Top 20 albums to check out before X-mas

1. Tom Waits ‘Bad As Me’
The return of the master. It’s been a good few years but each installment in Waits gruff yarns is always worth being patient for.

2. The Fall, ‘Ersatz GB’
Live Fall have been on form recently which is hopefully a hint at something good coming in the studio. Expect more sneering sarcasm and bass driven elastic snideness.

3. Arabrot ‘Solar Anus’
Left field grunge noise duo at their very best.

4. Lou Reed And Metallica, ‘Lulu’
Just for the sheer weirdness of the idea…

5. Rammstein ‘Made In Germany 1995-2011’
Ok it’s a greatest hits for a band that never get played on the radio and don’t have hits but sell out stadiums worldwide. It’s also a fantastic intro to one of the great contemporary bands.

6. Manic Street Preachers, ‘National Treasures – The Complete Singles’
Yet another compilation from the band who were only going to make one album, but it’s a great collection of classic singles.

7. Kate Bush – ’50 Words For Snow’
Seven songs over fifty minutes of music, you know that this is going to be a pretty special release.

8. Jane’s Addiction – ‘The Great Escape Artist’
Perry Farrels reconstituted mob are so hit or miss that a quick listen on Spotify might be needed before getting this.

9. The Botanist
A one man black metal drummer who also plays a dulcimer and sings songs about plants with Latin plant names as the titles…what is there not to love about this?

10. David Lynch, ‘Crazy Clown Time’

If he can get anywhere near as tripped out as his films then his debut album could be a work of genius.

11. Bjork, ‘Biophilia’.
Hi tech songs about nature and David Attenborough with mad wigs and weird instruments, I like it already.

12. Justice, ‘Audio, Video, Disco’
Pushing forward the boundaries of electronic music with another twist.

13. Sonic Boom Six
Hard working Mancunian post ska punk crew who are so close to that pop crossover hit moment with their mish mash of styles.

14, Adam Ant ‘Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter’
God knows when the album is coming out, but we have heard it and it sounds brilliant.

15. Bad Brains
New album from one of America’s most influential bands who invented hardcore and most modern American rock music, they were bang on form when I saw them live in Austin this summer.

16. Cobra Skulls ‘Agitations’
Great political street punk, like Dropkick Murphies, could be the next US punk crew to break through

17. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’
The only challenges here are to make an album better than his brothers and better than Oasis and to make a record that matches his brilliant interviews…

18. Mastodon ‘the Hunter’
More frontier metal from the future of noise…

19. Shellac..
Well the were loads on new songs at Primevera this year that sounded amazing, surely they must have founded time to record them?

20. Plenty of albums in the pipeline but not out before Christmas from the likes of Rancid, the Stranglers, Marilyn Manson and many others…

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