Ben Walton picks out ten of his favourite albums of 2015
10. Metz - II
Toronto's Metz returned with their obviously titled second outing this year, offering up a relentless 30 minute blitzkrieg of feedback riddled guitars and pounding drums. They didn't make any huge changes to their usual formula, but II adds some impressive new tunes to the bands back catalogue, including the unhinged opener Acetate, the aggressive dirge of Spit You Out and the blistering I.O.U. Metz are an incredible force and are fast cementing themselves as, if not the best guitar band on the planet right now, then certainly the noisiest.
9. Ringo Deathstarr - Pure Mood
For a few years now, Ringo Deathstarr have plied their trade as a solid, if fairly unremarkable shoegaze act, but on Pure Mood - their third album in four years - their time spent touring with The Smashing Pumpkins has rubbed off, and the grunge dial has been turned all the way around to 10. There's big riffs aplenty splashed all over Heavy Metal Suicide and guitar histrionics in Guilt. This album is a huge step forward for Ringo Deathstarr.
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Albums Of 2015
Metz are in a tight spot. No matter how they sound or what they do, being a three piece guitar band releasing music on Sub Pop, it was almost inevitable that the press would latch on and make comparisons to Nirvana, Sub Pop's most famous guitar trio. It seems no matter what they do, Metz will always be described as 'the new Nirvana' or as a grunge band. There is nothing wrong with Nirvana or grunge, but Canada's Metz are definitely neither the new Nirvana, nor even an especially grungy band.
On their unimaginatively titled second album 'II', it's more or less business as usual for Metz, treading largely the same ground as their self-titled debut. Luckily for us, that first album was sublime, and this sophomore effort is of a similarly high calibre. Metz deal in a scuzzy, noisy, Drive Like Jehu/Melvins kind of noise rock, and they are best consumed loud.
The LP opens up with 'Acetate', which as an opener is everything you hoped it would be. There is a ridiculous amount of distortion, a relentless drum attack and an absolutely monstrous, devastating chorus. Next up is 'The Swimmer' which takes the Metz blueprint and adds a mechanical percussive attack. It's a little different to their usual fare but it's still insane, it's still terrifying and it's still utterly brilliant.
Continue reading: Metz - II Album Review
We pick the hottest acts and the dig through the underground hype for you, the reader...
As the annual South by Southwest festival heats up over there in Austin, Texas, we’ve cast a jealous eye over the line-up and picked out five of some of the bigger names that you really should start queuing nice and early for and thrown in five hype bands for you, too, so you can get all hip with your friends, upon your return and start laying down all those “saw them first lines,” when they blow up next year.
First up, the acts that have already broken, that you really need to check out, or at least pretend that you did, if you were stuck in that queue for BBQ wings…
1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – their ‘Thrift Shop’ song really blew up, especially online, where they challenged Carly Rae Jepsen’s chart record for ‘Call Me Maybe.’ No one can predict whether or not Macklemore’s going to be a one hit wonder or whether he’s got more up his sleeve, he’s known for putting on a good show, and all six of their shows are likely to be rammed.
Saint Etienne The Primavera Sound Festival - Day 2 Barcelona, Spain
Brace yourselves music fans: with the BBC Sound of 2013 list now well on the way to being counted down, and a whole host of names, from the established print press to online sites and the smallest of blogs, having their own say, you’re about to be bombarded with a gluttony of new music to listen out for, to and read about. Will they all be as amazing as their respective champions claim they are? Most likely not, but part of the, uh, ‘fun’ of wading through the endless tips of the year is discovering a song or an artist that - though you’d never heard it before – will go on to provide a soundtrack for, perhaps, the rest of your life.
Here at Contactmusic we’ve attempted to pick out a mix of the names you’ll be seeing in bright lights everywhere else, interspersed with a couple of our own personal favourites who we're keeping a personal eye on over the forthcoming months...
Blogger's Delight - The names that will be everywhere
Continue reading: Keeping In Contact: Our Favourite Music Tips For 2013