Friday, 22 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 16 (20 & 19)

Album No. 20 (Rancid - Trouble Maker)

Once upon a time, in a land far far away you knew where you were when it came to a new Rancid album, until 'Let The Dominoes Fall' and things took a bit of a down turn, suddenly you didn't know if a Rancid album was a safe bet anymore, thankfully 'Trouble Maker' sets all that straight. It really is an amalgamation of all the best bits of Rancid, the ska, the punkrock, the borderline hardcore, it's all in there, and Tim's vocals shine through as always, so happy to be able to say there's a new amazing Rancid album in the world again.

Single / EP No. 20 (Forever Cult - Homewrecker 10")

Forever Cult have been showing a lot of promise for a while now, Finally Clue have backed them to the tune of a 10" EP, with 5 songs showcasing the laid back indie rock they've been purveying as of late. Reminds me of Sunshine Underground minus the the grandesqueness and more of the local band made good, this is a band i want to keep an eye on.

Album No. 19 (Ride - Weather Diaries)

Oh dear, Ride have broken the golden rule this year. A classic album should always fit on one side of a 90 min tape, 45 mins max! they've clocked in at around 53 mins. They better have a good excuse. Thankfully Ride do have a good excuse, It's been around 20 years since Andy Bell got a chance to showcase his talents since the outstanding Hurricane #1. 'Weather Diaries' is everything you'd ever hoped a new Ride album could be and more.i don't need to say more, black clear or red, i like the clear one.

Single / EP No. 19 (Social Contract - Citizen 7")

The genre of post-punk has been bandied around a lot lately, Social Contract may well fit into this category, but it's not if you fit, it's how well you fit. As Ace himself once said Social Contract fit 'Like a Glove!' 'Citizen' kicks things off, reminding me of Sulk, another band not afraid to sound like the era they're paying tribute to. 'Six Pips' takes things further into the melodic melting Neapolitan sociopolitical landscape that the music scene needs.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 15 (22 & 21)

Album No. 22 (The Darts - Me. Ow.)

Another band that have made the list in both categories, The Darts managed to put out an EP and an album in 2017, 'Me. Ow.' is the better of the two which is something considering how fond i was of the Darts II EP, Shared vocals keep things fresh, as does the organ and some of it still makes me think of Karen O if she fronted a psychedelic garage rock band, get it on nice pink vinyl.

Single / EP No. 22 (Unqualified Nurse Band - Death Surf A52 7")

Quite a few bands pull double duty in this list, and it' good to see singles like this that could easily have made an album been exclusive, another notch on the Too Pure single belt, Unqualified Nurse Band have again come up with the goods. A-Side 'Death Surf A52' veers from out of control full on rock to lush melodic lulls highlighting the amazing versatility of the band. 'White Dove' on the other hand is a fucked up beats of a song, falling apart at the seems.

Album No. 21 ('68 - Two Parts Viper)

Gutted doesn't cover it when i heard The Chariot had called it a day, so it was great to see Josh Scogin return so quickly with '68, 2014's 'In Humor And Sadness' hinted at great things to come, 'Two Parts Viper' is the great things that came. This is a beast of an album, more cohesive than The Chariot, you can make out all the words and everything, elements of Nirvana's In Utero at its most chaotic with a swinging bluesy rock vibe, controlled chaos at it's best.

Single / EP No. 21 (Gestures - Bad Taste 7")

A pure punk rock band fronted by some guy called Sick Vic, every song under 3 minutes, underlying Ramones melodies over ramshackle Stooges/Dead Boys punk rock, there's not a dud on this EP, and you have to hear what they do to The Yardbirds classic 'For Your Love'

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 14 (24 & 23)

Album No. 24 (Baby In Vain - More Nothing)

Ooh I've been looking forward to this one, last years EP 'For The Kids' was one of my favorite releases of last year and was the culmination of 4 years worth of singles showing steady improvement, now finally we have a full length and it's definitely worth the wait. At point lushly melodic with a dark undertone then easily switching to distorted wall of sound, more people need to be giving this band a listen.

Single / EP No. 24 (Dancehall - Virgin 7")

When Kill Kenada called it a day, i'll admit i was gutted, their last album was amazing and is now impossible to get a hold of the vinyl version, believe I've looked and e-mailed everywhere. So when i heard Tim Smiten had a new band going i had to have a listen, i was not disappointed, picking up where Kenada's distorted punk rock left off, shot through with a little more melody, Dancehall have already released 4 singles in the last two years, can't wait to hear more.

Album No. 23 (Beatsteaks - Yours)

There's two types of people in this world, people who've heard Beatsteaks and people who haven't, the one's who have need to show pity on the other fools, because it's not their fault. 'YOURS' is something like the 9th album for these German pop punks, and every single album I've heard since 2011's 'Boombox' has been amazingly good, so full of massive hooks and melodies, it's just all so fucking good, don't be pitied, checked them out as soon as possible.

Single / EP No. 23 (Giuda - Bad Days Are Back / Firefly 7")

Another totally underrated band that more people need to listen to, Italy's Giuda have been releasing outstanding glamrock albums since 2010's 'Racey Roller' album, A-side is a standout track from their last album 'Speaks Evil' it's class as always but what makes this special is the brilliant B-side 'Firefly' a massive glam stomper of a song that would have been a hit in the 70's, there's a lovely pink pressing worth picking up.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 13 (26 & 25)

Album No. 26 (Satyricon - Deep Calleth Upon Deep)

Every top album list needs a good black metal album, and Satyricon have always been one of my favorite black metal bands, alongside Mayhem and early Darkthrone, i'm hard pressed to think of a bad album they've released and this is no exception. Lots of colors available.

Single / EP No. 26 (Drahla - Third Article 12")

And it's a hat trick for Drahla, all 3 releases make the top 50, don't even need to tell you how good they are, already done it, twice. More of the same Sonic Youthy punky post rock with much more kick than the usual poseurs, Single sided 12" i believe, you don't even have to mess about turning it over!

Album  No. 25 (Marilyn Manson - Heaven Upside Down)

Manson has been on a steady incline since 'Eat Me, Drink Me' each album has been getting slightly better and back to what made him so listenable in the first place. 'Heaven Upside Down' is easily the best album since 'Holy Wood'. Working with Tyler Bates has obviously done wonders for the creativity side of things, it's quite rare to feel pride buying a new Marilyn Manson album but this a real resurrection, i got the white version, the red's too hard to get hold of.

Single / EP No. 25 (Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Nightmare Tour 7")

Already prepping for album No.4, the easy to google band put out this tour only 7" on a choice black, red and and blue, direct from the band or on their last tour. It's exactly what I've come to expect from this lot, huge Sabbathesque riffs shot through with the gravel of Motorhead, dirty greasy music for sure, bring on the new album.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 12 (28 & 27)

Album No. 28 (Autobahn - The Moral Crossing)

It takes a lot of faith to build your own studio to record your second album, especially if you're a relatively small band from Leeds, if you're Dave Grohl or something it's just expected. Autobahn were right to have such faith however, 'The Moral Crossing' picks up perfectly where their debut 'Dissemble' left off, this time with a little more warmth to the music, clashing perfectly with the post punk coldness, mixing up a perfect storm of an album. Red, Grey or Black, i got Red.

Single / EP No. 28 (Bad Nerves - Radio Punk 7")

London rockers Bad Nerves came out of nowhere last year with the excellent 'Can't be Mine' single and this year they've already put out another two roaring garagey punk records, this is the 2nd of the two. A-side '  Radio Punk' has enough hooks to get some serious mainstream attention, B-Side 'Last Beat' is the harder of the two yet still full of catchiness, can see these lads going far.

Album No. 27 (The Schizophonics - Land of the Living)

I've been after hearing this album all year, The Schizophonics have been teasing everyone with the odd 7" on Spanish label Munster Records or a track on Swami records compilation but nothing meaty enough to listen to, they've made up for this by putting out an album, 10" EP and a 7" all in one year, and what makes it even more exceptional is that it all rocks. Special mention as this is a vinyl only list, they didn't even bother to release anything on cd at all this year. Imagine early Rocket From The Crypt jamming out MC5 covers with even more soul.

Single / EP No. 27 (Oneida - Town Crier 7")

I was always a huge fan of Oneida's early work and still get annoyed that 'Come On Everybody Let's Rock' never got a vinyl release. I'll admit i haven't kept up with their later work, some of what i heard just seemed too tame or experimental, then i saw they'd put out a 7" this year and decided to give it a try, thank fuck i did. This reminds me so much of their early heavier stuff and even similar a little to Clutch (definitely no bad thing), B-side 'Golden Age Of The Pariah' is almost like an instrumental musical to a wasp attack. Loving it!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 11 (30 & 29)

Album No. 30 (Idles - Brutalism)

Brutalism as stark an album title as it is, still doesn't do this album justice, there simply aren't words sometimes to describe an album like this, sometimes you just need to sit down and take it all in. In time to come i'd hope this album would be as revered as Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures' another album that took punk rock to a new level. If you need a soundbite it's like listening to Joy Division, Sex Pistols and The Fall all at the same time and that still doesn't do it justice.

Single  / EP No. 30 (Estrons - Strobe Lights / Glasgow Kisses 7")

Welsh aliens Estrons have been garnering attention for the last two years, improving each time with massive chorus' but not compromising on the rock. These latest two slabs of pop noise are sure to propel them to even greater heights, coming out on the Flying Vinyl boxset, who are rapidly becoming the fierce panda of this age.

Album No. 29 (The Cribs - 24-7 Rock Star Shit)

No one expected a new Cribs album so quickly after the excellent 'For All My Sisters' yet all of a sudden there were games to find a new 7" then the Albini album was announced, and it's exactly what you'd expect, big chorus harmonies but the music is much harder this time around, but with a title like '24-7 Rock Star Shit' what did you expect, mines on lovely pink splatter.

Single / EP No. 29 (Drahla - Faux Text 7")

I told you Drahla were having a good year, this is the 2nd of their 3 releases to make the list, more of the same as last time but this one seems to have an even bigger Sonic Youth comparison, they don't sound like carbon copies it's just the vibe, a relaxed way of playing per se. This one came out on the excellent Too Pure singles club.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 10 (32 & 31)

Album No. 32 (Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?)

Okay so we all kind of thought Royal Blood would hit a sophomore slump, there was just way too much hype on their debut and in fairness it was fucking excellent, which is why it's so nice to be proven wrong for once. 10 slabs of searing rock in 35 minutes, just what the doctor ordered, there's almost too many varieties of vinyl to choose from, get one of the fancy ones, treat yourself.

Single / EP No. 32 (HMLTD - Satan, Luella and I / Kinkaku-ji 7")

Wow, i really liked this band's debut 7" 'Stained' but this is a real step forward, bringing to mind bands like The Veils and Strangelove (especially the vocals) and with so much going on, soaring choiresque vocals over crooned vocals leading into a massive chorus, this is amazing stuff indeed.

Album No. 31 (Buildings - You Are Not One Of Us)

Buildings are here and they're taking no fucking prisoners, having already crafted a masterpiece in 2011's 'Melt Cry Sleep' they're back with 12 more slabs of brutal noise rock, imagine Foo Fighters 'Wattershed' being jammed on by a Jesus Lizard/Shellac supergroup and you're somewhere close to the opening track, it's just glorious fucked up noise. You can have plain black or white with black splatter.

Single / EP No. 31 (Pale Lips - Should've Known Better! 7")

'Don't Take Your Switchblade To New York' good advice on the first song from this canuck garagypowerpoppy four pieces new 7", backed by the equally thrilling 'Old Flame' Pale Lips have picked up perfectly where last years 'Wanna Be Bad' LP left off, available in purple and black.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 9 (34 & 33)

Album No. 34 (The Regrettes - Feel Your Feelings Fool!)

There wasn't a finer way to kick off the year than with some catchy as fuck punk rock full of wit and energy, Lydia Night has crafted an albums worth of songs you can singalong to, and that never outstays it's welcome. I love it when an album comes out of nowhere and impresses me like this.

Single / EP No. 34 (Drahla - Fictional Decision 7")

It's been a amazing year for Drahla, 2 releases under their belt and all are belters, this 7" fizzes with post punk energy, also bringing to mind a slight sonic youth vibe when they go hell for leather between staccato vocal delivery's, b-side is just as good and is called 'Dog Collar Guillotine' they should make the list for that alone.

Album No. 35 (Jamie Lenman - Devolver)

I wasn't too enamored with Jamie's first solo album, the hard stuff was too much and the softer stuff lacked the songwriting prowess that he was famous for with his previous outfit Reuben. So i approached Devolver with trepidation, Didn't need to, this is a true return to form, the first track is almost more an intro to the rock that follows, it's so good to hear him back on form, there's clear, red and black to choose from.

Single / EP No. 35 (At The Drive In - Diamanté 10")

2017 saw the long awaited welcome return of At The Drive In, Mars Volta were good (to start with), Antemasque had some decent tunes but nothing exhilarates like an ATDI album, this is an EP of either outtakes or new songs since the album, not 100% which, 2 of the tracks could have easily made the album, 'Despondent at High Noon' probably is the weakest of the 3, but it's in no way shit, 2017 has been a good year to be an ATDI fan.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 8 (36 & 35)

Album No. 36 (Miraculous Mule - Two Tonne Testimony)

90's Rockers Dream City Film Club were one hell of a band and mainman Michael Sheehy spent most of the 00's releasing solo stuff, but this decade he's mostly concentrated on the driving blues rock of Miraculous Mule, 2013's 'Deep Fried' which featured one of the creepiest albums covers I've ever seen, was a game changer showing how hard a blues rock band can be, Ten Tonne Testimony pushes that even further. Lovely blues drenched rock n roll, highly recommended.

Single / EP No. 36 (Bleached - Can You Deal? 12")

Lovely pop infused rock, not quite powerpop and not full on rock, somewhere nice in between, Bleached have been showing themselves to be quite the formidable trio for the last 7 years or so, this latest EP shows they should be getting bigger audiences and even better is still to come.

Album No. 35 (Creeper - Eternity In Your Arms)

Got to admit, i wasn't expecting this one to be as good as it is, it's theatrical rock that probably appeals to fans of bands like Black Veil Brides but unlike that band this is actually really good, with great hooks and real songs, if you fancy a surprise hit it ticks all the boxes, and there's a lovely purple version out there to boot.

Single / EP No. 35 (King Nun - Hung Around 7")

Relatively new and unheard of with just one previous 7" under their belts, King Nun have a future brighter than a car coming at you with full beam on, both singles so far show a youthful exuberance with a knack for punk rocky melody, here's hoping we hear a lot more and soon.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 7 (38 & 37)

Album No. 38 (Darlene Shrugg - Darlene Shrugg)

Pieced together from various too many to mention bands, Darlene Shrugg are a pure unashamedly rock'n'roll band with emphasis on the rock, relatively short and sweet at just 9 tracks, every one of them is a killer and worthy of your time and attention, clear vinyl too, nice.

Single / EP No. 38 (The Darts - The Darts EP II 10")

Two EP's and a full album in less than 2 years, The Darts aren't hanging about, vocals remind me of Karen O when she first started out but with a more trashy garage backing full of organ akin to early Horrors, what's not to like.

Album No. 37 (Danko Jones - Wild Cat)

The world's always a more fun place when there's a new Danko album, no tricks just fist pumping anthems a plenty of pure rock 'n' roll fuckery, 'I Gotta Rock' kicks things off as they mean to go on and perfectly sums up the next 10 songs.

Single / EP No. 37 (Static Eyes - The Thaw 7")

Three short sharp shock slammed in your face 2 minutes at a time, why fuck about when you can get straight to the point with a bit of stooges/sonics but heavier than both mess, not for melodos, more for noiseos.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 6 (40 & 39)

Album No. 40 (Left Lane Cruiser - Claw Machine Wizard)

Ashamed to admit but i'm a little late to the Left Lane Cruiser party, about 10 years late by the looks of it, nevermind, i'm here now and bouncing around like a motherfucker to their blues soaked rocking tunes, vocals remind me a little of Neil Fallon, which is obviously a good thing, your choice between black or try digging out the limited to 200 Starburst vinyl, yes i said starburst, it looks as good as it sounds.

Single / EP No. 40 (Baby Shakes - Turn It Up 7")

A six year break seems to have been just what Baby Shakes needed, returning in 2015 with the excellent 'Starry Eyes' and bettering that furthermore this year with the 'Turn It Up' this 7" is one of the best tracks on the Garagy powerpoppery spectrum and amazing b-side to boot, available in black, red and blue.

Album No. 39 (Bully - Losing)

Bully have upped the ante this time, 2015's 'Feels Like' was a good album that hinted at a band full of promise, Sub Pop obviously felt the same way and snapped them up, not surprising considering that they have a sound that harks back to some of the label's finer moments, 'Losing' definitely is a huge improvement and shows the band developing into a formidable beast, if you like stuff like Hole, Bikini Kill, Babes etc.. you'll love this, as it's on Sub Pop you get a variety of colours to choose from, go with Turquoise.

Single  / EP No. 39 (Shame - Tasteless / Visa Vulture 7")

Spending most of the year on a seemingly never-ending tour must have done wonders for Shame, they are one of the most formidable live acts in the UK at the moment which proves that just playing constantly works. Tasteless and Visa Vulture showcase whats is so good about this intense punkyish band, they're pretty hard to define, just check them out.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 5 (42 & 41)

Album No. 42 (Sløtface - Try Not To Freak Out)

I remember hearing 'Shave Your Head' when the band were still called Slutface, right from the word go it was obvious this band were going to put out something special, we had two amazing EP's before they finally got round to dropping an album, and it was worth the wait, Haley Shea's vocals immediately grab you and drag you into Sløtface's world of pure melody, your choice of black and yellow on this one.

Single / EP No. 42 (Baby Strange - Extended Play 10")

Another prolific band, Baby Strange had a steady set of singles out before last years 'Want It Need It' album, then they slam out the aptly titled 'extended play' red 10" this year, with more of the same big chorus rock they are so good at.

Album No. 41 (Wolf Alice - Visions Of A Life)

I like Wolf Alice, they're an exceptional band with great songs that range from quiet melody to venomous attacks like 'Yuk Foo', i also kinda pity them because the whole NME hype machine thing that will likely end in the usual backlash, if that is the case don't let it distract you from how good they actually are, available in a range of colors and some with a bonus 7"

Single / EP No.41 (Eat Fast - Public Display Of Affection 7")

Wow, this is messy rock, reminds me of the early garage energy of Hoggboy but with the melodies of early Sunshine Underground, shouldn't work, should be mental but it does, it's a wall of sound with catchyness swimming around inside, both tracks are amazing, and it's on purple as well.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Top 50 Records Of 2017 Pt. 4 (44 & 43)

Album No. 44 (Unqualified Nurse Band - Trashland)

Two albums in two years and a single on the much loved Too Pure singles club, you'd be forgiven for thinking UNB were stretching themselves a little thin, i prefer to think they just have a really good work ethic cos here we have 6 slabs of trashy rock with an almost glam edge, culminating in the near 12 minute epic 'If You Can't Face the Facts You Don't Stand a Fucking Chance'

Single / EP No. 44 (Pet Crow - How Are You Wired? 7")

Another Too Pure singles club release, they really do put the best bands out, Pet Crow are no exception, garagy rock with strong melodic female vocals and shouty bits.

Album No. 43 (Sheer Mag - Need To Feel Your Love)

When the fuck did Sheer Mag get so fucking good, i remember hearing their early 7" releases and thinking they sounded decent but this album takes it all to a much higher level, shit kicking rock n roll with real attitude, reminds me of when Gossip were rocking and good but with it's own energy, i'm loving this album, very highly recommended.

Single / EP No. 43 (Nine Inch Nails - Add Violence 12")

Realistically a Nine Inch Nails EP should make it much higher on this list and it's not that it's shit as it certainly isn't, i'd have just liked an EP called Add Violence to have been a bit more violent and on opener 'Less Than' you get just that, unfortunately you then get two filler tracks before the last two rescue it somewhat, when it's good it's amazing stuff, just a little more consistency was needed.