Friday, 31 March 2017

Ps it's a good song.

I am a man who is not hard to please. (Beer and Pizza) I am not high maintenance when it comes to my work. I just expect a project to have a start middle and an end. (this has nigh on happened every time). Very much like my favourite fiction books Captain Underpants or one of my favourite films 24 Hour Party People. Yes, design is a story, a process if you will, but when project doesn't end, I get cross, especially when it is finished my someone else.

My boss manages a band, Lisbon. Lisbon have a new song, Jamesy gets the offer to design the sleeve. A dream come true. (it's gonna be great, it's gonna be the new unknown pleasures)

So James scurries home to look at pinterest and  consult the great books and comes up with four ideas. (Well I had more but four good ones) None of which relate to the bands old style.

So what we have here is some vector shapes, an bizarre dotted typeface mirrored on top of each other, a cropped photo of a Keep clear gate in Carlisle (from the James Reay photo archive™) and some trendy typography.

These were sent away for customer feedback. Nothing.

Three days before deadline okay here is a photo we want to use. A nice abstract holiday snap. Wonderful. However small type didn't work on it. Big type looked good but not perfect but I needed something so sent these off.

A few hours later, I had another go. This time instead of full bleed image what about framed image and it was a good call because text on the white looked so much cooler and with the addition of an extended typeface it looked fab.

Sent this off to a multitude of replies.

With some type layout changes. Cool. Oh and colour changes. No problem. And go back to that original full colour image. oh no. And add a 3D effect. That could be interesting.

I hear nothing and then see the artwork I don't like that much being used but at least it's mine.

A day later they are using there own image with a good font used inappropriately and the image has had its hue in a skew. (That artwork will not be reproduced here due to spite.)

Ps it's a good song.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

a Fiver for a can of Brewdog!

Jim and William Reid of the band The Jesus and Mary Chain are responsible for the downfall of project five a day. The bands tour came to town a week ago today and it happened to fall on the day that over the course of the day I had only manage to listen to one and a half albums. The great Goldie lookin' Chain and half of the unexpected Drutti Column album.

The brothers and the band are one of my favourite bands of all time (the best is obviously The Clash) so I didn't want to miss it. Nor did I want to give up on my project. I thought of having a catch up day on the Saturday but regardless I had still failed to stick with it thus the plug was pulled.

This was further evidenced when I tried to listen to The Mary Chain's new album the following morning and failed to complete it. I had been completely out done. I was Cracking Up.  I wasn't sidewalking with this album. (That's enough, James) Some Pyschocandy might of fixed the problem. This decision wasn't automatic. But I was looking April Skies so I didn't need a Mary Chain amputation. (You're Fired, James)

Listen to me!
and me!
 Music reviews will now feature irregularly along side all the usual great design content, rants about stuff and things (them last two are the most important). However in terms of design, I have some gig posters I really want to show you as well as a single cover that nearly was and what I think Michael Beirut. Meanwhile here is a video of the shows highlight for me.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Five a day: Week Twelve

This week I was defeated by two Scottish brothers in my quest to listen to five albums every weekday. It's been quite an adventure. I will explain later but let's review what I did hear.

Day One

Sonic Flower Groove is a psychedelic pop album by one of the most interesting bands the UK has produced, Primal Scream. This is not that good of an album but it does predate The Stone Roses debut album. Seriously, put a baggy beat to  this LP and you will have the Stone Roses debut album.

Live at the Regal is a live album by the Blues Legend BB King and it is amazing. Vaguely familiar with his work, I went into this knowing a few things but the band on this album are on form and so is Mr King. I was toe tapping smiling my head off. He knows how to front a band and engage the audience.
 Fox Base Alpha is a Pet shop boys album. Sorry no it's a Saint Etienne album but at it's heart is a Pet shop boys sound. The classy strings, the dance grooves and the song writing. However it takes a few leftfield turns with an interesting use of sampling and none descript instrumental pieces. Known for Only Love Can Break your Heart, this album is well worth a listen.

Brassbound by the Ordinary boys is a post punk revival album which features my two favourite songs by the band. These two tracks do stand out from the others as being significantly better than the rest of the album however there are some Madness type horns in places and bits that have a Specials type vibe in amongst the choppy guitars the mid 2000's revival was done for. Like that Dead 60's album.

I haven't listened to a Pigeon Detectives album since 2008's Emergency album so was unaware as to what to expect from this. Thankfully the album isn't like that one (i was worried nearly ten years down the line and they were repeating the same indie pop that got them famous. This album (Broken Glances) is a dark mellow album with some upbeat glimpses

Day Two

Berry is on top was listened to hear the legends voice once again (after his passing on the sunday prior) This album is a collection of singles from that year and works, mostly, as a best of. However the last two tracks are throwaways Hey pedro is done in a cod mexican accent and blues for hawiians is the only previously unrealesed track and is an instrumental.

Have you heard Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era? Then You don't need to hear The Parrots album Los niƱos sin miedo.

Life & Livin' It is the new funking album by the great Sinkane. Seemingly taking on board elements from his time in The Atomic Bomb Band and projecting them onto this new Lp cos it sounds fantastic. 

Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub doesn't have as much hype around it as the album Bandwagonesque, an album I didn't 'get'. I like this album alot but still don't get the hype; this album received Critical acclaim and loved by everyone. 

I have been looking for album like this for a while.Whenever I get frustrated on angry for reasons out of my control, I have a collection of albums I turn to to get my mood back under control and now I can add this one to that list (Tracey Thorn, Laura Marling and Jamie XX are on that list). This is a gloriously chilled vocal Jazz album by Norah Jones, Come Away with me, it's called. Very relaxing and soft for when things are going wrong.

Day Three

The Rutles self titled release is normally 36 Mins but this was the CD reissue taking it to 50 minutes of Beatlesesque music. This collection are endearing parodies of The Beatles discography by their friends. They are very enjoyable but I have a feeling I won't be coming back to them soon. They are very silly.

Father John Misty's Debut album Fear Fun is a barquoue folk rock record; very cinematic strings with
acoustic guitars and backed by a rock band. It is much like the second album, I love you, Honeybear musically and is just as enjoyable.

Von Bondies are a garage punk rock outfit and Pawn Shoppe heart is a loud garage punk rock album.

Brinsley Shcwartz is a strange album. it's called pub rock but does not stand up comapred to the other bands labelled so, namely Dr Feelgood and Ian Dury. It is a bad copy cat of American folk rock with emphasis on virtuosity.

Albert King's Born Under a Bad Sign is a great electric blues LP. It has great version of Kanas City on it and is another toe tapping blues album.

Day Four

Straight outta Newport is a tongue in cheek rap album by the Welsh hip hop group Goldie Lookin Chain. The songwriting is smart but rude. I have had Self Suicide, Gun's Don't Kill People, Rapper's Do, Half Man, Half Machine and Roller Disco on repeat. 


To Be Continued

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Draw, Copy and scan. Part Four

Process, I created a cover for an EP I wrote using a certain process. So deemed it a good use of my time to use the same process for the promotional material around that.

The process: draw the image that you want and photocopy it onto coloured card and then scan in back in so that it can be shared digitally. For the cover of the release, I drew the design and photocopied it onto yellow card as seen below;

What do bands do to promote there albums? A print poster campaign, a songbook and "limited edition" poster to overcharge fans for. Okey Dokey, sounds like something that I should do.

Limited edition posters tend to look pretty, they tend to be limited numbers and they tend to be expensive. I subverted two of these things with my print. This thing is limited to one copy because no one actually will want a copy because of one of the things that I have subverted. This thing is not pretty. Black on purple is not a good colour scheme. The expense of this thing is the other thing I have subverted, it cost only the ink and paper it was printed on.

It was inspired by the work of the design company Tomato and the grunge aesthic that dominated the 90's because legibility didn't matter seemingly matter. It is a photocopier collage of the songbook posters, if you couldn't tell. I hope no one tries to play any of the songs based on this poster.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Draw, Copy and scan. Part Three

Process, I created a cover for an EP I wrote using a certain process. So deemed it a good use of my time to use the same process for the promotional material around that.

The process: draw the image that you want and photocopy it onto coloured card and then scan in back in so that it can be shared digitally. For the cover of the release, I drew the design and photocopied it onto yellow card as seen below;

What do bands do to promote there albums? A print poster campaign, a songbook and "limited edition" poster to overcharge fans for. Okey Dokey, sounds like something that I should do.

Song books don't accompany every release put together by a band or artist but it shows how often the release is going to be covered and since I expect this release to take over the world just like Ed Sheeran's new release, I thought I better produce the sheet music for this release.

I am not a musican, I am a man who plays music. I wrote the words to this release (For better or Worse) in a lyric book and as I worked out the songs on the guitar, I scribbled the chords on top of the words. This is how I played the songs so I thought it this is how other people should play the songs.

I photocopied them straight from the book and I like how raw they look with the gaps at the bottom and the gaps at the top as the book itself is B5 on an A4 paper. You can see the text from the page behind and includes notes from previous versions of the tracks. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Draw, Copy and scan. Part two

Process, I created a cover for an EP I wrote using a certain process. So deemed it a good use of my time to use the same process for the promotional material around that.

The process: draw the image that you want and photocopy it onto coloured card and then scan in back in so that it can be shared digitally. For the cover of the release, I drew the design and photocopied it onto yellow card as seen below;

What do bands do to promote there albums? A print poster campaign, a songbook and "limited edition" poster to overcharge fans for. Okey Dokey, sounds like something that I should do.

Taking cues from the book I got for christmas "Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print 1976 - 80" I set about advertising the release. The majority of the book features self published gig posters and single covers done by the bands, very few had studied design so they took an novice approach.With a low budget a lot of the ads featured in Sniffin' Glue were scribbled words in permanent marker.

Below is my version. Words scribbled on paper.

 I took a different tactic with the other 2 versions. featuring the release. So I came up with some really catchy slogans because that's how advertisers work (really James I never would of gotten that). They are personality driven, being sassy as I am. (I once addressed myself as being sassy to a lady at party and she burst out laughing...Is it really that funny?)

Insulting the audience and asking the audience a question are two ways to engage a potential audience so that's what I chose to do. Notice how they feature the album cover but it is no longer yellow, this wonderful effect was given by the photocopier.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Five a day: Week Eleven

Day One

Rita Ora's debut album ORA is a generic pop sub genre Bland. It has the pop album problem of tone because one minute it attempts to be hip hop then pop rock and then EDM. There is no character to her voice. There is one good track and that is not even her track; anyone producer made a successful drum and bass track and they tagged it on as the last track.

Cheryl's a million lights starts really really well because the beat of the first track sounds like a hip hop beat but then the song Unfortunately apart from this drum break it is generic electro pop with a few slow numbers because we don't want people dancing all the time. Also how come a lady with the most broad of geordie accents sounds like Rita Ora on this thing. Autotune?

Heatworms is the new album by The Shins and it sounds like a good Belle and Sebastian album. +Office Jukebox +

Worhead is the new Little Comets album and it is just like the last Little Comets album I heard, Life is Everywhere. It's not adventurous or all that interesting. +Office Jukebox +

Sticks and Stones is the debut album but ex X Factor lady, Cher Lloyd. This is straight up awful. It's Eliza Doolittle with synthesizers. The song writing is aimed at early teens, the production is offensive electro pop. She interpolates Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry with worse lyrics. She 'puts dub on the track' over dubstep and grime b listers rapping. One track is a pop rock dubstep mash up that no one wanted, she has a distinctive annoying voice. It's just awful.

Day Two

All of these are Prince albums and up until recently I hadn't heard them due to there absence on streaming services. I am a big fan of Sign O The Times and these projects are very good like that album but none of the Flawless.

Lovesexy was a great day opener. Very funky and grooves really well but verges on annoying when virtuosity takes over the feel of a track.

Purple Rain features the first Prince song I remember hearing, Lets Go Crazy, the album is not the greatest as the music papers claim. It is good for a number of the tracks are great.

1999, all the tracks are 12" mix length and some work; DMSR and 1999 but others suffer and are mostly underwritten songs that shouldn't be 8 mins long.

Around the world in a day is a conscise and funky LP and probably my fave of the day.

Parade is namely slow and lacks substance. Girls and boys, kiss and mountains are all fab.

 Day Three

Diana Vickers, another ex factor album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree and has everything wrong with it that the others do. It has synth pop tracks, pop rock tracks and token acoustic numbers to bring the pace down.

Fleur East, ex factor contestant and an album that jumps on the funk pop thing that Uptown funk brought us. Everyone jumped on it and this album does too even covering it (Uptown funk) on x factor and tagging it on here. No one told Simon that funk it's real and not just made in garage band by the blandest producer. Water down what makes a funk record work and you have this. To be honest they actually forget it's meant to be funky half way through and it just becomes bland electro pop. Do Not Listen to Love, Sax and Flashbacks.

Emma Bunton's album Free Me is radio 2 the album with some smooth classical pop music. It has a great album cover too.

Title by Meghan Trainor is one of the most annoying albums. Lyrically for the most part is patronizing, her voice is unique but really grates on you, the idea of reviving doo woop is an odd concept and hence it only lasted 6 months. It has the worst title too.

Rachel Platten had one hit called Fight Song, it was a bad song. Generic Triumphant 'yeah I fought through ________ today, yeah!. the rest of this album 'Wildfire' filled with some inoffensive bland electronic pop music. Her voice isn't distinctive,carries no weight to it and that might of made this Album a bit less poop but I don't remember any other track.

 Day Four

Spice Girls debut album is mostly a fun R &B flavored pop record, it is consistent in tone. Each member brings something new to the range and yeah, the music is of its time but it didn't offend me, I actually quite liked it in spots.

The Saturdays covered the early Depeche Mode hit and it was a smashing success. That's all I know about them. It's not a bad song,  it's a great song actually just their version was an exact copy with worse production. This album (Chasing Lights) for the most part is synth pop but for some reason pop rock sneaks in. Why can't a bands album producers talk to each other! I digress, I nearly fell asleep because the voices all sound the same and they are all auto tuned to hell and back.

Bewitched is a nineties album. At its heart it keeps the R&B influenced pop but and this is the good bit: Irish Fiddles, Drum and Bass Passages, classical guitar, string sections and buzz saw guitar. All over the baggy, R&B thing. The lyrics are aimed at kids so can't call them out that much but this album just confused me.

What will the Neighbors say? by Girls Aloud saved the day. I love pretty much all this album. It's consistent, the songs are good (despite the pretenders and pointer sisters covers) and the production is by one bloke and you can tell. Love machine has always been a guilty pleasure but it is a great song, Arctic Monkeys covered it. It has relentless energy. It saved my sanity and now retrospectively makes me looks stoopid for hating on them when they first came out.

Ashlee Simpson's autobiography is an pop rock album. I miss the days when pop stars could be seen with guitars and not need to have very few clothes on. Ellie Goulding, I am looking at you. Yeah, this is a very pleasant pop rock album. This feel genuine as a project not done by committee of record managers in high office closing swimsuits for the album photoshoot.

Day Five

Hot thoughts by Spoon is the best of post punk rolled into one. It's dark, the drums are pounding,  and the groveling bass. Political as well, there is a great line about tearing down a certain wall.

The Haze, the new LP by Pulled apart by Horses. Is a noisy noise album the buzzsaw guitar doesn't let up much on these joyous fun garage rock tunes.

Different Creatures, is the surprise of the day by the band, Circa Waves who I keep being told are hip and cool and worth tickets for shows and I hadn't listened to them. This album is a solid indie rock record

In Mind by Real Estate is a dreamy indie guitar album. The first track is amazing with a great rhythms, fab bass parts and lead guitar lines. Then unfortunately it ends up petering out into just dreamy guitar lines and that's it. No song structures just guitars in echo.

Spirit by Depeche Mode is a musically stripped back yet lyrically clunky album. Politically empty lyrics and demanding others for the revolution when you can play just as much a part yourself. Musically it is great though.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Five a Day: Week Ten

It was Mark E Smith's 60th birthday last Sunday so decided to dedicate Monday to The Fall and the albums that I have not heard. Tomorrow I am planning a day of pop Princess'; I am determined to find any album as good as Body Language by Kylie by a female solo artist. Pop men should be Thursday, Busted Related stuff on Wednesday and Friday is newish music Friday.

Happy Belated Birthday Mark E Smith

County on the click - this is a noisey lofi Fall LP with some really exceptional songs. The production on the first track is so noisey you can't hear anything properly apartment from Mark's vocal; everything is swamped by a distorted guitar. There are a couple of songs on here that sound like Iggy Pop. There great backing vocals on this thing that compliment Mark's expression of poetry.

Your Clutter, Our Future, is an amazing album. It's is experimental with so many fast panning guitars, over the top noisey synths and tight tight Rhythm sections. Bury, is a seminal track as well as good any of the classic Fall stuff. Great little features from Mark's dictophone as well.

Room to Live is the wackiest and most off the wall fall LP, it is very repetitive, very lofi and very noisey and that is saying something for a Fall album. Papal visit is the epitome of all this weirdness.

Imperial Wax Solvent is a good fall album. It doesn't stand out as exceptional but what does is 50 year old man, this albums 11 minute ode to his age.

 A Part of America Therein, is a chaotic live album by the fall. Great to hear the American compare at the being of this LP. The tracks are really good. The version of The NWRA is a fairer recording of the tack than the studio cut. Hip Priest sounds like it could fall apart at anytime, possibly because it features the falls ex bassist on drums. Wired, lie Dream and older lover are amazing.  The tracks aren't cut properly as they are from different gigs so weird fade ins and outs are common. But I do like a live fall.

Female Solo artists

Duffy's Rockferry is much better than its lead single; Mercy. That song was everywhere in 2007 and the track stands out like a sore thumb on this album of cinematic soul inspired in equal parts by Motown and Philly spector. Glorious strings sections, Soulful unique enough voice and solid song writing. Mercy is the only obviously upbeat track, only track with an organ and no its not bad it's just not as good as I remember.

Eliza Doolittle's self titled album is early Kate Nash and Lily Allen pop music if it was less interesting and more doo woop inspired. It is Grey for most of the record with some glimpses of potential. The albums big hit; Pack Up is the albums most interesting track and it's main hook isn't even sung by her. It's all bittersweet too. I ain't the target market but I don't see any appeal.

Drastic Fantastic is a equal parts folky and britpop. The album starts with some footstompers and progresses to Laura Mailing esque stuff but all really enjoyable and the album cover photo is absolutely sublime.

Christine and the Queens debut album is a minimal spacious electro pop album with flat production, forgettable songs and has very little going for it. I tried this album last year when I became allergic to this mid tempo minimal electro and I still am by the sounds of it. I became allergic because every album by synth pop stars went let's turn the down the tempo and strip out the interesting stuff. The Naked an Famous, The Invisible, Jagwar Ma.

Do you want the truth or something beautiful? by Paloma Faith is an orchestral pop album tracks I didn't think I'd heard before but most of the tracks had been featured on adverts. I have always liked her as a person. Funny in interviews, beautiful lady and her style is so unique. This album is very good. Fabulously composed tunes.

Write off Wednesday

The same year Charlie Simpson rejoined the band he once said he'd never go back to he released this inoffensive country flavored solo album. That does nothing much interesting. The most interesting track is a Bon Iver cover. I have no desire to explore this again.

Son of a Dork was the first project released by the other two members of Busted that weren't Charlie simpson. Matt and James I believe there names were. This is colour by numbers pop punk record. Taking the style of Blink 182, Sum 41 and in places Good Charlotte and replacing me against the world lyrics and replace them with creepy 'love' songs /isn't being a failure cool songs. If you stop thinking while listening it could be a Blink album but minus the good songs.

Our next album is Night Driver by that there reformed Busted and it's awful. When you make a comeback Lads remember what genre you once were. You nay as well started another project to release this and not used guitar pop stylee. What makes this album awful is not the lack of guitar, it's the bland synth pop songs with dire lyrics. Kids with computers is one of the song titles, these kids you are taking about make much better music than you. It's faceless too, they have been away song long, I can't remember whose voice is who's. This could be anyone.

Speaking of bland synth pop, when guitars became old hat for 'pop' stars. Mcfly dropped there guitars immediately and became experts in synth pop music. Ha hah hahaha. Don't be silly this was released roughly six years before the New Busted album and I can't help think they wanted to copy it's formula. This has the same problems as it.

While Charlie Simpson, the guy at the beginning of this day who seems miles away, was off making credible country acoustic music, McFly and The other two busted members were running out of money so they decided to form a super group and this album is dire. It fused the bad pop punk that son of a Dork were doing with the later day electronic stylings of McFly and it is awful. Dare I say it hints at potential but never reaches it. I also don't know who this is aimed at. It still seems aimed at young kids but they don't know who these people are. People who once like these two bands have moved on (I am now into hip hop, post punk and Jazz) shouldn't dig this unless they want nostalgia which shouldn't really be a draw otherwise I would of got it.

Today we are calling write off Wednesday, most of it didn't reach much above awful and it was only the Bon Iver cover reached above mediorce. Instead let's listen to something completely different. One of the best pieces of comedy the ex parrot sketch.

Male Solo Artists

The weekend always seemed to me like a dumb artist name and that's because it is. Starboy is the name of his latest effort and with his last album topping the charts with hit collaborations.i was skeptical as whether I would like this. I do, 45% of this album is danceable, grooving and fun tunes. Some sound like Disclosure and others prince. Other tracks when he attempts to rap or do love songs it ends up falling flat or sounding creepy. It is also far too long over an hour. I'd forgive some of the badder tracks if the album was shorter thus increasing the percentage I like this.

Girl by Pharrell is a confusing album. It starts off as a homage to MJ and then goes into a Caribbean flavour thing, then northern soul and the back to this tropical tracks. Alica keys turns up for a duet mainly centered around Pharrell. Half through the album there is a minute and a half of wave noises. Caused more confusion than enjoyment.

I loved the days when pop music was organic, when horns, drum kits and there was a sense of reality to them although I am talking about a on the nose pop rock middle of the road record it easier to hear an acoustic guitar. This was the Era of pop that that offbeat thing going on, not reggae just the rhythm of each track was an off beat making people bounce along. Olly Murs album is a solid down the nose pop LP. However if there were more likes like the first, A Change is Gonna Come (Not the Sam Cooke song), which sounds like Movin on Up by Primal Scream it would be higher.

Divide is the all concurring album by the weedy ginger haired lad that is Ed Sheeran but how does jamuggins feel about it? Can I see it's appeal to kids? Yes. Can I see young adults liking it? Yeah sure. I think 40% is good. The opening track sounds like Eminem, Galway girl is really fun and others have genuinely funny/ witty lyrics but most tracks are soppy or over sexual love songs. That's why I struggle to give this album a pass.

Wanted on Voyage is another down the middle acoustic pop acoustic male solo artist record. Kinda sounds like early Jake bugg if he had a few more members to his sound. The album starts with his two singles that most people would of bought it for and then turned it off. They would have been saved from the mediorce that follows. He does have that thing you need in a singer songwriter a unique voice but with one track that picks up the pace another is slower and more Grey than the last.

Newish Music day

Ow my ears, did Kanye reincarnate into a woman? Cos that's all I hear on this album. The beats and the auto tune. The forced bad rhymes just made me laugh. Most of the songs are about Sex and the club and the guest collaborations are useless. They can't save any of the tracks from being in your face, overtly sexualised bad hip hop/trap/ Dance. It's just so confusing.

The first few bars of the second album sound like Tom Waits so I know we are in safe hands. Laura Marling is back and I couldn't be happier. Semper Femina is a beautiful beautiful record. It is genuine, folky lovingly crafted. Heart went into this. I love everything she has done and this form  continues onto this.

Volcano is the long awaited second LP by the band Temples and is a slight change of pace for the band. It is slower, more dreamy and more dense sounding. Atmospheric synthesizers recall Tame Impala, distorted pounding drums are Sgt pepper esque and it all fits together perfectly. Not what I was expecting but just as good as what I was.

Hurray for the Riff Raff is a country outfit from America or so I am told. They have appeared on a few festival posters in UK Soni thought I would check them out. First I thought they were a new band, they aren't.  First I thought they were inspired by Courtney Barnett, they aren't (makes me realize how many cues Courtney takes from country music). Lastly, I like this album. More listens will be coming on this. Some great vocal textures, compositions and the opening ditty is one of the stranger ways to open an album. Great album cover too.

The last album is by an Allison Crutchfield who I hadn't heard of until I started listening. Seen her album advertised but never listened. I like this a lot. It is a lo fi rock record with some retro sounding synths and rye Lyrical takes on romance. Tourist in the town is well worth a listen and is a highlight for this project.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Five a Day: Week Nine


The A1111 And Other Ones! by John Shuttleworth is a compendium of the greatest hits of the comedian John Shuttleworth performed on his casio organ. Shuttleworth talks his through the hits with great guest appearances from his wife and friend Ken. 'Mingling with Mourners' is a very moving tune and One cup of Tea is never enough is another gem. Get the Volvo, Val features the most words crammed into a bar I have heard. All of these songs are really fun. It is a long compedium but that is by no means a bad thing.

Straight out of the Jungle - The Jungle Brothers. Old school hip hop classic here. Great use of sampling and smashing appearances from Q Tip. Strangely though the bands big hit (I'll House You) features halfway through the album and is the only house track on the album. That said a great album.

Salt and Acid - Nightlife. Wearing your influences on your sleeve isn't always a bad thing especially on your band's debut album to know where the band is coming from. This is one osuch album that does that. It does sound like 2008 pop punk with Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco and Paramore and is an enjoyable version of that sound.

Saturday Night - Tim Darcy. This is a great lo fi indie rock album calling echoes of Lou Reed in the music and Roy Orbison in the voice. 

Social Music - John Batiste and Stay Human. A really cool jazzy poppy gospel album by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert's house band.


Drunk - Thundercat. The new album by the Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus collaborator is awesome. It is a vintage soul album with virtuoso bass playing, what sound like chessy midi drum parts and features some great collaborations. It is a bit long. It has a great album cover.

See Clear Now - Wiley. What I saw as the most relevant period of Grime until this latest period. Released the same year as Dizzee Rascal's big hits; Bonkers, Holiday and Dirtee Cash. This is a really good album with a load of great bars and verses. Mark Ronson, Ronson collaborator Daniel Merriweather and Hot Chip all feature and were all massively popular at the time of the release which is why I thought it had broad appeal.  

 Half Mute - Tuxedomoon. Ambient Synth jazz album. That's what it is. I don't get it.

25 O'clock - The Dukes of Stratosphear. for a parody album of psychedelic music it is a thoroughly enjoyable LP.

Field Music Play - Field Music. A compilation of covers by the Sunderland based brothers. I love the Pet Shop Boys covers and the rest are also very pleasant again. Unfortunately, they don't really add anything to the original.

Weddo's Wednesday 

Watusi - I fell in love with the first half of this album. So Long, Baby, Click Click & Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah are just classics. Really like the rest of this too.

Mini - This is an enjoyable short album about cars and girls. It has the classic Wedding Present sound.

Saturnalia - A more laid back take on the classic Wedding Present sound. Really like the track Big Boots.

Take Fountain - A strong come back album of the Weddo's. This is a more ambient take on the classic Wedding Present sound continuing the tone of the last one.

El Rey - Back to the classic Wedding present sound. I really like the lead single The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend.


Lou Reed - Lou Reed. For some reason people didn't like this album, I really like this album. It's classic Lou Reed sound. It follows logically on from Loaded by VU; It doesn't invent anything new but yeah. Very good.

Duran Duran - Duran Duran. Top tip do not stick two big hit singles at the beginning of your album if they are the two best tracks on the album. The rest follow the formula of them two tracks to death. The guitar strums all feature on the same beat. There are a few long ambient synth workout's that are just dull.

The Return of the Super Ape - The Upsetters. Labelled as dub album I see this more as a reggae album with the unique touches that Mr Perry. He is really good getting some really unique sounds in his productions.

A Sailor's Guide to Earth - Sturgill Simpson. I love this album. It is a modern country soul album. This man has a great voice. The unexpected Nirvana cover blends into this album really well. This is was the surprise of the week. Top Top album.

Colour it in - The Maccabees. I know you are going to find it hard to believe but I have never listened to this album before. I have listened to the following albums by this band and it sounds like they are repeating themselves on them albums based on hearing this.


English Tapas - Sleaford Mods. I like to listen to Sleaford Mods albums a few times before coming to conclusions but they have ditched the loud shouty tracks in place is more melodic slower tracks. There is more emphasis on electronics and drum machines and not cut up punk samples.

Uyai - Ibibio Sound Machine. The funky bits are really really funky on this and the slower tracks just seem really slow and jarring. I wanted more funk. It's good just not what I thought it would be.

Last Place - Grandaddy. Yep, it's a Grandaddy album. It's a really enjoyable one as well. Evermore is an amazing track; you should check it out. See below.

The Joy of Sex - Tragedy: The All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gee's and Beyond. The parody of glam metal that loses it's appeal when it is just in your ears. I really enjoyed the cover of Staying Alive with the double time change up. I did find myself headbanging to some of the tunes but you really need the visuals to accompany the joke.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Big Daddy. An album of tracks off of The Beatles seminal album set to musical covers of other tracks like Poison Ivy, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On & The Wanderer. Bizzare.