This year has stood out for incredible releases and even more so for uncovering exceptional talent; most of which discovered, promoted and featured right on this site.
Continuing our week long look at our top 5 chosen releases is a familiar amd accomplished Malvern/Worcester based 4 piece Tallulah Fix. No strangers to our site, Tallulah Fix consists of Rich Monk – Vocals and Guitar,Scott Mcfadyen – Lead Guitar, Louie Luke Webb – Bass and Kevin Gunton – Drums.
After having a successful year of live dates, the band took a short break this year whilst members set off travelling and later returned back to their scene. The four also had material featured in a prosperous compilation. A band that will by no means be strangers next year.
Last year we spoke to Louie regarding his 2010 choices and again we are lucky enough on behalf of Tallulah Fix to have Louie’s input.
Top 5 Releases:
Last year I quoted this…’The days have gone where I know a uber cool band who have just recorded in a log cabin to get the howl of the trees and will only be releasing the album on limited tape cassette’ Another year has come to pass which can only mean one thing i’m a whole year less cooler. So I had a plan get my band mates in crime to help by giving me their ‘rad releases’ I learnt a vaulable lesson in doing that, they are more useless than me.
Now i’m not going to reveal whos selection is who within the Tallulah ranks & who wrote what, but its fair to say that at practice etc the names of these artists and bands have cropped up the most in 2011. In no particular order…
1) Turbowolf – ‘Self Titled’
Wow long time in the making, well not the actual recording, but this band have been making mystical waves for a few years now but Turbowolf do things properly and after landing sugary sponsorship deals set about finding a good independent label and Hassle answered the call. I resurrected my love of vinyl in 2011 and got this on their limited edition gold vinyl which when not spinning it I stare at it until remember I have to do something, like the washing up. Old school meets modern, cheeky synth, prickly to smooth vox, perfect rock looks. I hate them… arrghhh I just cant.
Gig of the year Black Spiders, Viking Skull & Turbowolf at The Croft, Bristol. Feb 22nd.
2) Battles – Gloss Drop
So 4 turns into 3 after a main member, song writer and vocalist leaves the fray. Then the 3 go about writing a follow up to a already loved and revered debut. To do this they stay as a three piece and bring in guest vocalists, and guess what disaster… oh no, my mistakes that’s how the script normally reads but these guys are far from normal. This had all the makings of a fail but is everything but. I love listening to music where I cant work out how the hell the got to ‘that place’ to write a song and Battles do that to me every time. For me like all Battles songs some are better than others but all are utterly original and interesting. They are the box that is outside of the box that is already outside the box.
3) She Keeps Bees – Dig On
Ok, so I was at the Big Chill and had been there from the Thursday. By the Sunday I stank and I was hungry, so I decided to go home for a bit! When I got back the tents were empty and, as everyone had been there since Thursday too, none of their phones had battery. So I decided to take a stroll around the arena, maybe get lucky and bump into my mates within the few thousand also strolling around in there! I got to one of the stages, although I forget the name of it, and there was a band playing that were unlike anything I’d heard at the festival all weekend. It was really melodic, warm guitar sound, simple but really effective drumming and her voice was perfect for the songs. I took my lanyard out and read that I’d stumbled across a band called “She Keeps Bees”, a wonderful discovery for myself! Unfortunately, this was the best thing about the weekend! I only caught the last 5 songs but it made me want to go straight out and get the album.
Gig of the year – She Keeps Bees, Sunday at The Big Chill.
4) Anna Calvi – ‘Self Titled’
Anna Calvi’s debut album was like a breath of fresh air for me. Dynamically rich, full of space, incredibly diverse from upbeat soaring melodies to sinister atmospericle haunt. Incredibly powerful vocals that are almost operatic at times sweeping into seductive drop back whispers. All in all one of the best debut albums I can honestly say I have heard in years. I will guarantee future generations will be hailing it a classic.
Gig of the year – Anna Calvi at the HMV Institute, The Library, Nov 4th.
5) Cage The Elephant – Thank You, Happy Birthday
Yeah good, got guitars n stuff on it, bass, some drums, yeah good.
And that concludes our rad releases 2011. Other bands we have been spinning this year are Black Spiders, Tall Ships, Witch Hats, The Sword and Band of Skulls.