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Archive for December, 2014

Top tunes of 2014

10 just isn’t loud enough.

I know that at this time of year, every man and his blog (see what I did there) will be posting up their personal top 10s of the past year’s musical releases. Rather than spew forth with all manner of hyperbole and superlatives for the same albums everyone’s already talking about, here’s a simple but complete list of my picks, in no particular order, including some that I’ve written about previously and others which might not have caught your attention (yet). Oh and rather than condense my favourites down to 10, I’ve gone up to 11. That’s right, you saw that too.

Talanas – ‘My Apostle’
Taken from their acoustic EP ‘Asylum’, there’s something addictive about this atmospheric track.

Victorian Whore Dogs – ‘Prayer of Dust’
Taken from the EP ‘Hobo Chic’. Post-metal infused sludge from Guildford.

Vendetta – ‘Martyr’
Like ‘Prayer Of Dust’ above, this was featured on a free mixtape download I compiled and released this year.

Lord Skrugg – new demos
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to the demos of their forthcoming EP (repeatedly!) – looking forward to seeing it get released. Have a listen to these Herts-based sludge metallers.

Indi and the Vegas – ‘She’s On Fire’
Taken from the funk-rock trio’s debut full-length album. Difficult to pick just one favourite.

Professor Elemental – ‘All In Together’
Couldn’t help but admire the message of acceptance here. Catchy chap-hop, featured on both the ‘All In Together’ EP and ‘The Giddy Limit’ album.

Empty Yard Experiment – ‘Untitled’
Taken from the multi-cultural prog-metallers’ album ‘Kallisti’, this one will lodge itself in your head.

The Wolves Of Avalon – ‘The Gorging Glut of Sodden Clay’
I’ve heard a handful of tracks from this album (‘Boudicca’s Last Stand’) and it’s definitely on the to-buy list.

Slipknot – ‘The Negative One’
A tad predictable maybe (I’m sure it’s on many people’s highlights list) but that chorus has had me hooked. Taken from ‘5: The Gray Chapter’.

Mastodon – ‘High Road’
Another popular one I’m sure – taken from the album ‘Once More ‘Round The Sun’.

The Pierces – ‘Kings’
Some might call it a guilty pleasure for a metalhead (if I believed in feeling guilty!). One of the few modern pop acts I still listen to. Lovely melodies here, taking from their album ‘Creation’.



Alternative Christmas Music

Not all Christmas-themed music is bland or cheesy!

There’s no getting away from it at this time of the year, so how about some modernised Christmas tunes and covers with a twist? I’ve been looking around the ‘net for some suitable tunes, here’s what I’ve found so far.

Last year, Scylla Records released this compilation of covers to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. Including the likes of Traitors, Hello Lazarus, Fort Hope, Sons Of Guns, Anavae and The October Game, each giving a well-known Christmas song a reworking in their own style, it’s 15 exclusive covers for a minimum donation of just £3.

Herts-based songstress Holly Knowles has covered ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’, which she has made available as a free download (link below video).

For those with heavier tastes, check out Cambridge’s The Projectionist giving ‘Jingle Bells’ a grind makeover!

Bedford’s favourite funk rock trio Indi & The Vegas have covered both Wings’ ‘A Wonderful Christmas Time’ and the classic ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, which are free downloads.

Herts/London new-wave crew The Tuesday Club have written a track especially for the season, also a free download.

Chloe Chadwick has recorded a version of John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ which has been released to help raise funds for Help For Heroes – available from iTunes, half the proceeds from all sales will be donated to HFH.

iTunes link – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/happy-xmas-war-is-over-single/id949555572

British black metal/punk hybrid act The Meads Of Asphodel have recorded two tongue-in-cheek tracks, both of which can be downloaded separately or as part of ‘The Middle Ages’ compilation.

The Djentleman’s Club have put together a special compilation, ‘Djent Goes Christmas’, a massive 35-track free download of djent/tech-metal Christmas anthems, featuring tracks such as this one from Arbiter – head over to MetalMouth’s website for the full tracklisting and download links. http://metalmouth.net/2014/12/free-music-35-track-xmas-carol-djent-cover-compilation/