2012 Top 100 LPs #40-37: The Stranglers, Efterklang, Clinic, Bill Fay
Published on December 16th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Yes, it’s…Rocksucker’s Top 100 Albums of 2012!
Rocksucker listened to a lot of albums this year and conferred varying degrees of merit (in quail form) upon them based on our own spurious criteria…
…and now we bring you our favourite hundred of them, counted down in order arbitrarily/for fun. By dint of mathematics (specifically 4 x 25), top spot shall be revealed on Christmas day. Now, let’s get crackling, and then cracking…
40. Bill Fay – Life is People
The Nick Cave/Jeff Tweedy favourite releases his first album since 1971, a timeless and graceful portrait of nature’s permanent state throughout the turbulent history and evolution of mankind. It’s hard to think of a more immediately arresting opening track this year than “There Is a Valley”, with its narrative of flowers, trees and sheep telling each other of human atrocity, and Life is People packs many more existential punches besides.
39. The Stranglers – Giants
They may have a combined age of over 240, but this collection of clever, energetic power-pop could so conceivably be the work of a new band. Had it been, you can be sure that folk would be making quite the fuss about them. “Indian summer” barely does it justice; Giants is a brilliant convergence of wit, wisdom and fun that, thinking on, could only be the product of elder statesmen who’ve resoundingly managed to avoid disappearing up their own jacksies.
38. Clinic – Free Reign
One of the least Liverpool-sounding Liverpool bands you’re likely to hear, the friendlier melodies on Clinic’s last two albums had been taken as a shift towards pop, when really it would have made a very strange definition of pop. Basically, Ade Blackburn and co. channelled their edginess and eccentricity into something resembling traditional song structure, and it sounded fantastic; on this, their Daniel Lopatin-produced seventh LP, they head back towards the freaked-out drones of before, and it still sounds fantastic. Clinic continue to quietly go about their business of being one of the best and most inscrutable bands currently going.
37. Efterklang – Piramida
A more thorough exploration of the electronic elements that circled sublime 2010 predecessor Magic Chairs, the Copenhagen troupe’s fourth album – named after the abandoned Russian settlement of Pyramiden – welcomes in the darkness while retaining all the colour, mystery and and sophistication that combined have become their glorious calling card. They may be down to a mere three-piece now but they’re still a band to treasure. Get this one lodged firmly in your cerebral cortex…