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Opinion: The Ten Best Albums of 2009 [4-2]

This is part three of The Only Thing I Know For Sure’s Top Ten of 2009. Parts one and two can be found here and here respectively.

4. Kong – Snake Magnet (Brew)

Mental. Absolutely bloody mental. That is literally the only word you can use to describe this Oceansize offshoot. Five months old and it’s still completely incomprehensible, and if you picked up the copy of the album laden with DVD bonuses then you know just how mentally damaged the Kong trio could possibly be. Imagine if David Lynch decided that instead of making films, he’d go into music instead and you might be near to describing the gibberish here. Still, what they have in psychological illness they combine with an album full of off-kilter riffs and eccentric ‘singing’. Really, if you need one odd album in your collection to test your friends’ mental solitude, it’s this.

(Read the full review for Snake Magnet)

3. Every Time I Die – New Junk Aesthetic (Epitaph)

At this point it’d be nigh on impossible to suggest that Every Time I Die can do any wrong. ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ is yet another stellar album from a stellar band. By now the basics are set in stone, but ‘NJA’ adds the extra layer of polish on the ETID sound to make it an unavoidable treat. The riffs come thick and fast, their groove matched with that sultry Southern tinge that leaves you longing for a sweaty mosh pit in Buffalo and Keith Buckley reasserts his position as one of the best metal vocalists of the decade, with the kind of delivery that can bring down mountains. A band at their zenith? Hopefully not, but at this point even a shit ETID album is better than most of the stuff that passes for rock these days.

2. Kylesa – Static Tensions (Prosthetic)

Talking about bands at their zenith, Static Tensions is the album that Kylesa have been promising to make since their 2002 self-titled debut. To anyone who baulks at the idea of girls in rock, I dare you to explain your position to the delightfully named Laura Pleasants. The fact that if you didn’t already know she was in the band you’d have no idea that you were listening to a female roar her lungs out is compliment enough to her devastating performance. But that’s not all that makes ‘Static Tensions’ one of the standout albums of the year. The furious ensemble of two drummers rumble like a herd of blood-crazed bison, and the constant evolution of every song on this album lead to a mesmerizing experience for the years. Kylesa, welcome to the big league. Girls allowed.


Opinion: The 10 Best Albums of 2009 [10-8]

Hooray, 2009 has nearly shuffled its mortal coil! That means that self-opinionated bastards such as myself get an opportunity to painstakingly put together a list of the albums that made us happy and glad that music is still alive this year! And then you can tell me how completely rubbish my list is, and give me yours and I’ll laugh at it, then we’ll argue and never get anything solved – surely the purpose of the internet, right?

It has, in all honesty, been an amazing year for music releases. There is so much stuff that could be on this list, and to be honest there’s still stuff that I’m yet to even get my ears around. Such is the proliferation of music output these days it’s nigh on impossible to hear it all. This list is what I heard, and what I loved, and hopefully what I will continue to love for years to come.

Anyway, enough talk. Here are places ten to eight on The Only Thing I Know For Sure’s 10 Best Albums of 2009.

10. Bats – Red In Tooth And Claw (Richter Collective)

Bats - Red In Tooth And Claw

Without a doubt my surprise finding of the year, Bats took me aback with their furious and off-the-wall debut album. It helps that the album has the same name as a Rosetta song, hence my interest, but within this album’s

Some of this is just batshit insane. Lyrics revolve around jargonistic science terms that are way beyond my GCSE comprehension, but it’s that sense of ridicule that makes these guys stand out. Sort of like a more technically impressive, less electronic Enter Shikari, Bats are fun for all the family. Except gran.

9. Pissed Jeans – King Of Jeans (Sub Pop)

Pissed Jeans - King Of Jeans

King Of Jeans is an incoherent, drunken mess of an album; stumbling through the room like the 15 year-old girl who snuck into the party and drank half a bottle of that green stuff that no one else dared to touch, borderline undecided whether she wants to vomit, shit herself or just give in to all moral and personal consequences and do both.” That’s what I said when I reviewed this moralistic monstrosity earlier this year, and I totally stand by it. Best way to enjoy this album? In a puddle of last night’s regurgitated dinner as the cat does its business atop your greasy hair. Sleaze.

(Read the full review for King Of Jeans)

8. The Ghost Of A Thousand – New Hopes, New Demonstrations (Epitath)

The Ghost of a Thousand - New Hopes, New Demonstrations

The Ghost Of A Thousand should be getting more column inches than Gallows. Their second is the sound of a band shaping themselves up for a fantastic future. Full of passion, vitality and searing tunes, they’ve really set themselves a massive benchmark to beat for the future. Taking inspiration from Refused to Motley Crue, the band, despite their young ages, show a breadth of musical talent. “If the superstardom of the likes of Gallows has alienated their message to you somewhat, consider The Ghost of a Thousand.”

(Read the full review for New Hopes, New Demonstrations)