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Alexandra’s Best of 2008!

December 11, 2008

Phil managed to put his in some sort of order, but I am indecisive enough without having to put this list into an order of preference, and so I present Alexandra’s Best Of 2008, in no particular order!
Like Philippe, it was when I started writing for Nickjamvendetta, midway through the year, that I started taking more notice of what was being released and when (which is hard, because I still have so much to catch up on from the decades past!), and to be honest, I struggled to collate this list, but I think I came up with a list that is honest to me and what I like and not what I *should* like.

Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow and Blue
A review of this album was one of my very first posts on Nickjamvendetta, so it has some sentimental value attached. Red, Yellow and Blue was this Canadian trio’s debut, and it was the first single from it, ‘Hummingbird’ that made my ears prick up and pay attention. It is a hard album to pin down, it has slight ‘math rock’ (I hate that description – worst ever!) influences, clear in songs such as ‘Hummingbird’, and yet is laced throughout with country-esque guitar, and light-hearted harmonies. Highlight – Badonkadonkey!

Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
I’ve always been a fan of mash up sort of stuff, hearing what people can create from putting two or more songs together, what works and what ends up a major fail. Well, you ain’t heard nothing till you hear Girl Talk! My mind was BLOWN in so many ways! One thing that I love about Girl Talk and this record is that novelty of picking out the songs, which come from all over the shop! Kelly Clarkson and Nine Inch Nails make an appearance together, as do MIA and the Cranberries! Highlight – Salt ‘n’ Pepa mixed with Nirvana….awesome!

Jack Ladder – Love Is Gone
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago, but after one listen through I knew it was right up there for the year. There is nothing going around today quite like Jack Ladder, with his country, bluesy rock and roll songs and his deep and soulful voice singing lyrics weathered far beyond his years, about heartbreak, chivalry and other good stuff like that! Highlight – Best Kept Secret

The Kooks – Konk
This band gets a lot of shit, I get a lot of shit for like this band, but you know what – Fucking DEAL! I loved this album from day one, and I really think it has some awesome songs on it. I’m a sucker for easy listening pop songs, and this is what The Kooks’ Konk presents. Of course it is just a bunch of malleable pop songs hiding behind an ‘indie rock’ fringe, but I love them! One thing that also draws me to this album is the special edition that was available when it was first released, with an extra disc of songs from the Konk sessions which happened to be just as good as the ones that made it n the final. Highlight – On the actual release it would have to be Do You Wanna, but if you manage to find the sessions album, called Rak, No Longer is awesome.

Beaches – Beaches
This record came out even later than the Jack Ladder one, with its release only last week, but on first listen it was straight up there for me! Beaches are five girls making psychedelic, surfy rock and roll songs, with a clear sense of originality in their writing, and air of intelligence. It’s light hearted listening, with not a lot of lyrics, Television-esque guitar licks and up-beat enough to dance around to. Highlight – Horizon

Black Mountain- In The Future
This is an awesome rock and roll album, opening with booming drums and distorted guitar. Though that description sounds like they are some corny ‘ballsy’ rock band that they play on Triple M and clearly sells the band short, it is the easiest and simplest way to describe them. This album has its highs and lows, from fast, intense songs with strong guitar and hectic drums, to slower, more ‘jammed-out’ numbers with psychedelic key boards, and even moments of acoustic guitar and tambourine. Highlight – the opener, Stormy High

The Drones – Havilah
This has only really become a favourite within the last month or so, with the Drones in general being a band I sort have always looked over the top of, but when I finally sat down and listened to this album through, I was completely blown away. There is something meaningful and wise about the lyrics on Havilah, suiting the brutal guitar and Gareth Liddiard’s unusual vocals. Highlight – Oh My, the song I just keep coming back to.

The Wreckery- Past Imperfect
Ok, so this should not technically be on the list as it is a compilation album – but read me out! It was released in August, and has been the Wreckery’s only release for many years, as all of this bands album (active in the early 80’s) are out of print, so to me this cd is an ALBUM because it is all I have of them and it happens to shit all over a lot of other stuff out there today. Its bluesy and dirty, telling tales about everything and nothing by way of distorted guitar and desperate-sounding saxophone. Though the songs are over 20 years old, if released today would still hold a great importance. Hightlight – No Shoes For This Road, both on record and live this song goes off!

Mercy Arms – Mercy Arms
I bought this album on a whim, and it was one of the best impulse purchases ever! They’re songs are often slow and atmospheric, often reminiscent of Echo and the Bunnymen, before jumping to a harsh moment of biting guitar and the pop sensibilities of Pavement. It’s hard to give a debut record that sort of credit, but I can’t help but hear those influences running through the album’s ten tracks. Highlight – Shine A Light, the song about a cat or a junkie, they can’t decide!

Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul
This is a major return to form for the Gallagher brothers. The album holds so much strength, gaining that rock and roll appeal they used to have, back again. I really feel that if this was the album they released back in 1995, it would be remembered as (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? is today. I am disappointed that this album has been brushed over so lightly, as it deserves so much more attention. Liam and Noel piss me off as much as the next person, but there is no denying that this is a genuinely awesome rock and roll album. Highlight – (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady

Two honourable mentions are Witch Hats’ Cellulite Soul and Nothing People’s Anonymous LP, who would be on the list had I not forgotten them..I suck a little bit. But still, check these two album out also!

You can let us know what made your lists in our discussions at either our facebook or groups.
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