This is a review of the albums that I have been listening to as part of working from home. I have decided to change things up a wee bit on the blog. So without further ado this is the review of week beginning 20 April. Got a lot to catch up on.
Monday 20/04 – Kerbdog
Starting of the week with Kilkenny’s finest, Kerbdog. They only released two albums, the self titled album in 1993 which was produced by Jack Endino who helped cement the Seattle grunge sound and On a Turn (1997).
The band split and Cormac and Darragh from Kerbdog went on to form Wilt, releasing two albums, Bastinado (2000) and My Medicine (2002). Described as Ireland’s version of Husker Du and Weezer. Wilt broke up in 2003.
So inbetween albums by both Kerbdog and Wilt, I was listening to Pledge which was a covers based tribute to the band. Not that many big names on it but stand out on was Frank Turner doing his version of Sally.
The live album recorded in 2014 was released thanks to a Pledge campaign.
Tuesday 21/04 – U2
Love them or hate them, U2 are worthy of my listening pleasure. With a vast back catalogue I went for my favourites here.
U2 were the first band I really got into when I was at school. In fairness probably the only band I have stuck with from my teenage years.
I picked five albums here to listen to.
Under a Blood Red Sky was the first U2 album I ever bought. I played this album to death. The album was recorded during the War tour. War (1983) was really my first proper U2 album.
1987 was the big year for me. My last year in school, my final exams, my 16th birthday and The Joshua Tree (1987). A really great album. So good I rushed out to get it for my birthday and didn’t even know about the up and coming Belfast gig at the King’s Hall that summer! Damn, missed that one for a first ever concert. I wouldn’t get to see the band until 1993.
The next two albums, Achtung Baby (1991) and Zoororpa (1993) were truly great albums of the 1990s. Must admit I didn’t quite warm to Zooropa first time round but after listening to it again it really was the perfect companion album to Achtung Baby.
Wednesday 22/04 – Bruce Springsteen
Midweek lockdown tunes all provided by The Boss! A perfect day to stick on some great albums. My introduction to the music of Bruce Springsteen began in 1984 when I first heard Dancing in the Dark. I remember seeing a tv documentary on him and really liked the music. Born In the USA (1984) was the first Bruce Springsteen album I bought.
Was too young at the time to go to see him at Slane. Finally got to see him in 1993.
Knowing that he had a back catalogue the next albums I bought were Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) and The River (1980). Not played here as I don’t have it on CD was the Live 1975-85 box set which I have on vinyl.
So for Bruce, this box set of all his albums from 1973 to 1984 were listened to. I added Tunnel of Love (1987) to the mix.
Thursday 23/04 – early 1990s indie
Changing things up a bit today with some British indie albums from the 1990s. NME and Melody Maker were the taste makers of the day. I picked six albums from that period, two by Teenage Fanclub, Ride, The Stone Roses, Swervedriver and Elastica.
Ride and Swervedriver were both part of the shoegazing scene from the early 1990s. I was listening to Ride’s first album Nowhere (1990) and Swervedriver’s Mezcal Head (1993).
The Stones Roses debut album is really the tail end of the 1980s but it fits in with the 1990s theme here. Wasn’t a fan at the time, I actually didn’t get into them until their second album from 1994 Second Coming. It was ok but it opened the door to appreciate the first album. They only released two albums.
I got into Elastica in 1995, their debut album played here. It was the fastest selling debut since Definitely Maybe by Oasis.
Teenage Fanclub get two albums played here, Bandwagonseque (1991) and Grand Prix (1995) are two of my favourite albums. Bandwagonesque topped Spin magazines best of poll for 1991 beating Nirvana’s Nevermind, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and REM’s Out of Time. Quite an achievement!
Friday 24/04 – Therapy?
Local heroes Therapy? round off the working week and what a collection of albums to listen to! When you have a songs called Nowhere and Isolation they are the perfect band for these unusual times.
Grunge lead me to Therapy? I wasn’t very well clued up on the local scene. For me Irish bands began and ended with U2. Big mistake. There are plenty of other great Irish bands out there. You just had to go out and find them.
Therapy? have been around for 30 years so quite a task to pick the playlist today but I opted for old, new and live.
Kicking off with Nurse (1992) this was my first Therapy? album and I have been into them ever since. The follow up to Nurse, Troublegum (1994) is a absolute masterpiece. The album produced a clutch of Top 40 singles including Screamager, Nowhere and Die Laughing.
Infernal Love (1995) for me one of those difficult albums. At the time it got a bit of lukewarm response. Looking back on it now it is not that bad of an album. Listening to it again I quite enjoyed it.
The next three albums are all recent. Crooked Timber (2009) and Cleave (2018) showed that the band were in fine form. Finishing off day with a dose of some live Therapy? now that gigs are all either cancelled or postponed due to the virus, 2010’s We’re Here to the End is a nice retrospective live collection of fan favourites. Clocking in 36 tracks over two CDs it certainly makes up for not getting to any gigs.