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MY TOP 50 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME

So, I’m gonna do a thing. I’m going to compile a list of all lists. I tried top 1000, but I feel like that will go boring quickly …

So, I landed on top 50 albums of all time … and so, I’m going to update the list every day or so, and name my top 100 albums of all time. Little by little, day by day, I’ll get there.

Side note: NO COMPILATIONS // NO BEST OF ALBUMS

However, I can’t do it without a bit of help … soooo I’m asking you guys, suggest any album and I’ll try and add it to the list!

 

That’s all from me.

 

Alex

 

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music

Slaves Satisfy Us Once Again With Third Slice of Punk Pie

Thumpy. Rowdy. Dirty. Everything you want in a punk album.

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The Kent duo, Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman,  are back again, with their third album, “Acts of Fear and Love” following on from their 2016 release of “Take Control.” Sticking to their punky roots once again, they’ve offered up a truly hazardous album taking their music further than ever before, with veiny in-your-face guitar riffs, thumping drums and gritty vocals that makes you want to thrash about the place.

The album kicks off with, “The Lives They Wish They Had,” a perfect way for the band to introduce themselves to new fans – gritty humour, angry choruses, dirty chords. The song is soon cranked up a gear and turns into chaos, which is exactly what you want from these boys. It’s short and sweet – bit like this entire album.

This is followed on with “Cut and Run,” a song much different to their other material. It soon becomes somewhat repetitive and doesn’t really lead anywhere as a song, but with catchy lyrics, crunchy guitar licks – you can’t help but get along to it, and so it sits comfortably within this album.

“Bugs” and “Magnolia” are considered the angsty punk songs about let-down generations and housing interiors but, they can be seen as nothing as fillers to push up the album’s numbers.  Laurie’s guitar effects however, are up to par once again throughout the album and suit Isaac’s pulsating drums once again – these two simply bounce off each other.

It wouldn’t be a Slaves album without an unusual acoustic song squeezed in between the loud chaos. It began with “Are You Satisfied” off their debut and continued with skits off their second album. Now, we have “Daddy”, a guitar lick that could’ve been developed into an entire song, unlike its minute, 50 seconds run-through. It filters in a nice break for the listeners and shows a softer side to the duo.

This is followed on with “Chokehold,” their pre-material ‘banger,’ which their old fans will be more familiar with. Their music video matches the same brilliance as the writing to the song – a quirky story based around the idea of Isaac leaving the band and Laurie having to find a replacement drummer. There are several cameos from fellow drummers such as Ben Thatcher from Royal Blood and Sam Doyle of the Maccabees. With its disparate lyrics, stabbing guitar and kick-ass drum groove, it is a song that can be happily repeated off this album, and one that will most definitely be played during their live concerts.

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Then, comes a song that I have had on repeat ever since the album has come out. “Photo Opportunity” offers eloquence in all kinds of ways. It is a much slower song from Slaves, but does not take away the fact how powerful the song is. Laurie’s guitar melody with Isaac’s monotone singing creates sadness during the first verse, and draws you in instantly. It suddenly explodes with gritty guitar chords and pulls you in further right up in your face, with Isaac screaming “WHAT SHALL WE DO TODAY,” just off from the microphone. Sounding similar to old Twenty One Pilots,  It is a song that shows a different side to the band from Kent, and pushes punk further into more and more people’s ears, and that ‘s brilliant.

This is follows with dark and gloomy “Artificial Intelligence” telling us about the dangers of robots getting cleverer and cleverer, with echoing screams of us telling to switch them off, but once again, get very familiar with its style and structure of the song. Good but skippable.

The album finishes with number 9 – self-titled “Acts Of Fear And Love.” Sounding similar to The Streets, it tells us a monologue story that life itself is made up of acts of just fear and love, and nothing else. It is a strong number to finish the album off, a story depicted well throughout, with the ending depicting of styles of The Stone Roses and Joy Divison, that is honed in across the album. It perfectly concludes Slaves’ third piece of work, and you can tell they have worked hard on it. Now, I need to be sure to catch them live, before the whole tour sells out.

Dirty and angry, Slaves play off each other perfectly, using their talent in the right ways and at the right time, to produce an album that sends them further into punk, and hopefully, making new steps in the history books.

RATING: 4/5

BEST SONG: Photo Opportunity

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music

Miles’ Doesn’t Forget Who Is and Produces Down to Earth Third Studio Album – despite Turner’s ghostly presence

Last Friday, Miles Kane released “Coup de Grace” as his third studio album. Miles has taken a big break from his solo work, last releasing way back in 2013. He has been too busy palling up with Turner in The Last Shadow Puppets to take notice of his own work.

But now, following on from “Don’t Forget Who You Are” in 2013, he has released a truly explosive album, in a feeling of what Arctic Monkey’s new sound could of sound like, if Turner had not fell in the sunken depths of his ego.

It is known that Kane and Turner share a true musical bromance with each other – and its evident even more so in Kane’s new work, with his lyrics and singing style taking full influence from Turner. Throughout the album, his singing has become more “slurred” and exaggerated just like Turner’s iconic singing.

The first four songs beat and berate you all over the place – strong songs placed firmly at the start of the album. “Too Little Too Late” and “Cry On My Guitar” are true eclectic rock n roll songs with effective melodies, thumping bass and powerful vocals that push this album out of the block.

“Killing The Joke” tells us that Kane may be doing solo work, but he’s still going to sliver in a little bit of Puppets. Synths galore, it really hones in the lasting effects of The Last Shadow Puppets. Hidden in an frenzied album, it makes a change and gives us another taste of how talented Kane is.

Shouty and very 80s-like, “Coup de Grace,” is a somewhat empty song, relying solely on Kane’s shouting the title over and over again until it becomes annoying. I cringe as soon as Kane starts singing on the first verse, as it sounds exactly like Turner. Scary like. They are slowly becoming one musician. Good tune but skippable.

Filler songs, “Silverscreen” and “Wrong Side of Life” deliver similar styles and licks as The Puppets do in the newer stuff. I’ve gotta say though, I love Kane’s aggressive shouty lyrics in “Wrong Side of Life” – straining his voice almost as if it hurts to tell the story within the song; brilliant!

The album concludes with James Bond-esque, “Shavambacu,” a name of a song almost directly taken from Turner’s lyric book for Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. It doesn’t really go anywhere, and so just ends rather unemphatically.

Overall, ‘Coup De Grace’ offers splendours for all fans of Miles’ work, delivering feverous rock bangers aswell as slow and peaceful Puppets songs within the middle and end of the album. But Turner’s presence is coated throughout, which is not necessarily a bad thing, showing his influences through the past year – a different side of Kane’s lyrical writing and delivery. It’s not always a good thing always however – if not for Kane’s gasp of rock n roll cling on, this would be just another Puppets album under a different name. Perhaps not what he was aiming for. 

RATING: 3.5/5

BEST SONG: Cry On My Guitar

 

 

 

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music

New Monkeys’ Sixth Studio Album Gives Us Nothing But The Turner Show

 

Excitement hit when Monkeys announced they were in the studio recording their sixth album – Base Tranquillity Hotel & Casino. After AM, you can understand the excitement. Fresh from the stage of The Last Shadow Puppets, finally, New Monkeys! Releasing no material before the release, we didn’t know what to expect. I was that excited I pre-ordered the vinyl… if I knew what came, I wouldn’t of bothered.

When it arrived, I was more shocked than anything; unlawfully replacing Monkey’s iconic mix of loud and unique  rock with disheartening pop songs about a hotel on the moon. Come again? 

There were rumours that Turner would sliver in The Last Shadow Puppets, as he enjoyed the avenue that the band took him and Kane down, but it didn’t think he would make an entire album devoting to it.

Ditching his guitar and taking up the piano, Turner takes it upon himself to deliver different echoic melodies spreading his new ideas from The Last Shadow Puppets on toward his other band. Missing it too much, he has written songs in similar tastes and, has completely lost it in the process.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for change. It makes you see one of your favourite artist in a new, fresh light and gives you a whole renounced respect for their musicality. Change is often minimal within music artists, as too much change, would divide your fans and cause controversy. Change is always good.

Turner did the full 360, and just flipped that on its head, essentially creating a Puppets album with a different band. A band that were firmly in the grounds of strong, powerful, punchy rock. Talent goes to waste here. Guitarist Jamie Cook and drummer, Matt Helders are quiet throughout, delivering empty sounds. It’s taken six albums, but its finally the Turner show. He should’ve put this under his solo work.

In live performances, you can tell he has gotten bored of playing the same fast paced songs from their past 5 albums, drastically slowing them down to the same pace as Tranquillity Base Hotel Casino. So, it is no surprise, that he has gone down an entirely different path. But, if that’s the case, stick to The Last Shadow Puppets, and leave Arctic Monkeys out of it. I often wonder if the other bandmates, had their hesitations about it, and how much persuading did it take for Turner to do or did he just do it anyway?

It begins with “Star Treatment,” a 5 minute monologue of Alex Turner’s haphazard lyric choices, but soon becomes monotonous, a tone that you get used to throughout the album.

Next up, is “One Point Persepective,” which apart, from the hammering piano chords, can be mistaken for “Star Treatment.” Same with “American Sports” to be honest. Through lyrical jargon that not even Mr. Spock can decipher, Turner expresses his disappointment and asks for his money back. That makes two of us, Alex.

The only two good songs present on the album is the self-titled, “Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino” and “Four out of Five,” which inherently saves the album from the discard pile. These two songs showcase simple but strong melodies, defiant musical talent within the band and give the album a sense of elegance to it, which is so rarely missed. The best on the album is, “Four out of Five,” which envelopes the concept album well in its little bubble. With its pulsating guitar licks and confident, clever Turner lyrics, it’s a real delight to listen to. Aaaaand this is where I turn off the album.

Giving us an in-depth story that is told so well throughout them, these will be the only two songs that I will happily put on repeat. But do not be mistaken, these songs will not be appearing within The Best of Monkeys playlist of any kind.

There is some good though. It makes me listen to their old music more and more. Just in case, I forget how amazing they were. Something tells me that we aren’t going to get the likes of Your Favourite Worst Nightmare … 

Now, I understand that they are not going to still write songs about nights out in Yorkshire 9 years later, but I don’t think a hotel on the moon is the way forward.

That’s just my opinion though, let me know what you think!

 

RATING: 3/5

BEST SONG: FOUR OUT OF FIVE

 

 

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SO YOU WANT TO BE A DRUMMER? pt 1.

So – – you wanna be a drummer. *sigh* come on then, get aboard. There’s just enough room for one of yous.

baby-drummer

Before I let you go any further, I must give you some ground rules first …

  1. Enjoy the journey – because otherwise, what’s the point?
  2. Listen just as much as you play – listening can broaden your playing skills – especially if you’re listening to the best of them all.
  3. No drummer/musician is your enemy – respect the drum community; help other drummers out – they may need help just as you do
  4. Be patient – like with every instrument, learning progressively will take time – and you should accept that; the sooner the better.
  5. Jokes will fly your way. You’re a drummer, that’s what you have chosen, you must deal with the consequences. When the bassist is not there, you will face the brunt of the jokes. If they start getting to you just remember; you are the time-keeper; they’d be god awful without you. They solely rely on you to look good. Remember that.
  6. Expect to spend a LOT of money. The drums is definitely up there with the most expensive instruments to play, as there are so many separate parts that come with it.
  7. Stick tricks are pointless. Every kid and dog when they start playing drums want to not actually play the drums but waste time, fiddling with their sticks trying to flip them in the air and catch them again. I know there’s drummers who love doing it, and it looks cool within a groove, but me – I’d rather learn my instruments then deal with showboating. Let your drums do the talking.
  8. As soon as you pick up those sticks, your life won’t be the same ever again. So get ready.

Right, so now that’s sorted, we can proceed!

I’ll give you another list of need-to-know basic terms for you to get your head around. Because – everyone loves lists.

  • RUDIMENTS – when you begin drumming, you’ll come across these bad boys. They’re something that sticks with you throughout your drumming journey. Because, they are so damn important. I had forgotten how important they actually were. They help you develop your hand speed, your stick comfort/control and developing fills across your kit.  So get learning ’em! SINGLE STROKE ROLLS (RLRLRL) DOUBLE STROKE ROLLS (RRLL) PARADIDDLES (RLRRLRLL) These are three most common rudiments – but of course, there’s loads more.
  • THRONE – this is where your behind sits when you’re bashing away; we call it this, as it makes us feel more important. Height and position of the throne is important, as it can affect how you play; so get it right!
  • MATCHED/TRADITIONAL GRIP – there are two types on how we hold a drumstick. Matched grip is the populous choice, and is the more “pop-py,” modern grip as opposed to the traditional grip, which jazz drummers and military drummers fashion. cropped-img_0640.jpg

 

 

 

  • COMMON TIME – this is the time signature of 4/4 (common time) – the most popular and used time signature within music; signifying 4 beats in a bar. Of course, you get different time signature with varying stages of difficulty that comes along with it (3/4, 5/8, 6/8, 7/8 etc.) – these are counted differently, so the groove is shifted in accordance to the time signature. {more on this in the future}
  • CLICK TRACK / METRONOME – This is a drummers’ most handy tool; it helps you keep in time with a metronome and as time-keepers, it’s important to get this locked down as soon as possible.

For now, this is all I’m gonna give you for part 1. Be sure to be around to catch part 2, when I get around to it …

That’s all from me.

 

Alex