Wednesday 22 December 2010

2010's Top 10 Albums: #3 - Bottle Of Evil

The best thing about this blogging lark is that every-so-often, a great album comes along that you otherwise wouldn't have heard.  Every now and again, that album completely blows you away.   I'll be honest.  When the email arrived from Lanarkshire's shoegazey duo Bottle Of Evil, the coming together of Evil Hand and Bottle Of Steven, I wasn't expecting this to be the case.  The fact their self-titled debut has clinched third place in my albums of 2010 though, suggests it did just that.  Let me just reiterate what I've said before... Bottle of Evil have delivered one of the unexpected, stand-out albums of the year!  And here's just 2 reasons why...

For my top 3 albums, the men and women behind them have been kind enough to answer a few questions.  I spoke to one half of this duo, the evil half, earlier in the year, but here's Derek Bates again to tell us about the album, what 2010 has been like, and what we can all expect from Bottle Of Evil in the next twelve months...

Kowalskiy:  What's your take on your album?
Derek:  We had never really thought about the release when we were recording the songs, as it was such an experimental open-ended period - it was quite strange to actually have a cohesive albums worth of material together. We took time with sequencing and then sent a few copies out, we weren't expecting much though and were surprised at how many people started getting in touch and the string of positive reviews. Listening back we're both still happy with the album, we worked with what we had at the time to make something heavily melodic but still a bit strange. We were disillusioned with the constant string of generic artists and copyists, and wanted to do something relatively unique to us and where we lived.

Kowalskiy:  So what has 2010 been like for Bottle Of Evil?
Derek:  When positive reviews started coming in it was very strange but a great feeling, kinda rewarding after all those hours spent locked away listening to looping delays and click track hi-hats.. I especially have to thank the Scottish Blogging Community who were very supportive from the start. We then decided to get a few hundred CDs printed up, and put them into places like Love Music and Avalanche, whilst sending more out for promotion. At that point we were lucky to get feedback from magazines/websites all around the UK, Europe and the USA, and play in quite a few podcasts. We thought about getting some gigs organised, but quickly realised we would rather be recording more material instead, so concentrated our efforts back in that direction, with a couple of new people joining in the collaborations.

Kowalskiy:  And lastly, what does 2011 hold in store for you?
Derek:  We've nearly finished two tracks that we plan to put out as part of a release at the start of February. We're also working on a video with Benjamin Cottin, a Glasgow film-maker that will coincide with the release of one of the tracks on a certain Scottish EP release very soon, ahem. There will probably be a few months off to get back to our solo material, but I'm sure we'll still pop out a track here and there, maybe for other compilations down the line. Hopefully a new album will be underway towards the end of the year. Overall though, there will be a plentiful output from us both, just in differing forms.

'Ahem' indeed!  While you're waiting for that, head on over to their bandcamp and have a listen to the album in full, maybe even get your wallet out.  I can't recommend it highly enough!

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