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Where’s this year going? Alright, it is only February. But then February doesn’t last that long. Still, long enough for us to get put some more new belters, solid classics and more in-between into our second playlist of the year for you lovely people.
And let’s face it, we need something to get us through February, because even though the mornings are lighter and the evenings brighter, it’s still a slog. The promise of pancakes is great, but not nearly enough to drag us through the arse-end of the British winter. Only music, turned up loud, could pull us through. Hold on a minute, is that the sun?
‘Everywhere we go, we do as we please’. Charlie “Chubby” Manning Walker and his Gang are big favourites at Mutt HQ. This opener from last year’s album of the same name is raucous, brash, loud and totally fucks-free. Relax? No chance…
Prog-metal mammoths and musical chameleons Mastodon have spent many years creating a well-honed sound without being afraid to experiment. This track from the classic ‘Emperor of Sand’ long-player delivers craft, intensity, and blistering guitars in equal measure, and we bloody love it.
TIGERCUB - I.W.G.F.U.
Released back in November last year, this absolute banger from Brighton alt-rockers Tigercub has had us air-drumming for a few months now. If you like this, check out last year’s ‘As Blue as Indigo’ for more of the same. And we also appreciate the sentiment of the track. A lot.
RESTRAINING ORDER - DON’T REALLY THINK
One for the hardcore punk purists out there. This track from New England’s Restraining Order is kinetic and aggressive, evoking the sound of 80’s era hardcore mixed with full-on ’77 punk attitude. Best served at high volume.
CLOAKROOM - FEAR OF BEING FIXED
Slightly more sedate, but no less loud, ‘Fear of Being Fixed’ is lifted from the 10th album from space-rockers Cloakroom, ‘Dissolution Wave’. In these digital days, the concept album is a bit of a dying art. Still, the band keeps that art alive with a long-player about a disaster of theoretical physics. Yes – a bit obscure, but who cares when it sounds this good.
GENGHIS TRON - DREAM WEAPON
In the second half of the ’00s, Genghis Tron released two ground-breaking metal records before halting the project in 2010. 10 years later, the group returned with a revamped line-up and released their come-back full length ‘Dream Weapon’. Combining the energy and sound of metal with the addition of synths and samplers, their evolved sound is more hypnotic and atmospheric than on their initial releases.
STEVE GUNN - PROTECTION
We’re taking things down a notch with this one. Singer-songwriter Steve Gunn has combined folk, blues, jazz and psyche while creating an always-evolving musical output. This latest release sees Steve working with Mikey Coltun and Ahmoudou Madassane to re-interpret one of his own tracks from 2021 LP ‘Other You’. Lush.
MARK LANEGAN + ISOBEL CAMPBELL - SNAKE SONG
In February, we lost a musical legend. Lanegan was a true sonic hero from blazing a trail for grunge with Screaming Trees, contributing to one of the best albums of all time, ‘Songs for the Deaf’, to prolific solo and collaborative output. ‘Snake Song’ comes from ‘Hawk’, a 2010 release with long time associate and friend Isobel Campbell. Mark will be very sadly missed
ASTEROID - PALE MOON
If you didn’t know anything about Asteroid, you would maybe think you were listening to a classic 1970s space-rock outfit from Dusseldorf. But you would be wrong; these originators of some of the best stoner-rock you will find on the planet were formed in the early 2000s in Sweden. ‘Pale Moon’ is six minutes of epic, spaced-out fuzz.
KILLER MIKE - UNTITLED (FEAT. SCAR)
Better known recently for his work with long-time collaborator El-P as Run The Jewels, Killer Mike can be heard at his unimpeachable solo best on 2012s’ R.A.P. Music’. Production from El-P early on in their partnership is absolutely on-point, and it is particularly polished on this track. Perfection.
BOB DYLAN - TOMBSTONE BLUES
From Dylan’s seminal ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, ‘Tombstone Blues’ is a two-chord tirade against cultural chaos and the Vietnam war delivered in his trademark abstract poetic style. ‘Highway 61’ was the point Dylan added a backing band with electric instruments and is viewed by many as the starting point of the 60’s counter-culture.
BLACK FOXXES - MAPLE SUMMER
In 2016 Black Foxxes released their debut ‘I’m Not Well’, which this track features. Though the band deal with themes of dejection, isolation, and anxiety throughout the album, sonically, the tracks have depth and dynamism in spades. What could be a difficult affair, given the subject matter, is ultimately anthemic and uplifting.
TRAP THEM - THE FACTS
Between 2001 to 2017, Boston’s ‘Trap Them’ were ultimate metal/grind-core merchants. Their sheer sonic force is a visceral assault on your ears, but one that you can only enjoy. How hard are they? On a tour of Europe, singer Ryan McKenny performed most of the tour with two broken feet. Maybe that gives you an idea of what Trap Them were all about.
TARAKA - RIDE OR DIE
New from Taraka Larson, formerly of dance-punks Prince Rama, this track is a hell of a lot of lo-fi, down-and-dirty rock packed into a surprisingly short one and a half minutes. This track hails from recent long-player ‘Welcome to Paradise Lost’ where Taraka explores the effects of solitary confinement and introspection welded to a unique psyche-punk-grunge sound.
CANCER BATS - PSYCHIC JAILBREAK
After founder Scott Middleton left the band in October last year, many fans wondered whether the remaining members could match previous work. Well, don’t worry, because if their latest release, ‘Psychic Jailbreak’, is anything to go by, everything is just fucking fine. A new album of the same name is due in April this year. We. Can’t. Wait.
PIXIES - HEY
‘Doolittle’ is often cited as Pixies most accessible and most influential album. Recording was famously fraught, with tensions between Black Francis and, well, pretty much everyone else, contributing to the atmosphere of the record. Spawning many great tracks such as ‘Debaser’ and ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’, we picked ‘Hey’. Because we’re like that.
RED FANG - WIRES
Red Fang’s ‘Murder The Mountains’ was classic heavy metal on the surface, but on closer inspection had a depth you wouldn’t usually associate with the genre. Like a deep lake with something buried at the bottom that you just need to find, but if the lake was made out of monster riffs and hooks.
IDLES - CRAWL!
‘Crawler’ sees Idles exploring a more expansive musical landscape but still underpinned by their post-punk, motor-politik sound. Never one to shy away from a tough topic, this track deals with Joe Talbot’s struggle with addiction and recovery. As you might expect it is a gritty track, but still a great one.
MARVIN GAYE - INNER CITY BLUES (MAKE ME WANNA HOLLER)
Closing out the landmark ‘What’s Going On’ is this absolute belter. Again, the subject matter of bleak inner-city economics of the time is juxtaposed against a sublime musical backdrop. We’ve included the full album version because five minutes of this is better than three for sure.
THE STRANGLERS - WALK ON BY
At the time, this saw The Stranglers puncturing their punk credentials as they transitioned towards a sound more reflective of their considerable musicianship. That said, this cover is marked out by the spiky tone and brashness featured in earlier work. And a blistering keyboard solo by Dave Greenfield. That’s right. We’re closing out with a keyboard solo. So fucking what.
Right. We're off to eat those pancakes. See you next month.