vive le rock - The I-94 Bar
Vive Le Rock magazine writer and Mule Freedom PR publicist
TOP TEN TRACKS FROM 2020
Like going deaf or blind, a lack of gigs seems to have sharpened my other music-loving senses, so I’ve been digging more sounds than ever this year. This is just the tip of a very big, and very loud, iceberg. Working as a PR, I’ve taken the flaming liberty of including some of my own wares in here – can you spot ‘em? But I make no excuses: I’m incredibly lucky and privileged to get to work with people whose stuff I love. I hope after reading this, you’ll love it too. - Gerry x
PS - The Celibate Rifles' "Extract From The Fungus" would’ve been No.1 if I’d heard it yet.
10.) James Williamson & Deniz Tek – "Jet Pack Nightmare"
They may be getting on – ain’t we all? – but Ann Arbor’s finest can still cut the Stories For Boys action rock! A venomous boogie riff to kick off "Two To One", the album that was bound to happen one day.
9.) Blue Öyster Cult – "The Alchemist"
It’s taken them nine years to come up with a new studio album and when they do, it’s recorded in lockdown conditions. And it’s still the best thing the boys from Stony Brook have done in donkeys’ years. Fourteen newly minted and totally Cultish songs, "The Symbol Remains" is conspicuously low on epics, but this six-minuter – with its "Flaming Telepaths" dink-dink-dink – hits the spot.
Louder Than War and Vive Le Rock magazines
Whitley Bay, UK
Hector Gannet - "Big Harcar" (GUGA Records)
Fronted by Aaron Duff, the best singer to emerge from North-East England since Eric Burdon, Hector Gannet conjured visceral seascapes celebrating the wild beauty of Northumberland and North Tyneside.
Snowgoose - "The Making of You" (Glass Modern Records)
Sublime folk-rock from the Anglo-Scottish outfit's second album.
Suzie Stapleton - "We Are the Plague" (Negative Prophet Records)
The promise of Stapleton's early EPs was fully delivered on this stunning debut album.
Michael J Sheehy - "Distance is the Soul of Beauty" (Lightning Archive)
A late night slow-burner with shades of the third Velvet Underground album.
Speedways - "Radio Sounds" (Alien Snatch! Records)
The new kings of power-pop set out their stall with a flawless album.
The Hellfire Club - "A Different Song" (Strength in Numbers)
Rousing Americana with a Glaswegian twist.
2016 was a great year for new music in my view, from both new and established acts. I found it pretty difficult to whittle the list down to ten, but here goes.
1. deux furieuses - "Tracks of Wire"
In a year dominated by abject misogyny and the rapid rise of idiocracy in the western world, Ros Cairney and Vas Antoniadou kicked against the pricks with a masterful collision of tribal drums, brutal guitar and razor-sharp feminist/humanist critique. The true heirs of Patti Smith's mantle.
2. Iggy Pop - "Post Pop Depression"
Jim Osterberg and his notorious alter-ego finally coalesced on a brave, compelling album that sought resolution of the key themes of his life's work.
3. Ela Orleans- Circles of Upper and Lower Helll.
Dark, trippy and completely absorbing, an album that mirrored the free-fall disorientation of 2016.
4. David Bowie- "Blackstar"
You know about this one. A class act, to the end.