Thursday, 13 December 2007

Albums of the Year and other jazz...

Yep, that time of year. always fun I guess. And as usual, I guess I'll find an absolute gem from this year in 6 months time which missed the list. Typical. Anyway, in reverse order:

10: POISON THE WELL - Versions

A gap of four years, 2 less full time members and an apparent does of Country music, it seems. Ever heard raw, brutal riffage underpinned by a banjo? You have now. An unexpected, intense joy.

9: THE SOUNDS - Dying to Say this to you

Scandinavia does it again. Danceable pop rock magic coated with synths and sleek punky guitars, and beefed up with some sultry "up yours" vocals from the loevly Maja. Sureferosa's crown could be nabbed.

8: ARCADE FIRE - Neon Bible

A lesson on how to make sweeping subtle rock with a slight dose of the kitchen sink. Equally uplifting and melancholy, Neon Bible is many things, none of them bad.

7: SHINY TOY GUNS - We Are Pilots

Or Version 3, having been reproduced a couple of times. Leftovers from 2006, Shiny Toy Guns are that rare beast of pop groups: Anthemic and catchy and downright sleazy and filthy. If there's any justice, the Mrs would be easily seduced by those dark riffs and elctronic throbs.

6: DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - A Fragile Hope

It's not often that dark apocolyptical riffage can sometimes sound so uplifting, but it's more than evidence here. The youthful UK bunch drag a sound from the depths of hell and light it with a heavenly fire. It rages and envelopes the soul and you may cry with joy.


Here's another bunch who love that kitchen sink, but love brutal old skool metal riffage. Grunts and growls collide with blastbeats, jazzy interludes and the occasional acordian. Plus, this is downright accessible.

4. MUNICIPAL WASTE - The Art of Partying

Like Zombies? Beer? Dirty, fast slammin, frash metal? No? You will now. Fun is on the cards in this Wasteland, and no one escapes the food brawl. Or the beer pressure, or the general party-til-you-puke headbanging frenzy. Lighten up, you boring bastard.

3. PORCUPINE TREE - Fear of Blank Planet

The geek will inherit the eart. Especially if some downright scary riffs can be put to beautiful melodies and soaring vocals. Not to forget the ambient touches and intricate drumming. Did we also forget musicianship?

2. BIFFY CLYRO - Puzzle

Rock. It's good, and you know it. And this is good, very good. Catch, anthemic, and just so easy. Puzzle just oozes simplicity, as well as a canny knack to give it some welly as much as just caress those guitars. Melody is wasted these days, and Puzzle makes up for it

1. JIMMY EAT WORLD - Chase This Light

There was a time where emo was not used without outside of "emocore" and Jimmy were Kings. To be fair, they still are. Chase This Light should be a friendsly addition to a wondrous back catalogue that oozed love, despair, pain, anger and all that other human stuff. On evidence of this, they're happy, really happy, and combined with the powerful rock of their past, it's a majestic comeback. This is the kind of album you truly fall in love with, the kind where life is good and nothing can change your mind. The fact it's the top of this list unexpectedly roves that.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

alllllo, Daaaaave...

It's interesting what a handful of miles and a rich area does to differentiate towns.

Epsom: practically Sarf Lahndahn, innit, students, foreigners, more students, pretentiousness, etc.

Redhill: old people, bored people, boarded up pubs, new developments that will be lived in by people who will actually hate the town but gloat about their accommodation's conevenience....

actually, that last bit could be me. but to be fair, it's not as bad as I remember. Whilst I didn't grow up in posho Reigate exactly, (I hailed from the supremely middle-lower class enviorons of Wood'atch, awright), there was still a noticable difference between the Gate and the Hill. You felt safe in Reigate, you wanted to pack heat in Redhill. As it is, it's just a town like any other. Which is a shame. I would've liked to have witnessed at least one gunfight in a tearoom this week.

Anyways, still updating my net duties down the library. got up early on a saturday morning purely to do so, thus getting the shopping done promptly too. may actually get to watch Footy Focus at this rate.

even with all the xmas shenanigans upcoming, it will still be fairly chilled compared to the last mental month. I'm all settled, no house worries, my ace new computers up and running, albeit without sound, my new housmate's cool, so yes. all good.

not a bad week either. no sooner had I settled in thean I was straight up to Northampton on a coach to see my old housemate's new house (her own, damn her!) and support my mate's band debut gig supporting theSTART. wonderful, wait 6 years for a band to tour over here, then I see them twice with the added bonus of a hyper mate playing beneath them. Shame bugger all turned up, useless apathetic non-London folk. still, impromptu roadie duties allowed me to say hi to main act, which was nice as singer Aimee has permeated my dreams since I was 17....use your loaf. so yes, even after a bit of maturity and the ability to hold back and just have a normal conversation with these band types I like, I still fall into shy fanboy mode when I meet certain ones. Her hug when I said her last band was my first gig didn't do my nerves any favours...

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Where's the blinking scissors?

So, I'm in. new gaff in Redhill. not as bad as I remember, so long as I don't venture into town at night.

no net at the house, but should sort that out sharpish.

I'm surrounded by boxes and cursing my decision not to blow my hard-earned cash on ale and hookers every weekend, and instead partake in pastimes that require holding on to stuff. Damn you, Stan Lee!

Still, moving in day was fund and not stressful at all. and no that wasn't sarcasm.

right, Sinsburys. wish me luck!