In the Belly of the Brazen Bull... Check out this crib
2012 Top 100 LPs #76-73: Cribs, Magnetic Fields, Alabama 3, Twilight Sad
Published on December 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Yes, it’s…Rocksucker’s Top 100 Albums of 2012!
Rocksucker listened to a lot of albums this year and conferred varying degrees of merit (in quail form) upon them based on our own spurious criteria…
…and now we bring you our favourite hundred of them, counted down in order arbitrarily/for fun. By dint of mathematics (specifically 4 x 25), top spot shall be revealed on Christmas day. Now, let’s get crackling, and then cracking…
76. Alabama 3 – Shoplifting 4 Jesus
“Brixton’s finest exponents of acid-gospel-rock-hop… An enthrallingly sleazy representation of London as a microcosm of a turbulent planet, with all the sure-footed genre-hopping and exhortations of spirituality set to suggestively seedy backdrops that we’ve come to expect from these reliable old hands.”
We think our review pretty much nailed it, if we do say so ourselves. Oh, and “Who the Fuck is John Sinclair?” has to be up there amongst the song titles of the year.
75. The Magnetic Fields – Love at the Bottom of the Sea
Stephin Merritt could be forgiven for indulging in such frivolousness after the three LPs’ worth of overarching concepts that preceded it – and that’s not even including the legendary, good-by-its title 69 Love Songs – but the relentless lyrical gags, sing-song delivery and playful electro are bound to be cloying for some. Take it as what it is, though, and it’s a fine example of it…whatever it is.
Furthermore, there’s a touch of Noel Corward about lines like “Some plastic surgeon’s done terrible things to poor Jane / Making her terrifically popular / Men are insane”, and that’s to be treasured amongst all the “night/light” and “heart/apart” rhyming schemes still favoured by the chronically unimaginative unit-shifters of our age.
The following, Merritt-sung single is catchy, funny and just the right side of disposable; perhaps that’s the concept this time around, loathe as we are to second-guess The Magnetic Fields…
74. The Cribs – In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
Despite the utterly shameless ‘borrow’ from Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” on opening track “Glitters Like Gold”, In the Belly of the Brazen Bull came as a small revelation to Rocksucker, who’d hitherto dismissed them as skinny jeans-wearing scenesters with little substance.
As it is, file alongside The Vaccines in terms of total unoriginality offset by bloody decent tunes, and a grin-inducing knack for introducing explosions of noise. Fair play to The Cribs for proving us wrong, then, but the NME can still go boil its collective head if it sees this as the future of music.
73. The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
Kilsyth’s finest shoegaze-miserablists (to form a compound of two fairly objectional descriptions) rope in Screamadelica catalyst Andrew Weatherall and transform their sound with heaving, glowing electronic while maintaining the doom-laden soundscapery that served them so well before.
If the album title isn’t foreboding enough, James Graham’s forlornly uttered lines such as “Is that you, son? / Is what you used to say” may have you pinching yourself to check you’re not actually a ghost at the scene of a back-alley midnight murder. A barrel of laughs this ain’t, but by gum it’s compelling.
Watch this space for a continuation of the countdown of Rocksucker’s Top 100 Albums of 2012! Bloody do it!