Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Year-end recommendations - 2013

Much like previous years, 2013's musical highlight was undoubtedly a gig - JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE live in Auckland. I'd never seen Jello live before and this way exceeded expectations. What's more, the band would rank among the tightest and most intensly rocking bands I've ever seen.
Much of the year was rather grinding: getting to grips with a new job, having a stunningly painful illness which I never, ever want to repeat (but am rather likely to) and generally just going from one day to the next with only my records and a nice mix of cold stout, red wine and whiskey to help relax. That was until December when...
I went to Melbourne for about 10 days. I'd been to Sydney before and loved it; so many people said Melbourne was better but I failed to see how. After just one day in Melbourne, I got it. It's by far the most liveable city I have ever been to and it's got a cornucopia of great records shops, be it Poison City, Recycled or best of them all, Off The Hip that is a label and hosted 4 rocking bands one Friday evening! Add on great bars, excellent historic and cultural attractions, a cosmopolitan attitude and an incredible sense of safety for such a big city. Could I live there? Very easily. Is a move on the cards? Well, I'm going back during this year for a longer stay. After that - who knows.
So - Top Sounds of 2013 - commence!!

1. JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - White People And The Damage Done (Alternative Tentacles)
2. ROUGH KIDS - The State I'm In (Sorry State)
3. NIGHT BIRDS - Born To Die In Suburbia (Grave Mistake)
5. STEVE ADAMYK BAND - Third (Dirtnap)
6. ABOLITIONIST - The Growing Disconnect (1859)
7. HDQ - Lost In Translation (Boss Tuneage)
8. GOLDBLADE - The Terror Of Modern Life (Overground)
9. NOFX - Self/Entitled (Fat Wreck)
10. SLAVES - Sugar Coated Bitter Truth (Boss Tuenage)
Also rans: SNUFF - 5-4-3-2-1...Whatever (Fat Wreck), JADED EYES - Gods And Monsters (Boss Tuneage), FRANCEENS - Stepford Smiles (TNS), DOWN AND OUTS - Lifeline (Boss Tuneage), OLD MAN MARKLEY - Down Side Up (Fat Wreck), SHIRKS - s/t (Grave Mistake), LOW CULTURE - Screens (Dirtnap), FP - L'anima al Peus (Hang The DJ)

1. REPLACEMENTS - Songs For Slim (New West)
2. STAY CLENE JOLENE - Green (Just Say No To Government Music)
3. RED DONS - Notes On The Underground (Grave Mistake)
4. DEAD ENDING - II (Alternative Tentacles)
5. ZOUNDS - Ancient Briton (Overground)
6. CHUMBAWAMBA - In Memoriam: Margaret Thatcher (Self-released)
7. SICKOIDS - No Home (Grave Mistake/ Sorry State)
9. THIRTY SIX STRATEGIES - Strategy One (Boss Tuneage)
10. TV EYE - Working Bee (Just4Fun)
Also rans: WESTERN ADDICTION - Pines (Fat Wreck), DOMESTICS - The GDP EP (Kibou), VIOLENT ARREST - Distorted View (Boss Tuneage), GENERATION DEAD - Demo (Self-released), HOLIDAY - Missiles On The Roof (Just Say No To Government Music)

1. CRAZYHEAD - Desert Orchid (Cherry Red)
2. TERMINUS - Graveyard Of Dreams (Boss Tuneage)
3. PROPAGANDHI - How To Clean Everything (Fat Wreck)
4. LURKERS - Fulham Fallout (Captain Oi!)
5. CRAVATS - In Toytown (Overground)