Posts Tagged ‘Siskiyou’

So, as the New Year approaches, here are our favourite albums of 2011 for your consideration. Feel free to dispute, argue, or otherwise put us right because, if nothing else, music is as about as subjective topic as it is possible to get. Some of these may not be the “best” albums of the year as far as the critics are concerned, but that matters not, as they were the ones we enjoyed listening to most – give them a try, you might feel the same.

50 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Tell Me

Download Jessica Lea Mayfield – Our Hearts Are Wrong mp3 (from Tell Me)

49 Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread

Download Ty Segall – You Make The Sun Fry mp3 (from Goodbye Bread)

48 Wire – Red Barked Trees

Download Wire – Two Minutes mp3 (from Red Barked Trees)

New Album From Blessed Feathers.

47 Blessed Feathers – From the Mouths of the Middle Class

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

Download Blessed Feathers – By Song Through The Americas mp3 (from From The Mouths Of The Middle Class)

46 The Men – Leave Home

Download The Men – Bataille mp3 (from Leave Home)

45 Lanterns On The Lake – Gracious Tide, Take Me Home

Download Lanterns On The Lake – You’re Almost There mp3 (from Gracious Tide, Take Me Home)

New Album From The Pack A.D.

44 The Pack A.D. – Unpersons

Download The Pack A.D. – Sirens mp3 (from Unpersons)

43 The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh

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42 Other Lives – Tamer Animals

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

41 Country Mice – Twister

Download Country Mice – Morning Son mp3 (from Twister)

Mad Mackerel Recommends...Siskiyou.

40 Siskiyou – Keep Away The Dead

Download Siskiyou – Twigs And Stones mp3 (from Keep Away The Dead)

39 The Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

Download The Smith Westerns – All Die Young mp3 (from Dye It Blonde)

38 Jolie Holland – Pint Of Blood

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37 Lydia Lunch & Big Sexy Noise – Trust The Witch

Download Lydia Lunch & The Big Sexy Noise – Where You Gonna Run mp3 (from Trust The Witch)

New Album From Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks.

36 Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks – Heartsick

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35 Wye Oak – Civilian

Download Wye Oak – Civilian mp3 (from Civilian)

34 Jeff The Brotherhood – We Are The Champions

Download Jeff The Brotherhood – Mellow Out mp3 (from We Are The Champions)

33 William Elliott Whitmore – Field Songs

Download William Elliott Whitmore – Bury Your Burdens In The Ground mp3 (from Field Songs)

32 Natural Child – 1971

Download Natural Child – Hard Workin Man mp3 (from 1971)

31 LONG – American Primitive

Download LONG – Shoot Your Dog mp3 (from American Primitive)

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!

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)

Mad Mackerel Recommends...Siskiyou. Siskiyou’s new album Keep Away The Dead is an unsettling one. The vocals of Colin Huebert are probably the antithesis of what should be considered good and proper – the epitome of wavering, or quavering perhaps – and yet they work beautifully on this collection. The music itself is a restless blend of country rock, folk, and grander orchestral rock and like a musical butterfly, the album touches on all in turn but barely stays long enough to create a sense of belonging before moving on again to touch down somewhere else.

Don’t be fooled though – this is not a cheerful album – far from it. The album starts with the invocation, “Death to me, death to him, let’s all die young” and that pretty much sets the scene for what follows. In fact the sense of isolation and loneliness that runs through is it is palpable like a presence in the room with you. It is an intense album, one that demands attention and is unwilling to grant even the briefest of refuge or respite from from the bleakest of images and moods that the songs create. In fact it feels as though it often evokes the biting northern winds of the chilly town of Mara where the record took shape.

The centrepiece of the album is a stunning cover of Neil Young’s Revolution Blues and it is presented in the most haunting and paranoid way imaginable. Insecurity, fear, and barely suppressed rage compete for supremacy in a genuinely spine tingling way.

Have a listen.

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While our download problems continue you can grab yourself a freebie from the album in the shape of the pleasingly ragged Twigs And Stones from the excellent Folk Hive blog here.

One of our albums of the year – buy the album from Boomkat here or download from eMusic here.