Top 50 albums of 2019: 30-21

30: Desert Sessions – Vols. 11 & 12

Josh Homme’s collaborative series returns with some cracking tunes. A lot of this sounds suspiciously like classic QOTSA and Them Crooked Vultures but there are a few tracks that surprise along the way too.

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29: LIFE – A Picture Of Good Health

Rousing and angry post-punk for the Hull four-piece. A must for any fans of loud guitars.

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28: Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

An absorbing album that mixes electronica, ambient, dance and jazz with a splash of psych rock and even a touch of avent-garde.

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27: Lower Slaughter – Some Things Take Work

Heavy, raucous, clever. A right rollocking riff-tastic grind and a worthy successor to their brilliant debut ‘What Big Eyes’.

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26: The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

Jazz for the dancefloor, featuring the wondrous saxophone and clarinet work of Sons of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings. Surprisingly accessible, surprisingly good.

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25: Amyl and The Sniffers – Amyl and The Sniffers

Classic punk on show from this female-fronted Aussie five-piece. Powerful, absorbing and a whole lot of fun.

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24: RIDE – This Is Not A Safe Place

The band’s second album since reforming and they’ve certainly got their songwriting boots back on. Some great tracks on here to rival the best of their early work.

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23: Here Lies Man – No Ground To Walk Upon

More 60’s laden heavy grooves from the LA four-piece. It’s not a divergence from their previous two albums but they’ve certainly nailed this unique sound.

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22: Portico Quartet – Memory Streams

Jazzy trip-hop and electronica that’s perfect for chilling out to.

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21: Christian Fitness – You are the Ambulance

The sixth solo/not solo album from Mclusky and Future of the Left genius Andrew Falkous. As edgy, noisy and witty as ever.

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Not long to wait for albums 20-11.

2018 Music Review – June

A varied bag during June with some new artists, some bringing back styles of days gone by and the reemergence of some old stalwarts.

First to Mike Shinoda. The Linkin Park rapper has put on tape what is essentially his grieving process following the suicide of former bandmate Chester Bennington. It’s raw to listen to at times but the emotion gives it a real depth that is often missing in this genre.

Floex and Tom Hodge‘s mix of orchestral beauty and electronica would be the top album of fused styles this month, if it wasn’t for the release of the third album from my favourite gospel/death metal crossover act Zeal & Ardor. Stranger Fruit perhaps doesn’t reach the heights of it’s predecessor but is still a mighty impressive set of songs.

Here Lies Man’s second album once again revives the afrobeat-meets-Black-Sabbath vibe to great effect while Sink Ya Teeth draw heavily on 80’s synth-pop on their debut album.

My top album of the month though is one of my perennial favourites. The Orb was the act that got me into electronic music in the first place. Alex Patterson has, in the past, tended to drift into meandering prog-style twiddling interspersed with dub-electronica. Fortunately No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds is a tight collection of house-dub that would be at home in a club – or at least during the late night opening of a micro-brewery.

Top 10 June 2018

1: The Orb – No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds

Standout track: Other Blue Worlds

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2: Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit

Standout track: You Ain’t Coming Back

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3: Fantastic Negrito – Please Don’t Be Dead

Standout track: The Duffler

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4: Johnny Marr – Call the Comet

Standout track: The Tracers

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5: Here Lies Man – You Will Know Nothing

Standout track: Animal Noises

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6: Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth

Standout track: Control

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7 : Warmduscher – Whale City

Standout track: I Got Friends

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8: Floex and Tom Hodge – A Portrait of John Doe

Standout track: Wednesday (Is The New Friday)

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9: Mike Shinoda – Post Traumatic

Standout track: Over Again

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10: Martyn – Voids

Standout track: World Gate

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