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3D World Indie / Rock Albums Of The Year

Author: 3D Editors
Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The 3D Editorial Staff put their heads together to select the finest in indie / rock / indie rock albums of 2007. These, are them. Obviously.

Black Lips – Good Bad Not Evil: How do you hype a record when every track sounds different yet amazing- Suffice to say, if Pete Doherty and Carl Barât were born in Atlanta instead of London and listened to more delta blues and less post-punk then they’d be in the Black Lips. These guys are brilliant, and I’m going out to buy their back-catalogue right now.

Babyshambles – Shotter’s Nation: Occasionally the cocaine and heroin fog clouding Pete Doherty’s haggard brain clears enough for him to be able to make some music. And, to be fair, he does it well, really. Shotter’s Nation sees him back in the persona of the cheeky, sardonic Brit with a fag hanging from his lips, and is probably the most polished work he’s put his name to. That’s not to say there’s none of that Libertine grit here, but some of the more interesting moments are seeing a different side to Doherty, as in the cabaret Kate Moss collab, French Dog Blues.

Rufus Wainwright – Release the Stars: Beginning work on it some years ago, Wainwright initially thought this would be a sparser, more restrained album than his others. Ha ha ha. Everybody knows that Wainwright is at his best when indulging in over-the-top camp and bombast, and it turns out there’s plenty of it to go around here. Even during the quieter moments, such as Tulsa, the ode to Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, Wainwright’s operetta vocals dip and swing like a baritone rollercoaster. It’s also great to hear the organ riff from Phantom Of The Opera getting a tip of the hat… Hey, it’s a good riff, all right-

Beirut – The Flying Club Cup: Try not to focus on the fact that the world has yet another Suzuki-trained, multi-instrumentalist prodigy wunderkind – 21-year-old Zach Condon – and concentrate on the music. Like Condon’s 2006 debut, it is steeped firmly in the gregarious tradition and vibe of Eastern-European folk music, and is probably best not played loud in the office. Bonus points, as usual, for mandolins.

The Panics – Cruel Guards: Containing the finest Australian songwriting of the year, this J Award winner is the musical equivalent of an evening spent sipping fine single malt, a cigar in hand, wearing comfortable slippers by a roaring open fire, in a room with leather-bound books on deep mahogany shelves, a mounted deer’s head on the wall and a lion’s hide beneath you. Pure class.

Blonde Redhead - 23: Following 2004’s Misery Is A Butterfly, New York trio Blonde Redhead have taken their brooding, romantic and fate-driven indie rock to produce a masterpiece on par with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Sort of. OK, so maybe the summer breeze is playing with our heads but this is damn fine cherry pie right here.

Young and Restless – Young and Restless: The antithesis to Supergrass’s I Should Coco. Hate and anger have never been so cool. Well, not since Rage Against the Machine. Who are now back together. Does that make them the Kings of Anger again- Shit. That kind of renders this whole statement useless. Fuck it, just buy the goddamn record!

Sui Zhen – Sui Zhen: Sweet, warm, hypnotic, melodic and just the right amount of cute. Plus her music is also pretty good. No, no, I jest. This self-released debut EP by Sydneysider Becky Freeman AKA Sui Zhen is the culmination of many years of hard graft gigging and writing songs, and a promise of very big things to come. Indie-pop/folk fans will lap this up – go out and get yourself a copy now before she gets signed to a major.

The Scare – Chivalry: We don’t want to get all NME on you but damn! If we could be in any rock n roll band then it would be these sleaze punks. Bats Bats Bats might clear the dance floor at indie nights, but we hear their live shows are better than a big bump and dozen Jager Bombs. Noisy duelling guitars, indecipherably yelped lyrics, thumping bass lines and attitude to spare, The Scare might be the best thing since The Datsuns.

Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City: You know an album is good when you haven’t listened to it in the past six months and it still makes it into your top ten. When it leaked in November ’06 the Party’s label thought it could fool us by saying it was an ‘un-mastered’ leak – pfft, the CD didn’t sound any different when we bought it. It still sounded like the best thing our ears had ever heard.