Eddie Bo: Check Your Bucket (Bo Sound, 1970)
The record reveals its beauty in many ways. It starts out like a fairly standard - if supernaturally heavy - funk 7" of 1970, but then, within moments, it's shifting melodic gears and transplanting a whole new bridge right there before the chorus. This is brave and unusual. Then Bo starts singing and this incredible thing emerges. "Everybody needs a love-bucket like mine," he exclaims. And he's right. I'd never even considered my needs vis-à-vis the whole love-bucket thing before, but now it's utterly plain and simple and wonderful. "For the goody love bucket is so doggone hard to find..." It is though, isn't it? I think there's a vaguely sexist undercurrent to this whole "love-bucket" concept, but this is neither the time - nor the place - to go into it. Suffice to say, this is a brilliant record that sits neatly among many, many other brilliant records (and a couple of not so brilliant ones) on this.
Attack In Black: Young Leaves (Hassle, 2008)
Oh yeah, you know me, I love a bit of pank rack, innit? I like this for the following reasons. It has a nice "tune". It sounds a bit like Buffalo Tom. And Lemonheads. And - oh dear - it reminds me a trifle of this, a fact which doesn't say a lot for my emotional development or popular music in general. But there you go. Anyway, Ver 'Tack are from Canada and are signed to the same label as - *gulps* - Cancer Bats. I stole this from their new record (word to the wise - this is the best track)