Monthly Archives: May 2011

Free download: New Chiddy Bang mixtape – ‘Peanut Butter and Swelly’

2011 has been a great year for hip hop so far. And it just got better, because today one of our favourite acts, Chiddy Bang, released their new mixtape for free via iLLRoots. Chiddy Bang write the type of upbeat hip hop that you can move to. The beats are as much of a star as Chiddy’s rapping, with eclectic 8 bit beats, Happy hardcore samples, mashed up backing music constructed from Motown, Ska, Indie rock and pretty much anything. (It’s actually amazing that more hip hop hasn’t been constructing from Motown samples – the Motown beat is perfect and the choruses work perfectly). Peanut Butter and Swelly is a mixtape of 15 brand new tracks and features some of their best work to date. They promise full album Breakfast will be their next release. Check out the video trailer below, and get the mixtape for free from iLLRoots here. … Read more

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Worst Albums Of All Time: The Verve – ‘Urban Hymns’

Welcome to our first ever guest blog post courtesy of Rory, one of the main men behind the excellent Guerrilla Geek site. Read on as he shows us up with his “researched back story” and “carefully thought out points”. Those things will never catch on. In September 1997, The Verve released what would become their biggest album ever. Urban Hymns became one of the best-selling albums of the year, earning nearly-unanimous critical praise, and has since regularly gained respectable placements on British “greatest albums of all time” media lists. Normally, I can simply shake my head at the vagaries that lead to such an album gaining a legacy like this, but in the case of Urban Hymns, I’m left with one nagging fact that prevents me from moving on: the album is a bad album. Now, I don’t mean a bad album in a Steps-this-music-is-so-tacky-it’s-almost-acceptable kind of way; Urban Hymns … Read more

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Worst Albums Of All Time: Bob Dylan – ‘Christmas In The Heart’

This week’s worst album was nominated by bsidebeats. Let us know your nominations either in the comments or by tweeting at us with the hashtag #worstalbums. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that musicians get worse at writing songs as they get older. Now before you say something like “How can you rag on the classics – what have you ever done?” – for which you would be taking quite a reasonable stance – like most people, I am not immune to the charms of early Bob Dylan. As a sixties singer songwriter and folk troubadour there were few that came close to either his songwriting or his charisma. His folk work is as moving today as it was at the time: a natural extension of the rebelliousness of Woodie Guthrie, updated for the beatnicks and pre-love generation. When he plugged in at Newport in 1965 it signified one of the … Read more

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Great, and slightly unsung, bands of the recent era: The Vines

That New York fall of 2001 the world changed forever.  People often say that centuries begin not on the first day of that century but are forged in the clearing dust of a cataclysmic event.  Few would argue that rock music was the same after The Strokes released ‘Is This It?’.  For a while there it was a worry.  For a while there at the end of the century those nonces that are forever saying ‘rock is dead’ seemed like they could be onto something.  Through the blaring stupidity of a hundred sub-moronic nu-metal bands, the refried mulch of Pearl Jam’s 900th album,  and the tongue-in-cheek death-throes of whatever-the-heck-wave punk it looked a bit grim. But then came  The Strokes, looking a bit like the Ramones’ cuter cousins and sounding a bit like The Stooges, made you wonder where it had been all this time because it was just so, … Read more

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Best New Music: 2011 so far

There’s been a lot of great music this year so far. Here’s a few albums I recommend from the last 6 months or so (Warning: may contain traces of 2010). I’ve included clips so you can decide for yourself (you’re welcome). Yuck – “Yuck” The 90s are back! And not in a current New Zealand government, blindly repeating the mistakes of the past way, but in a didn’t realise how much we’d missed them, manages to sound old but somehow new again sort of way. Mixing the best bits of Dinosaur Jr, Silkworm, The Breeders, My Bloody Valentine and all that wonderful grunginess that permeated the first half of the decade, this album is basically cool as shit. There are short Sebadoh-ish rocky songs, “nicer” Lemonheads kinda ones, down to longer Sonic Youth-esque rambles. But the album somehow exists right in the here and now: old is somehow new again. … Read more

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Best Opening Lyrics: Teenage Fanclub – ‘The Concept’

She wears denim wherever she goes Says she’s gonna get some records by the Status Quo Oh yeah, Oh yeah She won’t be forced against her will Says she don’t do drugs, but she does the pill The opening lines of the opening song on their 1992 classic album Bandwagonesque. The album that was famously voted best album of that year by Spin magazine: beating out an album called Nevermind by a Washington band named Nirvana that to the best of my knowledge went on to do little else. You’ve gotta love Teenage Fanclub. They’re one of those bands that should’ve been huge but never really got as big as they deserved to, a bit like two of my other favourite bands The Ramones and The Replacements. Like those bands, their lack of megastardom meant that they didn’t burnt out and fade away as fast as some of their contemporaries. … Read more

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Steven Sourman reviews Riot Radio’s favourite records

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back Steven Sourman: the beige face of backwards looking music journalism. I say, these Riot Radio fellows obviously have some doubts about their own music taste because they have asked for my expert advice on some of their favourite albums. I notice there’s no Prince amongst them so it looks like I’m in for a rough ride. Still, what do you expect from a bunch of people that refuse to fear modern music like the not-as-good-as-vintage-jazz juggernaut that it is? Anyway let’s have a look at these “albums” they have asked me to review (I say “album”, but Dark Side Of The Moon is an album – I doubt any of these could be synced in a non-ironic way with a Judy Garland movie): Best Coast – Crazy For You Hahaha, Riot Radio. You are joking with this one, surely? This sounds vaguely like any … Read more

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Top Songs: The Seahorses – ‘Love Is The Law’

Let’s get the main thing sorted first: John Squire is a fucken badass. Normally I don’t go in for guitar wankery, but Squire is one of those few guitarists who I could quite happily listen to playing lead all day: the extended opening to “Love Spreads“, or the outtro to “I Am The Resurrection” for example. Most famous for his work with the ill-fated but justifiably revered Stone Roses, The Seahorses were Squire’s post-Roses band after he quit the former rather suddenly in 1995. (As many have pointed out, “The Seahorses” is an anagram for “He Hates Roses”). Released in 1997, The Seahorses’ debut album Do It Yourself was a bright, happy Britpop album, the difference being those guitar parts. Admittedly still in his indulgent (read:cocaine) phase, and given that he was basically now the band leader, there are a lot of long guitar parts on the album, and it … Read more

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