Glasgow rockers Codist talk LP2, hot topics and Shark Tale

words fae liam menzies (@blinkclyro)

In a rather apt turn of events, the initial rendezvous point for the interview you’re reading right was closed, meaning a last minute plan to the pub/restaurant was concocted: I don’t know what kind of metaphor I could weave to explain the connection between tasty vegan food and Scottish rock outfit Codist but I assure you there’s something there.

Attempt at a smooth intro aside, it’s hard to think of a band in the local scene who are so deserving of praise and love, or more so than they’re already getting, than Codist: first popping up on the radar with their Loverscruff EP, the boys have been on an upwards trajectory since 2015 which culminated in a debut record the following year which won many people over, including this site, which resulted in them placing high on AOTY lists and gaining some well-deserved attention. Said attention came from a notable place, that being Lorenzo Pacitti of LP Records fame who chose the band to be one of the first acts on their newly established label. Phillip Ivers (vocals + guitars) mentions how it all came about:

A few of us have worked with him and it was Record Store Day 2016 where he asked us to play instore – we stayed in touch since then and when it came to the time that he wanted to have a label to do with the shop, he got in touch since we were his first choice to have on it.

The band haven’t wasted time since signing onto the LP Records label, dropping an EP  titled Porcelain Boy earlier last year that Michael McClure (bass) claims is the ideal segway between their debut record and what they’ve got cooking in the studio at the moment: “I think it flows quite nicely and it makes it a lot of sense since there are a few songs on Porcelain Boy that could fall on either the debut record or whatever we decide to call this new album“.

SPEAKING of a new album, it wasn’t long before details were being teased as well as the charming comedic side of the band came out with the biggest info dump of them all coming from none other than Tom Fraser (guitar + backing vocals) who announced there would be “at least ten songs” with a pause left after for this to sink in. Chris Curry (drums + piano) chimed in after to point out the nice mix of content they’ve got prepared for the record: “there are a few slower based ones and even a country-ish one so it feels we’ve got quite a nice flow and tinkering going on in the studio“.

There were a lot of hiccups, technical ones I must clarify, and a lot of stress (Michael mentions there were points they thought they were going to lose it followed by a laugh) but that they’re happy with how things are going. “When can we expect to see the new album come out,” I asked, and was welcomed by four different answers, the humour of which wasn’t lost on the boys – they ultimately agreed that it’s likely we’ll see a Q3 release for the album so there’s not long to go.

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Despite the fact they have an anticipated album in the works, the band were incredibly laid back and seemingly in their habitat. One highlight of the night included a thorough five-minute discussion about noughties animation, where Tom revealed his apathy for Shark Tale that “didn’t have enough Martin Scorsese” and the band passively agreed on Open Season being terrible. When I decided to ask the band about their favourite albums of the year, the tables were turned as Phil took my phone and proceeded to ask me: sadly, I can’t reveal the top 5 listed but there wasn’t any eye-rolling from the boys in attendance. 

You’d probably be right in assuming that Codist are a bunch of jokers but it would be incredibly naive to write them off as not being self-aware or well informed – when the question of punk bands changing their name is brought up, Chris mentions that the argument that this strips away the punkness is counterproductive, saying that “if being punk means being intentionally ignorant and relying on a name then what’s the point”. The band all agree, especially when the issue of diversity is brought up: Phil mentions the number of female acts he knows yet he notices most lineups in Glasgow are male-dominated, something that he hopes to see change, mentioning that Codist will try to make sure it isn’t just more of the same.

After the professional discussion is done with, you as an interviewer usually find yourself shaking hands and awkwardly stumbling away: against the curve as always, I chatted to the boys for a good hour after all the official business was finished. They’re a welcoming entity, where goofiness and creativity thrive, and it’s what makes them one of Glasgow’s most exciting and lovable bands – even if they downplayed themselves at one point as “just four white guys”.

 

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Our 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

words and header by liam menzies (@blnkclyr) unless specified

Remember how phenomenal that one song you heard from 2017 was? That album that you couldn’t stop yourself from spinning as soon as it had reached the end of its vinyl? At this point in the year, it can be all too easy to look back with rose-tinted glasses at the year that has passed and while it was great, it would be idiotic of us to ignore what the next 12 months have in store for us. We may very well miss out on some of your hotly anticipated ones, whether that be the album being hidden at the time of writing or sheer ignorance, but the team has put their heads together to come up with this list of the records we can’t wait to get into our ears…


Black Foxxes – Reoli

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Why: Another band that you REALLY should be listening to, Devonshire trio Black Foxxes will be releasing Reoli on March 16th. Their debut album, I’m Not Well, came out in 2016 to high praise, and whilst the themes in the album, including depression, anxiety & frontman Mark Holley’s struggle with Crohn’s disease are a heavy drink of water, the album is incredibly listenable and a must have on anyone’s playlist. Whilst only one song has broken cover from this album, the smart gambler would put a few chips on this being a dark horse in the album of the year contest. – oliver butler (@notoliverbutler)

When: 16th March 2018.


Blood Orange – LP4

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Why: Having released one of 2016’s most underrated records Freetown Sound, Dev Hynes is set to follow it up with his fourth full-length album this year. It seems set to be a challenging, introspective listen if his 2017 interview is anything to go by: “A lot of the new songs on the new album deal with growing up and childhood in England [..] looking at the country that made me”. Admitting that it’ll be a little dark in the same piece, Blood Orange LP4 is set to be an important listen.

Proof: Image above as well as this DIY article.


Brockhampton – Team Effort

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WhyAfter the, let’s be honest, far better than it had any right to be SATURATION trilogy, you’d be forgiven for being a bit burned out on the best boy band since One Direction. But it just seems that that isn’t the case at all. Now free from any continuity restrictions that the Saturation trilogy enforced them to, this next album will hopefully see even more innovation and surprises from BROCKHAMPTON. ethan woodford (@human_dis4ster) & jake cordiner (@jjjjaketh)

Proof: This tweet right here from the boys themselves.


Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy

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Why: Before you rush into the comments to tell us that Twin Fantasy was released in 2011 – we know, you’re not special for knowing that. The reason this Car Seat Headrest album is included on our list is down to Will Toledo mistakenly announcing via a now taken down listing that a re-release will be happening. However, as opposed to the traditional meaning, Toledo has the benefit of a bigger budget, a full band in fine form, and endless time to tinker, meaning what we’ll get seven years later will be the album he really wanted to make.

When: Feb 16th.


Codist – LP2

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Why: Sleep? Who needs it?! The Codist boys certainly don’t seem to need any as they’re set to drop the follow up to their 2016 debut Nuclear Family (which was pretty fucking good). Having dropped an EP last year on the newly founded LP Records label, we’re psyched to see what this Glasgow rock outfit have tucked away for us.

When: This lil video right here.


Courtney Barnett – LP3

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Why: After a successful collaboration with Kurt Vile on Lotta Sea Lice, fans of Courtney Barnett are eager to see what the up and coming Australian artist is going to ramble about on a new LP. Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit was one of the best albums of 2015 due to its undeniable charm and with some well-earned experience from subsequent ventures, we’re excited to see what changes she’ll be making on this record.

Proof: Barnett chatted to Zane Lowe about the new album on his beats1 station.


Danny Brown – LP5

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Why: If the fact that this Detroit rapper’s last album Atrocity Exhibition was our 2016 Album Of The Year isn’t enough to get you pumped up then what’s wrong with you? Danny Brown crafted one of the most exciting and wholly original hip-hop albums of the century alongside Paul White and with this new album set to be “produced by one producer, who’s legendary in hip-hop“, we can’t wait to see what path Danny leads us on.

Proof: Brown admitted on Twitter that he’s working on a currently untitled new album.


Dorothy – 28 Days in The Valley

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Why: Dorothy are probably the best band you’ve never heard of. Or, if you’ve heard of them, one of the best new bands on your radar. Signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, the bluesy brawlers will be releasing 28 Days in the Valley this year, their follow up to 2016’s ROCKISDEAD. Mixing heavy, bluesy rock with frontwoman Dorothy Martin’s swelling vocals, Dorothy have a crunching modern sound that’s full of classic influences. – oliver butler (@notoliverbutler)

Proof: The band admitted the album is set to drop in early 2018.


Drenge – LP3

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Why: Hopefully set to return after almost a 3-year absence, Sheffield trio Drenge will look to return with a vengeance. Looking to combine the best aspects from their different but both excellent albums so far, LP 3 will no doubt be well worth the wait. – ethan woodford (@human_dis4ster)

Proof: It exists (unless the guys were in an Edgar Wright mood).


Gorillaz – LP5

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Why: While the critical reception to the band’s much-anticipated comeback album Humanz wasn’t what anyone was hoping for, that doesn’t mean we aren’t any less excited for what’s to come. Not much is known about it at the moment but if it’s a Gorillaz record, expect it to be grandiose, entertaining and ignite a lot of discussions.

When: The group’s Jamie Hewlett admitted the album’s existence.


Grimes – LP5

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Why: Explaining in an Instagram video she’s been “in the studio every day trying to legit make something you’ve never heard before”, Canadian artist Claire Boucher has consistently impressed since her 2010 debut and her upcoming LP seems to be no different. With a focus on being fresh and exciting, Art Angels managed to win Grimes a lot of new fans and whatever she has next will, regardless of quality, keep them as well as old enthusiasts surprised.

Proof: This article right here.


Injury Reserve – LP2

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Why: After impressing everyone with their debut studio album Floss and further keeping that smile on our faces with last year’s Drive It Like It’s Stolen EP, this zany and fresh hip-hop outfit seem set to keep the golden streak running with a follow up LP. “we’re about to go hole up in a cabin in northern Arizona and simultaneously put together the best tour of 2018 and the best album of our career so far” is what Parker Corey said recently on his Twitter so with their confidence so high, it’s appropriate to get suitably hyped for LP2.

Proof: New full-length album confirmed here😉


Interpol – LP6

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Why: Marking 15 years since their landmark debut Turn On The Bright Lights, Interpol have performed the album in its entirety across a series of sold-out shows this year. Such a momentous occasion felt like the perfect time to wheel out some new material, which is precisely what happened at London’s Alexandra Palace. Included in the encore was Real Life, the first taste of what to expect from their follow up to El Pintor – a mouth-watering prospect as we wait to see what direction their post-Carlos D era takes them in. kieran cannon (@kiercannon)

Proof: The aforementioned performances of new material last year.


Justin Timberlake – Man Of The Woods

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Why: It might be cool to hate on chart music but if there’s an artist who manages to make even the biggest of bucket hat wearing indie lads bop to a pop tune, it’s probably gonna be Justin Timberlake. With this pretense, you might expect another slick listen but from what has been teased so far, expect something more akin to Bon Iver than anything else – that might repulse some but for people like ourselves who wish to see big stars push themselves in interesting directions, we’re utterly intrigued to see what Man Of The Woods has to show.

When: Feb 2nd.


Kanye West – Turbo Grafx 16

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Why: When you have the late, great Lou Reed praising you then you must be doing something right and the ever egotistical Kanye West looks set to continue his golden run with his new gaming inspired record Turbo Grafx 16. With the record set to feature sampling from the likes of No More Heroes and Super Mario Galaxy in addition to hosting appearances from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper and Young Thug, Kanye may be set to deliver the oddest record of 2018.

Proof: gBzFazu.png


Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons – Age of Absurdity 

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Why: After hitting the road playing a mix of originals and covers, plus a six-track EP in 2016, Phil Campbell and his band of bastardy men are ready to release their first full-length album; Age of Absurdity. So far, this band has proven that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Phil’s sons Todd, Tyla & Dane are all incredibly talented musicians in their own right. – oliver butler (@notoliverbutler)

When: January 26th.


Screaming Females – All At Once 

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Why: A band we weren’t aware of up until a recent Spotify recommendation, Screaming Females packs in one of the best rock/punk vocalists in the form of Marissa Paternoster who is just on the mic as she is on the guitar. First cut off All At Once, titled Glass House, is anthemic and builds up to a climax that blurs the line between shaky and untenable: if that’s anything to go by then this LP will prove to be one of 2018’s best rock albums.

When: Feb 23rd


Simon Neil – ZZC

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Why: Big Si dropped a track on Christmas Day, so that’s good enough for me to believe his long-teased solo effort is finally almost here. The aforementioned track, titled The Myth, is a 7 and a half minute long instrumental that goes from orchestral to mathy as fuck rock at the drop of a hat. It’s really, REALLY good, and if it’s an indication of the direction of rest of the album, it sounds like the untethered, mental Simon Neil that die-hard Biffy Clyro fans have been pining for is back, and back with a vengeance. – jake cordiner (@jjjjaketh)

Proof: Si has been teasing this for years now and with The Myth being the opening track, this surely means it’s sooner rather than later for his solo effort.


Vampire Weekend – LP4

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Why: While the band members themselves certainly haven’t been slacking, whether that be contributing to anime or making their own solo album, it’s been a long ass time since Vampire Weekend last blessed us with some new music – half a decade to be exact. With the likes of Kanye West being cited as an inspiration for the yet untitled fourth LP, it’s hard not to be intrigued by what the New York lads have in store for us.

Proof: This juicy lil interview with Ezra Koenig.


The Xcerts – Hold On To Your Heart

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Why: The three singles already released from this album are some of the band’s best work to date and, from what we heard on their live tour in October, the other tunes are certainly going to be a treat as well. gregor farquharson (@grgratlntc)

When: 19th January.

 

Gig Review: Codist, Walt Disco & Why No? @ Broadcast

By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)
[Codist segment co-written with Selina McLean(@selinamclean3)]

One of the neatest quirks of small venue gigs is how unpredictable they can be: you go to a show at the Hydro and you expect everything to go without a hitch which, for the average music fan, is great but for some it removes some level of personality or charm.

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Last night’s DIY spectacle was very much the opposite – the BuckySurf stylings of Why No? got proceedings started, hopping around the stage like some hyperactive bunnies throughout their performance. Even in between songs when they could be catching their breath, the band continued to tinker with their volume levels to an almost perfectionist standard.

For an act that have been around for less than a year, or multiple centuries if their biog is anything to go by, Why No? showed the energy, confidence and on stage charm of a band that have been doing this in their sleep. Their modern noise rock sound, akin to the likes of Yuck, went down a treat, even influencing some members of the crowd to start dancing, further cementing the four piece as a band in their natural habitat. 

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While Why No? had both feet firmly in the present, following act Walt Disco had one in the 80’s and the other somewhere in the nearest bar. Before their slot had even began, the front-man James Potter had ended up slicing his hand, leaving the duty of bassist to be passed around like some sort of musical pass the parcel. On top of that, guitarist Mashu Harada seemed to be on another planet, constantly quipping into the mic with most lines being incoherent. 

Somehow, oddly enough, these messy external factors did nothing to take away from how enjoyable Walt Disco’s set was. Potter is a natural front-man, regularly interacting with the stage and even assisting other members not used to bass like JK Simmons from Whiplash after being given some valium. His demeanour and style was reminiscent of Morrissey (voluptuous hair, open shirt, hips that don’t quit) but his vocals oozed Joy Division, packing a juxtaposing sombre tone while backed up with New Order glitziness. Finishing with Jackets, Walt Disco gave the impression of A Life Of Pablo no with little resemblance to sound: it may have felt improvised and messy in its production but god, they had the execution of an new wave augmented archer.

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Then came Codist, a band that have been on the site’s radar for what seems like a millennia now and while the previous acts were by no means underwhelming, the garage rock outfit showed why their name was at the top of the bill.

A performance split into two set, the first half of their gig saw the band playing songs off their recently released Porcelain Boy EP, one of the first to be delivered via the LP Records label. Tracks like Grindstone Cowboy feature rhythmic guitars and drums, weaved expertly by Phil Iver’s vocals that are drenched with emotion and assertiveness, harking back to the mid 90’s as well as the current age with bands like Weezer and The Hotelier springing to mind.

As the first half came to a close, the band teased the crowd as to what they should be expecting – “I’ve got a feeling it’ll go pretty bad” quipped Phil Ivers about them apparently doing a Black Eyed Peas cover session, Tom Fraser quickly chiming in that it was the best thing he’s ever heard him say. Instead of hitting out with banging beats, the act instead decided to hit out with some tunes of their own, specifically off their debut LP Nuclear Family. Throughout the performance they alternated between old band members – for the last track, all members both past and present came on stage which was pretty touching.

The impression left after the gig had came to an end was how much Codist had the crowd in the palm of their hands: singing along, moshing about, their loyal following is only set to expand as they march on as one of the juggernauts if this new wave of Scottish bands.

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Top 50 Songs of 2016

 

 

 

 

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

It’s here! Chuck those negative opinions aside as for the next week we’ll be counting down my musical highlights of the year. While 2016 was full of many negative events (US election, multiple celebrity death, suicide squad, damn daniel etc.), on the other side of the coin music was as entertaining and fascinating as ever. Hip-hop continued to demonstrate its creative power while rock and other genres revitalised themselves to provide us with some of the best singles of their respective artist’s careers.

As always we have the staple “this is my opinion” placeholder to insert before we get cracking on so if there are any songs you think are missing or should be placed higher/lower then keep in mind that this is my list. Since there are 50 tracks to go through, I’ll speed through the first 25 or so and go into a bit more detail as we reach the top 20 picks. With that being said, let’s get the ball rolling…

50. Glue 70 – Casin

49. Crywank – Love

48. Vistas – Sign Language

47. Brand New – I Am A Nightmare

46. Boston Manor -Lead Feet

45. Kevin Devine – Instigator

44. SBTRKT – Let Them In

43. Run The Jewels – Talk To Me

42. Fake Boyfriend – Bumtown

41. Parquet Courts – Dust

40. Pale Kids – Not Listening

39. Blink-182 – Cynical

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC97caHUgKk

38. Weezer – Jacked Up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJOsRoY-na0

37. Frightened Rabbit – Die Like A Rich Boy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es8wQcKrrhA

36. Jamie T- Tescoland

35. Hovvdy – Try Hard

34. Honeyblood – Love Is A Disease

33. Skepta – Man

32. Metallica – Spit Out The Bone

31. Young Thug – RiRi

30. Enter Shikari – Hoodwinker

29. Touche Amore – Displacement

28. Kendrick Lamar – untitled 03

27. Biffy Clyro – In The Name Of The Wee Man

26. Sweet White – Genine

https://soundcloud.com/sweet-white/genine-1

25. Joyce Manor – Eighteen

24. Death Grips – 3 Bedrooms In A Good Neighborhood 

23. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities 

22. Twin Atlantic – Gold Elephant, Cherry Alligator

21. Mean Jeans – Michael Jackson Was Tight

20. The 1975 – Somebody Else

Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you that The 1975 are making an appearance on this list. Whilst their latest album was a double-edged sword, only just managing to provide more killer than filler, when the band delivered something good it was really fucking good. See Somebody Else for example, a song that dabbles into the topic of modern day romance that frontman, with the hand of some vocal manipulation, executes brilliantly.

19. Charli XCX – Trophy

The ultimate pump up song of 2016, Charli XCX continues her reign as one of the most likeable female vocalists in music right now with a fantastic combination of 00’s club music and peculiar beats.

18. Radiohead – Daydreaming

Beautifully minimalistic and driven solely by piano alongside some glitzy chimes with a Jamie XX flare to them, Daydreaming was the standout track on Radiohead’s triumphant return A Moon Shaped Pool: a calm, borderline lullaby that dips its toes in fearsome waters before diving head first into them during the climax.

17. Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

Showing off the majority of 22, A Million’s religious subtext, 33 “GOD” is a showcase of Bon Iver’s experimental take on their latest record packaged alongside the delicate rock they’ve mastered since their debut For Emma, Forever Ago.

16. Blood Orange – Best To You

Providing some of the best R&B in recent memory, Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound hit its peak four tracks in with Best To You. Featuring a stunning vocal performance from Empress Of, Dev Hynes showed off just how good he is at mixing production and songwriting together.

15. Real Friends – Mess

A pop punk song that has lyrics that manage to be fresh for the act due to being about something other than a break up?! Revolutionary! All jokes aside, the crisp production value along with a catchy as all hell chorus makes the track feel like Real Friends have been working hard on their songwriting capabilities since their debut record and, despite what they’re saying in the public eye, are making efforts to progress as a band.

14. Codist – Puddle

Glasgow band Codist came out with their debut record all the way back in January and continued to be one of my favourites throughout 2016. My personal favourite track off of Nuclear Family had to be Puddle that harks back to Blackened Sky era Biffy with some equally beautiful lyrics about “why you can feel your insides glow”.

13. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things

The shortest track by far on this list, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein’s titular theme tune to Netflix’s surprise hit series Stranger Things is, much like the show itself, a total love letter to 80’s electronica with ominous synths lulling you into a sense of dread.

12. American Football – My Instincts Are The Enemy

Showing that the band still had what it takes to retain relevance in a genre that has long since evolved since their one and only record, American Football showed they deserve all the praise they get with their second LP. My Instincts Are The Enemy is a testament to the intricacy this band can provide with just three instruments, pulling off smooth and satisfying tempo changes and delivering beautiful lyrics as if they had never been away.

11. Schoolboy Q – Groovy Tony 

Schoolboy Q may have given us a pretty lacklustre LP in 2016 but he made sure we weren’t left empty handed with Groovy Tony, drenched in eerie production and driven by one of the most aggressive sounding flows in hip-hop.

10. Frank Ocean – Nikes

WE IN THE TOP 10 NOW BABY! The musical Where’s Waldo Mr Frank Ocean returned this year with his long awaited Blonde that kicks off with one of the strongest tracks of his career. Nikes modifies Ocean’s vocals into unrecognisable territory, delivering lines about lost ones and consumerism with a minimalistic background which needs to be listened to for it to be fully experienced.

9. Danny Brown – When It Rain

Not only did Detroit’s prodigal son Danny Brown deliver the best record of his career, arguably one of the greatest hip-hop albums in the past decade, but he managed to shake up his tried and tested sound on top of that. Much like Groovy Tony, When It Rain cranks up that ominous notch up to 11 and packs the visceral imagery to back it up.

8. Moose Blood – Knuckles

Arguably the best track Mooseblood have delivered thus far, Knuckles embodies everything the band have been great at since their debut: providing a killer hook with beautiful lyrics and vocals. While the majority of the band’s sophomore effort is far more grounded in pessimism, Knuckles seems to hit a major realist chord and wonderfully so.

7. PUP – DVP

Unlike other acts of the genre who do a lot of rocking but very little growing up, PUP manage to nail the topic of maturity on DVP which flows seamlessly on from the aforementioned If This Tour… into an even more anthemic style on record The Dream Is Over. Addressing how they handle issues, in this case getting “so drunk that I can’t speak”, as well as others telling them to grow up, the track manages to keep a positive vibe going in its instrumentals whilst juggling some of the darker lyrics on here.

6. James Blake ft Bon Iver – I Need A Forest Fire

While James Blake’s latest record was sub par at best, there was a diamond in the rough in the form of I Need A Forest Fire. Combining Bon Iver’s beautiful vocals alongside Blake’s versatile singing is a genius concept and is wonderfully executed, managing to explore the .topic of new beginnings with total ease.

5. Chance The Rapper – Blessings

It’s hard to argue that 2016 belonged to anyone but if I had to place a bet on it, my money would be on Chance The Rapper. Colouring Book was one of the most enjoyable listens of the year with bucketloads of optimism and hope in a year that very much needed it. Blessings pretty much embodies the album’s core message better than any other track does. A gospel influence is felt not only in its sound but its lyrical content: lines about redemption, fatherhood and faith are subtle with the main hook from Jamila Woods being infectiously catchy.

4. Childish Gambino – Redbone

No artist this year transformed quite like Childish Gambino. Swapping out hip-hop for funk/soul/R&B music is an impossible risk but Gambino somehow survived the transition, quality intact. Redbone shows this perfectly, displaying a wonderful use of vocoder and the aforementioned funk element that made Awaken My Love one of the most refreshing listens of 2016.

3. David Bowie – Lazarus

The loss of David Bowie was one of many celebrity deaths to occur in 2016 but was the one that no doubt hit the hardest. Lazarus pretty much acts as a foreshadowing to it all with lyrics such as “look up here, I’m in heaven” managing to evoke a tear or two out of even the most casual Bowie fan. While it may be a difficult listen considering the context, Lazarus stood out well before the passing of Bowie, providing the perfect balance of instrumentals and Bowie’s unique vocals.

2. The Weeknd – Starboy

Before we get into the top pick of this list, we have but one more track to praise, that being The Weeknd’s Starboy which features on the RnB superstar’s eponymously titled record. Featuring a backing beat that sounds like a less feisty but equally enjoyable Yeezus feature, the partnership with Daft Punk means it’s no real surprise that Starboy finds itself so high up on a best tracks of 2016 list.

1. Kanye West – Real Friends

While The Life of Pablo was an enjoyable albeit messy release, it undoubtedly features the best song Kanye West has released since Runaway. Real Friends puts Mr West in his most vulnerable position since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as he voices his guilt regarding friends and family over a beautifully tragic sounding beat. Think Aphex Twin entwined with heartbreak. The song ends with a poignant howl that evokes the same sadness and, in a way, isolation that we have become accustomed to with Kanye’s more personal tracks. Sources say that when the track was first released, the title was missing the word “friends”. In a twisted way, it’s both a relief to hear Kanye sounding the most real he has in years whilst it’s also uncomfortable to witness the inner turmoil he’s experiencing that has only since got worse with his recent inauguration into a psychiatric ward.

 

 

 

 

~

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Album Review: Codist – Nuclear Family

New Years Resolution for this site: stop starting every article about new bands by creating context about how music in Scotland is thriving. We all know that by now and while it may have become a cliché, it’s not become any less true: King Tuts have a whole month just dedicated to up and coming bands so they can showcase their love of what they do (but more about that in my Echo Valley gig review later).

What may also come across as cliché at this stage is how much I enjoy Glasgow band Codist’s work. Whilst I may have stumbled across them in atypical fashion (my bus was late and I arrived just in time to see them support), their non apologetic approach to mixing their influences with their own zesty, catchy sound had me hooked from the get go.

And while I may find it difficult to go the rest of this review without making some science related joke, Nuclear Family provides a breath of fresh air into Scottish rock music while also paying ode to the very bands who made the genre what it is: like a musical Star Wars if you will.

An Even Moodier Nirvana By The Looks Of This Picture

Being hailed as a “Scottish Nirvana” by online publications doesn’t help when it comes to the pressure you’ll face when making an album but it’s clear that the band haven’t been titled this just for those moody expressions in the photo above. Take for instance Sudden Valley, the fourth track on this LP that packs all the gritty rifts and distortion you’d expect from the pioneers of Grunge.

This same dreary, almost angst ridden sound pops up before on Puddle, my own personal favourite off this release which manages to bring back memories of Blackened Sky era Biffy with some equally beautiful lyrics about “why you can feel your insides glow”. Whilst we’re talking about lyrics, it should be said that the vocal performances on Nuclear Family are particularly enjoyable with Tom Fraser and Phillip Ivers both lending their voices for the tracks on show.

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It’s not all doom and gloom on this record however. Things get off to a particularly smooth start with Zamboni which, while also containing deformed sounding vocals like Sudden Valley, manages to use it in a more appealing manner. This rings especially true in the chorus that’s so impossible not to have stuck inside your head for the rest of the day, just like the band managed with tracks on their Loverscruff EP last year with some even making reappearances on this record. A track which just screams blue album era Weezer.

One of the most important moments in the world of new music is the much talked about debut album which brings with it a whole array of questions: Will it be as good as their EPs? Will they change their sound at all? Will they all get haircuts and start wearing leather jackets? Whilst the last questions remains to be seen, Codist have most definitely delivered a debut album that delivers on the promise of previous releases whilst also showing glimmers of further potential in bucket-loads. The quintessential debut album.

You can purchase Codist’s Nuclear Family here on bandcamp and follow the band on their social media below:
Twitter | Facebook

BCAYMI: November 2015

When I attempted, and failed, to make my series Blink (Clyro) And You’ll Miss It into a monthly thing, I kinda fucked it up. Despite being one of my most popular posts, there was something about it that just didn’t sit with me right, like the potential it had just wasn’t being used. Now after a few months of procrastination  careful thinking, I’ve brought it back! *insert one person clapping*

Not only will BCAYMI (see, it just rolls off the tongue) cover music but it’ll also feature film, TV and gaming content that means you’ll constantly be in the loop. Think of it as a smaller, less indie NME except my head isn’t lodged up Arctic Monkey’s arse and people don’t write bitchy tweets about me. Well, as far as I know.

Music

Featured Artist Of The Month

Codist

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To quote the world renown author Me, Glasgow trio Codist’s sound is like “if you put Biffy Clyro’s gritty, stripped back tone from Blackened Sky in a blender with Weezer during their blue album era”, not a small compliment for someone with half of one of those band’s name in their website name. With Chris Curry now joining the band to raise the number of members to 4, it’s exciting to see how the band will shape their sound of their upcoming album in addition to their upcoming gig at Glasgow’s The Hug And Pint this December. Codist 2.0, here we go.

Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Top 5 New Tracks

1.Modern Baseball – The Waterboy Returns

If their Sophomore album You’re Gonna Miss It All was about being in denial about your problems then Philadelphia based band Modern Baseball’s new track is about admitting these issues and trying to move on from them. Full of sombre, personal lyrics, Brendan Lukens’ trademark nasally vocal style has never sounded so good.

2. Weezer – Do You Wanna Get High

Returning from the critical acclaim of their 2014 release Everything Will Be Alright In The End with a sound more reminiscent of their Pinkerton days, Weezer bring the crunchy guitars and ridiculously good lyrics the band built their name on.

3. Aphex Twin – avril altdelay

With Avril 14th being one of British electronic musician Richard D James’ most famous tracks, it was only a matter of time until he revamped his iconic song which has only made it even more pleasant. It won’t be long until Kanye begs for the chance to sample this again.

4. Chance The Rapper – Angels

Since the release of his second mixtape Acid Rap, Chicago born rapper Chance The Rapper has collaborated with the likes of James Blake and Donald Glover. Now he’s got fans in a frenzy as he teases his third mixtape and Angels hasn’t dampened their spirits, full of references to Kanye West and gospel hooks, this track is not only a homage to Chicago but a testament to the potential Chance has.

5. Guy Garvey – Angela’s Eyes

Owning one of the finest voices music has ever witnessed, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey has released his first solo album to showcase his remarkable vocals and new found sound. While not unfamiliar, there’s enough changes to justify a release and Angela’s Eyes is an excellent example of this.

Album of the Month

Grimes – Art Angels

November is a huge month for female artists with the great return of pop powerhouse Adele returning with her third album 25 and the likes of Drake collaborator Tinashe and *shudder* Ellie Goulding, girl power is very much in the air. November is also huge in terms of the return of an electronic wizard: Grimes.

Her unusual yet pleasing style of vocals and synths are ones that just shouldn’t work yet every time they just seem to get better and better. Thankfully the same can be said about tracks off her upcoming follow up to 2012’s Visions as EDM influenced Realiti and the catchy Flesh without Blood are comforting proof that even with the lack of substance abuse on this release, the canadian artist can still deliver.

(P.S bonus points for that amazing japanese inspired artwork, which perfectly captures the atypical nature of Grimes.)

Upcoming Gigs 

  • U2 @ Hydro – 6th & 7th November | Tickets
  • Bloc Party @ O2 ABC – 9th November | Sold Out
  • The Prodigy @ Hydro – 23rd November | Tickets
  • Slaves @ O2 ABC – Thursday 19th November | Sold Out
  • FIDLAR @ Garage – 12th November | Tickets
  • Bring Me The Horizon @ Edinburgh Corn Exchange – 25th November | Sold Out
  • Frank Turner @ Barrowlands – Friday 13th November | Sold Out

Kent punk duo Slaves visit Glasgow’s O2 ABC this month
 Upcoming Albums

  • Justin Bieber – Purpose (13th November)
  • Adele – 25 (20th November)
  • Rustie – EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE (OUT NOW)
  • Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12 (November 6th)
November marks Adele’s triumphant return with new album 25

Film + TV

Film of the Month

The Good Dinosaur
Released: 27th November

Yes, I’ll look like a big waine for choosing this over Spectre but bare with me. Since Spectre was released last month and has been praised to no end (which it totally deserves) , I thought I’d go for a film that’s actually released this month and what better than Pixar’s next film. The Good Dinosaur is about an alternate timeline where the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs narrowly missed, meaning that the giant creatures still exist. What follows is the tale of Arlo as he suffers a major loss (not hard to guess what happens, it’s Pixar after all) and tries to find his way back home.

This film has a chance to fail as it seems like it’ll be cliched and it’s directed by someone who’s only ever been behind the camera one times: for a Pixar short. However, it also has the opportunity to surprise everyone and become what the incredibles was to superhero films. In addition to this, the film has already been praised for its photorealistic visuals, meaning regardless if the film’s a flop, it’ll be a beautiful one. Who knows what will happen but regardless if it’s bad or fantastic, I’ll be there to see it.

TV Show of The Month

Peep Show
Starts: 11th November

What else was it going to be? Ranking alongside The Inbetweeners for being one of the most quotable British comedies of all time, Peep Show has kept us waiting in anticipation for 3 years for what is now the show’s last season. To avoid giving anything away to those who have avoided all previews and interviews, the ninth season will consist of “Mark trying to sell a loan to a gullible idiot while Jeremy is living in a bath”. The premise alone sounds hilarious and it’ll be worth it alone to see Mark, Jeremy and Super Hans for the last time before they fade away into Channel 4 fame. With this and Catastrophe, Channel 4 can rightfully call itself the home of Comedy.

Will it be worth the wait? No idea. Will it be quoted relentlessly by hundreds of users on Twitter? You bet yer arse.

Gaming

Game of the Month

Fallout 4
Released: 10th November

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In a month full of blockbuster game releases, Bethesda have their work cut out for them. Not only are they up against two juggernaut FPS going by the names Star Wars Battlefront & Call of Duty but there’s also the return of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Are they worried? Of course not.

Regardless if this game flops like a fish out of water, millions of gamers will still pick up Fallout 4 because, well, it’s Fallout. It’s an immersive post apocalyptic wasteland, full of radiation inflicted monsters and other humans just as desperate as yourself for supplies, safety and, most importantly, power. Its predecessor, unsurprisingly called Fallout 3, is one of my favourite games of all time and the sound of returning to the franchise with better graphics, more customisation and even greater gameplay, is too good to pass up. If you pick up one game this month, make it this.

BLINKCLYRO

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Cheers for sticking all the way to the end and I hope you enjoyed what I hope to be a regular thing! Any feedback is more than welcome and if you have any suggestions, whether it be a new track you think deserves more attention or you’re part of an up and coming band who want an opportunity to get their name out there then email me @ liammenzies96@gmail.com.

Over the past two months BLINKCLYRO has accumulated over 2,000 views and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! Here’s hoping I can keep you lot entertained for the rest of 2015 and beyond, perhaps even venture into different outlets *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink* . You can follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro and over on my facebook page here. What follows is a wee schedule of what you can expect from the site this month!

Schedule

  • Life Is Strange review – Sunday 8th November
  • Bloc Party gig review – Tuesday 10th November
  • Frank Turner – Saturday 14th November 
  • First week with Fallout 4 (sort of review) – Tuesday 17th November
  • Slaves gig review – Friday 20th November
  • Bring Me The Horizon gig review – Thursday 26th November
    + even more tbc!!!!

After releasing the best album of their career, Bring Me The Horizon come to Edinburgh with their fresh new sound.
After releasing the best album of their career, Bring Me The Horizon come to Edinburgh with their fresh new sound.
Big Love, Liam x

Echo Valley, Codist, Enemies Of The State & Brothers @ West Of The Moon – 23/09/2015

Ayr isn’t short of talent. The wee town in South Ayrshire has its history pretty much built on it, whether it be the amazing buildings scattered around the town, being home to the Gaiety Theatre where many young ones and old ones have a great time at the pantomime or being the place where Robert Burns spent most of his time writing.

Music is the main thing that comes to mind whenever I think of Ayr. Whether it be the puntastic Ayr Guitar that’s been the starting block for many musicians or the multiple cafes that encourage said musicians to perform, Ayr consistently churns out some amazing bands and musicians.

Echo Valley tearing shit up

All this prologue leads me to Echo Valley, a trio of boys from the town that managed to arrange a night full of not only local talent but acts from all over Scotland. The band were originally meant to headline but their drummer, replacing David who left the band earlier this month, fell ill and so they were on second. They didn’t let this shortcoming set them back though as they gave those who attended the West Of The Moon that night their money’s worth and then some.

Brothers Liam and Shaun, with guitar in hand, marched around the stage like EV was spray-painted all over it, working up a sweat while Daniel kept calm and collected on vocals. Not to say that he was at a stand still during the entire gig, frantically playing bass while still managing to deliver laid back vocals which give the band some of their charm. However the highlight of any Echo Valley gig is when everything perfectly intertwines like during Twisted In A Spell which is reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys before they donned the quiffs and leather jackets. Whether it be the dynamic sound like this that the boys do so well or the more composed, psychedelic tracks like Forgotten Son, it’s no surprise why the band have managed to support the likes of Peace and they made it crystal clear on Wednesday that they’re an act to be remembered.

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Codist (My awful photography resulted in Tom disappearing) 

Echo Valley weren’t the only ones to put on a great performance that night. Codist started the night off and, if I’m being honest, I had never heard of them before but thanks to word of mouth, I was very hyped to see what they were like. What I experienced was one of the best performances I’ve seen from any act in my 3 years of attending gigs. With their guitarist Sam parting ways with the band back in August (departures seems to be a running thing in this post), the Glasgow act are now a trio but they still pack just as much of a punch as any other band.

The only way I could put their sound into words is if you put Biffy Clyro’s gritty, stripped back tone from Blackened Sky in a blender with Weezer during their blue album era, something that, in my opinion, is one of the greatest compliments any rock act could receive. Although they had travelled and waited a fair wee bit, the pure passion and effort Phil, Michael and Tom put into their performance is astounding. With a debut album currently in the works, Codist have went from being an unknown act in my eyes to one that deserve all of your attention.

Enemies of the State loosening up before taking on the WOTM

It would be a sin to not mention the other acts who helped the night to be as amazing as it was. Enemies Of The State splice the sound made famous by Twin Atlantic on Vivarium with lyrics that the band say focus on the current political and social climate, revolution, science and love. The first thing everyone at the West Of The Moon noticed that night was the way frontman Kris Tennant projected his voice, filling the entire bar full of quips about Caesar as the band showed signs of an act capable of arena sized anthems. The Glasgow band have previously headlined King Tuts as well as played the main stage at the O2 Academy so they’re without a doubt worthy of keeping your eye and ear on.

Brothers closing the show

Finally, Brothers were originally going to be the penultimate act but found themselves headlining the night, something that’s bound to put a little bit of pressure on any act, big or small. Fraser, Cairns and Curtis didn’t let it get to them though and showed that they’re capable of filling in the shoes of fellow big local acts. Evaporate sounds like a long lost Twin Atlantic single sprinkled with ambient sounds and The World Is Flat, clocking in at 7 minutes, never dies down, keeping fresh and energetic throughout its run time. Both tracks perfectly make the transition from listening on your phone to witnessing it on a stage and the rest of the band’s performance meant that the night ended with just as much of a bang as it started off with.

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Hope you enjoyed this slightly long post on the great acts I managed to see last week. Cheers to Shaun and Liam McCluskey who organised the night and made sure that those who were there didn’t leave disappointed. Links to the band’s social media will be down below so that you can keep up to date on what they’re up to as well as mine so you can witness any more ramblings of mine.

In addition to this, I recently passed 4000+ views on my blog this week, a feat that may seem small but honestly meant the world to me. It’s motivated me to provide even more content and has made all the days I’ve spent drinking countless energy drinks to stay up and write all worth it. Here’s hoping we can make it into a 5 figure number before the year is over.

Big love, Liam x
Facebook | Twitter 

Echo Valley: Facebook | Twitter
Codist: Facebook | Twitter
Enemies Of The State: Facebook | Twitter
Brothers: Facebook |Twitter