Long before I got all serious and ended up haphazardly running a daft bike company I spent far too much time digging the hot tunes, hell, I even worked for HMV once upon a time, back in the days of grunge n all that. And yeah, it was the poster for the Stooges gig in the Hammersmith Apollo that I went to back in ’05 that gave Stooge its name, I dare not recount the alternatives that were rattling around my head, needless to say they were shit. Ahhh, but the tunes have never left me, and here are four albums, old and new, that have not and will not ever leave the heavy rotation. In no particular order of greatness…
Awesome Colour by Awesome Colour.
When you love Funhouse by the Stooges as much as me and my motley bunch of mates do, you spend a lot of time wondering if there’s anything else out there that can even touch it. This once led to a lot of time spent searching for the holy grail of rock, another record that could at least come close. A futile task, you might think, but no, it exists, and its the debut album by long since deceased band, Awesome Colour. This album hits the ground running and doesn’t let up. Track one could almost me a Funhouse outtake it rocks and grooves that hard. Sure, the rest of the album can no way live up to that first song, but this is the real deal and then some.
Flip your Wig by Husker Du
Husker Du were, and still are, legends; a hardcore band from Minneapolis who became a pop band with hardcore guitars and opened the gates for the likes of Nirvana et all. All their albums are classics, but Flip Your Wig is basically the essence of Husker Du condensed into perfection. The songs are all fully formed, but its the sound, the sudden onslaught of unhinged guitars that cannot and will not fail to blow you away. After this they got signed by Warners and completely lost the edge that absolutely slices through this disc like a madman rampaging though Waitrose on a Sunday afternoon. This is a damn site better than those fat bike tyres too.
The Church of Simultaneous Existence by The Aints
Ed Kuepper is an absolute hero of mine, and one of rock’s greatest unsung heroes. He was the main songwriter and guitarist in the Saints in the late seventies, the Australian band who beat the UK Punks out of the gates with their debut single and album, I’m Stranded. The first 3 Saints albums are undiminished classics that still sound fantastic today, but then it all went wrong for them and Ed chose the path of relative obscurity with his next band, The Laughing Clowns, followed by a damned long solo career that continues to this day. I’m a sucker for him, I’ve bought all his albums over the years, but nothing prepared me for how fookin amazing this one would turn out to be. Consisting of songs he wrote but never recorded during his time in and around the Saints, this is full throttle rock n roll heaven with the best use of a horn section since…. hell, since whenever. There are ballady things here too, but even they rock, and this is my absolute album of the year for 2018. I urge you, implore you to buy it.
Slowdive by Slowdive
Back in the dawn of the 90s we were all saved from Shoegaze by the yanks and their Grunge thang, and boy, at the time it was sweet relief. Anyone who’d had to stand through a Ride gig couldn’t help but be blown away when they came across a Dinosaur Jr gig in some small dive of a venue somewhere oop north. Shoegaze sucked a big one, but hey, thirty years later it all sounds rather fantastic, funny old thing, nostalgia. Which brings me to the most unlikely comeback album in the world ever by the most ‘least likely to’ band in the world ever. Now, the first 3 Slowdive albums were seriously so-so, they were mocked by the press back in the day, and absolutely nobody took them seriously in any way whatsoever. So when this album was released in 2017 I certainly wasn’t waiting to rush out and buy it, but buy it I did, and holy shit, its fantastic! Slowdive were rubbish but now are brilliant! Its a shocker, but this album is all killer no filler. Its a ‘long drive’ album, it sighs and it rages in equal measure. It doesn’t rock, but in its own way it does, the production is faultless, the songs are faultless, it’s perfection in sound.
There ya go then, Back to talking about bikes next time. Yawn.