Archive for January, 2007
Tradition states this must be wrote, so I decided to have some fun with it!
Calla @ The Bowery Ballroom, New York City, NY, USA
15th Semptember 2006
Twas a cold and damp night in New York City. Our two Britsh heroes stomped the crosswalks looking for a good time, hailed a yellow cab and headed downtown. The streets were desolate and the sidewalk was at peace, the only sounds to hear were that of the immigrant taxi driver population slamming horns in their bid to fit into a gap, just half an inch wide. In actual fact this was to be probably the most bearable noise they would hear all night. After a few wrong turns and some dodgy navigating the two legal aliens found their way to one of NYC’s premier rock/indie venues, The Bowery Ballroom.
Upon entering the protagonist’s wondered where everybody was? were they all just being fashionably late? or did they know something our heroes didn’t? After ordering some beer flavoured tap water, upstairs they climbed to the topmost balcony to drink and be merry. Upon reading the name of the opening performers, Electropussy, there was an huge air of disapointment when 3 old and tattered floyd fans took to the mighty stage. Their name is about all the memories deemed worthy to remember. A table of empty liqour vessels encouraged the monster inside and the urge for rock and roll.
So the protaginist’s decended into the gathering ensemble. Afront of our warriors, weilding mighty axes was Lake Trout. Sadly no lady in this lake, or in fact no trout either. But they did make a racket similar to actual music with earshattering walls of sonic pleasure, made for the most content moment of the evening.
From here the night took a sinister twist, for the crowd were fixated upon enjoying our head honcho’s Calla. After ten minutes of attempting to sleep standing up, such was the quality of the noise, our protagonists retired to the bar to re-fuel. A few more bottles down they decide to make conversation with fellow fair maidens to mixed effects. “Shhh”, “Go Away…” and “I’m trying to listen…” were muttered as our sharp thinking champions donned Australian accents to avoid unneccesary trouble. Only for their ‘cunning plan’ to be rumbled by a higher intellect. A sober scouser with a deft ear for a british tone!
Still merry and cheery the band struck their final chords and everybody left wondering, can i have a refund? or how am I ever going to get back those 2 hours? Not to be disheartened our protagonist’s left with a smile and a slightly off balance walk, so not all was as bad as it seemed. “To the batcave robin!” were the last words slurred as they entered their carriage bound for 1st and 72nd.
Finally, after years of following this band they have got their first inches in the music press. The publication is ‘Classic Rock’ magazine and they have been featured on their latest cd ‘Hot in 2007’. Time to let you in on one of my favourite groups.
The Trews are from Nova Scotia in Canada which makes them instantly more likable as i had an awesome time there this summer with friends!! They play a slant on the traditional rock band with stunning vocals more hooks than a fishing contest. They play excellent rock n’ roll with enough energy and catchy tunes to warrant them to be more popular. Having never broken out of North America it’s no wonder why the UK havent been hit by this group who ocasionally take pages out of the Black Crowes handbook.
Their debut album “House of Ill Fame” is their best work to date, but follow-up album “Den Of Thieves” has many tracks to rival it’s greatness. At their best The Trews throw out a barrage of riffs and radio friendly pop/rock with each track loaded with it’s own contagious melody. You can’t help but admire their rock craft in both mid-tempo tracks as well as the full on assault of guitars. Picking tracks, “Every Inhambition” the debut opener is a bouncy riff driven classic,”Stray”the albums final farewell is lyrically driven greatness, “Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me” is back to basics blues power, where “Hopeless“is asuperb acoustic ballad and finally I love the head thumping “Black Halo“.
Here’s Spin.com showing some love…
“Den of Thieves begs to be performed live, filled with fist-pumping rock, melodic power pop, and danceable blues-funk flourishes, with a few sway-worth ballads tossed in for good measure.”
Need I say more? Can’t wait for these guys to take over the airwaves. UK bound? Not yet but I wish otherwise!
Did I mention they also won the “2005 Canadian East Coast Music Award for Group of the Year”?
Dirty Pretty Things – Waterloo To Anywhere
So the top spot is occupied by the non-controversial half of the remains of one of the best short-lived fronting duos of recent times “The Libertines”. Carl Barat has hit a masterstroke on his next project unlike his former bandmate, the infamous Mr Doherty. The album is hook heavy which still appeals to the mainstream yet retaining enough guitar rawk and attitude to elevate them above your NME buzz bands. The punk sensibilities are evident on this album with many a 3 minute headbanging fist pumper, Exhibit A: “Deadwood” Exhibit B: “You Fucking Love It”. Its energy with which each song in crafted which places this album atop of the list, put this with great lyrics and infectious melodies makes for an awesome debut album. Top track is most definitely “Deadwood”, the tough album opener sets the mood with punky guitars and a catchy as hell melody which lodges itself in you head for hours to come. Lyrically this album can be seen as a backlash at Pete, its this almost transparent emotional messages which gives the album a edge above the run of the mill. None of the current UK indie/rock crop can even get close to tracks like “Blood Thirsty Bastards”, “Gin and Milk” or The Enemy” a credit to the songcraft of Barat. Also seeing these guys live I can only heap more praise as all the raw enthusiasm and lust for rock spreads like wildfire to the crowd. Rock and Roll really will live forever if Barat and Co have anything to do with it!
Top Track: Deadwood
Bring on 2007!!!
So close but yet so far…
The So Nearlys
John Mayer – Continuum, Band Of Horses – Everything of All Time, The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine, The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers, Billy Talent – Billy Talent II, The Rifles – No Love Lost, Rodrigo y Gabriela – s/t, DragonForce – Inhuman Rampage, Roadstar – Grand Hotel
The Answer – Rise
A debut album from this Northern Irish group who have set the classic rock scene back on fire along with Roadstar in 2006. The Answer has undoubted talent and an eye for a crunching Led Zep riff or two and the lead singer is one of the finest rock vocalists i’ve heard for years. His voice is close to Robert Plant’s but in full flow has the power of a true stadium rocker. The melodys and riffs are fantastic on tracks such as “Into the Gutter”, “Come Follow Me”, “Never Too Late” and “No Questions Asked”. The lead track “Under The Sky” is a true blues rock classic! Stonking riff, great lyrics and a super chorus makes this track probably my favourite of 2006. The Answer also turn a deft hand to country influenced balladry as well. This is a superb debut and looking for massive things in the future! It also helps that they totally kick ass live!!!
Top Track: Under The Sky
Wolfmother – Wolfmother
The Classic Rock theme of this list continues into the top 3 with the self titled debut from Wolfmother. Not your ordinary blues rock band this time however, with influences seeming to range from countrymen Ac/Dc, Pink Floyd to the White Stripes. The trio produce a mammoth heavy sound on this album and these thundering riffs are backed up by organs and powerful vocals. Singer Andrew Stockdale is just as apt backing up the massive chorus’s as he is providing a eerie backdrop to less fiery tracks. Nostalgic rock takes a firm hold of the album straight from the opening crunching intro of “Colossal” and doesn’t loosen it’s grip till the final thashing power chord. If you like to rock, this is a cracker of an album, with enough intelligence and infectious melodys for the non rocker to gape at.
Top Track: Tales From the Forest Of Gnomes
The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
The latest offering from this awesome US band has taken the later half of this year by storm in the music critics world. This is their third album and definitley their best to date. The lyrics seem more aline with storylines and ramdom rambles but this is what makes the album so great. No astonishing vocals, just a american dude talking to his audience. Just lucky then that he is backed up by a superb band who produce bluesy guitar rushes as well as bittersweet melodys. Each song has its own blueprint mainly provided by the variety of the music and the story of the track, as in “Chips Ahoy” a song about a girl who could predict race winners. My favourite track shows off what happens when the band shows off and is back by great vocals, “Same Kooks” has a great organ breakdown followed by a stunning guitar solo. flipping the spectrum see’s “Citrus” showing off the singwriting talents of the band which is a melancholic masterpiece.
Top Track: Same Kooks
Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
A ridiculously ambitious album from the uk prog saviours. This album is one of their most listenable from start to end and you can’t deny the quality of vocal delivery. The spooky vocals add an extra dimension to even the most dreamy track and brings it to life. Lyrically the album has get to grab me, but that’s what’s so great about muse, you’ll pick up on a different melody or sound on each listen. With the new fascination with space and all things orbital, Muse have taken their style to new levels of oddness, but retaining the trademarks of why they are so great. Apart from prog epics Muse still prove they can rock it with the best of them and display incredible song writing on lead single “Supermasssive Black Hole” which could rival the Chili’s for funk. Its the final track which is the real show stopper, “Knights of Cydonia” blasts from a four horsemen of the apocalypse scenario into a full fledged rock out with a Thin Lizzy-esque mammoth guitar riff to bring the album to an end with you longing for more.
Top Track: Knights Of Cydonia
Jet – Shine On
Original? Nope. Good old fashion Rock and Roll? Yes. The predictability of this album doesn’t pull it back and Jet have again wrote a superb album full of Beatles inspired rock tunes with just enough sprinkling of Ac/Dc in there too. After their long absence they have come back in good form picking up where “Get Born” left off with. Superb Straightforward rock tracks with balls include “Rip It Up”, “That’s All Lies” and “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”. The title track, a tribute to their late father, is touching and lyrically moving as well as brilliantly arranged mirrors some of the better Beatles ballads. This album is not pretentious, not trying to break the mould, which to it’s credit make it great.
Top Track: Shine On
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
What can i say about this album which hasn’t already been said? The all time biggest Buzz band produced a stunning album which was well worthy of the hype. However I have tired of this album, more so because of the endless pr pushing and NME hipsters than of the music itself. But I feel that some of the raw energy of the original demos which leaked months before the release date was left on the cutting room floor and lost in production in the finished article, especially on “A Certain Romance” and “Dancing Shoes”. Those tracks which came through intact are still some of the best of the year with “You Look good On The Dancefloor”, “From Ritz To Rubble” and “Fake Tales of San Francisco”. Their social commentary and witty lyrics mimic modern day Britain and pokes fun at the chavs and critics alike (See poor follow up ep “Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys”). Youthful vocals and a high octane rock energy has this album topping many a best of list this of 2006, a great achievement considering it was released 11 months ago.
Top Track: From Ritz To Rubble