It was a bright cold day on the ‘spill, and the clocks were striking 13…

11-12-13-rr-game

My 11 most played albums of ’12 in ’13.

My end of year round up is now turned into the ‘spill game:
you know the score DUMP one (or all of them – see if I care)

It’s pop and it’s fun – don’t take it too seriously.
Remember, they are my most played – I’m not claiming they will change the world – I just liked them.

Band names in BOLD – for those who believe I make stuff up:

1 Stroke My Curls The Dodoz Forever I Can Purr 2012
2 Cuka (feat. Ikonoklasta) Batida Batida (feat. Mck, Circuito Feixado, Ikonoklasta, Beat Laden 2012
3 The Empty Man Whitey Lost Summer 2012
4 Genevieve Stealing Sheep Into The Diamond Sun 2012
5 Horn For The Whole Damn World Lazarus and the Plane Crash Horseplay
6 Passenger Emily Wells Mama 2012
7 Kevlar Sweethearts Diablo Swing Orchestra Pandora’s Pinata 2012
8 Be Strong (Blakkat Remix) The 2 Bears Be Strong (Deluxe Edition) 2012
9 Rat-at-at The Skints Part & Parcel 2012
10 Clap Hooded Fang Tosta Mista 2012
11 Circus Sunday Driver The Mutiny 2012

Panthersan’s Best……..Metal Album of 2012

Due to financial constraints, lack of time and all the excitement of the build up and aftermath of new fatherhood, I haven’t bought enough albums to do a proper Top Ten this year. To get around this, I thought I’d choose 5 albums from arbitrarily chosen genres and present them as my favourite representative of that genre for the year.

Let’s kick off with my favourite metal album of 2012.

Dragged Into Sunlight – “Widowmaker”

Dragged-into-Sunlight-Widowmaker

Fighting off stiff competition from veteran grindcore types Pig Destroyer’s excellently brutal “Bookburner”, “Widowmaker” is a stunningly ambitious album that takes in post rock, doom, sludge, death metal and lashings and lashings of lovely, nasty black metal, that just about blew my mind the first time I heard it. Dragged Into Sunlight have been going a few years now and they’ve managed to maintain their mystery and menace (all band photos feature the band wearing sinister black balaclavas and they only go by their first initials) without descending into a cliche.

“Widowmaker” is split into three parts and the first 15 minutes lull you into a false sense of security as a gorgeous post-rock tune emerges and builds, complete with strings (especially a nice haunting violin sound) that doesn’t sound dissimilar to one of Mogwai’s quieter moments, but as the spoken word samples signal a shift in pace all hell breaks loose and the uncompromising nasty black/death metal guitars kick in along with the tortured vocals. The whole thing winds down with a combination of the first two parts interspersing reflective instrumentation with sludgy guitars and screamed/growled vocals and you are left feeling like you’ve been on some kind of terrifying but ultimately redemptive journey….or maybe that’s just me!

It’s difficult to know what track to put up as any one of the three parts would totally misrepresent the rest of the album, so I would encourage anyone even slightly interested to seek out the whole thing, but seeing as this is supposed to be my favourite metal album of 2012, I’d better post the most metal one.
(it doesn’t have the weird introduction on the record – this is the only digital version I could find)

…the other 4 to follow…erm…quite soon!

Hello Boys & Girls – I’m B-B-A-A-A-A-C-C-C-K-K-K !!!

Oh the joy, the relief, the sheer “Thank-F**K-for-that”-edness! (Sorry yet again for the swearies, TFD; I really AM trying to cut down on my bad language.) Computer back, seemingly fixed, installed, online, and all elements so far talking to each other without any problem. Better than that, the PC is now sat on my new one-piece desk which feels so much bigger than the old one I almost feel like inviting you all over to come and have a picnic on it!

So excuse me a little noisy indulgence, whilst I sit back at my workspace and enjoy a few stress-free minutes, before the reality of just how much admin work I’ll now have to catch up on dawns on me.

Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea – All New Podcast !

Yes, that’s right ‘Spillers, an all-new PODCAST! Long overdue, I know….but, better late than never, right? Well, don’t agree until you’ve listened to it !

It’s a very random and eclectic mix based on whatever was in my box of records at the time….and there were so many I didn’t get to that I wanted to include. They’ll have to wait until next time, I suppose.

Listen until the end for some exciting news ! Well, exciting for me, not perhaps for anyone else !

Enjoy !

The Rocker – 25 Years Gone

Copyright Jim Fitzpatrick

Happy Birthday to Phil Lynott – had he lived, it would be his 62nd birthday today. It would be very easy to grumble on about what was a sad demise and a profound waste of life of a charismatic and talented musician, but I am quite sure that Phil would have no truck with all of that and anyway I would like to focus on the good stuff.

When I was growing up, I guess Phil might have seemed a rather bizarre choice of Irish hero: he was black, his father had scarpered before he was born and he was decidedly Irish in a way that was decidedly uncool. He was interested in folk music, celtic art,  mythology and poetry at a time when we as a nation were not keen on admitting an interest in anything so downright Gaelic. He drew friends and collaborators from the unlikeliest places and was a fantastically colourful dandy in the Vatican state that I grew up in. Some of the songs were macho and sexist, yet everybody’s mammy had a soft spot for him because he was the most charming and unaffected of rockers – very bashful despite the on-stage posing.

From the early to mid seventies he wrote pop and rock music with a lyrical quality and a deft touch with melody. He was a fixture on Top Of The Pops – who else would be cock sure enough to install a mirrored scratchplate on his bass so that he could blind us all with his brilliance? We were proud of him and we were in his eyes his “supporters” – Phil was always a bit of a Manchester United fan.

With Live And Dangerous, Thin Lizzy launched the template for the heavy rock live album oft copied but truly never bettered – all the guff about studio overdubbing is rendered superfluous when you listen to the result.The Boys Are Back In Town remains one of the most played songs on US radio, but his musical legacy has been blighted by his own fractious relationship with record companies and collaborators who have found it all too easy to rehash the catalogue rather than explore.

In an obituary, Fintan O’Toole wrote that Phil was a nicer bloke than Geldof or Bono and that he had wasted more talent than they could ever dream of. Two clips can summarise what he was about and maybe where he could be, and twenty five years after his death, that is really all we have along with the indelible memories  for those fortunate enough to have seen him in his prime.

Post-Black Metal

Now, I DO love a good sub-genre, so imagine my excitement over the last few years as i’ve slowly watched the merging of two of my favourites; Black Metal and Post-Rock into the beautiful beast of a sub-sub-genre that has finally been named Post-Black Metal. It takes the lo-fo production, dark atmospherics, and often the anguished howls of Black metal and combines them with a lot of instrumental workouts, Mogwai-style quiet/loud dynamics and even some very prominent shoegazey moments. The bands themselves also eschew the traditional corpsepaint and spikes in favour of the beardy indie bloke look.

I started noticing it a few years ago when some wags starting referring to US Black metal types Wolves In The Throne Room as “Grey Metal” for being all metally and black, but you know, kinda nice at the same time, with lyric sheets dealing in environmental meltdown etc, they read more like a Guardian Saturday supplement than an extract from the Marquis De Sade’s undiscovered even more hardcore, “De Sade Nights” script! And, I finally found a special feature in Terrorizer magazine a couple of months ago, giving the sub-sub-genre it’s name, which I wasn’t aware of before.

I apologise for being about six months too late with this post as a lot of the leading bands in the scene (a large proportion of which seem to be French for some reason) have jumped the shark somewhat in my opinion, releasing recent albums that have acoustic guitar and like, real, proper singing, which is just going too far.

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