Posts Tagged ‘Tom Williams & The Boat’

We have been very much looking forward to the new Tom Williams & The Boat album following their stunning debut, Too Slow which was near the very top of our End of Year Best Of list.

Teenage Blood will see a release this spring on Moshi Moshi, and here is the video for the excellent new single My Bones.

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You can also download the single completely free at the band’s website – just go here to get it.

And so here we have our top ten albums of the year. To be honest the order is fairly arbitrary – on another day it could be a completely different as really these ten records have so little between them in turns of the pleasure and enjoyment they gave us. If you’ve not acquainted yourselves with any of these then we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

2011 – what a fine year for music.

10 Twilight Hotel – When The Wolves Go Blind

Download Twilight Hotel – Ham Radio Blues mp3 (from When The Wolves Go Blind)

Download Twilight Hotel – Mahogany Veneer mp3 (from When The Wolves Go Blind)

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9 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know

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Bonus Download Laura Marling – Night After Night (Live Acoustic Session Version) mp3

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Roadside Graves Album Out Today.

8 Roadside Graves – We Can Take Care Of Ourselves

Download The Roadside Graves – Double Feature mp3 (from We Can Take Care Of Ourselves)

Download The Roadside Graves – Love Me More mp3 (from We Can Take Care Of Ourselves)

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7 Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo

Download Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever mp3 (from Smoke Ring For My Halo)

Download Kurt Vile – Runner Ups mp3 (from Smoke Ring For My Halo)

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6 A.A. Bondy – Believers

Download A.A. Bondy – The Heart Is Willing mp3 (from Believers)

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5 The Cave Singers – No Witch

Download The Cave Singers – Swim Club mp3 (from No Witch)

Download The Cave Singers – Black Leaf mp3 (from No Witch)

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New Album From Deer Tick.

4 Deer Tick – Divine Providence

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

Download Deer Tick – Main Street mp3 (from Divine Providence)

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3 Tom Williams & The Boat – Too Slow

Download Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil mp3 (from Too Slow)

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2 Felice Brothers – Celebration Florida

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

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1 Middle Brother – Middle Brother

Download Middle Brother – Middle Brother mp3 (from Middle Brother)

Download Middle Brother – Me, Me, Me mp3 (from Middle Brother)

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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 2011.

Next to share their favourites of the year is part man part canine Barry-Sean…

What a fantastic year for music this has been for me. I don’t just mean for music that has been produced this year but more about the music that I’ve discovered from previous years (or, more accurately in most cases, music that has been discovered for me). And, because I’ve spent a lot of time going backwards and forwards to London on the train, I’ve had loads of listening time. Hurrah!

So here we go. Here’s my top ten songs of 2011.

10. Sissy & The Blisters – Let Her Go

When MM first introduced me to Sissy & The Blisters, I wasn’t too fussed. But they’ve grown on me over the past few months. Let Her Go starts off sounding like the Editors covering Placebo. But it does remain a truly S&tB song throughout and has a wonderfully catchy chorus. A great start to my top 10, I think.

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9. Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil

My favourite track from the fantastic Too Slow, released early in the year. It’s an album that’s so good I could have easily included at least one more track from it in my top ten songs of the year. But no, let’s keep things varied.

Tom Williams & The Boat produce some pretty dark songs and this one bounds from one grim situation to another with a vocal that flicks between contempt and resignation accompanied by a tortured but catchy guitar riff. Pure brilliance!

Download Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil mp3 (from Too Slow)

8. Roadside Graves – Double Feature

I’m well behind the mackerel shoal in getting to love the Roadside Graves. While the other mackerels were waxing lyrical about songs like Far And Wide and Liv Tyler, I just wasn’t getting it. And then Double Feature came along and it was like having a bucket of water thrown over my head. Suddenly everything made sense and I understood what all the fuss was about.

Double Feature is from the concept album We Can Take Care of Ourselves and feels like a story … its just I’m not really sure what its about. But it builds beautifully and transported me to a drive-in on a middle-America summer evening. Atmospheric and tuneful with a great pace and vocals. If you’ve not listened to Roadside Graves before, please do try this first … then go and buy the album.

Download The Roadside Graves – Double Feature mp3 (from We Can Take Care Of Ourselves)

7. Cage the Elephant – Shake Me Down

Another band I didn’t really ‘get’ but Shake Me Down from the album Thank You Happy Birthday caught my attention and held it from the opening chords. And I’ve carried on playing regularly since I first heard it in March.

I couldn’t tell you what musical genre this track fits into but its somewhere between rock and Americana. I’m just not sure where.

Download Cage The Elephant – Shake Me Down mp3 (from Thank You Happy Birthday)

6. Deer Tick – The Bump

I love Deer Tick. They’re a really talented bunch of chaps who can switch between songs about the painful side of love (listen to Ashamed from their War Elephant album) to rollocking, lets-just-have-a-beer-and-party singalongs. The Bump falls well and truly into the latter category. Any song that can make me smile and stamp my foot along to it every time I hear it has got to be worth a place in my top ten, hasn’t it?

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5. Ha Ha Tonka – Usual Suspects

I’m not really a ‘fun song’ sort of bloke but from the opening, jangly chords I fell in love with this. It’s just three and a half minutes of fun and it never fails to give me that feel-good feeling. If you’re ever a bit down in the mouth, this is sure to pick you up.

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

4. Lanterns on the Lake – Ships in the Rain

Pure atmosphere … a bit like a modern day Ocean Rain (for younger readers that’s an Echo & The Bunnymen track from their sublime album of the same name).

This songs meanders gently along with breathy, haunting vocals that takes you to a place where you can almost feel the creak of wood beneath your feet and feel the rain on your face. Beautiful.

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3. Richmond Fontaine – Lost in the Trees

Now we’re into the really serious stuff. This track has been on so many of playlists this year and I’ve never tired of it. A dark tale of a party in the woods that goes badly wrong.

The backing riff is as moody as the lyrics and, sorry to namedrop the Bunnymen again, brings to mind the brilliant Do It Clean. To be honest the only reason this isn’t at number one is because I couldn’t make my mind up between my top three songs of the year and not all of them can be number one. It is a great, great track though.

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2. The Decemberists – January Hymn

Again, this could have been number one (but equally could have been number three) but just got pipped at the post.

January Hymn is a beautiful, atmospheric song that tells of a fella who goes out clearing his drive of snow on a snowy day. He thinks of his love who has left him and all the things he should have said before she left.

You’d expect the Decemberists to come up with quality tunes and lyrics but this is so good you can picture the scenes as Colin Meloy sings them. Genius.

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Twilight Hotel – Mahogany Veneer

A moody (and slightly sad) road trip as Twilight Hotel take us across America, visiting some of the places you wanted necessarily want to see, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina being a great example.

The entire song conjures up so many images in the mind to a backdrop of a melancholic melody. I do love story songs and this has become one of my favourites. Not necessarily for the story itself but for the intelligent way Twilight Hotel have matched lyrics with tune and brought them together to create a dark, dark journey.

Download Twilight Hotel – Mahogany Veneer mp3 (from When The Wolves Go Blind)

Bubbling Under

Young the Giant – My Body

A thumping, foot-tapping tune that seems to push the buttons of the fellas in our office more than the ladies. Great tune … enough said.

Lovely Eggs – Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It)

This got in my head back at the start of autumn and just stayed there. Daft lyrics set to a late seventies punky tune with a distinctive and quite addictive vocal. Great fun.

Mr Plow – Typhus

Not such great fun but you’ve got to love a song about a killer disease haven’t you? If you’re mad enough not to want to listen to this all the way through … just about everyone dies in the end! Don’t listen to this is if you’re feeling low though, eh?

Download Mr Plow – Typhus mp3 (from Joyful In Song We Are)

Missed it!

The Whalers – That Rabbit

If this had been a 2011 song, it would have been top five. I love this.

Download The Whalers – That Rabbit mp3 (from How The Ship Goes Down)

Walkmen – Juveniles

This would have been my number two if it had been this year. It conjures up memories of sitting on a Friday evening train on the way back from London and marvelling at the Berkshire countryside in early spring. For me, this tune will always remind me of the coming of lighter evenings and warmer days.

Download The Walkmen – Juveniles mp3 (from Lisbon)

White Buffalo – Black and Blue

And this would have been my number one. Brilliant lyrics that starts with the storyteller’s girlfriend storming out after a row. The storyteller goes on to reflect on the downside of being in love. I‘m not going to say anything else. Just that if you only listen to one of the songs I’ve talked about here, please make it this one.

Okkervil River – John Allyn Smith Sails

Aaaaah, Okkervil River. Why didn’t I know about you before this year? These guys were one of my highlights of End of the Road 2011. This is another dark tale but without the moody tune to go with it. There’s also a brilliant cameo by a well-known tune towards the end of the song that I absolutely love.

Modest Mouse – Doin’ the Cockroach

I love Modest Mouse and I think this is as good as the brilliant Float On. It might be an acquired taste, I don’t know, but it has dominated my playlists for much of the year and I truly wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get past the aforementioned Float On and into some of MM’s other tunes.

Ray Wylie Hubbard – Choctaw Bingo

And lastly, a song from way, way back that seems to have passed me by. Shame on me and shame for me. I’ve put the Ray Wylie Hubbard version here but I love the live version by James McMurtry & The Heartless Bastards too. Its eight and a half minutes of roister-doistering, foot-stomping that will have you hooked as quickly as the crystal meth that Uncle Slayton cooks up. Great story, great song, glad its in my ITunes collection.

Covers

Siskiyou – Revolution Blues

My favourite Neil Young tune covered perfectly. Perhaps even more tortured and paranoid than the original vocal, Siskiyou have really done the brilliance of Revolution Blues proud.

Black Keys – Ummm Oh Yeah (Dearest)

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This is a standout track from an outstanding album of Buddy Holly covers. I was brought up on Buddy Holly and have come to love his music almost as much as my dad loves it. I could have easily picked out half a dozen tracks from the sublime Rave On Buddy Holly album but Ummm Oh Yeah (Dearest) is my favourite Buddy Holly original so this is the one I’m putting forward in my favourite covers of the year.

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.

Mad Mackerel's 12 Days of Christmas 8: Tom Williams & The Boat.

The visceral Get Older by Tom Williams & The Boat was the first new single of 2011 that really caught our ears and our imagination, dripping venom as it did over a heavy, single drumbeat, a vicious guitar strum, and firing lyrics like physical bullets. So when it was followed by their outstanding debut album Too Slow in February, we knew we had a new favourite band for the year.

The album contained too many stand out tracks to mention, but both the hypnotic and menacing See My Evil and the wonderfully understated and slightly surreal Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet, which perfectly blends ironic wit with heartbreak (and reminds us of Blitzen Trapper at their very best) have been on repeat throughout the year at MM. Next year sees a new album and hopefully even bigger and better things for them.

1) Three iconic clashes. Who would you vote for in each of these?

a) The Velvet Underground or The Doors?

Velvets every time for me, because The Doors don’t have Lou Reed. 

b) Bob Dylan or Neil Young?

I refuse to answer this question…it’s like saying cheese or pickle…both are all that matters. 

c) The Sex Pistols or the Clash?

The Clash because they dreamt bigger

2) What has been your personal highlight of 2011?

Releasing our record in february was a moment, and we’ve had only happy times since.

3) What was your low point of the year?

Getting flu on a disastrous snow filled tour, which we eventually had to mostly cancel…grim times.

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

I’d give the Tyler The Creator album to my mum…see what she thought… 

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

Ok in no order…

Holocene – Bon Iver

Streams – A Grave With No Name

Codex – Radiohead

The Bay – Metronomy

Sweetest Touch – Gross Magic

6) Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol?

Oh Come All Ye Faithful for sure.

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

Mr Soul by Buffalo Springfield

A song to terrify Grandma

Yonkers by Tyler 

A traditional song to help send Grandad to sleep

This Land Is Your Land – Bob Dylan (from No Direction Home Soundtrack)

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

Victoria – Swanton Bombs 

A book to frighten the children

Strewellpeter

An unforgettable film to watch

The Jungle Book

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

I’d love an iPad 2 but I aint getting one… 

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

I got a water pistol from a godmother for my 22nd Christmas.

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?

I’ve never made one…apologies…

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?

I’d share the stage at Brixton Academy with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bob Dylan (The Holy Trinity) and we’d sing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band.

12) Can you write us a Christmas themed limerick?

There once was a blogger called John

Who let off an incredible pong

The Christmas tree died

His granny did cry

And his great niece did burst into song.

Buy Too Slow here. Pledge support for their second album here (and get lots of TW&TB goodies too).

Watch See My Evil.

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Watch Get Older.

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Listen to Concentrate.

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Download Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil mp3 (from Too Slow)

Tomorrow: Henry’s Funeral Shoe

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).

Too Slow, the recent debut long player by Tom Williams & The Boat is undoubtedly one of our albums of the year so far. It is crammed full of brilliant tunes that mix vitriol and wry observation in equal measure jumping from the venom of the wonderful Get Older to the understated ironic sarcasm of Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet.

It has been getting regular plays on our (too) regular long, long drives to Folkestone and we were delighted to discover another of the standout tracks on the album, Concentrate is to be the latest single – due out on 9th May – the song imagines the thoughts and motivations of a home grown suicide bomber!

Take a listen and take a moment to think about ordering the album here – you won’t regret it!

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Catch the band live – just need them added to the End of the Road Festival bill now…

April

Saturday 9th, Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

Sunday 10th, Glasgow, Captains Rest

Monday 11th, Sunderland, Independent ˆ Cremating The UK

Tuesday 12th, Hull, Fruit

Wednesday 13th, Wrexham, Glyn Dwr Uni Guild Bar

Friday 15th, Northampton, Roadmenders

Saturday 16th, London, The Borderline

Monday 18th, Eastney, The Cellars

Tuesday 19th, Manchester, Night & Day

Thursday 21st, Aldershot, West End Centre

Friday 29th, Reading, Rising Sun

May

Sunday 1st, London, The Camden Crawl

Friday 6th, Tunbridge Wells, High Rocks

Saturday 7th, London, Shepherds Bush Empire, Bushstock

Friday 13th, Brighton, Latest Music Bar, The Great Escape

Saturday 14th, Derbyshire, Bearded Theory Festival

On Saturday we streamed Get Older by Tom Williams & The Boat, which is rapidly becoming our tune of the year so far. So we were delighted to see that they have just produced a video to accompany the song.

You can buy the EP, and pre-order the forthcoming album from their website here.

Over the past few days our ears have invariably pricked up whenever Get Older by Tom Williams & The Boat comes on Radio 6 (which has been with increasing frequency).

Some songs require a dictionary to navigate through obscure lyrics or to divine a meaning from a myriad of choice and some songs just give it to you straight. When Tom Williams spits with unconcealed venom and loathing, “You crucified my daughter, so I butchered your son” there isn’t much translation needed.

A heavy, single drumbeat, a vicious guitar strum, and lyrics like physical bullets turn Get Older into a jaw dropper – a simply stunning song.

You’ll find it on their appropriately titled  See My Evil EP that was released towards the end of 2010. They also have an album, Too Slow, scheduled for release on the 21st February.

Visit their website here to order (and pre-order the album) and to pick up a free download of the EP’s title track.

Listen to Get Older below.