Sunday, 19 December 2010

Top 20 Albums of 2010

Not the greatest of years, it has to be said, and a top 20 took me some head-scratching, but here goes;
1) Amusement Parks On Fire- Road Eyes- very few in the UK care, so this Nottingham five-piece decamped to LA, hooked up with Brian Aubert of Silversun Pickups, and came up with the most shimmering, rocket-propelled sunshine rock album of the year. Not released in the UK yet, but doing decent business where it was intended.

2) The Domino State- Uneasy Lies The Crown- debut from London band who have Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland's brother in their ranks. Despite this, they managed an album that sounds like Ian McCulloch fronting Ride, which is a very good thing indeed.

3) Butterfly Explosion- Lost Trails- reverb-drenched heaven from Southern Ireland. Knob twiddling by Torsten Kinsella of God Is An Astronaut.

4) Biffy Clyro- Only Revolutions- the angular, stop-start rhythms of old are gone, and in their place a collection of balls-out, stadium-sized rock monsters. Suddenly being discovered by 12 year old girls, as a result of Matt Cardle's murdering of "Many Of Horror".

5) Mogwai- Special Moves- live album taken from their dates in Brooklyn, NYC, last year. Perfectly captures the awesome power of their live performance, with "Mogwai Fear Satan", in particular, scaring the hell out of the neighbours, as it should.

6) Malory- Pearl Diver- German Slowdivers with added Hybrid/Massive Attack electronics.

7) Foals- Total Life Forever- not as immediate as their debut, but definitely the sound of a band capable of going global monster huge.

8) Blood Red Shoes- Fire Like This- what The White Stripes should have sounded like, if they weren't so busy disappearing up their own crevices. Not seen a moshpit for a while like the one at Leeds Festival for them.

9) Mono- Holy Ground- Japanese post-rockers live with New York's Wordless Music Orchestra. I defy anyone to listen to this version of "Trails Of The Winter Storm" without being reduced to a quivering wreck by the end.

10) I Like Trains- He Who Saw The Deep- becalmed second from former Leeds historians, who focus here instead on a bleak environmental message for the future.

11) The Arcade Fire- The Suburbs

12) God Is An Astronaut- Age Of The Fifth Sun

13) School Of Seven Bells- Disconnect From Desire

14) Holy F*ck- Latin

15) Union Sound Set- Start/Stop

16) Sennen- Age Of Denial

17) Frightened Rabbit- The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

18) Jonsi- Go

19) Kyte- Dead Waves

20) Exit Calm- Exit Calm

Festive fifty posted tomorrow or 30 tracks to make up "Best of 2010" compilations.