And now individual tracks..
075: 2009 So Far (Albums)
This band had kinda passed me by before, other than a couple of marvellous singles, but this is such a joyous explosion of a track that it was impossible to resist. Less guitars, more electro, and the result is the best thing this band have done by miles, and an obvious contender for best track of the year.
New In Town
I suspect that this could be deemed a guilty pleasure by some, and I’ll freely admit that it is here, too. Either way, it’s a slinky electro-pop tune with a sky-scraping chorus – and to me, far more interesting and engaging than the 80s-retro boredom of La Roux.
The Girl and The Robot
Talking of pop tunes, another extraordinary single that is so good it eclipses pretty much all of the the album that this comes from. I suspect that sadly it may suffer a little in the charts this week following the mayhem surrounding a certain dead pop star.
Take Me To The Hospital
The Prodigy’s hugely successful comeback appears to have taken everyone by surprise, especially as the album has turned out to be great fun. Pick of the album is this astounding nod back to their raving past – cheesy synths coupled with monstrous beats that helps to remind why we loved the Prodigy in the first place, and why it’s great to have them back.
A second mention for the Manics today, mainly as this was released fleetingly on the NME website and quickly disappeared (if you want it, it isn’t hard to find online). Anyway, this is a cover of a Horrors track, and is the real nod by the Manics back to the Holy Bible – a brutal three minute burst of punky energy that will leave your jaw on the floor by the end of the first, spine-tingling chorus.
A second mention for KMFDM, too – the best moment by far on Blitz. A stomping industrial track, with Sascha K. expanding his lyrical horizons further by singing (well, snarling) this in Russian. The use of this harsh-sounding language works to spectacular effect, and I’m hoping they play it live when I see them in a few weeks time in London (who else is going, btw?).
In advance of the long, long-awaited new album The Medication Generation, this was released to much surprise – and joy, when we released how awesome it was. Basically an industrial remix of the theme, it leaves the core of it as it is and is great fun to play as a DJ, watching people’s faces as they realise what it is…
Under the Cross
A second album in quick succession from Uberbyte, and this first track from it is a cracking track – heavy-duty, pounding industrial with intelligent lyrics about the hypocrisy of religion and it simply crackles with rage.
Coreline Builds Better Robots
Expect the full review of this album, with a bit of luck, on Connexion Bizarre in the coming days, but in the meantime, this is by far the best track on it (and enormous fun live, too). It’s been released before in slightly different forms, but the apparently final version here that includes a school choir, crazy rhythms and off-kilter beats is a work of twisted genius.
Finally – a band I heard by chance following a random recommendation elsewhere, and I’m glad I followed the link now. Nominally this band are described as “noise-rock”, falling somewhere between shoegaze and the power of Swans at points, but this new-ish track, apparently a precursor to a new album, puts quasi-industrial rhythms underneath shoegaze-y vocals and sheets of guitar, and frankly it’s fucking amazing.