Friday, October 31, 2014

Top 5 Records (October)

1) The Pierces - creation
2) Ramona Lisa - arcadia
3) White Door - windows
4) Princess
5) Mary Chapin Carpenter - stones in the road

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Brideshead - the mermaid

Dufflecoat Records's latest release is this lovely 7" single, classic indie pop thrills on "The mermaid". Its fast and catchy and full of fun pop noises. Its ticks all the twee boxes with its incessant energy and enthusiasm. "The loneliest boy in the world" could come straight off a Sarah single, a joyous slice of jingle jangle pop. I suppose you could say its nothing new, covering well-worn ground, but it does it very well indeed. York Minster isn't anything new either and that doesn't stop it being lovely and well worth your time, as is this. A great pop record to lighten the dark nights.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Royal Blood

Its furious stuff, brutal drumming, slabs of rock noise and songs that hit you like an iron fist covered in a chain mail glove. Classic British rock is in Royal Blood's DNA (a blood joke would have been a step too far) and their influences are pretty apparent as you listen to them but the sound this duo produce is amazing.

The album is full of great riffs so picking out favourites is difficult but "Come on over" and "Figure it out" can spark total rock outs in even the most jaded fan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soft Walls - no time

A mournful drone fills the air, then perforated by an urgent garage-y drum beat and Stereolab-ish guitar. "No time" has an interesting mix of styles and tones, lo-fi but with layers of complexity including some sweet retro electronica. There is a definite atmosphere here, and quite a down one too but in despair is joy allegedly. Or at least a very enjoyable album.

"Guided through" is my favourite track with its guitar shriek. "All the same" also scores highly with its juicy lo-fi repetitive thrash.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Naked Eyes - burning bridges

A tasty slice of early 80s synth-pop with a rockier edge. This was Naked Eyes' debut album from 1983 and it yielded a couple of minor hits (more successful in the US than their native UK). The biggest hit being a cover of Bacharach/David's "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me". Bacharach himself said he liked the cover a lot though i wasn't that keen, it sounds a bit too novelty to me. Great pop track though as you would expect.

Better tracks are the jaunty, more complicated and somewhat funky "Voices in my head" and "Promises promises". It covers all the early 80s sonic bases and is a great listen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Arctic Flow - january stars

The Arctic Flow is gentle and beautiful pop music, mixing the right amount of ethereal dream pop feel with pop melodies. The title track is a masterclass in how to build a gorgeous indie pop song with its delicate tone and melody. "Without her" brings a classic Sarah-esque dream pop feel to proceedings. "I'd rather not remember" is melancholic and reflective. Its perfectly judged, perfectly made, just perfect.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Wedding Present - valentina

Another Cassette Store Day release though this album was originally released (on other formats) back in 2012 and the track listing hasn't changed. Of course The Wedding Present have been around for aaaaaages, i've been a fan since the Hit Parade days and that seems an ice age ago. Well the sound hasn't changed a great deal if at all, great if sometimes shambolic indie pop with frequent doses of noise.

Maybe that could be considered stagnation and i guess it is, but that didn't stop me enjoying this album a lot. There are some seriously great pop tunes on here. "Stop thief!" is my highlight from the album, a sometimes meandering and sometimes rollicking pop epic.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Psychic Markers - scrapbook no. 1

Cassette Store Day, what a great concept... so i just had to get some cassette albums of course. And worry about what i was going to play the tapes on later. Luckily one of my two old tape players still works and Psychic Markers sound great indeed.

Modern day psychedelic with big lashings of dream pop and various noises some of which sound like the distorted tones of Soviet Short Wave propaganda (might be the cassette player) and explosions of guitar at odd (and the right) moments. Meandering swirls of pop noise, melodic and dynamic. Yeah i liked this a lot, its everything you could ever ask or hope for.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

U2 - songs of innocence

Ah the "free" album that vexed so many people, well a few loudmouths on twitter who didn't know how to delete something anyway. Actually this is only the 2nd U2 album i've ever owned, i've never been that big a fan of their's (the other one was Achtung Baby natch) but this is actually pretty rocking. Its all very heart felt and overblown, but hey its U2 that kinda comes with the territory. The lead single "The miracle (of Joey Ramone)" is full of bluster and energy though i also liked "California" with its sweet soundscape and the uplifting "Every breaking wave". See its not so bad after all, so stop moaning.