Archive for the ‘Garage’ Category

We posted a track from Italian garage-psych trio Bee Bee Sea in our most recent New Year Round Up, and now we have another for you, and it is an absolute cracker.

The marvellously titled This Dog Is The King Of Losers also comes from their upcoming long player Sonic Boomerang, and undoubtedly has the riff of the year so far! A perfect mix of the outrageously weird and wonderful with a totally contagious melody, and energy that is off the charts. It is mutant garage punk of the highest quality.

And how often do you hear a band repeating, “Who is the doggy? Who is doggy?”

Listen below – howlingly good! Pre-order the album here.

 

Another of our round-ups of songs we should have posted from the end of 2017.

Restless was a stomping single from Brooklyn-based folk rocker Common Jack. It’s anthemic take on Americana draws favourable comparisons to Lumineers, Neil Young and The Avett Brothers.

 

Swedish indie rockers Francobello shared Future Lover, which rises and falls, building to a crescendo of gorgeous harmonies and ferocious guitar runs.

 

LA-based Space-Psych outfit Tombstones In Their Eyes released an excellent Double A-side single towards the end of the year. Listen to the cavernous, post-rock soundscape of Shutting Down.

 

Family Fiction are a four-piece based in Brighton. They lie somewhere between indie folk and Americana in style and this is their most recent single, Old Money.

 

Trudy and the Romance take the good-hearted ramshackles off Jonathan Richman, punch out The Four Freshmen’s surf harmonies and scruff them up through the raw audacity of the noughties whilst tightrope-dancing somewhere between reality and fantasy. Twist It, Shake It. Rock & Roll comes from their recent Junkyard Jazz EP.

 

The alluring, ghostly folk of Waterloo Suns comes from Richmond based duo Lean Year’s eponymous debut record.

 

New York City trio Show Me The Body released 7″ single Challenge Coin back in November. K-9 is the A side, a potent mix of hardcore and punk.

 

Italian band Bee Bee Sea play a fuzzed-out mix of garage and psych that’s drawn comparisons to Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, and King Gizzard. D.I. Why Why Why comes from their sophomore LP, Sonic Boomerang.

 

Adam Barnes is local to us and Electron was the third single to be released from his upcoming album Vacancy At Nasa, which is due for release on 7th February. It tells the tale of Donald Crowhurst – an amateur sailor who quit his job to enter the Golden Globe Boat race in the sixties – and unfolds the lies and psychotic episodes as he sailed ‘the Teignmouth Electron’ to his tragic death.

 

We finish with psych-rock outfit Elephant Fire music video for the swirling Natural Heart, the title track of their recently released album.

 

  1. First Aid Kit – Ruins
  2. Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain
  3. Suuns – Watch You, Watch Me
  4. Alela Diane – Ether & Wood
  5. Nap Eyes – I’m Bad Now
  6. Prism Tats – Daggers
  7. Public Access T.V. – Lost In The Game
  8. U.S. Girls – Pearly Gates
  9. Sunflower Bean – Crisis Fest
  10. Rik & The Pigs – America
  11. Frankie Cosmos – Jesse
  12. Kal Marks – Today I Walked Down To The Tree, Read A Book, And When I Was Done I Went Back Inside
  13. Shitkid – Yooouuu
  14. H.C. McEntire – Quartz In The Valley
  15. Van William – Cosmic Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, the good stuff from last year keeps on coming…

This time, we begin with Flesh from post-punk duo Chastity, a chaotic, antagonistic and downright eerie single released way back in October.

 

Cut Worms (a.k.a. Max Clarke) shared Song of the Highest Tower, a seven minute track that combines a poignant, nostalgic Americana with classic Roy Orbison style licks.

 

At the other end of the musical spectrum is the violent, post-hardcore squall of Big Heet’s slow burning anthem Failure At Work.

 

Taking their influences from NEU and Faust, as well as the space rock of Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized, Swedish Kraut-Rock three-piece Norma released a timely ode to seasonal affective disorder and inner demons of all kinds on their new single S.A.D.

 

Feed is a rock band from Seattle, WA. With fuzz pedals set to melted, phasers are wide and slimey, and amps that are cookin’, listen to blistering first single, Different Life.

 

Apparently Neko Case’s track Deep Red Bells is about a about a serial killer that stalked the Northwest. On his version of the track Mark Erelli gives the vocal a appropriately sinister edge…

 

The Good Graces is an indie-folk collective based in Atlanta, GA formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter Kim Ware, whose plaintive, utterly appealing drawl of a voice grounds each song with raw honesty and homespun warmth. Listen to The First Girl from The Hummingbird EP.

 

Oklahoma band, Helen Kelter Skelter release their sophomore full-length, Melter next week. With vintage organ flourishes over frenetic bass lines, vocals delivered with glam rock swagger over subtle and intricate guitar work, deep in the mix, droning loops, and pulsing beats it promises to be a cracker. Listen to lead-off single Minding.

 

We loved Breakfast Muff’s track R U A Feminist which almost made it into our end of year lists. Clam is another excellent track from the uncompromising Glasgow DIY pop trio, who all switch between guitar, bass and drums in a cacophony of anxiety, celebration and creativity.

 

Lastly we have Future Tense from Daddy Lion. It nods its head to the classic new wave and the indie rock sound of the 90s,  a la REM and Bob Mould.

 

The second instalment rounding up some tunes we missed from the tail end of 2017.

Let’s kick off with Yowl’s relentless and uneasy Darkroom, a wonderfully vicious and febrile slice of post-punk.

 

Night Herons’ raw sound is a visceral blend of garage rock and chugging proto-punk – for fans of classic bands like The Stooges or the New York Dolls.

 

Norwegian psych-rockers Electric Eye’s single Sometimes You Got To Jump To Lift Your Feet sounds like a soundtrack to a movie that hasn’t been made yet, it’s villainy acid prog, it’s ethno jazz, it’s old school hip hop grooves mixed with the easily recognisable, hypnotic Electric Eye sound.

 

Grant Earl LaValley plays a haunting iteration of psych/folk – almost like a gothic Gene Clark that experimented very heavily with psychedelics and lush instrumentation to accompany a sparse guitar. Where Are All My Friends comes from his excellent October release From LaValley Below.

 

The Roseline’s single How To Be Kind is full of low key, Wilco-like charm and Harry Nilsson-ish vigor.

 

Whispertown featured at the top end of our Best of Year listings and Freefaller is another fine example of stripped back acoustic Americana.

 

Texas psych-rock vibes permeate through Birds of Night’s single, Blacklight. Recommended if you like: Built To Spill, desert sunsets, abandoned ghost town seances, drugs, and mystic rock and roll.

 

Benjamin Jones’ single Light Up The Room is a lovely slice of sweetly melancholy folk that recalls Sufjan Stevens.

 

Post-punk in origin but with overtones of no wave, psych and garage rock, The Plan has been described as ‘Talking Heads meets the Breeders’. Listen to Bright Lights from debut long player Nervous Energy.

 

Finally, back in November, The Gotobeds released a verbatim song-by-song remake of Redd Kross’s infamous debut EP – this is a great version of Annette’s Got The Hits.

 

Our final personal list of the year is from the fairest, and finest, of fishes… Mrs Mackerel.

2017: probably a year when I’ve listened to the least new music in recent times, so this is very much a short list in all senses.

Life – and death – gets in the way sometimes.

10 PINS – Serve the Rich
It’s no surprise that Jamie Hince of The Kills produced this anti-Conservative polemic. It may be no surprise then that I like this so much.

 

9 Queens of the Stone Age – The Way You Used To Do
I just really, really love the frenetic pace of the drumming on this tune, which greatly appeals to my rock chick lineage. There are some things that I just haven’t grown out of.

 

8 The Divine Comedy – To the Rescue
This songs punctuates a particularly difficult point in the year and its wistful sadness reminds me very much of that time. Apparently, it’s dedicated to Neil Hannon’s long term girlfriend, who cares for mistreated and neglected horses over in Ireland. Perhaps MM will pen a similar tune for me as my plan for feline domination of West Oxfordshire takes hold?

 

7 The Moonlandingz – Vessels
Oh hello, here’s another dominant drum roll – I seem to be developing a theme… A fantastic slice of psychedelic, electro pop as recommended to me by my very good friend, Mr Nightshift.

 

6 Mark Lanegan – Beehive
Much as I suspect that Lanners’ liver might be held together with vinegar and brown paper, his voice retains the growling, tremulous signature that is all his own. Sweeping guitars and a catchy chorus made this one to remember – and he was spellbinding live.

 

5 Cherry Glazer – Nurse Ratched
I loved this song right from the off, dedicated to the avenging angel who needs no introduction, Nurse Ratched. Some lovely twiddly guitar bits and harmonies, presumably as an antidote to Nurse R’s very individual bedside manner.

 

4 Cabbage – Celebration of Disease
Scratchy guitars and an earworm of a chorus meant that this was always going to bed itself into my subconscious. A celebration of a disease, a symptom of emotional greed/A celebration of disease, corrected by technology/A celebration of disease, a prescription to the new age dream.

 

3 Whispertown – Born to Ride
A floaty Americana sound with an ode to the open road and the promise of freedom, delivered through Morgan Nagler’s wonderfully hazy vocals. Hey watch out, the road will try to own you. I often sing this to the dog as we set off on our daily trek. Not really.

 

2 Laura Marling – Don’t Pass Me By
Semper Femina was my album of the year; the one I listened to on repeat. There’s something about the melancholy of her vocals over the finger-picking guitar beneath that’s so haunting: Take my old tune/Turn it into something new/Something good. Laura Marling is peerless, a one-off.

 

1 Big Thief – Shark Smile
So I thought I would crown my top ten with another uplifting ditty: a road trip song that ends in tragedy. The understated delivery of the lyrics, undercut with the slidey guitar are so tender you can almost hear her heart breaking. A very worthy, if rather poignant, number one.

 

This year’s footnote:

Louis Armstrong – We have all the Time in the World

We have all the love in the world
If that’s all we have, you will find
We need nothing more.

This one’s always for you, Dad. Our goodbye song.

The third of our personal countdowns…

20 Metz – Drained Lake
Angular, ear-piercing and provocative. Imagine the clatter of early Sonic Youth brought up to warp speed.

 

19 Cabbage – Fraudulent Artist
Cabbage’s Extended Play of Cruelty was our EP of the year by a country mile – a collection of brilliantly acerbic, witty and spiky tunes. Fraudulent Artist is a furious, up-tempo rant that comes across as the bastard son of Sham 69 and Half Man Half Biscuit.

 

18 Hiccup – Teasin’
Hiccup pen breakneck songs within the realm of girl-group pop meets buzzsaw distorted guitars that the Ramones pioneered. The effervescently infectious Teasin’, is a perfectly judged track of punk immediacy shot through with a classic pop sensibility.

 

17 Dream Police – Revenge
A driving but psychedelic bass line, droning organ, dizzying guitar leads, and haunting vocals –  all vintage Dream Police. Perfect.

 

16 Lød – Folder
With nods to Neu! and Can, Denmark’s Lød create a sonic delight with the eight minute hypnotic groove of Folder.   

 

15 The Moonlandingz – Vessels
The best gig we saw all year, The Moonlandingz debut LP was a delight of sleazy glam rock riffs and twisted lyrics that took it’s knowing influences from the likes of The Glitter Band, Sparks, Devo, The Cramps and Suicide. Vessels was a particular highlight – the grubbiest glam rock anthem of them all…

 

14 Young Fathers – Only God Knows
Danny Boyle called Only God Knows the heartbeat of T2: Trainspotting (one of our films of the year), and it is hard to argue with the song’s giddy soulful rush, thumping punk rhythm, and some spot-on backing vocals from the Leith Congregational Choir.

 

13 Sugarmen – Our Gallows
Hands down the catchiest opening of any song we heard in 2017, and backed up by edgy, razor sharp guitars and drums that come straight from 1970s CBGBs.

 

12 Beaches – Void
Australia psych-rock legends Beaches returned after a four year absence and nailed it straight off with Void, a churning, thoroughly addictive rocket blast of cavernous guitar and drums that sounds like the amphetamine fuelled best bits of Hawkwind and Spacemen 3.

 

11 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter
Amongst a plethora of excellent releases from the unstoppable King Gizzard this year, many of which featured in our Top 100 countdown, Sleep Drifter stood tallest for its perfect marriage of funky eastern rhythm and itchy, nagging riff.

 

10 Cool Ghouls – Gord’s Horse
Woozy, harmony filled, vintage tinged rock’n’roll with just the right amount of twang gives Gord’s Horse the perfect laid back slacker vibe. One to kick back and fire up a big one for…

 

9 together PANGEA – Money On It
Subtly diluting their more usual punk rock tropes, Money On It borrows some surf-rock vibes and not a little guitar jangle to fashion a strutting, intense rocker that, dare we say it, is a little more optimistic than we’ve previously heard from them, and all the better for it.

 

8 Idles – Mother
Our go-to punk anthem of the year. Amongst a whole album worth of them on their brilliant album Brutalism, Mother stands out for it’s pure vitriol, righteous fury and long-drawn out “Mother…. Fucker” chorus.

 

7 Black Angels – I’d Kill For Her
Just a typically brilliant slab of hypnotic, heavyweight psych that they do better than anyone else.

 

6 PINS – Serve The Rich
A needling ear worm of a guitar line is married to sparse, urgent production, and two and half minutes of politicised, post-punk perfection is the result.

 

5 Lo Tom – Covered Wagon
We’re suckers for a bit of Creedence style guitar chugging and Covered Wagon has it in spades. It is one of those four or five play songs, the ones where your head suddenly jerks up and you go “whoa, what is this again?”. From that moment on it was one of our favourite tunes of the year, one to keep going back to for its roughed-up, blue collar Americana that served as a great reminder that straight up rock and roll is often done best at its simplest.

 

4 Sun Seeker – Won’t Keep Me Up At Night
Reminiscent of the Quite Hollers who featured prominently in 2015’s Best Of lists. The sunny strum and cosmic Americana of Won’t Keep Me Up At Night explores introspective melancholy via laid-back psychedelia, all pollinated with tight harmonies and country rock spirit.

 

3 Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down
A perfect combination of indie rock rumble with a touch of classic Americana creates a strutting, catchy slab of pure Bay Area garage jangle.

 

2 Big Thief – Shark Smile
Oh where to begin? A  doomed car ride, a fatalistic narrative, romantic heartbreak? All these and more in this rambling folk rocker anchored by a steady motorik percussion and its tragic, catastrophic finale, “It came over me at a bad time, she burned over the double line and she impaled as I reached my hand for the guard rail, the guard rail, the guard rail”.

 

1 Cabbage – Celebration Of A Disease
Simply the ultimate mix of mutated groove and indie rock. With a lineage that stretches back to the Fall and takes in The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, it is the latest addition to a long line of infectious, sing-along Manchester anthems.

Our second personal countdown comes from long time top twenty stalwart Chris T Popper, a fish of fine musical taste and the Steve Bould of Mad Mackerel.

20 Nervous Dater – Bad Spanish

 

19 The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz

 

18 Meat Wave – The Incessant

 

17 Roadhouses – Drinkin’

 

16 Ty Segall – Big Man

 

15 Public Serivce Broadcasting – All Out

 

14 The Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys

 

13 DZ Deathrays – Shred For Summer

 

12 King Lizard & The Gizzard Wizard – Vomit Coffin

 

11 Sleaford Mods – Drayton Manored

 

10 Pontiak – Tomorrow Is Forgetting
A methodic rollercoaster of a tune. Flurry of drums at the start and we’re in to the somniferous beat with some ominous guitar work echoing in the background. It’s heavy shit – plenty of reverb and that shamanic thump carries on ricocheting inside your head like a tripped out game of Pong.

 

9 Black Mekon – Janey Was A Klepto
Fantastic title for a song and the band name isn’t bad either; this comes from the album One in the Hate (which also includes the track ‘Frank Died Hanging From An Electric Fence’ which has to be worth a mention). It certainly hurtles along at a frantic pace and honed down to less than 2 and half minutes it packs plenty in with minimal fuss.

 

8 Big Thief – Shark Smile
Infused with a sadness that you sense immediately, Adrianne Lenker’s divine vocals transports you to chasing that yellow van on the moonlit road. It feels effortless with Lenker’s precision and timing. I especially loved her line comparing a kiss to the need for oxygen. A song that feels both poignant and strangely uplifting.

 

7 Lød – Folder
Folder is a rather splendid 8 and a half minute journey that takes the scenic route. Borrows from pretty much all my favourite bands and still sounds original. Fantastic breaks using keyboards and real good bass, never fails to keep you amused and bemused.

 

6 The Coathangers – Captain’s Dead
I’m still coming to terms with the fact I missed The Coathangers UK tour this year. Vocalist and guitarist Julia Kugel said the song was partly a response to the direction America has taken under a certain person elected to office in January lamenting ‘The reward for malicious action is often a bag of shit, one way or another’. The sense of disappointment is palpable and brilliantly observed.

 

5 Cool Ghoul – Gord’s Horse
My top ten wouldn’t be complete without a Gord’s Horse. San Francisco quartet Cool Ghouls put this laid back beauty together that plods along like… a horse I guess. A horse tripping on acid but still a horse.

 

4 Whispertown – Born To Ride
Whispertown is the rather marvellous LA based singer/songwriter Morgan Meyn Nagler. She possesses such an engaging and warm vocal style it hooked me in pretty much straight away. The song is so damn smart, feeling fresh and inventive and I absolutely love the hazy backing vocals.

 

3 Terry – Take Me To The City
Following last year’s entry at number 6 Terry have nabbed the no 3 spot this year with the instantly likeable Take Me To The City. The ‘All they talk about…’ refrain hints at longing for brighter lights but you get the feeling no one is escaping soon. Possesses a hook and riff you would die for.

 

2 Idles – Exeter
Idles so nearly managed a clean sweep for me this year. My favourite album with Brutalism, my favourite live act of the year and finally very nearly the best song of 2017. Joe Talbot’s lyrics are delivered with a most agreeable ferocity. Hands up whose ready for a bar fight, there’s plenty of takers here. A tour de force of barely contained anger at the banality of it all.

 

1 Metz – Drained Lake
Opening a song with feedback is always good in my book. I’m a simple soul. From it’s urgent, jarring beginning and opening line (‘Forever getting nowhere, while blankly staring in to space’) Drained Lake is just pure badass from start to finish. Guitar like buzzsaws, manic drumbeat and a sense of barely held together chaos throughout. It’s relentless and uncompromising and it delivers.

 

 

30 Meat Wave – The Incessant

 

29 L.A. Witch – L.A. Witch

 

28 Oh Sees – Orc

 

27 Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

 

26 Deer Tick – Deer Tick Vol. 1

 

25 Ty Segall – Ty Segall

 

24 Public Service Broadcasting – Public Service Broadcasting

 

23 Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps

 

22 Alvvays – Antisocialites

 

21 Sleaford Mods – English Tapas

 

20 Spectres – Condition

 

19 Whispertown – I’m A Man

 

18 The Americans – I’ll Be Yours

 

17 King Krule – The Ooz

 

16 Ron Gallo – Heavy Meta

 

15 Flat Worms – Flat Worms

 

14 Micah P. Hinson – Micah P Hinson Presents: The Holy Strangers

 

13 The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

 

12 Kevin Morby – City Music

 

11 Mark Lanegan – Gargoyle

 

10 LIFE – Popular Music

 

9 Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent

 

8 Laura Marling – Semper Femina

 

7  Terry – Remember Terry

 

6 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana

 

5 Black Angels – Death Song

 

4 Cabbage – Young, Dumb & Full Of…

 

3 Big Thief – Capacity

 

2 The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classic

 

1 IDLES – Brutalism

 

 

25 The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz

 

24 FEWS – La Guardia

 

23 The Coathangers – Captain’s Dead

 

22 Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched

 

21 Beaches – Void

 

20 Lo Tom – Covered Wagon

 

19 Trevor Sensor – High Beams

 

18 Mark Lanegan – Beehive

 

17 Sun Seeker – Won’t Keep Me Up At Night

 

16 Laura Marling – Don’t Pass Me By

 

15 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Vomit Coffin

 

14 Terry – Take Me To The City

 

13 The Moonlandingz – Vessels

 

12 Ha Ha Tonka – Race To The Bottom

 

11 Lød – Folder

 

10 Public Service Broadcasting – All Out

 

9 Metz – Drained Lake

 

8 Cool Ghouls – Gord’s Horse

 

7 PINS – Serve The Rich

 

6 Idles – Exeter

 

5 The Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down

 

4 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter

 

3 Whispertown – Born To Ride

 

2 Cabbage – Celebration Of A Disease

 

1 BIG THIEF – SHARK SMILE

 

Best of 2017: 50 – 26

Best of 2017: 75 – 51

Best of 2017: 100 – 76