A bit later than normal, but here are my "tracks of the month" for this month. The next one of these will now be at the start of March.
Track of the Month
Your Anger Is A Gift
The Sea and The Silence
A second album in a year from ESA, and remarkably continues the incredibly high standards set by the previous two albums. This was actually released very late in 2008, and I didn't get it in time to be able to consider it for the best of 2008 list – although it is certainly a contender. Like previous albums again, there appears to be a coherent theme through the album, but I'll cover that more when I review this in full later this month. Of the many highlights on the album, though, is this track – a surging, seething track with repeated vocal refrains that simply bursts with the anger that the title suggests.
The Giants From Far Away
Another album that was released a little too late to be included in my 2008 albums of the year (I usually need to give any album at least a few listens before I can decide how good it is, and there just wasn't the time), but had it been released a month earlier there is no doubt that I would have included it. A storming mix of industrial beats, samples and grooves, this track is one of the picks so far. And marks the point where ADR bring the funk in some style. Full reviews of this and the ESA album will follow this week.
Cock Blockin' Beats
This Is Jizzcore
An album that seems to have been trailed for ever, and it is finally nearing the release date. So thanks muchly to Matt for supply a few tracks from the album in advance to those who had pre-ordered the double-CD a while back (not to mention the two free EPs of remixes on Vampirefreaks.com). This is the first of the tracks I heard that will actually appear on the album, and aside from the amusing samples, this is simply a great industrial dance track.
Return [Imperative Reaction Mix]
Advanced Electronics Vol.7
Talking of great dancefloor tracks, this track is the shining highlight of AE7, and in the absence of it appearing elsewhere thus far, is almost worth purchasing AE7 for just for this. Vocals by Tom Shear of Assemblage 23, underpinned by what is not far off an Imperative Reaction backing track, a soaring chorus and it is a track with real emotional clout, too.
Flowers and Football Tops
I've already mentioned before that I was late to the party getting into this lot, but now I have the album I simply can't stop listening to it. And this track – the lengthy opening track from the album – is still my favourite. A heartbreaking song about a mother dealing with the loss of her son, it's most extraordinary moment is the use of You Are My Sunshine to close it. It is the forthcoming single, and the video is linked above. Needless to say the track has been shortened from seven to under five minutes for the single version, although happily it retains the …Sunshine bit at the end.
Decapitation Of The Nation [Ambassador 21 Remix]
(No Longer Available)
This recent EP (featuring only seven new tracks and four remixes, this is not a full album) I had high hopes for. But rather than being snarling, punchy punk-influenced industrial as I had seen it described, most of it is all rather toothless. Which is a damned shame, as previous stuff I have heard was really impressive. Pick of the EP, though, is this track, where the power previously suggested finally appears – it's just a shame that it took a remix to do so. Those of you who are aware of this artist, or have heard her previous material – did I start with the wrong CD?
24 Ghosts III
Everytime I listen to this album a different track leaps out at me, and this time it was this one. An old-school industrial rhythm, with all kinds of distortion and screeching going on over the top. I'm still hoping that some of the near-sketches that these tracks are get released in fuller versions on future releases – there are so many great ideas on this album.
An old industrial band from the US, who for a while made their entire album online for free (nowadays it is only the first three songs). This track is their best, though, and isn't on the album, instead appearing on this stonking compilation from Glitch Mode. A savage industrial track, the power of which is added to by the brutal guitar-shredding through the chorus.
Scream, Dracula, Scream
As is often the case, there are a couple of blasts from the past that I have been digging again of late. This one for sure – RFTC were awesome for a while. This is the opening track from their marvellous breakthrough album, not much more than a minute of horn-infused rock'n'roll that helps to bust open the door for the staggering side-one of this album (really, this is a great example of a "frontloaded" album).
Boy Hits Car
Lastly – I come back to this album every now and again. A good eight years old now, they had a brief flicker of popularity and then shuffled back into obscurity, which was a shame as their slightly hippy-ish rock was really pretty good. In particular, though, it is this track that really deserves the attention – the stonking opening track that should have been a much bigger hit than it was…