18 December 2014

ATTIWLTMOWOS Top 100 Songs of 2014


It is the time of year where the lists are wrote and the year indexed into facts and figure.  Here at ATTIWLTMOWOS towers, we have been busy sorting out the album of the year (which will be posted sometime on Christmas week 2014).  Also (and in the background) the song of the year list has been sorted.  Now this is the one that is decided by me alone, for a couple of reasons:

1) It is hard enough getting these bag of cats to agree to an album of the year, let alone to a song of the year - in Jerm's case I am sure it will be something that goes a million miles an hour and has the word 'GAINS' in every other sentence; for Marc, it will probably have a guitar solo and keyboard solo that are 100 hours each; for Chaney it will be either so off the chart that a map, compass and sat nav will not save you, or so traditional that it hurts; for Luke it will probably be from the 80's hair metal or from Australia, Helen it will be something blues, folksy and sad; etc, etc, etc.

2) Until I can work out a way to get them to do it, it will be done in this method.

Such is the way of things; now the first part of the list is just going to be the names of the songs, then after a bit I will start to go into a bit of depth about the numbers.  Otherwise I would be here till Christmas 2017...... Now the song of the year is different to the album of the year for many different reasons.  Firstly, it is very rare (for me at least) that the song which I have liked the most over the year is from the album of the year.  Sometimes a track from an album as awful as the career of Adam Sandler just transcends the album it was released from, sometimes the tracks from the album of the year do not work as separate entities.  Well, lets us see how this year works out:

100 – Shonen Knife – Ramen Rock

099 – Nick Mulvey – First Mind
098 – Anna Calvi – Eliza
097 – Black Stone Cherry – Magic Mountain
096 – Anathema – Distant Satellite
095 – Cavorts – Look After The Pack
094 – Goat – Hide From The Sun
093 – Eels – Series Of Misunderstandings
092 – Neil Cowley Trio – Sparkling
091 – Def Con Once – Need A Reason

090 – J. Mascis – Every Morning
089 – Electric Wizard – Time To Die
088 – Sun Kil Moon – Pray For Newton
087 – Voices – The Ultimate Narcissist
086 – Foo Fighters – I Am A River
085 – Within Temptation – Silver Moonlight
084 – The Skull – For Those Which Are Asleep
083 – Septicflesh – Prometheus
082 – Queen – In The Lap Of The Gods...(Revisited) (Live)
081 – Lionize – Amazing Science Facts
080 – Fugazi – Merchandise (Demo)
079 – Manic Street Preachers – Between The Clock & The Bed
078 – The Algorithim – will_smith
077 – Agalloch – Dark Matter Gods
076 – Rival Schools – Where I've Been
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075 – Bring Me The Horizon – Shadow Moses
074 – Imogen Heap Featuring deadmau5 – Telemiscommunications
073 – Prong – Remove, Separate Self
072 – Jonah's Onelinedrawing – Bye, Bye Best Friend
071 – Nickleback – The Hammer's Coming Down
070 – Melvins – The Bunk Up
069 – Young Fathers – DEAD
068 – The Flaming Lips – When I'm Sixty Four (With Def Rain & Pitchwafuzz)
067 – Myles Sanko – Distant From You
066 – Warpaint – Tesse
065 – "Weird Al" Yankovic – Now That Is What I Call Polka
064 – Mark Lanegan Band – Death Trip To Tulsa
063 – Corrosion Of Conformity – On Your Way
062 – Destiny Potato
061 – Ivy League TX – History Repeats
060 – AC/DC – Rock The House
059 – Rancid – In The Street
058 – Waheela – Hoffman
057 – Alkaline Trio – The Torture Doctor
056 – Damon Albarn – You & Me
055 – Radio Riddler – When Doves Cry (With Citizen Cope)
054 – Machine Head – Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
053 – Slipknot – Lech
052 – Maybeshewill – In The Blind
051 – Death From Above 1979 – Cheap Talk

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050 – Metronomy – Love Letters

This is taken from an album which I gave a pasting to earlier in the year, I still stand by what I said and I do think that this band need someone outside of the group to produce them to give an outside ear and perception to the songs.  However, this song still sounded good despite the shoddy mix.  That is a sign of a great song for me; hopefully in the future they will venture outside.

049 – Mastodon - The Motherload

They have done it again, made an album full of hooks and surprises.  This was one of the biggest riffs on the album and was one of the songs for my summer.

048 – Ed Sheeran - I See Fire

I have no problem with this being on here – so fuck you to the hipsters, metallers and other lofty people who frequently read this blog.  This song was on one of the biggest films of the last ten months, it did not sound much like his normal stuff, it has a great chorus; I will admit the ending is not the best, but it is still a great song.

047 – Fanfarlo - The Grey & Gold

Sunshine pop from across the pond, this makes any day feel like the middle of a beautiful summer's day.

046 – Ariel Pink - White Freckles

Pop anarchist Ariel Pink latest opus was not quite the spectacular I was hoping for, but it did have this little gem that showed that not all is lost for the man minus his haunted graffiti.

045 – The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Food For Clouds

This band still confuse me, they can both hypnotise me and at times they can also stun me with their ability to drift nowhere fast; they are that sort of band that just keep on confusing me.  However, this song is just another dose of psychedelica that sounds timeless in more ways than one.

044 – The Smashing Pumpkins - Drum + Fife

Considering this has only been around for the last five days (at the time of writing), to make it into the top 50 is quite an achievement.  Off one of the shortest releases from Billy Corgan and co, this was an incredibly strong track from an album which is going to take time to settle in for me.

043 – The Afghan Whigs – Algiers

Another band from yester-years come back to finally get round to making another album.  The Afghan Whigs did not disappoint with Do To The Beast and this song was one of many highlights.

042 – Orange Goblin - Heavy Lies The Crown

A band I have not listened to much over the years, but that will be changing soon.  This was the best track of an interesting album, full of the swagger that made them an interest prospect and with a more mature tone to the songs.  This song shows that something’s improve even more with age.

041 – Ginger Wildheart - Grow A Pair

I will be honest; I have not been overwhelmed with Albion (or Practical Musician - whichever title you prefer).  Maybe because it was the seventh albums worth of material in three years (3 discs worth in 555%, 2 in Mutation and Hey Hello!), but this was a brilliant number full of the pop punk joy that we have come to expect from Sir Ginger.  I have also heard a bit of his G.A.S.S. project which has been interesting, so I am looking forward to reviewing the best of G.A.S.S. release once the rest have been reviewed by Luke. 

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040 – Mantar - White Nights



From my favourite album of the year, White Nights show what a metal duo can create and one of the loudest albums of 2014.  This slice of winter has been one of the tracks which I have played all year long.  A great track from an amazing album!


039 – CJ Wildheart – D.C.



Another track from a different member of the Wildhearts; this time it is from guitarist CJ.  It is a lot less melodic that the recent album from Ginger, but it is just a ball of punk rock energy that will have a smile on the face of anyone who has ever had the slightest liking of the Wildhearts over the years.  As I have said before, the Wildhearts is full of talented song writers.

038 – Black Label Society – Damn The Flood


Not a band I have ever really listened to, but you cannot deny the following that Zakk Wylde and Co have amassed over the years.  This track was taken of the ninth album called ‘Catacombs Of The Black Vatican” and finds them in fine form.  Might not be changing the service, but when it is this well played there is nothing to fix.

037 – Hookworms – The Impasse


Hailing from Leeds, this psychedelic entourage have made a big splash in a short time.  This is the opening track to ‘The Hum’ and set out exactly what the band want to do from the word go.

036 – Johnny Marr – Back In The Box
 


Whilst the album as a whole might have been disappointing (slight nod to Electronic there), this song was one of the shining lights for the much travelled music maverick.  We know that Mr Marr has nothing else to prove to the world, as songs like this show.

035 – St. Vincent – Digital Witness


With a series of horns and electronic sounds, St Vincent has shown that she is more than deserving of the praise that she has recently been getting for her latest self titled album.  This song is just a joy on the ears and shows that not all indie or alternative music needs to be guitar based.

034 – ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead – How To Avoid Huge Ships



It is not the easiest title when you add the band name to it, but it is a stunning instrumental from the Texan quartet.  Showing that they have not lost any of their fire, this song is a shining jewel on their latest opus.

033 – The Black Keys – Fever



Teaming up once again with Danger Mouse, Black Keys showed that they can still make songs that send shivers down the soul. This was one of the earliest hits of the spring time in the UK.

032 – Sunn 0))) + Scott Walker – Herod 2014



This is not a song or a statement, this is art.  You cannot settle with this number, it is so abrasive on the soul and makes you question everything you know about both sets of artist.  A powerful artistic statement from a powerful album.

031 – Mongol Horde – Stillborn Unicorn



Going back to his roots, Frank Turner does vocals on this hardcore driven song.  You see, he was not just an acoustic singer for the early have of the 22nd Century.  Frank, if you ever see this – please do another album with this band! Love your other stuff, but this was fun!

030 – Beck – Blue Moon



From his more laid back ‘Morning Phase’ album, this song sounds like the breaking of a thousand hearts with a man who is tired of the loneliness of his life.  It shows a maturity that Beck has always kept in his music and the haunting music will bring the mighty to their senses.

029 – Robert Plant – Little Maggie



It seems that everyone still wants him to go back to his past, but Mr Plant has done the smart thing; he has ignored their calls and just kept on his own course.  Which is the way that it should be, we do not need another version of “Rock & Roll” or “In The Evening”.  This is the lead track from his latest record ‘Lullaby And The Ceaseless Roar’ and it proves that Mr Plant certainly knows what is best for him, the fire might not be as bright, but it still burns just as strong.

028 – Aphex Twin – 180 db_[1.30]



Strange marketing campaigns, stranger artwork and even more strange song titles – but if Aphex Twin did anything easy, we would all be up in arms.  Whilst not as confrontational as “Windowlicker” and some of his earlier works, it still shows at Aphex Twin is a force to be reckoned.

027 – Prince – BREAKDOWN



Speaking of comebacks, outside of loving the internet, hating it again, random gigs, expensive gigs and the usual Prince craziness, he had time to release two albums on the same day.  Taken from the ArtOfficalAge record, this is Prince back at his shiney pop greatness, a song which has regrets and a fantastic hook that will make it essential to any Prince fan.  The king is dead, all hail the new king in town!

026 – Blue Swede – Hooked On A Feeling



Ok, it is not a new song from 2014; but you could not have the song of the year list without a track from the soundtrack of the year.  Over the summer (and once the marketing campaign started), this song was the music for Guardians Of The Galaxy.  It was everywhere over the summer and shows that you cannot keep a good song down.

025 – Ryan Adams – Where The Summer Ends.



Taken from the 7” only release ‘1984’, this is Mr Adams channelling the energy and style of the Replacements and co into a sub-two minutes ball of joy. Short and sweet just like this paragraph.

024 – Withered Hand – Horseshoe



I will be honest, this song was slow burner for me.  When I first heard it, it was just a decent number; but over the year it is a song that I have returned to quite a lot (it was also closely matched with “Heart Heart” from the same album – two bonafide classics from the ‘New Gods’ album).  The passion in the writing here is fantastic and it is another great song.

023 – Alt J – Nara



Off the very disappointing ‘This Is All Yours’, Nara seems to buck the trend of the album and is actually a very accomplished piece of folk music.  It has a drama which was lacking on most of the album, there is passion in the song and it also shows what good musicians are in the band.  If only the rest of the album was as good as this song.

022 – Comeback Kid – Didn’t Even Mind



Hardcore punk doing an emotional song?  No, it does not sound crazy and the delivery from (country) Comeback Kid was spot on.  Whilst sometimes their work can merge into one song, this one stood out over the entire album.

021 – Elbow – Charge



The second track from the melodic ‘The Take Off & Landing Of Everything’ was a real slow burner. The start track for most of their gigs this year, this song shows that even when there is heartbreak and anger in a situation, there can also be beauty and passion for the world to see.

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020 – Whores – Last Look



I cannot remember where I read this, but one review I saw about this band (and release) said that Whores were a workman like band.  I find that this is a bit harsh on them to be honest; quite far from being average, these guys injected some passion and much need anger at the beginning of 2014 when it was starting to sound as if it was in danger of starting off dead from the neck up.  Full of fire and venom, a great song that still sounds as powerful almost a year on.

019 – Lana Del Rey – Sad Girl



After ‘Born To Die’, I was not 100% sure if I ever revisit Ms Del Rey and her brand of melon collie; however, it was just as well I did as her partnership with Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys help contribute to one of the darkest slices of pop noir I have ever heard.  “Sad Girl” is a stunning piece of music which shows that the girl has a great mind for how a song should work; if only her taste in music videos was just as high.

018 – Senser – Wounded Spectre



Technically from 2013, but reviewed by Luke in December of that year; so it was only fair that they got a fair crack of the whip, as they really deserved it.  In a year when their debut has reached twenty years old, this shows that they has not grown old sensibly, in fact it shows that the fire still burns for them and that they can take anyone on when the mood suits them.

017 – Royal Blood – Better Strangers



From one of the biggest debuts in recent memory, Royal Blood truly landed in the summer after a much hyped rise to the top with their first album reaching number one in the UK charts.  It certainly helps when you have one of the biggest music labels in the world behind you, but it also helps when the music is top quality as well.  This slice of QOTSA if they were a two piece is the stunning ending to one to an album which is sure to be held as a classic by some people.

016 – Calabrese – There Is An Evil Inside



Out of Phoenix, Arizona; Calabrese are a modern take on the Rock ‘N’ Roll/Punk band.  This song sounds like it was born on the wrong side of the tracks and will take your drink, significant other and your faithful hound.  It just oozes style, attitude and cool – it is a brilliant song.

015 – Swans – Screen Shot



This is terrifying, this band is terrifying and I am still trying to figure them out. This was the first song on their latest trip into horror.  It just builds to a point where I felt that my skin was going to crawl off me and try to kill me as it was the only way to save my tainted soul.  Of course, I love it.....

014 – Ben Howard – Evergreen



It feels strange that a song about Christmas time has made this list; even if it is a song about a broken Christmas.  One of the few bright moments (in a miserable way) off a very poor album, that did not really go anywhere.  This song however, this was something different.  It had more emotion that I have heard in years from a mainstream artist.

013 – Weezer – iii-return to ithika



The third part of the trio which bookends the latest release from the lost boys of pop-punk.  It is just a fun filled little instrumental that ends the album on such a high that it should come with a sugar warning.

012 – Sky Ferreira – Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Ok)



(Sorry Sky for the photo, just made me laugh).

Pop music should sometimes sound different and a bit edgy.  Sky Ferreira sounds as if she should be a big deal, but it has not quiet kicked off for her yet.  I am sure that it will at one point, she seems to have that right mix of attitude and musical ability.  This song sounded like a new take on glam rock, it is so fantastic and catchy; just one of the best pop songs of 2014.....

011 – Visuals – A Pixel



....until I heard this number.  This track was from a label complication for Other People called ‘Work’.  This is incredibly simplistic in design, but very powerful in delivery; it is also very underground as well.  A joy for people who long for a simpler, more refined pop act.

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010 – Sleaford Mods – Liveable Shit



Everything you heard about this band is both true and false; to some people they are the worst thing to have ever graced their ears – to others they are one of the most aggressive and poetic bands to exist today.  For me, they are the later and full deserve all the praise that is currently going their way.  But I do understand why some people will not like them, they are very aggressive and harsh; their in your face, aggressive swagger is not going to be for everyone.  This song was the highlight of ‘Divide & Exit’ and has been played many times.  Listen to them and make up your own mind.

009 – Polar Bear – Be Free



I was not expecting much from these guys when I first heard their record for the Mercury Music prize and I was nicely surprised.  Some of their work was out in the left field and running towards the horizon.  This track was the one which hooked it for me, the combination of old and new school jazz flavours just had my attention straight away. 

008 – The Bug Featuring Warrior Queen – Fuck You



There is a lot of bad language in this song; from the beginning with that calling to the masses from Warrior Queen, you are covered in a bass thumping electronica number that makes your soul want to move and rattles your teeth and the dead out of their graves.  As I said on my blog about the album – basically you’re fucked.  If you do not get this song or artist, you might as well retire from listening to music now.

007 – Mogwai – No Medicine For Regret



This is another song which has been on this list since early last year.  Released in January, Mogwai were riding high in the popular press after their last release which was songs made for the French TV show Les Revenants (as know as The Returned in English speaking countries – watch it, it is hauntingly beautiful).  This piece of shoegazing was a slow building song that kept returning to my mind long after it finished and stayed very high in this list all year round.

006 – Benjamin Booker – Violent Shiver



If I have one regret about 2014, it was that I missed seeing this man when he played Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the summer.  Allegedly it was a gig for the ages, it was because of missing the gig that I ended up picking up the album to review; I wanted to find out why there was all this fuss being made by my friends.  This is a perfect blues/rock ball of energy that once again shows that guitar music is not dead. 

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005 – Pixies – Another Toe In The Ocean



This was at the top of the list for an awfully long time.  As soon as I heard it, it just touched a musical nerve in me.  This is such a classic track from the Pixies that even though it is years since their last release and it does not have Kim Deal; it just screams vintage Pixies and I am sure that Nirvana would have been working on a way to rip it off for a new song to rival “Smells Like Teen Spirits”. Classic harmonies, a riff that stays in the brain for days and lyrics that still confuse slightly.

004 – The War On Drugs – Red Eyes



Dream pop warriors The War On Drugs were over shadowed by their fighting with Sun Kil Moon, but nothing could over shadow this slice of heaven.  It was actually so big, such a huge song that it casts the shadow over the rest of the album from which it was taken – ‘Lost In The Dream’.  But when you make something this good, it is hard to stop it shining.

003 – Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business



It has been sort of dull without the crown prince of the miserable around; I do not know why, but unless he is crying or shouting about something then the musical world seems a little slower.  Sometimes his music is not as good as his dreams, this year this was different.  Morrissey released the best record in decades and it should have been the signal of a revival of sorts.  However, the drama has continued and he is now without a label and this record is being hidden in the archives.  But this record is brilliant and on this song he is at his poisoned penned best.

002 – Maxïmo Park – Drinking Martini’s



It was almost there, so very, very, very close. I almost had a top track of the year from a band from my neck of the woods.  But it was just piped at the post (more on that in a second).  Maxïmo Park has aged with incredible grace and this nostalgic look at the past in Newcastle (I know some of the bars mentioned in this song), the taint of regret and sorrow at failing relationships is heartbreaking and beautiful.  As I said, it was incredibly close to being the song of the year.....

001 – Interpol – All The Rage Back Home



....But there can only be one.  There are few times when a song starts an album off with such jaw dropping ease; this song wipes away all the band memories of their last self titled record.  Without trying to reinvent the wheel, the change in personal has reinvented the band themselves and reignited something in them.  If only I could show you all how this makes me feel, because this song is stunning. 

So they we have it – well done Interpol and to everyone else on the list or who has even made an album/song this year.  If it was not for the bands and artist, this would probably be a blog about cats.  Next blog will (probably from me at least), be the group album of the year blog!

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