Everyone loves a list, better still we like looking back at old lists and shudder at our suggestions of “Next Big Thing” and Best Gig awards, nethertheless here’s my Top Tens of 2013...
MY TOP 10 ALBUMS…
10. TTNG – 18.104.22.168.0.0 (Sargent House)
I love This Town Needs Guns, they’ve done a few shows for me, and with each successive listen, their music gets better – Such was my anticipation, that perhaps I put them on too high a pedestal. This album is good, but I still ached for that Animals era sound, so it only gets number 10.
9. The Physics House Band – Horizon/Rapture (Blood & Biscuits)
Great name, great lead track, great band dynamic, great prog noise. This record had it all and was effortlessly cool too. Future looks good for these. I missed out on booking them too, perhaps next year instead.
8. That Fucking Tank – TFT (Obscene Baby Auction)
Ah Ha! A band I’ve wanted to give a show to for years. Finally got my chance just before 2000 Trees festival, with the band in the area, they swooped in and melted out faces. It was every shade of fucking cool. This album too, pretty much delivered what you want from a TFT album. Riffs aplenty and an explanation on how to write like them, neat.
7. Rival Schools – Found (United By Fate Records)
Demoed years ago, finally seeing an official release this year. The album between United By Fate and Pedals, this album was just great. Musically tight, vocals and melody brilliant through and through, and an excellent cover of The Who. Win.
6. Crazy Arm – The Southern Wild (Xtra Mile)
Bloody hell this was good! I was never really into their punk sound, but when they stripped it back to this banjo led direction I fell in love. Far from jumping on a bandwagon, this band have been round long enough to warrant the opportunity to do what they like. This album was testament to that, and it was fantastic! Their show at The Lamb was one of the best this year too!
5. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Xtra Mile)
Not album of the year? Not for any reason of than it was a break up record, and that’s sad. It’s also a blinding great album, which battled with The Buble for top spot in the charts. Frank lost the battle with the middle aged woman supremo, but he stayed by far the best act Great Britain has to offer!
4. Future Of The Left – How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (Self Release / crowd funded)
This record felt like a culmination of the previous efforts. So varied, tight, stop start, glitchy, ambitious and with Falco’s wit made it near perfect! And a band I managed to catch 3 times this year, which was 3 times more than ever before!
3. Thought-Forms – Ghost Mountain – (Invada)
The Wiltshire cum Bristol trio come of age, with a frankly magnificent second album. Part art rock, part post rock – Shoe gazing, drone brilliance. Should catapult them into the scenes majors players
2. Jetplane Landing – Don’t Try – (Small Town America)
I was about to say this is bias, but realised that would suggest it doesn’t deserve to be top spot. It does, but still manages to miss out on my favourite album of the year. “Hey! Maggots! Get off my turf! I wrote shit. like. this. fucking years ago!!” Thank you Andrew + band, for such an inspiring record!
1. ASIWYFA – All Hail Bright Futures – (Sargent House)
Two Sargent House releases bookending this list. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if ASIWYFA had ripped off Adebisi Shank, but then I realised that “All Hail…” was by a country mile the best record this year, in my opinion, so it didn’t matter. Absolutely blinding from start to finish, tune after tune after tune after tune. So. Much. Fun. Live. MAGNIFICENT band, getting better with each release – this could well be their OK Computer moment, and they could swallow the world next year, or perhaps it’s their Six moment, and they’ll go unappreciated and split. Who cares, this was a monster of an album and deserves top spot.
Special mentions go to Caves, The Computers, Chris T-T, Ice Sea Dead People, Jamie Lenman, Bite The Buffalo, Calories, Larry & His Flask and Gaz Brookfield and The Bronx for all making great records too! Last year I stuck Retrospective Soundtrack Players in this section, and it went on to be the most listened record on my iPod, just saying’.
THE INEVITABLE EP LIST
1. Oxygen Thief – Accidents Do Not Happen They Are Caused (Xtra Mile)
2. Gnarwolves – Funemployed (BSM) (another year, another EP, next year I predict their album to be #1)
3. Straight Lines – Escapology (Xtra Mile)
4. Sophomore – The Blue EP – (Self Release)
5. Rat Attack – Rat Attack – (Self Release) (Left their hardcore roots behind, and went all Kerrang! A massive guilty pleasure…)
6. The Computers – Elvis Vs. Elvis (One Little Indian)
7. Ben Marwood – Demons (Self release)
8. Calories – DMT (Self release)
9. Little Leagues – Clarity (Self release)
LOCAL BAND RELEASES
2. Dead Royalties – Dead Royalties – Another cracking band from Alex Share. This lad has a sound, and he rarely does anything other than complete excellence, this a 3 track EP for the new band was just that, excellent.
3. The Observation Deck – Easily Exploitable – I promised to release this properly with a physical record, but never got the chance, time or money to do it, how ever it was a top record!
4. Tendril – Tendril Loving Tendril Care – 4 lads with a classic rock sound. No vocalist, yet it didn’t stop them really coming together wit a tight nit sound. Recently seen expanding into vocal-less noise territory and embracing it, rather than finding it an hindrance. 2014 will be their year, locally. Trust me.
5. Audrey Aroha – 9 Volt Leap Recordings – She’s been on the scene for a while, yet this year she managed to headline and pack out local venues, and finally release something! a 6 track EP thing, which pretty much covered the solo singer song writer slot in Wiltshire with aplomb!
RECORDS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2014
Mongol Horde will be releasing, I hope, their début. We have the new one from the Retrospective Soundtrack Players in Spring along with Decade‘s album out in January! Oxygen Thief has promised us new music, if I remember correctly – another solo ep and a band record… Adebisi Shank have their third record out on Sargent House (preview here) and I’m hoping for something new from Tangled Hair and perhaps even a proper Gnarwolves album??
FEEL FREE TO GET IN CONTACT AND TELL ME WHY I’M WRONG, WHO I MISSED OR BETTER STILL YOUR OWN LISTS.
TUNE IN SOON FOR A RUN DOWN OF MY FAVOURITE GIGS OF THE YEAR, NOT JUST AS A PROMOTER BUT ALSO AS A PUNTER!
AND REMEMBER TO COME TO THE Chris T-T show, this FRIDAY at The Lamb, in Devizes. 8pm. Free entry.