Best Of 2013: Dr Roddy's Choices

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Today we kick off with Dr Roddy…

MM has, again filled my musical cup until it brimeth over, making it another year of anguish and sleepless nights over whether X should be higher in my Top Ten then Y. I know that may not seem like a massive problem in the grand scheme of things but for me it is, trust bruv. So after much wrangling here are my decisions.

10 Hanni El Khatib – Nobody Move
On Hanni El Khatib’s biog on Wikipedia he says that his “…music is for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train”. I think that this is a good way to describe this tune – it hits you flat out, ballsy, raw and aggressive in it’s lunge for your ears. Cracking bit of up tempo rock with a good nod at 70s punk.

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9 Wild Child – Crazy Bird
Never whistle in songs goes the old adage, well tell that to Otis Redding and these guys, fuckos! This tune has a such a feelgood factor to it, it positively bristles with fun and bounce. The melancholy sound of the fiddle in the background gives it some real gravitas, so you can feel serious when you are whistling along to it. You know you will!

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8 Drenge – Backwaters
I love this powerful two piece out of Derby. Sort of Henrys Funeral Shoe meets The Smiths. I have always been a sucker for this sort of sound. You’re just towed away on the riptide of noise. This is the kind of song you turn up to eleven when people are in the middle of talking to you about some inane shit.

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7 Burning Hell – Grown Ups
You were a Nazi hunter, I was a cockney punter” sings Mathias Kom. After hearing that opening line I thought, “Hello, that’s different,that’s got my attention“. A wonderful sing along track that has the sound of a heavily stoned grunge record. I still feel guilty that it isn’t higher in the list.

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6 King Krule – Easy, Easy
My friend bought me the King Krule album for my birthday this year. It was an inspired choice and it lived in the CD tray for some weeks – I think they had started to bound molecularly. A gruff and untempered voice guides you through a cultural landscape that sounds empty and barren, which is emphasised by the production on the lonely guitar that accompanies King Krule’s lament.

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5 Water Liars – Linens
I don’t think I have the vocabulary to describe the beauty of this song, so I’m not going to try. If you know this song then you will know that at some point everyone has or does share this song’s wants, needs and ideology. If you don’t know the song, catch yourself some quiet time, a good whisky and indulge…..

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4 Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster
With a opening sound filthier than a night out with Jimmy Savile, this track has been a staunch favourite since my first listen. The bass line and guitar riff are simple, but massively addictive and unwavering in ferocity as the song crescendos during the chorus. It is the one song this year that whenever anyone hears it for the first time they sit there quiet, then at the end, without fail say “That was awesome, Who was that?

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3 Cave Singers – Have To Pretend
What a groove this song has – it chugs away happily down the line, the drums are pounded relentlessly, their only company a bass line that seems to have the demeanour of a drunken Sunday afternoon. Pete Quirk’s voice is a wonderful accompaniment and his lackadaisical delivery of lyric, it’s as if it would kill him to pronounce any word properly. This just adds to the songs swagger.

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2 John Grant – GMF
This song was a real grower upon first hearing it I thought “Oh that’s alright” then I carried on about my business. Then one day I properly listened. Any song that has the line “Half of the time I think I’m in some movie / I play the underdog of course / I wonder who they’ll get to play me, maybe / they could dig up Richard Burton’s corpse” is a winner in my book. This song really is a lyric driven tune, the melody underneath is a vehicle for some wonderfully arrogant word play but what would you expect from a song entitled GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker).

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1 Low – Plastic Cup
From the first listen this song has been a real contender. Lyrically a tour de force, witty, poignant accompanied by some beautiful harmonies and vast yet warm soundscape. I love the song’s theme of having to piss into a plastic cup then it being dug up in a thousand years and heralded as the cup the king drank from every night. It is the kind of faux pas that wouldn’t look out of place in a Python sketch. A truly wonderous piece of work that has welded itself to my brain and is having a sit-in.

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Best song I have heard this year, not from this year.

Future of the Left – Small Bones, Small Bodies
Don’t have a Scooby what this song is about, just know that I adore it. It has more front than Brighton and just rocks my world everytime I hear it. If it was this year it would defo have been my number one. I’m a bit late to the Future of the Left party, but now I’m here lets turn the music up and ‘ave it.

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Favourite cover song of the year

Quiet American – Gallows Pole
I am a massive Led head, Zeppelin are idolised because of this ridiculous pedestal that I have them on. I believe that you should never try to cover any of their tunes (the same goes for Aretha Franklin). This song however is the exception that proves the rule. A great re-work of the track without damaging it.

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Best gig of 2013

Hudson Taylor – East Oxford community church (Gathering Festival)
I have seen some great bands this year and my God I have seen some dross too. This year my girlfriend and I attended Gathering festival, which is on our doorstep in Oxford. We were lucky enough to catch Hudson Taylor. Four guys stepped on to the stage with no ego or pretence – they just exuded fun and merriment. Soon this had spread like wildfire through the crowd. Pretty soon the measly 40/50 people who had come to see these guys where whipped up into a fervour and carried away with the band’s thunderous performance, as if we were packed into a pub in their native Ireland. They supported Kodaline on their UK tour and sold out every show they played with them. If you want to see a awesome live band, see these guys.

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Guilty pleasure

Chloe Howl – Rumour
I am far too old to like this kind of power pop but Rumour is just such a well crafted piece of music and deftness of lyric. Chloe Howl was another revelation from Gathering. If you have teenage kids take them to see this girl, then sneak out the next day and buy her album for yourself.

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