#49 Ty Segall “s/t” – 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

For those who dig hook-layered sweet ‘n’ edgy ragged guitar lines up front and centre in the mix of some well crafted melodic power pop Ty Segall salutes you. Channelling big phat chunky vintage Crazy Horse grooves in the opening track, appropriately titled “Break A Guitar”, through and through Ty Seagall’s 2nd self titled release in nine years is all about the guitars, the guitars and the songs, the songs and the guitars. His 9th studio album in a recording career now in it’s 10th year, this record speaks undoubtedly to the fact that Segall has now officially left the garage.

Rating: 9/10

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#50 Foxygen “Hang” – 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

Over the course of three albums now Foxygen have managed to re-imagine themselves as three drastically different sounding acts, from the hurried psychedelia of 2013’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic to the bloated ’70’s glam infused garage rock of 2014’s …And Star Power and now this, a full on however many piece orchestra backing the boys as they perform contemporary show tunes to Trump’s America. This is over-the top no-holds barred music satire, Zappa-esque in nature and scope, reminiscent of the social commentary oozing from Phil Och’s piano lounge  classic “The Party” from his 1967 masterpiece Pleasures Of The Harbour. With just eight short tracks running a brisk 32 minutes, Hang is as short as it’s predecessor was long, anchored by a thick slab of classic Philly soul from the album’s lead track “Follow The Leader”.

Rating: 8/10

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#51 Half Japanese “Hear The Lions Roar” – 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

Jad Fair has been making his own unique brand of Half Japanese low-fi alternative art punk since as far back as 1975. The band has certainly come a long way from the days when it included brother David alternately helping out on a small drum kit, vocals and an out-of-tune, distorted guitar, but just barely. And that’s a good thing. With most of today’s popular music seemingly obsessed with polish and precision it’s thoroughly refreshing to hear something as deceptively simple, straightforward and whimsical as Hear The Lions Roar, the 16th Half Japanese album in a recording career now it it’s 40th year.

Rating: 8/10

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#52 The Dogs “Death By Drowning” – 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

Norwegian garage rock straight outta Oslo (“our town, our rules, the smell of piss and power tools”) this record reeks with in-your-face street cred, integrity and raw power. No posing, posturing or pretty fake gloss here, nothing but high powered balls-to the-wall meta garage proto punk. Kristopher Schau, singing exclusively in English throughout all of the Death By Drowning‘s ten tracks, does double duty as both the band’s lead vocalist as well as main songwriter. Five other Dogs come to Schau’s aid in the construction of all 36 minutes of this graffiti covered piss splattered wall of sound including Mads Martinsen on guitar, Roar Nilsen (who also co-wrote, arranged and recorded the album) on bass, percussionist Kenneth Simonsen, drummer Henrik Gustavsen and Christian Spro on organ. Available from Norway through Oslo record label Drabant Music.

Rating: 7.5/10

Key tracks: Oslo, Where The Circle Joins, Stay Under Water, The Rain Held a Thousand Needles

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Ferraby Lionheart Relegated To Obscurity 10 Years Later?

Catch The Brass Ring is a BRILLIANT record from Ferraby Lionheart, his first of two, released on Nettwerk Records 10 years ago in 2007. Sadly relegated to obscurity, this is an achingly beautiful record. A super hybrid of Emitt Rhodes, Harry Nilsson and White Album era McCartney in his Indian period. It took a lifetime’s worth of development, experience, hard work and training to enable this musician/composer to create this under-appreciated and sadly ignored work of art, the least we can do is spend 40 minutes of our day listening to it.

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