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REVIEW POLICY
THE TOP 50 ALBUMS THAT CAME OUR WAY IN 2007
ORGAN #253> APRIL 17th '08 - new issue here every Thursday afternoon
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worship this beautifully cruel deceptive thing called...
Amande PalmerI suppose I suppose we better listen to this big pile here and those ones over there and we could write half-hearted politely uncommitted reviews of all these things that are kind of alright but really honestly don’t excite or inspire. We can’t honesty say you need to hear all this stuff though, honestly.... I must have thrown forty or fifty CDs in the player the last four or five days and no sir Mr/Ms music fiend, no fish today, your monkey been messing with bad medicine and we’re searching for that cure. The average and the same-old same-old just will not do here - build a great big pile, light a match and watch the whole pile of they’re-kind-of-alright-I-suppose go up in honest flames with the alligators and no no, none of this will do. We go through this stuff, we go back for more, we give them every chance, that one there in the blue cover has gone back in to the review pile and had at least five last chances now - don't bore me now said the voice from above - there are only so many last honest chances an average band can have and only stopping at traffic lights when they’re green won’t get any of us anywhere. Do we have a terminal five here? Is it all crashing around our ears? Did I dress right last Tuesday? Hanging on, hanging on... Hang on, everyone is sounding like someone or something from the 80’s and all is fine and here you are, we can after all come at you with pure reason and no need for revolution and all right down to the bone... 

Oh damn-hell and just what was I on about right there with all that going on about how many average albums and how many things were coming in that just weren’t worth writing about and suddenly through all the clutter there’s far too much again and just how are we expected to absorb all this each week and where to even start telling you about it and no time to sleep or anything else and out of time and head full and let me step outside and grab a breath and... 

It may well be that the word ‘classic’ comes up far too many time this classic week – deal with it please... classic music excites us..

Oh what a good week for new music it turned out to be in the end, once we'd battled through and found it and I can't want to get to the radio station now, the gates of hell were never so inviting, push them open and push the average out of the way..

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?
ART ATTACK - May 1st-15th sees the return to the capital of the Street Blitz – the interactive way to conduct guerrilla art. The idea is to use the whole city as an open gallery. Install your art, or creative urban landscape subversion, and then post up details on the Blitz website map with text and pics to encourage others to visit / enjoy / join in. As the organisers say, "The corporate image factory doesn't ask your permission to push images in your face so neither should we seek consent in order to leave our own mark on the city..." Get yer paint out and see www.streetblitz.org
THINGS TO GET SHOUTING  ABOUT? 
See only last week we were on about proper record shops and why you should go to them and how there would be no Organ with out Cob over there and now this from Manchester's finest metal crew I-DEF-I. The band tell us they are happy to announce both a rare acoustic performance and an after-show party either side of their forthcoming hometown show @ Manchester Club Academy on Saturday April 19th. At 2pm on April 19th vocalist Chris Maher and guitarist Tom Clements will perform a short, instore acoustic set at VIBES RECORDS in Bury as part of NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY - on which hundreds of independent record stores across the globe  will simultaneously link and act as one with the purpose of celebrating the culture and unique place that they occupy both in their local communities and nationally. More info at www.vibesrecords.co.uk  or www.recordstoreday.com. Following the show at the Academy the band has announced an after party at local club CAGED ASYLUM. Fans 18+ can show their gig ticket on the door to get entry to the club night at a reduced rate of £4. More info at: www.cagedasylum.com
 
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
 
  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
Truth of the matter is that there’s quite a pile of good demos that we probably need to tell you about now, I promise to catch up with them by the time next week comes around... 

Last week's demo of the week - KOPEK

Previous demo's of the week - DIE DIE DENEUVE / BOMB FACTORY / KONTAKTE /ATLAS / THE HAROLD WARTOOTH / COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND / EATEN BY TIGERS / MOLLOY/ THE ATROCITY EXHIBIT / 2 OUT OF 3 RULE

DEMO REVIEW ARCHIVES

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

ALBUM OF THE WEEK
C.R AVERY – Magic Hour Sailor Blues (Bongo Beat) - A human beat-box for stolen Hemingway days in broken down libraries and boxing ring blues and sex drugs and spoke words and prize fight poetry in motion. Hit your typewriter with your best fighting words and hit him with a left then a right and a left again – knocked out in the fifth. I am just a poor boy and my story is often told, told of bees wax mud flavoured ice cream and beauty is skin deep unless it isn’t. Hip-hop for blues people and as fearless as those Enablers and we’re in to Southern gospel and bluegrass melancholy now and two tracks in to this album and we’ve bought in to it all so utterly completely. Pass me that bottle and let it flow, where we going next? Poetry in glorious motion and a heat wave rising and panhandle the paranoia and lazy like a rich woman handling a glass of wine. He’s from Canada, he’s apparently a musicians’ musician (what would I know, I’m no musician), admired by Tom Waits, Ani DiFranco, Sage Francis and three tracks in admired around here. “C.R.Avery is a one man hip-hop beatbox blues harmonica Americana iconoclast musical guest (Be Good Tanyas, PO Girl),, group member (Tons Of Fun University), songwriter (Jolie Holland); playwright and poet (the international slam poetry circuit)” That’s right, that’s how this album is; sometimes he giving you beatbox poetry, sometimes American guitar Dylan/Springsteen busy bees and tag lines and lo-fi blues that take to the wind and return with an unearthly force. Adventures that can brag of breaking the mould with visceral clarity and poetic honesty. Poetry with guts and moxy (he said that, not me) and broken-down blues and Michael J Sheehy and urban culture and contradictions and a bar to play those same blues or is he going to spray paint and tag the fucker? This is serious cris-crossing and those mud bees sure are cross-pollinating and he no longer goes where the other poets go and his probably has his music on the coolest duke boxes and cafes and jazz choirs and you might have heard it the other Monday night. A street car name desire and conversations behind lamps about Hunter S and old Adidas watched in opera house quiet and piercing the spirit with bad ass blues and banned from religion like love and the F word and oh this is going to take and age to wear out - this is going to be like a book you never stop reading or film you never tire of, a painting you can be with every day and I may be wrong here but I suspect this is a rather remarkable groundbreaking piece of work that you need to leave me with for a year or two or three while he takes us in to the black bible night and bye by ms American pie or at least to an end to this sentence. Full stop, ding ding, round two, get in the ring, left, lead with the left  – www.cravery.com or www.myspace.com/cravery or www.bongobeat.com

ALBUM OF THE WEEK 2
THE INDELICATES – American Demo (Weekender) – Clever wordery and lines that’ll keep catching you, this is not an album to just have on and let drift by, impossible to not let it pin you to the wall – clever clever clever and you won’t be able to pin them down either, Subtle, delicate, beguiling, The Indelicates are not one of those bands who sound like this band or that band - there’s a point to Indelicates, there’s a reason for them to exist and there a so many reasons here for you to go and find out and see if they can break each other’s hearts (and maybe yours) . Two voices, a boy and a girl, both equally attention demanding the best of ways (seems they met at a poetry slam, that must be the new black then not sounding like a band from the 80’s). She sounds like Mary Poppins from Shoreditch and he’s like the indie-kid Jim Steinman (oh and that sounds so insulting and really wasn’t meant to be, I love a needle pulling thread and bats out of hell) and the wit cuts and the sarcasm drips and is your first British album just your demo to land that American deal? Clever clever full and moist indie rock (and she has such a lovely voice, she could be the Pepsi Cola seller – they never had it so good) indie rock that sounds nothing like all that dreadful indie rock that they are always trying to ram down your throat like Dr Pepper on daytime XFM and the front cover of the NME. American Demo is the Fratellis antidote for people who want a little bit more that the same jeans on for four days in a row –  farewell to gods, lords and ladies and at last a significant statement and much more than a footnote and we hate the kids and dance dance dance and at last something to believe in – art, contemporary art and rebellion keeps you healthy, worship this cruel deceptive vicious thing called rock and roll and clammier and clam around it like fat men who once met the MC5 (and stand at the back fighting the war and telling you about it whenever you go near them) and no more music and the only living boy in New Cross. Indeed art bruts who carry off that Carter wit and give you head and make your tea. And when we are old my love, goodnight my love and this the week some fat old XFM journalist got himself a lifetime John Peel award for playing the same old shit that Peel would never have touched in a million years and how he must be turning and turning – and this is what we want, we want it to be made, manufactured for your shallow decade. Apparently this is the way one should be. Dance and sing and Art Brut, Carter, Dresden Dolls, John Cooper Clark, war, famine, Ford Cortinas, household pets, endless passing cars/.... She’s a princess and a goddess and her words can turn us black and blue and he is as well, a prince I mean. At last a London indie rock band worth believing in – peachy and swell and a British Rail chapskate have it away days, a cheap holiday with someone else’s cum in your hair and just like being on the Heath and let us just be pretty, things are better that way – a brilliant album. That’s what I meant to say, a brilliant album, a new art for the people, they made it for you and me. www.myspace.com/theindelicates or www.weekenderrecords.com

ALBUM OF THE WEEK 3
KAREN DALTON – Green Rocky Road (Megaphone) – oh look, too much! I now have to go explore the world of Karen Dalton, this is a remarkable album as well. Apparently recorded on a primitive real to real tape in Colorado in 1963. Just her and a strange home-made banjo out on a porch and classic banjo blues and voice. Remarkable Americana and people who know far more than me say she had the finest voice of all - you know I think they could be right. This is the authentic blues and real American folk laid bare and yes, this album alone probably does more than enough to explain why Bob Dylan declared her his favourite singer. Apparently this is a long lost never before released treasure and hey look, this is just too much. I’m just going to tell you about it and point you to the links and the pages, coming up to 3.00am now and this is an album that deserves far far more time and far more authority than I can give it, it needs far more knowledge than I have. I know enough to know this is special. Apparently her first ‘proper’ album didn’t come out until ‘69, she was already 31 by then , she was part of that Greenwich Village folk scene, originally from Oklahoma, an acknowledge major influence on some of the key American singer/song writers of the 60’s, hey look I’m cribbing all this from the press release and Wikipedia and such, you can do the same – truth is I had never heard of her until this album turned up and truth is that this is another wonderful (almost overwhelming) album with that laid-bare voice and simple instrumentation - just her raw honey-drenched worldly voice that tells so much, just her and her banjo and some simple American folk/blues that are surely as good as anything you’ve ever heard. The album includes a version of the Leroy Carr song “In The Evening” that you just have to hear, oh look, you just have the hear the whole thing – the Billie Holiday of American folk (as others have said) is really not over stating things...

KAREN DALTON LINKS
Guardian article “The Best Singer You Never Heard Of” - looks like a good article, not had time to read it yet...
Illustrated discography with sounds 
There's a My Space page, later material though, not these stripped back blues, a page set up to promote the equally intriguing In My Own Time album that I need to go find right now, 12 string guitars and a... oh go explore... treat yourself 
www.megaphone-music.com  - not much there though
 
ALSO CHECK OUT

JO GABRIEL – The Amber Sessions (Dancing Goat) – This is beautiful, the watery spring sun is shining through the window, cats are spread out, glorious musical notes are soothing an equally glorious day and this really is something rather special. Sounded equally as special in the early hours of a rainy night last week. A whole album of piano led moments like drops and far from savage bliss – just bliss, beautiful soothing caressing classical piano bliss and radiant spring sunshine and life awakening instrumental bliss. Amber leaves, secret rooms unopened for years, sunlight and dust – treasure, subtle beauty and structured delight. Is this improvised? If it is then the structure and the flow is strong. Otherworldly and I guess for a vague reference point we could point towards This Mortal Coil or Dead Can Dance, towards 4AD and Projekt releases. Delicate, sensitive, strong - a special treat of an album. 

JO GABRIEL – The Last Drive In (Dancing Goat) – A little more avant and experimental than the beautifully graceful Amber Sessions, and just as equally rewarding in a slightly different way. Haunting dreamy sparse melancholic beauty and very much a celebration of less as much much more. And yes, of abandoned drive in theatres and things lost to dust and dreams. Pianos again, more ambience and aerie warmth and seductive delight. Nine instrumental tracks, melodramatic beauty. Two fine albums, a set of soundtracks to a perfect day or maybe to turn an ordinary day in to a special day. 

Jo Gabriel is from New York, these beautiful albums I think are self-released, explore her warmth and beauty over at www.myspace.com/jogabriel or www.jogabriel.com
 

FLOGGING MOLLY – Float (Side One Dummy) - In which the now slightly mellowing American punks do their Irish folk rock thing in a far more refined kind of way than they have in days of yore - they don’t sound so gritty and punky these days do they? All washed and polished up nicely and you could quite safely take them to the hoolie now. A little more middle aged and polite (or should we say they’ve matured gracefully) now, but hey, what’s wrong with that? This is a dignified album. I don’t know, they’re no Pogues but then who wants another? (If you do then get down to County Holloway for some Neck). Now did I prefer Flogging Molly with a bit more bite and a little more drunken street dirt under their nails? Does it matter? Surely if they still sounded like a bunch of half trashed Irish American street urchins then they’d be faking it? Don’t look back, no more tears, they clearly get to sip the best whisky these days... Not sure if I quite get these Americans with ultra-Irish accents, (my name is Sean, I stay out of Irish theme pubs and my granny probably taught me more of the correct words to the Merry Ploughboy than yours did, a little context here..). You know what, once you get over how clean and polished Float is, once you get over the lament, then this is a very fine album indeed, and yes, some of the biggest victories are scored as a result of some almighty risk taking. Flogging Molly are a fine bunch of Irish-American singers and tune makers and this is fine fine album, growing older and wiser (dis)gracefully and enough there to still make you fly like lightning to the rattle of...  I like Flogging Molly and now that I’m over the slick sound and clean shine of it all I think I like Float lots.  www.floggingmolly.com

KOE – Stem The Tide (Sacred Cow) - Instrumental post-prog guitar musical adventure for fans of Isis, Godspeed, Red Sparrows and such. Raw edged and full of spirited bite, Stem The Tide is played with the heart and passion that far too often is lost in the technical over-slickness of others. Colour, adventure, tempo changing light and shade, a live raw (not too raw) warmth and a real feel. Sometimes considered and dark, minimal and slowly paced, sometimes chopping and changing, euphoric and touching on the epic when they need to, experimental when they feel that’s right. Koe aren’t doing anything remarkable different here, what they are doing they're doing just right and in these overcrowded instrumental post rock times when every crusty indie kid with a guitar and a Don Cab album thinks they can do it, Koe have made an album that is more than worth your time and their effort. Koe have a punk/metal bite when they need it, they take you all over the post-rock spectrum without every letting you down and leaving you with a feeling that they’re just copying others.. Koe can touch your emotion, they can sooth, they can lift... This is a good album, this is a sometimes very impressive album (neat artwork as well, the front over art deserves a mention). Koe are a London based international collaboration with members from France, Slovenia, Japan and the UK and this self released DIY album is well worth tracking down. Recommended. – www.myspace.com/koeband

ELVIRA MADIGAN – Regensie: She Devils Of Demonlore (Black Lodge) - Some kind of hissing spitting weasel-voiced demonic operatic death metal gothic pomposity that’s so ridiculously over the top it comes out like a glorious Dickens musical for Sabbat fans who don’t see why bats should get such a hard time. Gone all prog rock and even more gothically operatic now and this is some kind of oncepiece concept album about witches and demons and some misplaced cradle of filth. Not an album from the Danish tightrope walker and trick rider then, a gothic death metal band from Sweden for followers of Emperor, Blind Guardian, Cradle Of Filth and so over the top that it actually works... www.myspace.com/elviramadigan

THE HELLACOPTERS – Heads Off (Wild Kingdom) – In a week where everyone sounds like someone from the 70’s or 80s The Hellacopters are topping is all and sounding like classic American glam pop rock. They gone and made a damn good Cheap Trick album and cats are drooling on the bar stool, shake your hips, crack your whips, cheap seventeen and trashed out and yeah, Unmasked Kiss-pop as well. Mouth to mouth and all rainbows in your eyes - www.wildkingdom.se

EVERON – North (Mascot) – That big bold pomp/prog thing and a sound that triumphantly falls somewhere between Magnum at their very best, a more refined and orchestral Rush, maybe some of the goodness of early Marillion or the refreshing side of classic Styx and an ambitious slab of Dream Theater (without those bad metal guitar widdles then make Dream Theater such an unappealing prospect).  Soaring prog lines and orchestral guitars, ambitious tales of tests of time. The German band (who really don’t sound that German – more a universal modern pomp/prog sound where the sky meets the sea) are actually sounding better than ever (they’ve always sounded good). Clean-cut modern epic prog (not mere neo-prog), ambitious proper proging prog – sure they’re technically very very good, this isn’t about technical proficiency though, Everon have a heart and soul, and an uplifting ability to touch the glorious peaks. Yes sure, this is an acquired taste and most will scoff, those of us who know better will be more than pleased with the excellent ambition of North - if you appreciate any of the bands mentioned then you’ll more then you’ll surely appreciate Everon and their best album yet, take down your last wall of defense, the last great musical taboo, bold bright melodic epic pomp rock adventure    – www.myspace.com/everonband
 
Last week's album of the week - PAS CHIC CHIC

Previous album's of the week - MATTHEW RYAN / LADYHAWK / SSM / BURMESE / CADAVER EYES / B FOR BANG / VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR / SON LUX / SURROUNDED / ALEC K REDFEARN & THE EYESORES
x

ALBUM REVIEW ARCHIVES

  LIVE 
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, April 3rd - Stripped-down to a trio (drummer Guy Evans, organist Hugh Banton and singer/guitarist/keyboard player Peter Hammill), Van Der Graaf Generator spent 2007 making their new album, Trisector.  Never one to shy away from mortality as subject matter, Hammill's writing for this work positively obsesses on decay, death and the big question - from, as always, the personal, human standpoint - in a way that makes previous lyrics seem hesitant.  Hammill's heart attack a few years ago may well have been grist for that mill, but he's taking on the whole idea of getting old with, as ever, that utterly unflinching gaze. Kind of amusing, then, that this veteran outfit, formed in 1967, should appear to be so immune to the aging process.  The new material (even without distinctive saxophonist) sounds so right that it could almost be like it came from the same sessions that made The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other or Pawn Hearts. From the deeply comfy seats of the recently reinvigorated Queen Elizabeth Hall, they look younger (or at least healthier) than many a band down the Bull & Gate. There's no hint of compromise or flabbyness in the new numbers: its proper Van Der Graaf Generator, and live, they stand up better a lot of their later first period output. 
The stage is set up stark and simple, with just right lighting.  It's just Hammill, Banton and Evans (not long ago, sightings of Hugh Banton were treated as Fortean phenomena).  The between-song repartee is pretty stark and simple too (slightly awkward? Very awkward). Great big awkward silences, but that's ok because we're used to Hammill's extreme lack of rock star posturing, and it goes with the extreme honesty of this band.  After all these years of performing he still seems very, very nervous, insecure even - until a song starts and he lets rip with that humungous voice.  Then the three of them lock in as if making unique, very very English, very strange music is the most natural thing in the world.  Guy Evans is many people's favourite drummer of all time, flowing, expressive yet hard-edged; Hugh Banton might not have brought one of his souped-up, dangerously overdriven Hammonds with him this time but he's getting enough power out of the substitutes. No soddin Wakeman, but the soaring darkness of plainsong and harsh medieval avant garde. When they get to the snarling madness in the middle of Man-Erg or the highlight that is Over The Hill, the real home of this trio is not these nice comfortable halls with polite devotees and perplexed wives/husbands but a smaller room crammed to the gills with people who listen to Godspeed! You Black Emperor or Fantomas or Liars, at an ATP festival probably, the audience hanging over the monitors, a moshpit and the band in each other's faces, cranking out Lemmings. That'd sort out Peter's nerves. 
Tonight, though, we connect with Van der Graaf's gloriously bleak/uplifting vision by sinking into each song. I can't tell, after years of listening and getting them, how much of an acquired taste they are. They don't have any reference points to compare to (except maybe Scott Walker) - it just makes its own sense, a very personal combination of talent and personality and the Sixties/Seventies it evolved in.  For all of us here used to them, it was a great gig: even the lack of distinctive saxophonist Jackson is a gap that seems to bring out more from the others. Filled by more guitar and organ, the sound is fused into a tighter entity.  The previous triumphant return of Van der Graaf Generator at the Royal Festival Hall was great; the following gig at Shepherds Bush happened the day after 7/7, and kind of strange. Tonight was all about the music, going deeper. A return to the dark heart of the thing that Van der Graaf Generator is: a unique beast, very much alive and powerful forty years on, the trappings of fashion and music business now long shrugged off - free and healthy in a climate that suits it very well. They’re as vital as ever. 
Live previously - FOUNDINGS / UNCLE PEDRO / EPIDEME / THE ENABLERS / IMPERIAL LEISURE / DAS WANDERLUST / YOU SLUT! / TRUCKERS OF HUSK / THE BOBBY McGEE’S / DR SLAGGLEBERRY / AIRBOURNE / SPIT LIKE THIS / MOUSE / GRANTURA / TO THE BONES /DäLEK / DESTRUCTO STORMBOTS / GUAPO

LIVE REVIEW ARCHIVES

  SINGLES
Single time...

SINGLE OF THE WEEK
PULLOVER – Souvenir (Knitwear) - Don’t ask us where they’ve been, went off on holiday (in a caravan) somewhere around 1996 and they’ve only just got back with their follow up one track download only single. Hey, at least they came back with a souvenir. Actually they’ve sent in a three track sampler CD and a taste of their forthcoming album and these new songs are sounding so so good. Monogamy Is Monotony is Smiths/Wedding Present good and Carol’s voice and words are as strong as ever - classic 80’s indie pop (is classic 80’s indie pop the new black this week or something?). Pullover played some excellent shows around the pubs of Camden in the early/mid 90’s (including a number of Organ shows at places like the Falcon and Monarch). Carol Isherwood was always a great front voice and a very confident personality, genuinely good to have them back after all this time, and sounding so good as well, the fire in their heart has not gone out. Three fine tracks here then, Pullover are sounding better than ever. Souvenir is the single though and so it is indeed my direction and my proposal not to be led astray by my obsession... how good is this version. Carol’s voice is just perfect, the playing and the clever arrangement just right. That tingling riff, one of Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark’s finest moments and Pullover have somehow made an even better version – no, come back, they really really have, I know that sounds ridiculous, they really have though.  Apparently they’ve spent the last two years (on and off) holed up in guitarist Michael’s bedroom and this self-recorded self-produced album is the result. These two original songs are wonderful, no time to be distracted right now though, we’ll tell you about them when the album comes out. It is my direction, leading me astray, my obsession, their creation, here on repeat like you do with your favourite singles... An inspired version of the OMD classic, a perfect pop single, a perfect cover and so good to have Pullover back to put smiles on our faces again  – www.myspace.com/pulloverlove

ALSO CHECK OUT
GLASSGLUE – Spiral Stair / If I Were The Sky Right Now (Kaparte) – Two tracker from the strangely good London four piece. Spiral Stair is a slightly disturbing moody thing that will have you losing you way and not remembering where you were, a never ending spiral staircase and a clank of instrumentation to accompany your every repeated step. Interesting enough track, If I Were The Sky is where things come to life with some bendy pointy pronky prancing monologue and searching for lost hands in long sleeves of long coats and a wall of many colours. A strangely good band and pointy post-rock things in pulsating air – www.glassglue.info

THE DOMINO STATE – What’s The Question? (Club AC30) – Gliding brooding languid indie vision and an ambitiously big sound that tastes of the finest moments of gently-paced Echo And The Bunnymen with an extra but of classic shoegazer cream ‘n swirl. Rich bass lines and a swell of reverb to cleverly drive those layered melodies – just about spot on in every way. www.clubac30.com or www.myspace.com/thedominostate

SKANKT – The Cruise (Self Release) – Eighties sounding English ska pop. An infectious Specials/Madness thing. Nice pop songs, primitive production, more Madness than Specials and no real interest in dragging it in to this century in an Imperial Leisure way via the temptation of decks and bites of rap such - that’s fine, nice to hear the uncluttered old school sound and some rather good English ska pop. No hint of a Capdown style punk edge either, nothing wrong with a Capdown punk edge, got enough of these already though... Decent old school ska-pop for fans of classic Two Tone and tales of boy racers and the ring road massive, sound like they’d be good live. www.skankt.com or www.myspace.com/skankt

PUSHBIKE ARMY – Four From Alexandra Grove (A590) – Energetic youthful indie guitar punk rock bite and a Northern Jam flavour or two, that and the directness of an annoyed Wedding Present - they’re from Leeds and watch out for the curveball that is the third track, a rather considerate instrumental piano version of the lead track. Something impressively good brewing up here – www.a590records.com or www.pushbikearmy.co.uk

SPIRIDION – My Only Answer (RPS) – Modern heavy metal crunch and Pantera style aggression from South Wales. A five track EP and a decent enough early statement of intent for fans of Pulkas, I-Def-I and such. Production is a little flat and they need a little more musical identity and personality in there before we shout about them. Might just be a decent early move from a band who go on to better things, we’ll want and see, a band who may just be worth keeping an eye on – www.spiridion.co.uk

Last week's single of the week - HAYMAN, WATKINS, TROUT & LEE

Previously - EFTERKLANG / NAVVY / MAPS / M83 / CATNAP / WHAT WOULD JESUS DRIVE? / FRIGHTENED RABBIT / CAVALERA CONSPIRACY / SILVERY / PICTURES / STE McCABE / THE DEATH SET / KUNK / DR SLAGGLEBERRY / HERZOGA

SINGLE REVIEW ARCHIVES

'RE-ISSUE/best of OF THE WEEK
SPIRITWO videoeyesALABAMA 3 – Hits And Exit Wounds (One Little Indian) – Eighteen slice best of greatest hits retrospective thing and how can you possibly not love that unique set of delights that is Alabama 3? This is just a great collection of tracks, everyone should have at least one Alabama 3 album in their lives and I guess if you haven’t already got an Alabama 3 album or two then this best of is pretty much essential. That trademark blend of low slung dance-driven laid back techno country rock and smile-inducing good-time Americana from the back porch moonshine sipping swamplands of County London. You know Alabama 3 – yes you do, the New Jersey Turnpike cool of Woke Up This Morning, yes you do know that one, the Sopranos theme tune and their gospel country blues and refined beats that do far more for your soul than going to Goa ever could. Eighteen tracks and all just about spot on right - songs for salvation for you communists, hedonists, religious politicians, disciples of Johnny Cash, Amos Moses, the twelve step plan to redemption, Woody Guthrie with a 303 and a danse to a little bit more than just tekno with the ‘gators up at the mansion on the hill with some sweet old-time countrified acid house music. A band who really do deserve a best of and everything sounding as fresh as the first time around, fine fine fine... -  www.alabama3.co.uk

PREVIOUSLY - AHLEUCHATISTAS / WIZARDS OF TWIDDLY / DEEP PURPLE / CANDLEMASS / MORVISCOUS / CURRENT 93 / TYPE O NEGATIVE / N.W.A  / STRIBORG / THE WEIRDOS / THE MOB / ARSONISTS GET ALL THE GIRLS / THE VERVE / KHAYA / GREASY TRUCKERS PARTY

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...AND FINALLY...

How would you know if your action group or campaign had been infiltrated by a mole? Another new recruit, but they're a bit different... they're too keen... too clean - leaving you questioning your prejudices about people with normal haircuts. Usually in time that person chills out, and if they hang around and start mucking in, you find out that they're alright.

But sometimes peoples' paranoia isn't misplaced... London Greenpeace - the group at the centre of the McLibel trial - were so pigged that at some meetings more than half the attendees were undercover. In 2005 the Campaign Against The Arms Trade revealed that one well liked and highly active campaigner - Martin Hogbin - was in fact working for a spy company employed by BAe Systems (see Mark Thomas's account at www.indymedia.org.uk).

This week was the turn of anti-aviation activists Plane Stupid, although their spy outing was "more Austin Powers than 007". The posh boy James Bond wannabe blew his own cover under questioning by blurting out which Oxford college he studied at. From there campaigners got his real name, and more juicy details from his Bebo website, such as the details of his favourite film: Top Gun, and his employer: C2i International - a security and investigations company with clients in governments and the aerospace industry. To read their hilarious account see www.planestupid.com

Schhhhhneeeeews? What's that? - go see - www.schnews.org.uk
 

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