Friday, January 31, 2014

Top 5 Records of January

1) Postcode - zebranthology
2) Tommy February6
3) Mary Chapin Carpenter - songs from the movie
4) Various - lasting fun forever young (Indonesia indiepop scene 2)
5) Bob Dylan - time out of mind

Thursday, January 30, 2014

MV : "Here with you" by Nostrovia

According to the blurb this is the side-project of a couple of members of hardcore bands, this is much milder and very nice.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Kensingtons / The Rileys - everything nicer than everything else (Dufflecoat CDEP)

Dufflecoat Records' latest EP pairs up two indiepop quality bands in the shape of The Kensingtons and The Rileys. The latter's "Barriers of mine" gets us off to a deliciously spiky power pop start complete with squirty guitar chords. The Rileys also present the acoustic jaunty and slightly haunting folk pop of "I can't wait" which has some lovely baroque pop feel. Quite simply a perfect pop song for those dark months of the early year, its the sunshine you need. Vitamin D in sonic form.

"I love you tomorrow" has classic pop sounds mixed with a bit of folk jug root action. There should be more harmonicas in indie pop. Finally "Funky" is a fun folk-pop thrash, reminding me a bit of Matt Minglewood or something.

Now The Kensingtons who mine a rich seam of classic twee indie pop, "Please don't lie to me" is a bonafide indie pop epic with its waves of organ noises and clashing guitars. "Whether girl" is more big sound pop and a wonderful thing it is too. Finally "Hitboy 100" is more shimmering pop noise.

Two great bands, seven great songs. In a universe of pop treats this is one that can light your darkest skies.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Rolling Stones - emotional rescue

Released in 1980 Emotional Rescue was the first Rolling Stones album of the 80s though sonically the album is still stuck in the 70s and earlier. The disco funk opener of "Dance" gets the album off to a great start (though part 2 of the track is better). After that dancey intro the Stones slot smoothly into their usual blues rock schtick, which they pull off better than most bands of course. There are still surprises though, "Where the boys go" is an interesting excursion into something vaguely more punk or pub rock-ish.

Reggae can also be heard on "Send it to me" an interesting track about mail order brides, and the title track itself is an odd piece of disco with falsetto vocals. Mostly though the album is filler, good filler albeit. Its a bit of a strange album, by no means bad but very uneven. Kind of like Keef's face.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

That's Lemoney (SEA Indie)

That's Lemoney, from Malaysia, play classic guitar pop with many lovely 60s and 70s rock pop influences all wrapped up in a very satisfying package. "These things happen in 2 miles" is a very satisfying mod-ish pop stomp.

"Mrs Headache" is light and fluffy, psychedelic but with plenty of indie pop riffs. "Way out" is rougher and funky but still with a great pop melody. Another great single from SEA Indie.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bob Dylan - Nashville skyline

Bob Dylan goes country. After experiments with country roots music on earlier albums he went full on Nashville on this, and a fabulous album it is too starting with a duet with Johnny Cash no less. "Girl from the North country" is a straight-ahead sparse yet atmospheric country rock classic.

Bob's voice was very different on this 1969 album, one of a number at the time that helped country-rock develop a flourishing fresh genre in the early 70s. Vocals somewhat warmer and more gentle than before, Bob often adopted a crooning style of singing. "I threw it all away" is a reflective heart-felt track, simple rootsy music.

"Lay lady lay" is the album highlight, steel guitars helping generate a wonderful psychedelic swirl.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top Of The Pops (Volume 29)

I often hunt charity shop LP bins for TOTP LPs but usually i am left disappointed, yesterday however i found this lovely little thing, the early 1973 edition of hit cover versions. It starts off with a rather weedy version of "Blockbuster", more side street VHS video shop to be honest. A cover of Elton John's (Elton sang on a TOTP cover back in the late 60s of course) "Daniel" is quite nice but the covers of "Me and Mrs Jones" and "Substitution" really are well worth the price of admission (which was only a pound anyway).

These days a Gary Glitter track like "Do you wanna touch me" can only be approached with oodles of dark humour (the answer is No! No! Noooooo! of course). ELO's "Roll over Beethoven" is much more wholesome fun. The Top of the Popper session musicians ace the trademark Status Quo sound (not that many chords to remember obviously) and the cover of "paper plane" is very enjoyable. Classic sounds, just a little bit different.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Postcode - zebranthology (Small Bear)

Collecting together three albums worth of material this is an anthology of atmospheric noise from Small Bear Records' zebra obsessed band Postcode, a zebranthology of course. The amazing brutal power of "Lament" with it's wall of noise sits comfortably on here along with much more low-key yet no less powerful tracks like "Hope makes the stars shine brighter" which slips along dripping with menace and foreboding before exploding into a guitar scorching conclusion. "Charlotte" is almost gentle (in a way), acoustic yet still powerful. The acoustic tracks are indeed a great contrast to the shoegazey noise epics, tracks like "This is the last time i'll leave you alone" still have plenty of punk spirit and power.

I do like my feedback noise terrorism though and more wall of noise comes from the fantastically named "I'll be shoegazing for Christmas". "Lewis" is almost perfect, a journey through stark soundscapes building and building until it hits you with a nuclear warhead of guitar feedback. 46 tracks are on here and there are so many highlights i'd probably be writing a review of all of them for the rest of the month.

Just take it from me this is a wonderful collection of tracks, its fabulous - said it there in black and white (heh).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bob Dylan - time out of mind

Bob Dylan's 30th studio album from 1997 was considered a return to form (and was multi-Grammy winning) after a long indifferent period and lets be honest the critics were right with this one, its an astounding album.

Proof? Well lets start with the wonderful "Make you feel my love". Bob's voice was pretty shot by now but that doesn't matter that he croaks his way through this warm and sentimental track.

"Love sick" is light and mysterious with its slinky background feel and organ. "Not dark yet" is reflective and atmospheric. "Cold irons bound" is bluesy and spacey. At times raw and damn dirty, at others delicate and fragile this is an album to enjoy over and over again.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bandcamp : Dot Dash - shopworn excuse

Here is a lovely pop song by the equally lovely Dot Dash, also available as a free download.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lasting fun, forever young (SEA Indie)

This is the second volume of Indonesian indie pop tracks collected together by the awesome SEA Indie. The artists collected together are an interesting mix ranging from the classical jingle jangle of The Wellington with their lovely pop track "ocean" to the atmospheric synth instrumental of Layur's "sisi timur".

High points as well as the two tracks mentioned above include Seaside's "giggles and blushed", Moist with their melancholic indie pop "sign" and The Colleagues' lovely shiny pop classic "daydreaming". Indonesia is one of the hotbeds of modern indie pop and this great compilation is just a hint of the riches that can be discovered.