31 March 2013

31st March - Prince's Sign O' the Times

Artist – Album: Prince – Sign “O” the Times
Released:  31st March 1987
Sounds Like: Well, er, a sign of the times, would you believe it?

 Happy Easter Sunday people! Hope you’ve all had healthy amounts of chocolate eggs and a good old bit of Christianity (if that’s what you’re in to).

Fittingly, today’s post is about that most Christian of artists: Prince. Actually, that should be the artist formerly known as Prince. And actually, he’s not Christian at all, I was totally joking. Prince, the little impish joker, sings here about drugs, sex and AIDS as though they were issues that were ten a penny back in the late 80’s. Which they may well have been. He certainly considers them a sign o’ the times.

The dark subject matter is actually downplayed by a double album that forays into a wide variety of music styles and fun experimentalism. From the vital pop of ‘I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man’ to the funky groove of the title track, Prince chameleons through the genres in a manner miles ahead of his 80’s peers Michael Jackson or Madonna. The sinister, psycho-sexual ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’, the just plain sexual ‘It’, the fantasy of meeting another woman whilst being in a relationship covered in ‘The Ballad of Dorothy Parker’, the brilliance of a particularly beautiful woman in ‘U Got the Look’; many of Prince’s greatest moments on this album encompassed the same general  sexual theme, but the musical approach in each differed greatly and really his ability to mix it up.

I have begin to sound like something of a broken record on this blog, often extolling the virtues of keeping your albums short but sweet (or at least reasonable and cool), but double albums are always a slightly different kettle of ball fish. They often need to be viewed from a different standpoint, accounting for the massive ambition and foresight given to them. This one is ambitious and forward thinking, and you know what? It doesn’t even feel too long. Although it doesn't sound it, that is one hell of a compliment from me. Well done Prince. Or squiggle. Or whatever your name is. 

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       Sign o’ the Times – 4:57
2.       Play in the Sunshine – 5:05
3.       Housequake – 4:42
4.       The Ballad of Dorothy Parker – 4:01
5.       It – 5:09
6.       Starfish and Coffee – 2:50
7.       Slow Love – 4:22
8.       Hot Thing – 5:39
9.       Forever in My Life – 3:30
10.   U Got the Look – 3:47
11.   If I Was Your Girlfriend – 5:01
12.   Strange Relationship – 4:01
13.    I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man – 6:29
14.   The Cross – 4:48
15.   It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night – 9:01
16.   Adore – 6:30

Listen to ‘The Ballad of Dorothy Parker ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xi8A5OFhUI

Also released on the 31st March:
1986: Prince – Parade
Also released on the 31st March:
2008: Frank Turner – Love Ire & Song

Also released on the 31st March:
2010: Jónsi - Go

30 March 2013

30th March - Pulp's This Is Hardcore

Artist – Album: Pulp – This Is Hardcore
Released:  30th March 1998
Sounds Like: This is our "Music from A Bachelors Den", The sound of loneliness turned up to ten.

I’m afraid it’s just going to be a brief post today guys, I’m feeling very delicate after being on the wrong side of a 36 hour bender. No loud noises please.

Fortunately, This Is Hardcore doesn’t really go for balls out, in your face rock music. There’s bite and aggression, but it’s mainly in the form of snide comments from lead singer Jarvis Cocker and short, punchy synths. That is something my fragile mind can cope with.  

Stand out songs include the deceptively soft ‘Dishes’, which boasts the immortal opening couplet “I am not Jesus, though I have the same initials”, and ‘Help the Aged’ which, when performed on Da Ali G Show, was garnished with some additional lines such as “help the motherfuckin’ aged”.

As a follow up to Different Class, it signified a change from the wistful anthems and belting choruses to a darker, edgier mood. It stood as one of the final nails in the coffin of the Britpop movement, but it’s not just an important album. It’s a thoroughly good one too.  

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       The Fear – 5:35
2.       Dishes – 3:30
3.       Party Hard – 4:00
4.       Help the Aged – 4:28
5.       This is Hardcore – 6:25
6.       TV Movie – 3:25
7.       A Little Soul – 3:19
8.       I’m a Man – 4:59
9.       Seductive Barry – 8:31
10.   Sylvia – 5:44
11.   Glory Days – 4:55

Listen to ‘Help the Aged’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bZjKC0EaY0

29 March 2013

29th March - Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails

Artist – Album: Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails
Released:  29th March 1969
Sounds Like: How Much Do You Love (psychedelic jams)?

How much you like Quick Silver Messenger Services’ Happy Trails depends an awful lot on how much you love great big, protracted guitar solos. A friend of mine (the guitarist/vocalist in a hitherto unnamed Nottingham band) was recently moaning to me about songs that overuse the guitar solo; how they‘re just speedy progressions through scales performed by pompous wankers. But he does like to moan a lot. Similarly, another guitarist friend (who used to carve up the fretboard in my shortlived teenage band The Cornerstones) completely denounced simple pop songs and melodies and fully embraced the jazzy jams performed by mostly unknown guitar gods such as Mike Walker. Although by no means jazz, Happy Trails is likely to satisfy the second friend more than the first. But, as I said, the first friend likes to moan a lot, so really it’s win win.
The first half of Happy Trails is one long extended jam through Bo Diddley’s classic ‘Who Do You Love’, split into 5 parts. Every last ounce of cool is squeezed from the tune, as the group’s shifting emphasis focuses on the rhythm, then the guitars, then the drums, then the vocals, then the guitars again. You’re never but a few seconds away from a blistering lick or solo.
It’s said that listening to this album is the closest you can get to experiencing what it was like to see their critically acclaimed live performances. This, for me, is the crux of the problem. It’s quite clear that it would have been awesome to have been there, to see the original Quicksilver Messenger Service quartet play. But live albums tend to disappoint unless you’ve experienced the band yourself. You can’t see the group play, you can’t see the dynamics between them and the crowd and the way they bounce off each other; the rush of rocking tracks and the sentiment of ballads are dimmed when they’re heard solely through your laptop speakers.
Unfortunately, for me, this album is a sorry substitute for watching a great live band play live.
Albumaday... rating: 6/10

1.       Who Do You Love? Part 1 – 3:32
2.       When You Love – 5:15
3.       Where You Love – 6:07
4.       How You Love – 2:45
5.       Which Do You Love – 1:49
6.       Who Do You Love? Part 2 – 5:51
7.       Mona – 7:01
8.       Maiden of the Cancer Moon – 2:54
9.       Calvary – 13:31
10.   Happy Trails – 1:29

Listen to ‘Who Do You Love? Part 1 ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTeArrWk2qI

Also released on the 29th March:
1994: Ali Farka Toure/Ry Cooder – Talking Timbuktu

28 March 2013

28th March - King Creosote & Jon Hopkins' Diamond Mine

Artist – Album: King Creosote and Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
Released:  28th March 2011
Sounds Like: Cardigans, bushy beards, and neeps and tatties.

Contentious decision time – rather than Houses of the Holy from hard rocking titans Led Zeppelin, I’ve opted to listen to Diamond Mine, a low selling, low key collaboration by Scottish troubadour King Creosote and ambient producer Jon Hopkins...

Personally, I was absolutely enamoured by the pair’s sketches from Scotland, a collection of songs that evocatively brings up images of stone wall cottages and cosy pubs in a fishing town in Fife. The album begins with a barely heard welcome from a bonnie wee lass and the muffled sounds of a shop counter transaction. Brian Eno-esque piano chords provide a sparse backdrop. The lightly strummed guitar don’t make an appearance until the second track ‘John Taylor’s Month Away’, a song much more in the style of typical KC (KC rules OK?). His lilting, softly accented croon captivates. And the album follows that pattern from there on in. Ambient, atmospheric break is followed by lovely acoustic ditty, follows ambient break, follows acoustic ditty. After just over half an hour, we finish with the last few notes of gentle coda ‘Your Young Voice’ and we’re transported back to our real lives; in my case, the charcoal grey skies and tall buildings of Manchester.

It goes some way to show the high regard that I hold this album in that i haven’t crow-barred into this review as many national stereotypes and clichés as humanly possible, as I did for Frenchies Air, the (not actually) Canadian Neko Case and St Patrick’s Day. Och aye the noo indeed.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       First Watch – 2:37
2.       John Taylor’s Month Away – 6:32
3.       Bats in the Attic – 3:43
4.       Running on Fumes – 6:36
5.       Bubble – 5:35
6.       Your Own Spell – 3:51
7.       Your Young Voice – 3:17

Listen to ‘Bats in the Attic ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAt4sk8znk4

Also released on the 28th March:
1973: Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy

27 March 2013

27th March - Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home

Artist – Album: Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home
Released:  27th March 1965         
Sounds Like:  A record breaker

So, Bob Dylan here becomes the first artist to have had three albums reviewed on this blog, following 1964’s The Times They Are A-Changing and 1975’s Blood on the Tracks in January.
What’s surprising is that this effort doesn’t really sound anything like the other two. I mean, sure, his voice is still a squawk as in the older recording, and his lyrics are as well chosen, funny and tender as in later album, but, musically, this is going down a very different path. Here, Dylan’s forsaken the limited folk of his earlier records for the electric folk rock that he made his own. He has a go at Chuck Berry style Rock and Roll for ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, a song hilariously revealed to be a George Formby original in mock news comedy The Day Today (youtube it!). The second half is more traditional in tone but there’s a succession of more than five minute long songs, sprawling, all-encompassing tales that broke the rigid conventions of the time.
The calibre of the songs on this album is just extraordinary: ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’, ‘Mr Tambourine Man’, ‘Gates of Eden’, ’It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) and ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’; each one stakes a credible claim to be Dylan’s greatest ever single track, and each works exceptionally well with the others to create an entirely listenable and rewarding masterpiece of a whole.
And for that reason, Bob Dylan also becomes the first artist to have more than one perfect rated album on this blog. Now hear this Robert Zimmerman, I gave two tens to you.  
Albumaday... rating: 10/10

1.       Subterranean Homesick Blues – 2:21
2.       She Belongs to Me – 2:47
3.       Maggie’s Farm – 3:54
4.       Love Minus Zero/No Limit – 2:51
5.       Outlaw Blues – 3:05
6.       On the Road Again – 2:35
7.       Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream – 6:30
8.       Mr Tambourine Man – 5:30
9.       Gates of Eden – 5:40
10.   It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – 7:29
11.   It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – 4:12

Listen to ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqNk9C8iUII

Also released on the 27th March:
1991: Slint - Spiderland

26 March 2013

26th March - Gorillaz' Gorillaz

Artist – Album: Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Released:  26th March 2001
Sounds Like: A helluva lot cooler than the Archies.

Gorillaz weren’t the first hit cartoon group – Comic book characters The Archies were the sickly sweet one hit wonderers responsible for ‘Sugar, Sugar’ – but they were still something startlingly new when they first landed in the early noughties.

The fantastic, Thriller, Dawn of the Dead AND Braindead referencing music video to ‘Clint Eastwood’ (no, I didn’t pick up on all the cultural nods either), actually served to distract from the cool and refreshing blend of trip hop beats and indie rock sensibilities created by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura. Or 2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle, as their fictional representatives are known. ‘Clint Eastwood’ is without a doubt the strongest track on the album, a The Good, The Bad and The Ugly sampling hip hop pastiche, well described by Allmusic as an update of the Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’. But it ain’t the be all and end all as far as the album goes. ‘Re-Hash’ and ‘ 5/4’ are more straightforward but good indie songs, whilst ‘Rock the House’ and ’19-2000’ were enjoyable singles by their own right.

I remember that one of my MTV-less friends went to see Gorillaz soon after the release of this album, and he was so devastated to find that he couldn’t see the real band, as they played behind the screen on to which their animated alter-egos were projected. Having never seen the videos, he had just thought Gorillaz was just the name of Blur singer Damon Albarn’s side project, the title of his dabbling into a variety of genres that his main group wouldn’t touch with a ten foot barge pole (now, a twelve foot barge pole would be a different matter altogether). For the most part, this isn’t just some rock stars wanky meanderings into strange territory, and some of this is great fun. But at times it does descend into for-the-big-fans-only territory, and it’s easy to see how the boy made the mistake. Still, it’s a great debut album from a band that aren’t afraid to do things differently.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Re-Hash – 3:37
2.       5/4 – 2:39
3.       Tomorrow Comes Today – 3:12
4.       New Genius (Brother) – 3:57
5.       Clint Eastwood – 5:39
6.       Man Research (Clapper) – 4:32
7.       Punk – 1:36
8.       Sound Check (Gravity) – 4:40
9.       Double Bass – 4:44
10.   Rock the House – 4:08
11.   19-2000 – 3:27
12.   Latin Simone (¿Que Pasa Contigo?) – 3:36
13.   Starshine – 3:31
14.   Slow Country – 3:35
15.   M1 A1 – 10:40

Listen to ‘Slow Country’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jO0r1vu5Ek

Also released on the 26th March:
1996: Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island
Also released on the 26th March:
2007: The Bees - Octopus

25 March 2013

25th March - Raphael Saadiq's Stone Rollin'

Artist – Album: Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
Released:  25th March 2011         
Sounds Like: Going back

Ever wondered what it would sound like if your favourite Motown artists (except for Boys II Men, we’ll have none of that nonsense here) were whisked off their sparkly platform shoes and deposited into today’s music scene? You haven’t? Oh. Well, are you wondering it now that I’ve said it? Still no? Oh. Well. Anyway. This is what you would get. So...

Listening to the album is like listening to a Soulwax/2manydjs’ album and playing guess-where-the-multitude-of-samples-have-come-from - you can hear a little bit Sly & the Family Stone here, a little bit of Stevie Wonder there, a pinch of the Temptations here, a dash of Prince there. The songs here aren’t rehashed old recordings though; they’re not samples, they’re just excellent original tracks that happen to wear their creator’s influences prominently on their sleeves.

It also seems clear to me that this album has legs. I’d never listened to it before today and, to be honest, I’d never even heard of Raphael Saadiq. But the exuberant bursts of R&B and charismatic slices of soul quickly gripped me and I’m still finding it refreshing and new having listened to it all day. Songs that deserve particular mention are the peppy first three ‘Heart Attack’, ‘Go to Hell’ and ‘Radio’, the funky summer soul of ‘Just Don’t’ and atmospheric closer ‘The Answer’. Saadiq doesn’t have a great powerful voice like Levi Roots or Stevie Wonder, and it’s not as silky smooth as Marvin Gaye’s or Smokey Robinson’s, but it does do a decent turn at each style, and, after such a long time, it’s just great to hear someone giving it a go.

So, seriously, are you still not curious about what this review and update of the old Motown sound is like? There’s just no convincing some people...

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Heart Attack – 3:03
2.       Go to Hell – 4:20
3.       Radio – 3:22
4.       Over You – 2:31
5.       Stone Rollin’ – 3:37
6.       Day Dreams – 3:20
7.       Movin’ Down the Line – 4:25
8.       Just Don’t – 5:17
9.       Good Man – 3:46
10.   The Answer – 9:30

Listen to ‘Just Don’t’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtfOQ4thwJQ

Also released on the 25th March:
1997: The Notorious B.I.G – Life After Death
Also released on the 25th March:
2008: Elf Power – In a Cave

24 March 2013

24th March - Arrested Development's 3 Years, 5 Months, 2 Days in the Life of...

Artist – Album: Arrested Development – 3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days in the Life of...
Released:  24th March 1992
Sounds Like: the joyous affirmation of brotherhood

So, eighty-three days in to the year and correspondingly eighty-three blogs done (go figure), we’ve only had three albums that could legitimately be classified as hip hop. As well as today’s vintage slice of alternative hip hop, we’ve had 2002’s alternative hip hop album Cee-Lo Green... Is The Soul Machine and De La Soul’s classic alternative hip hop masterpiece 3 Feet High and Rising. Hmmm... It seems that I’m pretty consistent with the subgenres that I listen to...

In a similar vein to the aforementioned De La Soul’s brilliant ode to the dawn of the daisy age, 3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days in the Life of... is a sparklingly positive album of equality and compassion that seemed to be the norm back around the turn of the 90’s, before gangsta rap really took off under the stewardship of Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. Its high points – the three singles ‘Tennessee’,’Mr Wendal’ (strangely one of my Dad’s favourite songs) and ‘People Everyday’, as well as album track ‘Dawn of the Dreads’ – deal with issues such as personal history, homelessness, and racial unity, whilst at the same time being bouncy R&B anthems replete with cracking choruses.

At times the message is laid on a bit too thick, never more so then on the overly-obvious ‘Give a Man a Fish’, and, as seems to be common with hip hop and R&B albums, it may be slightly too long at over an hour. Still good though.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Man’s Final Frontier – 2:39
2.       Mama’s Always on Stage – 3:25
3.       People Everyday – 3:26
4.       Blues Happy – 0:45
5.       Mr Wendal – 4:06
6.       Children Play with Earth – 2:39
7.       Raining Revolution – 3:25
8.       Fishin’ 4 Religion – 4:06
9.       Give a Man a Fish – 4:22
10.   U – 4:59
11.   Eve of Reality – 1:42
12.   Natural – 4:18
13.   Dawn of the Dreads – 5:17
14.   Tennessee – 4:32
15.   Washed Away – 6:24
16.   People Everyday (Metamorphosis Mix) – 4:55

Also released on the 24th March:
1992: They Might Be Giants – Apollo 18
Also released on the 24th March:
1998: Semisonic – Feeling Strangely Fine

23 March 2013

23rd March - Elvis Presley's Elvis Presley

Artist – Album: Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley
Released:  23rd March 1956         
Sounds Like: Rock and Roll

At 57 years young, Elvis Presley’s Elvis Presley is the oldest album I’ll be listening to during this whole silly project, and there could hardly be a more fitting golden oldie to hold that crown.

This album, the King’s debut, marked the moment that the nascent rock and roll genre really became a phenomenon. It also stands as one of the first great music albums of any genre; the album being a medium that had hitherto taken a back seat to the common garden variety single (and, before that, music sheets – way back when, a songs popularity was measured by how many sheets of piano music had been sold for people to play at home). Studio albums had been around for a while but they tended to be a loose collection of greatest hits or live recordings, and lacked the focus or drive of this effort. Admittedly Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours (the first concept album) was released a year before, but this was the first time a bright new star had released a landmark record. And it was good.

It could have been the case that this album’s legend had arisen as a result of his enduring infamy or subsequent greatness – this is why The Beatles’ and The Rolling Stones’ earliest albums are lauded – but, the truth is, this is a fantastic album by its own merit. Kicking off with his magnificent cover of Carl Perkins’ ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, the record proceeds to electrify, woo, and lament the listener in whirlwind turns. His may not be the best ever versions of ‘I Got a Woman’, ‘Tutti Frutti’ and ‘Money Honey’, but that’s no disgrace as these are stone cold classics and he makes them all great fun. Meanwhile, the soulful balladry shown ‘I’m Counting on You’ displayed a light touch and heart that had not before been seen in his early hits.

It may be the oldest album i’ll listen to, but it’s still amongst the best.

Albumaday... rating: 10/10

1.       Blue Suede Shoes – 2:01
2.       I’m Counting on You – 2:24
3.       I Got a Woman – 2:26
4.       One-Sided Love Affair – 2:11
5.       I Love You Because – 2:44
6.       Just Because – 2:34
7.       Tutti Frutti – 1:59
8.       Tryin’ to Get to You – 2:33
9.       I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) – 2:01
10.   I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’) – 2:24
11.   Blue Moon – 2:41
12.   Money Honey -  2:33

Listen to ‘Tryin’ To Get to You’:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SRRRhdtzY89P41Qdkk6OA
Also released on the 23rd March:
2004: Madvillain - Madvillainy

Also released on the 23rd March:
1973: Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure
Also released on the 23rd March:
1978: Bob Marley – Kaya

22 March 2013

22nd March - Cut Copy's In Ghost Colours

Artist – Album: Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
Released:  22nd March 2008
Sounds Like:  The perfect indie dance album

It’s Friday! Happy weekend one and all. It’s also time to listen to Australian indietronica group Cut Copy’s glorious 2008 album. This is the sort of record that was made for the beginning of the weekend; it’s the perfect cocktail to celebrate the end of the last full working week for the best part of a month, thanks to the crucifixion and subsequent Stone Roses style resurrection of Jesus Christ, superstar. Thanks guy!

What makes this such a good Friday night (that’s good Friday night, Good Friday is next week), getting-ready-to-go-out album is its unpretentious exuberance. Although born of the same movement that brought us LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip, Cut Copy feel like there’s just a whole lot less baggage to them, that they’re happy being happy and they want you to be too. In that sense, they bring to mind more Discovery-era Daft Punk, which is no bad thing.

The best tracks here are unforgettable – the opening salvo of ‘Feel the Love’, ‘Out there on the Ice’ and ‘Lights & Music’ has hardly ever been bettered, even by the most decorated records around. ‘So Haunted’, ‘Hearts on Fire’ and ‘Far Away’ complete a thrilling half a dozen tracks. Elsewhere, admittedly, the album occasionally fails to hit the heights. At (rare) times the music can feel clunky and forced, and fifty minutes of relentless energy can be pretty difficult for anyone to maintain or digest.

I recommend you give it a spin and get your weekend started in the right way. But I’m not going to hold it against you if you don’t, it’s Friday!

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Feel the Love – 4:28
2.       Out There on the Ice – 4:58
3.       Lights & Music – 4:37
4.       We Fight for Diamonds – 1:02
5.       Unforgettable Season – 3:13
6.       Midnight Runner – 2:33
7.       So Haunted – 4:27
8.       Voices in Quartz – 1:21
9.       Hearts on Fire – 4:53
10.   Far Away – 4:56
11.   Silver Thoughts – 0:29
12.   Strangers in the Wind – 4:44
13.   Visions – 1:10
14.   Nobody Lost, Nobody Found – 4:39
15.   Eternity One Night Only – 3:06

 Listen to ‘Far Away’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_GPmF6iD6U

Also released on the 22nd March:
1963: The Beatles – Please Please Me
Also released on the 22nd March:
2005: The Decemberists – Picaresque

Also released on the 22nd March:
2005: Gogol Bordello – East Infection

21 March 2013

21st March - Pixies' Surfer Rosa

Artist – Album: Pixies – Surfer Rosa
Released:  21st March 1988         
Sounds Like: the start of alternative 90's rock

Can you imagine what it would’ve been like to be around the Pixies during their formative years, before Frank Black being grew too big for his boots and before Grunge swooped in to steal their essence? It must have been exhilarating to have seen them when they were fresh, where their highly energetic bursts of music and mix of screamed and crooned vocals would have had you panting for more; where they headlined Netherlands (officially the coolest country in the world) despite being relatively unknown worldwide and they played with their set lists by playing through in alphabetical order or whatever. Or being the first amongst your friends to have taken a chance on buying the album, sharing it with every friend of halfway decent taste and scalding anyone who hasn’t heard it yet because it’s THE FUTURE!

I can’t fathom how cool it would’ve been to have worked at the studio where they teamed up with Steve Albini to record Surfer Rosa, laying down perfect pop rock tracks such as ‘Gigantic’ and ‘Where Is My Mind?’, alongside insane garage rock punk slices like ‘Bone Machine’ and ‘Tony’s Theme’.

And, wow, what it was like for Frank Black, Kim Deal, David Leavering  and Joey Santiago we’ll never know. They sound like they’re having the time of their lives, gleefully discussing mutilation, scuba diving and love tokens for prison inmates. Apart from the bit towards the end of ‘Oh My Golly!’ where Black seems pretty irate and yells “you fucking die” to one of his bandmates.

It might be difficult for us to imagine what it would’ve been like to have been there, but this album provides a thrilling glimpse at what a riot it must have been like.  

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       Bone Machine – 3:02
2.       Break My Body – 2:05
3.       Something Against You – 1:47
4.       Broken Face – 1:30
5.       Gigantic – 3:55
6.       River Euphrates – 2:33
7.       Where Is my Mind? – 3:53
8.       Cactus – 2:16
9.       Tony’s Theme – 1:52
10.   Oh My Golly! – 1:48
11.   Vamos – 4:18
12.   I’m Amazed – 1:42
13.   Brick Is Red – 2:00

Listen to ‘Gigantic’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIu_b_fG_2g