Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My Top Five Albums Of 2010

The Xcerts - Scatterbrain
'Scatterbrain' saw The Xcerts move out from that distorted indie pop sound that reminded everyone of Biffy Clyro and put them in a genre of their own. Recorded with Mike Sapone (who also recently worked on Brand New's 'Daisy' album), 'Scatterbrain' is a dark, relentlessly visceral record that I personally feel, is the most vital British album released this year.

Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry
'All Creatures Will Make Merry' sums up everything that is fantastic about lo-fi records, honest, emotional and with a song craft that has yet to be beaten, this release hasn't seen Meursault explode into popularity but it has definitely set them up for a fantastic 2011.

Deftones - Diamond Eyes
After recording the follow up to 'Saturday Night Wrist', 'Eros', bassist Chi Cheng was sadly involved in a near fatal car crash and has been in hospital since. You would forgive Deftones for having a break until Cheng is back, but luckily for Deftones fans they did the complete opposite and recorded a brand new album, 'Diamond Eyes'. Crafting a whole new sound for them, 'Diamond Eyes' is possibly Deftones at their heaviest, but it's Deftones at their best also.

After losing the last of their original members (and perhaps the most talented musician in the band), it seemed almost inevitable that Underoath's latest album would be utterly terrible but by hiring former Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davison, they have possibly one of the best replacements they could ask for. 'Ø (DISAMBIGUATION)' takes a fair few of its cues from Norma Jean, it's angry, it's aggressive and it's utterly brilliant.

Foals - Total Life Forever
I utterly didn't understand the hype behind Foals debut album 'Antidotes', but it's follow up, Mercury Prize Nominated 'Total Life Forever' has me totally smitten. The mature second album, it moves away from the cliché NME friendly art indie sound of the debut and establishes itself as a completely original piece of art, that I really struggle to describe. Foals are a sign of the fantastic level of talent we have musically in this country and if you have any musical sense at all, you HAVE to own this record.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Tristram - Accident & Artifice

It is a great time to be a folk band in the UK with the continuing success of Mumford & Sons, not to mention Laura Marling's foray into the top forty charts, and the consistent publication of upcoming folk bands in popular magazines like NME (Villagers, Grizzly Bear and the list goes on...), if anything, the insurgence only looks like it is going to gain speed rather than falter.

With 'Accidents & Artifice', Tristram, a four piece band who met in Brighton quickly moving to London shortly after, show that with this, their second EP to date, they are more than ready to not only work with the success in the genre currently, but to, given the almost stagnant nature of the folk sound, help it to evolve into something more upbeat and original. Most folk bands are happy to rely on a minimal sound, concentrating on the guitar and well crafted lyrics, but from opener 'Dust Disturbed' and its follow up 'Song For Laurie', it's fairly obvious that Tristram have a high level on focus on driving drum beats too, filling any space left with haunting cello. 'Rhyme Or Reason' showcases Tristram Bawtree's ability to write infectious vocal melodies, harking back to Nick Drake's 'One Of These Things First' while fourth and final track 'Coelacanth' sees Tristram slowing down the pace for a more reflective sound.

'Accidents & Artifice' is an accomplished EP, my only criticism is that it is just that, an EP, only four tracks and it seems to be over just after it has begun. Great things await this band if they can ride the wave of folk popularity long enough to record a full length.

3.5 / 5

Tristram Myspace