ORGAN @ LONDON'S FINEST ALTERNATIVE STATION, RESONANCE 104.4FM... FM in London, worldwide on line...


Rip Cruncher's motorway ride... ripride!18th AUG '09: ALBUM REVIEW(s): EXTREME METAL ON METAL BAKED BEAN DIVE IN TO THE WAITING PILE.

         Really is a non-stop operation, got this death metal album here, on top of the ever-growing pile, can’t for the life of any giant black spider read the logo or find their name anywhere, growling about washing his hands in the blood of the lamb or something like that, what was going on in the mind of those that made thisremarkable piece of art...? We’d probably make more of an effort to find out what the damn logo on the none more black cover said if it wasn’t such standard issue generic death metal splurg and same old same old bass drum pounding conformity... Same goes for this one here, perfectly readable logo this time, well not perfectly readable, some kind of legible, may as well be the same CD as the first one still stuck and growling away in the player though... Same with this third one and this forth - bad black metal meets Iron Maiden effort from Norway... We get so much of this stuff, every day, more of it arrives from all over the planet, a never ending spewtum of copycat extreme metal. More coffee, next CD, throw it in the disc mangler..  What was it that band Blue Blud said when we interviewed them that time? “Heavy metal is like baked beans, everyone wants their beans orange and tasting just like the others, no one wants their baked beans purple of green do they” – something like that anyway, they were supporting some new band called Faith No More, who, they were pointing out, would never get anywhere sounding all weird and different like they were...
            Onward with the never ending pile of extreme metal baked beans... Ah, this one’s a little better, and a just about readable logo as well – SANCTIFICATION – Black Reign (Pulverised) – Relentlessly heavy, pounding, a brutal onslaught of riffs, low-end vocals jousting with a never-ending barrage of kick-drums, regulation bass churning, all in an orange tomato sauce and death metal from Sweden, they really could be from anywhere, their warring shitstorm of atmospheric extreme death metal does stand out a little, slightly off-orange beans in a slightly purple kind of way  – or – Now were crunching... extreme metal blow out, next...  PLANAR EVIL – Mankind Way Of Life (MDD) – Old school Italian thrash metal on a German label, 80’s sounding trashing speed and Slayer and Overkill and Testament and Anthrax and really not bad at it in their own raw basic dented can, low budget own brand beans kind of way. Decent old school skate-thrash metal –
  BRESCHDLENG – Breschdleng (Prevision) – Tough sounding hardcore metal with a 90’s groove to it. Serious hardcore noise (and aggression) from Southern Germany and sung in what were told is an obscure German language called Swabian. No idea what they’re singing and yelling about, nothing dubious we trust. Their name apparently means strawberry - monstrous hardcore groove with a manic sounding German screaming and yelling (get the feeling from checking websites that those lyrics are nothing bad, their politics appears to be sound).... Kind of like all the yelling and hardcore punk metal groove actually, really do hope nothing bad is being shouted about here – mean looking bunch of crunchers -   - next please...  AZARATH – Praise The Beast (Agonia) – And on it goes, storm after storn of deathly black extreme metal orange baked bean wasp-bothering noise and more raving frothing extreme extremities and hoover-sucking vocals. This lot are actually from the US, they sound like they’re more likely to be from mainland Europe, they sound like a thousand bands you already heard, they do it well enough, worth an ear if you should need more beans on toast - – that’s enough metal and orange baked beans for a Tuesday morning... More coffee, get me out of here... metal on metal... drive you insane, the louder the better, volume's the game... we love the smell of metal in the morning, now what's happening in the real world today?

Firebug17th AUG '09: FIREBUG – Season For Change (Buddha Belt) – Rather lush female-fronted retro alternative melodic hard rock. Originally from Chicago and now located in Los Angeles, Firebug have one positive foot in the 70’s, folk rock, restrained touches of Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac while their other foot is positively planted in the U.S. radio-friendly alternative rock of the 90’s. Lush, strongly-voiced classic American alternative hard rock, twelve impressive tracks, no fillers, just classic melodic hardrock – simple as that, classic song-based guitar driven beautifully-voiced impressive imaginative classic melodic rock –

DIE PRETTY – Bitter Sweet (Unconform) – Girl fronted bratty catchy hi-energy punk pop from Brooklyn, New York. For some reason she’s reminding us of that singer from No Doubt, far more attitude and energy though, far more in your face – Rancid, Social Distortion.... Formed by brother and sister tag team Skip and Sarah back in 2008, they’re a ball of no messing catch punk-pop energy, you can catch the catchiness here – or

15th AUG 2009: AHAB – The Divinity Of Dreams (Napalm) – “Funeral nautic doom metal” says the publicity blurb... well they’re not that fast! This is seriously slower than slow metal – anthemic, melodic, treacle thick and monastic. Surprisingly listenable, almost soothing. Ahab are a German four piece, the cite the sea as their main influence, if that is the case then their sea is calm, forebodingly dark, at ease, anre ready to swallow whole sailing ships - they’re in the doldrums...   This is seriously slow metal – superslow, anthemic, serious metallic redemption, kind of threatens to become some kind endurance test by the fifth seven and a half minute track Tombstone Carousal although they do keep investing their positive durge with colourful imagination – seriously good, seriously slow, serious sea-calm doom metal... or

ABRAMIS BRAMA – Smakar Sondag (Transubstans) - How much more Seventies could it be? None, none more Seventies. Swedish hard rock, classic Seventies hard rock – Swedish prog-ish hard retro groove rock - Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Stone Sold, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Mountain, Cream ... the full on authentic sounding real deal. Sung in Swedish, no idea what they’re on about, nothing dubious we trust.. They rock, if Seventies hard rock is your thing (and why the hell wouldn't it be!) then this is good good good... and you just know their flares are bigger and better than anyone else’s. Cool as f.... – or or

14th AUG 2009: NITKOWSKI – Chauffeurs (Function) – From London with some blustery scratchy, rather busy, spiky, mathy alt.rock (and some rather intriguingly strange looking artwork). Itchy music, itchy and scratchy and with a sometimes shouty man adding vocals that never push too much at you – their pecking at your head is kind of positive. This is good, there’s a lot of this scratch indie shouty mathy rock complexity around - you’ve got to have an edge these days, a bit of depth to stand out, something a little more, Nitkowski do... Tumbling up stairs, cantankerously good, alive with energy , razor sharp, jagged, slightly worrying, mangled and knotted and if they do have a Don Cabellero feel then we’re talking Don Cab with a broken bottle and a menacing look in their collective eyes.  Nitkowski have a sense of light and shade, a genuine need to push at the edges rather than just follow the pack, something good evolving here –

TEN CITY NATION – At The Still Point (Sturm Und Drang) - Whooops, release dates, tube trains, buses, all easily missed when the sun is out and well... Ten City Nation’s second album came out last week, released on their own label on August 3rd and more of their slightly different, rather English, grungy guitar bluster that once again comes laced with their always passionate commitment.  Old battles lost replaced with new battles found and a positively lo-fi raw rather personal sound – to call it grunge is wrong, like My Vitriol before them, the spirit of grunge is where Ten City Nation’s sound is anchored, there’s other things here though, Manic Street Preachers are as much of a reference point as Nirvana – nothing too obvious though, they’re a band influenced, very much a band doing their own thing though, Ten City Nation have their own sound – a sometimes compelling, sometimes very dark inward looking sound and a commitment that’s grounded in something lost on most English indie rock bands these days –

14th AUG 09: ALBUM REVIEW: THE DEVILROCK FOUR – First in Line (Unconform) - Good time AC/DC flavoured ear-friendly melodic pop rock ‘n roll, touch of The Cult about them, Danko Jones... Throwaway pop rock from Melbourne, Australia, harmlessly likeable – or

13th AUG 09: DEAD STARS – Break The Tide (self release) - Landed here from Brooklyn, New York, with an orange post-it note stuck to the front, “we’re looking for you to release our album or at least review it” said the rather reasonable friendly note. Well now, let's have a listen... Breezy 90’s sounding radio-friendly Lemonheadish indie guitar alt.rock isn’t really going to set our pulses racing, sounds a little dated and well, we’re being as polite and we,, – here’s a link if you’re curious... Good luck to them, hope they find that label -  . 

STUPIDITY – I Need You (Go Fast) – Gravel-throated bar room alt.punk-pop from Sweden, hint of LA new wave circa 1981, you know the kind of thing, not doing much for these ears –

SYRACH – A Dark Burial (Napalm) – This one has to be a joke right? Comedy doom metal band with death warmed up on vocals....Oh yes, look at the cover, definitely a joke – those witty Norwegian metal types, oh, hang on, the singer’s called Ripper, wonder if he knows Mr Owens from that band Steel Dragon ... “Our doom is the law, obey!” – Right Rip, got you there... nearly had us – or

12th AUG 09:  AMBASSADOR GUN – When In Hell (Pangea) – They’re from the USA, Minneapolis in fact, we’re talking a shitstorm of heavy heavy intense metal.... A kind of Slayer stomping on Mastodon for taking Nasum’s cheese biscuits without asking nicely - a relentless kind of rage and growl. Relentlessly intense, extremely heavy - no intention of stopping for anything, no time for breath, no time for reflection, just pile in there with the riffs and the vocal wall of metal noise – when in hell indeed. Frothing, boiling, relentless metal intensity. Who knows what they’re on about? Bottom Feeder, Death Nail, Killed Hooker’s Money – don’t really want to look too closely, doesn't sound too savoury. If you like your metal intense and Slayer-like then this storm is an impressive cut above the average –

MORAL DILEMMA – Agree To Disagree (Pumpkin) – Back for more, the three of ‘em, all mohawked up and raging away with their no messing shouty hardcore punkified speedmetal streetpunk attack. Cleo, Pasty and Craig, the three of them right there on your toes, shouting and speeding and riffing, nothing ground-breaking or different, just straight in there with some seriously good no messing energy, some throaty vocals, a bag of confrontational attitude and a whole load of raw blistering speed punk class. They’re from London, they’ve risen out of the DIY squat punk scene, they're loaded with hard hitting no messing raw angry bite and a serious no messing second album that more than builds of the debut. Spot on sound, spot on raw production, spot on attitude, and like we said last time around, proper London punk rock, go grab a slice  –

MASTERS OF REALITY – Pine/Dover Cross (Brownhouse) – ‘Proper’ new album from Chris Goss and his on-off band known as Masters Of Reality. A rock record that once again touches on the later things Led Zeppelin did in quite a big way - bits of groove, bits of stoner rock, bits of Cream, very much rhythm orientated old school rock record once more. Mahavishnu Orchestra seem to have influenced things rather a lot this time around, bits of free-form instrumentals, lots of this is instrumental actually and once you let it flow and accept it for what it is and just let the groove and the prog-fusion and the bits of later Zeppelin goodness flow in that familiar Masters was - the Presence and the tinge and the groove and such – then this is a rather enjoyable new album, not sure how relevant it all is in 2009, enjoyable when the groove and flow gets you though...

11th AUG 09:  JAMES YORKSTON & THE BIG EYES FAMILY PLAYERS -  Folk Songs (Domino) – The folk singer from Fyfe, this time with the rather sublime Big Eyes Family Players and some rather fresh sounding contemporary folk simplicity. This time James has gathered together a simple soothing and extremely beautiful set of mellow fair-bodied folk songs -  traditional songs, compelling songs, old songs of Britain and Ireland gathered together.... Just simple songs, beautifully played, lovingly arranged, words to drag you in, tales and textures and everything just perfectly right. I shall be honest here, folk is not my first choice in terms of a musical port of call, this is one of the most delightfully inviting albums for a long long time... garters and ribbons tied around gates and all waiting, a set of absolute pleasures. And real folk, simple folk, none of this smoothie-folk, nu-folk, coffee table-folk nonsense, just heartfelt crafted timeless traditional contemporary goodness and an absoulute delight. Highly recommended.  – or or

OKIE DOKIE – Okie Dokie (Aagoo) - Ain’t felt this good for an hour..... Now we’re motoring - fourth day, five day marathon... Okie Dokie, here we go again, strap yourself.... This is a head-driller, no idea who they are or where they’re from... hang on...  Val Verdie, California. Right then - eight tracks, we couldn’t resist cutting to the chase, track seven, straight to it, moving like a parallelogram – more in a moment. Back to the start first though...  There’s three of ‘em, Mikey, Mikal, Ryan, they sound like they’re armed with power drills and buzz saws... They’re powered by a maniac of a drum machine (apparently no human drummer could handle the task – so they say - what’s wrong with those Californians!?). Part time outragious, full time contagious (or something like that)... Austere precision so they say. They sound like that band who found the legendary brown note, the one that makes you shit when they play it     Actually they sound like manic killer punk rock muppets, with an extra maniacal vocalist spinning cryptic high speed yelping yappy riddles and slashing cutting barb - wonder what he’s on about? This is good - battering ram directness and eight slices of slashing punk rock - he sounds like a manic pirate’s even more manic parrot with those manic vocals on that nailed-down wired-up version of Motorhead... we should be tired, all we are is... Okie Dokie are wired, raw, blistering, maniacal, wired some more and all rather different - ice pick kicking ooga booga and relentlessly drilling at you non stop, you’ll love it or hate it, I love it... or

Five best ever covers of Motorhead until Okie Dokie came along....
1: COCKNEY REJECTS and their dysfunctional car crash of a live version on the b-side of the Hang ‘em High single 
2: POISON IDEA's version that's nearly as dysfunctional as the Rejects...
3: All MOTORHEAD’s versions, take your pick – we’ll it ain’t a Motorhead song is it! They’re all covers, you knew that already right.... All good clean fun, lighten up, have another stick of gum...
4: PRIMAL SCREAM and that swirling Hawkish version on Vanishing Point
5: REO SPEEDEALER’s version, we’re still adding the REO, who care’s what the lawyers say, you’ll find it on this month’s Organ Spotify 

FATHER MURPHY10th AUG 09 - FATHER MURPHY – And He Told Us To Turn To The Sun (Aagoo) - Where  to start? An album unlike anything that’s gone before, not a difficult album – well in terms if listening this isn’t a difficult album, in terms of telling you about it then it most certainly is difficult. Seems they’re from Italy and we can be here all day throwing things we’ve never heard or indeed heard of in the CD mangle in the corner, most will be predictable, a lot of it will be at best, average... and then once in a while something will stop us and demand we stop whatever we’re doing and pay full and proper attention. They’re kind of making some sort of avant-folk, then again they’re not, anyone remember those early Huge Baby days? Kayo Dot? Stripped back, skeletal, otherly... Dark... Morricone.... yeah, I know, Italian, mention spaghetti Westerns – cheap lazy shorthand music journalism...  it does have the pace and space though, the drama, the less is more feel, the quiet tension, the dark detuned minimal guitar, the strange voices, the falsetto crooning, the off-hinge whispered keyboards... This Heat, Robert Wyatt, Birthday Party, Lairs, Huge Baby.... only nothing like any of that in anyway what so ever... and all rather quietly intense and yes, very much otherly, intriguingly otherly... Nine songs, intriguing titles....dirgy in a positive way... monastic....  wonderfully different... sinister... are we evil? We are evil (we are Devo?).... Forcing who on who’s knees? Where to  start? Highly recommended, we don’t know how to tell you about it... wonderful... or

BLINDFOLD – Faking Dreams (Cinepop) – Pleasantly polite melodic and rather heavily Radiohead influenced indie rock Sigur Ros tinged expansiveness from Iceland. Nothing new and like so many things that flow by, but this would be rather difficult and a touch heard-hearted to not like this  –

6th AUG 09 - BLEED FROM WITHIN – Humanity (Rising) - One of them there growling up a shitstorm type vocalists and what sounds like a second dick-caught-in-zip type screamer alongside him... Some brutal metal riffs, some raging speedhorn stomps and some violent brutal brutal yelping tantrum plagues... Did we say they were brutal? Brutal, intense, relentless, locked on... who knows what they’re yelling about? Price of fish? State of the Japanese knotweed invasion? Colour of Lemmy’s underpants this week? What the devil might be having for tea tonight? Ah look, you’ve heard it all before, a brutal stew of intense brutally brutal shouty metal and noise and violence and brutal yelling and riffing and raging and speedhorning and if you want another helping of metal brutality then, without doing anything that new or different, this debut album from this Glasgow outfit really ain’t bad... or

5th AUG 09  THE CHURCH – Untitled #23 (Second Motion) – The Church are a far too well kept secret, one of the most constantly reliable and creatively wholesome rewarding bands of the last thirty or so years. The psychedelically-edged Australians just keep on quietly doing it – quiet in all senses - they’re an unassuming legend amongst those who are lucky enough know about them... And Untitled #23 is as inspiring as anything the band have done - a little more restrained now, not so many blurred crusades these days.. Mellow consideration and quiet reflective creative contentment – sometimes dreamy, sometimes creamy, always intriguingly wordy (in an uncluttered simple kind of way).  The Church gentle glide, they glow, the create quietly unassuming sky touching epics, they have done for years and years, they’re clearly still putting their horse before their gorgeously easy cart. Torches that keep on burning, slowly uncoiling rich vibrant beauty, as mysteriously dark and as instantly accessible as ever, warm space between the notes and another instalment in what really has been a rich long-flowing unbroken stream of instinctive distinctive creative gentle vine-heavy goodness – or, out this week and available in the UK via
4th AUG 09 - GULLICH – Gullich (Pay For The Piano) – A trio from North East English with a debut self-titled eight track mini album of spiky mathy awkwardly angular indie rock  They show a lot of ambitious promise, a little predictable right now and a little lacking in terms of texture and dimension – those guitars riffs and that voice stay at the same level and never vary in terms of scratchy texture from start to finish. Textures and mathy moves we’ve heard already and crying out to be taken somewhere just a little different... Hopeful start though, let’s see what evolves, worth sticking around to see where they take it, see if they can get a little more in there.. or

NINJA DOLLS – 1, 2, 3 Go! (Unconform) - Fast feisty female fronted punk pop from Sweden, not many dimensions to it, that never stopped those Ramones though...

2nd AUG 09 - OEN SUJET - Life Given To Quiet Places (LOAF) - Oen Sujet are from Montreal, but they could be from another planet. This glassy filigree of complex, space-age sound glistens like pollen and diatoms under an electron microscope or a leaf under an ordinary one. Oen Sujet imbue electronica with vibrant, hypnotically detailed life, taking analogue synth warm purity and a whole zoo of the best sort of sonic glitch and bloop that pepper techno or drum n bass, and using them in a way that's a polar opposite to the usual - long, long epics packed with time changes and super-rich harmony.  'Life Given To Quiet Places' might even be some sort of breakthrough in music, some kind of breaking down of a whole bunch of barriers: between contemporary classical and pop, between electronic cool and heartfelt prog. It certainly defies description.  Blending immaculately with the clear, meticulously crafted production is the gorgeous, gently soaring voice of Julie Blanche, thoughtful lyrics knitting all together into a seamless, unique whole.  That whole can be called an inseparable mixture of Plaid and Burt Bacharach, of Stereolab and Aphex Twin, with the melodies and structures of Yes and early Genesis.  Despite the electronic, bleepy, glitchy soundscape, those endlessly shifting key changes, and the lovely female voice breaking into warm chorals recall the Sea Nymphs... but little else comes close. 
         And oh, the tunes. So many tunes, any of which would be stretched out for a whole song by more miserly songwriters, like the sudden killer chorus around nine minutes into Bird and Binocular.  All five mini epics are constructed out of tiny chunks of compelling melody, shifting from simple nursery rhyme to sophisticated Bacharach progression to hymnal in a few lines.  The depth of imagination in each composition is breathtaking, the detail bewildering but so inviting. The more you listen, the more comes to life, each part delightful and surprising in itself.  And the entire album holds together, as a unique whole.
        Spectacularly beautiful... and not really like anything else. - or
1st AUG 09: STREET SWEEPER SOCIAL CLUB – Street Sweeper Social Club (Cooking Vinyl) - Burger flippers grab your spatulas... sit up, pay attention, time to rage.... Street Sweeper Social Club is Tom Morello and Boots Riley and their self-titled debut album drops over here this coming Monday. It rules! Go out and get.... 
            What... you want more from us?  Oakland pro-active hip-hop legend and all round positive social force Boots Riley On voice and words - best know as leader of The Coup (Wire heads, does he sound like arch Honey Nut fiend Omar or what?), Tom Morello, he of the (still) mighty, (still) cool as f*** Rage Against The Machine on guitar and bass, Stanton Moore of Galactic laying down some serious drums.... Oh look, this is frontline Rage, no ifs, no buts... this is switch-flipping Rage good.... Boots Riley fits the bill perfectly, The Coup are widely acknowledged as being one of the best hip-hop outfits out there, his words bite, he’s got things to say and ways to say it. Born in Chicago and raised in Oakland, Boots became a teenage community organiser, served on the central organising committee for the Progressive Labor Party and lots more, “Boots Riley has been an integral part of the progressive struggle for radical change through culture” – if you don’t know him already, you’re getting the picture, he fits right there with Morello’s trademark riffs. This is seriously in the zone raging against the machine, a megablast... and some of it is just damn well infectiously good... two by two, Promonade. Those familiar “steamroller” riffs, “It’s revolutionary party jams” says Morello... Rage and depth and funk, and giant slabs or rock “This is a time when the working class is being fleeced left and right, they’ll need something to listen to on their ipods while storming Wall Street”. Front line Rage in every way, this rules, one of the albums of the year, big rock monster, shake it by its furry hand... or
NUTSAK – Failed Musician (Signed By Force) – Frantic jazz, only it isn’t, scratchy alternative rock, only it isn’t... John Coltrane for Sonic Youth fans? Maybe? Frantically busy and rushing from one side of your mind to the other... they swipe you with outbursts of frantic instrumental avant flavoured experimental jazz and just when you think you’re getting somewhere near working them out, off they rush with some frenetic wired garage punk or an insane working of My Favourite Things that ends up as some manic freeform feedback jazz fest once more – and always precise and, in a loose and manic way, so very tight (and easy to listen to). My Favourite Things is brilliant actually, raindrops and roses and the fine sound of music     Mostly this is instrumental jazz noise - not too noisy, not too difficult, not too hardboiled, just frantic frenetic jazz-fried other rock... they’re not adverse to a touch of garage punk and a touch of bad attitude though – They F**ked Good Tonight has a touch of the GG Allin about it... It just may be an eclectic ride but it does all make sense and it does flow as one glorious genre-bending irreverent whole, give it a few plays and you’ll suddenly find you love all the Hidden Charms (the Willie Dixon Hidden Charms actually), they go to many place and sound like nothing but Nutsak, recommended. – or

31th JULY 09  - END OF EVERYTHING – A Man Made Sun (Casket) – Rough clanking clattering crashing punk/metal stew of aggression, pissed-off intent, angry bile and delicate flower picking...  They’re from Glasgow, they sound like the type of people you avoid making eye-contact with on late night buses. It isn’t entirely clear if this brutally raw mess is by accident or blistering intent, it is violently good though (and we may have lied about the flower picking element). Fast, heavy, direct, relentless, a glorious road accident of an album, ‘basic’ production, drums sound like cardboard boxes, nothing subtle, six tracks, hang on here comes a moody slow one, no, they’re taking off like a bull in yet another china shop, good stuff, who knows what he's singing (yelling) about...

INNOCENT ROSIE – Bad Habit Romance (self release) – Twelve slices of decent enough standard issue high energy heard it all before a million times L.A glam metal Guns ‘n Skid ‘n Roses Row stuff (from Sweden), one shot of Jack is as good as the next right? Should you want more of it that is, up to you really -

30th JULY 09 - OBLIQ – Antenna (Ensue) – Rather impressive four piece band from Sweden with some rather epic, rather lush, rich, refined, flowing, easy on the ear, contemporary, indie rock colour... All good and Doves and Editors and Coldplay and Keane and...  and really rather good if you like that kind of thing. good look to 'em, all a little nice and polite for these awkward ears but hey... strong vocals, soothing epicness, pleasantly uplifting... or

THE MORNING AFTER – You Can’t Hurt Steel (Rising) – A not altogether convincing attempt at some kind of 80’s power/hair metal hybrid... All Maiden and Europe and Helloween and apocalyptic screaming sci-fi and singalong bits and Malmsteen style guitar solos and what nice neat short tidy hair they all have...

ANDY NICE – The Secrets Of Me (Front And Follow) – Andy Nice is currently recording and performing with Tindersticks. He’s previously worked with Luke Haines’ Barder Meinhof, Cradle Of Filth, Orbital, he’s also the cellist with string/dance music aficionados Instrumental.... The Secrets Of Me is a pleasantly soothing, restrained, quiet, mostly instrumental solo album. Layers of cello, slowly gliding string driven textures and all rather enjoyably soothing in a slow-moving richly textured chamber orchestra kind of way –

ELECTRIC RIVER – Radio No Go (self release) - Big bold Clash-like radio friendly pop-rock energy and attitude from the Kent band, energy and songs that now and again hit the spot (an now and again don’t quite...). Hardworking committed band doing it the right way, good look to ‘em -

CHEVAL SOMBRE - Sombre (Double Feature) – A rather glowing one-man band from Hudson River, NY and a collection of eleven rather sombre, rather delicately detailed slowcore folk songs. Songs that wash over in a gentle psychedelic kind of way, touch of Spacemen 3/Spectrum in there – he, his name seems to be Cheval Sombre, he has been recording with Sonic Boom, as well as collaborating with Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) and Britta Phillips (Luna) – indeed Sonic Boom plays on all of these delicately warm gentle tracks...  mellow warm slowcore alt.folk and organic electronically detailed acoustically driven psychedelia... rather beautiful. Eleven fine songs, including a version of the Doors song Hyacinth or find copies in the UK via

WAVVES - Wavvves (Bella Union) - From California and kind of sounding like it, San Diego... Californian lo-fi fluster and artrock bluster and busy busy busy scratchy fuzzy and some kind of one man noise-pop lo-fi scratchy garage thing that sometimes gets angular (in a not that angular kind of way really), an album that’s sometimes rewarding, sometimes a little annoying and sometimes leading to sentences that never quite end... Scratchy lo-fi tendencies, Californian goth girl obsessions, skateboards, weed, fuzz... a one man wall of indie-rock lo-fi noise from Nathan Williams... bits of clipped electronics and fractured fuzzy experimental noise, always around the lo-fi no-fi songs though, this is pop first and foremost, pop songs... and if we’re honest, which we always are, a little take it or leave it.... I think we’ve had enough now...

29th JULY 09 - GOODNIGHT AND I WISH – A Ruffled Mind Makes A Restless Pillow (Modern Pop) – Titled after a Charlotte Bronte quote, a collection of songs reference the thoughts we take to bed - the fears, the loves, the worries and ambitions, the spying flies and that space just before dreamscape... A Collection of songs, different songs, whispers, echoed thoughts in the night breeze... Lullaby Pop so it seems, a set of songs that began their lives as an aid to help cure bouts of insomnia suffered by singer/songwriter Brandon Jacobs – “I would write instrumental pieces to listen to when I tried to sleep, then, as time went by, I started adding stories, poems and nursery rhymes to the music”. Some of the songs are sweet, some innocent, some of them maybe a little too twee... Some charming, all very atmospheric, some of it magical... microphones set up in dark stairways and underneath wind chimes in the garden at night, in a haunted house, with the noise of mice, the space shared with loved ones.... Touches of Tim Burton, Daniel Johnson, The Divine Comedy... A mostly delightful English album, some of it poignantly beautiful, and if it is Lullaby Pop then it must just be slightly left field sometimes magical alternative Lullaby Pop... Brandon Jacobs is also drummer and founder member of Neil’s Children. A Ruffled Mind is released as a limited to 250 pressing of two CDs, Sun and Moon, the CDs come in hand made black velvet bags...

ADMIRAL ANGRY - Buster (Shelsmusic) – Late night blistering metal, these things shouldn’t be listening to first thing in the morning... A raging frothing yelping screaming pit of tantrum throwing churning brooding metal. Modern grindcore intent and a whole dark blue bag of spitting chewing aural savagery...  Debut album from the LA crew (and they do sound like a crew rather than just another band) and some intense modern screaming hardcore metal that comes with just a little something extra... a little more colour, imagination, a little more danger... You probably won’t want them flying at your head all day everyday, and on some mornings yelping screaming man is going to be the last thing you need, on days you do though, on days you do then this is intensely good edge-pushing metal. Sometimes the music is good enough to cut through all the crap, sometimes the music is worth it...

29th JULY 09 - SLEEPER – Behind Every Mask (Mush) – Claustrophobic electronica, hissing samples, textures and all through a lo-fi, dark, moody (maybe sinister) experimental hip-hop filter. Clever soundscapes, otherly textures, grainy atmospheres, grimey drums, thick layers of dusty North American musical thought. An instrumental album layered with digital intrigue (and nothing to do with any female fronted Brit Pop band of the 90’s). Less is more, lots of less and more and everything else here, a crafted sound, clever considered constructions... and none of this sounds as if it happened in any kind of accidental press it and see kind of way... this sounds and feels like every note was placed with purpose, every sound carefully considered.... who knows if that is the case, feels like it though, a work of depth – circuit-bending beat driven electronic soothing goodness and well worth your delicate ears. Out now and available in the UK via or

28th JULY 09 - FALCONGATE – Disappear Here (Lockjaw) – They’re from Hungary and they’re another one of those competent enough indie emo guitar rock bands who could be from Hungary or Brighton or California or pretty much anywhere really. They do their slick thing well enough, no hint of identity or x factor or any kind of desire to push anything, no risk taking, no challenge... You’ve heard all this before, and one of those auto-tuner vocoder things just kicked in so the eject button is about to be hit and just what is the point in another record like this? And look at that bit there with the press release; really not sure how the label can be claiming the flag of punk rock with this one, this musical conformity is probably about as far away from the idea of punk rock as you could possibly get...  here’s a link if you want to investigate and make you own mind up -

MANGROVE  - Endless Skies (Transubstans) – Decent enough melodic 70’s stoner flavoured heavy rock from Stockholm... Psychedelic edges, unashamedly retro, Sabbath flavoured, big galloping riffs, ex members of Sideburn... or

27th JULY 09 - THE THING – Bag It! (Smalltown Superjazzz) – The Thing have a new album out this week, this is good news for peace and quiet loving reflective types everywhere.... More of their hardboiled freeform noise and spiky jazz challenge. Serious other rock, more blurring of the barriers and pushing at the rules. This time the band travelled to Chicago to record with arch Jazz disliker Steve Albini – although pretty much everything we’ve ever heard from The Thing has been recorded the raw Albini press the button and capture the vibe kind of way anyway, not sure what they thought he was going to add (isn’t he jut a tape operator when it comes down to it anyway? Guess the name on the sticker on the front helps? Makes some kind of statement in terms of where they are?). Raw hardboiled left-field jazz noise and loose pieces that once more cling on to the edge of some kind of solid construction frame while the sax honks like a pack of rabid geese and the rhythm section go their very own inspiring way once more. Pretty much avoiding the covers this time other than touching on The Ex and Japan’s 54 Nude Honey (they are known for their free jazz improv interpretations of things they’ve borrowed from good people like  Lighting Bolt, White Stripes, PJ Harvey and such). Just how the Jazz world views them I don’t know, they’re certainly deconstructing and contradicting pretty much every barrier  - the spirit of free jazz and dare we even say John Coltrane channelled through some brutal avant other rock noise cloud that’s been thrown at the wall at the back of garage rock. Spontaneously thrilling, alive with danger and as always with The Thing, a rollercoaster of cutting edge free jazz noise and just the fine challenge of thrilling music. A band bot to be missed....Jazz noise for people like Albini,  Jazz for rock heads..
            Bag It is out now on the consistently excellent Smalltown Superjazzz label. The Thing play a rare UK show at the Field Day festival in London next weekend (further Field Day details further down the page) –
25th JULY 09 - HYSTERICA – Metalwar (Crong) - Dangerous looking big-breasted leather-clad women with names like Hell’n, Bitchie, Sinderella, Sat Anica and such, all there in the flames with their axes, chains and growling faces and shinny black PVC and singing of halloween and being midnight queens searching for love in the graveyard and sounding like WASP on a bad hair day telling Manowar they’re not loud enough! They’ve got a Song called Pain In The Ass, best not go there... “Where’s the priest to bless the beast?” An undoubted work of metal genius... strap what on?  “We are the girls made of heavy metal, We’re here to raise some hell, We play so f**king loud your ears will start to bleed..”. they’re going to rock until we drop so it seems, bang your heads, lose control, bring your sword, we’re going to break some laws, listen up. Obey their words... Ripping and crunching! Stand and shout, louder”  Hysterica, how much more metal could it be? None, none more metal, metal album of the year without a doubt, we mean it maaan, god's a Youtube, here's some links  - or

KONG – They’re a bothersome band this Manchester lot, scratching and poking and prodding away, agitating, buzzing around your head, flying at your face, taught, wired, never letting up....  Debut full album.... bruising, intense, jagged, fractured, bleak, angst-ridden, riffs contradicting reflection... insect rushing... fractured, broken, mended, fractured again... Kong are different, and like we’ve said before, they’re one of the best bands in the UK right now... boundary pushing, tripping up over their own boundaries, taking risks, challenging themselves, challenging us, clever, never ever obvious, still can’t predict where they’re going... one unholy row, metal? Not really, beyond that, falling upstairs, falling up mountains... disjointed... fluid, angular... screaming... crashing...  only got a CDr here, hope there’s intense artwork.... discordant, disturbing, face-pushing... perpetual...punk, post punk, Fugazi car crashes, buzzing... buzzing off it... chainsaw chaos, destructive beauty, head-pecking goodness.... wound up tight... crash, bang, devastatingly unconventional, crafted ferocity, crafted bliss, crafted....  falling off the roof of the world... as intense as any band who have ever been called Kong.... disturbingly good and everything we dared to hope their debut album would be.... abrasive beauty.... we told you all this before didn’t we? - or

HOW’S MY POP – On The Hop (Barnbox) – Northern indie pop (from Lancaster), they sound like they want to be the next Arctic Monkeys or something, not doing that much for us but hey neither do those Monkeys. Sound like they should be all over XFM and the NME and the sun is out and live and let live and here’s a polite link, next please –

Listen - Sean...23rd JULY 09: THE DANDY WARHOLS – The Dandy Warhols Are Sound (EMI) - We used to be friends, a long time ago.... Bands come, bands go, there’s always a new band... Haven’t really seriously encountered the Dandy Warhols for what seems like ages, last century? We used to be friends, a long time ago... Organ covers when no one knew them, brilliant (half-empty) Camden pub gigs and topless roller-skating margarita incidents before all the hype kicked in, bullying EMI in to releasing that first single when over here they really didn’t seem that interested in the U.S band they had on the label - trying to get them to let us do it seeing as they didn’t want to do it themselves, getting the Brian Jonestown Massacre and all their baggage in return (some thank you that was Dandys!). Oh yes, we used to be friends, a long time ago..  A new album then, kind of lost touch, is this where the band are at now? Less of that gloriously locked on forward moving rather focused North American rock of the early days, still sounds like no one else but them though, different drugs to slow things down? “Let’s get this one recorded in one toke....” and funk, lots of funk, too much funk? And that forth track, The Last High, sounds rather too much like Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes doesn’t it...? It is that familiar Dandys sound though and it is always good to run in to an old friend you once felt so much for... old friends always make you smile don’t they? Might not be the same as it was but they are still sound enough. Not sure if this is a brave album or not? Is this the sound of a band growing gracefully old and mellow? Or a band trying to challenge themselves and take a few risks? They are still sound aren’t they? Yeah, The Dandy Warhols are still Sound, this is a mellow album, a band at ease, kicking back, doing what they want, under none of the pressure of past times, a relaxed band/. Some bits of it works more than other bits and indie rock bands trying to funk are always a little dubious and meeting old friends you grew apart from is always a little awkward and I think I like this album don’t I? Yes, The Dandy Warhols are still sound...
21st JULY 09: MAGNETIC MORNING – A.M. (Friend or Faux) – A.M is the debut full length from dreamy creamy slowcore swirl-making song-crafting duo Adam Franklin (from Swervedriver) and Sam Fogarino (he on Interpol). A glowing set of gentle sonic washes, soothing textures, very much about the songs though...  Written, via the wonders of e.mail files, cyberspace, tour buses and hotels,  while both of their bands were busy globetrotting with their two bands – “from Hawaii to England, New Zealand to New Jersey...” it says here.. Beautifully soothing songs, uplifting interludes, progressive shifts, just really enjoyably good...

20th JULY 09: GARETH SAGER – Slack Slack Music (Creeping Bent) – Founder member of the legendary Pop Group with a new solo album... The Pop Group, Rip Rig & Panic, Head, his most recent project C.C Sager, quite a history here... history isn’t what matters though, respect to it and respect to him, but this about new records and the new now and getting all fired up and we are all prostitutes and so fired up, so fired up...  He may have been guitarist with The Pop Group, these twelve brand new tracks are what we’re concerned with and with a history like his, there’s a lot to live up to.. .He does, this is good... hard to pin down as well, good... good good good.... All is good There’s all kinds of little hints in here, that wonderful Pop Group legacy and all that awkward challenging angular energy and bits of The Fall, New Order, Orange Juice, Wire, The Clash (The Pop Group were right up there with them all back in the day of course). Nothing slack here, all good lean challenging new wave button pushing angle provoking goodness, still as challenging as ever, still as different as ever, nothing safe, no taking it easy, history is now, we are all...  –  or (or some history -





KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)
KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)