Monthly Archives: January 2010

Opinions Are Never Wrong

“I love music. I believe that for people who love music, the desire to share it is innate and crucial for music itself. When we find a song we love, we beckon our friends over to the turntable, we turn up the car stereo, we loan them the cd, we put it on a mixtape. We do this because music makes us feel and we want someone else to feel it too.”

So….after i posted my Top 30 Albums of 2009 last week i mentioned that i would put up a list of some of my friends opinions on the best albums of 2009. So without further ado….

My friends opinions on the Top 5 Albums of 2009 are:

1. Gui Boratto – Take My Breath Away
2. VNV Nation – Of Faith, Power And Glory
3. Moderat – Moderat
4. IAMX – The Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction
5. Major Lazer – Guns Don’t Kill People..Lazers Do

(may i also add that Gordon wanted to have the GBXperience Volume 2 in his Top 5 but i refused to allow him on the grounds that it’s a compilation and they’re not actually George ‘Unfunniest person in the World’ Bowies songs, just “remixes” he’s done…oh and it’s utter shite.

1. IAMX –  The Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction
2. Regina Spektor – Far
3. MSTRKRFT – Fist Of God
4. Florence And The Machine –  Lungs
5. Peaches – I Feel Cream

1. Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
2. Bloody Beetroots – Romborama
3. Vladislav Delay – Tummaa
4. Tiesto – Kaleidoscope
5. 2562 – Unbalance

1. Metric – Fantasies
2. Florence And The Machine – Lungs
3. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
4. Matt And Kim – Grand
5. Ryan Adams – Extra Cheese EP

1. The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love
2. The Horrors – Primary Colours
3. Moderat – Moderat
4. Miike Snow – Miike Snow
5. Bloody Beetroots – Romborama

1. Bloody Beetroots – Romborama
2. HEALTH – Get Color
3. Sonic Youth – The Eternal
4. The Qemists – Join The Q
5. Yello – Touch Yello

1. Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers
2. The Baddies – Do The Job
3. Graham Coxon – The Spinning Top
4. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight
5.  Arctic Monkeys – Humbug

1. Temper Trap – Conditions
2. Metric – Fantasies
3. Air – Love 2
4. Florence And The Machine – Lungs
5. A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head

1. The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero
3. Temper Trap – Conditions
4. Passion Pit – Manners
5. Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers

1. The Horrors – Primary Colours
2. Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
3. Dizzee Rascal – Tongue N Cheek
4. The Maccabees – Wall Of Arms
5. Noah And The Whale – The First Days Of Spring

1. A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head
2. Lightning Bolt – Earthly Delights
3. Soulsavers – Broken
4. Future Of The Left – Travels With Myself And Another
5. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

1. Isis – Wavering Radiant
2. Russian Circles – Geneva
3. Sunno)) – Monoliths And Dimensions
4. Dinosaur Jr – Farm
5. Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue

1. Andrew Weatherall – A Pox On The Pioneers
2. Yacht – See Mystery Lights
3. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue
4. Animal Collective – Post Merriweather Pavilion
5. Nathan Fake – Hard Islands

1. The Mars Volta – Octahedron
2. The Veils – Sun Gangs
3. Mum – Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know
4. Fever Ray –  Fever Ray
5. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic

S.I.T Wolf  X

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THE MONDAY LIST #12: The Top 5 Tips For 2010

2009 promised and delivered so much in the way of good music, lets hope this year can be the same.

Ex-Lovers are a London based band who had a good 2009. Last summer saw the release of their debut singles “Just A Silhouette” and “Photobooth” and then in September they released the EP “You Forget So Easily”. The title track was the standout but other tracks such as “New Years Day” were enough to draw them favourable comparisons to Elliott Smith and The Cure. Almighty praise indeed.

They begin this year by heading off on a few gigs this month and then starting a 3 week tour of Britain on the 20 February. I’ll be taking in the Aberdeen show. If they can start off this year as they finished the last one then 2010 could be a very big year indeed for this loveable quintet.

MP3: Ex Lovers – New Years Day

I’ve previously posted “Just A Silhouette” and “You Forget So Easily” so if you like what you hear, go download them too.

VIDEO: Ex Lovers – Photobooth

Brooklyn-ites Zaza are slowly making a name for themselves with their take on the sombre side of shoegaze. Their Cameo EP was littered with haunting sounds and glistening vocals and hazy cymbals. Never veering off far from their influences the band still manage to create a sound all of their own. If you let them they’ll take you on a musical journey.

The band are playing SXSW this March, so it won’t be long before the secrets out. Get involved.

MP3: ZaZa – Always On

VIDEO: ZaZa – Sooner Or Later

These guys are darker and more evil than an alleyway on Sauchiehall Street in the early hours of a damp, winter Sunday morning. The lyrics are dark, the music even darker. Swirls of feedback and threatening chords mixed with almost tribal sounding beats. Then there’s the deep and quite frankly scary voice of Gabriel Bruce. They remind of a band i fell in love with a long time ago, the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. They have the same psychobilly and gothic undertones throughout everything they do, including their dress sense. There is definitely a visual element to the band, they also have that “shock” value too and although the band themselves may deny it i feel that it isn’t intentional. I don’t think they are trying to shock (well not too hard anyway), i think that its just simply their idea of “musical and visual expression”. This dark and evil image they portray is how they feel about society and so this is how they’ll perform on stage, this is what they’ll sing about etc.  I’m probably wrong but that’s just my opinion. Intended or not, the menacing look works and it certainly adds to their cult status. The music speaks for itself though and if the image they have helps them along the way then brilliant. I just hope these guys get the recognition they deserve in 2010.

Ok. so the above picture doesn’t look that menacing but that’s them being nice. If you want menacing, check the video for “Crypt Tonight” below.

MP3: Loverman – Crucifiction

VIDEO: Loverman – Crypt Tonight

These two could have stepped right out of the 80’s. I’m probably not alone in guessing that the era of New Romanticism from that decade have hugely influenced them. They have the same aching lovelorn lyrics, style and drum machines. And they’ve certainly blown the dust off of a few twenty five or so year old synthesizers. What i like most though is their ability to tell a story in a song without getting to “into” it. If that makes sense, which it probably doesn’t again. They dress slick, they sound slick and they’re destined for a big year.

Another really appealing thing about Hurts is that you can dance to them, so get yourself along to one of their shows this year and dance like it’s the 80’s. Yes, even if you missed/were too young for that era. I totally missed that scene (i was born 1985) but it won’t stop me loving and wanting to dance along to Hurts disco anthems.

MP3: Hurts – Blood, Tears And Gold

VIDEO: Hurts – Wonderful Life

This is Leeds noise punk at it’s finest. Leeds has produced a lot of good music over the last few years or so. The Tupolev Ghost and The Music to name but two. Pulled Apart By Horses are the product of cult Leeds band Mother Vulpine splitting up. The members went on to form PABH and also one of last years tips, Dinosaur Pile Up. But lets focus on Pulled Apart By Horses. They are effectively a bulldozer of noise. Aggressive in output yet the melodies remain. It’s beautiful noise. A lot of times band this heavy end up losing their sense of melody, not these guys. They sometimes garner up an almost Disco feeling. They’re also a mouth watering prospect as a live act with the ability to keep a crowds attention, which in todays “scenes” can be a pretty hard thing to do.

MP3: Pulled Apart By Horses – Get Off My Ghost Train

VIDEO: Pulled Apart By Horses – Meat Balloon

S.I.T Wolf X

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Top 30 Albums of 2009

Once again there were too many great albums to whittle down into a top 30 but i did it…eventually.

The list once again goes in a countdown style, 30 to 1.

30. Arms and Sleepers – Matador
29. The Antlers – Hospice
28. The Qemists – Join The Q
27. Soulsavers – Broken
26. Memory Tapes – Seek Magic
25. IAMX – The Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction
24. Hazards Of Swimming Naked – Our Lines Are Down
23. Atlas Sound – Logos
22. The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
21. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
20. HEALTH – Get Color
19. CircleSquare – Songs About Dancing And Drugs
18. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue
17. Nathan Fake – Hard Islands
16. Lightning Bolt – Earthly Delights
15. MSTRKRFT –  Fist Of God
14. Lymbyc Systym – Shutter Release
13. Gui Boratto – Take My Breath Away
12. Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
11. Ex Libras – Suite(s)

10. Motor – Metal Machine

It first it seems like this is just a collection of bleeps and spluttering noises backed up with sound effects that would fit the scene of a midnight space ship race in some galaxy far away but if you give it a full listen from start to finish you’ll find an electronic classic full of gritty techno tracks.

9. Crocodiles – Summer Of Hate

These two guys have been labelled as a lot of things this past year. From Jesus and Mary Chain revivalists (more?) to the leaders of The New Shoegaze Generation (or Nu-Gaze as some call it… *shudders*) right through to “talentless noise” according to one reviewer (said reviewer is clearly in need of some sort of musical lobotomy operation). But whatever brush you decide to tar these two San Diego natives with at least take the time to listen to their scuzzy fuzzy pedal driven racket because it’s definitely an album worth snapping up (did i just say that?!). Oh and they used to be in a band called The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, they’re worth checking out for the name alone.

8. Bloody Beetroots – Romborama

Bob Rifo has been around a while now and whilst he performs live as The Bloody Beetroots with Tommy Tea as his sidekick, there’s simply no getting away from the fact that he himself ACTUALLY IS the Bloody Beetroots. The songs are his. He does production, mixing, recording, composing and arrangement. All of it. Tommy Tea is just his sidekick on stage, although to be fair to him it wouldn’t be the same with just one crazy DJ in a mask jumping around stage so lets give him some credit. The point i’m getting at though is that this is essentially the work of one man, it’s raw, bouncy and aggressive yet playful at the same time, it’s an album that’s been a long time coming too. Some of the tracks on the album appeared online as early as 2006, “Butter” and “I Love The Bloody Beetroots” being examples. So was it worth the wait? Um…..yes!

7. Japandroids – Post Nothing

The two Canadians make a glorious thumping feast of noise when they play live and just about manage to achieve the same decibels on record. Hidden behind all the hard hit chords and biting drums though are actual songs. Good songs. A lot of good songs. A lot of good songs about good things. There’s no “oh everybody hates me”, “life is shit” or “me, me, me” in the lyrics. They sing about girls and good times. One set of lyrics goes “I don’t wanna worry about dying, i just wanna worry about those sunshine girls”. So that makes them ok in my book.

6. Passion Pit – Manners

Without a doubt this was THE pop album of 2009. A masterpiece in crafting hooks, melodies, harmonies and all things poppy into 4 minute gems. The use of chimed guitars, synths and gentle padded rhythms never sounded better.

5. Moderat – Moderat

When Modeselektor and Apparat got together there was always going to be a special outcome. But no one knew just how special. Moderat is an album awash with soundscapes that sound fresh and appealing. Waves of white noise tinged with a chromatic vibe and the distinguished, comforting voices of Sascha Ring and a few guest vocalists. There’s more than a few “chillout songs” on the album but there’s also a fair share grittier beats and dark synths from the Modeselektor side of the spectrum splattered around. On the bonus edition of the album there’s a dvd with music videos and a few extra tracks, namely “Beatswaysick” featuring the insane rapper BusDriver. There’s something for everybody on here and those ingredients add up to make this a Top 5 album easily.

4. Cougar – Patriot

Ok so having a purely instrumental album at Number 4 may seem like a bold move but Cougar are deserving of it. The arrangement of the songs are bordering perfection and every instrument seems to come in at exactly the right time. The songs shift between slow and fast, quiet and loud, between intricate guitar lines and full blown power chords and all the while manage to sustain the listener, each song representing a different mood. It’s a common misconception among most people that bands with no singer must be Instrumental Post Rock. In my eyes Cougar aren’t, they’re just a band of great musicians on top of their game making absolutely essential music.

3. Maybeshewill – Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony

This is probably another surprise entry but yet again one i feel is more than deserving of its place. Maybeshewill have been on the scene for a few years now and have consistently stuck by their ethics when making albums. They do things their own way and are beginning to reap the rewards for it. Their sound consists of movie samples, keyboards, synths and very heavy guitars and heavier drums. They can do the whole “quiet” side of things when they want to as well mind. Add all the louder components together though and all you’d expect to hear was a washing machine of incomprehensible noise rattling around, yeah? Wrong. These guys know to make a tune work.

2. Tape Deck Mountain – Ghosts

“Ghosts” may come across as somewhat of a concept album about, well, ghosts. It’s layered with lyrical references to ghosts and even burial throughout several tracks and it certainly has an eerie sound that escalates during the whole album. Tape Deck Mountain are very Lo-Fi and remind me from time to time of the slacker kings “Dinosaur Jr” and “Pavement”, which by the way isn’t a bad thing. The vocals are very low in the mix. The band instead are seemingly happy to focus on feedback and psychedelic tones. “Ghosts” might not be everyones cup of tea but it ceratinly caught my attention this winter. The release date could have something to do with how much i like this album. It came out at a very gloomy dark time here in Scotland and i think somehow that feeling channelled into the album on the first listen and i’ve been hooked since.

1. A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head

What can i say about A Place To Bury Strangers that i haven’t already said before on this site. They are the undisputed Lords of Noise.  “Exploding Head” didn’t exactly mark a change in direction or indeed progression from their debut album but why change something when it sounds this good. From the opening track right through till the last second of feedback is squeezed out of Ackermanns pedal this album is a sonic assault. Sure, it’s laced with lyrics of a heartbreak, betrayal and love. It’s wrapped up in a bubble of delay and reverb. It’s pushed along by a rhythm section that came straight from outer space. But most of all it’s consistent. It never stops for breath. It’s just track after track of classic shoegaze.

S.I.T Wolf  X

ps. later this week i’m going to stick up a quick post including some of my friends lists of their Top 5 albums of 2009. I think it’ll be nice to get a few different outlooks on the music of 2009. Feel free to leave your own opinions on what you believe were the Top 5 albums of last year.


Filed under best of 2009

The 30 Best Songs of 2009

Ok so a week into 2010 is a bit late for a “best of 2009” post but any regular readers (are there any?) will know i’ve had problems with hard-drives, my internet connection, my laptop in general and more recently some other stuff has came up that has prevented regular posting recently.

But back to the post..

Deciding on the songs and the order of them for this Top 30 was a hard decision (the Top 30 albums was even harder, post that at the weekend) to make. Basically there were only one rule when picking the list. The rule was that a band can not feature more than once in the list. If that rule wasn’t made then i’d have had the full APTBS album in there, shit, i’ve just gave away the identity of my album of the year haven’t i?

Apart from that it was pretty simple. 30 slots and hundreds of songs. Pick the best.

Remember though, having a song in the Top 30 songs doesn’t automatically mean that the artists will be in the Top 30 album countdown as well. Take for example Yes Giantess, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool and Stuck In The Sound. In the case of YG and OELSP they won’t make the Top albums cos they don’t have one out yet and in the case of Stuck In The Sound its because their album just wasn’t good enough (imo) to be in the Top 30. The song i included here however “Zapruder” is pure shoegaze genius. There’s also the other side of the coin. Bands like The Prodigy, MSTRKRFT and many more brought up absolute brilliant albums in 2009 but even though their albums as a collective were amazing, none of the individual tracks managed to make it into the Top 30 songs.

Sorry i’m not very good at trying to get my point across. I think i might just be trying to justify the fact that i had to leave some amazing songs out of the Top 30. I would have made a Top 500 if i had the time!

So away from the mumbled jibberish that i just wrote, here is the list in countdown style 30 to Number 1


30. Erol Alkan & Boys Noize – Death Suite (Bobermann Remix)
29. Paper Planes – Permanent Marker
28.  Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Dance The Way I Feel
27. Freeland – Borderline
26. Nathan Fake – Basic Mountain
25. Stuck In The Sound – Zapruder
24.  Mew – Introducing Palace Players
23. Tigers That Talked – Artificial Clouds
22. The XX – Night Time
21. Yes Giantess – Tuff N Stuff
20. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
19. Miike Snow – Animal
18. Russian Circles – Malko
17. IAMX – I Am Terrified
16.  Maybeshewill – Co-Conspirators
15. Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang
14. The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition (re-release)
13. Japandroids – Wet Hair
12.  Tape Deck Mountain – Ghost Colony
11. Crocodiles – I Wanna Kill
10.  A Place To Bury Strangers – In Your Heart
9. The Tupolev Ghost – Diagrams
8.  Moderat – A New Error
7. Ex Lovers – You Forget So Easily
6. The Big Pink – Velvet
5. Cougar – Florida Logic
4. Zaza – Sooner Or Later
3. Lymbyc Systym – Ghost Clock
2. Passion Pit – Moths Wings

And the winner of Track of 2009 goes to

1. Ex Libras – Radar

Instead of making all these tracks available individually i’ve  put them all in a ZipFile for anybody who wishes to download the list. The songs have been numbered so they should play in the correct order.

Download it here:

Once again sorry for the delay.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go

I’ve been thinking too much about you

MP3: Trentemoller – Moan (ft. Ane Trolle)

MP3: The Best Pessimist – I Just Want To Be Your Everything

Threw you the obvious
And you flew with it on your back
A name in your recollection
Down among a million same

It’s difficult not to feel a little bit
Disappointed and passed over

When I look right through,
See you naked but oblivious

And you don’t see me

But I threw you the obvious
Just to see if there’s more behind the
Eyes of a fallen angel
Eyes of a tragedy

Here I am expecting just a little bit
Too much from the wounded

But I see, see through it all
See through, see you
Cause I threw you the obvious
To see what occurs behind the
Eyes of a fallen angel
Eyes of a tragedy

Oh well, oh well
Apparently nothing
Apparently nothing at all

You don’t, you don’t
You don’t see me

You don’t see me at all

S.I.T Wolf  X

ps. i’ll finally get my final two Best Of 2009 posts up this week. Promise.

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