Posts Tagged ‘Moonlandingz’

Our final personal list of the year is from the fairest, and finest, of fishes… Mrs Mackerel.

2017: probably a year when I’ve listened to the least new music in recent times, so this is very much a short list in all senses.

Life – and death – gets in the way sometimes.

10 PINS – Serve the Rich
It’s no surprise that Jamie Hince of The Kills produced this anti-Conservative polemic. It may be no surprise then that I like this so much.

 

9 Queens of the Stone Age – The Way You Used To Do
I just really, really love the frenetic pace of the drumming on this tune, which greatly appeals to my rock chick lineage. There are some things that I just haven’t grown out of.

 

8 The Divine Comedy – To the Rescue
This songs punctuates a particularly difficult point in the year and its wistful sadness reminds me very much of that time. Apparently, it’s dedicated to Neil Hannon’s long term girlfriend, who cares for mistreated and neglected horses over in Ireland. Perhaps MM will pen a similar tune for me as my plan for feline domination of West Oxfordshire takes hold?

 

7 The Moonlandingz – Vessels
Oh hello, here’s another dominant drum roll – I seem to be developing a theme… A fantastic slice of psychedelic, electro pop as recommended to me by my very good friend, Mr Nightshift.

 

6 Mark Lanegan – Beehive
Much as I suspect that Lanners’ liver might be held together with vinegar and brown paper, his voice retains the growling, tremulous signature that is all his own. Sweeping guitars and a catchy chorus made this one to remember – and he was spellbinding live.

 

5 Cherry Glazer – Nurse Ratched
I loved this song right from the off, dedicated to the avenging angel who needs no introduction, Nurse Ratched. Some lovely twiddly guitar bits and harmonies, presumably as an antidote to Nurse R’s very individual bedside manner.

 

4 Cabbage – Celebration of Disease
Scratchy guitars and an earworm of a chorus meant that this was always going to bed itself into my subconscious. A celebration of a disease, a symptom of emotional greed/A celebration of disease, corrected by technology/A celebration of disease, a prescription to the new age dream.

 

3 Whispertown – Born to Ride
A floaty Americana sound with an ode to the open road and the promise of freedom, delivered through Morgan Nagler’s wonderfully hazy vocals. Hey watch out, the road will try to own you. I often sing this to the dog as we set off on our daily trek. Not really.

 

2 Laura Marling – Don’t Pass Me By
Semper Femina was my album of the year; the one I listened to on repeat. There’s something about the melancholy of her vocals over the finger-picking guitar beneath that’s so haunting: Take my old tune/Turn it into something new/Something good. Laura Marling is peerless, a one-off.

 

1 Big Thief – Shark Smile
So I thought I would crown my top ten with another uplifting ditty: a road trip song that ends in tragedy. The understated delivery of the lyrics, undercut with the slidey guitar are so tender you can almost hear her heart breaking. A very worthy, if rather poignant, number one.

 

This year’s footnote:

Louis Armstrong – We have all the Time in the World

We have all the love in the world
If that’s all we have, you will find
We need nothing more.

This one’s always for you, Dad. Our goodbye song.

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.

 

Each year we share MM’s contributors’ personal favourites of the year. Kicking us off is a fine selection from the Italian Job. Buon Lavoro.

20. Lød – Folder

 

19. BAIT – Push The Elephant

 

18. The Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys

 

17. Sun Abduction – Acid Pyramid

 

16. Beaches – Void

 

15. War On Drugs – Holding On (Edit)

 

14. Idles – Exeter

 

13. The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz

 

12. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Vomit Coffin

 

11. Pissed Jeans – The Bar Is Low

 

10. Deer Tick – Sea of Clouds
I love this understated and insightful all-American piece. I love the lead singer’s harsh voice against the unsophisticated arrangement and the nostalgic melody. I could not find a better tune to initiate the countdown to my best top 10 songs of the year.

 

9. Protomartyr – My Children
Once again, with this superb (and cynically accurate, I may add) contemplation on matters of ‘legacy’, Protomartyr did not disappoint! Absolute best intro of 2017 for me.

 

8. Screaming Females – Glass House
So-much-drama! Marissa Paternoster’s (great name) deep voice, the melodramatic chant-like lyrics and that bass… all coming together perfectly in a greatly anticipated mighty burst of frustration, drums and infuriated guitars. Intense!

 

7. Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down
A tune I liked instantly and that never shifted from my top 10. With its chorus ostensibly cheery but contrastingly set against a base of jarring guitars, this song is catchy and often plays on a loop in my head. I never get tired of it.

 

6. FEWS – La Guardia
Ha! What to say about this brilliant piece of work? Relentless, anxious, powerful and unsettling. It gives me goosebumps every time. A few lyrics down the line – a short, unequivocal statement and then.. screams! Distant and desperate screams. What else would you want from a track?

 

5. Big Thief – Shark Smile
After leaving their beautiful ‘Paul’ out of my top 20 last year (a decision that at times still regret), I was glad Big Thief were back delivering this sweet and emotional little piece, which immediately claimed and gained a top spot amongst my favourites of the year. I’m a sucker for emotive lyrics and forlorn tales, so no wonder this beautiful one instantly stole my little heart away.

 

4. Trevor Sensor – High Beams
Admittedly it took a while for this song to catch my attention and even then I struggled with Sensor’s voice… “nah”, I thought, “I couldn’t possibly put up with his voice, it gets on my nerves!”. Well, fast forward to now and I can’t get enough of it. I ended up falling for the desperate and mournful tinge in this piece, like a lament -beautiful and nostalgic. Definitely struck a chord.

 

3. Public Service Broadcasting – All Out
A masterpiece, politically charged and powerfully executed. The noise of the rise and fall of the coal mining Industry in Wales still reverberates today, inspiring this remarkable piece of work. Raging guitars play the perfect, striking soundtrack to the anger and unrest of a real dark hour in UK contemporary history -one not to forget.

 

2. Ha Ha Tonka – Race to the Bottom 
Race To The Bottom is a song filled with resignation – unsurprisingly… the clue is in the title. The dim, hopeless lyrics (“you’re going down, down, down, down, down”) clash with the fast, unrelenting pace. The tone is surely bleak and melancholic but glorious at the same time and this is exactly what makes this a superb tune for me.

 

1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter
Here’s to my top song! An eerie tribute to the mind happily (creepily?) drifting away somewhere between sleep and wake -”..my favourite state to be”. There’s a mildly sinister feeling to this song (and isn’t it great) lurking amidst a jovial, almost childish rhythm and harsh, distorted guitar riffs. It’s obsessive, it’s wicked and I love it.

 

 

30 Meat Wave – The Incessant

 

29 L.A. Witch – L.A. Witch

 

28 Oh Sees – Orc

 

27 Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

 

26 Deer Tick – Deer Tick Vol. 1

 

25 Ty Segall – Ty Segall

 

24 Public Service Broadcasting – Public Service Broadcasting

 

23 Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps

 

22 Alvvays – Antisocialites

 

21 Sleaford Mods – English Tapas

 

20 Spectres – Condition

 

19 Whispertown – I’m A Man

 

18 The Americans – I’ll Be Yours

 

17 King Krule – The Ooz

 

16 Ron Gallo – Heavy Meta

 

15 Flat Worms – Flat Worms

 

14 Micah P. Hinson – Micah P Hinson Presents: The Holy Strangers

 

13 The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

 

12 Kevin Morby – City Music

 

11 Mark Lanegan – Gargoyle

 

10 LIFE – Popular Music

 

9 Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent

 

8 Laura Marling – Semper Femina

 

7  Terry – Remember Terry

 

6 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana

 

5 Black Angels – Death Song

 

4 Cabbage – Young, Dumb & Full Of…

 

3 Big Thief – Capacity

 

2 The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classic

 

1 IDLES – Brutalism

 

 

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

75 Sleaford Mods – Moptop

 

74 Silver Torches – If I Reach

 

73 Idles – Divide And Conquer

 

72 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Rattlesnake

 

71 King Krule – Dum Surfer

 

70 Naomi Punk – Chapter II

 

69 The Reptaliens – If You Want

 

68 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press

 

67 Ron Gallo – All The Punks Are Domesticated

 

66 The Black Angels – Currency

 

65 B Boys – Energy

 

64 The Moonlandingz – Dirty Red Rose

 

63 No Age – Drippy

 

62 The Lovely Eggs – I Shouldn’t Have Said That

 

61 The Staves – Tired As Fuck

 

60 Wavves – You’re Welcome

 

59 Phobophobes – Where Is My Owner?

 

58 Thurston Moore – Cease Fire

 

57 Bad Dreems – Mob Rule

 

56 Kevin Morby – Bag Of Rats

 

55 Goat Girl – Cracker Drool

 

54 Cabbage – A Network Betrayal

 

53 Flat Worms – Motorbike

 

52 Dream Wife – Somebody

 

51 Cabbage – Fraudulent Artist

 

 

Best of 2017: 100 – 76

Technical issues have meant we’ve been quieter than usual this week, but hopefully with all those resolved we can get back to normal service. It is a shame as we spent the weekend with middle sprat wallowing ankle, and sometimes knee, deep in swampy mud at Truck Festival.

Truck has been a bit of a Mackerel family institution for a few years now, a small(ish) friendly and well run festival with an eclectic musical line-up and tea and cakes served by the local WI. This year’s musical line-up was a bit bigger and more mainstream and it was clear that, on arrival, the atmosphere was quite different.

I’m told Truck has been bought out by a much larger, much more “business focused” company and it certainly felt that way. Gone were the days of sauntering up to the entrance, a friendly chat and in you go – now we had sniffer dogs, unsmiling ticket checkers and most unforgivable of all, a two hour plus queue to get in (others queued for twice as long). It set the tone for a weekend that could be viewed in two distinct parts – music that was brilliant and organisation that was not.

As the rains came, and came again, and again and again over the first two days the entire site including the camping fields turned into a horrific mud bath. Given the forecast was known for a few days (at least) I was anticipating some kind of contingency plan from the organisers especially as tents quite literally began to submerge in thick, syrupy mud. I expected wooden or metal walkways to be put down on the main paths, maybe open a second entrance to the main arena to spread the footfall a bit, and as we were on a farm, lots and lots of straw to go down to try and soak up the worst of the mud.

Literally nothing was done and a “who cares and fuck you” attitude prevailed. A few token and totally inadequate bales of straw at the entrance and that was it. Otherwise it was sink or slip or swim, and for lots of people that meant sink (and slip for pretty much everyone else).

It was such a shame as musically the festival was brilliant. Friday set us up with contagious indie pop from Big Moon and Hinds on the main stage, British Sea Power’s soaring, cinematic rock in the Market Tent (complete with giant dancing bears) and a fabulous set of infectious punk rock from Dream Wife (who were unrecognisable from the band we saw at the Great Escape a year or so ago). Headliners Slaves and Franz Ferdinand were both excellent in the driving rain that failed to dampen the spirits of the audience and created possibly the slippiest, sloppiest mosh pit ever.

Saturday was spent almost entirely in the Nest whilst the rain hammered down outside and vendors’ stands began to resemble a mud wrestling carnival. The visceral drive of Dead Pretties was an unexpected discovery whose set began brilliantly but tailed off a bit towards the end – almost as if the set would have worked better in reverse, before LIFE took the stage and created mayhem with a brilliant set of angry punk that somehow melded the Dead Kennedys, Sleaford Mods and the Fall into a perfect combination. Abattoir Blues’ crunchy, grungy rock maintained the tempo if not quite the intensity before the Crows racheted things up again with an excellent set of energetic post-punk. A brief excursion to somewhere near the main stage where Sundara Karma’s psych-inflected rock went down extremely well before a return to the dry of the Nest for a fabulous set from Yak complete with crowd surfing guitarists and a perfectly judged set of brutally infectious, needling guitars and pummelling percussion. Suitably impressed, middle sprat slogged off to watch the Wombats whilst I stayed for headliners, and once fictional band, Moonlandingz who were a revelation – fronted by the Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi and backed by Sheffield experimental outfit Eccentronic Research Council together with Fat Whites’ Saul Adamczewski. Their spaced out, motorik rhythms and funky indie-disco melded perfectly with a nightmarish, sinister edge that created a cosmic wig-out of epic proportions. We slowly waded back to our damp tent to the strains of a Libertines greatest hits set.

Sunday saw us back in the Nest with middle sprat for the screaming guitars of Weirds’ industrially tinged grunge led by a frontman who could teach Paddington a thing or two about hard stares. On the main stage Cabbage showed just why they are causing such a stir as the next big indie thing, a brilliant set of sardonic, krautrock tinged indie and a fine line in insouciant showmanship being greeted rapturously by the big crowd. Back in the Nest our first experience of singer-songwriter Kevin Devine was a joy – much more in line with previous Truck discoveries, his was a wonderful collection of songs and a fabulous voice and made for a welcome change of pace – a little oasis of Americana amid the loud guitars and crashing drums. It was back to the guitars and drums for All Them Witches who were slightly one-paced and predictable compared with previous fare. Back outside to watch a surprisingly (for me) engaging and uptempo set from indie stalwarts Maximo Park (middle sprat’s set of the weekend), and then, joining the huge crowd, for the Vaccines – closing the Festival and pleasing the masses with a collection of mostly energising mainstream indie anthems. The contrast was great at times, one truly terrible new song that sounded like something Fleetwood Mac would have knocked out and rejected in five minutes juxtaposed with sing-alongs to Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), Post Break-Up Sex and If You Wanna.

They left the stage early, fireworks went off and we exited en-masse through the claggy mire flanked by unsmiling security and a question mark about the future of the heart and soul of Truck…

Ten of the best songs we heard at Truck

10 Vaccines – Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
9 Dead Pretties – Social Experiment
8 Maximo Park – Apply Some Pressure
7 British Sea Power – Waving Flags
6 Dream Wife – FUU
5 Kevin Devine – Another Bag Of Bones
4 Yak – Hungry Heart
3 LIFE – Popular Music
2 Cabbage – Uber Capitalist Death Trade
1 The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz