Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Mix CD #17 - They Broke Him Down

Hello! It's been a while since my last post, life stuff and that, sorry. To be honest, when I started the blog this was the sort of gap I wanted between mixes anyway. I've just been having too much fun churning them out willy nilly. Caution to the wind and to Hell with the consequences!

This one has no particular theme, just a collection of cool songs that you should listen to and possibly enjoy, You must also read the blurb I've written about each track too. It's important.

That's almost it for this year I would think, I've got an Albums Of The Year one planned that I'll have out in two-three weeks and then it'll be 2017. No more dead famous people, hurrah!
Some of you will know that I also do album reviews for another blog, All The Time I Was Listening To My Own Wall Of Sound, I normally do a Top 20 Albums Of The Year post there so I'll probably tie the two together in some way. Have you stopped reading yet?

Here's what on the mix today.
Streetlight Manifesto - They Broke Him Down
Winter In Eden - Constant Tomorrows
21 Taras - Mystic Signs
The God Damn Whores - Unemployment Man
Native Construct - Spark Of The Archon
Slipknot - Psychosocial
Miss Li - Miss Li
Little Angels - Product Of The Working Class
Prophets Of Rage - The Party's Over
Masters Of Reality - Always
Extreme - Am I Ever Gonna Change?
The Jellys - Feels Like Sunshine
Kerbdog - Hard To Live
7 Year Bitch - Kiss My Ass Goodbye
Abysmal Dawn - Inanimate
The Broken Family Band - Living In Sin
Sorry And The Sinatras - Hated Heart
Circus Of Dead Squirrels - Elmo's Last laugh

You can download the mix HERE

Streetlight Manifesto - They Broke Him Down
Taken from the 2013 album The Hands That Thieve
Streetlight Manifesto are a very rare breed of band in that they play thoughtful, intelligent and well-crafted Ska-Punk. I know! They're still very bouncy, catchy and fun but also have some complex structures and their lyrics are often political and social commentary. I really love this band and if more Ska-Punk bands had been like this then maybe it wouldn't be so derided and obsolete a genre as it is today,

Winter In Eden - Constant Tomorrows
Taken from the 2014 album Court Of Conscience
I live in a small, unremarkable town in the north of England called Bishop Auckland. There's not a lot to say about the place other then Stan Laurel lived there for a while. As far as I'm aware the only musical contribution it had provided the world is this band. Winter In Eden are a Symphonic/Gothic Metal band similar to Within Temptation, After Forever etc. They aren't particularly original or groundbreaking but with every album they hone and improve their songwriting a little more and they've developed into a highly competent and enjoyable band.

21 Taras - Mystic Signs
Taken from the 2016 album Seize The Ocean
21 Taras are a young Grunge band from Colorado. There's a definite retro feel to them and this could easily have been recorded 25 years ago. Seize The Ocean is a promising debut album and it's good bits are very, very good but it suffers from too many acoustic or balladic songs in my opinion. There's not enough rocking tracks like this track sadly. Give them a go and see what you think though.

The God Damn Whores - Unemployment Man
Taken from the 2006 album We Are The Lucky Thirteen
Former Cardiacs guitarist, current The Wildhearts bassist and one half of The Dowling Poole, Random Jon Poole started The God Damn Whores as kind of a solo project and plays most of the instruments I think. It's kind of Post Punk but very energetic and upbeat. I'd say a bit about this song but Jon himself says all you need to know in the introduction if you listen!

Native Construct - Spark Of The Archon
Taken from the 2015 album Quiet World
This Progressive Metal band from Boston definitely operate in the more avant garde area of the genre. This is song is all over the place sonically and has some nice parping keyboards, widdly Jazz bits, string sections, the occasional Djent 'dudduggagugga' riff and atmospheric passages. It's a nice modern take on Prog Metal that falls just the right amount short of overblown pompous nonsense. Also the intro sounds a bit like The Safety Dance!

Slipknot - Psychosocial
Taken from the 2008 album All Hope Is Gone
You know what you're getting with Slipknot and this song, one of their later singles, is as Slipknotty as it gets; Heavy, aggressive verses, a catchy melodic chorus and angsty "That's so unfair, I hate you!" lyrics. I've been mumbling this song to myself for a couple of days now.

Miss Li - Miss Li
Taken from the 2006 album Late Night Heartbroken Blues
This Swedish singer is a peculiar one. I guess there's elements of Tori Amos to her music but with a very Scandinavian sense of humour and sense of adventure. This was the closing song on her debut album though she's had six more since. It's kind of a theme song and gives a good insight into her personality. There's a few nice lines in this song too, particularly the ones about having a heart full of shit and breasts around her knees.

Little Angels - Product Of The Working Class
Taken from the 1991 album Young Gods
The first gig by a proper, famous band I ever attended was Little Angels at York Barbican in 1993.They'd been on Top Of The Pops and everything! All three of their albums hold up pretty well still, maybe because they were a bit grittier and miserable than their American counterparts? I dunno. Anyway I loved this album and my first gig could have been a lot worse. 

Prophets Of Rage - The Party's Over
Taken from the 2016 EP The Party's Over
The supergroup formed because Zack De la Rocha decided not to continue with rage Against The Machine. He's been replaced by B Real of Cypress Hill and Chuck D of Public Enemy and the resulting band sound pretty much exactly how you would think they do. I'm looking forward to a full album.

Masters Of Reality - Always
Taken from the 2009 album Pine / Cross Dover
It's been a while now since we had an album from Chris Goss and his unique hybrid of Progressive and Stoner Rock, this being the last. This song has been stuck in my head pretty much ever since it came out. It's not his heaviest song by any means but it's a classy slice of poppy Prog with a relentless, marching refrain and he croons out some peculiar lyrics in his warm, soothing voice

Extreme - Am I Ever Gonna Change?
Taken from the 1992 album III Sides To Every Story
I don't doubt that More Than Words made Extreme very rich over the years but it also completely overshadows their more usual style of Funk-tinged Hard Rock. Their first couple of albums were full of fun, danceable Rock. Their third album was more mature and sombre but still enjoyable. This song shows off Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt (currently playing in Rihanna's band!) abilities well. He's a talented guitar player; skilled without being flamboyant or showboaty. There's some great bits in here.

The Jellys - Feels Like Sunshine
Taken from the 1998 album Welcome To Our World
When Honeycrack split in the late nineties, guitarist CJ (off of The Wildhearts) formed this super chirpy, Pop Punk band with fellow ex-Wildheart Stidi and former Wolfsbane bassist Jeff Hateley. They played deliberately lightweight and inoffensive songs that were probably suitable for little kids. This song was their biggest single and the perfect summer song. I realise we're in Winter now, shush

Kerbdog - Hard To Live
Taken from the 1995 single JJ's Song
There's a big stretch of Nineties bands going on here isn't there? Here's another, the Irish band Kerbdog. Their first album was kind of like a mix of Therapy? and Metallica; Crushing, chugging riffs but bags of melody too. They were the first properly heavy band I ever saw live (supporting Mike Tramp's erstwhile Grunge band, Freak Of Nature) and blew my tiny little mind.
Somewhere in between that debut and their second album, On The Turn, they lost guitarist Billy Dalton and continued as a three piece. This EP was the precursor to that album and showcased their more refined sound. Slightly less heavy and actual intelligible lyrics! They reformed a while ago with the original four piece line up and it seems to be going well. 

7 Year Bitch - Kiss My Ass Goodbye
Taken from the 1993 album Viva Zapata!
7 Year bitch were a Grunge/Punk band that released 3 albums in the early to mid nineties. This was their second album and is named in honour of Mia Zapata, a fellow Seattle based musician and friend of the band who had been raped and murdered. Several of the songs on the album relate to the incident though not this one. It's more of a messy break-up song. FUN FACT! Vocalist Selene Vigil (the one in the helmet...) was/is married to Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine (and Prophets Of Rage, above). I really like her voice, it's sneering and hoarse and perfectly carries across the sentiment of this song.

Abysmal Dawn - Inanimate
Taken from the 2014 album Obsolescence
Back to something that wasn't released 20 years ago! This is a quirky little number all about the singer, Charles' love of little fluffy bunny rabbits, pretty daffodils and colossal machines of butchery and slaughter.

The Broken Family Band - Living In Sin
Taken from the  2005 album Welcome Home, Loser
The Broken Family Band are a band from London who started out playing Alternative Country but gradually faded out the Country and their last couple of albums were more just plain Indie-Rock. Their witty, sharp lyrics are ever present however, and this particular song is about a clean cut Christian man who falls in love with a Satanist. Chaos ensues

Sorry And The Sinatras - Hated Heart
Taken from the 2009 album Highball Roller
The band formed by the current/ex-/it's complicated bassist of The Wildhearts, Scott Sorry. They're a blend of Rock n' Roll, Hard Rock and Punk. This song was the lead single from Highball Roller, it's a bit slower than a lot of the other tracks but still a great song, I've been mumbling the chorus for a while now. It has a video HERE if you fancy watching it. Scott had a solo album earlier this year that's really good too.

Circus Of Dead Squirrels - Elmo's Last Laugh
Taken from the 2007 album The Pop Culture Massacre And The End Of  The World Sing-A-Long Songbook
A band I've recently discovered though their last proper album was in 2010. They're an Industrial Metal with a penchant for the offensive and the puerile. There's elements of  Ministry, Slipknot, KMFDM and maybe Nine Inch Nails if I want to be lazy about it. They're an entertaining listen if a disturbing one! look out for a special appearance by Bert and Ernie too. Like Sorry & The Sinatras, there's a video for this one that you can watch if you like too. HERE it is.

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