January 2017 playlist

Talking Heads – Making Flippy Floppy

The Heads create a track so light in sound that it almost buries all of the heaviness of the lyrics.  Run for the dance floor, then on the way home stop off at the 24 hor library. “Our president is crazy – did you hear what he said?”.

Run the Jewels – Legend has it

Somehow the sounds of Public Enemy, Fat of the Land era Prodigy and Outcast can fit together.  Nasty.

 

Elf Kid – Golden Boy

Street swagger with heavy beats for the Elf boy.  There’s been no one in the UK sound as convinced about their future since the Gallaghers.   “And next step’s the best step cause I’ve got a masterplan
So, me and my crew are going straight to the top“.

Nadia Rose – Skwod

Sod it, let’s keep swaggering. Mouthy and confident, Nadia brings the 90’s Death Row vibe to 2017 London. ‘No body bad like us’

Loyle Carner – No CD

Newly hyped track by London hip hop head loyle Carner.  A White Stripes styled guitar sample provides a perfect backdrop to a jam about ocd.  Disorders have never sounded as good.

Austra – Future Politics

On first play I wrote down ‘Kraftwerk meets New Order sung by Nico’…

Killing Joke – Love Like Blood

Sounding like the Cure jamming with Simple Minds, the Killing Joke turn up for a relatively unintense track… by their standards.

Nine Inch Nails – Capital G

One man never lacking intensity provides his most intense moment.  Anti Bush, anti corruption, anti-corporation.  I used to stand for something.

The Isley Brothers – Fight the Power

Closing in on Sly’s funk sound, the usually well tempered Isley Brothers wade in to 70s politics.  Rebellion with a groove.  I try to play my music, they say my music’s too loud.

Detroit Spinners – Rubberband Man

Let’s drop the politics for a moment and stay in the groove.  You never heard a sound like the rubber band.

Spanky Wilson – Sunshine of your love

Northern Soul cover of Clapton’s classic.  What a voice.

The Amazons – In my mind

Shoegazing hard rock with a riff so hard it’ll slice your hand open.

Alice Donut – My boyfriend’s back

Sounding like the Beastie Boys covering a 60’s classic in the style of the Stooges and the New York Dolls.  Certainly interesting…

We lost the Sea- Departure Songs

Australian art rockers We lost the Sea produce the most intense, and well thought out album I’ve heard in a long time.

“The tragic suicide of frontman Chris Torpy left many fans wondering how the band would continue on. Two years later, the wounds are still fresh, which is evident after one listen to their newest record Departure Songs.  The album’s title is an allusion to the overall theme of this record: death.

Each song has its own story behind the music. The album begins with “A Gallant Gentleman,” painting a picture revolving around the John Charles Dollman‘s painting of the same name, which portrays a man overcome by a ferocious blizzard that enveloped him and his expedition in the heart of the Antarctic. That man’s name was Lawrence Oates, and the opening track is a song based around his story. The song’s slow build up to an eventual climax really portrays the struggles Oates had with his decision, and the walls of beautiful guitars and bass display an accurate representation of martyrdom to the fullest potential.

The album’s second track, “Bogatyri,” delves into more emotional terrain, discussing the Chernobyl Three, who opened an underwater valve preventing a massive explosion that would have released deadly radiation into the air, poisoning most of mainland Europe and possibly even beyond. These three men went on an inevitable suicide mission, knowing death was imminent, but unfortunately necessary. Three deaths to spare thousands, even millions, was worth the sacrifice.

The third song “The Last Dive Of David Shaw” tells the story of the eponymous man who dove down one of the deepest sinkholes in the world to recover the body of fellow diver and friend Deon Dreyer, who had sadly been one of many victims of the cave. Determined, Shaw returned to the surface and began concocting a plan to return his body to the surface so that a proper burial could occur. On his dive, he put Dreyer in a body bag, but unfortunately became tangled in his various lifelines, and eventually perished. His body turned up four days later, along with Deon’s, on the surface as his team attempted to recover diving equipment.

The final two songs are arguably the most emotionally heavy in terms of concept. The two songs discuss the Challenger Disaster from 1986, where seven astronauts lost their lives in a catastrophic failure of the Solid Rocket Booster’s O-ring systems. You may recall that Vattnet Viskar explored similar themes in their own 2015 release, Settler. The use of horns as the shuttle launches in the song is a reference to “Fanfare For The Common Man,” which has long been associated with space travel, and is a reference in and of itself to the one civilian onboard, schoolteacher Christa McAullife. There’s also a quote from former president Reagan regarding space, as well as a slight reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which makes the album even deeper conceptually and musically. The first song ends after the shuttles explosion, and leads into the second part after millions look on at what once was a shuttle filled with life. The closing track is an homage to those who lost their lives on that flight, and the music reflects that. From beginning to end this song accurately outlines the launch day in 1986, from every guitar note to every slow, rhythmic drum beat. The musical precision on this song is absolutely flawless, and their focus on detail is impeccable.

However, this album inevitably ties back to their former singer, and how his suicide affected the band as a whole. The band seemed to go through hell and back, and this record is an accurate representation of personal struggles with death and is an example of how they collectively found something to dull the pain. This record is as cathartic as anything else, and is a stunning tribute to all of those fallen heroes from history. In the end, this album is nothing short of magnificent, and is a conceptual and musical giant. This album is the epitome of sorrow, the eulogy for the dead. It is an outline for how to mourn and overcome. More importantly, however, this album is free of flaws, and leaves us with a message: pain never goes away; it simply gets easier to cope with.”

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