Five 21st Century Albums You Don’t Own – But Should
We’ve all been there… someone you trust enthuses about a contemporary album while you’re having beers in your local pub (“Dude, you’ve never heard of them?”), but you forget to check them out. That’s why RPM’s man in Paris – Guillaume LaFon – put together a list of five albums you probably missed for your cranking pleasure. Hell, we even included handy-dandy links to make this truly effortless. We live to serve. You’re welcome.
- Wraygunn: Ecclesiastes 1.11 (2004)
A Portuguese album kicks off the list, so it’s no surprise that it slipped under most peoples’ radar. Lead by Paulo Furtado (aka The Legendary Tigerman), this band’s name is a combination of Link Wray and “Peter Gunn”, so you know it’s gotta be tremendous. And it is indeed. Bluesy goodness served up with a punk attitude and a garage sensibility. What could be better? Key moments: “Soul City”, “Don’t You Know ?”, “Sometimes”, “All Night Long”.
- Living Things: Ahead Of the Lions (2005)
This one is a true hidden jewel carved by four brothers from St. Louis. As raw and attitude-laden as the Stooges or the Sex Pistols, Ahead Of The Lions is Living Things’ debut album and an instant classic. Whether it’s the glam temptation of “Bom Bom Bom”, the impactful riffage of “I Owe” or “God Made Hate”, this album is a slap in a face that will make you want to turn the other cheek and ask for another. They broke up in 2010, but the brevity of their career just makes them all the more awesome.
- The Vaccines: What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? (2011)
London-based group the Vaccines come out blazing on this 2011 release with opening track “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”. A furious 89 seconds of garage pop bliss that sets the stage for a corker of a rock ‘n’ roll album. The ghosts of Jesus & Mary Chain haunt tracks like “Wetsuit” and “Blow It Up”, but the coup de grace is “Norgaard” – a minute and a half of pure rock ‘n’ roll which will have you saying, “this song is too damn short.”
- The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster: Blood & Fire (2011)
Another band that broke up too soon, Brighton-based psychobilly/goth the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster recorded some of the most powerful albums ever produced. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to listen. This album was their swan song – a swan ripped apart by a stoned psychopath listening to the Sisters of Mercy covering the Cramps. But let me be clear, their entire discography is a must-have. It’s just a shame that their best album turned out to be the last.
- Admiral Freebee: Admiral Freebee (2003)
Did you know they were making rock ‘n’ roll in Belgium? Neither did I. Admiral Freebee is sort of like Black Francis if the Pixies leader had been born under northern Europe’s grey skies. In fact, this debut album summons that cold weather and manages to make it feel warm (“Rags ‘n’ Run”, “Serenity Now!”, “Alibies”), just to take you out of that delicious blue mood with wry humor (“Bad Year For Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Einstein Brain”). Perfection from A to Z, as tasty as a good Belgian ale.