FIVE YEARS: Real Gone’s Gold Standard (2009-2014)

In the five years of Real Gone’s existence, there have been dozens upon dozens of fine releases. Some we’ve loved instantly, some demanded a little more time before their magic became wholly apparent.  To mark five years worth of internet presence and hundreds of reviews written in that time, we present a brief look back at ten of our favourite albums to ever fill Real Gone’s columns.  In no particular order…drum roll please!


THE SILVER SEAS – Chateau Revenge!
The Silver Seas mixed up various classic seventies pop influences with a dash of modern flair for their third release ‘Chateau Revenge’ [red version] in 2011.  Frontman Daniel Tashian constantly impressed with a gift for user friendly hooks throughout, while his musical partner Jason Lehning showed he was no slouch with a fine arrangement.  ‘Chateau Revenge’ wasn’t just one of the best releases of its release year, but a record that could rival Jellyfish’s ‘Bellybutton’ in the pop stakes.  The set of songs was so strong, The Silver Seas issued an acoustic ‘blue’ version the following year.  [Full review here]

MUTINY MUTINY – Constellation
During Real Gone’s first five years, this Seattle-based noise trio have released two impressive albums, but it’s their debut – 2011’s ‘Constellations’ – that really hits the mark.  One of many bands bringing retro nineties grooves kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century, Mutiny Mutiny are a force to be reckoned with as angular riffs, walls of feedback and tough vocal performances go a long way in their world of Sonic Youth inspired sounds.  [Full review here]

KURT BAKER – Brand New Beat
Put on your jacket and best skinny tie – it’s time to party like it’s 1980 all over again!  Following couple of great EPs, Kurt Baker unleashed his full length ‘Brand New Beat’ near the end of 2012.  The results were absolutely top draw as he celebrated a whole world of new wave cool, taking the sounds of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Vapors and early Joe Jackson and made them his own.   Half an hour of good times…guaranteed. [Full review here]

MARILLION – Sounds That Can’t Be Made
Marillion have long been a favourite band at Real Gone.  Between 2006-10, the band went into creative overdrive, releasing more material than they had since their formative years between 1982-87.  Sadly, it wasn’t always their best work…and then at the point where we were about to give up hope, this album appeared in 2013. It contains some of the best material Marillion have released since the mid-90s, pushing the boundaries of prog with a near twenty minute opener, balanced out with some well crafted more accessible rock numbers.  An incredibly broad and thoughtful release, to say the least.  If you haven’t heard Marillion since the 80s, then check this out.  [Full review here]

POWERMAN 5000 – Copies, Clones and Replicants
It’s not all serious at Real Gone… This covers album from Powerman 5000 presents a great selection of tunes beefed up with some new wave-y chops and results in one of the most fun albums of the era.  This record got panned in some quarters – seemingly de rigeur for a covers album and for Powerman, so the combination of both was always gonna result in an open goal of negativity for some.  We love it, though…and it’s cheered up many a car journey etc.  Worth hearing alone for their take on Van Halen’s classic ‘Jump’.  [Full review here]

EVOLETAH – We Ache For The Moon
The first time Evoletah contacted Real Gone back in 2012, their current album ‘Sleepwalker’ contained some well played but fairly ordinary alternative rock.  A year or so down the line, ‘We Ache For The Moon’ absolutely blew us away.  New band members resulted in a particularly radical overhaul of their sound. Here, moments of alt-rock mix with moody prog rock and some jazzy influences to leave a hugely appealing set of songs.  Cinematic and brilliant.  [Full review here]

OFF! – self-titled
Sixteen songs filling approximately the same amount of minutes.  EP length, but technically an album due to the amount of songs, this is one great piece of hardcore punk.  Ex-Black Flag/Circle Jerks man Keith Morris is on fire throughout and the rest of the band are just as brutal.  [Full review here]

STATE COWS – self-titled
As unfashionable as it may be, AOR has always been important to Real Gone…and always will be.  There have been a few cracking AOR/melodic rock discs released within our site’s first half-decade, but few were as great as this.  Two guys from Sweden armed with an obsession with Toto and Steely Dan unleashed this beauty unto an unsuspecting world in 2011 and such was their musical goodness it was almost impossible to tell when it was recorded.  This album contains so many seventies throwbacks – played in an impeccable old style – it’s almost impossible not to love it (if you like early Toto, obviously).  [Full review here]

REDD KROSS – Researching The Blues
This album broke a really long hiatus for Redd Kross. It’s always a worry when a great band gets back together after so long.  Will they sound out of place? Will they sound rusty? No real worries here, though – this album brings a set of songs that’s easily equal to their prior album ‘Show World’ and possibly better than a couple of its predecessors.  Hooky choruses, great playing throughout – this album is a masterclass in power pop cool.  [Full review here]

THE DEAD EXS – Resurrection
Great two-man fuzzy garage blues from New York, ‘Resurrection’ brings attitude by the bucket load. The Dead Exs’ follow up release ‘Relovolution’ bought more of the same no-nonsense approach and, perhaps, even a couple of even better songs into the bargain, but this is where it all began.  Coverage of this album also led to meeting a whole network of people whom in turn had their own bands and friends’ bands covered at RG.  Without the strong support from the scene, we may have given up before reaching our half-decade milestone… [Full review here]