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Single(s) of the week 17th Nov '09

BLURT – The Bells (self release) - Limited edition of just 250 copies (along with the unlimited download) They did not give their lives, they sold them... Ted Milton... Boots on the ground need feet, for the suspension of disbelieve... Mr Milton and Blurt and who keeps those bells tolling? Operation Panther’s Claw? Operation eat it raw... wait for that knock on the door, his questioning of the “war”. Disturbing beast of a song, menacing slice of throbbing gristle and throwing it all out there like so few are. Menacing rhythm, forward moving repetition and surprising lack of honking sax until they take to the air late on in the proceedings, Blurt at their most menacingly dark... All to keep the bells of Wooting Bassett tolling... Thirty years in, Blurt still going strong, and this is Mr Milton’s first ever protest song. Powerful, no holding back here...  The b-side, a thing called Block, is a little more typical of Blurt – that energetically wild sax-driven psycho-funk afro-punk no-wave pogo-jazz almost instrumental thing they do so so well – or  

CATS AND CATS AND CATS – Oh Boy! (Robots Need Homes) - Fine new three tracker from those Cats, been out a couple of weeks already, better late then never with our words (things are busy here, you’ve heard this on the radio show already haven’t you? Post strikes, CD mountains, paint to sling) We liked those early moves Cats and Cats made, regulars on our radio/TV shows and in our pages they were, then they signed to one of those arsy cooler than you record labels and...  Thing may just get back on track now they have a new label and things are flowing properly again, no big scary scenester monster poison with this three tracker anyway – shame when bands get dragged down by all that record label stuff, kind of got lost there for a bit didn’t they. Three fine fine tracks, two originals and a Maybeshewill remix - that adventurous heart-lifting indie-prog adventure that always did have a little extra bit of hope, a touch of English clarity with their dancing around telescopes. This is Cats And Cats And Cats at their glorious best, hints of that post-rock sky-touching euphoria, but they use it as an ingredient rather than making it the basis of their whole cake - dancing around and full of joy. First track, A Bay Called Haunts, is a fine fine opener, we’d be more happy with just that, but things really come to life with the glorious beauty and the genuine adventure of the wonderful second track, The Boy With The Beak, and all those sunny boy/girl vocals that take you with them...  Genuine musical adventure, glorious feathers down your spine and open those blinds, let it all in. Real progressive daring and epic euphoria and daring to just be different - one of the finest bands out there... or    

also worth checking out this week...

SKRUFF – This Is Not OK (self release) – Catchy energetic indie guitar pop from Derry, Northern Ireland. Kind of thing you’d expect to hear on daytime XFM or evening time Radio One or some such place that we don’t have much faith in anymore. Something about loosing their faith in the radio, certainly not the kind of thing we’d play on the radio, we have faith in our radio, if you prefer XFM or maybe that slightly annoying Zane Lowe fellow then this is OK radio friendly indie guitar pop, touch of an Undertones go all slick and indie pop flavour, lots of energy, kind of catchy after a few plays - this is not OK, well that’s what they aid, it is kind of OK actually, you do sometimes hear an occasional good thing on those mainstream radio stations don’t you, wouldn’t catch us playing it on our show though, we don’t do radio friendly..  –

ELEPHANTS – Alexander (Vacuous Pop) – All very current indie guitar pop and slightly jagged and full of energy and laced with just a touch of a mathy poppy polyrhythmic undercurrent somewhere in there. If only the vocals weren’t quite so whinny, all love feels like an anchor around his neck or something like that. They’re from Kent, lots of people are talking about them. Go explore via 

THE MAN FROM ANOTHER PLACE – The Loneliest Cowboy EP (self release) - Pleasant tunes, soothing, filmy, melodic instrumental pieces, touches of Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson – the quality of it all, the same sense of melodic adventure, rather than any obvious sound-alike reference... Rather gorgeous actually, all quietly restrained and accomplished orchestral brightness. Tingling and alive, five fine tracks, all of them as food as each other and everything just right in every way –   

TURBOWOLF - Let’s Die (self release) - Stripped to the bone scuzzy rawk urgency. A car crash of busy riffs, raw keyboards, in your fae vocals and all in some kind of race that’ll never make it to the end. Jagged, barbed, fat, fit, fighting and mean as hell, a ram-raiding red light-jumping ball of rock ‘n roll attitude... All wired all alive with a pulsing undercurrent of arcing electronica, taking no prisoners - bring out your young, bring out your old, a scuzzy rock ‘n roll car crash is no bad thing...

BRAKES – Why Tell The Truth? / Worry About It Later (Fat Cat) – Breezy bright, joyous energy and the lighter side of Brakes, not the side you find easy to blame chaos on, not so much of their fury here, just nice and pleasantly infectious countrified indie pop with that little bit of hotter than a peppered sprout undercurrent that always comes with a Brakes song –         

THE MEDULLARY PARALYSIS – We Don’t Drink, We Don’t Take Drugs, We Don’t Have Sex, We Feel Compassion (Bandcamp) – So much we could say about that tittle, we’ll resist the giant lump of bait, boring flippers.... They’re a three piece from Italy with a Marilyn Manson fetish, they say they don’t like the hedonistic world that’s around them, step aside then, get out of the way...  Did we ever tell you the story of Rachel Stamp and their strict don’t mess with our followers and fans policy back when they had that most hedonistic of female followings? Then they started getting old and loosing those glam rock looks and it was all too late and everything, including following, started to fade – “what a stupid rule that was” a Stamp was heard to be muttering in to his pint one night, “who came up with that one..!?” – This Medullary lot? Well dressed synth-driven industrial glamsters with a grungy mechanical fizz should you want it. Gothy glam rock electro straight-edgers? Got to be the silliest idea ever –      

FRIGHTENED RABBIT – Swim Until You Can’t See Land (Fat Cat) - Ah there’s the Frightened Rabbit magic, there on the second track of two, the b-side, Fun Stuff. A-side Swim Until You Can’t See Land seems a little throwaway and dare we say just a little ordinary by the Scottish band’s previous high standards – a little too full on and over produced, sounds like something that might just be trying a little too hard to be that crossover break through hit the big time (or at least make the next step up the career ladder) single... Repeating the same line again again until we can’t see land...  Ah but there on the b-side, clothes take off, no fanfares, no hallelujahs, just that stripped back folk and the real heart and the less is more emotion, the fragile naked Frightened Rabbit beauty all quietly building up, more to take with you, this b-side is where the much talked of Frightened Rabbit magic is...    

THE BLOODY BEETROOTS featuring THE COOL KIDS – Awesome (Dim Mak) – First single from the Bloody Beetroots debut album Rombarama. Some crispy crunching old school electro bleep and head-ducking dog-catching supercalafragalistic dancemeat featuring the bit-in-the-flask some-on-the-counrer rap of The Cool Kids - and all with added shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and I’d say it was indeed awesome if I didn’t hate the overused word so much... Like it lots, the damn thing crunches... 
ZEBRAHEAD – Hell Yeah! (MFZB) – Orange County’s Zebrahead with more of their bouncy poppy cover all bases radio friendly pop-punk. Generic stuff from the perennial support band, they got the pop-metal riffs, the touch of rap, the horns, the hell yeah shouts the bouncing souls, the blink 182 bits... They sound like every US punk pop metal ska whatever band you heard in the last twenty or so years. They’ve been around for ages, they’re on their sixth album now... Never quite worked out the point, I guess they’re fun live, guess that is the point... Harmless sunny inoffensive pop-rock music, to kick it would be like kicking a playful puppy, now get that damn dog out of here before feet fly...  –    

ANDREW MORGAN - As Long As We Are Together EP (Broken Horse) – Single from the Please Kid Remember album, eight track single? Almost an album in itself. “The new king of chamber pop” as someone else said, he’s from Kansas City, we got all the facts to hand...  All waltz-time goodness and delicately strong songs alive with depth and gentle melodic adventure. The lead track (got no titles here, short of the facts after all) has an Elliott Smith glow to it, perfect in this watery winter sunlight here today – Elliott Smith once gave him some studio time to help him get going... Beautiful lead track, touch of Efterklang about it – far more simple and alive in a space that’s all of Andrew Morgan’s own though, no big parade, just simple sunny orchestration and cleverly layered understatement  –

CATE LE BON – Hollow Trees House Hounds (Irony Bored) – Slightly lo-fi, edgy, witchy, psychedelic, eccentric and nicely left field in a Bat For Lashes goes 13th Floor Elevators kind of way. Retro guitar, a touch of Nico, a touch of Stephen Malkmus and leaves blown ot ground and hounds and strange brew folk from South Wales –

And them’s the singles for this week...  

Single(s) of the week 10th Nov '09 

AU – Versions (Aagoo) – Out this very week on 10” vinyl (limited edition of 500) and CD and more from the ever evolving collective of musical creators from Portland Oregon. Six tracks, six glowing tingling tracks. Gloriously different experimental alt.pop and right in the with the very best things the current crop of bands like Animal Collective are thrown out. Things are become a little more focused now, not so much the long lists of Portland collaborators now and a little more of a unique finer print, a sound that is AU. This is a set of five re-workings of songs from previous albums along with a new song called Ida Walked Away. The new song opens things with intriguing style and some rather colourfully restrained drum experiments somewhere in the glow and the warmth, the other five reworked piece make obvious sense as project leaders Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka pull the whole thing in to some kind of sharper focus – carnivalesque organ celebrations, rewarding walls of sound, telepathic connections, sharp-edged contradictions, experiments that always flow, AU continue along their path with as much style and substance as ever   - or

THAVIUS BECK – Go! / Away (Big Dada) - More glitchy musical euphoria and flowing hip-hop word wizardry from Los Angeles. Whatever it is, there’s some seriously good boundary pushing cross-pollinating other rock beat driven hip-hop challenge here. Single from the recent Dialogue album, little more than your usual guns ‘n bling, bit of a Dalek vibe in there (or is it Dalek who’s picked up on the Thavius vibe?) –

also worth checking out this week...

WORLD SERVICE PROJECT – In That State Of Mind (Self Release) –  Now don’t ask us to get all authoritative about jazz, we know the basics, we hear lots we like, we hear some we don’t, we can talk about this and that and Led Bib and... All we can tell you about this second self-released single from WSP is that we rather like it. Sounds very traditional to us, soothing, smooth, complex, easy, flowing.. “we see ourselves somewhere between contemporary experimental jazz and rock/groove/funk” they say,  I guess they mean fusion. They talk of Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland and say “we just genuinely love making music”.  This is rather fine, this is just really good – spot on flowing jazz with a warm experimental edge and a touch of progressive fusion from a new London band busy playing at places like the Vortex Club now –

RIDING THE LOW – They Will Rob You Of Your Gifts (Clinical Finish) – Decent enough alt.rock debut and a rather North American sounding R.E.M meets Guided By Voices flavoured band from Burton On Trent, English Midlands. A band formed and voiced by acclaimed actor Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes, The Red Riding Trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Four strong songs, played with heart...Nnothing ground-breaking, nothing that radically different, played from the gut though, and with an edgy slightly raw production, decent enough...

Single of the week 3rd Nov '09 

CASTROVALVA – Thug Poetry (Brew) - Follow up to the extremely well received self-titled debut mini-album and  already they’re throwing curveballs. This is a massive leap forward, I mean it sounds like Castrovalva but this is clearly a band with no intention of repeating the previous dose in the same measure. New voices and pushing their own boundaries and a rather unexpected set of lyrics/voices. Monstrous post-hardcore bass driven other rock that’s powered by a funk undercurrent that comes over something near (but nowhere near) something like Prince messing with Rolo Tomassi or Hella or Lightning Bolt. Ninety percent of music that comes in here really doesn’t have much point to it - bands rehashing other bands, repeats of what they did last time, sounding like whoever was on that glossy cover last week... Thankfully the other ten percent of the musical world is made up of bands like Castrovalva and this is what the best of that small percentage sound like. Pulled apart by thug poetry and Leemun Smith’s addition as permanent vocal instrument works so well alongside those ferociously heavy drums and that filthy dirty bass. They’re from Leeds, they sound too good to be, they sound like some legendary Oakland, New York, Washington DC outfit that people over here, those in the know, have been waiting for years – you know, band no one know but when they finally do get over here the venue is packed and rabid and frothing and we’ve got them bands over here now, these are exciting musical times. Massive sound, massive funk, massive experimental other rock (excellent production). playing it all their own way and by their own rules... Two giant tracks, are we getting near to thinking about singles of the year yet?  Out on November 2nd, limited edition of 500, you might want to move quickly – or

Plus this week's singles to check out

JAGA JAZZIST – One-armed Bandit (Ninja Tune) -  Sounds like a clever theme tune for some suave purple crushed velvet jacket wearing Jensen Interceptor driving 60’s upper-class English detective called Jason Chance – heard once on a childhood TV and stuck in heads forever. All galloping rhythms and arpeggiated harpsichord. Leader of the Norwegian nine piece instrumental outfit Lars Horntveth describes the new sound, tongue a little in cheek, as “Wagner meets Fela Kuti”. Doesn’t sound that Wagnerian to ears around here sounds like a wonderfully eccentric soundtrack and a fine appetiser to the album of the same name (due out Feb 1st next year).  Available now as a free download or out as a full single on November 23rd –

SOULSAVERS – Unbalanced Pieces (V2) – Majestic dark-edged moodiness flowing through those violent seasons. Second single from the excellent Broken album, Mark Lanegan and Mike Patton sharing duel vocals this time –

THE ANTLERS – Two (Frenchkiss)  - From the much talked of Brooklyn band’s forthcoming debut album Hospice, a gorgeous slice of heart-lifting cleaver simplicity and gentle anthemic alt.pop glow that all bares repeating (and repeating). Certainly backing up the word of mouth building reputation here. Beautiful, two people, two voices, two everything, special band here...  –

28th OCT '09:  BOMB FACTORY – Bomb Factory (self release) - Now this has us from the off, debut single proper from the Southern English band, grabs hold of everything straight away with that frantic paranoia and all the you know they’re watching us... Watching with all that wired urgency and the furious edge of it all, the menacing menacing edge... They got all the confrontation of early Killing Joke, alive with the bite of the much missed Creaming Jesus, with all the mistakes of a housing estate... There’s been loads of bands called Bomb Factory, these people are one of the best with all that wound-tight anger and that god bothering venom, that seething anger and those barbed riffs.... And you know they’re watching us, you know they’re watching us... God loves us and he hates you, they got it all on tape. Hey, didn’t we yell about a rather good demo from this lot last year? Yes we damn well did, all coming back now, and soon it will explode... Those people could well be locked up in some garage on a housing estate near you, making this explosive music or wrapping nails in ... Fifteen lashes with the bible belt, on your knees as we pray, take a big puff of that holy smoke... John Cooper Clark, Crass, Art Brut, scathing passion, anger, bite and kicking at everything you’ve got, love every menacing bit of it! -

26th OCT '09: SEELAND – Captured (LoAF) – Second single from Birmingham band Sealand’s rather refined debut album Tomorrow Today. The lead track is a warm slice of gentle uptempo relaxed soothing psychotropic pop. Seeland wash over with a delicate glow and this is some kind of aural massage with their hints of Neu and their harmonies and traces, and here with the lead track, they’re at their most 80’s sounding with their indie-pop jangly guitars and quiet fairground organs, their Edwin Collins flavours and their hints of Orange Juice or the Postcard era.  The real interest here for those who already have the album, is the delicate remixes, especially the work of ‘hauntologists’ The Advisory Circle and their ghostly treatment of a delicate folk gem called Call The Incredible, or Danish composer Thomas Knack’s soft-handed touch.

19th OCT '09: THE DEAD SHORES – Modern Men (Just Good) – They’re from Wigan, they talk of wholesome things like Half Man Half Biscuit, Magazine, Wedding Present and a whole load of classic 80’s bands. The Dead Shores make positive scratchy northern wordy new-wave post-punk, they have their own angle on life and things, this is good... They look like they’re going to be some kind of Oasis/Farm type terrace culture band, these people clearly do not have a monthly direct debit with a First Fitness gym, they do not read GQ or hang out on sun-beds with their well groomed mates, these fine people do not have a WKD side (I bet they’ve got a Dukla Prague away kit though). Real slice of real life lyrics, working-class wit in there with their spiky urgency and their Jam-like Arctic Monkeys energy and this is good, this is very good, lot of Half Man in there, lot of good things in there and they could go to hell and they’re sick and tired of modern life and My Space friends requests and skinny fit jeans on the next big thing and they wish they could fly... invite them to your next barbecue, bet Peel would have been playing this over and over, where are the decent radio DJs when you need ‘em eh? Go send the Dead Shores a modern life friends request and become their new best mates via

17th OCT '09: VOWELS – Two Wires /On Up (LoAF) – James Rutledge and Chris Walmsley and a two track single off the back of the recent rather impressive Pattern Prism album. Bit of a Battles feel, different construction methods, (vaguely) similar results, they talk of “joining the dots between Acid Mothers Temple and Tangerine Dream”. Avant other-pop, dense rhythmic drums and a little something of their own. Vowels are good  -

13th OCT '09: KUNK – No Way/Game Over (Plastic Sun) – Feisty new single from the spiky band from Norfolk. Released on their own label and well worth your time (again). Pointy indie guitar alt rock energy and spunky punky Pixies verve – yeah, I know that’s a cop out, mentioning Pixies is always the lazy easy option but I got places to be and it is only a signpost, just a vague idea! Quit yer damn complaining, hit the link and find out for yourselves, you don’t need reviews, you just need signposts, go use your own ears, mine are needed elsewhere. Kunk are good, we’ve told you this before, urgent energy, barbed riffs, demented buzz stomping at you, boy/girl vocals, Pixies, McLusky. Spiky, feisty, edgy, lurching goodness, we like Kunk, we played their last single on the radio, we’ll play this one too, got to go, game over, for now... – or

12th OCT '09: AMAZING BABY – Kankra (V2) – Bright and breezy single that’s part Animal Collective flavoured folktronica, part alt.pop balladry and part MGMT disco-glam thump, the Brooklyn band are probably booked to be mainstream music media big news any moment now –

DEVIL DRIVER – Back With A Vengeance (Roadrunner) – Single from the rather tasty Pray For Villains album, the US band continue to hit the spot with their blend of polished modern crunch and old school growling pit-churning heavy metal aggression –

11th OCT '09:I LIKE TRAINS  - Sea Of Regrets (self release)  - First fruits of the next album and now they’re out of their depth in a sea of regret and they hate to say they told you so.... a sea of regret that’s everything they hoped it would be. More slow moving miserable beauty and all the elegance of a melancholic Shepherd painting of one of those dying steam beasts in rays of sun reaching in through the broken roof of Willesden shed. Just about everything is right here (again), the graceful flow, the out of our depth emotion, the warmth in that sea of regret and all their glowing hate to say I told you so darkness that really is so full of uplifting light... Epic flow, building and building (and building) and the first fruits are everything we hoped they would be, everything running fine here, no sign of Dr Beeching, no cuts or anything else here, guitars and words and violins and cellos all soaring to a glorious finale and an ‘anthem to a hopeless  future for humanity”, I Like Trains sounding as inspiring and vital as ever –

8th OCT '09: LULU & THE LAMPSHADES – Feet To The Sky (Voga.Parochia) – Kind of quirky, kind of folky, kind of Lily Allen and all bright and sparkly sweet and a little bit twee in a positive kind of happy way. Kind of delightful actually – or

HOUDINI – What A Fire (self release) - Spiky pointy slightly angular scratchy alternative indie pop on a little three inch CD thing that almost escaped us. We could make some kind of smartarse comment about them almost escaping us but you know we’re not the smirking smartarse types and we’d never do anything like that. They sound a bit like some kind of Fugazi tripping over the Fall and crashing right over Herzoga with all their sharp bits. Decent first release, they’re from Ashford, Kent and you can find them via

SINGLE REVIEW:  HEALTH – Die Slow (City Slang) – Neat set of remixes tagged on to this single from LA’s Health. The main track is that fine wall of experimental dance noise, that, to use a word we have copyright on, is rather thrilliant. Pictureplane remix takes things in to even more danced up getting near four to the flour disco areas, Tabacco mix adds a great big techno electro crunch and doesn’t leave much of the original Health finger print, likewise Zombie Zombie turn things in to a dark sinister synth driven Zombie Zombie track and add a whole load of menace, may as well just be packaged as a Zombie Zombie track... damn fine one mind you –

6th OCT '09: VOLCANO CHOIR – Island, Is (Jagjaguwar) - The things you find in rejected piles of unwanted CDs, still it is all about the music isn’t it? Single from the Unmap album. Volcano Choir are bits of Bon Iver and Collections Of Colonies Of Bees and this is an interesting enough amalgamation of many current North American alt,rock things, a folky Bon Iver take on Animal Collective’s textures. 

DISCONCERTS – A. Medic (PLR) – Soothingly frantic wired up new wave from Chichester’s Disconcerts. Kinetic rhythms, scratchy drive, dislocated lines, Death Disco PiLness and Fire Engines energy, urgent neurotic vocal delivery from the finely named guitarist/singer Hugo Hamper-Potts. Last track of five threatens to get all Franz on us before a last minute swerve down Art Brut’s garden path - or They’re playing a free EP launch gig at Ryan’s Bar, Stoke Newington, London on 9th Oct... 

PAALMER – Old School (FM) – No messing old school glam flavoured guitar driven heads down see you at the end punk rock ‘n roll from France. Iggy, Ramones, Pistols, early Social Distortion, Sonic Boom Boys... Non stop second hand riffs, raw vocals, just like being down the Wardour Street Marquee somewhere around 1987. Nothing new, nothing different but then I very much doubt if they want it to be. No messing, they do their thing well. Old school, hey ho, let’s go, drunk punks....

2nd OCT '09:YETI LANE – Lonesome George (Sonic Cathedral) – French trio Yeti Lane with some rather delightful synth flavoured tunes that have a healthy hint or two of Animal Collective about them. That and a breezy uplifting Kraut rock flavour in there with arpeggiated Grandaddy keyboard feel, the Pavement guitar textures and the tales of the last surviving Pinta Island tortoise. Rather delightful whetting of the appetite ahead of their January 2010 self-titled debut album. This single is out next Monday as a download and limited edition seven inch –

THE KABEEDIES – Petits Filous (NrOne) - A whole load of important questions asked and answered as the girl voice interacts in classic scratchy lo-fi indie pop with the boy voice... Who is your favourite kung fu star? he asks, probably Bruce Lee she answers. Favourite colour...? She’s Katie Allard, he’s guitar player Evan Jones, or maybe he’s bass player Rory Hull (they both get a vocal credit), Fab Bell hits drums. We like The Kabeedies, we’ve told you this before, this new single here is leading up to their debut album. Excellent lead track, excellent interplay, excellent single yet again, feisty indie teen pop, sharp, insanely infectious, the Norwich band done good yet again, fire up the radio, we got another player. And their record label is a post code, the true spirit of Wiiija in several ways then... or - the single is out on Monday, the debut album in early November 

1st OCT '09: THE LOW ANTHEM – Charlie Darwin (Bella Union) – Bella Union have just re-issued this gorgeously perfect piece of aching beauty from The Low Anthem, if you missed it first time around then don’t whatever you do, don’t let it pass you by this time. This is just sublimely magical and glowing and I could gush and gush over the slow moving radiant beauty of it all for ages and ages. Those rising falsettos and gentle alt.folkness, the heart trading and a single that’s just about perfect in every single way. Stop everything for four minutes and just drink it in. They’ve got it there on their MySpace -

23rd Sept '09: ANDY NICE – The Remixes (Front And Follow) – Other-worldly sunny warmth, delicate inviting ambient electronic experiments slowly evolving around the sound of a slowly uncoiling rather sunny Cello. Andy Nice is Tindersticks cello player, he says he wants to push the boundaries with his solo cello work, he’s doing it in a refined considered beguilingly beautiful relaxed way and these four remixes compliment his recent well received activity rather well – remixes from his recent The Secrets of Me album ...Four tracks out on an EP next Monday 28th September and rather recommended otherness, some delicate ambient electronic texture and such from Elite Barbarian, Yellow6 (AKA Jon Atwood) and Sone institute Apparently you can get this as a free download  from the Arctic Circle via or find out more from or

23rd Sept '09: HATEBREED - In Ashes They Shall Reap (Roadrunner) – Single from the Conneticut band’s latest album ‘Hatebreed’ and more of their trademark aggressive no messing muscled up crossover hardcore metal threat. Doing pretty much what you’d expect and indeed want Hatebreed to do once more... Brutal, bruising, tough, no sign of compromise...

THIRD LIGHT – Leaders And Follwers (Robot Heart) – Epic indie pop rock that touches on a Feeder flavour or two, slick emotion and they do their chosen thing impressively well – really not our chosen thing though... All radio friendly slick and here it is, early moves from the kingston-Upon-Thames band, moves that are sure to impress other people at places like evening time Radio One... Not for us though, good luck to them, go investigate for yourself via should you like your pop rock slick and reaching towards the melodically epic.... 

18th Sept '09:  CARETAKER – Rook/Impass (self release) – They’re back, the English band have been far too quiet, thought they’d split... they haven’t, they’re still out there, slightly adjusted line up and a little more brutal with their aggressively colourful mathy post-hardcore metal bite this time around. Sharp-edged shouty a-side, instrumental b-side, all rather accomplished and rather brutally angry in a rather positive light-and-shade-laced way this sunny Friday afternoon...  rather glad they haven’t quit...

STRIKE THE COLOURS – Breathing Exercise (Deadlight) – Rather pleasant, rather sunny, rather gorgeous two tracker. Simple songs, cleverly simple, sweetly glowing folk-pop from Glasgow. Jenny Reeves has a beautifully soothing charming breezy voice that it really is impossible not to like and feel good about and....neat hand made cover as well... or

IMPLOSION QUINTET – I Don’t Hear A Single EP (Cookshop) – Follow up to the recent debut album The Future Sound Of Yesterday. The Quintet is actually the rather singular James Baker, a British musician now based in Norway. A rather accomplished mix of operatic folk, gentle glitch, colourful prog flavours (although we really can’t have the press release referring to this as IQ!), easy on the ear textures, tunes and something that could (rather lazily) be called world music experiments – Eastern European, French, cinematic, exotic, bohemian... or

17th Sept '09: DUSTED ANGEL – The Thorn (Corruption) - Righteous slice of raw old school punk-fried metal, we’re talking St-Vitus for Black Flag heads, we’re talking galloping stoner riffs, raw throats, proper old school metal, a touch of good old school Angel Witch (or obscure things like Mythra or Sledgehammer or...), a smell of the early 80’s and a slice of NWOBHM. They’re from Santa Cruz, California, they got Billy Anderson doing the engineering, they got three tracks on this cool as slice of seven inch vinyl, they got it done right, did we say it was old school? – or

DR. SLAGGLEBERRY – The Slagg Factory (Crash) - The Southern English band are back with more of their slicing chopping raw edgy instrumental math metal complexity. Striped down and a little more focussed with their highwire ride, with their complex twitching and riffing, their barbed edges and their impressive colour. We like the good Doctor, we like the imagination, the genuine musical adventure, they way they challenge themselves, we like their constant time changing goodness, their bite... No chin stroking here, no Math-noodle, these calculations bite. Still early days, still raw and home-made, that just might be part of the appeal. Five new instrumental tracks, The good Doctor drop another good one, things are boiling up nicely, this is finger-chopping good –

N.A.M.B – Radiorack (Monotreme) - Some sort of slick poppy slightly alternative multi-layered Faith No More flavoured band from Italy with a two track single from a forthcoming second album –

14th Sept '09: THE SANS PAREIL – Happy Hour (Stone Of Folly) – They have a new six track EP out of their own label, we made their demo a demo of the week around here at Organ sometime last year and it seems things are coming together rather nicely for the Dalston band. Some kind of scratchy off-hinge multi-voiced bluesy folk-punk barbed-wire mob-rule shouting about not wanting to appreciate something or someone or... well who knows what they’re shouting about out there.... Kind of disturbing, disturbing is good, well here it is. Kind of dark swamps of East London hillbilly music, music of the night and people who know what’s good for you, barking at the moon, strange creatures, roadkill, things in the shadows, you better watch out my friend... just go with them, take all your roadtax, insurance, all the documentation, follow, everything will be alright, everything will be... 

ISOLATED ATOMS – Tell Me What I Want (Weekender) - Counting time but it ticks no more... um...  Isolated Atoms. Decent regimented indie-pop with a touch of drive about it, a kind of New Order/Joy Division flavour (that apparently has Peter Hook’s approval), touch of Depeche Mode, touch of a lot of things actually. “The name derives from Joy Division’s Isolation album”, I think we get the idea, we know where their atoms seed themselves – a grower, didn’t really grab us fully first time, growing now though, hooking us in with their radio friendly heroicness, kind of sound like that band The Bravery, that’s no bad thing, decent first single, worthy of further investigation... Debut single out on Sept 28th  -

8th Sept '09:  EUREKA MACHINES - Being Good Is Okay, But Being Bad is Better (Wrath) – Eureka Machines doing their infectious Wildhearts style catchy pop rock once more. Free download should you want to get infected...They keep trying to get us to namedrop Cardiacs but that’s taking liberties (and there is no ‘the’), you’re got to be extra good to get away with that! Here’s a link, we’ll leave it with you, infectious pop rock –

CUDDLY SHARK – The Sheriff Of Aspen Bay (Armellodie) – Exploding out of Glasgow again with another a ball of messed up attitude and some lonely lonely lonely punked-up Zeppelin puns. Just over two minutes of shouty in your face and taking the phone and  art-school punks so they say, we’ll forgive them that, never trust anyone who went to art school. Two thirds masculine, one third feminine, originally from the Highlands and a damn cool Neil Diamond cover (Cherry Cherry) on the b-side that almost threatens to rival Killdozer’s cover of I Am I Said. They’re not all noise and bluster though, not just attitude and energy and shouting “Feckin’ dae Summin” (which were told in English translates to “please do something”). They got some delicate songs in there with their bits of Husker Du, Fugazi, Buzzcocks and Weezer all being thrown up the stairs at the same time... Like we said last time aroun, they good, kiss the bug cuddly shark... nothing ugly here –

4th Sept '09: ELECTRIC ASSEMBLY – White Splinter (Dream Driven) – They talk of “post-country psychedelia and affecting melodies against layers of droning guitars, hypnotic drumming and white noise feedback” and I guess that’s just about right. Slow slow washes of gentle relaxed post-rock and tastes of Board of Canada, Slowdive, gentle gentle stuff, delicately resonating, soothing and sliding, vibrant and all in a rather impressively neat hand made hand painted CD cover that’s a delight to handle. Dream driven indeed and all of it top quality – packaging, sound, style and everything, limited edition hand dumber release of just one hundred and well worth grabbing. / /

31st AUG '09: THE CURSORS – Alien / Hmm Ha (British Medical Records) - New self-released single and more of the London band’s busy bouncy springy punky new wave thrust that’s starting to turn heads more and more. We’ve told you about them before... Feisty, girl-fronted, kind of sinister and a little menacing in an alien aero-spaceage flying at your mind kind on way... stand up, start up, get set, set course, lights on, turn green, they’re here.  They’re here and we should have been as well, release dates? An alien took ours, hmm ha, we only just got it back, fell through a timewhole of a time hole. We like these Cursors, we like their raw energy, and their punky 1981 are we not men? No, we are Cursors. That first track sound like something Robert Calvert would have flown in on during his Captain Lockheed adventures, until it gets a little Siouxsie in that bouncy springy Yeah yeah Yeahs new wave way we already mentioned. We like these Cursors. Busy playing lots in London right now...

PITCHBLEND – Celsius (Sugarshack) – More from Reading’s Pitchblend and more of their My Vitriol/A Perfect Circle/Placebo meets Explosions In The Sky melodic/anthemic style alterno-indie rock... Kind of feels like they’re treading a little water here after all the early promise. We’ve paid them compliments before, feels like time to be moving it on a little now maybe? Is it time for Pitchblend to challenge themselves a little more?

TO ARMS ETC. – Misbelieving/Lucky (Bronzerat) – They have such a distinctive, instantly recognisable, colourfully rich sound, a slow gliding style all of their own. Charles Campbell-Jones and his band following up that fine debut album (and his previous solo work). A little more poppy with these two new songs, that’s no bad thing... Slightly left-field, slightly oddball (not really oddball in any way really) art-pop-prog flow and it could only be To Arms Etc. They’re easy, they gently glow, they’re anthemic, simple, alive, a touch of the baroque with their sky-touching goodness, a gleam all of their own, another set of treats that you may need to give a couple of spins before the magic hits you or

30th AUG '09: DEAR READER – Great White Bear (City Slang) - This is just absolutely gorgeous, one of those singles to just put on repeat and stand in the middle of a room with and just listen to... This is just a heartachingly beautiful song alive with emotion, alive with radiant intricate simplicity... Dear Reader are vocalist and piano player Cheri MacNeil and musical collaborator Daryl Torr, they’re from Johannesburg (apparently they have an uneasy relationship with their home country of South Africa). Left-field tales and places to hide and almost getting there... and disasters and youthful dreams of escape and however wrong the day may have been and the running from that bullet in the back, whatever happened, this is just absolutely gorgeous – Oh there’s a great animated video as well., see it here

THE NEW ENEMY – Outsourced EP (self release) - Rough-voiced throaty commitment from four North American hardcore punk types... They’re from Toronto actually, that throat sounds very raw – that familiar chugging punk sound that you know so so well –

STREET SWEEPER SOCIAL CLUB – 100 Little Curses (Cooking Vinyl) – One of the more obvious cuts from the recent Street Sweeper album. Tom Morello’s new outfit, but don’t be thinking this is just Rage revisited, could never be just that when you’ve Boots Riley fronting thing, to suggest it is is rather disrespectful really - or

SOULSAVERS – Death Bells (V2) – Another single from the rather excellent Soulsavers, second to be lifted from the Broken album. Mark Laneghan, former Screaming Trees frontman, with his musical personality stamped all over it. Massive Mogwai re-mix on the b-side of this advance version we have here  -

SKUNK ANANSIE – Because Of You (One Little Indian) – They’re back for more, born again, easy to be cynical about these things, scoff about old bands back for the money... This second born again single sounds as committed as the previous one was, got some their early days attitude and biting edge back in there... And Skin always was impressively powerful when her band got things right.  May not be a fashionable opinion, who cares about who’s cool enough to namedrop and who isn’t this week. Skunk Anansie are back making more than decent rock records once again, that’s no bad thing –

Sean24th AUG '09: CHICKENHAWK – A Or Not (Brew) - Riddle this one as well, kicking tin cans to the moon and I spy what? New three track single from the mighty Chickenhawk. We do not user that word mighty with the abandon of most others around here, this Leeds band are mighty,  I made this, do you like it? Chickenhawk back for more and didn’t we say something about their debut album being metal album of the year or something like that here at Organ last year? Before the I Spy book of bulshit kicked in? Really do hope this band don’t get tangled up in the crap that passes for some kind of British music industry, they really deserve more than all that ego infested soup that can tangle a band up and strangle them to death. This is a serious twist of intelligent forward looking, thinking person’s creative metal, clearly enough of a band to want to challenge themselves and push their boundaries and on the evidence of this, a band who thankfully haven’t used it all up on album number one. Three tracks, all of them strong, all looking and sounding rather good, all comes down to the music in the end - or They’re at the Reading and Leeds festivals this coming weekend, they’re busy touring throughout September, the single is out in the first week of September... There's some free Chickenhawk downloads and such further down this very page, go I Spy them, they are one of the best matal bands out there and these three tracks are healthy steps forward ... 
SIXTY WATT BAYONETS – Pounding Hearts, Fighting Words (Broken Tail) - Feisty spiky shouty busy blustery girl-fronted indie pop-rock four piece from Reading with a seven track EP, Don’t know how many of these have turned up in the post now, I guess someone would like us to say something... Well, feisty spiky shouty busy blustery girl-fronted indie pop-rock that’s either mildly irritating or potentially thrilling, depending on your state of mind. Kind of in your face and screeching and yelping away and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Beth Ditto driving away and they think they got it sorted, they think they got your number... they haven’t got ours yet, their pounding hearts and fighting words haven’t got us off the fence... –

15th AUG 2009:  JASON LYTLE – It’s The Weekend (Anti) – The unmistakable voice of Grandaddy and one of the finer tracks off his recently rather breezy and easy-on the ear sunny alt.pop solo album Yours Truly, The Commuter  – or

14th AUG 2009: ON HISTORIES OF ROSENBERG – On Histories Of Rosenberg (Function) – A rather refined four track self-titled EP from the Southern English band. A five piece with a healthy glow about them, I’m guessing this is their debut. Progressive post-rock Englishness that has a warm dew-fresh glisten to it, they’re in to those rather current indie-mathy areas again, that quietly spiralling epicness, those slightly angsty vocal lines -  they have heir own beauty though, a comfort not questioned, and they understand the power of understated restraint and that a quiet less is so often so much more than more noise and aggression. Emotional English indie-prog that takes you out with the leaves and fields and things awoken. That throaty vocal style again but On Histories have a refined bit of class and craft to them and without being dramatically different, these are Impressively hopeful uplifting and sometimes rather beautiful first moves  -

11th AUG 09: RANDAN DISCOTHEQUE – Daily Record May 18th 1993 (The Bonjour Beach) – From Edinburgh with a song about all the forgotten headlines from a day back at the start of the 90’s when lots seem to happen and Denis Law was Scot of the Day in the national newspaper that day.. A Quirky scratchy old school indie thing, a different thing, the kind of thing the much missed Mr Peel would have run with in the way he did with these delightfully different things...Not sure about the b-side, sound like the work of a different band, like the a-side though....

TINY MASTERS OF TODAY– Real Good (Mute) – The teenage band everyone loves to namedrop but don’t let that put you off, they got the goods to back it all up. Infectious lo-fi hand-clap alt pop that feeds off all kinds of lo-fi garage punk flavoured beatbox things, mixes it all up and out it comes, fresh new pop music...

ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM – Apparently (Big Dada) – Single from the forthcoming Fluorescent Black album and a slice of cutting edge robot-funk-hop apparently – outside the machine so it would seem, a b-boy blend of fizzing electronics and biting rap... they say they’ve taken time to work out their strengths and weaknesses, this is the first fruits... left-field robot-funk flavoured hip-hop rap-crunch lane switching from outside the machine... or something like that -

THE CURE-ATOR / TERRY EDWARDS & THE SCAPEGOATS – In Between Days / Boots Off!! (Sartorial) – In which Terry Edwards does The Cure in his own unique way (and on amber coloured vinyl, no accident that the last Sartorial seven inch was red and the next one is green... traffic lights...). All lounge-jazz-ska-soul trumpet, saxophone and what the makers themselves describe as a “Motown-via-Wham backbeat” – you’ve never heard The Cure like this before –
10th AUG 09: LOVVERS – Ocd Go Go Girls (Witchita) – One of them bitten by the Stooges lo-fi garage rock’n roll slightly out of tune ‘cause they really don’t care scratching in the dirt kind of bands that you’ve all heard a million times. Ramones fans running on some kind of idea that attitude will get them through the day – they’re probably right. Came out last week, we’re a week late reviewing it, what you gonna do? There’ll be another one of these bands along in a minute with all their fuzz and stuff, could be from England, could be from Detroit or Sweden or some village in Wales, does it matter? – they got an album out today, we only have this one track, they’re busy touring, playing their UK homelands, doing some kind of instore thing in London this week, or so the e.mail that Katie just sent said, go look if you want to, their My Space URL says they want to communicate... let's communicate... hey, ho, let's go.. 

6th AUG 09 -  MARCH OF ANGER – March of Anger (self release) - Brooding big killing joke of a thing, yelling at a thousand gods in that defiantly angry way of Killing Joke or maybe Faith No More – no mere clones though, they’re doing it their way, their on bite on things. Strong stuff – heavy, powerful, claustrophobic, a sound to drown in – full, dark, impressive old school brooding boiling angry full-bodied drive from South London. Four uncompromising tracks, not a hint of a compromise, a full on global noise attack and a rather good four track EP – or

5th AUG 09 - TRULY BEAUTIFUL DISASTER – Luxury Living EP (Pearl Flash) - The art of noise, takes a moment and a play or two to bypass the materialism and those opening track lyrics that initially annoy until you get under the surface... that and the Nu Rave alarms and the feeling of oh no, more Hoxton fashionista and Natham Barleyisms and the gag reflex and... no, no more of this style over substance hang on....  like that bit there... and...oooo... nice bit of crunchy electro pop there... decent bit of old school flow there.... bit of Orchestral Manoeuvres there, touch of classic Pet Shop Boys...  Daft Punk bite.... actually this is good, they got bite, they do have style, the luxury of doing lots.... the materialism is a sneer in the direction of some bankers they encountered one night...  let’s make lots of money...  atmospheric goodness and almost heroic and when you let it flow then four fine fine debut tracks and a rather impressive first EP from the East London duo, cuts through with a touch of depth and some genuine quality... got to let these things breathe sometimes... luxury living.... yes...

31th JULY 09  - ANTHRAX have a new single, the proper Anthrax that is, not that we don’t have lots of time for the other Anthrax, we’re talking the English anarch-punk band Anthrax here though, days of Crass and all that...

ANTHRAX – One Last Drop / Welcome (Happy Released) - Does it really take an old crusty anarcho punk band who really shouldn’t be making records in 2009 to kick it all back in to some kind of beautiful focus..?. Ours is to question why? Why is this new Anthrax single, their first in about twenty years, why is this sounding so much more alive and kicking and biting and snarling than almost everything we encounter these days? Whatever happened to the notion of real punk rock anyway? 
     The new single from the original Anthrax, this is a righteous snarling thrusting breath of beautiful slashing and burning thrashing punk rock fresh air.   Two fresh raw biting provoking slices of new Anthrax from the proper days of Crass and protest and squat gigs and fanzines and us and them and bullshit detecting and something a little more than hairspray, fashion, marketing and corporate PR campaigns.. This is the antidote to all your Gallows hair-gel and your rules and your regulations and glossy ‘punk rock’ music industry and all your soul-sucking PR fashion parade selling bollocks. Ah fuck, we shouldn’t been needing a new Anthrax single this much should we? I mean it is good just to have ‘em back and blasting, but it really shouldn’t be sounding this good and this vitally fresh should it? Surely others should have picked up the baton and run with it? Surely it shouldn’t take some aging punks and.... This a raw biting blistering questioning heartfelt punk rock, this is top quality forward looking positively angry question throwing goodness in an age of unwelcoming conformity, and (alongside that new Stupids album) this is the finest slice of fresh punk rock air for quite sometime. This is Anthrax sounding better than ever... Wonder why they felt they needed to come back? Whatever the reason thank heavens they did... Welcome to the age of not doing much, welcome to the age of corporate conformity, welcome back to a world that needs bands like Anthrax and their slices of energy and attitude and their questions, and their top quality spot-hitting music, more than ever... 
        That’s right, two brand new Anthrax tracks on one cd single... “We went into the recording studio on the 16th and 17th May and put down One Last Drop and Welcome. Both tracks will be available on a double A side CD single - the recording was with the original anthrax line up - Gareth bass, Peter drums, D guitar, Oscar vocals, Shaun guitar - the first time we had been in a recording studio for over 20 years. The single is available from

GRASSCUT – High Down (NinjaTune) – Diffenrent yet accessible, experimental yet easy and just good... Sweeping melodies, gentle epics, gentle glitch and edgy textures that flow is a simple satisfyingly gentle way... like walking on the Sussex Down on a nice fresh day, grasscut fresh and alive with goodness and all is well....

30th JULY 09 -  THE RAYOGRAPHS – Frances/Yellow Hair (Everything We Know) – More from The Rayographs, good, we all need more, second single from the three girls and they’ve built on all that elegance and enchantment that we talked of last time... Built on it all in a seriously good way with these two new tracks. They kind of mix a classic riot-grrrl ethic with a PJ Harvey style Nick Cave blues feel, more than that though, they're not that easy to pin down ... they’re stark yet full bodied, wired yet rich, they really are creating something that threatens to be special, they’ve got a dark edge, a menace that you wouldn’t want to mess with. Sharp, atmospheric, alive... Pixies good and who cares if Courtney is making a new Hole record or not, Rayographs are fast becoming the band Courtney would love to be in... that good... and only two singles in... fine basslines, sharp drums, stark words, imaginantion, real blues.... One of those stand out records that doesn’t often come along, one of the genuinely exciting new bands...and how good is that moody riff at the start of Yellow hair... catch this conversation, pay attention, this is special.... or

28th JULY 09 - ROBIN GUTHRIE – Angel Falls (Rocket Girl) – new four track EP ahead of the Carousel album that’s due out on September 1st. Angel Falls is four very mellow slices of delicate tinkling dreamy uplifting slow-moving opulence and those trademark Cocteau Twins floaty things he does - /

25th JULY 09 - THE CAPITOL YEARS – You Can Stay Here (SOE) - Brain set to stun? Or just being eased by some lush breezy North American alt.indie pop? Rather easy on the ear two tracker from Philadelphia’s The Capitol Years, glowing indie pop, gentle pace, melodic harmonies and a fine taste from the forthcoming album Dance Away TheTerror –

22nd JULY 09 - ELECTRICITY IN OUR HOMES – We Agree Completely (Parlour) – We are very impressed, we will watch over your sleep, horse breath on necks, they should be proud, arms and legs used well, this is good for you, they’ll make you proud...  Why would a band you’ve never heard or don’t really know make you proud? Don’t ask such awkward questions, just be thankful for the electricity and bands who have something a little more to them... It isn’t like nothing like this has happened before, still feels good when it does though. Don’t you want to (follow)?. Six tracks from the London band, all trustingly thrustingly discordant and rushing about and full of life and simultaneously inharmoniously good, so good that cup of tea that I was making went all cold and stewed and cold tea and scenes from the life of a double mattress and hooves and a glorious musical tension in their message of joy. The Message Of Joy here is that we have a fine fine record from a rather good band here and would you like to try mine on...? Effortlessly edgy, good and going off and things to say...Other pop post-punk, wrong pop – wrong pop? That’s the term I was trying to remember, whatever happened to all that wrong pop energy? Here it is... Good! A fluid sound this time, well less scratchy that previous encounters, they’re evolving well... This is great, we’re very impressed with you, all horse breath and perfectly pleased... – Oh, they’re doing an instore thing at Rough Trade East here in London at 6.00pm on Saturday 25th July... use your arms and legs, they’ll keep you well, perfectly pleased, one of the best new musical things for ages.... 
chaka ( JULY 09:  UNITED FRUIT – Mistress Reptile, Mistress (She Said) – Rather urgently abrasive five track EP from this immediate Glasgow four piece. Tightly wound jagged guitars and new wave post hardcore angular hardcore noise-rock goodness that bites down hard.. .Reptile Mistress indeed, a demanding sound, a wired sound, all creeping in from different angles and gooseberries jarring with blackberries and lemons and bananas and experimental visceral intensity and we like this lots... all discordant and jagged and nagging at your head to eat your oranges and your Fugazi and your Shellac and your Mclusky and... yes... go grab your united fruit, five a day needed, obey your mistress, strength of character.. – or

18th JULY 09: BUFFY SAINT-MARIE – No No Keshagesh (Cooking Vinyl) – Single of Buffy’s first new album in fifteen years, the album is called Running For The Drum and this single is the forthright Native American raging in her subtle way – well subtle in terms of the music, nothing subtle about the lyrics, quite clear where Buffy stands when it comes to politics, people, Native resistance. Still the Native American international activist pop star, still with the bite and no, you can’t do that... Buffy plays the Cambridge Folk Festival on July 31st, before that she’s at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on Jul 28th –
JUNE 25th 2009: A DANCING BEGGAR – How They Grow (Grand Independent) - Pure, crisp, clean, refreshing post rock instrumental pieces... Gentle, hopeful, refined, glowing in an understated slowly building kind of way. There’s something just a little different here, something extra, no revolution, this is very much that atmospheric instrumental building until you touch the sky instrumental post rock thing, just something a little more, an x factor (as we once would say before the term was stolen...)  This is just all rather beautiful in a simple crisp clean natural unforced kind of way. Clean guitars and that Sigur Ros Maps kind of thing. A Dancing Beggar is the solo project of Brighton based James Simmons – just beautiful melancholic creativity and everything just right, wonderful six tracks, simple really... Highly recommended warmth –

Your eye24th JUNE '09: COUGAR – Thundersnow / Rhinelander (Counter) - Release dates, who needs ‘em, this new single from Cougar, the first from their forthcoming second album, has been out a few weeks already, we’ve had it for ages, we should have said something already, what ya gonna do? These are busy times, and anyway, aren’t Cougar a metal band? Have we run out of new names for bands now? This Cougar are a quintet a million miles away from heavy metal, they’re from Madison, Wisconsin and this is two pieces of quietly considered glitchy instrumental post rock, laces with alternative post-rock bite, choral delight, clever interplay, considered warmth of a Vessels meets Four Tet nature, touch of Tortoise... or

22nd JUNE '09: ASHTECH/POLCARI – Meditronica (RareNoise) – Dub waves and delicate electronica, gentle rhythms, touches of trip-hop skilfully woven and rather soothing...

MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS – Life Boat (Nettwerk) – Another escapee from the Brian Jonestown Massacre circus of chaos and gunfire, Miranda has a beautifully creamy dreamy sunshine drenched voice. The single is lifted from her recent Light Of X album. Life Boat is delicate uplifting West Coast psychedelic folk and warm glowingly gentle alt.Americana –
21st JUNE '09: SLIPKNOT – Sulphur  (Roadrunner) – We’re late, it came out last week, what ya’ gonna do? Take it up with your local MP? Slipknot with a single sliced off the last album and we still have time and space for their metal. A kind of average Slipknot moment, but hey, in terms of modern metal slickness, they’re way ahead of most...

21st JUNE '09: ASLEEP BENEATH VOLCANOES – EP01 (Dormant) – New band with a debut release on a new label, Asleep Beneath Volcanoes are a rather impressive two piece outfit from Kendal, Cumbria. We’re talking forward moving refinement, organic electronica and a more than healthy mix of raw instrumentation and sequenced sound... Bit of a positively classic Hawkwind Valium Ten feel to that opening track, a feel that carries on when those vocals kick in. Droning tribal Hawkwind meets a Killing Joke/Primal Scream menace of a feel to that first of three tracks, a subtly textured glowing right minute orgone accumulating thing called Water... Second track Heavy Legs is more of a bubbling slice of refreshing electronic ambience, an aural bubble bath with a touch of a dark undercurrent running just bellow the soothing surface. Third track, Holiday, follows the two eight minutes slices with a more focused one and a half minutes of a hopeful Spiritualized nature... Something good happening here, rather encouraging first moves from a new band worth checking out... www.dormantrecords.comor

18th JUNE '09: Twirl bitch twirl.... Things things things...

FIGHT LIKE APES – Something Global (Model Citizen) – New single from the abrasively fluid spiky synth-pop fight club from Ireland known as Fight Like Apes. Give me my hook, nothing lame about pop with a big hook, give me my hook! Choruses are for who? We love hooks, we need a chorus, feeling up who? Those Apes were the pop band of last year, they’ve been far too quiet this year, give me my next hook damn it! New single, lead track off last year’s album but that will do for now... More of their fiesty do not mess do-you-like-my-new-look silver hot pants and fractured synths... Something good, something real, something cool, enough for all the boys the drool, give me my hook ... The single is out as a white vinyl 7” hand stamped sleeve on June 29th, busy at festivals and such right now, single comes with a one minute outburst of a new track called This Is Like The Time Jody Didn’t Know What Cunnilingus Was that really almost certainly won’t get played on any radio shows (besides ours that is – Twirl Bitch Twirl! And a live version of their rather heroic Battlestations – we love those Apes, you know that already though, pure Organ pop fuel –

12th JUNE '09: LOYAL TROOPER – The Doctor (self-release) - Says here this is hi self releasing his debut single, he is Loyal Trooper or Andy Walker, haven’t we reviewed his singles before? Didn’t he have a single of the week around here last year? Fine line between a demo and a self released single these days , it was far easier when one came on cassette and the other on a healthy slab of seven inch vinyl. Don’t know if this exists in reality or just as a download, none of that matters of course and this is another fine fine song. Standards are kept up and another quiet refined piece of emotional heart on sleeve singer/songwriter beauty and more of his glowing simplicity – the music seems richer this time, a growing belief, an evolving confidence, a radiance. If we still has Singles Of The Week around here then no doubt this would be this week’s, we don’t do things weekly anymore, this would be single of most weeks though... full of simple strength, refined beauty, wordy worthiness and everything just right once more...  The Doctor is out this week, find out more from or

SEAN9th JUNE '09: STEREO ALLIGATOR - Stereo Alligator (self release) – Portuguese two piece, from Lisbon with some very eighties sounding alternative synth pop.  Five track EP and a sound that touches on a lot of classic Associates, Pet Shop Boys, Comsat Angels, Duran Duran flavours without really being too uncomfortably obvious about any of them  Now lots of people try to do this, again and again we hear it, Stereo Alligators have a touch of the original magic, they have the lines, the songs – you got to have the songs... They have a terrible name as well, we’ll overlook that one.  Just good sounding 80’s synth pop, that bit there sounds like The Model, there goes Party Fears, that one about bedsit land or shopping or something... they just do it well, nothing new, nothing we haven’t heard before, they have in nailed though, sometimes it is that simple....

28th May '09: THE LOW ANTHEM - The Horizon is a Beltway (Bella Union) - The ever wonderful Low Anthem with a far more upbeat than usual stomping whisky soaked harmonica blowing acoustic trashing blues tale of skylines on fire and jagged ass jawbones. Rocking those pilgrims in a Tom Waits bar room kind of way rather than their usual quietly crafted beauty, kind of unexpected, they’re usually a little more over there with the restrained of those Fleet Foxes...  The Low Anthem are always worth checking out, stomping like this or restrained and glowing like that last achingly beautiful singleCharlie Darwin was – or

TELEPATHE – Chromes On It (V2) - Infectious enough slice of electro pop from Brooklyn, a single drenched once more in their trasdemark melody. A sassy touch of clever synth voice interplay shuffle and the real bang thing or something like that... honour is a battle with many, they can feel the real thing thing –
16th May '09: NARRATION – Miracle (Exploding Light) – Narration’s epic indie rock has something a little extra to it, the South West London band are building nicely. Their demos have been more than well received around here and this is another step up on their way. And Narration clearly are a band on their way, make no mistake about that, Narration have that little touch of magic, the doors are open for them should they want it... It isn’t that they’re doing anything that radically different, more that once again their latest two tracks are alive, alive with even more of the promise those demos and the gigs so far have been alive with. A band alive... B-side Please Show Me The Lights is a beautifully sublime piece of glowing euphoric prog-edged epic simplicity. Miracle is an uncluttered slice of uplifting melting indie rock... all very simple really, Narration’s epic indie rock simplicity is laced with just a little more ambitiously refined class than most...  Rather good band emerging here. Miracle is released on June 8th 

13th May '09: RANCID - Last One To Die (Epitaph) - New Rancid single in the post this morning, fast track that one through the stacks to the top of the pile and let the dominoes fall, always up for a bite of Clash with my morning coffee... alright, cheap shot that, and no i didn’t give up coffee, i did try, clears the Montana Gold from the throat you know... Rancid, you got to love Rancid, yeah, so they still sound like a Clash tribute band, so what? Someone’s got to do it right.. Going up, going down, still around, last band to die... All the economic meltdown and the unions going down and no ships docking and the car plant closed down and all blue collar defiance is all here – come on, an all American Clash and another damn record than no one damn well needs but you do really, we need at least one Clash still standing with a defiant fist on the docks with the car workers while the fat cats screw it all and the Tories have their moats cleaned and the millionaire Ordinary Dave Camaron lectures us about morals.  Yeah, so this is standard issue, middle-aged, still around, sleeves rolled up Rancid, so what's wrong with that? This is adamant and alive, timely return and doing it just like you want it to say on the tin, we need Rancid, we need new Rancid records...  You got it right, you got it wrong, we’re still around, last ones to die....  The single is out May 25th, the album, Let The Dominoes Fall, first studio albums for six years - is it really that long? - is out on June 1st in the UK. one of the five percent we do need..  . 

8th May '09: WHILE SHE SLEEPS / AND WHITE STARS – Split single (James) – Split single and a couple of brutal Yorkshire bands on a Yorkshire based label. Pretty much standard issue modern brutal metal screamo beano brutal throat riffing huff ‘n puff from both bands. Two brutal tracks each, all carried out at Slayer style ramming speed and cram as many riffs and runs in as they can... And White Stars add a touch of a hardcore edge to their two slices of metal brutality. Nothing that different to a million brutal things you’ve heard already, both bands do their brutal thing brutally well though and out of little acorns great big brutal trees grow. Two decent bands getting out and doing it themselves with the help of a DIY label and a guy who may or may not be called James, they're all doing it the right way, rather decent early moves. Brutal  – or or

TO THE BONES6th May '09: TO THE BONES – Lips On Red (Medici) - The relentless march forward, well not so much of a slow march as a frenetic non-stop town by town, venue by venue Transit van rocket ride and a play everyday everywhere break a hundred strings a week policy - those Bones boys from Bolton are starting to turn heads now. Told you they would - – a proper rock band.. Lips on Red isn’t their best song, it is alive with one of their best riffs though and an awful lot of this To The Bones thing is built on raw uncut killer rockmonster riffs. To The Bones are a proper rockmonster... Proper. Last time we complained that debut album was a little too raw and sounded like too much like a semi-formed half-finished demo, are things a little too polished and just a little flat in terms of production this time around? They still haven’t nailed that live fractured electricity and all that highwire-walking danger, almost though... almost.  One day soon To The Bones are going to make that killer record they clearly have in them, that early energy and attitude is shaping nicely, they’re already a vital band  - they have been for the last eighteen months. We need To The Bones and their electricity, their on-stage car crashes, their spilt beer attitude and their pure undiluted energy – and their songs, we need their songs - these Bones boys have songs, when they’re not swallowing their own hair they got plenty of urgently good songs to spit out at yer. Oh yes, in these shallow times and inboxes infested with copycat scary monsterists, polite after-you-no-after-you emo indie bands more obsessed with crawling around Camden with their horrible hairspray and their clueless MyFaceSpace spam than actually being a real band, in these infested times we need real in your face mistake making dangerous bands like To The Bones... Hang on, stop the review, maybe Lips Of Red is their best song? Depends who’s in charge of the argument around here – no , it isn’t. That’s the thing you see, To The Bones are a rather rare thing, To The Bones are a fresh young English band worth arguing over, worth fighting for, worth caring about, worth investing time in, getting annoyed with – To The Bones are worth it, a little more than just another dumbstick “hey check out our page dude” kind of band. A band that allows us to namedrop bands like Liars and Motorhead and Flipper and Mudhoney, a band to give an f about...  and one day soon they’re going to make a record that backs up all this – this still isn’t it...
4th May '09: HEAVEN’S BASEMENT - Heaven’s Basement EP (Self Release) – Good looking, well packaged, well produced straight to the point six track EP from the young British hard rock band. Melodic glam metal flavoured big riff tuneful metallic hard rock... If you need to think about these things then think something near Airbourne with a touch more melody rather than the Airbourne beer spilling, think that round and round of Ratt, early harder-edged Bon Jovi, hints of Thunder - they got it nailed, they rock, and don’t try tell us you don’t like to think of these things. Old school fist in the air dunb as a stick hard rock goodness, not many doing it this way these days, that’s probably a good thing, this is a good thing too, a guilty pleasure as it were, there still a place for a band like this isn't there?  –
1st May '09: MILES BENJAMIN ANTHONY ROBINSON – Buruedfed (Transgressive) – Raggedly good and does he sound a little like a modern Day Bob Dylan? Robinson taking a surreal look at his own funeral with is mumbled vocals (that’s the Dylan bit, that mumble) and his peaceful mellow slowly building up Neil Youngish guitar and a growing crescendo about how he wishes he was dead and he didn’t even get that damn thing right. New York’s best kept secret so it seems and not really anything like Dylan or Young and well worth a moment of your time. The single came out this week in the UK  –

GRIFTER – The High Unholy Mighty Rollin’ EP (Fury 76) - Righteous old school whiskey snorting stoner boogie rock from the Deep South (of Devon). Five great big molly hatchets of groove and low slung slabs of galloping Kyuss, Orange Goblin style heavy rock. Released on Scruff’s label (he of the wholesome Hellbastard), tales of sweating horses and the devil taking the temperature higher, tastes good if you know what I mean. High unholy mighty goodness indeed - or

27th April '09: ATTICA RAGE – Dark City /Overkill (Vanduara) – A pretty straight ahead no messing raw blistered cover of Motorhead’s classic Overkill makes up one half of this CD single. Pretty much sums up Glasgow’s Attica Rage really, even their very Motorheadish logo has been designed by Motorhead art man Joe Paetagno. They turn in a decent enough cover, they sound like they’re having a righteous blast. Meanwhile Dark City starts out like that’s going to be Overkill as well... colours well and truly nailed here then, does what it says on the tin, only way to feel the noise.... Out on May 4th –

25th April '09: JON HOPKINS - Light Through The Veins (Double Six) – Quiet slice of epic glowing soothing come-down atmosphere and some rather progressive feelgood early morning electronica from Jon Hopkins. Single from the forthcoming album. Apparently Coldplay have been using Light Through The Veins to bookend their Viva La Viva shows, that makes perfect sense, nine minutes of chilled and polished epic instrumental goodness, the single is out on March 27th, comes with a couple of decent remixes from David Holmes and Ewan Pearson - There's a You Tube here

24th April '09: SINGLE REVIEW: VESSELS – Retreat (Cuckundoo) – A new limited edition CD/download single to tie in with the tour the Leeds outfit are currently on. Lead track Walking Through Wall is lifted from last year’s well received White Fields album (Organ review here) – a song that apparently started life with a delicate acoustic riff and developed in to a slowly uncoiling quietly moody epic laced with their now trademark epic post/prog rock glitch. Another case of less is more and letting things slowly breath. Vessels are wonderfully subtle once more, a crafted understanding of the power of understatement and the careful placement of each step. The single is backed with seven remix experiments and reworks of Vessels tracks – various degrees of math post electronic glitch and gentle Battles, warm lush contrasts and Vessels challenging themselves while they pushing delicately forward again. Another quality release when it would be so easy to get stuck in to a post/math rock rut - /    The single is released on May 4th. Vessels have just added a new one off London date at Bardens Boudoir on May 15th

SINGLE REVIEW: APE SCHOOL – Wail To God (Counter) - Do rather like this Ape School four track single, can’t pin it down, good. Most music can be pinned down in an instant, far too easy to pin most things down. Most music can be pinned down and passed by in an instant... Michael Johnston, for he appears to be Ape School, with some kind of glam rock that’s nothing like glam rock and something like something that’s alive with that smell of alternative progness and some delicious vocal harmonies in there with the subtle twist. Mini-epics, American epics, Fleet Foxes for Bobby Conn disciples who like a slice or two of Todd Rundgren with their afternoon alternative cup of Earl Grey tea. More than a touch of Syd Barrett there in the phrasing, all very alt American and very now and and Madcap Laughs Syd all at the same time - definite touch of Syd Barrett in there in a very North American twenty first century way of things – great drumming as well. Great songs, great things, great ape... Out on the 4th May on Ninja Tune offshoot Counter Records –

X23rd April '09: SINGLE REVIEW: DETACHMENTS – The Flowers That Fell (Thisisnotanexit) – Out as a limited edition proper 7” single and one of those vacuous downloads if you must. This latest Detachments single is a classic slice of late 70’s early 80’s post punk goodness, what comes around goes around, it has all been done sing the Seventeen once more... Yeah, everything has been done and they’ll be coming back to you. If you’re going to do it again then do it well. This is how you do it well, great A side, classic b-side, sounds like an early Cure single, or A Certain Ratio, we’ve only got it on a promo CDr here, it demands to be on vinyl, really feels like it needs to be on something that you can touch and flip and... It has been done before, Detachments know how to write songs though, dark post-punk pop songs that celebrate that 80’s guitar sound of The Smiths, the glories of melancholy and falling down and hitting the ground and post punk indie pop all been done before goodness... far away, above the ocean waves...  here come the links: or Meanwhile you can see the video here. The single is released next Monday 27th April 





KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)
KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)