Behold The Old Bear – Single of the Year
For this year’s review of the “short form” I’ve decided to go for two lists – the first concentrating on singles (very much one song or, in the case of a double A, two) and the second on a group of songs which doesn’t make up an album. The only restriction has been no artist can gain more than one entry in both charts.
So, starting with the singles …
1. Behold, The Old Bear – Best Enemy
2. Book Group – Victory Lap / The Lowdown of a LOUD Sound
3. Naked – Lie Follows Lie
4. The Mirror Trap – American Dreams
5. Cancel The Astronauts – While I Was Sleeping
6. Vladimir – Come Over
7. Withered Hand/Charles Latham – King of Hollywood/ Next to Nothing Blues
8. John Knox Sex Club / Over The Wall – Animals / Tell Her I Love Her
9. Wozniak – MFMB / New Hampshire
10. The New Fabian Society – Cyclothymia
There’s some great tunes in there and picking the overall winner came down to Behold … The Old Bear vs Book Group. On the basis of the single song criteria I’ve gone for the Old Bear. Victory Lap may well have seemed like a shoo-in yet, great though it is, the recorded version caught a different vibe to the live show.
Turning to the E.P.s/mini-albums, the key thing is that these have to be listened to as a whole – the majority of the songs aren’t there simply in service of a lead track.
1. James King & The Lonewolves – Pretty Blue Eyes
2. The Paranoid Style – The Purposes of Music In General
3. Book Group – Homeward Sound
4. Lomond Campbell – Only A City Apart
5. Randolph’s Leap – Real Anymore
6. Vladimir – E.P. 2
7. Hookers for Jesus – Hymns for Beautiful Losers
8. Sonny Carntyne – Retreat
9. Jackson Hall – Lost Love Songs Vol. 1
10. Burn The Maps – Bend. Break. Twist. Shake.
Again not an easy choice – any of the top three would have been worthy winners – but in the end I’ve opted for the Lonewolves not just because all four songs on the E.P. are brilliant but also to mark their return to active duty after twenty odd years.
But both the Paranoid Style and Book Group E.P.s are equally magnificent and worthy of your investigation if there’s the remotest chance you’re reading this and have missed the many. many mentions of both bands on here over the last 12w-18 months.
Next up tomorrow, the start of the countdown of my favourite LPs of the last 12 months.