BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2014


So, it’s that time of year again, yeah, it’s favourite albums of the year time. Loads of great music this year, some old faces and plenty of new ones too but for those of you who care, here are my 25 albums of 2014. Enjoy!

25. Second Storey – ‘Double Divide’

24. Beach Day – ‘Native Echoes’

23. Globelamp – ‘Star Dust’

22. Sex Hands – ‘Pleh’

21. The #1s – ‘The #1s’

20. Attaque – ‘ON LY YOU’

19. Shit Robot – ‘We Got Love’

18. Mowbird – ‘Islander’

17. Oh Boland/Me & My Dog – ‘Delphi’

16. Jamie T – ‘Carry on the Grudge’

15. Pharoahe Monch – ‘PTSD’

Following on from his 2011’s W.A.R, comes fourth solo LP, PTSD (aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a loose-concept album which sees Pharoahe Monch speaking as a weary independent warrior against the industry machine and dealing with the struggle of the black male experience in America. It’s dense, raw and sometimes painfully raw, as he relives harrowing memories of his struggle with addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s all draped with his familiar top-notch storytelling, cavernous vocabulary, thought-provoking rhymes, precise delivery and thought-provoking metaphors, placing him right up top of the current hip-hop pile.

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Introducing: Sex Hands


Formed by three childhood friends from the North Wales coast, Sex Hands, then relocated to Manchester where, Alex, Dylan and Edwin were joined by bassist Joe and since 2011 they’ve been gigging and releasing top notch material steadily, culminating in the release of their debut album, Pleh, in July of this year.

Their songs rarely stray from a trusted, noisy formula and Sex Hands are a band with a pretty clear idea of what their sound achieves. It’s a rough, ragged and grainy lo-fi sound of all fuzzed up guitars, barely in tune instruments and often indecipherable lyrics which are generally garbled or screeched. Combining these alternate strands together, they create a whirlwind of energy that falls somewhere between boisterous, motorik punk and hooky garage rock. The repeated use of melodic hooks, a tendency to chuck in everything but the kitchen sink and to hell the consequences, leaves us with a big, jangling, perfectly-imperfect sound which is, needless to say, absolutely marvellous! Their debut LP is not just loud and brash, it’s fun, brazen, catchy, infectious and sweet (and filled with a pile of Friends references too), of which ‘Pivot’, ‘Rembrants’ and ‘Gay Marriage’ are fabulous examples. These are by no means solitary examples, there’s plenty more where that came from on what is a great album and a joyous jangle.

You can check out some choice selections below and Pleh can be yours from here. It won’t let you down.