Mad Mackerel has been around for ten years now.
We’ve come a long way.
Early days using Google’s blogspot where our posts were regularly and erroneously taken down through DMCA notices until the moment when Google just erased us completely, our move to WordPress in April 2010 where Kurt Vile, Beach Fossils, Johnny Flynn and Band of Horses were among our first posts. Those were the days of Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday posts, downloadable Best of the Month round-ups, and the early days of Soundcloud and Bandcamp. On we went with our MM Shorts series reaching one thousand posts, Best of the Month was replaced by Songs You Should Have Heard This Week, and a collection of 15-1 interviews with the likes of Blitzen Trapper, Simone Felice, Torres and Young Knives. And every year we published our collection of favourite tunes from some of our much loved and stalwart contributors – Mrs Mackerel (of course), Chris T Popper, Barry-Sean, The Italian Job, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, and even some Mackerel sprat contributions.
So to mark ten years of tunes, over a million hits, 6,174 posts on WordPress, 9,993 tracks listed on Hype Machine, 5,691 WordPress followers and even 1,113 likes on Facebook, we’ve asked our key contributors to share their favourite songs of the past ten years and compiled them into one lovely big list of 200 wonderful tunes for you.
Bit by bit, over the next few days we’ll be sharing them all for you – check through and see what you might have missed.
PART 1 (200-181)
200 Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences – The Evil Thoughts (2008)
The black humour, the self-deprecation, the slightly carnivalesque musical stylings and a story of self loathing. A wounded, nihilistic anthem with a wonderful, British oddball-ness about it.
199 Portishead – We Carry On (2008)
Hypnotically oppressive and menacing. Built on a insistent two-note electro riff, We Carry On is as claustrophobic as music can get.
198 Dune Rats – Dalai Lama (2014)
Just about the dumbest stoner anthem ever written and that’s high praise given the competition, and definitely the best song with only one line and five words. Altogether now Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana…
189 Dutchess & The Duke – The River (2009)
Stark, sparse campfire song, with a captivating, morose beauty.
196 T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral (2013)
Pure back-porch Americana, dark alt-country shot through with a touch of psychedelia.
195 together PANGEA – River (2014)
A hyperactive smear of ripcord riffs and sneering angst. Garage punk perfection.
194 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again (2008)
Sultry, utterly gorgeous, and captivating opening track from her second album, recorded when she was only 19. Weary beyond her years.
193 Grasshouse – A Cockroach (2010)
Excellent, brooding indie rock. A malevolent and dark-hearted sonic delight.
192 Fat White Family – Bomb Disneyland (2013)
A Stooges style riff and sordid lyrics aligned to an irresistibly malignant rockabilly groove.
191 Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings (2012)
Long before the Emperor’s new clothes of recent releases, Fear Fun was one of the finest albums of 2012 and this track with its nod to the Wall of Sound days and echoing guitars was one of the standouts.
190 Parquet Courts – Dust (2016)
Droning, danceable guitars brilliantly provide a backdrop to a jittery 50 word essay on the inherent grossness of dust and the futility of cleaning. “It follows, now swallow, You’re biting it now, Suffocate, suffocate, Breathe, Dust is everywhere, Sweep”.
189 Eagleowl – Motherfucker (2008)
Like a Scottish Low, Motherfucker is a devastating slow burner with an opening line to match, “Can I call you motherfucker, would your father be offended?”
188 Elvis Perkins In Dearland – Doomsday (2009)
Brassy, infectious, sad but happy, New Orleans style folk.
187 No Age – Fever Dreaming (2010)
This song simply steams out of the traps like it has just been released from the punk heyday of 1977.
186 The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind (2009)
The finger-picking guitar is a brilliant back-drop to the soaring vocals. Low lights, Friday night, bit of kitchen dancing. Irresistible.
185 Mazes – Skulking (2013)
A krautrock inspired, four to the floor drone classic that ends in a classic Velvets style fuzzed up breakdown.
184 Twilight Hotel – Mahogany Veneer (2011)
A brilliant combination of alt-country and spaghetti-western desert twang that moves languidly to conclusion via poignant, scalpel sharp lyrics
183 Greylag – Yours To Shake (2014)
A moody take on the nature of good vs evil told through the lens of muscular, gnarly folk-rock.
182 Last American Buffalo – Baby I’m Alive (2012)
Perfectly paced, mournfully traditional Americana.
181 Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol (2011)
Stunning surf-rock twang with echoes of Link Wray and Roy Orbison.