How's your 2009 going? Animal Collective have brought on a heatwave pretty early on in the year huh? Merriweather’s where it’s at, properly sunny and free-spirited and a bleak-month mood-lifter. Those dual Crippled Black Phoenix albums are pretty special, really. If you weren’t quite sure of A Love Of Shared Disasters, then this might be the thing that really sucks you in to this band. Spreading their massive post-rock vistas over a wider area that brings in a bit more country, a bit more found sound sampling, a bit more of a groovier riff, a bit of stoned Doorsy pulse. The Doors have cropped up in Golden Animals Free Your Mind and Win a Pony, which is pretty much a Morrison/Manzenera tribute, but respectably so. More throwback action from The Dutchess & The Duke who have produced an heroically rocking Rolling Stones record of their very own. The Blank Dogs The Fields cassette on Fuck It Tapes is way way cool, all the surfy garage psych(o) rock’n’ roll you could ask for (Plus De Stijl just re-released Wavves that Fuck It put out last year which Blank Dogs jump off the back of, but a bit slicker like a helicopter drop on to an even bigger wave in deeper waters….meh, that’s an analogy that not going much further than Long Beach). Speaking of deep, The Hospitals Hairdryer Peace deserved it’s Wire number 3 spot in their EOY list (could/should even have been number 1 over the Bug). I have been playing that a lot and getting more out of it each time, swapping between paying attention to the groove and the backdrops they’re set against – both of which constantly switch focus anyway. Grampall Jookabox are my other pretty essential what-the-hell?! Album band of the moment - Ropechain on Asthmatic Kitty is a real melting pot of surrealism, absurdism and down right screaming soul-jacked rock and roll brilliance. They call it Jungle-Folk. It’s a good a name as any. Also been playing a lot of These Feathers Have Plumes, which Syd really loves too – baby boys can really get into that heavy heady flowing liquid murk and phosphorescent eddies of that tape. Hakobune has also been a pretty effective ambient nursery brew of pretty pretty homeostatic Japanese contours and electronic chanting. Incredibly, Persistent Repetition Of Phrases, the album from V/VM’s new incarnation The Caretaker is another hit with little boy; not sure whether grainy, spectral 40’s instrumentals were intended to be the soundtrack to an 18-week-old’s sleep, but it really works.
Things of a grimmer nature that have darkened the skies over Chez Meat is Fauna – temperate climate black metal from the US – warm, wet, humid misty guitars. So-long frostbite, hello heatstroke – it’s all as blurry and overwhelmingly crippling. Szarlem, another in a long-line of outfits from Varghkoghargasmal’s Avenger, tears it up in suitably lone-ranger fashion. Lots of utterly oppressive sustained claustrophobia from bands like these: Brulvahnatu, Lyrinx, Ashtoreth Incesti, Darkspace, Exitus Letalis, Hopeless and Paranomia. Mutant BM is likely to get even weirder this year, thanks to the January release by Den Saakaldte that features vaudeville and Arabian flourishes, trumpet and….woahwoah…yeah? I think we can leave it on BLACK METAL TRUMPETS and ponder that for some long time.
…..Black metal trumpets. Where to now?
Oh yeah – Old Mayor release their debut ep on London based Paradigms Recordings. Should be due February or March. Awesome news.