My Best Albums of 2017 – Chris Marks
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That’s it! I’m done! No more music please! 2017 has been such a big one for great music that I have aural-pleasure induced fatigue. When the editors said ‘pick 10 albums’ I thought that would be an easy enough task but NO, with each day more albums of note came forward. I’ve not even had time to properly explore the new Bjork record yet as not ruin this final list of ten. How many of these will make the final mega-list – probably not many! But that doesn’t matter, these are the best ten albums of 2017. FACT.* *Disclaimer: They might not be, but I think they are. And for the purposes of this list I am right! Enough rambling, these are the ten: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Feed The Rats Everything about this band is over-the-top! From the frustratingly long band name to their raging vocals and crushing, relentless riffs. “Onslaught” is the best way to describe the sound of the Geordie band’s debut Feed The Rats. Opening with the 15 minute plus ‘Psychopomp’ they are straight in with the face-melting psycho-rock. At just three tracks long the ‘short’ number ‘Sweet Relief’ is another full-pelt rocker before closer ‘Icon’ works its way slowly into a massive stoner-jam. At 17 minutes long this final track shows Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are carrying basic rock ideas into prog-rock realms. This album is relentless and a real endurance test in the best sense of the word. Noga Erez – Off The Radar Electronic styles are so ubiquitous in modern pop music that when something that manages to push boundaries, but maintain its pop sensibility, appears it needs embracing. Noga Erez’s debut is an incredibly accomplished record that tackles heavy subjects (although largely in a frustratingly oblique manner) with a constant air of playfulness and fun. It is not the lyrical content that makes this a vital protest record but the constantly surprising production that takes the more conventional elements off into many different areas including techno, trap, dubstep and experimental electronica. The first half of the record is bass heavy and danceable while the latter half takes the listener into more downbeat, contemplative sounds. With some of the most forward-thinking pop singles of 2017 Noga Erez has released a record that deserves huge accolades for doing something different in the cookie-cutter world of pop. Oh Sees – Orc Another year, another Thee Oh Sees album (we’re on 19 now!) They dropped the Thee to be become just Oh Sees and with it came an aural change as well. Sure, the garage punk energy is still intact but John Dwyer’s every-changing band veer off in a darker krautrock, psychedelic direction. It could, at times, even be called ‘prog’. It lacks some of the immediacy of their best garage rock jams but slowly creeps under your skin and into your psyche. The most exciting live rock band on the planet, with each year and each album Oh Sees deliver the goods. Orc is no exception, it is just more incredible rock music. This is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze This Is The Kit have had a slow-burning career, but quite rightly their latest record Moonshine Freeze has gained them more recognition. It is the most hypnotic of alternative folk albums, taking the genre tropes and moulding them into songs that should move any rock fan. As the second and third tracks on the release ‘Hotter Colder’ and ‘Moonshine Freeze’ collectively sit on the list of best songs released this year, such is their encompassing brilliance. Moonshine Freeze is the perfect album to float into and lose yourself.
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