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2005 Year End Best Of

Minion Name:
  Indoor Miner  
  1. Devil In The Detail by The Nightingales: One of the many highlights of the excellent Nightingales gig I caught last year, this is the fourth 7" single released in the past year or so by this fine re-formed band. And whatís more, itís the best of the lot, finding as it does the band flexing their muscles and indulging in some incessant riffing over a ferocious, yet toe-tapping, beat. In fact, it's almost as if Cook & Jones, that steamrolling Pistols duo, joined your favourite Krautrock band for an extended run through Paranoid Ė complete with searing feedback. There's also a driving yet melodic bass line underpinning the excitement, whilst singer Robert Lloyd adopts an almost Iggy-like drawl on top of it all. This folks, is six and a half minutes of pure bliss and is undoubtedly my single of the year. Get your copy now...
  2. Love In a Trashcan by The Raveonettes: The Raveonettes, that modern day Sonny & Cher who play Psychocandy, continue to appeal to the part of me that loves a good tune with a great beat. And believe me, LIAT has both. Great pop song!
  3. Love Is a Deserter by The Kills: A cracking single with a great mucky guitar sound. Itís like a less poppy Raveonettes.
  4. King of the Mountains by Kate Bush: Although not a massive Kate Bush fan, I was still interested in hearing what the fey-little-fairy one had to say after all these years. Initially I thought this was a real disappointment -- a so-so song with badly dated production and a horrible cod-reggae guitar bit in the middle that was waaaay too loud in the mix. Still, her singles have crept up on me before, so I gave it some welly as they say in these parts (I played it loads!). And before you could ask Ďwhat sort of man has a child in his eyes anyway?í, Iíd suddenly realised that this was a great song, the production fitted it like a glove and, most amazingly of all, the horrible cod-reggae bit worked. Indeed, King Of The Mountains is fit to stand there with Wuthering Heights, Running Up That Hill and Cloudbusting as one of the great Kate Bush singles.
  5. Yeti by Caribou: Thereís something quite Can-like about the way the instruments weave around each other over a repetitive beat, and I love the way the clattery drums burst in periodically to give a sense of urgency to things.
  6. Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros: Iím probably in a minority, but I think the latest Sigur Ros album, Takk, although no turkey by any means, is something of a disappointment after the mighty ( ), surely one of the most beautiful albums ever and certainly one of my favourite releases of the past decade. Still, this track, from its gorgeous piano intro to the big choral moment, is a beauty which in a perfect world would have been the Christmas number one. Dream on...
  7. Feel Good, Inc. by Gorillaz: One of three great pop singles this year by Damon and his cartoon mates, but this comes out tops for me for the classic Kinks-like chorus if nothing else.
  8. All-Night Disco Party by The Brakes: This sounds like something that could have been released twenty five years ago, with its novelty-like feel and dead-pan vocals. Itís like a daft Kraftwerk with guitars.
  9. List of Demands (Reparataions) by Saul Williams: Thereís times on the dark, intense eponymous Saul Williams album where he sounds like the guy out of the Ruthless Rap Assassins, whose Justice single is still a bit of a personal fave all these years later. This, though, finds Williams sounding like a deranged Andre 3000 yelling that heís got a list of demands written in the palm of his hand over high searing notes and an I Wanna Be Your Dog-like riff Ė and thatís before the mocking Ďner nersí come in. All in all, itís pretty intense stuff.
  10. Galvanize by Chemical Brothers: The Chemical Brothers are another act that I wouldnít class myself as a fan of and yet who have crept into my list of 2005ís faves. Usually I find their stuff just a little too obvious, but this has a great rhythm and some nice eastern bits that bring Transglobal Underground to mind. Add some Kraftwerk-like robotic Ďpush the buttoní bits and youíve got yourselves a fine dance single.
  1. Cripple Crow by Devendra Banhart: What a delight this is! Choc full of T Rex-era Bolanic warbling and melodies that worm their way in after just a few plays. Some of it moves me, some of disturbs me and some of it -- especially the plain daft Chinese Children -- brings a whopping big smile to my face.
  2. Other People by Angels of Light: I was never a huge Swans fan, but this album from Michael Gira is superb. Acoustic yet rhythmic despite the lack of percussion, thereís a dark intensity to this, aided by that deep, meaningful growl. Dadrock itís not!
  3. The Needle Is Travelling by Tarwater: This didnít set my world on fire on first play, but there was enough to suggest it was going to grow on me. And, like all Tarwater records with those deep vocals and thinly disguised melodies, it has... Iím not for a moment suggesting this is a better album than Silur or Animals Suns And Atoms, but if you like this band, youíre sure to like this a lot.
  4. The Back Room by Editors: Iíve got to admit that I thought this was merely OK in an Interpol copycat sort of way on early listens, but ... a few plays later and I love this album. Describing it as sounding like Joy Division singing more conventional pop songs might sound off-putting, but there really are some good songs here, all sang in that low Curtis-style voice. And the albums slowie, Fall, is superb.
  5. Pretty In Black by The Raveonettes: A hugely enjoyable set from the dynamic Danish duo -- aided and abetted by Ronnie Spector, Mo Tucker, and Martin Rev -- with the Love In A Trashcan single and the sneaky sounding You Say You Lie standing out. Thereís also a great cover of the 60ís pop song My Boyfriendís Back, which would be my choice for the next single.
  6. The Great Destroyer by Low: This album really is a grower, and is far from the disappointing Low Rock Out album it was made out to be. Theyíre still making some beautiful stuff.
  7. Citizen Cain'd by Julian Cope: Iím not totally convinced by all of disc one, as enjoyable as it is in a Raw Power kind of way, and like so many double albums thereís a classic single album bursting to get out, but ... thereís some classic stuff here. Indeed, Feels Like A Crying Shame is the best Cope track in a long time, and thatís praise indeed from me. I love Julianís singing on it, too Ė it reminds me of the way he used to sing before he went all raawwk!
  8. The Milk of Human Kindness by Caribou: This is very Neu-like at times, even if one track does remind me of The Whoís Pinball Wizard. Thereís also a mellowness which works well on records, and is yet a very different proposition from the altogether harder-hitting live experience.
  9. Fall Heads Roll by The Fall: More evidence after The Unutterable and Country On The Click that Mark E. Smith really is back on form. Get the rather disappointing opening track out of the way and there are some great stuff here, notably Proteinprotection, where Smith's vocals burst in vintage MES style, and Blindness which has already become something of a Fall classic.
  10. Profile by Githead: This was a real grower, with Colin Newmanís melodies worming their way into my head (as they are prone to do!). I still feel that some of the percussion is a bit ploddy on a couple of tracks and that They Are is Newmanís worst ever song, but overall itís now a definite thumbs-up with its strong hooks and PIL-like basslines. Stand out track is Raining Down, with its lengthy instrumental intro that sounds like a sinister electro version of Bolanís The Slider before a beautiful, psychedelic chorus pops in after four minutes.
          Compilations/Re-Issues, etc.
  1. Born to Boogie by Marc Bolan / T.Rex
  2. Peel Sessions Box Set by The Fall
  3. The Scottish Play by Wire
  4. In The Good Old Country Way by The Nightingales
  5. The Affectionate Punch by The Associates
  6. Oscillations From the Anti-Sun by Stereolab
  7. Auchtermatic by Billy MacKenzie
  8. Hex Enduction Hour by The Fall
  9. Early by Scritti Politti
  10. Malpractive (A Fflint Central Priner) by various artists
  11. Ian Hunter by Ian Hunter
  12. Message From the Country by The Move
  1. THE RAVEONETTES w/ Dogs at Manchester Academy 2 on Thursday.24.March.2005
  2. PERE UBU w/ 24 Hours at Manchester Academy III on Thursday.22.September.2005
  3. CARIBOU w/ Russian Futurists at The Talbot on Tuesday.11.October.2005
  4. TELEVISION at Manchester Academy II on Thursday.23.June.2005
  5. THE FALL w/ John Cooper Clarke and Resist at Central Station on Tuesday.4.October.2005
  6. GANG OF FOUR w/ The Departure at Manchester Academy II on Sunday.23.January.2005
  7. FAUST w/ Ectogram at Hendre Hall on Thursday.27.October.2005
  8. JULIAN COPE at Liverpool Carling Academy
  9. MOVEMENT at Manchester Bierkellor
  10. BLACK BASQUE at Manchester Retro Bar
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