Top 50 albums of 2012…so far!

Top 50 albums of 2012…so far!

1. Killing Joke ”ËœMMX11′

As a dark, dense slab of apocalyptic new millennium rock as you would hope for

2. Dexys ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’

Stripped down, intense and beautiful comeback from Kevin Rowland.

3. Ceremony ‘Zoo’

Breaking out from hardcore roots to make a varied album that soaked up psychedlia and even New Order

4. OFF! – OFF!

Hardcore taken back to its short, sharp ferocious roots by ex Black Flag frontman Keith Morris

5. Mary Epworth – Dream Life

Beguiling mix of indie, folk and experimentalism

6. The Stranglers ‘Giants’

Heroic return to form from the indestructible meninblack.

7. Sun Arraw and M Gengras meet The Congos ‘Icon Give Thank and Icon Eye’

Amazing collaboration between psychedelic LA and Jamaican roots legends

8. Japandroids ‘Celebration Rock’

Future garage rock brawl

9. Paul Weller ‘Sonik Kicks’

Brilliant change in direction results in eccentric curveball album

10. Laibach ‘Iron Sky’

Darkly humorous electro darkness film soundtrack from Slovene innovators

11. Katzenjammer ‘A Kiss Before You Go

Danish guitar pop girls with a twist

12. Public Image ‘This Is PIL’

As willfully awkward as ever, there are some sublime moments on the album

13. Reverend And The Makers

Great mash of bass, indie and techno and the politics of everyday life

14. Gonja Sufi ‘Mu. ZZ. Le’

More post hip hop capers from our favourite maverick yoga teaching musical hobo

15. Azealia Banks ‘1991’

Most exciting new voice in hip hop for years

16. Carter Tutti Void ‘Transcers’

Throbbing Gristle meet Factory Floor with expected results!

17. The Cribs ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’

Proof that young British bands can still fuck with the template

18. Meshuggah ‘Koloss’

If extreme metal is where the experimentalists are then Meshuggah lead the pack, this is as dark and heavy as it gets.

19. Bruce Springsteen ‘Wrecking Ball’

The Boss makes one of the great, and only, statements about the great 21st century depression. musically and lyrically eloquent and powerful.

20. Flats ”ËœBetter Living’

Scuzzy crew collide hardcore and dirge for a marmite album, which we love.

21. Gallon Drunk ”ËœThe Road Gets Darker From Here’

Mortality and love are the themes of this garage blues workout

22. Alabama Shakes ‘Boys And Girls’

Brilliant voice defines this stripped down blues soul album

23. Graham Coxon ‘A&E’

Blur man makes his best solo album yet

24. Sleigh Bells ‘Reign of Terror’

MIA meets hipster meets metal hardcore! And creates 21st century brat pop

25. Tribes ‘Baby’

Breakout album for UK indie crew

26. Deathgrips ‘The Money Store’

Experimental hip hop and more proof of the revival of the form

27. Actress ‘R.I.P.’

Glammy disco meltdown

28. Tindersticks ‘The Something Rain’

Great well written songs from long term melancholics

29. Pollyn – Living in Patterns

Lush, warm, crafted experimentalism

30. Baltic Fleet ”ËœTowers’ (Blow Up)

Instrumentals that that pits itself between DJ Shadow, Gang of Four and Neu!

31. Can ‘The Lost Tapes’

This is one archive worth mining endlessly

32. Patti Smith ‘Banga’

The godmother of modern rock and poetic high priestess in powerful return

33. 2.54 ‘2.54’

Grunge with space in well thought dynamic cranked shoe gazing outing

34. Joey Ramone ‘Ya Know’

Even a collection of odds and sods from Joey’s last session is genius

35. The Cult ‘Choice Of Weapon’

Almost garage rock with great riffola and the Ian Astbury visionary thing

36. The Enemy ‘Streets In The Sky’

Coventry trio’s third album is tough punk anthems produced powerfully by The Bronx

37. Xiu Xiu ‘Always’

Eccentric post post rock full of charm and ideas

38. Cornershop ‘Urban Turban the Singhles club’

Reminder of the DIY greatness of da’ shop

39. Beach House ‘Bloom’

Dream pop etherealists

40. Spiritualised ‘Sweet Heart Sweet Light’

Great return from trip out visionaries

41. Guided By Voices ‘Lets Go Eat The Factory’

16th album from the crafted kings of lo fi who return after decade for a strong set

42. Dirty Three ‘ Toward The Low Sun’

More adventures from the bearded story teller

43. Napalm Death ‘Utilitarian’

Napalm Death breakout from their relentlessly brilliant grinding grindcore with a varied and brilliant album

44. Lambchop ‘Mr M’

Music to get lost in, dusty Americana from one of the great songwriters

45. The Primitives ”ËœEchoes And Rhymes’

Excellent return dripping with classic pop

46. Jack White ‘Blunderbuss’

Soul searching collection from former White Stripe

47. Wedding Present ‘Valentina’

More bruised love lorn songs from the Gedge

48. Enter Shikari ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’

Best offering yet from UK hardcore and techno fusion crew

49. Grimes ‘Visions’

wackoid electronic pop with a really unique vision

50. Antlered Man ‘Giftes 1and2’

Superior dislocation of hardcore and punk with the post rock intelligence of Shellac colliding with a metallic KO.





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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. ‘A Kiss Before You Go’ – Katzenjammer is my personal favourite. Looking forward to their British tour in October – they’re stupendously good live as can be seen on their new ‘Live In Hamburg’ DVD. Inicidentally, they’re from Norway.

  2. The wonderful 4CD box set of WITCH “We Intend To Cause Havoc” should be in there for me – probably the only band in Zambia in 1972 that sounded a bit like the Velvets

  3. the FIXX- “Beautiful Friction” isn’t even mentioned yet? Makes your survey less credible since this is the album of the year and ear…..


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