Saturday, December 30, 2006

Voters' Choice Poll: Australian Album of 2006

This was a first for Off The Record so it was quite exciting yet also troublesome to come up with a list for a poll. The votes have been finalised with all the votes from our readers. A big thank you to everyone who voted, I can tell you there were a lot of close ones who didn't make the list such as Pharaohs, Howling Bells, Augie March, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Macromantics, The Crayon Fields, Youth Group and The Panda Band. But in the end still yet saw the surprising and of course the well expected records. Majority of the artists are from Melbourne and a few others from Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth but yet all proved themselves as to also breakthrough successfully internationally or yet to in the future. This list of the top 15 Australian albums range from folk, electronica, pop to punk which shows the diversity of all these hard working albums.
To end it with the last day of the year which is tomorrow, I will announce the list of top 15 albums of 2006. So if you want to get in your last minute votes. Do so because voting lines will end when I make the post.

And the winner is....
The Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High

01. The Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High
"All of a sudden, we just looked at each other and said, "Shit, we have a career" says Paitence on their UK tour, this year. Out of the garage and into a real recording studio for this record, they've re-worked some songs and added various instruments like the banjo, trumphet, piano and various percussions creating their polished tunes. It's a fistful of fun to get you dancing, perhaps just like Paitence herself.

The Grates Nothing Sir

02. Dappled Cities Fly - Granndance
Produced in Los Angeles by Grandaddy's Jim Fairchild, this album is no doubt a huge leap for Dappled Cities Fly. Next year will only get larger with an overseas release both in the UK and US. The interchange of vocals between singers Dave Rennick and Tim Derricourt make this album a collision of brillance.

Dappled Cities Fly Holy Chord

03. Sarah Blasko - What The Sea Wants ,The Sea Will Have
Major radio stations won't touch her, Video Hits won't touch her, but somehow, this singer-songwriter has managed to capture hearts nation wide with a beautifully well structured album that will sink your heart. "Although the lyrics didn't exist before the music, I felt like I could vividly picture a landscape, time or place." explains Sarah. The record is replaced with haunting string arrangements; enchanting.

Sarah Blasko Planet New Year

04. Ground Components - An Eye For A Brow, A Tooth For A Pick
Debut album from Melbourne band, with guest appearance by Macromantics and features a cover of Bob Dylan's song “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”. They've created a distinct sound with the touch of orchestra instruments heard underneath the frantic screams of singer Joe McGuigan.

Ground Components Our Sunshine

05. Young And Restless - My Knives
They won Triple J's Unearthed competition and played at this year's Homebake festival. Dangerous, brutually fast and loud is how things are for five piece Canberra/Melbourne band Young And Restless. This debut record is a killer of grinding guitars and shrieking vocals. They'll be playing some shows in Melbourne and Adelaide in January and supporting for Cansei De Ser Sexy.

Young And Restless Dirty Kicks

06. Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males - Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth
Possibly the biggest nerd going around in the music biz. Not just because of the way he looks (think Chris Isaac...but younger and sexy) but because he knows how to write a mean song. Summery pop melodies intwined with random jokes. Songs like "The Lonely Coconut", "Baby Sitters Of The World Unite!" and "My Brains Are On Fire! (Life Coach Baby)", you're probably thinking what on earth?

Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males Baby Sitters Of The World Unite!

07. Darren Hanlon - Fingertips And Mountaintops
Story telling folk-pop/folk-rock singer-songwriter Darren Hanlon returns with his third album recorded in a movie theatre in Queensland. This album delivers uplifting songs, it displays a remarkable way of putting good use of quirky lyrics and simple guitar chords to sum up Darren's style of music. Be sure to see him or the other artists at the Candle Records Farewell shows next year if you're in Sydney or Brisbane.

Darren Hanlon Happiness Is Just A Chemical

08. The Drones - Gala Mill
Absolutely no surprise what-so-ever with this entry. This Melbourne band (originally from Perth) have made one hell of a wave world wide and this album only secures them more firmly with their popularity.

The Drones I Don't Ever Want To Change

09. Gotye - Like Drawing Blood
To be honest...I didn't expect this album at all to make it. I've only heard one song from this album and I didn't like it, but obviously there are people out there who think different and have jumped straight onboard with this guy.

Goyte Hearts A Mess

10. Wolf & Cub - Vessels
Officially my runner up favorite Aussie act for the year (Sarah Blasko first of course), these guys are just way way out there. I've mentioned the fact they have two drummers many times, but by god, the two drummers justs makes this band so wonderful and refreshing.

Wolf & Cub Conundrum

11. My Disco! - Cancer
Another surprise. I don't know much about these guys, but I have seen some footage of them playing live and man do they go nuts. The guitarist almost beats the living hell out of guitar and they just go into these whacky solo parts and intense rhythm sections through their songs. A very interesting band indeed.

My Disco! Perfect Protection

12. Midnight Juggernauts - Secrets Of The Universe
If one band knows how to get a party started. These guys could be the answer. Catchy, contagious, unforgettable, so many adjectives could describe the way this band performs. Perfect blend of electronica and rock with combinations of '80s jangly beats and use of a vocoder.

Midnight Juggernauts Tombstone

13. Ned Collette - Jokes And Trials
Major surprise entry. To be honest, I didn't think there were enough people out there who have heard of this guy, but how wrong I was. City City City lead singer makes a solo record that is completely different. Acoustic psychedelic songs to die for. Sliding guitar, finger picking meshed with a choir and violin; combined with random synth beats and other electronics.

Ned Collette The Laughter Across The Street

14. Red Riders - Replica Replica
Catchy melodic rock of ripping riffs and smooth bass lines created a new sound yet typical Red Riders style for this debut album. This record has some what found itself to be quite of a singalong, with tracks like "A.S.P.I.R.N" and "What They Say About Us". The tracks vary from upbeat punk to soft ballads and instrumental. This band is amazing live. Certainly bigger things expected their way in the near future.

Red Riders Slide In Next To Me

15. The Sleepy Jackson - Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird
What can I say about this record? It is simply one of the best records I've ever heard in my life. Luke Steele has taken his music to a completely new level where there are orchestra's, choirs, and odd instruments that set a theatrical atmosphere. With the added help of Juanita Stein (Howling Bells) and Julian Hamilton (The Presets) it just makes this record even more confusing.

The Sleepy Jackson Devil Was In My Yard

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