Friday, 12 August 2011

Micro Five - Readers Recommend Debut releases

Argh! School summer holidays and suddenly I don't have much time to knock up a proper top 5. Here's a half-hearted attempt to plug the gap with five debut releases I suggested for the Guardian's Reader's Recommend topic a few weeks back.

You need to get in early so nominations for "Suspect Device" by Stiff Little Fingers (I love SLF but I still think it's the best thing they ever did), "Blitzkreig Bop" by the Ramones and "Market Square Heroes" by Marillion had already been nabbed.

1. The Sonics "The Witch" - I'm on a one man crusade to make The Sonics more greatly appreciated. This was their debut single originally released in 1964 but then re-released backed with the equally brilliant "Psycho" as their second single in 1965. The Sonics were punk before their time, an undoubted influence on The Stooges and probably countless Garage Punk bands since. I don't have first hand experience of this release (I was born 4 years later) but discovered the band about 10 years ago via the amazing Ace records compilation "Pyscho-Sonic". Go and buy it now!

The Sonics "The Witch"

2. Dananananaykroyd "Totally Bone" - The video is a live version from a particularly wild gig at Hoxton Bar & Grill in 2009. I smashed my glasses to smithereens jumping along to them that night. The 'naykroyd are all about the live show. The most fun you can have with your clothes on. Totally Bone was their debut release from way back in something like 2005 when they were still just one of those bands you'd read about on Drowned In Sound. As the NME said they're "Like Shellac playing S Club 7 songs with the fun factor turned up to 11".

Dananananaykroyd "Totally Bone"

3. Brakes "Pick Up The Phone" - Brakes debut single which featured this song clocking in at 26 seconds, "Cheney" clocking in at 10 seconds and the epic "I Can't Stand to Stand Beside You" which breaks the 3 minute mark just to give you some value for your money. Brakes were formed to provide a platform for Eamonn Martin's acerbic songwriting skills. Formerly the keyboard player with British Sea Power he was backed by Thomas & Alex from Electric Soft Parade and Marc from Tenderfoot which gave the impression this was some sort of Indie supergroup. This first blast of Brakes nailed the band's raison d'etre. Fun times playing catchy tunes with socially aware lyrics. "Pick Up The Phone" is a call for the leaders of the world to sort out their differences by talking.

Brakes "Pick Up The Phone"

4. Godspeed You Black Emperor "F♯ A♯ ∞" - First proper album from GYBE (there was a cassette album released a few years earlier but with only 33 copies made I don't think that really counts). I knew very little about them when I first picked this up. All I'd seen were fuzzy photos in the NME and some intriguing reviews. Not music for people who need a tune they can hum, the three tracks on "F♯ A♯ ∞" are sparse and drawn out. The soundtrack to an apocalypse and therefore not surprisingly used as music for the film "28 Days Later".

Godspeed You Black Emperor "Dead Flag Blues"

5. Arcade Fire "Arcade Fire E.P." - Another band I knew by reputation long before I actually heard their music. The E.P. features the original version of long standing fan favourite "No Cars Go" as well as 6 other tracks of majestic brilliance.

Arcade Fire "No Cars Go"


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