It’s that time of year when lists are everywhere and FnS is no different… here’s New York Johnny‘s best albums and gigs of 2011.
1. Moon Duo – Mazes
This is the side project of Wooden Shjips mainman Ripley Johnson so it’s probably a bit of a swick having two of his albums in my picks. But, hey, what can I say? It’s a sound I like. A bit more electronic in this than the WS album, it brings a touch of Suicide into the mix of psychedelic drones and skewed rockabilly shuffle beats. Try it, you’ll like it.
2. Loaded 44 – Wasted On You
The best punk album I bought all year by a mile. It sounds like Debbie Harry fronting the UK Subs. And I definitely mean that as a good thing haha! Pure and strong vocals singing pop hooks over muscular punk guitars and a driving rhythm section. Sure there’s the odd track that’s slightly off the pace but there’s a good 10 songs on here that could be HIT singles in a better world.
3. Wooden Shjips – West
Find a chord, fuzz it and play it for five or six minutes. That seems to be the Wooden Shjips methodology. It doesn’t sound like much on paper but it’s pretty great when you listen to it. Groovy, drugged out, 70’s spacerock for the 2010’s.
1. Alice Cooper / New York Dolls – SECC, Glasgow
Total legend exceeds high expectations could have been the headlines for this one. The perfect gig for Halloween. Great seats, great players, great sound, the setlist a perfect balance of hits and surprises. And I got to dress like a zombie!
2. The Boys – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
My best festival set of the year was pushed so close by Jello Biafra, The Outcasts and The Cravats. This just shades it though as singing bassist Duncan “Kid” Reid turned in a tour-de-force of a performance for his last UK gig with the band. This was the old cliché of giving 110% made real.
3. Les Savy Fav – The Tunnels, Aberdeen
The best of the local gigs I attended this year by some way. A major coup for AGP landing this one and it was great to see a hefty midweek turnout at The Tunnels witnessing the surf-punk sounds and madcap antics of Tim Harrington and co. This really had to be seen to be believed.