Friday, 19 October 2007


Sorry to say, but with a new job and relocating, I'm going to have to put this blog on ice for a while - just not enough time to do everything. It's been a gas.

Here's one last track from a new English band in a electro/synthy/klaxons/nu-rave vein:

Late Of The Pier - Bathroom Gurgle


Thursday, 18 October 2007


(Load, 2007)

01 blassstphlegmeice
02 dieabesstitty
03 caged mearachells
04 catasstasteatrophy
05 foetal castro
06 wrawblow
07 violence of the lamb
08 porn again
09 hole (sweet) hole
10 mousestassh ride
11 turban sprawl
12 rattarddead
13 sewercide

"Musically, there is no good reason why this terrifying trio should be held in any less regard than Air Conditioning, Sightings, Gang Wizard, or even Lightning Bolt. Their cacophonous combination of screeching oscillations, sickening, bowel spilling bass, and bludgeoning double kick drumming has never sounded better than it does on BLasssTPhlEgMEICE. For forty minutes straight the White Mice set your balls on fire and watch as your writhe in pain while they laugh and perform unnecessary surgery on the rest of your body: switching from grinding torture-porn doom grooves to mid-tempo black metal blender noise. The production of this record is a definite improvement over ASSPhiXXXEATATESHUN, a subtle shift I took notice of just before it violently grabbed me by the throat. Their sound is fuller, more pronounced, and every sound shines with an alarming clarity: the blinding flash of a knife's blade before it fatally plunges into your fat belly."

Yeah, I know they've got a new one out on Blossoming Noise soon (Excreamantraintraveinanus),
and I'll post that as soon as I find it.


Monday, 15 October 2007


(Load, 2007)

01 muddy thunder
02 under my arm
03 the ballad of lechon
04 big n
05 cafu y koka
06 red tide
07 mar rojo

"Trueno Oscuro (which means "Dark Thunder") also stitches rock and noise into one monstrous hybrid, but leans farther toward the rock side than any previous Monotract release: Nearly every song here has a big, bold beat, supplied by the mix-dominating pound of drummer Roger Rimada. On top of that huge pulse, Giffoni and bassist/vocalist Nancy Garcia spin thorny noise, sauntering bass, and rhythmic vocal chants. This spastic combination can produce oddly funky tunes-- a kind of skewed dance-noise akin to the fractured chug of RTX, the disco damage of Ciccone Youth, or even the hardcore crunch of Atari Teenage Riot.

There's also something sultry and even seductive about the way Monotract swings and sways here, especially during the songs sung by Garcia. On "Big N", her breathy half-spoken vocals cascade over Ramada's hip-hop beat like syrup over pancakes, while her urgent yelps at the close of "Muddy Thunder" bewitch like Lydia Lunch's best screams. On the only cut without drums, "Under My Arm", she tentatively whispers over whirring drone, her voice a siren as entrancing as Kim Gordon's on Sonic Youth's "Shadow of a Doubt"."


The Function Room (2004) - Download

Iodine (2007) - Download

Sunday, 14 October 2007


(Dead Oceans, 2007)

01 - First Fantasy
02 - Little Kingdom
03 - A Riot of Color
04 - On The Wings
05 - Last Days Last
06 - Eye On The Dollar
07 - Former Child
08 - Moonburn

“Citay really nail that rich acoustic-electric rolling tabla honey harmoney sound that all those heavy bands - Sabbath and Zeppelin, especially-used to do, back when all the best musicians were inspired by what the Incredible String Band were doing, and were still able (or willing) to express a feminine side to go with their preening barbarian or depressive wail aspects...This is an album without a sell-by date, with a song for every season...Monumental.” ---ARTHUR MAGAZINE

“Inspired by the acoustic sides of ‘70s rock behemoths Led Zeppelin, Heart and Black Sabbath, they've taken a detoour into lush, baroque folk and sun-kissed Laurel Canyon jams; blending those groups with more pastoral shades with the likes of John Fahey, Pentangle and CSN&Y to very fine effect.”---MOJO



(Acuarela, 2007)

01 Weight of My Love
02 No Great Shakes
03 Jolly (Interlude)
04 Fisted Hand
05 River Outlet

Elusive-yet-prolific UK songwriter David Thomas Broughton will unleash his latest not-quite-full-length release via Spanish label Acuarela.

The five-track, hour-long mini-album is a collaboration with experimental Leeds band 7 Hertz. It is simply, fittingly titled David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz. It comes out in Spain on October 2, in the rest of Europe on October 22, and in the U.S. on October 23.


(Magic Marker Records, 2007)

1.The Punks Are Writing Love Songs
2.Fangs on Bats
3.Georgette Plays a Goth
4.Bored to Hear Your Heart Still Breaks
5.Clique At Night Vandals
6.Dracula Screams of Tiger Style (Parts 1&2)
7.The Lonely Life of The UFO Researcher
8.A Cursed Miss Maybellene
9.If You Take Away the Make-Up (Then the Vampires They Will Die)
11.The Neutron
12.One Essex Girl
13.The Secret History of Devil's Paw
14.We Know You're Cute, You Told Us

"Tullycraft are known for writing indiepop anthems. Over the years they've penned a handful of songs that practically define the twee movement in America. It would be a safe statement to say that their new album "Every Scene Needs A Center" picks up where their fourth album, "Disenchanted Hearts Unite" left off, but that would be selling Tullycraft short. Their new album, recorded entirely on analog tape, is not simply a collection of wonderfully snarky pop songs with one or two anthems thrown in, but rather an entire record of ultra-catchy, smart indiepop anthems, taking aim at vampires, the English class system, goth waitresses and so much more. This time around, Tullycraft may have actually crafted a twee masterpiece a "Twe-epic" if you will."

Saturday, 13 October 2007


Evening all.
Somebody mentioned that they had problems extracting the second .rar file of "Collected Works".
I have therefore re-upped the album as a single file (albeit at a lower bitrate).
Hope this helps.


(Acute Records, 2007)

01 candyskin
02 meat whiplash
03 get up and use me
04 everything's roses
05 big gold dream
06 plastic gift
07 sympathetic anaesthetic
08 discord
09 new thing in cartons
10 hungry beat
11 lubricate your living room part 1
12 lubricate your living room part 2
13 get up and use me (version)
14 sympathetic anaesthetic (version)
15 new thing in cartons (version)
16 plastic gift (version)

It’s an especially timely release for a chaotic Scottish post-punk band that only lasted a year and a half in the early ‘80s. The Engines have devoted fans in Primal Scream, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and fellow Scots Franz Ferdinand, who have coaxed the band back together for shows together and released split cover singles with ‘em. This attention spurred a rarities compilation on Domino, 2006’s Codex Teenage Premonition, but Hungry Beat is the first bona-fide starter’s guide to the Fire Engines. Cobbling the band’s singles and mini-album together, Hungry Beat represents the core of the band’s output in their stunted lifetime.

Certainly a product of their environment, the Fire Engines took much of their inspiration from the No-Wave scene running concurrently in the States. Stabbing at the same dissonant funk of James Chance’s Contortions or Lizzy Mercier Descloux, the Engines play rhythm-driven punk-funk with a more playful, rawer attitude. The band dips into other contemporary shorthand, sounding on “Big Gold Dream” like an attention-deficit Magazine and often affecting the disco-punk of a dirtied little brother to Gang of Four. Bouncing around the reactionary musical shorthand that truly embodied the term post punk, the Engines material here tells the story, much like Wire’s ‘70s album trilogy, of a punk band becoming more punk by becoming more than punk.


(Mad Monk, 2007)

1. Ammut—Great Death, Eater of Hearts
2. Genetic Dispute Solved by Grammatological Nantooth
3. Cur from Busiris
4. Process—Upload—Consciousness Experiment: 1
5. The Secret Things in Rosetjau

"The Valentine Process is truly a musical world unto itself. The microcosm in which this album exists lies on a plane few have found and even fewer have captured. The Valentine Process is such a primitive and skeletal recording one must wonder how the trio stumbled upon the sound. “Ammut — Great Death, Eater of Hearts” may be a familiar breed of organic dissonance rivaling any freak collective’s strangest output, but the empty production and jarring melody create an aura previously unknown in the music world.

In a medium dominated by bedroom folkies and lo-fi soldiers always on the hunt for new ways to muffle their sound and create the most comfortable and intimate recording, Egypt Is The Magick # have taken the same approach but turned it inside out by creating a spatial and barren sound. The Valentine Process turns the bedroom into an infinite chasm or an abandoned cave. “Genetic Dispute Solved by Grammatological Nantooth,” with all its noisemakers, cheap percussion, and incoherent chants, only deepens the void. The voices refuse to give warmth; rather, it sucks the warmth from you. Your blood will run cold in The Valentine Process’ brand of isolation."



01 Ride
02 Warping Of The Clock
03 Freefall
04 Can’t Be Serious
05 Our Eyes
06 Innocent Line
07 Innocent Reprise
08 Your Love Over Gold
09 People Without Love
10 Arc Of Abraham
11 Here Goes Nothing
12 Brown Piano

"A Mountain Of One's Collected Works is not a greatest hits compilation but rather the debut album release, made up of two EPs and one new track, from a London-based collective consisting of three core members. It is unlike any other album you'll hear this year.

If your notion of prog begins and ends with Yes, prepare for a treat. The missing link between Ozric Tentacles' Erpland and Pink Floyd's Meddle sat under a palm tree on a Balearic beach, AMO1's tropical progtronica stands out as music that references the familiar - Fleetwood Mac, most notably - while striking out on its own unique and utterly splendid path, guided by producers Mo Morris and Leo Elstob.

Opener Ride is one of several tracks that clock in at an unhurried six minutes plus, with arabesque acoustic guitar rounds in places reminiscent of the fretwork of Ozrics' resident genius Ed Wynne. A compulsive, repetitive bassline, spacial melodies and characteristic big electric guitar sounds set the scene for what follows."


(Polyvinyl, 2007)

01 center where sight
02 freezing water
03 sheets and organs
04 here to ruin the party
05 eighth war
06 suffocation
07 minds
08 son of horn
09 in veins
10 towers of silence
11 day eleven
12 ear ever here

"There's a surprise at the start of XBXRX's third album: a four-minute song. The Oakland band's tunes rarely last longer than two minutes, so opening with the relatively epic "Center Where Sight" could be seen as a kind of "we're serious now" statement. And Wars does turn out to be the most serious XBXRX record so far. Intricate structures, jazzy stop-starts, and dramatic crescendos all suggest a new level of craft from this caffeinated post-hardcore outfit.

This is still XBXRX though-- Wars is, after all, only 27 minutes long-- and the band's raging momentum and endless energy persist. No extended solos or instrumental wankoffs here; this is resolutely a slamming punk record, just a little less Black Flag and a little more Minutemen than before. Hurtling forward with no interest in subtlety or restraint, XBXRX's music is as exhausting to listen to as it must be to play. But Wars is a step forward for a band who crashed out of the gate as teenagers and shows no signs of burnout a decade later."


(Karaoke Kalk, 2007)

01 the monstrous surplus/turn in
02 border
03 if time was on my side
04 drowning in you
05 snow blow
06 fresh aufhebung
07 k-land
08 can't disappear
09 the kids are united
10 fishing
11 so

"'The Monstrous Surplus' follows its predecessor perfectly and builds on its successes taking the crushed, dreamy indie-rock sound into places it has rarely been before. The album crashes into life with 'Turn in' and instantly we are once again in Schmickler's rich, melodic clutches with thick waves of guitar, reverberating compressed rhythms and those silken female vocals from none other than Julee Cruise. This is a match made in heaven, the perfect marriage of vocalist and producer and not since 1993's 'The Voice of Love' has Cruise sounded so at ease with the noises around her. Interestingly however 'The Monstrous Surplus' is the first time Schmickler himself has allowed himself room to sing, and on 'Border', the song's clear stand-out track it is Schmickler who makes the biggest impression as a vocalist. Backed up by German vocalist Julia Hummer (who appears on much of the rest of the album) his deep tones bring to mind classic 90s indie rock and don't sound forced or over-done, rather there is an innocence and purity which is hard to ignore. This is how the album succeeds over so many others in the genre, there's a sense that Schmickler has the desire to create pure dream pop music, and is slowly perfecting that art over his many albums. 'The Monstrous Surplus' has enough spine-tingling pop moments to keep you reaching for the repeat button again and again. An incredible selection of modern shoegaze music - don't miss it!"

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


(In The Red, 2007)

01 Moon Beeps
02 Secret Signals
03 How To Improve Your Hearing Without Listening
04 Dating Cops
05 Tubes
06 Sailor Dive
07 Rooms & Bags
08 The Outer Echelon
09 Our Solar System
10 Deuteronomy
11 Block of Ice
12 Bad Siren
13 The Receptionist

"The Intelligence are demanding attention in and beyond the Northwest, creating a new direction in sound based on the fundamental elements of bands like The Fall and PiL, yet beneath the post-punk clang lies a serious pop sensibility. These pop chops have never been more noticeable than on Deuteronomy, the band's third full-length. Finberg swears that The Zombies' Odyssey and Oracle as well as early Bee Gees albums influenced his direction, though it sounds like Here Come The Warm Jets might've had a hand in it as well. Finberg also chose, for the first time, to forego the home recording approach he's used in the past and employed the use of Mike McHugh and his Distillery recording studio to get the most full-bodied, fully realized Intelligence recording to date."

"If musicians painted images with their instruments, The Intelligence's soundscapes would be set in a grainy, ash-gray world, among piles of scrap metal and busted machinery, with discarded computer parts blinking in cobwebbed corners and factories belching out toxins at irregular intervals. It'd be a black-and-white wasteland of humanity, a post-apocalyptic industrial revolution, warmed only by the distant loops of a delayed, disembodied guitar riff. At the center of it all would be Lars Finberg, delivering deadpan lines like "Going out with you is like going out with a cop." He'd be pounding bent garbage-can lids with one hand and programming distorted beats on his keyboard with the other, a one-man laboratory of intoxicating post-punk experimentation."


(Southern, 2007)

01 spell d-o-g
02 bring back art
03 break apart, reattach
04 I don't need 'em
05 even in this day and age
06 ruff, ruff, rainbow city
07 everyone's alone
08 novelist
09 send the angels
10 structure
11 kill those thoughts above
12 babies with rabies

"I don't know what's in the water at the moment but I seem to be spoilt with an abundance of great rock albums. We've got Thurston Moore in one corner, Emma Pollock in another, Magik Markers coming in with guns blazing and now Erase Errata frontwoman Jenny Hoyston plunging an oar, vying for supremacy. Well she doesn't have to do a great deal to convince me, as a long time devotee of all things riot grrrl I have more than just a soft spot for Erase Errata and their second-wave take on the sound, and this debut solo album from Miss Hoyston is just what the doctor ordered. Rather than a basic re-treading of steps, Hoyston has crafted a genuinely original record with enough balls, guts and rawk fury to keep even the most self-confessed masculine listener smiling from ear to ear. These songs are, in keeping with the genre, economically brief for the most part but never feel clipped rather they say exactly what they need to say in a minute and a half before moving on. Hoyston also has that rare ability to write simple pop hooks that manage to sink their claws into your subconscious and have you humming away all day, but unlike the latest radio smash, this isn't a negative thing. Just listen to the electroid growl of 'I Don't Need 'Em' or 'Everyone's Alone', it's still punk rock, it's just done that little bit differently and who can begrudge Hoyston that? Bedroom punk has rarely sounded so damned alluring..."

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


(Marriage, 2007)

01 so post all 'em
02 see a penny (pick it up)
03 we're always waiting
04 platinum (featuring bobby birdman)
05 it's all the same price (featuring eats tapes)
06 the magic beat
07 drawing in the dark
08 it's coming to get you
09 if music could cure all that ails you
10 i believe in you
11 your magic is real
12 women of the world

"Bechtolt (who records as all-caps YACHT when he's not half of the Blow) isn't totally unfamiliar with the concept of injecting some computer embellishment into indie-ish songwriting, having performed similar duties as IT Guy for the Blow. But I Believe in You is another step beyond merely adding programming to Khaela Maricich's relatively straightforward tunes, occupying the same beat-prankster territory as Tundra while not drifting too far into the abrasiveness of breakcore. "We're Always Waiting" is a prime example, first toying with an 8-bit version of the "Time Is Tight" vamp, pausing mid-song for a tongue-in-cheek materialist cheerleader chant, and climaxing with a proggy astral synth being henpecked by ringtones and presets. "It's Coming to Get You" runs a similar path with a primal-punk drum foundation and cutesy woah-oh-oh backing vocals, while "See a Penny (Pick It Up)" puts Jamie Lidell-style falsetto faux-soul singing and a chugging guitar riff against a musical backdrop that changes every 30 seconds, finally exploding in a skittering-beat orgy."


(Rough Trade/World's End, 2007)

01 Atom
02 Down on the Ground
03 Straight Down The Line
04 Hearing Aid
05 The Pelican

Can't wait to hear what those nautical nuts in British Sea Power have up their sleeve for their forthcoming LP? You're gonna have to wait 'til early next year to find out for sure. But the ship of new BSP jams hasn't sailed just yet; no way, no how. The band has a new EP titled Krankenhaus? on the way that should tide you over.

Says BSP's Yan (yes, just Yan), via a press release: "The title of the EP is Krankenhaus?, which is German for hospital. This could equally allude to the healing and/or life-saving qualities of indie rock music, or perhaps the vast quantities of pharmaceuticals associated with both of these. The green cross adorning the front could be the one used to locate a chemist's, or maybe a symbol of a new ecological religion. The answer is up to you."

Monday, 8 October 2007


(Acuareladiscos, 2007)

01 yawning blue messiah
02 faith defies the night
03 you're a goat
04 my surrender
05 mirror the eye

"Somewhere amid all the reuniting he's been doing lately with Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, the ever-prolific Lou Barlow found the time to craft this five-song EP. Two words on the inside flap give a clue as to when exactly Barlow penned these tunes: "prerevival" and "postemoh" (EMOH being the name of Barlow's 2005 solo CD). So maybe it's not surprising that Mirror the Eye doesn't stray far from the bedroom bong-inspired philosophizing Barlow has been known for since Sebadoh's early records.

The "prerevival" animosity toward J. Mascis is still prevalent on opener "Yawning Blue Messiah." Over haunting, simple guitar chords, Barlow sings, "Thought of you once again/ I miss you, brother/ But I hate your guts/ What was it inside you that/ Made me regret what was?" Things get goofy on "Faith Defies the Night" and "You're a Goat," almost as if Barlow is aiming for Tenacious D-style mock-rock. On the former he claims he's "out spending a Sunday in a dungeon." And the latter goes full-bore with the title's imagery: "You've got splayed feet/ Cloven hooves/ I heard you brayin'/ What were you sayin'?"

The short set ends lighter, brighter, and better. "My Surrender," even with its air of resignation, seems joyous, based on galloping acoustic-guitar chords with occasional nice electric work on top. And the very-short, closing title track abruptly ends with the non-sequitur "don't make rules to break them." Good ol' Lou: Still too high to worry about plebian matters like logic and sense."


(Secret City, 2007)

Close to Paradise
Slip Into Your Skin
Giver (mp3)
Weight of the World
The Storm
Mr. Tom
Luscious Life (mp3)
Man Under the Sea
The Great Escape
Sleeping Beauty
Bright Shiny Lights

"On the one hand it's impossible to ignore Patrick Watson as a classic singer-songwriter; the charming young piano-player with the haunting voice. The big impact of an otherwise simple song like "The Great Escape" is a testament to the attention that Patrick's voice, delivery and sensibility command. Just try and avoid vocal comparisons to Jeff Buckley on "Luscious Life" (inflected with just a bit of Sufjan Stevens-like orchestration), or the penetrating stripped-down gospel of "Bright Shiny Lights". In some ways Close to Paradise is the coming-out party for one of Canada's most exciting young vocalists. He's already been enlisted by the Cinematic Orchestra for both songwriting and vocal duties on their next album.

But on the other hand, Close to Paradise also features three other incredibly strong musicians just beginning to enter their prime, both in terms of skill and contributing song ideas. Robbie Kuster might be the best drummer in Montreal (recently lured out on tour and into the studio with Holy Fuck), and between him and Mishka Stein on bass, the band has the ability to bolt from dreamy ballad to all out intricate rock assault and back again without blinking an eye. Simon Angell is among that rare breed of guitarist that can do more with one subtle and well-timed chord as others can with a whole song of throw-away notes. He can stand and slay with the best of them, but it's when he's patiently seated and kneeling at his arsenal of effects pedals that you've really got to be on your guard. Consider that Kuster co-wrote the ethereal electronics of "Daydreamer", that Stein laid the foundation to "Luscious Life" (arguably the album's most accessible moment of pop assault), and that Angell adds songwriting to his banjo credit on the apocalyptic dustbowl of "The Storm", and it's clear that we're dealing with a two-headed monster - at least. Close to Paradise is also a serious trip of a record by as tight a four piece band as you'll find."


(P.W. Elverum & Sun Ltd., 2007)

01 Welcome
02 Just Ice
03 Rich (Homeless)
04 Don't Be Afraid
05 Marriage
06 Born 2 B Wild
07 Nowhere
08 Years (Seasons)
09 Home Alone
10 Home Alone 2
11 Years (Seasons) 2
12 No One's Dancing
13 Judges
14 Weeping
15 Waterfalls
16 Auntarctica

"“ELV011” – “Welcome Nowhere” by Thanksgiving – double LP+CD
A fancy reissued version of our “ELV000”, this time with a whole extra record of lost songs from the sessions. This is one of 3 records that was recorded in a hexagonal hut on top of a high remote hill above a lake with eagles and military jets, looking out over islands. The beginning of our moving studio called “Nowhere”. (The other was “Whysp” by Whysp). “Welcome Nowhere” is a CLASSIC ALBUM, straight up. This new version is totally remastered and sounds 1,000,000 times better. Glossy full color gatefold jacket, tie-dyed colored vinyl, CD, excellent songs."

Sunday, 7 October 2007


(Hardly Art, 2007)

1. Canto I

2. Planes Like Vultures.

3. Outside Of This Car, the End Of the World

4. To the Stars! To the Night!

5. (Storm)

6. We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!

7. Breathing Rapture

8. Look To the West.

9. (Howl)

10. Le Loup (Fear Not)

11. Canto XXXVI

12. I Had a Dream I Died.

"The best songs here go beyond Sufjan Stevens’ orchestral folk-pop, even if they’re not as painstakingly detailed and evocative. “Outside of this Car! The End of the World!” rides a steady drum-machine beat with a syncopated pentatonic loop, adding a mirror-structured countermelody and building guitar crashes in a powerful canon. Throughout the album, interesting banjo lines mirror this kind of layered composition, creating a consistent compositional tone that’s remarkable for its consistency—even when the sounds employed on each song are so different.

“Breathing Rupture” reprises a strummed banjo introduction that is used throughout the disc, but this time Simkoff’s vocals connect into longer phrases, thrilling with poetic imagery beneath multi-tracked echoes. “Look To the West” fuelled by calm organ drones, highlights Simkoff’s oblique poetry: “Eyes full of sleep, and steady breaths pressed from chests/ … Look to the west, what colors grow there? / There, where bells and swells and storms gather”."


(The Blue House, 2007)

Me Loves You
Backseat, Man
You Don't Have to Prove
Blowin' Off the Sun
The Year of Having Fun
Gold Medal
Every Little Van
My Friend, The Writer
Top Secret Secret Project
Your Life in Song (Statistically Speaking)
Action Figure
Hello, Americans
The First of May
Manufacturing Empathy
Thank You (For Making Me Slow Dance)

"Whether they're about love or song-writing or dancing, he injects his catchy pop songs with a sense of understanding – for human failings, for hardships, and most of all for the importance of individual quirks, personalities, and stories. The songs here feel casually but also lovingly written and recorded; they're simple and sparse, yet you're always aware of how much he enjoys writing songs and sharing them with people. Perhaps most importantly, though, Clary's sense for what makes a great pop tune is impeccable."


(Azul Discografica, 2007)

01. Ordination of the Globetrotting Conscripts
02. Guns and Butter
03. Revolutionary Bummer Weed and the Syncretic Narcotraffickers
04. Rambo's Passeggiata
05. A Petroglyphic Massacre
06. Lunch Break at Naan
07. New Burnt Century
08. The Spectre of Water Wars

"Talibam! dance back and forth across the line of party starting and room clearing, and do so with all available middle fingers held mightily aloft. As New York City’s soon-to-be-iconic purveyors of “shitstorm skronk,” Talibam!’s totally irreverent destructo-jazz/improv was first heard on a series of mythically regarded CD-Rs, and through the group’s near ceaseless touring activities. This is the band’s first proper release, and in lieu of bearing the expected influence of Sun Ra’s Arkestra or mid-'70s Captain Beefheart, Ordination... is a brain-rattling demolition of the entire avant lesson plan, as those with a more academic criteria might be inclined to teach it.

The lead-off title track is the living embodiment of a strong come-on, and blares forth with the same kind of attention-grabbing impudence as Minor Threat’s “Filler.” The next 20 minutes of ass-over-backwards musical turmoil further cements the brutality with more, dare I say, nuance, including some stylishly incorporated African polyrhythms, and ear-buzzing electronics.

The ringing harmonics of “Lunch Break at Naan” definitely serves as the album’s milemarker, however, and said track proceeds to a level of dementia which curiously summons a listener’s desire (well, my desire) to belt out Hasil Adkins-worthy screams during the breakdown.

Not too many bands with Talibam!’s kind of credentials inspire moments of such expository appreciation, but I count it as just another reason to thank whichever god you tremble in the face of for these mightiest of messengers. My early bid for art-damaged dance record of the year."

Saturday, 6 October 2007


(Castle/Sanctuary, 2003)

01 - Roadrunner
02 - Astral Plane
03 - Old World
04 - Pablo Picasso
05 - She Cracked
06 - Hospital
07 - Someone I Care About
08 - Girlfriend
09 - Modern World
10 - Dignified & Old
11 - I'm Straight
12 - Government Center
13 - I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms
14 - Dance With Me
15 - Someone I Care About [alternative version]
16 - Modern World [alternative version]
17 - Roadrunner [alternative version]

"This re-release on Sanctuary Records (UK) represents a near-complete collection of the original Modern Lovers studio recording efforts. Its a shame that this band did not get an album completed in 1971/72 and get the fame that they deserved when they were still together. If you already have an earlier release of this record and are wondering whether to buy this one as well, here are some details to help with your decision. The first 9 tracks were released on vinyl in 1976, and were mostly from the 1971-72 recording sessions produced by John Cale. Tracks 10-12 were included on the Rhino CD release of the record in the 1980s, and are from the 73-74 session with Kim Foley producing. Tracks 13-14 were previously released on the Original Modern Lovers CD, and represent the best of the rest of the Foley sessions. Of the final tracks - and the only ones not previously released - on this re-issue, Someone I Care About and Roadruner are from the bands earliest demos, from early 1971 (Hospital, track 5 on the original record, also came from this session). These demos are a little rough, and lack some of the fire of the later recording sessions with Mr. Cale, but this earliest and longest Roadrunner still sounds great. Modern World is an early version from the 1972 John Cale sessions. Its interesting and edgy, but the 73 version clearly shows improvement."

Then, read the 96% review at Cokemachineglow.


(Crucial Blast, 2007)

1. Mars Ascendent
2. Blood Alone Does Not A Father Make
3. Dark Was The Night Cold Was The Ground
4. The Sheltering Sky
5. Invocation In The Caldera
6. Coragyps Atratus (Ego To Absolvo)

"A band not afraid to experiment, SYA add laser-edged synths, electronics, psychedelic ambience and distant harmonica within the album's earthy production. It's a beguiling mix that sees them construct sounds from the thundering opener "Mars Ascendant" through to the skewed psychedelia of "Coragyps Atratus (Ego To Absolvo).

The outstanding "Sheltering Sky" should surely come with a health warning. Not since "Sky Valley" era Kyuss have we heard a gargantuan groove like this. Amassing a sound that resembles a titanic foghorn, "Sheltering Sky" reaches a level that could just about cauterize your arteries."



(Blue Note, 2007)

1. Polite Dance Song
2. Man
3. The Races
4. So You Say
5. How Deep Is Your Love?

"Please Clap Your Hands arrives just nine months after the duo's full-length debut, but the Bird and the Bee have already widened their aviary considerably. Taking a cue from "F*cking Boyfriend," whose breezily crisp rhythms sat atop the Billboard Club Play charts for weeks in 2006, Hands quickens the pace by adding more dance textures to Greg Kurstin's lush studio creations. "So You Say" swirls with garage rock-psychedelia, its summery riff pumped by a Farfisa organ, while "Man" mixes spacy sound effects with some of Kurstin's most involved percussion to date. Throughout it all, vocalist Inara George remains calm and collected, willing to incite her listeners to dance but reluctant to join in the fun herself. This proves to be an interesting dichotomy; while Kurstin plays the bee and buzzes around the studio, George assumes a songbird's stance from an elevated, disengaged perch, her honeyed melodies driving the bee into fits of instrumental frenzy. She can sing, undoubtedly, and she does so with the cool, measured sass of a Bond girl. But it's often her overdubbed harmonies -- quick, jazz-chorded bursts that flank the melodies stylishly -- that show her real dexterity as a vocalist. George handles herself like a veteran card player, waiting for key moments to throw down a loaded hand, and her controlled style allows Kurstin's orchestrations to become something more than background music. When paired together -- Kurstin, the hyperactive composer, and George, the composed siren -- the Bird and the Bee become an engaging mix of yin and yang, jazz and electro-pop, Burt Bacharach and the Bee Gees (whose "How Deep Is Your Love" is reprised here)."


(Cardboard Records, 2007)

1. Right
2. Embers
3. Quarantine
4. Alive And Well
5. A Million Drops
6. Hollow Yell
7. Sky For A Sea
8. Silent Alarms
9. Anachronism
10. At Last At Least

"Shooting Spires is the bedroom art-pop project of BJ Warshaw, bassist and vocalist for Parts & Labor. Retreating from the Brooklyn stalwarts and their extroverted noise-punk, his self-titled debut album is an agoraphobic mix of soaring choruses and tormented electronics, fueled on Brian Eno, Boredoms and Peter Gabriel. Warshaw showcases his ability to harness drone, noise, tweaked electronics and singed circuits: the violent hum of Sunroof! juxtaposed against hooks catchy enough for fans of TV On The Radio.

Warshaw fuses off-kilter electronic beats, oscillator blips, glitchy loops, toy keyboards, distorted guitars, saxophone, drums and found percussion. All of this is the therapeutic underscore to lyrics about failed relationships ("Embers"), redemption in the face of seemingly inescapable cycles ("Quarantine"), the persistent threat of personal and global catastrophe ("Alive And Well") and finding solace in decay ("Right").

Despite the lush sound and emotional breadth of Shooting Spires, all 10 tracks were written, recorded and performed by Warshaw in a windowless, ventilation-deficient bedroom during a two and a half month self-imposed retreat during the winter of 2007."

I was lucky enough to catch Parts & Labor at small club here in the U.K. last night - and they were as awesome as they are on record. New drummer Chris seems to have fitted in smoothly to the vacated seat - he had a lot to live up to considering the powerhouse that was Christopher Weingarten. Anyways, if you like this please go to Cardboard Records and buy a copy or have a browse and see if anything else takes yr fancy.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


(Self-released, 2007)

01 don't leave your coffee on the bar
02 i would have met you for dinner (but i'm fuckin' crazy)
03 boat on land
04 cannon on a clothesline
05 it's comin' down
06 little voices
07 power drill
08 my hands your heart
09 wake up boy, look alive!
10 everyone's stealing my ideas
11 thank you, goodnight.

"There is something about Brooklyn’s Mussels that’s distinctly throwback. It’s not their sound, exactly, but their approach to being a New York City band in 2007. With the lovingly silk-screened cardboard packaging and their impeccably tasteful production style, you start to wonder if it might be 1995 again — and in all the best ways. Little Voices does spark comparisons to Built to Spill, for the ringing, elaborate guitar work and the vague bounciness of the whole thing, but it’s also driven by a strange and refreshing yearning for both simplicity and complexity, meaning essentially that you’re dealing with infectious pop songs that occasionally give way to frantic, jumpy song structures and unexpected arrangements. It’s fun, smart pop music that can be appreciated as easily by those merely looking to dance as by those looking to geek out about awesome guitar parts. It’s a tough balance to strike, and Mussels have done an excellent job."


(Self-released, 2007)

01. The Sun Ain't The Same
02. Orange Paw
03. Postcard
04. Argyle Spring
05. The End Is Near
06. Winter Olympics (Summer Version)
07. Bun-Bun
08. Sunbeamed

"The album is full of breezy harmonies. Topics of the songs range from shoeboxes full of postcards to stray cats, and the occasional dose of something less than optimistic. From "Winter Olympics" to "Argyle Spring," the Naps carry you from season to season."

It's indiepoptastic kids!


(Too Pure, 2007)

1. The Lord Hates a Coward
2. Plague of Onces
3. Fingers Become Thumbs
4. Manchasm
5. Fuck the Countryside Alliance
6. My Gymnastic Past
7. Suddenly It’s a Folk Song
8. Kept By Bees
9. Small Bones Small Bodies
10. Wrigley Scott
11. Real Men Hunt In Packs
12. Team : Seed
13. Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood
14. The Contrarian

"I'm saying that Future of the Left are here and they rule, probably more than Mclusky, and that's all that's important now. Their record is best played at loud volumes and you will undoubtedly fail at air guitar. Even with your shirt off. Even when Future of the Left will never seem as literate or exploratory as Shellac. Or, to step further back, as troubled by their impeccably bare melodic sense as Big Black; or as feral as Mission of Burma, as martial as Gang of Four, as mythic or productive as Wire, derivatives of derivatives, orbits upon orbits, this fucking gyroscopic grab bag of chest-beating Neanderthals. Does not matter. This album is made of everything for which we've ever dreamed: KITTENS AND MALE BONDING. " Cokemachineglow

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


1. Can: I Want More
2. Aphex Twin: Goon Gumpas
3. Boards Of Canada: Everything You Do Is A Balloon
4. Can: Spoon
5. Stereolab: Blue Milk (edit)
6. The Velvet Underground: I'm Sticking With You
7. Broadcast: You Can Fall
8. Gamelan Drumming
9. Holger Czukay: Cool In The Pool
10. Lee 'Scratch' Perry: Hold Of Death
11. Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra: Some Velvet Morning
12. Ween: Japanese Cowboy
13. Holger Czukay: Fragrance
14. Aphex Twin: Nannou