Posts Tagged ‘Willard Grant Conspiracy’

The third part of our epic countdown of our favourite songs of the past ten years.

160 The Pink Mountaintops – North Hollywood Microwaves (2014)

 

Filthy, snarling, primal rock’n’roll featuring some pornographic rapping from Annie Hardy (ex-Giant Drag). A case of the bite being much worse than the bark.

 

159 Calexico – Two Silver Trees (2008)

Atmospheric and relaxed, Two Silver Trees meanders on a river of accordion, keys, hushed guitars and seductive vocals.

 

158 Mountain Man – Animal Tracks (2009)

 

A perfect combination of old-timey acoustic guitars and lilting, reverbed harmonies. And that chorus was made for a campfire late in the evening.

 

157 Wire – One Of Us (2008)

One of Us is a coiled spring of minimalist musical tension. Taut, melodic and streamlined, it is a post-punk classic.

 

156 The Willard Grant Conspiracy – Preparing For The Fall (2009)

Set to a vivid strummed guitar, Robert Fisher sings a sprawling apocalyptic tale about the soul of man with a voice rich in world weary resignation. “And  I see the devil sitting in my favorite chair / he says he wonders why I’m, I’m still here / And I say that I’m having trouble finding the door / And he says if we wait a little longer / Won’t have trouble anymore / And I’m just preparing for the fall

 

155 Dr. Dog – Bring My Baby Back (2017)

 

Laying a yearning, plaintive vocal over the top of a perfect mix of  pop, gospel and psych rock, the nigh on perfect Bring My Baby Back majors on themes of betrayal, repentance, solitude, and revenge, wrapped up in a perfectly strummed acoustic guitar. It was the most innocently beguiling tune of 2016.

 

154 Whalers – That Rabbit (2010)

 

What. A. Riff. A wonderfully straightforward blend of thudding, bass-heavy rock that makes us think of the best bits of QotSA melded with the Black Angels and then given some 60s style reverb treatment.

 

153 Van William – Revolution (2017)

 

Van William is a return to the folksier roots of his previous band Port O’Brien. Add in a mournful trumpet and the gorgeous harmonies of First Aid Kit and this lovely record is suddenly elevated to another plane altogether.

 

152 Tom Williams & The Boat – Get Older (2011)

 

Get Older is a musical storm of thumping bass drum, growled, restrained vocals and a stunning violin-led riff – it all combines to deliver an energy and edginess that is on a par with its catchiness.

 

151 Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band – Nikorette (2009)

 

Riding in on the back of a classic rock groove, and morphing into a loping country rock shuffle, Nikorette sounds like a brilliant lost outtake from a late-era Clash album.

 

150 The Black Angels – Don’t Play With Guns (2013)

Their trademark psych-drone is matched to provocative lyrics,  a big, ominous organ groove and an even bigger riff. Wonderful stuff.

 

149 The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin (2008)

Haunting and lachrymose, Ben Knox’s pitch perfect falsetto weaves a sad tale on the back of tranquil beauty.

 

158 Chad VanGaalen – Cries Of The Dead (2008)

 

I can hear the cries of the dead / Maybe it’s your neighbour beating his dog in the basement. Emotive vocals and a twee, but never saccharine harmony tinged with sadness, sets this fractured slice of indie-pop apart from the also-rans.

 

147 Middle Brother – Daydreaming (2011)

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.

 

146 Arborist – Twisted Arrow (2015)

 

A fabulous slice of rolling, countrified folk and Kim Deal’s hushed and plaintive vocal adds weight to a familial tale of detachment and is the perfect counterpoint to Mark McCambridge’s sharp delivery.

 

145 Tom Williams & The Boat – See My Evil (2011)

 

Menacing, righteous fury set to threatening percussion and a thick, pulsing bass-line.

 

144 Sparks – Let The Monkey Drive (2008)

Ultra catchy surreal tale of a couple so eager to consummate their love that they’d let a primate steer the car while they fumble in the back seat. And it has one of our favourite lyrical couplets of the past ten years too: “Let the monkey drive, and it’s only fair / It’s the monkey’s car and he hates to share

 

143 Titus Andronicus – Titus Andronicus (2008)

Huge drums start thumping behind the rhythm guitar, throw in bass, piano and a wicked harmonica as frontman Patrick Stickles thrashes through the song. All together now “Your life is over / your life is over“.

 

142 TRAAMS – Succulent Thunder Anthem (2015)

Traams at their absolute, unstoppable motorik best. Propulsive, urgent, threatening.

 

141 Pontiak – Shell Skull (2008)

 

A serrated rhythmic stomp and slow crawling groove captures the ghosts of Black Sabbath and the Doors in this bass heavy rocker.

 

Check out songs 200-181 and 180-161 as well.

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Song By Toad Records have shared details of Volume 6 in their series of split 12″ releases, and this is a cracker, featuring no lesser lights than Willard Grant Conspiracy and Micah P. Hinson from over the water and Scotland’s own Tissø Lake and Kitchen Cynics.

It is a fabulous 12 track collection and will be released on the 6th March on limited edition clear orange vinyl. Pre-order here.

Listen to The Only Child by Willard Grant Conspiracy and Spaceman by Micah P. Hinson below.

 

 

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (7th December).

It’s Top Ten time at Mackerel Headquarters, with all the usual suspects listening, compiling and scribing. It’s been a tickety boo year for new music: long dog walks or runs in empty frozen fields with Mr M Dog are just the medicine for listening, dancing and singing along. But it’s just so damn hard to choose, and as Blackadder once said:

We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.”

For some reason MM and I laughed rather a lot at this; the passage of time seems to have made it funnier.

A week of get up, go to school, go to work, walk the dog, cook some food, go to sleep. Read some books, knitted some Christmas trees, baked some Christmas treats. Really. I told all this to my brother today who rolled his eyes and asked me was I trying to be Kirstie Allsopp and Mary Berry rolled into one. I was mildly offended. We met in London for our annual Christmas shopping non-extravaganza, yet spent far more time in cafés chatting and drinking coffee. The best things in life really don’t cost much, particularly if you’re good at shoplifting.

Salut.

Mrs Mackerel x

Download The Willard Grant Conspiracy – Sticky mp3 (from Mojave)

Download The Shop Assistants – Safety Net mp3 (from Safety Net 7″)

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (11th May).

This weekend will be spent standing at the sea’s edge in Devon, in search of some little rays of sunshine, as daughter sprat and I take to the open road with Bing and little Span. Actually, it’s more likely that we will be spent dodging torrential rain showers and drinking a lot of coffee. Still, one can dream.

Mass excitement in the small feminine corner of Mackerel Towers, as come Monday, I will be off to collect my very own silver fish mini racer. They are rather sweetly known as Doopers, but this has nothing, I stress nothing, to do with poo. No dodgy web links, please. Not like last time I inadvertently “created” a word…

Moving swiftly on, it seems a long time since Spring came and went in March. Life looked different then. Drier, certainly, and warmer, filled with hope. Now the rain has washed it all away. Not even the hound wishes to step over the threshold into yonder garden; he must have the strongest canine bladder in the world.

Good job then that this week’s gig is a date with the witty, yet anarchic Lovely Eggs at the Port Mahon in Oxford. Look at us with our red wine smiles…

Mrs Mackerel x

Thought for the week: don’t you think that sometimes, silence is like snow?

Download Hawkwind – Silver Machine mp3 (from In Search Of Space)

Download Willard Grant Conspiracy – Lady of the Snowline mp3 (from Let It Roll)