These Are TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 15 BEST ALBUMS Of 2021 (So Far)

1 July 2021

1. ‘Calvacade’ by BLACK MIDI (UK)

Released: 26 May 2021 – their second album

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich) to free jazz weirdness. The sonic mind of this impressively inventive band is both inscrutable and intriguing. Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP. Miles Davis experimenting with guitars in the 21st Century.

Key Track: John L

Full album…

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2. ‘FULL SPECTRUM’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (Singapore/Italy)

Released: 26th February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. Imagine Sylvia
Plath
fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry embedded in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times confusing, at times dumbfounding but always fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Key track: Psychopath’s Monologue


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Stream album here…

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3. Album: SEEK SHELTER by ICEAGE (Denmark)

Released: 7 May 2021 – 5th LP

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with ardency, impassioned with vigour, romantic with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.
Their fifth, their best.

Key track: Vendetta

Full album…


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4. ‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February 2021 – debut album

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness, and anxiety are the
keywords here. This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the
group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo
songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human
issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman Chavez.
Her soul-stirring and powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) voice, weeping
guitars, and the electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


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Stream/buy album here…


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5. ‘i became birds’ by home is where (florida, us)

released: 5 march 2021 – debut album

turn up the volume: i’m damn sure this incredible punch-powered-punk-passion
turbo was here before, about 40 years ago, inspiring bored kids like black flag, shellac, melvins, jello biafra, and other anarchist snotnoses, to leave home, steal guitars and drums in order to have some wild fun while scaring bad people with their deafening racket. so here they are back again, inspiring young social media junkies to steal guitars and drums instead of watching their phones all day long. home is where it all starts when you have no money to rent a smelly rehearsal room to rock your heads off. so you move into your own basement and scream your poor lungs to pieces. listen up all you lost teenagers out there, play i became birds over and over again ’cause these hungry florida misfits can and will save your lives. home is where this fuck-and-punk-tastic record is made.

key track: sewn together from the membrane of the great sea cucumber


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Stream/buy here…


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6. ‘For The First Time’ by BLACK ROAD, NEW ROAD (London)

Released: 5 February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume says: Like Pavement going prog rock with the sound- exploring
state of mind of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Jazzy and classical music textures make sure your curious mind is focused all the time. And singer Isaac Wood‘s voice resonates freakishly identical to the chilling voice of American songwriter Conor Oberst from indie band Bright Eyes. It’s not a happy record, but who needs cheesy pop tunes all the time in these science-fiction-like times, anyway. I know it’s their first time, but these hungry noise crusaders will stun us again and again in the future. Believe the hype.

Key track: Science Fair

Full album…


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7. ‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This black and white pearl is a mix of the romantic crooner and
the haunting crooner. Growing with every spin. Compelling orchestrations, classical arrangements, with Ellis showing his musical skills once more. Can’t remember when Cave made an average album. Did he, actually? Okay, Carnage once again on my headphones.

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

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8. ‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex, the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit of open-minded-plainspoken-ass-kicking-anti-establishement doom and gloom crusaders. Sounds exactly like 2020/2021, like the end of the world as we know it, but also like an album that’s going to be on my earphones for a long time.”

Title track: We… Are Doomed

Stream album here…

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9. ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (Canada)

Released: 2 April 2021 – 7th longplayer

Turn Up The Volume: A fitting soundtrack for a funeral. The funeral of humankind. The funeral of the planet we, ourselves, destroyed. Somber and apocalyptic. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia. Repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. But in the end, Godspeed thinks we will start all over again, a new beginning, a new future. Let’s hope so.

Stream/buy here…


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10. ‘Blue Weekend’ by WOLF ALICE (London)

Released: 4 June 2021 – third LP

Turn Up The Volume: Except for flaming rockers Smile and Play The Greatest Hits
the band takes a different direction with a stream of epic ballads with gospel-like
choirs (The Last Man On earth), emotional symphonies (How Can I Make It OK?) with
multi-layered goosebumps harmonies and orchestrated pop brilliance overall.

Key track: The Last Man On Earth

Full album…

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11. Mutator by ALAN VEGA

12. New Fragility by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

13. Putain Royale by PINK ROOM

14. As Days Get Dark by ARAB STRAP

15. Vivre by ARNO

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – Turn Up The Volume’s 7 Best Albums First Trimester 2021

The 7 best albums Turn Up The Volume had on repeat the first 3 months of 2021.

‘FULL SPECTRUM’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (Singapore/Italy)

Released: 26th February – debut LP

TUTV said: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. A new laser light at the end of
a mythical tunnel where anything can happen. Imagine Sylvia Plath fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry exploring life, death, birth, past, present, and future embedded
in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times weirdly confusing, at times dumbfounding
but always flabbergasting and fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Key single: Psychopath’s Monologue…


.
Stream album here…

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‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February

TUTV wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness and anxiety are the keywords here.
This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the group’s state of
2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo songs influenced by
the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human issues, once-in-a-lifetime
dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman Chavez. Her soul-stirring and
powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) voice, weeping guitars, and the
electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


.
Stream/buy album here…


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‘PUTAIN ROYALE‘ by PINK ROOM (Belgium)

Released: 12 March 2021 – second LP

TUTV wrote: “The essential message of this new powerhouse album is loud and clear:
noise-challenging turbo Pink Room is here to stay! Their tsunami energy is beyond any
decibel regulation. Again, loudmouth Bart Cocquyt leads the rip-roaring troops. As I said
before his vocal range is out-of-this-world. He easily could front a death metal band (Stay Black/Stay White) or a Nirvana reunion (Losing/Skin) or kick Ozzy Osbourne‘s ass (Hail Satan). Expect ear-shattering jackhammers, over-the-top frenzy, and an overall sonic lockdown paranoia.”

Key single: Losing

Stream album here…

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‘IS 4 LOVERS’ by DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 (Canada)

Released: 26 March 2021 – 4th LP

TUTV wrote: “The masters of drone rock are back, and they’re getting better over the years. Gigantic fuzz and buzz jackhammers but also some softer – yes, since they became fathers they let their heart & soul speak/play more – stuff. This stunning work will end up on many end-of-the-year lists.”

Key single: One + One

Stream album here…

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‘i became birds’ by home is where (florida, us)

Released: 5 March 2021

tutv wrote: “i’m damn sure this incredible punch-powered-punk-passion turbo was here before, about 40 years ago, inspiring bored kids like black flag , shellac, melvins, jello biafra, and other anarchist snotnoses, to leave home, steal guitars and drums in order to have some wild fun while scaring bad people with their deafening racket that’ll teach those old-fashioned adults watching fox.news all day long. so here they are back again, inspiring young social media junkies to steal guitars and drums instead of watching their phones all day long. home is where it all starts when you have no money to rent a smelly rehearsal room to rock your heads off. so you move into your own smelly basement and scream your poor lungs to pieces. listen up all you lost teenagers out there, play i became birds over and over again ’cause these hungry florida misfits can and will save your lives.”

Key track: sewn together from the membrane of the great sea cucumber


.
Stream/buy here…


.
‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February

TUTV wrote: “A mix of the romantic crooner and the haunting crooner. Growing with every spin. Compelling orchestrations, classical arrangements, with Ellis showing his musical skills once more. Can’t remember when Cave made an average album. Did he, actually? Okay, Carnage once again on my headphones.”

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

.
‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January

TUTV wrote: “The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex, the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit of an open-minded-plainspoken-asskicking-anti-establishement-and-other-scumbags force of doom and gloom. Sounds exactly like 2020/2021, like the end of the world as we know it, but also like an album that’s going
to be on my earphones for a long time.”

Title track: We… Are Doomed

Stream album here…

.

Turn Up The Volume’s 15 KNOCKOUT TRACKS – March 2021

The best of the past month…

Turn Up The Volume‘s 15 Knockout Tracks for March 2021!
A fervid fusion of rhapsodic rippers and clashing crackerjacks.

‘High Horse’ by DEAP VALLY (LA, California)
When the utterly cool Deap Vally queen cats invite their friends you may expect firework like this blues-rock steamer featuring KT Tunstall & Peaches. Stream/buy the full stellar Digital Dream EP here.

‘Stay’ by ONISM E (New York)
A soul-stirring and electrifying top track – from one of, yes, the best albums of 2021 –
by this rad emo-striking NY-based outfit. Stream/buy ‘Survivors’ LP here.


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‘White Elephant’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)
What can I say? Cave & Ellis made a brilliant longplayer called Carnage and
White Elephant is its most impressive piece (to my ears). Mind-boggling.

‘Not To’ by WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH (Belgium)
Melancholia at its starry-eyed synth-pop best. Here’s a romantic at heart, going solo, who’s sanely obsessed with creating music, playing music, and enjoying music, if possible all at the same time. Damon Albarn‘s moody side comes to mind.


‘Five Finger Exploding Heart Technique’
by OK COOL (Chicago, US)
A sonic shot of riot grrrl guitar-pop that has an instant impact on your body activity. You just want to go out and scoot in the street, feel ecstatic, and hear your heart beat madly. These are 130 thrilling seconds you want to relive over and over again.

‘I Want Noise’ by LOBSTERBOMB (Berlin)
What you get here is Bikini Kill‘s raw outcries, L7‘s detonating gusto, B-52‘s rock lobster’s liveliness and catchy aaah-aaahh-aaaah chants. A boosting injection of Riot Grrrl adrenalin. A punk-fun knockout.


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‘Hail Satan’ by PINK ROOM (Belgium)
A merciless haymaker, a scrappy Molotov cocktail banging from start to finish
like a brutal sledgehammer. The mean Pink machine honors their best friend.
From their brand new, ace album Putain Royale.

‘One + One’ by DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 (Canada)
With Is 4 Lovers the Canadian champions of drone noise rock made one of their best
full-lengths (so far). And the lead-single ‘1 + 1’ feels like a bulldozer coming at you.

‘Crank Bugs’ by RADIO SILENCE (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Blustery guitars all over the place, manic drum hits, and combative Richard Hell vocals. 2021 is the new Orwellian 1984. From their red-hot-blooded debut EP ISOLATION.


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‘Cimmerian’ by SLAP RASH (Manchester, UK)
After an ominous word-spoken intro this industrial hammer blow explodes like
a raging volcano and singer Amelia starts her enigmatic and nightmarish rant
about obscene abuse. Insane masterstroke with a hell-raising shock-chorus.


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‘Living In Dystopia’ by CRUX (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK)
Crux translate their justified discontent, about our messed-up world, in this razor-sharp-cutting-power-stroke with pounding punch. A bludgeoning Royal Blood groove is the firm backbone throughout this stormy stunner. Wham bloody wham bam.

‘Hunted From Below’ by EMPTY HEAD (Belgium)
Sonic madness, mind-crushing paranoia, and muscled tumult all rolled into one bad motherrocker of an electro-shock wallop. You can smell the scent of scorching punk frenzy. Nasty, filthy and vicious! Totally insane!

‘Electric Yerevan’ by SERJ TANKIAN (LA, California)
System Of A Down loudmouth Taikan rocks like hell, sings like hell and raps like hell. What
a titanic voice! Fuck SOAD, welcome Serj. From his fresh smelling solo EP Elasticity.

‘Hourglass’ by GLASS VIOLET (Bristol, UK)
Multiple waves of blistering guitars infiltrate your greedy ears, while a persistent drumbeat activates your feet and makes your head spin. When the flamboyant chorus pops up with a fervent flair à la The Killers you know and you feel that Hourglass is amplified top pop bliss with a dark lyrical twist.


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‘Unspoken’ by ANNIE TAYLOR (Switzerland)
A troubled love reverie with a sorrowful touch. Heartbreaking romanticism at its balladesque best, notable for its vocal splendour and silver-toned resonance.
A sweet little pearl.


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All 15 together on Spotify

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See/hear you next month, music junkies…