Today is the last day to vote for your favourite local acts in the first ever Barnsley Music Awards. In one weeks time, the four acts in each category with the highest amount of votes will be announced. In the meantime, I’m going to carry on with my weekly look at a different award category. This week… Best Album.
BEST ALBUM OF 2014 IS…
SERVERS – LEAVE WITH US (Undergroove Records)
Frontman Lee Storrar (ex. GU Medicine/Sunlounger) had been working on his new project for over a year before launching Servers on an unexpected public. With an image and theatrics inspired by Ghost B.C. and religious cults, their sound is equally bombastic and cinematic. Their sound offers nods in the direction of Killing Joke, Mastodon, The Doors, Therapy, H.I.M., Queens of the Stone Age and Sabbath and is without doubt a grade-A slab of pure molten rock. Catchy songs, killer vocals and brutal hooks. It’s at times anthemic, dark and emotive and without doubt, a total testament to twenty years of hard graft from Storrar and a blindingly good band that works with him. One of the finest rock debuts this year, any town, anywhere!
TRUDGER – DORMIVEGLIA (COF RECORDS)
Their 2012 debut EP flawed the local metal fans, and now their debut album has garnered much deserved international attention and acclaim. Touted as heirs to the throne of Baroness and Mastodon, they might not for everyone, but this fusion of Sludge, Doom and Black Metal is some of the most exciting extreme metal to come out of the UK this year.
ROSALIE DEIGHTON – BURNING BOAT (BEARCLAW RECORDS)
In the early 90s, Rosalie was a member of the folk group Intuition along with her sister Kathleen, Kate Rusby, Kathryn Roberts, Julie Matthews and Pat Shaw. However, she started her musical career in the 1980s as a member of the internationally popular Barnsley folk group The Deighton Family. Thirty years on, Rosalie has produced an exquisite Alternative Country album. The country hallmarks are there – lush slide guitar and melancholy lyrics of love lost. However, the key to the success here is Rosalie’s beautiful, smooth and ghostly voice – think Emmylou Harris, Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins and Julie Cruise. A lot of folk music has been overlooked in the awards, but this album, despite not being shortlisted (I’m sure many locals aren’t aware of it) is stunning and deserves to be heard.
MYNAS – THE SOBER DRUM
Released at the end of November, following a successful crowdfunding campaign, The Sober Drums marks the beginning of the end for one of Barnsley’s finest bands of the last ten years. The band play their final gig on 30th November. The eleven songs on the album are crafted perfectly, blending New Wave, Latin, Jazz Rock, Pop and Prog, with exemplar musicianship, sublime vocals and probably the most intelligent lyrics this side of Athersley.
CAVORTS – GOT YOUR BRASS (IN AT THE DEEP END RECORDS)
Released just two weeks ago, Cavorts debut album offers up slabs of the now familiar raw metal, punk n roll. It’s got a guttural groove that reminds you of Cancer Bats, Gallows and classic such as Therapy and Motorhead. And you can’t get more Barnsley than song titles such as ‘Wait On’, ‘What’s Cracking’ and ‘Got Your Brass’. A solid rhythm section and heavy riffs galore. This is another album not shortlisted, as it was released after the awards were announced. Still… a winner in my book.
Voting closes at 23:59 tonight (Nov 7th), but if you want to keep up to date with all news regarding the Barnsley Music Awards, follow the organisers facebook page and website or you could just stick with me and get news as it happens.