Posts Tagged ‘Royal Sea’

Welcome to numbers 120 through to 101 of our favourite tunes of the past ten years…

120 Black Mountain – Let Spirits Ride (2010)

Who cares if the riff is nicked from another song, or if it sounds like 1972. I don’t when it as good as this. Pure riffola magic.

 

119 Faith Healer – No Car (2015)

 

Kicking up a meaty riff from the outset and telling the tale of an abusive ex-lover, the impact of No Car is unstoppable – a powerhouse of a tune

 

118 Car Seat Headrest – (Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)(2016)

Will Toledo delivers a stunning combination of self-deprecating disgust, mundanity and insight without sacrificing one ounce of musicality. Equally rich and raw, with an honesty and openness that is all too rare these days. The closest thing to a modern day Leonard Cohen that we have heard and simply can’t praise him more highly than that. Sheer genius.

 

117 Flat Worms – Red Hot Sand (2016)

 

Starts like the Butthole Surfers and then gets better. Pure bristling, raw, visceral, fuck-you rock’n’roll.

 

116 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter (2016)

 

Irrepressibly hazy psych rock where lurking amidst a jovial, almost childish rhythm is something nightmarish revealed through harsh, distorted guitar riffs.

 

115 Soft Black – Time gets Away And Has Its Way With You (2009)

 

Ah, that gentle rhythm and those sweet harmonies. Simply gorgeous meandering, psych inflected indie rock.

 

114 The Tallest Man On Earth – Leading Me Now (2o12)

Fast paced, catchy and, dare we say, light-hearted, finger picked folk with a unique melody and those wonderful scratchy vocals.

 

113 Creepoid – Grave Blanket (2011)

 

Rattling psych-rock, all creeping reverb laden malevolence.

 

112 Wooden Wand & The World War IV – I Hate The Nightlife (2013)

 

Bleak psych-country with Crazy Horse era guitars soundtracking the grimy fuzz of a regular, always hungover, road trip.

 

111 Lord Huron – Time To Run (2012)

An epic Western of a tune: a story song with a foot-tapping rhythm that mimics the flight of yer man and a great mid point when the bells of doom literally ring for our outlaw friend on the run.

 

110 This Is The Kit – Silver John (2015)

 

Spine tingling, mysterious and poetically reflecting on nothing less than the impending end of the world.

 

109 Nathaniel Rateliff – Brakeman (2010)

Folk lullaby dripping with regret and despair.

 

108 Grass House – A Cradle A Short Breath (2011)

In a conscious effort to avoid being type-cast in a dark or brooding vein, the song hints at the lighter side of the London group’s repertoire. Even so, it is still menacing enough to send most other indie bands screaming to their mummies.

 

107 Royal Sea – This Summer (2012)

 

Opens with a spectacularly catchy drum beat before the vocals come in like a rush of sugar coated adrenalin, plaintively announcing: “We crashed everybody’s parties / we drank cheap wine and whiskey / We partied up on the rooftops / I’m glad it was just you and me”. This should have been the woozy, feel good hit of the summer of 2012.

 

106 Delta Spirit – Trashcan (2008)

Clicking percussion gives way to a frantic rhythm and battle-cry vocals – a marvel of infectious folk rock.

 

105 John Grant – I Wanna Go To Marz (2010)

Grant’s effortlessly rich, expansive baritone, couched in a typically heartbreaking, lush melody courtesy of Midlake’s familar 1970s soft-rock style.

 

104 Alt J – Left Hand Free (2014)

Twangy indie rock with a shuffling beat, a quirky chorus and some bluesy undertones.

 

103 Moonlandingz – Vessels (2017)

 

A perfect blend of sleazy glam rock riffs and twisted lyrics – as delightfully grubby as it gets.

 

102 Sonny + The Sandwitches – Through The Fog And The Haze (2010)

 

Inspired by a near-drowning, Through The Fog And The Haze is perfectly observed, elegant folk filled with briny, aquatic imagery.

 

101 The Cave Singers – Gifts And The Raft (2011)

Pete Quirk’s rustic rasp set to some classic backwoods acoustic charm.

 

Check out tracks 200-181, 180-161, 160-141, and 141-120.

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!

For our first ever Festive Feature on Mad Mackerel, we asked twelve of our favourite bands and artists of 2011 to answer twelve questions and we will publish them over the next twelve days taking us up to Christmas Eve.

MM's 12 Days of Christmas No 11: The Royal Sea.

Every so often a song comes out of nowhere and hits you right between the ears. It is those moments that make having a blog a delight – the chance to hear something new, exciting and share it with lots of (hopefully likeminded) folk.

And so it was with Last Summer by Seattle’s The Royal Sea. From the first adrenalin filled rush of the drums and the plaintive vocal about cheap wine and whiskey we were hooked. It comes from a self-titled eight track EP of surf inspired garage and 60s influenced summertime pop, and is without doubt one of our favourite discoveries of the year.

1) Three iconic clashes. Who would you vote for in each of these (you can say why too if you wish)?

a) The Velvet Underground or The Doors?

The Velvet Underground hands down

b) Bob Dylan or Neil Young?

Bobby D!

c) The Sex Pistols or the Clash?

The Sex Pistols 

Royal Sea on Mad Mackerel. 2) What has been your personal highlight of 2011?

The highlight has been releasing the EP and writing all the songs for the upcoming full length! Because our music is our only focus and it seemed like it would never happen!

3) What was your low point of the year?

There wasn’t one!!

4) You can give one single album from 2011 to just one person for Christmas. What would you buy and who for?

Cape Dory by Tennis – We would give it to all the people out there exploring the world on the ocean

5) Give us between two and five songs from 2011 that you’d recommend as the best of the year.

Tennis “Take me Somewhere” 

Diamond Rings “ Its Not My Party”

Dum Dum Girls “Just a Creep”

Girls “Alex”

Girls “Magic”

6) Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol?

Let it Snow – because it never snows on Christmas in Seattle and I have always wanted that.

7) Imagine you are snowed in and stuck in an isolated house in the woods for Christmas with no way out. Wolves and bears are prowling outside. You need to recommend the following:

A classic song to impress an ultra cool, know-it-all, teenager

Lou Reed “Perfect Day”

A song to terrify Grandma

Girls “Big Bad Mean Motherfucker”

A traditional song to help send Grandad to sleep

Royal Sea on Mad Mackerel. The Saints Go Marching In 

A song for someone just waking from a five-year coma

“Facelove” by Ps I Love You 

A book to frighten the children

Any Goosebumps Book

An unforgettable film to watch

Buffalo 66 

8) What is top of your Christmas list this year? Why?

A record deal because it’s hard to fit in practice and recording and touring with a 9 to 5! 

9) What is the worst Christmas present you’ve ever given and/or ever received?

I never give or receive bad presents!

10) Will you be making a New Year Resolution? If so can you share it and will you keep it? What is the stupidest New Year resolution you’ve ever made?

Quit smoking cigarettes. 

11) Imagine you’re headlining a Christmas Concert at your favourite venue. You can share the stage with three other artists or bands (past or present) for the final encore of the night. Who would they be and what would you play?

The Beatles, The Kinks and Girls.

We would be too nervous to play.

12) Can you write us a Christmas themed limerick?

Look For “ A Very Royal Christmas” by The Royal Sea coming November 2012

Buy the album for $5 from their Bandcamp page here.

Listen to L.A.

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Listen to Birthday Cake.

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

Tomorrow: Dennis Hopper Choppers

Previously: Lovely Eggs (here), Twilight Hotel (here), Grass House (here), Hurray For The Riff Raff (here), Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks (here), Ohioan (here), Wooden Wand (here), Tom Williams & The Boat (here), Henry’s Funeral Shoe (here), The Roadside Graves (here).

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: November 2011. Despite the end of the year fast approaching, thankfully the quality of new music shows no signs of slowing. Here are the best of our November offerings, together with some tasty new tracks to round off the mix.Over thirty great songs – just right for the roaring fire and the cocoa!

Download SiskiyouTwigs And Stones mp3 (from Keep Away The Dead)

Brilliantly judged restless blend of country rock, folk, and grand orchestral rock.

Download The Cloud Nothings – No Future / No Past mp3 (from Attack On Memory)

Intense indie rock – their best yet?

Download The Morning Birds – Born To Be Alive mp3 (from Surrender To This EP)

Skips along on the back of a groove so funky that it sounds like it was kidnapped from a 1970s New York disco and dragged into the new Millennium.

Download A Place To Bury Strangers – So Far Away mp3 (from Onwards To The Wall EP)

This on the other hand is a storming slab of pulverising noisemongering!

Download D.B. Rouse – The Hungover Lowdown Beat Up Burnt Out Blues mp3 (from Repent EP)

Folk yes, but beautifully judged with poignancy and pathos, self-reflection, regrets and dreams.

Download New London Fire – The Dirt The Blood The Faith mp3 (from The Dirt The Blood The Faith)

Sumptuous folk-western that howls its defiance and stands righteous in its anger at injustices suffered.

Download Black Creek – The Mustang mp3 (from Ragged Shark)

Dirty country rock and barrelling bar-room boogie.

Download Wounded Lion – Roman Values mp3 (from IVXLCDM)

Two and a half minutes of insane garage punk that is driven along by a heavyweight riff, pulsating percussion and a classic shouted vocal.

Download The Whalers – Lighthouse mp3 (from Paddle Easy EP)

Hypnotic, surf-inspired indie rock.

Download Lissy Trullie – Madeleine mp3 (from Lissy Trullie)

Slow-burning indie with echoes of the Velvets, even a bit of shoegaze maybe, but all is anchored by a distorted groove and her brilliant voice.

Download The Great Lakes – Blood On My Tooth mp3

Country jam given a healthy injection of rockabilly rhythm.

Download Monument Valley – Dear John Letters mp3 (from Tongues EP)

Excellent slice of introspective, melancholia from new singer-songwriter.

Download Bear Driver – Never Never mp3

Woozy, four-minute slice of delicious fuzz-pop.

Download Sharon Van Etten – Serpents mp3 (from Tramp)

Stunning advance track from forthcoming new album.

Download Fairlamb – The Way It Goes mp3 (from People Change)

Waspish lyrics and gently strummed acoustics.

Download The Dodos – So Cold mp3 (Previously Unreleased)

More indie-folk par excellence.

Download Galaxy Sunrise – When Pigs Fly mp3 (from When Pigs Fly single)

Lovely excursion into hazy psych-pop.

Download The Boombox Hearts – Crank It Up mp3

Lo-fi melancholic folk from Denmark.

Download Electric Flowers – Circles mp3 (from Electric Circles EP)

A sonic epic. Nuff said.

Download The Quiet Americans – Be Alone mp3 (from Medicine EP)

Old fashioned, fuzzed-up rock’n’roll.

Download Joakim Fritzner – Thoughts On Us 23-3 mp3 (from It’s Not Me…)

Catchy, folkish strum and guaranteed earworm.

Download Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky mp3 (from Briarwood)

Masterful ramshackle countryish-rock.

Download The Dead Jerichos – Please Yourself mp3 (from Please Yourself EP)

Drenched, droney guitar lines and shattered fragments of disco, punk, and post hardcore rhythms.

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

Surf-drums and sugar coated adrenalin rush – this should have been the woozy, feel good hit of the summer. Our pick of the month.

Download Pontiak – Lions Of Least mp3 (from Echo Ono)

Pulverising psych-rock.

Download Secret Colours – Faust mp3 (from EP3)

Channels the finest of the greats of late ’60s psychedelia, ’90s newgaze reverence, and a touch of driving, bucolic, no frills RnR straight from the greasiest of garages.

Download i am Love – Truest mp3 (from Truest 7″)

Rich, thoughtful folk with beautifully paced ebb and flow.

Download Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea mp3 (from Weald)

Simply stunning excursion into a shifting, twilight world that slowly builds on the back of a sparse, plucked guitar and almost spoken vocals into a swirling, epic peak of rhythmic guitars and cracked vocal harmonies.

And there’s more. To round off the mix we have a gorgeous new one from MM faves, the folky Bowerbirds who will release a new album in March on Dead Oceans, the first taste of individual bubblegum garage from Hunx (as in & His Punx) solo effort appropriately called Hairdresser Blues, the effortlessly sleazy Black Bananas (formerly RTX) and Rad Times from their forthcoming album Rad Times Xpress IV and lastly former Dawes member Alex Casnoff has a new band Harriet and a new EP Tell The Right Story. I Slept With All Your Mothers is the brilliantly named and gripping lead track.

As always…enjoy!

Download The Bowerbirds – Tuck The Darkness In mp3 (from The Clearing)

Download Hunx – Always Forever mp3 (from Hairdresser Blues)

Download Harriet – I Slept With All Your Mothers mp3 (from Tell The Right Story EP)

Download Black Bananas – Rad Times mp3 (from Rad Times Xpress IV)

Introducing…The Royal Sea

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Alternative, Garage, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
Tags:

Introducing...The Royal Sea. Every so often a song comes along that instantly jumps to the top of our ‘must listen’ list and ends up on repeat on the iPod, in the car, at work and just about everywhere else.

This is one of those songs.

The Royal Sea are from Seattle and play a beguiling mix of surf rock, garage and indie pop. They have a self-titled album available on Bandcamp and it is well worth the $5 they are asking. Lead track This Summer opens with a spectacularly catchy drum beat before the vocals of Timmy Sunshine come in like a rush of sugar coated adrenalin, plaintively announcing:

“We crashed everybody’s parties,

we drank cheap wine and whiskey.

We partied up on the rooftops,

I’m glad it was just you and me.”

Sounding a bit like The Drums (a) when they were good and (b) if they grew a pair, this should have been the woozy, feel good hit of the summer. As it is, it’ll probably have to settle for a place in our end of year Best Of lists and (if you have any sense) a place in your own iTunes.

If you haven’t yet, buy for $5 from their Bandcamp page here. Grab This Summer below, but be warned this song comes down on Christmas Eve!

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