lørdag 9. januar 2016

09012016 - Red Rider "As Far as Siam"

I know next to nothing about this band or their history, save for the fact that they were (and apparently still are) fronted by Tom Cochrane, whom I remember for that one song. This album, released in 1981, opens with "Lunatic Fringe", which is a pretty great tune. But the rest is pretty generic, and although the songs are decent enough - I mean, they're catchy'n'shit - they all sound like a poor man's something or the other. Mostly the other.

fredag 8. januar 2016

08012016 - David Bowie "★"

David Bowie releases his 25th album today, on his 69th birthday. There's 7 songs on this album. 25 + 69 + 7 = 101. In George Orwell's book "1984" Room 101 is a torture chamber where prisoners are faced with their own worst fears. David Bowie himself released the album "Diamond Dogs" with the song "1984" in 1974. 1984 - 1974 = 10. The book "1984" refers to Big Brother as the leader of the government. Bowie's own big (half-)brother, Terry Burns, was 10 years older than David. Burns introduced Bowie to modern jazz and inspired him to take up the saxophone. There's quite a lot of sax on "Blackstar". Are all these facts mere coincidences? CAN THEY BE? Yes, they can. And they make as much sense as all those who have written about this album as some kind of near-unlistenable far-out, experimental neo-jazz extravaganza that doesn't sound like anything Bowie has ever done before. This is a great David Bowie album with great songs, and it's possible to hear similarities between "Blackstar" and "Heathen", "Outside", "Black Tie White Noise", "Low"/"Lodger" and the aforementioned "Diamond Dogs". Plus others, minus all of the above. It's unmistakably Bowie, and he doesn't copy  himself, nor does he alienate his fans. He invented this shit, and he still owns it. Bitches.

torsdag 7. januar 2016

07012016 - Peach Kelli Pop "Peach Kelli Pop III"

The stuff you find on other people's best of-lists... This one turned up at #36 on a friend's list, and it looked cute and inviting enough to make me interested. The album is short and sweet, oozing bubblegum fuzz pop with just the slightest hint of garage/surf rock and punk. I hear hints of old faves like The Primitives and The Darling Buds, but also The Ramones, Shonen Knife (although sole member Allie Hanlon is Canadian) and a million girl groups, from The Angels to The Pipettes. It's catchy, bouncy and it makes me smile. I can't wait to play this album again when summer comes!

onsdag 6. januar 2016

06012016 - Marulk "Marulk"

Today I'm wearing a t-shirt with the Swedish band Skogen Brinner, and if you're into cool hard rock you should check them out. It's that easy. Since they don't have anything new out at the moment I decided to see what my streaming player considers to be similar bands, and there, next to Kadavar, Horisont and Vidunder, all of whom I already know and dig, was Marulk. It's easy to see why this band would be recommended to fans of the others, as they are very much of the same ilk: 70's inspired and fitting in perfectly alongside the so-called wave of bands that of course also include Graveyard, Witchcraft and several others that have gained a lot of attention the last five years or so. And although there are obvious similarities they don't sound too much like any of the others. If anything, Vidunder and early Horisont sound a bit like Marulk, who released this album back in 2010. There are several cool songs here, but an extra special mention goes to the most excellently titled "Nosferatools"! While listening to the album and writing this thing I'm at first sad to discover that Marulk called it a day in 2014 after releasing one last single, but then I see that two of the members are now in the mighty Monolord, so all is good after all! Fucking Monolord, man...!

tirsdag 5. januar 2016

05012016 - Robin Trower "Bridge of Sighs"

Another day, another classic album criminally overlooked by yours truly. This was Trower's second solo album, released in 1974, back when I was all of 1 year old. I guess that means I'm excused for not discovering it at the time, but not for waiting all of 42 years before I finally did. But hey, better late than never, right? The opening track, "Day of the Eagle", is a brilliant stomping blues rock tune, but the next two - the title track and "In This Place" - are moody pieces that just give me shivers down my spine, making me want to howl at the moon, alone on a mountain top! Blues rock can be a risky genre, because it's easy to spot those who fake it, even if they don't know themselves that they are faking it. No such worries here though, as this is the real deal. Another highlight is "Too Rolling Stoned", which starts innocently enough, but transforms right after the three minute mark, when handclaps and background voices are added as a backdrop to a most stunning guitar solo that ends too soon after another four and a half minutes. The entire album is brilliant, with the right balance between uptempo and slow tunes, and never a dull moment. Hey, if it's good enough for Mikael Åkerfeldt I'm not one to argue!

mandag 4. januar 2016

04012016 - Daniel Romano "If I've Only One Time Askin'"

One from the best of 2015 lists here, and a durn good 'un too! This is pure and lovely heartfelt old school country music like Hank, Merle and Willie taught us. Romano's voice is more than a little on the Willie Nelson side too, not that there's anything wrong with that. This Canadian couldn't care less about Stetson posers and bro-country dimwits, but he's not in it to renew the genre either. And why should he? If it ain't broke why fix it, is one way of putting it. If the heart's broken you need proper country music to fix it, is another. And there's a whole lotta heartbreak to be found here. Easily the best traditional country album I have heard in ages!

søndag 3. januar 2016

03012016 - Kenny Rogers "The Gambler"

Kenny Rogers is one of many artists more known for his songs than any of his albums. At least that's the case for me, so as far as I'm concerned this is how it is. "The Gambler" is, of course, not only one of his best songs, but his version is one of the best tunes in country music in general. So obviously I'm hoping for pure genius all the way through on this 1978 album. The title track opens the record, so the rest of the album is unchartered territory to me. "I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again" (What a title, right?) and "The King of Oak Street" are pretty damn good too, but the next couple of tracks don't do much for me, especially not "The Hoodooin' of Miss Fannie Deberry", an uptempo thing with some misguided funky stuff going on. Kenny "Funk" Rogers? I don't think so! "She Believes in Me", which opens my imaginary side 2 of the album is thankfully another ballad, and just the kind of song I want to hear from Rogers: brilliantly sappy, perfectly schmaltzy and with mucho emotion. "Sleep Tight, Goodnight Man" is nice too, although I have no idea what he's really singing about, but someone who ten years previously just dropped in to see what condition his condition was in is perfectly entitled to have conversations with The Sandman. The rest of the album is pleasant enough, apart from the horrible - wait for it - jazz funk (yeah, he went there!) excursions on closing tune "Morgana Lee", but there's nothing here at all that really lives up to the pure genius of "The Gambler" itself.