Sunday, 17 December 2017

Top 50 Albums of 2017

The lack of updates on here over the past ten months or so is a hazy illustration of a year spent doing other things. With a new country and city of residence, moving from one side of the world to the other has taken up a lot of time.
Still, there are certain things you make time for and compiling an end of year list will always feature in December. While the fast paced way of life is doing its best to trample and denigrate the very concept of the "record" we as a music community need to keep up the fight and do anything possible against this new dark age of "everything-now".  
In the name of progression, you will have noticed that the honourable mentions have been scrapped in favour of a solid fifty albums from numbers fifty to one. A bit more work, sure, but perhaps it's my way of trying to make up for the lean year of the written word. So here you are - my favourite fifty albums of the year:
Artist: EMA
Album: Exile in the Outer Ring
Label: City Slang
Erika Anderson (better known as EMA) has made a habit of entering the dark vortex via alternative portals. Her fourth album, Exile in the Outer Ring, continues the trend, this time focusing on the decay of the American Dream, isolationism and finding optimism from between the lines of “the system”.
Reading various interviews with EMA and you felt that this album was coming. While her William Gibson inspired third album, The Future’s Void, poignantly critiqued social media and its insidious role in modern society, EMA becomes even more philosophical and nihilistic here, questioning the liberal elite status quo as well as finding solace on the fringes of society, or as she calls it, “the outer ring.”
Sonically, it’s not so far removed from her previous body of work, largely inspired by heavy industrial leanings (‘33 Nihilistic and Female’), however EMA has always had the ability to floor her listeners when she eases the pace. Gorgeous opener, ‘7 Years’, is clearly the vanguard where the slower moments of ’Outer Ring are concerned.
Exile in the Outer Ring operates within the fine margins of beauty and brutality. EMA almost seems comfortable in the uncomfortable. Although the album illuminates the state of hopelessness we currently find ourselves in, oddly enough you still can’t help but feel a sense hope.
Favourite Tracks: 7 Years, Aryan Nation, 33 Nihilistic and Female.
Words originally published on Getintothis.

Artist: Big Thief
Album: Capacity
Label: Saddle Creek
While Big Thief’s Masterpiece rippled the waters, their follow-up, Capacity, feels more like a crushing wave. Adrianne Lenker’s performance is something that can be described as the real deal, parting with stories of utter anguish. Her lamentable themes are backed by the sound of indie folk reminiscent of what Conor Oberst was creating with Bright Eyes – coincidently, a lynchpin of yesteryear to Big Thief’s current label, Saddle Creek.
Capacity is a heart wrenching album and illustrates a band capable of penning some seriously great songs. While there are some lulls throughout, the key tracks are up there with the finest written this year. Now at that juncture of being the source of spellbinding songs, Big Thief’s time at the summit of producing consistently great albums isn’t too far away.
Favourite Tracks: Pretty Things, Shark Smile, Mythological Beauty, Mary.
Artist: Run The Jewels
Album: Run The Jewels 3
Label: Run The Jewels, Inc.
2016 release or 2017? while EL-P and Killer Mike showed their generosity by dropping Run The Jewels 3 on streaming services last Christmas, the physical release landed in the first week of 2017 so for me, it qualifies.  Besides, Run The Jewels 3 is too accomplished to leave dangling in the crosshairs.
Perhaps the most important players in the hip-hop genre, El and Killer’s Run The Jewels 3 picks up where the fantastic RTJ 2 left off. Given the current political climate, RTJ are more justifiably pissed off this time around and that’s what makes Run The Jewels 3 their best yet (the Hilary takedown on “A Report To The Shareholders: Kill Your Masters” is emphatic). Conscious rap that pushes short-sighted braggario to the wayside, Run The Jewels have gone from underground stalwarts to household names.
Favourite Tracks: Down, Thieves (Screamed the Ghost), Everybody Stay Calm.
Artist: Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band
Album: Adiós Señor Pussycat
Label: Violette Records
Michael Head is ingrained in Scouse music folklore. Some say he is the unluckiest musician in not only Liverpool, but the UK, too. Destined for greatness with bands like Shack and The Pale Fountains, for one reason or another (namely, the dreaded combination of drugs and hard luck), it just never happened for Head. His new album, Adiós Señor Pussycat, may not gain the widespread approval it deserves, but for music fiends, it's a gentle reminder of the legend that is Michael Head.
Adiós Señor Pussycat is an album filled with rich textures and that trademark Scouse sound. Very simple and melodic, Head is backed by The Red Elastic Band who add swing with gentle string sections, warm riffs and signature Mersey-tone that collectively becomes instantly etched to your mind. Adiós Señor Pussycat is a lovely record and great comeback for one of Britain's forgotten song-smiths.
Favourite Tracks: Picasso, Queen of All Saints, Josephine, Adios Amigo.
Artist: Omni
Album: Multi-Task
Label: Trouble In Mind 
Atlanta, Georgia’s Omni are on quite the run at the moment. Having released their critically acclaimed debut, Deluxe, last year, they return from a short turnaround with their sophomore, Multi-Task. On the face of it, more of the same applies, however with Multi-Task things appear slightly more streamlined.
Many will associate the band’s sonic template with Parquet Courts, but there’s more of a fragile self-conscious core with Omni, provided by frontman, Philip Frobos. Then there’s the stop-start angular bass and switchback rhythms from former Deerhunter member, Frank Byrne, which pays homage to proto-punk. Think Television with a severe pop infusion and you won’t be too far out of the ballpark. Omni’s attempt to lean more heavily on a pop-sensibility has provided real a treat here on Multi-Task.
Favourite Tracks: Southband Station, Equestrian, Date Night, Heard My Name.
Artist: Greet Death
Album: Dixieland
Label: Flesh and Bone Records
Flint, Michigan’s Greet Death are a part of a bourgeoning scene coming out of America’s Midwest. The framework of emo is certain, but where most of these types of bands slip into the pantheon of post-hardcore, Greet Death morph these elements into the rock and sludge genres with their debut, Dixieland.
Frontman, Sam Boyhtari, parts with a nasally vocal, reminiscent of Destroyer’s Dan Bejar, although from a sonic standpoint, they’re worlds are apart and it sounds more like Bejar fronting someone like the Deftones. Production wise, there are fewer finer works released this year, with Nick Diener really adding attention to detail from behind the studio glass. With the softer edges of sludge forms a tender shoegaze delicacy that underpins Dixieland. Along with Atalanta’s Blis, Greet Death make some statement here with their debut.
Favourite Tracks: The Waste, Dragged to Hell, Cumbersome.
Artist: Grandaddy
Album: Last Place
Label: Columbia
Like the Afghan Whigs, Grandaddy’s year has been saddened by the passing of founding member and bassist, Kevin Garcia. They have continued on in his memory and after a decade indulging in other projects, Grandaddy return with Last Place - an album that is a welcome addition to their already impressive catalogue of work.
Jason Lytle continues the great form displayed during his solo career, most notably, The Department of Disappearance. Last Place has a similar feel to that album, with clever wordplay and melting melodies once again a key feature. Sure, Grandaddy play to their strengths, however with the band sculpting a signature sound so early in their career, it’s what we’ve come to expect. It’s great to have them back.
Favourite Tracks: Way We Won’t, Brush With the Wind, Evermore, A Lost Machine.
Artist: The Clientele
Album: Music for the Age of Miracles
Label:  Merge Records
London based The Clientele return with their first release in seven years with Music for the Age of Miracles. There is a sonic tinkering here, with the introduction of nylon strings, featuring more prominently than those rich chiming guitars we normally associate with the band. In saying that, though, it’s still very much a Clientele record.
Melancholic autumnal musings and saccharine warm melodies weave in and out, with frontman, Alasdair McLean, creating a milieu of optimism. McLean has utilised these themes in poetic fashion for years and while they are still his sweet spot, there seems to be an air of renewed content with Music for the Age of Miracles. A slow burner of an album, but when listened to at the right time of the day, there’s not much out there that’s better.
Favourite Tracks: The Neighbour, Lunar Days, Everything You See Tonight is Different From Itself.
Artist: Do Make Say Think
Album: Stubborn Persistent III
Label: Constellation
This year, the post-rock genre has enjoyed a renaissance and Do Make Say Think’s Stubborn Persistent III is further proof of that. In Do Make Say Think’s case, the resurgence in sonic noodling coexists with Broken Social Scene’s excellent Hug of Thunder, making it a landmark year for Canada’s darlings and their associated off-shoots (the Do Makes being one of them with Ohad Benchetrit and Charles Spearin dividing their time between both projects).
Stubborn Persistent III is a landmark moment for Do Make Say Think. The riffs haven't sounded so melodic for a long time. The drumming, too, which from start to finish, sounds so emphatic. While it's evident that they have carved out an illustrious career in the post-rock genre, this album is easily placed in the upper echelon of their discography. Simply put, it’s a watershed moment.
Favourite Tracks: War On Torpor, Murder of Thoughts, And Boundless.
Artist: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile
Album: Lotta Sea Lice
Label: Matador Records
Like most, I’m always keen for a collaboration and Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile have provided the best one in 2017, for mine. Courtney Barnett has always been hit and miss for me, but on the other hand, Kurt Vile has ceaselessly maintained the ability to hold my attention. The two of them together. Well, their debut, Lotta Sea Lice, just works.
It’s undoubtedly the perfect Sunday morning record. Laced with locality, Courtney’s unique vocals combine perfectly with Vile’s slacker riffs. The influence of Neil Young isn’t too far away, with the album having a real loose, made-in-the-farm-shed vibe. You can almost smell the remnants of spliff drifting out of your speakers as you listen to Lotta Sea Lice. A great collaboration and one I hope we haven’t heard the last of.
Favourite Tracks: Over Everything, Fear Is Like a Forest, Continental Breakfast.
Artist: Hey Colossus
Album: The Guillotine
Label: Rocket Recordings
Merely a band comprised of mates who get together to let off a bit of steam, Hey Colossus have consistently churned out great heavy toned stoner psychedelia for years. The Guillotine doesn’t buck the trend. It’s their most straightforward record to date, which makes you think it’s their most accessible but it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.
After initially struggling with The Guillotine, it’s not until employing a set of headphones before you truly capture what Hey Colossus are trying to achieve here. The tones are very much their own and although they use this band as a vehicle for camaraderie as opposed to careerism, Hey Colossus have truly forged their own sound. It’s a wonderful achievement and The Guillotine is further evidence of that.
Favourite Tracks: Back in the Room, Calenture Boy, Potions.
Artist: Power Trip
Album: Nightmare Logic
Label: Southern Lord
Dallas, Texas’ Power Trip are the new breed. Effectively, that new breed consists of not giving a fuck and in this ever-increasing sanitised world I have to say it’s very much welcomed. Their second album, Nightmare Logic, is thirty-five minutes of gritty crust punk and metal riff-a-rolla. It’s raw, feral, full of hell and will cater for the beardos, greebos and various other malignant souls of the metal pantheon.
Some may see Power Trip as an ’80s throwback but that’s not the case. It’s just a bunch of dudes making music. Simple as that. They have condensed this into a great wrecking ball of fist-pumping hysteria. Whether or not you indulge in the sharper edges of music, those who simply appreciate the art of the riff - well, this one’s for you.
Favourite Tracks: Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe), Ruination, Crucifixation.
Artist: Jane Weaver
Album: Modern Kosmology
Label: Fire Records

If one ever wanted to capture the sound of bliss it would be quite difficult to go past Jane Weaver’s Modern Kosmology. The Warrington sing-songwriter has come up with her finest album yet, mixing elements of folk, krautrock and psychedelia into a cosmic current of beauty.
Modern Kosmology is an album that Sterolab fans will celebrate with religious fervour. Weaver presents similar leanings through a pop sensibility, and where its predecessor, The Silver Globe, explored the avant-garde, from front to back, Modern' brims with consistently good pop tunes, making it the more complete album. 
Favourite Tracks: H>A>K, Slow Motion, The Architect.
Artist: Brand New
Album: Science Fiction
Label: Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Releasing Science Fiction digitally added more excitement for Brand New aficionados. While I have never been that much of a fan, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Brand New are capable of writing a killer track. Suffice to say there are many on Science Fiction. They have always shone when they drop the gears, and those who like their ditties as slow as a candle burns can expect fine results here because there are a slew of acoustic lamentations. 
With the band expected to call it a day in 2019, Science Fiction is the perfect swansong. It’s a mature record that at times almost seems destined for FM radio. But there’s too much intelligence in Jesse Lacey’s song-writing to feature in FM radio playlists which host watered down middle-of-the-road fodder. In truth, since their inception, Brand New have always skirted around these fringes. Ironically, the very fact could prove their greatest strength.
Favourite Tracks: Lit Me Up, Same Logic/Teeth, In the Water, No Control.
Artist: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Album: Feed the Rats
Label: Rocket Recordings
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. The name says it all, doesn’t it? The only name to better it would be Riffs Riffs Riffs Riffs Riffs Riffs Riffs because Feeds the Rats, the band’s debut LP, contains thirty-four minutes of them. The Newcastle five-piece is a behemoth, guiding their listeners through the mist of stoner rock drone that Boris, Black Sabbath, Melvins et al would be proud of. To add to the bone pummelling low-end drone are the primal howls of frontman, Matt Baty, whose performance during this three track jaunt is simply magnetising.
Pigs x 7 don’t leave anything to chance on Feed the Rats. The greatest thing about this record is that it’s evident that they’ve had fun belting it out. While its heaviness is evident, there’s a certain locality about Feed the Rats. It’s simply balls out, no frills yet utterly glorious guitar music and in Newcastle at least, it’s never sounded better.
Favourite Tracks: The whole damn album!
Artist: Broken Social Scene
Album: Hug of Thunder
Label: Arts & Crafts
Broken Social Scene are indie rock’s version of the E-Street Band. Come in out of the cold and let us pour you a drink. We deal in celebration rock! Their optimism angers the haters. As referenced in Pitchfork’s album review of Hug of Thunder - the band’s first album after a five year hiatus - BSS have had a gutful of the hypocrisy which is the stock-in trade for most these days. Self-pronounced radical communities partaking in online verbal abuse, self-care hysteria and critical theorists adopting nihilism as the flagship notion. Hug of Thunder sees the ’Social Scene position themselves in this paradox whereby they are the counter culture against the so-called counter culture. And it’s great.
Sure, BSS haven’t reinvented the wheel with Hug of Thunder. They’ve just added another fantastic album to their already bourgeoning discography. This time they have achieved it by taking a step back, living their respective lives all whilst watching the regressive world of social media unravel from afar. After reconvening and taking stock, the end result is the venerable Hug of Thunder. It’s another celebration in true BSS fashion and my word the world needs them now more than ever.
Favourite Tracks: Halfway Home, Skyline, Hug of Thunder, Please Take Me With You.
Artist: Ride
Album: Weather Diaries
Label: Wichita Recordings/PIAS
Another year, another ’90s band releases a new album. Along with shoegaze contemporaries, Slowdive (hint hint, more on them later...), Ride also decided to get back in the studio and belt out some new sounds. On the face of it, it was rather inevitable. Mark Gardiner has been playing solo shows for quite some time, while Andy Bell needed stimulation in the form of making pertinent music again – an aspect which evaded him during his days in the Liam Gallagher-led Beady Eye. And pertinent this is. Weather Diaries is, if you will, the best of Ride.
Musically proficient and filled with fantastic songs, Gardiner and Co. have made an album that is more along the lines of something between Nowhere and Going Blank Again as opposed to the brit-pop leanings of Tarantula. Weather Diaries is held together with sinewy shoegaze moments with a Birds-like finesse. It won’t cast a wide net as far as new listeners are concerned, however with Ride’s devoted following, it underpins their legacy and has made this comeback very much worth it.
Favourite Tracks: Lannoy Point, Char Assault, Rocket Silver Symphony, Cali.
Artist: Algiers
Album: The Underside of Power
Label: Matador Records
While the visceral remnants fermented with their debut self-titled album, Algiers are edging closer to the point of making their landmark with The Underside of Power. With politics and music seemingly more aligned than ever, Algiers have produced one of the year’s finest representations of that. Whichever side of the political spectrum you’re on, it doesn’t discriminate. Algiers question it all, the whole disease-ridden system that incessantly strangles society.
I think the best is yet to come from Algiers. While the omnipresence of post-punk, gospel and soul filter throughout these twelve tracks, the album does sound uneven from time to time, however it feels intentional, fitting within the album’s thematic bounds. There’s more to come from Algiers, but for now, The Underside of Power more than holds up.
Favourite Tracks: Walk Like A Panther, The Underside of Power, Cleveland, Hymn for an Average Man.
Artist: Baxter Dury
Album: Prince of Tears
Label:  Heavenly
One of Britain’s most underrated artists, Baxter Dury, seems to be finally emerging from his father’s shadows. Although there are tinges of Ian Dury’s spoken cockney twang, Baxter’s latest opus, Prince of Tears, gathers further speed that has made him somewhat of a household name in France – ironically a country where his father failed to break into the big time.
Prince of Tears comprises of Gainsbourg crossover vibes, but instead of that overt French pop pastiche which dominated his last album, It’s A Pleasure, Prince displays interpretations of slow-motion, hooping bass-led funk which lies halfway between those aforementioned French pop leanings and the psychedelic meanderings of Baxter’s first two albums, Len Parrot’s Memorial Lift and Floor Show.
It’s a midlife crisis album, which begins with the flooring first single, ‘Miami’ and ends with the forlorn title track. Baxter Dury always seems to be in a crisis of some sort and that’s what separates him from his fellow modern day minstrels. He needs crisis to make music of this calibre and Prince of Tears is undoubtedly a Polaroid of a man on the edge, providing an earnest milieu to accompany the oddly disturbing yet humorous moments that he’s always been renown for. 
Favourite Tracks: Miami, Mungo, Oi, Prince of Tears.
Artist: Cigarettes After Sex
Album: Cigarettes After Sex
Label: Partisan Records
Greg Gonzales’ Cigarettes After Sex are almost the perfect tribute band. There are heavy doses of dream-pop, slow-core and shoegaze which ferment throughout the band’s self-titled debut. It’s an album that makes you feel like you’re floating, as Gonzales laments and takes you through a journey of transparency with broken down relationships, casual fornication are various other mundane themes we’ve all been through at some stage throughout life. It’s raw with an instant effect.
Their forging of defining early ’00s genres caters for the thirty-somethings, while Gonzales’ lyrics strike a chord with those of the younger ilk. Not many bands have the ability to crossover between generations these days, but Gonzales has achieved it with Cigarettes After Sex. Although it may just be one of the worst band names in the history of music, don’t let that get in the way of the band itself, who have released an immaculately well-produced debut.
Favourite Tracks: K, Truly, John Wayne, Young & Dumb.

Artist: Mark Lanegan
Album: Gargoyle
Label: Sub Pop
Mark Lanegan. Former main man of the great Screaming Trees. The bloke who used to be in Queens Of The Stone Age. The whiskey sodden troubadour. Forever compared – unfairly – to Tom Waits. Lanegan has forged a steady career over the years churning out albums and touring the world, dragging along a slew of scruffy bearded tattoo-laden admirers along the way. Where quality is concerned, Gargoyle, his latest offering, sees Lanegan enter one of his finest periods yet.
Lanegan has teetered on reaching the heights of the brilliant Bubblegum and Gargoyle is the closest thing and could well exceed the benchmark. It really is one of Lanegan’s finest moments as an artist, which sees the raspy voiced gentle giant honing in on his strengths on a more consistent basis. The marriage of guitars and electronica is a facet where Lanegan has previously failed to consistently deliver but this time he has perfected the art.
Favourite Tracks: Death’s Head Tattoo, Beehive, Goodbye to Beauty, Old Swan.
Artist: Grizzly Bear
Album: Painted Ruins
Label: RCA Records
After the brilliant Shields, it was a case of where to for Grizzly Bear. Since their inception, they have occupied the peak of their creative arc for a long time and Painted Ruins conveys little to suggest they won’t remain there for the foreseeable future.
Whilst that may be the case, from the fantastic beginning, Painted Ruins does fall into a lull midway through, but picks itself right back up again with the final four tracks that are as good as the first five. While holistically it may not be the band’s finest album, it does contain some of their finest songs which nestle deep into the realm of the art-rock which they have mastered. Furthermore, it illustrates Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen as two of the most prominent song-writing duos of this era.
Favourite Tracks: Wasted Acres, Mourning Sound, Systole, Sky Took Hold.
Artist: Pond
Album: The Weather
Label: Marathon Artists
Perth’s Pond have forever lived in the shadows of their acclaimed contemporaries, Tame Impala. With a cross pollination between the two Western Australian outfits (Kevin Parker himself produced this album), without sounding like the Devil’s advocate in taking sides here, but I have always found Pond the more satisfying proposition. Their new album, The Weather, may be their finest yet, injecting a pop sensibility into their psychedelic glam pastiche. 
The aspect of Pond which I find so enamouring is that they hold onto their Australian-ness – a trait not many bands can master nor care so much to express. It’s not an obvious measure of locality likened to say, Courtney Barnett, but a sub-conscious atmosphere drifts through their music and this is only heightened during The Weather. The songs are strong, with interludes of Australian AM radio providing a narrative of region. Kevin Parker may garner the proportion of credit with his success in Tame Impala but in comparison Nick Allbrook’s effort here shouldn’t be understated. 
 Favourite Tracks: 30000 Megatons, Colder than Ice, Zen Automaton.
Artist: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Album: The French Press EP
Label: Sub Pop
A historical moment, ladies and gentlemen. The moment fifteen years in waiting. The moment were an EP enters this list for the very first time. Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have released something that, quite frankly, was just too good to leave out. The French Press EP is a jangle pop classic. Many Australian bands have tried their hand at knocking out slacker user-friendly ditties and while many have succeeded to a degree, none have topped the Rolling Blackouts.
Heavy shades of the Go-Betweens can be heard throughout these six tracks, which are self-effacing simple songs constructed by a stellar group of musicians who, in the live area, really ramp things up, adding psychedelic inflections to these songs. It’s an honest, down-to-earth piece of work right here. The debut LP is done and will be released next year and on current form will undoubtedly feature again throughout these parts in some capacity.
Favourite Tracks: The French Press, Julie’s Place, Colours Run, Fountain of Good Fortune.
Artist: Hiss Golden Messenger
Album: Hallelujah Anyhow
Label: Merge Records
MC Taylor (also known as Hiss Golden Messenger) has always been a hard sell for me. The fundamentals of good music seem to surge through his music, but things seem to stumble at the final hurdle. On his eighth album, Hallelujah Anyhow, Taylor is more comfortable than ever, knocking out tracks reminiscent of early Ryan Adams LPs.
It’s an album to be indulged from front to back, with very few troughs. While these songs have the ability to be anthemic, Taylor strips them back in organic fashion, adding delicate horn sections which works wonders. Vibes that fall somewhere between Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, Hallelujah Anyhow  is certainly one for the coffeehouse strummers.
Favourite Tracks: Lost Out in the Darkness, Harder Rain, Domino (Time Will Tell).
Artist: Richard Dawson
Album: Peasant
Label: Weird World Record Co.
In a library, somewhere on the outskirts of Newcastle’s town centre, the books which occupy the rickety shelves release a fusty smell. The carpet’s threadbare and the tables and chairs have been well occupied over the years. A sole inhabitant occupies one of those well-worn chairs, his nose ensconced in a tome from the fifteenth century, its subjects not limited to ogres, prostitutes and the art of weaving. The midnight oil is burning. This is Richard Dawson in the midst of reconnaissance for what is Peasant, his greatest feat yet.
There are not enough column inches to describe this piece of work, one that will be remembered for many years to come. It’s not immediately striking, but that’s the beauty of Richard Dawson. That burning midnight oil again, folks. Dawson’s narratives are unparalleled. Ditto his virtuoso, however it’s Peasant’s locality which is its greatest feat. In a country where everything is so London-centric, Dawson has put Newcastle and the North East on the map here. It’s perhaps the greatest work in the folk genre since Fairport Convention. But is it folk? Actually, I’m not sure what on earth this is which is why it’s so accomplishing.
Favourite Tracks: Ogre, Weaver, Prostitute, Beggar.

Artist: Mogwai
Album: Every Country’s Sun
Label: Rock Action
Not many bands have forged a career like Mogwai. Consistently releasing albums on their own label, while touring the world in similar sized arenas for the most part. It’s a testament to their determination as much as simply producing good music. While continuously meandering around the fringes of a genre for which they are one of the main bastions, Every Country’s Sun goes back to basics, ala the days of Happy Songs for Happy People.
There’s remnants of early Mogwai here. ‘Crossing the Road Material’ could have easily ended up on Come On Die Young. Then there’s ‘Don’t Believe the Fife’. The finest track they’ve penned in years. While Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will continued the band’s upward trajectory into this era, Every Country’s Sun reaffirms Mogwai as one of the finest bands in the last twenty years and very much the beacons of post-rock.
Favourite Tracks: Coolverine, Crossing the Road Material, Don't Believe the Fife, Old Poisons.

Artist: Bardo Pond
Album: Under the Pines
Label: Fire Records 

The architects of an absolute belting tune, without question, Bardo Pond have always been capable of producing a solid back-to-front album. Despite this being the case, time and time again they have stumbled at the final hurdle. Too much noodling in a haze of bong smoke, perhaps?

Under the Pines may just be Bardo Pond’s pop moment. Not pop in its truest sense, of course. The psychedelic journeys have been cut from fifteen minutes to eight, for instance. Still, it’s a fantastic representation of psychedelic-rock with beautiful tones and heavenly journeys. Such as the quality of Under the Pines, rather than being caught in the mire of bong smoke, it feels more like an aid to float on. The final two tracks confirm Under the Pines as one of the band’s greatest feats and one where they have finally fulfilled their potential.
Favourite Tracks: Out of Reach, Under the Pines, Effigy.

Artist: Oxbow
Album: Thin Black Duke
Label: Hydra Head Records
San Francisco cult heroes, Oxbow, have always stretched the boundaries on what is deemed alternative, delving deep into the world of avant-jazz, improv’ and rock. This time they have returned with perhaps their most accessible album yet with Thin Black Duke. It’s a meticulous album, full of subtle strings and thought-provoking arrangements, representing a rich essence.
Whilst opulent in parts, Oxbow do get down-in-the-dirt from time to time, too. Remnants of The Jesus Lizard’s inspired noise-rock can be heard, but in true Oxbow fashion they methodically present their more aggressive moments with a signature tone. Without trying to pigeon-hole, Oxbow are the embodiment of post-rock. From a personal standpoint, with the Enablers not making anything for the last eighteen months, Oxbow are the next best thing, not too far removed from their fellow San Franciscan inhabitants.
Favourite Tracks: Ecce Home, A Gentleman's Gentleman, Other People, The Finished Line. 

Artist: Ariel Pink
Album: Dedicated to Bobby Jameson
Label: Mexican Summer
Ariel Marcus Rosenberg (better known as Ariel Pink) is one artist I have always struggled with. Swathes of self-indulgence that come off as aimless, illustrating a man that is too smart for his own good. Just not my cup of tea and because of this I was happily going to avoid holding an ear to Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, his latest oeuvre.
That’s the beauty of music, though. Something always proves you wrong and Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is that album. Based on the theme pertaining to the 1960s singer-songwriter who passed away in 2015, it may just be the album for those who aren’t so smitten with previous Ariel Pink works. Like Beck’s Sea Change, even. It’s an album where Pink has trimmed the fat and worked within a sonic framework of Glowave-glam and a lo-fi pop sensibility. Although thematically, it may be one of Pink’s darkest insular records yet, the results are great. The avant-garde leanings are replaced with infectious pop musings that Rosenberg has always been capable of producing.
Favourite Tracks: Feels Like Heaven, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, Bubblegum Dream, Dreamdate Narcissist.

Artist: Ho99o9
Album: United States of Horror
Label: Caroline International
Don’t like your hip-hop overproduced and riddled with braggario? Have no fear. Kayne is certainly not here. Perpetuating all things punk, L.A. inhabitants, Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror), have taken everything that made conscious rap so great and thrown it into the mixer of pure anarchic rage, resulting in the mesmerising United States of Horror.
Their live show is a gale force of wrath, embodying true DIY punk spirit. Admirably, they carry flag for the likes of Minor Threat and Bad Brains. Just like their live show, the rage transmits perfectly to wax. …Horror is an angry album, brimming with righteous invective and exploding guitar chords. It’s an album that makes you want to throw things. In a soulless world, Horror go against the grain – pushing against the pricks so to speak. In 2017, as far as attitudes go, this is what soul feels like.
Favourite Tracks: Street Power, Splash, New Jersey Devil, United States of Horror.
Artist: Blis
Album: Nobody Loves You
Label: Sargent House
Atlanta, Georgia outfit, Blis, (Aaron Gossett - guitar & vocals, Luke Jones - bass, Jimi Ingman - drums)  are the latest act to be led into the Sargent House stable and with good reason. They seem to fall slightly outside the realm of Sargent House’s roster, however one thing’s for sure - the label home to Chelsea Wolfe, Russian Circles, Boris et al have always had an eye for talent and Blis’ debut album, No One Loves You, further enhances their reputation in releasing quality over quantity.
From the opening number, 'Dumb', Brand New fans will instantly hear this as a gateway to new adventures, but in saying that there’s plenty of meat on the bone for Bitch Magnet diehards, too. 'Stale Smoke' and 'Ugly' lean towards a post-hardcore pastiche which undulates throughout the album's thirty-six minutes. While both emo and post-hardcore devotees will be revelling, both genres are veiled by a shoegaze ambience which is also features admirably during No One Loves You.
Many a band has attempted to align these genres, but I can’t recall too many having achieved the heights of Blis. A precocious talent who have released a seriously good debut. 
Favourite Tracks: Dumb, Lost Boy, Ugly, Pathetic, Broken.
Words originally published on Getintothis.
Artist: Pallbearer
Album: Heartless
Label: Profound Lore Records 
Album three and Pallbearer continues with a full head of steam with their prolonged interpretations of doom-metal. The latest offering, Heartless, doesn’t venture too far from its excellent predecessor. It’s probably why they have been cast aside by several notable music publications – merely victims of their own success.
The riffs are still large and cinderblock-heavy to accompany dark contemplative themes. There’s nothing new there. As one of the bastions of the metal sub-genre that is doom, Pallbearer don’t need to make some grandiose gesture in order to reinvent the wheel. There’s still plenty to explore within the context from which they created from their first two albums and Heartless continues that journey admirably.
Favourite Tracks: I Saw the End, Dancing in Madness, A Plea for Understanding.
Artist: The Horrors
Album: V
Label: Rough Trade
After the underwhelming Luminous, it wasn’t disingenuous to feel that The Horrors were slightly on the wane. After their discography defining Skying, many expected more from the follow-up and quite simply, it fell short. Fast forward three years and V is everything Luminous is not, demonstrating that their last album was more of a mid-life crisis and less of the horse being put out to pasture.
The introduction of producer, Paul Epworth, is the catalyst for an album that’s every bit as good as Skying. Epworth’s sprinkle of magic pop dust throughout V has invigorated The Horrors. The '80s esque dream-scapes, somewhere nestled between Depeche Mode and the Cure, provide a saturated pop backdrop for frontman, Faris Badwan, whose melodies are inch perfect.  
With V everything just comes together so succinctly. Tracks such as 'Machine', 'Ghost', 'Weighed Down' and 'World Below' are among the best the band has ever written. Then there's the closing 'Something to Remember Me By'. Their unwavering pop moment. However, it’s not that The Horrors are making a grandiose gesture towards potential commercial success. It’s merely a band seeking new avenues to present their art and like Queens of the Stone Age have achieved with Villains, V is another demonstration of a band finding success with the help from an unlikely source.
Favourite Tracks: Machine, Weighed Down, World Below, Something to Remember Me By.
Artist: Willis Earl Beal
Album: Turn, Circle, Sun and Moon
Label: Self-released
Willis Earl Beal is the greatest mystery in modern music. Not because of the fact he is an elusive soul (after all, he now goes under the guise of Nobody). Simply put, he should be touring the world instead of inhabiting sidewalks in Tucson, Arizona, busking. Ironically it’s what failed X-Factor contestants should be doing, but such concepts were always too false for Beal. He’s been churning out albums for six years now and his latest digital only release, Turn, Circle, Sun and Moon, continues his rise in creativity.
As the name suggests, Noctunes, was very much the perfect night-time record and Turn... occupies similar territory. The minimalist neo-blues gospel lamentations are once again heartfelt and striking. While prevalent in exploring these genres, to me - and I’ve said it before in previous posts - Beal simply is the vanguard of soul. I believe we will look back in thirty years’ time, only to realise that Beal is one of the great lost artists of his generation. Turn, Circle, Sun and Moon is a great addition to his already spellbinding catalogue.
Favourite Tracks: Lonely, Believe, Feel, Circle.  
Artist: British Sea Power
Album: Let the Dancers Inherit the Party
Label: Caroline International   
Why British Sea Power aren’t playing stadiums instead of secluded areas in backwater Britain is one of life’s great mysteries. In saying that, they probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Their latest gem, Let the Dancers Inherit the Party, is their most straightforward collection of ditties since Do You Look Like Rock Music? and the sound of a band truly at ease with themselves.
There’s nods to Brexit, (‘Keep on Trying’, ‘Don’t Let the Sun Get In The Way’) not to mention the customary characters who have notoriously appeared in Decline of British Sea Power and Open Season. You know the ones. Philosophers, scientists, and others of historical significance. That’s the beauty of BSP; they’ve always respected their audience. It’s the reason why Wembley continues to elude them, in spite of the glorious riffs and the serene combination of vocals between siblings, Scott and Hamilton Wilkinson. Their cult following adores them even more for it.
Favourite Tracks: Bad Bohemian, What You're Doing, Electrical Kittens, Want to be Free.
Artist: Destroyer
Album: ken
Label: Merge Records
Since the late ‘90s, under his Destroyer project, Daniel Bejar has been creating art through the lens of his own musical heroes, overtly using derivative sonic templates to mould around his grandiose lyrical ruminations. The latest instalment is ken and unlike the heartland-rock inspired Poison Season, ken meanders in the direction of ’80s new wave. Look no further than ‘In the Morning’ which almost sounds like Peter Hook making an appearance on bass.
Although many thought the Roxy Music inspired Kaputt was Bejar’s closest shot at making a pop record, ken is closer to that very parish. As producer, Black Mountain’s Josh Wells provides the right amount of sonic sheen from behind the studio glass, creating a sonic cushioning for Bejar’s cynical piss taking views of the world and obscure one liners (“strike an empty pose” – the pop-drone inspired ‘A Light Travels Down the Catwalk’ and “I can’t pay for this/all I’ve got is money” - ‘Something in the World’). Vintage Bejar and these passages are merely the tip of the iceberg.  
Bejar’s has used Destroyer as a muse where sonically, he pulls at your heart strings, while lyrically he’s pulling your leg. The contrast is fierce and on ken it continues to be Bejar’s greatest asset. A chameleon in every sense, Bejar is truly an artist who follows his nose. If only there were more like him.
Favourite Tracks: Sky’s Grey, In the Morning, A Light Travels Down the Catwalk, Stay Lost.
Artist: Craig Finn
Album: We All Want the Same Things
Label: Partisan Records 

The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn is almost like an anti-hero. He doesn’t look like a musician, instead resembling one of those authors pictured on the back of a paperback airport thriller. Ironically, he would be more than capable of penning one of those, too. However his sweet spot is in a solo capacity with guitar in hand, this time with his third and finest album, We All Want the Same Things.

Finn’s beloved Midwest is once again at the forefront of his musings and this time around, the diatribes haven’t sounded better. It’s the undercurrent of darkness which is this album’s main feature. Vlautin, Liddiard, Dawson. Modern day song-writers that carve out a story based on locality. If Craig Finn isn’t among this array of era-defining artists on the back of his work with The Hold Steady, then - sure enough - he is now with We All Want the Same Things.
Favourite Tracks: Jester & June, Birds Trapped in the Airport, God in Chicago, It Hits When it Hits, Be Honest.
Artist: Ryan Adams
Album: Prisoner
Label: Blue Note/Pam Ax
Ryan Adams’ Prisoner is one of those albums that you think you’ve heard before during various stages of life. On the way to work, or perhaps on the radio before school. Not many albums have made me feel the way that this has. Sonically, Prisoner isn’t too far removed from Ryan Adams, but while the latter conveyed a loved-up Ryan, the former is very much at the opposite end of the spectrum – namely the after effects of his marriage break-up with Mandy Moore.
Some of the finest songs Adams has written are right here. Prisoner has a loose alternative feel, with slick riffs and soaring melodies, exemplifying this as the music which Adams loves, transcending the alt-country hybrid of Heartbreaker and Gold. There’s ’80s inflections of post-hardcore and even the odd head nod to ’70s Springsteen. Prisoner proves that Adams is on his best run of form in over ten years.
Favourite Tracks: Shiver and Shake, Broken Anyway, Tightrope, We Disappear.
Artist: The Dream Syndicate
Album How Did I Find Myself Here?
Label: Anti-
Los Angeles’ The Dream Syndicate were a band that had initially passed me by. Being a big fan of bands like The Chameleons, it’s no reason why they should have, but that’s music sometimes. In saying that, the music gods have absolved my sins, with the band returning with their first oeuvre since 1988, How Did I Find Myself Here?
Mike Wynn and Co. don’t miss a beat here, producing a hybrid of spatial dream-pop that sounds anything from The Church, Mercury Rev and even the Pixies (check out ‘Something Happened’). How Did I Find Myself Here? is a tight album, and one where it feels like the band has been together for years. While packed with highlights, closing track ‘Kendra’s Dream’ is a hands down showstopper and is among the finest tracks written all year. A great album that has opened a gateway for further exploration into the band’s body of work.
Favourite Tracks: Filter Me Through You, Glide, Like Mary, Kendra’s Dream.
Artist: Afghan Whigs
Album: In Spades
Label: Sub Pop
Greg Duli doesn’t do love songs. A true purveyor of the ultimate lust ditty, Duli decided to shy away from his go-to themes throughout the Afghan Whigs’ fantastic Do to the Beast. However, his customary stock in trade is back with a vengeance with In Spades. Short and sharp, clocking in at under thirty-three minutes, it’s another dominant offering from the band.
Duli’s voice soars from the opening ‘Birdland’ to the brooding junctures of ‘Toy Automatic’ and ‘Into the Floor’. Although perhaps not as prolific as DttB it’s every bit its rival, with the songs stacking up brilliantly in the live arena, sounding less like alt-rock and more like something that Swans could have produced. Although a great album, it’s merely a footnote in the band's history, as Duli’s co-conspirator and all round riff doctor, David Rosser, sadly lost his battle with cancer shortly after its release. This one’s for you, Dave. A true axe-man.
R.I.P., Dave Rosser.
Favourite Tracks: Arabian Heights, Oriole, The Spell, I Got Lost, Into the Floor.
Artist: At The Drive-In
Album: In•ter a•li•a
Label: Rise
Admittedly, I was apprehensive with At The Drive-In’s long-awaited followed up to the seminal Relationship of Command. Having avoided the comeback tours (I was lucky enough to catch them before they originally called it quits), my apprehension was furthered by the departure of original guitarist, Jim Ward. In summary, all roads led to this comeback being tainted, the endangerment of the band’s legacy imminent. That’s why we love music, though, isn’t it? It can surprise you when you least expect it, and At The Drive-In have sprung one of the great shocks of 2017.
Given the time between drinks, so to speak, In•ter a•li•a will be unfairly compared to ATDI’s aforementioned magnum opus. Had In•ter a•li•a been released two years after RoC, then it would have undoubtedly garnered critical acclaim. As is the case, At The Drive-In are still angry, with Cedric Bixler-Zavala full of fire and brimstone. His partner in crime, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, equally on form, which is quite surprising given certain projects that the pair have indulged in over the years. It’s a focused effort and the anger is directed in all the right places, culminating in this album vigorously hitting its targets.
Favourite Tracks: No Wolf Life the Present, Governed by Contagions, Call Broken Arrow, Holtzclaw, Hostage Stamps.
Artist: Pissed Jeans
Album: Why Love Now
Label: Sub Pop
Pissed Jeans. How the world would not be the same without them. Matt Korvette has made us laugh with his satirical subjects ranging from the love of unhealthy foods and receding hairlines. Where to now? How about an album about the white man condition? Self-effacing themes fronting their ever-present bludgeoning form of sludgey punk rock? That’s Why Love Now and just when you thought that Pissed Jeans had reached their peak, the gift that keeps on giving has provided more wisdom.
Whilst assistance from Lydia Lunch from behind the studio glass makes this more impenetrable than its predecessor, Honeys, thematically Why Love Now is arguably Korvette’s road to Damascus moment. His words cut through like a hot knife to butter, while Bradley Fry's riffs are just as urgent and frequent. Although Pissed Jeans have made a living (well, sort of) from taking the piss, the dark underbelly of their themes throughout Why Love Now makes this their most important album to date.
Favourite Tracks: The Bar Is Low, Ignorecam, It's Your Knees, Not Even Married.
Artist: Queens Of The Stone Age
Album: Villains
Label: Matador Records
When Josh Homme announced that Queens Of The Stone Age had enlisted Mark Ronson to produce their new album, Villains, it was yet another head-scratching moment. That’s Josh Homme, though, isn’t it? He’s conjured up a career of doing what the fuck he wants and with it, listeners just accept the fact. After listening to Villains, it’s not as if QOTSA’s audience needed their arms twisting. While ...Like Clockwork hinted something similar, Villains is QOTSA’s reset moment. In saying that, however, if you listen closely, it provides all the hallmarks that have made the band a household name for the last fifteen years.
Homme’s voice has never sounded so delicate. Actually, it’s a beautiful thing and somewhat of a contrast to the booze and narcotics we are used to associating with this band, although in true Queens fashion, I’m sure these aspects still linger. He’s surrounded himself with an array of musical talent, spearheaded by long-time right-hand-man, Troy Van Leeuwen and skins-man, Jon Theodore. It’s an album that reveals itself more with each listen. Likened to a modern day football manager, Villains needs time and sadly, most won’t afford it that. Without doubt, you can still drink a beer and smoke a cigarette whilst having that same feeling you had when listening to ‘Know One Knows’. We’re all just little longer in the tooth, that’s all.
Favourite Tracks: Feet Don?t Fail Me, Fortress, The Evil Has Landed, Villains of Circumstance.
Artist: Slowdive
Album: Slowdive
Label: Dead Oceans
Of all the comebacks from the school of ’90s alternative, the re-emergence of Slowdive was arguably the most anticipated. After touring America and Europe for the past couple of years, Reading’s finest decided to get back into the studio. The results have exceeded the expectations of even the staunchest Slowdive aficionados.
Rather than continue the experimental influxes of Pygmalion, Slowdive get back to basics with their self-titled fourth album. In many ways it can be regarded as their most rounded effort, transcending the flat spots of Souvlaki and Just for a Day. It seems Slowdive have benefited largely from time apart, plying their trade in various other projects over the years. Simon Scott’s ambient leanings in a solo capacity to Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead’s more conventional traipses with Mojave 3 and in Halstead’s case, a finely carved out solo career, also. Since the incursion of ’90s bands getting back together and making new music, Slowdive is certainly one of the finest “comeback” albums recorded to date.
Favourite Tracks: Slomo, Star Roving, No Longer Making Time, Go Get It.
Artist: King Woman
Album: Created in the Imagine of Suffering
Label: Relapse
After the excellent Doubt EP, it was destined that King Woman would make something as monolithic as Created in the Imagine of Suffering - their debut long-player. Former member of Whirr and undoubtedly the centrepiece of King Woman, Kristina Esfandiari, provides a performance worthy of underground eminence, facing her demons head-on in a performance that ranks as one of the finest debuts in the doom-metal genre.
Created in the Imagine of Suffering is an album laced with brooding religious diatribes underpinned by druggy low-end drone, snarling riffs and internal-organ crushing chords. Esfandiari provides a chemical heat that melts everything around it. The song-craft is spell-binding and not only continues the run of excellent doom-laden bands that are eternally conceived in the United States. Whilst very much immersed in doom, theres so much more to this album. On the face of it theres a nod to shoegaze, and in an odd way it also conveys a purity of American gospel, too. ...Suffering is a fantastic debut that puts King Woman on the map of everything that is good with music.
Favourite Tracks: Utopia, Shame, Hierophant, Manna.
Artist: The War On Drugs
Album: A Deeper Understanding
Label: Columbia
Major label debut. Code for “the catalyst where things start to go wrong”. In The War On Drugs’ case, not so. Rather than going to lavish parties on the record company’s purse strings, brains trust, Adam Granduciel, seems to be more like the guy who sits in his studio getting stoned whilst meticulously plotting the perfect guitar riff. A Deeper Understanding is a feature of this notion, catapulting Granduciel into the stratosphere of great modern day song-writers. Not many churn out consistently great records, but then again, The War On Drugs are not many.
A Deeper Understanding will garner unfair comparison to the phenomenal Lost in the Dream. Although there’s not the greatest disparity in sound, the key difference is how this album feels. Look no further than the front cover and the linear notes. There’s a sense of loneliness here and Granduciel captures it perfectly throughout A Deeper Understanding.
Favourite Tracks: Strangest Thing, Thinking of a Place, In Chains, You Don't Have to Go.
Artist: Priests
Album: Nothing Feels Natural
Label: Sister Polygon
Washington D.C.’s Priests have skirted around the fringes of something special for the last couple of years. The exceptional ‘…And Breeding’ felt like the gateway to something monumental and those initial thoughts proved correct with Nothing Feels Natural: their barnstorming debut. Katie Alice Greer leads the assault with an impassioned surge of howls while JL Jaguar provides a backdrop of buzzing guitars that soar sky-high with infinite vigour. In the live arena, he moves like the bastard offspring of Frank Black and Pete Townshend. 
Nothing Feels Natural is completely vibrant, sonically unhinged and explodes with Riot Grrl spirit that penetrates under your skin and makes you want to lose your shit. As a person on the wrong side of thirty, Priests make me feel something that I no longer thought was possible. The feeling of hope through music. As far as debut albums go, there have been none better than Nothing Feels Natural in the last twenty years.
Favourite Tracks: JJ, No Big Bang, Nothing Feels Natural, Pink White House.
Artist: Sleaford Mods
Album: English Tapas
Label: Rough Trade 
Is punk dead? If this year is anything to go by, than I would say certainly not. The current political malaise has created a vacuum of hostility and within that very vacuum is the irrepressible Sleaford Mods. The pure embodiment of punk circa 2017. Since Austerity Dogs’ ‘Born To Be Wild’, Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn have been on the crest of something era-defining and while English Tapas may be their best effort yet, finding the perfect balance between raw fury and shrewd humour, I wouldn’t bet on their output regressing anytime soon.
While Divide and Exit stirred and Key Markets shook, English Tapas has floored. Whilst there has been a groundswell of talent rising from the doldrums of Britain, no one tops the efforts of Sleaford Mods. Their upsurge in producing quality after quality has them at the summit of anything ground-breaking in this country. In a world where disposability has become normalised, Williamson and Fearn have created something that will long be remembered.  
Favourite Tracks: Army Nights, Drayton Manored, Carlton Touts, Dull, B.H.S.
Sleaford Mods feature, "A Voice For The Voiceless" published on Getintothis.

Artist: Protomartyr
Album: Relatives In Descent
Label: Domino
Like their trans-Atlantic cousins, Sleaford Mods, Detroit’s Protomartyr are one of the few bands these days that are in a rich vein of form. Under Color of Official Right held the remnants of something cathartic, instant and intense. Follow-up, The Agent Intellect, exceeded its predecessor, both sonically and lyrically. It was simply an album that froze time - all twelve tracks of it. It was their landmark moment and a release which guaranteed that they would be sticking around for a while.
In the cycle of relentless touring and getting behind the studio glass, enter Relatives In Descent: their latest offering. Whiskey drinking, chain-smoking curmudgeon, Joe Casey, once again fronts this sonic tornado, delivering more political bleakness through his foggy lens of despair.
Although merely brushing shoulders with the likes of The Fall, The National, and early Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Protomartyr still provide their own menacing invective. Yes, Casey has similarities with Mark E. Smith, but he is more forthright. His diatribes are much more concise. Brooding portraits which are sculptured by the band’s native Detroit.
While 'Intellect may still be considered by many as the better album, Relatives In Descent has just as many moments that grab you by the scruff of the neck and demand attention. The purity of punk with 'A Private Understanding'. The rollicking drums at the beginning of 'Here is the Thing'. The sound of two comets colliding during 'Windsor Hum'. Then there’s ‘Male Plague'. A stand-up-and-be-counted tirade, drenched with a backdrop of atmospheric droning guitar licks that actually embody the sound of punk. These moments of magic are frequent throughout Relatives In Descent and the more time you spend with this work of art, the more you realise that it's Protomartyr’s magnum opus. The staple in a year where punk has thrived.
Favourite Tracks: A Private Understanding, My Children, Windsor Hum, Male Plague, Half Sister.
Words originally published on Getintothis.

Top 50:
1. Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent
2. Sleaford Mods - English Tapas
3. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural
4. The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding 
5. King Woman - Created in the Image of Suffering
6. Slowdive – Slowdive
7. Queens of the Stone Age - Villians
8. Pissed Jeans -  Why Love Now
9. At the Drive-In - In•ter a•li•a
10. Afghan Whigs - In Spades
11. Dream Syndicate - How Do I Find Myself Here?
12. Ryan Adams - Prisoner
13. Craig Finn - We All Want the Same Things
14. Destroyer – ken
15. British Sea Power - Let the Dancers Inherit the Party
16. Willis Earl Beal - Turn, Circle, Sun and Moon
17. The Horrors -V
18. Pallbearer – Heartless
19. Blis - No One Loves You
20. Ho99o9 - United States of Horror
21. Ariel Pink - Dedicated to Bobby Jameson
22. Oxbow - Thin Black Duke
23. Bardo Pond - Under the Pines
24. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun
25. Richard Dawson - Peasant
26. Hiss Golden Messenger - Hallelujah Anyhow
27. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - The French Press EP
28. Pond - The Weather
29. Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins
30. Mark Lanegan Gargoyle
31. Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex
32. Baxter Dury - Prince of Tears
33. Algiers - The Underside of Power
34. Ride - Weather Dairies
35. Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder
36. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Feed the Rats
37. Brand New - Science Fiction
38. Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmolgy
39. Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
40. Hey Colossus - The Guillotine
41. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice
42. Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions
43. The Clientele - Music For The Age Of Miracles
44. Granddaddy  Last Place
45. Greet Death - Dixieland
46. Omni - Multi-Task
47. Michael Head & The Red Electric Band - Adios Senor Pussycat
48. Run the Jewels - RTJ3
49. Big Thief - Capacity
50. EMA - Exile in the Outter Ringer

Thanks for reading.