to lead the way in creating original music.
21. Trash Talk
- Eyes and Nines
17 minutes can be considered progressive by Trash Talk's standards but the increased record time doesn't reduce the band's abrasive energy.
20. Shoes And Socks Off
- Robin Hoodwaiter Champion Have-Not
Toby's forth solo album demonstrates his improved songwriting chops and creates a beautiful collection of songs that flows perfectly.
19. Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez
- Un Escorpión Perfumado
An album that sees Omar revist De Facto
to create dub-esque vibes drenched in lush synths. Trippy is the perfect word to describe this album.
18. The Unwinding Hours
- The Unwinding Hours
Ian Cook and Craig B continue their previous band's progression and give us an album full of haunting and beautiful vocal melodies and passionate instrumentals.
17. The Cast of Cheers
Math rock that isn't afraid to make you dance. If looped guitars and vocals that you want to sing a long at the top of your voice is your thing, then this is for you. The album is also free to download from the band's bandcamp
16. Arcade Fire
- The Suburbs
Normally when an album has 16 songs, only half are listenable. Arcade Fire however, have managed to make 14 great songs. Fantastic song writing and wonderful muscianship is the key.
- Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up
Not a drastic change from previous Oceansize albums but when it is executed as they do, who cares? So this means, Riffs so heavy they'll bodyslam you to the ground more than they need to, ala Part Cardiac
or cinematic beauties that make you feel like you're on the top of a very large mountain looking over at the beautiful view, ala Silent/Transparent
14. Nas and Damian Marley
/Nas And Damian "Jr Gong" Marley
- Distant Relatives
Reggae/hip-hop crossover how it should be done. The call/response techinque is done perfectly on this album and the beats feature some fantastic sampling to really capture that African feel to go with the lyrical concept of the continent.
- Death Is Silent
Kno's first solo album shows he has as much talent on the mic than he does with production. A depressing but beautiful listen with flawless production and great metaphors surrounding the topic of death from every aspect.
12. Pulled Apart By Horses
- Pulled Apart By Horses
For an old fan like myself, the album didn't offer me many new tracks but when an album chock-a-block full of huge riffs, ridiculous energy and the urge to shout along to every single word, it is impossible not to like it.
Fuzz pedals rule and this is why. Daughters have managed to make an album that puts the wall of sound style production to good use to create something mindblowingly heavy. They're a hell of a lot more enjoyable now they stopped playing 30 second math metal songs, that's not to say I don't like their previous stuff because I do.
10. Adebisi Shank
- This is the second album of a band called Adebisi Shank
Probably the baffling album on my list, in a very good way. I still don't understand how anyone could comprehend playing stuff like this. It must something in the water over in Ireland.
- An age among them
This is the type of album that needs to be played through from start to end every time. An album full of soaring soundscapes and beautiful atmosphere, with some of the most passionate vocals in British hardcore today. Such a shame they split up towards the end of 2010.
8. Marnie Stern
- Marnie Stern
S/T records are generally considered by the artist as their defining work so far, this is clearly the case with Marnie. A much more focussed effort that sees her songwriting skills come into it's own rather and creates a beautiful and passionate record with fantastic musicnaship you've come to expect with Marnie's work.
7. The Dillinger Escape Plan
- Option Paralysis
I'm not going to lie, TDEP could release a record full of the band recording the sound of them taking a shit in the morning and I'd probably lap it up. The bands fourth album sees them experiment with what a human can do with regards to playing fast and complicated pieces of music, yet again. Vocalist Greg Puciato's clean vocals aren't to everyone's taste but the band seem to be improving when laying down their "pop" tracks and the centre piece of the album Widower
shows the bands capabilities perfectly in creating an eclectic sound, combining elements of jazz and metal.
- Total Life Forever
Dropping their mathy sound in place of soundscapes was probably the best decision Foals have made. The songs have layers and layers of guitars which build up as the songs progress, yet with this dense sound they have still managed to cram in some fantastic hooks that makes the album more accessible. Spanish Sahara
is one of my favourite songs this year easily.
5. The Roots
- How I Got Over
I don't have a huge knowledge of The Roots' vast back catologue but How I Got Over is an album that is full of soul and beauty and the jazzy sound appeals to me due to me being a fan of A Tribe Called Quest
. Black Thought is a fantastic MC with some outstanding lyrics and flow and the band show some quality musicanship. Also, any band who manages to make Joanna Newsom
listenable gets thumbs up from me.
- Diamond Eyes
Meaty guitar tones rule and this is proof. Much like every other Deftones album since 2000's White Pony
the combination of heavy chugging guitars and layered atmospherics are evident in Diamond Eyes but with this album they've managed to get that combination of heavy and beauty perfected.
- Hollow Realm
Hollow Realm is an album that is full of ambition and a triumph. The album comes across as a duel between the brutal chugging guitars and the violins in a battle that will end the world. Written as one long song, Hollow Realm creates an enticing listen that you will want to revisit as often as possible.
2. Tera Melos
- Patagonian Rats
Can't say this album is a shower because it wasn't until my 6th or 7th listen when this clicked into place but Patagonian Rats is such a rewarding listen. The huge amount of layers and the progressive nature of the music means that there is a huge amount of music to stick your teeth into. Not just an all out spazz out like the rest of their material has been, atmosphere and space get a look in with this album that makes a much more diverse listen.
1. Rolo Tomassi
Rolo Tomassi have created something special on this album which is their most accessible so far and most focussed effort to date. The range of sounds and the off-kilterness of the music makes this such an exciting listen every time. What really makes Rolo Tomassi such a great band is that the moments on Cosmology that are the best, are the ones in which you don't expect the band to sound like. The title track contains no screaming (well one line, but that's it) and sounds similar to bands like Mew
, rather than the progressive hardcore the band have made a name from.