Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Year-end Recommendations 2015

Another year has gone, never to be seen again. It’s lingering memory, at least for us music loving Punks, is in a batch of what could already be seen as classic records and some dizzyingly impressive live gigs.
Biggest ‘notable’ for me was a negative - missing RUTS DC on the band’s New Zealand tour. As it was due to matters beyond my control, I was gutted beyond belief. When I heard how good the gigs were, and saw the live footage, that gutted feeling became ten-fold. It doesn’t matter that I have been seeing bands for over thirty years; missing one that I really wanted to go to is still a major source of disappointment - depression even!
From my isolated locale though, I did manage to catch a few crackers. CJ RAMONE brought the string section from the ADOLESCENTS over and played a blinder. NZ’s own (and possibly best) PCP EAGLES supported and would’ve blown away any other headliner I reckon. DICKIES came over and played to unbelievably small crowds and were supported by NOWHERE - a stunning NZ band that could’ve turned in the best performance I caught this year. Then there was GORILLA BISCUITS - how odd that was seeing these old timers playing these Youth Core anthems. Still, they just about pulled it off I have to say - and another NZ band, Garage Punks WIZZ KIDS supported blowing away the other two Metalcore support acts.
It’s also been a notable year for a couple of beloved musicians who have passed away. Dickie Hammond, he of HDQ and LEATHERFACE fame was the first real shocker. I saw the man many times, especially with LEATHERFACE and a true guitar gargantuan he was. The second was a little-known fella named Lemmy - the very definition of what a rock ‘n’ roller should be. You might know him - he played in HAWKWIND and was the man behind a little skiffle band called MOTORHEAD. The band’s seminal live album, ‘No Sleep Til Hammersmith’ was among the very first albums I bought and it, along with ‘It’s Alive’ by another little skiffle band called THE RAMONES, will remain perfect examples of what a live album should be. You’ll both be missed, fellas.
So - my Top Sounds for 2015. Obviously loads I haven’t got to hear - including the new NIGHTBIRDS and LEFTOVER CRACK albums. So, here goes - the toppest tunes that have rung out from the House Of Scanner during the past 12 months:

1. PARANOID VISIONS - Cryptic Crosswords {Overground}
2. POISON IDEA - Confuse And Conquer {Southern Lord}
3. D.O.A. - Hard Rain Falling {Sudden Death}
4. NO MORE ART - Sorrows Of Youth {Rockstar}
5. NOWHERE - Cancer {DIY}
6. JONNY MANAK AND THE DEPRESSIVES - Cold Pizza And Warm Beer {Self Destructo}
8. GOOD RIDDANCE - Peace In Our Time {Fat Wreck}
9. VIOLENT ARREST - Life Inside The Western Bloc {Boss Tuneage}
10. STEVE DREWETT - Ku Jenga Society {Cruel Binary}
Honorary Albums: THE BRISTLES - Last Days Of Capitalism {Heptown}, CASTRO - The River Need, SPOILERS - Stay Afloat, THIRTY SIX STRATEGIES - Strategy Three {Boss Tuneage}, FAT MIKE AND FRIENDS - Home Street Home, TOY GUITAR - In This Mess {Fat Wreck}, POINTED STICKS - Northern Electric {Sudden Death}, STARVING MILLIONS - III {Good Times}, SHEHEHE - Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen {Fall Break}, SCREECHING WEASEL - Baby Fat Act I {Recess}, STEAKKNIFE - One Eyed Bom {Rookie}, DARK AGES - Vapor {Sorry State}

1. YOUNG CONSERVATIVES - The End Of Socialism {Obscene Baby Auction}
2. VANILLA POD - Swing Out The Sunrise {TNS Records}
3. THE BOMB - Axis Of Awesome {No Idea}
4. PARANOID VISIONS - Two Black Eyes {Overground}
5. CITIZEN FISH - Manmade {Bluurg}
6. NO PROBLEM - Kid Killer {Deranged} 
7. FLIES ON YOU - Fan-Based Repellent {DIY}
8. POISON IDEA/ ROVSVETT - Split {Just4Fun}
9. WORTHY VICTIMS - A Bitter Future {DIY}
10. DWARVES - Gentleman Blag {Fat Wreck}
Honorary Singles: JOYCE MANOR/ TOYS THAT KILL - Split {Recess}, PEARS - Letters To Memaw {Fat Wreck}

1. INSTIGATORS - Phoenix {Boss Tuneage}
2. ATV - Viva La Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Complete Deptford Fun City Recordings {Cherry Red}
3. REALLY RED - Complete Collection 1979-1985 {Alternative Tentacles}
4. DWARVES - Are Younger And Even Better Looking {Recess}
5. DOCTOR BISON - The Bloated Vegas Years/ Dewhursts: The Musical {Boss Tuneage}
6. MEAN JEANS - Singles {Dirtnap}
7. THE JONES - Gravity Blues {Boss Tuneage}
8. NEWTOWN NEUROTICS - Triumph Over Adversity {Cruel Binary}
9. YOUTH BRIGADE - Complete First Demo {Dischord}
10. NUCLEAR SOCKETTS - Complete Singles {Overground}
Honorary Reissues: ADVERSARY - s/t, ELMERHASSEL - Self Analysis/ Entertainment Value, EPIC PROBLEM - ‘11-‘14, HEX - Poison In The System: The Demos {Boss Tuneage}, THE LICKS - 1970s, {Overground}, NO IDEA - Jag Hatar Punk {Just4Fun}, IRON BOOTS - Complete Discography {Grave Mistake}