Tag Archives: black dog barking

Top 3 albums of 2013 so far…

There is nothing like good music for a bit of inspiration and food for the soul.  Like so many writers I get stuck in a rut now and again, pace the kitchen floor, take a walk in the fresh air, pace the kitchen floor again and get to the end of the day with nothing to show for it.  However, music can jolt a concept; a fragmented memory may emerge and together, these present ingredients in a plot or inspire words that can’t be found any other way.  It is food for thought.

Now, we all need our “5 a day” in one way or another but here are my staple top 3 (albums) that I have been inspired by during 2013 so far.  Enjoy.  Indulge.  A little of what you fancy doesn’t hurt!

1. The Virginmarys “King of Conflict”

It is not very often that listening to a new album makes you want to cry, dance and brawl at the same time, but The Virginmarys’ “King of Conflict” does just that.  It is like getting caught in a ruckus that leaves you with a bloody nose, a smile on your face and a rush to the head.

The Macclesfield trio, Ally Dickaty (vocals and guitar), Danny Dolan (drums) and Matt Rose (bass and vocals) have often been compared to Led Zeppelin with a sound that resonates around the late 60s and early 70s.  Mix that up with The Stooges, the Foo Fighters and a smattering of Motorhead meets The Arctic Monkeys and you have one riotous reincarnation of grunge with a bluesy edge.  Lyrically explosive, themes of destructive behaviour, helpless submission and hopeless loves lost, are tightly wound into a helter skelter of toe tapping drums, the grind of raw riffs and gruff northern vocals that sound like Lemmy after gargling mouthwash.

The song that continues to give me goosebumps from this album is “Just A Ride”


I reviewed the complete album for Stereoboard back in February.  The link to the full review is here: http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/177179/9

2. Tracer “El Pistolero”

Think tequila mouthwash; think dusty boots; think tobacco chewing and think crow’s feet cutting sun squint lines through weathered skin.  This is El Pistolero, the gunslinger, the baddie, the goody, the lover, the fighter, the survivor, the purveyor of death and decay; the vengeance seeker.

El Pistolero is a loosely based concept album following the life of a spaghetti western style gunman.  Far from the Tex Mex cheese and beans you are probably imagining, it is actually an atmospheric serving of grungy groove laden riffs, power drumming and outstanding vocal arrangements alongside thought provoking lyrics.

Tracer are raw.  They are about meaty hooks, ear teasing melodic highs and hair raising attitude.  Yes, there are low lights on here but they are outweighed by the many highlights and this album has got to be one hot soundtrack to any rockers summer.

I wrote these thoughts and more for AltSounds.  Checkout the full review here: http://hangout.altsounds.com/reviews/158961-review-tracer-el-pistolero-album.html

3. Airbourne “Black Dog Barking”


Mixed with engine oil and grit, Airbourne are supposedly the next best thing to AC/DC.  You can shake your disapproving head at their blatant cheek, but despite frequent similarities, they are not really copycats as such.  Airbourne do one thing very well and that is to have you pumping your fist and smiling all the way to the bar.

Although their third album is nothing out of the ordinary, it is, what I expected at least.  It is shiny and raw, with a lightening tempos and a belting climax. Yes, I cannot deny, that if you listen to “Black Dog Barking” until the end, you will feel like you have been standing on top of a mountain facing 100mph winds whilst the roar of a low flying jumbo jet blows your lid off.

I reviewed this album for AltSounds back in May.  The full review is here: http://hangout.altsounds.com/reviews/158962-review-airbourne-black-dog-barking-album.html