Albums of the Year 2018 – Numbers 26 to 50
Continuing the rundown…
Note: Completely different list/order to our sister Print Publication Louder than War Magazine.
Brix & The Extricated – Breaking State
Too many bands these days rely on noise over substance, banging away as if melodies didn’t matter. They do, they make an album, and Breaking State is a great album! They could learn a lot about songwriting by listening to this record. Reviewed by Nigel Carr here.
Shame : Songs of Praise
Released in January John Robb said here; Shame are a snapshot of the now. It’s abrasive, it’s not compromising and yet it still manages to be a kind of pop music. This is the reflection of grating modern life. Guitars not quite making sense is always a glorious sound and these songs of love and fury are delivered with this kind of venom and snarky wit are always compulsive and propulsive.
Therapy? Cleave (Marshall Records)
This is rock band that always worked on all levels. They still dare to bring the noise – that black T-shirt, high decibel noise to get lost in, they dare to riff and they dare to embrace the outer margins of post-punk, they also dare to infuse the noise with a remarkable sensitivity and a case of underrated lyrical smarts. John Robbs review here
The Filthy Tongues – Back to Hell,
Listening to this album is an emotionally engaging and exhilarating experience. It ensnares you from those first words “My name is Alexander…” seducing you with the lyrical imagery and accomplished musicianship. A striking album. (Neil Hodge)
30 Warduna – Skald (By Norse)
“Skald was recorded live in the studio with the intention of capturing the raw and uncompromising energy of a live performance rather than aiming for a flawless and polished expression. It sets out to give voice to the ancient craft that once lay at the heart of the Norse oral traditions, presented as it takes shape in the hands of a humble contemporary skald today.”
30 Blue Orchids – Righteous Harmony Fist
Blue Orchids were always the thinking mans garage band, the drinking mans psychedelic beat combo and the work-work-working mans bad education in post-punk Manchester.,,,yet another work of under-stated, under-rated, under the radar genius Reviewed here by Ged Babey
31 The Amorettes : Born To Break
Of which Neil Johnson said in his review here: …their best record to date. It’s not sophisticated or fancy, it’s not pretentious and it’s definitely not boring, This is honest to goodness spit and sawdust rock and roll. The Amorettes bring comfort food for your soul and everyone needs some of that every now and then
32 Lucy Ward : Pretty Warnings
Sublime …. said Mike Ainscoe here, reviewing the folk singers album…taking up the gauntlet and delivering a transcendent and enthralling experience. Not a wasted note, not a dull moment. It’s not often you can say that.
33 Dan O’Farrell & the Difference Engine: These Dark Ages Are Hurting All The People That We Love (Humphry records)
A warm, kind-hearted album about love in hard times, passion and compassion. Musically it has more of a swing that the debut. The string section and lap-steel are no longer just embellishments but fully part of the songs. And they are really great songs; crafted, literate, considered. Said Ged Babey
34 Let’s Eat Grandma : I’m All Ears
LEG enter the next phase of their life as a brilliant curiosity, a schizophrenic marvel split between a yearning for pop perfection and a natural touch for constructing cutting edge dark sparse introspective piece – it didn’t do The Cure any harm back in the day! Said John Robb in a live review
35 Radio Europa – To Repel Ghosts
Throbbing electronica with instructional vocals over the increasingly repetitive industrial beat. Clever as fuck. Blissed out electronica …. soon morphs into gorgeous, yet melancholy chord changes…. It’s strangely unsettling, yet beautiful in its simplicity… Reviewed by Ioan here
36 Whyte Horses – Empty Words
…is a future classic, and Whyte Horses are geniuses in the art of creating perfect psychedelic pop. They make it sound so simple, and it should be. Genius song-writing with majestic melodies, adventures in sound, bright and shiny productions and meticulously crafted arrangements. They are not afraid to explore melody… Reviewed by Arash Torabi here
37 The Eastern Swell- Hand Rolled Halo
The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin.
…Arguably and bizarrely the missing link between Crass and the Spice Girls – if they’d read the SCUM Manifesto instead of OK Magazine. Reviewed here by Ged Babey
39 Sarah Shook & The Disarmers: Years
…an album that lays bare years of heartache and struggle and says bollocks to it and bollocks to you all; I’m still here and I’m gonna follow my own path. It’s an album that says accept me on my own terms or fuck off. Shook takes the past musical traditions and dresses them up with 21st century sensibilities. Like all great writers she takes from the past, imbues it with the present and then sprinkles on that indefinable magic that all great songwriters have. An amazing review here by Mark Ray
40 Ghostemane – N/O/I/S/E
41 Bethia Beadman – Into The Peace.
This album… highlights Beadman as an artist building emotional depth, personal questions and introspection in her art – making ‘Into the Peace’ an elemental, expressive work oozing lived experience and the ability to share it. This is music which is unafraid, intimate and raw. Reviewed by Emily Oldfield here
42 The Coral – Move Through The Dawn.
Every song on this new album stands out from the rest in its own way, marking its own territory, much in the same way as those on their debut. The difference is of course the maturity in their songwriting, the lush arrangements and with James Skelly captaining their ship, here’s hoping that they long sail the seas of their new adventure. Some say that sequels never live up to the originals, but The Coral are proving that second chapters can truly breathe life and soul into them. Reviewed here by Nathan Whittle
43 Nightingales – Perish the Thought
With a Stewart Lee documentary movie in the planning stages things are looking good for Nightingales… and Perish the Thought is a prog-rock meets jazz-punk joy, full of love and misanthropy. Musically it is ‘challenging’ and takes a few listens perhaps, but it ends up being a whole heap of beautiful, difficult fun. Reviewed here by Ged Babey
44 Phosphorescent – C’est La Vie (Dead Oceans)
…Seventh album, following a five-year hiatus filled with drastic life changes, brings a sonic twist to the country-rock roots of Americana, filled with songs of strength and survival… It’s a mixture of the earthy and the wondrous, the troubled and the serene… Tim Cooper reviews here
45 Just Mustard – Wednesday
John Robb says “Great young band from Ireland whose debut album is full of industrial dark sounds – like some kind of early 4AD band revamped for the 21st century.
46 Reaction – Keep it Weird, Keep it Wired (Tarbeach)
Classy punk rock’n’roll from Airdrie with guest vocalist Monica Queen on highpoint ‘Welcome To Rust Town’. Label mates of Heavy Drapes and it could be said that they are the Clash to the Drapes Pistols… maybe. Reviewed here
47 Alison Statton And Spike – Bimini Twist
…is kind of like a very attractive aural puzzle, where with repeated listening more insight emerges, slowly granting the attentive listener a fuller vista. …. it could be “album of the year” but I prefer to think it exists in a class of its own. Both heart-breaking and life-affirming in a way so little music actually is. An absolute gem. Said Ian Canty here
48 Arctic Monkeys -Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Are they making the music for the fans? Or are they making music in which they can express themselves the most? Why not come and join these four musicians in their defined hotel and casino and find out for yourselves? Sit back and venture into the self-directed ballet of The Ultracheese and listen to the most ambitious album Alex Turner has written to date. Reviewed here by Jack Walsh
49 Miya Folick – Premonitions
50 Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
Part One 51 to 200 is here. Top 25 tomorrow!
Compiled by Ged Babey from votes from John Robb, Nigel Carr, Mike Ainscoe, Neil Hodge, Gus Ironside, Paul Scott Bates, Simon Tucker, Matt Mead, Cassie Fox, Ian Canty, Nathan Brown, Tim Cooper, Arash Torabi Hal Incandenza, Christopher Lloyd, Melanie Smith, Keith Goldhanger, Neil Johnson, Nathan Whittle, John Kean, Wayne Carey, Ged Babey, Mark Ray, Paul Grace, Emily Oldfield, Phil Newall, Dom Wals, Cazz Blasé, Naomi Dryden-Smith and Ioan Humphreys.