Who likes complications? Who needs complications? Pick “Complications” instead. Third time in a row a record by E enters into “Albums of the Year” category, not only listened to this year but appreciated too.
Moor Jewelry is a collaboration between Moor Mother and Mental Jewelry from Philadelphia, USA. They put out True Opera, one of my favorite albums from this year, as a bloody cassette release only through Don Giovanni Records. Sold out twice. Overpriced on the (discogs) market right now.
Good songs and great heretic punk sound. Live wire/body electric sound. It deserves all formats. Plug yourself in.
Digital vinyls, part 2. Very predictable choices. Almost all I’ve heard of new stuff during the second half of ’19.
Dälek – Respect To The Authors 12″
Respect to Dälek.
Respect To The Authors
Carter Tutti Void – Triumvirate
Pere Ubu – The Long Goodbye
Synth heavy prog / art-rock road section. Unexpected curve.
The Road Ahead
What I Heard On The Pop Radio
Mark Lanegan Band – Somebody’s Knocking
Some folks got to see The Membranes thanks to Mark Lanegan Band. I got to hear Mark Lanegan’s current music because of The Membranes. In a way I had closed the chapter of my interest with the demise of Screaming Trees and didn’t follow Lanegan’s solo career. What a twist! Soul disco remake/remodel approach for sordid melodrama mood. It made me check “Gargoyole” (2017) too. It even made me think of mid ’80s New Order.
Gazing From The Shore
Two Bells Ringing At Once
Richard Dawson – 2020
Jogging with Richard Dawson continues. Newcastle chronicle.
The Queen’s Head
Dead Dog In An Alleyway
Tropical Fuck Storm – Braindrops
“We use lots of techno gear to make rock and roll because rock and roll gear is boring, and all sounds like Led Zeppelin”. Well, it doesn’t have to sound like Page, I agree, but it wouldn’t hurt my ears if it sounded like Bonham, non filtered and directly into lower plexus. TFS drummer is great. Songwriting is excellent again.
Black Midi – Schlagenheim
The young shall inherit the Earth.
The Messthetics – Anthropocosmic Nest
Russian Circles – Blood Year
Blood Incantation – Hidden History Of The Human Race
Hallelujah! A well recorded death metal album. And mastered too. Finally. Not that I’ve heard many of them in recent times. So be it.
Full Of Hell – Weeping Choir
Armory Of Obsidian Glass
Uzeda – Quocumque jeceris stabit
“This album is dedicated to those who struggle to conserve the right to be themselves”. Half an hour of pure electricity. The finest kraft. Almost like an example of perfect pairing – the band and their esteemed recording engineer became one mind. I used to be bored by Uzeda records.
The Preacher’s Tale
Pile – Green And Gray
A Labyrinth With No Center
A Bug On Its Back
The Monochrome Set – Fabula Mendax
Demons, begone! Angels too. The unbearable lightness of being according to elderly post-punk gentleman Ganesh Seshadri – Bid. What could a fan do but count in case of The Monochrome Set: six album since reactivation, most of them (five that I’ve heard) remarkable in pop-rock context. Namaste.
Summer Of The Demon
I Can’t Sleep
La chanson de la pucelle
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Colorado
Septuagenarian hard rock. Ride off into the sunset.
The end of ’18 also brought three outstanding albums that I’ve listened to in this year. They shouldn’t be left behind unmentioned.
Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death in Meatspace
Believe the (moderate) hype in this case. The festering psychedelic quality of “Laughing Death in Meatspace” deserves praises heaped upon it. It sounds mesmerizing despite being unpleasant and toxic in essence. — Losing your mind on the porch in hot and humid Australian weather unable to move, with worn out and scratched Neil Young & Crazy Horse records as only company (There are old Buffalo albums in the cupboard too, but you haven’t had enough energy for that kind of blues / doom for ages). — The visions of Gareth Liddiard are respected here. He could be one of the four honorary evangelists for this blog column.
You Let My Tyers Down
A Laughing Death In Meatspace
Wax Chattels – Wax Chattels
Just a thousand miles down south-east, in subtropical Auckland, youngsters flocked together in a power (NRG) trio of a different kind (bass / organ / drums). Such band format is not really extraterrestrial but it is uncommon and thusly more interesting. How many more great (debut) albums from Southern Hemisphere. Fantastic! Rated X.
In My Mouth
The Nightingales – Perish The Thought
I could easily recommend any of their post-reformation albums, not only “Perish The Thought”. Perhaps The Nightingales require few introductory lines. In the previous century they started as young ’76 punks from Birmingham (City of Black Sabbath) called The Prefects. Alongside Robert LLoyd as frontman, brothers Alan and Paul Apperley were crucial and lasting players in the band. The comparisons with The Fall are inevitable but The Nightingales obviously didn’t have work ethic on the same level as them. The three studio albums issued in the period 1982-85 are genuine post-punk / pub-rock classics, platinum certified on John Peel Show. The Nightingales’ German patron saint was Faust (rather than Can). After having been dormant for many years The Nightingales re-appeared in early 21st century and here they are with the latest line-up: Andreas Schmid as bassist and studio engineer, Fliss Kitson on drums / vocals and the new guitarist James Smith recently replacing Alan Apperley. As an uninformed and out of time person, I missed The Nightingales when they played in a lovely old fashioned club in Austrian village Ebensee few years ago. I also could not reach Belgrade nor Budapest last November. I wish I’d been there or some place else where they were touring. Give ’em a chance, and if you like their pop art you can buy their records (and CDs) or simply offer them drinks after the show. In an Austrian Gasthaus or an English pub, old man pop star Robert Lloyd is a people person. And the band plays on… Cheers.
Intro (from “Mind Over Matter” (2015)):
Perish The Thought (2018):
Enemy Of Promise
I’m A People Person
I am being loyal and boring again. What can I do? No time to mess around. Serious reviews of all these brand new albums you can read in proper English elsewhere on the infinite internet. This is not a “best of selection”, just a list of almost all records from ’19 that I’ve heard so far.
Test Dept. – Disturbance
Construction time again? Of course that Test Dept. went digital / techno right after the Thatcher era. Who needed metal / manual workers in post-industrial neoliberal Britain or anywhere else in EU for that matter. Do they owe them a living? Of course, they fucking do! Industrial culture is not luxury. “Disturbance” as a whole is a fine protest album with seething anger kept in check.
Speak Truth To Power
Sleaford Mods – Eton Alive
Well, since I’ve recently accommodated Pet Shop Boys (in the format of cheap ugly plastic compact diskettes on the CD shelves), there’s no reason not to support Sleaford Mods and buy their own vinyl products [Extreme Eating Records]. Hoarding stuff, it’s a sin! Unlike PSB, SM are minimal synth pop duo that mastered dirty language of POP (with plenty of local references which are hardly understandable to foreigners like me). Singer usually attacks in disgust, spewing venomous words at fake posturing and overwhelming stupidity. And with very special pleasure, at the R’n’R icons from the past! Change has come with “Eton Alive”.
The Young Gods – DATA Mirage Tangram
Swiss Air night flight. Mind numbed with whisky. Chill out grooves and nice guitar playing obscure traces of apprehension. What will come next?
Entre en matière
Figure sans nom
All My Skin Standing
Mekons – Deserted
I & I feel deserted while suffering series of heat waves in the big city, dragging overheated body through the dusty streets and hiding from the burning sun. Of all music only roots reggae (with small doses of funk & West Coast psychedelia added) can help I & I live through the hottest months of prolonged summers. As a matter of fact, music by The Mekons is a potent remedy too. During their latest joyful gathering Mekons even brought the rain upon the desert. I (♥) Mekons. Cheers.
Into The Sun
Lawrence of California
Sunn O))) – Life Metal
Between Sleipnir’s Breaths
Earth – Full Upon Her Burning Lips
A Wretched Country Of Dusk
Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus
Scarred tissue all over but the vital force is still with them. Don’t worry, Saint Vitus are not zombies. Not yet. Original hard & heavy singer Scott “White Stallion” Reagers rejoined after Scott “Wino” Weinrich had left the band again. Great album.
12 Years In The Tomb
Hey Colossus – Four Bibles
This English modern rock band from the weird side of Great Britain is a fairly new name for me. But they struck a chord with me immediately through their previous album “The Guillotine”. [in the period between these two albums I checked Hey Colossus discography backwards album by album (studio stuff only) and reached “Happy Birthday”. and I wasn’t disappointed. they range from very good to great!] I didn’t expect any new recording thinking that Hey Colossus were over & out. And here they come. Eerie.
Babes Of The Plague
Drahla – Useless Coordinates
Useless!? The debut album by Drahla is very inspired interpretation of tired and often predictable post-punk formula. Sax (art) punk does me good. After half an hour of their music I am truly energized and stimulated for more. Erase Errata used to produce similar effect on me. Bravo!
React / Revolt
Stimulus For Living
Bill Callahan – Shepard In A Sheepskin Vest
What a breezy summertime double album! Unreal. Bill Callahan is an inexhaustible songwriter. So many things (albums) happened along the way. The scenes from the life of young artist — e.g. “37 push ups in winter rate motel (while listening to “Highway To Hell”)” — seem to belong not only to his distant past but a previous lifetime. That black dog could be a restless and shaggy Croatian sheepdog. For better or for worse, harmless and healing sunshine for all (and a clear body of water for me).