Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brighter - out to sea

I've had this album for a number of years but given my recent C86 revival its time to review it. Brighter are (or were) one of the most important bands in my life. Their songs of heartbreak and disappointment amid jangly guitars and perfect tunes spoke to me more than any other band's. Years later can that still be true? This compilation collects together their only album, Laurel (10" LP - cool) plus some rarities and unreleased tracks. All these years later can this still make my soul sing?

OMG yes. Even more so. This is my blues. My heart's soundtrack. The tones and melodies mixed with sad vocals and lyrics. The music is delicate, almost impossibly fragile at times. There is an amateurish air about the proceedings but in a good way. These are people who cared and were doing it for themselves. Its the ultimate punk rock.

Every song is irresistible. It won't be true for most people but for me this is the best record ever released. Word.

MV : "Winona" by Drop Nineteens

Theres a Gap in the 20th century, excellent.


I don't know whats happened lately to me, after years of pursuing other musical paths i seem to have turned full circle and gone back to the tunes and styles that defined my time at university back in the early 1990s. Maybe its part of my mid-life crisis. Back in the 90s i listened to C86 bands like Brighter, The Orchids and Tramway (all Sarah bands in fact) and shoegazers like Blind Mr Jones and Slowdive.

And now i am rediscovering these classics as well as checking out a new wave of bands who are taking these sounds onwards in new ways as well as the continuing adventures of bands from the legacy of Sarah such as the reformed Secret Shine and Harper Lee who rose from the ashes of Brighter. Ah Brighter. A band without parallel. The sound of my soul. No band could speak for my heart as them.

I think its all this psychedelia i have been listening to, its given me a taste again for meek boys with floppy fringes playing amid clouds of feedback. To some its dreadful noise. To me it is the sound of life itself.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

John Lennon at 70

Forget me being 39 next month (no thats not a hint, you don't have to buy me anything but if you want to i am too polite to stop you of course) but more importantly John Lennon would have been 70 next month if he hadn't been shot of course (or died in the meantime). In an article in the Observer how John would have reacted to all the things he missed like 9/11, Thatcherism and ...er... David Beckham is discussed. Well thats what the article says it will talk about though it doesn't really touch on these things much apart from saying he would have loved Twitter.

What-ifs are always interesting, i suspect he would have joined the Traveling Wilburys and made a series of solo albums throughout the 80s, 90s and 00s that became ever more laid-back and probably bland before ending up critically acclaimed yet largely unheard.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

MV : "Lovestruck" by The Fauns

Getting back into the shoegaze and C86 things that defined my uni years. This is a band i just discovered and i really like what i've heard so far.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Released in October 1968 this was the debut album by Caravan who, post-psychedelia, became a popular prog-rock band in the 1970s and 80s (and are still around these days). A good album this is, marred by the fact it has the album tracks in mono and then stereo. I know this appeases purists though is a bit annoying if you want to just listen to the music in the best way possible.

This is good psychedelic rock-pop but you could see hints of their future direction. Its very organy, proto-proggy and unmistakably British.

Friday, September 3, 2010

MV : "Sangrij" by Dara Bubamara

A recent iTunes purchase. I love it, the MV especially has a certain something about it...