Louder Than War’s top 80 albums of 2010
These damn lists are never final. ÃÂ You start compiling and more and more stuff appears. And I’m not even a lists kind of person really. Music is beyond lists, especially in 2010. It’s too fractured to tidy up into a list. BUT we will try!
Also there’s been so many great pop singles that you can’t stick into a top 80 albums that we already have a warped picture of the year. One single download can have more value than a whole album.
Maybe the album format is dead? there’s plenty of evidence in this list that as a work of art it’s not but as one of the signposts of popular culture does the album sit alongside key gigs, festivals and the latest mobile phone or Apple releases as a signifier?
There have been lots of great releases this year but it feels like the calm before the storm. The big bands are back next year and also the cuts may kick in and things get a bit wilder out there.
Despite all this the top 80 would have been a great list in any year…
Please comment or get in touch if you have any more to add to the list!
1.ÃÂ Shining ”ËBlackjazz’ (indie recordings) utterly awesome fifth album from dark yet thrilling Norwegian noise metal outfit. Wildly manic and with free jazz sax skronk on top”Â¦perfect!
2.ÃÂ Grinderman ‘Grinderman 2’ (Mute) dark and funny collection of lyrical mid life crisis blues!
3.ÃÂ Off ”ËFirst Four EPs’ (Vice) Keith Morris, ex Black Flag and Circle Jerks singer, in what could be his best record yet”Â¦a brattish, high molten Stooges/primetime hardcore assault and quite brilliant.
4.ÃÂ Massive Attack ”ËHelogoland’ (Virgin) stark, dark and moody- more like the album Pil should have made after ‘Metal Box’ than the dance tag that MA get dumped with.
5.ÃÂ MIA ”ËMaya’ (XL) crush collison of styles- from a cool Suicide lift to street beats from all over the world in arguably the most punk rock album of the year that mashes up international popular culture and spits it back with a political and yet empowering bile.
6.ÃÂ Killing joke ‘Absolute Dissent’ (Spineform) Convincing intense comebackÃÂ from the key original line up of the highly influential outfit who possess the necessary dark voodoo to convince.
7.ÃÂ Pulled Apart By Horses ”ËPulled Apart By Horses’ (Transgressive)”Â¦brilliant high octane hardcore from Leeds based crew.
8.ÃÂ These New Puritans ”ËHidden’ (Angular/Domino) brilliantly imaginative reinvention of the sparse rhythmic dynamic of mid period XTC and other high IQ punk period misfits for band’s second album.
9.ÃÂ Factory Floor ”ËUntitled’ (Blast First) stunning, stripped down hypnotic music with the dark pulse of classic Kraftwerk and the stripped down smarts of old school NW post punk outfits like Section 25.
10.ÃÂ Crass ”Ëreissues’ (Southern) The classic albums remeastered and with new artwork are as potent as when they were first released in the early eighties and their uplifting call to peacenik arms are as timely as possible.
11.ÃÂ ÃÂ Rolo Tomassi ‘Cosmology’ (hassle)”Â¦Diplo produced second album, tearing up the template and reconstructing as noisy cut and paste merchants.
12.ÃÂ ÃÂ Autechre ”ËOversteps’ (Warp) another aural adventure which sees them remain on their idiosyncratic electronic path. Complex rhythms joust with neo-soundtrack atmospherics and sounds that affect you both mentally and physically.
13.ÃÂ The Ex ”ËCatch My Shoe’ (Ex Records) Long time Dutch punk crew mix fractured post punk with African rebel folk and polyrthymic punk rhythms- 30 years in and still captivating
14.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Sleigh Bells ‘Treats’ (Columbia) post MIA distorted beats and boy/girl shouting. We love it.
15.ÃÂ ÃÂ Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine ”ËAudacity Of Hype’ (alternative Tentacles) Jello’s most urgent sounding release since primtime DK’s with all the crooked wit and potent anger still intact just when we needed it.
16.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ The Fall ”ËYour Future Our Clutter’ (Domino)ÃÂ best recorded Fall album for yonks, where you can hear the clank and grind of the machine and the bile and humour of the lyrics.
17.ÃÂ Dropkick Murphy’s ‘Live on Lansdowne’ (”Â¦”Â¦.)ÃÂ second live album from Irish folk/punk crew captures their raucous life affirming Guinness through a fuzzbox revelry”Â¦
18.ÃÂ ÃÂ Sexual Objects ”ËCucumber’ (Creeping Bent / Aktion & Spass) ex Fire Engines still with manic mojo intact in inventive burst of creativity.
19. Various ‘Black Hole-ÃÂ Californian Punk 1977-1980’ (Domino) LTW! Favorite Jon Savage’s collection of the initial speed kills Cali punk bands from 76/78
20. GBH – ‘Perfume and Piss‘ (Hellcat) second wave punk veterans
21. ÃÂ ÃÂ Street Dogs ”ËStreet Dogs’ (Hellcat) former Dropkick Murphies frontman returns with street punk crew who pack in the songs on their guttural album
22.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Bear in Heaven ”ËBeast Rest Forth Mouth’ (Hometapes) sparse electronic workouts
23.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ The Jim Jones Review ”ËBurning Your House Down’ (PIAS) re inventing the wheel and making rock n roll sound urgent and sharply dressed again.
24.ÃÂ ÃÂ No Age ‘Everything In Between’. (Sub Pop) Filthy noise that is quite beautiful in its innovation and atmosphere and stunning in its scope for two people to create.
25.ÃÂ ÃÂ Warpaint ”ËThe Fool’ (Rough Trade) Shining, haunting, affecting wash of pure Californian beauty”Â¦.chiming production aided by John Frusciante
26. ÃÂ ÃÂ Cancer Bats ”ËBears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones’ (Distrort) charismatic, shouty 21st century punk hardcore
27.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Deftones ”ËDiamond Eyes’ (Reprise) pissing on the template with still powerful yet post nu metal atmospherics. Emotional and articulate and an example ofÃÂ how to make triumphant music out of the tragedy of their bassist ending up in a coma after a car accident.
28. ÃÂ Sick of it All ”ËBased on a True Story’ (Century Media Records) convincingly brutal release as ever from New York legends and one of the last survivors of old school hardcore still cutting it.
29.ÃÂ ÃÂ Edwyn Collins ”ËLosing Sleep’ (Heavenly) heart warming survivorÃÂ who overcame illness and who has not lost his touch in writing great songs.
30.ÃÂ ÃÂ Manic Street Preachers ”ËPostcards From A Young Man’ (Sony) still writing great songs and still believing and still pissing people off”Â¦
31.ÃÂ Rammstein‘ Liebe ist für alle da’ÃÂ (Universal) ok I know it came out at the back end of 2009 but their stomping teutonic technocore metal with hilarious wind up lyrics sung in German is part of this year’s soundtrack at LTW! And we didn’t exist last year.
32.ÃÂ ÃÂ Belle and Sebastian ”ËWrite About Love’ (Rough Trade)”Â¨great tunes and deceptively tough no compromise attitude that makes them punk rock.
33. ÃÂ LCD Soundsystem ‘This Is Happening’ (EMI) deconstructing the technology into human chunks and great witty songs.
34.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ NOFX ‘The Longest EP’ (Fat Wreck) compilation of odds and sods from played for laughs but with no compromise punk rock politic attitude.
35. ÃÂ Motorhead ”ËThe World is Yours’ (Motorhead) Is here not only for just for being Lemmy and his not bending to anyone’s will or whim or the brilliant video for the single where Lemmy beats up the bankers but also for being the twentieth album of tough, punk rock action from the true heirs to the MC5.
36.ÃÂ ÃÂ Hey Colussus ‘Hey Colossus And The Van Halen Time Capsule Present Eurogrumble Volume One’ (Riot Season) stunning, vibrant racket
37.ÃÂ Paranoid Visions ”ËBlack Operations In The Red Mist!’ (PV) Dublin based long term Crass disciples sounding better and angrier than ever.
38.ÃÂ ÃÂ Frightened Rabbit ”ËThe Winter of Mixed Drinks’ (Fatcat) proving folk doesn’t have to be the terrain of the dippy and trendy.
39.ÃÂ ÃÂ Dum Dum Girls ‘I Will Be’ (Subpop) joyous girl gang chug guitar anthems like the Ronettes hanging out with the Ramones in the coolest looking street gang ever.
40.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Icarus Line ”ËUntitled’ ok, ok, it’s not out till next year but it’s an amazing record, their best yet and pure rock n roll
41.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Charlotte Gainsbourg ‘IRM’ veteran chanteuse in smokey, cool comeback that oozes sex and smarts.
42.ÃÂ ÃÂ The Dillinger Escape Plan ‘Option Paralysis’ (Party Smasher) Tough, brutal and inventive 21st century hardcore but not genre trapped.
43.ÃÂ Interpol ‘Interpol’ (Matador) dark, moody atmopsherics from band who have now transcended their record collections and love of Mancunian moodists like Joy Div and the Chameleons and struck out on their own.
44.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Crystal Castles ”ËCrystal Castles 2′ (Fiction)ÃÂ fucked up twisted electro pop machinations.
45.ÃÂ ÃÂ Liars ”ËSisterworld’ (Mute) more dislocated adventures
46. ÃÂ Gogol Bordello ‘Trans-Continental Hustle’ (American recordings) more gypsy punk from the American outfit. This time produced by Rick Rubin.
47. ÃÂ Male Bonding ‘Nothing Hurts’ (Sub Pop) Bubblegum with a punkish attitude
48.ÃÂ ÃÂ SwansÃÂ ”ËMy Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky’ (Young God)ÃÂ sternly impressive comeback
49.ÃÂ ÃÂ Gaslight AnthemÃÂ ‘American Slang’ (sideone dummy) dealing anthemic post Bruce Springsteen songs of love and loss on the American heartland”Â¦
50.ÃÂ ÃÂ Deerhunter ”ËHalcyon Digest’ (4AD) highly original twisted indie with a hint of the godlike Marc Bolan in the vocal warbles.
51.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Gil Scott-Heron ”ËI’m New Here’ (Rough Trade) stunning return from smoky voiced king of gravitas and wisdom.
52. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster ‘Blood & Fire’ (No Death) still on fire and still sharply deranged and dangerous as ever with their filthy punk rock hooligan blues
53.ÃÂ ÃÂ The Vaselines ‘Sex With An Ex’ (Subpop) Great ÃÂ return from sassy, steamy garage indie bedsit outfit beloved by Curt Cobain.
54. ÃÂ Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – ‘Buried Behind The Barn’ (alternative tentacles) country blues, gothabilly mess of blues”Â¦
55.ÃÂ Pink Industry ‘New Technology 2010’ÃÂ reissue (Brazil) Liverpool freak show that was packed full of fiery talent making utterly original music.
56.ÃÂ Sufjan Stevens ‘The Age Of Adz’ (Asthemetic Kitty) another one off release and first for five years, adventures in electronics and orchestration and twisted into something very new.
57. ÃÂ Gorillaz ‘Plastic Beach’ (Parlaphone)ÃÂ their weakest album yet but still close to pop perfection. Looking forward to their ipad recorded xmas day released album (note- not the first ipad recorded release)
58.ÃÂ ÃÂ Kelis ‘Flesh Tone’. Pop at its most wacky and kooky.
59.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Charlatans ”ËWho We Touch’ (Cooking Vinyl)ÃÂ still stylishly mod and effortlessly pop cool with Hammond driven classic British pop plus a Penny Rimbaud poem.
60.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Caribou ”ËSwim’ (Rough Trade) unclassifiable mash of electronic multi rhythms and organic kookiness, quite brilliant.
61. ÃÂ Strawberry Blondes ‘Fightback’ÃÂ ÃÂ melodic Clash flavoured rock n roll.
62. ÃÂ Frontline Assembly ‘Civilisation’ Dependent) industrial crew who still prove there is plenty of life in the form.
63. ÃÂ D.O.A. ‘Talk – Action = 0’ hardcore legends who have never lost their edge.
64. ÃÂ Every Time I Die – New Junk Aesthetic ”Ë (Epitaph) metalcore meets mathrock as suitably complex and visceral as you would expect.
65. ÃÂ Drums Of Death ”ËGeneration Hexed’ÃÂ noisy and inventive molten meltdown of techno, rave and punk rock”Â¦
66.ÃÂ ÃÂ Electric Wizard ”ËBlack Masses’ (Rise Above)ÃÂ Dorset doom metal
67.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Blackhole ”ËDead Hearts’ muscular hardcore from Gallows brothers band
68.ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Pendulum ”ËImmersion’ÃÂ (Warners) pleasingly dumb post Prodigy gonzoid stadium dance fun.
69.ÃÂ ÃÂ I Am Kloot ”ËSky At Night’ (Shepherd Moon) heart on sleeve raw crafted Mancunian late night bedsit guitars”Â¦
71.ÃÂ Roky Erickson with Okkervil River ‘True Love Cast Out All Evil’ (ANTI)ÃÂ just for being Roky and for still being with us”Â¦and for his first new album for 14 years.
72. Chrome Hoof ”ËCrush depth’ more orchestral antics from ex cathedral experimentalists
74. Gonjasufi ”ËA Sufi AndÃÂ A Killer (Warp) fantastic dark smoky voice hobo hip hop from yoga loving desert rat
75. Pantha Du Prince ”ËBlack Noise’ stripped down minimalist techno with hint of shoe gazing
76. Holy Fuck ‘Latin’ (Young Turk)ÃÂ cut and past electronic mash up fun.
77. The Coral ”ËButterfly House’ (Deltasonic) classy sixties fused garage pop
79. Against Me ”ËWhite Crosses’ (sire) melodic black t shirt punk rock angst
80. Eminem ‘Recovery’ (Interscope) still capable of great moments whilst dealing with the tricky topic of outgrowing brattish personae