Some of the picks of the year are here….

It’s been safe to say that 2018 has been another great music year.

Many, many contenders for the usual end of year lists which everyone either agrees or disagrees with. And here at Flick Of The Finger, we are no different! But instead of numbers, this special edition of Throw Back Thursday concentrates on the albums that got your attention, as well as ours. So……..here goes!

ShadowParty – ShadowParty

If you think of New Order and Devo, you’ll be thinking of two of the most influential electronic bands ever. But when members of those two bands combine, you have the excellent ShadowParty. Consisting of New Order duo, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman, and Devo duo, Josh Hager and Jeff Friedl, they brought out their eponymous debut album this year. And what a treat it was.

All the ingredients of what they do in the day job were there, and when the likes of songstress supreme, Denise Johnson, and guitar mastermind of The Verve, Nick McCabe, got involved, it turned into a sublime release. A real feast for the electronic senses, without compromise. Here is a number taken from the album, the excellent Reverse The Curse.

The Slow Readers Club – Build A Tower

Sticking with the electronic-guitar sound, The Slow Readers Club brought out their third album in May of this year, the brilliant, Build A Tower. And because of that release, they further enhanced their growing reputation of being one of the best bands the UK has to offer. The quartet of Aaron Starkie, Kurtis Starkie, James Ryan and David Whitworth really made it one of the years essential offerings.

A real distinct sound, both musically and vocally, set this album’s standards very high. A standard that the band matched with absolute ease, and going by Build A Tower, they will continue to set themselves the highest musical target, and reach it with no problem. This is a cut from that album, it’s called Supernatural.

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – With Animals

Heading into psychedelic-blues-rock, the combination of Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood teamed up once again for their second album, With Animals. And it was a hell of an album. It’s dark musical setting of psychedelic-blues, provided by Garwood, were complimented by Lanegan’s dulcet tone of a vocal to great effect. 39 minutes that could have gone on a lot longer.

When I reviewed this album, I made the bold statement of calling it a masterpiece. And it still is, with every single listen. The live show at Islington Union Chapel Hall was testament to that. These pair of musicians are two of the finest to have come out of America and England respectively. If you haven’t heard this album, you need to. This is a track from that album, and it’s called Scarlett.

The Blinders – Columbia

Rock n roll is the name of the game here, and The Blinders certainly provided that with their new release of this year, Columbia. The Doncaster trio – Thomas Heywood, Charlie McGough and Matt Neale – certainly brought a powerful nature to this album, and their live shows have been heavy, raucous ones. Every one of them hailed as a success every time.

Columbia is pure, unadulterated rock n roll. Make no mistake about that. It’s the type of album that does get you wondering what the band are all about on the live stage. But whether it’s at your local venue, or at home on your stereo system, they will blow your fucking heads off. And that is fine by me. From the album, this is Swine.

Johnny Marr – Call The Comet

A man who gets better with age, Johnny Marr released his third solo album in the shape of, Call The Comet. He knew all about releasing a much anticipated album when The Queen Is Dead came out, in his time with The Smiths. And look at how many best albums lists that has topped.

Call The Comet is a very mature release, and has brought the very best out in Marr, as well as his fellow band members, James Doviak, Iwan Gronow and Jack Mitchell. Every solo album that Marr has released has been different, but this one really grabbed the attention, thanks to the quality of the songs. Roll on album number 4! And I’ll show you what I mean by quality with this cut from the album, Spiral Cities.

The Struts – Young & Dangerous

Finally, we come to The Struts. They released their second album, Young & Dangerous, this year and it certainly had the feeling of glam rock all over it. The Derby four piece – Luke Spiller, Adam Slack, Jed Elliott and Gethin Davies – have certainly attracted a lot of attention, most notably from the likes of Foo Fighters, Guns n Roses and The Rolling Stones.

Who could blame them for attracting that sort of attention either. This is cocky, confident and a really really great album. The charts certainly needed some pomp about it, and The Struts delivered that in droves. An album full of songs that get you singing along right from the beginning, and bring the fun along for the ride too. See what I mean with this song from Young & Dangerous, it’s called Body Talks.

And there you have it, some of the picks of 2018 that certainly got us talking here at Flick Of The Finger, and will certainly keep everyone talking about them too as we head into 2019. Who will we be talking about next year? You’ll find out right here at Flick Of The Finger.

Have a very happy Christmas and an even better New Year, from all of us here.