Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Year in Music

Albums I reviewed for Plan B this year, in order of preference, accompanied by tantalising review extract.

CCR reissues
“Creedence is Creedence is Creedence, Man! Shall I continue? Sure!” (And by golly he did..)

Softboiled Eggies, Try it Again
“Floating on a galaxy of warm, downbeat poly-rhythms, crush-worthy singer Janet does Mari Elliot dub reggae, Raincoats’ covers and tears up future dance parties with a triumph called Can You Send Blame? “

Flavour Crystals, Ambergris
“At first I wanted the songs to slide off the rails a bit, but not anymore. I’m cold. I don’t want to be surprised. Just soothed.”

Yellow Moon Band, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World
“Needs a sticker on it that says, ‘Now you’re jammin’!”

Inner Space Soundtrack, Sven Libaek
“Wes Anderson plucked this rare pearl from the clamshell of soundtrack obscurity and plugged a few cuts into his Steve Zissou picture where they fit like an old pair of flippers.”

Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams
“The mood is caterwaul casual and the message is the world is fucked.”

“Pronounce Bitches like a louche Mexican and there you have it: Beaches, a stone-cold classic.”

Atlas Sound, Let the blind lead those who can see but cannot feel
“The tall, skinny deer caught in the strobe lights of Deerhunter’s dazzling art-rock, singer Bradford Cox brings seven layers of stoned noise to this, his official debut under Atlas Sound (a name he’s recorded with since he was 12).”

Boyracer, Flickering B+W
“Like the motto stencilled on Charley Varrick’s van, Boyracer are one of ‘the last of the independents’.”

Pivot, O Soundtrack my Heart
“A stunning assault on the John Carpenter precinct of electronic rock...minimalism so absolute they named a vodka after it.”

The Lord Dog Bird, The Lord Dog Bird
“When done this well, 4-tracks speak truer to our messed-up existence than any other method — additional tracks just seem superfluous.”

Taman Shud, Goolutionites and the Real People
“Give some top grade acid to an environmentally-conscious hard rock band whose name means ‘The Ultimate End’ and suddenly all they want to do is save trees.”

Castanets, In the Vines
“Ringing guitar tones hang in the air like vultures in some weird burrito western.”

Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides, Bataille de Battle
“The ‘War and Peace’ of scorching flute skronks.”

Gable, 7 Guitars with a Cloud of Milk (Loaf)
“Attention Deficit Twee (ADT) from Paree, sporting a deadpan melancholee.”

Spectrum, Milesago
“You won't find any Neu-inflected space trance here, only an earthy Mike Rudd imploring you to 'Do the Crab' (from the ten-minute, four part 'Sideways Saga') with a humour that’s hard to decode.”

KES Band
“It's like Raymond Carver without Gordon Lish. He needs an editor.”

Star Spangled Banger
“Often likened to Bonzo Dog Band, who, if I’m not mistaken, are today’s musical equivalent of a stop sign no one pays any attention to.”

“She said it sounds like The Blow on a bad day, I said it's not that good.”

Grand Salvo, Death
“A neat concept from Down Under about a bear, a bird, a rat, a rabbit and a hunter. Still it’s hard to care about a dying rat. And why no marsupials?”

The Bronx, The Bronx
“Angus Youngish riffs, but more relentless than AC/DC ever were. Gives me a reason to be unhappy about a lot of stuff I should care a lot less about.”

The Condors, Wait for it
“That band from that seaside bar who you kept begging to play Two Tickets to Paradise the night you got totally shitfaced and busy with the Mother of your ex-girlfriend's fiancé, who walked in and saw you all over Mother with a bottle of beer foaming in your hand.”

The All New Adventures of Us, Best Loved Goodnight Tales
“Northampton’s very own Friends. The Ross of the group mourns a world gone sad (“Does anyone remember laughter?”) and makes dreadful admissions (“I know a girl with two grazed knees and I like her”), while the others marshal a fearlessly militant twee.”

Alberta Cross, The Thief & The Heartbreaker
“My advice is dump those shitty Ryan Adams’ records in the river and try on some Tom Petty (but don’t whiten your teeth!).”

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