Posts Tagged ‘Yowl’

It’s time for MM’s annual round up of our favourite songs of the year. Thanks as always go to all our regular contributors – Mrs Mackerel, Chris T Popper, the Italian Job, Polly Pocket and a very welcome return to the fold for Dr Roddy.

So without further ado, lets start the countdown.

100 Cabbage – Preach To The Converted

 

In a year that we lost the great Mark E Smith, Manc neighbours Cabbage stepped up to the plate and delivered an album of sneering, swaggering and violently nihilistic songs that were cut from the same cloth as the Fall. Preach to the Converted is a prime example, a snarling, surf-tinged punk stomper.

 

99 Yowl – Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living

 

Yowl capture the frustration of the 9-to-5 London grind like few others (also making Chris T Popper’s best of the year list in 2016). In frontman Gabriel Byrde, they have someone who can spin poetry on songs about alienation and exhaustion. Yowl are often viciously loud, but on Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living) it is tempered with a more fatalistic, loose feel that calls to mind Lou Reed as much as it does Parquet Courts.

 

98 Teenage Cavegirl – No Good/So Bad

 

Austin, Texas boy/girl duo Teenage Cavegirl offer exactly what their name says they should. The tribal drums and trash-pop guitar lines combine to create a deceptively simple slab of primal garage rock. Throw in some plaintive lyrics, an anthemic chorus and wrap it all up in under two minutes.

 

97 Black Delta Movement – Let The Rain Come

 

Inspired by the ghosts of the Sonics and MC5, influenced by the kaleidoscopic thrum of the Black Angels and Wooden Shjips, Let The Rain Come is a propulsive, mesmerising gem of powerful psych-rock that layers an industrial sheen over it’s pummelling hypnotic heart.

 

96 Cool Ghouls – CCR Bootleg

 

A boisterous, jerky slice of indie that rambles along with an unshakeable airy confidence and a knowing nod to the great band’s chooglin’ style.

 

95 Parquet Courts – Wide Awake

 

Channelling their inner Talking Heads, Wide Awake is a shout along anthem propelled on something akin to tropical percussion and a sparse, funky and naggingly insistent guitar refrain.

 

94 Yak – White Male Carnivore

 

A welcome return from the noisenik trio. White Male Carnivore is what, in the old days, we’d have called a rip-snorter. Crunchy, muscular and prone to an odd left turn (those weird backing vocals, the wry nod to American spirituals), the song careers along moving everything out of its path with sheer force of will.

 

93 Sunflowers – Sleepy Sun

 

A mutating slab of space rock – all slurred riffs and acid-bleached vocals. Just as likely to be a nightmare as a dream depending on your drug of choice…

 

92 Strange Cages – Hypothalmus Blues

 

Brighton’s Strange Cages are purveyors of a snotty, psych-surf rock ‘n’ roll sound in the vein of The Cramps or Ty Segall. The wonderfully titled Hypothalamus Blues combines elements of krautrock and post-punk with a paranoid, schizophrenic vocal.

 

91 Sleep Eaters – Ghost On Fire

 

Just over two minutes of cacophonous, fuzzed out, desert, cowboy garage-rock, that sounds like a feral cross between The Black Lips, The Stooges and the Screaming Blue Messiahs – imagine all three dropped into a sun-baked, spaghetti western playing to a whiskey bar full of gunslingers on speed.

 

90 Ron Gallo – Really Nice Guys

 

Taking aim squarely at the music industry and those bands who are “better people than musicians“, Ron Gallo’s blackly acerbic wit is filtered directly through the prism of 60s garage rock and fuzzy psychedelia.

 

89 Nest Egg – Denied Doctrine

 

A three-piece from Asheville, North Carolina who describe their head-heavy and kosmische psych-rock wig-outs as ‘mood music for nihilists’. Denied Doctrine is a mind scrambling swirl of malevolent, chugging guitars and hypnotic reverb.

 

88 Mothers – Pink

 

Pink grips like a vice and over seven taut, potent minutes of nervy, hypnotic, krautrock it builds layer upon layer of bewitching intensity that never lets up.

 

87 Lonely Parade – I’m So Tired

 

A mix of wiry post-punk and buzzsaw guitars – disaffected dissonance never sounded so good!

 

86 Crepes – Bicycle Man

 

Infectious indie-pop par excellence. A groovy bass-line and hooks sharp enough to burrow deep under the skin.

 

85 American Pets – Forgetting

 

Taking inspiration from the likes of The Velvet Underground, Wilco, Tom Petty, and Serge Gainsbourg, LA based indie band American Pets’ Forgetting is a quietly strummed mix of bleak suburban nostalgia and nightmare.

 

84 Wharves – High School Hero

 

The naggingly, groove infused High School Hero sounds like a weird mash up of glam-rock era Bowie, Devo, Nick Cave, The Clash’s Magnificent Seven and Tom Tom Club’s Wordy Rappinghood. Even more weirdly it works… brilliantly.

 

83 Lord Huron – Ancient Names (Part II)

 

Lord Huron are not particularly known for their garage rock credentials, but Ancient Names (Part II) bursts out the blocks with a heavy, distorted sense of urgency proclaiming “gone are the days of laughter and love“, and over the course of two short minutes conveys a darkness of heart and soul that is epitome of resigned despair and hopelessness.

 

82 Thurston Moore – Mx Liberty

 

A typically corrosive broadside at the “mockery of democracy” that currently prevails in the USA. Thurston Moore’s brings his trademark barbed guitar squall and brutal, bruising percussion to the table and wins the argument. Hands down.

 

81 Flasher – Skim Milk

 

Crisp, exhilarating guitar riffs matched to a melodic ease and with some enjoyably rowdy call and response vocals, Skim Milk is a gem of sharp, precise indie rock.

 

80 LICE – The Human Parasite

 

Lyrically obtuse, melodically caustic and revelling in ugly, uncomfortable home truths, LICE’s debut single was a scratchy, skronky, instant classic. “All humans carry, through their daily lives / A compulsion to torture and destroy / Be not afeared of your impulse to despise / Your neighbour just because they have an accent you dislike.

 

79 The Men – Maybe I’m Crazy

 

A wired, pulsating, synth-driven rocker complete with wonky sax at the end. Play loud.

 

78 Phosphorescent – Around The Horn

 

The centrepiece of latest album C’est La Vie, on Around the Horn Phosphorescent calls the shimmering motorik of the War on Drugs and then raises it with an eight minute mini masterpiece of swelling, throbbing country-psych.

 

77 Gong Gong Gong – Siren 追逐劇

 

Desert psych anyone? South-east Asian freakout? Chinese blues? All this and more is thrown into the melting pot and stirred to a magnificent, galloping frenzy.

 

76 Phobophobes – Where Is My Owner?

 

The low rumble of menacing, dirty sleaze – a fetid, swampy stomp set atop twinkling drums and sweet organ flourishes. Over it all is the sardonic refrain of “Where is my owner? I thought that I came with one”

 

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New Single From YOWL

Posted: April 20, 2018 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Post Punk, Rock
Tags:

Peckham five-piece YOWL have announced their new single Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living).

The band capture the frustration of the 9-to-5 London grind like few others (making Chris T Popper’s best of the year list in 2016). And in frontman Gabriel Byrde, they have someone who can spin poetry on songs about alienation and exhaustion. YOWL are often viciously loud, but on the new single it is tempered with a more fatalistic, loose feel that calls to mind Lou Reed as much as it does Parquet Courts.

Intrigued? Stream it here.

 

The second instalment rounding up some tunes we missed from the tail end of 2017.

Let’s kick off with Yowl’s relentless and uneasy Darkroom, a wonderfully vicious and febrile slice of post-punk.

 

Night Herons’ raw sound is a visceral blend of garage rock and chugging proto-punk – for fans of classic bands like The Stooges or the New York Dolls.

 

Norwegian psych-rockers Electric Eye’s single Sometimes You Got To Jump To Lift Your Feet sounds like a soundtrack to a movie that hasn’t been made yet, it’s villainy acid prog, it’s ethno jazz, it’s old school hip hop grooves mixed with the easily recognisable, hypnotic Electric Eye sound.

 

Grant Earl LaValley plays a haunting iteration of psych/folk – almost like a gothic Gene Clark that experimented very heavily with psychedelics and lush instrumentation to accompany a sparse guitar. Where Are All My Friends comes from his excellent October release From LaValley Below.

 

The Roseline’s single How To Be Kind is full of low key, Wilco-like charm and Harry Nilsson-ish vigor.

 

Whispertown featured at the top end of our Best of Year listings and Freefaller is another fine example of stripped back acoustic Americana.

 

Texas psych-rock vibes permeate through Birds of Night’s single, Blacklight. Recommended if you like: Built To Spill, desert sunsets, abandoned ghost town seances, drugs, and mystic rock and roll.

 

Benjamin Jones’ single Light Up The Room is a lovely slice of sweetly melancholy folk that recalls Sufjan Stevens.

 

Post-punk in origin but with overtones of no wave, psych and garage rock, The Plan has been described as ‘Talking Heads meets the Breeders’. Listen to Bright Lights from debut long player Nervous Energy.

 

Finally, back in November, The Gotobeds released a verbatim song-by-song remake of Redd Kross’s infamous debut EP – this is a great version of Annette’s Got The Hits.

 

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Our second individual listing comes from long-standing contributor Chris T Popper, he of the creaking joints and club foot (and yet still the second-best footballer in his family). Another cracking collection of tunes, and you can always listen on Spotify here.

20 Big Thief – Paul

 

19 Mind Spiders – Running

 

18 Hooded Fang – Dead Battery

 

17 Van William – Revolution

 

16 Staches – Total Commitment

 

15 Yowl – The Imminent Return

 

14 Ultimate Painting – Bills

 

13 Great American Canyon Band – Undertow

 

12 Flat Worms – Petulance

 

11 Jacuzzi Boys – Lucky Blade

 

10 Neighbors – Angel O

To begin my countdown we have the troubled Neighbors. The band are new to me and unfortunately I won’t be getting to hear any new material as they split up earlier this year. Thankfully they did have the good sense to sign off with a cracker. Angel O with its spiky guitars, rhythm changes and Jose Diaz’s Rohena’s distorted vocal ending the song audibly weeping is definitely one to pique my interest in checking out their back catalogue.

 

9 Parquet Courts – Dust

Dust is everywhere – it’s all around you ‘you’re biting it now’ it taunts. Held together by a driving tempo that breaks occasionally for a trip around all kinds of added extras including traffic noise it’s a celebration of the mundane. Sweep.

 

8 PJ Harvey – Guilty

The foreboding nature of the beat – a combination of tom tom through a whammy pedal – and lyrics feels particularly pertinent considering what a strange year’s 2016 has been. Decrying the US drone strikes ‘what’s he doing with that stick, which one is guilty?’ and ‘nobody asked us if we’re one of ‘them…’’ feels like a question likely to be repeated in 2017.

 

7 Magic Potion – Milk

I love the weirdly tuned guitars, slacker attitude and the way it just does it’s thing almost unnoticed. There is a kind of warmth to the whole thing (it was recorded and produced by the band) that seems to permeate and the doleful tones of lead singer Gustaf Montelius are a perfect match to the fab wonky guitar.

 

6 Terry – Don’t Say Sorry

Melbourne quartet Terry are a band made up of Australian post punk royalty. With members from different bands (including the wonderfully monikered Constant Mongrel) they’ve created an insanely catchy song with the sort of chorus that strikes earworm gold. Obviously I can’t help but sing along with it every time – it’s just instinctive.

 

5 The Wave Pictures – Pool Hall

This one ambles in to my top 5 with a nicely laid back swagger. Inspired by the disconnection of a society that’s seems intent on closing all our interesting places of social interaction, it’s a bluesy lament to those smoky pool halls now disappeared ‘your past gets closed down bit by bit’ says guitarist/vocalist and songwriter Dave Tattersall, adding (we’re now living)‘…in a bankrupt culture, one that celebrates bongo pop morons and largely ignores the real thing’. About right.

 

4 Underworld – I Exhale

From humble beginnings it’s when the synth cracks in to life that I Exhale starts it’s inexorable rise to becoming my go to record of the year. How many times did I put this on really loud when I was feeling shitty and found Hyde’s spoken word lyrics carrying me off to a different place, ably assisted by that pounding hypnotic beat.

 

3 Little Barrie – I.5.C.A.

Little Barrie made an appearance in a previous top 10 of mine and they’ve delivered another beauty with I.5.C.A. Bit of a slow burner, but that filthy opening riff soon pulls you in and the guitar throughout is just extraordinary. Inspired by hallucinatory trips driving up and down Interstate 5 on their last tour goes some way to explaining it’s otherworldly appeal.

 

2 Terry Malts – Used To Be

I have a real soft spot for Terry Malts, their tune I Was Not There was a big favourite from 2013. Now three years later they’re back with another cracker. I love the lyrics, grieving for a life that is just a nostalgic mirage. Do you want it back how it used to be? it asks before signing off with a ‘not me’ slapping any rose tinted glasses off your face in the process.

 

1 Yak – Victorious (National Anthem)

The chaos this song provides in just over 2 minutes is quite magnificent. The monster bass break preceding the chorus is proper badass and coupled with the strangulated vocals it gallops along with such an endearing lunacy I knew it was my favourite record of the year pretty quickly. There is something I love about a band doing exactly what they want… and it works a treat.

 

Tomorrow we have Mrs Mackerel’s dirty dozen. To check out the Italian Job’s top 20 click here or click for the full run down of our 100 favourite tracks (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1) and albums.

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Inside the top fifty of our favourite songs of the year now. Check numbers 50 – 26 and come back tomorrow for the final countdown…

50 BAIT – I’m Still Here

 

49 Big Thief – Paul

 

48 Kyle Craft – Before The Wall

 

47 Staches – Total Commitment

 

46 Arborist – I Heard Him Leaving

 

45 Hooded Fang – Dead Battery

 

44 Yowl – The Imminent Return

 

43 Quiet Hollers – Broken Guitar

 

42 Ultimate Painting – Bills

 

41 Mind Spiders – Cold

 

40 Flat Worms – Petulance

 

39 Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

 

38 Old Sea Brigade – Sleep In The Park

 

37 Nick Cave – Skeleton Tree

 

36 Jacuzzi Boys – Lucky Blade

 

35 Fat White Family – Breaking Into Aldi

 

34 The Cave Singers – That’s Why

 

33 Neighbors – Angel O

 

32 The Lumineers – Gale Song

 

31 The Julie Ruin – I Decide

 

30 The Bones Of J.R. Jones – Hammers And Nails

 

29 PJ Harvey – Guilty

 

28 Joseph Coward – Peanut Girl

 

27 Magic Potion – Milk

 

26 Agnes Obel – Its Happening Again

 

Check the full list so far: 100-76, 75-51.