So… Week 3 eh? Everybody who scored points in the first week failed to score any in the second so there are already twenty or so people fighting for this week’s number one spot on the leaderboard. I don’t know about you but I’m like proper well excited and that. Let’s get started.
The Cardigans – First Band on the Moon (Sweden)
When this album (suggested by Richard Jones) was released I worked in a factory that made car headlamps. The factory had a bad PA system and a workforce that liked to listen to Heart FM. This was in the early days of Heart when it was a truly terrible radio station. They played Celine Dion at least once an hour. I quite liked my job and the people I worked with were lovely but that radio station was the pits. The reason I bring this up is that they played Lovefool by The Cardigans a lot, which could have been a blessed relief from the Celine Dion and Simply Red. HOWEVER… Remember that bad PA system I mentioned? Yep. All you could hear was the bass line. Duh duh duh, du-du-du duuh. Over and over and over and over and, well, you get the point. It ruined The Cardigans for me, which is a shame because they seem like a good band, but what are you gonna do? The upshot of this (admittedly, quite dull) anecdote is that listening to The Cardigans today only brought me pain. Sorry.
Cid Rim – CID RIM (Austria)
Dave Hartley suggested this and I am very glad he did. I’m not very good at describing instrumental stuff but, a bit WHUUUR ZHUB ZHUB with really nice drumming on it? Something like that.
Climbing Trees – Borders (UK)
Earlier today, Climbing Trees became the first band to endorse their own selection for this competition via twitter. I could hardly not pick them as the UK representative after that but, obviously, I was a little apprehensive that they would be rubbish and then this bit, where I write about listening to them, would end up being really awkward. No need to worry. I really liked the album. Phew.
In fact, I was thinking about giving Slugger (who suggested them) the full five points for a while there until, just at the moment when my seven-year-old daughter was standing in front of the speaker playing the album, one of the band decided to drop a massive F-bomb, basically directly into her tiny innocent ears. Not on, Climbing Trees. Not on at all. I haven’t spent nine months only listening to Hoodies All Summer by Kano when she is at school to protect her impressionable young mind from the swears so that you could waltz up and shout fuck at her at the very first opportunity you get. I’m sorry, guys, but I have to dock points for that. I just do.
Can – Ege Bamyasi (Germany)
Can (recommended by Mark Powell) are one of those bands I have never got round to. I feel a bit guilty about that because a lot of people have told me they were good. Anyway, it turns out they are good. There were one or two bits where it got a bit too avant garde for my taste but mostly it was right up my street. There was even a part of a song that ended up in a Kanye West song. Who would have thought it, eh?
Colder – Again (France)
I had to listen to it via Youtube, so this album (suggested by Graham Cox) was occasionally interrupted by an advert for Nintendo or what have you. I still enjoyed it.
Marco Colonna – Fili (Italy)
So, it was only a matter of time before we had to deal with the ‘first name or surname beginning with C?’ question. Either is fine. Whatever.
It was also only a matter of time before somebody suggested an experimental jazz record. DOCTOR PRINCESS IN ISOLATION (@Paul_Axl_Hurman) recommended this. Fili is quite sparse in its sound, mostly, which is definitely the sort of experimental jazz least likely to upset me but it was something I admired far more than I loved. It’s good but, you know, it’s no Girls Aloud.
Cay – Nature Creates Freaks (Netherlands*)
OK, so only one of the band were from the Netherlands but I’m allowing it because it’s my game and I can make up the rules, so there.
After the sonic hysteria of Boredoms last week, I was expecting something more outlandish form George Sandison’s pick, but I wasn’t disappointed with what I listened to, and that’s the main thing, right?
The Cranberries – Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (Ireland)
Recommended by Bruno Di Gradi. I’m not a massive Cranberries fan but I do love Linger.
Collage – Käokiri (Estonia)
With heartfelt apology to Adrian Slatcher, who recommended Collage, this is possibly the worst record I have ever heard in my life. How to describe it? Well… There is singing and there is music. Presumably they were made separately, each without any knowledge of how the other sounded, and then put together at the end. Hence the name Collage? I don’t know. Anyway, the singing is fine. I have no truck with the singing. The music though, sounds a bit like something a musician stuck behind the Iron Curtain, in the early 1970s, who had never heard The Byrds, might produce if they were asked to make an album that sounded like Sweetheart of the Rodeo when all they had to use as cultural references were a photo of Roger McGuinn and a badly damaged cassette tape of Belgian porno soundtracks. And yes, I know that sounds amazing, but it isn’t, at least not to my ears.
Chernikovskaya Hata – Chernikovskaya Hata (Russia)
Recommended by Sam Whyte, Chernikovskaya Hata sound a bit like a Russian Psychedelic Furs, which can only be a good thing, right?
Cosima – Ploaia (Romania)
This was one I found myself so I could tick another country off my list and get one step closer to a full globe of music. There seems to be about eight artists called Cosima but the Romanian one makes what she calls ‘widow pop’. Ploaia is only two tracks, so not really an album, but I’m not eligible for points am I? So who cares. I recommend it by the way. It’s good.
OK. Points time…
- 5 points to Dave Hartley for the lovely WHuRR bits.
- 4 points to Sam Whyte for the moody big Russian moods.
- 3 points to Slugger. It would have been five but I had to dock points for the swear.
- 2 points to Mark Powell for being the person who finally got me to listen to Can
- 1 point to Graham Cox for also recommending an album that was good and that I listened to and liked.
- 1 point to Adrian Slatcher for hurting my ears in a new and interesting way.