Christopher OwensJesus, that was a tough year.

Although the days sped away like a joyrider on Buckfast, the tumultuous events that dominated the culture and the political narrative meant that long standing divisions deepened and entrenched the troops into uncompromising positions. 

It was depressing to see people you had once regarded as intelligent suddenly give into unquestioning groupthink on everything. Literally everything.

Luckily, we still had music to keep us sane. Although recent stats from Spotify showed that most chose to indulge in nostalgia by streaming the back catalogues from classic artists (understandable giving the circumstances), it’s always important to keep your ear to the ground for new albums and new bands/artists. You don’t want music to simply dry up and become another arm of the multinationals, do you?

In June, I did a half term report. Let’s see how many still remain in this, my top 30 of 2020.

♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ 

30πŸ”Š Napalm Death - Throes of Joy in The Jaws of Defeatism 

Their sixteenth album, the Brummie legends show no sign of losing any of the intensity that made them pioneers of grindcore. Although the album features the usual blastbeats, growled vocals and savage riffing, what really raises the album above the average grind affair is the Killing Joke influenced ‘Amoral’ and the slow grind of Swans referencing ‘A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen.’


29πŸ”Š Esplendor GeomΓ©trico - CinΓ©tica 

Releasing records for nearly 40 years, the Spanish industrialists outdid themselves this year by releasing an album that demonstrates why they are revered by those in the know. Without going full on EBM/faceless techno like a lot of their peers, CinΓ©tica manages to pack a punch while still keeping the aura of creepiness that pervaded their best tracks.


28πŸ”Šbdrmm – Bedroom

A debut record that actually manages to justify the hype, bdrmm proved that shoegaze need not be relegated to the drawer labelled ‘early 90’s.’ Taking the melancholy and the vast scope (sonically speaking) of the likes of Slowdive, Ride etc, the band also throw in post-punk, ambient and even krautrock into the mix, suggesting a glorious future lies ahead for them. 


27πŸ”ŠA Certain Ratio – ACR Loco

For their first album in over ten years, ACR deliver the goods like never before. Although overshadowed by the sudden death of singer Denise Johnson, the album grooves like a bastard, with Jez Kerr and Donald Johnson still the finest rhythm section in England. all of which culminates with ‘Taxi Guy’ which barrages into batucada terrain. Lay down thy raincoat and get funky.


26πŸ”Š Skepta, Chip, Young Adz – Insomnia 

Grime still remains the freshest musical export the UK has given the world and, on Insomnia, we get three of the finest MC’s from London experimenting, boasting and bragging over tunes that exude paranoia and menace. As usual, Skepta takes the crown, especially for the following line: “I just mixed Don Julio with champagne and Hennessy/Taking shots to the head like I was J.F. Kennedy.”


25πŸ”Š. Youth/Jah Wobble – Acid Punk Dub Apocalypse

Taking one of the most influential bassists of the post punk era (Wobble) and teaming him with Killing Joke legend Youth was always going to interest me. A dub fused reggae album with touches of dance music and free jazz, it was part of the soundtrack to the blistering sunshine that we experienced in the first few weeks of lockdown, the track ‘Inspector Out of Space’ in particular.

 


24πŸ”ŠThe Orb - Abolition of The Royal Familia

Once described as the house equivalent of the Grateful Dead (what an insult), Alex Paterson and co. keep on delivering their dub fuelled take on chill out music. From the title right down to songs like ‘Slave Till U Die No Matter What U Buy’, it’s their most political record. But ‘political’ in the Orb sense, there’s still plenty of wackiness on here, proving Paterson hasn’t lost his sense of the absurd.



23πŸ”ŠWrangler – A Situation

Having to compete with former bandmate Richard H. Kirk releasing a new Cabaret Voltaire album this year, subsequent listens have shown A Situation to be a subtler, less overwhelming (but just as foreboding) record as their previous LP’s. Stephen Mallinder and co. take the modern age and throw it back at us in a clean, efficient manner that highlights our ambivalence with modern technology.


22πŸ”ŠSuzie Stapleton – We are the Plague 

Australian born, Brighton based Suzie Stapleton has been toiling away in the underground for years releasing EP’s hinting at her potential to be so much more than a support act. Thankfully, her debut record delivered on that potential, creating a bluesy/gothy LP with an autumnal feel and with a voice that consistently oozes menace, even when she’s asking God if he believes in her. 

 
21πŸ”ŠEinsturzende Neubauten - Alles In Allem 

Their first album of all new material since 2007’s Alles Wieder Offen, and first studio recording since 2014’s underrated Lament, this LP sees the Neubauten in fine form. As I wrote back in June, the album “…is proof how a noisy and destructive act can age gracefully without losing the revolutionary edge.” Also, probably their most tuneful as well. 

 
20πŸ”ŠXibalba - AΓ±os En Infierno 

Crossing the boundaries of hardcore punk and death metal, California’s Xibalba have been plummeting listeners and audiences alike for nearly fifteen years. AΓ±os En Infierno (Years in Hell, according to Google Translate), carries on this tradition. Why bother with the likes of Morbid Angel and Obituary when this LP obliterates anything those two groups have done in the last decade? 

 
19πŸ”ŠHelen Money – Atomic In June

I described Atomic as “Another exemplary take on post punk, cellist Helen Money delivers an album of spooky ambience that could provide the soundtrack to a Cormac McCarthy novel. Tracks like 'Nemesis' and 'Marrow' are such examples of this lush, but sinister approach.” I can’t really add anything new to that description. Does what it says on the tin.
 
 
18πŸ”ŠMetz – Atlas Vending

Although there has traditionally been a divide between how much I enjoy Metz verses the fanatical devotion of their audience, I am glad to announce I have seen the light. Atlas Vending is a record that justifies the hype through better production, much more abrasive songs delivered with the force of a hammer on your cranium. I’m sure they’re even better live. 

 
17πŸ”ŠX – Alphabetland 

One of the biggest surprises of the year was finding out that Los Angeles’ X had recorded a new album. What was an even bigger surprise was just how darn infectious it was. 27 minutes of punked up rock n roll was not only a nice soundtrack to the worries of the year, but also allowed X to reposition themselves as one of the great US punk bands on the 40th anniversary of their debut LP.

 
16πŸ”ŠMilitary Shadow – Blood for Freedom 

Describing themselves as “metalpunk Armageddon”, Tokyo’s Military Shadow certainly gives the likes of Children of Technology a run for their money in the metalpunk stakes. Displaying an influence from fellow countrymen GISM, Blood for Freedom stood tall over most of the hardcore/thrash releases of 2020 thanks to some blistering riffs that peel the skin off your face. 

 
15πŸ”ŠDrain – California Cursed Straight Edgers 

Drain have been named as kings of the Santa Cruz hardcore scene. On the evidence of this LP, it’s not difficult to guess why. Gargantuan riffs, bouncy tunes and a positive vibe throughout, this is a record I keep returning to whenever I need to summon some energy or regain some positivity. One to play on the way home from work. 

 
14πŸ”ŠMyrkur – Folkesange 

Another record that has soundtracked the entire year, Folkesange sees Amalie Bruun drop the black metal altogether in favour of Nordic folk music. Conjuring up ethereal melodies as well as joyful fireside tunes, it’s a record that revels in the power that the music of our forefathers has over our collective psyches. Dark, haunting and soul searching, this album grows in stature with each listen. 

 
13πŸ”ŠJarboe – Illusory 

Seemingly overlooked nowadays, despite her vast contribution to Swans, Jarboe carries on putting out quality release after quality release. This, one of two releases from her this year, is certainly the most atmospheric release of 2020, owing to Jarboe’s incredible voice and her interest in moods and other worldly environments. Music for the soul, regardless of the time of year. 

 
12πŸ”ŠCold Meat – Hot and Flustered 

Australian punks Cold Meat threw the world an abrasive, cutting (yet quite amusing) record in the shape of Hot and Flustered. Having a go at astrology, the music industry, dickheads on the street (and ZZ Top fans), singer Ashley Ramsey’s venomous vocals are backed by sharp riffing akin to Gang of Four from Kyle Gleadell (or Kid Vicious), proving that punk can be fun while tackling serious issues.
   
11πŸ”ŠCro-Mags – In the Beginning 

Twenty years after the underwhelming Revenge LP, as well as some well documented drama/legal trouble in between, we finally get a record worthy of the name Cro-Mags. Upping the ante in the riffing department, as well as pouring out his frustrations at what he sees in his own life, Harley Flanagan stakes his claim as one of the truly legendary pioneers of hardcore on 
this record.

 
10πŸ”ŠDizzee Rascal – E3 AF 

Although his pop hits are now derided by some, grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal continues to put out banging records. Laced with his cheeky persona as well as consolidating his status as a legend who straddles the underground and the mainstream, E3 AF is as much a party record as it is an insight into someone who conquered the world in their youth and wants more. 


9πŸ”ŠJaz Coleman/Youth – Occular 

An unexpected release from the Killing Joke stalwarts, Occular allows Jaz to indulge in his classical leanings and when contrasted with Youth’s fixation with ambient music, what we end up with is a dark, moody record reminiscent of Lustmord. As heavy and intense as the best Killing Joke records, but from an angle that is not explored enough within the group’s material. 

 
8πŸ”ŠL.A. Witch – Play with Fire 

With a title referencing The Gun Club, you can be guaranteed that LA Witch know their stuff when it comes to playing garage rock. Sonically, the record is an immense tribute to that sound but is filled with plenty of personality, distortion and beauty to make it stand out from an already overcrowded field. Killer drumming as well. 

 
7πŸ”ŠGuided by Voices – Surrender Your Poppy Field 

One of three releases from the cult Ohio band this year, Surrender… is their thirtieth studio album and Robert Pollard’s songwriting muse remains firmly intact. As I wrote in June, “…songs like 'Cul-de-Sac Kids'…feel like ironic summer anthems…” while the likes of 'Andre the Hawk' was the sound of GBV delving into their “…indie/garage punk roots and…psychedelic pop.” 

 
6πŸ”ŠSanity Control – War on Life 

Polish crossover thrashers Sanity Control demonstrate that the genre is an evergreen one that will inspire countless kids to pick up instruments. With killer riffs, catchy songs and a production that manages to capture the dirt under the fingernails while retaining a kind of sonic clarity, this was the best metal release of 2020. One to play when fighting through crowds. 

 
5πŸ”Š Cabaret Voltaire – Shadow of Fear 

The first full release under the CV banner since 1994’s The Conversation, this was only released in November but quickly shot its way up the list due to the record being an astonishing reflection of deep rooted paranoia while retaining the dancefloor friendliness of previous incarnations. While some have derided it as merely another Richard H. Kirk solo album, it certainly feels like a natural progression from The Conversation and it kicks gargantuan arse. 

 
4πŸ”ŠEye Flys – Tub of Lard 

Writing about this LP in June, I stated that “With a title referencing former Labour MP Roy Hattersley, and a name lifted from the Melvins, expectations were always going to be high for the debut album from Eye Flys. It's a masterclass in sludge, with the hardcore influences of main band Full of Hell showing up in there, as well as the Melvins' penchant for curveballs.” Not only do I stand by that statement, but I can also confirm that it really is fucking brilliant. 

 
3πŸ”ŠClipping – Visions of Bodies Being Burned 

The group that Consolidated should have been, Clipping have been taking the abrasive hip hop format laid down by the likes of Dalek and Death Grips into new terrain. Genuinely terrifying in places, with a cover referencing Nine Inch Nails, their blend of industrial, field recordings, noise and horror soundtrack hip hop is a genuine creative highlight that will tower over the genre for a long time to come. Who knows what will come next, but it will have a hard time topping this LP. 

 
2πŸ”ŠHAIM – Women in Music Pt III 

In many ways, this album ended up being the perfect soundtrack for lockdown. With a more live sounding production, a jazzier sound and much more introspective lyrics about depression, relationships and perceived attitudes towards women in music, HAIM ended up making their own Exile on Main Street. It also sounded perfect when in the sunshine, while tracks ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Summer Girl’ captured the feeling of sunset melancholia all too accurately.
   
1πŸ”ŠLuminous Bodies – Nah Nah Nah Yeh Yeh Yeh 

Still retaining the top spot since June, Luminous Bodies deliver a filthy, fuzzed out record full of punky vigor, psychedelic nightmares and tunes that can’t help but inspire some headbanging. Deranged and dirty, I do maintain that it is probably the closest any band has come to topping Funhouse by The Stooges. Plus, any album that has a song entitled ‘Fuck the Beatles’ will always get a seal of approval from me. Album of the year, no question.


⏩ Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland. He is currently the TPQ Friday columnist. 

Predominance – Top 30 of 2020

Christopher OwensJesus, that was a tough year.

Although the days sped away like a joyrider on Buckfast, the tumultuous events that dominated the culture and the political narrative meant that long standing divisions deepened and entrenched the troops into uncompromising positions. 

It was depressing to see people you had once regarded as intelligent suddenly give into unquestioning groupthink on everything. Literally everything.

Luckily, we still had music to keep us sane. Although recent stats from Spotify showed that most chose to indulge in nostalgia by streaming the back catalogues from classic artists (understandable giving the circumstances), it’s always important to keep your ear to the ground for new albums and new bands/artists. You don’t want music to simply dry up and become another arm of the multinationals, do you?

In June, I did a half term report. Let’s see how many still remain in this, my top 30 of 2020.

♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ 

30πŸ”Š Napalm Death - Throes of Joy in The Jaws of Defeatism 

Their sixteenth album, the Brummie legends show no sign of losing any of the intensity that made them pioneers of grindcore. Although the album features the usual blastbeats, growled vocals and savage riffing, what really raises the album above the average grind affair is the Killing Joke influenced ‘Amoral’ and the slow grind of Swans referencing ‘A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen.’


29πŸ”Š Esplendor GeomΓ©trico - CinΓ©tica 

Releasing records for nearly 40 years, the Spanish industrialists outdid themselves this year by releasing an album that demonstrates why they are revered by those in the know. Without going full on EBM/faceless techno like a lot of their peers, CinΓ©tica manages to pack a punch while still keeping the aura of creepiness that pervaded their best tracks.


28πŸ”Šbdrmm – Bedroom

A debut record that actually manages to justify the hype, bdrmm proved that shoegaze need not be relegated to the drawer labelled ‘early 90’s.’ Taking the melancholy and the vast scope (sonically speaking) of the likes of Slowdive, Ride etc, the band also throw in post-punk, ambient and even krautrock into the mix, suggesting a glorious future lies ahead for them. 


27πŸ”ŠA Certain Ratio – ACR Loco

For their first album in over ten years, ACR deliver the goods like never before. Although overshadowed by the sudden death of singer Denise Johnson, the album grooves like a bastard, with Jez Kerr and Donald Johnson still the finest rhythm section in England. all of which culminates with ‘Taxi Guy’ which barrages into batucada terrain. Lay down thy raincoat and get funky.


26πŸ”Š Skepta, Chip, Young Adz – Insomnia 

Grime still remains the freshest musical export the UK has given the world and, on Insomnia, we get three of the finest MC’s from London experimenting, boasting and bragging over tunes that exude paranoia and menace. As usual, Skepta takes the crown, especially for the following line: “I just mixed Don Julio with champagne and Hennessy/Taking shots to the head like I was J.F. Kennedy.”


25πŸ”Š. Youth/Jah Wobble – Acid Punk Dub Apocalypse

Taking one of the most influential bassists of the post punk era (Wobble) and teaming him with Killing Joke legend Youth was always going to interest me. A dub fused reggae album with touches of dance music and free jazz, it was part of the soundtrack to the blistering sunshine that we experienced in the first few weeks of lockdown, the track ‘Inspector Out of Space’ in particular.

 


24πŸ”ŠThe Orb - Abolition of The Royal Familia

Once described as the house equivalent of the Grateful Dead (what an insult), Alex Paterson and co. keep on delivering their dub fuelled take on chill out music. From the title right down to songs like ‘Slave Till U Die No Matter What U Buy’, it’s their most political record. But ‘political’ in the Orb sense, there’s still plenty of wackiness on here, proving Paterson hasn’t lost his sense of the absurd.



23πŸ”ŠWrangler – A Situation

Having to compete with former bandmate Richard H. Kirk releasing a new Cabaret Voltaire album this year, subsequent listens have shown A Situation to be a subtler, less overwhelming (but just as foreboding) record as their previous LP’s. Stephen Mallinder and co. take the modern age and throw it back at us in a clean, efficient manner that highlights our ambivalence with modern technology.


22πŸ”ŠSuzie Stapleton – We are the Plague 

Australian born, Brighton based Suzie Stapleton has been toiling away in the underground for years releasing EP’s hinting at her potential to be so much more than a support act. Thankfully, her debut record delivered on that potential, creating a bluesy/gothy LP with an autumnal feel and with a voice that consistently oozes menace, even when she’s asking God if he believes in her. 

 
21πŸ”ŠEinsturzende Neubauten - Alles In Allem 

Their first album of all new material since 2007’s Alles Wieder Offen, and first studio recording since 2014’s underrated Lament, this LP sees the Neubauten in fine form. As I wrote back in June, the album “…is proof how a noisy and destructive act can age gracefully without losing the revolutionary edge.” Also, probably their most tuneful as well. 

 
20πŸ”ŠXibalba - AΓ±os En Infierno 

Crossing the boundaries of hardcore punk and death metal, California’s Xibalba have been plummeting listeners and audiences alike for nearly fifteen years. AΓ±os En Infierno (Years in Hell, according to Google Translate), carries on this tradition. Why bother with the likes of Morbid Angel and Obituary when this LP obliterates anything those two groups have done in the last decade? 

 
19πŸ”ŠHelen Money – Atomic In June

I described Atomic as “Another exemplary take on post punk, cellist Helen Money delivers an album of spooky ambience that could provide the soundtrack to a Cormac McCarthy novel. Tracks like 'Nemesis' and 'Marrow' are such examples of this lush, but sinister approach.” I can’t really add anything new to that description. Does what it says on the tin.
 
 
18πŸ”ŠMetz – Atlas Vending

Although there has traditionally been a divide between how much I enjoy Metz verses the fanatical devotion of their audience, I am glad to announce I have seen the light. Atlas Vending is a record that justifies the hype through better production, much more abrasive songs delivered with the force of a hammer on your cranium. I’m sure they’re even better live. 

 
17πŸ”ŠX – Alphabetland 

One of the biggest surprises of the year was finding out that Los Angeles’ X had recorded a new album. What was an even bigger surprise was just how darn infectious it was. 27 minutes of punked up rock n roll was not only a nice soundtrack to the worries of the year, but also allowed X to reposition themselves as one of the great US punk bands on the 40th anniversary of their debut LP.

 
16πŸ”ŠMilitary Shadow – Blood for Freedom 

Describing themselves as “metalpunk Armageddon”, Tokyo’s Military Shadow certainly gives the likes of Children of Technology a run for their money in the metalpunk stakes. Displaying an influence from fellow countrymen GISM, Blood for Freedom stood tall over most of the hardcore/thrash releases of 2020 thanks to some blistering riffs that peel the skin off your face. 

 
15πŸ”ŠDrain – California Cursed Straight Edgers 

Drain have been named as kings of the Santa Cruz hardcore scene. On the evidence of this LP, it’s not difficult to guess why. Gargantuan riffs, bouncy tunes and a positive vibe throughout, this is a record I keep returning to whenever I need to summon some energy or regain some positivity. One to play on the way home from work. 

 
14πŸ”ŠMyrkur – Folkesange 

Another record that has soundtracked the entire year, Folkesange sees Amalie Bruun drop the black metal altogether in favour of Nordic folk music. Conjuring up ethereal melodies as well as joyful fireside tunes, it’s a record that revels in the power that the music of our forefathers has over our collective psyches. Dark, haunting and soul searching, this album grows in stature with each listen. 

 
13πŸ”ŠJarboe – Illusory 

Seemingly overlooked nowadays, despite her vast contribution to Swans, Jarboe carries on putting out quality release after quality release. This, one of two releases from her this year, is certainly the most atmospheric release of 2020, owing to Jarboe’s incredible voice and her interest in moods and other worldly environments. Music for the soul, regardless of the time of year. 

 
12πŸ”ŠCold Meat – Hot and Flustered 

Australian punks Cold Meat threw the world an abrasive, cutting (yet quite amusing) record in the shape of Hot and Flustered. Having a go at astrology, the music industry, dickheads on the street (and ZZ Top fans), singer Ashley Ramsey’s venomous vocals are backed by sharp riffing akin to Gang of Four from Kyle Gleadell (or Kid Vicious), proving that punk can be fun while tackling serious issues.
   
11πŸ”ŠCro-Mags – In the Beginning 

Twenty years after the underwhelming Revenge LP, as well as some well documented drama/legal trouble in between, we finally get a record worthy of the name Cro-Mags. Upping the ante in the riffing department, as well as pouring out his frustrations at what he sees in his own life, Harley Flanagan stakes his claim as one of the truly legendary pioneers of hardcore on 
this record.

 
10πŸ”ŠDizzee Rascal – E3 AF 

Although his pop hits are now derided by some, grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal continues to put out banging records. Laced with his cheeky persona as well as consolidating his status as a legend who straddles the underground and the mainstream, E3 AF is as much a party record as it is an insight into someone who conquered the world in their youth and wants more. 


9πŸ”ŠJaz Coleman/Youth – Occular 

An unexpected release from the Killing Joke stalwarts, Occular allows Jaz to indulge in his classical leanings and when contrasted with Youth’s fixation with ambient music, what we end up with is a dark, moody record reminiscent of Lustmord. As heavy and intense as the best Killing Joke records, but from an angle that is not explored enough within the group’s material. 

 
8πŸ”ŠL.A. Witch – Play with Fire 

With a title referencing The Gun Club, you can be guaranteed that LA Witch know their stuff when it comes to playing garage rock. Sonically, the record is an immense tribute to that sound but is filled with plenty of personality, distortion and beauty to make it stand out from an already overcrowded field. Killer drumming as well. 

 
7πŸ”ŠGuided by Voices – Surrender Your Poppy Field 

One of three releases from the cult Ohio band this year, Surrender… is their thirtieth studio album and Robert Pollard’s songwriting muse remains firmly intact. As I wrote in June, “…songs like 'Cul-de-Sac Kids'…feel like ironic summer anthems…” while the likes of 'Andre the Hawk' was the sound of GBV delving into their “…indie/garage punk roots and…psychedelic pop.” 

 
6πŸ”ŠSanity Control – War on Life 

Polish crossover thrashers Sanity Control demonstrate that the genre is an evergreen one that will inspire countless kids to pick up instruments. With killer riffs, catchy songs and a production that manages to capture the dirt under the fingernails while retaining a kind of sonic clarity, this was the best metal release of 2020. One to play when fighting through crowds. 

 
5πŸ”Š Cabaret Voltaire – Shadow of Fear 

The first full release under the CV banner since 1994’s The Conversation, this was only released in November but quickly shot its way up the list due to the record being an astonishing reflection of deep rooted paranoia while retaining the dancefloor friendliness of previous incarnations. While some have derided it as merely another Richard H. Kirk solo album, it certainly feels like a natural progression from The Conversation and it kicks gargantuan arse. 

 
4πŸ”ŠEye Flys – Tub of Lard 

Writing about this LP in June, I stated that “With a title referencing former Labour MP Roy Hattersley, and a name lifted from the Melvins, expectations were always going to be high for the debut album from Eye Flys. It's a masterclass in sludge, with the hardcore influences of main band Full of Hell showing up in there, as well as the Melvins' penchant for curveballs.” Not only do I stand by that statement, but I can also confirm that it really is fucking brilliant. 

 
3πŸ”ŠClipping – Visions of Bodies Being Burned 

The group that Consolidated should have been, Clipping have been taking the abrasive hip hop format laid down by the likes of Dalek and Death Grips into new terrain. Genuinely terrifying in places, with a cover referencing Nine Inch Nails, their blend of industrial, field recordings, noise and horror soundtrack hip hop is a genuine creative highlight that will tower over the genre for a long time to come. Who knows what will come next, but it will have a hard time topping this LP. 

 
2πŸ”ŠHAIM – Women in Music Pt III 

In many ways, this album ended up being the perfect soundtrack for lockdown. With a more live sounding production, a jazzier sound and much more introspective lyrics about depression, relationships and perceived attitudes towards women in music, HAIM ended up making their own Exile on Main Street. It also sounded perfect when in the sunshine, while tracks ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Summer Girl’ captured the feeling of sunset melancholia all too accurately.
   
1πŸ”ŠLuminous Bodies – Nah Nah Nah Yeh Yeh Yeh 

Still retaining the top spot since June, Luminous Bodies deliver a filthy, fuzzed out record full of punky vigor, psychedelic nightmares and tunes that can’t help but inspire some headbanging. Deranged and dirty, I do maintain that it is probably the closest any band has come to topping Funhouse by The Stooges. Plus, any album that has a song entitled ‘Fuck the Beatles’ will always get a seal of approval from me. Album of the year, no question.


⏩ Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland. He is currently the TPQ Friday columnist. 

6 comments:

  1. A comprehensive piece of work here Christopher. Great for TPQ to have. Was commenting to Carrie this morning just how well you know the music scene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you AM.

      Years and years of hanging around record shops has paid off!

      Delete
    2. the music scene in the North seemed pretty vibrant and held its own during the worst of the political violence. Creativity in the midst of destruction.

      Delete
    3. It did indeed. I always refer people to the Giros documentary which can b found on Youtube as an example. I also see that an academic paper has been published discussing the punk scene in the city in relation to the conflict.

      Delete
  2. Christopher

    Not sure if you overlooked or rejected this band.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pGis2nHWdlA&feature=share

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christy,

      sounds damn good but he didn't release an album this year.

      Delete