Posts Tagged ‘Woolen Men’

MM Best of 2015 no guitarAnd so here is the final personal Top Twenty of the year. This time it is my turn!

Another twelve months neatly wrapped up and delivered for your listening pleasure and here’s to 2016…

20. Quiet Hollers – Mont Blanc

An apocalyptic, “end-is-nigh” rolling, country rock anthem. Pure poetry with the best coda to a song I heard all year, “shed a tear for the books I shoulda read“.

 

19. H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

Melodic, haunting, weird. Perfect psych-pop with added twisted electronics.

 

18. Arborist – Twisted Arrow

Brilliant debut single of lilting folk-rock concealing a bleak heart and featuring the hushed vocals of none other than Kim Deal of the Pixies.

 

17. Courtney Barnett – Depreston

With her forensic eye for lyrical detail and the ability to capture emotional turmoil in the sparest of sentences, Depreston is the sombre standout from her brilliant debut album proper. A tale of house hunting in Melbourne suburbia that travels from the mundane to the tender to the revealing.

 

16. Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

Take the most infectiously catchy refrain, add jangly guitars, carefree percussion and bubblegum melodies. This is what you get. A hallucinatory classic.

 

15. Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

Irresistible foot-tapping indie rock, the like of which you just don’t hear very much anymore.

 

14. Woolen Men – Life In Hell

A clattering, staccato burst of tense, nervy post-punk that recalls the best of Wire and The Wipers. The aural equivalent of being jabbed in the throat by a stray elbow in the mosh pit.

 

13. Rats On Rafts – Last Day On Earth

A mini masterpiece of epic, circling, incessant grooves. Far, far, far out man.

 

12. Decemberists – Carolina Low

This was one of those stopped-in-your-tracks moments that music gives you sometimes. Watching the Decemberists live in Bristol at the start of the year and Colin Meloy transfixing the whole audience into rapt attention with just guitar and voice. Also spent much of the year repeating “You’ve got an ugly little mouth boy” in a poor imitation of an American accent.

 

11. Low – What Part Of Me

Classic Low – haunting, spectral, fuzzy and quietly, poignantly devastating.

 

10. Spray Paint – Signal Master

Like Chris T Popper, Spray Paint are my favourite discovery of 2015. Easily the sleaziest, seediest offering of the year – caustic, dead-eyed junkie punk, bleak, repetitive, and crushingly brilliant. “It’s time to put the dog down“.

 

9. Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake

The Agent Intellect was unexpectedly my favourite record of 2015 and any number of tracks could legitimately have gatecrashed my favourite songs of the year. In the end I had to limit myself to two. This one, Why Does It Shake is described by the band as a “back-handed ode to humanity’s resilient self regard in the face of inevitable oblivion. Then the trap door opens.” and is equally exasperated and eloquent. It sets the tone with the doom-laden “False happiness is on the rise, See the victims pile high” and concludes in a stunning climax of clatter and squall.

 

8. Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur

A hit man, a traffic jam. A sparkling ocean. Another extraordinary track of ominous, foreboding beauty from the Quiet Hollers.

 

7. Gun Outfit – Gotta Wanna

I’m a sucker for dusty, sun-parched rock and expansive widescreen Americana and Gotta Wanna combines the two in perfect unison. This is humming road-weary, dusty desert blues of the finest vintage.

 

6. Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Scowling Crackhead Ian

The latecomers entry to the list. Over the course of a few short weeks Jeffrey Lewis’s wryly told tale of growing up with the evil anti-hero of his school days, until they are the only two left in the neighbourhood has firmly embedded itself in to my psyche. It effortlessly helps you to recall your own equivalent of Ian, someone you actively tried to avoid and whose unpredictability could be shocking and whose meanness was legendary (mine was Robert Beckett). “Forever you’ve been Crackhead Ian, It was your kid nickname if we spoke it, You were an insane human being, Whether you ever did or didn’t really smoke it“. Says it all really.

 

5. Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

Girl Band’s Holding Hands With Jamie was a criminally underrated release this year. A band that manages to take the most discordant, contradictory noise and meld it into something magnetically compelling that grips like a vice. Pears For Lunch combines a manic energy with Dara Kiely’s lethargic, disinterested vocals as he intones, “Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down, Covered in Sudocrem and talking to myself, Garlic Curry Cheese Chips“. Exactly!

 

4. Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem

Just shy of three minutes of propulsive, throbbing bass, skimming guitars and urgent vocals. This is Traams at their rollicking, ferocious best.

 

3. Protomartyr – Pontiac 87

The finest riff of the year, and a brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

2. Houndmouth – Sedona

The best sing-a-long chorus of the year bar none. Altogether now, “Hey little Hollywood, You’re gone but you’re not forgot, You got the cash but your credit’s no good, You flipped the script and you shot the plot, And I remember I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink, A Saturday night kinda pink“.

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’

Probably the most overwhelming choice for number one song of the year that we’ve had in seven years of voting. A fingerpicked earworm, a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection.

 

And some other random choices..

Favourite cover of the year: Kinky Friedman – My Shit’s Fucked Up (Warren Zevon cover)

 

Gigs of the year: Fat White Family (Oxford) and The Decemberists (Bristol)

 

Song I wished I’d heard earlier in the year: Robert Chaney – The Ballad Of Edward And Lisa

 

Best Songs Heard For The First Time, But Not From This Year: Justin Townes Earle – Yuma & Sleaford Mods – Chop Chop Chop

 

 

You can see our full countdown of our favourite 100 Tracks of the year here (100-76), (75-51), (50-26), (25-1) and favourite 30 Albums here (30-16), (15-1).

MM BEST OF 2015

As we’re halfway through our tracks of the year (see 100-76 here, and 75-51 here) which resume on Monday, it felt like a good time to break things up with our choices of our favourite albums of 2015. Here then are numbers 30 through to 16.

30 Sarah Cracknell – Red Kite

sarah cracknell

 

29 Desaparecidos – Payola

Desaperecidos

 

28 Kodiak Deathbeds – Kodiak Deathbeds

kodiak deathbeds

 

27 Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

sufjan stevens

 

26 Lord Huron – Strange Trails

lord huron

 

25 Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

father john misty

 

24 Torres – Sprinter

torres

 

23 Wavves – V

wavves

 

22 Woolen Men – Temporary Monument

Woolen Men

 

21 Laura Marling – Short Movie

Laura Marling

 

20 Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird Is Home

tallest man on earth

 

19 Samantha Crain – Under Branch & Thorn & Tree

samantha crain

 

18 Rats On Rafts – Tape Hiss

rats on rafts

 

17 Traams – Modern Dancing

traams

 

16 Wilco – Star Wars

wilco

 

You can get our top fifteen album list tomorrow. For our favourite tracks of the year click here for numbers 100-76 and here for 75-51.

MM BEST OF 2015

And so begins the second quarter of our annual countdown of our favourite tracks of the year.

75 Joe Ely – Wounded Creek

 

74 Great American Canyon Band – Crash

 

73 Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

 

72 The Quite Hollers – Mont Blanc

 

71 Heaters – Mean Green

 

70 Tough Age – New Orleans Square

 

69 Chris Staples – Dark Side Of The Moon

 

68 Telegraph Canyon – Why Let It Go

 

67 The Tulips – Winter Winds

 

66 H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

 

65 Ex-Cult – Stick The Knife In

 

64 Screaming Females – Ripe

 

63 Courtney Barnett – Depreston

 

62 Amason – The Moon As A Kite

 

61 Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

 

60 Songhoy Blues – Soubour

 

59 Faith Healer – No Car

 

58 Haunted Hearts – Something That Feels Bad Is Something That Feels Good

 

57 Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

 

56 Bueno – Assed Out

 

55 Jamie T – Marilyn Monroe

 

54 Creepoid – American Smile

 

53 Woolen Men – Life In Hell

 

52 John Grant – Disappointing

 

51 Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres

 

Check back on Monday for numbers 50 through to 26, and click here for numbers 100 – 76.

We really don’t post as many videos as we should… so as usual here is our rather feeble attempt to clear the backlog of some of the excellent musical films we’ve seen recently.

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Life In Hell is the latest track from the Woolen Men’s forthcoming long player Temporary Monument.

It is propulsive, jerky punk rock that soundtracks a tale of urban gentrification and the smothering advance of the newly rich. It somehow manages to pack being tense, fatalistic and compelling into two short, clattering minutes.

Listen here.

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New From The Woolen Men

Posted: July 20, 2015 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Punk, Rock
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The Woolen Men play punk influenced DIY music in the tradition of Dead Moon and the Wipers. In September they will release their new album Temporary Monument via Woodsist.

For now you can stream the first single from it, the sweetly understated jangle of After The Flood.

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Round Up Time Again

A few very choice tunes have come our way recently and which for one reason or another we’ve been slow to post them.

So here is a quick and dirty round up of some of them!

First up the very welcome return of the wonderful Pink Mountaintops and the first taste from their forthcoming album Get Back. We also have the brilliant Bass Drum Of Death and new single Black Don’t Glow, and very much in a similar vein we have more sonic mayhem from NØMADS.

We also have new tracks from two of our favourite songwriters; Richard Buckner in the form of Gauzy Dress In The Sun from the forthcoming expanded reissue of Bloomed and Chad VanGaalen’s Where Are You? from his new long player Shrink Dust. We have the spaced out punk of The Ketamines and the much anticipated new single from The Men, and Magic Bones’ excellent ode to Aussie punk rock, Round The Block.

Rounding off our rounding up are a track from the Woolen Men’s latest EP Quick Trips, and from Those Darlins, Why Can’t I,  one of the standout tracks from last year’s excellent Blur The Line album. Finally Let’s Wrestle’s new album is garnering lots of positive column inches and you can hear just why with Rain Ruins Revolution – witty, sarcastic indie rock at its best.

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MM Shorts 318: The Woolen Men

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Punk, Rock
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MM Shorts 318: Woolen Men

Rather enjoying these two tracks from The Woolen Men’s self-titled album due out on the Woodsist label on March 5th. Paying homage to the scrappy DIY punk aesthetic of the 90s, they point the way to what sounds like it could be a very promising debut indeed.