Monday, 19 September 2016
To say that this album has had its fair share of turmoil is an understatement, but as per the quote below things are all the better for the pain endured and the end result is definitely worth the wait. Now I loved the first H!H! album, in fact it was No.5 in my top 50 albums of 2012, and I can see this version of the album making a similar if not higher place this year. Some may know what I mean about this version, others not, having listened to both I can safely say this version is more in line with the first albums style with amazing (and numerous) melodic female (mostly) vocals and not as shouty as the ‘other’ version and that’s all I’m going to say on the matter considering enough has already been said including by the band on the excellent ‘Loud And Fucking Clear’.
It’s H!H!’s use of female vocals that gives it its individuality that sets it apart from the norm, and from what I can tell nearly every song has a different singer, which in some cases can spell disaster. We’ve all seen those solo albums by a guitarist where they’ve roped in a different singer for each song, yeah some songs are good but it doesn’t feel like an album, more a compilation, H!H!T! feels like an album and that’s where it makes a difference (did we expect anything less from Ginger?). Kicking off with ‘All Around The World’ this is actually in my opinion the weakest track on the record and it’s still a rush of massive harmonies and singalong choruses so if it only gets better from here then you’re in for a treat. ‘This Ain’t Love’ is up next with huge melodies courtesy of Emily Lee and when I say huge melodies I mean one of the best vocal performances I’ve ever heard, in a just world this would be a hit single.
‘Glass Of Champagne’ a re-worked version of Sailors excellent single is a duet treat between Sonic Boom Six’s Laila and drummer Ai, elsewhere we have the almost Motörheadesque guitar on ‘Let’s Get Emotional’ the outstanding previously mentioned ‘Loud And Fucking Clear’ which is probably my favourite track if just for the English weather baiting chorus and a Japanese version of ‘Body Parts’ sung by bassist ‘Toshi’. If this wasn’t enough album closer ‘Perfect’ with vocals provided by guitarist The Rev, which shows that this lad needs a new band or solo album of his own, he’s like a young Ginger and I can see him going on to bigger things based on this performance.
The quote mentioned above from ‘Body Of Evidence’ starring Madonna:
Madonna “When I was growing up we had a strawberry patch in our backyard. So did this family down the road. I used to sneak in their yard and steal their strawberries. It wasn't easy. The stone walls were high and I'd scrape my knees as I climbed over. On the other side were wild rose bushes. The thorns would dig into my legs and cut my thighs as I lowered myself down”
William Dafoe “If you had what you wanted at home why did you sneak into their yard?
Madonna “Because -- somehow the fruit always tasted that much sweeter because of the pain it took to get to it.”
Terrible movie but worth watching with a box of Kleenex (smiley face with a wink/wank)
Sunday, 28 February 2016
1001 7" Records You Must Own No.59 The Cribs - You're Gonna Lose Us / I Was Her Man But I Done Her Wrong
Leave it to The Cribs to write a b-side that was so good they ended up re-recording it as a single, ‘You’re Gonna Lose Us’ is classic New Fellas era Cribs full of their usual wit and charm and shout along chorus that only just manages to hold it together without falling apart. On the flipside you get the equally amazing ‘I Was Her Man But I Done Her Wrong’ showcasing the bands softer side and reminiscent of the outstanding ‘It Was Only Love’ from the New Fellas album, beautiful stuff.
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of great Beatles records but this is one of my favourites, of course you have the classic a-side which everyone should know and shame on you if you don’t but that’s not why I love this record so much it’s the flipside. ‘You Can’t Do That’ is a lost classic that should have been the first track, Lennon is superb on this one and full of jealous subdued rage showing that even the less well known songs were far superior to other bands making the charts in those days.
More sleaze rock, while they’ve not always been completely consistent Buckcherry can write some amazing songs when they’re on form and with their debut single they started out with a an ode to Cocaine not my thing but that doesn’t get in the way of it being a big bombastic track with a huge chorus and great melodies for anyone who misses the early Guns N Roses style. Backing this up is the amazing ‘Late Night In Voodoo’ which if it wasn’t a b-side would have been a highlight of the first album and would have made a great single in its own right, far too good to be relegated to obscurity, one day I’ll make a playlist of my favourite b-sides and this will make the cut easily.
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Cover songs as singles can sometimes leave a bad taste in the mouth, if they’re too similar to the original they seem pointless, Backyard Babies don’t take this route, they amp the original up to 11 and bring in a certain Mr. Ginger Wildheart to make it even more worthwhile. Not dissing the original Faster Pussycat version but this has so much more energy and power, backing this up with ‘Stars’ and ode to some of their favourite and not so favourite artists with the catchy chorus of “Shut Up You Fuck” you have another outstanding 7”.
Sunday, 7 February 2016
1001 7" Records You Must Own No.52 At The Drive-In - One Armed Scissor / Pattern Against User / Incetardis
Having got into At The Drive-In via their mini-album ‘Vaya’ I was so blown away by their chaotic unique take on punkrock that I couldn’t wait to hear more, luckily in their short existence they were extremely prolific and I didn’t have to wait long. ‘One Armed Scissor’ takes what they’d done before and pushed it to higher levels of excellence, it’s chaotic yet holds enough melody to make it a highlight among the bands output. ‘Pattern Against User’ again let people know just how amazing the forthcoming album was going to be and to top it all off you get the exclusive ‘Incetardis’ showing that even the cuts that didn’t make the album pissed all over other bands at the time.
Thursday, 4 February 2016
As a statement of intent goes, the first outing from 3 Colours Red or ‘Three Colours Red’ as they went by on this release you couldn’t get a better introduction to a band. Once again released by the excellent Fierce Panda label when the needle hits the record you know you’re onto something special ‘This Is My Hollywood’ is classic 90’s rock that stands up against contemporaries like The Wildhearts, Kerbdog and Baby Chaos but with a more punky edge, full of vigour and melody and a great shout a-long chorus, I could listen to this on repeat for hours. Backed up by the even heavier ‘Hate Slick’ you have a perfect coupling that would pave way for an excellent debut album.
Monday, 1 February 2016
Despite his shyness and unwillingness to tour Gavin Clarke had actually been quite prolific during his 20 year or so career, and his recent passing is made all the more upsetting by the fact that he was finally getting back on track. Recent album ‘Evangelist’ and the odds and sods double LP ‘Beautiful Skeletons’ are both outstanding examples of his brilliant song writing and his amazing voice, which is probably right up there with Mark Lanegan and Ben Ottewell. But before his recent output there was about an albums worth of guest vocals for bands like UNKLE, the exceptional Clayhill, but in the beginning there was Sunhouse. I remember reading a very favourable review of their first album in Uncut magazine and picking up what would become one of my favourite records ever, they only released that album and a hand full of b-sides but everything they recorded is worth checking out including this early single. The Smalltime Sessions were recorded for the very low budget early Shane Meadows film of the same name and on this record you get two of the best songs Sunhouse ever did. Starting with ‘Hurricane’ one of their more upbeat songs it’s the best single you’ve never heard it should be considered a classic. On the flipside you have the come down of ‘Crazy On A Weekend’ which shows off Gavin’s amazing vocals to their best effect, both of the these tracks and pretty much everything he did is worth checking out. RIP Gavin, god bless and thank you for sharing your talent with us while you could.
Friday, 29 January 2016
Ed Harcourt’s first album Here Be Monsters is pretty much a masterpiece, which spawned a number of excellent singles and was a huge step up from his decent mini album Maplewood. It’s not that the songs were bad on Maplewood it’s just they were stripped down almost demo like needing the extra instrumentation that would make the album such a leap forward. ‘She Fell Into My Arms’ is a lush painfully cracked love ballad done only like Ed Harcourt can do. ‘I’ve Become Misguided’ was originally on Maplewood but it was nowhere near as good as it is on here, when Ed half dementedly screams the chorus it’s almost like a different song altogether. Having also had the pleasure of seeing him live I can truly say that it’s an experience worth seeing and hearing.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Come on, if you haven’t heard ‘She Bangs The Drums’ there’s no hope for you, you don’t even need to be a Stone Roses fan to have heard this one it’s a classic and nothing else needs to be said. ‘Standing Here’ you’ll be forgiven for not knowing, it’s been tucked away in b-side limbo and unless you picked up the single or Turns To Stone or Collection albums you’ll likely have never heard it, which is a crying shame as it’s actually my favourite Stone Roses song. Kicking off with Squire’s trademark squeal of a riff it’s like an air raid siren played on guitar and when Ian Brown croons "i'm standing here, i really don't think you could know, that i'm in heaven when you smile" it becomes a song that is damn near perfection, this is the very definition of a desert island disc.
Saturday, 23 January 2016
If you have never heard Redd Kross shame on you, over the last 35 years they have been honing their sound from the hardcore songs of their youth to the bubblegum power-pop of their later years and have churned out some of the best music you’ve never heard. While there’s countless singles to choose from I’m starting with one of my favourites. ‘Get Out Of Myself’ is lifted from their 1997 album Show World and is one of the standout tracks from the album chock full of the McDonald brothers harmonies. However it’s when you flip the record over that things really get interesting ‘So Cal V8’ should have been a single itself, it’s got more energy than a crate of Red Bull and blasts by in 2 and a half minutes of power pop perfection, there’s many bands who deserved more recognition than they’ve had but Redd Kross are near the top of that list.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Bit of an obscure one here, Mainline were an Irish band who released this single and another EP called ‘Where The Ghosts Meet’ and that’s apparently all she wrote, however it appears some members went on to form a band called The Brothers Movement who I plan to check out. First look at the sleeve and it brings to mind Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and once the needle hits you’re not far off ‘Black Honey’ is fuzzed up rock’n’roll that wouldn’t have been out of place on the first BRMC album and should have gained the band more recognition than it did. On the flipside we have ‘Once More (Because Of You)’ less BRMC more of a bluesy rock feel and a great song that makes me think of early 22-20s which is definitely no bad thing, after listening to this again I’ll definitely be checking out The Brothers Movement to see if its more of the same.
Friday, 15 January 2016
Another one of the few single sided records on this list, ‘Return Of White Rabbit’ was an introduction to Ash’s A-Z series of singles a sort of pre-cursor to the whole thing, written by bassist Mark Hamilton it was a breath of fresh air after a few dodgy years of average indie rock from the band. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the bands best tunes and shows how Mark should write more especially after he was also responsible for the standout track ‘Innocent Smile’ on their debut as well, it’s hard to get hold of and a tad expensive but definitely worth getting.
Monday, 11 January 2016
As debut singles go Anti-Nowhere League’s cover of Ralph McTell’s busking anthem ‘Streets Of London’ may not have been an immediate choice but adding their own punk spit and stomp to it made it ever more thrilling and less depressing while still keeping the integrity of the original. On the other side we have probably the most offensive song in existence made even more famous by the Metallica cover ‘So What’ is a just a torrent of swearing and don’t give a fuck lyrics about fucking goats and it’s brilliant for it, it’s a must for any school disco.
Thursday, 7 January 2016
No Rain was a right hippy anthem of the 90’s and was all over MTV, it has an irresistible charm and brightens up any day, Blind Melon were a great band who could have gone on to even bigger highs if weren’t for the tragic death of frontman Shannon Hoon backed by the equally as good album track ‘Tones Of Home’ you have yet another exceptional 90’s single, only available on coloured jukebox promo it’s a search for a copy but well worth the effort.
Sunday, 3 January 2016
1001 7" Records You Must Own No.42 The Music – Take The Long Road And Walk It / You Might As Well Try To Fuck Me
As debut singles go, The Music’s Take The Long Road… was excellent another Fierce Panda masterpiece of band finding, it’s b-side was an instrumental which generally I’m not a fan of and if it hadn’t been for this American promo wouldn’t have made the list. Luckily the yanks finally got something right when it comes to records and scrapped the instrumental for non-album single ‘You Might As Well Try To Fuck Me’ perhaps one of the bands best songs of that era, after ‘Getaway’ that was a fucking tune, so now if you pick up the Yank promo copy you get two amazing songs, well done lads.