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SINGLES, SINGLES, SINGLES... BEST OF THIS WEEK'S RELEASES..
SINGLE OF THE WEEK 25th Jan

RAILCARS – Cathedral With No Eyes (Stumparumper/Gold Robot) – This one actually came out last October, Railcars start the UK leg of a European tour at the end of January though and the single is heading out to Europe up front of the Los Angeles band’s tour. The second ‘proper’ release and more walls of ever shifting noise, Railcars is one Aria Jalali, in recorded form anyway, live he’s backed by a team of audio/visual artists. Noise-pop, sonic abrasion, a wash of noise, a furious aura, a white noise Animal Collective, hyper buzzing colour whirl of goodness all mixed up in a kaleidoscopic maelstrom wash of power and warmth and thumping chromatic machines powered by a subtle backbeat of electronic static and every second of it radiantly alive - this is rather good (great artwork too – Claudia O’Steen deserves a name check for that). Damn fine once more, fine day indeed, fine fine things today.... UK leg of the tour kicks off in Bristol on Jan 31st. Links: www.myspace.com/railcarsmusic or http://slumparumpa.wordpress.com

ALSO CHECK OUT

THE ROOFTOP GAMBLER – Turned Out The Light (Onec/UPR) – Four track ten incher on heavyweight lemon yellow vinyl, a proper record, a proper release, something to grab hold of (nice artwork, work of Clare Owen). They’re from Plymouth, a refined alt.country sound, wistful stories, a sense of loungecore, a touch of Americana, a hint of Echo And The Bunnymen in there - well if the Bunnymen had done it all loose, raw and slightly lo-fi with a Sebadoh/Albini, or maybe more solo Lou Barlow, edge - nothing like those Bunnymen there really then but there is something in the phrasing, the songs – in the songs rather than the sound of those songs.   Four good songs, nice package, nice to see/feel/handle/play...  Fine fine single, and they saved their best song ‘till last, track four, Leaning Tree – www.myspace.com/therooftopgambler or www.onec.tv or www.uprrecords.co.uk or www.clareowen.co.uk

GRANDE DUKE - Rolling base lines, instrumental tunes that amble along, smooth yet slightly discordant, slightly jazzy, slightly post rock, tracks that sound like gentle genre-crossing jams that groove, that touch on blues (in maybe a stoner kind of way). Essentially a three piece but they really come to life when the guests join in and make use of the framework Grande Duke have constructed -  free-form jazz guests embroidering the details with saxophones, trumpets, accordion and some kind post-rock come-and-join-in mellow type of orgy.. Spoken word bits too (and no, a post-rock orgy would not be good, all those spindly beards and chin stroking onlookers, no no no, get the thought out of my head...). Like this four track, didn’t really sound like much until it really started to unwind and reveal itself. They’re from Derby, they’re on the old Fixit Kid label Fight Me and this is their debut EP, a fine fine progressive post-rock flavoured jazz beast that you need to let breathe, expand and reveal itself  – www.grandeduke.co.uk or www.myspace.com/grandeduke or www.myspace.com/fightmerecords

DEAD HORSES – EP3 (self release) – Five piece band from Leeds with a committed sound, a regulation alternative indie grunge flavoured guitar band with a hint of something extra in there with all their energy and their bluster and their mood-swinging angst-ridden colour. A dramatic band, a brooding band who want to fly, the early seeds of something good, a flavour or early Radiohead, a hint of My Vitriol, My Bloody Valentine and far from a waste of anyone’s space, third track is best, stick around for it  – www.myspace.com/deadhorsesuk
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18th Jan '10....
SINGLE OF THE WEEK - 18th JAN

BITCHES – Winner (self release) – Evil is energy and energy is good, “Hey Guys, we are Bitches, a London based boy/girl, bass/drum duo who make fuzzed up noise for dancing and fighting and...”. A seven inch (or digital download if you really must) self release and we love these noisy shouty Bitches. Headpecking scrambled egg tunes, high energy screaming and shouting and jumping on your toes so you pay proper attention. Messy guitars, wired energy, fuzz, feedback, girl yelling, boy yelling, they’re both winners, this is a winner, everyone’s a winner - evil is energy, energy is good, all three tracks are good. Raw, wired, messy, shouty, splattered - gloriously wired and splattered and uncompromising and this rules! Recently seen opening for Foot Village, that figures, on that Foot Village compilation as well. Organ fuel, this is why we bother to do this, hell yes! We love these Bitches – www.peaceandbitches.com

ALSO CHECK OUT

DIRTY PROJECTORS – Ascending Melody (download) - New single from Dirty Projectors, giving it away as a free download thing, two tracks and.... They seem to be the name on everybody’s lips, bands rightly adored around here mentioned in the same breath, indeed Pitchfolk told us only the other day that the best bits of the absolutely wonderful Extra Life sound like Dirty Projectors.  Keep coming across people telling me how I need to love them, keep throwing them on thinking surely I’ll hear it this time..? New single then, new material and more of their clever alternative pop and that breezy rhythmical skipping and those almost Latino/Afro beat flavours and those bright as a bell voices and yes... indeed they’re good, but they’re not that good are they?  They’re no Animal Collective, they’re certainly not Extra Life, they sing of beautiful details and they are uplifting and their melodies ascend in clever ways and they are taking their ingredients and baking them in a different way, they are rather unique and... and... well they are good but that really isn’t enough when everyone is telling you they’re the best thing since the emperor put on his new coat and went out to buy some sliced bread... Decent enough skippy rhythmical brightness but they just don’t quite do it for any of the ears around here... Download the free single here: www.dirtyprojectors.net

LOST IDOL – A Sorrowful Thing (Cookshop) - Delicate sorrowful thing indeed, melancholic crafted quietness and James Dean (producer and man behind the Cookshop record label) dons his Last Idol hat for a new single from the forthcoming album. More organic electronic synthetics, delicate textures, quiet tingling glitch gliding underneath a delightfully intriguing, beautifully detailed. downbeat piece of quiet sad sorrowful warmth. Beautifully atmospheric, takes you down there with it, lost in all the sadness and the beauty and the delicious acoustic digital glow and the gentle tingle of the details and now I’m all down and.... – www.myspace.com/lostidol or www.cookshopmusic.co.uk

BEACH HOUSE – Norway (Bella Union) – Beguiling, dreamy bit of Mazzy Star style floating for fans of Galaxie 500 who like a touch of Cat Power innocence with their stargazing musical swirl. They don’t really feel like you’d expect a Baltimore band to feel in these post-Wire times – www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic

ROB ZOMBIE – Sick Bubblegum (Roadrunner) – Ah, some rock at last, something with bite, some heavy bite and thrusting stupidity, this is what we need! This radio edit version is hilarious, sick bubblegum, rock muthablank indeed! Chew it out, spit it out... Rob Zombie doing what you’d expect with his electronic metal stomp and his bigger than big cartoon crash and burn... Cut to the swearathon unedited version and turn the fugger up with that hooky groove and the dumbshit cornball chorus and that demanding shout... ROCK MUTHAFUGGA! Love it! Shove it in, chew it up, spit it out, sick bubblegum, stomp stomp stomp....  rock muthafugga, the real king of pop and Zombie stomp and bubblegum fast food dumbfugg hillbilly metal and almost single of the week...  – www.robzombie.com / www.roadrunnerrecords.co.uk

MIXTAPES & CELLMATES – Soon (Tangled Up!) – They have a human drummer now and the previous electronic base has been moved aside for something more organically alive. A clean cut wall of modern melody and lush post-Animal Collective tingling breeziness added to their indie rock and their slipping through the cracks and their hunger for the sunshine. Feel good modern indie rock, breezy, sweat, postcard-sending, slick, harmless feel-good alt.indieness and Stockholm goodness that sounds like a lot of current things without really having anything in there that makes an ear-grabbing difference. All very nice but we’ve kind of heard it all before, and so so many times in the last couple of years and all nice and harmless and what I meant to say is we’ll be on our way soon... oh soon,,, soon.. www.myspace.com/mixtapesandcellmates  (and such uninspiring artwork as well, just a bland grey cover, don’t you bands care about these things?) 

THE VICTORIAN ENGLISH GENTLEMENS CLUB – Bored In Belgium (This Is Fake DIY) -  Thankfully there are bands who need to sound different, who need to challenge both themselves and their audience. Never quite know where the Gentlemen’s Club are going to turn next (and we’ve added the apostrophe this time, they don’t have it on their cover, they’re the band, if that’s the way they want it then we’ll go with it). They’re certainly not content with merely continuing with their efforts to make their parrot talk, or indeed even subconsciously parroting whatever they heard last month like most bands do. Crawling up walls in Belgium rather than crawling up record collections and no getting bored in Belgium or anywhere else and banging and banging on. The Cardiff band don’t always instantly hit the spot and this isn’t as instantly demanding as the make my parrot talk episode back there, this one takes a couple of plays before the earworms get in. So Belgium has the highest suicide rate in Europe and to counter this they have a street called Happy Street – wonder how that works? They should let Roa loose on it, Roa makes Belgium happy...  Second track here, The Woodsmen, just picks up everything, including you, and runs with it all in such an urgently fine way – That second travk on-the-edge blues and wired guitar and witches in the wood and that’s not we’re expecting from The Club either... and then there’s a very dark third thing that’s wired in a whole different way again, Bored To Death In Belgium. A band with an imagination, a band who don’t let you work out what to expect next (besides the unexpected), a band worth looking out for, worth talking about, thank something or other for that  - www.thisisfakediyrecords.co.uk

NEON CIRCUS – Future Disco  (Jacket Pocket) - Neat enough laid-back LCD Soundsystem vibe, bit of an Ian Brown feel, old school dance vibe, decent debut single from the Leicester duo, subtle bit of electro crunch ‘n funk woven around a repetitive vocal line... You’ve got to break on, you’ve got to break on out..  – www.myspace.com/neoncircusmusic

TO-MERA – Earthbound EP (Self Release) – Never quite know what to think of To-Mera, they do insist on indulging in than slightly gothy, slightly classical, female-fronted, slicker-than-slick, neo-prog Euro-metal thing that so many others churn out, but then they go and lace it with some genuinely ear-stopping progressive adventure that takes us somewhere near classic Rush or maybe some of those 80’s Marquee second wave prog bands like Quasar or Tamarisk. Some of this real hits the “proper prog” spot with that twisting adventure and those jumps and time-changes and the chunky guitar and meaty keyboard moves and those impressively clever bits – all squeaky clean and modern slickness but chunky and impressive all the same... And then they go all neo-prog and melodic goth metal and Evanescence on us when we want them to carry on being Rush and listen to that bit, brilliant! Julie Kiss has an excellent voice, powerful delivery, far too many of these slightly dark slightly operatic female voices doing this same thing though, we get at least one a week (most don’t get any coverage) and if only she’s cut the cliché and take her obvious talent down more original roads, if only she’d add a bit of personality, she’s better than most of the others, why does she have to content herslef with sound like them all? She’s fronting an almost excellent band here, a band who very nearly excite us and who ultimately leave us not quite knowing what we think – and if I put this back on the pile and put off the review again that will be the sixth week I haven’t made my mind up – whooo, excellent bit there, real prog adventure bordering on the avant, oh no, slipped back on to neo-euro-goth-prog classical-metal automatic pilot again. Right now, they’re gliding through another ear-catching instrumental bit, they sound like Camel, never could make my mind up about them either – www.to-mera.com
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11th Jan '10....
Cherry picking our way through this week's pile.....

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 

BROOHAHA – EP (4th Note) – The wonderfully named Broohaha are “a five piece from Leeds who (in their own words) play alternative grunge jazz that’s heavy, spiky, polyrhythmic, loud, empathetic, haunting, incessant, driving, disjunctive, striding, aggressive, energetic...”  They hit several nails right on the head there, they’re all of those things and more more more... Hard-boiled angular jazz noise and awkwardness for jazzheads who don’t like rock and rockheads who don’t like jazz, for those who like jarring angular progressive Crimson colured Voivodian jazz noise that never ever descends in to any kind of state that becomes just noise, if these are experiments that they’re very controlled calculated, extremely well structured experiments, tunes that flow. Clever tunes, driving bite, dirt under those fingernails and never difficult to listen to, this is fluid, these are real tunes, these are serious players (from Leeds college of music). Those dirty sounds are so thick, so alive and rules are just words unless you follow them. Jazz that challenges, rock that doesn’t conform, broohaha indeed, excellent! And packaged so well, hand screen-print feel to that fold out cover... Everything good, Jazz that rocks, six chunky tracks, vital you grab a slice – www.myspace.com/broohahauk

ALSO CHECK OUT

MUSEÉ MECANIQUE – Like Home (Souterrain) - Single from the new album Hold This Ghost (out next month) and some creamy warm melancholic downbeat yet beautifully uplifting ornate folk-pop that gently glows with such gorgeously delicious analogue detail. Sounds all lush and 60’s French without sounding the least bit retro, dated or anywhere near obvious... And those darkest space don’t really sound that dark, sound like there’s all kind of colour in the there. Warm, glowing, beautiful, crafted lush folk orchestration and really rather quietly special – www.myspace.com/museemecanique

THE ANTLERS – Bear (French Kiss) – Another single from that rather tingling album of theirs. This one feels like a very relaxed Animal Collective on a fresh breezy day when you’re inside in the warmth and everything feels good. Everything they do seems to gorgeously tingle in that creative North American alt.indie way of theirs. They have better songs on their album, they make beautifully uncluttered music, the album Hospice is alive with tingles and bears inside stomachs and caves to be made, this is a very good single, there’s better things on the album – www.theantlers-hospice.com

HAIGHT ASHBURY – Favourite Song / 3 Little Birds (Lime) – They’re from Glasgow, they make harmonised twin vocal sugar street alt.pop, they kind of feel like MTV early 90’s... The first songs is the radio friendly mainstream pop song, sweet enough. The second song suggests there’s far more to this band. Tight harmonies from the two female vocalists Kisty and Jennifer Ashbury, and living up to that band name with that welcoming feel of San Francisco 70’s sunshine and a touch of a CSNY... Beautifully voiced and harmonised in that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young way, that acid-folk/soft-rock feel... That first track is a little corny actually, second is something that suggests there may just be something here in all the slickness and the ‘perfect’ production. Good West Coast harmonised soft rock/folky American flavoured band from Scotland here, look out for the b-side – www.myspace.com/haightashburyuk / www.limerecords.com

GOOD SHOES – Under Control  (Brille) - Somewhere underneath there’s a rather catchy indie-angular pop tune, but what an annoyingly clichéd indie-boy singer whining away. Irritating headpecker, punchable, annoying... I got this under control... Great b-side, if he wasn’t (to quote him) f**king things up from the very beginning...  B-side is called Talk, a song in the right place at the wrong time, someone send us an instrumental version, love the mathy tune almost enough to put up with annoyance boy and his singing... I guess if you just keep on playing it until he stops being so damn annoying and then, well, kind of like you once forced yourself to drink larger until it became a taste you could live with...  No, can’t be dealing with that lead track, can just about put up with him on what is a rather decent b-side... “A disco-flecked indie floor filler” so says the blurb...  Always have this same problem with the almost good Good Shoes – www.myspace.com/goodshoes or www.brillerecords.com

ANAVRIS – Eleven Eyes of A Simple Man (self release) - Self released four track CD EP from the Scottish rock band. They operate in that slick area somewhere between modern guitar driven Hell Is For Heroes energetic indie rock and something heading towards a slightly more complex sound somewhere near Biffy Clyro or Fall of Troy. Came out last September so this is old news now, only turned up here this week though so we’ll give it a quick mention – well seeing as this is a self release and their not very heroic PR man didn’t do his job so they had to do that themselves and what have you.... If you like your complex indie guitar rock and Biffy and that Enter Shikthingy band and you like an anthemic chorus or two then Anavris do it very well. There’s a certain sense of ambition, they’re not doing anything massively different right now, they do do their thing well though, here’s a link should you want to find out more.  -  www.myspace.com/anavris
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4th Jan '10....
STIK, LADBROOK GROVE, LONDON, 2009  (Sean - Organart)New year, new singles (and things), off running, good start... Three pieces of tasty earfood to kick the decade off, good good start... Downloads, singles, single things...

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1 - 4th JAN

THESE NEW PURITANS – We Want War (Angular) – Sometimes you pick up a band’s new single from the top of the pile of things that have been sent in, the pile of things that are there patiently waiting for attention over there on the office shelf , and that thing you’ve picked up just stops everything. Hang on, what's this? Wasn't expecting their new single to be this good, expected their next step to be challenging, didn’t expect anything as good as these seven and a half minutes though, this is a serious step up. There’s all kinds of things going on within these sometimes dense, sometimes light seven minutes of experimental left field whatever you want to call it.. All kinds of rituals and rhythms, all kinds of otherness, Liars-good (that is high compliment from us). Something rather rewarding, something different, oh yes, a massive new year leap for these new Puritans, jumping up to the big league with seven an a half minute single and an impressive statement of artistic intent  – www.thesenewpuritans.com
       The London band’s new single is out on January 11th January (they play Bush Hall on 25th January).

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2 

TIK///TIK – NO09 (Deathbomb Arc) - What’s fizzing up here? Here’s the e.mail that came with this release:  Brian Miller (of Foot Village) wrote: “Hey! #2 of the year, woah! Amazing. Thank you! I'm not sure if you are familiar with him, but one of the artists I've been putting out on Deathbomb arc for years now is Tik///Tik. Last night, while spending new years eve home alone, Tik///Tik recorded a song in celebration of the death of 2009. it is meant to just be a web-only release for people to hear for free, since we all have had the pleasure of experiencing 2009. The song is called "NO09". if you love it as much as I do, please share in any manner you wish! 'Dormant Like Breath' by Tik///Tik (which does not include "NO09") comes out on Deathbomb Arc on Tue Jan 5th”. For more Tik///Tik - www.myspace.com/tikyoutik

Just short of two minutes and some kind of delicious white-noise digital fizz and all kinds of eerie otherworld/otherside voices behind the pecking of that high-pitched main voice, words picked out here or there, if we heard right that is? Let’s play it again. Boinging bouncy synths and fizz and static and all kinds of arcing bits of electric stew and rather unlike anything else really... in that same zone as the aforementioned Foot Village or maybe the rather strange Yip-Yip, whatever it is, this is good good good and if  this is how Tik///Tik ended 2009 then, fine way for us to kick of the new decade, fresh earfood, different angles, new flavours, need to go check at that album now, impressive...  the first freat musical moment of 2010 is already here... 

Download  "NO09" here

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3 

THE NOTWIST – Come In/ Boneless (City Slang) – Never quite know where the ever evolving Notwist are going to come from next, the Bavarians are always always interesting, you never quite know what their next release is going to sound like... This time some kind of lush, full-bodied, gently flowing orchestral Krautrock feel. Warm vocals, melancholic – gentle electronics, rich gliding strings, strong mechanical sounding drums, a touch of glitch and all making for something quietly sublime, refined and rather special. Meanwhile over on the ‘b-side’ (of this CD), there’s a delicious remix of Boneless from Grizzly Bear), equally as rich and rewarding as the lead track, extra glitch and stardust and gentle organic fizz... www.notwist.com
 Out Jan 11th 

ALSO CHECK OUT

POIRIER - Low Ceiling (Ninja Tune) – From the warm down under of Australia with some neat electro-squelch, mellow technofied drum patterns, electronic brightness, uptempo, all warm and electro-tropical carnival sunshine and the water freezes in the Trafalgar Square fountains here in sub-zero midday London...  www.myspace.com/poiriersound or www.ninjatune.net
Out Jan 11th

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG (feat. Beck) – Heaven Can Wait (Because) – First single from her forthcoming Beck produced album IRM, it has those laid-back lazing on a sunny afternoon Beck fingerprints on there, including his dueting voice. Simple sweet less is more strummed and plinked kind of sound with a little twist or two in there with the very gentle thunder and lightening, beautifully voiced of course, seductively good. Four really good mixes that take the fine song to four rather diverse places without ever imposing remixer ego all over it - for once listening to four versions of the same song on one disc isn’t annoying. Some fine Grizzly Bear work once again, along with Jackson, Nosaj Thing thing – www.charlottegainsbourg.com or www.because.tv
Out Jan 11th
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21st Dec '09....
Singles, flip you I won’t do what you tell me.... One last bunch of singles before Christmas 

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 21st DEC

EAGLEOWL – Sleep The Winter (Kilter) – The almost perfected art of understatement and a slowly uncoiling piece of restrained beauty from the Edinburgh band. Rich, winter warm and alive with atmosphere, deliciously slow harmonies, beautiful instrumentation, beguiling strings, measured consideration and less is so much more. Restrained and all taking as much time as needed, a warm blanket of a winter song and everything you could possible need from a band, two gorgeous songs.. Almost perfected? Scratch the ‘almost’ bit, late late contender for single of the year. Beautiful – www.eagleowlattack.co.uk or www.kilterschmilter.co.uk

Other things worth a mention this week...

HUSKY RESCUE  - We Shall Burn Bright (Catskills) Fairy tale folksters from Iceland, is that a lazy way of putting things? Probably, they do sound like some strange fairytale you accidentally come across in that torch-lit forest at night... Strange people dancing around in horses heads, some kind of pagan ritual that doesn’t, even for the briefest of what’s-this-strange-cult seconds, come anywhere near worrying you. Like the Wicker Man island only you know you won’t get burnt at the end, like those Liars without the seven foot tall menace that those Liars come with. A single from their new album Ship Of Light, due out in January, a delightful single, a touch of Bat For Lashes, a touch of folky weirdness, a touch of bright buttons sewn on coats, buttons and ribbons and brightness is all, a delight of a single...  www.catskillsrecords.com or www.myspace.com/huskyrescue

THE JUNK – Novus Ordo Seclorum (12 Step Plan) -  Another of those punkified up ska bands who sound like they almost certainly kick up a storm of skanking fun live. They’re from the South Coast of England, you’ve heard it all before, these bands are always an energy ball of fun live, not sure if we need any more actual records like this but hey... Focussed seven-piece skacore blend of skank, brass, punk rock guitar driven energy, reflective bits of dub, bits of urgent street wise punk pop, bits of Madness, bits of all them US punk pop bands you know and love... You know there score here already, no musical surprises, just good honest skapunk wholesomeness. They do it well. Spot on sound, good production, nothing new, good good good should you want more of this skacore punk pop heard it all before shoutalong goodness – www.myspace.com/thejunkpunk

RED MIST – Last Dance Before Doomsday (Bored Stiff) – South West of England metalcore crew with some growling screaming tantrums of... A relentless stomp of a four tracker and once again nothing you haven’t heard a million times before, a combination of all those millions of circlepit metalcore growling brutalists. They’re good at it though, they more than hit the spot with their relentlessly aggressive riff ‘n growl metal.. .Same old same old, damn good at it... If only Suzie hadn’t given up swimming...  www.myspace.com/redmistuk

POLKA PARTY – Serbian Tennis (Hockey) – Slightly angular indie pop and all slightly Franz and slightly new wave and slightly this and that in a catchy poppy kind of slightly indie angular indie smindy precision in details and...  They’re from Kent, there’s three of them, we’re writing this down, we’re working it out... Nothing that grabs us, simple format, verse and chorus... and they are finding this difficult and hard and...  Decent enough indie poppy Gang Of Fourish new wave indie pop and we’re not really going to remember any of this once we’ve finished writing this down and we’ve taken the CD out of the player and...  www.myspace.com/officialpolkaparty

SWEET JANE – You’re Making This Hard (Reekus) - The Dublin band have been quietly building themselves a reputation for a couple of years now, this, their latest single is more of their poppy creamy Jesus & Mary Chain flavoured dreampop rock ‘n roll. Comes with a shoegazerish Silent Night on the b-side – www.reckus.com
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14th Dec '09....
Singles, we do this every week now, do you like it this way or.... (do they look like singles?)

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 

EX WIVES – F**king Dutch (Radio Is Down) – More from Glasgow abrasive left-field discordant noise making outfit Ex Wives. And out on a label from Olympia , Washington – they got all the cool credible 90’s angles covered here with their wired Fugazi awkwardness and their slicing at you with their angualr post-hardcore guitar grace. Barbed ripping grace but grace all the same, all Headcleaning Homage Freaks and Scissormen lurch and all out on a limited edition off just 300 slices of (white) vinyl. This is good, shouty refinement and hooks in skin and four tracks that sound like the best of back there kicked somewhere near now in an Albiniesque bringing me down in an up kind of way. All deranged vocals and something about the men in uniform and ironing black shirts and you could say he’s weird and wired and fired and  we like Ex Wives – www.xwvs.com or www.radioisdown.com

Also worth your ears

FIGHT LIKE APES – Lend Me Your Face 80KIDZ remix (Model Citizen) – Those always wonderful FLApes sounding all polished up and disco gleaming. All  remixed by Japanese electro wizards 80KIDZ and fresh rolled gusto and funky flipo electro beats and all filled up ready to take off.... Oh I really don’t know if I love it or loath it, if I want to dance or I want it out of here and the real thing on the deck immediately. They are one of the finest pop bands out there right now and you know how we feel about these Apes oh to be in Dublin this week for their outrageous idea of a gig in a wrestling ring, anyone who knows the four of them knows glorious chaos and broken limps, or at least busted up faces will need replacing... and all that liking of stars and you like karate and they like karate, we like Fight Like Apes – www.fightlikeapesmusic.com or www.modelcitizenrecords.com

BLAKROC feat MOS DEF & JIM JONES – Ain’t Nothing LikeYou Hoochie Coo (V2) -  Slow tune about fast money of some kind of thunder storms in the hood, bruised rose petals and a whole other world (well almost, we are in West London here). Playing on with the black keys (or something like that) and driving through and counting up the score at the end of the summer... full of soul though, there’s a defiance here, a taste coming across from today’s 110th Street. Lead single off the BlakRok collaboration and a strict no samples policy, that’s where the soul is, this is the real sound...  – just good US inner city soul, a whole lot more than just just though... 

ROB HIMSELF – Lost In New York (Wide of The Mark) – A fine Christmas song and stuck in England in a city that Christmas forgot and more of his simple emotional acoustic song writing and more of his melodies and those big sing-a-longs he likes. Think Frank Turner, think Carter USM gone all acoustic and holding the fort but at least we can dream... Genuinely infectious Christmas based English acoustic-based indie pop – www.myspace.com/iamrobhimself

That’ll do for this week, we’re not going to review everything just for the sake of more reviews, these are the good ones, we only have time for the good ones, got reviews flying everywhere, reviews reviews reviews...
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7th Dec '09....
MuTATE, October 2008 - (Sean, Organart)Singles time again “but why didn’t you review the one we sent in?” Because we ain’t got the time or spare typing fingers for things that don’t do it for us, signpost to good things is what we do, there’s the link, go explore this good thing... If you don’t like the policy then we didn’t ask you to send your wreckord in did we, don’t scowl at us with your jet black lips (see we did listen), and which crow should it be? 

7th Dec, Single of the week...

UPSILON ACRUX / HONEY RIDE ME A GOAT  EP (Kitchen Dweller) - Is it war, or a marriage made in heaven?  In the blue corner, undisputed (effing) world champs of avant/math/prog, six albums and no knockouts, its LA originals Upsilon Acrux. In the red corner, from the mean streets of Chatham, Kent, Great Britain, coming out of nowhere, the contenders, Honey Ride Me A Goat!  This is no-holds-barred purist instrumental complex rock, done the Upsilon Acrux way: big chunky slabs of texture and colour, hunks of riffage like the rubble of kickass history welded together into new monoliths.  Opening track of the Upsilon side, Acetate Of Puppets, sounds straight out of the sessions that make up their recent Radian Futura album. The follower starts off that way - gleeful Yes/earlyGenesis fragmentations - that eventually degenerates happily into a monstrous psychedelic wig-out (entitled Caspar Brotzmann of Faux-Hawks) worthy of the first White Noise album that extends to fifteen delerious minutes. 
           Flip over the this lovely heavy slab of lush 12" white vinyl and you get four tracks from Honey Ride Me A Goat.  I'm dead proud of them. This takes the original Upsilon Acrux mathematical model (be stupidly complex, but know where you're going and put the melody first) and applies it to their own twisted psyches. It's heavier, a little more stripped down as they're a three-piece.  I'm Not A Packhorse is the standout track, displaying something that Upsilon Acrux used to have in spades, something they’ve maybe lost a bit in comparison to their earlier albums: not just time and texture changing, but big dynamic variety, the feel you get from slowing and speeding and hanging back. Honey Ride Me A Goat do it magnificently on I'm Not A Packhorse - they take a manic, repetitive riff and hack and squeeze it into increasingly odd shapes, keeping clarity by dropping out guitar or punctuating with dots of silence, keeping it interesting by meticulously crafted structure - odd times and Frippian counterpoint you can bang head to. The melodies/riffs have an obsessive, ingrowing-hair quality, a bunch of notes having an argument with themselves. Ace Hazelnut is another cracking track, and after their own psyched out noise contribution resume the adventure with Sloth Putty which ends up a bit like Nought but happier and less uncomfortably relentless. Honey Ride Me A Goat are bursting with the energy of a band just getting into their stride and lovin it.
        Who win’s? Everyone, the outcome's a draw, which means this 12" is an essential and thrilling artifact for the avantly inclined - if not least for the insert with the band photos. Upsilon Acrux look completely if unintentionally mad, Honey Ride Me A Goat have a gun. Both are obviously delighted to be in bed together. The record is available from Kitchen Dweller records: www.kitchendweller.com

Other things to explore this week...

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – Fall Be Kind (Domino) – We shouldn’t, if we’re strict with ourselves, be reviewing this yet, it isn’t out this week, not out officially until January 18th. We can break our rules though, we do like to review singles on week of release, rules are for bending though and people are going to be talking about this one straight away (a Twitter yesterday saying it would be on last night’s radio show had you asking all kind of questions), Animal Collective are an important band. 
         Animal Collective deserve to be an important band, and this, besides live tracks that have made it on to YouTube and such, is a first taste of what’s to come next - we only have one track on this advance radio promo CD – and this first taste is indeed worthy of instant attention. One track from the forthcoming EP, the EP is called Fall Be Kind, the lead track is What Would I Want? Sky. Starts off with a tingling instrumental opening that’s instantly recognisable as no one but Animal Collective before they once again go off in that radiantly mellow way of theirs - doesn’t need to be weighted by thinking and they really are today’s Yes aren’t they - that’s not an insult by the way, some might read it like that, from us it should be considered high compliment, only the finest can be compared to prime 70’s Yes...  And in 7/8 time as well, they getting more and more prog rock shaped with each new move. This is a gorgeous song, as rewarding as anything Animal Collective have done. And with the first ever officially approved Grateful Dead sample, a fact that no doubt shakes far more foundations over there in the U.S than it does over here – The Dead are musical royalty over there, never meant that much over here have they... A gorgeous new song, the just short of four minutes radio edit that you’re probably hearing on the indie stations around about now really sells it short, the proper introduction on the getting near to seven minute full version takes far longer to unwrap, far more of a built up, an unveiling of the layers. Animal Collective sounding even more inviting and intriguing and are they finally revealing something really worthy of all the attention? The answer, judging the next moves on this one new song, has to be a resounding yes... Animal Collective take it all a step higher, early contender for next year’s single of the year? Oh and do go to my Animal Home, it is rayher good - www.myanimalhome.net or www.dominorecordco.com – the single is there on their MySpace page – www.myspace.com/animalcollective

AUDIT CONTROL – To The Universe (self release) - Rather good, rather deep-voiced, rather Wedding Present styled strident goodness, touch of I Like Trains about them, lot of good things about them. Rich vocals, strong voice, full sound – refined, restrained, feeling all of your embrace... Audit Control are from Huddersfield/Leeds, this is their rather confident debut four track EP. That 80’s alternative indie sound and all rather impressive. Strong vocals carry all before them, accessing all your boundaries, there to be pushed. Classic indie sound like you don’t really hear anymore, extremely impress first release, well worth your time, they know know know, they feel feel feel... your shadow always grows, four rich songs, four rather strong songs, great singer, great band... www.myspace.com/auditcontrol1

SHOCK DEFEAT! – Olympic Village EP (Hot Pockets) – Limited edition, just 300 copies of this around as a blue vinyl 7”, available as a five track download as well though, an unlimited supply then, and there is no  reason why... Wrong pop! Whatever happened to all that?  No more things to say?  Shock Defeat back for more and that angular new wave thing again, bit of a scratchy thin-sliced skinny indie-boy funk thing going on and that new wave disco-punk thing (whatever that thing is?). Too many things? Irritating? Itchy and scratchy? www.myspace.com/shock_defeat or www.hotpockets.info

THE KEYS – Christmas EP (See Monkey Do Monkey) - Christmas songs, my early new year’s resolution in not to Grinch about them, even when they have whistling and sound like a slightly watered down rather disturbingly breezy version of what a drug-free take on those Beach Boys might possibly sound like if they came from Cardiff. This is all very ‘nice’ and songs of how Christmas is all nice and happy and kids on new bikes and you might well like to know The Keys are born from the ashes of Murry The Hump... peace and goodwill to all, happy eggnog and polite almost plodding indie pop jingle bells bah humbug grinch grinch, pass the big red Christmas hammer, ho ho ho  - www.seemonkeydomonkey.com

I, LUDICROUS – We’re The Support Band (Brettpack) – More preposterous tales in the life of someone who once saw the Pistols down the Hundred Club (now then, now then). A new version of the I, Ludicrous ‘classic’ We’re The Support Band featuring new member Brett Martini – formerly Martin Brett of Voice Of The Beehive.  “the crowd doesn’t care, ‘cause the crowd isn’t there, we’re the support band... We’re from out of town, our vans broken down, we’re the support band... The bass player’s stoned, he thinks we don’t know, we’re the support band....” Preposterous mocking of all those dreadful support bands (who may or may not featuring a drummer called Ken McKenzie) support bands that we’ve all encountered down the Bull & Gate or over at the bloody Barfly on a Monday night. They say they plan to go on forever and look forward to releasing regular singles from the comfort of their nursing home chairs in twenty-five years time – I, ludicrous say that, not the support band, the support band will go one forever as well only no one will notice. Will they ever see Crystal Palace score four away from home though? Was it really way back in 1987 that that “seminal flexi disc single” Preposterous Tales came out? Don’t time fly when you’re having a good time? How many support bands? Preposterous tales now then now then, “We soundcheck the drums until kingdom come, we’re the support band...” genius stuff, from the always genius-like I Ludicrous  “The riff’s second hand, we stole from The Damned, we’re the support band..... We go on and on and on and on, we’re the support band....”. Oh, we’ve been here far too many times! Spot one observations, spot on slicing whit, oh how we need to play this at a soundcheck... The preposterous tales we could tell of how we once had a support band’s drummer sit at his kit with no sticks, band all ready to go and he’s trying to work out what he’s forgotten, we love support bands! They do go on and on and on and on... And that lot who dressed as bus conductors and fell through a hole in a stage that time the pregnant bass player went in to labour mid-set and...  We could go on and on and on and on about support bands! More of I, Ludicrous and their gloriously wry piss-taking, you got to love ‘em (now then, now then). - www.iludicrous.co.uk

KILL IT KID – Just Like Christmas (Download) – A free download thank you and happy Christmas from the rather excellent Kill It Kid and their fine alt.country sound that’s so uplifting. Kill It Kid covering Low and celebrating their rather good year in some style. Low done Kill It Kid style, an irresistible combination, no grinching here, pass the mince pies, bring on the mulled wine, we like Kill It Kid. – You can find it here..

SHRAG – Rabbit Kid (Where It’s At Is Where You Are)  - More of their delightful feisty indie pop, they haven’t quite repeated the glories of that time when Mark E. Smith came to town, this isn’t far off though..... it’s building up, it’s building up... Indie pop that makes you smile (and never wear a frown), proper pop as they say, feel good feisty (slighty shouty but not as shouty here as they usually are) indie pop with that edge they always have, with that natural unforced charm they always have, that uplifting surge and that positively English C86 DIY feel, we like Shrag (when we can actually get our hands on their stuff that is). www.myspace.com/shrag

BLOOD RED SHOES – Colours Fade (Download) – Seven minutes seven seconds of locked on forward focused indie pop laced with a just a touch of Kraut rock and a rather positive, rather driving momentum. Confidently full indie rock and another band throwing out a free download as an impressive taster of thing to come and a new album early next year - get it here: www.bloodredshoes.co.uk.

WE ARE THE OCEAN – Look Alive EP (Hassle) – I don’t know, four slightly different shades of the same old generically slick over-produced anthemic commercial radio friendly mainstream screamo emo beano rock energy and whatever this stuff is called this week We Are The Ocean are certainly doing it. You know it all already, this is just like you’ve all heard a million times already... Same old generic, ‘proper’ tuneful thoughtful one/screaming violent ‘angry’ one twin-vocal trick that might have been good ten years ago but now might just have been done a few times too many, same old slick we won’t change the world but we’ll have a damn good time trying slicker than slick over produced anthemic screamo pop metal. We Are The Ocean, to be fair (like we always are) are very very good at it - they’re committed, they’re energetic, they’re colourful, they do it as well as anyone we’ve had the misfortune to hear recently, indeed they much better than most. Really couldn’t tell you if this is the first time I’ve heard them or if I’ve already got several of their albums and have heard them many times already, they’ve got no identity whatsoever. We’ve heard this same track by this same band (or some other identical band) a thousand times already. There goes that moody quiet sensitive tuneful bit followed by the roaring throat screaming about how they’re never far from what they know bit as well as anyone bit again and oh hell, why do they all sound the damn same? Why are you bands content with doing this? What is the point it this four track EP existing? Answers on a postcard to someone who cares a little more than we do. If you like this same old screamo beano stuff then We Are The Ocean are extremely good at it and you’ll like ‘em lots and lots and you should rush out and buy it straight away and feed the screamos let they know it’s Christmas time  – www.myspace.com/wearetheoceanuk

HOUDINI DAX – BBC Live Sessions EP” (See Monkey Do Monkey) – Recorded in a Welsh BBC studio as a local radio session, this new Cardiff band, the next big thing so it seems, are some kind of polite indie brit pop thing that comes with a hint or two of well behaved very poppy psychedelia. All comes in far too much of a watered down state of nothingness to really excite us noise loving opinionated scumbags that much. Next big thing out of Wales so says the over excited hype sheet press release that comes with it (said press man gave is a little lecture about not reviewing things he’d sent last time around, doesn’t like our policy of only bothering with things we feel positive about, not ‘proper’ music journalism or something that, told us how he does it and blah blah...)  Next big thing then and maybe so but that don’t make it good does it? I’m sure whoever the hell is winning whatever dumbstick primetime TV talent show the great British public are spending their money texting at this week is the next big thing too, we got far too many 'next big things' being thrown at us, is that really what should be concerning us here? Houdini Dax have four tracks, the last one is annoyingly twee and demands you call it nasty names and, well, um... The other three are politely indie-catchy pop and all Arctic Monkey shaped and ah look, Houdini Dax aren’t that bad, they’re not doing much for us personally, polite indie smindie pop is not our thing, they can certainly write a catchy tune and I’m sure they’re all nice people and always help old ladies across the street and never swear in front on their mums and three out of four of the songs here are harmless lightweight polite indie pop things and if you like your Babyshambles and your Arctic Monkeys and a touch of The Kinks and time for a full stop now.... Wearing masks for their self esteem and poppy bodies behind their door or something like that. I guess after thirty plays a day on XFM they’d earworm in to our heads with their catchy psychedelic indie brit pop and can I go make some coffee now? We’re done here right? They’re alright polite indie smindie catchy infectious playful indie pop, they do it well, they do nothing for us, they sound like hundreds of daytime indie radio bands we’ve seen come and go, they'd probably be on Fierce Panda if this was 1998. Go check them out if you think it might be your thing, they do their thing as well as anyone, they probably will be big news sometime next year, good luck to them, not harming anyone are they? Second song of four is best, slipping off their boots a little there and people never thank you for intangible assistance and there’s never any help at hand, losing it all in the sand, enough of this cheap conversation, dog eat what? ... Coffee, get me out of here, no time for politely average heard it all before indie smindie bands... www.seemonkeydomonkey.com
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1st Dec '09....
SINGLES and things... It comes around once a week, throw them in, see what we got on the hook this time... yep, back to doing it once a week ‘cause you couldn’t take the randomness of it all.  Oh but we got a good one for you this week

Single of the week 1st December

US AND THEM – Fruits De Mer Volume Eight (Fruits De Mer) – Now this series is always worth checking out, this fine series of singles always throws together an ambitiously interesting set of well thought out treats. They don’t hit the absolute spot every time, they’re always worth checking out though. This eighth one might just be the best of the series so far. Us And Them are a Swedish boy/girl duo, she, Britt, sings and he, Anders, plays all the instruments. The instrumentation is simple, glowing acoustic guitar with some delicate warm keyboard textures underneath – minimal tunes that leave plenty of space for Britt’s beautifully intimate voice to breath and glow, Us And Them are always good, this single is extra special. 
            Now this is a Fruits De Mer single so there’s always a story and a slightly left-field song or two covered, always something extra to explore... they don’t just throw out singles, this is all cleverly planed and considered and this time a treat of a musical coach pulled by six white horses...  Us And Them does automatically pull thoughts towards Pink Floyd and the lead track here is a meltingly beautifully version of the relatively early Floyd classic Julia Dream, only it isn’t quite that either because this almost seven minute version is a little bit more than just a cover. Seems the original Floyd version’s melody was loosely based on a traditional folk lullaby called All The Pretty Horses, this is a gorgeously seamless and deliciously enchanting coming together of the two songs as one. The original traditional English lullaby and the quiet Floyd sound become one melting piece of must play again and again perfection called Julia Dream (All The Pretty Horses). Just right for curling up with, and yes hibernating until Spring with. You just have to hear it, the beauty can’t be described here on (electronic) paper, words are not enough. The Pink Floyd starting point is rather beautiful anyway, never really heard a bad version of Julia Dream, this version is right up there with Rebsie Fairholm’s, this is a special, a perfect mix of traditional folk and Floyd psychedelia... All so simple, all so clever, all so gorgeously rewarding... 
        And of course there’s more, this is Fruits De Mer, the other two songs here are equally as interesting and almost as good (come on you couldn’t expect these next two to be as good as that sunlight bright upon their pillow can you? Almost though, very close). 
         Tudor Lodge were one of those obscurely classic early 70’s British acid-folk bands. Us And Them cover a Tudor Lodge song here called Home To Stay, a simple folk song that instantly has us scurrying to the web in search of more (seems they’re still doing things). Meanwhile Dialogue is a Jackson C. Frank song - there’s quite a story to him, big influence on Nick Drake (and an equally tragic figure so it seems), reputedly the person who persuaded Sandy Denny to pack up nursing and take up music full time. Dialogue comes from his much loved by those who know 1965 album. One of the darker tracks and one of the most beautiful, all we can say here is Us And Them have done Dialogue justice, and you know what, might just have been wrong about this not being quite as good as the lead track - definitely wrong, this is painfully beautiful. Easy to see how his songs influenced Nick Drake. And that Tudor Lodge song is beautiful as well, once again Us And Them have covered it in glowing style – all dreamy and intimate and just all so perfectly right. Pretty difficult to imagine Us And Them making anything that wasn’t gorgeously glowing, that wasn’t alive with almost perfect beauty.
        This is a very special three track single, a play again and again and again piece of treasure that you really should check out. As always with the Fruits De Mer series, the single will be a very limited 7” pressing so don’t hang around. One of the best singles for a very long time... Almost too good, must be something wrong here, nothing is this perfect? Oh yes, boring artwork... there see, we are being objective.
Links: www.fruitsdemerrecords.com or www.usandthem.se or www.myspace.com/wwwusandthemse
Explore Jackson C Frank via Wikipedia

Other things to explore this week...

EFTERKLANG – Modern Drift (4AD) – Released as a Free download and the first taste of their forthcoming album 'Magic Chair' (out in Feb). The Danish band are going to have to go some to better Parades, they sensibly haven’t really tried... This is a serious change in direction, there’s still a hint of the magic in there, you know this is Efterklang, major disappointment though, sounds like a band looking to crossover and crack the alt.rock big league in a kind of Mercury Rev, Animal Collective way. Would we like it more if we didn’t already love Parades so much? Maybe we would, if we’d never heard them before this probably wouldn’t be so disappointing, I mean it is good by anyone else’s standards. Decent alt.rock radio friendly left-field pop with some colourful challenge under there, where did that vocal style come from though? Really not sure about this? Do we even want to hear the new album now? Really not sure...  Go taste for yourself and download it for free from here

BILLY BOX ON POISON – Happy Valentine’s Day (Geffen) – LA “teen rockers” so it would seem, Happy Valentine’s Day? Calendar mix up? Shouldn’t it be the launch of the Christmas single this week? Scuzzy buzzy swampy deep South up to their ankles in ‘gators kind of blues riff, poppy vocal lines and a touch of throwaway Queens of The Stoneage in there with their very current radio friendly look at my hair aren’t I the bees moves. Off the forthcoming debut album so it would seem... Let’s hope this is the radio friendly side of things then, not revving things up to much around here, nothing else on their My Space doing that much for us either.... www.myspace.com/billyboyonpoison

BAD FOR LAZARUS - Old Rats on a New Ship (Shit Chic) - They’re from Brighton, they got a reputation for explosive live performances running before them and now they have a debut (self released) single. This is a different swamp, nothing poppy or safe here, this is fall out of the swamp and straight down that gutter... Actually they do have a poppy moment or two, the good pop shit though, nothing throwaway or calculated, this ain’t no rule following band, this is bombastic, this is vicious pop, slicing blues and lots to clean up. Shit chic face down in the gutter indeed, you pack your bags, I’ll pack mine and all the while letting down those followers by arriving too late to the deathbed of Lazarus to save him... They surely must have followers already? Absurdist lyrics? Raw one way criminals, swampy doo-wop rock’n roll drenched in raw filth and let’s let front man Rich Fownes explain; "I liked the idea of reincarnation after the year I'd just had. And the idea of Jesus, the first celebrity, getting all the kudos for essentially getting there late". Bad For Lazarus you see... No careerist follow the fashion throwaway billy box poison hairstyle music here, Bad For Lazarus are a band who already matter.  All broken noses and maniac bass players, throbbing organs and grungy punky rock ‘n roll b-line swing ‘n soul blues rocking goodness from the deep swamps (or maybe deeper gutters) of Southern England.  We like bands who know they matter, who need to matter. Download this debut single for free from here or find out more via www.myspace.com/badforlazarus

DAS WANDERLUST – Someone To Pull Cracker With (Don’t Tell Clare/Cherryade) - Christmas singles, can’t be doing with them this early, not ready yet... no no no, get out of here and don’t be putting no tree anywhere near me for at least another three weeks. But this is out this week and this is Das Wanderlust and we do rather like Das Wanderlust, and if anyone is going to do a Christmas single well then... Actually this is really rather surprisingly good and... Well they’re always good, that’s no surprise, but this isn’t weirdly good or left field artful wrong pop Das Wanderlust good, it is still very Das Wanderlust, but this is all nice neat polished glowing red faces, best dress and shinny shoes good. All handsome and Victorian park strolling in the winter sun, mince pies and choral and she’s all singerly good, choral and Victorian-angelic and English and.... Christmas almost sounding good and tinsel and trees and paper hats and Dickens and all is well and tangerines and walnuts and chocolate shillings in stockings and if we’re going to have Christmas singles then this is as good as mulled wine and let’s have it at number one and heard as much as Jona lewie and no falling in the mud and handsome dogs and you know what they say about dogs and their owners and someone stop the cavalry...  All very nice and glowing and Christmas time... they’ve almost got me feeling good about it now, damn, get it out of here for at least another three weeks... A delightful cure for all your bah humbugs and grinch grinch grinching, proper Christmas...  Das Wanderlust sprinkling some proper olden days Christmas magic in their very own way – www.daswanderlust.co.uk... 
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24th Nov '09....
COLD IN BERLINSingles time again... singles singles, I like walks in the sun, doing crosswords together.... throw them in the CD cruncher, tell you about the ones we want to tell you about, let the others fall through the cracks that open up as we walk around 

Single of the week 

COLD IN BERLIN – Destruction/What Went Wrong (2076) – Now this is a tasty kick in the teeth, I guess this is a debut single, not really though, they were called Death Cigarettes until recently, the inevitable legal challenge from the evil tobacco pedalling corporation of the same name and here we are. New start and a slightly better name, that new name still doesn’t tell you much, they are not some moody bleak goth band, oh no, this is tear your heart and eat it raw, rib cage smashing, head fucking. Mind sucking energy, no moody bleak cold in Berlin smoky streets cheeks sucked in here. She sounds like a total nightmare, you’ll have to have a taste though, you won’t be able to resist that pure destruction and that beautful punk rock riot ball of an opening track. She has no place to go she may just crawl in there inside your head and stay there for ever, she’ll fuck with you, increase your will to live, to paint big pictures that confuse your friends, paint secret letters on your flesh. Death Cigarettes were good, forget that though, that was just a rehearsal. This is everything you need, this all those ethics and spiders in your veins and earworms and shouty girl standing on your toes and telling and spitting and scratching it all, yelling in your face, and you’ll love it to pieces. Limited edition single, there’s either 200 or 300 depending on you either believing the press release or the cover, mine is number 132 and no you can’t have it, this is glorious destruction – www.myspace.com/coldinberlin

Also worth checking out...

LE TETSUO – Sometimes I’m Walking Around I Feel Like I’m Going To Open Up And Crack (PLR) – Song tittle longer than the song, and yes, that is typed out correctly, may not scan but it is as it is on the cover and who needs scan. Don’t come here complaining about typo proof reading scan nonsense. Don’t start no rumours either, they’ll all come back to haunt you. No it isn’t about ‘now-ness’ but this is very now and sometimes I walk around, same house, same house, reviewing things, cracks, bites, now now now – they’re now but they’d be now when ever it was. Spiky and feisty and all raw angular post-punk now-wave energy and stomach-knots and ten guesses, if you don’t get it right that’s fine – we’re having a pretty good time with this, this isn’t graffiti, just typing on the screen that I did just for You. Three of them, girl/boy voices and doing it their own way, not just following the ‘now’. And yes they do have a touch of the Huggy Bears about them, whoever said that was rather right - that riot girl energy and that positive feel that was there for six months somewhere in the 90’s, that and Raincoats but all very now and raw and alive and different and far from obvious and yes, they opened up good cracks and what was that place, good place, good band, good single, make coffee now, end the sentence scan off, if it wasn’t for those up there this would be single of the week...  www.myspace.com/letetsuo1

PRESENTS FOR SALLY – Catch Your Fall (Laser Ghost) – Debut single from slowly moving simple shoegazer creamy warmth, melancholic melodies and nicely considered  layers of peddle driven textures for those who miss the best days of bands like Ride, Chapterhouse and such... They’re from somewhere in the UK, they’re on a label from Bristol, they’ve got some nice interesting textures in there, especially in the less obvious b-side Smooch. Rather decent debut...  – www.myspace.com/presentsforsally

CAKES & ALE – All I Want (Hungry Ale) – Cakes & Ale are a seven piece from Norwich, I’m guessing their cakes a rustic and fully of nuts and oats and apples and all kinds of good things, their ale is real and full of life and real taste rather than some corporate chemical fizz. That’s right, they’re a folk band and if this was the new Fleet Foxes single the alternative media would be raving about it – a very English Fleet Foxes would be a very lazy way to compliment this fine single - Fleet Foxes, Incredible String Band.. Beautiful playing, fine tunes, simple inviting evocative words, English folk with an alternative baroque pop feel. Vocal harmonies, “an army of acoustic instruments” – harmonium, guitars, musical saw, bass, penny whistles, banjo and such... they’ve a sense of fun, a touch of wickedness with those adventures in the wet grass of the grave yard. Modern life and folk and timeless traditions and everything good here...  www.myspace.com/cakesandaleband or www.hungryaudio.co.uk

ALELA & ALINA – Amidst The Movement (Family) – Rather fine six track EP on Names Records new imprint Family. Delicious harmonised simplicity, glowing female-voiced folky Americana, two strong delicate voices and probably far more of a Fleet Foxes feel than the Englishness of Cakes &Ale we were telling you about a minute ago. Simple beautiful glowing songs from the duo, just voices and refined acoustic guitars, handcrafted North American folk, quiet beauty... 

SENNEN – Destroy Us (Hungry Audio) – Six tracker and Sennen moving on again. Moving on in a positive way and evolving towards something that’s a little less like all the others. Decent enough version of New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle, pretty difficult to not make that piece of perfection sound good, Sennen play it pretty straight, sound like they’re just enjoying it – that’s the point isn’t it, enjoyment. This feels like the gap in between albums, a declaration of future intent aligned with a slight letting down of the hair. That final instrumental track sounds a little like a New Order influenced slice of post-rock breezy pop work in progress. This whole thing sounds like it should be treated as a rather packed single/EP thing rather than the next move mini album. Sennen have always been good, things are evolving nicely here, not just repeating their previous ideas. Opens with an instrumental called In (that final track we already told you about is called Out) before what I guess is the lead track Destroy Us - and here’s another failure, the best that we’ve got... Nothing to destroy them here, everything pointing to the next moves and some impressive steps forward. This lead track is probably their finest thing yet, and there really is a lot left for them... all sounding good in Sennen’s creative indie guitar pop lives, not just another Radioheadish My Vitriol type band now, moving on in a positive way... There you go should have read the press release first “On route to next year’s album release, Norfolk’s Sennen release a limited edition EP” – www.sennen.org.uk or www.hungryaudio.co.uk

DRAGONFORCE – A Flame For Freedom (Roadrunner) - Epic battle metal ballad warning... The fires of hell shattering dreams or chains that ever bind us and.... United in victorious vocal harmony and something that’s dangerously close to being a slice of AOR as the storms rages and... Gawd help us, the fires are burning in battle and the stormwinds aren’t helping. Did tears fall in dreams just then? Dragonforce and their preposterously over the top lyrical nonsense, a Dragonforce ballad could well be their greatest move yet (are you sure this isn’t Europe?). Still alive we feel the pain tonight, twilight forms and a thousand lights that shine on, almost time to take midnight train going anywhere....  One dream in all of us still shining... It goes on and on and on, strangers waiting up and down the boulevard, all out there somewhere in the night. The silliest band in the world just got even funnier. www.dragonforce.com
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DANKO JONES
DESMAN
FIGHT LIKE APES
HHH
JETPLANE LANDING
JOHN LEE BIRD
KILLING JOKE
LADYFEST
LAIBACH
LEFTOVER CRACK
LEVITATION
MARY LOU LORD
NEXT LIFE
OTEP
PANIXPHERE
RAGE A.T.M
REMY ZERO
SEX PISTOLS
SIKTH
SNAPCASE
SPIRAL TRIBE
STONEHENGE '02
WARRIOR SOUL
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KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)
KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)