Our second personal countdown comes from long time top twenty stalwart Chris T Popper, a fish of fine musical taste and the Steve Bould of Mad Mackerel.
20 Nervous Dater – Bad Spanish
19 The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz
18 Meat Wave – The Incessant
17 Roadhouses – Drinkin’
16 Ty Segall – Big Man
15 Public Serivce Broadcasting – All Out
14 The Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys
13 DZ Deathrays – Shred For Summer
12 King Lizard & The Gizzard Wizard – Vomit Coffin
11 Sleaford Mods – Drayton Manored
10 Pontiak – Tomorrow Is Forgetting
A methodic rollercoaster of a tune. Flurry of drums at the start and we’re in to the somniferous beat with some ominous guitar work echoing in the background. It’s heavy shit – plenty of reverb and that shamanic thump carries on ricocheting inside your head like a tripped out game of Pong.
9 Black Mekon – Janey Was A Klepto
Fantastic title for a song and the band name isn’t bad either; this comes from the album One in the Hate (which also includes the track ‘Frank Died Hanging From An Electric Fence’ which has to be worth a mention). It certainly hurtles along at a frantic pace and honed down to less than 2 and half minutes it packs plenty in with minimal fuss.
8 Big Thief – Shark Smile
Infused with a sadness that you sense immediately, Adrianne Lenker’s divine vocals transports you to chasing that yellow van on the moonlit road. It feels effortless with Lenker’s precision and timing. I especially loved her line comparing a kiss to the need for oxygen. A song that feels both poignant and strangely uplifting.
7 Lød – Folder
Folder is a rather splendid 8 and a half minute journey that takes the scenic route. Borrows from pretty much all my favourite bands and still sounds original. Fantastic breaks using keyboards and real good bass, never fails to keep you amused and bemused.
6 The Coathangers – Captain’s Dead
I’m still coming to terms with the fact I missed The Coathangers UK tour this year. Vocalist and guitarist Julia Kugel said the song was partly a response to the direction America has taken under a certain person elected to office in January lamenting ‘The reward for malicious action is often a bag of shit, one way or another’. The sense of disappointment is palpable and brilliantly observed.
5 Cool Ghoul – Gord’s Horse
My top ten wouldn’t be complete without a Gord’s Horse. San Francisco quartet Cool Ghouls put this laid back beauty together that plods along like… a horse I guess. A horse tripping on acid but still a horse.
4 Whispertown – Born To Ride
Whispertown is the rather marvellous LA based singer/songwriter Morgan Meyn Nagler. She possesses such an engaging and warm vocal style it hooked me in pretty much straight away. The song is so damn smart, feeling fresh and inventive and I absolutely love the hazy backing vocals.
3 Terry – Take Me To The City
Following last year’s entry at number 6 Terry have nabbed the no 3 spot this year with the instantly likeable Take Me To The City. The ‘All they talk about…’ refrain hints at longing for brighter lights but you get the feeling no one is escaping soon. Possesses a hook and riff you would die for.
2 Idles – Exeter
Idles so nearly managed a clean sweep for me this year. My favourite album with Brutalism, my favourite live act of the year and finally very nearly the best song of 2017. Joe Talbot’s lyrics are delivered with a most agreeable ferocity. Hands up whose ready for a bar fight, there’s plenty of takers here. A tour de force of barely contained anger at the banality of it all.
1 Metz – Drained Lake
Opening a song with feedback is always good in my book. I’m a simple soul. From it’s urgent, jarring beginning and opening line (‘Forever getting nowhere, while blankly staring in to space’) Drained Lake is just pure badass from start to finish. Guitar like buzzsaws, manic drumbeat and a sense of barely held together chaos throughout. It’s relentless and uncompromising and it delivers.