It’s May! So here’s last month’s playlist.
As ever scroll on down for the dubious reasons for my selections, or just enjoy the music.
Wake Up – Mad Season: If memory serves Mad Season’s album got a pretty poor review in Kerrang! back in the 90’s when it was released, and because in those days you actually had to spend money on music I never listened to it. Which is madness ‘cos I could listen to Layne Staley all day long. This song has been stuck in my head since I finally gave the album a try last month.
Misery and Gin – Merle Haggard: Combining two of my favourite things; sad country and gin. Merle’s passing got a bit lost in the great cull of 2016, so a year on seems a fitting time to go and revisit his excellent body of work.
Static – Son Volt: Another cut from one of last month’s albums of the month find out more here: https://anythingwithguitars.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/albums-of-the-month-notes-of-blue-son-volt-highway-queen-nikki-lane/
The Deal – Ray Davies: The Kinks legend is back with his latest album Americana. Rather than being a slavish attempt at country music, it’s more of a love letter to the land he fell in love with as a kid and never quite conquered as a musician. In fact this song almost sounds as British as anything he’s ever done.
Blood In The River – Zeal & Ardor: Ever wondered what the music of African slaves would’ve sounded like if they’d rejected the missionaries’ attempts to convert them to Christianity and instead took up Satanism? Well Zeal & Ardor answer that question with slave chants backed with black metal and bonkers electronica. It should be awful, it’s not – it’s amazing.
St. Peter – Black Spiders: It was a sad day when Black Spiders announced they were splitting up, they were an incredible live band, had great songs and existed in entirely the wrong era. Their final tour is just winding up but their music lives on.
Alestorm – Alestorm: Everyone’s favourite pirates are back! A taster from their forthcoming album No Grave But The Sea, it does what Alestorm do: Rum, beer, quests and mead. Hail to the Ale(storm).
Nike Town – The King Blues: It starts off a typical King Blues anti-corporation rant and turns into a touching reflection on singer Itch’s personal growth and the mistakes he’s made along the way, nicely showcasing the two sides to The King Blues lyrical output.
Jump Jelly Belly – Otis Taylor: A slightly more conventional telling of the plight of African-American slaves than Zeal & Ardor, Otis Taylor’s latest album is a slice of truly authentic blues, full of cuts like this cheeky little number.
Andromeda – Mastodon: I can’t claim to be Mastodon’s biggest fan, I can appreciate what they do but it’s never really connected with me for some reason. Their latest album though may be changing all that bestriding the line between prog excess and anthemic rock majestically, I urge you to check it out.
Any Day Now – Cop Shoot Cop: Probably my favourite obscure band, I discovered an entire album I hadn’t heard while researching a separate blog post. This was the song that leapt out at me on first listen. The cynical, slyly witty lyrics reminding me why I loved them when I discovered them as a kid.
A Place Where There’s No More Pain – Life of Agony: I remember back in the mid nineties when LOA were about to release Soul Searching Sun, I don’t think I’d ever been more excited about an album coming out. Fast forward 20 years and I’m perhaps not quite so excited about their latest release but it’s still pretty damn cool that they’re still around and making music.
The Miner – The Men That Would Not Be Blamed For Nothing: A few weeks back I had the idea of starting a Victorian themed metal band – only hindered by my complete lack of musical ability – however it seems these guys got there first which is handy. Altogether now: And we’re all going to die of silicosis!
Suzanne – Creeper: The latest band I’m checking out prior to Download and one bizarrely recommended to me by my boss’s boss’s boss after we had a chat about Alestorm. They sound nothing like Alestorm though, they’re more like mid-career AFI mixed with Alkaline Trio and My Chemical Romance, the influences are worn on the sleeve but it’s not at all bad.
700,000 Rednecks – Nikki Lane: The other Album of the Month, still going strong: https://anythingwithguitars.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/albums-of-the-month-notes-of-blue-son-volt-highway-queen-nikki-lane/
Fairground in the Sky – Bob Wayne: An artist I know very little about, he popped up on my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify with this little slice of country loveliness. He also has a covers album that includes country versions of Sweet Child O’ Mine and All About That Bass amongst others.
It’s Funny to Everyone but Me – Bob Dylan: I had previously ignored Dylan’s forays into the Great American Songbook, in the same way I’ve ignored the majority of his later output, ambivalence manifesting as indifference. But from what I’ve heard of his latest album Triplicate it’s actually rather good. Not sure I’m ready to commit to a whole triple album of it mind…
Third of May / Odaigahara – Fleet Foxes: As a teaser for the new album this is an odd choice, sounding more like a snippet of a greater piece rather than a song in its own right. It’s just great to have Fleet Foxes back. And in fairness they do tend to be growers not showers.
Comanche Moon – Arboretum: Arboretum’s sound is undeniably gorgeous. Dense, dark and sombre it’s as organic as their name suggests (and any good Simpsons fan knows that Arboretum means ‘tree-place’). They occasionally lack the songs to match the sound but they’re a glorious thing to let wash around your head once in a while.
Epitaph – Eliza Carty: Still probably the best album I’ve heard so far this year, this song may or may not be about death by custard. I must be hearing the line wrong, right?
Fuck Off Seagull – Oaf: A sentiment we all share, surely?