Noise Annoys: Class of 2016
HELLO and welcome to the first Noise Annoys of 2017, a year which is already shaping up to be infinitely better than its predecessor simply because it hasn't kicked off with the death of a major musical icon.
David Bowie's premature expiration on January 10 set the tone for a relentless tidal wave of celebrity death that lasted right the way through to December (and which seems to have finally subsided, touch wood), but at least he got one final album out before he went in the form of Blackstar.
That record featured on pretty much every critic's 'best albums of 2016' list – however it's not on mine.
That's not because Blackstar isn't a good record – it is, and indeed it might be a unique album in that it was intended as Bowie's comment on his own imminent death, which occurred just two days after its release on his 69th birthday and thus immediately injected almost unbearable poignancy into every note (even the ones apparently stolen from Bon Jovi's This Ain't A Love Song – no, really) for heartbroken fans around the world.
However, despite listening to the album several times in a row while reviewing it for this paper, I haven't listened to it all the way through since.
Blackstar is just too emotionally 'heavy' for casual enjoyment – and, since we're being honest here, a tad too wilfully skronky and downright irritating in places – but I will definitely give it another full spin to mark the first anniversary of Bowie's death on Tuesday.
Anyway, let's start the new year by looking back at the albums I did enjoy repeatedly over the past 12 months, in the form of an alphabetically arranged top 20 list that, I'm happy to report, is positively teeming with the work of locally spawned artists.
I urge you all to check out/revisit/reassess the following long-playing gems at your earliest convenience.
:: Noise Annoys favourites 2016
Arborist – Home Burial
The Bonnevilles – Arrow Pierce My Heart
The Cavemen – The Cavemen
The Coral – Distance Inbetween
Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Dinosaur Jr – Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
The Frank & Walters – Songs for the Walking Wounded
Heliopause – How Can We Laugh After This
Jeff The Brotherhood – Zone
Malojian – This Is Nowhere
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Pixies – Head Carrier
Primal Scream – Chaosmosis
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
Dan Sartain – Century Plaza
September Girls – Age of Indignation
Slomatics – Future Echo Returns
Teenage Fanclub – Here
Ryan Vail – Every Silence
The Wedding Present – Going, Going...