MUDKISS FANZINE

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THE TOP FIVE: SINGLES/EPS/ ALBUMS – SELECTED BY CHUMKI, MEL, EVA, LEE, GARETH, DICK, MIKE, DEN, AND PAUL

So, its our final best of the year for singles/EPS and albums, chosen by some of the Mudkiss reviewers. We have managed to narrow selections down to just five albums each, and five singles/EP's (Chumki & Dick). It's been a great year for new music, lets hope 2014 gives us as much variety as this year.

 SINGLES/EPs

Chumki Banerjee- "Thank you to all who made this year so musically memorable, for your gift of eternal inspiration which will light my heart through all my given time, for all the temptations I have gratefully tasted this year."

Feldspar- The Flat And Paper Sky Vol. II, EP - Outpouring of poignant emotion which flows like honey from the soul: Redolent with glorious harmonies, ringing with eternal truth both melodically and lyrically, this perfect piece of poetical mastery moves with sincere simplicity, touching core of our musical and mystical being’ “I’ll cut out my tongue and be the voice of my generation”

Ummagma- 1+ 1 = 3 - Sensually sentient electronica, reaching into other darker, distorted dimensions, exploring spaces where no one can hear you scream; abducted I had no choice but to follow:  Pandora's Box of dark electronica, throbbing with menace, twinkling with mystery of unexplored deep space, cloaked Klingon vessel hoving through hyper reality, Steve Hillage given new toys at helm of state of the art spaceship.

Ragz Nordset- Sleepdancing, EP - Transcendental, voice of an angel, river running deep to core of human nature: Ragz is one of those rare artistes whose awe inspiring musicality flows like clear water; effortlessly fluent in universal tongue, her music never fails to totally captivate, melodically entrancing, lyrically enlightening, delving depths of human soul with enviable clarity and compassion; musical arrangements perfectly apposite, beautifully evocative, blending traditional and electronic with impeccable artistry.

Roja - Oh L’amour (Part 1)- Slinking with sinuous sensuality, coy ardour of Argentine tango tease aligning forces of magnetic attraction, to electrifying desire,

takes respite from harshness of dry and dusty world, to drink at clear stream of love; beautiful sigh of a song which lilts and sways, to sigh of accordion, like Chanson, inspiration drawn from real life, it is impossible not to find yourself ‘tombé amoureux’ with this beguiling ballad and its tender soul, doubts and trials of true love tellingly told.’“...come here and dance.... we’re quite alone,,, no one can see this... excuse me sir... but I’ll defer.... no one may see...but  my heart bears witness....” 

Soul Saboteur - Dusted In Silver - Rock with core of precious metal, stamped with Soul Saboteur’s particular brand of medicine man guitar, lusciously succulent bass, elastic vocal and luminous, heat haze musical backdrop, for gloriously sensual, laid back melody, which weaves itself into my brain waves, like smoke signals, tipping the light bulb switch. Different route, same destination, love reignited.

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Dick Porter

Honey – Suckle (self-released) - Collectively rendering the power trio concept redundant by virtue of their transcendent authority and obscene, crystalline perfection, the talents of Sarah Tyrrell, Ele Lucas and Sammy Downing  have reached escape velocity, leaving enduring and beautiful vapour trails in their wake. Primal and hypnotic in equal measure this is a fearsome demonstration of Honey’s brilliance.

Moriaty – Esperanza (Easy Action) - Trailed by a darkly sexy video, the title track combines Jordan’s guitar wizardry and vocal dexterity with Mat’s titanic rhythms to produce a sumptuous, multi-faceted sandstorm of sound that works its way into the mind like a carnivorous earwig. Elsewhere, the voodoo zombie dance of ‘Bitten’ serves as an indication of the duo’s unrestrained live power, while a new version of ‘Moriarty’ demonstrates their continuing development.

The Mob – Rise Up (All The Madmen) - This is a record that has been worth the 30 year wait. ‘Rise Up’ pours from the speakers, waves of familiarity filling the room. Graham’s rhythms announce that this is unmistakably The Mob, punching across the still air, colliding with Mark and Curtis’ web of supple steel. Mark sings; his voice is courser now – this only enhances its ability to be plaintive without undue pathos. The lyrics present a universal perspective, a statement of intent as first person narrative tapping into an oral tradition as old as the desire for freedom.

Pirate Copy – The Shape of Piracy To Come (self-released) - This five track triumph features three of the tracks that from the Portreath group’s unstoppable live set: ‘The Crew’ – The anthemic, fan favourite set opener that invites all to hoist the jolly roger and join Pirate Copy’s buccaneer band of brigands; ‘Sail For Adventure’ – A rallying call against the landlocked forces of boredom and conformity that incites insurrection and mayhem wherever it is performed; ‘#bringtherum’ – The ultimate freebooting frenzy, breaking out the grog to create a new peak in seafaring shenanigans.

The Red Cords – Dead Heat (PNKSLM) - Just slipping under the wire in time for inclusion, Falmouth garage trio the Red Cords build upon the unrestrained frenzy of their earlier ‘Red Red Raw’ EP to showcase a quintet of tracks that tear it up, hold it down, and basically give it a good seeing to.

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TOP FIVE OF 2013 ALBUMS

Melanie Smith: "Being the Editor has afforded me the luxury of having the first listen, as they stream in via our mailbox for potential reviewing. So thanks to all the record company's and PR's who have supported Mudkiss this year, and given us the chance to listen to music, that otherwise we might not have encountered".

1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away - Nick and his bandmates are superbly crafted musicians, and this album recorded in Southern France is just beautiful. Nick is a perfectionist when it comes to songwriting, narrating and weaving the twisted dark tales, which transport us on a mythical journey. Favourite tracks are the atmospheric ‘We Know Who ‘U R’, ‘Jubilee Street’, ‘Higgs Bosom Blues’ ‘Push The Sky Away’. I love the way this song builds into a crescendo of emotions, with wailing violins. Another great album cover too, featuring his model wife Susie Bick, it has a great story behind it. It was our album of the Month for March.

2. Babyshambles - Sequel To The Prequel - I was extremely disappointing in the live gig in Manchester, which has been greatly documented, but WOW they sure made up for it with this album, which was released back in September. I just couldn’t put it down and played it on repeat in the car, house, phone constantly for weeks on end. A masterpiece of an album, with a myriad of styles, from Country, ska, ballads, to indie. My favourite tracks are ‘Nothing Comes To Nothing’, ‘Picture Me In A Hospital, ‘Penguins’,’ Sequel To The Prequel’. Doherty lays himself bare and shows his sensitive side, and emerges with a perfect 12 track album; the cover art by Damien Hurst ain’t too shabby either. Reviewed here by Philip Howe.

3. Arctic Monkeys - AM - I never really got into the Arctic Monkeys….until I heard this album - seductive overtones, great lyrics, and beautiful guitars – it blew me away. Favourite tracks ‘Do I Wanna Know’, ‘I Want It All’, ‘Why’d Only Call me When Your High’. Grease your hair back, slide those skinny jeans on and enjoy one of the best dirty rock n’ roll album this year.

4. Pure Love – Anthems – Pure Love, fronted by Frank Carter (Ex Gallows) was introduced to me by Eva, and I totally adored this album immediately. I caught their frenetic show in Preston, which I reviewed here. A rollercoaster ride of energy, passion and gutsy anthemic tunes. Favourite tracks ‘Bury My Bones’, ‘She (Makes The Devil Run Through Me)’, ‘Beach Of Diamonds’, ‘Handsome Devils Club’, ‘Burning Love’ and ‘Riot Song’. Fantastic videos to accompany the album too!

5. Louise Distras - Dreams from the factory floor – It took a while to get this debut album off the ground, but when it did, it was worth the wait. A very talented and grounded acoustic punk singer/songwriter, with a lot to say, and not afraid to say it out loud. She is a strong assertive character, and a shining example to not only female musicians, but those who are doing it for themselves. Favourite tracks ‘Stand Strong Together’, ‘Love Me The Way That I Am’, ‘The Hand You Hold’, ‘Not In Our Name’. We met Louise way back in early 2012 when we did this interview. If you want a singer who cares about the world around her, and has unity in her heart check this album out. Paul Hastings reviewed the album here. 

Special mention to Dave Hause, Kate Nash, Heavens Basement, Lucid Dream, Anna Calvi. I could go on….

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Eva Jostakova’s top five albums:

1. The Virginmarys - King of Conflict - Definitely my top record of 2013. This rock & roll masterpiece of a debut from the famous Macclesfield trio has become an essential part of my everyday's life since its release. The lyrics never fail to amaze me every time I put it on. I'm proud to say that I have converted my housemates, neighbours and friends into The Virginmarys' music too!  Favourite tracks: ‘Dressed To Kill’, ‘Lost Weekend’, ‘Just A Ride’, ‘Keep Me On The Run’. Check out my interview with Ally here.

2. Blue October – Sway - Packed with lines about faith, love, hope and courage, the seventh studio album from Blue October is a new chapter in the band's life flowing with more uplifting vibes than any of their previous releases.  If there is one record to save you on a rainy day, it's Sway without a doubt.  Favourite tracks: Fear, Sway, Bleed Out, Things We Do At Night. Check out my interview here: 

3. Dave Hause – Devour - The second album from Dave Hause may be much darker than Resolutions, reflecting some difficult times in the singer's life but it is a noticeable step forward for this beloved punk-rock solo artist, who's mastered another fantastic record made for the perfect sing-alongs.  Favourite Tracks: The Great Depression, Bricks, We Could Be Kings, Autism Vaccine Blues. Check out my interview with Dave here:

4. Lincoln Durham - Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous  - Some say, the second records don't live up to the debuts but that's sure as hell not true in this case. Quite the opposite. Don't get me wrong, Lincoln's debut was amazing but this album is something else. It's darker, rougher, sexier and for just one man being able to make such a raw and interesting sound, the only way for the man who does not play with others is up.  Favourite Tracks: Annie Departee, Rise In The River, Ballad of a Prodigal Son, Sinner

5. White Lies - Big TV - Big TV might be less 'death inspired' and not as dark as the previous two records but that does not mean it's not a truly brilliant musical work. These guys carry a raw talent on their hands and the melodies and lyrics on this album impress as much as they did before.  Favourite Tracks: Getting Even, Big TV, First Time Caller, Mother Tongue. Album of the month - September

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Lee McFadden top five albums:

1. Wire - Change Becomes Us. No contest. The best album of the 21st Century. Wire take the half-cuts of 1980 and create a gargantuan contemporary beast of an album. Album of the month - April

2. Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Still Smiling. A surprisingly reflective album from Bargeld - the warmth of Teardo's accompaniments make "Still Smiling" essential and addictive.

3. Gertrude - Love Axe Wish List.  Gertrude's fourth album and one where their own unique and versatile identity is firmly stamped.  Variable in content yet firmly cohesive in attitude. Check out my review & interview with them here:


4. Throwing Muses - Purgatory/Paradise.  Thirty two tracks and a beautiful book to boot - Throwing Muses' first album in 10 years and their best in 22.
 
5. Glassglue – Fantods. Glassglue's long-awaited debut - not an easy listen and all the better for it. If you've come for predictable chord sequences and standard rhythms you've come through the wrong door.

Best band Names: Long John Laundry, and Asbo Derek
Song title of the year: Cameltoe And Wine (Asbo Derek)

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Gareth Allen’s – top five albums:

1. Ayanna Witter-Johnson - Black Panther - I saw her at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London and instantly fell in love with her voice and music. She plays exquisite cello and piano, complemented by a voice that aches history and passion. In her emotionally affecting songs, the personal effortlessly becomes the political. Immense new talent.

2. Katatonia - Dethroned and Uncrowned - Katatonia rework last year’s well-received metal classic "Dead End Kings" into something more acoustically based, with strings and woodwinds. It's a radical move and works brilliantly, bringing into play a whole new way of experiencing their music.

3. Tides from Nebula - Eternal Movement - Post-metal/rock pioneers Tides From Nebula bring together ambient and heavy sounds to create a new emotionally charged template for metal. Challenging and yet completely immersive and engaging.

4. Watain – The Wild Hunt - A band that consistently brings creativity and drive to black metal, now with a new album that has no problem breaking rules within the genre, with atmospheric acoustic work and clean vocals. A masterpiece, and they are one of the best live metal bands you could hope to see.

5. Polly Scattergood – Arrows - A wonderful unique voice, compelling and achingly sad storytelling, all combined with intricate electronic musical settings. Without doubt a serious artist, whose haunting music and lyrical themes will stay with you for a long time to come.

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Dick Porter’s top five albums:

1. Deap Vally – Sistrionix (Island) - The debut album from Los Angeles duo Lindsey Troy and Julie Edawards reinforces the unbreakable, primal link between sex and rock’n’roll. Eleven tracks of sleazy, serrated blues, powerhouse riffs and behemoth backbeats that pant breathlessly by the speakers, grab you by your fleshy parts and shake you dry.

2. The Computers – Love Triangles Hate Squares (One Little Indian) - Exeter’s Computers refine their sound to answer the question; what would Graham Parker have been like if he’d been really, really great? Joyoys, riotous, exuberant and occasionally poignant, the disc contains eleven potential singles. Live, they’re even better...

3. Giuda – Let’s Do It (Damaged Goods) - Unpretentiously out to have a good time, Giuda encompass the glam gamut – referencing perfectly rendered period elements from quirky synth lines to camp vocal asides. This is an album that stomps along with a silk scarf knotted round its wrist.

4. Midnite Snaxxx – Midnite Snaxxx (Red Lounge) - Twelve tracks that tap unerringly into the doomed allure and fatal sweetness of the Ronettes and Shagri-Las and accelerates through Ramonic velocity via supercharged infusions of the Snaxxx’s own devising. It’s a breakneck album, but when the job gets done this effectively, there’s little need to hang around.

5. The Black Tambourines – The Black Tambourines (Art Is Hard) - The debut album from this Falmouth quartet expands upon the sizzling corpus of material that the group have already established with their four earlier EPs to provide undeniable proof of their prolific songwriting abilities. Best known for their storming live shows, the Tambourines take full advantage to demonstrate their range across 11 tracks as more complex and reflective material is interspersed with the band’s customary garage psych assault.

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Paul Hastings - top five albums: "As a strange coincidence, all my albums of the year are from bands who are either new bands or just new to me. This is probably a great example of how Mudkiss focus on introducing new music. Anyhow, after a lot of mind changing, my top 5 are...

1. The Road Home - Too Cold To Run - really just an EP but this is my favourite new music of the year. If you like The Gaslight Anthem you will love this band.

2. The Caezars - Welcome To The Mainstream - a young band who on their debut have brought their traditional rockabilly roots right up to date to make it sound fresh and modern.

3. Blitzen Trapper - VII - It may be the bands seventh album but they are new to me. A great mix of sounds and styles, says it all that I am now buying up all their back catalogue.

4. Caro Emerald - The Shocking Miss Emerald - sometimes even I need a break from the band/rock sound and this is the perfect album. A bit of class delivered with flair and style.

5. The Loyalties - Till The Death Of Rock N Roll - called it as one of the albums of the year back I January and sticking with it. Pure punk rock n roll.

Special mentions to: The Computers, The Creepshow, Michael Monroe, Dregen, Hey Hello and Northcote.

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Mike Ainscoe’s top five albums

1. The Fallows – Liars & Kings. What a discovery – within about half a minute of listening to the title track of this indie folk release I knew this was right up my street. Hoping they will head our way for some live dates next year. Gave the album a seriously rose tinted review in the pages of Mudkiss.

2. Lucy Ward – A Single Flame. Not only one of my albums of the year but also recognised in many folk polls – a dark and brooding, ultra mature release from someone destined to be mega – and some lighter (almost commercial!) moments too. Not only that but a splendid young lass who sat in the audience enthusiastically applauding her warm up act when we saw her play in Glossop towards the end of the year.

3. Junip – Junip. Discovered playing their dreamy atmospherics as the sun set at this year’s Ramsbottom Festival. Checking their self titled album released this year opened a new world – highly recommended.

4. Sound Of Contact – Dimensionaut.  Simon (son of Phil) Collin’s band’s debut album and a concept to boot – with some proper nu-prog, melodic and at times challenging and ambitious.

5. Spocks Beard – Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep. And a good old blast of proper old school prog; with a new singer and drummer making their recording debuts it’s one of their best releases for years, PLUS a bonus disc which is as good as the main album. Carrying the prog flames higher than ever from across the Atlantic.

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Den Browne’s favourite albums: Babyshambles - Sequel To The Prequel, Bitter Springs- Everyone's Cup of Tea, Band of Holy Joy - City of Tales, Congo Natty - Jungle Revolution, Wolf People - Fain, TOY - Join The Dots, Tame Impala - Lonerism and Ty Segall - Sleeper.

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And last but certainly not least…we have an entry from five very important pussy cats from Cornwall, these Dreamies are music to these furry beauties.

Dreamies Flavours - As voted for by Erick, Boris, Dee Dee, Jojo, and Fohat

  1. Tuna
  2. Salmon
  3. Beef
  4. Turkey
  5. Duck