Let’s leave it at that

I’ve decided I’m going to retire this blog. I started 2021 with weekly reviews, then after getting behind I thought I might do it monthly, but I’m finding that without a clear challenge like the 366 Albums, 1 Year project, I don’t have the appetite. I’ll keep it online as a journal of my musicalContinue reading “Let’s leave it at that”

2021 Albums/EPs: Week 5 (January 29 – February 4)

Welcome to Week 5 of these increasingly out-of-date round-ups of what I’ve been listening to during each week of 2021. A real mixed bag of stuff hit my ears on the last Friday of January. Goat Girl – On All Fours (Rough Trade) I’ve never quite worked out how much I like Goat Girl. IContinue reading “2021 Albums/EPs: Week 5 (January 29 – February 4)”

2021 Albums/EPs: Week 3 (January 15 – 21)

Last year was shit, except for music, and this year looks likely to be very similar. There were some good releases in the first couple of weeks of 2021, but Friday the 15th really seemed to kick this year into life. I entertained myself with three albums and three EPs.

2021 Albums/EPs: Week 2 (January 8 – 14)

This week just gone (and yes, I’m already falling behind on these!) saw the first 2021 release I was actually looking forward to rather than just listening to out of a sense of routine and habit, but two others grabbed my attention as well. Let’s have a look at them!

Album #366: Asian Dub Foundation – Access Denied

I’ve been struggling to decide what album to finish this project with. I felt after this pretty awful year, it should be something that looks towards the future. Inspiration came in the end from the campaign to make the Asian Dub Foundation/Stewart Lee’s song ‘Comin’ Over Here’ number one on the first official Brexit day.

Album #365: Tangerine Dream – Phaedra

The penultimate entry of this project is inspired by the Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch. Phaedra is recommended to the protagonist Stefan by video game creator Colin Ritman, who is unimpressed to hear that Stefan had Thompson Twins’ Into the Gap on his walkman (funnily enough, that album was #48 on here).

Album #358: Jehnny Beth – To Love is to Live

I haven’t really managed to generate anything more than a passing admiration of Jehnny Beth and her band Savages. I have a feeling I might do in time, and Savages without doubt have one or two brilliant tracks (most notably ‘Husbands’), but I feel like I’m still digesting a lot of it.

Album #349: Depeche Mode – Violator

I’ve mentioned Top of the Pops and the BBC Four reruns of it a lot more than I meant to in this blog. Going through 1990, it’s very quickly apparent that it was an excellent year for Depeche Mode, and since I’ve never listened to their album of that year, Violator, it’s about time that changed.

Album #348: beabadoobee – Fake It Flowers

It’s strange how although this blog is testament to how much time I spend listening to and following music, I can be totally out of touch with what’s going on. Filipino-born Londoner Beatrice Laus, aka beabadoobee, had a top 10 album in October with an indie/bedroom pop album that seems a lot like something I would listen to. I hadn’t even heard of her until this weekend!

Album #339: Chris Kamara -…And a Happy New Year

Well, why not? From journeyman footballer to bungling pundit, to TV presenter and all-round entertainer, Chris Kamara, the man who takes not taking yourself too seriously to a new level, is now locking horns with the likes of Bublé as he croons his way through a selection of seasonal ditties.

Album #338: Calexico – Seasonal Shift

Resorting to Christmas albums as 2020 reaches its final month is not really what I envisaged for this blog. The obvious one to start with today would have been the new Sigur Rós album, but I really didn’t expect them to release an album this year and have already reviewed Valtari, so it would be breaking my rule of one album per act.

Album #334: Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth

Welsh post-punk band Young Marble Giants’ one and only album seems universally revered by critics. Kurt Cobain is said to have put it in his ten most influential albums of all time, although I’m sure he said about many more than ten albums during his tragically short life!

Album #331: Billie Joe Armstrong – No Fun Mondays

What’s up with Billie Joe Armstrong at the moment? Not content with playing his part in Green Day’s truly terrible Father of All… album earlier in 2020, he’s gone and dropped another musical turd into the year from hell with this collection of pop-rock covers.

Album #322: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – K.G.

Along with Oh Sees (or Osees as they’re currently known), Australian psych-rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are probably the band who have most redefined the notion of being prolific. K.G. is their 16th studio album in a little over eight years, and is paired with a new live album released on the same day.

Album #315: William Basinski – Lamentations

The only work I know by the avant-garde composer William Basinski is his 2002-03 project The Disintegration Loops, which is literally the sound of a short piece of music being played again and again until the tape is destroyed. Cleverly (or opportunistically, depending on your viewpoint), he tied it in with the 9/11 attacks and claims he finished the project as the World Trade Centre was collapsing. True or not, it’s an intriguing and groundbreaking listen.

Album #312: Molchat Doma – Monument

When I started this blog, I didn’t expect to cover not one, but two bands from the basket case of a nation that is Belarus over the course of the year. But while I sought out Messed Up due to becoming increasingly fascinated by the former Soviet state’s ugly politics, their countrymen Molchat Doma have made something of a hard-to-ignore splash around the world.

Album #308: The Angelic Process – Weighing Souls with Sand

Mention shoegaze to most people and they’ll either look at you blankly, or recognise it as a very niche genre featuring My Bloody Valentine and a couple of other bands that aped them. In truth, shoegaze can be anything from the ambient lounge vibes of Spiritualized and Stereolab, to the eardrum-splitting pulverisation of instruments toted by A Place to Bury Strangers. Some would lump the Deftones into the genre, along with Alcest and other acts veering towards black/drone metal.

Album #307: The Slow Readers Club – 91 Days in Isolation

The strange thing about following music closely in 2020 is that because albums are usually written and recorded months in advance, music hasn’t quite caught up with the climate of COVID-19 and lockdown. One band I feel particularly sorry for is Anti-Flag, whose optimistic January album 20/20 Vision seemed dated by March. Still, at least Trump’s being sent packing, which you felt was the album’s main point.

Album #304: Bitch Falcon – Staring at Clocks

Ireland is kicking out some great music right now, with Fontaines D. C., Girl Band, Just Mustard, The Murder Capital, Sons of Southern Ulster and Silverbacks just a few names off the top of my head. In addition, I’ve been looking forward to this debut album from Bitch Falcon, which landed on Friday.

Album #303: Slow Pulp – Moveys

Looking at this page’s Twitter feed, I seem to have got into a recent cycle of reviewing albums with animals on the cover. Unless I’m getting subliminal messages from the RSPCA, it’s entirely coincidental, although I’m continuing the trend to some extent here, with this debut from Slow Pulp featuring some variety of winged insect on the front.

Album #296: The Wake – Perfumes and Fripperies

Post-punk is rarely associated with joy. Adjectives that come to mind when you hear of the genre might include ‘gloomy’, ‘paranoid’, ‘claustrophobic’ and ‘introverted’. Coincidentally, all those words also sound very 2020, so what better time for a post-punk band to bring out a comeback album?

Album #295: Nothing – The Great Dismal

The shoegaze revival has seen a number of fairly new kids on the block become raved about by aficionados new and old. Probably at the apex of these are DIIV, a band I like a lot. One or two others are Whirr, who I would have a lot more time for if they weren’t such jerks, and Ringo Deathstarr, who I’ve never really taken to.

Album #288: Joe & The Shitboys – The Reson for Hardcore Vibes

I don’t know a lot about the Faroe Islands. There appear to be a lot of rocks and grass there, including grass on rooves. They have an international football team that almost always loses and once had a goalkeeper who wore a bobble hat. Now, this unlikely North Atlantic outpost is home to a raging, no-nonsense punk band extoling veganism and bisexuality within a usually conservative cluster of islands.

Album #286: Butthole Surfers – Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac

Anything completely weird like the Clown Core album I did earlier this week instantly makes me think of Butthole Surfers. They’re a band I’ve dipped in and out of rather than exhausting their catalogue, so let’s hear what their first album sounds like.

Album #281: The Bodines – Played

From what I’ve read about The Bodines, theirs is a story of what might have been. Readily associated with the C86 sound and arguably the British indie band of the moment at one time, they made the decision to build on this by moving from the independent Creation label to the mainstream Magnet for their debut album Played.

Album #280: Autechre – SIGN

After being spoilt rotten for new releases over the last few Fridays, I couldn’t see much at all that interested me today. Oh Sees and HEALTH both have new albums out, but the rule of no more than one album per artist I set myself at the start of this challenge means I can’t do them – especially annoying with Oh Sees because on first listen, I think I prefer their new one to the one I reviewed.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started