Louder Than War Writer’s Top Twenty Albums of 2014 – Part One, Near Misses

Louder Than War recently ran its top 200 albums of the year (the top 50 of which are here), an excellent selection of the best music of 2014. However, that’s not the whole story. We asked all our writers and photographers to send in their ten favourite albums of the year too, and we’ve used them to put together the Louder Than War Writer’s Top Twenty Albums of 2014. But before we crash on into the top 20 a quick salute to all the records that didn’t quite make it…

Louder Than War has never shied away from reviewing anyone, pop, punk, reggae, death metal, you name the genre and I’m pretty sure someone has reviewed something from it on the site. So when you ask contributors to the site what their favourite albums of the year are you get pretty different lists, so different that very few people even chose the same album let alone put the same album at number one.

Also I think that it’s worth noting that each list was sweated about, over thought and analysed to the point of severe headache inducing rage.

In time honoured fashion the lists have been given points from 10 to 1 according to their ranking by individual writers / photographers and the scores have been added up. There will be no re-counts and no apologies made for leaving out any essential listens from the top twenty. This is what we voted for, so obviously they are the best records of the year.

To begin with, as most of the lists were totally different, there are lots of records that didn’t get into the top twenty but deserve a mention. So, honourable mentions to all this lot.

To start with, the odd ones out that only got one point each, this means that they were all at number ten in individual’s lists. This also means that they are still well worth half an hour or so of your time as each has been handpicked by us, albeit only one of us.

So tied at number 35 are…

Anathema – Distant Satellites, Arrows of Love, Centro-Matic – Take Pride in Your Long Odds, Cozy – Button by Button, Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita, Dementio 13 – VTOL, die! die! die! – SWIM , Eastern Front. ‘Descent into Genocide, Greg Kelley & Jason Lescalleet – Conversations, John Steel Singers – Everything’s a Thread, Karen O – Crush Songs, Kasabian – 48:13, Liars – MESS, Lisa and the Lips – Lisa and the Lips, Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband, Nels Cline – Macroscope, The Amatory Murder – Exploiting Our Dreams, The Pierces – Creation, The Vacant Lots – Departure, The Woodentops – Granular Tales, This Will Destroy You – Another Language, Tobacco – Ultima II Massage, True Neutral Crew – #POPPUNK, TV on the Radio – Seeds, VA – Black Fire! New Spirits!, We Are Scientists – TV En Francais, Wussy – Attica!, The Roughneck Riot – Out of Anger

At number 34 we have another chunk of excellent records…

Alcest – Shelter, Bass Clef – Acid Tracts, Bast. ‘Spectres, Ben Mason – Dogs N Yaaa, Brody Dalle – Diploid Love, Burnt Palms – The Girl You Knew, Cat Meat – Eldritch City Dwellers, Chicken Diamond – My Name is Charles Chicken Diamond, Chris Devotion and the Expectations , Chrissie Hynde – Stockholm, Clark – Clark, Dry the River – Alarms In The Heart, Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, Emporer Yes – An Island Called Earth, Gymnast – Wild Fleet, Interpol – El Pintor, Latimer House – All the Rage, Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems, Maths and the Moon – Night Train Daydream, Mechanimal – Secret Science, Nots – We are Nots, Rich Robinson – The Ceaseless Sight, Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2, The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Revalation, The Bucky Rage – Under the Underground, The Pretty Reckless – Going To Hell, The Vaselines – V for Vaselines, The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader, Tindersticks – Ypres, Talisman – I-Surrection Dub

With a load more entering the chart at 33…

1349. ‘Massive Cauldron of Chaos, Adam Leonard – Octopus – Volumes 1-8, Alt-J – This Is All Yours, Angel Olsen, Ben & Ellen Harper – Childhood Home, Caribou – Our Love, FM3 – Ting Shuo, Gruff Rhys – American Interior, Hiss Golden Messenger – Lateness of Dancers, HMHB – Urge for Offal, Jeffery Lewis and the Jrams – Jeffery Lewis and the Jrams, Kutosis – Dream it Away, Literature – Chorus, Lowlakes – Iceberg Nerves, Maya Beiser – Uncovered, Mowbird – Islander, Opeth – Pale Communion, Peaking Lights – Cosmic Logic, Pharmakon – Bestial Burden, Rectifier – Rectifier, Rubella Ballet – Planet Punk, The Struts – Everybody Wants, Together Pangea – Badillac, Tom Hickox – Peace and Diplomacy, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek To Cheek, Venetian Snares – My Love is a Bulldozer

The next bunch of recordings all got four points each, which means they are all at number 32…

Antemasque – Antemasque, Big Ups – Eighteen Hours of Static, Chelsea Grin – Ashes to Ashes, Corners – Maxed Out on Disractions, Drunk Gods – Drunk Gods, Gazelle Twin – Unflesh, Martyn Bennett – Grit, Patterns – Waking Lines, Paul Smith & Peter Brewis – Frozen By Sight, Prince – Art Official Age, Raveonettes – Pe’ahi, Signor Benedick The Moor – El Negro, Sivu – Something on High, Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, Sunn O))) / Spectres – Terrestrials, Sunshine Underground, The Knife – Shaken-Up Versions, We Will Reign – The Last Internationale, Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot, Wild Billy Childish & CTMF – Acorn Man, Goldblade – Acoustic Jukebox

At 31, about halfway for most of the lists are…

Actress – Ghettoville, Bast – Spectres, BIRD – My Fear and Me, Black Lips – Underneath the Rainbow, Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes, Edwin Collins, Carwyn Ellis & Sebastian Lewsley – The Possibilities are endless, Elbow – The Takeoff and Landing of Everything, Future Islands, Golden Fable – Ancient Blue, Hatcham Social – Cutting Up the Present…, Iceage – Plowing into the Field of Love , Jackson Browne – Standing in the Breach, John Fulbright – Songs, Jon Autrey – Beautifully Broken, Jungle – Jungle, Little Sparrow – Wishing Tree, Lonely The Brave – The Days War, Mark Lanegan – Phantom Radio, Ministry. ‘Last Tangle in Paris, New Years Day – Epidemic EP, Pete Fij/Terry Bickers – Broken Heart Surgery, Plaid – Reachy Prints, Rumour Cubes – Appearance of Collections, Sinéad O’Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss, The Bug – Exit, The Cult of Dom Keller – Second Bardo, The Extraordinary Nat King Cole, The Len Price 3 – Nobody Knows, The Orwells – Disgraceland, We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling

And at 30, about the time when more than one writer started voting for one album we have…

Acre Tam – Clasp and Shake EP, Afikan Boy – The ABCD, Against Me! – Transgender Dyshoria Blues, Black Moth – Condemned to Hope, Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow, Cambodian Space Project – Whiskey Cambodia, Cancers – Fatten the Leeches, Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Ex-Cult – Underneath the Rainbow, Ginger Wildheart – Albion, Grishna Shaknes – Distance and Decay, John Bramwell – Live at the Trades, Johnny Marr – Playland, Lee Fields and the Expressions – Emma Jean, Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove – A Fistful of Desert Blues, Maybeshewill – Fair Youth, Naram – March of Gremlins, Royal Blood – Royal Blood, Sharon Von Etten – Are We There, Sleaford Mods – Divide and Exit, Slothrust – I Know You Do, Suzanne Vega – Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles, The Acid – Liminal, The Drums – Encyclopedia, The Sensible Gray Cells – A Postcard From Berlin, Thee Oh Sees – Drop, TV Smith – I Delete, Various – Ralph’s Life, DragSTER – Dead Punk, Echo & the Bunnymen – Meteorites , Wonk Unit – Wonk Unit

29 heralds in some more great music, remember, we advise each and everyone of the albums on this list wholeheartedly…

Buzzcocks – The Way, CJ Wildheart. ‘Mabel’, Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else, Dinos Boys – Last Ones, Dirtmusic – Lion City, Fat White Family – Champagne Holocaust, First Aid Kit – Stay Gold , FKA Twigs – LP1, Gogo Penguin – v2.0, James Blunt – Moon Landing, Keel Her – Keel Her, Lucy – Churches, Schools and Guns, Machine – Sexual Sound, Nat Lyon – Small Victory on a Fallow Field, P Paul Feneton – I, Monster, Pere Ubu – Carnival of Souls, Plank Hivemind, Rosanne Cash – The River and the Thread, Slice of Life – Love and a Lampost, The Birthday Massacre – Superstition, The Dowling Poole, The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams, The Young ‘Uns – Never Forget, Trust – Joyland, Tycho – Awake, Withered Hand – New Gods, Sheepy – Sheepy

At 28 we have some really interesting music, not that the other numbers weren’t interesting it’s just that I’m starting to run out of things to say…

J Mascis – Tied To A Star, AJ Davila y Terror Amor – Beibi, Bears Den – Islands, Billy Idol – Kings and Queens of the Underground, Einstürzende Neubauten – Lament, EMA – The Future’s Void, Frank – Music and songs form the film, Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien, Greys – If Anything, Happyness – Weird Little Birthday, Honeyblood – Debut Album, Ian Dury – The Studio Albums Collection, Jenny Lewis, Johnny Cash – Out Among the Stars, Last Battle –  Lay Your Burden Down, Manic Street Preachers. ‘Futurololgy’, Merchandise – After the End, Ming City Rockers, New Model Army – Between Wine and Blood, Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love, Spear of Destiny – 31 (Thiry One), Temples/Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Sun Restructured, The New Christs – Incantations, The Urban Voodoo Machine. ‘Love, Drink, Death, Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Triptykon – Melena Chasmata, Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack, Warpaint – Warpaint, Christina Vantzou – No 2

Many of the entries at number 27 are our second choices…

A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atomos, Alien Whale – Alien Whale EP, Beck – Morning Phase, Behemoth – The Satanist, Ben Howard – I Foret Where We Were, Blues Pills – Blues Pills, Bob Mould – Beauty and Ruin, Cerebral Ballzy – Jaded and Faded, Death from Above 1979 – The Physical World, Foo Fighters – Sonic Highway, Ghost of a Sabre Toothed Tiger, Gulp – Season Sun, Lana Del Rey. ‘Ultraviolence, Longstone – Risaikuru, Lucinda Williams – Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, Mac DeMarco – Salad Days, Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks, Poundstone Riot – Poundstone Riot, Real World 2, RX Bandits – Gemini, Her Majesty, Scott H Biram – Nothin’ But Blood, Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Wanderlust, The Bug – Angels & Devils , The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Days of Adandon, The Primevals – Tales of Endless Bliss, The Reads – Lost At Sea, Woman’s Hour – Conversations, Zombina and the Skeletons – Charnel House Rock

Right, we now get to the records that got ten points, many of these are our album’s of the year, very highly recommended…

  • Aethetic Perfection – ‘Til Death
  • Afghan Whigs – Do the Beast
  • Drive By Truckers – English Oceans
  • Emperor X – The Orlando Sentinal
  • Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown
  • Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – Pinata
  • Gallon Drunk – The Soul of the Hour
  • Glass Animals – Zaba
  • Headsticks – Muster
  • James – La Petite Morte
  • Jamie T – Carry on the grudge
  • John Mouse – The Death of John Mouse
  • King Tuff – Black Moon Spell
  • Lisa Gerrard – Twilight Kingdom
  • Perc – Power and the Glory
  • Protomartyr
  • Richard Dawson – Nothing Important
  • Roy Moller – One Domino
  • Ruts DC – Live on Stage
  • Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
  • Skull Defects
  • Sun Kil Moon – Benji
  • The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo) – The Both
  • Voices. ‘London’
  • White Fence – For the Revently Found Innocent
  • Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey – Going Back Home
  • Youth Fathers – Dead
  • Vamos – More Songs About Circles

We speed now towards the top twenty…

At 25 we have…

  • Temples – Sun Structures
  •  The Horrors – Luminous

At 24…

  • Alvvays – Alvvays
  •  Goat – Commune
  •  Shellac – Dude Incredible
  •  Sweet Benifica – Earthquake Lights

The joint 23rd are…

  • Band of Holy Joy – Easy Listening
  •  Coathangers – Suck My Shirt
  •  James King and the Lonewolves – Lost songs of the confederacy
  •  Robert Plant – Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar
  •  Scott Walker and Sunn O))) – Soused
  •  Twilight Sad – Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave

At 22 we have…

  • Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires – Dereconstructed
  •  Nick Cave – Push the Sky Away
  •  Ty Segall – Manipulator

And finally, bubbling under at 21 is…

  • Superfood – Don’t Say That

Deep Breath. If you want to know more about these albums search for a review on the site in the top right hand corner. As I have said already, they are all well worth your time.

Right, let the top twenty countdown commence here.

~

This List has been compiled, amended due to late arrivals, lost due to computer crashes and restarted over again by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian  at his Louder Than War author’s archive.

 

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