City Vibes

 |  July 30, 2011

Artist: Arctic Monkeys

Album: Suck It and See


On this release the Arctic Monkeys prove once again that they are a musical force to be reckoned with. Having emphatically conquered the all pervasive ghost of the second difficult album, the Arctics continue to thrive on the lyrical wizardry of front-man Alex Turner. Turner is compensated by one of modern music’s most talented drummers in Matt Helders, a man that can deliver such rhythmic rambunctiousness that it defines the Arctic’s sound and helps set them apart from the rest. Witness this winning composition on ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ and ‘Black Treacle’ and know that this is a band with a long future.

Artist: Battles

Album: Gloss Drop


When Battles released the critically acclaimed ‘Mirrored’ in 2007 it split its fan-base right down the middle. This was largely due to the use of Tyondai Braxton’s digitally cartoonified vocals, which for me verged on the unlistenable, but for many was the album’s piece de resistance. Braxton’s departure from the band has enabled Battles to move forward from Toy Town experimentalism, but Gloss Drop is still a challenge for the listener. Rhythms are fast and furious, lyrics incomprehensible and melodies dart back and forth like headlights in dazzled vision, but somehow it’s a winning formula with an endearing complexity that is demonstrative of profound musical vision.

Artist: WU LYF

Album: Go Tell Fire to the Mountain


In WU LYF we may have a modern day KLF. Musically they are poles apart, WU LYF produce gritty Indie Rock that is far from easy on the ears and it takes a patient listener to appreciate the voice of front-man Ellery Roberts. Dig a little deeper and the patient are rewarded with highly textural, alternative soundscapes at’times uplifting and always engaging. This album is self-produced, recorded in a Manchester church and the band’s manager is called ‘War God’, they are also becoming renowned for bizarre media stunts, such as attacking their own Wikipedia page. Check out ‘Dirt’ and ‘Split it Concrete Like the Colden Sun God’ to hear a defining sound of 2011.