This Month We've Been Mostly Listening To...
Liam McGrady 24/08/2006
We used to have a feature called 'This Month We've Been Mostly Listening to…'; then we stopped doing it. Hands up, we got lazy. But during the heated debates that are the GIITTV Editorial meetings - where Bill paces up and down bellowing “I want Interviews! Features! Mantin, what's the deal with these Kooks? Miller, what's the meaning of this!? Three stars for Keane!?” (come on, go with it; humour me) - we decided that it was actually pretty good. So for your pleasure we've resurrected it, and inventively called it… exactly what it was called before.
If you're wondering what the hell I'm going on about, it's quite simple. We round up our favourite albums, singles and demos of the month, so that in one highly stimulating read (perfect for a lunchtime perusal) YOU find out what WE'VE been listening to. And so I'll waste no more of your valuable time and tell you.
ps. If you click those bits in blue, then hey presto, you get the full review! And you get a gold star if you know what that picture above is all about.
August was a variable month for long players. Mad as a tree full of sheep, Luke Steele announced himself back on the music scene with a new album in the shape of 'Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird'; and a whole new band under the Sleepy Jackson banner. We reckon it's overdone with “Ooh-ing” and “Aah-ing”, and that you're probably better off seeking out the debut 'Lovers'. But you know, it's better than 'Protest The Hero' by Kezia so it makes the cut.
After all the “Arctic Monkeys” this, and “Milburn” that of the past year, who'd have thought that the latest compilation album to come from the Steel City would be harking back to the Sheffield of the 80's? With a heritage in electronic music that runs back to The Human League, 'Thee Sheffield Radiophonic Workshop' is “an eye opener to the new electro revolution; take note or be doomed” we said. And you really don't want to be doomed now do you?
Praise the Lord, Dave Lombardo is back! Well maybe it's better off not to praise the Lord actually, maybe it's better off to denounce organized religion; to be physically repulsed by it. Slayer quite obviously are - as their first album in five years, 'Christ Illusion', so brutally conveys. With said original drummer back behind the kit “dominating this record like no record has been dominated before”, they may be the elder statesmen of Thrash Metal, but by god (whoops) have Araya and Co. still got it.
John Darnielle may not be a household name, but there are a few of us at GIITTV who really think he should be. Under the guise of The Mountain Goats he goes quietly about the business of being a bone fide lyrical genius. While we're not sure that latest album 'Get Lonely' quite eclipses 2002's 'Tallahassee' it's still one hell of an emotional ride: “Surely one of the loneliest albums ever recorded, it should come with a health warning: listening to it, alone, through headphones, may cause outbursts of uncontrollable crying in even the most stable listeners.”
It's nice to see ex-Catatonia frontwoman Cerys Matthews relaxed and happy rather than “bawling at the top of her lungs, wine bottle in one hand and a silver puffer jacket covering her body” as she was so commonly to be seen at the scrag end of her former band's career. And we think that her new album 'Never Said Goodbye' is “a partial victory; with promise for the future”. That's quite nice really isn't it?
If you're clever and into all that downloading business, we were in the opinion that you could have done worse than adding And What Will Be Left Of Them?'s 'Wet Week In July' to your MP3 collection; especially since it's free. In the Indie Disco anthems stakes it was all about two songs: Peter Bjorn and John's 'Young Folks' and Cansei de Ser Sexy with 'Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above'; if you played them back to back you'd be a solid gold DJ-ing God. Apart from that, TV On The Radio went all primal on us with 'Wolf Like Me' and The Divine Comedy came back with 'To Die A Virgin' - “a bit like a cross between an old-fashioned showtune and literate 90s British indie” apparently.
The creators of two of our favourite demos this month were snapped up to release “proper” records just as we were going to press with our reviews. Does this make us even more ahead of the game than EA Sports? We'd like to think so. And we'd also like to think that GIITTV throwing praise at The Hungry i's 'Birthday EP' and the demo from It Hugs Back is a stepping stone to bigger things for both bands. A trio of new bands from the South Coast also sent their wares winging our way, and we were pretty damn impressed from what we heard by Club Le Shark, The Dawn Chorus and The Wonderfuls. Finally, previous recipients of our approval, The Sailplanes, gave us 'The Deepest Red EP' to let us muse on their “fondness for the likes of Can and Einsturznde Neubaten” and brand new experimental popsters, Yossarian, had us “laughing out loud” at their excellence.
And just as a last gasp treat, here's each of the GIITTV Editorial team's five songs that have kept them musically placated during August:
Fields - Brittle Sticks
The Black Tulips - Dogs home
Mansun - Negative
James Dean Bradfield - Bad Boys And Painkillers
Interpol - NYC
Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler
The Radio Dept. - The Worst Taste In Music
Cansei de Ser Sexy - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
Muse - Map Of The Problematique
Codeine - D
Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks
Comets On Fire - Lucifer's Memory
Optimist Club - Panic Button
The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health
Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
Oh No! Oh My! - I Have No Sister
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
TV On The Radio - I Was A Lover
Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
The Russian Futurists - Our Pen's Out Of Ink
The Mars Volta - Viscera Eyes
The Mars Volta - Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt
iForward, Russia! - Twelve
Guillemots - Trains To Brazil
Anti-Flag - The Press Corpse