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.
This afternoon more than any other, I truly need some good music to listen to. Because last night - for reasons that now escape me, and wouldn't excuse me regardless - my girlfriend and I sat combing through YouTube for the dregs of mid-00s scene kid music. The stuff that exists in the darkest recesses of your memory, the bands with names whose inherent awfulness is rivalled only by the songs themselves. I've had 'Shake It' by Metro Station stuck in my head for about twelve hours now. [read more]
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Dear reader, we are on the verge of entering a new enlightened age. Political strife in Syria, economic collapse in Europe; all these things shall be swept to the side, and humanity brought together, by the news that R. Kelly not only plans on releasing 20 new chapters of his masterful R&B musical soap opera Trapped In The Closet over the coming months, there are over a hundred chapters to come. Hallelujah, praise the Lord! I see the light! [read more]
Hey, it's May Fools Day! The day when newspapers, websites, the young and the young at heart, the lovably wicked and the total arseholes are united in their playing of pranks. Hm? A guy genuinely lost his live savings through playing a carnival game? The Instagram Act is a real thing? Ace of Bass are actually Nazis? And May Fools Day isn't a thing? Christ. I need a lie down. Maybe I'll listen to some new music while I do so. [read more]