Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Weekly Sweep presents The Top 100 Singles Of 2006: 66-34

You've probably come to realise how horribly out of step we're beginning to look with this selection. Onwards, then...

66 Vincent Vincent And The Villains - Johnny Two Bands [YouTube]
Roots rockabilly rebels channel the Housemartins as much as Eddie Cochran. Who knew lyrical acidity (though apparently all parties have since made up) could be so cheeringly infectious?
65 The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me [YouTube]
Like skipping through a field in your girl's dreams, or something. They did this 'live' on GMTV, and their country-disco-pop should have been huge. It wasn't.
64 Midlake - Young Bride [YouTube]
The album touched too many Eagles/Fleetwood Mac bases to really hit home, but the single's Grandaddy meets Neil Young melodic touches were a subtle career best
63 ¡Forward, Russia! - Nine [YouTube]
"CONJECTURE!" Clashing time sigs, about three choruses and a heap of intricate rapidfire guitar riffs and hi-hat. Breaks down and builds back up once every thirty seconds or so too
62 Get Cape Wear Cape Fly - Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager Pt 1 [YouTube]
Good lord, look at that title, but at least Sam Duckworth justified it with trumpet breaks, considered lyrics and that big fist-in-air singalong near the end
61 Mystery Jets - You Can't Fool Me Dennis [YouTube]
None more English dark pastoralism, sounding a bit like the Smiths with the speed turned down a notch or Village Green Preservation Society Kinks in inverse
60 Rakes - All Too Human [YouTube]
Once they sorted the pulse overload first mix out it revealed itself as one of the year's steadiest growers, complete with metronomic rhythm aimed squarely at two for a quid nights
59 Futureheads - Worry About It Later [YouTube]
Perhaps the best encapsulation of the change from first album to second - a more streamlined version of the jerky blueprint, but there's the harmonies, and the riffs and the insistence
58 Tapes N Tapes - Cowbell [YouTube]
Appears to be built around the rhythm of Pixies' Nimrod's Son, but then turns into a happier Violent Femmes or more concise Modest Mouse. Working to a theme, then
57 Editors - Munich [YouTube]
Even a year on Chris Urbanowicz's wall of screeching Bunnymen guitar still makes the hairs on the back of our neck stand to attention
56 Clinic - Harvest [YouTube]
Again, you know what it'll include - offbeat drums, vocal moans, piercing organ - but lifted by almost hip-hop rhythms and the return of the tribal element
55 Maccabees - Latchmere [YouTube]
Actually is about a swimming pool, which as well as being perhaps illegally parochial might be a stroke of minor genius. Builds up a head of steam and then clings on for dear life
54 Animal Collective - Grass [YouTube]
A full year after the album comes the standout track, one that tries to sound relatively linear for a bit then gives up and goes skitteringly haywire
53 The Hidden Cameras - Awoo [YouTube]
Joel Gibb and co still find album consistency elusive but they can pick a strangely uplifting single alright, whatever "the curd of my own written qualities" is exactly
52 Brakes - Hold Me In The River [live YouTube]
Biting Undertones guitars frame Eamon Hamilton going all political, after an oblique fashion, as they attempt to pummel the listener into submission again in under two minutes
51 Young Knives - Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer) [YouTube]
Battering away at your subconscious with a chainsaw riff and, well, harmonic shouting. Why didn't it turn into the summer's great vocal hook? Curse you, Automatic!
50 Mew - Why Are You Looking Grave? [YouTube]
Not the same without J Mascis' world-weary croon clashing with Jonas Bjerre's skyscraping on the album, but dreampop with dynamics precisely between Mum and Arcade Fire works in all contexts
49 Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow [YouTube]
Had they not emerged at the same time Angular Recordings were trying to launch New Rave, we'd be hailing this as the best anyone's offered in the lo-fi DFA-esque art-disco pantheon
48 Rumble Strips - Oh Creole [YouTube]
Perhaps the closest we'll get to a proper soul revue - not in the modern sense, obviously, but in the restrained build-up to Stax brass and Charlie Waller's huge vocal
47 Tapes N Tapes - Insistor [YouTube]
Does that drumming ever let up? Intense two-step hoedown lo-fi that once started is virtually impossible to halt. It's a tiny bit like the Pixies, you'll be surprised to hear
46 iLiKETRAiNS - Terra Nova [YouTube]
That it's about Captain Scott is almost secondary given its intensity in the Mogwai-with-vocals way nobody's pulled off quite so well
45 Spinto Band - Oh Mandy [YouTube]
The summer's leftfield anthem, at last their previous Pavementisms fade into blue sky floating joyful dreaminess. Best mandolin in ages too
44 Mew - Zookeeper's Boy [YouTube]
Nearly breaking in America, which seems odd for a band who continue to sound like a complex stratospheric mind meld of the Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine and the Icicle Works
43 Guillemots - We're Here [YouTube]
Fyfe's got a way with life-affirming enormo-scale not-quite-anthemry, hasn't he? This time the sense of seizing the day is enveloped in swirling Talk Talk strings that eschews Embrace
42 Metric - Monster Hospital [YouTube]
"I've been bad!" Emily Haines fitfully declares, and you can well believe her. There's certainly something evil about the scratchy guitars and dancerock dynamics
41 Kid Harpoon - Riverside [YouTube]
No, there's definitely something in the Medway water to produce all this talent at the same time. The switch from grizzled to falsetto vocals mirrors the unsettling lyricism
40 ¡Forward, Russia! - Twelve [YouTube]
The reservoirs of energy live ¡FR! run off finally make their way to the front of a recorded mix, amid M C Escher guitars and of-the-moment backing
39 The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me [YouTube]
We knew they were good for what they do, but until Gwenno's second chorus vocals take off and take the mini-wall of sound with it we hadn't anticipated how good
38 Emmy The Great - Secret Circus [Myspace]
2007's going to be a big female singer-songwriterly year and thus a huge one for Emmy on the basis of her gorgeous, glorious first single's forceful development and intelligent heart
37 Voxtrot - Mothers Sisters Daughters And Wives [live YouTube]
Good to hear the weird electronic percussion effect from the Flying Lizards' Money again. Also good to hear someone doing something forceful with the artrock building blocks again
36 Battle - Tendency [Myspace]
From the Cure playbook of course, but red-eyed intensity, metronome drumming and the odd synth/chiming guitar crossfade easily overcome all post-punk cliche accusations
35 Klaxons - Magick [YouTube]
The Cardiacs revival starts here? Maybe not, but it's three from three for Klaxons singles that'd be great soundtracking late night empty motorway drives. Listen to those clattering drums
34 The Pipettes - Judy [YouTube]
Not lyrically masterful, but a neat distillation of teenage angst and longing amid swooning harmonies and strings. Doesn't sound overtly disposable and is all the better for it

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