New From Abroad: GØGGS + Spacin’ + Beach Slang

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I took some time out of spray-painting #Straya on the walls of the American Embassy to write about a few new bands they’ve produced worth a look into:

GØGGS – She Got Harder

This is probably the best thing that Ty Segall has done in years. It’s harder, and raw, bleeding with a punk energy that’s been notably absent from his most recent recordings. The blame for this renewed aggression can probably be dedicated to the inclusion of Chris Shaw of Ex-Cult, as well as Charles Moothart of Fuzz.

“She Got Harder” hurtles forward, slamming its way through wall after wall of expectation on the back of spiky guitars, gut puncturing drums and a demonic bass riff. GØGGS are paralysed with the notion that anything that can’t be said in two minutes flat isn’t worth saying at all. I gotta admit, its a belief that I hold onto very dearly as well.

Spacin’ – Titchy

Spacin’s ‘Deep Thuds’ was one of the first records I ever bought from Repressed Records. For me, it stands out as one of the best albums you can put on for when you want something that will keep you entertained for a long time without making you think too much or forcing you to thrash like a soccer player looking for a free kick. It’s simple, lo-fi garage-psych that never tries too hard. That’s precisely what you get in “Titchy” – blobs of lo-fi drool buzzing in a lazy, fun fashion for the whole family to sit down and suck down mescaline to.

Spacin’ have a new record coming out on Richie Records/Testoster Tunes, which is possible one of the best labels in the land of the ol’ USA. They’ve provided us with delights such as Home Blitz, King Blood, Taco Leg, Purling Hiss and even a lil’ Kurt Vile.  If you’re not on the Richie wagon, count yourself lucky that you stumbled upon this article when searching for lesbian dominatrix porn.

Beach Slang – Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas

Probably the most clean shaven track of the bunch, but Beach Slang still pack a punch. By stealing a shoegazer’s swag of pedals, punching things to a galaxy-traversing speed, and then switching between sweet serenade and 90’s alt rock yelp, Beach Slang remind of a cross breed of DIIV, Speedy Ortiz and Archers of Loaf. Keep delivering tunes like this one, and their album, ‘The Things We Do to People Who Feel Like Us’ is probably going to be a bit of a winner.

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Album Review: King Tuff – Black Moon Spell

Kyle Thomas is King Tuff. King Tuff is Kyle Thomas. Cool, we’ve got that out of the way? Just wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. No judgement, seriously. Pseudonyms are fucked up things. Remember that time JK Rowling sold fuck all books because she was writing under a pseudonym? Yeah, man, faking a name is hard business, and it can really bite you in the ass. Which is why it’s so cool to see King Tuff finally embracing his outrageous side, and not letting previous projects like Witch and associations with Ty Segall get in the way of some solid rocking out.

King Tuff records have alway suffered from being a little too awesome. They almost bland themselves out. It’s like when you eat a whole bucket of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked – once you get about 3/4 of the way down, the only reason you’re continuing is because you feel like you have to finish what you’ve started. You know it’s really, really good, a mini-orgasm giving birth to multiple other orgasms at the same time, but that plateau wears itself thin, and you don’t become bored necessarily, just accustomed. With “Black Moon Spell”, King Tuff has fully incorporated the T. Rex sound into his wild rock ‘n’ roll, and taken chances with his guitar that he never would have shied away from on earlier releases. With previous albums, there was always something just holding back the album from achieving what King Tuff wanted to say.”Was Dead” was almost hippie-infused, like a garage band choking on incense, and his self-titled was a headbanger’s journey cushioned by a safety helmet and an overprotective Mum barking orders from the sidelines.

But ‘Black Moon Spell’ pulls no such punches. It’s cool as fuck, so cool that it kicked calm and collected out on the street, and struts around by itself. The guitar lines are sickeningly sweet and crunchy, like an explosion that’s gone off at the Wonka factory. There’s the ultimate Hunx & His Punx knockoff track “Beautiful Thing”, which might be this year’s best track to stand outside an unrequited love’s house and blast on a loudspeaker (ironically, this insanely catchy firecracker is followed by a bouncy track glorifying the plainer of us, called “I Love You Ugly”). “Black Holes in Stereo” is like that Dasher “Go Rambo” track, only instead of belonging in a hardcore punk dive, it’s been transported to a transvestite karoake night, where you either play David Bowie or you can Get The Fuck Out (GTFO for the acronym lovers). And “Eddie’s Song” takes all the hand-clapping awesomeness of Aerosmith and Van Halen, and crushes it into a toe-tapping sexperience (trust me, the orgasms will come thick and fast on this one, the melody practically moans itself).

But by far, “Headbanger” is the standout here. It might be the finest song King Tuff has composed to date, chock full of guitar breaks, bludgeoning riffs, and mind-melting cymbal crashes. And best of all, KT manages to describe the perfect partner – someone with Judas Priest and Iron Maiden records and who’s not afraid to tear open some skin in pursuit of the ultimate headbang. Every King Tuff record has that one song that continues in the consciousness of the fans, even after the album has receded to background noise. ‘Was Dead’ had “Lazerbeam”, ‘King Tuff’ had “Keep On Movin'” and ‘Black Moon Spell’ has “Headbanger”.

But back to the original point. Cohesiveness was never really the goal of King Tuff, nor was it completely expected. Churn out a record loaded with hits, and we’ll ignore the couple of bung notes in favour of gettin’ turnt. ‘Black Moon Spell’ suffers from this curse in only the mildest of forms (“Sick Mind”, “Staircase of Diamonds”) and better yet, King Tuff’s musical ability has skyrocketed to make every track as gooey and chunky as possible. He’s cut off his fears, and completely let loose, indulging incredibly, and reaping the great rewards that stem from true glam rock. Marc Bolan would be crying tears of joy in celebration of this record, and you should to. The songs on here are excellence, and whereas ‘Black Moon Spell’s predecessors would’ve suited a garage performance or a sticky carpet, this album points towards stadium aspirations that are both achievable and welcome.

Album Review: Ty Segall – Manipulator

Ty Segall is one of the most renowned names in rock n roll from recent years, and with good reason. The dude knows exactly how to make his guitar crunch and shred with the same ferocity as being run over by a stampede of rhinoceros (rhinoceroses?). He has the same ability to turn a guitar into a chomping trash compactor as Jimmy Page, and he hurls it into the pop sensibilities of Husker Du and The Replacements. It’s music to be thrown against a brick wall over and over again.

Over the years, Ty Segall has shifted from the more mucky Cramps-like recordings that were on ‘Lemons’, ‘Melted’ and ‘Goodbye Bread’, and into cleaner sounding recordings, with ‘Manipulator’ falling into possibly the squeakiest he’s been. But, it doesn’t stop him from absolutely shredding. After the calm and collected Segall that was unveiled on ‘Sleeper’, it’s thankful that he’s gone back to making songs that would deafen a firework engineer.

The album is packed with songs so loud, they’d un-deafen Pete Townshend. There’s ‘The Faker’, a track so chugging and large, it’s like a train that’s piloted by Creedence Clearwater Revival. There’s the spindly and slimey “The Crawler”, which is like a spider that learned how to tied a distorter pedal to each of it’s limbs and jumped. “Susie Thumb” has a similar effect of plunging the listener headlong into a rabbit hole about how much of a shallow idiot Susie is, all whilst loaded with poltergeist-raising riffs.

Continuing along, “Feel” manages to retain a super creepy, shlock horror, (almost) Black Sabbath vibe , with a blood-soaked guitar stabbing solos into our hearts, time and time again. Seriously, that solo is straight from a witch’s cauldron, made from the blood of a serial killer’s bat, and the most toxic poisons of the Amazon. It’s an exotic thing that can only be found in the darkest corners of the world. And “Connection Man” is like an interstellar rock hit, like something two bong-smoking aliens would traipse around the galaxy to when they couldn’t find their KISS cassette tapes.

The songs are good, there’s no doubt about that. However, when the album is centrally built around 2-3 minute goldmines, and said album goes for a full 58 minutes, with 17 tracks in total,  it becomes slightly exhausting to listen to so many high-modal thrashers. What made some of the older Ty Segall material so effective was because the albums were short, and sharp, and that the shitty production, that made it seem like the songs had built in tape hiss, gave a little humanising and ordinary quality that helped pace the record out. It feels like Ty Segall could’ve separated this record into two searing records, and maintained the punch without knocking out the listener.

However, when the only real complaint about a record is that the artist in question has gotten better equipment and actually has a bit too much good material, then the album in question can’t be bad. ‘Manipulator’ is still a choke-slam, and has got you gagging for air faster than a rollercoaster ride going at light speed whilst blasting an audiobook of 50 Shades of Grey. Boom! Ther’s a fucktonne of dynamite in this record, and it’ll keep blowing your fingers right off until you physically can’t put the record on anymore.

‘Manipulator’ is out on Spunk Records right now, AND Ty Segall is fucking coming to Sydney. He’s gonna be at Oxford Art Factory, on Wednesday 17 December. Why haven’t you clicked this link to buy tickets yet?

New: Tape/Off + Girl Band + Forests + White Lodge + Francis Lung (former Wu Lyf) + The Solicitors + Ernest Ellis

New songs are like herpes: you can’t get rid of them, and although they might annoy you at times, they make you a better person. Or something like that. None of these songs are annoying. In fact, they’re all awesome.

Tape/Off-Pedestal Fan

The Brisbane connection for Tape/Off isn’t too hard to listen out for in their new single ‘Pedestal Fan’.  Tape/Off are similar to other Brisbanauts Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays, but slightly more brutal, like an elephant charging through a cymbal shop. The tight snares, semi-bellowed vocals and raucous nature of the song makes people like me tight in the loins. But, despite the noise orgy, there’s a bit of melody shining through, turning your average schizophrenic guitar mess. Although short as fuck, ‘Pedestal Fan’ hits the sweet spot that makes garage and punk fans drool like someone shoved a water balloon down their throats.

Girl Band-Lawman

More cut-throat savagery, this time from Girl Band. The first thing you’ll probably notice about their track ‘Lawman’, is that its really quiet. It starts at a factory-floor pace, chugging along the conveyer belt. All of a sudden, there’s an unloading of squealing, dirty guitar. And it doesn’t stop, just torrents of noise, kind of like what I imagine happens every time Thurston Moore took a shit back in the late 80’s. The song is absolutely beautiful and distorting, taking sudden turns destroying your brain and haphazardly trying putting it back together. When the song finishes, your mind will look like a half-melted candle assembled by a 3 year old with the motor skills of an iguana on crack. Loud, vicious and entirely unpredictable, ‘Lawman’ is fucking rad.

Forests/White Lodge Split 7″

Now, getting slightly more friendly, but not even close to being out of the fuzz zone, its a split 7″ between the glorious White Lodge and a band called Forests. Forests (not to be confused with Forest Swords, or actual forests) are from Taiwan. I know fuck all about Taiwan, so from now on, if anyone asks, I’ll just say that it’s a place in South East Asia where an awesome band called Forests is located. Super-dooper-Koopa-Trooper they are, with a sound that could place nicely in any Ty Segall record. The fuzz overloads on the Forest songs ‘Ego Bender’ and ‘The Fall’ are ripped right from the heart of the current San Fran psych-garage scene, and it could not have been executed better if it were done by John Dwyer himself. The songs are bright, sparkly, and best of all, absolutely keeling over on overdosed acid-tinged guitar freakouts. Fucking brilliant.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the 7″, its Queensland-reppin’ psych lords White Lodge. Interestingly enough, they’ve moved away from the heavy psych, and into the lighter territory of Burnt Ones/Thee Oh Sees styled psych-garage. ‘Her Spell’ hops along at a breakneck pace, the surf-rock verses just a faint illusion that is smashed apart by the grovelling, blood-stained chorus. ‘Flower Eyes’ sees a slight return to the slowed-down badassery, but only at the beginning. It soon divulges to be another fast-paced, speed-laced flower-pop tune like The Black Lips used to make. Regardless, this 7″ needs to be owned by all lovers of anything good.

Francis Lung (former Wu Lyf)-A Selfish Man

I was a massive fan of Wu Lyf, and their self-described ‘Heavy Pop’, and it came as a bit of a blow when they broke up. They were one of the few ‘indie rock’ bands that really challenged the cocoon of sound that most bands had adopted to sell a fuck load of records. Now that the band is a thing of the past, former member Francis Lung has struck out on his own with this debut track ‘A Selfish Man’. There’s a lot going on here, but you wouldn’t know it. Lung manages to compact all the sounds on the song, and weave it into a beautiful little tapestry. And, yeah its smooth as fuck, like Ron Burgundy wearing silk.

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The Solicitors-Help Me Forget

Power-pop is a genre that more or less faded after the 80’s. There hasn’t been any heaps, heaps ultra gewd power-pop bands that spring to mind that were around after Replacements’ ‘Pleased to Meet Me’, and in my mind, Weezer doesn’t make the cut as an altogether power-pop band. However, The Solicitors are well-placed in that genre beyond any shade of doubt. The positive-ness that radiates off the negative nature of the songs is so unsubtle, its like a warzone of good times. Like their hero Alex Chilton, The Solicitors make the kind of catchy pop that resonates for a while after the song has finished.

Ernest Ellis-Shine Like Me

It seems like Ernest Ellis is always bringing out new shit for his loyal disciples to froth over. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. That’s a really, really good thing. And it just got better, via the track ‘Shine Like Me’. His beautiful vocals drop over a sharp and delicate guitar pattern, whilst bright keys occasionally dance underneath. And then that chorus hits, and boom, you’re hooked like Dustin Hoffman’s character for the 1991 smash hit Peter Pan sequel. ‘Shine Like Me’ is a gratingly brilliant song, that again shows off the amazing skillz of Ernest Ellis.

If you’re keen for more Ernest Ellis, he’s bringing out a new record in March, and will be playing a show at Brighton Up Bar on February 28. Schweeeeeet!

Album Review: Ty Segall-Sleeper

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A word of warning: there is no way that I can write this without some element of bias. I love Ty Segall more than I love Star Wars, and I fucking love Star Wars. Ty Segall represents a shining hope in a music industry polluted with auto tune and lyrics about bitches. Ty Segall remedies this all with consistently amazing albums. He is one of my favourite modern artists for a reason. Ty Segall doesn’t just make brilliant music at a prolific rate; every album shows a new direction. You can bet your gallstone bladder that when there’s a new Ty Segall album on the horizon, it’s going to sound different to the last one. And it’s going to sound better than the Death Star blowing up. ‘Sleeper’ proves this beyond a reasonable doubt.

So, if ‘Melted’ was the garage rockers zeitgeist, ‘Goodbye Bread’ uncovered lo-fi at the archeologist dig, and ‘Twins’ was the 70’s pysch rockers pulverisation of the senses, what could ‘Sleeper’ be? Well, its a psychedelic-folk number that turns into the gift that just keeps giving. Don’t expect to hear much of the usual Ty Segall guitar romp though; besides the bombastic sliding ending of ‘The Man Man‘, the whole album is deeply immersed in the murky side of folk music. But, before, you get all up in arms, deriding Ty Segall as a blasphemous hippie pig, take a listen for yourself, and uncover the inner Byrds fan that’s been living inside of you this whole time. There was no way I could have made that sentence creepier.

From the beginning of the album, Ty Segall wraps you in his warm guitar embrace, warbled vocals and slackened guitar resonating with everyone who’s keen to open their mind to some amazing music. Opener ‘Sleeper’, is both epic and subdued at the same time; violins lament in the back of the mix, whilst formidable chords echo through the listeners mind-cells. Ty’s voice, dare I say it, actually sounds good, and after listening to his strung out vocals religiously for the past six or so albums, this comes as both a shock and a relief.  Meanwhile, on the Western Front (otherwise known as Third Track Land) ‘Crazy’ is the traditional Ty Segall track, with a chorus of ‘he’s here, he’s still here, though she’s crazy!’, something that would slide easily next to ‘The Drag’ or ‘Ceasar’ as a classic Ty track-only, this is done in a quiet but equally effective way as if Ty had shouted the whole thing over a warped squeal.

The album strikes a deadly balance between these two types of tracks, the heroic nonchalance of acoustic balladry and unleashed super happy fun times. After a John Wayne funeral scene track entitled ‘She Don’t Care’ that could make Johnny Cash shed a tear, and the Juarez-inspired ‘Come Outside’, Ty Segall follows up with a balls to the wall (or at least as balls to the wall as pysch-folk can get) mind melting and layered-vocal mess ‘6th Street’, and a poker-playing, heel-clicking, tobacco-swindling ‘Sweet CC’. The keeling nature of the album would see any less-experienced artist lose their shit in the balancing act, but Ty Segall has perfected it. He can switch moods at the flick of a switch, with 100% less cliche than that idiom warrants.

By the end of ‘Sleeper’, Ty Segall has taken the listener on a journey, without even realising it. After playing that opening track, a mere 36 minutes later, the listener will find themselves enraptured, not even realising how their emotions and thought processes have been subtly warped by the fantastic music they have listened to. This isn’t something to be scoffed at, no this is true musical genius on display. Like The Who and The Rolling Stones, Ty Segall has crafted a work of art, undeniable in its genius. ‘Sleeper’ is not just the next in Ty Segall’s musical triumphs; its a majestic odyssey of  the pysch-folk genre within itself, a mind blowing achievement beyond words.

‘Sleeper’ came out the other day on Drag City and Spunk Records, two of the best labels in the world. You should consider getting it if, you know, have any sort of human decency in the world, and your soul is not patrolled by Satan. Buy the record here for the price of two Tooheys longnecks. 

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 Upcoming Albums to Look Forward To

So, the midyear point is past, and it looks like most of the albums that you’d want to buy this year have had their moment in the sun. WRONG! There’s a shitload of new material coming out very, very soon, and throughout the course of this year, you should maintain excitement, because shit is about to go down. There’s something for everyone: if you’re not into good music, then keep an eye out for the latest Chris Brown, Selena Gomez, and The Backstreet Boys. For some shit that will make your loins prickle, read on.

10. Hebronix-Unreal (July 9th): This is the solo project from Daniel Blumberg, the frontman from Yuck. If you’ve heard Yuck’s slacker, super New York sound, then you’ll understand why there is a need to be excited. Check out lead single ‘Unreal’

9. Sebadoh-Defend Yourself (September 17th): The first new album (last year’s Secret EP was cool, but not overly great) means that Sebadoh fanboys, including myself are losing their shit. That lo-fi slacker sound that encapsulates loser-ness? Only Lou Barlow could perfect that sound, and now he’s back for round 2.

8. The Horrors-TBA (Some point in September): The Horrors have slowly developed from bratty snot fuelled 2 minute explosions to expansive sets that weave dreamily as often as they crunch. Should be very exciting, and undoubtedly good, to see what the band churn out this time, their 4th album.

7. MGMT-MGMT (August 20th): MGMT are pretty much exclusively known for being the guys behind the awesome pysch-pop jams ‘Kids’, ‘Time to Pretend’, and ‘Electric Feel’, essentially doing Empire of the Sun before Empire of the Sun was a thing. But did you know they have a criminally underrated second album? And that they’re releasing a third album in August? It’ll probably be cooler than whatever turd Luke Steele shat out recently.

6. Franz Ferdinand-Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (August 26th): Finally, a follow up to 2009’s ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’. I actually thought Franz Ferdinand had broken up, but luckily they’re back at it, releasing what will surely be another album jam-packed with ecstatic, floor-filling rock n roll anthems like ‘Take Me Out‘. Check out the album trailer here. 

5. The Black Keys- TBA (TBA) Apparently, there’s going to be another Black Keys album for people to (possibly) enjoy. If it’s anything like the shitfest of ‘El Camino’, then that really fucking sucks. It might transpire like that too, because they’re teaming up with Danger Mouse, the guy who produced ‘El Camino’. However, here’s hoping that it turns out more like ‘Brothers’ or ‘Attack & Release’ than ‘Lonely Boy 2.0’.

4. Ty Segall-Sleeper (August 20th) Regardless of the fact that he pumped out three bodacious albums last year, Ty Segall just does not give two fucks, and is releasing another in August, rounding it out to a total of 7 albums released just under his solo moniker. He’ll also be releasing an album under the Fuzz pseudonym, which sees him behind the drum kit. Wham, Bam, Thankyou man!

3. POND-Hobo Rocket (August 2nd) Fuck yeah, POND are awesome. They finally achieved their mainstream calling with last years ‘Beards, Wives, Denim’ and they’ve wasted no time in following that up with the imaginative ‘Hobo Rocket’. I’ll assume that’s a drug reference. If ‘Giant Tortoise’ is anything to go by, ‘Hobo Rocket’ should decapitate with it’s sounds.

2. The Black Lips-TBA (TBA) I only recently saw this tidbit of news and nearly exploded with excrement. New! Black! Lips! The kings of garage troubadour, these dudes are working a follow-up to 2011’s ‘Arabia Mountain’, with producer Patrick Carney, who just happens to have a job on the side as the motherfucking drummer for The Black Keys. This album WILL be better than pornstars playing pool whilst Jay-Z and Kanye talk about the upsides of STD’s.

1. Fuck Buttons-Slow Focus (July 22nd) Fuck Buttons, the glamourously disgusting project of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power are going to release a third LP, and from the (edited) first single ‘The Red Wing’, it sounds like it will be traditional Fuck Buttons fare: sardonic, scratchy electronic noise scraping the belly of our minds. 

Video: Sic Alps-She’s On Top

San Fran pyscopaths and Ty Segall collaborators hav put out the video for the title track of their recent 12″ long player ‘She’s On Top’. It details some sort of destructive romance, and features a delectable guitar lick, a flaming ride on a subway through the bad part of town. It’s grungey, and the video features undeliberate video footage of something that looks like scenes from an unaired MTV series about zombies, like Aeon Flux meets Zombieland.

Video: Mikal Cronin-Change

I first heard about Mikal Cronin when I picked up an album he did with Ty Segall, my favourite garage god, back from 2009. Besides the Ty album, Mikal Cronin has two solo albums, the latest of which ahs just been released, along with the video for ‘Change’. The band starts off with a chugging riff, which explodes into a soulful chorus and ends in a whirling, gusty jam that features…violins? Yes, Mikal Cronin is for sure more on the artsy side of the garage spectrum, like a less pretentious version of what Sonic Youth was to the indie scene of the 80’s. Instead, chilled, acoustic sounds are thrown in the mix of hard-hitting guitars and smart poetry. Check out the video to be creeped out by a ghost with bad fashion sense at a badass party.

May Playlist

May I provide you with an awesome playlist? I MayMay there be a shitload of awesome new garage tracks and videos, like Beaches’ ‘Send Them Away’ and Hebronix’s (ex-Yuck) ‘Unreal? There May! There May even be some tracks from a couple years back from badasses The Soft Moon, DIIV, Ty Segall and Harlem. If you enjoyed the Radical Dads video I posted a little while ago, you May enjoy the Shark? song ‘Down Low’. I May have also included some more electro-oriented stuff like Lapalux (props to Clancy), and Mirwais (for any of you who have seen Snatch) 

1. Beaches-Send Them Away

2. Guided By Voices-Flunky Minnows

3. C H U R C H E S-Flocks

4. Ty Segall- The Drag

5. Great Thunder-Kees

6. DIIV-How Long Have You Known

7. The Soft Moon-Circles

8. Harlem-Friendly Ghost

9. YVETTE-In Praise of Our Doubts

10. TOY-Left Myself Behind

11. Hebronix-Unreal

12. Lapalux-Without You feat. Kerry Leatham

10. Blood Orange-Sutphin Boulevard

12. Mirwais-Disco Science

13. Kill the Noise and Feed Me-Thumbs Up (For Rock n Roll)

14. Christopher Owens-Here We Go Again

15. Caveman-Thankful

16. Al Lover and the Haters-Ballin’ Chain

17. Forces- Overland (In My Mind)

18. The Prodigy-Firestarter (Death Grips Remix)

19. Holy Fuck-Lovely Allen

20. Shark?- Down Low