Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Inkygoodness Exhibition Featuring works from Middle Boop

It's just over a week now until the opening night of the next Inkygoodness exhibition at Start The Bus in Bristol. Featuring original work from some amazing illustrators including Middle Boop's Gordon Reid, Stephen Chan, Carlos Garde-Martin, Ben Steers and many, many more. There will be all sorts of events featuring music from a whole host of acts signed to Dreamboat Records.

Doors open at 7pm on Friday the 10th. Come and say hi, it should be a great night

PJ Harvey - 'Written on the forehead'

Here 'tis.
Written On The Forehead by pjharvey

Exclusive PJ Harvey track. Streaming tonight!

If you would like to hear an exclusive track from PJ Harvey's eighth studio album 'Let England Shake' then make sure you go to www.pjharvey.net from 9pm TONIGHT.

Also here is the tracklisting for 'Let England Shake'

1. Let England Shake
2. The Last Living Rose
3. The Glorious Land
4. The Words That Maketh Murder
5. All And Everyone
6. On Battleship Hill
7. England
8. In The Dark Places
9. Bitter Branches
10. Hanging In The Wire
11. Written On The Forehead
12. The Colour of The Earth

Manic Street Preachers to Appear on 'Strictly Come Dancing' and release Live EP

Manic Street Preachers have confirmed they are to perform on Strictly Come Dancing on December the 5th stating via their twitter "Unbelievable – we have got Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday, mass communication indeed. What to wear?"

The Manics will also be releasing 'Some Kind Of Nothingness,' their next single on Monday which features Ian McCulloch and a new five track digital live EP.


‘Some Kind Of Nothingness’ / Live From ‘Later’
‘Some Kind Of Nothingness’ / Album version
‘Masses Against The Classes’ / Live from Newport Centre
‘Sleepflower’ / Live from Manchester Apollo
‘Yes’ / Live from Manchester Apollo

Jamie Woon Announces London Show

2011's hotly tipped electronica croonster Jamie Woon has announced details of a forthcoming show in the nations capital. Just last Thursday, Woon played to a sold out crowd at London's XOYO, now he's announced his next live date at The Scala on February 24th. Selling out XOYO on the basis of his current single 'Night Air', details of his debut album will be announced shortly.

Tickets and info can be obtained HERE

Monday, 29 November 2010

Zach Hill - 'Second Life' Video

Errors - Celebrity Come Down With Me (Rock Action)

There are normally only two reasons to release a remix album. Either to appeal to a different audience who (hopefully) learn to love you for yourself and finally buy your maudlin un-dance friendly release, or, so you can show off how many cool people you have at hand just chomping at the bit to remix your shitty track. In this case, Glasgow 4-piece Errors seem keener to showcase the talents of their friends, and also possibilities that lie with both the band and their songs. Perhaps they are living vicariously through the dance acts they have employed here to manipulate their sound, or perhaps this is their warning that the indie to dance ratio of their next release may be shifting. But don’t worry, probably not.

Each song is taken far enough away from the original to be worthy of its inclusion here, but the tracks which really push the boundaries of CDWM are from Gold Panda and Wax Stag. Gold Panda’s version of A Rumour In Africa bleaches out the layers of the original track and what is left is a pleasantly primitive, and at times euphoric, effort. Wax Stag’s more immediate, driven take on Germany rejuvenates the song into something that bursts with all the energy of a classic dance track. The Field, however, stay closer to the original melody of Bridge or Cloud, but drain it of much of its’ easy-listening elements to produce a never-ending monotonous dirge, the likes of which most dance fans should enjoy, but others may find a little self indulgent.

The track most people will be eager to hear is Supertribe. Their label bosses Mogwai have taken the already heavily electronic track and (thankfully) lost the pretentious French intro (when will people stop erroneously mistaking French samples for instant cool?). This softer version plucks the track out of the nightclub and injects some awkward synth to make it actually far more listenable. It’s the small changes here combined with layering of each artists’ own signature sound which make it a varied and engaging release.

One could question whether this album might alienate fans of their guitar-based electro, but, as Errors themselves proved with CDWM, in 2010 the barriers separating mainstream indie and dance are virtually non-existent. Similar to Health/Disco (Health) or Everybody Hertz (Air), this should satiate both loyal Errors fans who have already played CDWM enough to warrant a new copy, or people who are new to the band, but just can’t get enough of that electronic indie crossover (seriously, how much do you need?). Just as enjoyable (if not probably more so) for those who didn’t love CDWM, CCDWM is the perfect post club album for people with eclectic friends. It doesn’t have a shit track you’ll need to get up to skip, the artists are all cool enough to embarrass anyone who dares ask “What the fuck is this?”, and it’ll take at least three plays before you realise it’s been on repeat all night.

Words : Maya-Rose Boustany

Plug – Plug (Upset The Rhythm)

First of all, this has fuck all to do with Luke Vibert. I was pretty dejected when I realised Upset The Rhythm’s latest offering, drums and bass girly-duo Plug, had just pilfered Lukey V’s side project namesake. That is, until I listened to their self-titled debut release.

The girls are upfront with their influences, and why shouldn’t they be? With obvious record collection appearances from X-Ray Spex, Le Tigre, and M.I.A. Georgie Nettell and Sian Dorrer clearly had one hand fingering through ‘Female Fronted’ whilst the other did a good impression of Thing over in Rap/Hip Hop. Not a million miles away from recent releases by and Sleighbells and Trash Kit, their sound is the meeting point of New York synth-rap and London DIY-indie.

Don’t Forget It is the musical equivalent of that slightly embarrassing middle class student fees protest. A bit of naïve moaning about the state of the country made more interesting by some decent beat(ing)s. Fix Up Look Sharp inspired You Keep The Beats, and Poly Styrene vocal impression Body Story are solid tracks with simplistic vocals layered over even simpler drums and ‘check out this amazing keyboard I got in the charity shop’ keys. Dorrer’s true Brit-girl vocals shout at you matter of factly in Man vs. Machine, and feel strongly reminiscent of Elastica’s Justine Frischmann. Real Girl is the track you’ll keep coming back to. It’s a more authentic version of the fashion-rap they try to produce and sits closer to Fannypack than the Uffie shit they veer into at times. At this point I’d like to commend them for their braveness in including Beatles cover Day Tripper. I don’t even really like listening to The Beatles sing songs by The Beatles, but it’s a softer more dreamy side to the band that otherwise is only really seen on final track, Attractive, which is akin to that single soft and sweet Bikini Kill track, Outta Me.

The thing you have to ask yourself when considering whether Plug will be a ‘free download of the single’ or actual ‘bother to drag your lazy arse to Rough Trade’ kind of album is, Do you have any faith in the London DIY scene? This release could easily be filed away under ‘simplistic drums meets spacey keys brought together by fringed hipsters’. Or, as another important step towards creating a fresh wave of fem-fronted bands that aren’t (albeit successfully) ripping off The Shagri La’s. If they can make a full album of the hints toward social commentary and lyrical honesty shown sporadically here, their next release could be great. I might even find myself pulling a disappointed face when I hungrily sit down to review it, only to be greeted by half an hour of Luke Vibert sampling old ladies over some re-hashed drum & bass.

Words : Maya-Rose Boustany

The Soft Moon - Self Titled (captured tracks)

It’s a bit strange that The Soft Moon didn’t release his self titled début before the 31st of October, because this record is probably the ultimate Halloween soundtrack of 2010. In the darkest depths of San Fransisco, founder and only member of the band Luis Vasquez gave birth to one of the most spooky records of the last couple of years. Listening to The Soft Moon conspires to make you believe that Jack The Ripper is still searching for new victims in the obscure alleys of London and Freddy Krueger will appear in your nightmares.

The album is like an ice cube that won’t melt. Those who adore The Cure’s ‘Pornography’, Bauhaus’s ‘Mask’ and OMD’s ‘Architecture & Morality’ will embrace the coldness and abstract sound of The Soft Moon. Others will shiver of his music. ‘Sewer sickness’, ‘Parallels’, ‘Circles’ and ‘Primal eyes’, all of these songs could function in an old-school horror movie. Picture yourself an old desolated fabric where a serial killer is chasing his victim. Hearing the futuristic drums it’s like the rhythm symbolises the heartbeat of the hunted and the morbid synth chords capture every movement of the killer.

Luis Vasquez got stuck in the late seventies and beginning of the eighties when the English Gothic rock and new wave scenes were emerging and producer Martin Hannett created the industrial sound of Joy Division. Although the culmination of these genres was thirty years ago, the young San Franciscan now succeeds to refresh this kind of music. Listen to the record and it’s like this dark lord can attack you out of nowhere. Fear lies at every corner and when Vasquez breaths down your neck, as in ‘Out of time’ you’re almost peeing your pants. It’s frightening, but every time you’re hearing The Soft Moon it gives you an adrenalin boost.

You can run, but you can’t hide.

Words : Kasper - Jan Raeman

Friday, 26 November 2010

Grinderman confirmed for Portishead/ATP I'll Be Your Mirror

As if the lineup for ATP's new two day festival wasn't already terrifically tantalising already, we can now confirm Grinderman as special guests on Sunday the 24th.
The full lineup so far now looks like this:

Saturday 23rd July

(original line-up - first UK show in 10 years)

Sunday 24th July


Tickets went on sale earlier today and are available here!

Cubic Zirconia - Free MP3 "I Got What You Need"

Here's a catchy little treat for all of you readers out there in the form of disco oddballs Cubic Zirconia.

"I Got What You Need"

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Mercury Rev to perform 'Deserter's Songs' for Don't Look Back

As part of the ever popular 'Don't Look Back' series, ATP are very happy to present Mercury Rev performing their classic album Deserter's Songs live in it's entirety in London next May. Tickets will go on sale this coming Tuesday 30th November. So get your card details at the ready, as tickets will be ready for purchase from here.

Full Details:

ARTIST: Mercury Rev performing Deserter's Songs
VENUE: The Roundhouse
DATES: Saturday 21st May 2011
TICKET PRICE : £25 stbf
VENUE ADDRESS: Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
VENUE TELEPHONE: +44 844 482 8008
DOORS: 7.00pm-11.00pm
AGE RESTRICTIONS: Strictly over 14s. Under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult (ID required for entry)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dan Mangan - Nice Nice Very Nice (FUM/ABC/Warner)

I first heard of Dan Mangan a few months back when “Road Regrets” was getting some serious airplay on American radio stations and had infiltrated the blogging community. I instantly knew this wasn’t a one off hit and that I needed the check out his back catalogue. Days later at a Horse Feathers gig, fellow Canadian Adam Smith of The Mountains and Trees was unashamedly telling all between songs how this record inspired him to get his guitar out and get creative.

Nice, Nice, Very Nice is the second album from Dan Mangan, following his 2007 debut Postcards & Daydreaming. From start to finish, this album covers all the bases that will appeal to a wide audience – there is something for everyone. I’m going to be bold here and state listening to this album was probably one of the best 45 minutes of 2010 for me.

Opening with the aforementioned “Road Regrets”, a strum of the acoustic guitar slowly builds us up, gently accompanied with first the electric guitar and followed with the bass - a crash of the drums sets us upon our path of Dan’s honest and sincere collection of personal tales and poetic observations.

The title “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” is a short poem by Kurt Vonnegut, which might explain how Dan’s well developed prose has come to be that of a certified wordsmith. On the track “Tina’s Glorious Comeback”, the lines “Sold my soul the devil / For nice penmanship / And now I write real pretty / But I’m starting to regret it” implies Dan’s accomplished use of the English language has perhaps been at the sacrifice at more important aspects of life, such as relationships (“We’re not us / We’re not us”) which in turn only aids to the conviction of his tales.

The album will pull on your heartstrings from time to time. The track “Basket”, for example, is an ode to his late grandfather which almost reduced my girlfriend to tears, with it’s sensitive use of strings and Dan’s strong yet fragile voice recalling his Grandfather’s descent into old age.

I was fortunate enough to see Dan Mangan about a month ago at the Hoxton Bar & Grill where he really bought this album to life. It’s Dan’s live performance that reinforces his charisma and likeability – Dan had almost the entire room singing along to “Robot’s” signature line “Robot’s need love too / They want to be loved by you” for an extended chorus that bought a warm smile to everyone in the room.

I strongly urge everyone to listen to Dan’s accomplishment that is Nice, Nice, Very Nice. The varied and often subtle use of many different instruments on this record is an achievement in itself, as is Dan’s role as a poignant and touching protagonist. I for one thoroughly look forward to his next release, which in my opinion couldn’t come soon enough.

Words: Neil Phillips

Les Savy Fav - Electric Ballroom, London - 22/11/2010

Monday night’s are usually a bit tame aren’t they? It’s the start of yet another week, you’ve got another four days ahead of you at work before you can let loose… If however, like myself, you have recently been made redundant, it’s a perfect opportunity to go see the powerhouse of punk rock Les Savy Fav up close and personal.

I arrived early to Camden’s Electric Ballroom just as Cloud Nothings began they’re blisteringly energetic and upbeat set to a fairly deserted room. As Dylan Baldi astutely pointed out “it’s too early, in America we’re only eating our dinner right about now”. I’m not entirely sure how gig timings work in America. In the distant hazy year of 2001 I attempted to go see Mark Everett’s “reclusive remix wizard” alter ego MC Honky in Brooklyn. However, on day two of my visit to New York, I managed to have the world’s longest power nap in my hotel and awoke approximately 6 or 7 hours after the gig had finished. I therefore am probably not the best person to comment on transglobal gig timings. But I disgress..

To be fair, the room was verging on empty, but hey, if you weren’t there it was your loss. I recently reviewed the Cloud Nothings release Turning On, and I have to say that upon hearing it live, it didn’t quite have that same Sparklehorse / Mark Linkous lo-fi sound I associated with the record – but was certainly a thrashing, raw experience that left me wanting more. My personal highlight would have to be one of the first tracks I heard from the up and coming lo-fi bedroom rockers, “Cool Kid”.

Next up on the bill was a splash of the UK’s young blood, Leeds’ Sky Larkin. The trio nailed a tight set to a room that was slowly beginning to fill out. I have to admit, I was going in a bit cold with Sky Larkin, as “Molten” was the only track I was particularly familiar with beforehand – and disappointingly I didn’t get to hear it live. I did however get introduced to many more songs which I will make an active effort to follow up. Katie Harkin’s vocals were the right balance of nonchalantly cool and appropriately energetic, when they needed to be. She darted between the guitar and the keyboard, however I was particularly enthused by Nestor Matthews on drums – it’s refreshing to see someone so into their performance they look like they might cry with joy. Beautiful.

Sky Larkin finished their performance by announcing they had, for the first time whilst touring with Les Savy Fav, their own dressing room. There was a sense of conflict in Harkin’s voice as she announced she had no idea what Tim Harrington’s outfit/costume would involve tonight. All was to be revealed (thankfully not literally).

Ten minutes before Les Savy Fav blew my eardrums into another atmosphere entirely, Tim Harrington came out dressed in blue pin stripe pajamas with a poncho over his head, opened a collapsible table up, and performed what I can only describe as a mix of live art installation / bizarre pre-gig antics. Looking like a more disheveled version of Will Oldham at bedtime and armed with a tub of Waitrose sponsored flapjacks, Tim pretended to be asleep for the audience, occasionally throwing savory treats into the crowd in between impersonating (what I interpret as) a dog dreaming about chasing cats and having the obligatory mid-sleep nipple scratch.

Tim soon got up as the other band members adorned the stage and in no time at all lunged himself into the crowd for what has to be one of the most fun gigs I’ve ever been to. I can honestly say Les Savy Fav have changed my perspective on the live gig experience entirely.

Tim Harrington’s relentless love for the crowd and his constant exploration of the room made for an interesting night – throwing himself over stairwells and balconies into the crowd, climbing the stage equipment and dangling upside down, pouring one punter’s drink all over him, parting the audience like Moses and the sea for what can only be described as funky strut back to the stage...

At one point, being the nicotine fiend I am, I sneaked outside for a quick cigarette. Myself and a couple of others were surprised to see down the adjoining alley Tim had burst threw a back door into the smoker’s alley, sweating like some crazed madman with the microphone and was singing to an audience of three. By the time I had got my camera out of my pocket he had been ushered back inside to a crowd who couldn’t get enough of the tour-de-force that is Les Savy Fav.

I could go on for a long time about the charismatic Tim Harrington and his unusual stage presence, but it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the band and the fact that they tore it up onstage just as much as Tim did everywhere else. As Tim said – “this is a concert, and we’re gonna smoke it to ashes”. They certainly did. Long live Les Savy Fav.

Words: Neil Phillips

Photo: Tim Boddy

Unnatural Helpers - Cracked Love & Other Drugs (Hardly Art)

Garage / punk rock quartet Unnatural Helpers have released their second full length LP through Hardly Art in the form of Cracked Love & Other Drugs. With a running time of 25 minutes spread over 15 tracks, it’s fair to say Unnatural Helpers are quick to the get to the point. Some might even say abrupt. In fact, in the time it’s taken me to write this first paragraph, I’ve listened to the album the whole way through. I think that says more about me than it does them.

Hailing from Seattle, home of various prestigious garage rock bands from over the years, comparisons are naturally being drawn to similar groups that share the same sound, particularly Mudhoney or The Fastbacks. There is definitely an element of truth to these comparisons, what with the same dirty messed up guitar riffs, the tight drumming and the raw vocals. A more contemporary comparison of Dean Whitmore’s vocals in my mind would be toward Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington. They share a natural, visceral sound that seems comparable.

Unnatural Helpers are all about the hooks and the riffs on this record. Tracks like ‘Useful Things’ are practically 100% hook, which would be a problem, were it any longer than 1:02. At times throughout the punchy 25 minutes it takes to digest this record, I cannot help but think of Glasgow’s underground indie kings, The Yummy Fur. ‘The Truth About You’s prominent wandering bass line, or perhaps Whitmore’s playful delivery on ‘Sunshine / Pretty Girls’ strike a chord from my childhood of listening to John McKeown’s infamous anti-pop ballads.

It’s a dirty little record full of messy guitar riffs and harsh vocals constantly pounding it’s ways towards the incredibly short running time of 25:57. You barely have enough time to enjoy it before it’s time to press play again. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Words: Neil Phillips

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I L SVIIB 'video'

School of Seven Bells - I L U - Official Video from Vagrant Records on Vimeo.

Jamie Woon - 'Night Air' video

Taken from his forthcoming debut album due next year. His second single 'Night Air' is out now. Directed by Lorenzo Fonda.

New PJ Harvey album!!!!!

I jumped with excitement when reading the announcement on her Facebook page this morning that PJ Harvey will release her 8th studio album early next year. ‘Let England Shake’ will be released on the February 14th The album will be supported by a run of live shows early next year and will also see Harvey return to the festival-stage, with more details to be announced. PJ Harvey will perform with a live band which includes Mick Harvey, John Parish and Jean-Marc Butty. The first in this capacity since since 2004's 'Uh Huh Her'

The NME Awards Shows take over London

The iconic NME Awards Shows kick off in 2011 with a superlative line-up that will see them taking over London, setting the musical agenda for the year ahead. Featuring Carl Barat, White Lies, Caribou, Crocodiles and recent NME cover stars Warpaint, amongst a host of the most exciting acts around, the shows run from February 1st and continue throughout the month, building up anticipation for the legendary NME Awards on February 23rd. Spread across some of London's best music venues, the NME Awards Shows are set to make a huge impact on the capital's live scene, with a month-long mix of live music from the best influential, established and cutting edge acts around.

We reckon some of these shows will take your fancy next February:

NME Awards Shows 2011 Dates & Ticket Info:

Feb 01 Metronomy - Heaven - £12.50
Feb 02 Los Campesinos! / Summer Camp - o2 Shepherds Bush Empire - £14.00
Feb 03 The Duke Spirit - Heaven - £12.00
Feb 09 Mystery Jets - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £15.00
Feb 11 White Lies / Crocodiles - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £17.50
Feb 15 The Naked and Famous - Heaven - £10.00
Feb 15 Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan/Cherry Ghost - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £18.00
Feb 16 Edwyn Collins - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £18.00
Feb 17 Miles Kane - Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen - £9.00
Feb 17 Noah and the Whale - Koko - £17.50
Feb 18 Yuck / Cults - Bush Hall - £8.00
Feb 20 Carl Barat / The Heartbreaks / Foreign Office - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £16.50
Feb 21 Alex Winston - New Players Theatre - £8.50
Feb 21 Mona / Neon Trees - The Relentless Garage - £8.50
Feb 21 Warpaint / Twin Shadow - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £14.00
Feb 21 Frankie & The Heartstrings / Veronica Falls - Heaven - £10.00
Feb 22 Caribou / Factory Floor / Walls - o2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - £12.50
Feb 22 Les Savy Fav - Heaven - £15.00

Mogwai - Album Artwork and New Song 'Rano Pano' Revealed

In the lead up to Mogwai's hotly anticipated new album Middle Boop are extremely excited to not only unveil the new artwork but also give you a mouthwatering taster of the beauty that will be 'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.'

Rano Pano

Monday, 22 November 2010

Guards - Guards EP (Syllables Records)

The debut EP from Guards has been causing quite a stir since its appearance in October. Having eschewed myspace or even a personal website in favour of a modest profile on bandcamp.com, the EP and its creators remain stubbornly enigmatic. Of course, there are the necessary credentials accompanying the EP to ensure its circulation: a name-check on New York duo Cults' twitter, and an appearance from Caroline Polachek from Chairlift on the second track, Trophy Queen. But while Guards may not have sprung from total obscurity, the deliberate ambiguity arising from the lack of information and their hard-to-Google name has whipped a fair few bloggers into something of a romantic fervour, the likes of which you don't really see so often nowadays. I've got a suspicion that this might have been Guards' game-plan all along. One listen to the EP, with its lo-fi production, reverb-heavy vocals, quavering organs and solemn sleigh-bells, and it's clear that this is a record that's saturated in nostalgia; the product of a song-writing sensibility that's rooted firmly in the 1960s. Perhaps Richie James Follin (who, by all accounts, is the brains behind Guards) is trying to simulate simpler times, when word-of-mouth was a band's best hope, mix-tapes were free, and internet music-marketing hadn't been invented.

It's undeniable that the record has a quaint, almost fragile innocence about it, that's most acute on tracks like Long Time and during the bitter-sweet vocal harmonies on the aforementioned Trophy Queen. Granted, Polachek's wailing and moaning on the latter track is a little bit erotic, but this only serves to accentuate the exquisite naivety of Follins' lyricism and singing voice. There are a lot of female-fronted bands around at the moment putting out this strain of Phil Spector-inspired, twee pop, but it's refreshing to hear a male vocalist adopt such youthful insouciance – and pull it off with sincerity and emotion. This emotion – which ranges from the languid melancholy of Sail It Slow to the summery optimism of Don't Wake The Dead – is what sets the Guards EP apart from those other 60's wannabe bands. The style doesn't sound contrived or even derivative: it sounds as if Follin has discovered the perfect medium through which to express his pertinent musings on the fleeting highs and lows of adolescence.

From album opener Resolution Of One, with its rousing, sing-along chorus, to the mournful closing track I See It Coming, this EP comprises seven equally likeable, memorable, and very different songs. There are touches of The Velvet Underground – and perhaps those who are partial to a bit of New York insolence a la The Strokes or MGMT should find something to interest them here – but truth be told, Guards have a sound that is admirably unique. This EP is a promising effort from an act who undoubtedly have plenty more left to give.

Words : Tegan Rogers

Zombie Zombie - Plays John Carpenter (versatile records)

John Carpenter’s scores are fucking epic. Often transcending the films themselves, these scores now define the era of which they were created. Carpenter was not classically trained, nor was he particularly versatile; his synth-led compositions were bombastically simple, but always memorable.

I can’t articulate the immense pleasure I feel when I watch Zombie Zombie play the Halloween theme tune live. Obviously recognising the dance floor potential, they wisely veer away from adding too much ‘noize’, instead settling for a drum kit. These live drums give the track a new energy and vitality, without it losing any of its menace. This is where ZZ have really nailed it- whether it’s the Escape from L.A theme, or Assault on Precinct 13- these covers perfectly compliment the genres they were originally written to represent.

The music speaks for itself, but it ZZ’s approach to modern electronica which truly excites me. Inspired by cinema, slated to play a live accompaniment to Eistenstein’s Battleship Potempkin in February; Zombie Zombie are balancing French hipster cool, with genre-loving geek chic. In their own words;

“We use Sound and Rythm as a medium to explore the feeling of fear growing deep inside of you. You'll go through different emotional stages with the analogue effects. The drumming will make your heart beat faster:"like in a horror movie when the car won't start, you give it one last try."
With the uprising of the Witch House genre, it seems electro music is taking a turn for the dark. This sense of the sinister is giving the music a new level of artistry; these tunes offer mood and atmosphere, along with the danceable beats. With LCD Soundsystem calling it a day and Daft Punk scoring Tron, maybe it is time to welcome this new wave of cinematically inspired, pitch black acts.

But have no fear, if this E.P has taught me one thing, it’s that there’s a lot of fun to be had in taking the music to a darker place. What’s next for Zombie Zombie? Some Goblin covers please.

Words : David Campion

Moshi Moshi to release Christmas compilation

Moshi Moshi Records are feeling Christmassy. And what better way to celebrate the festive season than this collection of heart-warming Noel-inspired songs featuring two exclusive tracks from Idiot Glee and Summer Camp.

The EP, released digitally will be online on December 6th. As well as the brand spanking new covers of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' by Idiot Glee, and 'Christmas Wrapping' by Summer Camp, it'll also feature slightly more recognisable festive covers by James Yuill, Ingo Star Cruiser, Hot Club de Paris, and Slow Club.

Full tracklisting:

1. Idiot Glee (feat. Ela Orleans) - 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'
2. Slow Club - 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)'
3. Summer Camp - 'Christmas Wrapping'
4. James Yuill (feat. Rod Thomas) - 'Winter Wonderland'
5. Ingo Star Cruiser - 'Just Like Christmas'
6. Hot Club de Paris - 'Will You Still Be In Love With Me Next Year?'

Napoleon IIIrd - 'Rough Music' live session + live dates

Having recently released his "breakthrough" second LP 'Christiania', Napoleon IIIrd last month also recorded a live session, filmed at at Temple Works in Leeds, by Broken Pixel, and is first of the three to be released.

Here is the stunning rendition of the track 'Rough Music'.

Napoleon IIIrd - Rough Music from Brainlove on Vimeo.

In addition, you can catch Napoleon IIIrd at a handful of live dates before the end of the year.

25 The Contemporary Art Gallery, Nottingham
27 Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich (w/ Hextatic)

01 Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds (w/ Tamarin & Cats In Paris)
09 Hoxton Hall, London (w/ Mr Fogg)

Friday, 19 November 2010

La Sera set Valentines day as the release date for ST album

Katy Goodman's latest band La Sera have announced the release date for their eponymous debut LP. Hardly Art records will release the record on February 14th. Above we also have the exlusive cover art for the album.

If you cannot wait that long then you can purchase La Sera's limited edition 7" 'Never Come Around' which is out this week. You can also catch the band at these UK dates from next week.

22-Nov London The Nest
23-Nov London Brixton Windmill
24-Nov Birmingham Academy 2
26-Nov Newcastle Academy 2
27-Nov Glasgow Oran Mor
29-Nov Dundee Fat Sams
30-Nov Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
01-Dec Manchester Ruby Lounge
02-Dec Wakefield The Hop
03-Dec Leeds Brudenell Social Club
04-Dec Norwich Arts Centre
05-Dec Northampton Roadmenders
06-Dec Bristol Start the Bus
07-Dec London 93 Feet East
08-Dec London Bush Hall
09-Dec London Brixton Mass
10-Dec London Luminaire

Taking it back... #10

....to 2005

Just five years ago the great Jeffrey Lewis released the great 'City and Eastern Songs' on this LP it featured a haunting horror story in tribute to the great Will Oldman and from that he made this great video to boot.

This is 'Williamsburg Will Oldman Horror'.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ringo Deathstarr - 'So High' Video

Remember the name Ringo Deathstarr these guys are great!

Guards - Free Download

GUARDS - Swimming After Dark by Toast Press

Oceansize - Concorde 2, Brighton - 13/11/10

Oceansize's discography has particular emotional resonance for me, corresponding as it did with certain milestones of my adolescence. Effloresce, for example, soundtracked my GCSEs, while Everyone Into Position alleviated a break-up, and Frames accompanied the beginning of university. Despite the fact that I'd held the band in such high regard for the best part of a decade, last Saturday was to the be the first time I would actually see them play live. In a way, I was almost nervous: even though their performances invariably receive glowing reviews, and I had enlisted the best possible company for the occasion (my brother; also a loyal fan), I was somehow anxious that, should every aspect of the experience not be perfect, then that rare combination of nostalgia, awe and inspiration that their songs can evoke in me would most certainly be shattered.

Of course, there are extraneous circumstances at gigs that you can't control, and inevitably, there was the tall drunk guy to my left who kept spilling his drink on me. But I really needn't have worried: Oceansize performed faultlessly, effortlessly engineering such a colossal sound that Brighton's sizeable Concorde 2 could well have been someone's living room. To say they sound as good as they do on record is a gauge of craftsmanship that here would be both lazy and irrelevant. Live, the intricacies as well as the impact of their ambitious soundscapes become all the more apparent, while the impressive range of Mike Vennart's voice can really be appreciated. The songs were delivered with enthusiasm and conviction, and without any of the pretension you might expect from a prog-rock band with such vision.

I haven't yet given recent release Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up the time an Oceansize album needs and deserves in order to be fully comprehended, but Saturday's show was a dazzling incentive. New tracks like Build Us A Rocket Then..., Pine and Silent/ Transparent resided comfortably alongside crowd-pleasers like Trail Of Fire and New Pin. It proved that while Oceansize have a definite trajectory in mind, they have no plans to abandon the heart-felt lyricism, soulful harmonies, and that predilection for a delicate melody as much as for a storming riff, that won their first album so many life-long fans. Closing the show with Music For A Nurse before returning with encore Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs confirmed that the band knew full well that they were performing for those very fans.

Words : Tegan Rogers

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Middle Boop Radar : Tripwires

Reading based four piece Tripwires will be ones to look out for next year with their début album just recorded on Club AC30. loud, piercing Lo-Fi guitars with vocals doused in effects and an underlying pop sensibility. Check out the ace DIY video for Cinnamon.

Tripwires - Cinnamon by charmfactory

Asobi Seksu Announce New Album

Brooklyn based Shoegazers Asobi Seksu will be back next year with their fourth album, 'Fluorescence,' released 14th of Feb through Polyvinyl.

The new album also features artwork by acclaimed designer Vaughn Oliver (Most of the early 4AD artwork)

You can download the first release here

Japanese Voyeurs - 'Milk Teeth' Video

Japanese Voyeurs will be on tour with Young Guns and The Swellers from 23rd of November, ready to make you writhe in person, as well as from your stereo. The dates are:

Nov 23rd The Cockpit, Leeds
Nov 24th HMV Institute, Birmingham
Nov 25th Arts Centre, Norwich
Nov 26th Fibbers, York
Nov 27th Academy 2, Newcastle
Nov 28th The Brickyard, Carlisle
Nov 30th The Garage, Glasgow
Dec 1st 53 Degrees, Preston
Dec 2nd Academy 2, Manchester
Dec 3rd Electric Ballroom, London
Dec 4th Concorde 2, Brighton
Dec 5th Millenium Music Hall, Cardiff

Wooden Shjips Announce New Single

One of the most trippy, psych four pieces around today are back in December with the 'Oh Tannenbaum / Auld Lang Syne 12”'

This will coincide with a number of dates they will be playing in December over England, which we over here at Boop are very much looking forward to.

Oh Tannenbaum

Auld Lang Syne

Tricky - 'Ghetto Stars' Video

Tricky - Ghetto Stars (Full Version) on MUZU.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Chad Valley - Chad Valley EP (Cascine)

Anything you want, Chad Valley has got. Hugo Manuel not only hits a strike with his band Jonquil, even on his own the young artist from Oxford is doing well. Under the name of Chad Valley he released his first EP full of funky rhythms as if Michael Jackson had preached them in the late seventies and hazy beats like Animal Collective without hiding behind psychedelic walls.

However summer’s already gone, Chad Valley takes you back to a lazy sunny day at the ocean. On the smooth song ‘Portugese solid summer’ you taste the fuzzy cocktails on the beach. ‘Up and down’ is just a smooth ride with your surfboard on some crazy waves. And ‘Anything’ is probably the best song to practice on your Lambada dance steps. Listening to Chad Valley equals no stress at all.

Of course Washed Out, Neon Indian and Memory Tapes have done this trick before, but that’s not the point. These youngsters aren’t here to reinvent music. Artists like Chad Valley, Washed Out, ect. are masters in creating this imaginary world based on some of their childhood memories, good vibrations, forgotten funky soft pop and hilarious B – movies of the seventies and eighties. Who wouldn't like to live in this dream forever?

Listening to Chad Valley’s songs makes you realise music is just about having fun. It’s the reason why The Beach Boys started their band fifty – four years ago and it’s the same for Hugo Manuel as well. Just by enjoying and making easy listening music he makes your day. Although this EP is a short introduction to Chad Valley’s songs, you want it to last forever.

Words : Kasper - Jan Raeman

Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore - Dear Companion (Sub Pop)

As the gnarled winter sinks its teeth into November, I often turn to great summertime music to help ebb away the cold. Thankfully, I have been granted that in shape of the latest offering from Messrs Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore. Their hybrid brand of a rock, pop and blues is extremely infectious and definitely brings forth some Kentucky sunshine. It is acts like these that make you wish that you lived over the pond where this sumptuous cacophony of music must be abundant and quality artists are ten a penny, ready to play for your pleasure.

Yearning to live stateside aside, let us have a look at this quaint album entitled ‘Dear Companion’ which is Sollee’s third foray into the world of recorded music and his first as a collaborative artist. As soon as the first bars of ‘Something, Somewhere, Sometime’ roll out through the speaker, you would have to be made of pretty cynical stuff not to let a familiar smile develop across your continence and accompany it by either a tapping of the foot or a nodding of the head. The musicianship is suave and not indulgent and I love artists that prove that instruments such as the Banjo have just as much a place in modern music.

In ‘My Wealth Comes To Me’, the pace is slowed down wonderfully and it I could almost describe it as a Kentucky lullaby interposed with the cello and violin and the vocals are beautifully timed and pitched. The song gently shuffles into ‘Needn’t Say A Thing’ which sounds like a track that was tailor made to played in a niche venue like a secluded café or a grass roots Blues bar.

What I appreciate about this album is that these songs do not outstay their welcome; they start, they deliver, they end. This is typified by ‘Wilson’s Creek’ which does its job as a intermission before we are plunged into the poignant piece where you can see the activist side of Sollee coming out in ‘Only A Song’. It is catchy, sing-along tune with a wonderful use of imagery.

The title track ‘Dear Companion’ is short but definitely sweet and is what I would describe as a hootenanny of a song. However, Solle and Moore decide to mix it up once more by slowing down the album with the introduction of ‘Flyrock Blues’ and ‘Try’, the latter one of those oddities that teases you into thinking that it is going to build into a grand crescendo. In that way, it is a little anti-climactic, but the track is still great listening.

Flyrock #2’ is a more musical harmonious affair and definitely has that taste of Americana to it. Sollee and Moore prove that it is a certain brand of stateside musician that can only produce music of this distinctiveness.

Sweet Marie’ is a charming ballad but is commerciality does sound out of place on the album. Not to take anything away from the album in general, it doesn’t seem to fit in with the general ambience and schism but should still be appreciated nonetheless.

We are waved goodbye with ‘It won’t be long’ which is one of those classic ending album tracks and I believe it provides a fitting ending to ‘Dear Companion’. If Ben Sollee is your flavour of the month, then get booking tickets as he is set to grace our shores in December appearing on the same bill as the legendary Billy Bragg on some of them too, don’t let this slice of life pass you by.

Words : Barclay Quarton

The Vatican Cellars - The Same Crooked Worm (Where It's At Is Where You Are)

When listening to The Vatican Cellars, you can’t help but appreciate the legacy that eponymous acts such as Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley have left us. Artists such as they have proven to us that sound of acoustic guitar accompanied by a fantastic blend of different voices can perpetuate such a wonderful sound. Although this band might not be on the tip of the tongue of the cultured connoisseurs of this genre, you should definitely not overlook them. Listening to the Vatican Cellars gives you a very humbling feeling that there are acts out there full of talent and musicianship.

Their début album ‘The Same Crooked Worm’ is a beautiful showcase for this bands talent. It all kicks off with the title track of the same name which acts as the classic introduction to what we are going to be in store for and gives the band a chance to flex their numerable musical skill and vocal prowess. I am a great lover and very much appreciate bands that have more than one voice in the mix and especially desire those acts that have a balance of male and female voice; in this endeavour, The Vatican Cellars certainly do not disappoint.

The album waltzes on with the quaint ‘End of the line’ which is a classic soft melody with the dances through as daintily as it can. But what is that I hear? A Melodica being utilised in the background? The introduction of this instrument gets my thumbs up for intuitiveness alone. ‘The Wreck of Alba’ is certainly theatrical. You can almost place it belonging in a musical or even a cult film such as the timeless Wicker Man (I mean the original version and not the horrific abomination starring Nicholas Cage).

My Black Pearl’ takes on the form of an American country blues track and adds another string to this band’s already well structured bow as they prove that they can pull it off with consummate ease. ‘Nothing Special’ and ‘It’s Not Like Anybody Gets Hurt’ certainly typify the band’s self proclaimed influence and nuance. You get the feeling that there is a dwelling on the darker shades of life, mainly death. It must be a subject that is certainly considered at length by the band. However, this does not make the tracks sound morbid, the group manage to put their quintessential slant on the subject and make it very listenable.

Christmas Island’ changes tack musically somewhat as the drums play out an infectious little shuffle as this song seems to have the structure of being one that can be memorised and sung along to and is one of my favourites from this album. ‘Silence And Shadows’ definitely does have the tinge of ‘Death Cab For Cutie’ about it but still retains that vital originality and intensity which I believe will make this band one to look out for, for the future.

Your Bitter Pains’, which is the bands choice for their single from the album, is definitely the best choice they could have made as it is one of the strongest. Listening to it, I cannot help but think about the musicality of my namesakes Barclay James Harvest as this sort of folk rock is like a page of the page book. As pretentious as that makes me sound, this is the best way to describe how this band have resonated to me.

The penultimate track ‘Old Books’ carries on the funny charm that we were introduced to earlier on the album and the introduction the glockenspiel give it that extra edge of attraction and appeal.

The Same Crooked Worms’ ends with ‘Lullaby’ which is only what I can describe as the ending to some obscure television programme which adds to the intrigue of the album and definitely leaves you wanting more. I am left with wanting to see more from The Vatican Cellars, and I don’t want to be disappointed.

Words : Barclay Quarton

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Trophy Wife (single launch) & Pet Moon. Electrowerkz, London (9/11/2010)

Is Pet Moon worth all the buzz? After seeing him last Tuesday at Electrowerkz in London, we say yes! Andrew Mears, former singer of Youthmovies, didn’t hide his intentions to become Britain’s next hotshot in pop music.

Pet Moon’ music is heavily influenced by the eighties. His songs are as catchy as a Pet Shop Boys’ Synth-Pop bus, coupled with the sweetness of Smokey Robinson. His chic look and expressive stage act also conspire to make you believe that Pet Moon is a pop idol from twenty-five years ago.

It was the passion in Andrew Mears vocals that blew me away. In ‘Superposition’ - a song Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe should be jealous of – he sang with so much sentiment we sympathised with him. The fact that Andrew easily can switch from a dark furious voice to softer and warmer tones makes him an amazing singer and entertainer. But the key to Pet Moon’s success can also be his weak point if he goes too far into high drama. Although watching him last Tuesday, I can only conclude he’s born to do this.

Compared with Pet Moon, Trophy Wife was slightly more timid. Although drummer Kit Monteith performed with intense, furious vigour and stole the show, singer Jody Prewett and keyboard player Ben Rimmer were quieter figures on stage. Trophy Wife played a tight set. The Oxford trio sound more uptempo live, through which their songs morphed into forward thinking dance tracks, you could see it as LCD Soundstytem playing some Talking Heads material.

However, the party truly started when Trophy Wife played their massive single ‘Microlite’, a floor filler that would fit in a late eighties Hacienda club night, before this massive single their songs simply resembled each other a little too much. Trophy Wife ended up with a loose cover of Joanna Newsom’s ‘The book of right-on’ - a brilliant idea, which shows how creative the band can be with the basic melody of a song. But as they are one of the most interesting new bands of the moment, we expected a bit more from Trophy Wife in general.

Words: Kasper-Jan Raeman

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Mark Sultan - '$' (Last Gang)

What we have here is an example of the solo one man band sorta thing. You know, a once member of a punk band who split up, only for the remaining artists to forge their own solo projects. Which the case with former Spaceshits drummer/singer Mark Sultan, rather than purely a solo sounding album he creates a multi-instrumental project that could be fooled for sounding like a completely new band in his own right. Despite making music under various different guises for over 20 years now, this is only his second LP to go under his birth name. ‘$’, or ‘Dollar’, if you will, is this messy fusion of recycled mid twentieth century influences that somehow seems to work and seem in touch with the sound that is coming out of a lot of cross Atlantic alternative music scenes.

‘$’ is introduced with a spaghetti western sounding guitar jam. ‘Icicles’, halfway through speeds up into this noisy space rock beast that demonstrates what’s to come with the song’s erratic behaviour. ‘Don’t Look Back’ covers a range of 1960’s sounds with psychedelic layering and garage rock rhythms, whilst ‘Ten of Hearts’ is a gorgeous doo-wop style ballad which portrays Sultan's true instrumental talent. However, a perfect doo-wop hit would clock in at no longer than 3 minutes leaving the listener wanting more, so perhaps 5 minutes is too much an extension. Although that doesn’t affect the quality of the song one bit. ‘Status’ is the leading single from the album. Probably it’s most rock ‘n’ roll number in terms of attitude, especially with an explosive range of dynamics and tempo, very much reminiscent of the work of the late Jay Reatard.

So, you can imagine for formula for the remainder of this record with plenty of blues guitar and rock & roll rhythms. Most of the standout tracks for me occur during the first half of ‘$’ with the exception of curtain raiser ‘Nobody But You’. The 6 minute outro definitely ends the album on a high with the song length identical to the first track which I feel is a rather fitting symmetry. What Sultan lacks here especially with this whole one man band thing is that there are no harmonies or backing vocals. Songs such as ‘Ten of Hearts’ and ‘Go Berserk’ which I do feel are 2 solid examples of doo-wop or punk rock or whatever, but could be made slightly better with a use of harmony which would add a great Pop edge. To summarise, Mark Sultan has recorded a musical mess of an album that somehow manages to fit together brilliantly, and for that you have to say, fair play to him.

Words: Freddy Rothman

Warpaint - 'The Fool' (Rough Trade)

As I gushed so admiringly over the West Coast lifestyle and recent musical uprising whilst discussing Best Coast, I shall try to suppress my frenzied desire to hop on a plane and head to the Californian beach whilst reviewing yet another offering from those fabled lands. Warpaint have been around, in altered forms, since around 2004 and an EP released last year ignited the blogosphere with ravings of the beautifully supernatural styling’s offered forth by the LA girl gang. Finally an album exists, titled ‘The Fool’, contradictorily named due to the audible proof here that Warpaint are far from fools and instead, have magnified, mellowed and matured.

Over half of the tracks spread out idly over five minutes yet this extensively straining sound is barely noticeable, such is the subdued ferocity that the album emits. The whole thing seeps by, filtered through layers and layers of archaic mysticism. Backing vocals embed themselves as an extra instrument, recalling choral command via spiritual rituals of old. The band drift between a Siouxsie-style gloom and a Sonic Youth growl with each passing refrain, two comparisons that still ring far from the peculiar display of euphonic whisperings on offer.

Each song title remains a short, sharp jab of similarity to the sound, in contrast to the winding, weaving, unwrapping five minute wanderings behind the name. ‘Shadows’ spins into life with the resonance of a warped record, crawling in the shade of a thick woodland cover beneath a starless eve. Opener ‘Warpaint’ strums a Joy Division throb with an unfathomably sultry vocal stride. ‘Undertow’ is a power play, with hints of seventies stoner rock and dashes of melodic indie pop combining to form an painstakingly sublime six minute ode to bitterness.

The record is as far removed from an upbeat West Coast summer record as possible, treading the line between winter and autumn, full of frosty detachment and chilly uncertainty. ‘The Fool’ is an album to curl up with in the witching hour, with a fire burning and something hallucinogenic in the air. Warpaint are four females who have pursued a sound that unites melancholy and magic, beautifully haunting and enchanting in equal measure. In doing so, they have devised one of the albums of 2010, taking some sound supposedly sensual and slicing out all of the romantic lust until you’re left with an animalistic iciness.

Words: Adam Parker

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Twin Shadow – Forget (4AD)

‘This guy can’t be American’, is what I find myself thinking as I listen to the decidedly nomadic debut release from producer George Lewis Jr. a.k.a. Twin Shadow. It turns out the Eighties obsessed synth-master was Dominican born, later moving to Florida where he apparently soaked up not just the music of his own generation, but also that of the one before. Dance, disco, and dubstep can be found on Forget, backed up by hip hop beats and, at times, a more modern (and somewhat disappointing) indie-electro sound. It’s the culmination of a dozen different radio shows played in unison or a schizophrenic record collection, being held together only by the atmosphere of an era.

The maudlin opening to first track, Tyrant Destroyed, does little to prepare you for the rest of Forget. With strong hints of Saturdays=Youth era M83, and a vocal akin to a thunder-maker under water, it’s eerily beautiful. When We’re Dancing is a trilling pop-wail, reminiscent of Morrissey, surely capable of sound tracking a Brett Easton Ellis movie. I Can’t Wait is Destroyer-esque danceable misery with its rich monotone ‘Ian Curtis does Brit Pop’ vocals and spaced out synthlines. More current tracks At My Heels (joyous Asian-inspired fun) and Yellow Balloon are indie disco gems. Castles in the Snow is without doubt the best track on Forget, and probably one of the best dance tracks of the year (Yes I said dance). Unsurprisingly, there are already numerous re-mixes available online. The heavy dub-step beat and gothic vocal are layered with fragile synth lines and wandering bass. It’s masterful. For Now is all clever lyrics and stupid guitar (‘Is there anything as quiet as a night alone, with you?’). Last-dance-at-prom croon-fest Slow is driven forwards by raw emotion and tacky nostalgia, and only the sincerity of the track means it falls just short of a comedic replica.

The most enthralling parts of the album are when TS turns on the Numan and takes things darker. It’s the light as candyfloss electronica and silky vocals however, that grant the album the authenticity many heavily 80s-inspired releases cannot muster. The production is slick as fuck, thanks in part to Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, who is credited with discovering the ‘bedroom artist’. The massively diverse range of genres and artists Twin Shadow lifts from to create Forget never make the album feel confused or compartmentalised. As single tracks though, I fear it would feel like a set of directions with a vital chunk missing. You’d get lost in it.

Words : Maya Boustany

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

No Means No hit the road. UK Style!

Punk Rock veterans NoMeansNo are on the road again. Included in this jolly jaunt is an appearance at this years ATP Nightmare Before Christmas, where they've been asked to play by fellow Canadians Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Full dates are as follows:

25th November London, England @ Underworld
26th November Leeds, England @ The Brudenell Social Club
27th November Glasgow, Scotland @ The Arches
28th November Belfast, Northern Ireland @ Auntie Annies
30th November Galway, Ireland @ Roisen Dubh
1st December Cork, Ireland @ Crane Lane
2nd December Dublin, Ireland @ Button Factory
3rd December Derby, England @ The Old Bell
4th December Minehead, England @ ATP curated by Godspeed You Black Emperor

Male Bonding announce double A-side single

Male Bonding have confirmed they will be main support for The Dirty Projectors on 7th December at London’s Koko. In addition the band have confirmed the release of their brand new double A-Side single, ‘Nothing Remains / Pirate Key’ on November 29th via their own label Paradise Vendors Inc. The single’s B side includes ‘Nightmare Version’ which was a track recorded as part of the ‘Nothing Hurts’ album sessions and Algodón Egipcio’s cover of Male Bonding’s ‘Weird Feelings’

Full Tracklisting for the single is
(A): 1. Nothing Remains 2. Pirate Key
(B) 1. Nightmare Version 2. Weird Feelings (cover by Algodón Egipcio)

Pre-Order the single HERE

Cloud Nothings - Turning On (Wichita)

Cloud Nothing's 'Turning On' landed in my lap a little over a week ago and I've been struggling to listen to much else since. I had heard a few tracks some months ago and listened to them just as religiously, however recently being presented with 13 catchy lo-fi ditties to review, I was in musical heaven.

Turning On is a compilation of the Cleveland Ohio based group's collection of songs from over the years, some previously unreleased and therefore considered 'rare'. The earliest of material comes from when front man Dylan Baldi was merely eighteen years of age and recorded some tracks on his pc at home, which will certainly answer any questions about the quality of production on this record. Yes this really is lo- fi indie bedroom rock in it's most primitive form. Beautiful.

Some say this lack of production lets the record down, however I lean toward the other side of the fence. I'm all in favour of incomprehensible vocals blasting through my speakers which I can make my own lyrics up to as distorted guitar and drums thrash over any potential clarity on offer.

At times I am reminded of Mark Linkous' distorted alternative indie rock group Sparklehourse coming through fused with the poppier, janglier aspects of The Strokes. The first track on the album, 'Can't Stay Awake', particularly resonates with the ghost of Linkous. Only one minute in and we're confronted with the messy, escalating, skuzzy rampage of guitar that was ever present on Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot on tracks like 'Someday I Will Treat You Good. '

Simultaneously, the guitar work at times is prone to doing a proverbial U turn and taking on a much more structured path. Strummin's super laid back tempo demonstrates the band's ability to slow things down when needed. Vocally, Strummin sounds like Julian Casablanca's snuck into Baldi's bedroom to record the vocals for the second half of the track, with the highly catchy 'My baby's been gone for 14 years/ the last time I saw her she was only wearing tears” as it's densely layered, looped chorus at the end.

Turning On is packed with energy and enthusiasm which fills me with great positivity that Cloud Nothings will produce a solid full length debut album soon enough. At times it seems the influences are worn on the band's sleeve a little bit too noticeably, however considering some of the tracks were first recorded at the supple age of 18, the silver lining is Cloud Nothings will flourish into their own soon enough.

Words : Neil Phillips

Monday, 8 November 2010

Of Montreal 'Famine Affair' video

Here we bring you the not to be missed racy new video by of Montreal. 'Famine Affair' is directed by Jason Miller (who shot the video for their previous single 'Coquet Coquette') and also frontman Kevin Barnes' wife Nina.

of Montreal is also holding a remix contest for 'Famine Affair' via SoundCloud - with a prize of $500 and the band's complete digital discography going to the winner of a popular vote.

All entries must be received by 19th November. Remix stems and submission information can be found at the following link: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com/drop/FARemixContest/FamineAffairRemixContest.html

of Montreal's latest album 'False Priest' is out now on Polyvinyl Records.