Posts Tagged ‘Ganglians’

Mad Mackerel's Best of 2011.So, the penultimate entry before Mrs Mackerel finishes off this year’s set of Top Ten postings tomorrow is my very own.

Without further ado…

10. Milk Music – Beyond Living

Although it was released early in the year, I only discovered it recently. A full on, no holds barred, nihilistic 70s punk attitude and the very best of the heavyweight riffs of the grunge era is a mighty powerful combination. One that makes me wish my car stereo went all the way up to eleven.

Download Milk Music – Beyond Living mp3 (from Beyond Living EP)

9. Yuck – Holing Out

Similarly, Yuck’s Holing Out effortlessly recalled the 90s with a crunchy distorted riff, reverb and a fuzz slathered hook. That it also had one of the best videos of the year was just another bonus.

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Download Yuck – Holing Out mp3 (from Yuck)

8. Wooden Wand – No Hayride

If there is one mystery to me in the world of music, then it is how James Jackson Toth aka Wooden Wand can be so damn prolific across so many genres and yet suffer no discernible dip in quality – not that I’m complaining. Another great year and too many tracks to choose from, but in the end it was this, seemingly an afterthought on his forthcoming boxset that makes up Volume 3 of his archives – a simple folk ballad that still managed to be head and shoulders above most things released this year.

Download Wooden Wand – No Hayride mp3 (from Archives Vol 3)

7. Kurt Vile – Peeping Tomboy

Top ten from the opening moments of this song; the hazy, shimmering guitar and the lazy drawled vocals intoning

“I don’t want to change, but I don’t want to stay the same
I don’t want to go but I’m running
I don’t want to work, but I don’t want to sit around all day frowning

I don’t want to give up, but I kinda want to lie down
But not sleep just rest
Give me a break how much does it really take?
Get my head outta here”

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6. Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear

It made a lot of other MM guest top tens so no need to add anything new. Anthemic, swaggering blues boogie at its fiery best.

Download Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear mp3 (from Donkey Jacket)

5. The Royal Sea – This Summer

I’ve mentioned this two or three times recently and posted it earlier today so not much more needs to be said about this either. Simply that it is pure, sugar-coated garage pop with just the right amount of surf inspired twang that in a parallel world would have been the woozy, feel-good hit of the summer.

Download The Royal Sea – This Summer mp3 (from The Royal Sea)

4. Deer Tick – Chevy Express

Deer Tick’s Divine Providence was, mostly, a rowdy, rambunctious good time rock’n’roll record that was meant for late nights of whiskey drinking and bar-room brawls. But tucked away in the middle of all the heady intoxication was this track: sombre, reflective, and undeniably sobering. It was the soundtrack to a heavy heart and lonely regret washed by the first light of an early morning dawn and may well be the best thing they’ve ever done.

3. Felice Brothers – Fire At The Pageant

Voodoo, zombies, sinister nursery rhyme chants, classic Felice Brothers lyrics and a woozy, old-timey, back porch rhythm means this song should have been an utter mess. That it was the complete opposite stands tribute to this bunch of ramshackle mavericks of increasingly experimental Americana.

Download The Felice Brothers – Fire At The Pageant mp3 (from Celebration, Florida)

2. Tom Williams & The Boat – Get Older

The most bitterly caustic song I heard all year meant it was a shoe-in for my top ten. I originally said “it drips venom over a heavy, single drumbeat, a vicious guitar strum, and spits lyrics like physical bullets”, and this still sounds a pretty fair summation to me.

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1. Middle Brother – Daydreaming

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.

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Almost Made It

The Wooden Shjips pulverising Lazy Bones, Tom Williams & The Boat’s observationally wry and off kilter Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet, the blistering euphoria of Wye Oak’s Civilian, and LONG’s criminally ignored and under-rated Shoot Your Dog. If there was a better example of dark, claustrophobic psych-rock this year than the Ganglian’s Jungle then I didn’t hear it, while A.A. Bondy’s dark-hearted The Twist and Twilight Hotel’s epic road trip Mahogany Veneer were both superb examples of modern Americana. Back home, Metronomy’s ultra catchy The Look, and Male Bonding’s fuzzed up, yet still sugary What’s That Scene? flew the flag for the UK – on another day, in another year, all could so easily have been in the final shake up.

Download Wooden Shjips – Lazy Bones mp3 (from West)

Download The Ganglians – Jungle mp3 (from Still Living)

Download Metronomy – The Look mp3 (from The English Riviera)

Favourite Covers

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s mesmerising My Sweet Lord and Phosphorescent’s reverent take on Neil Young’s Are You Ready For The Country? were both outstanding, but just pipped by Siskiyou’s own Young cover, the skeletally menacing Revolution Blues. Titus Andronicus payed due homage to Nirvana’s classic Breed, but best of all was Middle Brother’s version of the Replacement’s Portland.

Download Phosphorescent – Are You Ready For The Country? mp3

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Best Tunes First Heard This Year But Not 2011

How on earth had Okkervil River escaped me for so long, particularly John Allyn Smith Sails and the superb For Real. Likewise with Wilco’s Misunderstood – I’d heard it, but this year I actually listened to it. Shellac’s Prayer To God is the most vicious song I’ve ever heard and one of the best, and so too Fugazi’s Waiting Room. Richard Buckner’s heartbreaking Emma was a revelation and James McMurty’s rollicking live version of Choctaw Bingo was eight minutes of pure, adrenalin fuelled Americana.

Download Shellac – Prayer To God mp3 (from 1000 Hurts)

Download Richard Buckner – Emma (Devotion & Doubt Outtake) mp3

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year. Here’s to 2012 when it all starts again!

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Excellent Uncut Cover Disk.Hot on the heels of the superb George Harrison cover disk from Mojo magazine comes Uncut magazine’s Brian Wilson tribute. Rather than cover versions, it has collected together a group of tracks from bands that can all tip their hat to the influence of Mr Wilson.

Artists include Panda Bear, Sufjan Stevens, Gruff Rhys, Volcano Choir, Girls and Caribou among others, and here are two of our own favourites from the disk from Ganglians and Grizzly Bear.

Like Mojo, Uncut is available from all good newsagents. Both are essential purchases this month!

Download Grizzly Bear – Colorado mp3 (from Still Smiling, A Tribute To The Genius Of Brian Wilson)

Download Ganglians – California mp3 (from Still Smiling, A Tribute To The Genius Of Brian Wilson)

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month - August 2011. Our usual round up of the very best of our August posts and some new tracks too. Dip in – every one a winner as they say.

Download The Cabin Dogs – High Falls mp3 (from Midnight Trail)

Invites you to kick off your boots, pour a stiff one and sit on the porch to watch the sun go down – a song for when you’re busy doing nothing as they say.

Download Spectrals – Big Baby mp3 (from Big Baby 7″)

Spritely and upbeat that melds 60s girl group fizz with Elvis Costello in an entirely good way.

Download Waters – O Holy Break Of Day mp3 (from Out In The Light)

Delicate and almost hymn-like indie rock with a sparse, raw feel.

Download Male Bonding – Tame The Sun mp3 (from Endless Now)

Excellent slice of punky power pop.

Download Forest Fire – Future Shadows mp3 (from Staring At The X)

First taster from specialists in weirded out country folk and blues doesn’t disappoint.

Download The Coasts – Handshakers mp3 (from The Coasts)

Quirky anthem that’s equal parts gritty rockabilly and punching pop.

Download Peggy Sue – Cut My Teeth mp3 (from Acrobats)

A six minute, slow brooding burn with a heavier, more viscous feel than previously.

Download Howling Owls featuring WoolfCubb – Spirits To Lift My Spirits mp3 (from Purple On Purple EP)

MM faves return with slightly more upbeat track. And we stress the slightly…

Download Blitzen Trapper – Love The Way You Walk Away mp3 (from American Goldwing)

Another top-notch slice of loose, countrified rock.

Download Beirut – The Rip Tide mp3 (from The Rip Tide)

Superb title track from new album.

Download Ganglians – Drop The Act mp3 (from Still Living)

Smoother than usual garage-psych.

Download Little Gold – Sisters & Friends mp3 (from Weird Freedom)

Easy-breezy basslines, washed-out harmonies, and powerfully mellow drumming.

Download Amen Dunes – Bedroom Drum mp3 (from Through Donkey Jaw)

Another taste of the ominous, malevolent, unique folk stylings from new album.

Download The Ettes – The Pendulum mp3 (from Wicked Will)

Beat-punk and garage sleaze with a healthy dose back porch blues swagger and fuzzed up reverb.

Download Sick Figures – Graveyard Swagger mp3 (from Two Ghosts)

Raucous, saloonish type of rock and roll evoking a dark, eerie mood.

Download The Witch And The Robot – Houdini mp3 (from Fear Of Mountains)

Wonderful blend of peculiarly British pysch-pop and acid folk accompanied by appropriately surreal lyrics.

Download Deer Tick – Miss K. mp3 (from Divine Providence)

Classic slice of bluesy, bar-room Americana from forthcoming album.

Download Ducktails – Sit Around With Ya mp3 (from Killin The Vibe 12″)

Immerse yourself in a mellow hypnotic haze.

Download Luke Temple – Ophelia mp3 (from Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care)

Chugging twang, upbeat and cajun tinged.

Download The Fresh & Onlys – I Would Not Know The Devil mp3 (from I Would Not Know The Devil 7″)

A crackerjack of garage rumble, surf harmonies and guitar jangle.

Download Colossal Gospel – I Have A Heart, I Have A Heart mp3 (from Circles)

Sublime nine minutes of fragile folk beauty that reminded us of Lambchop at their best.

Download Guadalupe Plata – Pollo Podrio mp3 (from Guadalupe Plata)

Think of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion duelling with The Dirtbombs in the Castilla La Mancha…and, er, you’ll not even be close.

Download Beak> – Welcome To The Machine mp3 (from Wish You Were Here Again)

Rigid, pulsating version of Pink Floyd classic.

Download Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt – The Town Crazies mp3 (from Tweaker In The Park)

Personal, whimsical sometimes, slyly sinister at others, lyrically sharp lo-fi folk.

Download Woodsman – In Circles mp3 (from Mystic Places EP)

Swirling, spacey guitars, reverb washes, tribal drum patterns, vocal delays and ominous repetition mix into a mesmerising, pulsating whole.

Download The Barr Brothers – Beggar In The Morning mp3 (from The Barr Brothers)

Folky, harmony filled and gorgeous.

Download Blessed Feathers – Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle mp3 (from From The Mouths Of The Middle Class)

A bitterly beautiful reminder of winter’s immediacy in the Midwest.

Download Something Men – Birdy Roof mp3 (from Something Men 7″)

Effortlessly channeling early Velvets rumble and the simple, but effective chord sequences of the Kingsmen into a classic garage sound.

Download Wavves – I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl mp3 (from Life Sux EP)

More lo-fi, slacker punk goodness.

And to finish off we have new tracks for you too – a chaotic, hook ridden pop gem from Oberhofer, an unsettling six minutes of astral pop from Atlas Sound, attractive indie jangle from Sweden’s Youngfuck, and the infectious pulsing rhythms and quirky imagery of Big Tree.

Download Atlas Sound – Terra Incognita mp3 (from Parallax)

Download Oberhofer – Gotta Go mp3 (from Gotta Go)

Download Youngfuck – Black Tulips mp3 (from Youngfuck 7″)

Download Big Tree – This Fall mp3 (from This New Year)

More From The Big Hitters. Just like London buses, you wait for one and then get a plethora of arrivals all together. So it is with some of our favourite bands who are releasing tracks into the blogosphere at much the same time. You may have some/all of these already, but if not every one is worth having.

First up is Blitzen Trapper and Love The Way You Walk Away from forthcoming album American Goldwing. We love the band’s mix of loose, countrified rock and surreal first-person folk stories. This is one of our most anticipated albums for the rest of 2011. Pre-order here.

Download Blitzen Trapper – Love The Way You Walk Away mp3 (from American Goldwing)

Next is Beirut, the taster tracks from latest album The Rip Tide, have grown on us like a bad case of hives. We’re looking forward immensely to his headline set at the End of the Road festival in a few weeks. This is the title track from the album and is a beauty. Pre-order here.

Download Beirut – The Rip Tide mp3 (from The Rip Tide)

Keeping up the folk theme, we have another track from the excellent Peter Wolf Crier. This comes from new album Garden Of Arms. Pre-order here.

Download Peter Wolf Crier – Settling It Off mp3 (from Garden of Arms)

Swedish songwriter Jens Lekman has a new EP via Secretly Canadian. This is the title track and leans more towards tropically tinged sunshine pop than orchestral strings. Pre-order the EP here.

Download Jens Lekman – An Argument With Myself mp3 (from An Argument With Myself EP)

And finally another track of smoother than usual garage-psych from the Ganglians – the third to come from new album Still Living. Pre-order here.

Download Ganglians – Drop The Act mp3 (from Still Living)

Another month, another mix. A collection of twenty or so of the best tunes we posted in April plus a couple of tasty new ones. Download, hit play, relax.

Download Ha Ha Tonka – Usual Suspects mp3 (from Death Of A Decade)

Soulful, catchy, country rock.

Download Sweet Lights – The Shortest Man On Earth mp3 (from Digital Single)

Beautifully judged excursion into the world of classic sunshine and psych rock.

Download Races – Big Broom mp3 (from Big Broom 7″)

Lush, brooding, with orchestral flourishes and a strong sense of melody.

Download Parlours – I Dream Of Chicago mp3 (from Parlours EP)

Indie / folk / pop of the very best kind.

Download Girlfriends – Cave Kids mp3 (from Cave Kids 7″)

Brilliant slab of psych infused, rumbling, garage rock.

Download Half Past Sun – Himalaya mp3 (from Trying To Reach Out EP)

Swirling, kaleidoscopic mix of psychedelia, indie rock and electronica with a naggingly insistent edge that burrows in through your ears and then settles in your brain.

Download Declan de Barra – Watch It Burn mp3 (from Fragments, Footprints & The Forgotten)

Sparse, haunting vocals, weary, deadpan and occasionally caustic lyrics, a genuine troubadour’s folk strum and a powerful sense of right and wrong.

Download The Antlers – Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out mp3 (from Burst Apart)

Eerie, mesmeric indie rock with spectral loops and electronics.

Download Sun Araw – December mp3 (from Houston Abstros 7″)

Cover of Teenage Fanclub’s December, bent and warped into a whole new blissed-out incarnation in the hands of the spaced out swamp cowboys.

Download Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray – Baby Blue mp3 (from Snake Oil Songs EP)

Standout from recent EP with a twangy, irrepressible, under-your-skin guitar lick.

Download Becca Stevens Band – My Girls mp3 (from Weightless)

Excellent smooth-as-velvet reinterpreting of Animal Collective.

Download The Great American Canyon Band – A Song For The Rest mp3 (from Wild Heart EP)

Folky and ambient with a bit of dream pop and rock and roll.

Download The Graceful Slicks – Bul Bul Tarang mp3 (Demo)

While heavy on the psych and drone there are pleasing surf twangs and some shoegaze to keep everyone happy.

Download Gardens – Maze Time mp3 (from Gardens)

A bluesy feel and swirling chorus line, with traces of early 70s punk attitude and even a soupçon of Motown style sweetness as well.

Download Zachary Cale – Hello Oblivion mp3 (from Noise Of Welcome)

Reflective, poignant and emotive, a true troubadour’s tale.

Download The Ganglians – Jungle mp3 (from Still Living)

Slice of dark claustrophobic psych rock.

Download Other Lives – For 12 mp3 (from Tamer Animals)

Galloping rhythms and Morricone-esque guitar conjures a feeling of uneasy expansiveness.

Download The Keys – The Colour Red mp3 (from Bitten By Wolves)

60s inspired psych rock and crunchy guitars with some more modern style jangle pop and some tasty reverb.

Download My Goodness – C’mon Doll mp3 (from My Goodness)

Reverb, greasy blues riffs, distortion, impassioned lyrics and attitude.

Download Okkervil River – Wake And Be Fine mp3 (from I Am Very Far)

Typically sinewy in composition but at its heart lays something bruised and fragile.

Download The Dark Mean – Happy Banjo mp3 (from The Dark Mean)

Contagious indie folk.

And to round things off we have the first track from An Horse’s forthcoming album Walls titled Trains And Tracks, some brilliant garage punk from Mexico in the shape of Le Butcherettes and the brilliantly intense and menacing Ashley’s Song by Des Ark.

Download An Horse – Trains And Tracks mp3 (from Walls)

Download Le Butcherettes – I’m Getting Sick Of You mp3 (from Sin, Sin, Sin)

Download Des Ark – Ashley’s Song mp3 (from Don’t Rock The Boat, Sink The Fucker)

Enjoying another slice of dark claustrophobic psych rock with the Ganglians new single, Jungle. It comes from their forthcoming double album Still Living.

Great album cover!

Download The Ganglians – Jungle mp3 (from Still Living)