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IS THIS THING ON’S TOP 20 RECORDS OF 2013 PART 2 (No’s 10-1)

Previously on ‘Is this thing on?’s top 20 records of 2013:

20 – Tancred – S/T
19 – Pity Sex – Feast Of Love
18 – Touché Amoré – Is Survived By
17 – Wild Moth – Over, Again
16 – Dowsing – I Don’t Even Care Anymore
15 – Sed Non Satiata – Mappô
14 – State Faults – Resonate/Desperate
13 – Placeholder – I Don’t Need Forgiveness
12 – The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Whenever, If Ever
11 – Nai Harvest – Whatever

To read more on no’s 20 to 11 click HERE

So, as promised, here is the top ten. Thanks so much for reading and sharing and everything this year, it’s been awesome!!!!

10 – Brave Bird – Maybe You, No One Else Worth It

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This album seemed to come out so long ago that I had to check it was definitely eligible for this list. One of the early indicators that 2013 was going to be another superb year for good music, this album is full of top quality emo noodling and more hooks than a fishing tackle shop.

9 – California X – California X

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I spent an evening in the summer browsing through the ‘related artists’ section on spotify looking for something I may have missed and stumbled across California X. A couple of days later my best friend is sat in my lounge telling me that they’re playing in Canterbury a week later, a very happy coincidence indeed because that show was amazing. They well and truly blew us all away and the album has become a firm favourite ever since. Summery grunge with massive riffs giving some credibility to a drop d tuning!!

8 – Lemuria – The Distance Is So Big

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A mark, for me, of how catchy a record is is if, after a couple of hours of playing it, my kids are still singing along. And that happened a lot with this brilliant album by Lemuria. I was a big fan of their last album but I think they excelled themselves with ‘The Distance Is So Big’, indie emo rock of the highest quality.

7 – Reiziger – Kodiak Station

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Just when I thought the whole ‘reunion’ thing had peaked one of my favourite 90’s emo bands returned and with a new album to boot. It had never occurred to me that Reiziger might make new music, I was so excited to get ‘Kodiak Station’ and even more excited to find out that it’s really, really good. It may sound a million miles from the ‘Don’t Bind My Hands’ EP but it is unmistakably Reiziger, now with a more polished production to their discordant, indie gems.

6 – Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister

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‘Weird Sister’ is raw, lo-fi, indie punk at its best care of Cardiff’s finest, the brilliantly named, Joanna Gruesome. This is a debut album that marks the band out as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of the UK this year, I’m still gutted that I had to leave ‘About Time 2’ before they came on because I bet they’re awesome live.

5 – State Lines – For The Boats

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If it’s quality songwriting and anthem after anthem that you’re after then look no further than State Lines. A nod to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ here, a fantastic Hip Hop intro there and a whole record packed full of straight up, indie punk rock with vocals delivered like an emo Tim Armstrong are what you’ll find on ‘For The Boats’. And trust me when I say that you’ll want to listen to this record time and time again!!!

4 – Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual

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After all these years an Appleseed Cast record is always something to get hyped up about and all the more so when the record is as good as ‘Illumination Ritual’. The current line up have injected energy and a new creativity to the band, making a memorable record with plenty to enjoy. Seeing them play most of these songs live, back in October, also heightened my love for this record too. They were brilliant, if you used to love this band and haven’t thought to check this album out yet, what the hell are you waiting for?? Do it now!!

3 – Football, Etc. – Audible

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Football, Etc spoil us rotten, not only do they tour the UK with admirable regularity, they also release music of the highest quality on a very consistent basis. I love their last record, ‘The Draft’, but ‘Audible’ certainly feels like a step up. It seems like they’ve got a new found confidence as a band now which has increased the quality of the songwriting and delivery. ‘Audible’ comes across as a band that are having immense amounts of fun playing as a complete unit, Football, Etc have definitely found their feet. Amazing stuff!!

2 – Foxing – The Albatross

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I did try to review ‘The Albatross’ a few weeks back but ended up going out on a more personal tangent (you can read that by clicking HERE) so I should probably say some more things about the record here. But what else is there to say apart from the fact that ‘The Albatross’ is an earth shatteringly beautiful album that will take you on an exhausting journey through a range of emotions but still leaves you wanting more. I can’t think of another band that has made such an impact on this emo scene in such a short space of time as Foxing have, they thoroughly deserve all the plaudits and I had thought that no other band would come close to usurping my number one album this year but with ‘The Albatross’, Foxing came damn close to doing just that. Absolutely incredible.

1 – Crash Of Rhinos – Knots

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If you’ve read this blog or spoken to me this year at all then it’ll come as no surprise to you that Crash Of Rhinos genius record, ‘Knots’, is my album of the year for 2013. This is the record that I’ve been waiting years for, the kind of record I had thought would never be made again, emo/post hardcore at its incredible best. Crash Of Rhinos make no point of trying to hide their influences but manage to push things forward to make, what is not, an album that is trying to revive the past but a completely modern and relevant emo record. ‘Knots’ is five accomplished musicians at the very top of their game coming together to make magic. To top things off they’re also a brilliant live band, they really can do no wrong. If for some reason you haven’t heard this record yet the click HERE to go to their bandcamp page where ‘Knots’ is currently available for free, you have no excuse and you definitely will not be disappointed. WELL DONE CRASH OF RHINOS, YOU’RE NUMBER ONE!!!!

Thanks for reading!! Get in touch here or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog, on twitter @alex_itto or email ittoblog@gmail.com

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Review: Brave Bird – Maybe You, No One Else Worth It

Band – Brave Bird

Album – Maybe you, no one else worth it

Label – Count Your Lucky Stars

Don’t you hate it when lazy blog writers write about records in January/February and proclaim them to already be the ‘album of the year’? Usually results in the same person saying this about a number of records only to go on and exclude from their end of year list. It’s annoying and, like I said, lazy. So, anyway, this brings me on to the new album by Brave Bird which could well end up being the best album you’ll hear all year, Hey!! I never said I wasn’t a lazy blog writer.

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Around Christmas time last year a lot of buzz started gathering for this record after a site had been streaming a preview of the record. My small group of Twitter friends were saying some amazing things about and they have taste you can trust (most of the time). I decided to wait until I was able to get a copy of the album myself to properly give this the time it deserves, by the time I did I was desperate to hear it. And I’m glad I did wait because one of the great things about this record is that it is still getting better with each listen. I’m not saying that I didn’t like it to begin with, i really did. But it was one the 4th or 5th listen that i really fell in love with this album. I was driving alone in my car with the album on and track 4, ‘Tired Enough’, came on and something just clicked, I put the song on straight again after it finished and that was me sold.

Like other albums of this genre from the last couple of years there is definitely a classic emo feel of the late 90’s/early 00’s to ‘Maybe you, no one else worth it’. But this is mixed in with a ton of youthful energy and invention and there are more hooks to be found than horsemeat in your ready meals. If you can imagine Jimmy Eat World putting out an album of Glocca Morra covers, or maybe vice-versa then you come close to knowing what to expect from this record. This is also a longer record than a lot of others released recently with most songs pushing the 4 minute mark, they never out stay their welcome though. The songs have plenty of breathing space, they’re perfectly paced and filled with gorgeous melodies and really interesting guitar work.

As for standout songs on ‘Maybe you, no one else worth it’, Brave Bird spoil you for choice. As already mentioned, ‘Tired Enough’ just about steals it but has strong competition from the lovely ‘Thick Skin (should I give in)’ and the near perfect ‘The worst things happen to me’. The latter being so catchy at the end that when I’ve had the album on in the car taking my kids places, I hear them singing it still later throughout the day. I’m sure Brave Bird will take it as a massive compliment that they are up there with ‘Gangnam Style’ for songs that get stuck in my kids heads.

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Needless to say ‘Maybe you, no one else worth it’ is an incredible record. If bands keep putting out albums like this than this wave of emo will no longer be thought of as a revival and instead as the definitive emo time with everything that came before in the 90’s just serving as a prequel to now. Brave Bird need to come to the UK so we can stand in a basement somewhere singing their songs back at them with our fingers pointing in the air, and they need to come soon!!!

Thanks for reading xx

Click HERE for the Count Your Lucky Stars store

Or click on these for Brave Bird’s Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter/Bandcamp

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