Posts Tagged ‘Cool Ghouls’

It’s time for MM’s annual round up of our favourite songs of the year. Thanks as always go to all our regular contributors – Mrs Mackerel, Chris T Popper, the Italian Job, Polly Pocket and a very welcome return to the fold for Dr Roddy.

So without further ado, lets start the countdown.

100 Cabbage – Preach To The Converted

 

In a year that we lost the great Mark E Smith, Manc neighbours Cabbage stepped up to the plate and delivered an album of sneering, swaggering and violently nihilistic songs that were cut from the same cloth as the Fall. Preach to the Converted is a prime example, a snarling, surf-tinged punk stomper.

 

99 Yowl – Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living

 

Yowl capture the frustration of the 9-to-5 London grind like few others (also making Chris T Popper’s best of the year list in 2016). In frontman Gabriel Byrde, they have someone who can spin poetry on songs about alienation and exhaustion. Yowl are often viciously loud, but on Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living) it is tempered with a more fatalistic, loose feel that calls to mind Lou Reed as much as it does Parquet Courts.

 

98 Teenage Cavegirl – No Good/So Bad

 

Austin, Texas boy/girl duo Teenage Cavegirl offer exactly what their name says they should. The tribal drums and trash-pop guitar lines combine to create a deceptively simple slab of primal garage rock. Throw in some plaintive lyrics, an anthemic chorus and wrap it all up in under two minutes.

 

97 Black Delta Movement – Let The Rain Come

 

Inspired by the ghosts of the Sonics and MC5, influenced by the kaleidoscopic thrum of the Black Angels and Wooden Shjips, Let The Rain Come is a propulsive, mesmerising gem of powerful psych-rock that layers an industrial sheen over it’s pummelling hypnotic heart.

 

96 Cool Ghouls – CCR Bootleg

 

A boisterous, jerky slice of indie that rambles along with an unshakeable airy confidence and a knowing nod to the great band’s chooglin’ style.

 

95 Parquet Courts – Wide Awake

 

Channelling their inner Talking Heads, Wide Awake is a shout along anthem propelled on something akin to tropical percussion and a sparse, funky and naggingly insistent guitar refrain.

 

94 Yak – White Male Carnivore

 

A welcome return from the noisenik trio. White Male Carnivore is what, in the old days, we’d have called a rip-snorter. Crunchy, muscular and prone to an odd left turn (those weird backing vocals, the wry nod to American spirituals), the song careers along moving everything out of its path with sheer force of will.

 

93 Sunflowers – Sleepy Sun

 

A mutating slab of space rock – all slurred riffs and acid-bleached vocals. Just as likely to be a nightmare as a dream depending on your drug of choice…

 

92 Strange Cages – Hypothalmus Blues

 

Brighton’s Strange Cages are purveyors of a snotty, psych-surf rock ‘n’ roll sound in the vein of The Cramps or Ty Segall. The wonderfully titled Hypothalamus Blues combines elements of krautrock and post-punk with a paranoid, schizophrenic vocal.

 

91 Sleep Eaters – Ghost On Fire

 

Just over two minutes of cacophonous, fuzzed out, desert, cowboy garage-rock, that sounds like a feral cross between The Black Lips, The Stooges and the Screaming Blue Messiahs – imagine all three dropped into a sun-baked, spaghetti western playing to a whiskey bar full of gunslingers on speed.

 

90 Ron Gallo – Really Nice Guys

 

Taking aim squarely at the music industry and those bands who are “better people than musicians“, Ron Gallo’s blackly acerbic wit is filtered directly through the prism of 60s garage rock and fuzzy psychedelia.

 

89 Nest Egg – Denied Doctrine

 

A three-piece from Asheville, North Carolina who describe their head-heavy and kosmische psych-rock wig-outs as ‘mood music for nihilists’. Denied Doctrine is a mind scrambling swirl of malevolent, chugging guitars and hypnotic reverb.

 

88 Mothers – Pink

 

Pink grips like a vice and over seven taut, potent minutes of nervy, hypnotic, krautrock it builds layer upon layer of bewitching intensity that never lets up.

 

87 Lonely Parade – I’m So Tired

 

A mix of wiry post-punk and buzzsaw guitars – disaffected dissonance never sounded so good!

 

86 Crepes – Bicycle Man

 

Infectious indie-pop par excellence. A groovy bass-line and hooks sharp enough to burrow deep under the skin.

 

85 American Pets – Forgetting

 

Taking inspiration from the likes of The Velvet Underground, Wilco, Tom Petty, and Serge Gainsbourg, LA based indie band American Pets’ Forgetting is a quietly strummed mix of bleak suburban nostalgia and nightmare.

 

84 Wharves – High School Hero

 

The naggingly, groove infused High School Hero sounds like a weird mash up of glam-rock era Bowie, Devo, Nick Cave, The Clash’s Magnificent Seven and Tom Tom Club’s Wordy Rappinghood. Even more weirdly it works… brilliantly.

 

83 Lord Huron – Ancient Names (Part II)

 

Lord Huron are not particularly known for their garage rock credentials, but Ancient Names (Part II) bursts out the blocks with a heavy, distorted sense of urgency proclaiming “gone are the days of laughter and love“, and over the course of two short minutes conveys a darkness of heart and soul that is epitome of resigned despair and hopelessness.

 

82 Thurston Moore – Mx Liberty

 

A typically corrosive broadside at the “mockery of democracy” that currently prevails in the USA. Thurston Moore’s brings his trademark barbed guitar squall and brutal, bruising percussion to the table and wins the argument. Hands down.

 

81 Flasher – Skim Milk

 

Crisp, exhilarating guitar riffs matched to a melodic ease and with some enjoyably rowdy call and response vocals, Skim Milk is a gem of sharp, precise indie rock.

 

80 LICE – The Human Parasite

 

Lyrically obtuse, melodically caustic and revelling in ugly, uncomfortable home truths, LICE’s debut single was a scratchy, skronky, instant classic. “All humans carry, through their daily lives / A compulsion to torture and destroy / Be not afeared of your impulse to despise / Your neighbour just because they have an accent you dislike.

 

79 The Men – Maybe I’m Crazy

 

A wired, pulsating, synth-driven rocker complete with wonky sax at the end. Play loud.

 

78 Phosphorescent – Around The Horn

 

The centrepiece of latest album C’est La Vie, on Around the Horn Phosphorescent calls the shimmering motorik of the War on Drugs and then raises it with an eight minute mini masterpiece of swelling, throbbing country-psych.

 

77 Gong Gong Gong – Siren 追逐劇

 

Desert psych anyone? South-east Asian freakout? Chinese blues? All this and more is thrown into the melting pot and stirred to a magnificent, galloping frenzy.

 

76 Phobophobes – Where Is My Owner?

 

The low rumble of menacing, dirty sleaze – a fetid, swampy stomp set atop twinkling drums and sweet organ flourishes. Over it all is the sardonic refrain of “Where is my owner? I thought that I came with one”

 

  1. Wooden Shjips – Staring At The Sun
  2. Kevin Morby & Waxahatchee – Farewell Transmission  (Songs: Ohia cover)
  3. Cool Ghouls – CCR Bootleg
  4. Gun Outfit – Life Of Ease
  5. Loma – Joy
  6. Lord Huron – Ancient Names (Part 1)
  7. Oneida – All In Due Time
  8. Mind Spiders – Shock And Repeat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls have shared their new single Gord’s Horse, the title track from their upcoming tour only cassette, on CLRVYNT.

It is another cracking slab of their twangy, harmony filled, vintage tinged rock’n’roll.

Have a listen.

 

Cool Ghouls

We’ve previously posted a couple of tracks from San Francisco based four-piece Cool Ghouls’ new album Animal Races – the follow up to band’s excellent 2014 album A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye.

They have updated the raw, primitive sound of their debut into a refreshingly contemporary take on classic psych-rock and the laid-back Spectator is another excellent example.

The album is out on the 19th August. Stream Spectator below.

 

best of the weekIt is that time again. Ten more of the week’s best new releases rounded up for your listening pleasure.

This week we have new songs from the likes of Hiss Golden Messenger, Beach Slang, Gringo Star and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, as well as tasty covers from The Avett Brothers and Sharon Van Etten.

Have fun.

  1. Hiss Golden Messenger – Biloxi
  2. The Avett Brothers – What A Wonderful World  (Louis Armstrong cover)
  3. Sharon Van Etten – Do You Realise?  (Flaming Lips cover)
  4. Beach Slang – Punks In A Disco Bar
  5. Cool Ghouls – Days
  6. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – La Distinciôn
  7. Pill – Vagabond
  8. Flock Of Dimes – Semaphore
  9. Toby Coke – Time Negator
  10. Gringo Star – Magic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel In The Jukebox

Here is the twentieth instalment of our Nickel In The Jukebox series, collecting ten new (and sometimes not quite so new) tunes from our inbox and sharing them for you to decide – hot or miss?

Cheena – Car  [RIYL: NY Punk, Gun Club, Lou Reed ]

 

King Courgette – Courgette Boys  [RIYL: Hoedown folk, Earl Scruggs, Holy Modal Rounders]

 

Twin River – Knife  [RIYL: Indie-rock, Yo La Tengo, Jesus & Mary Chain]

 

Ralegh Long – Morning (We Are In The Fields)  [RIYL: Restrained folk, Bill Fay, Whiskeytown]

 

DaDa – Black Horse  [RIYL: Psych-rock, Can, Sonic Youth]

 

Losers Way Home – In The Shadows  [RIYL:  Indie-folk, The Lumineers, Sufjan Stevens]

 

Cool Ghouls – Sundial  [RIYL: Psych-jangle, The Byrds, Allah-Lahs]

 

The By Gods – Phone Calls  [RIYL: Garage Pop, The Strokes, The Fuzztones]

 

Harry Pane – Changing  [RIYL: Singer-Songwriters, Ben Howard, John Martyn]

 

Dahmers – Blood On My Hands  [RIYL: Garage Punk, Fidlar, The Hives]

 

free

There has been a little burst of free samplers and downloads hit the web recently and some are very much worth a few moments of your time to check out and get hold of – after all what is there to lose apart from your e-mail privacy?

First up is the brilliant Garage Swim compilation, curated under Adult Swim’s Williams Street Records label. It consists of fifteen never-before-released tracks from both emerging and iconic garage rock bands including Bass Drum of Death, Thee Oh Sees, JEFF The Brotherhood, Black Lips, Mikal Cronin, Mind Spiders, The Gories, King Khan, and Weekend amongst others. The album also includes custom album art and interview pieces with King Tuff and Mikal Cronin. You can grab that one just by clicking here.

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Next is Dead City Radio’s second volume of their free sampler series, which is available from their Bandcamp page for a free/pay-what-you-want deal here. This one also has fifteen tracks and includes Burnt Ones, The Wands, Lil Daggers, The Janitors and Black Lung amongst others.


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Insound Vinyl MixtapeInsound currently have two free samplers available for a limited time. Their latest Vinyl Mixtape can be downloaded by clicking here, and includes tracks from Catholic Spray, Georgiana Starlington, PC Worship, Piatcions, Plates of Cake, The Shivas, The Snails, Soft Reeds, Teenage Moods, Universe People, and We Are Loud Whispers.

Meanwhile their May Digital Sampler has tracks from Baptist Generals, Cassandra Jenkins, Cool Ghouls, Coyote Cleanup, Dead Stars, English Singles, Jesse Ruins, Mick Harvey, Phoenix Foundation, and Vision Fortune. You can get that one by clicking here.

Download Teenage Moods – Rock Man mp3 (from May 9, 2013 Insound Vinyl Mixtape)

Download Cool Ghouls – Natural Life mp3 (from Insound May 2013 Mixtape)

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cheyenne mizeNoisetrade are currently offering a free sampler from the haunting and enchanting songstress Cheyenne Mize who is known for her emotionally intense songs.

She has recorded with the likes of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and earned praise from The New York Times and NPR. The Louisville native is currently gearing up for her upcoming release, Among The Grey, and the sampler contains seven tracks including two from the new  album. To grab that one, just click here.

Download Cheyenne Mize – Path mp3 (from Noisetrade Sampler)

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fbfyAnd finally the latest monthly FeelBadForYou free mixtape is live featuring eighteen contributions of all kinds from music bloggers all over.

Like they say, it is any song, any year, any genre, and it always contains a few great new discoveries within it. To download it, and to see what we contributed for the month of May, just click here.