InÂ no particular order:
The opening track lasts ten minutes and takes you on a ludicrous musical journey that feels as worthwhile as an entire album. Then the rest happens and before you know it you’re floating along to the sound of the brilliantly level headed ‘Boats’.
The Duke Spirit â€“ Neptune
Super cool Liela Moss really came into her own here, with a voice that just knocks me off my feet time and again. It’s as dirty rock ‘n’ roll as it is ultra-catchy and listenable.
Ten Kens â€“ Ten Kens
Bold, confident and accomplished debut this one. It was love at first listen when the undeniable pull of grunge grabbed me and slapped me about before romancing me with some of the most broody, filthy riffs that just urge you to dance around the bedroom like a happy fool.
Ladyhawke â€“ Ladyhawke
More bedroom dancing went on with this than I’d care to admit. A collection of the best pop you’re ever likely to hear. It’s like the Immaculate Collection with glam guitar. Perfect.
MGMT â€“ Oracular Spectacular
Amazing energy, youth bursting from the seams. The mix of massive good time-prompting tracks and psychedelic, folky brilliance makes me wish I could stay young forever.
Black Angels â€“ Directions To See A Ghost
This record just feels so right. It never tries to be too clever, never tries to change its ways. Trudging along, vocals brooding and powerful, this is too rock ‘n’ roll for its own good.
Late Of the Pier â€“ Fantasy Black Channel
Can’t really describe this one. It just continues to surprise listen after listen. It’s like an art gallery on disc. Colourful, vibrant and extremely fun. Experimentation with different sounds and styles has paid off here, never falling flat.
Black Affair â€“ Pleasure Pressure Point
Moody, dark, angst-ridden; this is Steve Mason at his best. The ex-Beta Band man is probably one of the most influential musicians of our generation, with this venture into 1980s electro-pop being a great example of true versatility. Great one to go back to after a few weeks, wondering if it’s really that good. It is.
Metallica â€“ Death Magnetic
Lightning fast riffs, solos that go on for too long, ten minute songs? Metallica came back with style in 2008. People complained about the mix of this one. was it too loud? I couldn’t turn it up far enough to be honest. So relentless and fresh, it was a middle finger to many doubters and nay-sayers. Beautiful.