Sunday, 31 July 2016

Q#108 June – July 2016

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #108 June – July 2016

Happy excruciating summer, everyone! Here is another hastily thrown together mix. I managed to survive another orbit around the sun with a birthday in June, managed to fit in a long weekend in Montreal, and am somehow still alive just in general. Onwards and upwards!

01) Royal Headache – My Own Fantasy: Australia’s Royal Headache released one of my favourite records of 2015 with High, and I saw them this month at Music Hall Williamsburg. It took them a few songs to get going but once they hit their stride they reached heights many bands can’t these days, and most of that is down to frontman Shogun, who barely stops moving and his Otis Redding-ish soulful croak really sets them apart from most other garage-rock bands these days. “I used to dream of love but I never dreamed I’d be all alone in my own fantasy”

02) Honey – Monk: NYC psyche trio Honey released their debut album, Love is Hard, via Wharf Cat Records in May. I’ve seen the band numerous times in the last couple of years and the album captures their sound very well, as I write this, the weather is featuring 90% humidity and this song sounds like how I feel.

03) Girl Band – Paul: I was surprised to find out I’ve only used a track by Dublin’s Girl Band once, and that was the June/July mix of 2015. Since then the band have released their rather excellent debut full length, Holding Hands With Jamie, via Rough Trade Records. Some bands end up reigning in the sound of their early Eps by the time they release a full length, but thankfully Girl Band have kept that abrasive quality, it’s a fearless record.

04) Del Amitri – Hammering Heart: Del Amitri’s self-titled debut album from 1985 is the sound of a completely different band, one obsessed with Orange Juice and The Smiths (Morrissey loved this album and the band opened for The Smiths), there is so much melody on this record it’s hard to keep track. Alas, after early promising press, Chrysalis delayed the release and no-one cared by the time it came out. Anyway, I suppose if they had blown up they probably wouldn’t have turned into the band that changed my life, but there’s always that “what if…” feeling when I listen to this wonderful, wonderful album. If a band came out with this today they’d be adored. “I suppose love lives in a dustbin behind the garden wall, You have to grovel on the ground and be pretty disgusting to find it at all”

05) Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest: Calling Robert Pollard prolific is one of the most understated things one can say, and having broken up Guided By Voices (again…) in 2014, it almost seemed inevitable that they’d get back together, though few would have thought it would only take 18 months. After reforming with a completely new lineup and releasing Please Be Honest, Pollard has since recalled former GBV and all round indie-legend Doug Gillard into the lineup. The future of GBV is hopefully bright…

06) The Nils – Daylight: My friend Herb frequently gives me bargain CDs, the most recent of which is 80s Montreal act The Nils. The band only recorded one full length LP, but Green Fields In Daylight includes that and connects the dots in the discography of a few Eps and live tracks. It’s a fine collection of pop-punk tunes and you can see why they’re heralded in cult circles (as well as some of my favourite bands, Superchunk, Meat Puppets, Bob Mould, etc). It seems like the band had a pretty raw deal during their active years to say the least, but actually released their 2nd album (after 28 years) last year.

07) Lush – Untogether: I have to confess that Lush were a band that I always heard of but barely listened to when they were active first time around. The band reunited this year and I have tickets to see them in September, having given their best of, Ciao, regular spins in the last 6 months (which feels about how long I’ve had tickets for), the show can’t come around soon enough. “I'm sorry it's come to this but why are we here, bothering?

08) Eagulls – Velvet: Leeds has a decent reputation for goth/post-punk bands with the likes of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Sisters of Mercy, etc, and Eagulls are the latest, formed in 2010 the quintet have two albums under the belt, the latest of which, Ullages, came out in May. The record should appeal to any fan of The Cure!

09) The Cure – Prayers for Rain: Speaking of The Cure… I felt like I couldn’t not follow up Eagulls with anything else. I also just saw The Cure at Madison Square Garden (the third time I’ve seen the band), where they played almost all of Disintegration, so this seemed appropriate.

10) Fear of Men – Trauma: Brighton trio Fear of Men just released their second album, Fall Forever, and it sounds like a band really pushing themselves. Rather than rehashing their rather excellent debut, Loom, the group have crafted a record that demands attention, there are barely any chords on the record for a start, while singer Jess Weiss’ seemingly ultra-personal lyrics can strike a few chords of their own. “Just my words repeat I don't need you to see I'm beyond good and evil today I'm a force to fear, you're a void to be killed Now there's nothing to keep me here”

11) Codeine – Tom: I feel like I’ve talked about Codeine a lot recently but I’ve never actually used any of their tracks before, which may be my biggest oversight in this series. While most fans might gravitate towards Frigid Stars, there’s something that makes me gravitate to the follow-up album, The White Birch. One of the pioneers of the slowcore genre! “I'll throw sand in your eye, You need a reason to cry, I'll throw sand in your eye, I need a reason to smile”

12) Yowler – Bedroom Wall: I saw Maryn Jones fronting her indie band, All Dogs, opening for Superchunk last year, who I liked but her solo project, Yowler, seems to hit more buttons for me. There’s a definite sad/singer songwriter vibe on the album, which seemed a little at odds when I saw her live in the blistering heat outside during the Northside festival, but I enjoyed it all same!

13) Smog – Dress Sexy at my Funeral: Sadly, all good things in New York have an end, and my favourite record store, Other Music, closed recently. They went out with a bang by hosting a show at Bowery Ballroom with 12 acts playing including Bill Callahan, he played this song and I was instantly won over by the cheekiness of it. “And when it comes your turn to speak, Before the crowd, Tell them about the time we did it, On the beach with fireworks above us”

14) Red House Painters – Mistress: Since I’m in the sad part of the compilation, I was listening to Red House Painters recently, and I’ve always preferred the piano version Mistress but something really resonated the last time I listened to Rollercoaster (as it always does) and I just felt like putting this onto a mix. “I've had enough of the, Brutal beatings and name callings, To lose me to this bed, Bruised internally, eternally”

15) Black Hearted Brother – (I Don’t Mean to) Wonder: Neil Halstead will probably always be best known as the singer in Slowdive, but as well as Mojave 3 and a blossoming solo career, he formed Black Hearted Brother in 2013 and released Stars Are Our Home on Slumberland Records. It’s a fairly indulgent album which twists and turns all over the place, but all the better for it.

16) Sleep – Holy Mountain: I saw stoner/doom le`gends Sleep at House of Vans recently and it was inevitably an incredible show. Since I couldn’t exactly put Dopesmoker on a mix (itself clocking in at an hour), I’ve used the title track from the classic Holy Mountain. While the band broke up in 1998, they reformed to play sporadic shows since 2009, and may well release a new album at some point.

17) White Zombie – Pig Heaven: The best re-issue label in the business, Numero Group, gave White Zombie their customary excellent treatment this year, compiling their long out of print early Eps and LPs in a package called It Came From NYC. This track is originally from their 1987 EP of the same name.  

18) Menehan Street Band – The Contender: I mentioned the Other Music farewell show at Bowery Ballroom earlier, and it was the first time I’d seen Menehan Street Band play. The instrumental soul/funk band tap into an old school sound, as anyone on Daptone records does, it was pretty easy to convert me. The bass playing in particular is on point.

19) Future Islands – A Dream of You and Me: To continue the Other Music theme, I went the day before it closed, and inevitably left with a few things, one of which was Future Islands’ Singles album. It’s a record I should probably have owned for years but always just listened to it on Spotify. Anyway, it seemed to be an appropriate record to be my last purchase for some reason, this song resonates pretty strongly these days. “All that glitters is gold, Don't believe what you've been told, People lie, people love, people go, But beauty lies, in every soul”

Yeah, I guess there are some sad and angry songs on this one…

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT