This Week's Best Album Streams: 2nd October 2012
Oh, hello! I didn't see you there. I'm Tom, and I'm going to be your new guide to the hottest/coolest (delete as applicable) album streams that appeared online this week. So why don't you pull up a chair, make sure you've got a working internet connection - oh you have? Or you wouldn't be able to read this in the first place? Fair point. You're a perceptive fellow and/or lass.
There's a few excellent albums that just missed the cut off for the week - LPs by the likes of Flying Lotus, Why?, Matt and Kim and, er, Muse - but we've still been pretty lucky with what we've managed to trawl up in these past seven days.
After throwing back the new Van Morrison and the latest from "female-fronted prog metallers" To-Mera, here is my fresh selection of the week's album streams (only one of which has a circumcised penis on its front cover).
Death Grips - NO LOVE DEEP WEB (Soundcloud)
The "controversy" caused by the online release of lovable pranksters Death Grips' follow-up to The Money Store has been well-documented; the music itself, less so. Like their debut, NO LOVE DEEP WEB is rough and ready and very NSFW (much like the artwork), MC Ride continuing to stumble back and forth across the rapping/screaming divide and sounding increasingly unhinged. Needless to say, it's awesome.
This Many Boyfriends - This Many Boyfriends (The Guardian)
And now for something completely different: Straight Outta Leeds, it's the cheery indie-pop melodies of This Many Boyfriends, whose hand clap-lead rhythms and self-referential song titles are on just the right side of twee. Single 'Young Lovers Go Pop!' is destined to become an indie disco staple; 'Number One' is destined to end up on every mix tape you make for a new cardigan-clad flame; 'That's What Diaries Are For' is already the 21st century 'Mis-Shapes'. Joyfully shambolic, the perfect match between pretentious and pop.
Tame Impala - Lonerism (The Guardian)
Supposedly this Californian four-piece have fans as diverse as The Flaming Lips to Noel Gallagher - probably because they make music similar to the former, and the sort of the music the latter wishes he could make. A little like Wavves without the Blink-182 bullshit, Tame Impala's second album is chocka with gorgeous, sincere nuggets of spaced-out, psychedelic indie rock, augmented with every guitar pedal and studio effect they can get their hands on. So long as it makes them sound like they were made any time between 1968 and 1972.
AC Newman - Shut Down The Streets (The Huffington Post)
Similarly psychedelic - though a little more reserved - is this newie from part-time New Pornographer AC Newman. His cohort from that act, Neko Case, crops up a couple of time to provide guest vocals on this collection of epic, baroque pop tunes about "about birth, death, happiness and sadness." Uh, heavy, man. It's a little like Bon Iver, if Justin Vernon could hold a good tune.
METZ - METZ (The New Yorker)
Recently signed to Sub Pop, METZ are a hearkening back to the label's glory days - all barely-discernible vocals, thrashy drumming and guitars assaulting you from all angles. It's controlled chaos, to a degree - they know when to reign it in, not to let songs go too off the rails - but you never know when it's gonna come. Big, dumb, fun which only disappoints when the songs go longer that three minutes.
Bad Books - Bad Books II (Consequence of Sound)
To give your eardrums a bit of a rest after that sonic onslaught, why not treat them to this second full-length collaboration between Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull? Bad Books basically do everything right that Mumford and Sons do wrong, with its generously rocking and melodic folk-rock. Oh, and the best song is called a drum machine-lead ditty called 'Forest Whitaker'. Yee-haw.
Birthdays - Birthdays (Bandcamp)
Well this knocked me for a loop - opening track "Mating Falls" starts off like a bedroom producer's approximation of Grizzly Bear, all harmonies and ambient noises, when in its final minute it explodes into a crazy (and crazy-good) dance party. The rest of Birthdays' self-titled debut clatters along in a most agreeably loud, technicolour way - a little like Friendly Fires when they were still fun - with synths buzzing around your head, daring to be swatted, and breakbeats falling about all over the like punters leaving Walkabout on a Friday night.
If you find any good album streams this week - or want to inflict something on me - then Tweet me @tennis_everyone. It's the least you could do.
I just realised, I've never opened one of these by asking how you are, gentle reader. It's always about me, what about you? Is everything good in your life? How's your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/love pillow? Did you get that job/promotion/thing stranded on a high shelf? What's the weather like where you are? Do you want to listen to some music? Of course you do. Here's some coming along now. [read more]
Britain is a very different place than it was just seven days ago. Last Thursday, we went to our local polling stations in our... erm, single digits, and voted to make a vital change to the way the police work in this country. Gone are the ineffective, corrupt bobbies that patrolled our streets for hundreds of years; in their place, a fleet of hyper-capable, bulletproof lawmen with an inability to be bribed and a prime directive for upholding the law. [read more]
I don't know about you guys, but there's only been one thing on my mind this week: otters' tiny penises. Wait, no, stay with me! Apparently Britain's otters are seeing an increasing 'lightness' in their penis bones (hurrr) year upon year, due to pollution of our waterways. Basically what I'm saying is I'm glad I no longer go for a dip in that dirty brook down the park. But I did a lot as a kid so.. .is it too late for me? [read more]
This weekend has been a welcome lull. After the excitement of record store day it's the last free weekend until, ooh October, because festival season UK is GO. Live At Leeds, Land Of Kings, Camden Crawl this week, then the 72 hour mayhem of The Great Escape, before I'll Be Your Mirror, Dot To Dot...End Of the Road. Lordy. I'll have a cider if you're asking. [read more]