Archive for the ‘Metal’ Category

Dead Meadow will be releasing a new album, The Nothing They Need  on 30th March in the UK. They have just shared their first single, Keep Your Head, which perfectly exemplifies the band’s unique marriage of Sabbath riffs, dreamy layers of guitar-fuzz bliss, and singer Jason Simon’s melodic croon.

Dive in…


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.


50 Hiccup – Teasin’


49 Nervous Dater – Bad Spanish


48 Sun Abduction – Acid Pyramid


47 Roadhouses – Drinkin’


46 Dream Police – Revenge


45 BAIT – Push The Elephant


44 Meat Wave – The Incessant


43 Young Fathers – Only God Knows


42 Ty Segall – Big Man


41 The Sugarmen – Our Gallows


40 The War On Drugs – Holding On


39 Sleaford Mods – Drayton Manored


38 DZ Deathrays – Shred For Summer


37 Pontiak – Tomorrow Is Forgetting


36 Protomartyr – My Children


35 Black Mekon – Janey Was A Klepto


34 together PANGEA – Money On It


33 Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys


32 Pissed Jeans – The Bar Is Low


31 Screaming Females – Glass House


30 The Divine Comedy – To The Rescue


29 Idles – Mother


28 Deer Tick – Sea Of Clouds


27 The Black Angels – I’d Kill For Her


26 The Queens Of The Stone Age – The Way You Used To Be



Best of 2017: 75 – 51

Best of 2017: 100 – 76

  1. Sufjan Stevens – Tonya Harding
  2. Jim White – Silver Threads
  3. Strand of Oaks – Passing Out
  4. Ty Segall – Every 1’s A Winner  (Hot Chocolate cover)
  5. Kal Marks – Loosed
  6. Windhand – Old Evil
  7. Long Neck – Mine/Yours
  8. Lionlimb – Maria










Well, better late than never! And some great new tunes.

  1. Ty Segall – Alta
  2. The Limiñanas featuring Anton Newcombe – Istanbul Is Sleepy
  3. Who Is She? – Seattle Freeze
  4. Langhorne Slim – Life Is Confusing
  5. A. Savage – Phantom Limbo
  6. Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
  7. Joint Effort – Blue Lightning
  8. Nervous Dater – Don’t Be A Stranger












  1. Metz – Mess Of Wires
  2. Ornament – It Must Be The Season
  3. Jack Cooper – A Net
  4. S. Carey – Brassy Sun
  5. Weaves – Walkaway
  6. together PANGEA – Sippy Cup
  7. Public Access T.V. – Feeling It Out
  8. Chelsea Wolfe – Offering
  9. American Anymen – Flag Burner











best of the weekWe’re back with our regular weekly round-up of the best new releases of the past seven days.

As might be expected a slightly slow start being our first of the year, but still seven tracks for your listening pleasure including tasty covers from Flo Morrisey with Matthew E White and Gooch Palms, some brutal, hardcore noise from Uniform, another taster from their new albums from RainbrotherThe Shins and Boss Hog and a MM debut for Gold Connections.


  1. Flo Morrisey & Matthew E White – Sunday Morning  (Velvet Underground cover)
  2. The Shins – Name For You
  3. Gooch Palms – Tomorrow  (Silverchair cover)
  4. Uniform – The Killing Of America
  5. Gold Connections – New Religion
  6. Rainbrother – Blue
  7. Boss Hog – 17










Our final Best of post of 2016 is MM’s own selections. You can also listen via Spotify here.

20 TRAAMS – A House On Fire
I always think I don’t really like long songs and yet they always seem to end up in my favourite tracks of the year. This TRAAMS song is nearly nine minutes long yet hurtles along in a blur of krautrock inspired grooviness that is irresistible.


19 BAIT – I’m Still Here
Out-slaved anything on the last Slaves record and mentions evil genius Timmy Mallet. Top marks.


18 Mind Spiders – Running
An unstoppable, frantic force of razor sharp guitars and seething urgency.


17 Underworld – I Exhale
See what I mean about long songs… Another eight minutes of hypnotic, motorik techno that cannot be denied.


16 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gamma Knife
Described by the band as a ‘never-ending album’, Nonagon Infinity features nine songs connected by musical motifs which flow ‘seamlessly’ into each other with the last track ‘linking straight back into the top of the opener’. The first single, a psych-rock/trash metal wig out, Gamma Knife contained a riff from the song People Vultures and both songs are our favourites on the record. This just edges it for its sheer grooviness.


15 Terry – Don’t Say Sorry
I love this song for making me feel 15 again and discovering all those now punk classics. Nervy, incessant, catchy as hell and the best deadpan vocals of the year. Why would you say sorry for that?


14 Van William – Revolution
We still miss Port O’Brien and (whisper it) Van Pierszalowski’s new musical vehicle WATERS haven’t really been a patch on PO’B, so we were delighted to discover Van William, another new project, but this time returning to the folksier roots of his previous band. Add in a mournful trumpet and the gorgeous harmonies of First Aid Kit and a lovely record is suddenly elevated to another plane altogether. Fingers crossed for more from Van William


13 Flat Worms – Red Hot Sand
Starts like the Butthole Surfers and then gets better. The bit from 45 seconds to one minute is my favourite 15 seconds of punk rock this year.


12 Damien Jurado – Exit 353
Concluding the single story he has been telling over a trilogy of albums with Visions of Us on the Land, the lead single Exit 353 was a snapshot view of life and death, love and betrayal told through a perfect combination of expansive, evocative guitars with their roots in the heyday of classic 70s psych and Western movie strings that called to mind sun-blasted vast, parched sands.


11 James Arthur’s Manhunt – Kill Zone
An intense, tribal, maelstrom of churning, filthy guitars and pounding percussion that veers into space rock by way of spaghetti westerns and Italian horror films.


10 Great American Canyon Band – Undertow
Only You Remain was an excellent debut album of beautiful, pastoral Americana cut through with an almost sinuous psychedelic haze – imagine Beach House and Mazzy Star with Gram Parsons and Neil Young. Undertow was a dreamy, reverb-rich, reflective highlight.


Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore
A song about gender, identity and being taken seriously as an artist that manages to be funny and biting and smart. It is a perfect rallying cry, all wrapped up in biting lyrics and a driving riff that has as much Joey Ramone in it as it does Pavement or Yo La Tengo.

“I don’t wanna be funny anymore / I got a too short skirt, maybe I can be the cute one / Is there room in the band? I don’t need to be the front man / If not, then I’ll be the biggest fan”


Cave Singers – That’s Why
A perfect, slightly fuzzy, rolling baseline, stomping drums and Pete Quirk’s unmistakeable vocals. The Cave Singers gave us a new album this year. That’s Why was the first single and as soon as we heard it we knew they at least wouldn’t be letting us down in a year that turned out to be one of monumental disappointments.


7 Pixies – Um Chagga Lagga
A late entry thanks to Mrs M as the Pixies finally manage to turn back the clock and deliver a southern gothic rocker of bracing urgency and delirious intensity.


6 Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack
I imagine that one of the ten commandments of music might be “Black Mountain shall deliver the riff of the year” and so, just as it was with 2010’s Let Spirits Ride, so it was with 2016’s Florian Saucer Attack. This is just top notch rocking out of ‘turn it up to eleven’ Spinal Tap proportions – I mean that in an entirely good, and non-ironic, way of course, which is a shame for American readers as “apparently” you don’t get irony. I doubt it is true although while many of your countrymen and women were damning the celebrity support of Hilary Clinton as out-of-touch and unrepresentative, millions were happily voting for a billionaire celebrity on the other side. Go figure…


5 Parquet Courts -Dust
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”.


4 Ashley Shadow – Tired
A bleary, resigned mid-tempo rocker from the twin-sister of Black Mountain’s Amber Webber that somehow feels like being stood in the epicentre of a mini-hurricane.


3 Car Seat Headrest – Fill In The Blank
I came late to the Car Seat Headrest album because everyone was pushing the Drunk Drivers/Killers Whales song which was OK, but not good enough to make me want to check out the album. Turns out that was my mistake as it is by far the worst song on the best album of the year. It opens with Fill In The Blank, which pushes Black Mountain mighty close in the riffage stakes for a start and also has my favourite lyric of the year: “You have no right to be depressed, You haven’t tried hard enough to like it.”


2 Dr. Dog – Bring My Baby Back
Laying a yearning, plaintive vocal over the top of a perfect mix of  pop, gospel and psych rock, Dr Dog created the nigh on perfect Bring My Baby Back. Majoring on themes of betrayal, repentance, solitude, and revenge, wrapped up in a perfectly strummed acoustic guitar, it was the most innocently beguiling tune of the year.

Simple plea, make them pay and make them bring my baby back to me. Oh make them pay and make them bring my baby back to me


1 Car Seat Headrest – (Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)
Sounding uncannily like Will Sheff of Okkervil River at the start of (Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem), Will Toledo delivers a stunning combination of self-deprecating disgust, mundanity and insight without sacrificing one ounce of musicality. Equally rich and raw, with an honesty and openness that is all too rare these days, Car Seat Headrest is a genuine poet – the closest thing to a modern day Leonard Cohen that I have heard and  I simply can’t praise him more highly than that. Sheer genius.


And our other annual ‘awards’..

Gig of the Year: Protomartyr at the 100 Club, London


Cover of the Year: Julien Baker – Ballad of Big Nothing (Elliott Smith cover)


Car-run anthem: Insane Clown Posse – Chicken Huntin’


So there we have it for another year.  To check out the Italian Job’s top 20 click here or here for Chris T Popper’s selections and here for Mrs Mackerel’s. Click for the full run down of our 100 favourite tracks (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1) and albums.



The first of our four individual listings comes from The Italian Job – she of the detailed spreadsheets and punk rock outlook. Listen on Spotify here.

20. Underworld – I Exhale


19. The Wave Pictures – Pool Hall


18. Arborist – I Heard Him Leaving


17. Kyle Craft – Before The Wall


16. Terry Malts – Used To Be


15. Quiet Hollers – Broken Guitar


14. Parquet Courts – Dust


13. Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack


12. Old Sea Brigade – Sleep In The Park


11. Mind Spiders –  Cold


10. Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy
Let’s start with this song that, quite frankly (and weirdly) I am still not quite sure what to make of. It is an unusual Jamie T’s song, to say the list, but I have to be true to my admit that I just find it absolutely brilliant and totally catching. So, in all its glorious eccentricity, there it is, happily sitting at no.10.


9. The Julie Ruin – I Decide
This song nearly didn’t make it to my top ten because, you know, fierce competition and all that.. but I was just kidding myself! These girls managed to combine whimsical and nonsensical lyrics sung with a childish, cheeky voice with earth-shattering bass guitars mixed with a slightly dark but brilliant beat. It’s catchy, it works, I love it!


8. Flat Worms – Red Hot Sand
This track’s got it all. The noise, the energy, the sand, the heat, the sweat, the City of Angels.. you can feel it all! Without a doubt the best intro of my entire top 20, a screechy prelude to bold and distorted guitars reminiscent of the soundtrack to a particularly violent ’70 television crime drama. Hot!


7. James Arthur’s Manhunt – Kill Zone
A last minute entry, this song delivers the perfect balance between anger and.. more anger; my cup of tea, it hit me instantly! The ‘wicked’ brief guitar solo about two minutes into the song is what definitely sealed the deal for me! A powerful track.


6. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Hammers and Nails
It could not get more ‘folk’ than this, totally captivating! Hammers and Nails tells of ancient tales from the deep south, ritualistic dance routines around bonfires (well, in my head at least) and unnerving dark secrets. With its infectious beats it has firmly remained one of my favourite songs of this year since the first time I’ve listened to it.


5. Communist Daughter – Balboa Bridge
This is another last minute entry and holds a special place in my heart -and in my top 10. I read there is a story behind this song, a story of difficult times and a mental health struggle that gives it a deep meaning that goes beyond the beautiful, sweet and romantic tone. The lead singers’ voices are stunning and heart warming, this is a true gem of a song.


4. Mind Spiders – Running
Brilliantly played, from the first sharp guitar note this song’s pace is relentless and intense, borderline exhausting. It perfectly conveys the message in the title, setting off my little brain on a mild state of underlying-anxiety. It starts on a high that unrelentingly continues throughout. Cannot get enough of it.


3. Great American Canyon Band – Undertow
What a beautiful, beautiful song. A deep, languid ballad that gets better and better with every upcoming note, until the lead guitar comes in and suddenly takes it to yet another level. I could get lost in this song, I could praise it ‘at infinitum’. It’s an outstanding piece of music.


2. TRAAMS – A House on Fire
Seeing TRAAMS live recently was a revelation in itself, their performance was nothing short of magnificent! Powerful, aggressive, implacable, with unbelievably impressive guitars. Their latest single A House on Fire is all this and even more, if any more is possible! An 8-minute long, epic, mind-blogging track that totally blew me away. One thing is clear, TRAAMS do not mess about.


1. Ashley Shadow – Tired
Every now and then a song comes along that, like a mirror, seems to have the power to reflect a bit of your life back at you, that makes you think and makes you ‘feel’, with a message comforting and melancholic at the same time. This is what this stunning, timeless piece does for me. Ashley Shadow’s voice is angelic, warm and reassuring; the song is classy, beautiful, unsophisticated. My indisputable choice for the top spot of the year. Totally deserves it!


Tomorrow we have Chris T Popper’s favourite twenty songs of the year. Click through to check out our favourite 100 tracks of 2016 (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1) and our album choices here.


Here are our favourite albums of 2016. We have to go against the flow a bit and say up front there is no place for David Bowie. Great though he was, and tragic that he died two days after the release of a good album, for us that was what it was, a good album, but not a great one. And besides he is topping damn near every other list.

30 Adam Torres – Pearls To Swine



29 BRONCHO – Double Vanity



28 Communist Daughter – The Cracks That Built The Wall



27 Cold Pumas – The Hanging Valley



26 Hooded Fang – Venus On Edge



25 Jamie T – Trick



24 The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset



23 Goat – Requiem



22 Kevin Morby – Singing Saw



21 The Cave Singers – Banshee



20 Conor Oberst – Ruminations



19 Black Mountain – IV



18 Pixies – Head Carrier



17 Big Thief – Masterpiece



16 Wilco – Shmilco



15 Velcro Hooks – Velcro Hooks



14 Terry Malts – Lost At The Party



13 Terry – Terry HQ



12 PJ Harvey – Hope Six Demolition Project



11 Mind Spiders – Prosthesis



10 Angel Olsen – My Woman



9 Lucy Dacus – No Burden



8 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity



7 Cass McCombs – Mangy Love



6 Damien Jurado – Vision Of Us On The Land


5 Dr. Dog – Psychedelic Swamp


4 The Felice Brothers – Life In The Dark



3 Great American Canyon Band – Only You Remain



2 Parquet Courts – Human Performance



1 Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial



Check out our favourite 100 tracks of the year here (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1) and look out tomorrow for the start of our individual lists…