A one-line review of every #TimsTwitterListeningParty I joined September–November 2021

Nobody has asked for this. It is more for my benefit than yours. It’s a (usually) monthly series. I’ve marked LPs that I’d never heard the whole way through before with a 🆕 icon. The links (mostly) go to the album on Spotify.

Super Furry Animals Rings Around The World – I was so immensely and passionately into Super Furry Animals – I think I must have gone to every single London gig they did between Radiator and Love Kraft. An immense live band and such brilliant records. Then one day like someone had flicked a switch, I was totally burnt out with them and couldn’t listen to anything at all. This happened with Magnetic Fields too. So these #TimsTwitterListeningParty sessions – like the one for Mwng – have been the only time I’ve listened to what were some real favourite albums of mine at the time for years and years. Around this time they used to start shows with [A] Touch Sensitive and it had such an incredibly disturbing and menacing video. It might be my favourite tune on the album. Juxtapozed With U such a tune and brilliant video and also always hilarious live as Gruff tried to wrestle with that comedy vocoder/voice-changer set up he used to have. Run Christian Run is so beautiful and lyrically brutal.

Pixies Trompe Le Monde – Is this the least talked about album from Pixies opening salvo of four? Yes. Did hearing it again make me want to talk about it more? Not really to be honest. “Jefrey with one f” is a great slogan but at times this LP sounds like three separate bands playing three separate songs all at the same time.

Primal Scream Screamadelica – This came out the first couple of weeks I’d just started at Uni. Pre-streaming of course, I had all the different 12″s of Loaded, Come Together, Higher Than etc but you know I’m not sure I actually had the CD of the album at the time – think I just had it taped off a mate – 🤔 – the tracks were ubiquitous though. Loaded came out in February 1990 and then that summer my then-band were recording some demoes in the same Walthamstow studio that had been used for the remix I think, with the same engineer – right in the middle of Italia 90. I literally put down some keyboard parts one session with a little TV in the corner showing the England-Cameroon game. Needless to say we tried to make a huge deal of it being recorded in the same place as Loaded, to absolute zero avail.

Cabaret Voltaire Red Mecca – Regular readers will know I was very upset by the death of Richard H. Kirk, a hugely influential figure on the music I make myself. This isn’t actually one of my often-played Cabs albums, I tend to prefer the slightly later poppier Virgin/EMI years, although you can hear them beginning to head in that direction on this LP. Ironically given that it is 2021, the pick of the bunch is probably Spread the Virus.

🆕 Claire Welles Transpose – I got madly obsessive over Dazed when it featured in an earlier #TimsTwitterListeningParty but she’s made 1,057 other albums and I felt intimidated to explore at that so just kept the same LP on repeat, so this was the first time I’d heard this. I liked it, but it felt very much in the same space as Dazed sound and lyric wise which just made me long a bit for the tried and true of the LP I’d first fallen in love with.

🆕 Saint Saviour Tomorrow Again – This was new on me and I was very impressed. I preferred the slower more acoustic tracks on the main, but especially loved the Led-Zep Kashmir-style phasing on the drums in Breton Stripe.

🆕 Julia Shapiro Zorked – New artist and new album for me, and I absolutely loved it. Like a more maudlin and grunge-laden Joy Zipper. I felt incredibly seen by the opening lyrics to Hellscape: “Wake each day / Stare at my phone / The burden of being alive”. Many repeat listens to follow.

🆕 Self Esteem Prioritise Pleasure – Another new artist and album to me, I’d seen some people I know saying good things about it, and I could see why people could get fanatical about it, but it didn’t really do it for me, but that’s OK, I guess I’m not really the target market or a person that the lyrics would resonate with.

🆕 Garbage Beautiful – Beyond the big hits I was never that mad into Garbage because petty 90s me resented them having the success that I thought Curve had deserved a few years earlier. This LP came out after I’d stopped working in record shops so I don’t think I’ve actually ever heard it before – certainly not all the way through. If was fine enough but it didn’t change my mind.

The Fall Bend Sinister – It was my first The Fall LP and will always be my favourite The Fall LP. The remastered version apparently brings out more detail from the original tapes, but to me it will always be the blurred scruffy polaroid I used to have on cassette.

🆕 Pip Blom Welcome Break – Lovely late Sunday evening jangling indie THEN A LOUD BIT but all very tuneful, I was most fond of the minor-key melancholia of 12 and It Should Have Been Fun.

🆕 Camera Obscura Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi – Every time I hear one of their albums I feel like if I had heard them at the time I would have been quite into them.

Ride Nowhere – I used to play this album a lot but haven’t heard it in full for decades. I was struck by two things. Firstly, at the time I was into the guitar noise, but on this listen I realised what a big part of their sound the harmony vocals had been. Secondly there’s about three m-orchestra songs that have used samples off this album over the years, which I had totally forgotten about. Really enjoyed it, it came out at when I was the exact right age for it.

🆕 Ist Ist The Art of Lying – I bought a ticket to see them live off the back of their first #TimsTwitterListeningParty and this was my first dip into their second album. It wears its influences and its heart right on its sleeve, fascinated that I’m now old enough that these sound like bands who grew up with Interpol / Editors / White Lies rather than bands that had started casting back to Joy Division and post-punk for their sound. Looking forward to seeing them live, Omicron permitting, obviously.

🆕 Fatima Mansions Viva Dead Ponies – I’m sure I would have been into them if I had been exposed to more – I think I had one CD single later on that I bought on the strength of some remix or other rather than the main track. Without the context of the time this album sounded like it was good songs but just a bit indecisive about what direction they wanted to head in.

🆕 Big Joanie Sistahs – I had a ticket to see them at The Lexington before *gestures around* but I didn’t go in the end. And I’d bought it on reputation alone so this was actually a first listen to them for, and it is very good isn’t it? Punky-jangly indie with attitude.