Posts Tagged ‘Black Mountain’


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…


And so here we are, our favourite tracks of the year counting down from 25 to number 1.



25 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gamma Knife


24 Little Barrie – I.5.C.A.


23 She Drew The Gun – Since You Were Not Mine


22 Car Seat Headrest – Fill In The Blank


21 Communist Daughter – Balboa Bridge


20 Mitski – Your Best American Girl


19 Dr Dog – Bring My Baby Back


18 Yak – Victorious (National Anthem)


17 Car Seat Headrest – (Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)


16 TRAAMS – A House On Fire


15 Terry – Don’t Say Sorry


14 The Wave Pictures – Pool Hall


13 Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy


12 Flat Worms – Red Hot Sand


11 Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack


10 The Mind Spiders – Running


9 Underworld – I Exhale


8 James Arthur’s Manhunt – Kill Zone


7 Terry Malts – Used To Be


6 Van William – Revolution


5 Damien Jurado – Exit 353


4 The Pixies – Um Chagga Lagga


3 Great American Canyon Band – Undertow


2 Ashley Shadow – Tired


1 Parquet Courts – Dust


So that’s our top 100 done for another year. Check back for the rest of the countdown here (100-76, 75-51, 50-26) and look out for our favourite albums list tomorrow and then individual lists from The Italian Job, Chris T Popper, Mrs Mackerel, and MM.

Check out previous end-of-year best ofs using the links at the top of the page.

best of the weekAnother bumper round-up of new releases for you this morning. From the return of The Kills to Sturgill Simpson to the always brilliant Black Mountain by way of BEAK>. Ten new tracks – enjoy!

  1. Sturgill Simpson – Brace For Impact (Live A Little)
  2. Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack
  3. BEAK> – Timeshare
  4. Mitski – Your Best American Girl
  5. The Kills – Doing It To Death
  6. Fear Of Men – Island
  7. Eskimeaux – WTF
  8. Littler – Phantom Limb
  9. Yung – Pills
  10. Greys – No Star












best of the weekHere is the selection from the Mad Mackerel jury for our choice cuts from the past seven days. Enjoy.

  1. Black Mountain – Mothers Of The Sun
  2. Rogue Wave – What Is Left To Solve
  3. The Castillians – Come What May
  4. Witching Waves – Pitiless
  5. La Sera – I Need An Angel
  6. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – Astonished Man
  7. Purling Hiss – My My My
  8. DZ Deathrays – Blood On My Leather











Another seven days older… another seven days of new tunes. Enjoy.

1. Fidlar – 40oz On Repeat
2. Sea Lion – Ghostlands
3. Sleaford Mods – Face To Faces
4. JEFF The Brotherhood – In My Mouth
5. Spraynard – Applebee’s Bar
6. Chelsea Wolfe – Carrion Flowers
7. Jawbreaker Reunion – Your X
8. Black Mountain – Black Mountain (demo)
9. Beirut – No No No
10. Citizen Fish – World’s Gone Mad












Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: February 2012.

Musically, the year is starting to really kick into gear now and February saw lots of top quality tunes hit the web. Here is our pick of the best of last month’s posts along with four brand, spanking new tracks for you to download, sample and treasure. All in all over thirty great songs in one great mix.

Download Hoots & Hellmouth – Why Would You Not Want To Go There? mp3 (from Salt)
Country rocker with a slow-burn intensity that builds in tandem with some expertly judged flourishes of piano and electric guitar.

Download Mirel Wagner – No Death mp3 (from Mirel Wagner)
World-weary, doom-laden, sparse and skeletal. Oh and stunning too.

Download Mark Lanegan – The Gravedigger’s Song (from Funeral Blues)
Brilliant electronica-style drum beat throughout, with the trademark ML growling vocal delivery.

Download Dr. Dog – That Old Black Hole mp3 (from Be The Void)
Classic vintage, ramshackle country rock from excellent new album.

Download Orpheum Bell – Poor Laetitia mp3 (from The Old Sisters’ Home)
Seductive, yet slightly mocking tale of a beautiful, but awkward girl with a haughty tango beat and muted trumpet.

Download Jesse Thomas – Fire mp3 (from War Dancer)
Raw, whiskey soaked folk.

Download The Pharmacy – Dig Your Grave mp3 (from Dig Your Grave)
As good an example of indie-pop-garage bliss as you’ll find.

Download Benjamin Shaw – Kick The Dog mp3 (from The Birds Chirp And The Sun Shines Single)
Idosyncratic, perverse folk ramblings.

Download The Chromatics – Into The Black mp3 (from Kill For Love)
Sublime chilled out cover of Neil Young’s classic.

Download Maps & Atlases – Winter mp3 (from Beware And Be Grateful)
Typically tight and dense, but still catchy indie-pop.

Download Shrouded Strangers – Featherbed mp3 (from Lost Forever)
Skuzzy slacker anthem – a glorious amalgam of surf guitars, krautrock rhythms and fuzzed up hillbilly stomp.

Download Moonface – Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips mp3 (from With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery)
A stormer – all buzzing guitars, massive keyboards and nailgun percussion.

Download Cheers Elephant – Doin’ It, Right mp3 (from Like Wind Blows Fire)
A sublime slice of upbeat sunshine pop that morphs into a brief kaleidoscopic freakout before settling back down again.

Download Black Mountain – Mary Lou mp3 (from Year Zero Original Soundtrack)
Almost eight minutes of perfect heavy riffage.

Download Horse Feathers – Fit Against The Country mp3 (from Cynic’s New Year)
Typically rustic folk from one of Portland’s finest.

Download  Guy Capecelatro III – Girlfriends mp3 (from North For The Winter)
Another slice of quirky folk with sly observation and mischievous lyrics.

Download Zulu – Sistine Chapel mp3 (from Wa Of The Zulu)
Clear the cobwebs with this brilliant tribal rumble and punk rock swagger.

Download Teitur – Let The Dog Drive Home mp3 (from Let The Dog Drive Home)
Gently upbeat, elegant, and expansive folk rumination.

Download Wooden Sky – Malibu Rum mp3 (from Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun)
A beautifully paced folk ballad tinged at the edges with the faint wisp of melancholy – lovely.

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams)
A downtempo slow burn of barely picked electric guitar washes over sighed vocals that gradually swell to an appropriately lugubrious and mournful climax.

Download Colleen Green – Worship You mp3 (from Milo Goes To Compton)
Throbbing garagey guitars over a sweetly saccharine vocal.

Download Band In Heaven – Sleazy Dreams mp3 (from Sleazy Dreams 7″)
Visceral, pulsating industrial punk riffing of the very best kind.

Download Drifterswift – Rule Of Twelfths mp3 (from The Rule Of Twelfths EP)
Spacey dream pop, slightly fuzzy and a 100% bona fide ear worm.

Download Ray Wylie Hubbard – Drunken Poet’s Dream mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)
Sublime version of standout track from country outlaw’s last album.

Download The Crocodiles – Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9) mp3 (from Endless Flowers)
Full on, catchy indie rock. Noisy.

Download Coke Weed – Magpie mp3 (from Nice Dreams)
Gently haunting and woozy-at-the-edges folk psychedelia.

Download Ceremony – Adult mp3 (from Zoo)
Loud, fast, uncompromising. This is searing punk rock.

And to finish off we have new tracks from These United States and their rambunctious melting pot of rock-and-roll, folk balladry, and outlaw country that went into taster track Dead And Gone as well as the psych rock influenced indie of Temporary from White Rabbits, one of the best things we’ve heard from them. Exitmusic have a new album scheduled and title track Passage is typically powerful and haunting with layered guitars and drums building to an extraordinary crescendo. Lastly it is the sonic guitar blast of Yellow Orchestra on their outstanding new track The Shakedown.

Download These United States – Dead And Gone mp3 (from These United States)

Download White Rabbits – Temporary mp3 (from Milk Famous)

Download Exitmusic – Passage mp3 (from  Passage)

Download Yellow Ostrich – The Shakedown mp3 (from Strange Land)

MM Shorts 99: Black Mountain.

What better way to start the weekend than with almost eight minutes of heavy riffage from the mighty Black Mountain. This track, Mary Lou, comes from their soundtrack to new film Year Zero.

The album is out on Jagjaguwar on the 4th March.

Download Black Mountain – Mary Lou mp3 (from Year Zero Original Soundtrack)

Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

So here are MM’s ten favourite tunes from 2010 – no claims on them being the best, but for many different reasons, these are the tracks that most struck a chord (no pun intended).

10 Phosphorescent – The Mermaid Parade (Download Here)

Phosphorescent just seem to get better and better. A wonderful album provided this superb tale of failed love told in a resigned, accepting way and accompanied by mournful pedal steel and piano.

9 Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain (Download here)

Always loved a good dose of black hearted, downbeat, gothic country and Red Clay River deliver in spades with this skeletal gem.

8 Strand Of Oaks – Alex Kona

Alex Kona was 12 feet tall, his mother was killed by a bowling ball“, how could you not want to know the rest of the story? A standout track from a wonderful album of sparse fingerpicked folk and occasional psychedelic wigouts…Fast forward to track 5 below, or just stream the whole wonderful record.


7 Local Natives – World News (Download here)

While others in the Mackerel shoal may have been seduced by Airplanes, it was the propulsive, upbeat rhythms and effortlessly catchy chorus of World News that claimed my ears.

6 Stornoway – I Saw You Blink

The runaway feel good hit of the summer. Catchy, uplifting and a perfect soundtrack to the setting sun at the Truck Festival.

5 No Age – Fever Dreaming (Download here)

This song steamed out of the traps like it had just been released from the punk heydey of 1977 – and there is no higher praise in my book. Turn up loud and abuse the neighbours – especially if they’re like some of ours. Wankers.

4 Blitzen Trapper – The Man Who Would Speak True

On a par with their classic Black River Killer – a wonderfully surreal and compelling story of murder, trains, truth and gardening. Exceptional.

3 Howling Owls – Family Tree (Download here)

My favourite new band discovery of the year. One after another they sent songs MM’s way and all could have been top ten contenders. In the end it was this majestically malevolent ode to a dysfunctional family life where nothing is at it seems, or as it should be, that won out.

2 Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill (Download here)

A wonderfully poignant and nostalgic paean to a relative who is casting a knowing eye over his nephew’s mistakes and while he knows, he doesn’t tell. With lyrics that cut to the chase and tell a story that is as warm as it is personal. In a different day and age Wooden Wand would be a household name.

1 Black Mountain – Let Spirits Ride

Who cares if the riff is nicked from another song, or if it sounds like 1972. I don’t when it as good as this. Probably the one song in 2010 that I never ever skipped, that I always turned up to 11, and which, seen live at the End of the Road cemented its place as my number one.


Bubbling Under

1. Dr Dog – Later

2. Lumerians – Burning Mirrors

3.Tweak BirdA Sun Ahh Ahh

4. PaleoThe King James Fakebook

5. Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Revenge Of The Extra From Zulu

Best Songs First Heard in 2010, but not 2010

1. Joe PugHymn 35

2.The Willard Grant Conspiracy – Drunkard’s Prayer

3.Knife In The Water – Young Blood In The River

Guilty Pleasure

I’m with Dr Roddy. Pure Eurovision perfection…Lena Mayer and Satellite.