Features Music Year End 2014 2014: A Year In Review

Year End 2014

Music: 2014: A Year In Review

Worst Cover Art of 2014

It's been a strong year for album sleeves that are weird, unsightly, poorly designed or just plain bizarre. In our semi-annual roundup, here are our favorite of the worst (and perhaps by that we mean "best") album artwork of 2014.

Adebisi Shank

This Is the Third Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank

It's always a clue when the name of the record is smugly self-referential. The cover is almost a mixture of the Offspring's 2003 Splinter cover mixed in with 80s video game Space Harrier for the background. I bet this band have "funny" song titles like Minus The Bear, too. Also I think I've seen this guy at my gym. Always hogs the crosstrainer.

Anguish

Mountain

I think this scene was perhaps one of the most underrated in Lord of the Rings: the hobbits arrive at Mount Doom to find that Sauron is in fact a sexy naked babe holding a fox's head. The White Tree of Gondor, just to the left there, shines with an ethereal beauty and mystic runes (presumably some dialect of the Black Speech) mark the mountain itself. I think in the movie version there was an overblown CGI orc and some comic relief involving dwarfs and inneundos, but I'm glad all the same that Anguish chose to immortalise that chapter for this brilliant album cover.

Astrakhan

A Tapestry of Scabs and Skin

No joke, I think this guy was the final boss in Half-Life. The colour work here is kind of beautiful though, and the evil-looking bird popping out of the right hand sea of goo looks quite perturbed at the flecks of colour surrounding him.

Awar & Vanderslice

The Winning Team

Cupped breasts: the sign of a classy record. These ones are oddly bloated though, as though a pair of miniature Alien-esque facehuggers are about to burst from each one. What is this saying about Awar and Vanderslice (the names of two hip hop badasses if ever I've heard them) – they're a pair of tits? Zing!

Pussy Cactus

HE'S FAST

I actually like this in a weird, quirky way. In another way, though, it's terrifying: Sonic looks trapped, afraid: stuck in that wrong-formed body, his eyes narrowed and scared, screaming silently into the void. His fingers, unevenly numbered, are spread, Christ-like, as he prostrates himself two dimensionally before us. "HE'S FAST", Pussy Cactus reliably inform us. This Sonic doesn't look fast. His feet are different sizes; he doesn't seem to be able to turn left or right; he has no ears. I sort of want to kill him out of sympathy.

RX Bandits

Gemini, Her Majesty

I can't work out which one, but this is clearly a weak mashup of one of NASA's top 100 space images and a sexy-looking woman or two. This might equally be an unreleased promo poster from Interstellar; it's hard to say. Either way it's a bit bizarre and looks like a junior art project from Photoshop 101,

Nadja and Uochi Toki

Cystema:Solari

This one is here solely because I'm a web developer and the "code" on display in this cover hurts my head. The XML(?) elements (</NADJA</UOCHI TOKI>) aren't closed properly (and only include closing tags, not opening ones!!111) which drives my inner OCD pedant crazy. The icon linking the two areas of text also looks suspiciously like a floppy disk, which makes me angry for different reasons as I find myself recalling installing Windows 3.1 on 3.5" disks back in the 90s. An unwelcome nostalgia trip and some malformed code are not the ways to my heart, folks.

Thanks to Loren for his frequent nominations for this list!

- Matt

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 13, 2015, 4:45 p.m.

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Series: Year End 2014

Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2014.

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