There’s been quite a few record label samplers floating about as 2010 draws to an end. Not to be out done seminal Scottish indie label Chemikal Underground has done the very same and dropped a free MP3 sampler from their roster.
The excellent 16-track compilation includes tracks from Mogwai, The Phantom Band, Panico, Radar Bros and lots more from Chemikal Undergrounds catalogue. It get’s a definite thumbs up! There’s a lot of great stuff on here that would have gone unnoticed.
It’s available to download for FREE from here. Here’s a couple of excellent reasons why you should!
As promised, Damon Albarn released the new Gorillaz album The Fall on Christmas day. The album was recorded using an iPad while on tour in North America over 32 days. Essentially it’s a diary to the said tour – hence the track titles ‘Detroit’, ‘Phoner To Arizona’ and ‘Bobby In Phoenix’.
It’s a pretty chilled and relaxing listen. Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Bobby Womack and others pitch in but it’s Albarn’s vocals, instrumentation and a serious dose of synths which takes centre stage.
Christmas is one of those things that always seems to have been better ‘before’, before what I do not know.
Bucking this trend is Half Man Half Biscuit‘s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit’. It’s a slightly unorthodox Christmas tune but hey, this one from the Birkenhead lads still sounds as great as ever. We can probably expect a new album soon (I posted some new tracks from a 6Music session a while back here).
It’s been an interesting and enjoyable 9 months or so since starting this blog, thanks for continuing to read and support it.
Have a Happy Christmas & all the best for the new year.
Okay, there’s been quite a lot of surf-rock meets indie-pop, especially this year, but when it’s done well there should be no aversion to more.
Step forward Two Wounded Birds, who have released their debut EP Keep Dreaming Baby. You would be forgiven for thinking they had cooked up this sound on the sunny beaches of California rather than southern england coastal town of Margate.
In short, we are presented with a splendid mix of catchy sunny, fast paced surf rock and other distinctly more melancholic songs, leaving a lingering feeling of deja-vu. Think of a contagious sound ala Graham Coxon meets The Beach Boys.
I’d expect to hear plenty more from Two Wounded Birds in the future and here are two fine examples.
The Lucky Dip Escapade is the moniker of Oliver Smith. He’s a UK ex-pat now residing in Sweden where he along with his trusty acoustic guitar, makes musical gems like ‘Camp Fire Song’.
I picked up on this little beauty via ‘The Devil Has The Best Tuna‘ (an excellent music blog well worth checking out). It was described as “the best Billy Bragg song that Billy didn’t write” – quite some claim but as much as might try I can’t fault nor top that, a perfect description for a great song.
You can stream or grab ‘Campfire Song’ for keeps below. There is an EP in the pipeline for 2011.
2010 has been a great year for new music but ironically one of my favorite records this year comes is 1982′s ‘Vicious Circle’ from Indianapolis punk band Zero Boys.
I’ve been meaning to post something about this album since they flashed up on my radar after The Hives covered ‘Civilization’s Dying‘. The album is loud, fast and raw. It’s hard to fathom how they are largely unrecognized today, especially on hearing ‘Trying Harder’, ‘Amphetamine Addiction’, ‘Civilizations Dying’ or ‘Livin’ in the 80s’, the later two could quite easily have been anti-establishment anthems for a generation.
This is on a par with anything from the punk era, like a marriage of Dead Kennedys cynicism and The Ramones melodies it still sounds slightly dangerous almost 30 years later. It’s bizarre how unknown they are but I’m delighted to have found it, albeit 28 years later.