Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tracks of our year II

Dinosaur Pile-Up - Summer Hit Single [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
For about two weeks they were at the vanguard of the New Grunge movement, but when that passed they were revealed as just plain great Dinosaur Jr devotees who do it better than most. Anyone else think there's a melodic similarity to Grandaddy's Summer Here Kids?

Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Such a glorious take of a certain sphere of 90s R&B that when Solange Knowles covered it she pretty much copied Amber Coffman's delivery. Obviously not that straight-up a take, not when Dave Longstreth's got his ethno-chordage on.

Doves - Kingdom Of Rust [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
So the album of the same title turned out not to be up to much, but the long distance yearning of the title at least fleshed out the country influences Jez talked about in advance while still being essentially Doves.

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
For all the hype the suspicion from these quarters is they only really have the one great song and it's the one they put out first, but it is a really good song, full of jittery bass and earworm whistling.

The Duckworth Lewis Method - Gentlemen And Players [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Ireland's finest exponents of Cricket Pop gave us a uniquely odd yet accomplished themed album, reviewed here for TLOBF.

Ebony Bones - The Muzik [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
"Stop doing that job related task!" Ms Bones seemed to drop straight off the Ones To Watch reckoning right after the start of the year - indeed, while huge in France and highly regarded in America her album tour ignored her home country - but here she went hell for leather running DFA, MIA, the Go! Team and everything else that makes a percussion-based riot into each other, plus a load of London glottal stops on top.

The Embassy - Some Indulgence [Spotify] [Myspace stream]
Tacking was released four years ago in their native Sweden, presumably waiting until New Order were out of the way to come over here trailing a fine update of the jangle-dance that band did so well in their mid-period.

Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

Thee Fair Ohs - Summer Lake [Myspace stream]

Fashoda Crisis - Moremonkeythanmanman [Myspace stream]
Plenty have channelled the triumverate triumphs of Shellac's stop-start high wire act and Mclusky's black humoured bass frequency bothering visceral attack; few combine the two as well as these. More, please!

The Flowers Of Hell - Opus 66 Part 1 [Spotify] [Myspace stream]
Grandiose name, grandiose sound. A transatlantic orchestral rock collective, they build like post-rock into spaced out elegance.

Foxes! - Oh Rosie [Myspace stream]

Frankie & The Heartstrings - Hunger
Creation story from Sunderland's ragged glory, perhaps the first band of the decade to call to mind the JoBoxers ("Dexys on Postcard" they say, which is also good enough)

Franz Ferdinand - Lucid Dreams [Spotify] [YouTube]
From a record that up to this point constituted a object lesson in taking your previous sound and diluting it until it tastes of nothing, a dialled back awkward stomp that turns into dark industrial house halfway through sounded like the sort of progress they should have been about all along.

Friendship - The Graveyard Shift [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

Full English Breakfast - Song For A Nut [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Yeah, that's about right. Magnificently odd and very English, a whirring Lawrence Hayward meets Edwyn Collins nugget about a peanut hitch-hiker.

Gallops - Oh, The Manatee [Myspace stream]
Saw these live last month where their arrythmic Battles-ish electro-math came to the fore splendidly. Much digital propulsiveness of excellence to come, we suspect.

Golden Silvers - True Romance (True No.9 Blues) [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
The 1980s. In particular, some bastard union of Ian Dury, early Spandau Ballet, Aztec Camera and Wham Rap, all disco keyboard stabs, funk rhythm and stream of conscious lyrics. If only the rest of their work was as undeniable.

Hatcham Social - Murder In The Dark [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
The 1980s. This time, the intelligent Postcard Records jangle of a Josef K at their most sprightly. Again, why can't they always be like this?

His Clancyness - Vampire Summer [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Seems like we've not been able to complete a week this year without something new from Jonathan Clancy's lo-fi loops and sonar echo project. From the many we've picked out his attempt at channelling an analogue Panda Bear.

The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Too much goth melodrama by rote for us to fall for the album as much as a lot have, but as with anything else if anything confirmed they at least aren't the backcombed laughing stocks of yore it was their washed out arpeggiating motorik epic. And if it's been bothering you as much as it's been bothering us, the bloke at the start is Robert Duncan, Gus from Drop The Dead Donkey.

I Concur - Sobotka [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

I Was A King - Norman Bleik [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
It sounds, as the title suggests, like something off Grand Prix. There are few higher complements.

Ice, Sea, Dead People - My Twin Brother's A Brother [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

Internet Forever - Cover The Walls [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

Jack Penate - Tonight's Today [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Sod the Horrors, who'd have ever imagined this? Alright, after this he went back to his reliable self, but everyone has one great song in them, maybe, and Penate's is a euphoric township groove.

Jason Lytle - Birds Encouraged Him [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
Spotty solo debut from the ex-Grandaddy... well, whole, more often than not, the high point being this attempt to submerge M Ward cracked balladry within a Soft Bulletin Flaming Lips framework.

Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard - Roll Bus Roll [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

Jesca Hoop - Four Dreams [Myspace stream] [YouTube]
From Hunting My Dress, a curiously charming album that unhelpfully came out right at the end of November, the Elbow-feted Hoop tries freak folk, blues spiritual, psych and modern folk all at the same time.

Johnny Flynn - The Mountain Is Burning [Spotify] [Myspace stream] [YouTube]

Jonquil - Fighting Smiles [Myspace stream]
Sure they used to be a folk band, albeit a very unlinear one. Now they seem to have gone tropical odd-pop and the world of possibility is audibly opening out to them.

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