I spend a lot of time online, trawling around for new music, information, photos of otters, amusing Adventure Time gifs and pictures of well-upholstered hot redheads, and, on average, manage to find at least one new – or new to me – band or artist every. Single. Day. That’s right, you heard me.
EVERY DAY I HEAR SOMETHING GOOD….on average.
Some days I may hear four or five great new bands, other days I may not have time to look around much and so unearth nuthin’, but if you average it out that’s a fuck of a lot of good music, mon petits chous, so when I hear people complain that ‘music these days isn’t as good as it was in the ****s’, I wonder exactly what these nimrods are listening to. Sure, you have to dig around to unearth these treasures, but wasn’t that pretty much always the case?
The chances of you hearing something ‘mainstream’ that actually resonates and has worth are slim to nonexistent, unless your standards are spectacularly low, so all I can assume is that people are just too bloody lazy to snuffle out the good stuff buried under all those virtual rocks and hillocks. They want it spoonfed to ’em. Tsk.
I’m in a fortunate position, in some ways, as I get to hear a lot of new music via The Sleeping Shaman and other sites I’m involved with, but I still dig around as man cannot live by doom alone…..or stoner rock, or sludge, or drone. You get the picture. I have varied tastes, to say the least.
So knowing that may make my selection of my favourite records of the past year come as less of a suprise. Or not. So, in no particular order –
Scott Walker ‘Bish Bosch’
Loincloth ‘Iron Balls Of Steel’
Death Grips ‘The Money Store’
The Eccentronic Research Council ‘1612 Underture’
Serpentine Path ‘S/T’
Pig Destroyer ‘Book Burner’
Morbus Chron ‘A Saunter Through The Shroud’
Kowloon Walled City ‘Container Ships’
Jodis ‘Black Curtain’
Indesinence ‘Vessels Of Light And Decay’
Horseback ‘Half Blood’
Expo ’70 ‘Beguiled Entropy’
Dr John ‘Locked Down’
Behold The Arctopus – ‘Horrorscension’
Author & Punisher – ‘Ursus Americanus’
Arktau Eos – ‘Ioh-Maera’ & ‘Unworeldes’
Ab Imo Pectore – ‘The Dissociative Path’
ZZ Top – ‘La Futura’
Antediluvian – ‘Through The Cervix Of Hawaah’
Teitanblood – ‘Woven Black Arteries’
Roomful Of Teeth – ‘S/T’
Gauchiste – ‘S/T’
Voivod – ‘Live At Roadburn 2011’
The Brothers Unconnected – ‘Unrock The House’
Botanist – ‘III – Doom In Bloom/Allies’
Now, under usual circumstances Black Magician’s ‘Nature Is The Devil’s Church’ would have been in my top three, easily, but, well, I did end up joining the band just before the album came out, so although I don’t play on it, I thought it might look a little egotistical to big up my own band’s record.
Having said that, though, it is a bloody good record.
By contrast, I haven’t seen anything near to half as many gigs this year, so mentioning stand-outs in the live arena is a piece of cake. Mmmm….cake.
Roadburn 2012 – An obvious highlight, not least because I got to see Voivod TWICE – and spend some time with their smashing guitarist Dan ‘Chewy’ Mongrain – but also Virus, Michael Gira, Hammers Of Misfortune and Yob, amongst others.
Voivod @ Manchester NQ Live – Yeah, I’m biased but, hey, whutchu gon’ do ’bout it?
Death Grips @ Manchester Sound Control – The vein-poppingly intense performance from MC Ride and the inhuman drumming of Zach Hill alone made this one of my live highlights of 2012.
As for 2013, I already know what my number one album will be. Take a wild stab in the dark as to what it could be. Answers on a postcard….