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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… music from 2018 December 29, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

A lot of music this year – been digging deep on the downloads service I use, and still foreswearing streaming. It’s kind of good because it provides a means of getting a sense of what’s out there. I’ve found myself listening to the output of labels a lot – Kompakt for techno, Sonic Cathedral for shoegaze, Heavy Psych Sounds for… well, heavy psych sounds. I kind of wonder is that a reversion to the days when Factory or 4AD were not quite but almost guarantors of quality, or at least listenability.

Honourable Mentions – first up Yawning Man’s excellent The Revolt Against Tired Noises and Half Man Half Biscuit’s new ‘No One Cares About Your Creative Hub so Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut’ album, Vibravoid’s live ‘Vibrations from the Cosmic Void’, Nik Turner and Youth had an interesting album of jazz/electronica, The Prids, VNV Nation, The Go! Team, Moon Duo, Fire Down Below, Hawklords, High Priestess, Marijannah, Fennesz, Tim Burgess, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Joy O and Windhand all deserve mention and there’ll be more on some of them during the new year.

Mixed bag here, some individual songs, others whole albums.

I Came Back to Bitch – L7
A stellar single from a group with a new album in the offing.

Xanadu – Juliana Hatfield
Quite some facility for pop displayed by Juliana Hatfield on an album of covers from the 1970s.

We’re So Nice – The Damned
A very solid album this year and a great scathing anti-war song.

Overload – Gui Boratto & Truelove Music feat Luciana Villanova
I like the album this is taken from a lot, here Gui Boratto seems to almost channel electroclash.

The Truth is in the Post – Black Dog
Not one but two albums this year from Black Dog and a flurry of other releases. Concept albums too about the contemporary world with the usual sceptical IDM inflected take by BD.

Working the Root – Anii
Really like this, it builds and builds, but slowly.

Quipu – John Tejada
Tejada offers a reworking of IDM tropes and in doing so makes them all his own.

Fragile Years – Nightports with Matthew Bourne
A simple piece that repays repeated listening.

American Lightning (feat Ray Hanson) – The Freeks
If this sounds like a collision between MC5 and Monster Magnet so it should. And all the better for it.

Ejection – Monster Magnet
Dave Wyndorf has made no secret of his love over the years for Robert Calvert’s work, and this, the second cover MM have successfully completed now taken from the scabrous Captain is excellent. As is the album MindFucker from which this is taken.

John Carpenter Power Ballad – Turbonegro
A new keyboardist and second album with their new(ish) vocalist. The album is good albeit suffering from containing both their last three singles whereas those plus a couple more songs would have been better. But this is particularly fine – a sly take on the 1980s.

Kristin Hersh – No Shade in Shadow
This from Hersh was just one song from a very compelling album.

Belly – Suffer the Fools
And from Hersh’s former bandmate. Mentioned the album a few weeks back and this is class.

Complex – The Chills
A remarkable return to form for the Chills in the second phase of their career with this the second album of that phase and a body of songs right up there, as good as any of their 1980s work.

Lusts – True Romance
A weirdly nostalgic album. If you like Echo and the Bunnymen (an admitted influence) or New Order at their poppies… well, you’ll probably really like this. I particularly like the way True Romance which trailed the album as a single back in September is in a longer version on the album. That’s what I call thinking of your fans.

Dose Your Dreams – Fucked Up
How to classify Fucked Up these days? Their Poison Idea vocals meet new wave, electronica and – naturally – hardcore. In this track… well it goes even more interesting places. The Manchester/dance/hardcore crossover you never knew you wanted. It’s kind of brilliant in its own strange way.

Lineas en Hojas – Lorelle Meets the Obsolete

Mexican indie/shoegaze/electronica. No album this year but this has a certain pop deftness.

Inhabil – Sobrenadar
Mentioned in despatches during the year. Paula Garcia, from Argentina offers a fine example of contemporary shoegaze.

Twenty Bridges – Mark Peters
And speaking of shoegaze…Mark Peters did great work this year and played Dublin.

Rebellion – Jupiter Lion
Spanish motorik outfit Jupiter Lion produced an excellent album entitled We Will Lose Gracefully. This, the first track sums up their approach perfectly.

Hoo Hoo Ha Ha – Orbital
Years after their supposed final Irish show at Oxygen in…er… 2005 – and that was quite some gig, and now well into their second reunion, what do we have here but another great album from Orbital. They still got it.

And a few more to bring it up to 25

Cosmic – Holy Grove
12 minutes of perfect metal led by singer Andrea Vidal and Mick Scheidt guesting to do additional vocals.

Run – Sam Wilkes
A bit of contemporary electronic inflected jazz, or is it the other way around. Whatever, pretty great.

Knobheads on Quiz Shows – Half Man Half Biscuit
From the brilliantly titled ‘No One Cares About Your Creative Hub so Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut’. Indeed.


1. Phil - January 2, 2019

Weird – I positively hated the bits of the Belly album I listened to when you previewed it (ugh, Sensitive Singer-Songwriter Sings Her Diary, thought they were much better than that…), but I’ve just listened to “Suffer the Fools” for the second time in a row, despite its rather obvious SSSSHD credentials. Maybe I was in a bad mood, or maybe this is a particularly good track – there’s a definite artistry about the way Tanya D. fits a ‘confessional’ line like “I’ll bring that terrible wine you love” over the frame of the chord changes.


WorldbyStorm - January 2, 2019

This is very weird Phil. I had precisely the same response initially to the album when I first got it – found it a bit meh. And then I let it go for a month or two and tried it again and had exactly your thoughts. Found that it actually hit home emotionally as well as musically – whereas Kristin H’s hits home musically rather than emotionally.


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