Friday, 28 December 2007

Top 20 Albums of 2007 (#10-1)

Here is the second part of my top 20 albums of 2007.

10. Moving Units - Hexes For Exes
Label: Metropolis Released: 09/10/2007
- In terms of production I think this is one of the most impressive releases of the year. Its an indie electronica crossover album by a band who seem to have really found themselves. Highly recommended. MORE

9. The Wombats - A Guide To Love, Loss, And Desperation
Label: Warners Released: 05/11/2007
- The darlings of NME, Radio 1, and the like, The Wombats have been huge in 2007. This album is full of catchy poppy punk rock songs that you find hard to resist. Its fun. MORE

8. The Enemy - We'll Live And Die In These Towns
Label: Warners Released: 09/07/2007
- Impressive debut album from the Coventry trio. The relevance of the lyrics is as equally important as the excellent rock songs . And tracks such as 40 Days And 40 Nights are real foot stompers. MORE

7. Chimaira - Resurrection
Label: Nuclear Blast Released: 09/03/2007
- One of the forerunners of heavy metal, Chimaira returned with a new album this year. And its their best yet. The songs are longer, allowing for more solo's, alongside the usual head banging riffs and awesome drums. MORE

6. Akala - Freedom Lasso
Label: Illastate Released: 01/10/2007
- Akala is one of the most talented musicians of the current British Hip Hop scene. His lyrics are really honest unlike many of his American counterparts, and his use of samples from other genres works well. MORE

5. Future Of The Left - Curses!
Label: Too Pure Released: 24/09/2007
- This is one of the most challenging and important alternative albums put out this year. Formed out of Mclusky, FOTL are pushing boundaries and this album is full of ideas and thoughts of very talented musicians. MORE

4. Devildriver - The Last Kind Words
Label: Roadrunner Released: 18/06/2007
- As soon as the opening track begins you know this album is going to tear your head off. This is my favourite metal album of this year and for good reason. The riffs are killer, the drums are brutal, and the vocals from the heart. Hell yeah! MORE

3. Digitalism - Idealistic
Label: Virgin Released: 11/06/2007
- This is THE electronic album of 2007. The two guys from Hamburg, Germany have created a stunning debut album full of monster beats and samples. This is exciting dance music which will challenge the scene. MORE

2. The Horrors - Strange House
Label: Polydor Released: 05/03/2007
- This album gets better every time I listen to it. Its a full-on psychedelic guitar and keyboard horror show. Its refreshing to hear something different within the "alternative" scene. Frontman Farris Rotter delivers with his unique vocal style. MORE

1. Enter Shikari - Take To The Skies
Label: Ambush Reality Released: 19/03/2007
- The is by far my favourite album of 2007. The hardcore metal meets trance is done perfectly by the Hertfortshire based foursome. I really like how its pushing boundaries, and the integrity of the music is clear. Get this album and you won't be dissapointed! (Now, "GO TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS THAT THIS IS THE END!") MORE

No doubt some of you will disagree agree with me on most of my selections. But fear not you can vent your anger! Either leave me comment below or use the chat box on the right, or even send me an email.

Here's some tracks off the above albums to wet your appetite, but get them quick cos they won't be up for long!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Top 20 Albums of 2007 (#20-11)

Your probably sick of these top 20 album lists that almost every blog is doing at the moment. Not that it will stop me doing mine! As far as im concerned making this list has been great, i've been able to listen again to a load of really good albums that came out this year, and i've put them into some sort of order. Nobody is ever going to agree entirely with another persons list, thats the great thing about music, everybody gets something different from it.

So I have no idea what you'll take from this list, but hopefully there will be something for you. Don't forget you can use the comment box on the right to let me know your favourite artist/album of the year.

20. El-P - I'll Sleep When Your Dead
Label: Definitive Jux Released: 19/03/07
- Hard-hitting hip hop beats and rhymes from producer, MC, musician, label boss, etc etc...aka mr El-P. Special guests include Trent Reznor, and the Mars Volta. This is modern day hip hop at its finest. MORE

19. Switches - Tuned To D.E.A.D
Label: Atlantic Released: 23/04/07
- Strong debut from London band Switches. Its a fun-filled anthemic rock album. Full of catchy lyrics & big guitars. Its a fun album, more than it is musically challenging, but its not meant to be anything more. MORE

18. Architects - Ruin
Label: Vital Released: 25/06/07
- Brutal second album from Brighton based hardcore band, Architects. Full of intricate guitar shredding and pummelling drums, compiled with ferocious vocals, this is not an album for the fainthearted. MORE

17. Shitdisco - Kingdom Of Fear
Label: Fierce Panda Released: 16/04/2007
- One of my favourite releases has been this, the debut LP from Glasgow's Shitdisco. Its a chaotic combination of punk and electronica. Its fun and very danceable to. MORE

16. PJ Harvey - White Chalk
Label: Island Released: 24/09/07
- 7th studio album from the legendary PJ Harvey. Its a total change from anything she's done before, with the piano replacing her guitar. Its bleak but it really works, and is a return to form for Miss Harvey. MORE

15. Dizzee Rascal - Maths And English
Label: XL Released: 04/06/2007
- Strong release from grime master Dizzee Rascal. More commercial sounding than his previous releases, but its still wicked. Standout track is the awesome "Sirens". MORE

14. High Contrast - Tough Guys Don't Dance
Label: Hospital Released: 01/10/2007
- Excellent full-length offering from High Contrast (aka Lincoln Barrett). Full of chillout Drum and Bass breaks and beats, aswell as more heavier material. Definately worth checking out. MORE

13. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
Label: Wichita Released: 01/10/2007
- Legendary punk rockers return with a new album. Full of cheeky lyrics and tight musicianship, its another solid release. Its both chilled out and partying music. MORE

12. Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
Label: Polydor Released: 29/01/2007
- This is one of the finest releases of the year. The "nu rave" haters should get over it and see the album for what it is, brilliant thats what. Interesting to see how they develop. MORE

11. Radiohead - In Rainbows
Label: XL Released: 31/12/2007
- The initial groundbreaking release via the internet, meant most people were aware of this new album, but maybe not the actual content. I really like the way its alot more accessible, yet still being very much a Radiohead album. MORE

So we've reached the halfway point in my top 20 albums of 2007. Lets take a break shall we? I'll post the top 10 tomorrow. In the mean time why not sample some tracks off the above brilliant albums. (Get em quick tho as they won't be available for long!).

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Band Review : Gossamer Albatross

Gossamer Albatross are a three-piece from Hereford in the South West of England. The three members of the band are, Lewis who is the guitarist and vocalist, Reuben who plays violin, and Geena who plays the cello. Their self-titled debut E.P has recently been released through Monosound Recordings. And it's rather good.

Its not upon the first listen of this E.P, where the potential of this band first hits you, its the subsequent second, third and so on listens. Everytime you listen to the record something new jumps out at you, clearly a good sign that the band are doing something right. As far as the sound of the band goes, I guess you'd put them in the Folk bracket. Accordingly to their label, Monosound Recordings, the band will have "fans of Bright Eyes, Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel glued to their players for the foreseeable future" .

Frontman Lewis is only 18, so to be writing songs of this calibre already, shows that there can only be bigger and better things to come from this band, and I think 2008 should be a good year for them.

For more information on the band, check out their myspace.

Also please don't forget to tell me who has been your favourite band or artist and what your favourite album of 2007 has been! Just use the comment box on the right. At the end of the year i'll total up the results and see who has been your favourite of 2007!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Gig Review - The Wombats at Cardiff Uni

As part of my birthday celebrations I recently went to see The Wombats at Cardiff University. So here's a little review for y'all. (Photos courtesy of Miss Kelly Shaw)

The first band up were Tinseltown.

Tinseltown are a 5 piece hailing from London, led by vocalist Romily Alice. They play a infectious blend of poppy indie punk rock. All the members of the band are pretty young, but already they are supporting bands such as Babyshambles and CSS. As for their set I wasn't convinced straight away, but they won me over. Singer Romily Alice has definite talent, there's something unique about her voice which sets the band apart. Tinseltown clearly have potential and i'm sure 2008 will be a good year for them.

The second band on stage were To My Boy.

To My Boy are two men with guitars from Liverpool, and their assorted electronic equipment. I guess you could describe their sound as a combination of powerpop, indie, and electronica. What I like about To My Boy is that they are different to everyone else. However they then tend to focus too much on their own sound, and there is a lack of diversity to their music. But their energy and enthusiam for what their doing is inspiring. There seems to be a clear love for the 80's, especially with the vocal styles. Again i'm going to use the word potential for To My Boy. It will be interesting to see how they develop over the next 12 months.

And finally we have the headliners, The Wombats.

The Wombats are a 3-piece from Liverpool. They have had a highly successful 2007, thanks to a brilliant debut album, and an extensive touring schedule which has emcompassed over 250 gigs. They have enjoyed regular coverage on major radio stations and music publications. So they had a bit of reputation. And did they live up to it? Hell yeah they did!

The Wombats have a catalogue of "fun" songs, most of them following a set formula. A catchy guitar, powerful drumming, and nice chanty bit for the crowd to get involved in. On the live front it works really well and the crowd really got into it. Standout tracks were "Kill The Director", "Lets Dance To Joy Division", "Backfire At The Disco", and the new single "Moving To New York".

2008 is set to be a another good year for The Wombats, with a tour to Australia already lined up. Their album "Love Loss And Desperation" is out now.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Single Review - Lions At Your Door

Hey, here's the latest single I've been sent for review. Remember if you're in a band or are a solo artist and want a track reviewed, then just send me an email or leave me a comment.

This time its from a band called Lions At Your Door, with a track called LAYD, with Mailer Daemon on the remix.

Lions At Your Door are in their own words, "5 kids from Sydney, Australia channeling haunted mansions in the old west, the howl of dead things, old movies from outer space, and you."

They play a quirky blend of dancey, punky, indieish, funky...noise. It's really quite good. And their track "LAYD", has recently been given a fresh lick of paint by producer Mailer Daemon.

You can imagine dancing away to this track in a club or just chilling out to it. It works on many levels. Something which works particular well is the vocal prow-ness of lead singer, Cookie.

Loop Magazine said of the band, "Their final calling song LAYD really summed up their unique mixture of genres showcasing a little indie, rock, electro, jazz and even slightly operatic".

Check out the track and let me know your opinions!

MP3: Lions At Your Door - LAYD (Mailer Daemon Remix)

For information on the band, hit up their myspace.

Monday, 10 December 2007

New Wave Of Music #8

Hey Hey!
It seems Bloc Party's recent new track, "Flux", is a positive change of direction for the band, well according to you lot! A staggering 83% voted in favour of the song. It will be interesting to see how future material from the band shapes up.
Please let me know who your favourite Artist and/or Album was of 2007 by using the comment box on the left. Near the end of the year i'll total the results and have a nice "Peoples Award" to virtually present.
Thats it for now, enjoy the tracks!

MP3: Cage The Elephant - Let Me Beat Your Eardrum

MP3: Soulwax - Miserable Girl (Royal Rumble Edit)

MP3: Damn Shames - Fear Of Assault

MP3: My Robot Friend - Robot High School

MP3: VHS Or BETA - Can't Believe A Single Word

MP3: Kat Flint - Joseph

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

New Wave Of Music #7

Season greetings! Sorry about the problems with downloads at the moment, you guys seem to love eating up my bandwidth! Which I guess means I'm doing something right.
I'm using YSI for this post, which should allow enough time for my usual hosts bandwidth to reset. Which will be nice...
Category: Rock
Info: New Single Taken from "Era Vulgaris" (2007).
Label: Polydor
Comment: Awesomely chilled out track.

MP3: Arctic Monkeys - Teddy Picker
Category: Rock/Indie
Info: Single released this week.
Label: Domino
Comment: Another solid track taken from album "Favourite Worst Nightmare" (2007).

MP3: Bloc Party - Flux (Radio 1 Rip)
Category: Indie/Electronica
Info: Taken from album "Weekend In The City" (2007).
Label: Wichita
Comment: New direction for BP, think it works well.

MP3: Revenue - Petrolbombs and Riots
Category: Rock/Punk
Info: Taken from self-titled E.P.
Label: Unsigned
Comment: From Channel 4's mobileact, I really think this band have got it.

MP3: Friendly Fires - Paris

Category: Electronica/Indie/Pop
Info: Single released 10/12/07
Label: Moshi Moshi
Comment: Wicked track, its got a great vibe.

MP3: !!! - Yadnus
Category: Electronica/Indie/Funk
Info: Taken from album "Myth Takes" (2007).
Label: Vital
Comment: Uber cool track out of New York City.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Nirvana - In Utero

Ever since I first seriously got into listening to music, I've always been a fan of Nirvana. I must have been about 13 when I saw the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit", I remember soon after that I got the "Nevermind" album on cassette, and there began my love for all things Nirvana. I guess everyone has their Nirvana moment, thats the impact that this band had, and still have on music today.

However due to many reasons, it has not been until recently that I have purchased what came to be the bands final LP, "In Utero".

Released in 1993 on Sub Pop Records, this third Nirvana album was an aggressive reaction to the fame and applauds that the previous album "Nevermind" had brought them. The songs are self depricating and highly critical of the position that fame brings you. It is exactly the album that Kurt Cobain wanted and needed to write.

As well as employing the trademark "Seattle" sound of quiet and loud elements, the album contains some of the best songwriting seen, and demonstrates the true genius of Cobain. The music is in your face, loud and obnoxious, its really rocking.

However despite the heavier elements, there are still some real mellow moments. And I think that this is the direction that the band were heading, particuarly from watching them play that infamous MTV show, which has recently been released on dvd.

For me, this album is by far the best that Nirvana released and is one of the best albums of all time.

Check out the tracks below and let me know your thoughts!

MP3: Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box

MP3: Nirvana - Milk It