Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Dog’

And here, finally, are MM’s own choices for favourite tunes of 2018.

Happy New Year one and all…

 

10 Frog – American
Just love the weary, resigned vocals, the profanity, the irresistible guitar jangle, the gradual build and swell into a furiously strummed coda – it sounds like Americana for the unhinged, which is exactly and precisely why we love it so much.

 

9 Gretchen Peters – Wichita
I have a thing for a southern country drawl and for murder ballads too. On Wichita you get both as Gretchen Peter’s narrates a tale of revenge for a twelve year old girl desperate to protect her sister from what has already happened to her. It’s unflinching and its strong, and its delivered with a gorgeous mix of country twang and smoky, defiant vocals.

 

8 Stick In The Wheel – Over Again
Handclaps, a sing-along chorus, looping guitars and a relentless driving rhythm. Over Again is a modern, follow-no-rules, classic of traditional folk storytelling that evokes bearded men and women in muesli knit jumpers stomping hobnailed boots onto a wooden pub floor and roaring along – all in a very, very good way. Takes a stick of dynamite and rams it up the haemorrhoid ridden arse end of over precious, finger in the ear folkies and deposits rectal shrapnel far and wide.

 

7 Oh Sees – Nail House Needle Boys
What else can I add that Dr. Roddy and Chris T Popper haven’t already said. Overall the worthy song of the year for MM and I’ll stick with my original description: a deliriously scorched excursion around the outer limits of prog-rock and glam, sucking in great gulps of Can, Deep Purple and King Crimson and exhaling them as little more than smoke and ash, drifting down on to the still twitching corpse of psychedelic rock.

 

6 Silverbacks – Dunkirk
Our second favourite Irish band discovery of the year. Dunkirk has one of those insistent, needling guitar melodies that we can never resist. Throw in some laconic, half-spoken vocals and some hypnotic percussion and we’re like a kitten that has just discovered catnip. Thirty seconds in we’ve rolled over and exposed our tummy for a little stroke – it’s that damn good.

 

5 Parquet Courts – Tenderness
I’ve loved following the evolution of Parquet Courts, from scrappy speed-punk to twitchy art-rock and even drawing in elements of rap and dance. Tenderness feels like the culmination of the journey so far – a toe-tappingly catchy slice of upbeat indie-punk built on an irresistible choppy guitar and buoyant piano that, like all the very best songs, seems both simple and effortless when it is far from either!

 

4 Drenge – Bonfire Of The City Boys
Until now Drenge had always seemed to me to be one of those noise-punk duos that seemed to be following rather than leading, just lacking some tiny spark that would properly set them apart from the crowd. Well this is it – Bonfire of the City Boys takes the Big Black template and runs it through a Future of the Left filter to provide a brilliantly menacing and oppressively constant slab of noise punk that is exactly as incendiary as its title suggests.

 

3 FEWS – Business Man
FEWS
are a criminally underrated band. Thankfully they seem to take a healthy dose of resentment and cynicism and channel it into some of the most furious, blistering psych-punk noise that you could ever hope to hear. While other, lesser, bands hog the limelight, FEWS are chipping away at the foundations, creating their own blend of caustic sonic mayhem that in another, better, world sees them headlining Jools Hollands’ fucking Hootenanny and turning all the B and C list celebrities into blubbering cry babies. Business Man is the song that would do it. Just unstoppable: pulsating, discordant, spastic, and violent. Happy New Year!

 

2 Dr. Dog – Listening In
No one does this kind of pastoral, psych-infused Americana as well as Dr. Dog. For years they’ve been cranking out classics with little fanfare and this is just the latest. From the opening verse, we’re on a slightly surreal, kaleidoscopic journey that feels like it would be perfectly at home in Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka world, floating downstream on a chocolate river in a haze of twinkling lights and swirling vanilla flavoured fog, “I can hear the animals talking, I can hear the animals talking, But they ain’t talking to me, Are they talking to you? No, they ain’t talking to me, Who they talking to?

 

1 Fontaines DC – Chequeless Reckless
Let’s be honest 2018 was shit from a global perspective. From the vacuous lies of Trump to the frothing, swivel-eyed racists of our own political right who are hellbent on “taking the UK back” (from whom exactly?) into their halcyon vision of casual racism and colonial fuckwittery. Thank God then for small mercies like Fontaines DC – our favourite discovery of the year – who released two singles of unrivalled brilliance to announce themselves to MM. Chequeless Reckless is the song that summed up all our frustrations and misery of the year in a howling, visceral protest that at least gave us something to thump the steering wheel too as we careered through a year of driving to bloody Peterborough every week.

“An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of the thinking
A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they effect”

Nothing phony about these boys. Song of the year. Fact.

 

Check out Dr. Roddy’s choices here and Chris T Popper’s here.

So here we have it – the top of the pile! Our favourite songs of 2018.

25 Ought – Disgraced In America

 

Way back in January, Montreal based quartet Ought kicked off 2018 with the bright guitar sound and ultimately noisy percussion and spaced-out synths of Disgraced in America. It was a fine start.

 

24 Spiritualized – I’m Your Man

 

I’m Your Man was the brilliant lead single from Spiritualized’s new album And Nothing Hurt. It wraps layer upon layer of gloriously transcendent sound together to create something utterly mesmerising and cinematic, and with a towering guitar solo – where the waves of blissful noise are almost overwhelming.

 

23 Jon Spencer – Hornet

 

Jon Spencer can be relied upon to deliver a sleazy, bone-shaking excursion into the underbelly of classic blues and with Hornet he delivers in spades – growling, primitive and with a suitably buzzing guitar figure.

 

22 Fat Earthers – Letter Bomb

 

We love the Isle of Wight and now we love it even more because it is home to the insane noise of the Fat Earthers whose punked-up garage rock didn’t so much explode out of our speakers, as leave them gibbering in twisted shards of plastic and cable in the corner. There is always one song that gatecrashes our favourites at the end of the year and Letter Bomb is it.  I hope they’re from Ventnor!

 

21 Western Scene – Strange but True

 

A chugging, exhilarating earworm of a song that recalls something of the best of Lord Huron or Wilco, with its irresistible melody and immediate emotional energy.

 

20 American Pets – Bad Dream

 

Sublime, sweetly melodic indie rock. The kind so many bands try to do, and so many fail to achieve. It is impossible not to be carried away on the rise and fall of the harmonies and Bad Dream’s gentle swell of mildly psychedelic beauty.

 

19 Ron Gallo – Always Elsewhere

 

Ron Gallo seems to be one of those absurdly hyperactive songwriters, flitting from one genre to another as though on a never ending quest for musical nectar. That he does it so well seems equally absurd as he rolls out gem after gem in a prolific manner. Always Elsewhere is garage rock, psych-pop, new wave, glam and 70s NY punk. It is jerky, obsessive and compelling and held together by his anxious, exasperated vocals.

 

18 FEWS – Businessman

 

Just unstoppable, pulverising noisy psych built on the most pulsating riff imaginable.

 

17 The Twilight Sad – I/m Not Here (Missing Face)

 

After too long an absence Twilight Sad returned with I/m Not Here (Missing Face) which was a driving, motorik anthem, with wailing guitars and swirling synths circling around frontman James Graham’s repeated declarations of “I don’t want to be around you anymore.” Graham describes the track’s lyrical basis as being “about my ongoing battle with not liking myself, trying to be a good person but constantly feeling like I’m failing myself and everyone I care about.

 

16 Young Fathers – In My View

 

As much spoken as sung, In My View is a fractured, down-tempo track set atop skittering percussion and synths.

 

15 Superorganism – Everybody Wants To Be Famous

 

Like a mutated cross between Uptown Top Ranking and some long-forgotten video game, Everybody Wants To Be Famous manages to take its wonderfully kaleidoscopic groove to a whole new level of infectious electro-pop flourescence.

 

14 Dr. Dog – Listening In

 

On their brilliantly assured new album Critical Equation, Dr. Dog barely put a single foot wrong, and an absolute standout for us was Listening In. Another exceptional example of their warm, psych-infused Americana, carried along on metronomic percussion and a typically plaintive and questioning vocal.

 

13 Phosphorescent – Christmas Down Under

 

The introspective smoulder and slow burn of Christmas Down Under is a pedal-steel led tale of surreal Americana. One for the sunset and the open road…

 

12 Katie Toupin – Danger

 

After a long stint with Houndmouth, Katie Toupin’s first foray into solo territory resulted in the bluesy rock of her debut EP Moroccan Ballroom. The raw, haunting beauty of Danger mixes heartbreak with a smattering of grit and her always stunning vocals to create something very special indeed.

 

11 Fontaines DC – Chequeless Reckless

 

Our third and final entry from Fontaines DC – back in February we said we were pretty sure Chequeless Reckless would end up in our best of the year lists and so it proves. Channelling past masters like the Modern Lovers, The Fall and Iggy Pop, as well as contemporaries like Idles and Shame, Chequeless Reckless is built on a driving, hypnotic, kraut-rock infused cyclical riff, and some scalpel sharp lyrics.

A sellout is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money,
An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of the thinking
A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they affect
A dilettante is someone who can’t tell the difference between fashion and style

 

10 Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Billy The Kid And Geronimo

 

In the rich vein of classic country like Pancho and Lefty, the fantastical Billy The Kid and Geronimo – about an imagined meeting between the two 19th century outlaws whose lives became the stuff of legend in the American West has Gilmore, who is part Native American, voicing the thoughts Alvin wrote for Geronimo, the Chiricahua Apache chief who was one of the last Native American leaders to abandon his resistance against white colonisation of the American Southwest.

 

9 Decemberists – Severed

 

Channelling their inner New Order and 80’s electronic new wave, the Decemberists delivered another left-turn in their long career with I’ll Be Your Girl. Chief among them was Severed, all fuzzy synths, rolling bass and an unrelenting guitar riff. The juxtaposition of shiny, shimmering melody and bleak lyrics was just the icing on the cake.

 

8 Cold Soda – Anna May

 

Cold Soda is a Cave Singers side project, and Anna May is brilliant, brooding Americana, built on a sinewy rhythmic groove and Pete Quirk’s ominous rasp.

 

7 Silverbacks – Dunkirk

 

Brilliantly delivering their own louche take on NYC-indebted rock, Dublin art-punks Silverbacks’ single Dunkirk is underpinned by an insistent, nagging bassline and creepy crawly guitar lines, it provides the ideal vehicle for frontman Daniel O’Kelly’s stream of consciousness ramblings about martial strife, the perfect sandcastle and spotting a con artist when he sees one. The track lurches forth, pressure building from the undulating backbeat and layers of skronking guitars accenting Daniel’s increasingly frazzled yelps before finally collapsing into a sugar sweet coda.

 

6 Rod Picott – Coal

 

Coal is a tough track. A hard-driving, unflinching snapshot of an industry’s decline. It is a world of darkness, small enclosed spaces, rusted machines and steel tied boots. It is simple, unadorned folk storytelling at its spartan best.

 

5 Quiet Hollers – Addicted

 

Addicted is a powerful rumination on opiate addiction – Quiet Hollers frontman Shadwick Wilde has struggled with addiction since adolescence. Although he didn’t intend for it to be a “drug song” necessarily, its inception came at a time when his family was struggling with the loss of his mother’s brother, who died of a fentanyl overdose so he felt it was important to acknowledge how deeply vulnerable we all are to these things, and how serious that problem really is. The track is a perfect mix of alt-country shot through with grungy guitars and a resigned honesty shared through fittingly world weary vocals.

 

4 Dan Mangan – Peaks And Valleys

 

Dan Mangan is a restless troubadour, from the earnest straight up folk of Postcards & Daydreaming to the darkly experimental Club Meds, he has always been both an explorer and an observer. Peaks and Valleys comes from new record More or Less and is a up-tempo, easy going reflection on the simple things in life and the wisdom and understanding that comes with getting older. Sometimes the most obvious things can be the most revealing and so it is with this lovely reminder that optimism is not a bad weapon to have in these turbulent times.

 

3 Drenge – Bonfire Of The City Boys

 

It started with a bang” the opening line from Bonfire of the City Boys could almost be a prediction as a stuttering, repetitive bassline starts up and Eoin Loveless’ spoken word vocals cut in over the top before a crushing guitar riff takes centre stage. Heavier than they’ve ever been, with a sound more akin to Future of the Left, Bonfire of the City Boys is four minutes of joyously ferocious hardcore.

 

2 Decemberists – Cutting Stone

 

Like one of their classic ornate folk fantasies turned dark, appropriately enough Cutting Stone is cut through with a synth accompaniment that brilliantly contrasts a brittle, futuristic feel to Colin Melloy’s literate and verbose tale of wayward children and dying brides.

 

1 Oh Sees – Nail House Needle Boys

 

Nail House Needle Boys – a deliriously scorched excursion around the outer limits of prog-rock and glam, sucking in great gulps of Can, Deep Purple and King Crimson and exhaling them as little more than smoke and ash, drifting down on to the still twitching corpse of psychedelic rock.

 

Check out the rest of our countdown: 100-76 here, 75-51 here and 50-26 here.

The second instalment of our favourite tracks of 2018. Enjoy…

75 Holly Miranda – Golden Spiral

 

This wonky, horn-led track taken from her excellent Mutual Horse album, dips its toes into the swirling whirlpools of off-kilter indie pop with a buoyant rhythmic pulse and nods to glam rock and funk.

 

74 Ezra Furman – Suck The Blood From My Wound

 

Suck The Blood From My Wound is a choppy, hook filled indie rocker that dials up the intensity and paranoia from the outset (check the horror film opening sample) to create a visceral, desperate dash from government pursuers. Throughout the narrator’s pain and defiance remain constants, “Angel, don’t fight it – to them, you know we’ll always be freaks.”

 

73 Fontaines DC – Boys In The Better Land

 

Fontaines DC are our favourite discovery of 2018. Boys In The Better Land, the b-side to the excellent Chequeless Reckless, is a resolutely retro nod to classic Irish rock’n’roll – a concise, gritty and utterly irresistible slice of indie-punk that conjures up images of the Stooges jamming with the Fall.

 

72 Flat Worms – Melt The Arms

 

Furious, buzzing, magnificent, garage-punk that will put hairs on your chest and then melt them off again – all in just over two minutes.

 

71 First Aid Kit – It’s A Shame

 

There isn’t much that sounds better than the gorgeous harmonies created by Swedish sisters First Aid KitIt’s A Shame is a perfect case in point. Simply lovely.

 

70 Deaf Wish – FFS

 

FFS erupts out of the speakers like a runaway train and over the next 130 seconds or so simply picks up the pace even further – unstoppable. A fizzing, furious, outburst of potent punk rock.

 

69 Eric Church – The Snake

 

Built on a sinewy, swampy acoustic riff, The Snake is classic country protest. America’s two polarised parties are portrayed as two serpents greedily preying on the electorate. Church’s wonderful spoken drawl vocals add just the right tinge of bleak menace and give extra depth to the bitter lyrics, “Rattlesnake said to the copperhead / Ain’t no way they win / ‘Cause the mice are sheep / And the shepherd’s asleep / And the copperhead said “amen

 

68 Drahla – Twelve Divisions Of The Day

 

A naggingly insistent earworm of a tune, blending the band’s wiry art-rock with krautrock inspired experimentalism, all underpinned by singer/guitarist Luciel Brown’s captivating spoken drawl.

 

67 Dr. Dog – Buzzing In The Light

 

Dr. Dog have long been the purveyors of perfectly judged psych-tinged Americana that draws on elements of pastoral folk, soul and jazz. Buzzing In The Light is wonderfully mellow and laid back, hazily meandering to a dreamy conclusion on the back of a slow drumbeat and keyboards.

 

66 Big Joanie – Fall Asleep

 

A fabulous amalgamation of Ronettes style bubble-gum pop and Sleater-Kinney wig-out. The high speed Fall Asleep is an instantly hummable, toe-tapping frolic through the highs and lows of dreams and nightmares.

 

65 Queen Zee – Victim Age

 

Queer-core punks Queen Zee’s energetic, politically charged call to arms – anarchic and borne of a deep frustration with the status quo. Another to play loud!

 

64 Dunes – Mountain

 

Mined from the same sonic territory that hosts the Black Angels, Warlocks and Wooden Shjips, Mountain is thick with reverb, fuzz and deliciously dark undertones.

 

63 Slaves – Bugs

 

Bugs is a classic Slaves staccato stomper. Anthemic call and response vocals and thumping percussion deliver a savage verdict on our collective politicians’ utter failure to do anything but look after their own porcine interests whilst the country slides down the drain with barely a whimper. “Two arms, two legs, two faces, That’s what they got” Exactly.

 

62 Freschard & Stanley Brinks – Going To The Bar

 

Stanley Brinks is one of indie music’s true one-offs. Amongst many other things he has recorded more than 100 albums, been part of the New York Antifolk scene, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures. On this wonderful collaboration with Freschard, the pair deliver a wistfully off-kilter and woozy gem of a tale that takes in drinking alone, the bedridden Fred (with the big round head) and broken hearts. A rueful and poignant tune for the dead of night.

 

61 Goat Girl – The Man

 

A stand-out from Goat Girl’s self-titled debut, The Man is perfectly observed garage-punk that comes wrapped in delightfully sleazy guitar and a rattling sing-a-long chorus. Seedy never sounded so alluring.

 

60 Goat – Let It Burn

 

Let It Burn was written specifically for the climatic scene in the short movie Killing Gävle, a film about the famous Gävle Goat in Sweden – every year local custodians try to protect a giant straw goat (built for the town every Christmas) being burnt down by mischievous pagans. It all sounds very Wicker Man (no doubt our very own folk horror aficionado Chris T Popper would approve) and to which the epic nature of the song – six minutes of Goat’s unstoppable hypnotic fuzzy groove – does complete justice.

 

59 Dunes – (Just Because You’re Not Being Followed Doesn’t Mean You’re Not) Paranoid

 

Another from the Aussie psych-rockers. Spacier, woozier, but just as hypnotic.

 

58 Cash Savage & The Last Drinks – Pack Animals

 

Pack Animals is a the grubby, cheeky nephew of a union between classic early 70s pub-rock and punk. Underneath it’s cheery, pumping exterior and chugging refrain is a searing indictment of the inherent arrogance of gig-goers giving the girls in the band some “helpful” advice, almost always prefaced with the opening “The gig was great, but…

 

57 Amen Dunes – Miki Dora

 

A song about the iconic 60s surfer and lifelong criminal, Miki Dora is a haunting pop gem that evokes the shimmering, untouchable horizon with its gorgeous blurry vocals and shifting, restless tones, like waves endlessly rolling up the shore.

 

56 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Bike Lane

 

Kick off your jackboots, it’s time to unwind”. Unsurprisingly there have been many political songs this year and Lord knows from Trump to the insanity of Brexit there has been plenty of material to work with. But none have quite the impact of Bike Lane, a song dealing with the death of Freddie Grey, a victim of police brutality in Baltimore. It is unflinching and straightforward and set to a classic chugging riff. “The cops, the cops that killed Freddie, Sweet, young Freddie Gray, Got behind him with their truncheons, And choked the life right out of him“.

 

55 Young Fathers – Toy

 

Confidently and gleefully leaping between genres with nary a backwards glance, Toy effortlessly bridges a gap between rap and full on sing-a-long indie anthem.

 

54 Eels – The Deconstruction

 

A laid-back wander through some classic rock territory. Echoes of Pink Floyd and Massive Attack burble and hum behind Mark Oliver Everett’s understated vocal, “The deconstruction has begun. Time for me to fall apart.” Sometimes funky, sometimes elaborate and always unpredictable, The Deconstruction is the sound of a revised world view and a weary philosophical acceptance of the nebulous state of things.

 

53 The Callas with Lee Ranaldo – Acid Books

 

A post-punk burner brimming with frenzied energy. Opening with a swirl of droning ambiance and the rhetorical question, “Do you sleep at night?”, the track quickly launches headlong into a fever of activity. With the anxious pulse of a hard-driving bassline to lead the way, and punctuated by terse outbursts of hypnotic, scuzzed-up guitar lines.

 

52 Slaves – Cut And Run

 

Everything about Cut And Run is ridiculous. The spoof workout video, the high pitched guitars and the “You’re looking unwell” mantra, yet it still all combines to create another infectiously catchy, sledgehammer punk song.

 

51 Idles – Love Song

 

Idles somehow manage to pair howling, horror-flick guitars and thumping percussion with fierce, redemptive lyrics on the complexities of relationships and love.

 

Check out tracks 100 – 76 from yesterday here.

So here we are, the penultimate day of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs marking ten years of MM. Today, we’ve hit the top twenty…

 

20 The Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park (2008)

Wonderfully rootsy swagger of earthy, organic folk-rock set to a loose Stones like honky tonk rumble.

 

19 Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky (2011)

 

Set against a backdrop of rolling, countrified rock, Winter In Kentucky is peerless narrative songwriting. A story of bone-weary resignation written from the perspective of a meth addict on a reality show after his girlfriend left him for rehab.

 

18 Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes (2015)

 

Possesses a rhythmic simplicity that transports the listener off somewhere else, and throughout Emil Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when we stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention.

 

17 We Are Augustines – Juarez (2011)

Much like Airborne Toxic Event before them, We Are Augustines flamed brightest with one exceptional debut album. Juarez comes from it, a beautiful slow burner and impassioned confessional that somehow finds redemption in an epic climax.

 

16 Dr. Dog – Shadow People (2010)

 

Perfect blend of sweet Americana, country twang and oddball pop, dashed through with a touch of their hometown Philly soul.

 

15 Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)

 

Ah, the echo laden MBV influenced guitar, the pummelling drums, the droning organ, the quiet / loud / quiet structure. Just glorious noise-pop.

 

14 Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal (2008)

 

A simple vocal round to start, some trebly guitar and confident percussion, but it is those voices, and those harmonies, that blows White Winter Hymnal wide open.

 

13 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife (2014)

If a song could musically define menace this would be it. Set to an ominous, tribal rhythm, it thrums throughout with quivering, barely surpressed fury and threat. With vocals that start I’m gonna show you if it takes all night / We’re staying here till you get it right / It’s been three whole days with no end in sight. Things don’t get any better either.

 

12 Richard Buckner – Willow (2012)

 

This is a lying-in-a-daisy-meadow-looking-at-the-scudding-clouds sort of song. A gentle guitar arrangement coupled with some tender lyrics and softly sung vocals, all of which appeals to the latent hippy in me. Clippety clop: do you know Mr Buckner, I always remember.

 

11 The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (2010)

They have many imitators, but none can ‘do’ the National like the National. Typically hypnotic offering, and with a voice as deep as the night, Matt Berninger’s unmistakeable baritone cuts through this lament, with the drums bringing up the rear. Sad, atmospheric and uplifting at the same time.

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-4140-31 and 30-21.

 

Countdown continues. Here are songs 60 – 51 in our favourite tunes of the past ten years.

60 Bon Iver – Bloodbank (2009)

Atmospheric, cabin-folk propelled by a woodsy, acoustic strum and cooly whispered vocals.

 

59 Jones Street Station – The Understanding (2012)

 

Like if the Beach Boys had played folk music – a wonderful sense of melody and intricate rhythms played with a joyous abandon and sense of fun.

 

58 Tired Pony – All Things All At Once (2013)

 

Cinematic and reflective. All Things All At Once is a widescreen slice of downbeat, bleakly romantic Americana.

 

57 Range Rats – Colt 44 (2010)

A shade over two minutes of rockabilly shuffle, Johnny Cash rumble, some gun-toting lyrics and a tale of righteous revenge.

 

56 The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song (2009)

Gather round, gather round, it’s another every day story of country folk. Dark tales are their speciality. For me, it’s the drumming that adds the menace and the rage. I’m sure they’re a lovely bunch of people. Really. Just don’t book them for any babysitting…

 

55 The Brakes – Two Shocks (2009)

Perfectly crafted power-pop – a wonderful rolling bassline and stomping percussion compliments lines like ‘I covered my body in bacofoil and waited for the sun to come out”.

 

54 Drive-By Truckers – Check Out Time In Vegas (2008)

Desperation tinged lament that drips with pedal steel and the sharp twang of regret. Alt-country Sin City style.

 

53 Dr. Dog – Uncovering The Old (2008)

 

Filtering warm, melodic Americana through a nostalgic soul and pop prism. The marvellous chiming guitars and Scott McMicken’s rich vocals turn Uncovering The Old into a mini masterpiece.

 

52 Haunted House – Chandaliers (2009)

 

Clattering and jerky, a chanted incantation of skewed indie rock and a long forgotten classic.

 

51 The Decemberists – Severed (2018)

Relentless, new wave synths and a glam rock gallop mix and match with moody, foreboding lyrics. Dance while the world burns…

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-71 and 70-61.

 

Time for tunes 80 thru 71 in our Top 200 of the past ten years.

80 Dr. Dog – It (2010)

Criminally tucked away on the expanded edition of Shame Shame, It is perfect Dr. Dog – nostalgic, feel-good, laid back folk inflected Americana that cries out for the back porch.

 

79 Chaika – The Mirror (2015)

 

Compulsive, hazy garage-psych to sear the soul.

 

78 Blitzen Trapper – Furr (2008)

 

At their best when they evoke their inner Bob Dylan and major on the rhyme heavy folk, Furr is a surreal, harmonica-flecked Jungle Book style tale set to a toe-tapping, bluesy rhythm.

 

77 Withered Hand – Hard On (2009)

 

With his creaky, fragile voice Dan Wilson (aka Withered Hand) might be an acquired taste. But for the connoisseur his awkward, funny and often brilliant bedroom-folk is a pure joy. A beard don’t make you a man / No, it takes something else / Something I’ll never have

 

76 The Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey (2008)

The Felice Brothers are all the R words. Ramshackle, rollicking, raucous, rambunctious, rowdy and never more so than with this song. They are a carnival band in the best sense of the word taking in everything and spitting it back out with humour, irony, pathos and a gritty realism. This should be heard live, preferably at a party on a riverboat steamer or in a backwoods bar with old bullet holes scarring the walls.

 

75 Spector – Chevy Thunder (2012)

 

Sing-a-long indie anthem par excellence.

 

74 Snakes – Young American (2016)

 

Marvellous twangy Americana driven by a chugging, Johnny Cash style rhythm and Hank style vocals.

 

73 Natural Child – Rock Bottom (2012)

 

Whiskey soaked, doobie smoked Southern-fried blues-rock in the vein of Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones, played with a sloppy grit and sleazy charm.

 

72 Pete and the Pirates – Winter 1 (2010)

 

Like a 96 Tears for the modern world, Pete and the Pirates always had an ear for a catchy pop hook and this is one of their biggest. Irresistible.

 

71 Girl Band – Pears For Lunch (2015)

Unfiltered, freaked-out noise punk that perfectly marries the nervous, twitching energy of the guitars with deadpan vocal apathy. Ate eight bananas and I thought about a jog / Legged it around the gaff and took my top off / I look crap with my top off / Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down.

 

  1. Dr. Dog – Virginia Please
  2. MIEN – Odessey
  3. Bad Breeding – Dehumanised
  4. Phil Cook featuring Amelia Meath – Miles Away
  5. Giant Sand – Tumble And Tear
  6. River Whyless – Motel 6
  7. Post Louis – Stress Fracture
  8. No Problem – Get The Feeling Back
  9. School Damage – Scump Damage 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third part of our epic countdown of our favourite songs of the past ten years.

160 The Pink Mountaintops – North Hollywood Microwaves (2014)

 

Filthy, snarling, primal rock’n’roll featuring some pornographic rapping from Annie Hardy (ex-Giant Drag). A case of the bite being much worse than the bark.

 

159 Calexico – Two Silver Trees (2008)

Atmospheric and relaxed, Two Silver Trees meanders on a river of accordion, keys, hushed guitars and seductive vocals.

 

158 Mountain Man – Animal Tracks (2009)

 

A perfect combination of old-timey acoustic guitars and lilting, reverbed harmonies. And that chorus was made for a campfire late in the evening.

 

157 Wire – One Of Us (2008)

One of Us is a coiled spring of minimalist musical tension. Taut, melodic and streamlined, it is a post-punk classic.

 

156 The Willard Grant Conspiracy – Preparing For The Fall (2009)

Set to a vivid strummed guitar, Robert Fisher sings a sprawling apocalyptic tale about the soul of man with a voice rich in world weary resignation. “And  I see the devil sitting in my favorite chair / he says he wonders why I’m, I’m still here / And I say that I’m having trouble finding the door / And he says if we wait a little longer / Won’t have trouble anymore / And I’m just preparing for the fall

 

155 Dr. Dog – Bring My Baby Back (2017)

 

Laying a yearning, plaintive vocal over the top of a perfect mix of  pop, gospel and psych rock, the nigh on perfect Bring My Baby Back majors on themes of betrayal, repentance, solitude, and revenge, wrapped up in a perfectly strummed acoustic guitar. It was the most innocently beguiling tune of 2016.

 

154 Whalers – That Rabbit (2010)

 

What. A. Riff. A wonderfully straightforward blend of thudding, bass-heavy rock that makes us think of the best bits of QotSA melded with the Black Angels and then given some 60s style reverb treatment.

 

153 Van William – Revolution (2017)

 

Van William is a return to the folksier roots of his previous band Port O’Brien. Add in a mournful trumpet and the gorgeous harmonies of First Aid Kit and this lovely record is suddenly elevated to another plane altogether.

 

152 Tom Williams & The Boat – Get Older (2011)

 

Get Older is a musical storm of thumping bass drum, growled, restrained vocals and a stunning violin-led riff – it all combines to deliver an energy and edginess that is on a par with its catchiness.

 

151 Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band – Nikorette (2009)

 

Riding in on the back of a classic rock groove, and morphing into a loping country rock shuffle, Nikorette sounds like a brilliant lost outtake from a late-era Clash album.

 

150 The Black Angels – Don’t Play With Guns (2013)

Their trademark psych-drone is matched to provocative lyrics,  a big, ominous organ groove and an even bigger riff. Wonderful stuff.

 

149 The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin (2008)

Haunting and lachrymose, Ben Knox’s pitch perfect falsetto weaves a sad tale on the back of tranquil beauty.

 

158 Chad VanGaalen – Cries Of The Dead (2008)

 

I can hear the cries of the dead / Maybe it’s your neighbour beating his dog in the basement. Emotive vocals and a twee, but never saccharine harmony tinged with sadness, sets this fractured slice of indie-pop apart from the also-rans.

 

147 Middle Brother – Daydreaming (2011)

From the simple picked guitar line and weary, melancholy opening lyric, the scene is set for a raw, unflinching excursion courtesy of McCauley’s craggy vocals and beer-soaked romanticism. Loneliness never sounded so…well, lonely.

 

146 Arborist – Twisted Arrow (2015)

 

A fabulous slice of rolling, countrified folk and Kim Deal’s hushed and plaintive vocal adds weight to a familial tale of detachment and is the perfect counterpoint to Mark McCambridge’s sharp delivery.

 

145 Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil (2011)

 

Menacing, righteous fury set to threatening percussion and a thick, pulsing bass-line.

 

144 Sparks – Let The Monkey Drive (2008)

Ultra catchy surreal tale of a couple so eager to consummate their love that they’d let a primate steer the car while they fumble in the back seat. And it has one of our favourite lyrical couplets of the past ten years too: “Let the monkey drive, and it’s only fair / It’s the monkey’s car and he hates to share

 

143 Titus Andronicus – Titus Andronicus (2008)

Huge drums start thumping behind the rhythm guitar, throw in bass, piano and a wicked harmonica as frontman Patrick Stickles thrashes through the song. All together now “Your life is over / your life is over“.

 

142 TRAAMS – Succulent Thunder Anthem (2015)

Traams at their absolute, unstoppable motorik best. Propulsive, urgent, threatening.

 

141 Pontiak – Shell Skull (2008)

 

A serrated rhythmic stomp and slow crawling groove captures the ghosts of Black Sabbath and the Doors in this bass heavy rocker.

 

Check out songs 200-181 and 180-161 as well.

  1. Dr. Dog – Heart Killer
  2. Haley Heynderickx – Rex’s Blues  (Townes Van Zandt cover)
  3. Beach Skulls – That’s Not Me
  4. Mourn – Barcelona City Tour
  5. Wedding – Hands In The Till
  6. Amyl And The Sniffers – Cup Of Destiny
  7. Culture Abuse – Calm E
  8. Crocodylus – My Love
  9. Jessica Risker – I See You Among The Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the third track from Dr. Dog’s upcoming, much anticipated, upcoming record Critical Equation.

The hazy psychedelia and slow burn of Buzzing In The Light boasts some beautifully layered harmonies and is another massive appetite whetter for the album!

Dive in.