22 Albums of the Year-So-Far… Louder Than War writers choices, July 202022 Albums of the Year So Far… 

Just some of Louder Than Wars writers choices from Jan – July 2020

In the weirdest year in living memory is ‘the album’ actually important any more?  Or are individual tracks or the playlist ‘the thing’?  Maybe we’re old-fashioned.. but here are our picks of the year-so-far:

The number one was by an overwhelming majority.  All of these twenty-two are the ones which had multiple votes from a hastily-arranged panel of 22 contributors to the site.  Numbers five onwards are in a pretty random order. The alleged LTW Manchester-bias is not in evidence.  Roughly a third of the artists have female members – but for a quick straw-poll conducted on Facebook, it’s a pretty fair representation of Louder Than Wars collective tastes in older and new-ish acts that matter and who are making great music in 2020.  Enjoy. Discuss. Buy!


  1.  The Lovely Eggs ‘I Am Moron’ (Egg Records)        Review

2.  Pigs,Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs. Viscerals  (Rocket Recordings)  Review

3.  Jehnny Beth – To Love Is To Live (20LO7)    Review

4  Bob Vylan – We Live Here            Review and Interview

5.  Nightingales – Four Against Fate  (Tiny Global Productions)  Review

6.  Baxter Dury – The Night Chancers  (Rough Trade)  Review

7   Michael ‘Tell Your Friends’ (Cracked Ankles Records)  Review

8   Nadine Shah –  Kitchen Sink   Interviewed by John Robb

9  Porridge Radio – Every Bad  (Secretly Canadian)  Review

10.  Sparks –  A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip …. (BMG)   Review  Interview

11.  Run the Jewels: RTJ4  (Jewel Runners)  Review 

12  The Total Rejection  – The Time Traveller’s 3rd Will And Testament (Raving Pop Blast!)     Review

13  Cornershop – England is a Garden (Ample Play)   Review 

14  The Cravats   – Hoorahland     (Overground)    Review 

15  Pottery – Welcome to Bobby’s Motel    Buy/Listen

16  Public Practice – Gentle Grip (Rough Trade)    Buy 

17  Wire -10:20 (pinkflag)     Review

18  Suzie Stapleton  -We are the Plague  (Negative Prophet)   Review

19  Andy Shauf  – Neon Skyline  (Anti)       Review

20   Punks Against Sweatshops – Give Sweatshops the Boot Vol. 1   (40 artists from Jello Biafra, Steve Ignorant to Menstrual Cramps and Petrol Girls – an amazing compilation album…)   Review     Buy from here 

21    Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters (Epic Records)     Review

22    Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways  (Columbia)    Track review

Albums which should’ve been there include ones by ….

Ist Ist, Superdrone, Babybird, Columbia Mills, Ezra Furman,  Jessie Ware, HMLTD,  Def Robot, Badly Drawn Boy,  Everything Is Recorded, Clara Engels, The Wind-Up Birds,  Lucinda Williams, Ren Harvieu, Dream Wife,  Drift.,  Strokes, Keeley Forsyth, Sam Lee, Joan As Police Woman, the Speedways, Moses Sumney, Snowgoose, , RVG, Brendan Benson, Neil Young, Pablo Solo, Becca Mancari, Jade Hairpins, Warm Digits, Duncan Reid and the Big Heads, DiabloFurs, Starless, Natalie Pryce, Nine Inch Nails, Neubauten, Charlie XCX, Bdrrm, Tim Burgess,  Perfume Genius, Kate NV, Dana Gavinski,  Easy,  Exit Stance, Lounge Bar Orchestra, The Gist, It’s Karma It’s Cool, Spygenius, The Newds, the Dream Syndicate, MFC Chicken, Psycho Comedy, Moaning……

Listen to the Louder Than War top 22 on Radio Alty



Compiled by Ged Babey from nominations by John Robb, Nigel Carr. Melanie Smith, Naomi Dryden-Smith,  Wayne Carey, Phil Newall, Keith Goldhanger, Gus Ironside, Ian Canty, Andy Brown, Paul Evangelista, Nathan Brown, Ian Corbridge, Neil Hodge, Elliot Simpson, Paul Clarke, Nathan Whittle, Gordon Rutherford, Paul Grace, Martin Matthews, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Cooper and Ged Babey. 

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.


  1. Great list. Ironically, the “Should Have…” list could also have been the list and would not have surprised. I am giving 2020 high praise for LPs so far, but not for much else…



  2. Mine (no order), got some good tips from above though.:
    Shopping – All or Nothing (quirky indie post punk dancetastic pop)
    Carpenter Brut – Blood Machines (Think earlier Justice doing bombastic movie soundtracks)
    Humanist – Humanist (likely candidate for top spot come year end. It’s way more than the sum of the list of exemplary artists involved)
    The Lovely Eggs – I Am Moron (the pure rage blast tracks are my favourites, bought whole back catalogue after this)
    Baxter Dury – The Night Chancers (More electronic than earlier output and pure pop)
    Melt Yourself Down – 100% Yes (chuck everything in the music pot and mix well, with emphasis on the sax)
    Holy Fuck – Deleter (build your own instruments, break some others then play them and see what happens)
    Eric Hilton – Infinite Everywhere (Thievery Corporation without real instruments)
    WhoMadeWho – Synchronicity I (Its only 4 tracks but its half an hour long, there’s parts II and III to come too)
    She Past Away – X (Turkish goth. It’s all remixes of previous stuff, sue me)


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