Sunday 18 December 2016

Destiny 3000

Dylan Thomas described Flann O'Brien's At Swim Two-Birds as "just the book to give your sister – if she's a loud, dirty, boozy girl". Swap O'Brien's book for Destiny 3000's 7" ep and that quote is just as valid.

This is a loud, chaotic and gripping record. They sound like they're mining the same pre-grunge scene as Teenage Fanclub did on A Catholic Education, only with more Flying Nun than Dinosaur Jr. 

So these songs are sludgy and melodic, like The Courtneys. You could - I just did - play the sharply metallic 380D next to The Stones' Something New and Doublehappys' The Other's Way. 

This song - and maybe The Real Kim Deal, because what a title - would have made a 2016 best of if I'd done one. But the internet says this record came out in 2015. It's only just hit the UK's import racks. Get it while you can.

The ep was recorded in 2013, so maybe this is all we'll get from Destiny 3000. Their discography is perfect, then.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Rat Fancy

Once upon a time there was a band called Sweater Girls who debuted with a single called Do The Sweater. Diana from Sweater Girls is back with a new band who debut with a song about a...sweater. 

So Rat Fancy - no, I don't know why they chose that name, but I'm sure they have their reasons - aren't a million miles away from Sweater Girls. You Stole My Xmas Sweater is a seasonal jingle of trebly guitar and delayed fuzz with a sweet, light candyfloss tune. 

They continue the Christmas theme with a Ramones cover, which gets closer to the fuzzy blizzard Sweater Girls did. There's a proper single, Suck A Lemon, next year. 

Friday 9 December 2016

Vital Idles - The Garden

In 1987 The Vaselines announced themselves as "fun-lovin', normal, healthy, fuck-obsessed adolescents". Almost 30 years later, another Glasgow band introduce themselves with a single about fucking in the garden. There's nothing not to like.

This is sweetly melodic and darkly sombre like a Velvet Underground ballad. The stakes are raised by a stately violin and trumpet that snake through the slowly building, clanging chord changes.

And I feel quite certain that, like me, you'd enjoy a baroque ballad issuing the lines "would you feel uncomfortable with your bum facing the clean air/and the wind in your hair?"

It's an impressive, terrific start on vinyl for Vital Idles, and for new record label Not Unloved.

Sunday 4 December 2016

2016 - bangers and modern classics

This isn't a 'best of' because this blog isn't an awards ceremony or a magazine. This is 20 of the best songs, an overview and an introduction for friends. A reminder that new music is still the most exciting art form.

Most years there are one or two strong themes that run through the annual compilation. Maybe one scene has dominated, like last year's UK DIY. Not this year. It's coming from all angles and it's great.

Each year I concentrate on new acts. But Lee Fields (b. 1951), after a relatively fallow few years, has in Special Night made what might be his best album.

And yes, that is a new Jonathan Richman song. Honestly, I think there are only 3 albums he's made in the last 20 years that could go toe to toe with his very best (Surrender To Jonathan, I'm So Confused, Her Mystery Not Of High Heels And Eye Shadow). But there are brilliant songs on every album. He's a treasure and so is this song.

I've got no idea what 2017 holds, but I'll listen to everything Big Crown Records puts out. And if there are debut albums by Spinning Coin, Charlene, Sheer Mag and Oslo House, it'll be another great year.

Oh, metadata fans - my itunes has been screwed up for 18 months, so I made the CD using Windows. No complaining now. Yes, I should probably just do a stream rather than make a CD. Next year, perhaps.

Albany - Spinning Coin
Such A Star - Unity Floors
Can't Stop Fighting - Sheer Mag
Sometimes - Chook Race
Strange Boy - El Michels Affair feat The Shacks
Hoodlove - Charlene
Dry Salt In Our Hair - Le Super Homard
Song About Me (feat Maddie Acid) - TV Girl
(Don't Wanna Be) One Of The Boys - Heavy Pockets
Outside O'Duffy's - Jonathan Richman
Plateau - Oslo House
Ultra Vivid - Ulrika Spacek
The Sweetest Feeling - The Perfect English Weather
Ode To Islands - The Tyde
A Man Of My Age - Arborist
Closed Eyes - Society
Best View Of Dean St - Backyard
Smiling - Lady Wray
The Inconsolable Jean-Claude - Lake Ruth
I'm Coming Home - Lee Fields & the Expressions