It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2015 quickly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.
Continuing our annual end of year tradition we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
In the second part of our special 2 part Space Blood take over we asked Sam Edgin, best known as Malort Face, to tell us more about his year in music. Hailing from Chicago, Space Blood are a mask-wearing, theatrical instrumental duo consisting of William Covert on Drums and Sam Edgin on Bass. Together the pair combine their creativity to create an explosive melodic fusion of Math Rock, experimental, energetic instrumentation. Fusing their punk ethics with strong DIY roots results in a certain impetuous attentiveness found in Space Blood. They’ve had a rewarding 12 months and now we will find out more in the final instalment
Sam Edgin (Malort Face) -Bass / Banter
Top 5 releases of the year
1) Delta Sleep – Twin Galaxies
This album has been on repeat for me nonstop since it came out. I think it’s one of the best new releases to blend the perfect amount of math rock, emo, and pop all into one. Devin’s lyrics are so descriptive that you can really visualize the story. Plus, so many hooks. SO many!
2) Bow & Spear – Into
They are an amazing up-and-coming local band from Chicago, very much in the garage, grunge, and post punk scene. Every song on Into is upbeat and catchy. This album will definitely get you fired up and will make you want to party. I Highly recommend listening to this album to get you pumped before a night of drinking.
3) Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
What can I say, I’m a sucker for Modest Mouse. I’ve been a fan of Modest Mouse since about 2002 and enjoy their entire discography. What I particularly like about this album is that is has a strange arrangement and has a few songs that definitely feel out of their own comfort zone. I always like to see artists who have been around for so long challenge themselves to develop their sound.
4) Irk – Wren
Irk! These guys are some of the best dudes I have ever met, and this album is nothing short of amazing. Seeing them play live blew me away. Ed’s bass tone was incredible and they had such a wall of sound. I really enjoy Wren because it reflects their live show very well. I’d listen to this album while running into battle, that’s for sure. It gets me all amped up, much like how Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come made me feel when I was younger.
5) Bearfoot Beware – World Owes You Nowt
This album blew me away! Very reminiscent Faraquet or Drive like Jehu but with a modern twist. This is another album that is very driving and gets the blood flowing. If the bassline in “Thick Black Warpaint” doesn’t make you move, then I’m pretty sure you don’t have a soul.
6) Desaparecidos – Payola
I have a very special place in my heart for Saddle Creek bands, so I was pretty excited to hear Desaparecidos was going to release a new album. I was worried that it was going to be too mainstream or overproduced, but on the
contrary, it sounds very similar to their first album. Conor’s lyrics are still very angsty and political. This album riles up the 15-year old boy in me again.
The best show you have played this year and why
Hands down, the best show Space Blood has played this year was at JT Soar in Nottingham, thanks to Marty Captain / Buttonpusher. It was by far the most interactive and wild show we have ever played. From the second we started, people were moshing and crowd surfing. Both Will and I managed to crowd surf during our set while my loops played. The crowd literally tore Will from his drum kit, hoisted him up, and forced him to crowd surf (while in his underwear). The entire place was soaked in beer, and that includes every person in there, the walls, the ceilings, everything. This show is the entire reason why we want to be touring the UK. We were complete strangers to everyone in the room and I’ve never felt more accepted at a DIY venue before. It was the true meaning of community and you could tell everyone was there for the music and the experience. This will forever be a hard show to top.
The best gig you have attended and why
I booked the band Giraffes? Giraffes! at Quenchers Saloon in Chicago and it was probably the best show I’ve ever booked. It was a Tuesday night in August and they sold out the 200 capacity venue. Space Blood was fortunate enough to open, and the crowd was so receptive. In Chicago, it is very rare to see a crowd get into the bands. Typically, it’s just a bunch of dudes standing with their arms crossed lightly head nodding, and we take that as a compliment here. This show, however, they went nuts as soon as Giraffes? Giraffes! started. Much like our Nottingham show, patrons were moshing and crowd surfing the entire time. I’ve been booking shows at Quenchers for four years and that was by far the craziest show we put on. It was the first time I have really witnessed the math rock scene come together in Chicago. Surprisingly, there isn’t much of a scene here anymore, so seeing that many people come out and party like they were teenagers again was amazing. Not to mention, Giraffes? Giraffes! slayed!
Highlights of your year
The biggest highlight for me was touring two weeks in the UK. The experience we had while on this tour is indescribable. So many strangers set us up with shows, gave us a place to stay, bought us dinner, and even drank from our mysterious bottle of Malort. I met so many amazing people that I now consider good friends of mine. The hospitality in the UK was like no other. Everyone was kind and good to each other and you can tell everyone who came out to shows genuinely cared about the scene. This tour was the defining moment for me as a musician to do everything I can to make a career out of playing music.
Artist/Band to watch for 2016
I’m not too positive what their plans are for 2016, but I highly recommend checking out Paper Mice. They’ve been around for a while in Chicago but are not super active. They are definitely the best band in the math rock scene in Chicago, though.
Plans for the New Year
Oh, we have lots of plans, haha. We will be releasing the final compilation in our Math & Atlases series (Out West), as well as releasing an EP, recording and releasing a full length to vinyl, touring the UK and Europe, revamping our live show, and making music videos. We have a lot of work to do, but we are excited to share it all with you!
A huge thank you as ever to the lovely Sam, for someone that loves Space Blood as much as I do, it’s a true pleasure to have both musicians taking part in our end of year special- we will see you on UK soil next year!