Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Top 25 Albums of 2015 - No.15 to No.11

The next batch of five includes a band releasing they're first album for almost 50 years and a band who include a member who's main on-stage involvement is drinking cans of Red Stripe.

15. The Sonics "This Is The Sonics" - Pitchfork review - If garage rock was conceived in the ’60s as the primal sound of teenage boredom, frustration, and angst, what does it mean when men in their seventies attempt to play it? There’s probably a deep and worthy discussion to be had somewhere in there, but the Sonics don’t give a shit about that, nor should they. The Tacoma band’s new release This Is the Sonics is their first studio album of all-new material in 49 years, and that fact alone is staggering. What’s even more remarkable, though, is how one of garage rock’s most legendary bands has dared to test their legend by making a record that spits, snarls, drools, honks, wails, and screams as if it were 1966 all over again.

14. Godspeed You! Black Emperor "Asunder Sweet & Other Distress" - Quietus review - 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress' is exceptional in the GY!BE canon in a whole heap of ways. Firstly, it's a mere 40 minutes long - which is short by anybody's modern standards, let alone for the band which popularised the 20-minute plus track time for a whole generation. What's more the four tracks that make up the album play through as one single suite, resulting in a potent statement that it's tough to argue against always sitting through in its entirety.

13. Primitive Parts "Parts Primitive" - Short punky blast that wears its influences on its sleeves but leaves you smiling and wanting more. Featuring Lyndsay from Sauna Youth and Kevin & Robin from Male Bonding this is an album full of catchy hooks and no nonsense tunes that wouldn't sound out of place on a Stiff Records compilation.

12. Sleaford Mods "Key Markets" - Clash Music review - One-dimensional. Exhilarating. Crude. Hilarious. Gritty. Perplexing. These are just some of the words that have probably been used to describe Sleaford Mods in the last 12 months. All of them may be true, but 'Key Markets' is some of the most invigorating, honest and vital music you will hear this year.

11. Samantha Crain "Under Branch & Thorn & Tree" - Guardian review - Samantha Crain has been championed and invited on tour by folk sisters First Aid Kit, though where their music supplies ringing harmonies and dappled sunlight, something more solemn broods within hers. Crain’s songs are often peopled by outsiders struggling against bitter circumstances; Elk City imagines a woman eking out a life in a crumbling town, You or the Mystery addresses a reclusive neighbour found dead in his kitchen. But though many of these songs are racked with sadness, their effect is strangely uplifting. The richness of Crain’s voice and the elegant simplicity of the musical arrangements bring drama to these stories. And the striking imagery of her lyrics finds beauty and pathos in the details of downtrodden lives.


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