Friday, December 19, 2014

Clarence Clarity & Energy Slime

The Guardian's regular, 'band of the Week' feature picked up this guy last week. He is an artist with a distinctive sound and a fully realised aesthetic. The songs on his March 2015 debut album, No Now, are funk warped and mangled, smothered in quixotic synths.

Paul Lester opines " It's not quite as radical as he probably thinks it is - anyone who has ever heard a Funkadelic or Parliament album will know that funk is no stranger to the strange and deranged, and the frenetic blipburst approach to fizzy sonics will be familiar to anyone who owns a 1973-5 Todd Rundgren album or a 2008 Max Tundra one… At its best, though - the controlled mayhem of Will to Believe, the mad maximalism of Hit Factory of Sadness, the blap-zap rat-a-tat of Let's Shoot Up and The Gospel Truth, which sounds like funk played by a swarm of bees - No Now is almost as good as Clarence Clarity thinks it is."

Meanwhile Postmedia Breaking News reviews a new album/EP from Energy Slime - the duo of Jay Arner and Jessica Delisle, whose New Dimensional is 11 songs fitted on a seven-inch disc. 

" Arner put out an LP on Mint last year whose layered, multi-textured power-pop was evocative of Todd Rundgren. Energy Slime takes that comparison further by recalling the shorter songs of Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star. It's dense and the short entries could be developed into longer, fuller songs. Arner and Delisle could be making a point: If today's society has a short attention span and is overwhelmed by the volume of music, why bother going further once the point has been made?"

Albums of 2014

As per usual I have been tinkering and tweaking with this list constantly over the past week or so, but my top 5 are pretty solid.

1. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams [ Give Me Something Good ]
2. Kelis - Food [ Jerk Ribs ]
3. The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams [ Spinners ]
4. St Vincent – St Vincent [ Digital Witness ]
5. I Break Horses – Chiaroscuro [ You Burn ]
6. Royal Blood – Royal Blood [ Figure it Out ]
7. Angaleena Presley – American Middle Class [ American Middle Class ]
8. Prince & 3eyedgirl – Plectrumelectrum [ Funk & Roll ]
9. Taylor Swift – 1989 [ Shake it Off ]
10. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager [ She's Not Me ]
11. The Pretty Reckless - Going to Hell [ House on a hill ]
12. Pixies - Indie Cindy [ What Goes Boom ]
13. Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita [ Exit Only ]
14. Aphex Twin – Syro [ Minipops 67 ]
15. The Juan Maclean - In a dream [ A Simple Design ]
16. FKA Twiggs – LP1 [ Two Weeks ]
17. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways [ I am A River ]
18. The Amazing Snakeheads - Amphetamine Blues [ Here it Comes Again ]
19. Body Count – Manslaughter [ Wanna be a Gangsta ]
20. Baby Metal – Baby Metal [ Megitsune ]