Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Top 50 Of 2013: 11-20

Top 50 of 2013: No.11: Boy Sets Fire - While a Nation Sleeps...

Taking a break can sometimes be the best thing for a band or artist, some of the best albums recently have been from people who have been missing for a while and come back revitalised, Boysetsfire are among this lot. While retaining some of the melody they’ve always been known for, this returning album ups the harsher side of the band to bring an albums worth of highlights with a darker edge than they’ve ever had before. Let’s hope they carry on in this tradition, we don’t want another 6-7 years without Nathan Gray’s vocals.

Top 50 of 2013: No.12: Eureka Machines - Remain In Hope

Another triumph of the pledge era, Eureka main man Chris was considering jacking this band in if things didn’t improve, and rightly so, Eureka Machines are on the UK’s most underrated bands, always cramming songs full of energy with mass appeal stamped all over them and getting no kudos from the mainstream press. Remain In Hope is more of the same that made previous album Champion The Underdog such a class album, bouncy pop-punky power pop goodness with humorous lyrics, based on the pledge success of this we will now see another album from these Leeds boys and that’s the best news of the year.

Top 50 of 2013: No.13: Kevin Tihista - Modern Standard

Arrrhhh Kevin, 7 years of silence and 2 amazing records in 2 years, it’s great to see him back, for those not in the know, Kevin Tihista has one of the best voices out there at the moment and a knack for making amazing melodies wrapped over great cynical lyrics. To prove this point and highlight of the album is ‘Happy People, Shut Your Mouths’ a wonderful ode to enjoying misery, elsewhere there’s not a bad song on this album and while it’s a little less powerful as last year’s effort the melodies more than make up for it, can’t wait to see what he comes out with next.

Top 50 of 2013: No.14: Letlive - Blackest Beautiful

Letlive really should be massive, they’ve got melody, they’ve got heavy screaming, they’ve got a style of their own and almost every song is catchy as fuck so for the life of me I can’t understand why they’re not selling records in bucket loads. Carrying on where previous album ‘Fake History’ left off, Blackest Beautiful is much heavier on the funk, it’s a testament to originality in a genre usually laded with mediocrity and showcases real song writing talents, there’s something for everyone on this album.

Top 50 of 2013: No.15: Six By Seven - Love and Peace and Sympathy

6 years since a proper six by seven album release, has it been worth the wait? It barely takes a minute of opener ‘Change’ before this question is soundly answered, finally Chris Olley has recorded a follow up worthy to his opening trilogy of albums, not that the albums since those 3 haven’t been good, but not in the same league sonically. Songs on the new album like ‘Truce’ are almost cinematic in scope, brooding along until it erupts into a fury of guitar, this is music to sit back and listen to, letting it wash over you, and I’ve been hearing more bands creating albums like this these days, this is no background music. You’d be hard pressed to even pick a song from this album if you were to make a mix for someone, because you’d just want to put the whole album on it. Will this be the album that finally propels Chris OIley and Six By Seven to the heights that they’ve always deserved, unfortunately probably not, and that’s what sucks about being in band these days, so why bother? Everyone has their own answer to that question, but listening to an album as good as this, you just need to count yourself lucky that bands like Six By Seven do. Songs gracefully flow throughout the album, songs like ‘Colder’ with its repetitive beat and guitar line send you into musical bliss, while ‘Crying’ is as close to having a single as this album gets with its massive chorus and the closest song to sounding upbeat, despite the rather downbeat subject matter. Album closer ‘Fall Into Your Arms’ is the albums heaviest track full of reverb and those repetitive beats, finishing things in a sprawling mess of noise, which really is how all the best albums end. Musical Bliss.

Top 50 of 2013: No.16: Black Spiders - This Savage Land

Arrrhh Black Spiders, they’re not young and they’re not pretty but they sure can rock, following up they’re excellent debut ‘Sons Of The North’ this second album is more of the same, high energy rock and roll with slightly juvenile lyrics ‘Balls’ anyone. So if you’re wanting intelligent prog rock move on, if you want a band kicking out the jams like Kiss or AC/DC then Black Spiders are the band for you, they’re a brilliant guilty pleasure.

Top 50 of 2013: No.17: Drenge – Drenge

Having caught this sibling two-piece live at Leeds Nation Of Shopkeepers back in 2012, they were the first band on and blew everyone else off stage including Eagulls, so I was very interested to hear this album and it does not disappoint. Songs like ‘I Want To Break You In Half’ and Bloodsports flyby in a mess of fuzz with lyrics spat out, it’s a shambolic affair and all the better for it, Drenge are what UK bands should be trying to top at the moment, effortless genius.

Top 50 of 2013: No.18: Exit_International - Our Science Is Golden

Another double bass band, there’s a few appearing these days, but Exit_International are the best of the bunch, previous album ‘Black Junk’ was merely a good rock record, on this second effort they knock it out of the park with mental time changes, and massive tunes. This is noise but maintaining a heavy dose of melody and singalong sections, not choruses as such, it’s not their style, it’s a shame this album isn’t easier to get hold of and it’s cult status is destined.

Top 50 of 2013: No.19: Mudhoney - Vanishing Point

25 years and still teaching every band out there a lesson, Mudhoney have grown over the years while still retaining their trademark fuzz drenched mess of a sound but incorporating a little more Spacemen 3/The Heads psyche style vibe into their sound. Vanishing Point returns to their more punky material coming off like a modern day Stooges, which unfortunately there is already a modern day stooges, but their album was shit, so get this one instead.

Top 50 of 2013: No.20: Defeater - Letters Home

Defeater must be one the best bands around in the hardcore scene, mixing styles while still retaining that go for the throat rush of adrenaline, on top of that throw in the concept style lyrics and you have an album that glides into the top 20 of the year. You do wonder how far they can take the story of the running concept throughout the 3 albums and EP so far, based on this the story is just getting started.

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