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Top 20 Albums of 2017 – Part Two

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Top 20 Albums of 2017 – Part Two

Posted on 20 December 2017 by Joe

Welcome to the second part of our end of year round up of the best albums 2017. This latest instalment reveals who has earned a coveted place in our top ten. The first part (20-11) can be found here

10. The Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir

Magnetic Fields 50 Song Memoir

In which Stephin Merritt celebrates his 50th birthday by writing an auto-biographical song for each year since his birth. The results are pretty great and it is his best hit-rate since 69 Love Songs in 1999. Sprawling concept albums clearly suit him.

9. Guided By Voices – August By Cake

Guided By Voices

This 32 track double album is the 100th album that GBV frontman Robert Pollard has released. It is also the first album released with the latest Guided By Voices line-up, which brings Doug Gillard’s guitar skills back to the fold. Every band member gets some songs on this one, and the results are typically uneven in excellent GBV fashion.

8. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland


Perhaps the only act that can compete with Robert Pollard’s production rate is Australian psychedelic rock outfit King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They set themselves the ambitious task of releasing five albums this year, with a fifth due to be released “very very late in the year” according to frontman Stu Mackenzie.

Of the four released so far this is our favourite for our best albums 2017 list – full of prog rock/jazz treats like 10 minute opener Crumbing Castle and psyche pop gems such as Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet. And what’s more it is available as a free download.

7. Mile Me Deaf – Alien Age


Sound the breakthough album klaxon. Wolfgang Möstl’s Mile Me Deaf act  has always been experimental but they are on the cusp of the big time on the basis of this Best album 2017 release

On previous album’s he’s been looking to push the boundaries of indie rock and guitar pop. Here he’s pushed, then smashed his way past them, veering off into trip hop, dub, jazz, and ambient. Above all, as XTC once proudly sang, This is Pop. Lead single Blowout is a great jumping in point for this entry into our Best albums 2017 list . Read our full review here.

6. The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody


This is best Lips release since they unleashed Yoshimi on those evil bastard pink robots during their last pop phase. After the mildly entertaining albums Terror and the awful Embyronic, Wayne Coyne and co have gone accessible again, with new classics such as How?? and There Should Be Unicorns among their best ever. Read our full review here.

5. Girl Ray – Earl Grey

Girl Ray - Earl Grey

We are delighted to include this impressive debut from Girl Ray, a quirky lo-fi pop trio from North London. This will particularly appeal to fans for Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci with Don’t Go Back at Ten among our favorites. Read our full review here.

4. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

LCD Soundsystem

The LCD Soundsystem split didn’t last too long, and this album is a high-quality return by the band to recording. The sound is unmistakably LCD Soundsystem (even down to the usual influences) and there are a few playful tracks among some slightly sombre numbers. This is a welcome entry into our best albums 2017 top ten.

3. Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock


It’s taken 21 albums but Robyn Hitchcock has finally gone down the self-titled route for a release, which by happy coincidence just happens to be one of his best in years.

From its purple, cat stroking, cover to its backwards guitars, it is a psychedelic explosion of awesomeness, with oodles of noodles of nods to the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The twinkling, shiny pop of Mad Shelley’s Letterbox is a particular highlight. Read our full review here.

2. Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder


Just like the Flaming Lips, the almighty Canadian collective of Broken Social Scene also saw a return to form in 2017. The return of Leslie Feist to the line up takes them back to their early hey-day, especially with her jaw droppingly awesome vocals on the title track.

New member Ariel Engle, who takes lead vocal duties on Stay Happy, is another impressive addition. While Halfway Home is A fantastic alternative rock anthem that shows just how good this album is within their already prolific two decade spanning back catalogue.

1. Eyelids – OR

Eyelids Or

Featuring members of the Decemberists, Guided by Voices and Stephen Malkmus’ Jicks, Eyelids have leapt to the top of our list thanks to their sweet, jangly melodies on tracks such as Falling Eyes.

This second release from the band also adds ex-REM man Peter Buck into the mix as producer to give it extra class and a 1980s alternative rock feel. A triumph and deserved number one album in our best albums 2017 list. Read our full review here.

Compiled by Joe Lepper and Dorian Rogers


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Mile Me Deaf – Alien Age

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Mile Me Deaf – Alien Age

Posted on 03 February 2017 by Joe

Sound the breakthough album klaxon. Wolfgang Möstl’s Mile Me Deaf act  has always been experimental but they are on the cusp of the big time on the basis of this latest, ambitious release

On previous releases he’s been looking to push the boundaries of indie rock and guitar pop.

Here he’s pushed, then smashed his way past them, veering off into trip hop, dub, jazz, and ambient. Above all, as XTC once proudly sang, This is Pop.


Of course it wouldn’t be a Mile Me Deaf release without some left-field caveats to it.

It is pop with a massive alien, psychedelic twist, as the album is a loose collection of tracks about the end of the human race. But you’d never know its content was so dystopian with a sound more akin to a Flaming Lips festival headlining set, with its mish-mash of infectious melodies supplemented by a rag-tag collection of riffs, loops, twists and turns.

This is best typified on lead single Blowout, which follows the same successful template Tame Impala have pursued in recent years – make them dance, make them feel weird.

Then on Shibuya+ he hands lead vocal duties over to Katarina Trenk, and another great single is born, as he channels the spirit of Bristol’s early trip hop scene.

Among other high points is Headnote#2, which has a neat Massive Attack shuffle to it and a fantastic rock film score middle section.

The klaxon has sounded, its now up to you and a bit of luck to make this the hit it deserves to be.


by Joe Lepper

For more information about Mile Me Deaf visit their bandcamp page here.


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Mile Me Deaf, Flash Bang Band & Mohit – Green Door Store, Brighton (Sept 21, 2014)

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Mile Me Deaf, Flash Bang Band & Mohit – Green Door Store, Brighton (Sept 21, 2014)

Posted on 28 September 2014 by Dorian

People seem prepared to spend through the nose to spend the evening in a room filled with journalists and minor celebrities to watch Kate Bush not play the hits for several hours. On the flip-side getting people to watch new music, even for free, seems to be increasingly difficult.

A Sunday night gig is always going to be a challenge, but even so a third-full Green Door Store seemed less than the three bands deserved.



First up was Mohit, the only act on the bill that I hadn’t heard of before the show.  They play an interestingly jazzy take on indie rock that sits somewhere between Foals and the calmer moments on No Means No records. I didn’t get anything from the songs that immediately grabbed me, but the playing was impressive in particular the drumming. Perhaps they needed a bit more focus, there was a lot of noodling around in the tunes, but it was an encouraging opening.

The Flash Bang Band

The Flash Bang Band

Second on the bill was The Flash Bang Band, an act that I have some familiarity with, despite never seeing them live. They have some connection with the wonderful Free Swim (even if that is just sharing a stage) and I’ve seen one of their videos online in the past.

Like Mohit they are a band that is very “sound” lead, by which I mean the performance seems to be be more important than the songs. This is rock through the OK-GO filter and the  more esoteric 60s influenced songs in the second half certainly improve an already good set. Again it is the drums that stand out and, although some of the songs do sound a bit half-formed, this is good stuff.

Mile Me Deaf

Mile Me Deaf

Mile Me Deaf warm up to an almost empty room. The guitarist plays with a drumstick. Things aren’t looking good.

When the set starts in earnest the room fills back up to earlier levels, and you could forgive the crowd for not being sure they had started as the first sing meanders in to life. Mile Me Deaf are the most impenetrable act of the evening, but with easily the best songs. This, as it turns out, is a really good mix.  Once they settle in to their set (I’m not sure if we are two or three songs in) we are in more relaxed territory with the band sounding like Sonic Youth or Yo La Tengo at their bounciest. I never have an issue with bands sounding like the poppier end of Sonic Youth, think a Viennese version of Urusei Yatsura and you have an approximation of the Mile Me Deaf sound on stage.

They really are pretty great, and a couple of the songs in the set embedded into my brain by the end of the gig. I’m straight to the merch stall to buy their latest album, Holography, and I urge you to pick up a copy to if you can’t catch the band live (or even if you can).

Three really interesting bands for free seems a pretty great way to spend a Sunday night. It has to be better than paying £150 and not even getting ‘Wuthering Heights’ for you money, surely?

By Dorian Rogers


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