012306: 111!!! it just keeps going.. (Part 4)

originally aired 2-4am January 24, 2006 on CFMU

(mp3)

And yet more. Verily.

39: Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites (The Zookeeper’s Boy)
An all-out progrockathon with guitars spidering in and out and elevated vocal melodies soaring above with rambunctious joy. All the tracks flow into one another and despite a few overwrought moments it’s all fun as hell.

38: Doves – Some Cities (One Of These Days)
Third time’s the charm? Not quite, but given what they were putting themselves up against, we don’t expect them to necessarily surpass past genius (Lost Souls, Last Broadcast), but what we get is an evolved, very solid offering of power-hungry anthemic Britpop.

37: Sigur Rós – Takk (Saeglopur)
Another third album, if we choose to ignore the oft-ignored Von, and it functions in a similar way to Some Cities, offering us with the power, delicacy and beauty we have come to expect from Icelandic twins Sigur and Ros. It gets a tad bit predictable in patches, but it’s a wonderful journey nonetheless.

36: The Deadly Snakes – Porcella (Gore Veil)
Toronto natives give us a delightful modern cross between Tom Waits and Nick Cave. There is plenty of variety here, and a whole bucket of songs which are fantastically catchy in their own untraditional way. Just very well done, really.

35: M. Ward – Transistor Radio (Fuel For Fire)
Matt Ward is a seemingly rather dour fella, and he lets his disenchanted outlook bleed through his music. Well he can’t really help it because his voice is just so beautifully ragged, but the bluesy tunes he spins certainly compliments very well and creates a beautiful atmostphere. Not notably different from previous albums, but that’s a good thing.

34: Camille – Le Fil (Ta Douleur)
French electronic folk or something like that. Most of the sounds on the album seem to come from Camille’s lips and be mussed up somehow or other. But mostly it’s a collection of diaphanous melodies that bob around and hang together like a bit of cheery abstract tapestry.

33: 13 + God – 13 + God (low heaven)
A quite successful collaboration between The Notwist (dreamy German electronica) and Themselves (murky American hip hop). The bands’ sounds suit each other surprisingly well, and there’s definitely some marvellous tracks in here. Not for all, though, it can easily be a little strange. Themselves have a knack for that.

32: Sons and Daughters – The Repulsion Box (Rama Lama)
Another entry that might only be on here as a result of its similarity to Nick Cave. But seriously, a rip-roaring batch of… rock, I guess. Very Scottish, quite fierce, and a covered in a nice caking of dried mud. This ain’t the music of the sleekly polished innercity, but rather… pirates, I guess.

31: Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart (Here Comes A City)
Juicy British guitar pop with an occasional sprig of folksy leanings (and remember, folk is not a dirty word!). The Go-Betweens were big in the eighties, disappeared for a stint, but now they are back! It is exciting to see older bands at the top of their game. They pound out quite a few killer riffs and tunes and certainly keep us interested. It has a bit of the bright jangle a la Unforgettable Fire era U2. That is a good thing.

30: Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (Entertain)
Grrr. L. Grimy and a little angry. Sleater-Kinney are back for another helping of distorted rawk. This is all pounding drums and words in a not particularly pleasant singing voice, but the fever is infectious and seductive. Ragged and rough, but in all the right places.

29: Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock And Roll (Formed A Band)
I keep thinking of Art Brut like a Rock n Roll version of the Streets, but they’re much more than some version of something else (though a comparison to The Hold Steady might be more apropos). They have their own very unique style, and even if you don’t get into the hilariously simplistic talky lyrics, the music itself should have you rocking in no time.

28: Underworld – RiverRun Project (Food A Ready)
Underworld is back! After their quite disappointing 100 Days Off back in ’02, they’ve started releasing internet only Eps of sorts, and they are delightful to the ears. A great variety of sounds, all intriguing, moving, or relaxing, just like the excellent old days. It’s much like meeting an old friend after 5 years, and got this little radio DJ very excited.

27: Patrick Wolf – Wind In The Wires (Teignmouth)
A collection of airy, violin-driven pop-tunes, run through the electro/glitch filter. A cloudy day in spring, a strong, fresh wind blowing in from somewhere else, beckoning you along with it… this album captures that certain reflective, pregnant mood that is one of my favourites, and so it’s rather difficult to not like it quite a bit.

26: System Of A Down – Mezmerize (Revenga)
I’m no metal-head. If I was, perhaps I’d hate this album. But damn if it doesn’t just push a few great buttons. A wide variety of soaring melodies, frantically hammering guitars, and even something like polka in there somewhere. These guys are a little unhinged, but if you can tolerate their mainstream oddness, quite a listen.

25: LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (Too Much Love)
James Murphy gives us a fine collection of dancefloor friendly, indie-rock-dance. You don’t realize how indie-rock this album is until you hear Never as Tired as When I’m Waking Up. Also, his voice sounds a lot like Ted Leo to me, which is good, but not in a particularly noteworthy fashion. Some of the year’s finest dance beats all on el CD..

24: British Sea Power – Open Season (It Ended On An Oily Stage)
Sophomore album from British Sea Power sees them abandoning a lot of their quirkiness and focusing those wonderful elegiac choruses that made Carrion one of my favourite songs of ever. This is a bit disappointing in a way, but in the end largely successful, I just hope they switch it up for the next album or I might find myself not caring. Like ‘Wind in the Wires,’ it creates a certain mood. That expectant lethargy brought on by the pre-dawn black summer sky-tinged dark blue. Prowling at night when your mind and body tell you you should be sleeping, but another bit of your mind and body disagree. And again, a lovely mood.

23: Vitalic – Ok Cowboy (La Rock 01)
Easy to lump in with that European electro trend, but Vitalic has a character their own. Their grinding, obviously processed synths have a certain down to earth feeling that makes them feel deceptively organic. And it definitely has that French sound, which gives it a lot of life. Lush, in a sparse sort of way… which is a contradiction, but that’s just how I see it.

22: Super Furry Animals – Love Kraft (Atomik Lust)
A delightful and somewhat whacky dish of muuusic. Not sure what all to say about this here. There’s lots of very catchy summery melodies, and some strangeness. I dunno. I like it.

21: Isolée – Wearemonster (Schrapnell)
Some latenight textured house beats. Some more acoustic sounding instruments are thrown into the mix and mangled, along with some samples and none of it seems out of place. It’s a largely dark piece of work but full of intriguing eccentricities and immaculate production. Just get in the right mood and get some nice speakers and enjoy.

20: Vashti Bunyan – Lookaftering (Turning Backs)
Vashti’s last album came out more than thirty years ago, so she’s been out of the loop for a while. What we get here is a collection of delectable delicate strains of folk melody. They are charming in their quiet pastoral beauty, something of Keren Ann or Espers. This is sunlight dappling over a field swelling in the gentle breeze music; the sweet melodies calming like the bite into a perfect apple.

Augie March – The Cold Acre (Live at the Northcote Social Club)
Moo You Bloody Choir = Most anticipated release for moi of 2006. That’s all there is to that.

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