By Jason Todd Cooper
5. Tim Vantol - If We Go Down, We Will Go Together! (19.04.2013)
Right, here he is - “the Dutch Frank Turner” how some people like to call him. Indeed they both have a similar background story: Singer in a hardcore band starting his solo career only with an acoustic guitar just to add then more and more people to their own band again. And also in fact; Tim was already support for Frank. So yeah, I do see where this description is coming from.
I can’t remember when/where exactly I heard about Tim for the first time, but I remember at some point I watched pretty much every video about him that was on YouTube. There are many singer/songwriters and they often sound the same and sing about the same. But what makes Tim special over many others is definitely his rough voice combined with beautiful melodies. (+ who else is singing about euthanasia??) I got his first album and went to as many shows as possible and idk, maybe it’s only because I’m already full of love for this guy, but I think he seriously gets better and better each time I see him.
And I think he did a big step forward with his second album as well. It already sounds more like a band album then a solo album with violins, banjo and co., which clearly is a plus for the sound. But I also think his lyrics got much better. Absolute top record - only minus point is the fact that it’s quite short with only 9 songs on it and they’re all rather short too.
fav tracks: Dirty Boots, Bitter Morning Taste, What It Takes
6. Touché Amoré - Is Survived By (27.09.2013)
First of all: I did write a review of this album for Negative White. So if you want to read a bit more what I wrote about it: check it out (in German though). Like I say in the article it’s not just a standard hardcore album. They’re playing a lot with melodies and different rapidities, which I like a lot. The lyrics are very clever too so there’s another plus point.
I think TA get a lot of hype in German music press lately. I don’t mind this at all, since it probably was how I got to know them better. A friend of mine liked them already and told me to check them out, since he thought I could like them. So these two factors lead me to actually buy the record, listen to it, write about it, and also try to get accreditation for their show in Zürich a month ago.
Sadly this was the first and only concert for me to date, the promoter didn’t put me on the guestlist. I’m not crying here that I didn’t get free entry. It just put me off that we only found out the day the concert was on. So it was sold out and I couldn’t go. well fucking done. Anyway, this doesn’t make the album any worse, and so I still have TA quite on top of my imaginary must-see list.
fav tracks: Just Exist, Anyone / Anything, Non Fiction
7. Fidlar - Fidlar (01.02.2013)
First time I heard of Fidlar was when they were support for The Hives in 2012 (sadly in the US and not here though) and I also remember the first song I heard / video I’ve seen was the above attached video for Wake Bake Skate. Their music is not that fucking innovative, but let’s face it - it’s always fun to listen to their songs and shout along. Also I do like their raw yet very melodic sound.
I’m still terribly disappointed I couldn’t go to their show here in Zürich early 2013 because yeah, work’s a bitch and I couldn’t get off that night. Anyway we saw them at Southside which was still a lot of fun, even though Zac wasn’t able to sing. Lame. But at least they didn’t cancel so I’m content with that anyway.
Random plus point: Max wearing a The Computers sweater in their video for Oh. And I also know (at least) two guys from The Computers who like them too :)
fav tracks: No Waves, Max Can’t Surf, Wake Bake Skate
8. Johnossi - Transitions (22.03.13)
I’m a big Johnossi fan for more then 7 years now. I’ve seen them play a lot of shows and it still amazes me how they generate such a massive sound for a duo. A duo? I’m not sure if this is still what they are, since they have a keyboarder now as well. And that’s an important impact on the new album too. The keyboard is very present on most of the songs. And I know it sounds silly but it really took me a while to get used to it.
Anyway, the album is still a very typical Johnossi album. The opener Into The Wild [video] is a good example in my opinion for what they are kings of - creating some sort of suspense in a song, building that up [3:15] and explode on a certain point [3:35] It always fascinates me how they put so much energy in their songs and even if they start off quietly they end with a storm that makes you feel drowning in their heavy sound. Together with John’s sometimes quite dark lyrics this generates just pure brilliance on each album for many years now.
fav tracks: Into The Wild, Seventeen, Bull/Bear
9. Chuckamuck - Jiles (19.04.13)
Ladies and Gentlemen, please say hello to my favourite German band, that will never reach mainstream success: Chuckamuck! No idea how/when I discovered them. I guess it must have been somewhen in 2011, since their debut album already was on #4 in my Top15 of 2011. People sometimes describe them as a German version of The Libertines which I think doesn’t describe them at all… Lyrics wise Chuckamuck often remind me of the early Die Ärzte in the 80’s - they’re sometimes poetic, silly, funny, witty and even total non-sense. Music wise they are somewhere between pop-punk and garage with a bit of country. I don’t know, I just think they’re pretty amusing. Hm, the only cover picture I found is a bit confusing because my vinyl record looks quite different (?) anyway all their artwork is by their singer/guitarist Oska Wald - I’m a big a fan of his comics too. So what’s not to like..?
fav tracks: Hitchhike, 354 722 384, Scully
10. Mozes And The Firstborn - Mozes And The Firstborn (20.09.13)
It was this Spring when I heard the first time about Mozes And The Firstborn. My first thought was that I like their band name - I’ve got a bunch of friends who call me Moses for an in-joke, so I felt instantly related to this band. But I just really wasn’t sure about their music. Let’s face it: They have mostly pathetic lyrics, their singer isn’t good at all and I’m still not too sure if they just act like they are or if they really are some arrogant show-offs and total wannabe’s. Anyway, first there were only a few songs floating around in the internet, so I wasn’t really hooked but kept an eye on them.
Then their album got released and there indeed were a few songs I liked immediately, when I listened to it on their Bandcamp page. The tunes are garage rock with a bit of a lo-fi kinda vibe and sometimes they remember me a bit of 90’s garage à la Nirvana. And after my favourite Swiss band became Mozes And The Firstborn’s support in their homeland, the Netherlands, and kept on posting on their Facebook how cool they are, I was like “oh fuck it, I should finally get their record.”
Like you probably already know, I love checking out bands live on concerts, but sadly it didn’t work out yet. Since I know Mozes And The Firstborn, they played Switzerland 4 times (!) but it was always during the week, when I couldn’t get off from work /was busy already. But it’s a good thing when they play here this often, so sooner or later I will definitely catch them :)
fav tracks: Bloodsucker, I Got Skills, Time’s A Headache
(in my opinion their best song is Wannabe but that one isn’t on the album)
From Frank Turner’s Instagram: “Slayer Christmas jumper time”.
11. Bad Religion - True North (18.01.13)
Can’t remember how I discovered Bad Religion. I mean the band exists for 33 years now, which is quite a few more than I do. They simply always have been there. Anyway I remember I downloaded most of their discography in my early teens (yeah, shame on me) and I think The Empire Strikes First was then the first album I bought at its release. However, I do have all their records since then and I obviously got a few earlier ones too by now. And I’ve seen them live twice (here’s my review of this year’s concert)
True North is Bad Religion’s 16th studio album and clearly a must-have for me. Fast paced, straight forward music with smart wordplay creates 16 ass-kicking punk songs in under 40 minutes. Ha, I know I used the therm “a solid good album” already a few times in my Top20s but I can’t really describe it any different again. I’m pretty sure Bad Religion will never be one of my Top5 most favourite bands but like I wrote in the beginning of this post: they have always been there and they always will be there.
fav tracks: Robin Hood In Reverse, Fuck You, Dept. Of False Hope
- credit on @potterhunter