New for 2008, a regular delve into the personal listening habits of those that make R13 the mighty music monster that it is! We’re also an extremely modest lot, but we don’t like to talk about that, much.

This feature will see different R13 members talk about their current favourite tracks, plus an album, new or old, that has taken up root in their CD player.

First up to the oche: Room Thirteen deputy editor
Simon Webb.

Current five favourites

James Yuill - ‘No Surprise’

You’ll be reading about this guy on our Myspace site before long so I won’t upstage that, but if you’re looking for an example of mainstream radio laziness then this is it. Electronic pop with a strong acoustic edge and a sound reminiscent of The Beloved and more recently Deepest Blue, ‘No Surprise’ should be huge. As it happens James Yuill still lists himself as unsigned.

Frank Turner - ‘Photosynthesis’

The first taste of his second album wasn’t an instant favourite of mine and has taken a couple of listens to get under my skin. Now it’s there it’s gonna take some shifting. Frank in his most country mood to date, the appearance of an accordian is a welcome adition to the party giving it a rather nice Captain Pugwash feel part way through. Another example of a track that could be massive if given the exposure enjoyed by major label acts. ‘Love, Ire and Song’ is due at the end of March, and nearer the time we’ll be bringing you a track-by-track guide to the record from the man himself.

Lancashire Hotpots - ‘He’s Turned Emo’

Imagine if the Wurzels were from Wigan, that’s the best way of describing Lancashire Hotpots if you're yet to experience them. I don’t hate emo, there’s room for everyone and I own the ‘Black Parade’ by My Chemical Romance and even have a copy of the last Fall Out Boy album floating about somewhere (although my losing it tells you that I'm not that keen), but I don’t dress like them and don’t, like the character in the song, “need my emotions to be exposed”. There’s something of the Mark and Lard (legendary Radio 1 DJs in case you’ve never heard of them) parody song about ‘He’s Turned Emo’, very welcome in my book.

Monkey Swallows the Universe - ‘Bloodline’

If you like the Delgados, or for that matter Emma Pollock’s solo work, then Monkey Swallows the Universe will hit the spot perfectly. There’s much to enjoy on their Myspace site, I’m mostly liking 2007 single ‘Bloodline’, but the haunting ‘Sheffield Shanty’ is also one well worth checking out.

Apocalyptica - ‘Helden’

In teaming up with Rammstein's Till Lindemann, Apocalyptica show exactly how a cover version should be executed. A quick trip to a translation website will tell those who don’t speak German, that ‘Helden’ is a non English ‘Heroes’. As someone who lists David Bowie’s classic as one of my all time favourite songs, just acknowledging this offering as a fine effort is praise in itself. ‘Helden’ is more than that though, as it turns a rock monster into something dark and moody, all be it still with a healthy slab of power behind it.

The album stopping all others getting into the CD player right now

I’d like to say it was something fresh new and exciting, the latest
British Sea Power offering is certainly a welcome release after nothing of any interest for weeks, but that would be a lie. Believe it or not it’s ‘Insomniac’ by Green Day!

The follow up to 1994 breakthrough album ‘Dookie’ is not considered by the wider world in the same league, however it’s their third highest seller behind that and ‘American Idiot’. A combination of darker lyrics and no major hit singles has seen it overlooked, although it remains a big favourite among Green Day fans. Tracks to look out for as a way in are ‘86’, ‘Brain Stew’ and one of their all time best ‘Stuck With Me’. With Green Day thought to be returning with something new in the not too distant future, if you’ve not done so before, take the time to dip into this classic album.

Extra Links

Apocalyptica - ‘Worlds Collide’
Apocalyptica Interview
Lancashire Hotpots - ‘Never Mind the Hotpots’
Lancashire Hotpots Interview