Ok, so it’s my usual monthly roundup of ten songs you should hear. Or go back and listen to again if you have already.
Track of the month
GodMod are back, with another song about sex, death and darkness. So, business as usual, then. However the notable, good bit here is that they have picked up where they left off on The Magic In My Heart Is Dead EP, with a snappier, cleaner sound that is less based around prominent samples (although there are one or two here), and more concentrates on a tune and atmosphere. Looking forward to the album Seance even more, especially as the other new track they played at Kinetik (Devil’s Night) was also utterly ace.
You Owe Me Blood
There’s Always One More Son Of A Bitch
So, previews of this long-awaited new album surfaced a little while ago, and having now heard this track in full at least, I’ve got a really good feeling about the album. The whole set of previews shows a total change from the last few albums, a band disinterested in just repeating the same tricks, instead wandering off into the realms of dance music generally, with all kinds of influences cropping up. The real kick-ass, standout track, though, is this one. Mixing up skittering drum’n’bass, techno, some heavy, heavy bass, this a hell of return.
Anger Management EP
Wow, what a brute of a single. I can’t quite place where the furious, sweary samples come from, but this is very much a track in need of some anger management. A stomping, ruthless rhythm, swirling effects, and that furious sample. It is simple, and damned effective: and it doesn’t need to be anything else. Next time I DJ, this is being unleashed on the dancefloor, that’s for sure.
Make Some Noise
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
It has arrived later than planned due to well-documented illness, but god this has been worth the wait. The Beasties haven’t sounded this alive (and good) in bloody ages. This is direct throwback to their early nineties heyday, full of funk, groove and some kick-ass old-school hip-hop bragging. Oh, and the video simply rules. Their best song in at least a decade? I think so.
Dead Market EP
A long overdue return (the last new album, as opposed to a remix album, was Vertical Theory back in 2003), and the new tracks on display on this EP show something of a leap forward, but still retaining the cold, stark style that has always been a hallmark of the Haujobb sound. And after a few years of Daniel Myer concentrating on his (many) other projects, and injecting something of his own sound into Covenant as they have returned, it is quite wonderful to see this band back. The single itself is a grower, a track that doesn’t seem to be much to write home about to begin with – the mechanical rhythm almost needs time to crank itself into life – but just wait until it hits its stride. The B-side Letting the Demons Sleep (Nightmare) is remarkably just as fantastic.
I can’t say I’ve been all that bothered by recent releases from this act – for me they quickly descended, after a striking first few releases of pounding, tribal industrial into realms that were, quite frankly, extremely dull. So it is something of a surprise to find them return with a double album that absolutely teems with life, featuring track after track of pounding tribal rhythms that should be lighting up dancefloors all over the place. In fact, to help this happen it would appear that there is a club-friendly release featuring shorter versions of five of the best tracks. The most immediate track for me, though, is this one – little ceremony is wasted on an intro before the beats overload your ears.
Bjork’s forthcoming new album Biophilia is quite staggering in scope. Not only an album, it’s also a collection of ten individual iPad apps (one for each song!), with videos, games and god knows what else on them, and a reportedly pretty awesome live show that involves newly invented instruments too. Happily, the first track released from this truly multimedia project is rather wonderful, too. This is the sound of Bjork returning to gentle, soothing electronics, allowing her extraordinary voice to take centre stage. And add to that a fantastic drum’n’bass-ish outro, and I’m already convinced that I’ll be buying the new album. Not having an iPad or iPhone, though, means that I won’t be seeing the rest of the project for a while yet.
I only actually heard this the other week, even if it has been out a couple of months. I have to admit that I was seriously sceptical regarding this collaboration when I first heard about it earlier in the year – for me this is the latest desperate act from a band that are long past their best, holding onto the coattails of a cooler scene to hitch a ride to credibility and a bit more success. And not only that, but metalheads can at times be somewhat close-minded when it comes to collaborations with dance projects. But somehow, this works pretty spectacularly. And I think that is because neither side drowns out the other. Listen on a good system – or loudly, or both – and its plainly clear that the full band is chugging away, and Skrillex has filled in the gaps. But what this has done is to unleash a viciously heavy, anthemic tune that is something of a nod back to when Korn were actually good. Which is a surprisingly long time ago…
Enter The Locust
well, if it ain’t broke…Machine Head are back, and they are still working on the premise of louder, heavier, longer. I’m not totally convinced on the slightly raspy vocals, although the monstrously heavy riffs are all present and correct. The thing is, this sounds quite a bit like material from The Blackening, and I’m not sure that just a rehash of that – as fantastic as it was – will be enough.
This month’s “why didn’t I hear this before?”
One Foot Before The Other
England Keep My Bones
Ok, Spike, you were right all the long. I’d never got ’round to checking out Frank Turner, and stumbling across the new album on eMusic, I decided to download it and give it a go. And you know what? I love it. There are a number of reasons for this – but first and foremost it is heartfelt, unashamedly sentimental music. A singer who is unafraid to say what he feels, and perhaps unusually nowadays is also an artist that is proud of his roots – that of an englishman, and of english folk music. Because make no mistake – despite the rock leanings on much of this album, this is basically an album of folk songs. But not only that, it is an album of gloriously catchy, powerful songs – and of the many great songs it is this one that has really caught my ear. A song about legacy, about making one’s mark for the future, it also has a storming chorus that has been stuck in my head for weeks. I get the distinct feeling that this track will slay live. [On a final note, this section of the Tuesday Ten will likely be a monthly appearance from now on – as it appears that there is always something I’ve missed…]