Thursday, December 27

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2007 - Top 10

10. Tellison 'Contact! Contact!' (Gravity DIP)
A bit like Fall Out Boy, only with electronic musical instruments. Sure every band is doing that, but this is wicked.

9. Kings Of Leon 'Because of the Times' (Columbia)
They get stronger album by album. 'Because of the Times' is filled with nothing but ace guitar rock. One of the best bands in the world.

8. Manchester Orchestra 'I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child' (Columbia)
If I've got to wait another year for a new Death Cab record, than Manchester Orchestra will do for now. This is beautiful.

7. Alterkicks 'Do Everything I Taught You' (B-Unique)
Not enough people know about this brilliant record. If I was their press person I'd make sure the world knew about it.

6. The Wombats 'A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation' (14th Floor)
One of the most exciting bands around right now. Liverpool couldn't have wished for a better band to front their amazing new music scene.

5. Radiohead 'In Rainbows' (XL)
I love that the music industry didn't know about the release, let alone the rest of the world. It is also their best ever album!

4. Bloc Party 'A Weekend In The City' (Wichita)
I was too young when 'OK Computer' came out. So Bloc Party are my Radiohead.

3. Editors 'An End Has A Start' (Kitchenware)
Depressing? Not one iota is it. Editors have surprisingly bettered their debut with an album totally worth living for. Offers of hope, inspiration and everything else you’d find truly floating in and around the black parade shines through ‘An End Has A Start’ by means of big riffs and Tom Smith’s peerless voice on highlights including 'An End Has A Start', 'Push Your Head Towards The Air' and 'Well Worn Hand'.

2. The Maccabees 'Colour It In' (Fiction)
'Colour It In' is a sweet, sensitive and modern record by a band who aint in this to shoot their mouths off, but instead employ choppy guitars underneath witty lyrics about running away from scary girls all packed up in very pretty self-designed cover art. This is a band for my generation. Our generation.

1. Jakobinarina 'The First Crusade' (Regal)
Teenagers. Making their very own bands, staging their very own festivals and right here in ‘The First Crusade’, building the best damn pop-rocking tunes this side of Hard-Fi. Never before have adolescents played such a part in transforming the so-called fragile safety of indie rock. Jakobinarina are a six-piece from Iceland, and they stand superior with a bigger chip on their shoulders than anyone. Jam-packed within this little nugget of a debut is, purely, the truth. From beginning to end singer Gunnar shouts out against the musically average, the fake front of Hollywood and, at the nucleus, society in all its shapes and sizes. It’s both scary and refreshing. Yet with such punk and vital values, amp’d-up thunder and deliberately distorted strings aren’t needed here. Instead, a pure bundle of straight up sugary keyboard clatter packed in among exceedingly infectious guitar lines all help to push Jako’s points across as raw and sincere as any.
‘Woke up early this morning and I thought to myself I’ve nothing live for, I’ve nothing to look forward to except next weekend because there will be a dance revolution’ states an insecure Gunnar in album-starter ‘Monday I’m In Vain’, snuffed out by some folked-up and startling Spanish guitar. Latest single ‘His Lyrics Are Disastrous’ scornfully swipes at what mostly fills up our charts and channels, before the deliciously dazzling spitting synths and spats of ‘Jesus’ come at you with one fine irony-crammed line at the heart, ‘Jump around to the sounds of mediocrity’. Witty words of wisdom are yanked out all over this record, and moreover in should-be Single of the Year, ‘This Is An Advertisement’, where Gunnar yells, ‘We didn’t even change our name to the Coca-Cola band just to get our buckets filled’. However, ‘The First Crusade’ is not truly complete until ‘Spit Me In The Eye’, which goes about itself in the true manner this band has implied all along. Away is all the mockery and sarcasm, and now Gunnar proudly states exactly what he feels and intends. ‘Curse me with all the curses that you know… Please spit me in the eye and hit me, I think I’ll cope… Let your hate consume you… Do you really think that I care about what you think about me?’
Free of whatever so-called norms and values are shoved down our throats and minds, Jakobinarina are simply their own identity, and this record is absolutely necessary.

Monday, December 24

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2007 - Continued 30 to 11

Just because I'm so damn excited about revealing the No. 1, as well as Shout and Twist's brand new design (it's coming!), here's the next load...

30. The Enemy 'We'll Live And Die In These Towns' (Stiff)
Yes I know the lead singer is an annoying little prick, and yes I know he writes extremely negative 'your life is shit' type words, but to be honest what he does write is well put and they still make great music. I'm afraid it's pretty good.

29. Foo Fighters 'Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace' (RCA)
I was surprised by this one, as I thought they wouldn't release anything new until a good year or so after. So, in a way it was a nice surprise but I also thought 'Jesus, I need a break from you'. Until I heard this rather brilliant album.

28. Arctic Monkeys 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' (Domino)
Don't get me wrong, it's a very good record. But I don't think they've 'improved' from their first record, I mean it sounds different, but not in a good way. Some of the songs are too distant and, er, pretentious. Aside from that it's genius.

27. Madina Lake 'From Them, Through Us, To You' (Roadrunner)
First time I heard this lot I wasn't that impressed, but then I heard this album, played it non-stop for about two weeks and still revert back to it on those uplift-needy days. Great album.

26. Willy Mason 'If The Ocean Gets Rough' (Astralwerks)
His first album over here was good, but this is great. It was a really nice surprise as well, cause when I saw him a live a couple years ago I thought he was quite limited. Suddenly he made this beautiful album, and I can't wait for the next one.

25. Arcade Fire 'Neon Bible' (Merge)
Okay, this is not as good as some have made out. But it is really good, it's just I expected non-stop 'Intervention's, and there's too many 'My Body Is A Cage's. Still waiting for THAT album as far as I'm concerned.

24. Eugene McGuinness 'The Early Learnings of Eugene McGuinness' (Double Six)
Well, he's one of the finest young talents Liverpool has, er, given birth to in the last year. 'A Girl Whom My Eyes...' is genius. It's eugenius.

23. Athlete 'Beyond The Neighbourhood' (Parlophone)
'Nobody likes us, we don't care' states Joel halfway through this. While that may be true, I don't care if you don't like this, because I do like it. A solid third album definately.

22. Kaiser Chiefs 'Yours Truly Angry Mob' (B-Unique)
Pleasantly surprised by how good this is. They still find ways to annoy me, but there are some absolute total 'tunes' on this thing.

21. Cold War Kids 'Robbers & Cowards' (V2)
It may a little to Godish, but preacher music is always pretty good. In fact, I kinda like that angle, and it is truly is magnificent debut from a very exciting group of Christians.

20. Klaxons 'Myths Of The Near Future' (Rinse/Polydor)
No it's not No. 1 like many other publications have decided, and believe me, I think it's great and I love them and stuff. It's just not complete with singles, which I wanted quite frankly.

19. Mumm-Ra 'These Things Move In Threes' (Sony)
Jeez, where have this lot gone? This album is ace, and they're pretty good live too. They've probably not got the attention they deserve, but maybe on the next one they will.

18. Interpol 'Our Love To Admire' (Parlophone)
The first album is simply one of the greatest albums ever made ever, and while the second is quite the opposite, this lot are back to business with this. What a relief.

17. The Little Ones 'Sing Song EP' (Astralwerks)
It's not technically an album, or even a mini-album for that matter. But I'm pretty excited about this lot, and judging by the new single as well, they just might get somewhere.

16. Biffy Clyro 'Puzzle' (14th Floor)
Lyrically, musically, imagely, this has been Biffy's year no question. It's totally deserved too, cause the more I hear 'Puzzle' the more I love it. 'Mon them.

15. The Cribs 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' (Wichita)
I like what they sing about and I like that they don't know how to write a bad tune and I like that this is a f*cking wicked piece of album.

14. Linkin Park 'Minutes To Midnight' (Machine Shop)
Didn't expect this to be as good as it is at all. They know how to crank it up and squeeze out the melody, and they know how to play it cool and sweeten the souls. Terrific album.

13. Modest Mouse 'We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank'
Oh man, they are one of our land's finest. They should be way huger than what they are, because WWDBTSES is brilliant. I can't find a weakness on it.

12. The Academy Is... 'Santi' (Decaydance)
This was also a nice surprise. I didn't expect anything of it, so maybe that's why, but the infectious chords and emo-tional screams really tear through you after a few listens. In a great way.

11. Good Shoes 'Think Before You Speak' (Brille)
No question one of the best live acts I've ever seen, and no question one of the albums of the year. It so nearly made it into the Top 10, but I found the latter faded out slightly. Only slightly.

Shout And Twist's Top Ten Albums Of 2007 will be with you on the day after Boxing Day, and then after that a brand spanking new design will be buckling onto your very eyes...

Saturday, December 22

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2007 - Continued 65 to 31

65. 30 Seconds To Mars 'A Beautiful Lie' (Virgin)
There is a load of first class hard-popping numbers on here, but unfortunately there is just as many, if not more, of the complete opposite.

64. Dogs 'Tall Stories From Under The Table' (Weekender)
It doesn't push boundaries or reinvent wheels, but as downright guitar pop goes it works brilliantly. Well, maybe not brilliantly, but it's good.

63. mewithoutYou 'Brother, Sister' (Tooth & Nail Records)
I think I've got it now. mewithoutYou provide a slightly serious dose of emo-rooted rocking that's as funny as it is real. Does that make sense?

62. Bright Eyes 'Cassadaga' (Saddle Creek)
Conor Oberst has one of the best voices in indie, and with treats like 'No One Would Riot For Less', sometimes he writes classics without realising it.

61. Enter Shikari 'Take To The Skies' (Ambush Reality)
For innovation alone they probably deserve to be higher, but there are a few faults I managed to find. Nonetheless, they changed the industry.

60. You Say Party! We Say Die! 'Lose All Time' (Paper Bag Records)
I kind of expected more here, and I'm sure with the right polisher they could do really well. If they want to.

59. Shy Child 'Noise Won't Stop' (Wall Of Sound)
It doesn't start off great but the latter half of this is ace. 'Summer' is amazing, and with better pluggers, could'be been a huge hit.

58. Battle 'Break The Banks' (Transgressive)
I waited ages for this, and to be fair it does sound all clean and tidy. But there's as much goodness here as there is badness. It's good though.

57. Cherry Ghost 'Thirst For Romance' (Heavenly Records)
I love how this is all made by one guy from Bolton. It's not very MTV2, but there are some inspiring moments on here, such as 'People Help The People'

56. Hundred Reasons 'Quick The Word, Sharp The Action' (V2 Records)
Well then, this was a shocker. 'No Way Back' took me ages to find I nearly had to wait to pay 79p. It's a solid record too. Relatively.

55. Funeral For A Friend 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves' (Atlantic)
There's quite a bit of flaff here, but musically FFAF are probably at their best yet. It's a 'concept' record, so I'm not sure whether to count it next to the others.

54. Idlewild 'Make A New World' (Sequel)
This was also quite a surprise. 'Everything' and 'If It Takes You Home' are ace, and it really seems as if their as angry as they were a few years ago.

53. Stereophonics 'Pull The Pin' (V2)
Before 'J.E.E.P.' they were my favourite band, but since they've nearly been my worse. This is a bit of alright though, some strong little numbers here.

52. Babyshambles 'Shotter's Nation' (Parlophone)
It's not as good as I hoped it would be, but it's way better than their debut. He's still a prick though, but a talented one at that.

51. The Coral 'Roots & Echoes' (Deltasonic)
In what is possibly their best ever record, I kinda like how they keep to themselves. 'Put The Sun Back' sounds like it came out fifty years ago.

50. The Polyphonic Spree 'The Fragile Army' (TVT Records)
Again a nice surprise here, they returned darker and bigger than ever. Yet happier. I dunno, but I feel the world would be different without them.

49. Smashing Pumpkins 'Zeitgeist' (Reprise)
I always said if I could turn back time to go to any show it would be this lot's. Suddenly, I've now seem em live and own a new, pretty decent album.

48. Maps 'We Can Create' (Mute)
Love this guy. Okay, so the album wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, but it's still pretty strong. 'Don't Fear' is like a piece of glorious apple pie.

47. Angels & Airwaves 'I-Empire' (Geffen)
Always been a huge fan of Mr Delonge, and this effort is way stronger than their first. Lots of brilliant tunes on here, such as 'Breathe' and 'Lifeline'.

46. To My Boy 'Messages' (Abeano/XL)
Not only are they based in Liverpool, but 'Messages' truly is a solid album. It's a shame they never got the attention they deserved but if they made this, I'm sure they'll get somewhere next time.

45. The Hours 'Narcissus Road' (A&M Records)
Pretty inspiring stuff this, 'Back When You Were Good' is ace, and there are some other rather good songs on here too.

44. Fall Out Boy 'Infinity On High' (Island)
I wanted this to be really special, and half of it is, but the second part isn't too great. It's too long as well, hopefully there next one will be more compact.

43. The Cinematic Orchestra 'Ma Fleur' (Ninja Tune)
Beautiful, lovely and pretty trumpets and strings merge together to make some beautiful, lovely and pretty music.

42. The Pigeon Detectives 'Wait For Me' (Dance to the Radio)
At the end of the day, there are some great songs on here. The more I listen to it the more I like it, and already their jumping over to the Big Band bridge.

41. The Rumble Strips 'Girls And Weather' (Fallout Records)
The more and more I listen to this I really like it, though it took me a while to realise 'No Soul' and 'Alarm Clock' are magnificent.

40. The Rakes 'Ten New Messages' (V2)
A bit disappointed with this, but it's not as bad as some have made out. I guess it's interesting that they throw that whole '7/7' concept with it.

39. Ash 'Twilight Of The Innocents' (Infectious)
Sometimes bands that have been around for so long come back after like five records and it's like 'Oh whatever already', though this aint too bad.

38. Kanye West 'Graduation' (Roc-A-Fella)
I'm not usually into this kinda thang, but Kanye's record is strong. The Chris Martin one is especially brilliant :)

37. The Kissaway Trail 'The Kissaway Trail' (Bella Union)
Also a bit of a grower, this Scandinavian lot sure know hot to make great and epic tuneage, evident by 'La La Song' and 'Bleeding Hearts' in particular.

36. Kate Nash 'Made Of Bricks' (Moshi Moshi)
Really good album but a really good singer. She's probably not as incredible as the hype has suggested but 'Made Of Bricks' is good dammit.

35. Jimmy Eat World 'Chase This Light' (Interscope)
One of those bands who have a kind of cult reputation over here, and 'Chase This Light' is deserved of such. 'Big Casino' is one of the best songs this year.

34. Goodbooks 'Control' (Transgressive)
'Passchendale' is not that good of a song, in fact it's this album's weakest, but the others are ultra strong. 'The Illness' should've been re-re-released.

33. Hard-Fi 'Once Upon A Time In The West' (Atlantic)
Forget all the crap that surrounded the artwork, this is quite the pop record. Some of the areas they go down are brave for a band trying to be as big as they are, but I think it works.

32. The Twang 'Love It When I Feel Like This' (B-Unique)
Okay so they may not look like a rock band, and they may like to ride that whole, er, drunky manly vibe. But at day's end this is a very good record.

31. Art Brut 'It's A Bit Complicated' (Mute)
This was a nice surprise I have to say, certainly a bit more 'mainstream' anywho. 'Pump Up The Volume' and 'Post Soothing Out' are wicked.

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2007 from 30 to 11 is hitting your web on the day after Boxing Day. Therefore, Merry Xmas!