14 of 14 – My albums of the year – Brian Robinson Photography
I’ve been doing an annual ‘best of albums’ lists since I was a teenager…and each year I could say that this year was better than the last. This year I had a shortlist of around 25 albums so I had to get selective. Some you’ll know, others you won’t, maybe check them out… you might just like it!
1) Crosses ††† – ††† Crosses
‘Deftones’ Chino Moreno’s side project with ‘Fars’ Shaun Lopez & Chuck Doom makes my No.1 for 2014. A lot mellower than the Deftones and with the electronic edge give this Moreno’s vocals chance to shine.
2) Mark Lanegan Band – Phantom Radio
Easy to see why some critics hailed this as a ‘career highlight’. I didn’t think Mark could top 2012’s ‘Blues Funeral’, but he manages to continue his run of excellent recordings. Dark, atmospheric & beautiful.
4) Teleman – Breakfast
BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley has once again provided me with lots of new & interesting bands, and Teleman is the icing on the cake from this year.
5) Pixies – Indie Cindy
The first album from Pixies since 1991. What was originally 3 separate EP’s has been put together as one long player and it’s great… well I thought so. It seemed to split fans and critics alike but for me it worked and I finally got to see them live when they came to Cornwall to play the Eden Sessions.
6) Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun
I didn’t quite connect with the last Mastodon album but this is what I’d class as ‘back on form’! Although not as heavy as their first few albums it flows well and even got them some radio airplay with ‘The Motherload’. And from what I’ve heard from those who saw them on the recent tour, they still destroy live!
7) Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin
25 years since Bob Mould’s first solo album and he show’s no signs of slowing down. Beauty & Ruin pretty much picks up from 2012’s Silver Age and shows touches of his time with both Hüsker Dü and Sugar.
8) War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
This album seems to have been the favourite album of the year for many, easy to see why. Following on from 2011’s ‘Slave Ambient’ tour the War On Drugs struggled to adjust to life ‘off’ the road. Those times provided the influence for this slice of modern day stadium rock.
9) Mogwai – Rave Tapes
I rate Mogwai to be one of the finest live bands I’ve ever seen and so began 2014 seeing them at London’s Royal Festival Hall. A venue fitting for their style of music and the perfect way to promote new album ‘Rave Tapes’. Stand out track of the album being the epic ‘Remurdered’.
10) Interpol – El Pintor
Again, another band who’s previous album didn’t quite grasp me but seem to have pulled me back in. The band even said that they felt like they’d come full circle with this one and I couldn’t agree more. At times it hints of the glory days of their first two records.
11) Swans – To Be Kind
Clocking in at just over two hours long ‘To Be Kind’ is an epic onslaught that is neither easy or pleasant for for the casual music listener. Opener ‘Screen Shot’ has a repetitive bass line that builds to an almost psychotic climax. And that’s just the first 8 minutes of the album.
12) Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
Again, thanks to BBC 6 music’s Marc Riley I discovered Benjamin Booker. New Orleans based Booker sounds like he’s been drinking bourbon for years but at the tender age of 22 his vocals manage to fuse his blues rock sound.
14) Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
Eight albums in and the Foo Fighters are still at the top of their game. Constantly looking for different way to record they take us on a musical journey across America, meeting and recording with the people that have influenced them. Weather a fan or not the accompanying documentary is well worth a look.