I Am The Resurrection!

Chaps, Since I’ve moved up to the “coast with the most” I’m finding the train commute is providing me with the perfect music listening opportunity. As such, I was wondering if anyone was interested in resurrecting the once beautiful beast that was “Try This Album”.

Thoughts?

Wild Beasts “Present Tense” (2014)

This quick review is long overdue. Thanks for kickstarting the blog again, Stu…

Each successive Wild Beasts album gets better than the last. This one, at first, sounds subdued. But underneath all the beautifully layered sound is a majesty and authority. You can sense that at any moment, they can unleash the full breadth of their power. But they don’t for the sake of our feeble minds’ inability to comprehend their genius. It has been in fairly constant rotation all Summer, and continues to mesmerize the musical dolt in me.

Oh, and it sounds phenomenal on headphones.

Royal Blood – Royal Blood (2014)

Stu’s Album of the Month for September

I was watching the recent T in The Park 2014 Friday night coverage and enjoying acts I’d tuned in for such as Manics, Biffy Clyro and Chvrches…….but wasn’t quite expecting a band I’d never heard of to eclipse them all. Two guys, one drumkit, and…..wait…..a bass Guitar? The noise was epic.

So the influences are all there to hear. Queens of the Stone Age, Led Zeppelin and White Stripes to name a few. Having said that these guys bring new blood to a long line of rock royalty. If you haven’t heard this album yet, stop what you are doing and listen.

I was so excited to hear that these guys were touring in November and were playing The ABC in Glasgow. Less excited when their entire UK tour sold out in 90 seconds. Biffy Clyro are selling out stadiums in the UK at the moment, these guys are sure to be next.   

 

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams (2014)

Gentlemen! I think its about time we rock on and kick start this Blog. Now that our band of merry men cover three continents there is more reason than ever to share some fine toons. As such I’m going to suggest a new format with this post. Now that Spotify have a rather nice “embed album” option I thought we might consider using that instead of uploads. Thoughts? A less laborious method of sharing music can only be a good thing.

Anyway, to get us back on track I’ve chosen an album from an artist that I know we all like. Mr Adams and his new self titled album. Thankfully this album is as we have come to expect. Consistently brilliant. I read somewhere that this album is Ryan Adams by Ryan Adams being Ryan Adams. Say no more……..

 

Mogwai – Mr Beast (2006)

Stu’s Album of the month for AprilMr_beast_cover[1]

It has always surprised me how successful Mogwai have been despite; a)Their complex and anti-mainstream approach to music, and b)Their oddly chosen band name. Either way there is no arguing against the fact that these boys from Glasgow are a talented bunch.

I once had a conversation with a mate where we discussed “when is the prime time to listen to a Mogwai album”. Unfortunately it was a rather fruitless discussion but the following situations were tabled; whilst reading, traveling on a train, cycling to work, eating a pot noodle whilst hungover……. We simply couldn’t come up with the perfect situation. And in a way that’s the beauty of Mogwai. They cannot be pigeon-holed. Every album is a different and complex journey through dramatic and hypnotic landscapes. However, Mr.Beast is probably their most accessible record.

So what do you chaps make of Mogwai?

Steely Dan “Gaucho” (1980)

Manuel’s Album of the Month for April

I’m an audiophile. As good as a band’s music can be, if their albums sound like crap, they lose major points with me (hear that, early Muse?). Steely Dan’s recording philosophy ensured you felt as if you were in the studio as each album was being made. Theirs are some of the best-sounding recordings you will ever come across. Although most of the credit for this goes to the overly-obsessive Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, their sound engineer Roger Nichols should also receive an equal amount of praise. I suppose he has over the years — he won eight Grammies for sound engineering over his career.

Earlier this year I acquired a pair of Sennheiser HD800s, and recently built a DIY headphone amp to complement it. Listening to albums like “Gaucho” on my new rig has been an absolute pleasure. Repeated listens of this classic compelled me to make this my April Album of the Month.

Stu will be visiting in a couple of weeks. Hopefully he’ll listen to this album on my setup and then comment on this post, even if he doesn’t like Steely Dan. Mork and Keef, what do you think of SD and “Gaucho?”

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream (2014)

Imagine Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan locked in a room together with nothing but a weeks worth of acid to enjoy, only to then be given a bag full of uppers and transferred straight into a recording studio. This would be the result. Confused and weary, but strangely uplifting.

The hazy guitar and psychedelic Americana rock on this album has the sound and feel of both legends all over it, but the synthesiser and piano addition adds an extra layer. I absolutely love it! I really enjoyed Slave Ambient but for me this is a superior album. It is probably my favourite album of the year so far.

To quote Mark Renton, “it’s good….oh, it’s really fucking good”.