It’s May 2017. We’re approaching the halfway point of the year and supposedly knee-deep in a UK springtime. Not that you’d especially spot that by taking any more than a cursory look. For the better part of the past five months, the sky has decided to settle upon the lightly cloudy, with only occasional flashes of blue daring to break up what is otherwise a heavy, milky blanket. It’s also bloody cold; you might even dare call it wintry. In fact, on the surface, pretty much everything looks and feels more like a standard late October than a time that’s laying the groundwork for sun and optimism.
The slightly disappointing weather seems to have had an impact on The 1957 Tail Fin Fiasco too. Once a band guaranteed to bring some westcoast American sunshine despite working from a semi-secret location somewhere in the south east of England, their second full length release is somewhat moodier than expected. There are scraps of Steely Dan and remnants of The Doobie Brothers scattered throughout the ten tracks, except this time around, they’ve cast the net of inspiration far wider and come up with a record that’s steeped in loss and the feelings of what could have been.
On their first two releases (2011’s ‘Private Jet Flashback‘ and 2013’s ‘Cruise Control EP‘) The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco proved themselves to be masters of retro cool. Armed with a quirky sense of humour and an unhealthy obsession with Steely Dan, the two men at the core of the Fiasco made audiences wonder how such authentically American sounding music could ever have been spawned from the UK. Not only that, but from the wilds of Essex, too – hardly a breeding ground for AM radio pop.
In 2010, London based singer-songwriter Mick Terry released ‘The Grown Ups’, a debut album with a personal quality. Its creation came as a surprise, since Terry wasn’t especially planning on recording an album after returning to music after a family-raising break. Since 2012, he’s been working on a follow-up. Real Gone caught up with him in January 2015 to find out if it’s almost finished…
Given the position Real Gone finds itself in at the end of our fifth year online, it might seemed clichéd to say it, but ever year seems to get better and better. It’s been another brilliant year for discovering new music – particularly releases from underground and DIY bands, but also for discs from a couple of old favourites. Culled from hundreds of albums to grace our stereo this year, presented below is a quick look at ten of our favourite releases, as well as a round-up of the more notable of the rest.
2014 was an absolutely great year for music from DIY bands or releases distributed through independent labels. There was so much great music this year that Real Gone found that just one free sampler just wasn’t enough!
A free sampler containing tracks from ten different metal bands can be found here. For those who’d like a few free gems from other genres – rock, pop, punk etc – in ‘Idiots & Idols’ we’ve got a similarly top-notch collection for you!