Album Review: Descent

Album Review

Descent ‘This Violent Reality’ (Corellian Records)

Blimey. That’ll teach me. This had lingered near the bottom of the review pile. There are a lot of rubbish death-thrash-core metal bands out there, and only a few good ones.

However, West London’s Descent fall definitely into the latter camp. Whereas some bands in this genre make albums that give the impression of having no thought whatsoever put into them, and sound the same right the way through, this is a powerful, involving and ultimately rewarding listen. Speed is the key here, so we are definitely talking more Slayer than Sunn O ) ) ). There are a lot of ideas here, but there also excellent tunes too. Songs like ‘Reveal’ ‘Blasphemy Reborn’ and my personal favourite ‘My Failure.’

Perhaps most impressive is the way that the band manage not to descent into self-indulgence. If you are not a fan of this genre, this album won’t change that, but if you want to hear a metal band with a new twist, cast your ear this way.

Descent -‘My Failure.’ mp3

More mp3s can be found at the band’s webiste here, part of the Band’s website.

Their MySpace is here

Paul Raven 1961-2007

There really is someone else in a worse position than you.

I’d had a very stressful morning, feeling tired and grumpy (grumpy? You? never! -anyone who’s ever met me) and had just resolved to check email before heading to bed.

Chaancing on the NME website before heading there, I was saddened to read that Killing Joke’s bassist Paul Raven has died in Switzerland, in his sleep at the age of only 46.

I love Killing Joke’s music and though I’ve never met any of them, heartfelt sympathies go out to the band and Paul Raven’s family.

Read more here at NME and here at the official Killing Joke site.

By way of tribute, here are two tracks that Paul Raven played on, Killing Joke’s biggest hit, ‘Love Like Blood’ and ‘Eighties’ (yes, the latter was the one that Nirvana were considered to have appropriated for ‘Come As You Are.’ Litigation proceeded no further after Kurt Cobain’ suicide in 1994). Both these tracks can be found on Killing Joke’s album Night Time, which you should definitely buy.

Killing Joke -‘Love Like Blood.’ mp3

Killing Joke -‘Eighties.’ mp3

Don’t Cross the Charatans’ path!

Feeling shattered, and in desperate need of rest, and as usual, have too much to do.

However, have dragged myself out of bed long enough to download for free -yup, free!- and legally the new Charlatans single, courtesy of XFM Scotland. their new album is going to be available for free the same way next year, and it seems manager Alan McGee (yup, him, the one that signed Oasis) has realised this is the way the wind is blowing. No kidding…

And what of the song itself? Pretty damn great, and up there with the rest of the best stuff they’ve done over the last…seventeen years (i have long maintained that I think The Charlatans will outlast virtually ever other band of their original era). I’m already playing it for the second time this morning, and it’s only been available for about twelve minutes.

Download it here and let me know what you think

Some Covers For Sunday III

Well, I have been away for a few days with Mrs. 17 Seconds, but the cats and the flat have been looked after well by our friend Ken whilst we were off in Italy. Edinburgh seems rather grey and overcast after the delights of Tuscany.

Anyway, how’s about some covers for Sunday, then?

First up, a trio of delights from Placebo:

Placebo -’20th Century Boy (T.Rex cover).’ mp3

Placebo -‘Holocaust (Bog Star cover).’ mp3

Placebo -‘Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths cover).’ mp3

This is a cover of a Leonard Cohen song from his I’m Your Man album, by the Jesus and Mary Chain, which as well as being a b-side (1990’s Rollercoaster EP) was on the Leonard Cohen tribute album I’m Your Fan.

Jesus And Mary Chain -‘Tower Of Song (Leonard Cohen cover).’ mp3

The Strokes may have claimed ignorance of Television, Tori Amos apparently surprised at comparisons to Kate Bush, but at least the Manic Street Preachers never denied the obvious impact The Clash had on them:

Manic Street Preachers -‘Train In Vain (The Clash cover).’ mp3

Can you ever have too many Beatles covers? Er, well, depends as if they are as good as this…

Gene -‘Don’t Let Me Down (The Beatles cover).’ mp3

Finally, this has become quite a legendary cover, but why not, eh?

Belly -‘Trust In Me (cover from The Jungle Book).’ mp3

Enjoy. As always, if you like what you hear, support the artists involved.
I Should be posting more regularly now I’m back, though hibernating seems like an appealing option right now…

Seven Songs Selected At Random

(Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera)

These seven songs have indeed been selected at random!

Enjoy. And as always, if you like what you hear GO AND SUPPORT THE ARTISTS INVOLVED!!

Aztec Camera -‘Jump (Van Halen cover).’ mp3

Talking Heads -‘Memories Can’t Wait.’ mp3

Pretty Girls make Graves -‘This Is Our Emergency.’ mp3

Danger Mouse and Gemini -‘Ghetto Pop Life.’ mp3

The Fall -‘Spoilt Victorian Child.’ mp3

Goldie -‘Inner City Life.’ mp3

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy -‘Television, The Drug Of the Nation.’ mp3

Happy Listening, wherever you may be…


If I had to pick a favourite era for music, it would be 1977-1982.

Of course, I was too young to know what it meant at the time, but it’s the era that I have spent time tracking down the most sounds from.

There was just so much great stuff: The original UK punks finally getting the chance to make records, Roots reggae from Jamaica, the beginning of Hip-Hop, Bowie’s Berlin period, the beginning of indie, Post-punk, New Wave, No Wave, Disco, New Romantics (before it got silly), Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’, Siouxsie, the arrival of Madonna, Michael Jackson’s Off The Walland Thriller.

OK, so i’m sure people could write long lists about all the crap they had to live through musically, socially and personally and they’d be right too.

But -and it’s hard to do it justice -my view of six great tracks from the period.

Human League -‘Being Boiled.’ mp3

Scritti politti -‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’ mp3

James Chance -‘Contort Yourself.’ mp3

The Cramps -‘Human Fly.’ mp3

Wire -‘Three girl Rhumba.’ mp3

The Fall -‘Bingo Master’s Breakout!’ mp3

as always, if you like what you hear, support the artists involved!

The greatest one hit wonder ever?

I know many of my friends would go for ‘You Get What You Give’ by the New Radicals, and it’s up there, but Gregg Alexander loses marks for writing for Ronan Keating afterwards.

Nah, the greatest one hit wonder was this, no.2 in John Peel’s Festive Fifty in 1977, no.1 in the UK singles chart in early 1978 and still sounding great:

Althea and Donna -‘Uptown Top Ranking.’ mp3

This can probably be found on quite a few reggae compilations and the album is definitely on iTunes. everyone should own at least this song.

There’s a wee entry on the fun girls here at Wikipedia

2007…pretty good year for music so far

Thank goodness -I’m now off school for two and a half weeks. I may even be feeling human at the end of it all.

I know I often post covers on a Friday, but I thought today I would post a handful of tracks that I’ve really been enjoying this year. Some of them -Gasp! Shock! Horror! were hits. I’ve posted about Penny Century, Emma Pollock and Katie Sutherland a lot this year, and flagged up how much I’ve enjoyed Bat For Lashes and Wiley, but I thought I would highlight some other stuff I’ve loved.

Kate Nash -‘Foundations.’ mp3

King Creosote -‘Leslie.’ mp3

Tiny Dancers -‘I Will Wait For You.’ mp3

Calvin Harris -‘Acceptable in the 80s.’ mp3

Thrushes -‘Aidan Quinn.’ mp3

Justice -‘D.A.N.C.E.’ mp3

Hot Chip -‘My Piano.’ mp3

Von Sudenfed -‘Fledermaus Can’t Get It.’ mp3

Timbaland -‘Give It To Me.’ mp3

Battles -‘Atlas.’ mp3

If you like the tracks, support the artists involved, and leave feedback.

It’s going to be tough deciding my Top 50 tracks this year…

Aaargh…when do the holidays start, again?.

Increasingly FED UP WITH UNDER 18s.

They laugh and find getting a bollocking funny

Josef K -‘Sorry For Laughing.’ mp3

They make out you’re trying to get them…funny, why does it feel like it’s the other way round?

Black Box Recorder -‘The School Song.’ mp3

Then, when you try and educate them about things that might affect them and show them a film about nuclear war they start greetin’*. Maybe I should have used this instead…

Scars -‘Your attention Please.’ mp3

Amazing, they all think they’re so hard, and yet…

I may not have become my parents –yet – but I’ve already become one of my teachers.

* Greetin’ is scots slang for crying

Presenting…Ruth Theodore

A few days ago, I was rooting through the latest pile of CDs I had been sent to review, when I came across a name I hadn’t heard before: Ruth Theodore

This self-styled ‘south-coast refugee’ (it makes sense when you read her MySpace and website has got a great way with a guitar and songwriting, that slowly works its way in and takes you by surprise. Her debut album will be released in November on River Rat records, who make a virtue of being an ethical record company. (Maybe a lot of them will be having to go that way given that today is the day of Radiohead’s new online release).

Anyway, check out these gorgoeus tracks and if you don’t fall under her spell…more fool you. ‘Worm Food’ will be out on October 22, and she’s playing in and around that time. Mostly London, but hopefully she will come further afield (that’s a hint Ruth!!)

Ruth Theodore -‘Worm Food.’ mp3

Ruth Theodore -‘Ugly Faces.’ mp3

Ruth Theodore -‘Overexpanding.’ mp3