It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2017 rapidly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a crazy year of highs and lows it’s the releases that have pulled a lot of people through the year. Now in it’s 7th year, Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists/musicians/labels and promoters 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.
Our next rad releases comes all the way from Norway. Norweigan musicians Despereaux fuse their creations with knowledge and history which inspires or provokes movement from within. No longer strangers to Circuit Sweet anymore, the Nordic quartet consist of Emil Solbakken – Vocals, guitar, Simen Trippestad – Guitar, Lars Øivind Reymert – Bass and Per Åsmund Reymert – Drums. The band have had an incredible year with the release of their outstanding EP Hugging the Cactus and a video release. We hand over to find out more about the releases that shaped their year….
Despereaux End of the Year Special: A Norwegian perspective
Top 5 releases of the year and a brief reason why:
We don’t want to rank the following releases, but don’t be alarmed: They are all sweet and tasty as hell.
Ieatheartattacks – Please Just Dance Death (February 10):
The title says it all: Catchy scandi-hardcore that had our bassist Lars believing his brother, drummer Per, was facing certain death when he slammed his face to the ground during one of Ieatheartattacks’ concerts (we believe there is some footage of it on youtube). This band and their debut album are simply great.
Aiming for Enrike – Las Napalmas (October 27):
When we were recording our first EP in Trondheim, our recording engineer Thomas Mathisen (the Regent – also out with great new album) showed us some masters he had done for this band ‘Aiming for Enrike’. The album was ‘Mao Miro’, and it completely blew our minds. We”ve been fans ever since, and with their latest release they have managed to up the ante. The band consists of only two members, which is impressing considering how much noise they are able to make; Brilliant guitar looping and a jazz-drummer out of this world.
Converge – The Dusk in Us (November 3):
This is perhaps our most ‘boring’ choice, but despite of its relatively short life (one month), it is already ranking high in all four band members’ best albums of the year-lists. It’s like when Tarantino releases something right before Oscar season kicks in. Converge proves they are still their genre’s benchmark.
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains (September 25)
Joshua Homme is partially Norwegian, so we thought it would be cool to include these guys as well (In the opening track, the funky ‘Feet don’t fail me now’, Homme sings about himself revealing that he was in fact born on Norway’s National Day, 17th of May). Have they ever made a bad album? One thing, though, that can get annoying is the Mark Ronson drumkit-sound which does not do justice to a drummer of Jon Theodore’ calibre.
Commonplace – Love is just a phase (June 9)
Weird, atmospheric and dark poprock which blends groovy rhythms and sadistic lyrics.
Other great releases: Bokassa – Divide and Conquer, Spidergawd – IV, JABBA – Vice. Blood Command – Cult Drugs
Best show we have played this year and why?
There were a few good shows this year, but Harpefoss Hardcorefestival has to be mentioned here. The festival was arranged in the beautiful surroundings of Harpefoss, and we knew all of the other bands well. It became a bunch of friends hanging out, listening to each other’s music and sleeping in small Norwegian cabins. The guys behind it were Jompi Myren (Ieatheartattacks) and Johnny Nordskog, who set up a gallery of his own photographies. It was an awesome experience. (Bands appearing – all of them amazing: Bokassa, Kambodsja, Sibiir, Naga Siren, Ieatheartattacks, The Good, the Bad and the Zugly)
Best gig we attended and why?
Sibiir at a barn in Harpefoss Hardcorefestival. We are not sure how they did it, but after a series of concerts by other bands that are not known for their quietness, they preceded to blow us all away. Suddenly everyone could hear everything that happened on the stage, people went apeshit, including our friend Oliver Kimmel who managed to headbang so hard that his legs went literally into the floor of the venue. We had to pull him out.
Band to watch out for in 2018:
Shevils – These guys have been playing for a while, and it is way overdue that they get the credit that they deserve. Awesome Helmet-inspired music with an estatic Norwegian giant frontman, Anders Voldrønning (former Silence the Foe). Their guitarist Christoffer Gaarder quit a while back, but he’s now back and we believe this will result in some kickass new singles.
Highlights of the year:
Definitely the release of our EP Hugging the Cactus. We recorded it in 2015, and we should have had it released that year, but for different reasons we had to wait for two long years. The process – band money that vanished, technical problems, and a re-recording process that was both fun and hell at the same time – took a toll on us as a band. So being able to finally hold the LP and share it with other people meant a great deal. Another highlight is that we have been selected to play at a big musical event in Norway – a festival called By:Larm.
Plans for the New Year:
Something big. You’ll see.
Thank you SO much! Your EP was a highlight for us this year too, can’t wait to see what 2018 has for you all.