A Posada is a traditional Mexican party where people drink, break piñatas, gorge on sweets, snog (sometimes not their significant others, eh) and, oh, yeah, they mount up a play about Baby Jesus and his parents looking for a place to park the SUV during the busy last minute shopping onslaught (eh!) in Bethlehem.
They all want a Turbo Man.
But let’s leave amateur heresies to the pros (like Richard ‘The Dick’ Dawkins) and let’s get down to business. 21 bands have been kind enough to donate a track to this free, absolutely free and muy endemoniadamente gratis compilation. 20 tracks to shake off the holiday blues (if you get them), kick S.A.D. in the nuts or maybe to rock out with your inner grinch.
You might not know these bands (or you might be lucky enough to do and even witnessed them live), but rest assured: we did a lot of self-restraint and control to bring you some of our fave artists. We didn’t manage to get all of them (due to time constraints and terrible reactions to life’s curveballs) but all of these bands get our seal of approval and we can’t take them enough for graciously give us (and you, the reader that keeps us writing) music.
So, many thanks to you, readers, it’s an honour to write for you. -Sloucher.org
What’s in here, then?
The Legend of 7 Black Tentacles: An artsy gang of talented people mixing acid, jazz, scratches, samples, classical music (respect, Big Ben!) and some awesome rapping (big love, V3xation). No recording manages to capture the magic seeping through every pore you feel when seeing them live.
Captives on the Carousel. Featuring two members from TLo7BT, the name of the game is the soundtrack to a thousand fairy tales you imagined in your head as a child and which come back to you from time to time.
Nowhere again. A rocking outfit from the SuperStar Destroyer Records label, they warp back and forth between 80s new wave and some expansive rock that doesn’t litter the landscape, it defines it.
Get your foot tapping to the math rock rock from Ninetails, who bring you the track ‘Social guesswork’, an easy paced song that’s 33% of their fantastic EP. Check the sweet bass too.
Eric & Magill rise from the ashes of Decibully, a track that pretty much has our hearts in a vice grip. Where as Decibully messes with your head by offering you a dream pop track then pulling the rug and playing some honest-to-afro funk, Eric & Magill crank it up to “lucid dream”. Two fantastic bands, one that has ended its cycle, another one that has so much to offer, both well intertwined to our hearts.
Don’t sleep dream (no commas, please) are a band that went all the way with their EP, Life is just a ride. Not only it is in sah-weeeet vinyl, but it includes 5 postcards with paintings on the other side. But what about the music? It’s the type of music we love: close to the heart. A concept EP “about a woman, a still ongoing story”…
EP Island is one of the best things I’ve heard out of the vast and beautiful country of Canada. Working under a lot of pressure (just 3 days to compose, record and master the tracks), the project is an ever evolving band that expands, contracts and grows again in a different direction. Their EP got one of our “This album rocks!” stamps, so you know they are legit. Enjoy this thick as fog track.
It’s a pet peeve for us that The Hope Explosion is one of the best Sheffield bands no one has ever heard from. Not only are this quartet some of the warmest, friendliest British dudes we’ve ever had the pleasure to meet (and we’ve met a lot of friendly people here), they also feed from legends like Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith and The Smashing Pumpkins. Half prog, half blues-based rock, they have one of the best drummers I’ve witnessed live…
…which is something I have trouble deciding, as Firesuite‘s drummer is an amazing musician (and great cook too! Drop by The Rutland Arms!). An album that has healed many a bad moment in this weird 2011, Firesuite are as loud as the raw emotions that creep in the depths of all of us. Hardly a quiet moment exists on their album, You’re an ocean deep my brother, we chose this track because… heck, listen to it.
Trojan Horse came to our lives with promises of Prog Nouveau, Beards and Eccles cakes. They didn’t deliver on the third one but who gives a flying fried fig when you’ve got the reincarnation of proper prog, some clever lyrics (all about the Industrial Revolution!) and that sexy beard, man, that sexy beard. I’m jealous.
People always give me puzzled looks when I tell them that one of the best Sheffield bands I’ve seen live is a band playing Americana rock. This band is called The Payroll Union and they organised two of my fave gigs of last year (hoedowns!). With lyrics heavily based on the history of the United States (the 1800s seem to fuel a lot of them) and a marvellous stage presence for all members, they are great both on and off stage.
Speaking of characters, the good people of Wet Nuns are the nicest Satanists I’ve met. Or deathdealers, I dunno, they are a mystery under that American accent (Sheffield, Alabama represent!), those tons of distortion and that machine-like drumming. With songs about poontang and aiming to have Chair Surfing as the next extreme sport, they offer you a song so good they got an Arctic drummer to remix them.
Ryan Weber from Eric & Magill is a genius. Not only is he an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, but he records quite a few ace bands. One of these bands is a fantastic gang of rascals called The Celebrated Workingman. A gruffy voice, sweet guitar licks and a right amount of guitar trickery, their album (which we loved) is a sure fire way to wash away the blues.
What? You think I was only going to mention Decibully up there and not gush about them? Bought them on a whim (paired with the lovely Headlights, 2 x 1 in quality music) , I fell in love with the quirky musical choices, the upbeat but frank lyrics and the darn catchy tunes they delivered one after the other for several albums. Sometimes very happy, sometimes very introspective, it’s a shame it had to end in this 2011 but they leave a legacy of good, honest music. And, by God, that brings a smile to my face.
Do you want your music to be complex without being boring or self indulging? Get yourselves some Everyone an army, a band that one fine day decided to go nomadic and spread the gospel in each and every town of Northern England. Their destination? Math Rock heaven, I guess. Some heavy rock is thrown your way just to keep you on your toes, but for the rest of the time, they are mostly harmless (and thanking you for the fish) and very, very good.
Fresh Snow contacted us for the first time a couple of months ago. They offered a 13+ minute song. We liked it quite well and then we invited them over for this mix CD. Their response? A shorter track (pint-sized 3 minutes) that goes for droning and psychodelia. There might be a bit of Webb and Mitchell for you comedy fans too…
Speaking of psychedelia, URSS bajo el árbol is a Mexican band that plays the sounds of your nightmares, the wails of several Magic Realism books made sound and some sweet sax to wrap it all up. It is said by a lot of people that there are no original bands left in Mexico, but I reckon these cuates are onto something.
Now, some say that some members of URSS bajo el árbol are the alter egos of Los Impresionistas (or the other way around). Whatever the case might be, one side of the spectrum plays trippy psychedelia, the other one offers you a lighter shade of rock, ever so dreamlike, but still slightly grounded. Careful with that ochre paint, add a splash of crimson and you’ve got yourself a slight approximation of their musical palette (which is quite varied).
Do you know Goonies never say die? They are a pretty cool post-rock band. They also have a lo-fi rocking band with a thoroughly acidic sense of humour called Dinosaurs are shit dragons. Now, not only is the name of the band ridiculously awesome, but they make a noisy, fuzzy brand of rock that is heavy on the riffs and heavier on the great lyrics. Between talking about Charlie Sheen and how much of a wanker is a certain feline, the band are a good alternative to the morose, drier notes of Radio 2.
Phew…is that all? Of course not! You need sea shanties about death, taxes, the price of tea in China and being lost at sea. Worry not, here’s August Actually , delivered in a dry voice with a lot of understated humour popping here and there, ‘Lost at sea’ is a catchy but gloomy song. Hopefully a couple of well-mannered dolphins will save them…
Okay, enough blah blah blah. Download.
And that’s it, thank you for a fantastic year for the website. We’ve had some very tough moments, some very good ones and although the thought of just calling it a day have been put in the table so many times it has lost its impact…well, fuck it, here’s to another year of Sloucher, ’cause everyone else knows how shit I’m and this is the only place where I can write as much as I want without getting into trouble.
Thanks and God/Dawkins/Gilmour/Jebus/FSM bless. Have a safe time with your loved ones and if you eat too much, remember that Grappa, Brandy, Tequila and Whisky are great choices for a digestif.