Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Lightning Seeds Jollification

http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/GjaE7UrW/file.html

The Lightning Seeds Jollification 

Get It At Discogs
Released in 1994, Jollification was the band’s third album, and the first to be released under the name Lightning Seeds (previously records had emerged under the name The Lightning Seeds – the band have varied between the two forms of their name ever since.It reached number 12 in the UK charts, and remains their best-selling studio album to date.Jollification is an out-and-out pop album (mainly filled, as its name suggests, with bright, breezy songs), and it has to be judged accordingly – there’s no point looking to this kind of record for beard-stroking introspection about the nature of existence. Pop is an undervalued genre, partly because the sort of people who write about music prefer beard-stroking to dancing as a social pastime, but also because so much pop is dreadful – empty, meaningless sounds deployed by cynical accountants in suits to con money out of gullible people who don’t really like music, and so can’t tell the difference between what’s good and what’s bad. This album is the antidote to all that – a collection of ten songs of sustained quality that make you want to sing along, or dance, or just sit there with an idiot grin plastered across your face. It’s a shot of aural joy, with just the right amount of light and shade to make you appreciate it for what it is. Most bands, if they opened an album with a song they’d labelled perfect, would be guilty of bragging, or at least of promising more than they could deliver, but not (The) Lightning Seeds. Their ‘Perfect’ is exactly that – a song you initially think is going to be a little slice of mellow whimsy, a man in a happy relationship reflecting on how perfect everything is, but then you find your attention drawn to words like ‘lies’, and before you know it you realise you’re listening to a man telling you he’s been ignoring the ‘danger signs’. It’s musically very intricate as well – starting off with something a little like psychedelia updated for the era of MIDI strings, morphing into guitar-driven pop, morphing again into something like rock, and then back again. And such a strange choice for the opening track, too. 99 bands out of 100 would have chosen to open the album with the big, emphatic song ‘Lucky You’ that is actually placed second, relegating ‘Perfect’ to somewhere less conspicuous – the first track of side two, maybe. That they place it first is a sign of confidence, but also important to the overall success of the album – the contemplative introduction that sets you up for the bouncier stuff to follow. As artists and bands from Liverpool tend to be, (The) Lightning Seeds are involved in a kind of negotiation with the legacy of The Beatles on this record, but it’s a negotiation conducted in subtler terms than is typical. The ghost of the older band is present here – most noticeably on ‘Punch & Judy’, but also in the harmonies and middle 8 of ‘Feeling Lazy’ – but in a genuinely new context. (The Beatles would never – could never, given the technology available to them – have included the programmed drums on the second half of ‘Punch & Judy’, for example.) Music progresses by appropriating and reinterpreting what has come before – just as The Beatles appropriated and reinterpreted skiffle and early rock & roll – but it has to be done in a spirit of creative adventure, not slavish imitation. The 1990s revival of The Beatles’ sound, as spearheaded by Oasis, was mainly imitative, and it’s (The) Lightning Seeds’ ability to be creative instead that ensures this album doesn’t lapse into tedium during its Beatles references. If creative reinterpretation of the past is one of the hallmarks of a great album in any genre, one of the hallmarks of a great pop album is that it’s made up of a succession of songs, all of which sound like they could have been a standalone hit. Run-of-the-mill pop albums, in contrast, will tend to feature filler material which – no matter how good the featured songs are – will hold the album as a whole back from greatness. Jollification gave rise to four singles, but that doesn’t mean it had been fully mined of all potential hits. Of the remaining tracks, ‘Open Goals’ veers close to tweeness at times (‘wishes swam like fishes in my head’), but is built round a solid groove that more than carries it through. ‘Why, Why, Why’ is more synthpop than a typical song by (The) Lightning Seeds, and it has a lead vocal supplied by Marina Van Rooy rather than a regular member of the band – either of those facts might have led to its being discounted as single material, but it’s more than catchy enough to have been a hit. ‘My Best Day’ is the kind of duet (with Alison Moyet) that could have sold well, although its frankness about sexual infidelity might have made daytime radio play tricky, and the obvious musical references to early Acid House (as it used to be called…) were quite dated, even in 1994. Really the only song on the album that would have struggled as a single is the very short song ‘Telling Tales’ – but since that was obviously written to close the album rather than stand alone, that’s perhaps not a surprise. There’s little doubt that, across their career as a whole, (The) Lightning Seeds are a (very good) singles band rather than an album band – tellingly, they’ve released almost as many compilations as studio albums. And these days, of course, they are best known for ‘Three Lions’, the England football song which is …not their finest work, and has warped perceptions of the band to the point that many people think they’re about nothing more than lager and laddism. There are big, bold singles on this album, too – ‘Change’ and ‘Marvellous’ – but, unlike elsewhere, they don’t stick out from their surroundings. (The) Lightning Seeds would be one of my favourite bands even if they’d never released Jollification, but they wouldn’t have been in even remote contention for my favourite album. 1994 was the moment in their career where it all came together, and – for ten perfect songs, and around 40 glorious minutes – a great singles band became a great album band. Jollification is that great record – a bold, bright pop album that opens by promising perfection, and delivers it with apparent ease.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cud Showbiz Remastered



Get It At Discogs

The title is not entirely ironic. This is, after all, probably Cud's make-or-break album; major labels are not noted for their patience in these difficult times. The band have responded by finally forcing themselves to take this whole ridiculous business called pop just a little more seriously. "Showbiz" is easily the most polished, carefully crafted Cud record to date. Never before has Carl Puttnam, a hugely underrated singer, used his luxuriously full-bodied voice more thoughtfully; never before have more of the band's hidden depths come to light. Like S*M*A*S*H et.al, Cud often look to the late Seventies for inspiration; but Cud are not so much New Wave Of New Wave as New Wave Of Heatwave. "I Reek Of Chic" yelps one title, and it's true. Cud recall the days when dance music and guitars weren't ever seen as mutually exclusive forces. Cud are funky, both in the viscosity of their rhythms and the charming, cheeky carnality of many of their lyrical concerns. The ungainly, bespectacled, not-exactly-pretty Puttnam has long been one of alternative pop's most unlikely sex gods; largely explained, surely, by the disarming mixture of frankness, pathos and compassion in lines like: "Take the stuffing out of your bra/It's only there to disguise how wonderful you are". There are no purely whimsical songs on "Showbiz"; and perhaps Cud's past excesses in that direction are explained on "Sticks And Stones", where Puttnam gets idealistic with a touching awkwardness and wishes words could really make a difference. While much of "5howbiz" is Cud further refining and strengthening the formula that's taken them this far, there ore also some successful adventures well beyond what's expected. One is the sturdy but sparkling grunge-pop of "One Giant Love"; another is the gorgeous epic acoustic ballad, "Tourniquet". Both "reveal that, these days, Cud ore almost as good at melodies as they are at chopping out the chunky rhythms that fill indie-club dancefloors. But is it all too late? After the relative failure of the recent singles, you have to wonder; but after hearing "Showbiz", you also have to hope otherwise. Cud might shudder at the very idea, but here they're starting to sound mature. They shouldn't worry, and nor should any long-term admirers. It suits them just fine.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Stereo MC's Connected


Stereo MC's Connected

Get It At Discogs
Released late in 1992 (and then early 93 in the US) the Stereo MC's stuck a chord with audiences on this, their fourth release. The album would spawn four singles with "Connected" being the most widely known. The band would tour for the record and gather even more momentum. The band, a group of perfectionists and "not wanting to repeat themselves", would wait almost 10 years before their next studio album would be released. In 2000 the British magazine "Q" placed "Connected' at number 52 on its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums ever. The lead off single and probably the most recognized Stereo MC's track "Connected" opens the record. There is really not a lot I can say that you probably don't already know. Opening with a "whistle" the track "Ground Level" gets rolling. A strong bass and sampled loop lay the foundation on the track. The female vocalist sign high parts and the lead vocal track is rolled from male to female for a nice touch. Each gets their own solid solo breakdown as well. Starting with low bass and a spoken word sample roll up "Everything". The female lead is very uptempo for the first minute or so of the track before the male lead takes a quick fast rap like route. There is actually a flute interlude (sampled or not) it fits really well on the solid break before verse two. The lyrics and overall feel are slower on "Sketch" while "Fade Away" has a strong bass groove to it. The lyrics here are quick with a lot of call and response going on from the female singers. They slow it down some once more on "All Night Long". There are a lot more percussion instruments with a big false ending placed at the right time before the loop grove comes back. A single keyboard line opens "Step It Up" with a strong horn sample. The bottom loop on this track is infectious. See for yourself in the download portion. We get an even deeper groove on "Playing With Fire" that gets a nice touch from the wah-wah guitar parts. The vocal delivery is slightly slower than other tracks giving it a soulful sound. Another track with a really strong back beat is "Pressure". There a few randomly strewn about keyboard notes over the top of the track. The track also has a more "live drummer" sound to it as well. "Chicken Shake" has another great groove to it although it keeps the heavy break beat sections. This track is totally instrumental. A lot of "oooh yeahs" start of "Creation" which is a return to form. The male/female vocals are given at a good clip and the flute portion returns once more. This track has the fastest vocal delivery of any track on the album. A hockey arena organ sound brings up an album stand out "Don't Let Up". The females sound great on this track and this is one of the true gems of the record. The album wraps up with the aptly titled "The End". It is a slower grove but still has a heavy bottom to it that even infuses a saxophone solo. Overall Take - If you are looking for a fun record that sort ot mixes Electronica, Pop, hip-hop as well as a few other genres this is a rewarding listen. Granted the band might rely a lot on samples in a live setting there are instruments played to fill the void. This band might not be for everyone, but the single, as well as other tracks are easily recognizable and easy to get you going. If it is not your thing, that is cool too.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Cornershop ‎When I Was Born For The 7th Time



Get It At Discogs
When I Was Born for the 7th Time is a remarkable leap forward for Cornershop, the place where the group blends all of their diverse influences into a seamless whole. Cornershop uses Indian music as a foundation, finding its droning repetition similar to the trancier elements of electronica, the cut-and-paste collages of hip-hop, and the skeletal melodicism of indie pop. Tying all of these strands together, the band creates a multicultural music that is utterly modern; it is conscious of its heritage, but instead of being enslaved to tradition, it pushes into the future and finds a common ground between different cultures and musics. Like Woman's Gotta Have It, large portions of When I Was Born for the 7th Time are devoted to hypnotic instrumentals, but the music here is funkier and fully realized. Cornershop hits an appealing compromise between detailed arrangements and lo-fi technology. There may be cheap keyboards and drum machines scattered throughout the album, but they are used as sonic texturing, similar to the turntables, synthesizers, samplers, sitars, and guitars that drive the instrumentals punctuating the full-fledged songs. When it chooses, Cornershop can write hooky, immediate pop songs -- "Sleep on the Left Side" and "Brimful of Asha" are wonderful pop singles, and "Good to Be on the Road Back Home" is an impressive, country-tinged tale -- but what makes When I Was Born for the 7th Time such a rich, intoxicating listen is that it balances these melodic tendencies with deceptively complex arrangements, chants, drones, electronic instrumentals, and funky rhythms, resulting in an album that becomes better with each listen.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Verve A Northern Soul


The Verve A Northren Soul

Get It At Discogs
The second album by Wigan quartet 'The Verve' was clouded by negative reviews and severe media attacks of accused drug-use and violent natures within the recording studio. Both true to an extant, but the outcome wasn't a flop, it's The Verve's masterpiece and it deserves far more recognition than being 'that album before 'Urban Hymns'. Producer Owen Morris produced 'Definitely Maybe' by Oasis several months prior to 'A Northern Soul', but his alternative, britpop style of production carried on as The Verve looked to secure themselves with a wider audience. The Verve released the John Leckie, shoegaze filled 'A Storm In Heaven' in 1993 under the artist name 'Verve', before changing name to The Verve in late 1993. The history was set, the emotions were running wild and the four lads had the ability and backing to create a sterling album. And it was, but for some reason it's missed out among those 'classic' 'indie' albums of the 80's and 90's. Some fans may have heard 'Gravity Grave' in live form, from the 1994 compilation album No Come Down. That track takes a thunderous bass riff and repeats it with many variations for over nine minutes with Peter Salisbury's enigmatic drumming and Nick McCabe's psychedelic guitar work. A Northern Soul carries on this psychedelia, but adds energy and power. 'A New Decade' has an epic guitar riff and a deep bass riff which destroys my speakers. Ashcroft sings with emotion and THATS what separates this album from Cast or any alternative rock band from the 90's. He sings with such passion and personal emotion, with his heartfelt lyrics at hand and wide vocal range ready to break windows. Left sided bass, right sided percussion, 'This Is Music'. It opens with two lines of lyrical reality, "I stand accused just like you, for being born without a silver spoon." The guitar work blasts and the drumming caves in. The volume needs to be pointing right and you have to be able to hear Ashcroft's falsetto mid section before the revengeful closure of dissent noise and distorted melodies. The psychedelia is put on hold for the third track 'On Your Own'. it's romantic and it's sad. The acoustic guitar work is simple, and the majority of instrumentals here are simple, but the message is stark and uplifting. Ashcroft's vocal layers and falsetto close this track, making way for the melodic 'So It Goes'. This track is far more slower and darker, with hints of guitar chaos and drumming repetition, but the production stays Strong and the instrumental stands out as one of the more atmospheric on the album. 'A Northern Soul' rips through with it's loud guitar riff and electric bass. The drumming is spacious and allows room for pace. Ashcroft delivers one of the darkest, thought provoking personal vocals I've ever heard. He questions his own identity, his lifestyle and his ability to maintain a relationship. High pitched synthesizers and further guitar riffs power on as The Verve quickly become one of the loudest bands around. 'Brainstorm Interlude' screams out towards youth, as the drumming pounds with the foggy vocals. It's six minutes are pure hazy and funky, with delirious bass riffs and 60's-esque guitar solo's. 'Drive You Home' is incredibly relaxing. The dream pop guitar is eerie to the point of falling asleep at the wheel, pun not intended. The guitar work is beautiful and the beat, although pretty repetitive, has it's shining moments. 'History' has its place within 90's emotional alternative rock. with the William Blake lyrical opening surpassing the orchestral violin opening. The verse plays on as the bridge takes place with brilliant repercussive strings and emotional Ashcroft vocals. History is a desperate call of affection sung with the deepest emotions imaginable, it's a masterpiece. The last few tracks are less energetic but far more melancholy. 'No Knock On My Door' has a brilliant guitar riff and an aged Ashcroft vocal which sounds very sparse. The darker 'Life's An Ocean' doesn't give me the same sophisticated vibe as some of the earlier tracks. It's part of that back album, lack of energy, lack of structure tracks that we see so often. 'Stormy Clouds' has more synthesizer work and darker vocals. The drumming is incredibly slow and feels too sporadic for this type of instrumental. '(Reprise)' closes the album with a jam session. The guitar drones are thunderous and re-live those dark shoegaze days. Nick McCabe comes into his own with his truly magnificent guitar work. The session lasts for about six minutes before the lads compliment themselves. Albums are usually far from self appraisal, but A Northern Soul has that appraisal and appreciation by the band. In the years following, ever member has mentioned it as one of the decade defining albums, and the band at the top of their game. I think the demo sessions for this album show great raw and powerful material and I'm glad they managed to replicate the demos into something energetic with fantastic production. they have done themselves proud, regardless of critical reception. This is an outstanding piece of British alternative rock

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

I Am Kloot I Am Kloot


I Am Kloot I Am Kloot

Get It At Discogs

I Am Kloot's self-titled sophomore album is an absolutely gorgeous expansion of the dark and fractured sound of the band's debut. Where John Bramwell and company explored twisted love and regret on the relatively sedate and folk-oriented Natural History, I Am Kloot explodes with scuzzy epic rock guitars and jagged basslines, adds ornate backing instrumentation, and fleshes out its songs until they bleed anthemic charisma and emotion. Producer Ian Broudie offers a hand at the production desk, providing a welcome sheen closer to his work with Echo & the Bunnymen than his own Lightning Seeds material. The album feels every bit a grand coming-out party on par with the Verve's Urban Hymns, where that band kicked its art into overdrive. Indeed, fans like the Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame and other A-list artists were seen crawling out of the woodwork to praise I Am Kloot and revel in the group's live shows at the time of this album's release, just as they did with the Verve. If the album's overall sound takes on a more neo-psychedelic and heavier feel than the debut, touching on influences such as the Hollies, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles, and maybe small doses of Sparklehorse and the Beta Band, I Am Kloot thrives most tellingly here on three superb highlights purely of the band's own creation. Album opener "Untitled No. 1" sets things in motion with a poetic combination of Bramwell's weary, pretty vocals and fascinating inflection, a spooky piano motif, and Andy Hargreaves' shuffling, wonderful drums. "Mermaids" is a chilling slice of sonic perfection as Bramwell's vocals slow to a crawl, a rattle of ghostly chains sits uneasily under pristine slabs of shimmering guitars, and a heartbreaking yet subtle chorus makes the song an instant classic. Immediately following "Mermaids" is the beautiful and rousing ballad "Proof," easily one of the prettiest songs and along with "Mermaids" creating surely one of the finest one-two punches in ages. I Am Kloot is a marvel of emotion and mood, hitting zero wrong notes and positioning John Bramwell among the finest songwriters of his time. The album's timeless textures and nostalgic feel are likely to bother some listeners who might claim the music is unfashionable. Such a stance only serves to keep those listeners in the dark to some truly wonderful songs. Creating a masterpiece on its second try, I Am Kloot is earmarked as one of the most interesting bands of its time.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Moloko ‎Things To Make And Do Japan



Get It At Discogs
Considering the esoteric materials that make up Moloko's unusual sound (trip-hop, funk, drum'n'bass, and a decidedly bizarro pop ethic), the group's music is surprisingly coherent and accessible. Things to Make and Do, the English duo's third full-length platter, is as strong as anything else they've done -- Roisin Murphy's singing style, which combines a wild variety of voices and textures, from impassively chilly to gorgeously lilting to gleefully offbeat, is instantly recognizable and endearing throughout, while Mark Brydon's broad compositional palette runs the gamut from irresistibly straightforward rock/dance grooves ("Indigo") to highly stylized electro/hip-hop programming (the Timbaland-esque "Absent Minded Friends"). Just enough live instrumentation is added to the songs to make them sound varied and human (check out the nylon-string guitar in the flamenco-flavored "The Time Is Now," which faintly recalls Basement Jaxx's "Rendez-Vu") and it adds a timeless quality to the music overall. The duo never falls into any of the clichés of any of the genres they exploit, managing instead to sound consistently fresh, adventurous, and enjoyable. Highlights include the buoyant "Somebody Somewhere" (featuring a rare vocal turn by Brydon) and the flawless, inscrutable "Indigo" (with its nonsensical chant: "Ramases! Colossus!"). Moloko is the best at what they do mainly because they are the only ones doing it

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Screaming Blue Messiahs Gun-Shy


The Screaming Blue Messiahs Gun-Shy

Get It At Discogs
Arising from the ashes of former band Motor Boys Motor, punk, blues and rockabilly, they gave Britain the proper bludgeoning they’ve been asking for. Bill Carter, resembling something between a Sufi whirling dervish and Uncle Fester, piled blistering rhythm guitar chords that escalated into a torrid fever dream. It’s no wonder their show was billed with the Who-like descriptor, “wall of sound rhythm and blues.” With dark songs about Kennedy’s assassination, serial killers and creepy invitations to play in the woods, this band was so much damn cooler than their peers.Carter, with his clean-shaven head and ferocious voice, tore around the Grand Ballroom stage with purpose. Gun-Shy produced two memorable songs, Smash The Market Place and Wild Blue Yonder, with the later a pounding sound of rhythm and power chords. Perhaps the reason The Messiahs left such a mark was because they were unlike any other band of its time — part punk, part blues, part new wave, part Brit rock. It was just a 45-minute set, but it was magnetic.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...