Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 10 albums of 2015 (aka yet another list)

It's been more than 2 whole years and, although I never thought I'd come back, somehow I convinced myself to dust the place off and write something about the year that's just ending. This list is by no means someone's who listened to tons of music during the last 12 months. It in no way aspires to be complete and "objective" and/or to showcase what went on in music in 2015; my obsessions would never make it possible for me. Actually, I'm feeling OK with my obsessions. I love the fact that I still can get lost in an album and listen to nothing but it for a whole month at times. The over-abundance of available information (and, in our case, music) makes it all the more harder for everyone to really get attached to something, to own it. It's been some years since I've stopped trying to just "keep up" and I've just let myself go with what speaks to me. After all, we are never going to know everything, and I feel just fine with this thought.
And, just before I start getting too existential, too abstract, or just plainly meaningless, here we go with the 10(+5) albums that ruled my mp3 player this year; at times for several weeks in a row (in an ascending order this time and with no countdown, because I can):

1. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues

A return after 11 whole years! After Trampled Under Hoof EP in 2004, Goatsnake entered a state of hiatus of unspecified time. Thankfully, they returned this year and it simply surpassed any expectations I could have had from this 2000s doom monster. Awe-inspiring doom riffs, labyrinthine lead vocals, groovy female backing vocals, blues harmonicas; we got everything Goatsnake and then some. In my mind, there was never another number 1 for 2015, maybe apart from a brief time, when I listened to number 2 that is.



2. Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss

Not really much to say about this phenomenon of a musician. To be honest, I mainly had sporadic contact with her stuff for unspecified reasons, but Abyss was the album that had me hooked from the first minute. Dark, doom, gothic and considerably metal without being afraid of it, Chelsea Wolfe delivers a strange trip of a record, reminiscing friendly memories, but also taking the listener to new and undiscovered depths.


3. Terrible Feelings - Tremors

Many consider their 2012's debut Shadows as their yet unsurpassed masterpiece so far, but Tremors is what established Terrible Feelings in my mind as maybe the greatest hope of european melodic punk. Beautiful, direct and catchy melodies, exemplary orchestrations; all in all, an unflawed sample of the genre. I still listen to it regularly, this is made to just never get boring.


4. Imperial State Electric - Honk Machine

Our good old friend Nicke, the guy with Midas' touch. I don't know how much he tried this time, but it all looks to flow so natural from within him. Reptile Brain Music, although a great record, to me sounded inferior to Pop War, so Nicke had to make it right. Honk Machine is absolutely brilliant. I don't know how much of a point is there to say this about an Imperial State Electric record (as each one of them is close to perfect technically), but here the band often deviates from the straight rock n' roll or power pop or whatever sound, as we have more touches of blues, soul, and pure pop music. All with the company of incredible melodies nevertheless.


5. Iskra - Ruins

I was never into this blackened a sound. During the last years, I have come to love almost everything crust, but I admit that this was basically new to me. I had just heard of Iskra but never listened to their records, and Ruins was finally the one for me. Somehow, I immediately loved this particular mix. At first, it sounded too blackmetal for my taste, but something kept me going on. Under the black veil, this is basically incredible and unstoppable crust punk. Just give it a try, I'm no expert but this record just kills.


6. Björk - Vulnicura

Do you really need me to describe or praise a Björk record? Here, I literally have no words. Just dive in.



7. Slayer - Repentless

Following Jeff Hannemann's death (R.I.P.), people kept on questioning Slayer's future and whether the remaining members could pull it off. I don't care how much of an asshole Kerry King is or isn't, but here we have a demolishing set of tunes. I would dare to say that this is as punk as Slayer have been since Undisputed Attitude. Don't get me wrong, this definitely carries the trademarked Slayer thrash metal sound, but, unlike their previous albums, here we have more straight melodies and mainly short songs; exactly what makes it for me. Not everyone will agree of course, but this is how I like my Slayer!



8. Eagles of Death Metal - Zipper Down

Just before the tragedy in Paris, Eagles of Death Metal released their fourth album after a considerable time of absence. Of course, Jesse Hughes was unable to stay in one place, as in 2011 he released Boots Electric's groovy debut album Honkey Kong (actually, three tunes from there are reprised in Zipper Down), but I guess eveything needs a little Homme to get it right. Zipper Down raises Eagles of Death Metal high once more in my conscience, as the two albums that followed Peace Love Death Metal, although not bad, had a slight descending course, in my opinion. Here, all the fun and groove and sweat and sexiness have returned. It's only rock n'roll, kids.


9. Nervosas - s/t

This came to my attention just some weeks back, but it has had a remarkable impact in my everyday music soundtrack. One could say that here we have one more melodic post-punk band from the homonymous scene, nice to listen to but not that great, etc. Well no, because they have this something. It's not just the initial excitement that wears off after the first days. Here the guitar doesn't stop painting with warm melodies against the dark tunes, and the female vocals are substantial and give a special edge to the whole sound. Straight and to-the-point compositions (as very few songs get farther that the 2-minute mark), a dark melancholy glooming all over the place, yet it all sounds so liberating.


10. Refused - Freedom

Another big and highly-anticipated return (after 17 whole years!), and noone could stop wondering whether these '90s punk pionners would still be pioneers in the '10s; after all, expecting anything less from Refused would be just too easy for them. So have they done it? In a word, yes. I'll be honest, I was baffled at first at several points. With the opening Tool-ish "Elektra", with the childern choir singing "murder" and "kill" in "Francafrique" and with so many others. At first, it all sounded so unconnected and random. But this is Refused; you can never get away with one listen. After a while, it all makes sense. Feel it.



Runners-up:

Danko Jones - Fire Music: I always had a good time with their high-energy rock n' roll as my company, but their latest album stayed in my playlist considerably longer than any of their previous ones. Honest and to the point, this is drive or booze music at its best.
Motörhead - Bad Magic: Writing this in the wake of Lemmy's death (he didn't want to live forever anyway), I'm still amazed at how they still did it until the very last second, showing us all how it's done and how it must keep on being done. The last Motörhead classic came in 2015.

Therapy? - Disquiet: "Wow do they still exist after Troublegum and still release albums?" Of course they still do you ignorant hippie, Therapy? have always been a cornerstone of alternative/punk, not one record of theirs is mediocre, and they're still kicking your ass after 25 years.

Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death: Anticipating impatiently Sentenced to Life's successor, I would say I was a bit disappointed at Black Breath's musical direction, as the hardcore elements are basically reduced to null, and this is a heavy/death metal record. But, it being a grower, it also needs its time. Yes, Black Breath have done it again and are establishing themselves by pissmarking their territory.
Grave Pleasures - Dreamcrash: The admitted success of Beastmilk's Climax was a two-edged knife. On the one hand, it set the stage for the Grave Pleasures (risen from Beastmilk's ashes) debut, but on the other hand, although a set of addictive and well-presented tunes, I think Dreamcrash missed living up to the hype by an inch.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Low Amps Flat Tracks 22 Oct 2013

playlist 22 Oct 2013
COVER VERSIONS special vol.2


1. Amorphis - And I Hear You Call (Kingston Wall)
2. Sentenced - White Wedding (Billy Idol)
3. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Let the Day Begin (The Call)
4. Monster Magnet - Three Kingfishers (Donovan)
5. The Last Drive - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan)
6. Deadbolt - Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (Burt Bacharach)
7. The Blues Explosion - Meet Me in the City (Junior Kimbrough)
8. The Black Keys - Have Mercy on Me (Junior Kimbrough)
9. Madrugada - Slip Inside This House (The 13th Floor Elevators)
10. Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
11. The Hellacopters - A House Is Not a Motel (Love)
12. The Camtwisters - (Gotta Get some Action) Now! (The Hellacopters)
13. The Kings of Nuthin' - Cry Cry Cry (Johnny Cash)
14. Supersuckers - Get It On (Turbonegro)
15. Asteroid B-612 - 19th Nervous Breakdown (The Rolling Stones)
16. The Robots - Knowledge Comes with Death's Release (The Nomads)
17. Backyard Babies - One Track Mind (Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers)
18. Rage Against the Machine - Down on the Street (The Stooges)
19. Cathedral - Fire (Arthur Brown)
20. Entombed - Lost (Jerry's Kids)
21. Turbonegro - Six Pack (Black Flag)
22. Converge - Annihilate This Week (Black Flag)
23. Iron Monkey - Cornucopia (Black Sabbath)
24. Obituary - Circle of the Tyrants (Celtic Frost)


(Down)tune in every Tuesday at

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Low Amps Flat Tracks 2 Jul 2013 - 90 SECONDS MAX special

playlist

1. Sedatives - Hollow in the Heart
2. Home Blitz - Don't Talk to Me
3. Statues - Start Time
4. Wipers - Telepathic Love
5. The Kids - Bloody Belgium
6. The Datsuns - Sky Is Falling
7. The A-Lines - Sideways
8. Adam West - Manny the Ripper
9. Lee Harvey Oswald Band - The Greatest Man that Ever Walked the Face of the Earth
10. Didjits - Hooly Ghouly
11. Cosmic Psychos - Nightshift
12. The Hellacopters - I Only Got the Shakes
13. Imperial State Electric - Monarchy Madness
14. Radio Birdman - Burned My Eye
15. Supersuckers - Luck
16. The Dirtbombs - Never Licking You Again
17. Groovie Ghoulies - Blood Bleach
18. Caveman Joe & thee Afrodykes - CCTV
19. Dread Astaire - Thirst On'e First
20. The AAs - AK-47
21. Los Tiki Phantoms - El Rincon
22. The Mono Men - Wrecker
23. Los Tromos - Upsidedown
24. Klingonz - Blue Suede Shoes
25. Batmobile - S.P.O.C.K.
26. The Bottle Ups - Bottle Beat
27. Man or Astro-Man? - Name of Numbers
28. The Woggles - Flash Flood
29. Thee Cormans - Surf Shack of Doom
30. Menschenfresser - Das Ich und Mein Taschenrechner
31. Fun With Nuns - Listen to the Feetnik
32. Messer Chups - Pornoman
33. Playtime OST
34. Jour de Fete OST
35. Mel Henke - You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?)
36. Half Japanese - The Word I'd Ever Do
37. High Rise - Cycle Goddess
38. Jad Fair - I Told Lies
39. Naked City - Thrash Jazz Assassin
40. Les Blousons Noirs - Eddie Sois Bon
41. Pain Killer - Handjob
42. The Hentchmen - Old Enough to Drive
43. The Mummies - I Hear You Laughing
44. Napalm Death - You Suffer
45. Brutal Truth - Collateral Damage
46. M.O.D. - Short but Sweet
47. Les Sexareenos - Lights Out
48. The BellRays - I Lost the Feeling
49. The Robots - Bahamas
50. The Devil Dogs - Big Fuckin' Party
51. Tearjerkers - Dollar to Death
52. Heavy Trash - I Want Refuge
53. Oblivians - Nigger Rich
54. The Screws - You're Just a Bum
55. Blacktop - Hot Lips & Swivel Hips
56. Defektors - Kick First One
57. Gas Huffer - Overworked Folk Hero Guy
58. Bantam Rooster - Panther
59. Pagans - She's a Cadaver
60. The Nitwitz - Black Name Ringing
61. Hüsker Dü - Whatcha Drinkin'
62. Trash Stranglers - Pinstripe Willie
63. Lord High Fixers - Pappa Hoodoo
64. Les Triplettes de Belleville Barbier - Cieco, Cieco
65. The Flesh Eaters - Dynamite Hemorrhage
66. Sonic Negroes - You Say Yeah
67. Reigning Sound - Medication
68. Kings of Nuthin' - Promise Not a Threat
69. Circle Jerks - Deny Everything
70. Nine Pound Hammer - He's Gone
71. Th'Legendary Shack Shakers - Hoptown Jailbreak
72. Hormonas - Sick Head
73. The Reverend Horton Heat - Goin' Back Home
74. Rocket from the Crypt - Middle
75. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - Charge the Guns
76. The Hives - Untutored Youth
77. Komodina - Η Ζωή Περνάει Ωραία
78. Molotov - Quen Pon Ponk
79. Dwarves - Satan
80. Turbonegro - Black Rabbit
81. The Dukes of Nothing - War & Wine
82. Misfits - Attitude
83. C.Aarmé - Aimless
84. Peter Pan Speedrock – Ain’t No Part o’Nothing
85. New Bomb Turks – We Give a Rat’s Ass
86. Regulations – Destroy
87. Germs – Media Blitz
88. U.K. Subs – Same Thing
89. Sham 69 – I Gotta Survive
90. Crass – Do They Owe Us a Living?
91. The Plugz – Revolution
92. Adolescents – Who Is Who
93. White Lung – Loose Heels
94. Khatarina – Daddy O
95. Minor Threat – Stand Up
96. Verbal Abuse – Leeches
97. Void – Dehumanized
98. Κώστας Μπίγαλης – Ρίνα Κατερίνα
99. The Teen Idles – Getting in My Way
100. The Untouchables – I Hate You
101. Youth Brigade – Last Word
102. Deadline – Hear the Cry
103. Iron Cross – New Breed
104. 4 Skins – A.C.A.B.
105. 7 Seconds – 5 Years of Lies
106 .Red C – Assassin
107. Infernöh - Länge leve mig
108. Gang Green – Rabies
109. Γιώργος Μουσταΐρας – Θεέ Μου Μεγαλοδύναμε
110. Θανάσης Παπακωνσταντίνου – Η Μοσχαροκεφαλή
111. Ψαραντώνης – Η Τίγρη
112. Dead Kennedys – Nazi Punks F*ck Off
113. The F.U.’s – Preskool Dropouts
114. KSMB – Jag Vill Bli Som Far
115. Skitkids – Till Baka Till Apstadiet
116. Desperat – Bandlogga
117. Faith – Face to Face
118. Jellyroll Rockheads – I’m at My Wit’s End
119. Electric Funeral – Bomb Raid
120. Dishonorable Discharge - Uden Nåde
121. No Hope for the Kids – Ready to Kill
122. RDP – Perifereia
123. Poison Idea – Gone for Good
124. Ice-T – Police Story
125. Bad Brains – Destroy Babylon
126. Anti Cimex – Cries of Pain
127. Speedealer – Machinations
128. Zeke – I Don’t Give a f*ck
129. Burning Love – Pig City I
130. Disfear – Left to Die
131. Discharge – The Possibility of Life’s Destruction
132. Doom – Police Bastard
133. Shitlickers – Warsystem
134. Disclose – The Nuclear Victims
135. Bad Religion – Oligarchy
136. Agnostic Front – Blind Justice
137. Agathocles – No Use… (Hatred)
138. Brutal Truth – Collateral Damage
139. Napalm Death – Will by Mouth
140. S.O.B. – Violent Anger
141. D-Clone – Disarmament No Weapon
142. Nasum – Visions of War
143. Sore Throat – Horrendify and Kill
144. Coke Bust – Under the Street Lights
145. Genocide Superstars – Mord II
146. Sista Kriget – Nationalism Ar en Javla Lo
147. Hoax – Fagget
148. Jerry’s Kids – Don’t Wanna
149. Auktion – Du Ar Fortryck

Download here

-- WARNING: There was a lot of tsipouro involved --

See you again in autumn, unless another special show comes up in the meantime, for which you will be promptly informed \m/