• Favourites of 2013

    6 Ene 2014, 19:45

    This is the first year in probably six years in which I haven't kept a continuous albums of the year list throughout the 12 month period, mainly due to life getting into the way. However, this hasn't stopped me from listening to plenty of music. Here are my favourites of the year in no order apart from the top five.

    The top five: No order.

    Tera Melos - X'ed Out

    Deafheaven - Sunbather

    Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty

    Russian Circles - Memorial

    Owen - L'Ami du Peuple

    The 'just missed out of the top 5' list: No order

    And So I Watch You From Afar - All Hail Bright Futures

    Crash of Rhinos - Knots

    Four Tet - Beautiful Rewind

    Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

    Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

    Death Grips - Governmental Plates

    This Town Needs Guns (or TTNG) -

    Mylets - Retcon

    CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

    DJ Rashad - Double Cup

    Melt Yourself Down - Melt Yourself Down

    Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

    The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die - Whenever, If Ever

    Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

    Touché Amoré - Is Survived By

    Melt-Banana - Fetch

    Comadre - Self Titled
  • Favourites of 2012

    24 Dic 2012, 17:40

    This probably the tightest my list have been. So many albums of similar quality have been released that separating them has been quite a task.

    In descending order:

    15. Blacklisters - BLKLSTRS
    Abrasive, loud and disgusting. Your Nan will love this one, or show her the video for Trickfuck at least.

    14. Shoes And Socks Off - Miles of Mad Water
    The final album by one of my favourite singer-songwriters. Still has honestly sad as usual. RIP SASO (Toby is still alive, by the way.)

    13. Suis la lune - Riala
    Soppy and incredibly moist post-rock influenced screamo from Sweden. I have a soft spot for whiny stuff like this when it is done so beautifully.

    12. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
    A more melodic affair from everyone's favourite hardcore band.

    11. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
    Deftones take the riffery of Diamond Eyes and add the experimentation of Saturday Night Wrist to create a very atmospheric yet heavy piece of work. Chino's vocals are a highlight.

    10. Aesop Rock - Skelethon
    The man who normally hides behind metaphors, lays bare on the final track and from that moment you realise how great a piece of work the entire album is. Stunning beats and verses all from Aesop.

    9. The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet
    An album that I kind of forgot about throughout the year despite absolutely loving the band. A couple of songs just didn't hit me as much as I thought they would, but when this album is on point, the songs are up their with the very best of the band.

    8. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
    My biggest surprise of the year. I wasn't expecting anything this noisey and unhinged when I gave Attack on Memory a listen. Wasted Days is my songs of the year too. I THOUGHT. I WOULD. BE. MORE. THAN THIS. Banger!

    7. El-P - Cancer 4 Cure
    I have been playing this loads all year round. Some of my favourite beats ever are on this album and EL-P is on fire in his verses. All the guest spots on the album really add to the tracks which can't be said about a lot of albums. SO YOU SHOULD PUMP THIS SHIT LIKE THEY DO IN THE FUTURE.

    6. Death Grips - The Money Store
    Loud, abrasive, uncompromising, ferocious, dark, deranged. All words that can describe this album. At the end of the day, all it wants to do is punch you in the face and it will do that whether you like it or not. MC Ride will probably do so if not.

    5. Rolo Tomassi - Astraea
    Line-up changes haven't harmed the band in the slightest. The quirks, twists and turns you expect from a Rolo Tomassi album are still all there, just this time they meander less and pack more of a punch. Album closer Illuminare is waht would happen if the band covered and M83 song; it is a stunning song from a fantastic album.

    4. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
    Definitely not Cosmogramma part 2. UTQC takes a much more laid back approach and the beats are much more atmospheric and ambient. A stark contrast to the abrasiveness of his previous album.

    3. Tall Ships - Everything Touching
    The long awaited debut from one of my favourite British bands. Less reliant on loop pedals than their EPs, the band create almost an Antlers-esque atmosphere on some of these tracks. Also, dat riff on T=O.

    2. Loma Prieta - I.V.
    An absolute cathartic tour-de-force of an album. Brutally heavy, and brutally emotional. Some of the most intense music I have ever listened to.

    1. Bats - The Sleep of Reason
    I actually forgot this was coming out until the day it was released, little did I know then that this would become my album of the year. Much darker and layered than their previous effort. If you want an album about science and scientists, then this is the place to go.

    Well that was 2012 for you. I would like to mention both Burial releases this year as they were absolutely mindblowing but they couldn't go in here as it was for albums only. Oh well. Until next year!
  • 2011 innit.

    31 Dic 2011, 12:45

    I would do this on New Years Day, but I'm bored and I'll possibly be hungover tomorrow.

    First I'd like to start off by saying RIP to these great bands: Oceansize, RX Bandits, Thrice and Thursday. Oceansize hit the hardest, especially since I never got to see them live and I'm sure I missed out a great deal.

    I would write something about the albums I'm about the list, however I did that last year and it took me an absolute age and I can't really be bothered doing that again especially since reading back, my writing was either clunky or poorly expressed due to a lack of proof reading.

    Any way, these have been my favourite albums of 2011, a lot of them are in no order really because I found it difficult due to the high quality of releases that I have heard this year. I didn't get round to listening to everything I had wanted to hear due to going to Uni and finally getting a social life, or in the case of The Roots - Undun and Russian Circles - Empros, I haven't given them enough listens yet for it to enter my list.

    20. Vessels - Helioscope

    19. Zechs Marquise - Getting Paid

    18. CunninLynguists - Oneirology

    17. The Antlers - Burst Apart

    16. Algernon Cadwallader - Parrot Flies

    15. Maybeshewill - I Was Here for a Moment, Then I Was Gone

    14. Owen - Ghost Town

    13. Defeater - Empty Days & Sleepless Nights

    12. Hella - Tripper

    11. &U&I - Light Bearer

    10. Battles - Gloss Drop

    9. Thrice - Major/Minor

    8. *shels - Plains of the Purple Buffalo

    7. Pianos Become the Teeth - The Lack Long After

    6. Touché Amoré - Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me

    5. Brontide - Sans Souci

    4. Young Legionnaire - Crisis Works

    3. Three Trapped Tigers - Route One or Die

    2. Cave In - White Silence

    1. And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs
  • Albums of 2010

    1 Ene 2011, 19:19

    Here are 25 albums that have at some point this year have made sweet love to my ears.

    25. Fang Island - Fang Island
    Riffs, riffs and more riffs. What more could you possibly want?

    24. 65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway
    Local boys ditch put their post-rock tendencies on a backfoot and bring their more electronic side to the the forefront and even bring Robert Smith from The Cure on for the ride.

    23. Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto
    P.TM show their hip-hop influences to add to their already eclectic sound and creating a record that is catchier than a cold.

    22. These New Puritans - Hidden
    An album that came out of nowhere that combined Influences from the prog, classical and even grime genres to create and album that showed the band's ambition to lead the way in creating original music.

    21. Trash Talk - Eyes and Nines
    17 minutes can be considered progressive by Trash Talk's standards but the increased record time doesn't reduce the band's abrasive energy.

    20. Shoes And Socks Off - Robin Hoodwaiter Champion Have-Not
    Toby's forth solo album demonstrates his improved songwriting chops and creates a beautiful collection of songs that flows perfectly.

    19. Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez - Un Escorpión Perfumado
    An album that sees Omar revist De Facto to create dub-esque vibes drenched in lush synths. Trippy is the perfect word to describe this album.

    18. The Unwinding Hours - The Unwinding Hours
    Former Aereogramme Ian Cook and Craig B continue their previous band's progression and give us an album full of haunting and beautiful vocal melodies and passionate instrumentals.

    17. The Cast of Cheers - Chariot
    Math rock that isn't afraid to make you dance. If looped guitars and vocals that you want to sing a long at the top of your voice is your thing, then this is for you. The album is also free to download from the band's bandcamp

    16. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
    Normally when an album has 16 songs, only half are listenable. Arcade Fire however, have managed to make 14 great songs. Fantastic song writing and wonderful muscianship is the key.

    15. Oceansize - Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up
    Not a drastic change from previous Oceansize albums but when it is executed as they do, who cares? So this means, Riffs so heavy they'll bodyslam you to the ground more than they need to, ala Part Cardiac or cinematic beauties that make you feel like you're on the top of a very large mountain looking over at the beautiful view, ala Silent/Transparent

    14. Nas and Damian Marley/Nas And Damian "Jr Gong" Marley - Distant Relatives
    Reggae/hip-hop crossover how it should be done. The call/response techinque is done perfectly on this album and the beats feature some fantastic sampling to really capture that African feel to go with the lyrical concept of the continent.

    13. Kno - Death Is Silent
    Kno's first solo album shows he has as much talent on the mic than he does with production. A depressing but beautiful listen with flawless production and great metaphors surrounding the topic of death from every aspect.

    12. Pulled Apart By Horses - Pulled Apart By Horses
    For an old fan like myself, the album didn't offer me many new tracks but when an album chock-a-block full of huge riffs, ridiculous energy and the urge to shout along to every single word, it is impossible not to like it.

    11. Daughters - Daughters
    Fuzz pedals rule and this is why. Daughters have managed to make an album that puts the wall of sound style production to good use to create something mindblowingly heavy. They're a hell of a lot more enjoyable now they stopped playing 30 second math metal songs, that's not to say I don't like their previous stuff because I do.

    10. Adebisi Shank - This is the second album of a band called Adebisi Shank
    Probably the baffling album on my list, in a very good way. I still don't understand how anyone could comprehend playing stuff like this. It must something in the water over in Ireland.

    9. Rinoa - An Age Among Them
    This is the type of album that needs to be played through from start to end every time. An album full of soaring soundscapes and beautiful atmosphere, with some of the most passionate vocals in British hardcore today. Such a shame they split up towards the end of 2010.

    8. Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern
    S/T records are generally considered by the artist as their defining work so far, this is clearly the case with Marnie. A much more focussed effort that sees her songwriting skills come into it's own rather and creates a beautiful and passionate record with fantastic musicnaship you've come to expect with Marnie's work.

    7. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
    I'm not going to lie, TDEP could release a record full of the band recording the sound of them taking a shit in the morning and I'd probably lap it up. The bands fourth album sees them experiment with what a human can do with regards to playing fast and complicated pieces of music, yet again. Vocalist Greg Puciato's clean vocals aren't to everyone's taste but the band seem to be improving when laying down their "pop" tracks and the centre piece of the album Widower shows the bands capabilities perfectly in creating an eclectic sound, combining elements of jazz and metal.

    6. Foals - Total Life Forever
    Dropping their mathy sound in place of soundscapes was probably the best decision Foals have made. The songs have layers and layers of guitars which build up as the songs progress, yet with this dense sound they have still managed to cram in some fantastic hooks that makes the album more accessible. Spanish Sahara is one of my favourite songs this year easily.

    5. The Roots - How I Got Over
    I don't have a huge knowledge of The Roots' vast back catologue but How I Got Over is an album that is full of soul and beauty and the jazzy sound appeals to me due to me being a fan of A Tribe Called Quest. Black Thought is a fantastic MC with some outstanding lyrics and flow and the band show some quality musicanship. Also, any band who manages to make Joanna Newsom listenable gets thumbs up from me.

    4. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
    Meaty guitar tones rule and this is proof. Much like every other Deftones album since 2000's White Pony the combination of heavy chugging guitars and layered atmospherics are evident in Diamond Eyes but with this album they've managed to get that combination of heavy and beauty perfected.

    3. Talons - Hollow Realm
    Hollow Realm is an album that is full of ambition and a triumph. The album comes across as a duel between the brutal chugging guitars and the violins in a battle that will end the world. Written as one long song, Hollow Realm creates an enticing listen that you will want to revisit as often as possible.

    2. Tera Melos - Patagonian Rats
    Can't say this album is a shower because it wasn't until my 6th or 7th listen when this clicked into place but Patagonian Rats is such a rewarding listen. The huge amount of layers and the progressive nature of the music means that there is a huge amount of music to stick your teeth into. Not just an all out spazz out like the rest of their material has been, atmosphere and space get a look in with this album that makes a much more diverse listen.

    1. Rolo Tomassi - Cosmology
    Rolo Tomassi have created something special on this album which is their most accessible so far and most focussed effort to date. The range of sounds and the off-kilterness of the music makes this such an exciting listen every time. What really makes Rolo Tomassi such a great band is that the moments on Cosmology that are the best, are the ones in which you don't expect the band to sound like. The title track contains no screaming (well one line, but that's it) and sounds similar to bands like Mew and M83, rather than the progressive hardcore the band have made a name from.
  • My albums of 2009

    17 Ene 2010, 22:33

    Personally, I thought 2009 was an incredible year for music with some brilliant new bands coming through to make some outstanding debut full lengths as well as the more experienced bands showing they still have it... or not in other cases.

    Top 15 albums/EPs of the year.

    15. Baroness - Blue Record

    In a nut shell: Strangely catchy yet still heavy as fuck.

    14. Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez - Xenophanes

    In a nut shell: Omar and his girlfriend create his most accessible work to date yet his most cohesive. Also, it's all in Spanish.

    13. Converge - Axe to Fall

    In a nut shell: It's Converge, so it's going to tear you a new arsehole whether you like it or not.

    12. Oceansize - Home & Minor

    In a nut shell: A brilliant headphones CD filled with some of the band's most mellow tracks to date.

    11. Dananananykroyd - Hey Everyone!

    In a nut shell: Fun, fun and more fun.

    10. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

    In a nut shell: Animal Collective gone pop? Not really, it's not exactly easily listening but still very catchy.

    9. Mastodon - Crack the Skye

    In a nut shell: Their most progressive and complete work to date, the final track is an absolute belter.

    8. Cave In - Planets of Old

    In a nut shell: Stunning return to the field by one of the most diverse bands around.

    7. Bats - Red In Tooth & Claw

    In a nut shell: One of the years most overlooked albums. If These Arms Are Snakes and And So I Watch You From Afar had a child, Bats would be the outcome.

    6. And So I Watch You From Afar - And So I Watch You From Afar

    In a nut shell: HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

    5. The Mars Volta - Octahedron

    In a nut shell: A refreshingly mellow album after last years chaotic and intense The Bedlam in Goliath
    4. Thrice - Beggars

    In a nut shell: Sounds like the band just woke up and started jamming, the raw energy on this record is absolutely outstanding. Dustin's lyrics are some of the best he has ever written.

    3. Tubelord - Our First American Friends

    In a nut shell: "Pop songs for Rock kids" as the band put it. I'd say they have it spot on. They have the weird bits and the sing-a- long bits similar to that of Biffy Clyro's old material.

    2. Sucioperro - Pain Agency

    In a nut shell: Riffs, riffs and more riffs. Biffy might have the fame and the big record contract but Sooch are putting out far better material than their counterparts at the minute.

    1. Blakfish - Champions

    In a nut shell: Ignorance at it's absolute best. Lyrically brilliant and stunning musicianship. Not one boring second on the whole album.

    Other albums worth mentioning:
    Thursday - Common Existance
    Mutiny on the Bounty - Danger Mouth
    Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium
    Regina Spektor - Far
    Q-Tip - Kamaal The Abstract
    Mos Def - The Ecstatic
    Frank Turner - Poetry of the Deed
    Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez - Solar Gambling
    The Xcerts - In the Cold Wind We Smile
  • Seen Live

    2 Sep 2009, 14:46

    I realise that I've seen some really shit bands.

    ¡Forward, Russia!
    30 Seconds to Mars
    65daysofstatic x3
    A Wilhelm Scream
    Alexisonfire x2
    Algernon Cadwallader
    Alkaline Trio
    Alpha Male Tea Party
    Amour For Sleep
    The Anomalies
    And So I Watch You From Afar x3
    Antlered Man
    The Antlers
    Apple Cannon
    Arcade Fire
    Arcane Roots
    The Automatic x2
    Babe Rainbow
    Battleships x2
    Be Your Own Pet x2
    Bear Hands
    Bear In Heaven
    Best Friends
    Between the Buried and Me
    Biffy Clyro x7
    Billy Talent x2
    Binary Toad
    The Blackout x2
    Black Tide
    Bloc Party x2
    Blood Red Shoes
    The Bots
    Brand New
    Brontide x2
    The Bronx
    Caetano Veloso
    Calvin Harris
    Cancer Bats
    The Cape of Good Hope
    Cerebral Ballzy
    Charles Bradley
    Chelsea Wolfe
    Chickenhawk/Hawk Eyes x2
    Chiddy Bang
    Christian Tiger School
    Cloud Nothings
    The Computers x2
    Crash of Rhinos
    Crazy Arm
    Crystal Castles
    Cypress Hill
    Cyril Snear
    Dad Rocks!
    Dananananaykroyd x2
    Deafheaven x2
    Devil Sold His Soul
    The Dillinger Escape Plan
    Dinosaur Pile-Up
    Dirty Blue Gene
    Dirty Pretty Things
    The Divine Secret
    Dizzee Rascal
    DJ Shadow (DJ Set)
    The Echoes
    Eliza and the Bear
    The Enemy
    Enter Shikari
    Errors x2
    Esben and the Witch
    Everything Everything
    The Ex
    Faith No More
    Fall Out Boy
    Fei Comodo
    Fighting With Wire x2
    Flying Lotus
    Foals x2
    Forest Swords
    Four Tet (DJ Set)
    Frank Turner
    The Fratellis
    Frightened Rabbit
    Funeral for a Friend
    Funeral Party
    Gallops x2
    Gallows x2
    The Gaslight Anthem x3
    General Fiasco
    Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly x2
    The Ghost of a Thousand x3
    Girl Spit
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    Gogol Bordello x2
    Guess What
    Guns N' Roses (aka The Axl Rose Experience)
    Hadouken! x3
    Hifi Handgrenades
    Hillary & The Democrats
    Holy Fuck
    Holy State
    The Hoosiers
    Jack Peñate
    Jamie T
    James Canty
    The James Cleaver Quintet
    Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun x2
    Johnny Foreigner
    The Joy Formidable
    Kendrick Lamar
    Kill It Kid
    The King Blues
    La Phaze
    The Left Hand
    Late of the Pier
    Lethal Bizzle
    Let's Buy Happiness
    The Libertines
    Limp Bizkit
    Linkin Park
    Lostprophets x2
    Los Campesinos!
    Manchester Orchestra
    Maps & Atlases x2
    Mariachi El Bronx
    The Mars Volta
    The Matches
    Maybeshewill x4
    Mike Watt + The Missingmen
    Mindless Self Indulgence
    Minion TV
    Minus the Bear
    Modest Mouse
    Mogwai x2
    Municipal Waste
    The Music
    My Bloody Valentine
    Nai Harvest
    The Neat
    Neutral Milk Hotel
    Nordic Giants
    Plain White T's
    Pulled Apart By Horses x3
    Queens of the Stone Age x3
    The Racontuers
    Rage Against the Machine
    Real Estate
    Remember Remember
    Rise Against
    Rival Schools
    Rolo Tomassi x7
    Rosa Valle
    Serj Tankian
    Set Your Goals
    Shapes x2
    Shoes and Socks Off x2
    Smokers Die Younger
    Someone Died
    State Radio
    Stolen Babies
    Strike Anywhere
    The Subways
    Sucioperro x3
    Surfer Blood
    Taking Back Sunday
    Tall For Jockeys
    Tall Ships x7
    Tangled Hair/Alan Welsh solo
    The Temper Trap
    Tenacious D
    Tera Melos x2
    This Town Needs Guns x2
    This Will Destroy You
    Three Trapped Tigers x4 (First time, the synth player played an improvised set because the rest of the band didn't turn up)
    Thrice x2
    Thunderbird Gerard
    Tinchy Stryder
    Tinie Tempah
    Titus Andronicus
    Touché Amoré
    Trash Talk
    Treeman (The World's Angriest Guitar Player) FIRST EVER GIG!
    The Twilight Sad x4
    Vaadat Charigim
    Vampire Weekend
    The Van Pelt
    Vasco Da Gama x5
    Vette Breaks
    Video Nasties
    We, The Undersigned x2
    We Were Promised Jetpacks
    Wet Nuns
    The Whip
    Wild Beasts
    Wot Gorrila?
    The Wychtes
    The Xcerts
    Yamantaka//Sonic Titan
    Yndi Halda
    Young Legionnaire x2
    Your Demise
    &U&I x2