Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Albums of 2010: Romance is Boring

Indie punk pop is a weird little genre. Not quite respected in the Indie genre, a little too sweary for radio play and it tends to bitch too much about punk letting everyone down for the hardcore crowd. Kinda shoots itself in the foot actually. And I guess that ties in with the whole punk pop attitude, so everyone's happy, or not happy, or whatever. Fuck it. Los Campesinos! are pretty chuffed

I know I said I wasn't going to pick favourites but this one takes the trophy for me this year, brilliant get up and dance sounds, blissful sit down and think songs. They made me remember the good times and inspired me to relive them.

This album plays like a soundtrack to a middle class suburban upbringing, the songs full of trauma, overblown drama and small town (I guess this is where the indie comes into play!) house party gimics.

A poke or too at certain modern lifestyles attached to the pretentious post rock the started out on, a rather bleak outlook on love and a complete lack of respect for whatever friendship means any more helps paint a very lifelike picture of a lot of twenty-somethings I know.

I'm a massive fan of every track on this album, once again the title track and the singles released are worth starting out on if these guys are new to you. This is a Flag. There is no Wind. A great single with a somewhat confusing story of a kid faking being deaf because he doesn't care what anyone's saying, you have to listen to it

I'd love to say there's a set story to every song, there isn't. It's kind of hidden in the chorus if anywhere, the rest is full of confessions of acts of passion or childhood memory's. Drinking stories are a staple too. The songs are thrashed out with a sense of urgency, pausing only to give us a catchy chorus.

The eight(?)-piece sound fantastic, even after multiple band member changes, people becoming permanent and leaving every other month over the past year. I wish i could put up every song on this blog... but it would look messy, and take agesss. So buy the cd, or steal it if you like the punk part of it.

Go on then, I'll stick an old favourite in too... just a taster. IN A BEER ADVERT

Long live Los Campesinos!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Albums of 2010: The Drums

Next up, it's another band who I will have the pleasure of seeing live in the next few days. It's probably looking like I'm having quite a good winter of music so far! I promise you, my life isn't always this exciting.

The Drums self titled album comes off the back of last years 'Summertime! E.P'. One of my favourite collection of songs from 2009, with Summertime! being an adequate description of their SoCo sunshine style. They were compared a lot to the Beach Boys when they started making waves, with a similar style of writing. Summer love, heartbreak, old American cars and the fact their most popular song is titled 'Let's go surfing' help give them that old California romantic meets The Cure feel.

They've endured enough of these things this year, one of the members leaving the band halfway through the north american tour only to rejoin a month later. Fucking drama... Let's hope they write a bloody song about it.

But seriously, I love this band, and it's a great album. Simple adorable music. Fingers crossed they stay together long enough to put a few more out there.

They also seems to have a pretty heavy affect on the recently dumped. If there's one thing i've learnt about The Drums, it's never put them on whilst in a car with a couple on the rocks, it doesn't create the best of atmospheres...

Monday, 29 November 2010

Albums of 2010: The Burbs

Next on the agenda is a band I'm actually seeing this week. I'm a little bit cautious to write this up like a creative review, it's been covered quite a lot recently due to the upcoming tour. I've read some great interviews with this Canadian 8 piece, they seem to come off better every time. Especially since they are what many consider the biggest indie band of the moment. An amazing feat for one of the only acts still with an 'independent' mentality.

I think that's as far as I'll probe with regards to defining them, it's all been said and done by all of the big online culture sights, I can't add any more praise. All i can say is if you don't own this album, shame on you.

Arcade Fire burst onto the scene in 2004 with their debut album, Funeral. Which of course went down as one of the best albums of the decade, with songs still being played on many an ipod. Wake Up! even inspiring the album title for the recent John Legend and The Roots collaboration. Although their live cover version does it very little justice... Balls theres me trying to 'Define' Arcade Fire again, it's far too easy to get carried away by them.

The third studio album is just phenomenal, epic songs, more instruments than you can shake a viola-bass at, beautiful harmony's. Not in an in your face way, it'll charm you and keep you coming back for more.

Right enough of me trying to sound like I know the first thing about music. These two ales i've just drunk have knocked my block off. Enjoy

Sunday, 28 November 2010


Time for those end of year lists! I was thinking about doing a countdown of my top albums of the year, I wrote them all out on paper, cut them up and moved them around a bit. I failed basically. I can't decide on any kind of order, just my favourite and some others I really like, in no particular order.

SO to kick off the 'Albums the I like in 2010' I shall start with an act I saw last week, the mercury nominated (the one I was hoping won none the less) album from local gal, Laura Marling.

I Speak Because I Can

It is, in my opinion, the greatest folk album this year. Even though she's still doing the same things she has been doing to the previous album and e.p, there's something big about it. Honest raw lyrics about what can only be described as emotions that no one has the courage to talk about. She still gives the impression that she is wise beyond her years, the album being very relationship based. The songs on the album touch on such matters as heartbreak, loss, memory's of childhood, wanting to better ones life.

It's great to hear this shy, quiet and modest girl continue to write beautiful, intelligent music, expressing her thoughts and sharing her feeling. Her live performance summing this up really, visibly nervous talking to the crowd about her recent work with Jack White, constantly losing her train of thought. But when she starts singing, she closes her eyes and lets it all go.

If i had to post one song off the album, i couldn't. So here's a few, the first one pretty appropriate for this time of yeah...

It's actually a fairly old song of hers, like Blackberry stone. It's a shame it didn't make the Christmas chart last year.
If I had to choose a song to inspire the sale of the album, it would be between three. The title song, 'I speak because i can', the most accessible single off the album 'Darkness Descends' and the below track, the stand out single 'Rambling Man'.

I can't wait for next year, she's got a lot going on at the moment. I'm looking forward to hearing the Neil Young covers she spoke about (the needle + the damage done). Great album and a great year for her...

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Pre-drinking at it's most creative

WOW. It's been months and months and months since i even thought about blogging about music. I don't know what came over me.... anyways my creative side (as well as my opinon) is vying to get out again.

I think it's been long enough to admit my taste in music has been slightly polluted by other people. I'd say i'm even more of a music snob, if this is even possible. I guess i'll start by saying I have quite a few music related events coming up, and i would like to have some way of remembering them. Also been seeing alot of local bands recently, always fun.

To kick this off (again) i'll talk about what i'm listening to right this minute, literally.

A new electro pop band from Sweden niki and the dove, something i stole off the guardians 'new band of the day' thing. Handy that.

They sound a little bit euro pop in this song but it's the only one released on youtube. soz

In the rest of their music i've hear it's all a little Warpaint. I'm finding myself relaxing to this kind of music more and more and you know what, i really don't mind. Don't worry, my normal listening frenzy will start again when i have more time. This is a lottle on the depressing side.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Hot Hot Thursday Curry Club Presents: Track of the Week

Ok so I feel bad about dissing Valentine’s Day now. It’s taken me a day to realise it probably wasn’t a good reflection on me blogging two negative love songs.

Which is why this hot hot Thursday curry club track of the week is a nice one. One of my favourite modern indie tracks. Beautifully acoustic, it can only be ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by the Maccabees. It’s a love song, believe it or not, about bettering yourself for someone you love.

You can pick up a free AND great stripped down version of this song off daytrotter, a cute little website recommended a while back but the source of many a poor bastards broken heart. The websites worth placing on your favourites list. Great video as well

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

If music was the food of love, I’d be a fat romantic slob.

A tongue in the cheek view on love and romance from someone with a blogger name containing the word ‘violated’. You can’t write this kind of shit.

So it’s coming up to my weekend off work and I won’t be around to blog at all, and since the inspiration has taken me I thought I’d get it in early. I’ll be heading into London so cockneys lock up anything/one that you don’t want puked on/in. You have been warned.

So let me start off by saying how much of a pessimist I am about the 14th of February, I can’t remember having a great valentines day or even a decent valentine. In the same breath I really don’t hate the event, love or romance. Also this is not a cry for help or an attempt at advice, I am supremely under qualified for that kind of stuff. It’s just a bit of fun and an excuse to blog some music.

I’m here today to give a more realistic view on romance, not the heartbreak and the love stories but real life. Not everyone has that perfect drama thing going on, and some people try to force it. I myself am emotionally retarded after being left in front of too many episodes of Dawson’s creek’ whilst younger.

There is someone for everyone out there, and if your lucky two people. That’s what we call a ‘ménage á trois’. Jokes. You more than likely have to go through a bunch of relationships and deal with a lot of life before you get settled, find someone or learn your lessons before its too late. Or so I’ve been told. List to enough music and you can learn from people mistakes. This song by Frank Turner says it all really; he speaks of girls with the kind of personality’s I meet far too often. They won’t necessarily treat you like they treated Frank but I think most guys can relate.

Frank Turner – Substitute

Enough of the women bashing and on to some real romance, real being the choice word with this one. I love this track, it’s got to be the funniest song of there brilliant first season. The idea is this is how one of the characters thinks settling down with the women he is currently seeing would be like. In a good way.

Flight of the Conchords – Business time (hypem)

This has got FAR too deep for my liking.

Business hours are over

Thursday, 4 February 2010

1901 - a gooood year init

Another quick blog, I seem to have little to no free time at the moment. Not a lot of new music listened to and not a lot of blogs written. I figure that when the mood takes me, it’ll be time.

Just a quick track of the week here, a single that I’ve heard hundreds of times recently. It was only when it was played out loud on a decent sound system before The Drums came on stage last week that I realised what a stick in the head track it is.

Phoenix – 1901

Look forward to a gig review soon, when I manage to remember to charge my camera for photos!

Oh yeah, and my graphic. It’s drawn by a friend of a friend who makes some SWEET t-shirts. Better than you can get in any high street shop. Seriously, they’ve got a new series coming out. Get them whilst they’re hot from holebrain.com

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thursday Trak o' the week!

Just a quick one for today’s track of the week.

Firstly, whoever came up with the word ‘baby’ is a fucking dude. Not so much when referring to an infant but when used in an affectionate way or when it’s beautifully sang. It just works.

My track this week isn’t exactly new, although it has come a bit more into the mainstream spotlight recently. Animal collective having got that overall award of critics’ awards or something for last year’s album ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’. This track I seem to keep on coming back to again and again, I couldn’t tell you why. It’s just stuck with me, maybe it’s all the music I’ve been recommended recently and the place I am at at the moment. I love it.

‘My Girls’

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Thursday Curry Club Presents; Track of the week!!

I’ve started to have a dislike for Thursdays ever since I tried to better myself with lack of alcohol. Health and mental wellbeing are overrated.

I figure I jazz it up a little by making it a day of celebration, let me introduce you to my track of the week feature! This will be an annual assault on the mainstream, expect drama and longwinded acceptance speeches. Not really, expect a choice you question.

The track of the week isn’t necessarily going to be the biggest of the moment, its going to be a personal thing, perhaps new or maybe old. It’s just going to be something I’ve been listening to a lot throughout the week, a song that has really grown on me or one I’ve found instantly likeable. Anyways I’m going on a bit, all I’m saying is enjoy.

This weeks track comes from hot new band Delphic, their new album ‘Acolyte’ was released on Monday and has had a lot of the airtime on my iPod. A couple of the songs on the album could have made it this week, including the Riton rerub of the single ‘Doubt’. However one track stood out above the rest, I think I like it because it reminds me of several artists, from the more obvious Jack Peñate and Friendly Fires to something a bit 90s dance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

Delphic - Halcyon

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Have you run out of ideas? Do you hate the Swedish media? It might be time to make an Opera!

At the start of the year we always seem to get caught up in the new things in life: new toys from Christmas, new you for January, and new bloody car insurance for me. Let take a moment to look at the old, well aged and more mature returning bands this year.

An album I’m looking forward to this year is the returning album from LCD Soundsystem. Having lived in deepest, darkest North West Wales for three years of the last decade (2007 included) I missed out on more than a few bands. And, as we all know, non-Welsh music is prohibited in Wales, punishable by a ticking off. Since hearing LCD Soundsystem’s stuff over the last few years I’ve come to realise they’re down my electro-indie alley. I still can’t believe that Feist beat both LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Sound of Silver’ and ‘Cross’ By Justice for album of the year. Bloody females with guitars win everything.

Now for something a bit different. Swedish electro anti-press outfit, The Knife, have penned an opera in collaboration with Mt. Simms and Planningtorock, both of which I’ve never heard of. I’m sure they’re big in opera. Before you get all ‘WTF opera?!’ on me, give it a listen. The studio album is out on February 1st, I really enjoyed the first release material (can you call it a single?) ‘Colouring Of Pigeons’. I get the feeling that if Animal Collective’s album was the critics overall album of the year ‘09 then this could well be in or around the top spot in twelve months time.

Talking of stage productions, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s Gorillaz are returning with a studio album titled ‘Plastic Beach’ after finishing up their last major project, the stage adaptation ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’. A much loved band from my hip-hop/ alternative phase when I was just getting into music at the start of the decade, I actually OWN both of their albums on CD. The list of collaborators such as Snoop Dogg, De La Soul and The Horrors it is looking mighty fine and I’m sure the third album will not disappoint, although like the last two albums I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a grower.

The Klaxons, MGMT and Justice were three of the most exciting prospects of 2007, all returning with that difficult second album in 2010, once again they all released in 2007. Why am I so attached to this year?! Klaxons were multi-award winning in their breakthrough year and fans have had to endure a lot of drama and rumours in the run up to a new album. Apparently their second album was ‘too experimental’ (according to their label) for release on the first attempt, they were sent back like naughty school kids to re-record it. Sounds like a promising start. It was also rumoured that they broke up, you know they seem like the type. I hope they don’t get all CSS and start making angry records because one selfish git wants to go into fashion, you would have though Lovefoxx would have warned them.

Klaxons - Valley of the Calm Trees (to be called The Parhelion on the new album)

I’m a big fan of Justice, I loved ‘Cross’ and all its remixes and still listen to them all the time. I’m kind o expecting some sort of glorious album off the froggy duo this year; I’m talking Daft Punk ‘Discovery’ style-y. Even more so as they haven’t even talked about a new album, no material has been leaked and they’ve done nothing but a few remixes and live shows for the past two years. Perhaps I dreamt up this one…

MGMT have a much hyped album titled ‘Congratulations’ which has been kept well under wraps as well. They’ve been collaborating quite a bit recently with people such as Beck and Jay-Z and at their live shows they’ve only showcased three or four songs that are expected to be on the album. None of which I’ve heard… but hell, I’m looking forward to it. The more experimental the better! I'm also looking forward to their work on the David Bowie tribute album expected in May!!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Sounds of 2010

Happy new year everyone! Hope you all had a great holiday season, I have only just sobered up and am now able to focus on a computer screen long enough to shoot a bit of hot blogging out.

I (like many other bloggers) bloody love the feeling I get when I discover a new band I actually really, really like. I’m also pretty bloody lazy. This is why I will always check out the BBC Sounds of 2010 longlist. I also really like the word bloody today.

This list is made up of newish acts that the BBC music critics/Tim Westwood predict will break/sell out over the next year. I have to say they’ve made some very good (and predictable calls) in the past, who would have thought MGMT would have made it?!

Anyways, the list can be broken into sections, those that will probably make it, those that won’t and those that are already making it. These aren’t actually categories by the way, I’ve made them up. Where a music act lies can often be judged on how shiny their MySpace page is.

I’m now going to attempt to (p)review these acts! Before I start, can I just say, I’ve listened to all these acts and they are all very talented, I can see there appeal within their genres and you should really listen to them yourself before you judge. It’s my pessimistic opinion.

Those that will probably make it;

Daisy Dares You – She’s female and has a guitar, is there really anything more you need nowadays? Daisy fits into the very (very) successful female alt folk electro grouping that really took off towards the end of last year. She has a few catchy songs, looking forward to hearing her album, it’s very pop so expect some overplaying on the radio!

Everything Everything – Melodramatic pop / R&B …ish. Whatever they describe themselves as I like them, and can see them being very popular following the success of the less obvious acoustic heroes of last year. There lyrics are deep enough to engage with some catchy choruses. Check out ‘MY KZ, UR BF’.

Delvin – The new name in grime, not really my scene but with collaborations with Wiley you can’t help but get on the playlist. It helps I can actually understand what he’s saying. He does look like someone who might mug you though; I guess that also has appeal? Talented.

Gold Panda – In this case, the mainstream probably won’t see much of Gold Panda, as his appeal lieswell and truly on the clubbing scene. I’m fairly sure he’s had a few nights in the big London clubs that have gone down very well and he’s going to be at Fabric at the end of the month. Brings me back to when dance music didn’t need to have someone famous collaborating. I encourage you to check out ‘Quitters Raga’. I saw him perform at the iTunes festival last year, I got the Aphex Twin vibe from his live act.

The Drums – My Hot Pick of 2010! This four piece could easily fit onto the ‘already making it’ list but there massive UK and European tour kicks off in February. One of the tracks of last year ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ really sums up their style: Post Punk Surfer. ‘Summertime! EP’ is a must get. There’s something about this group, I’m getting tickets to see them, and I encourage you to do the same.

Two Door Cinema Club – I’ve heard a lot about this act through Kitsuné Maison, the ultra pretentious record label that constantly pumps out favourite acts of mine. What does that say about me? Shut up. A very high energy indie / electro act. ‘I Can Talk’ is a great track, with a great video. I expect them to be a festival favourite.

Those that are already making it:

Ellie Goulding – Needs no introduction after winning a Brit Award, it’s obvious that she’s already made it and is going to be one of the biggest new artists of next year. Personally I’m looking forward to some sweet remixes!

Joy Orbison – Dance music how I like it; when it invokes a feeling of euphoria, like something bigger is going on. Sounds like dance music used to pre-2000. Download ‘Hyph Mngo’ if you’re a real dance fan. Already headlining massive club nights all over the UK, expect something special from his first album.

Marina and the Diamonds – Once again, no introduction needed. The single ‘Hollywood’ is enjoying some (over)playtime on all major radio stations and ‘I’m Not A Robot’ got similar treatment. ‘The Family Jewels’ (released February) is going to be one of the biggest pop albums of the year. Oh and she’s Catherine Zeta-Welsh. Nuff said really.

Owl City – Massive over the pond topping the U.S billboard top 100 with their single ‘Fireflies’, which to me sounds like the Skins theme tune. They’re not exactly a ‘new’ act, ‘Ocean Eyes’, being released this coming March will be their third album, very good pop act though! I’d be surprised if they haven’t had many a song in a mobile phone advert, it’s that kind of pop.

Delphic – I love Delphic, can’t wait for their debut album ‘Acolyte’ to be released on the 11th of January. They enjoyed some success last year with ‘Counterpoint’ and their current single ‘Doubt’ is getting some rave reviews, it has to be one of my favourite tracks at the moment. They’ve also found time to remix ‘My Keys, Your Boyfriend’ by an artist also on this list, Everything Everthing. My indie / electro act of next year!

Those that won’t

Stornoway – Acoustic / indie / soul that’s a bit boring for my liking, not quite as instantly likable as Mumford & Sons. I can’t see myself listening to them this time next year.

Hurts – Really not my thing, a little bit George Michael. Really old sound, your parents may like this double act trapped in the 80s but I really don’t.

Giggs – Too much talk of weapons and stuff, this is a set back in hip-hop after such a good year last year for the UK scene. Listen for yourself, with a filthy mouth and bad attitude like that he’ll be shot by next year. God, I sound like my mother.

And that sums up a mildly stressful opinion forming sounds of 2010 list! I hope everyone has the best year of their life, I’m looking forward to some great gigs and festivals! Blog Out