Posts Tagged ‘Warped 45s’

Mad Mackerel's Best of 2011.With probably the longest entry of 2011 we give the floor to regular MM contributor and top ten compiler…Dr Roddy.

Well it seems to be that time of year again. I always spend 340 days looking forward to doing this and 25 agonising over it. This year especially though, as I think there has been a bumper harvest of great songs. When I looked at my Top Ten playlist (with over 100 songs in it) I just thought one thing: bugger!

I got there in the end though. There have been certain parties that have tried to throw spanners in the works, by sending e-mails containing latecomers and over looked songs. Cheers you heartless bastards. So without further ado….

10. Monument Valley – Dear John Letters

This is a bit of a late arrival to my top ten but the moment I heard this song I fell for it totally. That old adage of less is more, is plain for all here. A pendulum-esque rhythm is picked out on an acoustic guitar, whilst the story is sung to us in an almost lullaby fashion by Ned Younger. Who wrote these songs from a collection of pictures of strangers? The song seems to tell of two people who were once side-by-side, parted then reunited. There is a line in the song, “And though we weren’t quite whole, turned out we were all each other needed to grow old“. That is such a simple and genuine way to describe what you need from another person, which fits wonderfully into this simple and genuine song.

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

9. Cosmo Jarvis – My Day

This song elbowed its way in to my Top Ten, with that wonderful punk fuelled fervour. You can’t ignore it. Lyrically it is a tour de force. I do love a bit of cutting social satire all set to unashamed balls ‘n all guitar work – in fact It seems as if all the instruments are being given their last rights, in that “play it like you nicked it” fashion. The passion and power that is behind the delivery of the lyrics are awesome: the line “Grew up thinking we were so advanced and had the largest heads / Didn’t masturbate with our own minds instead we used the Web“, what a great way to point at a general loss of social imagination and it is the line of this year for me.

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8. Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone

This is such a funky tune there is no way it was going to get left out. The verses could easily be written as a warning to anyone who enters X-Factor and the chorus is definitely a warning to anyone who WINS the bleeding thing. That aside what we have here is a awesome tune – the bassline rolls along with the kind of sound that makes you want to walk a bit like Mister Soft. The guitar and drums lollop alongside it at perfect pace and all together it’s like a big spliff in audio format. Now I’ll be honest I’m not too big on sax breaks in songs, but this is the exception. It acts as a real nice jazzy kind of break in the song, leaving you hungry… no, greedy for some more of that bassline.

Download Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone mp3 (from Volume 2)

7. Warped 45s – Grampa Carl

I do love a good story song and this is about as good as it gets. We are told the story of Grampa Carl who was a Rum-runner in America during the prohibition era of the 20s. This seemed to be funded by a spot of illegal gambling. I do like to take the side of the rogue, especially a rogue who likes a bet and a drink, although this tale ends with Carl being buried in a Presbyterian cemetery. No religious hypocrisy there then! The tale in between is all engrossing with many a slip between cup and lip. There is a great line at the end of this song, “My grandpa said to me when I was just a kid / Just cusp someone says something’s wrong doesn’t mean that it always is“. I love that, and have employed it as a mantra for some years already. All of that is accompanied by some fantastic musicianship. There is the cool rumbling of a Hammond organ in the background and the guitar work is laced heavily with a bluesy feel, reminiscent of Drive-By-Truckers, which I think can only be seen as a compliment.

Download The Warped 45s – Grampa Carl mp3 (from Matador Sunset)

6. Danny Brown – Die Like A Rockstar

This song helped to reinvigorate my love for Hip Hop. There had been pretty much nothing in this genre that had excited me for years. Then boom! (Irony, honest) I heard this. From the very first opening when you hear that rolling drum beat it sounds special, then you get that menacing b-line and lyrics that pull you straight into the middle of the track. The lyrics are basically a who’s who of famous party animals from music, film and T.V. and this is done with wit, intelligence and a phenomenal turn of phrase. “Sniff it at a roll, off the counter in my kitchen / Trippin’ off the shit that had Brian Wilson flippin’” is just one off a fistful of gems from this one tune. Danny Brown certainly has a wonderful delivery (I think the kids call it a “FLOW”), a sort of southern drawl that is helped by his missing front tooth, giving it a sort of lispy quality and has a distinct whiff of nihilism about it. That monster bassline just continues to snarl along at you through the whole song. Just brilliant!

Link – left click only: DOWNLOAD: Danny Brown – Die Like A Rockstar – RCRD LBL

5. Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear

The energy in this song is the equivalent to 15 speed freaks at a coffee morning. Even the guitar at the start is reminiscent of a racehorse being held off its true power until the time comes and don’t worry it will. The opening lyrics are the way to start a song “You’ve got street fighting hands/ and a rock and roll face / But you show affection in other ways“. These match the general feeling of the song perfectly; it has that raw, grimy, slightly sullied sense about it. When the drums join the party the song truly comes alive, with the kind of fire that I’ve only ever really heard in Nirvana tracks (And there’s only two of these guys). As the song settles back down and you stop looking like the guy from the old Maxell adverts (showing my age with that cultural reference) the guitar glides along and takes you with it, with points where you think its going to drop again but these are just teasers. Don’t worry though there are plenty more guitar breaks to come. A bit of a latecomer to the list but there was no way it could be ignored.

Download Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear mp3 (from Donkey Jacket)

4. Dennis Hoppers Choppers – Good To Me

Sounding like the start of a Sergio Leone western is a good way to grab my attention. I love the sound of that trumpet along with the violins/fiddles – it creates such an atmospheric start. When the bass and guitar come in, they seem to be able to hold that atmosphere, perfectly but with a different slant. They bring with them a down-to-earth country style, which is held up perfectly by the lyrics of Ben Nicholls, who has a lamenting sound to his voice (and is also a one man band, talented – a bit!!). You think you’re in for a typical kind of alt-Country song but then something new, the strings are back along with keys that give this song an almost Egyptian feel. A friend of mine who is a musician said this song has some great work in the minor keys; I will have to take his word for that. All I know is that this is a truly beautiful and dynamic track; the fact that it’s not my number one still grates on me whenever I hear it. Self-flagellation for punishment methinks.

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3. Little Barrie – Tip it Over

We are in to the top three now, this is where shit gets real and what a song to jump into it with. This song was a surefire winner for me. The high hat ride at the intro, then the understated guitar and bass enter the fray…they sound so innocuous, but if only you knew what they are to become. I love the notion of this song as well “Tip it over, what you need it for” could apply to so many things. It carries with it a certain amount of venom and it would have made a great soundtrack for the UK riots this year. The musicianship in this tune is truly fantastic – there is great work on the drums, though for me the true star is the guitar, you could be forgiven for almost losing it in the rest of the song, then just to remind you it’s alive and dangerous it has a little echo of the vocals in the chorus. Then it is let loose like some kind of wild beast and drags your ears with it. This song always gets my foot going and without question wins the award for song that every time I hear it I think to myself, “Shit! I want to learn to play guitar”.

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2. Brown Bird – Bilgewater

From the very first listening I adored this song with a passion that I only usually give to Leeds Utd and gin & tonic. From the opening line of “Don’t matter if the cold wind blows, I’m going to wind up working in the thick of it“, I felt a affinity with this song, I work as a coalman so this sums up my job in one fell swoop. The bluesy feel to the rhythm of this song lends itself perfectly to the gritty nature of the lyrics and they give you a hard look at life. Those rose tinted glasses you’ve been wearing? Well this tune takes those off and stamps all over them. This is delivered without threat or malice, just in a matter of fact way – “this is how it is”. It’s nice to hear that once in a while – dilutes the saccharine a bit. There are so many brilliantly phrased lines in here, each verse holding a fistful of lyrical gems. The only way I can really give this song enough praise is to say that if Bill Hicks was still with us, I think he would appreciate this song and it’s honesty. That is massive praise I think.

Download Brown Bird – Bilgewater mp3 (from The Sound of Ghosts EP)

1. Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling

I took you via the scenic route but we’ve arrived. Number one and that is exactly what it is. Just the best song I’ve heard this year by a country mile. From the very first hearing to listening to it while I write this, the whole thing fascinates me. The opening sounds like some kind of nightmare dream sequence from an episode of Hammer House of Horror, weird sounds and insane babbling, accompanied by a disjointed guitar and harmonica. As the drumbeat cuts in, it pulls it all together, and then we get to hear the greatest of gravelly voices. If you were to tell me this guy don’t smoke Capstan full strength and gargle with Napalm I’d call you a liar. As the song builds with an absolutely wonderful bassline driving it along, so does the intensity of the lyrical delivery. Now this maybe childish (in fact it is) but I think if going to swear in a song why not say c#@t and why not say it lots. Some people may find this offensive but it is a common saying down my way, meaning positive and negative things. The harmonica is stitched throughout the tune harking back to that eerie bedlam-esque start.  From start to finish it is the real deal. Brilliant melody, great bassline, witty lyrics, profanity and raw-throated vocals. These are a few of my favourite things!

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Bubbling under (The songs that scream why? at me in the middle of the night)

1. Grass House – A Cradle, A Short Breath

2. Tom Williams & The Boat  – Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet

3. Creepoid – Grave Blanket

Download Creepoid – Grave Blanket mp3 (from Horse Heaven)

4. Jason Isbell & The 400 – Codeine

5. Lovely Eggs – Fuck It

Best Cover of the year

Siskiyou – Revolution Blues

Best I’ve heard for the first time this year (but not from this year)

1. Mountain Goats – No Children

2. Joe Pug – I Do My Father’s Drugs

3. Modest Mouse – Doin’ The Cockroach

4. Shellac – Prayer To God

Download Shellac – Prayer To God mp3 (from 1000 Hurts)

5. Fugazi – Waiting Room

Download Fugazi – Waiting Room mp3 (from 13 Songs)

Guilty Pleasure (Go on hate away!)

Lana Del Rey – Video Games

Mad Mackerel's Round-up Another Round Up of the good, the very good and the exceptional tunes that have recently wormed their way in between our ears via our In-box or the internet and blogosphere. Let them do the same for you.

We have a few new tracks from artists we’ve previously posted about, some new bands and a couple of big names too.

First up, The Warped 45s follow the brilliant Grampa Carl with another track from new album Matador Sunset. Talk About Evil is more of a fiddle and bluegrass affair with a rousing chorus and a toe-tappin’ rhythm.

Download The Warped 45s – Talk About Evil mp3 (from Matador Sunset)

Download The Warped 45s – Grampa Carl mp3 (from Matador Sunset)

Likewise with Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside who have a new offering from their album Dirty Radio – simply called Danger, it is another rollicking example of their retro 50s inspired harmonies and good time country twang.

Download Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Danger mp3 (from Dirty Radio)

Download Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – I Swear mp3 (from Dirty Radio)

We’ve also posted about melancholic singer-songwriter Luke Rathborne before too. To mark his forthcoming tour of the west coast he’s made a new track available for download. Nice chap! Get tour dates here.

Download Luke Rathborne – You Let Me In mp3 (from I Can Be One E.P. / Dog Years E.P.)

Download Luke Rathborne – Dog Years mp3 (from I Can Be One E.P. / Dog Years E.P.)

Download Luke Rathborne – I Can Be One mp3 (from I Can Be One E.P. / Dog Years E.P.)

More recently we gave you the excellent Hunger Song from the folk inflected Middle East’s album I Want That You Are Always Happy. Although authorised we got a DMCA takedown notice so here is another track from the album, Jesus Came To My Birthday Party – and if you’re the knob who thinks this isn’t authorised, think again. We have been given full permission to post the track, just like we had with the last one – get in touch with us direct if you’re worried!

Download The Middle East – Jesus Came To My Birthday Party mp3 (from I Want That You Are Always Happy)

Download The Middle East – Hunger Song mp3 (from I Want That You Are Always Happy)

Having previously posted Young Pros, Velvet Itch is another track of sleazy garage goodness from Bass Drum Of Death’s reverb heavy album GB City.

Download Bass Drum Of Death – Velvet Itch mp3 (from GB City)

Download Bass Drum Of Death – Young Pros mp3 (from GB City)

Madeline’s Black Velvet album is full of dark twisted pop and crooning psychedelia, we’re pleased to offer up Gather The Flowers, which is the second (equally good) single from it.

Download Madeline – Gather The Feathers mp3 (from Black Velvet)

Download Madeline – Hurry Up Pronto mp3 (from Black Velvet)

Little Horn (having been called any number of combinations of indie, folk, gothic, psychedelic, progressive and rock) have made a second track available from their new album 12, take a listen to Thief and decide for yourself.

Download Little Horn – Thief mp3 (from 12)

Download Little Horn – Bridges Break mp3 (from 12)

New to MM, and hailing from upstate NY, you might shrug your shoulders at a band named Cattle Drums but you would be remiss by doing so. Mixing post-punk, hardcore, shards of math rock and even traces of dark Americana into one glorious cacophony of sound, this track comes from their Boy Kisser Sessions +3 release, which can be got for free from their label Tiny Engines Bandcamp page here.

Download Cattle Drums – Sluts And Coconuts mp3 (from The Boy Kisser Sessions + 3)

Robert Ellis is a songwriter and a country singer in the old fashioned, traditional sense – think Willie Nelson or Lefty Frizell and a classic Nashville sound. What’s In It For Me? is taken from new album Photographs which was released a couple of days ago.

Download Robert Ellis – What’s In It For Me? mp3 (from Photographs)

By contrast, if there is anyone out there who can match Sun Araw for dubby, sun-baked, desert psych then we’ve yet to come across them. Although, thinking about it, collaborators on latest offering Night Gallery, Eternal Tapestry might well be contenders. Try Night Gallery III on for size.

Download Eternal Tapestry & Sun Araw – Night Gallery III mp3 (from Night Gallery)

The Heaven’s Jail Band plays distinctly American music. Twin guitars, drums and bass, harmonies and lyricism. Themes of love, loss, age, failure, freedom, beauty and redemption are dealt with in a deceptively casual blend of heroic and vulgar language. Classic rock, country and folk filtered through punk’s nihilism and heavy metal’s romanticism. Pretty Lady Blues comes from their self-titled debut on Heartbreakbeat Records.

Download The Heaven’s Jail Band – Pretty Lady Blues mp3 (from The Heaven’s Jail Band)

We were big fans of Grass Widows Past Time album last year and they have returned with a cracking new 7″ single titled Milo Minute. This is one of the two tracks on the b-side – a suitably jangly and messy cover of Wire’s classic Mannequin.

Download Grass Widow – Mannequin mp3 (from Milo Minute 7″)

Belfast’s Cashier No. 9 are picking up quite a bit of buzz over here in the UK and are signed to the excellent Bella Union label. Drawing influences (and comparisons) from the Byrds to The Stone Roses and from Pavement to The Flaming Lips, their rich vocal harmonies, bold guitar textures and supremely catchy melodies creates a sound that’s indeterminably none of these yet equally vibrant. This track comes from recently released debut To The Death Of Fun.

Download Cashier No. 9 – Lost At Sea mp3 (from To The Death Of Fun)

LA band Dunes have a new 7″ single, Tied Together just out. The vinyl is limited to 300 on Teenage Teardrops (order here) and is a nice smoky slice of sunshine inflected garage pop.

Download Dunes – Tied Together mp3 (from Tied Together 7″)

Lastly, The Happy Thoughts are a gem of a discovery via RSTB and deliver two and a half minutes of perfect, roughly hewn, garage style power pop in the shape of the hook laden Sweet Dirty Love from their self-titled debut album.

Download The Happy Thoughts – Sweet Dirty Love mp3 (from The Happy Thoughts)

As always please, please support the artists – buy the records, buy the merchandise, go and see them live.

Mad Mackerel's Best Of June Mix Here is our regular Best of the month mix – more than twenty tracks of all shapes and sizes to get your ears into, plus a few new ones that we think you’ll love!

So we’re off and running with…

Download The Virgin Passages – Horizon mp3 (from Horizon)

Euphoric, unhurried, hazy and hypnotic.

Download St. Vincent – Kerosene (live) mp3 (Big Black cover)

Visceral and stunning live cover of a stonewall classic.

Download The Coathangers – Trailer Park Boneyard mp3 (from Larceny & Old Lace)

Full on garage rock with a blues punk burn.

Download Bobby – Ginger (Water Birth) mp3 (from Bobby)

Rhythms abound, layered vocals loop and swirl and repeat and a sensation of blissed out haze settles on you like a gossamer blanket .

Download I Break Horses – Hearts mp3 (from Hearts)

Gorgeous vocals, the trembling reverb and the all round sonic density of the song make it one to really immerse yourself in.

Download Buffalo Killers – Circle Day mp3 (from 3)

A propulsive rhythm, proper guitars and a killer riff soaked in a tight-fitting seventies sheen.

Download Vetiver – Wonder Why mp3 (from The Errant Charm)

Folkies deliver vintage keyboards mix with ambient washes and jangly guitars.

Download Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Senator mp3 (from Mirror Traffic)

A refrain about Senators and blow jobs and all delivered in a classic, slighty messy, indie rock style.

Download She’s Hit – Miriam Hollow mp3 (from Pleasure)

Like The Stooges jamming with Jeff The Brotherhood, fronted by the bastard offspring of Ian Curtis and Shane MacGowan.

Download The Warped 45s – Grampa Carl mp3 (from Matador Sunset)

A wonderful tale of prohibition, the story unfolding on the back of a foot stomping riff and a climactic cacophony of electric guitars.

Download Jim Dead – Bone Blue Moon mp3 (from Ten Fires)

One listen to the slow-burn of Bone Blue Moon and you’ll find yourself be transported to that porch where the sun is setting and the notes hang thick and heavy in the air like woodsmoke.

Download Bleached – Think Of You mp3 (from Carter 7″)

Freewheeling California punk jam that is equal parts Misfits and Rolling Stones.

Download Bones Howell – Hair Of The Dog mp3 (from Hair Of The Dog 7″)

Bauhaus classic gets the Bones Howell treatment.

Download Collections Of Colonies Of Bees – Lawn mp3 (from Giving)

Intricate and emotive indie folk.

Download Daniel Knox – Ghostsong mp3 (from Evryman For Himself)

Evocative and provocative tale of disillusionment, obsession, and criminal intent.

Download Sundress– Derelict mp3

Psych-pop of the very best kind.

Download Elle King – Good To Be A Man mp3

Country blues that blends two worlds of city grit and mid-western charm.

Download Sleeping Bag – Slime mp3 (from Sleeping Bag)

Simple melodies, deadpan delivery, jaunts of balls-out rocking, and minimalist tact.

Download Efren – Moonshine mp3 (from Rise On Up And Melt)

Melancholy and affecting folk.

Download The Vivian Girls – Take It As It Comes mp3 (from Share The Joy)

Ramshackle indie mixed with a sparkling pop sensibility that owes as much to the beachfronts and rock’n’roll diners of the 50s as it does the jangle pop heyday of the 80s.

Download Peg Simone – Piece Of Pie mp3 (from Piece Of Pie)

Lingering guitar riffs and echoed silver-tongued vocals. It is eerie, ghostly, and sounds like it comes drifting like a mist off the night time bayou.

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

Mix of dream pop and ethereal, experimental folk.

And to finish off we have the new single from experimental goth chanteuse Zola Jesus, a blast of rockabilly rumble at the hands of the Mad Caps, six plus minutes of excellent sloppy post-punk hooks from Male Bonding, and something from Peter Wolf Crier’s forthcoming album.

Download Zola Jesus – Vessel mp3 (from Conatus)

Download The Mad Caps – Baby Man mp3 (from The Mad Caps)

Download The Mad Caps – Wild Wild Lover mp3 (from The Mad Caps)

Download Male Bonding – Bones mp3 (from Endless Now)

Download Peter Wolf Crier – Right Away mp3 (from Garden Of Arms)

And don’t forget to check out all our other monthly Best Of Mixes in the sidebar too.

We’re a little behind with this one – The Warped 45s new album Matador Sunset came out at the end of last month.

Taster track Grampa Carl is a wonderful tale of prohibition, the story unfolding on the back of a foot stomping riff and a climactic cacophony of electric guitars – wonderful stuff.

Like us, you can track the album down at Maple Music here. Check the band’s blog here.

Download The Warped 45s – Grampa Carl mp3 (from Matador Sunset)