Sunday, January 29, 2017

Live: The KVB @ Fuzz Club (Athens, January 28, 2017)

After several shows at smaller venues in Athens over the last few years, it was time for The KVB to try their luck at a bigger club. On Saturday night the duo comprising of Nicholas Wood (a.k.a. Klaus Von Barrel) and Kat Day played their first show for 2017 at Fuzz Club, their biggest gig in Athens so far.

Although it is not easy for just two musicians to fill out a big stage, The KVB’s energy and on-stage chemistry did a fine job with the task at hand and despite a polite but rather lukewarm reception from the crowd, they managed to give a memorable performance.

The duo’s 75-minute set, including an encore featuring their interpretation of The Rolling Stones’ classic "Sympathy for the Devil", showcased their latest LP "Of Desire", as well as several selections from their back catalogue which includes four more albums and a few EPs.

Nicholas, whose singing brought Jim Reid to my mind, put his guitar to the test, bringing the noise and adding layers of shoegaze-indebted fuzz to the songs, while Kat was in charge of the synths and drum machine beats that emphasize the importance of the early '80s in shaping The KVB’s sound, as well as the influence of electronic dance music.

The KVB may be lacking the hit songs that will bring their music to a larger audience, but their live presence has a passion that contrasts with the dark nature of their sound and give the impression that they play their music for each other, which helps them to put on a good show even when they are not getting back from the crowd the same energy, as it was the case on this night.

The KVB, live @ Fuzz Club, Athens (Jan. 28, 2017)

The KVB’s performance was preceded by an energetic set from local hopefuls A Victim Of Society. The handful of people who had come early enough to catch their performance, were rewarded by a powerful show of pedal to the metal noise rock.

A Victim Of Society, live @ Fuzz Club, Athens (Jan. 28, 2017)

The KVB - Always Then (live @ Fuzz Club, Athens, Jan. 28, 2017)

 The KVB - In Deep (live @ Fuzz Club, Athens, Jan. 28, 2017)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The 7s, part 2: 1977's Punk Rock debuts

Our time travel to past years ending in 7 continues: this time we're going back 40 years to 1977, the peak of the punk explosion, and we're selecting the Top 10 debut albums of that groundbreaking year for rock music:


Top 10 Debut Albums of 1977


1. Never Mind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols - THE SEX PISTOLS

2. The Clash - THE CLASH

3. Damned Damned Damned - THE DAMNED

4. Pink Flag - WIRE

5. Marquee Moon - TELEVISION

6. My Aim Is True - ELVIS COSTELLO

7. In The City - THE JAM

8. Talking Heads: 77 - TALKING HEADS

9. (I'm) Stranded - THE SAINTS

10. Young Loud and Snotty - DEAD BOYS 

A vintage year indeed, have a listen:

Click here for part 1 of our trip to the 7s for a taste of 1987.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The 7s, part 1: C87

As we are waiting to see what 2017 has in store for us, we are going to take a small trip down memory lane and listen again to some excellent music from past years ending in 7.

At first I thought of starting this time trip in the punk rock heaven of 1977 and working my way up to 2007, but since I just got in my hands the outstanding triple CD compilation C87,  released last year by Cherry Red Records to celebrate the 30th anniversary of C86, we'll start from 1987 instead.

The concept behind this compilation was to imagine what would have been the result if NME had decided to reconvene a year on from their original C86 cassette for a follow up. The resulting 70-plus tracks compilation, curated by one of the original C86 compilers, Neil Taylor, offers a 4-hour panorama of the new UK indie pop and rock scene of '87, featuring bands ranging from the well-known to obscurities making their debut on CD. 

All tracks come from the period just after C86, i.e. summer 1986 to the end of 1987, and features first recordings by names that later found chart success and became familiar to indie fans the world over, like indie legends The Wedding Present, The House Of Love or The Inspiral Carpets, and others who at best enjoyed cult status (for example The Boy Hairdressers, who evolved into Teenage Fanclub or The Vaselines who found fame after they were covered by Nirvana) or disappeared after a handful of excellent but hard to find singles. It's truly mind-blowing that all this was happening in the short period between 1986 and 1987 and no wonder it is still offering inspiration to new bands opting to create guitar music in the 21st century.

Here are just a few examples of the fine indie rocking happening in the UK of 1987, that you will find in the C87 compilation:

The Wedding Present - My Favourite Dress (the band's 5th overall single and first from their 1987 classic debut LP "George Best")

Talulah Gosh - Talulah Gosh (the 4th single by the cult band that later evolved into Heavenly)

The Flatmates - I Could Be In Heaven (their debut single - the above video was recorded live at The Tropic Club, Bristol, 31st August 1986)

The Sea Urchins - Pristine Christine (first ever single on Sarah Records)

I, Ludicrous - My Baby's Got Jet Lag (from their debut album "It's Like Everything Else")

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Top 50 Albums of 2016

Hello to 2017, let's hope it's going to be much better than 2016 in every aspect!

As far as music is concerned, last year we lost too many great artists, while our beloved rock music, the reason for the existence of this blog, seemed to go out of fashion if we believe the various year-end lists of the established media organizations, where R'n'B, Rap and Dance music dominated.
However, we believe all is not lost for guitar music. Although I cannot say that we came across new groundbreaking rock music last year, there were plenty of worthwhile efforts and several excellent albums showing remarkable development for relatively new artists and bands like Car Seat Headrest, Angel Olsen, Savages, Diiv or Parquet Courts who are establishing themselves among this decade's important music makers.

Next to the great contributions from new(ish) artists, which also included albums by Warpaint, Goat, Factory Floor, Daughter and Quilt to name a few more, we also enjoyed the return of some familiar names from the past who added new and important chapters to their amazing history. Both Swans and PJ Harvey gave us amazing albums which could easily claim the top spot of our list, if it wasn't for our decision to dedicate the Top 5 to the work of up-and-coming artists that we feel they are the new blood of rock music of the '10s, while Black Mountain, Dinosaur Jr., The Julie Ruin, Woods, Kristin Hersh, Radiohead and, of course, David Bowie's last music statement, were also among the reasons that the heart of rock music was still beating strong in 2016 despite everything. Let's hope for more great music from all genres in 2017 because something tells me we are going to need it bad!

So, here are the 50 albums we enjoyed the most in the past 12 months, chosen of course among the new releases that we were able to listened to and buy in physical format. As always, the ranking of the list was valid as of the last day of the year, but it is not written in stone and can easily change as we are still looking to discover more great music released in 2016 that may have escaped our attention so far. A more thorough list will be published in Cool Music Database as soon as we feel that the search is over.

To 50 Albums of 2016

1. Teens of denial - CAR SEAT HEADREST

2. My woman - ANGEL OLSEN

3. Adore life - SAVAGES

4. Is the is are - DIIV

5. Human performance - PARQUET COURTS

6. The glowing man - SWANS

7. The hope six demolition project - PJ HARVEY

8. Heads up - WARPAINT

9. Requiem - GOAT


11. Give a glimpse of what yer not - DINOSAUR JR.
12. Hit reset - THE JULIE RUIN
13. Blackstar - DAVID BOWIE
14. A moon shaped pool - RADIOHEAD
15. 25 25 - FACTORY FLOOR
16. We got it from here... Thank you 4 your service - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
17. Not to disappear - DAUGHTER
18. Plaza - QUILT
19. City sun eater in the river of light - WOODS
20. Wyatt at the Coyote Palace - KRISTIN HERSH
21. Next thing - FRANKIE COSMOS
22. A man alive - THAO & THE GET DOWN STAY
23. Distance inbetween - THE CORAL
24. A weird exits - THEE OH SEES
25. Emotional mugger - TY SEGALL
26. Paradise - WHITE LUNG
27. Patch the sky - BOB MOULD
28. Skeleton tree - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
29. The waiting room - TINDERSTICKS
30. Heart like a levee - HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
31. Jet plane and oxbow - SHEARWATER
32. United crushers - POLIÇA
33. Pussy's dead - AUTOLUX
34. Ash & ice - THE KILLS
36. Strangers - MARISSA NADLER
37. Case/Lang/Veirs - CASE/LANG/VEIRS
38. Funs cool - THE PRETTIOTS
39. Human ceremony - SUNFLOWER BEAN
40. Inner journey out - PSYCHIC ILLS
43. Chaosmosis - PRIMAL SCREAM
44. Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future - UNDERWORLD
45. Painting with - ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
46. Everything you've come to expect - THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS
47. Eyes on the lines - STEVE GUNN
48. Mass Gothic - MASS GOTHIC
49. Sun Kil Moon / Jesu - SUN KIL MOON / JESU
50. Slugger - SAD13

Click here for our Top 50 Tracks of 2016 and enjoy below a playlist with some of the highlights from our 2016 Albums of the Year:

The Top of our 2016 CD pile