At some point in the next couple of weeks, Captain Carter of the good ship Wall Of Sound will be releasing the official Albums Of The Year as compiled and voted for by all of the members of this blog. I imagine there will be much sulkings and gloatings in equal measures among us all when the results are out.
Each year I always like to compile my top twenty favourite albums of the year (this is because I am very cool and have a lot of friends and shut up you) but, after joining this blog team, I now have a fancier outlet for my geeking than before, not to mention an unwilling, if modest, audience to inflict it on.
Here then, is my personal top twenty albums of 2013. The majority of them have been already reviewed on here mostly either by myself or another. It’s possible that one or two will end up on the official blog Albums Of The Year as well but I think that’s the best I could hope for!
I’m a bit of noob with Spotify but hopefully you should be able to listen to a playlist of all artists included at this link HERE.
Let me know if it doesn't work and I'll shrug noncommittally.
20. Cyanide Pills – Still Bored.
Still Bored is the second album by this Retro 70’s-style Pop Punk band from Leeds. Lots of fun and catchy tunes by the bucketful.
19. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
A great Scottish Indie Rock band. With each album they get just a little bit better. This is emotive, melodious and a joy to listen to.
18. Gloomball – The Distance
The Distance is the debut album by this German Alt-Metal band. Imagine if Nickelback were a lot heavier and not, y’know, awful.
Big meaty riffs, great choruses and an interesting cover of a song from Rocky IV.
17. The God Damn Whores – Heya-Heya-Heya-Heya-Ho!
Spiky Art Rock/Punk based around Cardiacs/The Wildhearts bassist Jon Poole on vocals and guitar with a revolving door of guest musicians such as Ginger Wildheart, Jase Edwards & Christ Catalyst, This is more complete and fuller sounding then their debut album We Are The Lucky Thirteen.
16. Streetlight Manifesto – The Hands That Thieve
Thoughtful, intelligent and well crafted, er, Ska Punk. It’s not something I’d ever come across until I discovered this band. All of their albums are worth checking out but this is their most mature work to date. A great album
15. Jupiter Society – From Endangered to Extinct
The third part of a trilogy of concept albums. Sprawling songs that are a hybrid of Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Goth and a smattering of Industrial. It's hard work but worth the effort.
14. Monster Truck – Furiosity
The first of several Stoner bands on this list. Monster Truck are from Canada and lean more to the classic rock end of Stoner than the fuzzy psychedelia. There are some impressive vocals and an abundance of choruses here.
13. Agharti – Change
Interesting Female fronted European Gothic Metal. A flawed album in some respects but the good parts more than make up for it.
12. Hey! Hello! – Hey! Hello!
Yet another project in the ever expanding portfolio of Ginger Wildheart. This sees him at his poppiest and joyful. There’s still plenty of guitar and swearies mind. This was released digitally in 2012 but the physical CD wasn’t released until 2013 so, to my mind, it still counts.
11. Steve From Accounting – Remission
Riff heavy Progressive Metal that’s entirely instrumental but still manages to be entertaining and hold interest. I’m looking forward to hearing more.
10. Clutch – Earth Rocker
Earth Rocker is Clutch’s umpteenth album and probably their most straightforward and simplistic. There’s just lots of stomping, Blues-influenced Stoner Rock with an emphasis on a-rockin’
9. Polkadot Cadaver – Last Call In Jonestown
delightfully twisted and perverted Art-Metal from former (current) members of Dog Fashion Disco. There’s a big Faith No More influence and odd, jazzy sections but the guitars aren’t usually far away.
8. Chthonic – Bu-Tik
Melodic Black Metal/Death Metal from Taiwan. Bu-Tik is well produced, well-structured and has a lot of heart. It also has a naked lady with a gatling gun for an arm on the front cover. How can you argue with that?!
7. Miracle Of Sound – Level 3
Level 3 is, unsurprisingly, the third album by, video game obsessed, Irishman Gavin Dunne. Each song is based on a particular game, film or something else equally nerdy. That’s fine by me!
6. Within Temptation – The Q Music Sessions.
I love Within Temptation and I love cover versions ergo I should love an album of cover versions by Within Temptation surely? Correct!
5. Jackdaw4 – Dissecticide
Like, Hey! Hello! This was released digitally in 2012 but physically in 2013. It’s a Prog Rock/Indie Rock/Power Pop masterpiece and mainman Willie Dowling is one of this Country’s finest songwriters.
4. Oliva – Raise The Curtain
This is the debut solo album by Jon Oliva of Savatage and Jon Oliva’s Pain. It’s his usual brand of Broadway tinged Proggy Power Metal. Though there’s quite a bit of variation on this album and even (gasp!) a brass section.
3. Gay Paris – The Last Good Party
I gave this album a 7 out of 10 when I reviewed it in September but maybe should rethink it as this is probably the album I’ve listened to the most (bar my no. 1 album) this year. Bluesy Stoner Rock fronted by a gravel-voiced lunatic. Splendid!
2. Eureka Machines – Remain In Hope
Eureka Machines are probably my favourite band of the moment (at least of the ones that haven’t been around forever like: The Wildhearts, Savatage or Half Man Half Biscuit) and the greatest ever band to appear on Emmerdale.
Remain In Hope is their third and best album to date. The bouncy, singalong anthems that have been Eureka Machines' staple are crafted to perfection here. This is an album anyone who’s a fan of rock music should own.
1. Muscle Tribe Of Danger And Excellence – Eagles And Chainsaws
Flawless Stoner Metal from Croatia. There’s plenty of variety, good tunes, massive riffs and an excellent vocalist on Eagles And Chainsaws. There’s no filler at all. I hope they have it in them to forge a career because this is an outstanding album that I can’t stop listening to.
To save you scrolling back up, should you want to then you can hopefully listen to a Spotify playlist of all involved HERE