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Riot Act

173 – Riot Act Albums of the Year 2021 (20 – 16)

It’s the moooost won-der-ful tiiiiiiime, of the yeeeeear.

Or rather, it would be, if Steve and Remfry weren’t tasked with re-listening to all their favourite music from the past year and attempting to put their favourite 20 albums into some arbitrary list of preference!

Excessive sadfishing aside, 2021 has been an extraordinary year for new music and whittling it down to just 20 albums each has been a tougher task than ever (yes, we know we say that every year). We’re spreading the Riot Act Albums of the Year over 4 episodes this year, with this episode counting down from 20 – 16. On top of that, we take a look at our favourite EPs of the year.

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Riot Act Reviews

Failure – Wild Type Droid

On this episode of Riot Act Reviews we are looking at the 6th studio album from alt-rock legends Failure, Wild Type Droid. Since reforming in 2015 Failure have been one of the exceptions to the rule that your post-reformation material can’t live up to your classics, putting out two albums of exceptional quality. This time around the band have hinted that they will be putting the space and sci-fi themes they have been working with since 1996’s legendary Fantastic Planet album to bed. So does Wild Type Droid close the book on this chapter of Failure’s career with a happy ending? Or are they going to crash this ship entirely?… you probably already know what we think, but have a listen anyway would you.

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Riot Act

172 – The Significance of Image in Music

On this week’s show, we explore the idea of image and how it has evolved to encompass not just an aesthetic look but carefully crafted lore and mythos that listeners can delve into and explore outside of a band’s music. Is image a vital component to becoming a hugely successful band in the 21st century? Is it a coincidence that bands with a striking aesthetic – Ghost, Sleep Token, Creeper, even Code Orange – have gained significant traction in a relatively short period of time? How and why is image relevant to an auditory medium? We also draft in Metal Hammer editor Merlin Alderslade to get his perspective and what significance a band’s image might (or might not) have on editorial decisions made in the magazine.

On top of that, we discuss the Adele shuffle kerfuffle, the grammys’ lack of self-awareness and the new album from Cynic as well as live reviews of Rolo Tomassi, Mogwai and Sleep Token.

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Riot Act Reviews

Voices – Breaking the Trauma Bond

It’s time for another review from Steve and Remfry on Riot Act Reviews, where we collect our thoughts regarding a significant or interesting recent album that our hosts have heard.

On this episode we are diving deeper into the underground than we have previously done so on this portion of the show by looking at Breaking the Trauma Bond, the 4th studio album from London goth-black metal band Voices. Featuring members of cult UK extreme metal band Akercocke, Voices received a little bit of attention and critical love for 2014’s London album but it is here on their fourth record where Voices have really found their… er… voice. This is a sixteen track, 68 minute meld of Danzig, Killing Joke, Satyricon, Bauhaus and Type O Negative, and we wanted to bring it to your attention.

An Audience of Mannequins (Official Lyric Video)

Like the sound of the record? Why not order a copy from our good friends at Church Road Records

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Riot Act Reviews

Idles – Crawler

We have been champions of Idles pretty much since our inception here on Riot Act, giving high praise in particular to the way they’ve managed to inadvertently infiltrate the mainstream without compromising on their ideals, sound or vision. Despite that however, we will admit to being slightly hesitant towards 2020’s Ultra Mono. Not a bad album by any stretch (and let’s not forget, a record that saw them reach #1 on the UK albums charts) but in our estimation, it didn’t bring all the much to the Idles party that we’d not previously heard on breakthrough album Joy as an Act of Resistance or their 2017 debut Brutalism.

Fourth album Crawler then, has a fair bit riding on it; do the band continue to stomp forward with more boisterous noisy compositions, or do they try and polish themselves into a more mainstream proposition? Interestingly they might well of done neither of those things … but, is it any good?

The Beachland Ballroom Video

Car Crash Video

Buy Crawler and other Idles merch

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Riot Act

171 – A Storm in a Pee Cup

It’s time for your weekly dose of alternative music news and opinions from us here at Riot Act. Steve and Remfry discuss t-shirts and slippers (not sure why) before we talk about what could be the biggest week of new releases this year. Mainly courtesy of the new album from Adele, obvs.

We then get into a news story that maybe shouldn’t be that big, but seems to have taken on a life of its own over the last week, the performance from Brass Against at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Florida, which featured lead vocalist Sophia Urista… ummm… was caught short onstage and… errrr… relieved herself on a willing volunteer. We look at the event, the fall out, the outraged response and ask, really, is it that big a deal? We also asked our followers on Twitter what the most unusual thing they had ever seen during a gig was, which provoked some eye opening, and watering, anecdotes. All of which seem far more shocking than the events of the weekend, and include on stage curries, naked crowd surfing, prosthetic limb throwing, djent knitting and a bloke in a wedding dress who looks like Charlotte Church.

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Riot Act Reviews

Converge & Chelsea Wolfe – Bloodmoon I

We are delighted to bring you the Riot Act review of Bloodmoon: I, the first collaboration album between Boston hardcore legends Converge and California’s gothic auteur Chelsea Wolfe.

Having first got together in 2016 for some wonderfully received shows at Roadburn festival and in London, where both Steve and Remfry witnessed the union first hand, it’s been quite a wait for original material from this particular pairing. And whilst, to some, the marriage of scabrous, noisey hardcore and dark gothic laments may not be an obvious fusion on paper, that is to ignore the many seismic sonic turns both artists have made in their career. But playing live together is one thing, can these two unique voices coalesce into one cohesive songwriting unit here? Listen to find out.

Blood Moon Video

Coil Video

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Riot Act Reviews

Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine of Hell

Emma Ruth Rundle has become something of a favourite of ours over the years, with 2018’s On Dark Horses and her recent collaboration with Thou both getting enthusiastic thumbs up from Remfry and Steve on previous episodes. But her latest album, Engine of Hell, marks a stylistic change from all her previous work. Rather than the expansive, full-band, reverb-drenched sound she’s become synonymous with, Engine of Hell is stripped back and almost unbearably emotionally exposed.

Return Video

Blooms of Oblivion Video

Buy / Download / Stream

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Riot Act

170 – The Astroworld Tragedy

It’s a somewhat somber episode this week as Remfry and Steve try to piece together the events that led to nine people (eight at time of recording) losing their lives at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas.

A criminal investigation is under way to try and ascertain what caused such an unnecessary loss of life as well as the hundreds of injuries sustained during the melee last Friday night. We try to make sense of a tragedy that ultimately, should never have happened and discuss the potential factors that led to it. Is Travis Scott himself to blame? The promoter Live Nation? Security? Poor infrastructure? The fans themselves? All of the above? We look at all the factors that potentially contributed to the highest number of accidental deaths at an official US concert venue since the Station nightclub fire in 2003.

A lighter, somewhat more jovial second half of the show is a discussion of some of our favourite music media outlets, a chance for us to recommend other music enthusiasts and their podcasts, YouTube channels, documentaries, blogs and radio shows. Links to all the recommendations covered on this episode are below

The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0072ky7/episodes/player

Heavy Blog is Heavy
https://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/

Howard Goodall’s The Story of Music
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Music-Howard-Goodall/dp/0099587173

James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p089rfmk/episodes/downloads

Pop, Collaborate and Listen
https://www.pclpodcast.com

Trash Theory
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxHcoI9ndIdAihEB7ODTOfQ

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Riot Act Reviews

Møl – Diorama

On this episode we review Diorama, the second full length album from Danish blackgaze crew Møl. Back in 2018 their debut album Jord was one of Remfry’s favorite release of the year, Steve liked it too… probably not as much if we’re being honest though. But, due to our hosts’ dual appreciation of the band there is certainly a high level of expectation for Diorama. Will the record live up to those expectations? Well, we’re not going to tell you that here! But, with artists as diverse as Darkthrone, Alcest, Iron Maiden… er… AC/DC, Oasis and Kings of Leon all getting a name check in this episode, you can at least expect some fairly surprising revelations.