Now the dust has settled on the last fucked-up year, the inestimable Dr Roddy is the first to share his favourite tunes that saw him through lockdowns 1 and 2, and are probably sustaining him right now in lockdown 3, along with those Breakfast Club and Mannequin re-runs…
So without further ado…
10 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Automation
With that guitar mantra taking control of your ears, it is only a matter of time until the rest of you succumbs to its hypnotic metre. The bass line weaves itself snake-like through the drums, lyrically it is razor sharp. Don’t stare into the eyes of this tune – it will be your master.
9 LICE – Conveyor
Great name, great song. Tribal drums and sawing guitars deck the entrance halls of this tune. Awaiting inside are lyrics draped in a knowing, mocking tone. The drums seem impatient to make a pathway for more industrial tinged hard guitar. Music made in Satan’s own blender. Perfect.
8 Little Barrie & Malcolm Catto – T.R.A.B.S.
What is not to love here? This song seems to ooze cool and nostalgia like it could have been lifted straight from Get Carter. It drips with noir and menace; the sound from the guitar has a totally filmic sense to it. Bass and drums accompany like two grizzled henchmen.
7 Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
“Life ain’t always empty” comes the boundless refrain. Seems hard to remember that these days. Its the truth though. The song builds layer upon layer, each chorus introducing a new simple sound, to build to something much bigger than the sum of its parts. A crescendo of hope.
6 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – She’s There
If my life were ever to be a movie this would be my montage song. It has it all, reeking of High-school proms it infuses the air with youth and rights of passage. I always feel like watching Breakfast Club and Mannequin after I hear this. Stop laughing at the back.
5 Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – Double Denim Hop
The opening chords let you know that what we have here is some unashamed glam rock. It brings it all, the song has a wonderful freeness about it. A whirling dervish through my playlists this year, it has made me smile, dance and once it has finished I am reminded of the words of Bill Hicks “… sorry I was taking things too seriously…”
4 Peter Bibby – Oceans
Once the chaos of the intro has left us, we are given the chaotic and excess tinged nature of Pete Bibby’s voice. In a bizarre way it has an operatic nature to it that is supported in the arrangement of the song. It also contains the lyrics “…tell your offspring I wasn’t a bad fella…”. The drums seem to be the only constant, sober thing steering this insane ship.
3 The Bobby Lees – Drive
I just love the raw power of this outfit. These guys are giving us true garage rock: low production, high passion, lyrics with very little sugar. Two minutes and fifty three seconds of unadulterated, thunder fuck, riff driven rock and roll. What’s not to like?
2 Delta Spirit – How Bout It
Menace, building to threat seems to inhabit this song. An amazingly crafted piece of music. The guitar work on this track is sublime. No matter how much I listen, it is never enough. I feel I have to revisit it, try to drink in more of it, yet always left thirsty for more as it swaggers off in the distance without even a glance over its shoulder.
1 Protomartyr – Processed By The Boys
The opening gives us stabbed guitars joined to an uncaring vocal delivery that works well for a song that has passion at its core. A song about racial/social profiling, the police state and the heavy hand of governance wading through life at the moment. When asked how the song came to have so much relevance to the times we are in, the reply was “just write about what is happening and when it comes round again, people will say. You genius how did you know?” The brutal structure of the song allows the wheezy sound of the clarinet to really come to the fore and give some respite from the inevitability of being processed by the boys. “tattoos of their children, so cool, so nice”