Monday, December 29

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 12 to No. 1

12. The Envy Corps 'Dwell' (Vertigo)
When I saw this lot last summer at the Water Rats in London I figured they were good, had some strong singles, but would never climb too high in my musical mind of greatness. 'Dwell' however, enables such. Some strong singles? Every track on here could be, stocked by means of shear soulful and atmospheric sensibility. Like Modest Mouse with Doves as a backing band. What happened between last summer and now I don't know, but they've certainly found the right tools in order to produce the goods, such as with 'Keys To Good Living', 'Before The Gold Rush', 'Rooftop' and 'Baby Teeth'. The Envy Corps are here to gladly remind us of the difference between The Feeling and Keane, exhibiting that good old indie flag like few others.

11. Elbow 'The Seldom Seen Kid' (Polydor)
These have been around for ages. 'The Seldom Seen Kid' is in fact their fourth album, and there's not many bands out there who better themselves record after record. Elbow haven't done that, because the one before the last one, 'Cast of Thousands', was better than the last one, 'Leaders of the Free World'. So, discounting the last one, Elbow have very much bettered themselves record after record, and this is by far the best thing they've ever done. The world has only just gotten over 'In Rainbows', is waiting impatiently for 'Viva la Vida Or Death and All His Friends', and then Elbow go and throw this at us. Aside from the really unnecessary 'The Fix' which features Richard Hawley probably just for the hell of it, 'Starling', 'Grounds For Divorce', 'Weather to Fly', 'The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver', 'Some Riot' and 'Friend of Ours' are faultless to the bone. The most pleasant of surprises.

10. The Walkmen 'You & Me' (Gigantic)It's kinda interesting how some bands get tied down by their one-hit wonders. Especially when they're relatively talented. Think of The Walkmen, you think of 'The Rat'. And on that first album there was at least four-worthy singles, it's just strange how they never quite shooted up with the likes of The Strokes or BRMC. 'You & Me' is further evidence of their talent, almost every track a kind of Pogues-bitten nugget with a catchy chorus. 'On The Water', 'In The New Year', 'Long Time Ahead Of Us', 'New Country', 'If Only It Were True' - All of these could've caught the UK's attention of released as a single, with a bit of promo. Maybe the band don't want the success, after what happened last time.

9. Vampire Weekend 'Vampire Weekend' (XL)
With reference to 'Oxford Comma', if it wasn’t for Columbia Uni’s ‘Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma’ society and accompanying Facebook group, Ezra and the gang may never have sculptured one of this century’s finest slabs of afro-pop. Such defence of the ever- disputable punctuation mark was what initially roused New York’s most bookish to think up ‘Oxford Comma’, and in due course make their first foray into the UK Top 40 Singles Chart (at No. 38). But it’s the bourgeoisie-poking queries of “Why would you lie about how much coal you have? Why would you lie about something dumb like that?” plus sweet-guitar-glazed pipe organ breakdown that verifies this song a bona fide gem. Now somebody go tell Ezra about Cambridge’s ‘Annual Rally for the Protection of the Solidus’. And the album's fucking brilliant too.

8. Cajun Dance Party 'The Colourful Life' (XL)
The music press have been way too harsh on these with their debut. NME couldn't get over the fact they're all below the age of 20, and Drowned In Sound figured they were just too posh. I, however, think this is one of the best albums shelved out to us all this year thus far. Minus their ages and minus their background, 'The Colourful Life' is a brilliant debut, overflowing with herds of pop nuggets as body-tingling as watching Gavin and Stacey for the first time (Season 2, that is). It couldn't start more perfectly with the carefree flow of its title track, all before new single 'The Race' hits you via the finest outtro since, er, White Lies' 'Death' or something.'The Next Untouchable' and 'Amylase' aside, 'No Joanna', 'Buttercups' and 'The Hill, The View & The Lights' too ride the right side of bright and shiny pop. This is the album I hoped they would make.

7. Bon Iver 'For Emma, Forever Ago' (4AD)
I am ashamed. So, so ashamed. Utters of the name 'Bon Iver' were thrown my way months back, but I never caught on enough to venture out in to the world external of Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons to figure, "Hey, wait a minute, Wisconsin seem to be pretty good at this whole alt.folk thing too." Not only the setting of relatively funny American TV sitcom 'That 70s Show', and also Watford FC centre back Jay DeMerit, Wisconsin USA is the place the creator of one of this year's best albums calls home too. Bon Iver himself calls it 'neo-soul'. Shout And Twist totally agree, whilst too getting a little teary eyed-causing lo-fi tranquil acoustic Iron & Wine-but-better cogency from 'For Emma, Forever Ago' as well. If there's one more record you plan to lose yourself in this year, make sure it's this one. God I sound like HMV.

6. British Sea Power 'Do You Like Rock Music?' (Rough Trade)
The thing with the first British Sea Power record is that for every rock-powering classic like 'Remember Me', 'Carrion' and 'Blackout', there was just as much flaff like 'Something Wicked', 'The Lonely' and 'Apologies To Insect Life'. The second one wasn't that much of a progression, apart from single 'Please Stand Up'. But 'Do You Like Rock Music?' is no question their best album to date, which is something reflected even by it's Top 10 chart entry. In a time when bands simply have to release the best flipping debut they can, BSP have finally produced what they always dared to three albums in. 'All In It' is the perfect way to begin, 'The Great Skua' is the best thing Sigur Ros have never made, and 'No Need To Cry' is the greatest song BSP have ever created. DYLRM? is exceptional, and the Arcade Fire comparisons are unfair. Unfair on Arcade Fire that is.

5. Pete and the Pirates 'Little Death' (Stolen)
There's a reason this lot were in my Top 5 'Next Big Things' at the beginning of the year. They are simply magnifico. In a musical sphere currently over-stocked on Korg-keys, guitar grime and folk cats, the straight up strings and pretty jangle of what has packed 'Little Death' to the brim is genuinely refreshing. Made evident by the already noted 'Come On Feet', 'Knots' and 'Mr Understanding', it turns out P&TP only know how to make good guitar pop songs, and nothing else. 'Ill Love', 'Lost In The Woods', 'Moving', 'Humming', and 'Bright Lights' are too evident of such pretty, witty talent. Nation domination may not be on their list of things-to-do but judging by this debut that'll be just one of the many spin-offs.

4. Bloc Party 'Intimacy' (Wichita)
'Rush-release.' That is the term being endlessly flung around in attachment to the description of this album. Thing is though, I have an inkling this was by no means a rush-release whatsoever, especially as far as Bloc Party were concerned. It is kinda revolutionary (and probably typical of this lot) how they simply chucked up some news on their site just days before it came out, while their coevals from the 04 art-rock shift are either in the middle pages of the music press trying to solve an identity crisis (See under The Killers), following all else by releasing two records in one year (See under Kaiser Chiefs), or taking flipping ages perfecting their third album in the backwaters of Scotland (See under Franz). Though the essence of what 'Infinity' endeavors to put across is much less thought-provoking than the previous two, here they've plainly reveled in their own euphonic class. They are no longer the Gang Of Four-fanatics that once earned them the cover of NME. They are the band who'll clutch you and I into an unknown sweep of sonic blares we'd otherwise dare scope out. And I don't want anyone else to take me there. Bloc Party: The New Radiohead.

3. Glasvegas 'Glasvegas' (Columbia)
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but for about fifteen minutes in late June this year I was holed up in a radio studio with the four members of Glasvegas. All year I'd heard nonstop superlatives slapping them as 'The most exciting British prospect since the Arctic Monkeys', or 'The most important debut record since 'Definitely Maybe', not forgetting 'The best band to come out of Scotland. Ever.' It seemed that hype hadn't got so heated since Turner and co blasted off three years ago. Then it happened. The moment in which I too jumped on the bandwagon of hysteria to claim Glasvegas as something a little more than just special. It came after the band played 'Daddy's Gone', and band leader James Allan trodded over to the corner of the studio, held his head in his hands, and took a few moments to clear his head before he could take off again. The effect the words had on him, the passion that evoked from his voice afterward, and just the shear tenacity of emotion songs like that can have - it was all so mesmerising. There's not one or two highlights from 'Glasvegas'. The whole thing is spectacular.

2. Coldplay 'Viva La Viva or Death And All His Friends' (Parlophone)
“Everyone might not like this. We’re into it at the moment, so let’s just get it done,” declared soft rock’s most self-deprecating during the everlasting Viva sessions, shepherd by Brian Eno of all ambient daddies. Luckily for Chris Martin and his hypersensitive psyche, no such Coldplay counterblast went down, and the band’s fourth effort, which is in all likelihood the only record of 2008 to be fashioned in a one-time bakery, managed to fetch platinum disks the planet over. The Eno backdrops and less-is-more credo plainly shimmered through, but it’s still an album for the masses, and unmistakably Coldplay at heart. Martin may doubt his band’s supermassive stature yet it’s his compulsive desires that’ve resulted in their gutsiest record to date, and one of this year’s most complete.

1. Noah and the Whale 'Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down' (Young & Lost Club)
No matter how many a time '5 Years Time' gets spun to death on stations and channels nationwide, 'Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down' is undoubtedly the best debut album released this year. Harmony for harmony, horn for horn, heart-rending bowed violin string for heart-rending bowed violin string; there's just not a second-rate strain on here. Leader Charlie Fink's eggshell tones are spell-bounding, firstly laid out in the ever-intensifying '2 Atoms In A Molecule'. "If love is just a game, how come I've never won?" he appeals, pretty much gauging the temper of the next ten tracks. Best of all is 'Do What You Do', a poignant merge of stirring strings and Fink's call to just be yourself. Dark and intense wordplay seated above quite the opposite in soft and charming acoustic pop is what Noah and the Whale do best, and this record is everything early admirers could've hoped for. Long-time friend Laura Marling and her own awe-inspiring notes are evident throughout, though shine more than ever on 'Mary'. If this truly is the age of folk then Noah and the Whale are the absolute kings.

Saturday, December 27

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 25 to No. 13

25. Thomas Tantrum 'Thomas Tantrum' (Cool For Cats) - Lily who? Mouthy punky spitty angst with bounds of pop sensibility lagging behind.

24. Guns N' Roses 'Chinese Democracy' (Geffen) - 14 years and £13 mill for this? Actually it's good, not great, but good.

23. Fall Out Boy 'Folie A Deux' (Island) - Their best effort to date, sugar-packed with never ending hooks and so.

22. Lightspeed Champion 'Falling Of The Lavender Bridge' (Domino) - The year's weirdest transformation, but almost the best alt.folk piece of work.

21. Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip 'Angles' (Sunday Best) - Weird it hasn't truly taken off these two, more than just a 'Thou Shalt' wonder.

20. Sigur Ros 'Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust' (Geffen) - Nobody does it better. A brilliant album.

19. Foals 'Antidotes' (Transgressive) - Another brilliant album, math rock how it should be.

18. The Killers 'Day & Age' (Island) - 'Hot Fuss' was a dazzling first impression, 'Sam's Town' was them transmogrifying, this is them reveling in their own brilliance.

17. Death Cab For Cutie 'Narrow Stairs' (Atlantic) - A superb return, as well as a relief.

16. MGMT 'Oracular Spectacular' (Columbia) - Honestly, progressive isn't the word. Just one of the best pop albums of the year.

15. Hot Chip 'Made In The Dark' (EMI) - Really underrated, also their best effort so far.

14. Ida Maria 'Fortress Round My Heart' (RCA) - Just about rides the right side of the Adele/Duffy line. This girl's got it, for sure.

13. The Notwist 'The Devil, You + Me' (City Slang) - German's best import since the Staedtler eraser.

Thursday, December 25

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 39 to No. 26

39. Kanye West '808s And Heartbreak' (Roc-A-Fella) - That robotic voice thing gets annoying after time but still some solid tracks here.

38. Los Campesinos! ‘We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed’ (Wichita) – This! Is! Even! More! Awesome!

37. William ‘Self In Fiction’ (Tough Love) – Very strong pop-squeezing debut from saath London’s punkiest trio.

36. The Futureheads ‘This Is Not The World’ (Nul) – Reputation restored.

35. We Are Scientists ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’ (Virgin) – Again I think their music is as good as they are funny.

34. The Music ‘Strength In Numbers’ (EMI) – Before they were ahead, now their equals.

33. Mystery Jets ‘Twenty One’ (679) – Very strong second album which led them to mainstream success.

32. Kings Of Leon ‘Only By The Night’ (Columbia) – The big riffs and attitue is there, but it’s not perfect.

31. Santogold ‘Santogold’ (Atlantic) – If this has been the year of the indie diva, this one’s the queen.

30. Little Joy ‘Little Joy’ (Rough Trade) – This keeps you warm in the wait for The Strokes fourth effort.

29. The Academy Is… ‘Fast Times At Barrington High’ (Atlantic) – One of pop-punk’s most underrated.

28. Nada Surf ‘Lucky’ (Barsuk) – Addictive, happy and great.

27. Feeder ‘Silent Cry’ (Echo) – If this was their first, rather than their sixth, this would’ve been given more focus.

26. The Stills ‘Oceans Will Rise’ (Arts & Crafts) – Why don’t they promote anymore?

26. The Kooks ‘Konk’ (EMI) – Now they have the songs to match the stadiums.

Tuesday, December 23

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 52 to No. 40

52. Kaiser Chiefs ‘Off With Their Heads’ (B-Unique) – Treads on new ground but just a tad inconsistent.

51. The Pigeon Detectives ‘Emergency’ (Dance To The Radio) – They have an ear for the ol’ great catchy hook but it aint always obvious.

49. Late Of The Pier ‘Fantasy Black Channel’ (Parlophone) – And the future of music is saved. Daringly awesome.

48. Tokyo Police Club ‘Elephant Shell’ (Memphis Industries) – Another band who chucked all their best work on the before EP.

47. Oasis ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ (Big Brother) – If Noel G didn’t leave the last half of this record to the others this would be way higher.

46. Those Dancing Days ‘In Our Space Hero Suits’ (Wichita) – Likeable Scando-pop that only few do better.

45. M83 ‘Too Late’ (Mute) – Not just one good album, but two.

44. Los Campesinos! ‘Hold On Now, Youngster’ (Wichita) – This! Is! Awesome!

43. I Was A Cub Scout ‘I Want You To Know That There Is Always Hope’ (Abeano XL) – Shame these two split, but at least we’ve got this.

42. Scarlett Johansson ‘Anywhere I Lay My Head’ (Atco/Rhino) – Not just a pretty face and a Hollywood superstar, but now an indie queen.

41. Crystal Castles ‘Crystal Castles’ (Last Gang) – Live this aint for the sensitive but on your stereo you should be safe.

40. Eugene McGuinness ‘Eugene McGuiness’ (Domino) – Missing the EP’s wondrous charm but it’s still pretty darn brilliant.

Sunday, December 21

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 66 to No. 53

66. Neon Neon ‘Stainless Style’ (Lex) – Not bad. Not bad at all.

65. TV On The Radio ‘Dear Science’ (Interscope) – Some stirring moments on here for sure, though it aint solid.

64. Born Ruffians ‘Red, Yellow And Blue’ (Warp) – First half great. Second half not great.

63. Metronomy ‘Nights Out’ (Because) – Really strong second album from Devonshire trio.

62. Razorlight ‘Slipway Fires’ (Vertigo) – Okay, it’s a good effort. Some incredible moments on here, but at points too bizarre.

61. Friendly Fires ‘Friendly Fires’ (XL) – Mightily decent debut, ‘Paris’ is just timeless.

60. Blood Red Shoes ‘Box Of Secrets’ (V2) – So much noise for two people. And damn fine noise at that.

59. The Cure ‘4:13 Dream’ (Geffen) – Dips somewhat but generally a good comeback.

58. Spiritualized ‘Songs In A&E’ (Dedicated) – Too much on here but enough of it works just fine.

57. Black Kids ‘Partie Traumatic’ (Columbia) – Not half as annoying as you’d think.

56. Flobots ‘Fight With Tools’ (Universal Republic) – Being influenced by Linkin Park is not a bad thing.

55. Young Knives ‘Superabundance’ (Transgressive) – Some killer tunes here, it just sounds a tad wooden.

54. Does It Offend You, Yeah? ‘You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into’ (Virgin) – Nah, nah, it don’t offend me, nah.

53. The Teenagers ‘Reality Check’ (XL) – Weird, rude and downright out there. Pretty good.

Friday, December 19

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 78 to No. 67

78. Laura Marling ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ (Virgin) – Look, she’s amazing okay. There’s just not enough ‘songs’ on here.

77. Johnny Foreigner ‘Waited Up Til It Was Light’ (Best Before) – Not just Los Camp! spin-offs, but a band in their own right!

76. Ra Ra Riot ‘The Rhumb Line’ (V2) – Some sweet violins and acoustic strings, all for the good of pop sensibility.

75. Snow Patrol ‘A Hundred Million Suns’ (Fiction) – Either this sounds exactly like the previous one or I really don’t get this.

74. Weezer ‘The Red Album’ (Geffen) – By history Cuomo and co are geniuses, but the shifts in this album’s path don’t come off.

73. Frank Turner ‘Love Ire & Song’ (Xtra Mile) – Born in Bahrain, educated at Eton and pretty darn special by way of this.

72. The Gaslight Anthem ‘The ’59 Sound’ (XOXO) – Layered, catchy but just a tad bit samey.

71. The Little Ones ‘Morning Tide’ (Heavenly) – It’s like they threw all their best stuff on the EP, but only a few for the album.

70. Fighting With Wire ‘Man Vs Monster’ (Smalltown) – The hard-work will pay off, but the album is alright at best.

69. Kids In Glass Houses ‘Smart Casual’ (Warner) – Pretty decent debut but could do without the spun-off scene.

68. The Last Shadow Puppets ‘The Age Of The Understatement’ (Domino) – Great idea, great image, good album.

67. Albert Hammond Jr ‘Como Te Llama’ (Rough Trade) – Not as good as the first but still a decent effort.

Wednesday, December 17

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 91 to No. 79

91. Funeral For A Friend ‘Memory And Humanity’ (Join Us) – Does anybody actually care anymore?

90. Mogwai ‘The Hawk Is Howling’ (Wall Of Sound) – Decent comeback record from Scotland’s post-rock posse.

89. White Denim ‘Workout Holiday’ (Full Time Hobby) – Alright but it’s a bit self-indulgent at times.

88. The Streets ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ (The Beats) – Not a bad record but Skinner’s genius goes missing at points.

87. Cage The Elephant ‘Cage The Elephant’ (Relentless) – Promising debut from a band who’ll be big. Very big.

86. The Raconteurs ‘Consolers Of The Lonely’ (XL) – Surprised by the good quality of this record as much as the release.

85. The Wave Pictures ‘Instant Coffee Baby’ (Moshi Moshi) – Good effort if a little dry at points.

84. James Yuill ‘Turning Down Water For Air’ (Moshi Moshi) – Almost too lo-fi, not enough chutzpah.

83. Adele ‘19’ (XL) – Some amazing moments on here, just not everyone happens to be.

82. Dirty Pretty Things ‘Romance At Short Notice’ (Rough Trade) – Surprisingly good second album. Still, we’re better off without em.

81. Tilly & The Wall ‘O’ (Moshi Moshi) – ‘Beat Control’ is ace, but album’s a little too samey.

80. Hot Club De Paris ‘Live At Dead Lake’ (Moshi Moshi) – Almost too much going on to be gripping.

79. XX Teens ‘Welcome To Goon Island’ (Mute) – Weird, strange and bizarre. And pretty darn good too!

Monday, December 15

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 103 to No. 92

103. Keane ‘Perfect Symmetry’ (Island) – Hugely disappointing bar the first three tracks.

102. CSS ‘Rat Is Dead’ (Sub Pop) – No longer cute, now just annoying. Plus second album is a bum.

101. Operator Please ‘Yes Yes Vindictive’ (Brille) – Jeez, where did these go? Weak debut nonetheless.

100. Panic At The Disco ‘Pretty. Odd.’ (Fueled By Ramen) – Pretty. Overrated and not so great.

99. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly ‘Searching For The Hows And Whys’ (Atlantic) – Below-par number two compared to number one.

98. Sons And Daughters ‘This Gift’ (Domino) – Actually quite good compared to their previous.

97. The Courteeners ‘St. Jude’ (Polydor) – Manchester’s rock saviours my ass.

96. Forever The Sickest Kids ‘Underdog Alma Meter’ (Universal) – ‘Whoa Oh!’ is faultless. All else is not.

95. ¡Forward, Russia! ‘Life Processes’ (Cooking Vinyl) – Not a terrible album by any means, but the hiatus makes sense.

94. Conor Oberst ‘Conor Oberst’ (Merge) – Like a Bright Eyes record, potentially great but only good.

93. The Verve ‘Forth’ (Parlophone) – Front single one of this year’s best. Album is not.

92. Cold War Kids ‘Loyalty To Loyalty’ (V2) – Something is not right with this record.

Saturday, December 13

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 117 to No. 104

117. The Rascals ‘Rascalize’ (Deltasonic) – If it wasn’t for Mr Turner…

116. Adam Green ‘Sixes And Sevens’ (Rough Trade) – Too expansive, otherwise this would work a charm.

115. Lupe Fiasco ‘The Cool’ (Atlantic) – Rappers also need to figure out how to shorten their records.

114. These New Puritans ‘Beat Pyramind’ (Domino) – Again. Less would be more!

113. The Ting Tings ‘We Started Nothing’ (Columbia) – First half discomfiting. Second half hype-justifying.

112. The Breeders 'Mountain Battles' (4AD) - Even though it's short it's a tough listen.

111. R.E.M. ‘Accelerate’ (Warner) – Once again the lead single portrays their genius, but the rest is below-par.

110. Look See Proof ‘Between Here And There’ (Weekender) – Look see more Libertines-spun blah. Catchy blah though.

109. Peter Bjorn & John ‘Seaside Rock’ (Almost Gold) – Where did all the whistling go?

108. Primal Scream ‘Beautiful Future’ (Atlantic) – They get better with age but they’ve still not hit their peak.

107. The Subways ‘All Or Nothing’ (Infectious) – Second Album Syndrome bit these in the butt.

106. Foxboro Hottubs ‘Stop Drop And Roll’ (Jingle Town) – Bring. Back. Green. Day.

105. Wild Beasts ‘Limbo, Panto’ (Domino) – Overrated Band Of Horses-types that dare touch the latter’s class.

104. Metallica ‘Death Magnetic’ (Warner) – Decent return but little dynamism on show.

Thursday, December 11

Shout And Twist's Albums Of 2008 - No. 131 to No. 118

Right then. Here we go. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting up my albums of the year, in order, all one-hundred-and-thirty-one, from the most dreadful to the very best...

131. One Night Only ‘Started A Fire’ (Vertigo) – Worst Album Of The Year. Don’t let em fool you.

130. The King Blues ‘Save The World. Get The Girl’ (Island) – Shameful cockney trollop.

129. Katy Perry ‘One Of The Boys’ (Capitol) – Single good. Album shocking.

128. The Fratellis ‘Here We Stand’ (Interscope) – Soulless and bigotry-enducing.

127. Stephen Malkmus With The Jicks ‘Real Emotional Trash’ (Matado) – Bring. Back. Pave. Ment.

126. The Metros ‘More Money Less Grief’ (1965) – Shameful cockney trollop take two.

125. The Automatic ‘This Is A Fix’ (Polydor) – Ahhh what could have been.

124. Youthmovies ‘Good Nature’ (DiS) – Disappointing debut. Vocals sucks bad.

123. Guillemots ‘Red’ (Fiction) – Get over it.

122. Sam Sparro ‘Sam Sparro’ (Island) – One or two dance anthems. Ten-odd scumbuckets.

121. Black Mountain ‘In The Future’ (Jagjaguwar) – Overwrought and motionless psych-rock.

120. Figurines ‘When The Deer Wore Blue’ (Paper Bag) – Melodic Danish pop that too many do better.

119. You Me At Six ‘Take Off Your Colours’ (Slam Dunk) – Semi-Taking Back Sunday blather from Surrey.

118. Secret Machines ‘Secret Machines’ (Reprise) – Like every Secret Machines record, one killer tune out of eight.

Monday, December 8

Two Thousand And Eight

And so yet a further twelve months pass by busy-bodied with heartbreaking band splits, horribly packaged 'indie' fellowships looting the limelight from Death Cab, and a damned sorry record from The Automatic. Ah jeezabloodyloo. Just why do we put ourselves through such a trying musical game of hopelessness and aggravation? Because it's the best darn thing since slice bread. That's why.

First up for Shout And Twist's marshal-up of 2008 is the pivotal proclamation of 'Shout And Twist's Favourite Liverpool Band Of The Year':

Wave Machines
Done. On Thursday the rundown for Shout And Twist's Albums Of The Year will commence. And there's a good 131 records to get through, so don't miss it!

Thursday, December 4

Dreams Can Come True

Monday, December 1

November - Album Of Last Month

The Killers 'Day And Age' (Island)

Now then. When it comes to big bands releasing big third albums within the last twelve months, or even the last two, Kaiser Chiefs' effort was strong but too inconsistent, Razorlight's had nearly as many 'What-the-fuck-was-that?' moments as it did glorious ones, and Bloc Party's,was, well, actually pretty darn superb. Another which has more in common with the strength of Kele and co's is that of The Killers. Forget the ever-disputable/inane line of "Are we human or are we dancer?", 'Day And Age' is one of 2008's most complete records, and possibly Flowers and the gang's very best. 'Losing Touch' is equipped with all the vigor and suspense an opening track should, while we've already been acquainted with the prowess of 'Human' and 'Spaceman'. 'Joy Ride' wanders though a big-but-not-'Mr Brightside'-big side to the Las Vegas quartet, all in the manner of some 80s dance-cheese you don't feel guilty figuring it's fucking awesome. Things sorta pull down for 'Neon Tiger', but all is forgiven for the dreamy bliss straightening up inside 'Goodnight, Travel Well'. If 'Hot Fuss' was a dazzling first impression, and 'Sam's Town' was the sound of them transmogrifying, then 'Day And Age' is The Killers reveling in their own mighty flair and great desires. Brilliant.

Joy Ride