singled out – missive 199

Singled Out
Missive 199

For Kelly and Mark – missing you.

Singled Out – put the needle on the feckin record.

The one called the one before the big one.

Welcome record folk to the hallowed domain of the Singled Out record shed.

A place where screams, dreams and schemes are heard, made and hatched, aw bollocks can’t be arsed with this – to the records…..onward Mc Duff………………..
Truth about Frank ‘14 versions of the same EP’ Volume 11 (long division with remainders). Don’t mind admitting that there was a certain amount of joy when this promo arrived in our patch given it features the much admired talents of Leeds based minimalist boffins Truth about Frank and their contribution to the ongoing and highly recommended Long Division With Remainders ‘14 versions of the same EP’ project. Just to recap for both those suffering with short term memory loss or else found wanting and snoozing at the back last time we mentioned this (which incidentally note takers was per missive 160), this ongoing invite only exercise instigated by husband and wife Justin and Helen Watson way back in 2006, the idea being to create a sound collage to be then distributed among various musical acquaintances for them to either remix, remould or recalibrate by way of their own interpretation into any shape, form or style they saw fit and each crafting several variations of their re-drill to be released as a free download as and when they were ready for issue. Once all fourteen instalments are completed the plan will be to release these as a box set. The original template – aptly titled ’version 1’ by Helen has now evolved and transformed through passing via the appreciable hands of artists such as Sone Institute, Ken Peel, Susan Hawkins, (the excellently named) the abominable Mr Tinkler, BLK w/ Bear, Barnaby Oliver, Cats against the Bomb, Isnaj Dui and Awesome = Colour – most of whom we’ll try to remember checking out as part of our extended and celebratory 200th missive in a week or three. And so to the eleventh remix – entitled obviously ’volume 11’ and a welcome back to these pages for Leeds duo Truth about Frank. Already assured of a place in our hearts following their stunning debut EP ’a briefcase full of suspicion’ which if we are totally honest was one of the best moments of last year (see Missive 172). Currently to be found holed up in their fortified sound bunker busy cobbling together tracks that should see their way to forming two releases – one via their own LYF imprint and the other courtesy of the previously unknown to us German based net label WeirdAndWired, for their variations Truth about Frank take a microscope to the mechanics of the original template and explore its hidden from the naked ear sub strata and extrapolate a sparse and bleakly stripped of emotion out there and alien landscape. Comprised of compressed dronal loops that nag with all the repetitive shrill of the solemn drudgery of an industrial factory floor and robotised dialects they concoct a vaguely hypnotic and trancelike concrete sound-scape on ’14v1’, replete with a menacing array of clinical and sterile mechanical hums and binary whirrs an aural artificial intelligence is created that veers into the outside orbits of Aphex Twin whilst simultaneously imparting a mayday echo from a future to come from an age foretold by Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ and Asimov. ‘14v2’ is less ominous and foreboding in design though admittedly it takes a while to stutter into life – that being roughly 1.10 in when a mutated motorik funk grind begins to take shape which unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike a less playful d_rradio all told and then its back with the subversive elements for the rather brief though fractured doom scarred oblivion of ‘14v3’ all metered and tarnished with incessant drills of noise squalls and dread like monotone atmospherics which leaves the 6 minute parting shot that is ‘14v4’ to bade you farewell for now though not before considerably reducing the temperature of your listening environment to near freezing with some rather neat albeit sinister darkly swept deep drone ambient montages. More please.

Screaming Lights ‘phenomena’ (anti-). More of the trials and tales of heartbreak. Mentioned this lot way back at missive 182 when we found ourselves utterly smitten by their debut double a side platter ‘glow’ / ‘GMN’ which had us all at once mentioning the likes of Stone Roses, Paris Angels, the Chameleons and Genesis in the same review which I’m sure you’ll agree is some feat to be admired and both of which incidentally feature on this follow up outing (well they do on our promo anyway). Hailing from Liverpool and according to the accompanying press release fresh from sharing stage spots with the likes of the Mystery Jets and Late of the Pier whilst currently prepping themselves for support slots on the forthcoming Detroit Social Club and White Lies dates, ’phenomena’ is one bastard of a blistering track. If their previous salvo ’GMN’ was considered the coolest thing around at the given time then in terms of an aligned formation of acute pop sensibilities, top drawer sizzled strut grinds, radio melting verve and an unquestionable ability to have you jaw dropped in a head dizzying swoon frantically hammering the repeat button then this babe literally kicks several shades out of its predecessor and finds the band honing their pristine craft to near emotion crippling perfection that frankly in recent times only Shortwave Fade’s killer ‘Deletia’ set has dared to swim in similar brutishly lovelorn currencies. In short a sub 4 minute star crossed speaker spanker replete with humungous sweetly soured 80’s styled keys and struts aplenty whilst pretty much sounding like some cosmic congress between the Comsat Angels and B Movie being found spiralling in the strip stream of the Chameleons, both brutalised and bruised factor into that the small though crucial detail that it positively radiates with an alluring sugar tipped effervescence and haloed with a wide screen presence that’s wrapped lovingly in a delivery that’s maddeningly urgent and not – by our reckoning – unlike a very early career Kitchens of Distinction. Flip over for the ostensibly more distressed and dislocated ‘grandfather clock’ – removed of the bands hitherto cinematic artistry this decidedly emotion churning bruiser still manages to hit beneath the belt while working hard yanking at your heart strings and dragging you low and all at sea with its punishing front line artillery of frantically unravelled anxiety – tempestuous stuff is how I think you’d best deem it.

The Coronas ‘decision time’ (3U). A brief heads up for this release given that we’ve already reviewed it way back at missive 190, anyhow its just been officially released – the pride of Dublin, Ireland – ‘decision time’ may well hanker a little towards the American MOR markets though on the plus side armed with its melodic sensibilities and hook laden attitude this rumbling cutie had us much recalling the much missed Marbles. Expect an official national release for their acclaimed debut full length ‘heroes and ghosts’ shortly.

Vile Imbeciles ‘tramp’ (tea vee eye). Most welcomed return to these pages of those impish souls the Vile Imbeciles. Both ‘tramp’ and ‘jennifer’ featured here are ripped from last years acclaimed ‘queenie was a blonde’ full length and each in their own unique way reveal the Brighton’s combos ever increasing flirting and distillation of their sound into a readily more considered pop model of sorts. That said its not without agitant like kick backs. Jennifer’ sounds like a mutant renegade from the Elephant 6 Collective, discernibly wired and austere in outlook though scoured with a succulently lazy eyed and shit faced soft psyche core that mooches ominously with a listless loveliness between the grooves albeit with a creeping stalker like intent. In sharp contrast and readily more animated in nature is ’Tramp’ – a strange dislocated beast made up initially of distressed psychedelicised power pop overtures skittishly bleached by all manner of angulated math accents which on initially reflection sound not unlike some kind of crookedly colourised and wonky head trip as viewed through the kaleidoscopic lenses of a ’drums and wires’ era XTC though soon find themselves curiously mutating into an acutely jarring and jabbing strut grooved hybrid funk bitch pulled or so it seems from the arse pocket of a particularly chilled and mellowed Fugazi offshoot. Main attraction of the release however has to be the flip cut ‘death jazz’. An inspired 30 minute freakish wig flipping bastard of a track much veering into aural alleyways celebrated by the likes of the Pickled Egg and Jezus Factory imprints. Its pop Jim but not as the greater public at large throughout Western civilisation would decree it, mind you that said those Wire scribes will no doubt have other ideas and will probably deem it a playfully mild distraction from the usual out there aural autopsies that they encounter and indeed so much delight in on a regular basis. The source inspiration behind ‘death jazz’ was according to the band ‘basically Ornette Coleman’s free jazz, but metal’. And before most of you go scuttling off in to hiding having seen the words jazz and metal in close worrying proximity not to say the mere mention of free form and jam (alas no young people not the Paul, Bruce and Rick type or alas raspberry and mixed fruits) – fear not for as discordant, damaged and dislocated ‘death jazz‘ is – and it is – your reference points are lying somewhere in the very remote straits of pop‘s undiscovered universe wherein exist Henry Cow, This Heat, the Contortions, Albert Ayler and Inside Ov a Butcher‘s Shop. ‘death jazz’ is a skewed and demanding brew, a car crash where elements of progressive jazz, art rock and no wave converge and collide to form an incessant and insistent squalling canvas of butchered and fractured bad acid groove replete with spastic rhythms, fried montages and the murder of several guitars by the sounds of it, we’d like to say more please but frankly our ears are bleeding just now. A third album from the VI’s is currently in incubation.

Je Suis Animal ‘the mystery of Marie Roget’ (angular). Irresistible in a word. Utterly infectious and demurring, sounding by our reckoning as though its had fluffy kisses aplenty bestowed upon its person by the magical C-86 fairy. Don’t be to surprised if on hearing this that your overcome with a desire to go plundering and thumbing through your prized record collection familiarising yourself with all manner of late 80’s riff jangling effervescent indie treats put out by the likes of Bus Stop, Summershine, Sarah, Waaaaaah, Caff, Sha La La et al – are you getting the picture yet? ‘the mystery of marie Roget’ is a sweetly honeycombed and flighty cutie both precociously perfect and loveably feel good, dappled in a fuzzy felt day-glo hue and positively buzzing amid the confines of its sugar tipped secret den happily dispatching affectionate retro ear candy that opines with happy / sad flavourings and to these ears sounds it has to be said not unlike a dream team meeting between the Siddeley’s cross wired with the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Flip the disc for the equally alarmingly attractive ’secret place’ – more sugar rushed loveliness tempering into climes occupied by the likes of the much admired the pains at being pure at heart – hot wired star crossed riffmanship, sun drizzled harmonies and the kind of breathless razor sharp effervescence that leaves a warming glow adorning your personage whilst not forgetting the softly soured psyche calibrations – now just where are those Primitives records? An album entitled ’self taught magic from a book’ looms in record land.

And here’s a video accompanying the single… – we must admit to having been utterly taken, beguiled and enchanted by the minimalist electronic sounds of New York based French feline Elodieo her craft occupies an amorphous haven dimpled and dappled by seductive aural apparitions tenderly bathed and caressed in all manner of willowy snow globed ethereal intonations, these delicately orbiting nocturnal fancies murmur and purr with a subtly sensualised symmetry that playfully flirts with a desire laden curiosity all at once embracing elements of 60’s noir, down tempo calibrations threaded with chilled out trip hop beats and the kind of Francophile lounge pop sophistication to be found on the more mellower and cosmically charged moments of Stereolab’s back catalogue. Much likened to Nico – admittedly a comparison that’s difficult to shake though we here are thinking reference wise located somewhere between the eclectic elegance of Heather Duby, Broadcast and the Knife, Elodieo is already garnering considerable acclaim for both her recently released debut full length ’stubborn’ and a 12 inch remix of ’wake up without you’ via the Iceburg imprint which by all accounts is steaming up the floors of the coolest club in NY – both of which we’ll do our level best to blag, source and nail as our own for future musings. And as much as we are fondly smitten by the advances made by the delectable and sumptuously alluring and naughty ‘crazy’ and its meatier mutant dub tripped remix sibling we suggest you start your journey with ‘cuckoo’ which after its shyly sleepy headed frost tipped opening – much like early career Mum it should be said – soon flowers and blossoms resplendently into a healthy slab of head turning cutely threaded and fluffily affectionate 80’s styled electro pop

And here’s a little video to accompany ‘milk and honey’…itself a bit of a gem all said… – much loved around these here parts due in part to the fact that they have this nifty knack of occasionally dropping tasty grooves our way – well I say occasionally its rather more a case of them being so meticulous and mindful of quality control that they nurture and incubate their roster and let them loose on the greater public at large in small doses so as not to spoil us. At least that’s what I reckon. Anyhow their wares have featured aplenty in these pages with selected prime cuts from the likes of Death by Sadie and tKatKa having us all a swoon. Mind you we’ve spied what appears to be a debut platter by Medes entitled ’absence of opposition’ which to much grumbling we appear to be a little light on – ho hum – and from what we’ve heard – ’pleasure model’ and ’skulls’ incidentally feature on the player – there’s sounds like some seriously apocalyptic dub tripped ambient electronics afoot that frankly we need more of here. Questions will be asked – that you can be assured as you sleep safely tonight. In addition to this errant and absent from our sights release the label are also embarking on a compilation primarily focusing on the rich vein of talent to be found on the persistently vibrant New York underground and have asked interested parties to submit demos / sounds and samples (the latter of course music based and not something you’ve created with the help of mother nature) via the addresses noted on their MS page or full on web site which you can find at – always a good sign don’t you find when bands give names to their sonic off-springs such as ’werewolf ate my foot’, ’spread the virus’ and ’sticking my finger in the fan’ though we do suspect that in the case of Ontario’s Iron Bitch Face their off spring have undergone the ordeal of being ducked several times beneath some grizzled swamp, then given a severe kicking and left abandoned on the roadside. We also suspect that the folk who make up the ranks of Iron Bitch Face (which we are led to believe is just one – going by the name of Rot) are hard working, respectable, responsible up right citizens of their local parish only don’t make the mistake of putting them near things that can be wired to make a noise or else they become evil boogie men scaring the hell out of the wildlife and young folk with their mutant nightmarish dragster apparitions. Self described plunderers of ‘black metal, punk, electronics, noise and (the bit we love) $1 dollar garage sale keyboards’ there’s no doubting that the sounds spewed forth by iron bitch face are caustic, corrosive, volatile, vicious, detached, unrepentant, dark, brooding, ugly – and that’s just their good points, like a demented, damaged and menacing Ministry, IBF conjure an utter blitzkrieg of concrete noise brought on by fried fraying electronic butchery with no mind or consideration for form or structure whose sole purpose it seems is to test the endurance levels of both your speakers and (your soon to bleeding profusely) ears. By all accounts there’s been a plethora of self released CD’s force feeding the appetite of a growing legion of admirers with ’there be trolls in these woods’ being the latest aural atrocity primed to wound and worry the decent folk of record buying land. And though CTP’s remix of ‘spread the virus’ has been getting a fair amount of caning in our gaff – perhaps the most immediately and dare we say radio friendly thing here – think toy town electronics wired to the eyeballs on bad acid – very much one for the frank and wobbly patrons, we’d like to think you should start your grounding with ‘the winter whispers from the frozen forest’ – sinister murder in the dark atmospherics, hellish drone pangs, white noise fractures – all good gloomy doom drilled dread filled fun – to be listened only in daylight.

Disconcerts ‘human figure in motion’ (structurally sound). Absolutely no information about this release though we won’t deny its been on heavy rotation since arriving in our gaff earlier today following a quick reconnaissance trip to Cargo. We believe there’s three of them (band members that is and not available copies of the single though that said in a perfect world this should selling handsomely and fast becoming a much sought after and desirable item), they’re from Chichester and may well prove to be one of the coolest things currently around if this their debut offering is anything to judge by. Released on the trendy and hip Structurally Sound imprint (well it sounds trendy and hip to us anyway) this austere twin set sounds like its been telephoned down from an old John Peel broadcast c.1981, wiring riffs, dislocated death disco-esque rhythms, sparsely fraying monochromatic motifs and a maddeningly detached edgy and off centred groove make this is a bit of babe evoking elements of the Scars, Josef K, Fire Engines, Crispy Ambulance and Section 25 – oh hell you get the general idea – a post everything type beauty all said and done. Flip over the disc for more acutely adept late 70’s / early 80’s styled flashbacks this time in the company of the fractured white funk noodling of ‘chance remark’ – very much schooled in all things ’slates’ era Fall, early career Pere Ubu, Nightingales with just a smidgeon of the Swell Maps for good measure. No contest really – single of the missive.

Dead Hearts ‘live at CBGB’s’ (state of mind recordings). Again another combo of whom we have absolutely bugger all information about Dead Hearts other than to say they are a quintet hailing from Buffalo, NY. Pressed up on both red (and we believe) blue wax this is the latest 7 inch to be kicked out of the criminally hip screamo obsessed state of mind stables. To date this NY based imprint has so far managed to knock out 20 plus releases (Decades, Daggermouth, This id Hell etc….) all of which have until now sadly escaped our obsessive radar. Release number 24 sees the second label outing for Dead Hearts following their self titled debut from a year or three back and follows hot on the heels of last years ’bitter verses’ full length. Sadly it seems the band are no more having parted ways amicably last Autumn, this seven inch culls together seven cuts pulled from an appearance at the legendary CBGB’s way back in 2005, a blistering set it has to said with the Dead Hearts potently primed and revealing more than a passing affinity with the early 80’s East Coast hardcore sound. As said seven cuts feature within from the scathing opener ’in our hands’, the unforgiving and furious ’heart shaped coffin’ to the frankly menacing ’breakdown’ a minor classic in its own right, it’s a towering and punishing spectacle of 100mph scorched earth, bleached and blistered take no prisoners boogie. Scalding stuff and best filed near your prized Mayhem treats from yesteryear.

The Cute Lepers ‘berlin girls’ (damaged goods). Has been found romancing the cockles of our turntable and assuming something of a residency on the hi-fi since being upended from the safe confines of its Buzzcocks like picture sleeve, ’berlin girls’ is best described as a Rubettes meets Mud wet dream replete with lip curled New York Dolls-esque vocals (well if I’m truthful about it sounds more like the Black Halos’ Billy Hopeless – who I believe are back in action in some shape or form – this we will have to check out) and positively teaming with hooks, brass, cuteness and effervescence which if I’m not mistaken should put a dinky spring in your step and bring a passing smile upon the features of all who hear it, admittedly it is one of those type of cuts that you fear on repeat plays you may end up hating for all the above reasons not withstanding that its curdled with such saccharine traits its bound to rot your teeth just for being in earshot – so remember apply due care and treat yourself to an airing – maybe twice a day – always brush your pearly’s before and after. Flip the disc for ’fall in love’ a neatly drilled power surging princely popper that unless our ears do deceive has very much a whiff of the Heartbreakers (and again the Black Halos) about it albeit on this occasion laced with all manner of infectious and affectionate sugar tipped hooks. An album is out there somewhere entitled ’can’t stand modern music’ which we reckon needs to be heard and indeed cherished and as though you need any further prods this particular single comes adorned in day-glo orange colourings.

Betty and the Werewolves ’david Cassidy’ (damaged goods). There was a brief moment when the jaw dropped whereupon we could have swore we heard the word ’masturbating’ being used. Alas blame our aging earlobes further plays revealed the incriminating sound-a-like word was estimating – not nearly enough threatening or interesting now eh? Mind you in the context of the song as a whole perhaps the offending ’m’ word may well have been appropriate given this dashingly drilled ditty is a gushing ode to David Cassidy. Ah David Cassidy the love interest of girls under the age of 7 from the incredibly odious partridge family tv show from the early 70’s – be honest it was cack even by that eras standards, I still remember the playground fights between warring junior school girls from my class as they lined up and split the playground into a full scale battleground dividing up into opposing camps made up of the Donny’s (a la Osmond) and the David’s (a la Cassidy). Anyway enough of that Betty and the Werewolves are a quartet hailing from London town (three girls and one boy in case your taking notes) who it seems have a hankering for kicking out infectiously rampant slabs of blistered bubblegum punk pop drilled out at a breathless breakneck pace and much it has to be said owing a considerable debt to the much missed Helen Love of which ‘david Cassidy’ is one such prime example – laced with a full throttle dynamic of zig zagging three chord motifs and wistful harmonies – hell it could pass for Strawberry Switchblade with a rocket up their back end. As is typical of these things the favoured cut is to be found on the flip side. ‘plastic’ sounds like the Turbines and the Meteors colluding to do some kind of mix of ‘Rawhide’ and Prefab’s ‘Faron Young’ and having the resulting cocktail played at the wrong speed, add in some frantically wired and manic femme vocals and plenty of ’fuck me what was that’ moments and you have yourself a nifty slice of blink and its gone seductively shout(y) and pout(y) prickly pop which we should warn you features some rather smart though sadly all too brief faux Beatles-esque psych moments near the end. Pressed up on violet glitter vinyl (which plays havoc with the stylus I should add).

The Vibrarians ‘red light’ (k recs). Do you know the trouble we’ve had trying to source these three tracks on the web, all that time, effort and attention to detail just so that I could hammer out a review that no one will ever read. Makes you wonder why I bother sometimes frankly if it weren’t for the tasty tunes and the frequent offers of marriage we wouldn’t. We actually picked this 7 inch up from a recent raid of Cargo’s wares and were ready for entertainment and other such like joys when we discovered that we couldn’t find our handy to have ’bit in the middle’ thingymajig – oh you know what I’m on about, the records a jukebox jobby hence no middle you need those plastic inserts in order to play them and we usually have loads kicking about. But can you ever find one when you need one – can you bugger as like. So there then ensued a detailed search – which admittedly lasted – ooh – about less time than it takes to boil an egg, well we got a little irked and impatient until a small light flickered on a distant bulb in our head which suggested try sourcing the tracks online. So off to my space we went – first port of call the Vibrarians site – well it be honest it’d be a waste of time looking on Snow Patrol’s and why oh why would I want to be there anyway. Job nearly done for it was there that we managed to source ‘modern walker’ and ‘the woods’ albeit via a video which you can view below. Lead cut ‘red light’ was a tad more problematic until a quick spot of doodling on the search engines had the Soundbites web log coming to our rescue (cheers lads and lasses – by including an mp3 of said cut whilst also inadvertently putting us onto the Hozac Singles Club which we’ll have to check out sharpishly before we get any older. Anyway the Vibrarians hail from Olympia, Washington – number in three – Sixx, Leah and CJ – and to date appear to have been turning on various turntables belonging to the more clued up cognescenti via various cassette and CD releases which we really must catch up on. ‘red light’ is damn smart, in fact we’ll go further than that its bloody excellent, okay it sounds like it was recorded in a wind tunnel – we’ll give you that but all the same its trip wired with some nifty wig flipping softly traced psychotropic garage struts and haloed with the kind of trippy mid 60’s skinny jean winkle picker wearing beat grooved aura effects that imagines day-glo flashbacks of thought lost old Pebbles and Nuggets honeys – reference wise a bit like Cheval Sombre covering the Nomads would be as good a place as any to start. ’modern walker’ on the other hand stutters and splutters though amid its crooked impishness there’s more than enough evidence to suggest a fondness of Suicide’s ’dream baby dream’, echo effects and the modern lovers. More wigged out flipped and fried lysergic tipped treats come courtesy of the panic attacking schizoid happenings within ’the woods’ a bit of an unruly gem it should be said that insidiously wires itself into your psyche without a so much as a by your leave though frankly for slightly older listeners it may leave an undeniable urge to locate and re-familiarise yourselves with past glories executed by the likes of the Violent Femmes, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and perhaps at a push the Turbines and the Meteors. Essential – why of course.

The video for ‘the woods’…

Brakes ‘hey hey’ (fat cat). Sadly we only had a download link for this which as is typical for downloads – well the ones sent to us – refused to play ball and open – (look we can’t be arsed faffing about saving / opening files burning them to CD and then trying to open them or at least find a player that’ll play it / them). Okay that’s the moaning bit out the way. Anyhow we cheated here and went to the Fat Cat site where lo and behold said tracks are on their player. Brakes hail from Brighton and may well end up in time being the new Husker Du meets Pixies if that is their imminent debut album ‘touchdown’ is anything to judge – and believe you me its been the most played platter in our gaff these last few weeks. Featuring members of British Sea Power, Tenderfoot and Electric Soft Parade, ’hey hey’ is a wee taster for what’s to come, better listen up kids because this is one caustic cutie, laced and lacerated by an insidious armoury of skewed struts, bone rattling and blistered bravado and the kind of cool as f**k hip hugging hullabaloo that made you fall in love with records spanked by incendiary riffs in the first place. An absolute devious dynamo of a cut drawn upon elements of the Clash (just listen to the shrieking squalls mid way through very Strummer) and smoked with a seizure stricken panic attacking vibe that literally grabs you by the throat and flings you around your listening space – particular attention should be made of the deranged faux locked groove finale. Essential stuff. Flipside features two further slices of Brakes groove ’consumer, producer a chicken or an egg’ – is in the finest traditions of Bnepalm Death and Black Flag just six seconds long, basically some abrupt hardcore riffage and someone shouting out the title and that’s your lot. Happy to say that the simply arresting ’set a course’ is made of sterner things, a beautifully crafted countrified cutie acting much like a twin to the album’s parting shot ’leaving England’ which we must admit has had us fondly misty eyed and a swoon much the same way as this sweetly mellowing and honey due drifting babe – which unless our ears do deceive could easily be filed somewhere between Mr Parsons and the Summer Hymns, should say will appeal to fans of World Party to which is no bad thing. Did we mention its pressed on 7 inches of wax – no – well it is. Can we have one please?

Slow Down Tallahassee / Standard Fare ‘split’ (thee Spc). More essential ear gear from the Sheffield Phonographic Corporation pop confection conveyor belt this time pressed up on 7 inches of purple wax and strictly limited to just 300 copies comes a brace of newly cobbled cuties from the much loved Slow Down Tallahassee who find themselves aided and abetted on this occasion by a debut offering from newly signed trio Standard Fare. We here are still sporting the tender bruises applied by Slow Down Tallahassee’s debut ‘the beautiful light’ full length from last year, a melodically astute cutie drilled in all manner of frisky 50’s bubblegum pop accents. Ah but resting on your laurels doesn’t pay the bills no matter how blinding your debut effort was and so armed with their guitars and various other bits and bobs our intrepid trio took up momentary refuge in the studio and banged out the odd gem or two just to ensure you hadn’t forgotten about them (as we could and would). Why oh why do I have this unshakable desire for candy floss whilst picturing funfairs on a sunny day not to mention procession after procession of whirling Wurlitzers each and every time I hear ’angel of death’ or for that matter an urge to dig out the Meek produced ‘Telstar‘ by the Tornadoes. ‘Angel of Death’ is not as grim or doomed as the title might first suggest, in fact if truth be known its quite a distractive cutie, light headed and fluffy, summery and floral in a way that only Strawberry Switchblade records ever seemed to appeal, by these ears it sounds not unlike a particular playful Melys (whatever happened to them) and finds itself blessed by an insidiously infectious childlike and kooky key melody that frankly once inside your head will construct a secret den invite along all its friends and embark on lashings of impish japery. Sweet. ’tricks’ is your sub two minute shot of sugar glazed softly fuzzy psyche tinged 60’s informed Shangri-La’s styled buzz pop, instant, adorable and ridiculously contagious – Darling Buds with swear words if you like. Flip the disc for the aforementioned debut appearance of Standard Fare – a trio – two boys and one girl in case your taking notes led from the fore by Emma who hail from Sheffield who based on this much humbled and bracing debut we should imagine you’ll be hearing more of for a while to come. ’dancing’ is a gorgeously drizzled bitter sweet slice of mel-pop, all at once hurt, bruised and possessed of a resigned recoiling shyness that aside being disturbingly touching is tempered by a tenderly hollowed and wintry melodic underpin that to our mind sounds like Decoration imparting their own unique appreciation of an early career Go Betweens. Mind you all said and done we heartily recommend that you head over to their my space page via and hook up to the upbeat Pavement-esque ’Philadelphia’ – well tasty.

We’ve just eyed the latest edition of Thee Humbug – #6 features all the usual insightful indicators that should pass for essential listening habits of the youth of today – interviews with Champion Kickboxer, the Bon Bon Club, MJ Hibbert and the Grammatics – the pulse is quickening already – a piece about Victorian cosmetic surgery which I should imagine will make the SAW franchise a piece of piss to participate in and the now legendary cover sealed CD which on this occasion features a wealth of new breed and familiar old friends (12 tracks in total) including offerings from the likes of the Voluntary Butler Scheme (who on name alone we just know we are going to love), Laura Groves, Calf by Calf, Something like Fire (who feature twice so they must be kind of special) and plenty more. Expect future mentions in these here musing type things. – be honest if like us you are easily swayed and attracted like a moth to bright lights or a bee to sweet smelling blossoms to band names then you want your tee shirts and listening space decorated with the name Electric Tickle Machine. Not sure if we’ve mentioned them in the past in these pages, I suspect not but we eyed their name on a featured blog posting on our page and thought what the hell. And do they disappoint – bugger me if they don’t – hailing from New York’s East Village this lot are about to complete mastering a debut full length due in a month or so and are about to record a session for the legendary KEXP crew. Anyhow four tracks feature on their showcasing player and a rich vein of boogie groove it is – from the trip wiring kaleidoscopic soft psyche garage glam throb of the cool as f**k lip curling strut laced ’gimme money’ a kind of polished lysergic induced magic bus embarked New York Dolls on better grade drugs to the criminally addictive and ripping cattle herding ’rawhide’ meets Violent Femmes cow punk ’bones’ – though winning hands down the in house fist fight for attention and much love is ’blew it again’ – here in its demo form – a kind of shit faced porch lit and rambling Captain Beefheart in a moonshine swigging face off with early career Mercury Rev. Could this lot be the best thing in NYC right now – wouldn’t bet against it.

A Scholar and a physician ’she’s witch’ (Brainlove). Been way to long since we had anything on our patch from Dalston’s finest – and probably only – imprint (you wait and see we’ll be deluged by complaints en masse now) Brainlove, and hey even if it does come via a pesky download link and not a solid feel and see it artefact that we can use as a Frisbee if we are so minded and jettison down the garden too much delight and amusement if its crap – which I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear on this occasion it isn’t. But then how many times have those Brainlove dudes ever let us down. And so before we waffle any further the excellently named A Scholar and a Physician weigh in with what we assume is their debut platter. ’She’s witch’ – yes indeed we’ve known a few of them in our time – even lived with one for a fair few years though we won’t mention any names for fear of being hexed and I’ll be buggered if a cheap laugh in a review is really worth spending the rest of the week doing frog impressions and shouting fuck wit at every passer by. As to the record in question – corrupting the airwaves shortly we’d like to think – a corking slab of mentally deranged odd pop rampantly ruptured by an array of fried and skewif electronics and toxic with the befuddled and bastardised bonkers mindset of the strangely quiet these days Zea. Insidiously instant and immediate though one suspects a little hateful after several repeat plays, there’s an equally loon-tastic video that accompanies said ditty which you can observe to your hearts content below somewhere – for now though this can easily be compared to Supergrass under going shock treatment at the hands of the mighty Magoo. Nuff said – well not quite – flip the disc or in our case click on the download for two additional cuts in the shape of ’not normal’ and ’shouldn’t dwell’ – the former more relatively unstable madness and mirth and general all around impish good fun, here the scholarly ones – in between bouts of rascal like shouty disharmonies – dabble deviously in all manner of subtle drum n’ bass and dance floor carnage the latter being by far the best moment of the set and shockingly reminiscent of the surrealist pop that Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci were once so famed for though thread into that canvas the less obvious pop elements of Blur, a bit of a gem if you ask me albeit an unsettling one – love the carnival-esque flotillas at the end. Be warned kids an album looms ominously in the distance.

Video time….

Loop 2.4.3 ‘zodiac dust’ (music starts from silence / analog arts). Something else that came via a download – in fact a teaser of the title track to what promises to be something of an alluring mind warping aural odyssey of sorts. Loop 2.4.3 are a Brooklyn based duo who it seems have in recent years tendered to expand their horizons into mining a rich vein of symphonic sound structures and weaving them into demurring tapestries that incorporate all manner of generic sub species from the likes of jazz, classical to world. Strangely enough when this got played through our Nokia player the artwork flashed up was that of Gold Cash Gold’s much admired ‘paradise pawned’ set from a few years ago – so we’ll put that down to an aberration on the players part rather than posing the obvious question – that being possible Gold Cash Gold connections given that one of the duo was originally based in Michigan. That aside ’zodiac dust’ that lead and indeed title track from their forthcoming opus is awash with multi textured cross weaving melodies, intricate, complex though desirably disarming, beset with classical counterpoints and lushly fluent with mood evoking traces of beguiled sophistication, utterly entrancing and to these ears succulently lilting in all manner of summer breezed calypso trace elements all sweetly calibrated within shy eyed shells of fluttering arpeggios and noir tonalities. The album is set for release in June we strongly suggest that you make notes in your diaries and set your alarm clocks.

And here’s clip of them performing ‘son of Odin’….


Those of you who regularly check into these musings will no doubt be all to aware of our fondness of the pods put out by the garage punk resource – see – in fact we seem to recall getting an email from JM who hosts the excellent Mal Thursday Show advising us to check out a few things but we’ll be buggered if we can find the blighter – so while we spend a little time rummaging and faffing about trying to locate it – we’ll just get on with the business of recommending the latest transmissions from those garage punk dudes. First up Hanging on for Mercy #43 – Gretchen only goes and does it again, not content with having us all a lather frantically trying to source that killer Everly’s from her last broadcast (‘t for texas’ – and yes we are still searching) she now goes and unearths a weird freakish treat in the shape of ‘good trip lollipop’ by the Bermuda Jam from I believe ‘69 – how the hell did we miss that one we wonder. Elsewhere there’s some nifty choice cuts from the likes of Charlie Pickett doing a ripping ‘shake some action’, the ooga boogas and some pylon whose ‘cool’ is the bollocks – sadly guitarist Randy Bewley recently passed away.

Brad wheels out the 71st episode of Get Drunk and Play Records – an mp3 special by all accounts, festooned with speed freaks, fuzz, frenzy and ferocity aplenty there‘s some seriously tasty and cool as f**k hardcore turntable trashers to be found here including some nifty Monks demos, the Flamin’ Groovies doing ’slow death’ and a bunch of other stuff we haven’t a clue what the hell is though sure as hell want the names of especially the trio of kooky kaleidoscopic kuts that interrupt proceedings from 28 minutes in.

The wildest and most incomprehensible dude on the airwaves Uncle Yah Yah (think an impishly bad assed Wolfman Jack) is joined by lil’ cousin BH for the latest plundering in to dusty vaults of sci-fi / horror flicks of yore which on this occasion happen to be 1953’s ’robot monster’ and ‘the astounding she monster’ from 1958 in between – well its best quoting directly from Uncle Yah Yah himself when he says playing ’the platters that matter an spin the grooviest groovies spooky movies’ – can’t top it. Essential listening.

Latest inmate of the garage punk’s infamous institution sees UK Ray join the all star record twirling cast and opens his account with a blistering set via the first serving of Way Past Cool, what a way to go marking his card immediately with the incendiary sound of the arse kicking grind lords the Jim Jones Review – a Satan spawned cross between a hotwired Jerry Lee Lewis and an at the edge Fats Domino, then there’s some rarely heard smoked groove from Gene Vincent in the shape of ‘cat man’ – throw in some jaw dropping surf from the much missed and admired here Man…or Astro Man, some killer antics from the Bees with the untamed ’loose’ along with choice cuts from El Ray, the Oblivians, the Devil Dogs and so so much more – better haul arse and tune in then.

State of Mynd #16 is a special 100 minute long request only show stacked and primed with all manner of wig flipping sounds from the distant dark past and including treats from the Monkees, Orange Bicycles, the Pretty Things, Graham Bond Orchestra, the excellently named and previously unknown to us WC Fields Electric Memorial Band, the Hollies, the Creation, the Middle Class, Electric Prunes and Wig whose ’crackin up’ really needs to be heard to be believed.
In the more than capable hands of Kopper Savage Kick reaches its 68th episode, as per usual prime slices of hip swerving grooves, toe tapping tune smithery, retarded riffmanship and sounds from the underground outlawed and ignored by your dull middle ground loving corporate sucking U2 buying average type toss pot

Beth Jeans Houghton ‘golden’ (static caravan). Be damned if we can prize this little beauty off the turntable such is the spell of enchantment its placed upon us since arriving in our record shed. Mind you that said would we want to. Easily deserving of being filed next to your Lisa O Piu, Mary Epworth and of course Lucy Wren stylus grooved gems, ’golden’ – here limited to just 500 copies all housed in a wrap around card sleeve replete with ’give us a break’ quiz inserts is in fact the second outing for 18 year old Beth Jeans Houghton – the debut coming courtesy of the much admired Finders Keepers imprint (and by all accounts selling like proverbial hot cakes – a review of which will no doubt feature here probably in time for the next missive). We must admit to being mildly amused by the Static brothers press assessment when they mention the onset of small animals and birds congregating around her each and every time the diminutive Ms Houghton came into view (well we are assuming she’s diminutive – judging by her shy eyed vocal tone we suspect she appears in haloes of celestial twinkle some light just as daybreak takes up the batten from night time just before the world at large wakes up and ruins things) because there is that strangely becoming air of a Snow White like charm to her delivery. Succulently drizzled within an aura of beguiled and genteel soft psych folk and sprinkled with several dollops of fairy dust, ‘golden’ tenderly skips, hops and jumps its way into your affections like some sort of timeless rustic apparition endowing and bathing all in its magical and mystical glow of renewing potions whilst simultaneously sounding as though its been excavated given a dusting down and rescued from a life of misery and obscurity during a recent trawl of a long since forgotten record vault. Disarming stuff indeed. Flip the disc for the equally inspired and desirable and it should be said in our humbled opinion the far superior ‘night swimmer’. simply arresting stuff, the rustic tonalities on this occasion giving way to a gorgeously spectral musical box / fairground backdrop that’s both ornate and delicately hymnal in texture and delivery as its orbits longingly leaving in its wake a softly entrancing love noted kiss.

St Just Vigilantes ‘live in London’ (static caravan). Okay there’s just 100 of these babes kicking around and judging by previous limited outings put out by Static Caravan its certain to fly off the rails slightly slower than the speeding wheels loosening from a seven cup chasing Man United, absolutely no information about this lot so we’ll have to improvise. recorded live at the ICA in London last Autumn St Just Vigilantes are a quartet who appear to date to have cut their teeth with a by all accounts quietly acclaimed self titled full length debut for the Static brothers some time last Autumn and copy of which we’ll endeavour to nail in the coming days for further listening pleasure. No titles I’m afraid though one suspects this four track outing is in fact to be treated as one extended improvised jam. Damn fine it is to a bit like being sent back to the early 70’s but without all the unwanted baggage of flock wallpaper, bad telly and tank tops, a cornucopia of mind altering psychotropic interweaves that engage elements of archaic swamp dragged folk accents and coiling mantra like kraut loops which are then injected with copious amounts of lysergic substances and stirred up into a humungous terra forming progressive stew, at times recalling loosely Ma Cherie for Painting though frankly sounding like a chilled and clearly zonked out Acid Mothers incarnation – deeply transcendental, dense and blimey after several plays and prolonged sitting in its vicinity we swear you can actually get high. Expect further appearances by them on the same imprint on one of those lathe type releases shortly. – we eyed the much admired Heat from a Dead star (whose excellent full length ‘seven rays of the sun’ has been rattling our hi-fi of late and will shortly find itself adorned with some more than fond words) on the accompanying friends list and knew for certain that this would be right up our street. Omenopus are a four part collective based in the Midlands and featuring amid their ranks members of the Earthmovers and 17 Pygmies, there’s an album currently in the mastering stage and due for release shortly entitled ’snapshot’ from which two excerpts feature here on their MS player. Don’t be fooled by the collectives names, while Omenopus may well indeed conjure up all manner of dread filled apocalyptic imagery arguably not helped it has to be said by the opening salvo ’bolero mystery’ – a cut so thick with dense tension and chilled austere foreboding that it literally bleeds from the grooves and wraps you in choking claustrophobia whilst availing itself of recollecting nods to the likes of 23 Skidoo, Clock DVA and latter career UK Decay. As said don’t be fooled, Omenopus blend and fuse a cosmic odyssey, an odyssey crafted of a multi textured cross woven tapestry that utilises brooding though rhythmically adept elements of ambience, industrial (SPK, Propaganda, 4AD styled rather than the NIN and Manson varieties), psyche, dark trance techno, prog and kraut. ‘snapshot part 2’ really does sound like some chamber like dream weaving slice of terra forming cosmic / monastic ambience – rooted with trace elements of Andi Sex Gang’s ‘veil’ albeit fried and made oddly transient and eerie as though by the hand of a seriously tripped out Psychic TV it soon unfurls into a glorious cascade of mind expanding dialects much recalling mid career Tangerine Dream. That said by far the sets best moment are the ice dripped coiling chimes that serenade the deliriously Arabesque ‘snapshot part 1’ – all at once sultry and seductive, dare we say sexualised, this freewheeling slice of sumptuous softly trip wired woozy psyche nibbles ever so slightly at the dreamier moments of Sonic Youth’s ’tunic – a song for Karen’ and shapes up at times like some cross DNA experiment that has merged the Carpenters with Nico only to abruptly turn about face at 4.10 in and with its head down flip its wig amid a consuming whirlwind of a space rocking finale which to these ears sounds not unlike a raging Xmal Deutschland all said and done. We’re sold away we’ve a sneaking feeling you will to. – Scotch Tapes Al recently got in touch with the early warning that another package of Scotch Tapes and Frequent Sea releases was on its way though exactly what and which ones he can’t recall as yet or for that matter remember with any degree of certainty whether they’ve been actually sent or are in the must post out these stage of proceedings. So while we wait until the end of the week to confirm whether or not said package has materialised (and no doubt fondly mused over in these here very pages) he did mention his latest project – a which sees him momentarily taking a brief detour from his My Cell Phone is Better Than Your Cell Phone adventures and teaming up with Norwegian based musician Jesi Langdale (here fondly described as aside from providing vocal and keyboard duties noticeable for chipping in general anxieties) for one of those files exchanging across the internet type collaborations. Three cuts feature within showing a marked shift in style for the workaholic Bjornaa which may well blow away those familiar with his extensive output. ’emeralds and trees’ opens the proceedings – perhaps the most accessible cut of the trio, a teasingly short and softly purring dustily caressed lo-fi Americana nugget that freewheels within similar territories to Gainsbourg and Bardot’s duet ’Bonnie and Clyde’ albeit on this occasion teased and tempered by the bitter sweet glow of a seriously sparsely treated and reclining Delgados being on this occasion paired up with the Red House Painters. With its softening and lulling rhythmic progressions ‘de hallar av alltid’ had us recalling in the main Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘fuel’ though here found relocated to some strangely enchanted subterranean artic cavern and sharing glacial space with some slightly inebriated members of the Clangers clan – well dreamy and lullaby-esque also features whistling which as regular readers to these pages will attest is a much loved thing around these here parts which is just as well because ’arrived’ is similarly decorated though this time we’re thinking is there a Lee and Nancy happening occurring here, while your pondering on that we’ll just say that despite the appearance of the April showers this rusty and beautifully bent out of shape and lolloping cutie is possessed of a carefree sitting under cover on the porch type breezily laid back aura. Reckon we need more of this.

And here’s a filmic video collage type thing to accompany your ‘de hallar av alltid’ listening pleasure….. – not that we are complaining but its getting to be something joke and treat in our gaff that no sooner do we dispatch one my space friend request with fond words whilst making a mental note to the effect of ‘ones to watch’ then along comes another (in fact Deadman’s Danceband are the first of many that we’ve eyed sitting in our hand scribbled must mention notes). Currently unsigned though we suspect that won’t be the case for very much longer, Deadman’s Danceband hail from various parts of France and Wales, though just between you and me we’re thinking they are really interplanetary goblins whose exact point of origin is somewhere in the outer fringes of Andromeda’s cosmic belt (and that’ll be belt as in territory young folk and not the wrappy thing with a shiny buckle used for holding up your jeans which incidentally a large number of you have been observed not to use / have or indeed acknowledge the existence of such items – the crotch around your knees look with your pants showing is so passe and any case you look like diddy men). Information is sadly scant – in fact no scratch that – information is none existent though after several listens we wouldn’t be to surprised if the hand of the Soft Hearted Scientists was about this or at the very least said protagonists were admiring disciples of the psychedelic alchemists because there‘s a more than familiar sense of mystic meets floral poetic symmetry about these cuts especially within ‘fourth national song’ that suggests they’ve been weaved in a rare archaic tapestry whose heraldry predates a village fayre pageantry of Maypole dancing and burning witches at stakes. Six tracks feature on the showcasing player, the opener ’Stella Y Drive’ a homage to the late Syd Floyd takes ’interstellar overdrive’ on a spaced out cosmic odyssey piloted as were by a blissed out latter career Spacemen 3 and longingly decorated with orbiting mind altering swirling montages and transcendental Tangerine Dream meets Cluster astral ambient dialects. Then there’s the simply sumptuous intones of ’darker than blue’ sadly only a brief excerpt alas but revealing enough to suggest its something of a mellowing ghostly beauty while ’tower of sound’ again an excerpt annoyingly imparts the 60’s sourced elements of the Autumn Leaves. Elsewhere the star glazed ’games for may’ appears to be the listening choice for many judging by the play count, a trippy cornucopia of softly tendered spectral like soft psyche folk braided by dissipating dream like chiming cascades and tempered with a homely lysergic tipped campfire aura while ’the whitsun boy’ admirably wraps up proceedings lushly awash with all manner of arabesque vapour trails and general all round good wholesome wig flipping psych treatments. We need more.

Portal ‘options’ (make mine music). We’d heard the rumours but could scarcely believe our ears not that is until hard evidence found its way through our mail box and onto our turntable. The return of Portal. Reason enough we feel here for the festooning of the celebratory bunting. And so we did. Its been a fair few years since Scott Sinfield put Portal to bed, a one time regular visitor to these pages we were much smitten by his ‘chilled epiphanies and colourfully contoured melodic montages’ that found themselves last featured here courtesy of the chapter closing releases ‘gone but not forgotten’ and ‘prehistory’ – the former a deleted on the day of release ‘best of’ collection the latter an ultra limited mail order only trawl through the vaults of material that featured on a critically limited cassette predating his official release roster. Promising a radical shift in sound and as the accompanying press releases ventures a evolution ’moving into new and perhaps somewhat unexpected territories…without doubt the most melodic, accomplished and confident [Portal] release to date’ the four track ’Options’ EP does all it says on the tin and more. Gone are the lo-fi minimalist brush strokes and that under the counter left field appeal in its place a lushly honed delicatessen of demurring radio equipped wide screen veneer. All at once immediate and renewed with a radiant pop sensibility that’s sure to bring him out of the shadows and into a wider listening domain and not it should be said a million miles in terms of texture, sound and delivery as the newly formed rising from the Salon Boris ashes Black Tzar, this release sees Mr Sinfield engaging the vocal talents and co-writing aid of Piano Magic’s Glenn Johnson, Epic45’s Ben Holton and Mahogany’s Lorraine Lelis. ’options’ opens proceedings, with its Kraftwerkian styled lonesome cosmic intro this nifty slice of numbed ice tipped nocturnal electronics lushly freewheels within the same celebrated voids as was once ventured by New Order on ’your silent face’ both mercurial and solemnly stately Johnson’s vocals sublimely endow and lend a devilishly disarming and forlorn aura. The same cut is given an extended re-drill by Johnson’s Future Conditional with additional vocals being supplied by Klima’s Angele David-Guillou who we must admit applies some succulent the Lover Speaks ‘no more I love you’s’ moments to the occasion, the mix though spectrally glacial in texture and minimally carved much reflecting the twelve inch mixes of the early 80’s (on this occasion this possessing something of a ‘dance’ era Numan vibe about it) has the odd effect of being hitherto warmer in complexion than the original cut and should see its way to causing a certain amount of fuss on the clued up club floors dotted about this fair nation. Likewise with ‘your building over my childhood’ a gorgeously bruised motorik bouquet which unless our ears do deceive is possessed of the chilled elegance of B-Movie. All said and done though nothing quite touches the embracing spectral beauty of the apparition like ‘slow burner’ – equally ethereal, fragile and frail, this hymnal slice of aching hollowing enchantment twinkles affectionately, detached and lonesome and cut with the stuff from which stars are made its cavernous raptures swirl seductively with a tear staining and needy tenderness that’s utterly beguiling and humbling. A gem.

Glen Johnson’s ’details not recorded’ appears on the same label at the end of April.

And for those of you not quite up to speed on the Lover Speaks here’s the video for ‘no more I love you’s’ – one of the best soft pop cuts of the 80’s…..

Jon Byrne ‘Cocaine Song’ (Militant Entertainment). Already courting the attention of John Cooper Clarke, Bonehead, Pete Wylie, Billy Bragg and Mick Jones the latter of whom was by all accounts so impressed on witnessing Byrne’s busking bravado that he invited him along to open for his latest obsession Carbon / Silcone. Culled from his imminent debut full length ‘its boring being in control’ the download only cut ‘cocaine song’ is a stunning calling card, dusted down death rattling bone bare gritty lo-fi minimalism with the spectres of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Carl Perkins trailing in its wasted breeze, a drift wind of primal folk blues sourced from the parched landscaped drinking holes of the deep South and relocated to Barrow in Furness to be tattooed and aligned with essences of the Scouse delta sound as inscribed by the LA’s and latterly by the Coral, its weathered and intensely raw, Byrne’s delivery crossing somewhere between a bourbon swigging journeyman and a howling preacher whose nearest reference marker should you need one for comparison is Cathal Coughlan. – chocolate tannoy – indeed you’d be right in thinking that we mention this purely on the strength of the name alone, and well you’d be right being that we here are easily swayed by such periphery details as band names, strange song titles, unusual formats, weird artwork and wares of labels we’ve never heard of especially those with a point of origin in Japan (not – alas – that we get to see many I hasten to add). Anyway we eyed this while perusing the my space cosmos, hailing from the milky way in the UK which admittedly added to the intrigue (see easily swayed young people), Chocolate Tannoy is the alter ego of a certain Ian Sanderson who according to the blurb has over the course of twenty years released some 15 full lengths under various guises as well as being one half of both Urban Myth Club and Cuckooland and having the distinction of being credited on Jean Michel Jarre’s ‘metamorphoses’. the sounds electronic based utilise various elements such as samples, scratch, drum n’ bass and minimalist glitch though in the main are alluring arcs of dream weaving ambient sound-scapes, galactic coliseums of transcendental overtures softly tendered in swathes of psychotropic dialects that nod to the orbiting sonic epitaphs calibrated by the likes of Tangerine Dream and Amon Dull II. Six such cuts are featured on the MS player from the slow moving leviathanic curvatures of the brooding though majestic ’cloud cover’ to the shimmering celestially tides of the upbeat ‘rose quartz’ itself equipped in all manner of Jarre like accents albeit as though peppered and tenderly tweaked by an oceanic minded Biosphere and subtle invested in all manner of ghostly Eastern / Arabesque mirages. That said our favourite moment of the set is provided by the opening sequence ’you are here’ a trippy slice of mind weaving mood altering sereneness clipped with dissipating light headed hazes and sultry ethnic incantations. Irresistible. – seems like an absolute age since we had cause to mention Moonbloom in these pages. In fact our first encounter with Wayne J. Tirone – for it is he who is Moonbloom – was nearly a year ago when we happened across the solitary murmurs of ‘Persephone’ drifting through the ether and ultimately into our listening space. Several months down the line and ‘ancient songbird dreams’ appears on the radar, employing the same dynamics and techniques that made ‘Persephone’ such a treat, Moonbloom continues to plot a sonic trajectory that freewheels between elements more keenly associated with the 80’s / 90’s era New Zealand experimental scene in particular Bruce Russell and Dead C and that of a youthful early career Kranky community. Lighter in tonality to its predecessor ‘ancient songbird dreams‘ is a sparsely torn slice of atmospherically bleached parched blues calibrated with resonating cascades of interwoven hollowing chimes and looping locked grooved kaleidoscopic hazes that collectively coalesce and melt into each other at approximately 2.25 to create chilled and cavernously impenetrable tidal waves of sonic sheens that aside being both trance like and lulling are spiked with a death knell like intensity that’s riddled and fractured with a desolate and barren introspective emptiness. Essential listening for fans of both Roy Montgomery and Bardo Pond we suspect. – I think we might be right in saying that this is a newly formed imprint (in fact so new that the colours on the MS page are still wet) headed up by the Bordellos – a band hailing from the heady rock ‘n’ roll lights of er – St Helens a place to which I’d sometimes frequent on Saturday afternoons with a former and much missed missus and whereupon to whose much annoyance I’d spend valuable shopping time and monetary resources buying various pop platters from a stand in the local market. Anyway enough of the idle reminisces, as said we think this is headed up by the Bordellos – who I should add here and now are much admired round these parts though we do feel we always let them down by forgetting to either review records or check out tracks they’ve posted – all this lads will be remedied in the all singing all dancing loads of words, reviews and the usual waffling bumper extravaganza type celebratory missive number 200 (more details at the foot of this missive – if we are arsed and indeed remember). Shall we start again. Okay new label – first release will be the (by our reckoning) third full length from the Bordellos entitled ’debt sounds’ which should be hitting the racks late spring. One track posted on the player by way of a little teaser called ’I may be reborn’ – a lo-fi cutie subtly bathed in the ever so drifting essences of the Velvets though strangely sounding like ’gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit rewiring a slightly bruised and shy eyed late 60’s Stones – just listen and see if I’m not wrong. More from the Bordellos as said in the next missive dispatch.

Health ‘die slow’ (love pump united). Been an age since we picked this lot up on a my space recommendation and found ourselves literally blown away, there was the promise of a hot off the presses copy of their just finished album as a small token of their gratitude which sadly didn’t turn up mind you by that time the likes of NME, Mojo and the rest of the journalistic circus had come calling with the result of turning the band into a carnival procession. A remix twelve inch was duly picked up against our better judgement given we were forewarned it was crap and for once our spy in the camp was right – it was crap. And so a new single arrives, not that we are still smarting from the above events – no sir – we don’t hold grudges here we just toss your records in the blast furnace and craft out ornate ash trays with them. We eyed said single – for the dumper or what and then remembered their PR over here has a mighty fine roster and frankly didn’t want to insult for fear of being cast out into oblivion. And so we played said platter no harm we thought apply a simple inoffensive can do better appraisal and Bob’s your uncle all bases covered. How wrong we were. Within 10 seconds the bitter taste of that remix album was all but a fleeting memory because ‘die slow’ is a damn fine return to form, a rather peachy (yes you read right peachy a phrase only used in these pages on very special occasions) lysergic pop hybrid styled purring psychotropic death disco babe threaded with a mind weaving electronic floorshow of looped cosmically caressing orbiting overtures bathed in sheens of austere wooziness and clipped with intertwining harmonies and a wiring fractured detachment that strangely cuts between being both hymnal and mind expanding, playfully skeletal and tempered with elements of industrial dialects which all said and done sound to us like a fried and spaced out Killing Joke being tweaked and recalibrated by a youthful Animal Collective with the help of a latter career Wire. Flip the disc to find the same track flipped on its head and force fed through the studio dream machine on a hot wash and emerging from the other side sporting the seasons latest line of dandy shades comprised of ethereally fuzzy and wonky tie dyes and trippy eye reeling patterns – mind you we could mean it sounds not so dissimilar to a face off between AR Kane and 23 Skidoo.

The Jessie Rose Trip ‘forever and a day’ (new music club). A frankly killer debut outing from Manchester based boot tapping hip shimmying beat pop combo the Jessie Rose Trip. We’ll be more than a tad surprised if lead out cut ‘forever and a day’ doesn’t make it onto to this summers soundtrack while behind the scenes insidiously wiring itself into your psyche and bringing about the delicately fond pit a patter of quickening palpitations and a noticeable spring in the step each and every time it comes into earshot. Blessed and caressed with a tropical South Pacific aroma this beauty slyly skips and teases pouring forth a dizzyingly succulent distillation of ska, reggae and calypso dialects while similarly hankering back to a golden age of Spector styled all girl grooves. The result a hymnal echo from the ghettos, a longingly silky and despite its underlying bitter sweetness an abundantly upbeat beauty cast with an affecting glow and possessed of a silvery summery radiance. Bit of a distractive treasure all told. Flip the disc for the equally tasty ’sour grapes’ a sophisticatedly smoking flashbacked hoochie coochie slice of noir toned skat jazz tweaked big band styled rock-a-billy that’s indelibly drilled with an irrefutable cool and crisp mooching purr that has occasion to fire up with the kind of simmering wildcat tendencies that should see a few tail feathers being singed.

Levelload ‘I’ve been thinking’ (flight path). Not out for a few weeks but no harm in giving this a deserved early warning heads up so that you the dear reader can queue outside your local record emporium day and night pestering the blighters with your requests. Of course Levelload are no strangers to these pages having had the great fortune to pick up their demo many many moons ago (how much do they go for on e*ay these days? – only joking its safe and sound under lock and key in the safe no doubt fattening the pension stash). These days friends of Duran Duran persons Le Bon and Taylor (as in Roger) – though we won’t hold that against them – this lot have by all accounts been setting the far East alight since the release of their debut full length ‘yellow fever’ – a copy of which we’ll have to seek out. ‘I’ve been thinking’ is a deliciously demented sub three minute pop dynamo that once free of its wired and skewed opening burst of austere fuzz and frenzy soon emerges piping a rather dandy line in ridiculously infectious shimmering 50’s tweaked b-movie twang that unless we are very much mistaken sounds not unlike a youthful Brand Violet consorting with an cosmically riff fuelled super being made up from the assembled parts of ex members of Man…or Astro Man and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and being fronted by a seriously hyperactive ’Barberella’ restyled Wendy James whose just been refused admission to the ranks of Shonen Knife.

Sons of Noel and Adrian ‘the wreck is not a boat’ (shelsmusic). I’ve a sneaky feeling that we may have at some point mentioned this lot in passing in the not to distant past certainly at the very least when we reviewed the Leisure Society‘s ‘last of the melting now‘ towards the tail end of this year. Whatever and whenever is purely arbitrary because we suspect we are a little late to this release – having found it amid a sack of CD’s waiting to be heard and looking a tad sad for itself – in fact so sad that we felt obliged to immediately rescue it put a consoling arm around it and then bang it on the house player. We should also mention there’s an imminent s/t debut album to come which indeed we also eyed cowering shyly keeping this particular release company. Sons of Noel and Adrian are a collective built around the core talents of Jacob Richardson and Tom Cowan, part of the ever expanding Brighton based Willkommen set(see above). Released on the Californian imprint Shelsmusic ’the wreck is not a boat’ EP is a strictly limited hand made with love affair – we believe only 300 copies of kicking around and judging by the photos we’ve seen (alas our copy is a bare arsed promo) it looks well nifty and something of a desirable object within which four disturbingly beautiful cuts can be found. Admittedly it’s a torn and tortured affair, there’s scarcely been a dry eye in the house since this head bowed gem ambled its way onto the hi-fi, a simply alluring though achingly bitter sweet and humbled collection of free spirited archaically sculptured campfire glowing shanties that reference wise touch closely upon the darkly brooding opines found within the first three Black Heart Procession full lengths from a few years back whilst not forgetting to mention Sackville‘s ‘the principles of science’ from ‘99. Touched with an evocative tenderness though clearly battle scarred by an emotionally stressed introspection these melancholically drilled classically trained opus’ arc and wearily swoon with a fatalistic forlorn sheen that perhaps only the apparition like ’ruby red’ dares to break and even then dimpled as it is in drifting lullaby hazes, noir tweaked mirages and some delirious dream-scaping interludes you still feel unable to shake off that feeling of down cast emptiness or of something treasured lost. But then the EP’s greatest attribute is its ability to be powerfully poetic both in terms of its lyrics and the mellowing breeze drifted melodies that seductively harness and hold together the fracturing emotions above. ’the wreck is not a boat’ opens proceedings a crisply shaded and sea faring folly of whistling, pining sepia trimmed string arrangements and lolloping banjos that aside having the effect of solemnly buoying you along make for a swirling campfire carousel. ’go jo jee’ with its captivating violin skips tempering territories more readily associated with an early career Michael Nyman is lit by an affecting funereal glow while the sets best moment is left in the hands of the parting ’elsa’s house’ festooned with all manner of clockwork rustics that in its initial instances endow it with an oriental hymnal like aura before that is the onset of the recoiling mournful folk stirrings usher into view. Hauntingly perfect.

On a related note news ventured our way of the sad passing of Daniel Krauss who was a member of another of Shelsmusic’s roster Admiral Angry. Daniel was just 22 and had battled all his life with cystic fibrosis his passing was at the hand of a flu related symptom. Our sympathies go out to all his family and friends.

Next up two beat pop combos from Ireland vying in equal parts for our affection – and rightly so…..

Cashier No.9 ‘When Jackie Shone’ (only gone). Currently putting the finishing top coat to their as yet untitled debut full length, ’when Jackie Shone’ is the Belfast quartets second outing following the quietly acclaimed debut ’42 West Avenue’ (which kind of begs the question – where the bloody hell is our copy then?). These slight and grumble forming indiscretions aside this twin set has been the cause of sizable ructions in our gaff since finding its way onto the house player. ‘when Jackie Shone’ is a killer slice of boot tapping road blues which if we had perchance the ownership of a beaten up late 50’s Cadillac Fleetwood with its hood down whilst razzing through the Nevada desert then we’d suspect would be the just the thing we’d want to hearing blasting out of the automobile player. A damn fine dustily arid throb it is to that literally consumes the listening space as it gathers in pace and density eking out a curious death head rattle of which if we didn’t know better we’d have to say was the resulting sound of a stand off at the fabled blues crossroads between RL Burnside and Ry Cooder. Mind you some of you folks out there may well be equally inclined to start rummaging your record collections for the odd Ten Benson and Radar Brothers cut for comparable listening fun. That said as is typical of these things we prefer the flip cut ‘when I was up I was up when I was down I was down’ a bit of a gem even if we do say so ourselves, a devilishly alluring slab of woody craftsmanship replete with hypnotic cascades of hymnal like looping rustics and some damn fine snake winding riffmanship that much recalls the early career work of the seldom seen around these parts these days (now that their celebrated in the pages of the N*E and other sold their soul for advertising revenue periodicals) Tunng albeit here found shimmying up to the mighty Birdpen. Classy stuff indeed.

They also appear on the ‘the oh yeah sessions’ compilation a release which by all accounts gathers together the very best of the emerging talent to be found on the Irish scene – and something we here reckon we need to be checking out sooner rather than later.

Pocket Promise ‘I burnt the roller disco’ (stop:go). The second release from Belfast based quartet Pocket Promise following last years debut outing ‘waving at strangers’ which we’re sure we heard and reviewed though we’ll be buggered if we can find a link and anyway it seems we didn’t because their press people told us off or at least I think they told us off. Currently limbering up for the release of their debut full length due this summer, ’I burnt the roller disco’ is a tantalising taster of what’s to come. Packing a throbbing pop sensibility with hooks aplenty to match ‘I burnt the roller disco‘ is possessed of a buttoned up and razor sharp charisma that’s honed sharply for day time radio consumption, mind you its always a good thing to have a stonking sing-a-long chorus which this most certainly does while admirably finding itself laced and lacerated by a burning swooning and swerving intensity that literally sends euphoric shock waves through your nervous system. Flip cut features ’the sum of the parts’ a more mellower and introspective peak at their artistry and something which literally manages with some aplomb to guide you through the whole gamut of emotions and a cut we feel perfect for those of you still much admiringly yearning for those early Kitchenware days.

Stereolab ’explosante fixe’ (duophonic). Dare say you’ve all got this by now, so much loved you’ve worn an additional hole clear through it and why not. One of those collection completing US tour single type things which apparently are now only located via the band themselves or via Rough Trade records and limited to just 3 and a half copies – of course we joke panic stricken folk – 2,000 and that’s your lot. Recorded during the ‘chemical chords’ album sessions an full length which we must admit to not having heard – blimey we are slipping. Any way both cuts here should appeal to old school Lab fans especially the flip side ‘l’exotisme interieur’ which is crafted in the shape of something you’d expect to hear in Moog heaven, very much woozy, squelchy, freeze packed with fat rubbery riffs and that kind of seducing fluffy light headed cosmic appeal that was such a trademark tag of their output way back in the mid 90’s – did we mention its as infectiously addictive as hell – no – well it is. Not that we are accusing ’explosante fixe’ of being some kind of slouch – it ain’t – wrestling with a deliriously devilish corkscrewing hook and lovingly sprinkled with milky way sensations this floor illuminating teaser continues their obsession with crafting a hybrid lunar studio 54 sound that was first propelled into motion via the gorgeous ’margerine eclipse’ – essential we’d like to think.

Choir of young believers ‘action / reaction’ (chess club). We’re suspecting that this is seriously limited in nature, the fourth outing (damn so we’ve missed three releases already eh?) from the Copenhagen based collective Choir of Young Believers feature amid their extended ranks ex members of Lake Placid. Pressed on heavy duty vinyl – well its not so much vinyl as a tea plate in truth ’action / reaction’ is a gorgeous summer inviting fanfare of kaleidoscopically hazed tripping west coast overtures, huge and succulent the radiant effervescence pouring from this honeyed nugget literally cocoons you in an alluring fuzzy glow, all saturated with soft psyche dimples, sun breezed factor 10 harmonies, Wilson / Van Dyke Parks motifs and a fixating MOR smoothness that suggests once the stylus hits its grooves you’ll need a crow bar to wrestle it away from the turntable. Flip the disc for the equally fancied ‘why must it always be this way’ a drifting shanty like slice of crushed and forlorn introspection sugared by breezy countrified dialects and caressed by some of the most aching string arrangements we’ve heard in such a long time. Quite tasty in our book.

Soft Toy Emergency ‘I kno u want it’ (friendsvsrecords). Bought this at our not so local record emporium purely on the strength of name alone – oh yea and the small but discernible detail that this lot apparently hail from Liverpool town which as far as we are concerned is reason alone for acquiring it. Well that and their name. Of course this little gem of a 7 inch should come with vaccinations being as its a ridiculously infectious rash of precocious and petulantly frazzled and skewiff oddball electro pop that see saws insanely with such disjointed and jarring exuberance that it literally scrambles your senses with its fried and flippantly funky formations. Think that’s covered it. Of course we could add in that’s its an alarmingly demented slice of snazzy angular disco that once upon hearing the excitable vocals of lead lady Jen you may be inclined to go off rooting for various past ear gear featuring the name Lene Lovich upon its labelling. Flip side features the same track re-jigged as the pumped and disco-fied Ladytron-esque ’marbles – remix’ and indeed it is though one serious suspects that once this babe is unleashed on the club floors there will be casualties. Toxic and tasty stuff.

Asobi Seksu ‘familiar light’ (one little indian). Don’t know about you but it sounds like Christmas to us or at the very least something that when played you expect the gentle flurry of the white stuff to start cascading from the heavens. Been way too long since we heard anything by Asobi Seksu in fact last time might have been either a debut full length or a demo whatever the case it seems as is always the deal us at the bottom of the feeding chain always get missed out when bands get a tad bigger – not that we here hold grudges because if we did we’d be telling you this was utter shite or better still not tell you at all and just ignore the blighter. Alas it isn’t and we haven’t. Taken from their current opus ’hush’ and we say opus deliberately because it really is an unreal thing of such captivating beauty that is when our download kicks in and decides to play ball. I digress. ’familiar light’ is a lushly sculptured slice of heart stopping dream pop you know the kind of thing crests of celestial beams radiating from its core, consuming arcs of euphoria and wave upon wave of florescent mirages and sky lighting halos all coalescing to embrace you the listener with a jaw dropped feeling of having momentarily peaked behind the curtains of the after life’s white room and imbibed yourself of its healing majesty. Or something like that. Does anyone know whether your meant to genuflect? Flip side features the same cut remixed by the Twins (though we suspect not of the Thompson variety – which on reflection might not be no bad thing). Anyway I’ve a sneaking suspicion our copy is a tad warped as it sounds a little wonky, that aside the Twins (not Thompson) strip the original of its heavenly cast and in its place patch on a rather nifty lovelorn and perkily tweaked disco tread which all said and done we must admit we are rather more than smitten by as proven by the fact that we’ve nearly run the grooves clean through on our copy. Buggering hell McDuff. Dare say you need this.

The Low Anthem ‘Charlie Darwin’ (end of the road). It’s probably been out for ages and you’re probably fed up to the back teeth playing it and crying bucket loads each and every time it comes into earshot. Frankly if you haven’t heard this yet then it really is a beautiful thing though we should warn you to keep handy by your side the phone number for a councillor specialising in emotional breakdowns (and not the type fiddling expenses).
This lot hail from Providence and are a trio who we believe have recently signed up to the esteemed ranks of the much admired Bella Union (that is much admired when their releases get to us despite the fact of them still getting sent to a previous address – ho hum – at least we got the Vetiver album safe and sound). Anyway the glowing campfire mistral that is ‘Charlie Darwin’ is drop dead gorgeous, so gorgeously in fact – and frail and willowy oh yea and crushed now that we come to think of it – that you feel you really should be throwing a consolatory arm around it and giving it a bloody big bear hug. Almost choir like in delivery and reverent in stature its another of those releases that once its delights filter and seep seductively through your listening space that your half expecting either snow or the ghostly appearance of a Lowry Christmas scene to magically appear before your very eyes. Expect blubbering a plenty. Mind you for added effect try playing it at 33rpm and small folk and wildlife dart for cover. Flip over for two further treats – ‘to ohio’ a wonderfully drifting slice of porch lit fancifulness crafted with the airy drafts of delicately tendered rustics, wafts of harmonicas and copious amounts of woody resonance which to these ears sounds not unlike a homely three way collusion between Gram, Nesmith and Moviola. Best track of the set by some distance is the parting ‘home I’ll never be’ – a rollicking prairie styled knee slapping jamboree that sounds to us like a whole lot of moonshine mooching has been a going on by a bunch of dusty and bearded outlaws headed up by a Mr Waits and a Mr Earle which is just as well because it’s a cover penned by said Tom and Mr Kerouac. Damn fine.

Plug ‘fresh pleasures’ (parlour). Mentioned this as far back as missive 173 when I think we may have got some kind of friend request note from the band or else had (happily) accidentally tripped across them while rummaging around in my space world. Again another release that’s been out for a fair while and recently picked up in a record buying foray. ’fresh pleasures’ is we believe the debut single from the duo – (Georgie and Sian – in case you are taking notes) and bugger us if it doesn’t sound like its fallen from a Peel record box c.79 / 80 – very minimalist, austere and dandily detached it is styled very much with the essences of the Native Hipsters, Slits, Delta 5 and the Au Pairs and equipped with an alarmingly addictive edgy chilliness that suggests the donning of several thick layers each and every time you flash it across the turntable. Flip the disc for ‘nonchalant love’ which I think we mentioned in previous sounded very much like a very early incarnation of the Creatures – well our view hasn’t changed – it’s a stunning re-appraisal of Siouxsie and Budgie’s ‘wild things’ – the same tribal like overtures (drum rhythms and vocals) extended over from the Banshess’ ‘Ju-Ju’ sessions and layered with a thick sense of intense claustrophobia much recalling to a lesser degree PIL’s ‘Flowers of Romance’ – by our estimation you need the blighter.

Arthur Delaney ‘darling’ (young and lost). Is it just me or does this really have a ridiculously vibrant Dylan-esque zip to it. Well whatever the case we eyed this in a local record store spied the quality name of young and lost printed on its rear and we’re most taken by the sleeve artwork which in case you haven’t seen it yet featured a young lady robed like a pixie holding a twig while on the reverse same lady is found holding several twigs – now we aren’t sure whether this has any significance to the actual record – we suspect not

Ah Alrealon a label with connections – I think we are right in saying – to the rather smart Heat From a Dead Star whose debut album ’rays of sun’ went for a while on a momentary walk though since has happily managed to find itself sitting somewhere at the top of the will review very shortly pile of CD’s. Damn fine it is to – we’ve had a few sneaky peaks so expect fond words soon. Anyway Alrealon appeared on our radar a little while back wherein we received a mysterious CD by a chap calling himself John 3:16 – all very biblical we thought, the titles sounding as though they’d been plundered from the Old Testament. Of course it took us a fair while to come up with a review – so much fun in the listening was the blame. We got there. There’s since been a second CD ’the solemn truth’ – all retro glazed apocalyptic ambience the type of which should appeal in the first instance to fans of Goblin, Tangerine Dream, Amon Dull II, John Carpenter and to a lesser extent Mr Eno. Anyway back to the job in hand the Alrealon collective have just started posting pod casts – there’s been three to date the latest – (newly posted as of today) being a hefty slab of Fluid, not to be confused with the mid 90’s Sub Pop combo of the same name or the powerised carnage trio from Germany who graced these very pages sometime last year with the killer ’iots’ full length. Instead this variant hails from Chicago – the solo project of Christophe G aka the post human cyborg: subduxtion. pod cast #1 features the apocalyptic future rap of Black Saturn in a face off with Subduxtion – absolutely no info on Black Saturn other than the small detail that he hails from Virginia. Anyway its all edgy stuff, intense and bleakly scribed with a doom scarred outlook which we swear once uncovered of its binary squiggles and general austere and off kilter confused communiqué discordance sounds like Public Enemy relocated to a landscape more befitting a scene from Blade Runner – mind you we swear we have their album kicking about (though typically with these things we can’t immediately put our hands to right now) and from what we’ve heard this should be well up the street of those of you who recall Silver Bullet from a few years back while simultaneous veering territories previously surveyed by Depth Charge. Its witheringly hollowed stuff but well worth checking out. Pod cast #2 features 40 plus minutes of towering transcendental stateliness from the aforementioned John 3:16 – really has to be heard to be believed sounding as it does as like some contact seeking extra terrestrial time capsule shipped in from across the cosmic voids from a long since dead civilisation – absolutely stunning and all at once magnificent, monolithic and majestic. As hinted previously the latest episode – #3 therefore – features Fluid. ‘the sonic art of juxtaposition’ features a 30 minute showcase of sound which quite frankly can only be best described as some fantastically magnified peak into a insectoid lair, very eerie and at times disturbingly hollowed and dark, the arid ambient cascades, ripples of white noise interference and the achingly slow evolution of the aural textures much reminiscent at times of both Aidan Baker and Soriah yet on the other hand briefly revealing by way of the becoming gloom swept tide daubs suggesting perhaps someone has been tuning into long forgotten 70 Gwen Party cassettes. Whatever the case its consuming stuff best viewed and experienced we feel in the cold harsh light of day preferably with the lights on and with the company of friends.

Johnny Throttle ‘stukas uber Shoreditch’ (wrench). A super group of sorts – well a super group in our eyes anyway given it features the return to these pages of a certain Johnny Quid – one time front man of the much missed Parkinsons here found teamed up in a new beat pop combo with ex members of the Urban Shocks, Menace and the Shakin Nasties. Debut outing ‘stukas uber Shoreditch’ is a pogo-tastic four song two chord spit in the eye, a flashback to an era when big belts, bin bags and badges where the fashion accessories of the day whilst listening to glue sniffing speed freaked three chord angst addled teens frying up the air space with sub two minute machine gun aural abortions securing themselves a defining Peel sessions before splitting up and f**kin off for a life behind the counter of the local bank. ‘Stukas’ is indeed the snotty sound of a discontent yoof (yea that‘s him over there the one with the spots and laughable dress sense), an abrasive kick to head – a blistering full on spiked slab of rampant frenzy replete with 100mph serrating riffs and a comical Blighty under the bosh mentality (ah we were having you on about that bit) that despite its obvious fondness for the UK Subs sounds to these punctured ears like a seriously wired Dead Boys. ’I’m looking at you but I’m talking to me’ is a lot more polished though obviously riddled with riffs hoodwinked from Steve Jones while harking back to the days of punks so called second wave (or was it the third) ‘public retard no. 1’ over on the flip is very much smeared with the affectionate throttle of the impish spectre of both Peter and the Test Tube Babies and the Notsensibles while proving itself a little more battle scarred and toned down with a subtle hint of brooding menace the parting ‘city of dirt’ gives it a wallop of Secret era Chron Gen for good measure. Absolutely recommended without question.

Violet Violet ‘C-C-C-Cat’ (NRONE). The first of a multitude of releases from the much admired NRONE imprint – notwithstanding their current release schedule of four singles which we’ve just received we’ve also just discovered – much to our embarrassment – a shed load of releases from a month or three ago which you should find mused over with much affection across the course of the next few pages. First up on the inspection blocks Violet Violet who between last featuring in these pages and now have had the Yanks and the greater part of Europe begging for more following success strewn tours as well as finding the time to nail down their second album pencilled for August time release and entitled ‘the city is full of beasts’. this trio of feisty felines have been responsible for decorating our listening space with some seriously tasty acrylic based agit pop in recent times with this tenaciously quarrelsome twin set perhaps providing their best release to date. ‘c-c-c-cat’ is a skittish cutie, part unhinged, wiring and caustic and threaded with a deliciously spiked frantic and frenetic delivery that at times could easily pass for one of those old school kick about spy theme collages that used to book-end 60’s cartoon superhero shows such as Batman / Spiderman et al, of course its all drilled with an angular hybrid of riot grrlll dialects that we here certainly reckon sounds not unlike Sleater-Kinney walloping several shades out of Huggy Bear while Babes in Toyland idly shuffle around applying the odd swift kick of their own. ’blackjack eddie’ over on the flip is our favoured cut, replete with stop start dynamics, see sawing needling riffs and possessing a crooked bent at the edges brittleness that was much present on ’Dress’ era PJ Harvey though here found clearly embellished by elements of the Slits, Au Pairs and Delta 5 – essential in other words.

The Kabeedies ‘little brains’ (NRONE). Ah well we appear to have missed out on their debut appearance for the apparently tasty Cool for Cats imprint so pardon us if we appear a little pissed off and grumble some. Such is life. Bastard. Well that’s the lent promise not to swear well and truly broken – buggering hell, sh*t, f*ck, tw*t – well may as well make it worth my while eh? ’little brains’ is the fourth outing for the loveable though clearly in the naughty corner at present boisterous troupe known as the Kabeedies following their ’lovers ought to’ debut for the quite perfect Cherryade, ’ten animals I slam in a net’ 7” for NRONE and er – that so far errant Cool for fecking Cats record which you’ll no doubt be happy to be informed we’ve passed the swearing stage and are now at the worrying grinding of teeth and projecting mental misdeeds point. Anyway three more willowy knee knocking and carefree kindergarten styled slices of rascal like impish lo-fi loveliness which opens to the surging strum-tastic out of the traps and out of sight in the blink of an eye title cut, all quickly drilled noodle some riffs cutely affectionate though clearly see-sawing and wonky hooks, of course its insanely catchy borrowing heavily – or so it seems – on the early career sounds of the Weddoes though clearly fused by what sounds like the Siddleys being played at the wrong speed with the sly application of some cattle prods being administered about their personage. ’fuzzy felt’ offers more of the same criminally contagious smile laden e number addicted effervescent lunacy, bonkers but beautifully so and wilfully scatty, a playground parade if you like of precociously punchy and playful punk pop. What more could a boy ask (who said that Cool for Cats release – darn). Last up 70 seconds in the company of ’duck egg blue’ – very much sounding like a throwback to the likes of the Popticians albeit that’ll be the Popticians broadcasting their own unique version of the 70’s children’s TV show ’handful of songs’ and with that of course you want it and need it and who’d blame you.

And that’s your lot for a few days or so. Next time out with be the 200th Singled Out – blimey never thought we’d get there. After much head scratching we’ve decided to play it simple and do a ‘things we like’ special – loads of treats await with focus’ on a few of our favourite labels who we’ve been neglecting of late, a few pod casts, some my space tips, essential net labels, a couple of books, plenty of singles, a handful of rogue albums that have been high on our must do list for ages now, loads of psyche maybe and even some hung over Xmas things. Anyhow its going to a monster missive – the biggest yet – in fact so big it’ll need to be spoon fed in several doses a week throughout the whole of April – to by our reckoning and will play host to 200 reviews….and maybe some more. So think on – while your all fattening yourself on chocolate Easter eggs me here will be need deep in groove city and quite possibly drowning. Clearly we are deranged.


Anyway take care of yourselves.



April 2009

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