Within this top 23 are albums that could have all be number ones in the list – the difference between them in terms of quality is as thin as graphene…..so the numbering is a little arbitrary, I admire them all in equal measure…
23. Robert Forster – Inferno
With a stand out gig at the Band On The Wall, Manchester, amongst an impressive touring schedule and the release of this album and the second Go-Betweens box set this was a stellar year for Robert. Some stand out tunes on this collection.
22. Monkeys In Love – Monkeys In Love Are Ready For The Mountain
Manchester’s best kept secret – they are one of the treasures of the scene and we miss them in a live setting. This was a more considered and contemplative set of tunes compared to the ground breaking and often vituperative Live in New Stoke Newington.
21. Comfort Creature – Comfort Creature
Remarkable music from the highly talented Auður Zoega who combines laminal ambience with glitch to create imaginative soundscapes.
20. Tropical Fuck Storm – Braindrops
The second album from Liddiards post Drones work. Abrasive and thought provoking and with sounds squeezed from guitars that defy description.
19. Rob Snarski – Sparrow & Swan
In the absence of a Blackeyed Susans album we are treated to a real gem from Rob. Some of his best songwriting in play here. The next project on the list is a collection of obscure David McComb tunes!
18. Mark Snarski – I Have To Burn Everything Before I Start Cooking
Sparse, intense, bare emotions in play. Remarkable.
17. Lizard Brain – Stray
An eclectic mix of tunes, lovingly crafted over many months. On the face of it accessible pop but listen to the lyrics and you find a dark underbelly.
16. Mark Corrin – Pub Bin
Seeing Mark doing this live at the start of the year was fun, since then he has started Elastikbande…..he’s promised me a new album in the new year. Lots of people of different stripes loved this very fun and and on topic album.
15. Malcolm Hill & Live Flesh – Harmony & Destiny
This is just a great album with some stand out songs. An album that brings great joy to the listener and with tunes you can hum along to. Great head gear as well.
14. The Seven Twenty – Welcome To Jackson Heights
Relocated to New York Mr Burling branches out and extends his genre spanning reach. As usual with James the hooks are strong and tunes stay in your head for days.
13. Adventures of Salvador – Welcome To Our Village
There are a number of outstanding live bands in the Greater Manchester conurbation at the moment and this gaggle of crazy guys are one of the best. Their second album proved to be a triumph and is one of the best selling releases on German Shepherd Records. It has already made several top 50 lists.
12. The Apartments – Live at L’Ubu
Peter Milton Walsh from a couple of years back doing what he does best.
11 – Lungbutter – Honey
Intense, challenging, noisy, unforgiving, ground-breaking, wonderful….should have been huge.
10 – ATOM – In Every Dream Home
Marvellous – in the absence of new NDE work due to the rhythm section being busy elsewhere (see below) a new project melding the sound of Suicide with Garage brio….great tunes!
9. Sleeping Ducks – The Radio People
Hazel Fairbairn and Moff Skellington making a sound so completely unique that it transcends description, review and hyperbole. A ground-breaking piece of art.
8. On Diamond – On Diamond
I was hooked when I heard the track “How” on Dave Graney’s Banana Lounge Broadcasting. Lisa Salvo’s band takes elements of Sonic Youth and MBV and creates a glorious noise which is topped up with an amazing vocal delivery and incredible melodies.
7. Moff Skellington – The Infrasound Guest
You either get it or you don’t. A lot of people I know and I consider to be proper music fans (rather than just passing listeners) think the man is a genius. Moff has pointed out that I might become some sort of obsessive cartographer of his work, lost in a mossy interlude between reality and a vegetative state brought on by an over ingestion of ooffle dust and cheesey wotsits. In an anti-truth world Eddodi and Abstercot are places of refuge ……….
6. Moff Skellington – Strange Acrylic Night Custard
…as above, this one was a smidgen more Eddodi than the preceding and made it one step up the ladder toward the top of this edifice…….don’t let the cat food touch your hands……
5. The Red Propellers – Pulse Waltz Free Fall
Regular readers will be aware of the esteem in which I hold this band. They will be playing Manchester in the new year alongside The Mind Sweepers – if you miss this gig you are a complete numpty – this is what they sound like live. I’ll see you at The Peer Hat on March 14th…..
4. Four Candles – Nettle Rash
Four loveable mop-tops carving out yet another image on the Mount Rushmore of music. Aided and abetted by Anne and Julia from Matthew Hopkins as The Matches. Progress was halted half way through the year when a heavy object was dropped on the drummers foot. However things are now back on track and new material revealed at a recent gig at Fuel demonstrate they have not lost their hunger. Watch this space for exciting gig announcements!
3. The Red Propellers – No Film In The Camera
James has a grasp of language and delivery that makes this band one of the most important in the UK today. He has a band that provides a perfect platform for his words. A remarkable collection of music with internal/external dialogue.monologue which is breathtaking…..his lyric book recently landed on my door mat and is highly recommended!
JOINT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
……aside from getting all sorts of other awards, and great reviews, Dave and Clare delivered two perfect albums. The outsider rock of Zippa etc with nods to the Stones and any number of 60s bands that you would care to mention, and with a great dual guitar interaction between Stuart and Dave, was the MistLy reaching new areas. The Dave and Clare album moved on from last years “Let’s Get Tight” to new areas demonstrating that they continue to develop and expand what they do. Watching their relentless gigging from the other side of the world makes me hanker for hopefully a UK visit at sometime in the future… thank god for You Tube pending that……..
Dave Graney & The Mistly – Zippa Deedoo What Is/Was That/This?
Graney and Moore taking another step in yet another direction. Rock and roll is where they hide…..
Dave Graney and Clare Moore – One Million Years DC
A more typically Graney/Moore album with angular sideways looks at the world of rock/pop through the slivers of a fractured mirror….