FOLK, especially English folk, doesn’t get a fair outing.
Bands like Shooglenifty, alongside peers including Seth Lakeman, Lau, Jim Moray, Patrick Wolf – all of these oft-ignored folksters deserve plaudits beyond plaudits.
Folk fusion band Shooglenifty are an instrumental act playing traditional reels and whirls and suchlike, but they add to this on Venus In Tweeds a dance element, making a sort of post trad folk.
It may not be traditional folk, but the Scottish band are what folk music is all about – it’s accessible, upbeat, entertaining and you can work up a sweat to it.
WHAT do you get if you mix dub reggae and heavy metal?
No, the offspring of that unholy union is Dub Trio’s third album, Another Sound Is Dying.
The album, which is instrumental apart from the standout No Flag featuring Mike Patton of Faith No More on vocal duties, fuses heavy metal riffs fuller than Rik Waller leaving an all you can eat buffet with ponderous Mogwai style space rock and skanking Lee “Scratch” Perry dub sections.
On paper this should be a shambles, but on record it actually works.
The movements from one section to another never seem to jar, and there is a unlikely unity that carries through the whole LP.
I CANNOT be the only person that as the Summer sun begins to shine in earnest dusts off their reggae LPs.
In fact, with the sun scorching me every time I step outside at the moment and my musical habits matching with a sun-kissed vibe, I feel obliged to drop a Bob Marley album into the Classic Collection.
It was a toss up between the contrasting feelings of my two favourites Kaya and Burnin’ – with the belly-fire of the latter winning through.
The 1973 album is a confrontational, politically-charged “Summer of discontent” album, that as well as being packed with talent such as Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, the album is packed with instantly recognisable tracks like Get Up, Stand Up, I Shot The Sheriff and Burnin’ And Lootin’ – perfect if you’re looking to lively up yourself this Summer.
LIKE previous Classic Collection contribution Bad by Michael Jackson, The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ One Hot Minute is a great album overlooked because of the company it keeps.
Sandwiched between Blood Sugar Sex Magick and Californication, the LP, the group’s only outing without John Frusciante as guitarist is better than just being an enigmatic sidenote on their illustrious back catalogue.
As well as the distinctive heavy metal leanings of former Janes Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro – best exemplified on One Big Mob – there’s plenty more of note.
It’s an album containing some of Flea’s most furious basslines like Coffee Shop, moments of emotion like Kurt Cobain tribute Tearjerker and comedy as in Pea, raw funk like the awesome Falling Into Grace and Walkabout, and big hits like Aeroplane.
So spare a few seconds for One Hot Minute – I guarantee it’s spicier than you may remember.
NEW York band Made Out Of Babies’ The Ruiner is a sledgehammer of an album.
Led by the distinctive primal vocals of Julie Christmas, who can shout, scream and even sing like a female Daryl Palumbo, the music here is unquestionably a brutal assault on the listener.
However each churning hardcore track here carries enough melody to make it stick.
An intense experience, 2008’s The Ruiner has all the makings of a cult classic.
LET’S not beat around the bush, Presidents Of The United States Of America, on their eponymous debut, showed that when it came to rocking out, their peers had nix on them.
The trio hoover up the competition on Presidents Of The United States Of America with a sound lincoln punky rock with a wry sense of comedy – there can’t be many bands that compose lyrics like “I can’t get your body out of my mind” but are actually polking fun at a dead animal’s rotting corpse.
I grant you, it’s a corny approach, but it works – and chart-conquering hits like Peaches and Lump testify to the band’s mass appeal.
Quite simply, you can’t afford not to have this in your collection.
● You can listen to tracks from the Sound Advice Classic Collection on this Spotify playlist.
A SLEW of recent Download announcements has gotten me in the mood for moshing recently, and with decent metal albums few and far between in 2010, I’ve dug out a beauty for a Classic Collection airing – American Head Charge’s 2001 introduction The War Of Art.
Brutally sadistic in subject matter, singer Martin Cock verges on parody covering subjects such as murder and rape.
Luckily Cock has the talent to back this up, growling, whispering, roaring, shouting and occasionally singing peerlessly.
This intensity is matched by the guitarwork of Chad Hanks, who met Cock in a rehab centre, which is as equally raw and aggressive as it is technically brilliant, disregarding the usual frameworks of time signiatures and song structures throughout – lead single Just So You Know switches from seven beats in a bar to eight beats in a bar mid-chorus, losing no momentum.
An onslaught of an album in every sense, when the group sang they were Pushing The Envelope here, it was more like they were bludgeoning the envelope to death.
set the standard back in 1996, and finally, six near-silent years later, The Private Press
saw DJ Shadow
return to prove it was no one off.
Casting a huge shadow over his peers, The Private Press
– possibly my favourite Classic Collection addition so far – is impeccably put together from start to finish, showcasing why Josh Davis is a god amongst producers.
Here he cuts and pastes with the best of the turntablists, with breaks and smile-raising samples laid on in equal measures on tracks like Mashin’ On The Motorway
and Right Thing
But what sets Shadow apart are the mini masterpieces, the tracks like Fixed Income
, Giving Up The Ghost
or You Can’t Go Home Again
, which pile on his trademark cavernous orchestral feel.
It’s these moments which sends shivers up and down the spine, and make The Private Press
a true classic.
ESBJORN Svensson – if that name doesn’t ring a bell, then I’m telling you today is the day to listen to Tuesday Wonderland.
Because Svensson, the Swedish pianist who led Esbjorn Svensson Trio, should rightfully be up there with the likes of Hendrix, Buckley, Lennon et al.
In June last year, Svensson died in a scuba diving accident, shortly after completing uneasy listening album Leucocyte – a work also likely to go down as a cult classic.
But before branching out in challenging new directions, his 2006 album Tuesday Wonderland – the one before Leucocyte – drew a line underneath everything the group were about up until that point.
Melodic, meandering and masterful, the trio work subtle elements of rock and electronica into the mix to create one of the most accessible and enjoyable jazz albums of all time.
VERY Fast, Very Dangerous
is very Reuben
It’s very rock, it’s very metal, and it’s very good.
It’s very much the sound of a band at the height of their powers – just listen to tracks like Kick In The Mouth and Every Time A Teenager Listens To Drum And Bass A Rockstar Dies – although that’s now a thing of the past as far as Reuben are concerned.
It’s also very underrated, and therefore very deserving of a place in the Classic Collection.
I very much recommend that you go and buy a copy, very soon.