Thursday, July 31, 2014

MV : "Being boiled" by The Human League

Early League.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vierance - semblance

Oh this is good, we like a bit of dark synth. Vierance produce atmospheric yet often sparse and bleak soundscapes, bleak but beautiful. Well beautiful if you like darkness and doom perhaps as we do. There is a bit of a pop underpining to some of the tracks too, "Mosaic" for one has some great melodies, albeit amid the destruction. It and "Athens cries" reminds us a bit of early DM sonically but although it has a step in the past it is firmly rooted in the future. Superb.

Monday, July 28, 2014

MV : "Nadie se darĂ¡ cuenta" by Linda Guilala

Oldie but goodie from this great Spanish band.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bob Dylan - under the red sky

Meaningless anecdote alert, years ago i was visiting my Grandma and she saw the advert for this album in my copy of Billboard. She asked me "Who is that scruffy man?" Back then i didn't really know, but years later i do and finally i have bought this album 24 years after that advert.

"Under the red sky" splits the critics, many called it rather poor. However i've found that that usually means i love the album, and this is no exception. A mysterious and somewhat fun collection of tunes starting with the ridiculous yet infectiously fun "Wiggle wiggle". Much of the album is quite childlike, utilising nursery rhymes and some good production. It doesn't take itself seriously and sounds great to be honest, but if you are like radical man you might not agree. The title track is another excellent track with some lovely organ and an easy laid back groove.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hearts Of Oak - New England

"Country shoegaze" is the genre apparently, therefore Hearts Of Oak should score highly with me as they combine two of my favourite things in the musical world so lets see... Well there is certainly a very feel to much of this, its laid back and rootsy but also often with a vein of menace looming behind proceedings.

"Well lit highway" is a great psychedelic rock track, the vocals very Bob Dylan (albeit before Bob lost his voice) with some tasty wall of noise. Hearts Of Oak have a fairly retro late 60s and early 70s sound in many ways but updated sonically and technically for the now, and it sounds very fine indeed. "Lovers ain't easy" could be a late 60s Dylan song that went missing. "Grey riders" is a very appealing reflective track that stretches off into an effect laden soundscape.

I'm not sure about the "country shoegazer" label but there are elements of both especially on tracks like "Grey riders", but lets not get too hung up about labels. Its really good music, all the description you need really.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lily Allen - its not me its you

One of the few intelligent faces in modern pop Lily Allen's second album scores with inventive and often highly catchy melodies and witty wordplay. "Everyone's at it" on endemic drug use and "The fear" on the insecurity and emptiness of the vacuous life of a micro-sleb are great tracks and a brilliant way to open proceedings. Some of the other songs are a bit filler-ish or just plain poo but "22" on the fear of getting "past it" is another star track. Star quality album and artist too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blackbird Raum - swidden cassette

Released on the cassette indie Erode Releases (don't worry its also available digitally) this album is a wonderful slice of folk thrash or root punk or just good music if you prefer. Blackbird Raum are a US group who formed out of a squatter community in California. Living without electricity and much else they began playing folk (as you do) mixing it with other styles like ska, indie and punk and this is the result.

It is often chaotic but the band sound like they are having a blast as will you. "Rubicon drawn" is a perfect example of their genre splitting and/or creating style mixing folk dance and bluegrass with a punk energy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Cleaners From Venus - return to Bohemia

The latest album from Martin Newell who started out way back in 1973 as the singer of glam rock outfit Plod (cool band). The Cleaners From Venus have been around since 1980 and were a band who released many of their early works on cassette only. So thats the background (and it would be hard to find a cooler one) so what is the sound of Cleaners From Venus 2014 like?

Its very fine indeed. Songs like "Cling to me" have that easy class that only a true veteran who's been there and burnt the t-shirt can do. A great piece of rock and roll that song is, mixing classic pop melodies with a bit of a stomp. "Days of May" is reflective and laid back. Sounds wise this album is 60s pop melodies dipped in mellow British psychedelia the latter especially notable on the superb track "Mrs Gale and her new lover".

Well bottom line is its wonderful and its available from here, and you really should check it out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cozy Catastrophes - way last June

Insistent and urgent in a jingle jangle way, Cozy Catastrophes' debut album is not short of catchy melodies thats for sure. Tracks like "Always say never to forever" channel a number of C86 and psychedelic influences mixed up in a pleasing lo-fi twee soup. The music is simple, drum machines and guitars but you don't need an orchestra to produce a great pop track.

Judicious use of the glockenspiel on tracks like "Pillow fight" adds a further layer of whimsy but in a good way. "Wait up" has a lovely soundscape. Its an album thats well worth checking out.

Available digitally from here, a cassette version is also available. CDs are dead or something and vinyl is so last week. TDK forever yeah?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Bordellos - will​.​i​.​am, you're really nothing

St Helens' finest indie trio The Bordellos return with another album of ire and bite and great garage-y indie sounds. "The gospel according to Julian Cope" is a growl of a track yet also has some lovely pop moments. "Public execution - gangnam style" has one of the best titles for some time and sounds like a sub-atomic nuclear test.

The title track is a tasty indie groove and another great title. The album is often quite dark, somewhat sombre but full of wit and invention. Take "My dream festival" for example which sounds like the world has been conquered by 1980s electronic toys. The Bordellos cover many genres and styles, usually in one song but do it all so well.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Richard Earls & Thierry Audousset - older wiser harder volume 1

Part one of a three part work comprising "twelve songs covering a lifetime of experience, written and produced by duo Richard Earls and Thierry Audousset who, together, bring over seventy years of music making to the project" so what exactly is this about then?

Part 1 of the trilogy shows that this could be something very special indeed. The opener "Before that long hot summer" just oozes class. "Youth and beauty" is wonderful and whimsical. A catchy jazzy pop track with a psychedelic feel. "Licence to kill" is laid back and bluesy. Finally "Expressionless" has some beautiful piano. Four songs, four snapshots, four essential slices of life. You really should check this out.

Available from here on CD or digital download.