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Baker's Dozen

True Pairings: Tom Fleming's 13 Favourite Albums
Ben Hewitt , September 25th, 2019 12:16

Former Wild Beast Tom Fleming, who's just released his excellent debut album as One True Pairing, picks the 13 records that shaped him, from Tool and Def Leppard to Scott Walker and Joanna Newsom

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Tool – Ænima

As a teenager I quickly progressed from Britpop to metal: from Oasis to Nirvana to Metallica and Tool, and then on to black and death metal until I started listening to Nick Drake. I bought two copies of this, because I wore one of them out. I absolutely pored over everything: Adam Jones’ guitar sound, the lyrics and what they meant. I saw them recently in Amsterdam and it was fucking awesome. It was the first time I’d seen them live and I listened to them play ‘Stinkfist’, and I think I did actually shed a tear – and I don’t cry at music generally.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that this sound was built on the back of Rush and that kind of thing, but at the time I had no idea. I came back to this album once I passed 30 and thought, ‘I don’t give a fuck if I’m cool anymore’, and actually I realised there’s a lot to still take from it. There’s a refrain on the title track: “Fuck retro anything, fuck your tattoos, fuck all you junkies and fuck your short memory.” That’s still really good! And the guitar sound: there’s a solo on [the Wild Beasts song] ‘Celestial Creatures’ where I’m using the exact same sound – it’s the ‘Stinkfist’ guitar sound. I don’t listen to it much these days, but there was a period when it was all I listened to. It asked questions and it was openly intellectual, and it was a lot of brain food for a kid who was anxious to learn about the world. And it saved me from Korn.


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