I’m quite pleased with myself for staying on track with this project so far. OK, it’s January 26th and I’ve only done 20, but I didn’t start until the 7th, so I’m averaging exactly one album a day. If I can carry on at this rate for the rest of the year, I just need to find six days over the next 11 months where I can bash out two reviews. Simple as that!
To celebrate this phenomenal success, here’s a quick list of some of the albums I enjoyed most last year:
Amyl and the Sniffers – Amyl and the Sniffers
The best frontwoman around! She’s probably a bit better than their music is, frankly, but this is a right blast all the same.
B Boys – Dudu
Fast, no-nonsense riffs, aggressive vocals and intelligent lyrics. The Black Flag of the millennial age.
Big Thief – Two Hands
A triumph, with the glorious ‘Not’ as its centrepiece. U.F.O.F could just as easily have featured in this list.
Black Midi – Schlagenheim
Uncategorisable madness, and a sensational drummer. Listen if you dare!
Crows – Silver Tongues
Powerful, uncompromising debut, reminiscent of the first albums of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Royal Blood.
DIIV – Deceiver
The third album from the gazy dream-poppers takes a while to get going, but ‘Blankenship’ and ‘The Spark’ are as good as any songs I heard last year.
Drahla – Useless Coordinates
A socially aware, accomplished debut from the Yorkshire post-punk trio.
The Drums – Brutalism
Now more or less a solo project, Jonathan Pierce remains the master of creating indie-rock you don’t know whether to dance or cry to.
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
I almost feel sorry for them, coming up with something this good at such a young age. Without doubt my album of the year.
Gaffa Tape Sandy – Family Mammal
Witty, perceptive and often sad. Absolutely nothing wrong with its poppy, catchy choruses either.
Girl Band – The Talkies
Genuinely terrifying music. The first track is a recording of a panic attack, and it doesn’t get any more comfortable from there.
JOHN – Out Here on the Fringes
Rip-roaring rock and unmistakabely British observation from the band whose name is so boring it’s cool.
Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock
The ex-Husker Du frontman in a reflective but generally cheerful mood on his 13th solo album.
Nots – 3
Their best effort yet at capturing their furious energy on record.
Priests – The Seduction of Kansas
Fantastic, focused second album from a band too smart for their own good.
Sleaford Mods – Eton Alive
They keep doing the same thing, and it keeps getting more important. Plus, nobody else is doing it.
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
I feel way out of my comfort zone listening to this hip-hop/grime troublemaker, but I love his energy and anger. Another one we need to cherish in the British political climate.
Trash Kit – Horizon
I can’t work out whether this is technically complex music made to sound simple, or the other way round. In any case, it’s awesome.
UV-TV – Happy
C86 meets shoegaze on this Florida band’s delightfully noisy second album.