Top 10 Artists of All Time-1 Year Celebration Fuck Yeah

I am finally getting around to finishing off this final mammoth of an article in celebration of my 1 year Anniversary with Soundly Sounds. Although it started off in my mind as a good idea to do 3 articles about my favourite albums, songs and artists, it has risen to a point in which I would rather let a scorpion pillage me for sexual pleasure than write another behemoth of these. But regardless, I’m fucking doing this shit anyway. Because otherwise Clancy ‘I-thought-you-were-a-journalist’ McDouchebag would rear his ugly head from the proverbial woodwork, like that alien that tries to eat the Millennium Falcon on that crater, in Star Wars Episode IV: Revenge of the Sith. Fuck that’s such a great movie. You know what else is great? All these bands. Fuckin all these bands are worthy of the highest acclaim acknowledgeable from myself. I have selected these particular artists very carefully, not just because they’re amazing, or had a particularly excellent album. No, these artists have consistently pumped out tunes for your earholes that you can molest at your won pleasure. These are bands that give you a boner whenever you hear they are releasing something new, already frothing over how good it will inevitably be. These bands are no rookies to the music scene, these guys are the fucking music scene.

Honourable Mentions go to Nirvana, Primal Scream, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, The Ramones, Helmet, Guided By Voices, Arctic Monkeys, Fugazi, Weezer, Violent Femmes, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division/New Order, Beat Happening, The Stooges, The Drones, Nick Cave (in all incarnations), Girls, Melvins, Jay Reatard, Queens of the Stone Age, Animal Collective, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, Husker Du,  The Hives,  The Clash, Eddy Current Suppression Ring,  The White Stripes, The Strokes, The UV Race, The Gun Club, Holy Fuck, Modest Mouse, Times New Viking, The Gun Club, The Black Keys, Interpol, Beach House, The Black Angels, Black Sabbath, Cloud Nothings, The Replacements, Blur, Kurt Vile, Radio Birdman,The Bronx Black Flag, Beck, Crystal Castles, The Killers, The Scientists, A Place to Bury Strangers, Bad Religion, Smashing Pumpkins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

10. Beastie Boys-What is not to love about the Beastie Boys? Their work revolutionised hip-hop, giving it an edge that would remain solely unto them until the likes of gangsta rap. They were funny, they were self-depracting and they loved attention. On top of this, they added an almost unheard development to the musical element of hip-hop and immersed themselves in samples. Beastie Boys were always forward thinking and progressive, from the start of 1986’s legendary ‘License to Ill’ to 2011’s ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’. R.I.P MCA

9. Thee Oh Sees-Thee Oh Sees can lay claim to being the most diverse and consistently interesting pysch group of the modern age. While other bands, such as the usually excellent Tame Impala and POND might nod off towards the middle of their albums, Thee Oh Sees will always, and I mean always, push through the fog and produce something mind-blowing. A look at any of their albums will explode all pretences of ‘boring’ psychedelic music. There is nothing pretty about Thee Oh Sees: they’re a dirty, drug-ridden, shit-stained band through and through, and yet their presentation is amicable. Thee Oh Sees records will be forever renowned in my collection as being the shit I’ll pull out when someone wants to hear ‘something cool’.

8. Regurgitator- The might fuckin’ ‘Gurge! Legendary Australian bands have come and gone throughout my constant perusing of music. Midnight Oil, The Saints, and Spiderbait have all had their spot in the Ryan sunshine. However, Regurgitator have always stayed there, and I lay that claim to their intense ambition of always coming up with something different. The first three albums, ‘Tu-Plang’, ‘Unit’ and ‘Art…’ are pure genius, and remain engaging artifacts of 90’s alt-rock, something Stone Temple Pilots and Bush can’t lay claim to. Although they might have dipped out in the mid-2000’s, their push back to ambitious and awesome music with 2011’s ‘SuperHappyFuntimesFriends’ cements their place as one of my favourite bands of all time. Seeing and meeting the band at the recent Groovin’ the Moo festival was a dream come true.

7. The Cramps- The awkward mushing together of swampy rock, gore-tinged horror, gothic appearance and 60’s rockabilly should never have made it past the planning stage. But that’s where The Cramps come in. With Lex Interior, their fearless leader, The Cramps led an army of crazy, wide-eyed and abused albums for over 30 years. Each effort The Cramps have put out remains a creepy, black hole of mucus and awesome, every second track becoming your favourite Cramps track. Heroin-riddled and rattling with self-oblivion, The Cramps are a band that should never have existed, but thank fuck they did. Imagine a world with no ‘Human Fly’, ‘Bikini Girls With Machine Guns’, ‘Goo Goo Muck‘ or “Can’t Find My Mind’? What would anyone do?

6. Gorillaz- Everyone likes Gorillaz, but they haven’t listened to them in a long time. Fucking chuck on any of the first three albums (I like to think the 4th one doesn’t really count) and prepare to engage in a long, warped drive through Damon Albarn’s menal pysche. So many influences are drawn upon, into what is essentially a hip-hop project, that what comes through is an amazing pool of musical prowess, like some ‘Tree of Life’ shit. Put on the self-titled, ‘Demon Days’ or ‘Plastic Beach’ albums and remind yourself what it’s like to listen to really, really solid music with no faults.

5. The Black Lips- Flower punks, rock n roll musketeers, troublemakin’ no-gooders with guitars; call The Black Lips what you like, the only conclusion that you’re likely to draw upon is amazing. Although they don’t really provide a virtuosity to their music like the rest of the artists on this list, The Black Lips provide a generic service with unique results. They bang out more or less the same album each time, and yet, you can only feel like it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever listened to. Couple that with the fact that The Black Lips are amongst the best live bands in the world (seriously, these dudes are fucking loose). ‘Bad Kids’, ‘O Katrina!’, ‘Boomerang’, and ‘Elijah’ are just a few of the countless simple delicacies The Black Lips offer that make the world a better place.

4. Ty Segall- Ty Segall is The Who of our generation, the man does not stop making music. In 2012, he came out with three (3!) seperate albums from various projects, all of which were some of the best stuff to come out last year. This year, he’s coming out with another solo album, an album with his band Fuzz, and I believe he’s involved with Sic Alps again, but I’m not 100% sure. Regardless, the man makes fucking loose as music to get loose as to. It’s rock n roll the way it was meant to be played, obnoxiously loud, dreadfully immature, and insanely captivating. Ty Segall is the artist all garage rockers should aspire to be, not in sound, or looks, but just general being. He’s the greatest musician right now, hands down, bar none.

3. Pixies-The Pixies took the world by storm every time they released an album, and with good reason. The Pixies have more good songs than Pitbull has shitty lyrics and the STD’s of any random celebrity train wreck of the moment (think Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj, Lindsay Lohan etc.) . They never released a bad album, and always maintained a furiously unique energy to every song they laid down. The four albums that the Pixies released will forever be remembered as some of my favourite albums. Any song in their catalogue, from ‘Debaser’, ‘Nimrod’s Son’, and ‘U-Mass’ to ‘Dig For Fire’, ‘Where is My Mind?’ and the unforgettable ‘Hey’ is always an instant hit for me. There is nothing better in the world than a Pixies song.

2. Radiohead- Although, I, like everyone else, was introduced to Radiohead through ‘Creep’, it was the latter albums like ‘The Bends’, ‘OK Computer’, ‘In Rainbows’ and ‘Kid A’ that resonated with me. Not to sound too obvious, but these are flawless, perfect albums, capable of bringing a grown man to tears (guilty), inciting massive sing alongs that envy ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, and in rare cases, impregnating random women that happen to hear ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Everything in its Right Place’ or ‘Fake Plastic Trees’. There are too many Radiohead songs to mention about how amazing they are as a band. But yeah, they are my 2nd favourite band of all time.

1. The Flaming Lips-My favourite band of all time, through sheer musical prowess and venture goes to The Flaming Lips. Although not everything they’ve put out has been excellent (i.e collaborations with Ke$ha), the astounding amount of amazing material, and bravery that accompanies their sonic shifts in musical trajection puts them above any other artist in my opinion. From hard-rockers, to psychedelic, to full blown orchestral orgies of sound, The Flaming Lips have done it all, and done it better than anyone else. And blowing minds isn’t the only thing Wayne Coyne and Co. kill at; when they slow it down, the results are scandalous. Think “Race for the Prize’, ‘Waitin’ For Superman’, ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1’ and of course, the inescapable ‘Do You Realize??‘. But the main forte with which The Flaming Lips kick sonic arse is when they wield the ultimate sword of psychedelica (literally the nerdiest thing I’ve ever written). When you’ve got the lush mind-melting audio-acid trip landmark albums like ‘Transmissions from the Satellite Heart’, ‘Telepathic Surgery’, ‘Clouds Taste Metallic’ or ‘Hit to the Death in the Future Head’, no one can doubt your position as the greatest band of all time. I fucking love this band.


Top 10 Albums of All Time-1 Year Celebration Fuck Yeah

This is the second of the three articles I’m writing to celebrate my shitty blog. It is a compilation of my Top 10 Favourite Albums of All Time. Honourable Mentions go to The Clash-The Clash, Blur-Parklife, Gorillaz-Demon Days, Pixies-Surfer Rosa, The Stooges-Raw Power, David Bowie-Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, The Scientists-Self Titled (The Pink Album), Dan Deacon-Spiderman of the Rings, Die!Die!Die!-Harmony, Sonic Youth-Rather Ripped/Daydream Nation, The Prodigy-Fat of the Land, Bloc Party-Silent Alarm, The Cramps-Pyschedelic Jungle/Song the Lord Taught Us,  The Strokes-Is This It, Crystal Castles-Crsystal Castles II, DJ Shadow-Endtroducing…, The Bronx-The Bronx I, Eddy Current Suppression Ring-Primary Colours, My Bloody Valentine-Loveless, The Soft Pack-The Soft Pack, The Hives-Black and White Album, Green Day-Dookie (fuck you man, this is my list), Mudhoney-Superfuzz Bigmuff, No Age-Nothing in Between, The Black Keys-Brothers, The Birthday Party-Prayers on Fire, Wavves-King of the Beach, Nirvana-In Utero, Grinderman-Grinderman II, The Dandy Warhols-Welcome to the Monkey House, The Cure-Three Imaginary Boys, Step-Panther-Step-Panther, and Shellac-1000 Hurts.

An album is an incredible thing. It can never be underrated as a singles fest. A record has the ability to transport an array of powerful emotion and context into a 30 minute-1 hour celebration or disintegration of life. A record is a powerful tool, works of art that work cohesively to take things from mere musical pieces to form a connection with the listener that they will never forget. These are my favourite albums that have had a prominent impact on my life.

10. The Avalanches-Since I Left You: This album marked the transition for me from punk to a broader range of music. After hearing the singles ‘Since I Left You’ and (of course) ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’, I became incredibly curious about this album. Accolades upon accolades have been heaped on this album, and the band is one of the few still shrouded in mystery. Through this album completely controlled by samples of others music, The Avalanches created a masterpiece. Some believe it is overrated, however I beg to differ. Where people see unnecessary praise, I see an album that ebbs and flows with a control and  daunting power that most bands could never even think of achieving, let alone express with such nonchalant charisma. ‘Since I Left You’ is a fucking masterpiece of textured beauty.

9. The Killers-Hot Fuss: The Killers first two albums are pure pop-rock genius. I would consider them the modern David Bowie’s. Sure, they might have fallen right off the fucking track with their recent ‘Battle Born’ album, but there is no denying that ‘Hot Fuss’ is a delicacy, capturing every corner of the market. From the earnest ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, to the sinister ‘On Top’. And who can forget ‘Somebody Told Me’, dance floor rock meets charisma. The Killers did it on ‘Hot Fuss’ before Franz Ferdinand even got the idea. Purely amazing, cohesive album.

8. The Prodigy-Invaders Must Die: ‘Invaders Must Die’ remains my favourite of Prodigy albums, simply because it doesn’t get bogged down at all. It doesn’t contain eight minute rave solos that start to drag on, but instead just constantly pushes out solid electronic music, track after track. Sure, ‘Stand Up’ slows down the album considerably, but it remains a fun track. For the rest, just look at tracks like ‘Invaders Must Die’, ‘Thunder’, ‘Warriors Dance’ and ‘Take Me To the Hospital’. It’s jam packed with deadly jams, and remains one of the my favourite Prodigy, and electronic albums.

7. Queens of the Stone Age-Songs for the Deaf: This is an album of absolutely insane proportions. Based on a ‘bored’ listener flicking through radio stations, the album forms. This simple but effective technique absolutely hammers home the themes of loneliness, desperation, and total weirdness in ‘Songs for the Deaf’. The desert aspect of desert-rock is no more clearly achieved on any album of the genre than on ‘Songs for the Deaf’. Everything about it is creepy but cool, and blown to total exageration. One of the most interesting and original albums to come out in recent history. And c’mon, it’s got Dave Grohl on drums, and features ‘No One Knows’. How could it not be a guaranteed amazing album?

6. Sonic Youth-Goo: Sonic Youth have produced so many amazing albums, of course one of them was bound to be my favourite. Although, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘EVOL’, ‘A Thousand Leaves’, ‘Dirty’ and ‘Confusion is Sex’ are all fantastic, brilliant albums, but ‘Goo’ takes the cake. Why? Because it is one of alternative rock’s greatest albums for a reason. Sonic Youth sound incredibly straight forward on the record, but just when you start to get comfortable, it’ll shock your system with a powerful experimental riff that blows your brains out. Take ‘Mildred Pierce’ for example, with it’s solid riff continuing until the nearing of 2 minutes, when Thurston Moore repeatedly screams of ‘Mildred Pierce! Mildred Pierce!’, implementing a cacophony of disturbia. This mainly stays true for the entire album, with good offset by the weird, and interpretive. For this reason, ‘Goo’ rises above the traditional dorward-thinking Sonic Youth fare, and transcends into intriguing and compelling listening. ‘Kool Thing’, ‘Dirty Boots’, and ‘My Friend Goo’ are also essential Sonic Youth tracks to most fans, and staples of the Sonic Youth catalogue, so having them all shining on the one album is pretty great.

5. Weezer-The Blue Album: Weezer’s ‘Blue Album’ was a marked difference from mainstream rock music upon it’s release. While most teenagers were obsessed with heavy metal, or flannel grunge, Weezer released some nerd rock, heartfelt geek music. And it fucking gelled. The singles of ‘Buddy Holly’, ‘Say It Ain’t So’, ‘My Name is Jonas’, and ‘Undone: The Sweater Song’ hold as true as they did then. But then again, so does the rest of the album. It’s an amazing record from start to finish, that’s pace and depth only rise as the record continues. Plain songs with surprising insight are ‘The Blue Album’s’ forte, and it’s executed most perfectly.

4. JEFF the Brotherhood-Heavy Days: The most recent of my favourite albums, it stands out because it’s probably the one I listen to most consistently. There will never be a point in time in which I skip a JEFF the Brotherhood song from this album on my iPod. Every track is utterly engaging, turning what could be completely average garage rock into an entertaining and smooth artwork. Song melts into the one another, however they are all unique enough to hold themselves as signals. Opener ‘Heavy Days’, with it’s droning, fly buzz intro, is completely different but equally amazing as the happy go lucky ‘Bone Jam’ or the coming of age anthem ‘Growing’. Overall, ‘Heavy Days’ excites as much as it shocks and pleases. And you can’t mention ‘Heavy Days’ without swooning in the same breath about the ultra heavy neo-pysch of ‘Mind Ride’ and ‘Heavy Damage’.

3. Fugazi-13 Songs: Introduced to me at the same point as Shellac, I’ve always preferred Fugazi’s material over Minor Threat. I find the experemintalism of Fugazi’s ’13 Songs’, and they’re willingness to get a message across in a subtler, more educative form is a far more powerful tool than Ian MacKaye’s previous attempt of screaming. ’13 Songs’ is more than an average punk record, in that it’s more intelligent and textured than anything else put out. If the Ramones, the Dead Boys and Black Flag all hung out, it might create something like ’13 Songs’. Sludgy yet light, angry yet thoughtful, harsh yet understanding, the juxtapositions on ’13 Songs’ are endless, and songs like ‘Margin Walker’, ‘Bulldog Front’ and the stunning ‘Waiting Room’ ensure it’s classic status.

2. Dinosaur Jr.-Green Mind: One of the first alternative albums I bought, along with Tool’s ‘10,000 Days’, The Dandy Warhols’ ‘Welcome to the Monkey House’ and Alice in Chains’ ‘Face Lift’. Of all those, ‘Green Mind’ has been the most enduring because of the powerful connection J Mascis manages to confer with the listener. Although it’s not considered a ‘classic’ Dinosaur Jr. album, due to Lou Barlow’s absence and Murph’s limited contributions, J Mascis still manages to create a deep, thriving atmosphere on the album that really pushes limitations. Maybe it’s because it was my introduction to Dinosaur Jr., but I’ve always favoured ‘Green Mind’. But it’s probably due to the killer tracks on the album that just build and build towards a heartbreaking crescendo of ‘Thumb’ and ‘Green Mind’. Not that the album acts as ladder to the final tracks, far from it. ‘The Wagon’, ‘Puke + Cry’, and ‘How’d You Pin That One on Me’ are all essential Dinosaur Jr. tracks that everyone, including myself, loves intensely. Like the album artwork, a photo of a young girl smoking, ‘Green Mind’ is a powerful, drastic record that pays off with it’s honesty, toeing the line with cliche, but containing enough genuine awesomeness to solidify it’s place as one of the greatest records of all time.

1. The Ramones-The Ramones: If you don’t like this album, then we cannot be friends. There is literally nothing wrong with it, as it is a flawless record. This was the record that set the cornerstone of punk, and adapted a pedestal for people to admire. Definitive buzz saw guitars, simplistic chord structures, and some of the most no-brainer lyrics ever written (‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue/Now I Want Have Something to Do’) all combine to make a landmark record. The Ramones crafted addictive punk trash that is invaluable to both the history of music and music itself. It is completely revolutionary, and faultlessly executed. Most remember the debut as the album which had ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’. You know it…’Hey Ho! Let’s go! It was in a Stephen King novel, and it’s only one of the most fire-up worthy songs in existence. However, it also features gems like ‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue’, ‘Havana Affair’, ‘Beat on the Brat’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’, ‘Judy is a Punk’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Go Down to the Basement’. In fact, every song on the album is worthy of timeless distinction. Combining a hard, fast, loose musical principle with razor-sharp charm and slacker wit, The Ramones made a masterpiece that is my, and I’m sure countless others, favourite album of all time.