Seriously, at the turn of the year I was pretty sceptical for just how the year of our lord, TwoThousand Sixteen, was going to turn out. In fact, I remember a New Year’s Eve conversation in the smoking area of some dark damp club, with someone I’ll leave unnamed, going a little something like this:
“Yeah, I doubt I could name five albums from this year with any kind of real RocknRoll energy.”
“Music doesn’t even try anymore, no one wants to slap you in the face.”
“…or jump around on broken glass.”
What a couple of absolute drunken tossers we were. 2015 gave us new Blur (at least two songs), Libertines, Courtney Barnett, Dead Weather, that Hinds EP, Eagles of Death Metal, Slaves, and even the Maccabees having a go at something with a bit more fucking zip. And these were just the bands making it on the national level. Below this, the number of bands coming out with songs that downright slap you in the face for voice multiplies exponentially. Dirty guitar music is undergoing a post-AM renaissance in this country (and the US) to sublime effect. Just look at what we’ve got coming up. Hinds kicked the year off before most of us had recovered from our NYE hangovers, The Last Shadow Puppets are back with something far more energetic than before, and Iggy’s announced one of the most accomplished super-group line-ups since Gorillaz, who incidentally also have an album coming out this year. As do Radiohead, if rumours are to be believed.
And so, one more good news gas can to chuck on the pyre – Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are teaming back up to release a fifth studio album, ‘Ash and Ice’, coupled with a single release to throw us back under their world. ‘Doing it to Death’ breaks us back in to the electronic drum patterns they became known via, the kind they built from ‘Mean Side’ through to ‘Midnight Boom’. Throw in a collection of biting riffs ripping at whatever part of your self tries to process this stuff, and you’re beginning to get an idea of what this album could be about. If the single is anything to go by, it will be the culmination of the evolution we have seen from the duo to this point, combining the raw, minimal cut of the earlier albums with the more finessed song craft of ‘Blood pressures’. We’re only three months in, but 2016 is here.
Long Live Rock n Roll.
‘Ash and Ice’ is out for release on June 3rd, and the band play the Isle of Wight festival on the 9th of the same month.