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Extra Life at the Scala - May 200931st May - Single of The Week 

EXTRA LIFE – Black Hoodie (Loaf) - Black Hoodie is Extra Life at their most beautiful, and Extra Life at their most beautiful is the most beautifully graceful of them all. This is tingling classical consideration, this is.... no, to try and put this perfect piece of music in to mere words is almost, well not impossible, just wrong. I really don’t want to spend my time pulling it apart and describing it, I just want to play it and stand in the middle of the room, eyes closed, savouring every single second, every whispered note, every perfectly-voiced word, every black fold... This really is his black hoodie wrapping us in that same comfort he found in those folds  Extra Life really are something very very special.  Orchestrated classical beauty, a shroud just so right, delicately picked, beyond the confines, the considerations or notions of what is classical music, what is pop or rock or any of those subsections - this is just music, just right and really just go get it – go get it, clear all your clutter away, shut the door, clear away any other noise, all possible interruption and take the three minutes and twenty five seconds right in. Extra Life are as damn near to perfect as music can be.... 
              And if you already know Black Hoodie and you have the latest album, you still need this four track single. How do they manage to make an R.Kelly song sound so gorgeous? Your Body’s Callin’ slowly uncoils over eight and a half wonderful minutes, uncoils like a black cat slowly waking in the dusty rays of a sunny morning room... unbelievable....  Charlie Looker really has a voice that just melts everything, his band glides with that voice perfectly... Comparisons will do no justice but if you must then think Tim Buckley fronting a more delicately considered Godspeed You Black Emperor and you might be somewhere in the region of where we are as you breathe every icy breath with him, the sheer power, the visceral, the grace, the darkness... 
         Not sure about the rather harsh Battles remix at the end, rather miss it and go back to the folds of that black hoodie... as one stand along piece, then you have a Battles track with a bit of refined Extra Life graceful tingle somewhere in there... or or

There's a whole load more Extra Life from us Organs to be found here. The New York band start a small UK tour next week...  

MAY 24th
24th May - only one single in town this week...

LOW TRAMON – Rongorongo (Doubleedgescissor) - All your dreams will be rewarded, all your geese will be swans, twisted moments, scissor-cuts that are never straight. Some kind of spiky spaghetti of new wave post hardcore prog sax driving other rock that’s blessed with near perfect complexion, clear white teeth, raw production, the taste of warm reality...  Three track single and did we mention Camp Blackfoot last time we encountered London’s rather excellent Low Tramon? We did didn’t We? I’m sure we must have done, they do rather sound like that momentary great band and these kisses are the best kind aren’t they? Kiss the big ugly shark. A touch of manic Dead Kennedys and experiments slightly out of hand in a Pere Ubu kind of way - and all there waiting for you, right there under your London noses, do you ever look right under your noses? This is not the time for apathy, the music is right there waiting... You’ll never know what’s wrong, you can download it for free, they’re forever playing live, their sax is wired, their riffs twisted, their punk comes prog flavoured, their prog is spiky, their new wave is post hardcore and it all drives straight at you. Cutthroated and unconventional and here and now and floating anarchy. You can download it for free via the Doubleedgescissor website, copies will be given out free at the first Doubleedgescissor gig that takes place on Friday 4th June, you’ll get the feeling that’s the first day of the weekend, no backstab promotion this one, this is the proper way! There is a vibrant underground to be found if you really want to. All your dreams will be rewarded, new Monsoons with Bassoons, new Scissormen, new things, ever involving, Poisoned Electrick Heads all of ‘em, ever evolving, squalor is alive... only single in town this week... this thing will not blow over, Homage Freaks one and all, contact and switch the other... break lights off, go get it... this is Organ fuel 
more info from or

That gig line up in full: CUTTHROAT CONVENTION, COSMETIC, LOW TRAMON, RAISING OBJECTIONS all gather together at The Fiddlers Elbow in Camden, London on June 4th 

MAY 17th
17th May -  Two singles of the week this week, depending on your state of mind, your need to drive lorries and shout at passers-by or to chase away the head-peckers with the delicate glow of intricate piano... 

Single of the Week 1

EX LIBRAS – Underachiever  (Wirebird) – Second single from the London band’s impressively bold debut album Suits(s). Take Radiohead as a vague starting point, throw in some refreshingly unclichéd post rock flavours, some deliciously moody colours, melodic sensibilities, intricately delicate piano, warm vocals, a real understanding of musical tension (and an absolutely brilliant b-side) and bask in a band confidently expanding. Ex Libras are a band who really do deserve your time - rich, alive and needing to do something a little more than just sounding like the bands they clearly appreciate, a band with ambition enough to do something as big as any of the band they may sometime get compared with in a complimentary way. Something special evolving here ...

Single of the Week 2

CHIPS FOR THE POOR – Tell Your Mum, Bolan’s Back (Invisible Spies) - Headpecker of a single, hammering at your mind in a positively repetitive manner, he’s a warrior...Angular banging softening you up ready for ranting new wave no wave shouty man to come a yelping and yapping and barking. Scratchy angular things that fall off the back of Mark E Smith’s lorry, if he was to ever have a lorry, not that anyone would let either Mr Smith or the one they Chips For The Poor drive their lorry. This as awkward as Mark E.Smith driving a lorry and yelling at everyone else on the road, on the pavement, on the phone... I Am a warrior yell the man without a lorry. No idea what shouty singer man is on about, sounds like he has a more than valid point of view though, I’m with him, whatever it is he’s on about. Three pecking tracks, bang yelp, bang bang... something to do with one-armed bandits, home made margaritas, diesel leaks and vomit. Broken Britain in full effect – c*ck, c*nt, p*enis, T*ny Blair, T*na Turner and treading carefully on wafer thin ice. Who knows what he’s on about, never fall in love with a girl like who? Excellent, wired up, on the edge, everything we need on a Monday morning. Five years since his last release so it claims on this press release, don’t ask me, new band, new life, a coalition to mend our broken pop music, a new start – or

Also worth checking on this day of Ronnie James Dio's passing... 

GRAND MAGUS – Hammer Of The North (Roadrunner) - A very Judas Priestly slice of epic metal, title track of the Stockholm outfit’s fifth album – how much more Judas Priest could it be? The answer is none, none more black. Classic metal, gloriously unoriginal and we’ve all heard it many times before, not quite a good as this in recent times though. Old school epic horns high Judas Priest, Dio style Nordic tradition, you know if your metal enough to want it or not –

plus one more... 

MIDLAKE – Children of The Grounds (Bella Union) - Decent enough single from the mellow North American alt.folk band who now and again add a Canterbury scene feel to their rich relaxed country rock sound.  If you like your alternative acoustic Fleet Foxes and such....

MAY 10th

Single of the Week

SHADY BARD – Trials III (Reverb) – First fruits of the next album and the self-confessed ‘orchestral indie band’ from Birmingham. The last album was laced with songs alive with quiet texture and glorious colour... An album to sink yourself in for hours and hours.... Beautiful according to the quote of their press release referencing the Organ Album of the Week review we wrote back in 2009. This first taste of things to come is the sound of a confident band expanding on their sound and blossoming in a rather full-bodied radiant manner. Orchestral, almost symphonic, indie pop, that almost touches on the post-rock crescendo – none of it in an obvious way though, always with that flourishing brush of their own  If we must have vague references to other bands you may just be more familiar with then look in the ever diverse direction of I Like Trains, the better times of The Beta Band, the colour of Tindersticks, vague reference points though, sign posts pointing you in the general direction.


What else do we have in terms of singles this week? Well lots of things that we could be ambivalently polite about in a kind of 7/10 they’re harmlessly alright, heard it all before kind of way... bits of generic punk pop, electro indie funk, decent enough alt indie rock from North America that we could clutter up our pages with in some kind of sitting on the fence uncommitted kind of way... Is there any real point in us tell you about them unless they really do grab us an move us in some kind of excited motivated hey you must check this out right now kind of way? Hang on, Emika finally has us off the polite fence... 

EMIKA – Double Edge (Ninja Tune) – dark moody female-voiced electronic dubsteb sub-bass ear seduction, slow moving shadow play from Germany. Soothing glitch, reflective paranoia, relationship poised between fulfilment and collapse. Fine fine remix from Bristol Tectonic head Pinch, a mix that turns up the dark claustrophobic atmosphere up an extra notch. Relaxing in a dark floatation tank? Trapped in a dark floatation tank? Find electronic dub ‘n glitch, seductive bleeps and dark dark soothing voice..

DAVID GIBB – This Young Boy (Fuse)  - A man with a guitar and some emotional English songs that fall on the folk side of Frank Turner, further investigation here – or

MAY 3rd
3rd May - Singles again, Monday, single review day, here we go....There's what became of last week's singles, all hand painted for the Resonance FM fundraiser... Or maybe they're untouched Gog Magog and Dream City Film Club singles left over from the last century... bands and their singles they come and go and come and go and come and go..

TEMPELHOF – Leaving Home / Cage (Distraction) – Comes as a twelve inch one-sided hand painted piece of vinyl in custom sleeve, the vinyl is apparently hand-painted by English contemporary artist Polly Bound (this is also available as a far less interesting digital download, but hey, you need  the real thing don’t you?). We haven’t got the artwork here or we’d tell you more about it, just a boring old advance CDr version... The music though, we can tell you about the music. Post-rock songs is what we have here, all that quiet brooding and whispers that develop to that ‘classic’ post rock crescendo. Tunes laced with that heroic fluctuating skitter of drums and that hint of glitch, with that soaring and shimmering, with those ghostly strings, with melodic warmth and yes, once again kind of like lots of post-rock things you’ve heard before, that filmoid 65Days meets Radiohead thing. Tempelhof’s sound is a crafted and considered sound though, a little predictable it maybe but they do do it all with such controlled consider graceful beauty that they more than get away with sound a bit too much like the others. Good record, excellent packaging, been and looked at it on line now, want a proper one. A band (and label) that put a bit just a little more in, a little more than just ‘product’  –  /

EAGLEOWL – Into The Fold (Kilter) - Their debut single was a single of the week around here back at the end of last year, and this one must be in with a shout as well (we haven’t heard all this week’s singles yet, we don’t know ‘till we’ve heard them all now do we). More crafted lo-fi folkisms from the refined Edinburgh outfit, delicately different warm alt.folk flavours that aren’t anywhere obvious enough to push that easily in to any alt.folk pigeonhole. Quietly subtle momentum, gorgeously mellow, rich and alive with that warm crafted glowing sound. Tunes that take all the time they need to slowly uncoil in their own hand made, perfectly played, wonderfully recorded way...Grassroots music making of the finest quality, four delightful songs somewhere near or alt.folk but not quite that easy to box – quite unique actually. Gradually prefect the art of the understatement indeed – or

GHOSTFIRE – The Last Stempunk Waltz (self release) – Another rather decent single from the English band who’ve been more than happy to line themselves up with the ongoing Steampunk thing. More of that rousing Edwardian/Victorian rock of theirs. More Eighties flavoured debauched decadence, Eighteen Eighties though, not Nineteen... raised glasses and gin-soaked gas-lit shadows, a swirling sound of vagabonds and footpads, dark Victorian H.G.Wells with a touch of absinthe-aided New Model Army around the edges – that’s a good thing... or

WAY PRISTINE – Melodic alt.rock of a mildly-paced Placebo, Smashing Pumpkins nature. They’re from Italy, kind of repetitive and lacking in terms of any kind of adventure or real dimension. Hey Placebo and their like never meant that much around here, here’s a link if you’re curious, not doing much for us, we’ll politely leave it with you –

LONE WOLF – Keep Your Eyes On The Road (Bella Union) – Rather clever slice of hypnotic English alt.folk singer/songwriter goodness with a gorgeous touch of Nick Drake to it. Simple, uncluttered and laced with an unexpected little twist or two along with that white carnation and the slightly proggy alt.folk bit in the middle, more please... –

ADMIRAL ANGRY – A  Fire To Burn Down Th World (Shels) - Twenty four minutes of skull-scraping doom metal, slow riffing and some screaming throat-ripping ’singer’ yelling like s stuck-pig.  This new one track single from the LA band is kind of alright for the first few minutes, thirteen minutes in now and they’re pretty much rumbling on without really taking it anywhere - on and on they go in the same gear at the same pace with the same riffs while screaming pig screams away. What we have here is a churning one-trick-pony slowcore slice of left-field extreme metal that might be a little more exciting if we hadn’t already heard all these grinding slow-motion metal riffs and textures and things a million and six times already. Thankfully screaming man isn’t too up front in the mix, he is there high enough up to be annoying after a couple of minutes though, squealing for mummy ‘cause the drummer’s taken his orange juice or something. Hang on, sixteen minutes in and they’ve just gone and slightly changed gear... still doing nothing we haven’t heard a million times before though. Hang on, let’s find the positive -  heavy heavy stuff, great big churning riffs, screaming yelping vocals, heavy textures, bleak soundscapes and well, kind of need another dimension  now please, a little more something, that just hints of a different flavour. If you’re going to push in to these already well trodden dark corners then we really need you to be a band willing to challenge both yourselves and we, the listeners, a little bit more than this rather obvious almost half an hour that I stuck with right until the end does... They really could have ended it after five minutes and said just as much as they did over the twenty six, and what they were saying wasn’t exactly new, still if you want some crushing riffs and some corrosive texture and come extreme screaming doom-flavoured metal. Guess they sound like they’d be something rather powerful in a live state, really need more than this in terms of a recording though - or

THE QEMISTS – Your Revolution (Ninja Tune)  – Bass-heavy song-based crunching banging indie techno electro dance rock stew and another band trying to fuse guitars and beats, not convinced anyone can really pull it off with any great degree of success...   You can get this single as a free download should you feel a burning need, can’t say we recommend it, find it via

THE GULLIVERS – All That Fall / In Orbit (self release) – Sweet voice and a delicate couple of mellow indie songs, All That Fall comes with a Samuel Beckett inspired anti-romantic lyric and a considered and rather inventive indie pop song that we’re told was recorded on St. Valentine’s day this year. Clever, subtle, downbeat, nicely detailed, quiet flow of delayed guitars drifting by, In Orbit is a dreamy kind of thing, guest you could call it a rich warm dream-pop thing and a healthy contrast to the indie pop of the first track, good band, fine single...  -

WE ROCK LIKE GIRLS DON’T – Welcome To My World (Distort) – The Scottish two piece who rock like lots of girl bands we can think of. Grungy pop rock with a touch of fuzz and a little more polished and Joan Jett flavoured this time around – that’s no bad thing –

F**K BUTTONS – Olympians (ATP/R) – Heroic Olympic theme bid in a Vangelis style, well Vamgelis with an added dose fuzz and attitude. Comes with a J Spaceman mix (Jason Pierce) –

TEAM GHOST – You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me EP (Sonic Cathedral) – New band formed by M83 founder member (and co-writer of their first two albums) Nicolas Fromageau. Classic soundscapes and shoegazing widescreen pop textures, songs that touch on Kraut-like electronica, on a poppy Spiritualized, decent set of dream pop things, shoe-gaze things, call it what you will things - pop songs alive with an alternative current, with different textures, hints of Suicide, hints of lot of things, only hints though...

MUSEE MECANIQUE – Sleeping In Our Clothes (Souterrain) – Another slice of beguiling slice of quiet charm from the Portland Quintet, more of their elegant North American alt folk pop made of vintage pieces of all kinds of things –

Single of the Week has to be.... (though it almost was EagleOwl...)

SOULFLY – Rise of The Fallen (Roadrunner) – See you can make metal that doesn’t sound exactly the same as all the other metal! Your riffs can have different textures, you can throw in a few different shades without making something alien sounding. This instantly impressive single is the first taste of the forthcoming seventh studio album. Soulfly are still looking forward, they’re making their crushing biting brutal modern metal without ever losing sight of who they are and what’s expected from them, and they’re doing it with the imagination and colour lacking in so much modern metal, they’re proving it doesn’t all have the be a rehash of ideas already worn out. Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato collaborates on this one.  The sound of Max Cavalera doing it all as well as the metal legend ever has, bring on the album, that’s a killer riff to kick a single off with, when metal is good it really is good, this is /

APRIL 26th
26th April..Volcanic eruption disruption complete, dust abound in every corner, squalor alive is the no longer trail-free sky, bees alive and spray of paint in the air, let’s see if this fine April Monday will bring a single or two worth talking about... 
        Not the greatest week, in the CD cruncher they all went and out they were thrown again, dozens of them, singles, there is still a point to them isn’t there? Here’s  the one’s we reviewed before hopelessness of it all set in once more, few little diamonds and great big jewel miles ahead of everything, lightened of language and alive with all those flames... 

THE GRESHAM FLYERS – There’s Been A Murder (Cherryade) - More of their positively good Wedding Present styling and flourishing 80’s indie rock energy... that Gedge rush and those relationships going slightly wrong again, a brassneck of a lead track that leads us to another three of the same confident strident standard. More tales of kisses seen and that scratchy c-86 guitar style, touch of The Smiths. Classic English indie pop, not many doing it with the style, colour and commitment of The Gresham Flyers   - /

THE BRUTE CHORUS – Could This Be Love (Tape) – Another fine release from the London band, gone all dirty-edged Gene Vincent rockabilly stomp this time, and she’s calling be now and the sound is so sweet. Going to see his baby tonight, touch of the Blues Explosion this time, very much London rather than New York though. They’re good in a Libertines kind of way, we mean that as a compliment, not sure why there hasn’t been a whole lot more mainstream attention flying around this band, they do their Camden hat-wearing Hawley Arms thing rather well –

YACHT – The Afterlife (DFA) - All that you have is not what you own, it isn’t a place you go, more a place that comes for you... Neat enough slightly left-field pop tune with an 80’s new wave Siouxsie flavour. Hardly “the most exciting avant-garde outfit since...” that the NME would have us believe, decent enough though. Pleasant enough single, sounds like many a single from many a band that you’d hear (and rather like) on Top Of The Pops most weeks of the year back there in the early 80’s... but it isn’t about who you know or who’s in your heart.... Neat enough bit of precise digital clean cut slightly left-field new wave flavoured 80’s pop from the US outfit from Portland –

BEACH HOUSE – Zebra (Bella Union) – Like we said before, decent enough but all these North American tingle-rock Animal Collective Mercury Revs, aren’t they all very nice and all sound rather predictably alike? Answer on a postcard to a black and white horse over there arching and marching among us. Rather like them, rather like the sound, but as nice and tingly and starlit and uplifting as it all is, isn’t it all a little safe and.... on well, nice enough single from the Baltimore band I suppose... or

KULA SHAKER – Peter Pan R.I.P (download) -  Kula Shaker are back, they got a new free download  single if you want it, something to do with chasing crows and letting the sun warm your bleeding heart and Peter Pan won’t come back, they chained his feet and broke is back...  No fairytale comeback, gather around in memory if you want, Kula Shaker were heroes to some, they never meant anything to me, curiosity get the better of me, I downloaded it, I listened to it, delete button time... here’s a link if you’re curious.... 

THE VERY BEST – Kamphopo (Moshi Moshi) – Uplifting upbeat euphoric African hybrid flavours...


THE WIND-UP BIRDS – Tyre Fire / There Won’t Always Be An England (Sturdy) –  Debut single from a new Leeds band and some clever words about tattoos with three lions on and what is England now and what does it matter and all in time for the world cup and pubs full patriots. The Birds operate in a vaguely Wedding Present kind of way, I guess that’s the northern angle covered as we search for words here. These are vacuous times and scathing satirical bite is what we need to transcend the mundane flow of the match via the barstool and a pint of chemical froth and notions of meathead Engerland and think Our Friends In The North, think the bite of Mark E.Smith, think Morrissey and all the contradiction that thinking that throws up.  Uncertain times? Enemy within? Ben Sherman shirts? Nationalism, footballism, the horrors of little Englanders as their idea of country evolves to become something new, and the horrors of the pub during the world cup and all tattoos on show and the story all told so so dramatically well, brilliant actually. And equally as fine, the tale on the otherside where nothing can be seen through all the smoke of an occasional e.mail... little slices of English life finger drawn before last orders as things evolve, lightened of language and consumed in the tales... two fine fine songs, alive with it all and more or

Previous week's singles, and the week before and... 





KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)
KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)