Yesterday we published part 1 and part 2 of our contributors’ Albums of the Year lists, but today we’re moving on to our editorial team. First up is our #NoFunClub Deputy Editor, mischief-maker, and all-round bitter old fraud: Hugh Platt.
As with every other list, Hugh stuck to the rules: his choices had to have received their first release in 2012, and they can’t be Best-Ofs or any other cop-out bullshit like that. Because he’s our Deputy Editor, we also insisted that he has to write and explain why he picked his Top 10. Take it away, Hugh….
1. Turbonegro – Sexual Harrasment
Because sometimes, just somtimes, a picture can tell a thousand words. This is why Sexual Harassment is my album of 2012:
2. The Armed – Spreading Joy
Although this only came out this week, we’ve had it in our stereo for the last few weeks and it is peerless. The Armed’s take on DIY – making all their albums entirely free to download and entirely lossless to boot – would give any band an edge of righteous purity (because when you commit to giving away all your music for free, forever, it very much does make it all about the music) the Detroit math-punks top it off by putting out 8 of the most bloody-minded minutes of musical fury that you’ll hear in this or any year. GO AND DOWNLOAD IT NOW. When you’re listening to that moment in ‘No Rest Until Ruin’ for the 400th time, you’ll thank me.
3. Old Man Gloom – No
Oh. That awkward moment when a side-project band makes a better record than the parent act. Converge’s ongoing tours in support of All We Love We Leave Behind might mean that Nate Newton won’t get to tour Old Man Gloom in the UK any time soon, but this record (produced by his Converge bandmate, Kurt Ballou, no less) doesn’t need the validation of a live show to secure its place in my top 10. A dark, sullen, angry hole of an album, the deconstructed bitter sludge-kinda-doom-kinda-drone-kinda-URGH is the sound of all mankind’s misery in one, hateful, hurtful 53-minute package.
4. Narrows – Painted
A more focussed, precise beast that their debut, Narrows’ both-sides-of-the-Atlantic existence hasn’t seemed to have hobbled their ability to craft complex, testing music. If anything, it’s sharpened their hooks and given their more ambient moments a less glacial, inhuman element. If you like any, any of the bands of whom the members of Narrows have called home at some point – Botch, These Arms Are Snakes, Tropics, or any of the other many bands they’ve been in – then Painted is the kind of album you need in your wasted, miscreant life.
5. Future Of The Left – The Plot Against Common Sense
Yeah, the least “metal” album on the list. Okay, so it’s not “metal” at all. But Andy Falkous spits more venom in his lyrics than every chest-thumping, floor-punching hardcore twat in a snapback cap and a moshbro vest put together. The seething, degenerate rage of this band at the flaws and failings of modern life shows up how laughable so much of the emotion in “heavy” music really is. Go print yourself some more merch and tell yourself that your band is worth anybody’s time. Future Of The Left know that you’re full of shit.
6. Black Sheep Wall – No Matter Where It Ends
This is a record that just says “No”. And it says “no” to everything. It is unrelenting. It is a wretched wall of noise. It shows contempt for you and your ideas about what music is. It is the kind of record that makes you wish you didn’t have to get up in the morning as you just know everything about your day, from your commute to work to the shit sandwich you bought at Sainsbury’s for lunch to the argument you will have with your nearest and dearest to the sad, miserable can of lager you’ll drink at 10:30pm because-why-not will be one, long, aching disappointment, and you’ll be another 24 hours closer to your ignominious demise when you wake up the next day. So yeah, that’s how No Matter Where It Ends makes me feel.
7. Dragged Into Sunlight – Widowmaker
There’s nothing I can say in just a few lines to explain just how psychologically draining Widowmaker is. It’s less of an album, and more an experiment is mental endurance. I still find myself confused and ashamed and in love with it. Look, I explained it all a lot better in my review, okay?
8. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Converge’s latest album is widely and wisely recognised as another near-perfect record from the Massachusetts foursome. I’m ashamed to say my justification for including this album in my list is pretty much word-for-word what I’d write for any other Converge album in any other end-of-year list – you can pretty much swap the titles and the reasoning would be the same. All We Love We Leave Behind is a record that wags its finger at the thousands of pale-imitators that Converge have spawned – there’s such an effortless level of intensity that you wonder why people bother trying to compete with a band as finely-crafted for what they do as Converge are.
9. Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay
As with Converge, it’s to my shame that I’m reduced to practically screaming “It’s Neurosis – they’re the best in the world at what they do, and Honor Found in Decay carries on that fine tradition!” by way of explaining why I’m putting this album at the number 9 spot on my list. If anything, I found it to be perhaps a grittier, more visceral album from Neurosis, and the fact that they’ve apparently decided to tour this album without any fancy visuals, relying on just their morose sonics alone, suggests that this more grisly Neurosis might be here to stay for a while.
10. Eryn Non Dae – Meliora
Another late entry into the list, Eryn Non Dae’s Meliora came to my attention via Metal Hammer scribe and sometime-Thrash Hits collaborator, Daniel Cairns. It’s a unholy marriage of sonic bleakness, hidden melody, and nasty, brutish riffs that have been tempered by some seriously addictive songwriting. Check these French bastards out pronto.
11. Pig Destroyer – Book Burner
12. Ufomammut – Oro: Opus Primum
13. Sylosis – Monolith
14. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
15. Xibalba – Hasta La Muerte
16. Black Moth – The Killing Jar
17. Black Breath – Sentenced To Life
18. Deftones – Koi No Yokan
19. Human Toilet – Human Toilet
20. Primitive Weapons – The Shadow Gallery
Lists! Lists! Lists! We’ve got them coming out of our tits. You want more? Then check out part 1 and part 2 of our contributors’ lists. Later on today we’ll be publishing our editor, Raziq Rauf’s Top 20, and then – on to the final Thrash Hits collaborative Albums of the Year List!