Thursday, February 01, 2007

Where the Magic Tune Box goes, nobody knows

It's been a wee while since we delved into the darkest regions of the Magic Tune Box, so here goes. Brace yourselves.

1: A Strange Arrangement Of Colour by I Am Kloot (from the album I Am Kloot): Typically downbeat Scouse indie. I'm a big fan of the band, especially Johnny Bramwell's lyrics and deadpan drawl.

2: Falling Away With You by Muse (from the album Absolution): Muse's ascendancy to one of the biggest bands in the world has taken a while, but each successive album has built on their skyscraping, over-the-top blend of Queen, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. This, from their third studio album, is a characteristic combination of an almost leisurely verse and bombastic chorus.

3: Shoot To Thrill by AC/DC (from the album Back In Black): Few bands in the history of rock'n'roll could follow the tragic death of their frontman by recording their greatest ever album. There are no weak tracks on Back In Black, and Brian Johnson's gravel-voiced roar, whilst different from Bon Scott's drunken drawl, helped carry AC/DC to the stadium-rock level.

4: The River Curls Around The Town by Hood (from the album Cold House): Using cut-up vocals over backwards-masked guitar lines may not be a new trick, but Hood use it to good effect on this track, although it meanders along throughout its three minutes without ever really progressing too far.

5: C Note by Body Count (from the album Body Count): Guns'n'Roses-tinged instrumental from one of the most intentionally antagonistic albums ever recorded. Amongst the other tracks on the record are KKK Bitch, Evil Dick and the infamous Cop Killer, which was removed from later releases of the album.

6: Zip...Just Gone by Lo-Fidelity Allstars (B-side from the single Lo-Fi's In Ibiza): If Lo Fi's In Ibiza is the sound of a big beat Balearic rave, then Zip...Just Gone is the after-show comedown, combining jazz horns with an almost spoken vocal. Very chilled.

7: Guide My Hand by Driveblind (from the album Driveblind): One of the slower numbers from the Aberdeen band's debut album. It still seems strange to hear of Driveblind playing sold-out shows in LA, as I know a couple of the band's members fairly well, having worked with them in the office of an Aberdeen engineering company. Guide My Hand isn't one of the stronger tracks from the album, but does carry the band's hallmarks of strong vocals, faultless guitars and magnificent production.

8: Skeptics and True Believers by The Academy Is... (from the album Almost Here): American indie-punk by numbers from the Chicago band. Whilst I have nothing against them as such, this track does sound indistinguishable from Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects and their ilk.

9: Bully Boy by Shed Seven (from the greatest hits album Going For Gold): In which Rick Witter - whose name became unfortunate Britpop-era rhyming slang for shitter - recalls a beating he received. Not the band's finest hour, with Witter's foghorn delivery failing to gel with the poor man's Stone Roses backing track.

10: I Don't Know by Beastie Boys (from the album Hello Nasty): I didn't really get into the Beastie Boys first time around - it wasn't until the release of Intergalactic and Body Movin' that I sat up and took notice. I've subsequently discovered their Beatles-sampling masterpiece Paul's Boutique, and whilst Hello Nasty doesn't quite compare with that record, it's still a very strong set. I Don't Know is one of the record's quieter moments, eschewing the Beasties' electro beats and triple-pronged rap attack.

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