Monday, 21 December 2009

My Top 5 Albums of 2009

There has been some awesome music this year, three of my favourite bands have had album releases and there have been lots of great debut albums, sadly its been overshadowed with band split-ups (The Rakes and DARTZ!) and Celebrity deaths (Michael Jackson) however there were plenty of albums that i enjoyed although it was hard to pick them in order.

First some honorable mentions, Muse's fifth album the The Resistance was surprisingly disappointing as I've been a muse fan for most of the decade this album was really boring, not to say its bad I found it great in parts like the orchestral 3 part Epic 'Exo-Genesis' and 'Unnatural Selection' but they weren't up to par with the albums I've heard this year but I haven't given up hope on them.

Another was a surprise 6th studio album from Idlewild called 'Post Electric Blues' which I was not expecting, I sadly ignored there last album' Make Another Would' so I never really hyped for this however it was a fantastic album, it was one of there best since 'The Remote Part' and its a great effort to get me interested in them again.

Others were mostly great debut albums like Whites Lies 'To Lose a Life' and We Were Promised Jetpacks 'These Four Walls' albums but these five albums were some of my best albums of the year :

5. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

This is the only band on this list that I had never had of up until this album, after all the critical acclaim it has been getting I gave it a shot and found it quite excellent indeed.

Dragonslayer has a great rhythm going through all the songs, 'Idiot Heart' for example is not only a brilliant mystical tune but has some fantastic lyrics and that's why I like this album so much, every time I listen to these songs it like going on a journey though various places.

I will remember this album also for getting me into unknown indie bands because it would be very rare to get a chance to listen to Sunset Rubdown without the Internet and I'm enjoying finding bands like this.

4. Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone

Dananananaykroyd have been under my radar since a friend came over with there Sissy Hits EP last year and I really enjoyed there crazy tunes but what pissed me off about it was that 'Infinity Milk' was a 30 second preview and I wanted more so when 'Hey Everyone' came out that was the first song I played and loved every bit of it.

From the redone EP verisons of 'The Greater Than Symbol & Hash' and 'Pink Sabbath' to new tunes like 'Watch This' and the single 'Black Wax'. Its an album of full crazy insane fun music and that deserves a spot on the list.

3. Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions

I didn't really find Biffy Clyro's last album 'Puzzle' that good to be honest, it wasn't because I didn't like where they were going since I've been fan of there old stuff, its because I didn't find anything memorable about it, so i was a bit worried when 'Only Revolutions' was coming out however this album to me reignited them because I loved all the songs on this album.

Sure 'The Captain' is one of those radio friendly songs but I sing that chorus every time damn time and I loved the way 'God and Satan' was beautifully done and to the funny yet strange lyrics of 'Born on a horse'.

This album is bigger, better and brilliant and I can't wait to see them live again in the future, Mon the Biff.

2.The Horrors - Primary Colours

What the hell happened to this band, two years ago what they brought out 'Strange House' with there single releases I didn't give a shit about them but when a friend put on 'Sea within a Sea' I was shocked I was like "This is the band that did that 'Gloves' song correct", they changed from an crazy synth guitar band to make a gloomy psychedelic record.

As mentioned 'Sea within a Sea' is one of my favourite tracks of 2009, some people of said that its boring but how can you say that when they have made such an amazing outro that gives me goosebumps every time. To the creepy sounds of 'New Ice Age' to the rather upbeat 'Primary Colours'.

That's what you expect in music sometimes they change for the better or for the worse and to me The Horrors have done very well this year to make one of the most unexpected amazing albums.

1. Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium

Well I'm cheating a bit here because I have already written a review on why I love this album so much and its my favourite album of of the year.

The reason is I'm still listening to it quite a lot and this album came out in May, I still love the beats to 'Everybody Dance' and the funkiness of 'Je Suis Un Funky Homme', its just one of those albums that I'm going to enjoy for a long time and that's why its favourite album of of the year.

Well its been a great year for music this year and I can't wait for 2010 with albums from Delphic and Owen Pallett to look forward to.

Which Album did you enjoy in 2009?

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Music - The Telephones - DANCE FLOOR MONSTERS


While looking for some new songs from Ex-Hope of the states band 'The Northwestern', I managed to strangely come across this Japanese band called 'The Telephones' on youtube, they were performing a recent Itunes live session that I very much enjoyed because they seem to be one of those bands that go all out with there live performances.
So intrigued I checked out there latest album DANCE FLOOR MONSTERS:

So who are they, well there an electronic rock quartet with some catchy dance songs and most of there lyrics on this album are English (or what people call Engrish), which is quite rare considering that they haven't been promoted outside Japan.

The album starts off with with a strong entrance on what the albums about with 'D.A.N.C.E to the telephones' which pretty much sets you up for the rest of the album with the loop lyrics "Dance to the telephones, Dance to the music" reminding me of CSS's 'CSS Suxxx'.

Telephones also get funky with 'Baby,Baby,Baby' full of cowbell bass and with sounds like song title Britney Spears could make up, then you get struck with two heavy hit Discos 'Urban Disco' and 'Monkey Discooooooo' which keep a good pace of craziness although I've always wondered in the chorus of Monkey Discooooooo that weird synth sound is.

'Catastrophe' slows it down with claps and guitar and finishing fast with insane screams and some fantastic drums, then we come to up to my favourite which is 'Hopping Shower' which contains some fantastic soft acoustic guitar and catchy synth while at the end you can hear cheering in the background which is a good closure to the song.

Lastly I would like to talk about 'HABANERO' which is the last song of the album and quite unexpected at the start I thought it was a straight rave tune but its all broken up to combine it with rock, it kind of reminds me of The Rapture on how they mixed to make some good catchy rock-dance music with the album Echoes and this song reminds me of that.

In the end I would consider DANCE FLOOR MONSTERS as a beginners guide to J-rock, its a fun album to get to know the genre and they could be known as a great live band in the future with the likes of Polysics.

Now to get back looking for The Northwestern.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Music - Marmaduke duke - Duke Pandemonium

Returning after a impressive debut album, Marmaduke Duke continue there journey with there 2nd album 'Duke Pandemonium'.

First if you don't know who this band is the band members are The Dragon (JP Reid of Sucioperro) and The Atmosphere (Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro). I have been following Biffy Clyro a while now and I was quite surprised I didn't hear about Marmaduke Duke, I think it was the lack of video releases from the debut.

Its quite a change from Magnificent duke, they have gone for a more funky approach but still keep there dark sound, take for example there big summer hit 'Rubber lover' which is a short but sweet dance theme.
I also like an Epic tune to go with an album and 'Demon' definitely delivers on that with its weird beginning to its angelic ending with the lyrics "Get one together" repeated which gives me goosebumps.
You also get your soft slow songs, take 'Kid Gloves' which is a synth pop tune through a mysterious depressing journey which I found myself listening to alot.

Alot of controversy from Biffy Clyro fans on this album have been that it can't stand up to them, so I ask you this, when you listen to this album do not think of them, Marmaduke Duke are a separate identity, a really fun band and a priviage to listen to.

I still come back to listen to this album so this could be a contender to be on my top albums of this year but time will tell, so get ready to get your dancing shoes on.


Anime - SHE: The Ultimate Weapon or How I didn't learn why this war started and how to love the l33t weapon .

War, its a bitch ain't it, when you see clips of World War or the Vietnam war it really strikes you on how it must of felt going onto the battlefield, killing soilders and hiding in fear from explosions, terrifying eh?
Now imagine your on the battlefield and you see a 17 year old girl with metal wings and a glowing aura, you would think "what the hell is she doing here" same goes to your comrades but without knowing anything about her attack patterns you should get a big 'your all Screwed' sign over you head, this girl is called Chise and she has the power to destoy an intire city in a large radius. Now I don't know if Chise would be a contender for the fictional World Record for 'Most killed by Friendly Fire' award but the amount of allies that died by her power is just insane.

However we don't start with war straight away you acutally find out that it starts on a normal school day where we meet are 3rd year main characters the antisocial male student Shuji and Chise herself who have feelings for themselves but never really express it until you watch future episodes, later on that same day a random air bombing destroys most of the city and Shuji finds out that Chise is an Ultimate weapon. I won't go into the story that much but there are a good amount of surprises in these episodes.

Yep, your screwed.

The main problem I had with this anime is that it never really explains things, like why Japan is at war in matter of fact it never does. I know it might be that the writers wanted to show the horrors of war but I would of at least wanted to know why the Japanese are fighting, at first I would of thought that they were having a civil war which makes sense, armies trying to take over territories in the country but as i kept watch I heard that 'half of the world was destroyed', which just raises more questions: Is it just all nations invading each other and destorying everything? Was this WW3? Did George Bush and Dick Cheney unleash nukes to Russia and vice versa thus the end of the world? We will never know. Also this anime never really made me feel sad or angry in matter of fact I never really felt any emotions.

I was brave enough to go through the dubbed version of this just to see if it was any good and yet I was not impressed to be honest, voice actors had little emotion to all characters and i've never heard the word "Girlfriend" and "Classmate" used so often it was stupid, stick with subbed version people.

I don't really hate this however they did get the gritty war feel on some of the episodes right and some of the important scenes were well executed, plus I watched it to the very end. So I would give this an average rating, its quite a cheap boxset compared to others so if you want to watch a school life, love story, war action, post-apocalyptic anime this could be for you.


I would also like feedback for people who have watched this, hopefully I haven't made any errors on how I described the anime.