A new month, so it’s time for my usual rundown of 10 tracks that I think everyone else should hear. A real mix of genres this month, as well.
Track of the Month
Shades of Underworld in the epic opener proper from new album 1023. A giddy, dark, techno-influenced rush that brings to mind those long, sweat-drenched nights in clubs that you never want to end. Happily the album pays no attention to previous monster hits and strikes out in new, and more importantly, interesting directions, this time without recourse to samples to create the hooks for them.
Cables & Wires
Nine years is a long time in music, and it’s quite amazing that the reappearance at last of 16Volt has seen them simply pick up where they left off. So it’s still the familiar, guitar-heavy industrial rock, with a real pop sensability. This track is underpinned by a booming bass-line and quasi-drum’n’bass beats, and is part of the incredible opening salvo that is the first half of the album.
Every Little Thing
While enduring another long wait for a new Collide album (three, perhaps four years and counting?), this collaboration between Dean Garcia (ex-of Curve) and Collide is an intriguing diversion in the meantime. In all honesty it sounds like Collide in all but name, but that’s no problem to me. This track is/was the first to leap out at me, with a spiralling, cascading chorus, and gorgeous, lush sweeping feel to it.
Blood Sugar 12″
Proof that Hold Your Colour was no fluke – these guys really are the fucking masters of drum’n’bass. There are a number of different versions of this around – while the single version is good, a previous appearance on a Pendulum Essential Mix (with the opening vocal sample) is way better, and the live – full band! – version is just off the scale. Prepare to dance like bastards once again…
Do It Again
We Are The Night
Talking of which, actually, here are more masters of the dancefloor. Apart from one or two songs, the last album was a little patchy, but this lead single from new album We Are The Night just makes your legs twitch hearing it. It also has another great video – something The Chems have a history of, of course…
Had we not listened to Radio One a few months back for a whole car journey south and back again, I would probably have never paid much attention to this at all. It’s damned infectious, too – a funky, fast-paced romp that jumps out as being rather unique in amongst the many very dull dance tracks out and about at the moment. The video, with it’s rapidly multiplying CGI bunnies, is very odd indeed, too. It should also be added that forthcoming single Song 4 Mutya is a simply astounding pop song, as well – no coincidence that prime 80s-era Prince is referenced in the lyrics, that’s for sure. Both of these are light years away from the drippy chill-out nonsense that Groove Armada peddled for some time…
Thought Crime Spree
About as far from the pop song as you can possibly get are the Grindcore kings Pig Destroyer. They’ve never been as one-dimensional as some other grind bands, which is probably part of their appeal, and this new album shows that well. Still, of the many ultra-fast tracks on here this one is my favourite. Live I suspect this could cause carnage…
The Great Cold Distance
Somehow I never properly got into this album properly until recently, and it appears I’ve missed a treat. A little more of a crunch to this album compared to recent output, but the melodic core has not been lost at all. Video here.
Burn Your Soul
One of the highlights of last week’s gig was this sparse, growling monster of a track. Obviously, the blackened visual effect of their stage presence is lost, but it doesn’t mean this track is any less powerful.
Glaxo Smith Kline
A Pound Of Flesh EP
(no longer available)
Quite possibly the best moment yet from this Manchester-based noise artist. Schizophrenic beats bounce through as god only knows what else goes on over and below. Strangely, whatever it is, it feels like fun.