Song, by Toad Favourite Albums of 2010: 6-10
There are many reasons I love this album, not least of which the fact that I have been waiting for Jason Lytle to give us something weird and challenging for ages now. In the end this isn’t an album written for purpose, more a cleaning out of the odder corners of his store cupboard, but nevertheless the result is an album bursting with ideas, be they entirely finished or not, and hence one I find more lively, engaging and enjoyable than any of the more sensible and polished work Lytle has worked on in the last six or seven years.
Jason Lytle – Liquid Hyper Tweeker Energy Drinks
For an album released with so little fanfare (i.e. almost none at all), this is absolutely brilliant. In my review I said that there is a part of me looking forward to the Wave Pictures dishing out a good solid beating to their guitars again, but this album, which is far more acoustic, shows that they (yes, I know, but Tattersall is the main songwriter, so it almost counts) can go the other way with perfect results as well. It’s not just the strength of the songwriting, almost a given when Mr. Tattersall is involved, but the variety of the arrangements which make this album so briliant, in my view. For an album with such sparse instrumentation the shifts in pace and feel across the whole record are really nicely executed. All in all, brilliant.
David Tattersall – Between My Ear and the Cradle
A large part of me is rather hoping that 2011 will be the year guitar music batters its way back into my listening habits. I have always had a taste for aggressive, rough guitar music, even though I don’t really hear that much which really appeals to me at the moment. This is quite poppy and polished actually, but it’s thirteen equally cracking songs, half an hour long, and a loud, boisterous joy. Beneath the garage punk aesthetic is an unmistakable hint of that period of British guitar music where indie was in the process of turning into Britpop, but without a lot of the affectations. It’s almost as if this rollicking reinterpretation has produced an interpretation of that kind of music the hipsters might finally find acceptable.
Male Bonding – All Things This Way
9. Songdog – A Life Eroding
I’ve known of this band for bloody years, but only now have they released an album I have managed to properly click with, and one which has sent me digging back through their back catalogue to see why it never quite happened earlier. It tails off a little towards the end, which is the only reason it is not in the top one or two. Generally they write pretty miserable, dysfunctional songs, but they do it with a very acid wit which they are not afraid to turn against themselves if things feel like they are getting too earnest. A great album from a band who have been around for a very long time and never received the credit I think they are due.
Songdog – Gene Autry’s Ghost
10. The Books – The Way Out
This is very much an album-lovers’ album, as I would suppose you might expect from The Books. I recently realised I never actually reviewed this on Song, by Toad, with the only reason being this: I bought this on vinyl immediately and have never listened to it anywhere near my computer, so it just never popped into my head. This is symptomatic of my listening habits all year, and not in a bad way I think I can confidently state. It’s on beautiful multi-colour flecked vinyl, and I sit down, listen to the whole thing and absorb everything from the great bits to the strange bits to the bits which are suspiciously similar to early Lemonjelly. Probably not my favourite Books album, but one I listen to all the time.