Sunday, 20 December 2009

Top 25 Albums of 2009 (Part 2 : 10 - 1)

Here is part 2 of my top 25 albums of 2009 list. After some initial tough decisions this years list was actually pretty easy to put together. Some honourable mentions must go to Biffy Clyro, Florence and The Machine, and Them Crooked Vultures who would probably have made the list if I'd got around to getting their albums.

10. King Cannibal - Let The Night Roar
Ninja Tune


09. The XX - XX
Rough Trade



08. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue
Parlophone



07. Jack Penate - Everything Is New
XL



06. Lamb Of God - Wrath
Roadrunner



05. Sub Focus - Sub Focus
Ram



04. Mumford And Sons - Sigh No More
Island



03. Dead Confederate - Wrecking Ball
Kartel



02. Gallows - Grey Britain
Warners



01. The Horrors - Primary Colours
XL

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Top 25 Albums of 2009 (Part 1 : 25 - 10)

So here is part 1 of my top 25 albums of 2009 list. After some initial tough decisions this years list was actually pretty easy to put together. Some honourable mentions must go to Biffy Clyro, Florence and The Machine, and Them Crooked Vultures who would probably have made the list if I'd got around to getting their albums. The top ten will follow tomorrow.

25. Howling Bells - Radio Wars
Independiente



24. Fake Problems - It's Great To Be Alive
Side One Dummy



23. Broken Records - Until The Earth Begins To Part
4AD



22. Red Light Company - Fine Fascination
Marrakesh



21. Miike Snow - Miike Snow
Sony



20. Daniel Merriweather - Love And War
BMG



19. Caspa - Everybody Talking Nobody's Listening!
Subsoldiers



18. Devildriver - Pray For Villians
Roadrunner



17. Future Of The Left - Travels With Myself And Another
4AD



16. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg
Island



15. Billy Talent - III
Atlantic



14. In Case Of Fire - Align The Planets
Search And Destroy



13. Toddla T - Skanky Skanky
BMG



12. Enter Shikari - Common Dreads
Ambush Reality



11. Gossip - Music For Men
BMG

Monday, 14 December 2009

Album Review : Kingskin - Slug

Recorded by Steve Albini – Play loud” are the instructions emblazoned on the cover of ‘Slug’ so prominently that Kingskin obviously want to ride on the shirt tails of their producer’s credibility. True, he is a musical icon but pay him right and he’ll produce anything. Hell, you can hire him on his own website for around $400 a day.

This point hits home when listening to Slug as it's quickly apparent this ‘aint gonna be no In Utero. Part stoner rock, part funk, mostly pseudo grunge, this second offering by Kingskin is a pedestrian mix of any sound-a-likes you want to choose from the heady days of early nineties rock; Corrosion of Conformity, The Almighty, Spin Doctors and Skin to name but a few.

There’s no getting around the fact that this album sounds dated. Of course this doesn’t immediately qualify it as mediocre, nonetheless Kingskin manage to make that connection all by themselves. Their second album is an unremarkable revisit to the worst elements of self indulgent grunge. ‘Stoner Girl’ is clich├ęd, two dimensional blues rock whilst ‘The One Everyone Hates’ is an abysmal attempt at emotional depth and ‘Mexican Taxi’ is a lifeless, flat song that vocalist Chris Lamb can’t save, no matter how much he screams in his Anselmo-Keenan,-Cobain-esk voice. And the list unfortunately goes on.

Thankfully, it’s not all bad. Whilst the attempts at grinding riffs fit awkwardly around funk guitars and fret wankery there are moments that the band hold their own. ‘Fat Mama Got Soul’ has more kick to it than most with a blistering chorus whilst closing title track ‘Slug’ is a warm, bluesy sludgefest that’s as cosy as it is alluring, proving the band haven’t managed to reach their second album by chance alone.

Unfortunately though, the majority of the time Kingskin sound both tiresome and overstated; it’s all a bit too much pomposity and too little substance. There’s way too little originality or sparkle to be found within these 11 tracks to recognise it as anything more than a below standard effort from this English four piece.


Thursday, 3 December 2009

New Music : Zambri

Based out of New York come Zambri, a five piece who look set to smash the underground pop scene in 2010. Originally formed by sisters Jessica and Christi Jo, and later joined by Chris, Andy, and Carrie, the band already have a well received self titled EP under their belt, as well as appearing at the inaugural SXSW and CMJ events.

From The Starts is a dark, slow tempo track that has haunting vocals which drift over the bleak soundscape of swirling synths and distant bass and drums. It's a song which captures your attention due to the pure eeriness the band create whilst maintaining a real sense of passion and meaning through their vocals. Similarities can be drawn with bands such as The XX, Kate Bush, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Bjork.

Zambri are currently working on material for their debut full length album, and you can expect a full American tour next year. I personally reckon this style of underground pop is going to explode in 2010, and Zambri are certainly one of the bands to look out for.



>>> In other news Music Liberation has been featured in Indiescreet's 10 Influences On Your Taste In Music In 2010 article. It's always nice to get an appreciative nod from fellow bloggers, so we are pretty chuffed at getting a mention. You can check the full post out here. <<<