Another month passes in the blink of an eye, they seem to be flying by recently. Perhaps I’m getting old, or maybe it’s just a phase the moon is going through or something. Anyway here’s what I’ve been listening to. As ever scroll down for the York notes.
1. Land of Bundy – Lagerstein: I discovered this lot at Hammerfest, similar in their pirate metal approach to Alestorm, although they ditch some of the tales of the high seas to concentrate largely on the drinking rum aspect of piracy. It’s daft but it’s great fun.
2. We All Fall Down – Dead Daisies: From one festival to another, when I’m undecided on what to listen to at the moment I pluck a band at random from the Download line up. This lot have a bit of an 80’s hair metal vibe, which is what all the cool kids are listening to nowadays I imagine…
3. Whole Inside – Radiator: Someone put a link to one of Radiator’s songs on Facebook and made me want to revisit their woefully under appreciated album released back in the 90’s, it stands up remarkably well. God knows how these guys weren’t huge.
4. I Need That Oooh – The Picturebooks: Having heard lead single Zero Fucks Given last month I had high hopes for the full album, in truth it doesn’t quite live up to expectations but as this song shows when they’re good they’re damn good. Promising.
5. Sinking Down – Son Volt: Why did I wait so long to listen to Son Volt? This is alt-country loveliness, as is the whole album in fact. Keep your eyes out on the album of the month feature coming soon…
6. Fade & Fall (Love Not) – Eliza Carthy: From my favourite album released so far this year, each listen rewards you with more and more layers of brilliance. It really is worth checking out even if folk isn’t usually your bag, baby.
7. Big Mouth – Nikki Lane: Another of this year’s releases that grows on you with each listen, there’s a little rock in her country drawl and a whole lot of attitude on this swipe at small town gossips.
8. I’m Southern – Cadillac Three: If ever a band didn’t need to tell you they were Southern it’s Cadillac Three. With a whole lot of rock in their country swagger it’s pretty plain to see. They’ll be telling you they like Bourbon and sex next…
9. Rican Beach – Hurray For The Riff Raff: Blending Latin rhythms with country and smooth pop, this is an intriguing and uniquely lovely song. My phone attempted to autocorrect it to Ricin Beach, which sounds less pleasant.
10. Suit – Boom! Bap! Pow!: You may well recognise this song from the latest Diet Coke advert. It can be a risky prospect listening to songs that capture your attention in that format though (remember how disappointing the rest of that Babylon Zoo song was?) and in truth this offers little more than the hook from the ad. It is catchy as hell though.
11. Move On – The Wildhearts: I recently tweeted Ginger to thank him for writing this track (I was drunk and had nobody to tell me not to.) and he replied saying that it didn’t get much attention but he was rather fond of it. Which is nice. (I still shouldn’t tweet when drunk though.)
12. Nimble Bastard – Incubus: Back in the late 90’s Incubus looked like they might just become massive. Their Make Yourself and Morning View albums are stone cold classics as far as I’m concerned but since then they’ve been a little hit and miss, and moving further from their rock roots with each album. This new one from their forthcoming album shows they can still crank it up a notch when they need to though.
13. Hellbow – Pink Pussycats From Hell: As concepts go, making every song on your album a hell-based pun isn’t exactly Pink Floydian in its creativity is it? That said I’d rather listen to this any day of the week. Yeah, I said it. And I don’t regret a thing.
14. Animal Army – The Mute Gods: Pretty much anyone who knows me will know if Nick Beggs from Kadjagoogoo. Largely due to my appropriation of a joke about him from a Fist of Fun annual I had when I was about 14. Anyway he’s now Nick Beggs from the Mute Gods and he’s more Porcupine Tree than synth-pop. Which is probably for the best.
15. To Be Without You – Ryan Adams: There’s a lot of love for Ryan Adams out there and I’ve always felt I’ve been missing out by not checking him out sooner. In all honesty the new album hasn’t truly wowed me yet, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have some good songs. Like this one for instance.
16. Only a Friendly – Chris Wood: Another deceptive little folk gem from Chris Wood. It starts as a song describing a football match before morphing into a series of mini dramas of a close knit community. Lovely.
17. I Will Dance (When I Walk Away) – Katzenjammer: I think they’re Scandinavian, I know they’re women and I’m pretty sure they play a whole bunch of instruments you never heard of. They also play some brilliant music. I hadn’t listened to this for ages but for some reason I decided to reconnect with them on Spotify and I’m glad I did.
18. Daloy Polizei – Geoff Berner: A conversation on the AWG Facebook group about Canadian musicians (there are surprisingly few good ones) reminded me how much I like Geoff Berner, a Canadian Klezmer Folk accordionist, with a punk rock attitude (as fuck the police refrain in this song proves). Ok, technically there aren’t any guitars but it’s not like there’s anything to suggest this site is purely for guitar based music is there? Oh.
19. 4-15-13 – Dropkick Murphys: Always at their best when wearing their hearts on their sleeves, this is a poignant little number inspired by the bombs that went off in their beloved Boston back in 2013, that still somehow manages to remain uplifting. Quality work.
20. Snake Eyes – Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes: The soundtrack to a monumental hangover (What did I do last night/And will I be ashamed?) it’s another excellent track from an album that gets better and better as you get to know it more.
21. Dumb Kids – AFI: While I’m more of a fan of their mid-period stuff, AFI have to be lauded for their constant development of their sound. This track is probably the most reminiscent of their earlier stuff but it’s certainly no throwback either. Can’t wait to see ’em at Download.
22. Ticket to Rise – Black Star Riders: Odd one this, it starts with Ricky Warwick in autobiographical mode – which is when he’s at his best in my opinion – before launching into the slightly awkwardly phrased chorus which is a little bit classic rock-by-numbers. And that in truth pretty much sums up the Black Star Riders for me.
Happy listening folks!