Before I get on to the return of some big hitters, I’ll mention Gold Furs, the solo project of Becca Murray, an up and coming Glaswegian lo-fi singer/songwriter with an intriguing, sometimes Nico-esque voice that also reminds me of Siouxsie at times.
Becca lists her influences as ‘ghosts, magick, rock n roll, time travel, dreams, death, lust, alcohol, sex, anything with soul’ and is a fan of a very wide array of artists from The Cramps through to Ennio Morricone.
Her Dreams EP is out now via Bandcamp and if you’re even more old school than me you might want the limited edition cassette release of this, the cassette casing being flecked with gold glitter which looks fantastic.
From it this is Nobody Knows:
Next up is Honeyblood, an act that I have featured twice before and adore. The lead single from second album Babes Never Die, this is Waiting for the Magic, which along with Justine, Misery Queen is my favourite track from a consistently strong album:
And now the return of two big hitters. Firstly, Pixies.
Pixies released their first new album in ages last year – no I don’t count collections of EPs like Indie Cindy as ‘new’ albums.
For a while in the late 1980s, Pixies were one of my two favourite bands in the entire universe along with My Bloody Valentine. Nowadays, sans Kim Deal, they still make fantastic music but we all know they will never be as manically brilliant as they were back then with Black Francis’ ferocious, tonsil-shredding screams and hollered unhinged lyrics, and that amazing barrage of razor sharp guitar, furiously pounded drums and malevolent basslines that left you frazzled whenever you were lucky enough to see them live.
Head Carrier is nowhere near as good as Doolittle or Surfer Rosa. Many critics loathed the album, usually ones that enjoy bores like Kate Tempest whingeing on about whatever easy target she whinges on about.
On tracks like Might as Well Be Gone, Tenement Song and All I Think About Now the quartet do still shine, although I preferred the latter song when it was called Where Is My Mind? Only joking. I think.
Directed by bassist Paz Lenchantin (who is a very good Kim Deal tribute act it would have to be said) this is Classic Masher:
Finally, the Jesus and Mary Chain are back.
Produced by Youth, who also provides bass on the record, their first new album in umpteen years, Damage And Joy, will be released on March 24th 2017.
According to Paste: ‘It’s a far cry from their early shoegaze sound, and develops the cleaner, distinct layers they opted for later in their career, though their iconic distortion isn’t totally absent and the music still feels raw.’
Despite having always thought of myself being a Mary Chain fan since their early days I seem to have missed their ‘early shoegaze sound’ but anyway, this was the first taster from the upcoming album, this is Amputation:
And here’s six more of my top 30 songs of 2016:
Those Unfortunates: The Servant
Explosions in the Sky: Logic of a Dream
Lurkers GLM: Nearly Home
Miracle Glass Company: T.R.O.U.B.L.E
& The Strokes: Drag Queen
For more on Gold Furs: https://www.facebook.com/goldfurs/
For more on Honeyblood: http://honeyblood.co.uk/
For more on more on Pixies: http://www.pixiesmusic.com/
& for The Jesus and Mary Chain: http://thejesusandmarychain.uk.com/