Album Of The Year

SetWidth940-wooly-bushmen

This Florida-based band is fresh, quirky and sexy. Their new album Arduino dropped on October 4, and is the band’s third record since their self-titled album in 2012. Arduino is the perfect combination of ‘50s rockabilly and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll. It’s exactly what you need to listen to if you’re in the mood to jam.Instead of sounding like a carbon copy of Robert Plant, though, The Woolly Bushmen create a distinctive new sound by meshing doo-wop, soul and rock together while using unconventional instruments like the VOX organ.

Wooly-Bushmen-400x400

Arduino starts off strong and stays that way. From the first drumbeat and guitar riff, you know you’re in love. You hear Simon Palombi’s voice and then you really know you’re in love. He sings, he wails, he screams and sometimes sounds a little like Elvis. Goddamn. The band’s lyrics are honest and sometimes dark, but the ambiance from the VOX organ creates an aura of fun vibes.

Advertisements

The Delgados – Universal Audio 2004

maxresdefault (1)

So last night i woke up at 02:43am and the first thing that came in to my head was The Delgados album ‘ Universal Audio ‘ What the fuck was all that about ? Any way i’am glad i it did , because i ventured down stairs and clattered about to pull if from my collection .

So in the CD player it goes headphones plugged in and coffee in hand i played it and instantly forgot how good this album was and clearly still is . It opens up with ‘ I Fought The Angels ‘ with a sparse and choppy guitar to start with and the amazing voice of Emma Pollock you get the feeling that its going to be dramatic .

26966-universal-audio

This is a more stripped down album that ‘Hate’ that i always thought was over produced but still clearly very good . Alun Woodward works well with Pollock on this album given the fact that there is less instruments to fight with . Girls of valour has a beach boys-esque running through the chorus while some other tracks like ‘bits of bone’ has a XTC vibe going through it .

Any way i still have no idea why the fuck i woke up with this on my mind and i aint digging around too much either to figure it out . so enjoy my album of the day .

Superchunk – Superchunk 1990 (remastered 2017)

0010889979_10

The remastered LP features updated artwork and includes an 11” × 17” replica of an early Chunk show flyer, with photos and notes from the band on the reverse. Both CD and LP include a bonus download of Clambakes Vol 9: Other Music From Unshowered Grumblers – Live in NYC 1990, a show recorded at CBGB just four days after the album was released. Mac shared his memories of these early days of Superchunk: When I listen to our first album now, other than cringing at some clams and the vocals and the juvenile attitude of the whole thing… what was I angry about? You’ll have to ask 21-year-old me because in my memory, we were having fun. I hear the accumulation of our influences, which I suppose is normal for a first album—weaving all the things you loved up to that point into your own first thing. The Buzzcocks, Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr, and Sonic Youth are all right there and what we were listening to. Hearing this record recently, though, I was surprised at how “southern” some of it sounds, and I think the influence of bands like Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ and of course R.E.M. is there under the fuzz. I remember thinking the solo 4-track demo of “Slack Motherfucker” sounded like Tom Petty. I can’t find it now to prove it to you, but take my word for it. I was living in NYC finishing school when we made this record, so rehearsals and recording were all rushed. I’m surprised we knew this many songs well enough to record them. Twenty-seven years later, we still play at least three or four of these songs live occasionally (one of them all the time…), which says something good about a few of the songs, anyway! We got so much better as a band, and as songwriters, that it’s hard to even see this as any kind of template for what Superchunk would eventually be, but it’s definitely where we were at in 1989/90.

MI0002269364

thanks to Merge Records for sending this out .

VA – C88 2017

 

C88

So yesterday i got my C88 box-set and like the previous Cherry Red Records collection that has been released i just knew it would be a superb release . this was the lead up to the pre baggy scene that took the U.K. with a right kick up the fucking arse that it needed. .

 

Following up their C87box set, which was the next step after their C86 box set, Cherry Red takes yet another step in documenting the U.K. indie pop scene with the 3-disc C88. It follows the fortunes of some of the bands from previous years who didn’t make the jump to major labels, tracks the influx of bands who were influenced by the jangling pop sounds of C-86, and generally provides an exhaustive view of the guitar groups sneaking around the edges of the late-’80s scene. Each disc is a mix of both names that have lasted through the years and complete unknowns; the compilers take great care to make the set one that even dedicated followers of indie pop will find full of surprises. For every Stone Roses or Vaselines track, there’s one by the Driscolls or the Church Grims.

 

For every indie pop classic like the Charlottes’ “Are You Happy Now?” or the Sea Urchins’ unbearably lovely “Please Rain Fall,” there’s a total obscurity that gives them a run for their money, like the Prayers’ “Sister Goodbye,” or “Village Green” by the Clouds. The big labels like Creation, Sarah, Rough Trade, and the Subway Organization are all represented with a few songs each, but mostly the tracks are sourced from tiny labels whose names have been lost to time  names like Whoosh, Bi-Joopiter, and Medium Cool don’t exactly resonate with the public at large, but the bands they contribute to the collection (Holidaymakers, Remember Fun, the Corn Dollies) show that there were plenty of good bands out there and plenty of savvy label owners to release their singles. Most of the collection focuses on sunny indie pop that was noisy, sweet, and as catchy as a summer cold (as typified by the Pooh Sticks, the Flatmates, and the Darling Buds), but there are detours into Lloyd Cole-style sophisticated singer/songwriter sounds (the Caretaker Race’s “Anywhere But Here”), angular post-punk drama (the Great Leap Forward’s “Who Works the Weather”), jaunty instrumental pop (Apple Boutique’s “The Ballad of Jet Harris”), a couple of frothy fun songs from the El Records stable (“The Camera Loves Me” by the Would-Be-Goods and “Curry Crazy” by Bad Dream Fancy Dress”), synth pop with trumpets (Pacific’s New Order-on-a-shoestring-budget “Barnoon Hill”), and tough and scrappy rockers like Rote Kapelle’s “Fire Escape.” They even dug up a rare demo from Pale Saints, “Colours and Shapes,” which shows they were a fine pop band before they discovered atmosphere.

 

These side trips help make the journey a fairly varied one, even within the pretty tight confines of the indie pop scene of 1988. It’s also a thoroughly enjoyable trip, whether you were there at the time and want to rediscover the glorious tunes of your long-ago youth, or a neophyte just getting into indie pop. Either way, there is a wealth of brilliant pop on C88 ripe for the picking, enough to keep anyone smart enough to check it out satisfied for a long time, or at least until C89 arrives.

John Murry – A Short History Of Decay 2017

john-murry-770

Some artists become legends. They become household names. Most people will know at least one or two of their songs. For whatever reason their mainstream success transcends commercialism, and they end up transforming popular culture and by extension, culture at large. These artists’ names become adjectives. Dylan-esque. Beatles-esque.

Australian enfant terrible Nick Cave may not have quite reached that stage, but he’s close. Most music lovers will immediately understand it when you call something ‘Nick Cave-esque”.

Of course, the adjective itself can quickly become a crutch for lazy reviewers, and all too often for artists as well. So it’s a pleasant surprise to hear a release that can be called Nick Cave-esque but still very much marches to its own beat.

John Murry’s life story in itself is the stuff of legends. From an unhappy, over-medicated childhood to drug addiction, musical success, and another fall into addiction and even prison, his life story reads like a book. He also was adopted into William Faulkner’s family at birth (a cousin of his mother). John certainly need not look far for inspiration.

A Short History of Decay is an album that resulted from a chance meeting with Cowboy Junkies guitarist Michael Timmins. Recorded over a five day period with an emphasis on off-the-cuff creativity, the album is a strong statement by an iconoclastic artist, backed by a tight group of excellent musicians.

ASHOD_RGB_PNG_150dpi.png

This is a sonically adventurous release, frantic and understated at the same time, with cavernous piano, telephone vocals, sudden volleys of fuzzed-out guitar, and the backup vocals of Cait O’Riordan ( the Pogues, Elvis Costello) .

Silver or Lead starts off with a sombre piano, joined by minimal drums and bass. The song walks a tightrope between sombre dirge and a more hopeful sing-along chorus while remaining solidly entrenched in Murry’s trademark melancholy.

Under a Darker Moon is a personal favourite, grinding and sputtering along happily on a solid bed of bone-dry drums and psychotic guitars. Wrong Man reminds me of Nebraskaera Bruce Springsteen and is one of the strongest cuts on the album. Murry’s vocals on this song give me a mental picture of the world’s loneliest monk, preaching to the buzzards and rattlesnakes in the Mohave Desert, right before the fiery ball in the sky claims his sanity.

Another mid-tempo rocker is Defacing Sunday Bulletins, with Murry’s spine-tingling telephone vocals steering the sonic mayhem with steady if slightly trembling, hand. Miss Magdalene is an achingly beautiful acoustic song reminiscent of Leonard Cohen at his most morose.

Originally an Afghan Wigs tune, What Jail is Like is a guitar-driven ballad with sad piano, tribal drums, and some of that good old-fashioned backwards guitar. The lyrics take on extra poignancy in light of Murry’s life story.

A Short History of Decay is a gripping album, sonically adventurous, by an artist who’s paid his dues, came out a stronger man and an iconoclastic artist who made a career out of transforming tragedy and hardship into stark beauty.

review from charlie who will be featuring more on this blog .

Daniel Wylie & Cosmic Rough Riders – Scenery for Dreamers 2017

daniel-wylie

Daniel Wylie was in Cosmic Rough Riders then he left to pursue a solo career while they carried on without him but now it seems Cosmic Rough Riders are his. Go figure. Anyway he’s back with several slabs of spangling guitar pop with nods to Teenage Fanclub and Big Star. Also with a few nods to Neil young’s crazy horse lets hope we get some kind of a tour from him now

0006623672_350

William The Conqueror – Proud Disturber Of The Peace 2017

Screen-Shot-2017-08-03-at-09.06.00

William The Conqueror – Proud Disturbed Of The Peace2017 seems to be the year of artists going solo, independent, or otherwise walking away from major record deals. Ruarri Joseph has established himself a member of this trend, leaving his solo folk career behind for more grungy shores, hoping that a new direction would allow him to loosen the restraints on his creativity which was otherwise being restricted by record label demands.

61jz5oCl9rL._SS500

Joseph’s new band William The Conqueror (featuring drummer Harry Harding and bassist Naomi Holmes) is another reminder that separating oneself from a major industry label can be artistically freeing, and their debut album Proud Disturber Of The Peace is a sign that William The Conqueror know how to work that new found freedom into a consistent and enjoyable album.

After one listen to the band’s debut release it is clear that trying to label Joseph’s newest project with a specific genre presents a challenge. There are hints of country in the guitar hooks and bluesy rhythms are peppered throughout the album, while the overall feel and the band’s laid back approach to performance says good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.

The National – Sleep Well Beast 2017

the-national

So it has arrived and im happy the The National HQ sent me out a advanced copy . Seventh album from American indie rock band The National, due September 8, 2017. In an interview with Rolling Stone, lead singer Matt Berninger said that the album is “about marriage, and it’s about marriages falling apart. I’m happily married, and but it’s hard, marriage is hard and my wife and I are writing the lyrics together about our own struggles and it’s difficult to write, but it’s saving my marriage. Not saving my marriage, my marriage is healthy, but it’s good for everything! And so it’s gonna be a strange record, and I’m crazy about it.”

5913672e1d363

and the only photo that actually turned out when i went to see them London

the national live in london

Mojave 3 – spoon and rafter 2003

Mojave_3_press_photo_1995

download available for 24 hours only – link deleted 

Mojave 3 is a firm all time favourite here and a little bit of me always hopes that they return with more amazing music . Spoon and Rafter was released on 22 September 2003 in the UK, and a day later in the US. After the break up of Slowdive in 95 Neil Halstead formed the birth of Mojave 3 and released 5 amazing albums

ca51c8cba579f5507e3dcfb99267dfb944e4ded7_652637230925.jpg

The Schramms – One Hundred Questions 2000

theschramms100-_v-gseapremiumxl

Shaped from former members of Yo La Tengo, The Human Switchboard and Peter Stanfel’s Bottlecaps, The Schramms have been a Hoboken and New York fixture since 1985.

Finding a place in the sun both in the U.S. and in Europe, they have become one of rock’s most respected and talented bands.

Dave Schramm can also be heard as a featured guitarist on current works by Richard Buckner, Freedy Johnston, Soul Asylum, The Replacements and Whiskeytown.

This Album establishes the depth and sophistication of these veteran song crafters. This time, they’ve enlisted J.D. Foster to produce. This release is tight, and precise. The songs belong together and make for a flowing, detailed and intriguing work – like a book you cannot put down.

The band is joined by such luminaries as Richard Buckner, Syd Straw and Jeb Loy Nichols who all share in the vocals and the atmosphere.

MI0002299444

British Sea Power – Let The Dancers Inherit The Party 2017

BSP3.jpg

Much loved indie group British sea power have returned with a collection of songs that showcase the strongest elements of their music, giving listeners space for contemplation while also bringing a healthy dose of high-energy rock.
Exquisitely crafted, the album’s introductory instrumental track is an extension of closer, “Alone Piano,” providing seamless repeated listens, but there’s plenty in the middle to love, too. Lead single “Bad Bohemian” is upbeat, with an ’80s influenced bass line, and Yan Wilkinson’s melancholic lyrics: “It’s sad now how the glass looks rather empty / The formulation of the elements makes you yearn.” Third track “What You’re Doing,” led by the softer vocals of Wilkinson’s brother, Hamilton, contrasts sharply, its warm drums and guitars bringing…

 

…wide-open spaces to mind as Hamilton brings a feeling of optimism to the song. It’s complemented by “Keep on Trying (Sechs Freunde),” an invigorating track with brilliant guitar interplay and a strong rhythm section.

51JVJmsIe5L._SS500

“Electrical Kittens” features Abi Fry’s beautiful violin playing, and feels like a quintessential British Sea Power song with its emotional intensity. “Praise for Whatever,” meanwhile, captures the band’s ability to pry bombast out of melancholy, as the drama grows from Yan’s first lines while the bass and guitars build. The lyrics perfectly express the world of contrasts we live in: “It’s such a convoluted hour / To play amongst the flowers / When we’re counting all the missiles down, from three to one to none.”

On Let the Dancers Inherit the Party, British Sea Power seek to express the confusion and despair — and, most importantly, the hope — felt during these trying times. Their music doesn’t shy away from the contradictions of life, and provides motivation to “keep on trying.”

Real Estate – In Mind 2017

real_estate_band_portrait_a_l.jpg

On In Mind the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums—Real Estate, Days, and Atlas—so beloved and pushes their songs in compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist/vocalist Martin Courtney In Mind offers a mild shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record recasts the band in a new light — one that replaces the ennui of teen suburbia with an adult version.

1489672648_41qeorpiyrl._ss500.jpg

 

Elliott Smith – Either / Or Epanded Edition 2017

elliottsmith090813w

Download Link 24HRS Only – download link removed 

About two minutes into either/or  opener “Speed Trials,” Elliott Smith’s seamlessly double-tracked lead vocal splits into a two-part harmony. It’s a very subtle gesture, and only lasts for a few seconds — but contrasted with the tight, hushed unison of Smith’s prior solo output, it feels as dramatic as The Wizard of Oz shifting from sepia to technicolor. This moment plays out like a microcosm of Either/Or at large, the sound of Smith conjuring something far bigger than himself and coming into his own as a songwriter, arranger, and performer.
The final album in Smith’s catalog before the major label-backed XO and Figure 8, Either/Or marks the last time Smith’s instincts would outpace the studio resources to execute them. It’s extraordinary how he embodies a magical, alchemical mix of……intimacy and bombast.

a3579722045_10

By the time Either/Or was released in 1997, Smith was no stranger to the cynical machinations of the post-grunge major label gold rush. A year prior, his former band Heatmiser had been put through that very ringer, an experience captured in Either/Or standouts “Pictures of Me” and “Angeles.” Either/Or sounds like the work of somebody who has zero interest in either conforming to or directly transgressing the “commercial” sounds of the day. It’s too ambitious to read as “lo-fi” and too gritty to read as straightforward pop classicism. Thankfully, this 20th anniversary remaster doesn’t smooth out too many of those rough edges—if anything, it brings the unique sound of the record into even clearer focus.

The sounds and words of Either/Or often conjure very specific images, textures, and situations. And yet, Smith—as with many truly great songwriters—used this specificity as a way to explore emotional themes that resonate both deeply and broadly. Nowhere is this clearer than “Between the Bars,” the closest thing to a modern-day standard Smith ever wrote and covered by everyone from Metric to Madonna. It’s not a love song, exactly, and it’s not a song about addiction, exactly. “Between the Bars” is about the ways in which protecting somebody you love turns into the need to control that person. The fact that Smith was able to build this much emotional complexity into a song that sounds at home in a stadium or at a Starbucks speaks to his irreplaceable gift as a songwriter.

Elsewhere, Smith amplifies his well-honed songwriting chops with more fleshed-out arrangements. “Ballad of Big Nothing” propels itself forward with bubbly McCartney-esque bass lines and background vocals that sound like they might have been string arrangements if there were an orchestra handy. “Angeles” and “Cupid’s Trick” provide a back-to-back study in Smith’s versatility as a guitarist, going from intricate fingerpicked pattern to lopey electric riffs. By the time album closer “Say Yes” rolls around, it’s clear that the solo acoustic approach is a specific and purposeful choice, and no longer Smith’s default mode.

This reissue is framed as an “expanded” edition, and the bonus materials included fit the bill nicely. Rather than aiming for comprehensiveness or definitiveness, the bonus tracks provide interesting glimpses into Smith’s growing strength as a live solo performer (some excellent live recordings of album and non-album cuts), sense of humor (a sketch of New Moon track “New Monkey” that sounds like it was played on a baseball organ), and where he would go with his next record (a formative version of XO cut “Bottle Up and Explode!” that shows just how much thoughtful editing and revision went into the final version). And then there’s “I Figured You Out,” a longtime fan favorite that Smith gave to his friend Mary Lou Lord to record because it “sounds like the fuckin’ Eagles.” “I Figured You Out” would have been the most straightforward and polished song on Either/Or, and its omission speaks volumes about how determined Smith was to find his own voice and chart his own path.

In the years that followed the release of Either/Or, Smith managed to do just that, performing “Miss Misery” at the Academy Awards and releasing an uncompromising major label debut. For some of his fans, Either/Or marked the end of Smith’s career as a direct and intimate folk singer-songwriter. For others, Either/Or marked the beginning of Smith’s career as a one-man classic pop band. In truth, Either/Or marks the one moment in Smith’s career when he was truly both.

Las Rosas -Everyone Gets Exactly What They Want 2017

LasRosas-Bushwick-2

FREE DOWNLOAD FOR 24 HOURS ONLY  – download deleted now

The Brooklyn trio las rosas have their roots in bands like Harlem and Wild Yaks, small combos that crackled with the vibrant energy of the best rock & roll with simple tunes, sharp hooks, spiky guitars and snotty attitude. Las Rosas take the best of those two bands and hone it to a fine point on their debut album, everyone gets exactly what they want The songs have the swagger and strut of classic ’60s garage rock, the rhythm section of bassist Jose Aybar and drummer Christopher Lauderdale are tight and action packed, and the sound of the record is immediate and loads of fun.
These factors would be enough to make the album a worthwhile addition to the garage rock continuum, but when the exploits of vocalist/ guitarist Jose Boyer are dropped on top like…

163745

…a cheerful cherry, things get even more impressive. His guitar playing is whip smart and razor sharp as he drops glorious riff after glorious riff, sounding like he’s done his homework for sure but never coming off like a copycat at all. His vocals are even better, slurring deliriously through the rockers, emoting like a stray cat on the ballad, always sounding weird and a little tipsy. There’s a little Ray Davies dandy drawl in the there, maybe a little Mick and Keith sass, but mostly he sounds like an idiosyncratic oddball and his style certainly helps Las Rosas stand out from the garage rock masses.

So do the memorable tunes that make up the album’s tracklist. Speaker rattling rave ups like “Ms. America” and “Black Cherry”share time with midtempo jangle poppers (“Moody”), rambling rockers like “5000 Hit” and the super catchy “Mr. Wrong” pair up perfectly with moody ballads (“Rose,” “Bad Universe.”) There’s not a weak song anywhere and just about any one picked at random would give a garage mixtape a boost of guts, energy and fun.

Los Rosas might not be reinventing the garage rock wheel on their debut album, that would be too much to ask. They do inject a sometimes tired form with lots of spunky energy, off-kilter charm and woozy personality though, and that plus the killer songs, make it an album well worth investigating.

future release for Craig Finn

craigg_finn_large_large

So the mighty Craig Finn has a new solo album out on March 24th with  Partisan Records ‘We All Want The Same Things’ this album isn’t as bombastic as any of the hold steady material but it stands firmly on its own as yet another great release from Finn .

Craig Finn is currently on tour opening up shows for Japandroids in my opinion it should really be the other way around . thanks to the label for sending the out the promo of this release .

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever- The French Press 2017

rolling-blackouts-coastal-fever-landscape-compressed

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever bit of a shite name for a band but who really cares because this band can make some superb music and with only two albums under there belt you can clearly hear that they are here for the long haul .

homepage_large-dce22cdf

Talk Tight was the bands first release and it is a thunderous album Listening to these seven tunes, you can easily trace a national lineage: the relentlessness of radio birdman , the pop literacy of the go betweens , the rambunctious energy of the easybeats , and the belief shared with courtney barnett that guitars are not just crucial to the message but might very well be the message themselves.

rolling-blackouts-cf-the-french-press-1485184031-640x640

French Press is the follow up from last years mini album release its due out march you need these in your life trust me .

Grandaddy – Last Place 2017 (PROMO)

37816_large.jpg

Well this morning just became “fucking” epic with the arrival of the new Grandaddy album “Last Place” . A massive thanks to Zach for sending this out, this is going to be so hard to beat, Grandaddy return with a brilliant album of just what you expect from them .

grandaddy last place.jpg

Last Place, is the new album from Grandaddy: Jason Lyte (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Kevin Garcia (bass guitar), Aaron Burtch (drums), Jim Fairchild (guitar), and Tim Dreyden (keyboards). The band formed in Modesto, CA in 1992, and after four albums disbanded in 2006. Jason Lytle relocated to Montana, where he happily made two solo albums, and reconnected with the natural world around him. Eventually, though, life uprooted him again, taking him to Portland, Oregon until he eventually returned to his former home of Modesto. The return to California was practical (he needed to be near his bandmates) but also appropriate, as he had started writing songs that he felt would be fitting for another Grandaddy album. Following a second reunion tour in the summer of 2016, the band announced the new album would be released on Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records along with releasing a video for the single, “Way We Won’t.”

Last Place, is a perfect addition to the band’s celebrated, critically-acclaimed catalogue, that includes their breakthrough sophomore album, Sophtware Slump, and their debut, Under the Western Freeway. It’s a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones. Lytle’s voice sounds as warm and intimate as ever, giving graceful levity to the doomsday narratives that have dominated the Grandaddy output. Last Place is written, performed, and produced by Jason Lytle.