It’s been a hit and miss year for rock music, with just a handful of high-profile releases, but plenty of surprise packages. In keeping with tradition, here’s my Top 20 rundown. Click on the links to take a listen on Grooveshark or Spotify.
There were a few difficult decisions in the Top 20, but picking a top album was not one of them. Dry The River’s highly engrossing blend of folk and emo is nigh-on irresistible and sets the standard for their contemporaries to aim for.
A triumphant return to form from Kele and his cohorts who remembered just how effective distorted guitars and thunderous riffs can be.
Taking the ‘kitchen sink’ approach to songwriting, Muse threw everything at this third album and the result is a thoroughly adventurous record which improves with every listen.
The record I’ve been waiting four years for Jim Lockey to record – Death throbs with powerful tunes, and excellent production values underpin this meaty new sound.
Running Muse close to the wire as Britain’s most inventive band, SB6 went for an electro approach on their self-titled fourth album, resulting in some hard-hitting tunes and a bit of a classic ska-punk thrown in for good measure.
More of the same from folk-rock’s darlings – they may have cracked America with Babel, but will need to display more invention next time around.
Five months ago I called this a strong contender for album of the year, and whilst it has faded in appeal after a few dozen listens, Handwritten remains a solid album full of big riffs and bigger choruses.
First Danananaykroyd then these guys – for the second year running, I tip a band for big things, then they split up. Nonetheless, Build will stand as a fitting swansong for this dynamic quartet.
Going back to their roots, a return to forum, call it what you like, this album is Maximo Park playing to their strengths and hitting heights not seen since their 2005 debut.
Perhaps the most confusing album in my Top Ten – Maps & Atlases manage to blend together math rock and 80s pop into a delightful combination of charm and sheer technical brilliance.
So, what can we expect from 2013? Well the year will surely get off to a great start with Biffy Clyro due to unveil their double album, Queens Of The Stone Age will return with Dave Grohl on drums, and Lostprophets will… oh, wait.
Until then, I leave you with my favourite video of the past 12 months, enjoy: