IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in April 2020

8 min read


April 2020, a strange month. Here in Prague, Czemos (I know that’s not the real name, but I prefer my creation to Czechia) we’ve been largely holed up in quarantine and you would think that this would be perfect conditions for listening to a lot of music. And in a way I guess so, though this past month or so I’ve been flitting around listening to a lot of different things. In any case, here are a few that have been getting repeat attention from me. Look after yourselves and wash your bum.

Motörhead – Ace of Spades
Bronze Records – November 8th 1980

I mean, if you don’t know this record by now, what the hell have you been doing with your life? The multiple times that I’ve now written about this album for BAZ are just a few words in the millions that have been written about this album. This time round I’ve been revisiting this a lot because I wanted something raw and bluesy to play guitar along to. It’s just an accousting, so I don’t think my neighbours all want to kill me just yet. What needs to be said? It’s fast, dirty and full of great licks and memorable tracks. There’s never a bad time to get this album on… maybe not for transcendental meditation, but the exception that proves the rule.

Oxbow – Serenade in Red
SST – August 19th 1997

The second OXBOW album produced… sorry engineered by Steve Albini. As dark, smokey and noirish as the album cover suggests. Angular, brooding blues for those who like their rock jazzy and avant-garde. Singer Eugene S. Robinson not only has one of the most unusual and distinctive vocal styles, but he’s a great lyricist too (you’ll probably have to pull up the lyrics to have a clue what he’s singing most of the time though). Niko Wenner is a bit of an unsung guitar god in my eyes. He isn’t flashy, but his unusual tunings, odd rhythms and unbusy playing are as distinctive and original as Eugene’s vocals. One of my absolute favourite bands and none of their albums are less than excellent.

Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
Century Media – March 22nd 2010

TRIPTYKON are the cross section where perfect production and enveloping atmosphere collide with brilliant song-writing and majestic playing. In a way they give me the feeling of a heavier, more extreme, more desolate TYPE O NEGATIVE (without the knowing humour). Still we must wait for a follow up to 2014’s “Melana Chasmata”, but that and this their debut if anything get better and better with age. It doesn’t sound like the Tom G. Warrior household is full of chuckles, but on tracks like “Abyss Within My Soul” and “My Pain” it never becomes contrived or absurd. It’s a dark journey into the depths of horror and despair every time, so just strap yourself in. Fortunately the music is just incredible. These gigantic, epic, extreme metal behemoths are hard to beat when you want to bang your head to the depths of misanthropy.

Black Sabbath – Sabotage  
Warner Brothers  – July 28th 1975

For many years I was very much a first-five-albums-Sabbath purist (Dio’s Dungeons & Dragons vibe is not for me, sorry), but recently I’ve realised what a mistake I’d been making to sleep on “Sabotage”. The album’s predecessor “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” has always been a favourite of mine, as the band brought in more melodic song-writing and “Sabotage” fits in perfectly with the evolutionary progress of the band. It’s dark, catchy, atmospheric and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. “Megalomania” is a standout with its epic scope, awesome riffing and irresistable hooks, but there are no weak tracks anywhere on this album.

Motörhead – Another Perfect Day
Bronze Records – June 4th 1983

Yeah, more Motörhead! And why not? Here’s another one in the series of great-albums-I-foolishly-overlooked-for-many-years. The first album without the icon guitars of Fast Eddie Clarke. Brian Robertson of THIN LIZZY fame makes his one and only appearance for the band, and his own distinctive, shimmering, more fluid style sounds quite frankly fucking awesome on this record. It’s a shame he never did more with the band. However badly this album might have gone down at the time, I think the more layered, overdubbed, sleeker sound suits the songs perfectly well. Lemmy lacks none of his energy and swagger (and songwriting skills), while Philthy Animal Taylor is on the drums, so what could go wrong?! “Shine”, “Dancing On Your Grave”, “One Track Mind”, “I Got Mine”, the title track, there’s no shortage of classic tracks here. If you let this one pass you by, give it some serious attention.

Tom Boatman