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REVIEW POLICY
ORGAN #243> FEB 14th '08 - new issue on line every Thursday afternoon
CONTACT US  ARCHIVES>>> ALBUM REVIEWS DEMO REVIEWS SINGLE REVIEWS
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A frightened rabbit? Midnight Organ Fight?
Twizzle and shine, as easy as that needle opens one eye to allow that damn camel through a machine that gobbles up dreams and spits out all kinds of rhyme and reason, keep your face in line and cop shoot cop and the liberation of your worse intentions. Walk like a Luddite and nail it down, I don’t do this, I don’t do that, home in now and we have been told about your kind...  fighting the forces that want to turn you in to just another docile music consumer and here are this week’s musical adventures – come along join in, so much good music around if you really go look for it. What a wonderfully busy week, most weeks are stupidly busy, this has been extra so – hurling and hauling bags of Organs around London (and Brighton and...), watching faces who didn’t know what Mouse was going to do, Spit Like This doing it properly,  trying to catch too many bands at once, falling through a time hole and noticing there’s a Monarch again, that and Earth and Imperial Leisure hitting the radio once more, and the street and man on the street, how you feeling? Alright? And the pure joy that is a Grantura gig and Herzoga on Organ TV and sorting out the new Pure Reason Revolution single and F**ked Up and The Death Set and the good Doc S and a million rats swarming all over the Highbury station platform and not giving a hoot about humans...and how good is the new Everything Must Go stuff sounding?! Get in to that Emergency Room...!! 

These are the things that have been in our ears this week, please explore and if it sounds interesting then just hit the links and make your own minds up, our reviews and thoughts are mere signposts designed to guide you to the things you might like to feast on yourselves... don’t you just love the instant hit of the www. 

IS THIS WHY YOU BOOKMARKED ME?
EFTERKLANG have announced a spring tour of the UK and Ireland. Like their hugely successful tour in November/December last year, the group will perform as an 8-piece. The line-up will include Anna Brønsted, whose solo act Our Broken Garden, will perform as support for the tour.The Danish collective, currently on tour in Europe, will release “Caravan” as a strictly limited edition 7” (and download) to coincide with the tour. The single is takenfrom the acclaimed album Parades (last year’s Organ album of the year). You can listen to Caravan here: www.myspace.com/theleaflabel, find out more at www.myspace.com/efterklang
  “Highlight of the Efterklang tour is a headlining show at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, and we can announce that the latest Leaf signing, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, from Gothenburg in Sweden, will make their debut UK performance at the show. Their album, Heartcore, will be released on April 28. - www.myspace.com/wildbirdsandpeacedrums

Here are the Efterklang tour dates in full: 26th March: The Talking Heads, SOUTHAMPTON, 27th: March Hare & Hounds, BIRMINGHAM, 28th: Corporation, SHEFFIELD, 29th: The Button Factory, DUBLIN, 30th: Cyprus Avenue, CORK, 31st: The Point, CARDIFF,  1st April: The Ruby Lounge, MANCHESTER, 2nd: Queen Elizabeth Hall, LONDON (with Our Broken Garden and Wildbirds & Peacedrums), 3rd: Pressure Point, BRIGHTON.

THINGS TO GET SHOUTING  ABOUT? 
Well we’ve shouted about it before, and we'll go on shouting about it until we’re blue in the face, but then we can breathe and shout until we’re blue in the face and you need to believe the guy who was once in Roach Motel - just hit this link then go explore and ask who that guy in the picture there in the orange shirt is, go read his pages and ask questions and.... 

GODSPEED HAVEN’T SPLIT UP - Following this week's reports flowing around the web (not here mind you, we know how these Godspeed things work) that Godspeed You! Black Emperor have split up, band member Efrim Menuck, who originally gave some people the impression that that was the case, has denied that the anarchic Canadian avant garde collective have called it a day, despite the five year indefinite hiatus. Menuck was quoted by some website or other as saying words to the effect that the group wouldn't be getting back together due to some sort of existential angst related to the Iraq war, but now he's denied that he said it. He told Pitchfork: "The Drowned in Sound thing is a misquote. It's true, Godspeed hasn't existed for years, we've been on permanent hiatus since 2002. If and when we do call it quits permanently, it won't be because of the Iraq war". 

CRAP PROSECUTION OF THE WEEK - Cops at the May 2007 Bristol Critical Mass nicked a cyclist who stopped a driver from driving away after knocking a cyclist off his bike - rather than arrest the road rage driver. This week the case was thrown out of court by the judge who accepted that the police evidence was at best 'severely flawed' and at worst, fabricated.(www.schnews.org.uk)

FREE-BOARDER - Money money money. Why haven't we got any? Well, perhaps we've got the right idea and it's everyone one else that needs to change. That's the idea behind the Freeconomy website which allows people to sign up and trade skills and labour without any lucre in sight.

To spread the word further (and without paying for any advertising naturally), the site's founder, a guy called Saoirse, is walking from Bristol to India without using any cash, relying on the generosity of people he meets along the way.

After a tough time crossing the prosperous home counties, things have apparently improved for him since passing though ever-friendly Brighton in the last couple of days. He is due to be in Dover on Saturday before crossing the channel and heading east... To find out more about the freeconomy, read his travel blog, or contact him to meet up on his pilgrimage, see www.justfortheloveofit.org
 
John on the phone... 
ORGAN ON YOUR RADIO - WEEKLY on SUNDAYS AT 9.00pm via RESONANCE 104.4FM in London and worldwide via www.resonancefm.com   more details here
ORGAN TV?

ORGAN TV  is on your screens in the UK right now. Every Wednesday evening, NOW AT THE NEW TIME OF 9.30pm on the OPEN ACCESS 2 Channel on SKY160. And now due to the fine response, repeated every Sunday on SKY883 at 9.30pm.

This coming Sunday we have the following videos...

AARON MCMULLEN - Blue From Black
ASSDROIDS - Datf Crunk
HERZOGA - Nice Car 
EFTERKLANG - Mirador 
DAN DEACON - The Crystal Cat 
HELLO WEMBLEY - Up Great Britain
TIME.SPACE.REPEAT. - Joy 
BEYOND DAWN - Among The Sedatives 

Next Wednesday and Sunday we have...

THE LOW LOWS  - Dear Flies Love Spiders 
IMPERIAL LEISURE - In A Letter 
HERZOGA - Nice Car 
TO THE BONES - Tycho 
COLT - Never Know
ASSDROIDS - Daft Crunk 
GALLHAMMER - World To Be Ashes 
BEECHER - Function! Function! 

What's it all about? Simple, just good music, and the art of good video making...  Same musical policy as we've always had with Organ - the labels are just handy signposts, as long as the music and video making has that X factor - expect a healthy eye/earboiling mix of metal, punk, prog, beats, post rock, post punk, post man pat, hardcore, indie, alternative, pronk, whatever..... music and creativity for the open minded
 


Want to get your video on? Well all you need to do is make us aware of what you have, send us a link to your video on MySpace or You Tube or wherever, or a VHS or a DVD and if you have something that we want to broadcast then we'll chase you for a master broadcast format and wallop, sorted 
  DEMO TIME
We're just going to tell you about the very very best once a week, no more time for the average, only the most exciting - we're very very selective, when we tell you it's good then it really is goooooooood

DEMO OF THE WEEK
EATEN BY TIGERS – Solstice – More from the refined post-rock quartet, more of those slowly building instrumental passages occasionally punctuated by a quiet vocal line or a gentle glitch. Uplifting goodness once more – think 65days in a very relaxed state and building in a far less hurried manner and you’ll be somewhere near where Eaten By Tigers are. Another beautifully serene set of well mannered recordings – www.myspace.com/eatenbytigers

ALSO CHECK OUT
AUTOCOIL – Fuzzy synth rock instrumentals and a love of Primal Scream flavoured psychedelic Krautness and synth experiments are clearly firing inspiration here. Two warm analogish primitive lo-fi tracks, two inviting pieces full of positive promise (good enough to get straight on our radio show last week) and well worth your time. www.myspace.com/autocolt

SEEDS OF DOUBT – 80’s sounding lush New Romantic John Foxx real-time synth pop from the South of England, authentically good at it, decent songs, meety sound – www.myspace.com/seedsofdoubt

STAGECOACH – School Days – Breezy mellow uplifting sunny indie pop honesty and slickness that’s rather hard not to like, someone else mentioned Wilco – www.myspace.com/stagecoachuk

Last week's demo of the week - MOLLOY

Previous demo's of the week - THE ATROCITY EXHIBIT / 2 OUT OF 3 RULE / THE JACKPOT GOLDEN BOYS / FANTAPLASTIC / YONATAN NIV / INNER RAGE / NAVEL / FILTHY HABITS / LITTLE TROPHY / THE ORIENTALISTS / HOUSEHOLD / THE JELAS

DEMO REVIEW ARCHIVES

NEW ALBUMS WE’RE LISTENING TO THIS WEEK
SurroundedThis week the best new things we’ve been listening to were... 

ALBUM OF THE WEEK
SURROUNDED – The Nautilus Years (One Little Indian) – Glowing euphoria and fuzzy utopia and far far more than just “Sweden’s answer to The Flaming Lips”. Gloriously crafted songs alive with light and colour and texture and reaching right out to touch. Marten Rydell’s vocal delivery is right up there with the very very best – Mark Linkous of Spaklehorse or Remy Zero’s Cinjun Tate - Glorious songs, graceful sounds, plaintive. Beautiful details and quietly ambitious intent, words that colour everything – they succeeded, they’re right to declare themselves fiercely proud of this album. The Nautilus Years is Mercury Rev good, Thee More Shallows good (that seriously high praise from these parts) - songs that sparkle, details that tingle, fragile brittle atmosphere. Mournful gentle whispered melodies, orchestral highlights. Twinkling layers of beautiful Mellotron, of radio static, half-heard voices, cellos, gliding guitar enveloping sparkle and stars that fly and tendered shelter – and all so beautifully focused and never losing the way in the halo sparks and that fuzzy euphoria. Glowing spheres and drifting boats and sonar spots and glacial forts and a world viewed through a looking glass - and just about perfect in every single way. So much depth  - www.surrounded.se or skip right to a taste and download a track here
       The album is out on One Little Indian on March 10th and the band have a number of UK dates coming up any moment now – Feb 17th 93 Feet Feet East - London, Feb 18th Frog And Nighingale – Chester, 19th Monto @ Water Rats – London, 20th The Louisiana – Bristol.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK 2
ALEC K REDFEARN & THE EYESORES - The Blind Spot (Cuneiform) - A beautifully intriguing album that's almost impossible to pin down, an album that contains passages of sheer enjoyment.  After an opening piece of electronically treated jaw harp messing around the first of a series of jewels begins in an unassuming, gently personal kind of Eastern-European kind of folk tune. The melodies are ravishing throughout - sparse, simple with twists, solemn and uplifting. Instruments are poignant glockenspeils and welcoming hurdy-gurdy. Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, the band appears to involve around fifteen musicians and singers.  Alec K himself has a rich yet fragile voice, joined by equally delicious high female harmonies (often very reminiscent of Lake Of Puppies or Sea Nymphs) - classical voices with a hint of eccentric Americana.  Much of the album is taken up with the I Am The Resurrection and the Light song cycle: eight interlocking, often dazzling pieces. Soaked with genuine feeling and deep spirituality, these songs fuse 20th/21st century contemporary composition with dark cabaret and klezmer.  Beginning as bittersweet, bright and slightly strange sea shanties very very reminiscent of William D Drake, then creep gradually up mountains of strangeness until sounding like 65daysofstatic playing John Adams and Steve Reich (or, more familiarly, Philip Glass / Michael Nyman). Songs that also journey to some dark and lonely places; the sleeve notes reveal the story behind the cycle, though a listener may well have felt the sense of it already. However bleak, there's extraordinary depth to this music because of the way it's so sensitively crafted - rich, quiet, refined dynamics, nothing obvious, everything honest and played with a deft touch. The melodies themselves promise hope and celebrate fragile humans despite the darkness.  Haunting, compelling, quite unique, 'The Blind Spot' is an album to live with, to keep returning to. www.cuneiformrecords.com or www.aleckredfearn.com
 
 
ALSO CHECK OUT

BALTIC FLEET – Baltic Fleet (Blow Up) – Sometimes something just feels right, Baltic Fleet is Paul Fleming’s project – Paul Fleming is current keyboard player with Echo And The Bunnymen and this album was recorded in hotel rooms, during sound-checks and grabbed moments here on found pianos in dressing rooms there during a world tour. Instrumental interpretations of visited cities and chance meetings. Track two – Black Lounge -was recorded on a tour bus driving through mountains from Barcalona to Madrid for instance, 3 Dollar Dress in a Houston sound check after a night out in Austin Texas – you don’t really need to know the circumstance though, you just need to sit back and let it flow and let the relaxed beauty take you with it. Touches on Neu, bits of Eno or OMD or Doves or Sigur Ros and yes those bits of guitar did sound distinctly like the Bunnymen well before the sleeve notes were checked and Will Sargent’s name was spied here and there. This is just a great album - pleasant, refined, relaxing, reflective – fine fine soundscapes and passages and although we dropped a few names, nothing that obviously sounds like anyone or anything else. Just a really pleasant and rather beautiful relaxing uncomplicated uncluttered and rather recommended instrumental album – www.myspace.com/balticfleet or www.blowuprecords.com
 

LIGHT PUPIL DILATE – Snake Wine (Lifeforce) – A forceful cocktail of Voivod/Mastodon edged progressive thrash metal adventure that takes on a slice of King Crimson twisted prog here and a hint of Fugazi style DC hardcore there. L.P.D are actually a powerfully relentless trio from Atlanta Georgia and this is a rather heavy and indeed rather impressive album. Snake Wine is a full on experience - constantly challenging, brooding - twisting innovative heavy metal for those with a taste for intense post-rock challenge – www.myspace.com/lightpupildilate 

RAFTER – Sex Death Cassette (Asthmatic Kitty) -  There’s all kinds of things going on here, no need to look up (so f*** you the sky). Yes it does really sound like Guided By Voices trying to be Paul Simon and swearing at the sky. A collage of cute lo-fi left-field pop and asking the sky to take it back and all kinds of alternative multi instrumented psychedelia and beautiful mellow pop songs laced with unobtrusive free-form experimentation and bits of breezy jazz and gentle alt.funk and a life of waiting and lightening bolts... www.asthmatickitty.com

RICHARD SWIFT – Instruments Of Science & Technology: Music From The Films Of R/Swift (Secretly Canadian) – In which Richard Swift glides through some avant ambience and a light coating of industrial resonance. For those of you who wondered what would happen if Brian Eno and Wendy Carlos had a love child (I stole that bit from the press release – it summed things up rather conveniently well). Artistic date we say (chin stroking) Instrumental electronica and all rather enjoyably stimulating and enlightening and rather different in a most positive way – www.secretlycanadian.com

CHANGING MODES – Down And Out in Shangri-La (self release) – A discerning mix of Dresden Dolls drama, Todd Rundgren flavoured complexity and something that leans towards a more traditional neo-prog sound. Wendy Griffiths has a voice to rival Amanda Palmer, those stylish keyboards and that song construction make it hard to avoid the obvious Dresden Dolls comparison – we make it in a positive way. Changing Modes are clearly an ambitious band, they’re from New York, they have some delightful slices of genuinely chewy progressive awkwardness in there with their very listenable blend of constantly shifting sometimes demanding earfood – www.changingmodes.com or www.myspace.com/changingmodes

JUNKBOY – Three (Enraptured) – Gentle easy uncomplicated clever post-folk (yeah I know post-folk, sorry to introduce that one in to the musical vocabulary, but you know, we’re just using mere words to describe the majesty of music here and these signposts and shorthand terms and just that). Gentle easy detailed simplicity and blissful instrumentation and soulful and almost fragile and a little bit euphoric and rather endearingly good in an unassuming easy gentle experimental kind of way – www.myspace.com/junkboymusic

THE ALPS – Something I Might Regret (Elusive) – Polite friendly mid-paced indie pop, polite enough to take home to meet the folks and Sunday tea. Far too mild and polite and daytime indie pop radio friendly and if harmless polite indie pop is what you want then I guess they’re rather good at it - here it is, we politely leave with you – www.planetofthealps.com

FLESH EATING FOUNDATION – Seethe (Rebco) – Bleep and yell industrial machine music, global noise attacks and dark wave twitch and bang and clunk and clang.  Old school 80’s/90’s aggressive industrial earfood of a Judda, Godflesh, GNA nature for those who like to keep it that way. www.myspace.com/rebco

EBONY ARK – When The City Is Quiet (Ascendance) – One of those great big female fronted bombastic Euro-goth metal bands that lots of people seem to like far more than we do – Evanescence, Nightwish and such, they’re from Spain, here’s the link... www.myspace.com/ebonyark

PORCUPINE TREE – Nil Recurring (Peaceville) – Oh look, Porcupine Tree, people love them, I really want to, I keep going back to this, I should love it with all the brooding bigness and everything it has – bores the hell out of me. Four tracks, goes on for about thirty minutes. Critically acclaimed all over the place and getting bigger by the day and good on ‘em, yer man Steven Wilson and his band have stuck to their guns and come a long long way since those demo tapes of the early Organs. Robert Fripp joins them on this new album that came together during the Fear Of A Blank Planet sessions – here it is, if you like Pink Floyd and moody epicness and grandiose passages and massive mellodic intent - long live the good ship Porcupine and all who wish to sail on her, godspeed you...  www.peaceville.com or www.porcupinetree.com

SUICIDAL WINDS – Chaos Rising (Pulverised) - Oh I don’t know, they come flooding in here every day, hundreds of them, week after week – extreme death/black metal bands in a spewtum of bluster and buzzsaw speed metal riffs you’ve heard a million times before. Same old vocals, same old unreadable logo, same band photo every single time, a line of moody looking blokes – bullet belts, leather jackets, t-shirts with equally unreasonable band logos from equally obscure bands from Norway or Sweden or bits of the former Soviet Republic – always in an overgrown graveyard or a rusty old junkyard, one of the shirts always old school – Venom, Exciter, Hellhammer just so we know they’re for real and have been in to this much longer than you. Usual song tittles, not that you can work out any of the cookie monster lyrics (or indeed want to) – all obeying the same rules, all doing the same things, all deathing and thrashing and... Suicidal Winds are from Sweden, their album cover features “horrific artwork by Chilean necro-artist Daniel Desecrator” – and guess what? Lots of sixth-form skulls and a devilishly scary pentogram, oh mummy! Oh look, they’re no doubt steeped in the scene and split albums with bands called Beastial Mockery and they’re as good at the same old thing as anyone else and if you’re in the mood then they hit the spot just as well as anyone can – the riffs, the death grunts, the intense relentlessness of it all...  They’re pretty damn good at the same old thing, very good at it, and now I’m going to take this album off, I shall probably never feel the need to play it again and there’ll no doubt be another band doing exactly the same thing and wanting another slice of our attention any moment now... www.myspace.com/suicidalwinds

THE CROW CLUB – Various (People Tree) - I know I know, we keep saying this is brilliant and that is excellent and there’s far too much good music to keep on top of it all and aggghhhhhhhh! Sorry! (how do you think we feel exploring and writing about it? Sleep in no longer and option). This album is excellently brilliant as well – every single track is a treat – all thirteen of them. And the thing is, they all work so well together. There’s an art to putting together a good compilation where everything flows and bands and tracks compliment each other – a good compilation is something you can play and play and never tire of it – this is one of those soon to be essentially classic compilations. People Tree is a folk label and this is their second collection, their second documentation of the currently burgeoning new folk scene. The album is named after the ‘seminal’ London folk night of the same name and features music by those who have played there. You have virtual unknowns and new names next to those a little more known in the scene like the Incredible String Band’s Clive Palmer.  I’m guessing most of the names here on this wonderfully varied album won’t mean much unless you already know the scene (and if you do know the scene you probably already know about this album and don’t need our words). For those of you who think you don’t or won’t like traditional folk music we cannot recommend this fine album highly enough – 13 shades and 13 flavours, from hillbilly blues, to folk-rock, to Twenties flavoured English rag-time ballads to the always good Circulus with their medieval Moog and crump horm – the English bits, the American blues flavours, the Celtic jigs and the Renaissance flavour prog-edged folk of Jade and all the folk sin and tales of roosters and Katy Carr’s dalliance with Turpin and all the didly-ie diversity of the magpie’s nest – there’s just no way you can have this album on without reeling around and jigging like an idiot - www.myspace.com/peopletreerecords
 
Last week's album of the week - CHRIS SCHLARB / DANAVA

Previous album's of the week - NADA SURF / HARLOTS / TIME OF ORCHIDS / DIEBOLD / HOLLER, WILD ROSE! / BLACK MOUNTAIN / YESAN DAMEN / CLUB 8 / OUR OWN DEVICES / DIMENSION X / THAO With THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN / AHLEUCHATISTAS / AIRBOURNE
x

ALBUM REVIEW ARCHIVES

  LIVE 
GRANTURA – Borderline, London, 12th Feb – First on to an audience half of whom are clearly there just for them (and calling out song names and...) the other half still coming in and catching on straight away. Six spectacularly ordinary-looking blokes, this band, in spectacularly unassuming clothes. And that just makes what they do even better.  They amble on and pick up semi-acoustic guitars, a mandolin, a tambourine, a simple walking bassline begins, and by the second song you're grinning from ear to ear.  It's old-fashioned honest Americana, fine harmonised country rock, something placed off to one side, up on an obscure shelf, and way off the vocabulary of a currently gigging indiewhatever band.  It's impossible to describe just how far away the delightful Grantura are from any drab pub rock (Old Grey Whistle test circa 1974) notion of the style (those dreadful old clips that the BBC keep dragging up, the ones that yawnful old Whispering Bob introduces) – Grantura sound new-minted, as if from the fresh first years of classic American bands like the country side of The Byrds, The Band and such – you can almost smell the grass and the sunshine in the February gloom of London (can’t wait to see them again in a summer festival field). Simple songs classically, cleverly put together, then played utterly from the heart – beautiful harmonies and gentle waves washing over – Waves itself (the recent single) is a highlight. Think of that glorious Coen Brothers film O Brother Where Art Thou? and the Soggy Bottom Boys endearing themselves to all who hear...  That mandolin sounds just fine, that laid-back stripped down rhythm giving space for the guitars to arrive for their perfect moments. And there is a hint of an English heart in there that gives them something just a little different – Anglo-Americana then...  The varied audience is completely won over, and there's a revelation: this kind of music was made precisely for little venues and imperfect PAs, and it's way more powerful than, say, raging metal. Hey look, they’re from London, their fine debut single came out late last year, they’re even more enjoyable live - fine fine easy, clever, crafted, highly enjoyable alt.Americana with that little something extra – momentum temporary halted by awkward equipment problems can’t hold back their magic, all is forgiven the second they pick up the music again – fine fine band, pure enjoyment, simple as that - www.myspace.com/grantura
Live previously - TO THE BONES /DäLEK / DESTRUCTO STORMBOTS / GUAPO / MOLLOY / CREEDLE / GOBSAUSAGE / THE BRIAN JACKET LETDOWN / CARDIACS / BEE STINGS /HAPPY PENGUIN HUNGRY BEAR

LIVE REVIEW ARCHIVES

  SINGLES
Single time...

SINGLE OF THE WEEK
PICTURES – Cross, Cross Eyed / I can’t Touch Him; I Have Electric Hands (Tangled Talk) – First things first, really really (really) like this lots and lots and if you have a taste for the bands who’s names we’re about to divebomb you with then this is a rather highly recommended debut 7”/download single from the Brighton band.... Thing is though, they sound rather like a whole mix of things you’ve maybe heard already. We’re kind of searching a little in there amongst the very busy rather angular twists and the high-pitch vocal yelps and the frantic mathematical high-wire indie cut and thrust and the bits that taste of Rolo Tomassi and Cutting Pink With Knives and Colossamite and These Arms Are Snakes and Meet Me In St. Louie - and their more restrained gulps of air that are more Vessels or I Was A Cub Scout flavoured (very small gulps of air mind you, far too frantic to stand still for more than a second or two) – we’re searching for something we can pin down as their own – hey, that’s nit picking and why the hell does everything need to be pinned down anyway – excellent debut single! They sound like they threw everything in there, they sound like they’re striving for a little more than just being part of the pack, they sound like they’re bursting with ideas and we want more from this band. Limited edition pressing of just 200 so jump quick before you have to pay thirty quid on ebay. Excellent single, excellent band, fine intent – and loads of gigs coming up as well. www.myspace.com/wearepictures or www.tangledtalk.com

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2
STE McCABE – Pink Bomb EP (Cherryade) - Ste’s finest release to-date, his releases are always good – right back to the very home-made raw-as-hell Stephen Nancy demo days. “Manchester’s Queen of queer punk” heralded the Manchester Evening News – and how right they are – infectiously catchy ranting riot-boy punk pop and no hint of any compromise yet (we didn’t expect there would be!). Snarling sarcastic biting and homophobe baiting angry bite bite bite - “Pro-feminist, anti-church”. Angry pop music, not so angry that it isn’t fun though. He’s actually a Scouser, bit of a Holly Johnson voice (he’ll probably rage at us for saying that!), he’s got a massive chip on his shoulder – and we wouldn’t want it any other way, he’s a positive hero... and he’s got the sound and production nailed down just right now – a fine balance somewhere between raw lo-fi and studio polish. – imagine a one man ranting DIY queercore punk rock riot with a drum machine and a hint of Morrissey and a large slice of Buzzcocks or maybe a bit of Carter USM along with some Bikini kill/Vile Vile Creatures attitude and songs that just get inside your head and make you smile (well OK, they may not actually make you smile that much if you’re a Daily Express reading Tory homophobe or your name is Tommo). www.myspace.com/stemccabe or www.cherryademusic.co.uk

ALSO CHECK OUT
THE DeRELLAS – All Fired Up EP (Crush World) – Tuneful old school raw-edged punk-pop and a bit a Ramones/Damned/Sham rock’n roll vibe. Some kind of a cult punk rock super group, people on the run from time done in bands like The Glory Strummers, Vibrators, Infant Skull Surgery and Los Paraliticos. Five no messing straight down the line no-budget in your face glam-tinged no-hope punk pop ‘n roll – sounds like they’re having a blast. www.myspace.com/thederellas

ALICE AND THE MAJESTY – I Could Love You (Sunday Best) – Alice McLaughlin with some clever textured tunes and words and a less frantic more at ease PJ Harvey/Beth Orton/Suzanne Rhatigan alt rock feel and just a hint of folksy country from a North London canal boat – www.sundaybest.com

Last week's single of the week - THE DEATH SET / KUNK

Previously - DR SLAGGLEBERRY / HERZOGA / THE DROPKICK MURPHYS / ONE MORE GRAIN / PLAAYDOH / HELLO WEMBLEY / UNDERWORLD / WAX AUDIO vs GEORGE BUSH / HAZEL MILLS / DEERHOOF / F*CK BUTTONS

SINGLE REVIEW ARCHIVES

'RE-ISSUE/best of OF THE WEEK
A re-issue of last year's fine album now they have their distribution sorted out - here's a re-run of the  review...

MORVISCOUS - Free Pop - London-based instrumental five-piece Morviscous are members of a rare breed - a very rare breed. Without being part of any revival or reformed outfit, and far too young to be nostalgists, they're making nifty, wry proggy jazz rock with the feel of what was termed the Canterbury Scene - bands like Hatfield And The North, Gong, National Health, Egg, Henry Cow - combined effortlessly with contemporary post-rock like Don Caballero, Rothko and Bark Psychosis.  Its a magical combination.  The Canterbury scene was a sound full of wit and verve - complex, imaginative, heavy on jazz harmonies - the indie music of the seventies.  Morviscous, however, could only be contemporary: their energy levels are way higher than most of the aforementioned bands, a spark and liveliness, and a leaning away from those cheesier jazz progressions.  Morviscous don't do twee.  Neither do they fall into the all too common trap of sounding exactly like someone's post-rock record collection: Godspeed! You Black Emperor need not sue this time.  And if we're going to talk math rock - which, with a rainbow of different time signatures in every track, we should - the joy of Morviscous is their complete ease with such things.  They make it sound so easy - the tune and the mood comes first, big clear melody-led changes that go somewhere meaningful. Only a muso will think they're showing off. 
               On 'Free Pop' ideas dance and flow, new tunes and playful digressions appear out of nowhere, lead the mood down side streets. Ideas are stuffed into this album.  Suddenly you're in another part of town, via The Unassuming Warmth Of A Night Bus - what a track, eight minutes of light and shade, uplifting edginess, tension and dark wary humour and the final vibraphone release of a dawn walk home.  My Face Your Doily (title of the year) has so much going on that a week of listens later it's still revealing itself. Each composition has a subtlety and depth that lasts; the playing is tight but never self-conscious, production live and natural.  For all its adventures, Free Pop hangs together in a satisfying whole, a distinctive Morviscous sound that is slightly dark, with a feel that is in some mysterious way London-flavoured.  Above all, this album really does live up to its name: the creative freedom of avant prog delivered with tuneful accessibility. Morviscous are something special. 
www.morviscous.com

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SchNEWS IN BRIEF

A new occupied social centre opened in Hackney this week – having fought off raids by police and landlords, it is now open – get involved! 231 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney (former Chimes nightclub) http://therampart.wordpress.com

Bristol No Borders blockaded the Portishead Border & Immigration Agency this week, getting there at 3am and chaining themselves to a car to block entry. The centre is a base for the dawn raid squads which snatch and detain asylum seekers from their homes to begin the process of deportation. www.noborders.org.uk

Earth First! Winter Moot 2008, Nottingham, February 22-24th. Skill sharing, planning for action on climate change, GM crop trials, mega-dams in Iceland and more. Open to those experienced in ecological direct action, and those who want to get involved. £15 including accom. and food, at Sumac Centre, Gladstone Street Nottingham, web http://earthfirst.org.uk

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