Posts Tagged ‘Grinderman’

Mad Mackerel is ten years old. Who would have believed it.

So, thanks to everyone who has ever visited the blog, listened, commented, submitted music, sent e-mails, sent CDs, t-shirts and even vinyl, and given us a guest list pass. We really do appreciate it.

Thanks too to our regular contributors over the years – too numerous to mention all, but extra special thanks to the sprats (of course), Barry-Sean, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, The Italian Job, Chris T Popper and the fishily fabulous Mrs Mackerel.

And most of all thanks for letting us discover some truly great tunes. Here are ten of them – our favourites of the past ten years of Mad Mackerel.

Cheers!

 

10 The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun (2008)

 

Untarnished, unpolished, unadorned. Heavy on rhythm, accordion and piano. Frankie’s Gun is a stomping, beer-swilling square dance with the grim reaper hovering in attendance. This brilliantly evocative song packs enough into three verses and a beer-hall singalong chorus to create its own Netflix series.

 

9 Grinderman – Palaces Of Montezuma (2010)

Unhinged list of over-the-top romantic promises set to a loose, funky bassline and with a subtle, gospel style shuffle that is simply sublime.

 

8 Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer (2008)

 

A darkly pensive tale of multiple murder that emerges from Dylan’s shadow to tramp from the bright lights of LA to the desolation of the prairies and the desert in search of more victims. Black River Killer drips with the authentic haunted quality of an old, gothic murder ballad and we can’t give it higher praise than that.

 

7 Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed (2008)

Eerily reminiscent of the drugged up haze of a Johnny Thunders with possibly the bleakest lyrics we’ve ever come across. “Friend of mine drank something fine, choked to death before his time last night / He said, “Found that thing you really need, cough it on down ’til you can’t breathe alright / Everyone’ll be there at the burial in your head, and a tear or two they’ll shed / Then they’re gonna go digging in your hole and find: someone else instead” or “Oh, he didn’t like people much at all, tasted better with alcohol, you know how that one goes / Realized he’d missed his whole life; kissed his dog, and shot his wife last night.

Buriedfed is anguished circular verses of regret, dependency and death, slowly building up from the twang of a lone acoustic guitar to soundtrack a rollicking daydream of Robinson’s own death and ensuing funeral.

 

6 The Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur (2015)

 

The unbearably poignant and dark tale of Côte d’Azur – about those memory markers that resurface in the depths of your dreams and the half way stage when the sun warms your face, and what’s real and what’s not – the journey and the destination – merges into one; always searching. This song breaks my heart at every single listen, so I turn up the white noise.

 

5 The Roadside Graves – Far And Wide (2009)

 

A seamless fusion of country and classic rock, with just a hint of punk’s reckless abandon. Kicking off with a great riff and whiskey raw vocals, this wonderfully ramshackle Americana is like musical heroin.

 

4 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’ (2015)

So, it takes Kurt a little while to recognise himself as the “man in the mee-rah”. Wakey, wakey son. But after a minor identity crisis and a bit of a teeth mix-up, everything’s pretty pimpin. It is a fingerpicked earworm where a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection, and a very well-loved tune amongst Team Mackerel.

 

3 Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive (2012)

 

With rumbling percussion, echoing guitars and an almost reggae-like rhythm, Willy Mason announced his return after a five year hiatus with this outstanding tune, a dusty, world-weary hymn to moving on. Swaying along to this beauty in a large field clasping an overpriced (but comfortingly strong) cider is what summer should be all about.

 

2 Middle Brother – Portland (2011)

Shared a cigarette for breakfast? More than one I reckon. John McCauley of Deer Tick has a voice that was made for this song. One for the road, sung in chorus, gives me the warmest, fuzzy feeling all over. Stick me on a greyhound bus with Middle Brother playing to the open road and I reckon I’d be a happy girl. Just about the best darned cover (yes, I know but don’t care) I ever heard. Pure magic.

 

1 PHOSPHORESCENT – SONG FOR ZULA (2013)

 

It is Matthew Houck’s ragged, yet fragile vocals that stitch together Zula’s imagery, which cuts far and deep. Intensely poignant lyrics, sweeping strings, pulsing drum machine: it all weaves together to form an emotional testament to the end of a relationship. Ever had your heart broken? This is what it feels like.

 

So there we have it, 200 of our favourite songs since 2008. Everyone a gem, everyone a memory. Enjoy!

 

Check out the full countdown here: 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-4140-3130-21 and 20-11.

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Here we are again. A round up of our favourite postings of the month. Twenty one outstanding songs from July plus three new ones to make the perfect mix tape. From folk to garage to stoner rock and summer pop it is all here for you. Download, burn to CD, play – groove!

1) Sharon Van Etten – Love More mp3

A slow burning, mesmerising song that envelops like a soft blanket with that always captivating and haunting voice to the fore

2) Roadside Graves – Everything mp3

Another absolute gem of ramshackle, atmospheric country rock

3) Bombay Bicycle Club – Jewel mp3

Acoustic folk standout from classy new album

4) Vanish Valley – Bad Things mp3

Short, mournful folky lament about being used by the Devil as “the sun slips down the ceiling“.

5) Best Coast – Boyfriend mp3

More 60s inspired lo-fi pop goodness from flavour of the month…

6) Dax Riggs – No One Will Be A Stranger mp3

Scuzzy, hypnotic blend of swamp rock with buzzsaw guitars and a healthy dose of psychedelia

7) Javi Garcia & The Cold Cold Ground – The Pills mp3

A mix of gothic country, bitter folk, full on righteous, reverb heavy southern rock, and straight-up country. All with ominous, brooding fiddle

8) Big Blood – Lay Your Head On The Rails II mp3

Comes across like an outtake from Rust Never Sleeps – feedback buzz and a big fat riff powers from the speakers while the reedy, but determinedly unbreakable vocals fight to the finish to make themselves heard

9) Ten Kens – Screaming Viking mp3

Heavenly vocals appear hauntingly over dark sludgy guitars with a surprisingly spiky post-punk riff

10) Lower Dens – Hospice Gates mp3

Weirdly beautiful, it is throbbing, insistent drone-pop on the one hand and haunting, ghostly freak-folk on the other

11) Rare Grooves – Cause For Concern mp3

Hybrid of anthemic chanting, finger-picked twang, and sometimes experimental sounding guitar

12) Fungi Girls – Doldrums mp3

A shuffling groove and dynamic hook – three minutes of pure joyful escapism that tips its hat to Bo Diddley by way of the Jesus & Mary Chain.

13) Secret Colours – Jellybean mp3

Psych-pop with warm, hazy guitars and vocals to match. Evocative of lava lamps, kaleidoscopic displays and some heavy weed man.

14) The Bees – Silver Line mp3

A little summer breeze of a taster, trademark harmonies and the sunshine are there in equal measure to put a smile on your face

15) Bridal Party – Made Me mp3

A freak folk extravaganza, a heady concoction of pulsing rhythms, drone and echoing, downtrodden vocals

16) Screaming Females – I Don’t Mind It mp3

Grungy, distorted and catchy as hell

17) Ghost Animal – In Shrouds mp3

Frantic, but eerie, slice of garage psychedelia that is fuzzy, distorted and deliciously sleazy.

18) The War Crimes – Levin As I mp3

More down-tempo, minimalist pessimism from MM faves

19) Black Mountain – Hair Song mp3

Classic rock. Enough said.

20) Moulettes – Talisman mp3

Avant-garde folk with strands of classical, gypsy, jazz, and rock that create a complex yet accessible whole.

21) Minks – Ophelia mp3

Reflective, 80s tinged dream pop

And three more corking new ones. Enjoy the jangly, indie pop perfection of French Films and the breezy summer pop of The Knocks and then immerse yourself in rock ‘n’ roll’s sleazy underbelly that is Nick Cave’s brilliant Grinderman.

Download Grinderman – Heathen Child mp3 (from Heathen Child 7″)

Download The Knocks – Make It Better mp3 (from Make It Better 7″)

Download French Films – Golden Sea mp3 (from Golden Sea 7″)