Wednesday, 29 April 2009

News - Ferret Music/Red Blue Records To Release Ice Nine Kills

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Ferret Music and Red Blue Records have announced they will jointly release the upcoming album from Ice Nine Kills this autumn.

Speaking on the news guitarist/vocalist Spencer Charnas said "We are very honored to have Ferret behind our band now. Not only do they have a strong track record for success, they have also released records by bands that have had a major influence on our music.

Ferret joining forces with Red Blue, a label that we love and whose work ethic is unmatched, is going to be a very strong combination."

News - A Camp (ex-The Cardigans) On Tour Now...

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A Camp (ex-The Cardigans) will release their new single "Love Has Left The Room" on the 18th of May. The song is taken from their album "Colonia".

They are on tour of the UK now. The remaining dates are as follows:

April 30th - Spring & Airbrake - BELFAST
May 2nd - ABC2 - GLASGOW
May 3rd - Cockpit - LEEDS
May 4th - Academy 3 - MANCHESTER
May 6th - Kings College - LONDON

News - Paloma Faith - Stone Cold Sober

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Paloma Faith will release her single called "Stone Cold Sober" on the 15th of June through Epic Records.

Live date as follows:

Sunday 3rd May - Hoxton Bar & Kitchen

News - Horsefish Tour 2009

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Horse The Band and Blakfish will tour the UK together in May.

10/05 - Salisbury, The Barn
11/05 - Sheffield, Corporation
12/05 - Leeds, Josephs Well
13/05 - Edinburgh - GRV
14/05 - Colchester - The Twist
15/05 - London - The Underworld

News - The Mighty Latitude Update!

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Many many additions have come in today for Latitude Festival. Read below to see who they all are:


~ Squeeze ~ Mew ~ Ladyhawke ~
~ Teitur ~ Music Go Music ~ Hjaltalin ~

~ Little Boots ~
~ Band Of Skulls ~ Yes, Giantess ~ Sugar Crisis ~ Dear Reader ~
~ Catherine AD ~ Jonathan Jeremiah ~ Alan Pownall ~ First Aid Kit ~

~ Sound Of Guns ~

~ Golden Silvers ~ Slow Club ~
~ We Have Band ~ Post War Years ~ The XX ~ Pulled Apart By Horses ~
~ Joe Gideon & The Shark ~ Dag For Dag ~ 2 Hot 2 Sweat ~
~ The Late Greats ~

News - The Plight Join The Roster For Reading & Leeds

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The Plight have been added to the Lock Up Stage at the Reading & Leeds festivals.

"We're really excited to be playing Leeds and Reading. They are famous all over the world as being an occasion where bands and fans come together for one huge, three day long party. For us to have been asked to play is unreal!" Jon Defenzi, Drums, The Plight.

They have these remaining shows with Cancer Bats left:

30 Leeds, The Cockpit

1 Stoke, Sugarmill
2 Nottingham, Rock City
3 Manchester, Academy 3
4 Birmingham, Academy 2
5 Bristol, Academy 2
6 Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
7 London, Underworld

News - Young Guns Gear Up For Live Shows

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Young Guns have the following live dates lined up in support of their new EP "Mirrors":

(Rotated Billing w/ Enjoy Destroy & The Crave)
MAY 16: BRIGHTON, Pavilion Tavern
MAY 17: SOUTHAMPTON, The Joiners
MAY 19: KINGSTON, Fighting Cocks
MAY 20: LONDON, South Of The Border
MAY 24: LEEDS, Slam Dunk Festival

(Headline Shows)
JUN 18: BRIGHTON, Hot Damn @ The Ocean Rooms
JUN 19: LONDON, Hot Damn @ The Purple Turtle
JUL 19: SOUTHEND, Sunrooms
JUL 21: STAINES, Sticky Fungus
JUL 22: NORTHAMPTON, Roadmenders
JUL 23: SWINDON, 12 Bar
JUL 25: LEEDS, Cockpit
JUL 27: STOKE, Harry’s Bar
JUL 28: CARDIFF, Barfly
JUL 29: SWANSEA, Sin City
JUL 30: EXETER, Cavern
AUG 05: BRIGHTON, Engine Rooms
AUG 07: CAMBRIDGE, Man On The Moon
AUG 08: GUILDFORD, Boileroom]
AUG 11: GLASGOW, Ivory Blacks
AUG 12: DUNDEE, Dexters
AUG 13: ABERDEEN, Tunnels
AUG 15: ARBROATH, Viewfields

News - Son of Dave Tour Starts Tomorrow...

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Son of Dave are touring and it kicks off tomorrow. Full dates below:

30th Brighton Audio

2nd Liverpool Barfly
5th Plymouth Jazz Festival
6th London 100 Club
7th Glasgow King Tuts
8th Leeds Cockpit
9th Edinburgh The Voodoo Rooms
10th Manchester Night & Day
20th Birmingham The Hare & Hounds

Their single "Ain't going to Nike Town" is released on the 11th of May.

News - innerpartysystem Video Blog

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innerpartysystem have posted a video blog up here:

Their new EP "Heart of Fire" is set for release on the 18th of May.

Track Listing:

1. Heart Of Fire
2. The Way We Move
3. Night Is Alive
4. Heart That Heals
5. The Lovers Dancing
6. The Lovers Dancing Remix

News - A Skylit Drive New Song & Pre-Order

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Submitted by the folks at Fearless Records: "A Skylit Drive’s upcoming album Adelphia is now available for pre-order! Pre-order Adelphia from Smartpunk, Interpunk, and MerchNow before June 9th as just the album or as part of a Shirt/CD bundle. Smartpunk’s comes with an exclusive T-Shirt design and Interpunk’s and Merchnow’s have another design with their bundles.

Be sure to visit A Skylit Drive’s Myspace to check out the new song "Eva the Carrier," which is off of the new album."

News - Karate High School Wear The Punk Rock Uniform

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Karate High School has added a new song off their forthcoming Eyeball Records debut full-length "Invaders" in the form of their track "Punk Rock Uniform" on their MySpace page. The album is released on the 19th of May.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

News - Modern Day Escape Sign To Standby Records

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Modern Day Escape have signed to Standby Records.

Singer James Vegas commented, "We never thought that they would really take us seriously when we contacted them. We jokingly messaged them on myspace and were shocked when Neil Sheehan (owner of Standby) wrote us back wanting to sign us." Guitarist / vocalist Marti Rubels added, "We're extremely excited to be with Standby Records. We've been writing constantly and have had a lot of plans for what we wanted to do as a band. Standby Records gives us the opportunity to fulfill those plans and push everything to the max."

The band will enter Chin Music Studios in Cleveland with producers Don Debiase (Beneath the Sky, Driver Side Impact) and Johnny Burke (Forever In Terror, Vice On Victory) to record their upcoming full length slated for an early second quarter release. "We're not looking to reinvent the wheel with this new album, we're just trying to make a wheel that runs smoother." Vegas remarked. Rubels continued, "With our new songs, we've elaborated on our sound in every possible direction. Our songs have a little something for everyone." Guitarist Nic adds, "We all dedicated all of our time and hearts to writing this new album. It's our blood, souls, sweat, and tears set in tracks to introduce us to the world without any compromise."

News - Pendulum - DVD Release

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Pendulum will release their debut DVD / CD called "Live At Brixton Academy" on June the 15th through Warner Bros. Records / Ear Storm.

"Live At Brixton Academy" track listing:


9000 MILES



News - Mouthwash: True Stories

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Mouthwash have announced the release of their album "True Stories". It will be on the 8th of June with a bonus CD featuring live and unreleased tracks through Rebel Alliance Recordings.

Live Dates:

28th April Students Union Derby w/THE KING BLUES
29th April Brunel Students Union Uxbridge w/THE KING BLUES
30th April Students Union Bath w/THE KING BLUES
1st May Sin City Swansea w/THE KING BLUES
2nd May Underworld Camden, London w/SONIC BOOM SIX
3rd University Union Hull w/THE KING BLUES
22nd New Cross Inn, London
23rd May Mclusky's Kingston on@ 5pm w/ANTI-FLAG+THE KING BLUES
24th May The Gander Bournemouth
25th May Harrys Bar Stoke
28th May Wagon and Horses Digbeth, Birmingham
29th May Ringside Hull
30th May Thatched House Stockport
31st May Rainham Mark Social Club Gillingham
26th July The Retro Bar Manchester
8th Aug Maze Nottingham w/VOODOO GLOW SKULLS

The track listing for "True Stories" is:

1. Ask and it is given
2. A face in the crowd
3. No fear
4. N68
5. The sound
6. That Girl
7. Everyday feelin'
8. What I don't know
9. Southbound
10. Atlantic Rd.
11. Dark was the night
12. Hazy days

Bonus Disc:
1. N68 (acoustic live)
2. Solid as a rock (live)
3. Sign of the times (unreleased)
4. I don’t wanna hear it (live acoustic)
5. We evolve (live acoustic)
6. Knock on your door (demo)
7. Ask and it is given (live acoustic)
8. Fools Gold (live)
9. One in ten (demo)
10. Deeper (unreleased)

News - Reading - Lock Up Stage Announced

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Joining headliners Billy Talent on Friday 28th August are Anti Flag, AlexisonFire, Bouncing Souls, Leftover Crack, The Aggrolites, Streetlight Manifesto, Fake Problems, Riverboat Gamblers, The Flatliners, The Ghost Of A Thousand and The Plight.

Alongside Rise Against the following day, Saturday 29th August, are Thursday, The Bronx, Mad Caddies, Rival Schools, Set Your Goals, Snuff, Municipal Waste, A Wilhelm Scream, Chuck Ragan, Polar Bear Club and The Computers.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Review - Bell X1 - Blue Lights on the Runway

Bell X1 - Blue Lights on the Runway

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4 out of 10

Now then, if there was ever a press release that hyped up a band, this would be it. I'm told, before even listening to the album, that 'Blue Lights On The Runway' is a "timely release, that like The Flaming Lips' 'Soft Bulletin' or Elbow's 'Seldom Seen Kid' should finally cross Bell X1 over to a mainstream UK audience". Now that's quite a statement to make. Those two albums are arguably amongst the best records of the last 20 years or so, and the Soft Bulletin is easily one of my absolute favourite albums, and so I really was expecting great things from Bell X1; and oh how utterly disappointed I am. The Flaming Lips and Elbow created phenomenal albums, and in comparison, 'Blue Lights on the Runway' is little more than a 4 track demo created in a garage somewhere. It's bland, terrifyingly predictable and for the most part, bloody boring.

There are moments of greatness, but they are so few and far between that they're very soon forgotten. "The Great Defector" is not a bad track, with an irritatingly catchy sing-along chorus, but given my very high expectations, it comes over little more than mediocre.

Album closer "The Curtains Are Twitching" is by far the high-point of the album. It's tender and sincere without being patronising, and the very raw sound of the deep-south American brass instruments in the background really add to the track ten-fold, providing a fantastic taste of what this band could be. Had they managed to convey this sound for a whole 10 tracks, maybe 'Blue Lights On The Runway' could have really crossed the band over to a mainstream audience, but unfortunately they've failed to do so on this occasion.


1. Ribs of a Broken Umbrella
2. How Your Heart Is Wired
3. Great Defector
4. Blow Ins
5. Amelia
6. Better Band
7. Breastfed
8. Light Catches Your Face
9. One Stringed Harp
10. Curtains Are Twitchin’

Review - Mono - Hymn To The Immortal Wind

Mono - Hymn To The Immortal Wind

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9 out of 10

It's been a long time since an album absolutely floored me. Mono’s latest did just that. "Hymn To The Immortal Wind" takes Mono’s majestic, guitar assault and pitches it against the largest chamber orchestra they have used, and the results are beautiful. Anyone familiar with Mono and their previous work will completely understand where they are coming from on this one but still be impressed, nay, blown away with the results.

Each track is an epic in its own right with Mono pulling back on the distortion (of which they never fully employed) and anchoring their sound to the orchestra as they twist and turn around every peak and phrase. It is such an amazing thing to hear and Steve Albini has worked wonders on the spacing of it all, allowing a clarity and space into what could have been a muddled sound.
Taken as a whole there are simply not enough words to describe the swelling, dramatic feel of this album. Listened to with attention this will become one of the albums of the year, no doubt.


1. Ashes In The Snow
2. Burial At Sea
3. Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn
4. Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm)
5. Follow The Map
6. The Battle To Heaven
7. Everlasting Light

Review - Maybeshewill - Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony

Maybeshewill - Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony

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9 out of 10

Only a year on from the astonishing debut 'Not For Want Of Trying'; Maybehewill are back with their second offering. 'Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony' has somehow been written despite the band's vigorous touring schedule which has seen them blitz in every dive up and down the UK as well as across the water - including Japan. Suffice to say, this is clearly a band on some kind of mission.

'Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony' picks up largely where their debut left off. A similar sound and feel, presumably due to the fact the band recorded the album themselves. The record boasts the same mix thundering guitar hooks and blissful electronica; this time however there feels like more of a thread. See, 'Not For Want Of Trying' was (and is) essentially a collection of tracks the band had written over some years; a time including a hiatus and various line-up changes. 'Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony' however, is a much more complete record set against the background of the current recession, and born out of six months of touring their debut LP, this album is a journal of four twenty-something's thoughts and experiences during tough times.

The album is a lesson in how to get post-rock right; like fellow instrumentalists 65 days of Static Maybeshewill blend poignant vocal samples and beautifully engineered musical scapes which really add another layer to the music, and set them apart from the quagmire of post-rock drone out there. The record is direct and to the point. It's equally haunting and uplifting. It's engaging and genuinely begging to be the soundtrack to Armageddon.

I struggle to get across how much I like this band, but I really do. I was apprehensive about this record as I wasn't sure where they'd go next; but they have silenced this critic and awarded the world another awesome and challenging record.

Catch them touring everywhere this June with the awesome '.and so I watch you from a far'. Seriously, do.


1. You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist
2. Co-Conspirators
3. This Time Last Year
4. Accept And Embrace
5. How To Have Sex With A Ghost
6. Our History Will Be What We Make Of It
7. Last Time This Year
8. Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony

Review - Weird Owl - Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed

Weird Owl - Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed

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5 out of 10

This album has been perplexing me, if that’s the right word, since I got it. I really want to like it. I can see what’s going on and where the band are heading but it does nothing whatsoever for me.
Coming across as almost like The Stooges (musically at least) slowed down to a shoe-gazey crawl and sucked dry of the aggression. Or maybe The White Stripes caught up in a prog nightmare.

The band can certainly play and I will give any band credit for having a track about The Battle of Little Bighorn (13 Arrows 13 Stars) but sadly every song doesn’t seem to get going at all for me.

I really wanted to like this.


1. Mind Mountain
2. Skolotopathian
3. 13 Arrows 13 Stars
4. Tobin’s Spirit Guide
5. Do What The Owl Wilt
6. Phases Of The Moon
7. In The Secrecy of Oceans
8. Flying low In The Air After Thunder

Review - Loch Vostok - Reveal No Secrets

Loch Vostok - Reveal No Secrets

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4 out of 10

The best thing about the PR slip that accompanies any release I have to review is always comparing the written word to whatever is tumbling out of the speakers. And it is always comforting to know that more often than not they are deluded or off the mark somewhat. It's like a comfy chair that doesn’t fit your décor scheme but you keep it anyway. Especially good on this release by Swedish "melo-death" band Loch Vostok (other than the mushroom cloud on the cover) is the inclusion of the PR company picking out the best tracks on the album and telling you which they are. So meaning I don’t have to listen to the whole thing. But being a professional, I knuckled down to the whole thing.

Loch Vostok are not really bad by any stretch of the imagination it's just the PR info is way off the mark. There are no vocals from hell whatsoever, sorry to disappoint you. Also it's not really melodic death metal at all, more akin to melodic power metal with slight death overtones. Sorry for being so anal about that.

It's a technically proficient, sterile metal album. Strong harmonies and tight playing but it leaves me cold. A lot of this sort of metal does. They play well, they can write a good melody. Sufficient.


1. Loss Of Liberty
2. Energy Taboo
3. Dig Deeper
4. Uncompassion
5. Thirty Years
6. Raiders Of The Lost Heart
7. Blindfolds Off
8. What Once Was
9. Breakthru

Review - Goddass - My Beautiful Sin

Goddass - My Beautiful Sin

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2 out of 10

I really do try. It's not easy sometimes but you put a brave face on it. When confronted by waves of terrible bands, and the worst thing is they're never that terrible more just mediocre, and it's hard to react to something like that, you tend to get quite jaded towards new things.

Take Goddass (is that a spelling mistake?) for example. The PR states they are a "metal-melodycore-mob". That is the first sign of trouble. Next comes the token acoustic intro, then the sterile production and stock melodic metal riffs. And then the vocals. The generic throaty screaming coupled with melodic refrains. Superbly standard.

I ain’t a dick I just hate Atreyu. And this reminds me so much of that band. So much. Which is never a good thing.


1. Prelude
2. Hide In Pieces
3. All I Die For
4. The Draw And the Rest
5. Last Day
6. Become My Heart
7. Bleeding A Scream
8. Never And Over
9. You (Hate)
10. I’m Your Hell
11. My Beautiful Sin

News - The Atomic Bitchwax Are At Tab 4...

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The Atomic Bitchwax will release their new album "TAB 4" on the 8th of June through Tee Pee Records.

News - Assemble Head - When Sweet Sleep Returned

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Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound will release their new album "When Sweet Sleep Returned" on the 8th of June through Tee Pee Records.

News - The Duckworth Lewis Method Love Cricket

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The Duckworth Lewis Method the partnership of Thomas Walsh (Duckworth) and Neil Hannon (Lewis) will release "The Greatest 'Cricket' Album Ever.".

News - Green Day - October UK Tour Announced

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Green Day have confirmed a UK tour in October. All details are below.

19th - Glasgow, SECC 0844 847 2487
23rd - London, O2 0844 856 0202
24th - London, O2 0844 856 0202
26th - Sheffield, Arena 0114 256 5656
27th - Birmingham, LG Arena 0844 338 8000
28th - Birmingham, LG Arena 0844 338 8000
30th - Manchester, MEN Arena 0844 847 8000
31st - Manchester, MEN Arena 0844 847 8000

Tickets go on sale from 10am, Friday May 1st from the box office numbers listed above, the 24 hour credit card hotline on 0871 2200 260 or online at Tickets are limited to two per applicant and are priced at £37.50 for London and £35 for all regional dates.

Their new album "21st Century Breakdown" is set for worldwide release on the 15th of May through Reprise Records.

Album track listing:

Act I: Heroes and Cons

Song of the Century
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
¡Viva La Gloria!
Before The Lobotomy
Christian's Inferno
Last Night on Earth

Act II: Charlatans and Saints

East Jesus Nowhere
Last of the American Girls
Murder City
?Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)
Restless Heart Syndrome

Act III: Horseshoes and Handgrenades

Horseshoes and Handgrenades
The Static Age
21 Guns
American Eulogy - a) Mass Hysteria, b) Modern World
See The Light

News - The Thermals - Headline Tour + New Single

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The Thermals will release their new single called "We Were Sick" on the 22nd of June through Kill Rock Stars. They have the following headline tour dates also:

14 Bristol Thekla
15 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
16 Edinburgh Sneaky Petes
17 Glasgow Stereo
18 Belfast Auntie Annies
19 Dublin Academy 2
21 Manchester Ruby Lounge
22 Birmingham Academy 3
23 London Cargo
24 Brighton Freebutt

News - House Of Brothers Free Release Show

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House of Brothers are having a free release show for their new EP called "Document 1".

The show is FREE!!!

Event details:

Date: 4th of May
Venue: Vibe Bar - Brick Lane
Support: Moon Music Orchestra and Tom Mansi & the Icebreakers

In June House Of Brothers will tour with Jonquil. Dates as follows:

June 9; Nottingham The Bodega
June 10; York The Basement
June 11; Manchester Kro Bar
June 12; Oxford Academy
June 13; London Borderline
June 14; Brighton Freebutt
June 15; Bristol Louisiana

News - Pearl Jam - European Tour Dates

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Pearl Jam announced today a handful of performances in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.

Tickets go on sale on the 8th of May. A special ticket pre-sale for current European members of Pearl Jam’s Ten Club begins today, April 27th and ends April 29th. On April 30th, this pre-sale will open to ALL active members of the Ten Club. Visit for full details.

Aug 13 Rotterdam Ahoy
Aug 15 Berlin, Germany Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide
Aug 17 Manchester, England M.E.N. Arena
Aug 18 London, England 02 Arena

Sunday, 26 April 2009

News - Breathe Carolina Have Signed To Fearless Records

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Breathe Carolina have signed to Fearless Records.

Review - Anarbor - Free Your Mind

Anarbor - Free Your Mind

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4 out of 10

Anarbor kick off their new EP, Free Your Mind, with less a statement of intent and more a polite invitation to rock, mildly. There's a bit of light distortion, there are some crashing cymbals and some truly insipid lyrics. Apparently, so goes the last lyric of the song, Anarbor are about to let the games begin. Unfortunately, these games are more comparable to the South Asian Tiddlywinks Championship than the Olympics.

This EP has about as much punch, and, for want of a better word, rockiness, as a damp tea-towel. If you liked The Academy Is. but always found them a bit heavy for your liking, this is the record for you. This EP contains far too much 'filler', this is a crime on an LP but an absolute travesty on an EP. Containing 7 tracks, there is perhaps one or two that I would not skip. Particularly guilty in this instance is the crushingly dull Halfway Sober and the lyrically ground-breaking You and I, perhaps the first instance of a song that has made "oooh oh" not only immensely uncatchy but also able to accurately predict the cries of agony I emitted stabbing myself in the leg with my pen while listening to it.

So let's talk about the flashes of inspiration, or at the very least the mildly positive.Passion for Publication is the best song on the EP as it is the one song that packs slightly more a of a punch and is genuinely catchy. EP opener Free Your Mind has moments where it reminds me of the vastly superior Rory, which can only be a good thing. But really this EP spends far too long on simmer and never really reaches the boil. It has moments where it threatens to spark into life but then dies out with a bit of whimper.

It seems like, while pop-rock albums of a few years ago had an obligatory acoustic song, there is now a trend to write at least song about "the scene" and how this band doesn't want to be part of it. Singing about eschewing fashion trends, demonic record labels and basically living the DIY ethic has become common place. While singer Slade Echevarria might want to let me know how he feels about this, truthfully there is only so long I can stomach him telling me that Music is what you hear/and not what you see because I am really not hearing too much.

So when Slade presciently asks on the album closer, So what the fuck happened to rock and roll I can't help but think maybe it is a question he should have asked himself.

An EP to avoid.


1. Let the Games Begin
2. The Brightest Green
3. Where the Wild Things Are(Monsters)
4. Halfway Sober
5. You and I
6. Passion for Publication
7. Always Dirty, Never Clean

Review - Trespassers William - The Natural Order of Things

Trespassers William - The Natural Order of Things

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8 out of 10

Disjointed, Harmonic, Haunting, Driving.

These are just a few of the words that popped into my mind, like the proverbial snare drum, when Trespassers William appeared on the airwaves and with the instantly recognisable voice of Anna-Lynne Williams, the sound takes on the shape of an old friend whom you never met.

Musically Trespassers William fill a similar space as Bon Iver or perhaps a Kate Bush fronted Belle & Sebastian or maybe even a Bright Eyes/The Dawn Chorus mega group who have persuaded Poe to whisper sweet nothings for them. Hold on a Jiffy (What even is a Jiffy? I like to entertain the idea that it is a small yellow boat, as in "I'll be there in a Jiffy", rather than a bubble wrap lined envelope) you might hear me say and that is because none of these comparisons cut the Norfolk based yellow stuff. Explosions in the Sky certainly feel like they feature here and so do Sonic Youth. But yet again my feeble pigeon holing is sub par and, to be perfectly honest, worthless when faced with the beautifully brooding, subtle nuances that this band have to offer.

NME described them as "the soundtrack to Twin Peaks: The Comedown Years" and I have to say that is pretty damn close, except this feels more like a naturally released DMT high experienced by Laura Palmer over and round and again and again. Subliminally sublime and pragmatically perfect, you would have to possess an ashtray for a heart not to feel this coursing through your soul.


1. Sparrrow
2. The Lids
3. Red
4. Catch Not Break
5. I Could Go Back

Review - Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO - Interstellar Guru and Zero

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO - Interstellar Guru and Zero

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10 out of 10

A looping sample resonates against itself causing a vibrating, almost warbley effect. This is then slashed from eyebrow to jugular by an almost unfathomable slice of acoustic fretwork, all the while strange and eerie samples, drones and calamitous feedback rages from left to right, speaker to ear. This builds, slowly, into an almost Lynchian nightmare, a mind-fuck that "La Tenia" would be proud of.

This is Acid Mothers Temple (& the Melting Paraiso UFO)

They (who even are they? Shadowy bastards you must admit) say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, well it must also be said that this is true for the old shell-like lugs pasted either side of your cranium, because much like fellow noise-niks Sunn 0))), Asva, Khanate or indeed any other band that the 'Gert Frobe' handed Stephen O'Malley wishes to put his mind to, you will either love or hate AMT (&TMPUFO). They are like aural Marmite which is a surprisingly suitable analogy; as the sound they produce is thick, gloopy and very very dark.

Astral Projection From Holy Shangrila starts off like a welcome message stuck in a forever looping groove and ends fifteen minutes later like the last shuttle taking off from Earth in the centre of a violent riot because every country has just simultaneously depressed THAT red button and also the reporting of this happened to over run an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger and Norris is a wee bit narked about the whole thing. Except it didn't end there because, at the key moment, just when everything was flame, smoke and cacophonic, a small man wearing a fez appeared playing a lute and everyone just took a seat and tapped along, smiling.

Confused? You had better get this band down that bony labyrinth of yours.

The closest I can get to describing the sound of Acid Mothers Temple is: imagine the following bands - Boris, Envy, Melt Banana, DJ Scotch Egg and Mad Capsule Markets, all being forced to play every song they have ever written all at once, at the opposite tempo whilst Takashi Miike is projecting all of his films at once onto a giant screen but he has left the volume to be controlled by the clumsy paws of a sly panda.

Or maybe this is closer: the first track is like fucking someone, except that halfway through you realise that you are the one getting fucked but it is more painful and raucous than you enjoy and you are on the verge of crying out "Rape, Rape!" when there is a sudden click and you realise that this is in fact the best ever. And track two is like waking up in a cloud; epic, ambient, calm, serene, safe and a little bit ticklish.

Now I don't know half as much about Japanese culture as I would like and listening to this made me realise that I don't even know 0.002% as much as I need to.



1. Astral Projection From Holy Shangrila
2. Interstellar Guru and Zero

Review - Yves Klein Blue - Draw Attention to Themselves

Yves Klein Blue - Draw Attention to Themselves

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6 out of 10

Hailing from Brisbane, Yves Klein Blue sound about as Australian as Franz Ferdinand and may be the missing link between the Strokes and the Libertines. This debut EP shows a quite embarrassing amount of talent and variety, popping between jazz, punk and rock at the flip of a pork-pie hat. We'll overlook the brass section on Not What I Want and instead bounce ourselves stupid to Silence Is Distance and Polka (which isn't, thankfully). We'll also nod quietly to Doherty-offcut The Streetlight (included especially for us Brits, doncha know) and concentrate on the understated piano-charm of A Bookend. Easy to write off but, I fear, that would be a mistake of Great Barrier Reef proportions.


1. Blasphemy
2. Not What I Want
3. 19
4. Silence Is Distance
5. Polka
6. (a bookend)
7. The Streetlight (Bonus UK Track)

Review - Lily Allen - Not Fair (Single)

Lily Allen - Not Fair (Single)

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7 out of 10

OMG! So, here's the story. Lily's got this new fella, yeah? (OMG you're gonna laugh your fuckin' head off when you hear this) And he's lovely an' everythin', he's REALLY sweet and REALLY looks out for her. Rings her loads in the day an' that. Sez he loves her, like, ALL THE TIME. Anyway, guess what? (OMG!) No, guess. . .he's no good in bed! (O. . .M. . .FG!!) Yeah, I know!! Poor fucker. Anyway, Lily's written it all down, like, you know? God. It's REALLY catchy as well - like someone's given Dolly Parton loads of vodka and Red Bull. It's ace! And she looks the business on the cover AS USUAL. And OMG! The dirty version of the song, right, she rhymes 'wet patch on the bed' with. . . 'giving head' ! I about pissed myself when I heard that!

There's but one letter between 'pop' and 'pap'. Go careful, now.


1. Not Fair (Clean Radio Edit)
2. Not Fair (Explicit)
3. Not Fair (Instrumental)

Review - The Color of Violence - Youthanize

The Color of Violence - Youthanize

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8 out of 10

Firstly, great song titles. Secondly, great songs. Win.

Falling somewhere between Botch and As the Sun Sets (although not always in the same song) The Color of Violence somehow seem to manage to be rather tongue in cheek but also rather better than a lot of the bands they poke fun at at the same time. There are techy metal moments, full on grind songs and even some faintly hair metal choruses and riffs. There are moments of Death Metal, hardcore and punk rock. There's a pleasing lack of synthesizers and drum machines, but some frankly amazing drumming and weird guitar noises.

Manic, a little bit insane, and possibly genius.


1. Rock Music
2. Large Hardon Collider
3. God Gave me Deeze Nutz
4. Me and my Enormous Spiritial Erection
5. Youthanize
6. Christina, Christina
7. Create a Merkaba, and get me out of here!
8. Crapandemic
9. Even I use to be Sex
10. Look! I Made it! I'm Dating an Actress!

Review - Earth - St Andrew¡¯s Church, Brighton. 16.04.2009

Earth - St Andrew¡¯s Church, Brighton. 16.04.2009

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10 out of 10

Earth¡¦.. Live¡¦¡¦ In a church, the prospect of which had the crotch of my jeans straining until a tent formed and well my rigidity was not in vain, this excitement was more than rewarded; firstly in the guise of support act James Blackshaw, who, for one man and an acoustic guitar makes a sound so outrageously cascading and drenched in ambience it almost knocked the air out of me. This could be put down to the setting, which did provide overtones of haunting power, but from the second his musical waterfall began, a spellbinding haze perched upon the shoulders of all those present (which is about waist height as all the pew seats were filled). James Blackshaw or, as he is known on CD when collaborating with Josef Van Wissem, Brethren of the Free Spirit (a more than fitting name considering the venue and if you know your 13th Century history of Christian movements) manages to make his guitar, with the help of a little delay & reverb, sound like all the elements of Grails are being forced out of the sound box. Intimidating.

A brief trip across the road to the Iron Duke then (which, tonight, is serving as both the venue for liquid imbibing as well as extraction) where, quite fittingly, they serve the Cornish ale ¡®Doom Bar¡¯. So a swift couple of those chucked down the old throat and it was time for Earth. Now this was going to be a night for first¡¯s for myself; the first time for seeing Earth, which is shocking considering this is the 20th year since their inception, and also the first time for seeing a ¡®proper¡¯ gig in a church (Christian musical advertisements do not count). Quite unassumingly Dylan Carson and company shuffled into the - well I would like to say stage but that¡¯s not entirely accurate - middle, you know¡¦.. the bit by the font, and after a few brief words lumbered straight into Miami Morning Coming Down II(Shine) the sound of which is thunderous; vibrations storm along the floorboards and up through your legs (a mate of mine had to leave ¨ø of the way through as he couldn¡¯t stand the vibrating making his leg itch). The majority of the music tonight came from the band¡¯s last LP The Bee¡¯s Made Honey in The Lion¡¯s Skull and judging by the reactions it seems that this is their finer body of work (as a new comer I am slightly biased towards it).

The music that Earth build is slow yet eviscerating, repetitive but sublime and despite the sobering seriousness that the venue plies you with, Dylan Carson manages to crack a joke when introducing Engine of Ruin as a metaphor for vices and habits that destroy, for him these are mashed potato and eels.

The draw of Earth is that they manage, incredibly, to create a space where you are comfortable enough to sit back, close your eyes and allow the music to flood over you, and judging by the showcasing of an as yet unnamed track as the finale, their next offering is going to be something spectacular, as this song, perhaps more than any other, fully immerses you in the fantastic world of Earth. My first religious experience in the house of God.

James¡¯ Note: Jon would like me to have put the following score for this live performance, but unfortunately our antiquated numerical scoring system would not allow it. I did however feel it a worthy addition to this already rave review. Here people in all its glory is the score that Jon felt Earth¡¯s live show deserved:

Score = EPIC/10

Listen: &


Review - Quietdrive - Deliverance

Quietdrive - Deliverance

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5 out of 10

If there's one thing for certain, the Myspace friend-to-innovation ratio tends to be disproportionate and such is the case for Minneapolis' Quietdrive; claiming 100k friends on their one-sheet (actually 98933 at time of writing). Quietdrive's first album since transitioning from the majors to indie label, Militia Group, 'Deliverance' is a few degrees shy of groundbreaking, but should appeal to fans of pop-punk.

Having a breakout debut on a major label (Epic) is surely a contributing factor to 'Deliverance's' pedestrian vibe. It can't be easy for a young group to appear on television, film, commercial and videogame soundtracks, only to find national awareness via a Cyndi Lauper cover. By tradition, a sophomore album is a make-it-or-break-it situation and it's hard to say that 'Deliverance" delivers the goods. The songs are well enough constructed and there's a lot of divergence (within a narrow spectrum) over the course of the album, but there's a certain joi de vivre missing.

As previously mentioned, 'Deliverance' should appeal to most subscribers of Alt Press, but there's just not enough originality here to catch the attention of more demanding audiences (no offense meant!). Adding further insult to injury, "Kissing Your Lips" - a Sublime-ish ballad - is the aural equivalent of Frank Miller's "The Spirit" ("Here we are / We're going through the motions" indeed). But, opinions being like assholes, take a second and peep the Myspace; you just might squeal like a pig, boy.


1. Believe
2. Deliverance
3. Daddy’s Little Girl
4. Motivation
5. Birthday
6. Afterall
7. Pretend
8. Hollywood
9. Kissing Your Lips
10. Take Me Now
11. Promise Me
12. Secret
13. Starbright

Review - Mexican Institute Of Sound - Soy Sauce

Mexican Institute Of Sound - Soy Sauce

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8 out of 10

In the jostle for 'Sound of the Summer 2009', this has to be near the front. Camilo Lara, A.K.A. Mexican Institute of Sound has fashioned an insane party mix of Mariachi, hip-hop, whacked-out glitch and warped easy-listening. Groovy evening get-together fizzling out? Break out the tequila and stick this album on. It's a marriage made in fruggin' heaven.

There's Mexican pub-rappers, the Beastie Boys and Pink Floyd. There's what could be the White Stripes on mescaline. Whatever it is, it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a shake in your booty.

Listen: www.myspace/mexicaninstituteofsound

1. Cumbia
2. Alocatel
3. Yo Digo Baila
4. White Stripes
5. Hiedra Venenosa
6. Te Quiero Mucho
7. Jalale
8. Comité Culificador Part 1
9. Comité Culificador Part 2
10. Karate Kid 2
11. Reventon
12. Sinfonia Agridulce
13. Alocatel (Ad Rock remix)
14. Chiflideur

Review - Gary Go - Open Arms (Single)

Gary Go - Open Arms (Single)

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2 out of 10

So, the 'one-man Coldplay' (© Q Magazine) releases a second single in advance of his Summer support slots for Take That. The Grauniad think he's 'eccentric'. The Scum say he's 'epic'. The parallels with Coldplay go beyond rip-off such that I can only say that this is more like musical Tampax - it does its job very well and only women really appreciate it. As the man himself says, you 'gotta see these things for what they are at the time'.


1. Open Arms (Radio Edit)

Review - Ricky Warwick - The Arms of Belfast Town (Single)

Ricky Warwick - The Arms of Belfast Town (Single)

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6 out of 10

I don't like football, really, and mostly I don't like football songs either. The Super Furry Animals did an ok one once I think, and that Primal Scream one was ok, but apart from that. Well, there's Ricky Warwick. Kinda like a sanitised Pogues or a (slightly) rougher Saw Doctors or a more Irish Levellers it's actually quite nice in an inoffensive twee kinda way. The "rock" version is much the same with boring rock guitars and loses much of the charm, but Love Owes is by far the best song on the CD. Like a cross between Johnny Cash's version of Personal Jesus and Sixteen Horsepower's Clogger it's nothing like the title track and all the better for it.


1. The Arms of Belfast Town
2. The Arms of Belfast Town (Rock Version)
3. Love Owes

Review - Bearweasel - Duck Hunt EP (inc Boris Werner and Ali Nasser Remixes)

Bearweasel - Duck Hunt EP (inc Boris Werner and Ali Nasser Remixes)

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6 out of 10

(This review attempted in the style of J.D Salinger's 'Catcher In The Rye'. The author would like to express his sincere apologies to all parties involved.)

I could tell you about my childhood and how my parents didn't let me listen to any dance music or anything like that, but that would be a lie and I don't want to bore you with that crumby David Copperfield /'It's All Gone Pete Tong' crap anyway.

Anyway since they released 'The Rouen EP' on Supernature label in 2008 the Bearweasel duo, Dean Muhsin and Louisa Page, have been doing some goddamn thing or the other.
Their new EP is entitled the 'Duck Hunt EP', featuring three original cuts and two remixes. Pretty phoney if you ask me but you probably wouldn't anyway.

The first track is" Where's Ratty".

Who the hell is Ratty and how the hell should I know any how?

So there's all these Watery beats mixed with wood block claps, this whole repetitive club sound, like some goddamn song from some corny goddamn cop movie that I don't ever want to see. Meanwhile some prince keeps saying, "Let's go outside and play". Go outside and play my ass. I've never been one for sports nor pruning that phoney Sally Hayes' goddamn Christmas tree for that matter. Alright, this track does have a Retro sound, bringing some of that 90's charm back; I'll admit that, something like 2 Unlimited, with effects treated vocals bouncing all over the show and jazzy synth fill dripping off the walls. Still, I don't know where this goddamn Ratty is hiding at.

"Busy" straight off has some real pervy kind of Gay bar beat along with more of those goddamn wood blocks. Some good ol' warpy bass eventually kicks in and some real crazy egg shakers appear during the breakdown before popping right into some Hip Hop beats. It's not showy or nothing like that, I can't stand tracks that try and be real showy, letting you now how flashy their beats can be, like Fatboy Slim. That kind of phoniness just drives me crazy, it really does.

No, "Busy" is alright.

"Superhero" has this crazy kind of tribal drum beats; the sound being almost hollow and then mixing with all this high hat business. Then it's all broken beats, with almost Dub bass and it sounds like old' Jimmy Brown is sailing high as a kite on drugs or whiskey or whatever and I just can't stand it.

The goddamn remixes make it all a bit more goddamn interesting and I'll admit I listened to it a few times and kind of liked it. I'm crazy like that, I am really am, I'll bitch and moan about some guy's record and then go back and listen to it all over. Best piece of advice is don't starting telling anyone about anything, especially if it's Bearweasel's new EP, unless you want to be going on about it for about hundred years.


1. Superhero
2. Superhero (Boris Werner Remix)
3. Where's Ratty'
4.Where's Ratty' (Ali Nasser Remix)
5. Busy

Review - Hi-Def TV - Leave Behind (Single)

Hi-Def TV - Leave Behind (Single)

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3 out of 10

If you like your deep-and-meaningful to be folkly acoustical, but find the likes of Nick Drake a little over-complicated and noisy, then Hi-Def TV could be just what you're looking for. These three tracks sound like something Drake might have done in his bedroom whilst learning the guitar; close-to-the-mic vocal, ad-hoc guitar twiddles. Coming soon to an open-mic night near you. If it doesn't all fall to pieces first.


1. Leave Behind
2. River's Gold
3. From My Side

Review - Worriedaboutsatan - Arrivals

Worriedaboutsatan - Arrivals

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8 out of 10

I'm always a little bit wary of music which is described as "electronica" or similar, as it often seems to be a moniker for "pretentious techno" which is really only fit for men with a very specific type of well trimmed beard. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, with the likes of Orbital and Aphex Twin falling into this camp. Genuine artists that can craft epics of almost operatic quality from symphonies of beeps, squelches and weird crunchy noises. worriedaboutsatan happily fall into this category too.

Most of the tracks are built up around the throbbing, pulsating rhythms of techno, albeit at a rather slower pace than one may typically associate with that genre, but here they ebb and flow in a manner that brings to mind R2D2 (yes, the droid from Star Wars) riffing his own version of Explosions in the Sky songs.

I have to be honest and say that I don't think I'll ever find the same beauty in digital music as I will in analogue. There is a kind of majesty in the interaction between human and instrument that is lost in the clinical perfection of synthesisers and samples, but the greatest exponents of the genre turn this to their advantage, creating soundscapes that would be impossible any other way. worriedaboutsatan wring an atmosphere and emotion from their machines that is all too rare.


1. One Down
2. Evil Dogs
3. .
4. I am a Crooked Man
5. Pissing About
6. ..
7. History is Made at Night
8. You're in my Thoughts
9. .
10. All Things but you are Silent
11. Arrivals

Review - Kasms - Male Bonding (Single)

Kasms - Male Bonding (Single)

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4 out of 10

This CD had quite an impact on me, but not in a good way. I popped it into my laptop to have a listen, only to be greeted by a terrifying grinding sound and vibration as the CD spun round out of balance 'cos of the stuck on label. My laptop does NOT like this.

I did finally get it to play ok; although I'm not entirely sure it was worth the effort. There's something in the production that leaves the whole thing sounding rather thin, which is a shame as the vaguely Bauhausy self consciously "edgy" guitar indie would probably benefit from a meatier sound. As it is it's just a bit forgettable and probably best left to people with fringes that cover their eyes.


1. Male Bonding
2. Kids

Review - Firetype - The Count / Maslow (Single)

Firetype - The Count / Maslow (Single)

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5 out of 10

Here is a triumph of optimism over, well, pretty much everything else. Despite hailing from Milton Keynes and Bedford, Firetype bounce around inside these two tracks like Placebo on nitrous oxide. There's a certain dark funkiness - especially in The Count - but things are still a bit rigid and new, like a great pair of boots which need a bit of wearing in before they feel like part of your body. They also sound like they want to be heavier - the aforementioned Count possessing all-to-brief snatches of riffery which pique the ears and nod the head. Maslow continues the Placebo-isms but this band's hierarchy of needs should include some loosening-up, despite the happy chorus. Money may be too tight for their record company to mention ('Making decent music comes first, making money comes second', say they. Enjoy having the choice, say I.) but that doesn't mean everything has to be so clenched.


1. The Count
2. Maslow

Review - Heartless Bastards - The Mountain

Heartless Bastards - The Mountain

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5 out of 10

First time I listened to this I hated it. Like, properly hated it. It filled me with rage and made me want to stick things in my ears so I didn't have to listen to it. I have to admit though, it's actually starting to grow on me a little bit, I think.

Initially, I had a couple of problems. The music itself is pleasant enough, but it seemed a little bit bland and I really, really didn't like the vocals. They sounded forced and awkward, and just rather annoying. Repeated listens have revealed hidden depths though, and I think I'm starting to warm to the vocals too. Erika Wennerstrom certainly has a distinctive voice, but I think my initial assessment was some way off the mark - it's not forced, it's just a bit. Well, odd. There's an undeniable emotion and tenderness in there too, even if she does make me think of Frances Mcdormand in Fargo.

Musically the rock and roll country stylings fit well, and remind me in places of the theme to Firefly, which is the joint best TV show ever, along with The Wire. I'm still not really that keen to be honest, but I don't hate it The Heartless Bastards any more.


1. The Mountain
2. Could be so Happy
3. Early in the Morning
4. Hold Your Head High
5. Out at Sea
6. Nothing Seems the Same
7. Wide Awake
8. So Quiet
9. Had to go
10. Witchypoo
11. Sway

Review - Trip - Shortcuts

Trip - Shortcuts

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9 out of 10

Eclectic is very much the name of the game here. But not eclectic on the "annoying mish mash of disparate ideas" kinda way, eclectic in a much more coherent, streamlined way. Can you imagine Blur playing whilst a combination of Mike Skinner and a sober Shaun Ryder raps and sings then you won't be too far away. It's not that Trip really sounds like the Happy Mondays singer, but he has very much the same confident swagger and flair, and there's definitely more than a hint of the Madchester vibe going on there.

The music itself is obviously something of a departure from the usual hip hop samples and beats, employing as it does what sounds like a full band amongst the synthesizers, and it really works well. Rap and guitars is all too rarely a successful combination, but here it excels. The laid back indie rock hooks compliment Trip's relaxed flow really well, and leaves plenty of space for the lyrics to shine through. And shine they really do - clever and funny, but also seemingly effortless - Trip really is a natural at this, few lyricists seem to put together songs which combine humour and a real emotional connection quite so well.

This is rapidly turning into one of my albums of the year so far, it really is a corker. At first I wasn't quite so keen on the slower songs, but they're very much growers, and the humour and summery vibe serves only to reinforce that.


1. Applecheeks
2. Rented
3. Laundromat
4. Go Away
5. Break the Jukebox
6. River Phoenix
7. Olympic Breakfast
8. Breathe
9. Summer Sundays
10. The Gambler
11. Who's That

Review - Sparrow and the Workshop - Devil Song / The Cold-Hearted Twist

Sparrow and the Workshop - Devil Song / The Cold-Hearted Twist

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6 out of 10

All too often alt-folk seems to mean wafty, insubstantial noodlings with equally vapid vocals. Fortunately Sparrow and the Workshop are a bit different. The folk and country influences are definitely there, but so are some dollops of Tom Waits and, weirdly (but successfully) glam rock, and it actually works rather well. They're kind of reminiscent of early Catatonia (before they turned into a rubbish pop band) with less wailsome vocals.


1. Devil Song
2. The Cold-Hearted Twist

Review - Rev78 - Us Against Them All (Single)

Rev78 - Us Against Them All (Single)

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6 out of 10

I sincerely hope that Ed Quick is of no relation to the blundering police chief who successfully shared a couple of the nation's secrets - mostly how the police were going to "get" "Them", unfortunately for Ed he does share some of his namesakes attributes; he and his fellow band mates fail to hide those from whom they borrow heavily (we're talking measuring it in liquid weight, it's that heavy) most notably from the genii once known as Warsaw. Sadly however Rev 78 seems to lack in the part that set Joy Division aside -Heart. Elements of The Killers? For sure. Godspeed You Black Emperor!? I'm not sold.

Rev 78 do write hooks that are catchier than Aids in Cambodia, well this is certainly the case with Us Against Them All, embarrassingly I had a rather elongated yawn at the start of the second track and by the time I shut my cake hole it had reached its conclusion. Nevertheless do not give up hope; as long as the band's Morrissey baiting doesn't result in a catch then Rev 78 should stay the right side of narcissism. I do quite like the way that Mr Quick pronounces "answer" mind. That gets them one extra opposable pointing ceiling-ward.


1. Us Against Them All
2. House Without A Door

Review - Homecut - No Freedom Without Sacrifice

Homecut - No Freedom Without Sacrifice

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7 out of 10

Despite a rather shaky start (track one is really just an intro, and the second track I REALLY don't like) this has actually turned out to be a pretty decent album. The production is nicely funky and indeed summery, and actually reminds me of Stevie Wonder in places which has to be good thing, right? Homecut's lyrical style actually makes a nice change from the aggressive rapping favoured by a lot of underground UK MCs. The whole album takes a much more laid back approach, with more of a good time party vibe than the battle style raps that are perhaps more prevalent.

This wouldn't sound at all out of place throbbing from the speakers of a dope low rider, but would be equally at home in the background of a lazy summer barbeque. If you like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5 then you'll probably find lots to enjoy here.


1. No Freedom Without Sacrifice
2. Participant
3. Don't Even Know featuring Corinne Bailey Rae & Soweto Kinch
4. Innovators (Nostalgically Speaking)
5. City Song
6. Not Far to Go
7. Ecclesiastes 3:11
8. Time Difference featuring J-Live
9. YKTE featuring Lee Sun
10. Night at the Fair
11. Bring it all Together
12. Harmony
13. Breakdown featuring Andreya Triana
14. All for Now

Review - Jackie Leven - The Haunted Year - Spring

Jackie Leven - The Haunted Year - Spring

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7 out of 10

A double live set, the latest in Leven's scheme to re-release previously-limited editions, Spring sees us take in a set performed at the London Water Rats and one at Milford British Legion Club. The London set is, perhaps unsurprisingly, more expansive in its sound, what with a superb jazz pianist (Michael Cosgrave) and some outstanding pipe-work (of the Uillean variety) from Stephan Hannigan. Glenarm / Burning the Box of Beautiful Things particularly shines, bringing the Highlands right into your head. Matters are instrumentally more restrained at Milford and there's a great informality to proceedings as Leven mixes up some rarely-played solo tracks (Walking in Argyll) with favourite covers (Waiting For My Man, featuring glorious fuzz-work from guitarist Kevin Hewick).

Mix in the essential anecdotes and asides and we have a great example of the Jackie Leven live experience.


CD 1: Jackie Leven & the Celtic Soulmen: 'Man Bleeds in Glasgow'
1. Intro
2. Farm Boy
3. (Guardian Preview)
4. Glenarm / Burning the Box of Beautiful Things
5. Looking For Love
6. Man Bleeds In Glasgow
7. (Golf On The Moon)
8. Night Lilies
9. Snow In Central Park
10. (Fear in Bermondsey)
11. Poor Toun
12. Deep Choking Wooded Death Fix
13. (Erotic Football Results)
14. Call Mother A Lonely Field

CD 2: Jackie Leven & the Stornaway Girls - 'Greetings From Milford'
1. She Belongs To Me
2. Pale Blue Eyes
3. Walking In Argyll
4. Waiting For My Man
5. Listening To Crows Pray
6. Madam George
7. Who Is He And What Is He To You?
8. Paris Blues
9. Main Travelled Roads

Review - The Maccabees - Wall of Arms (Album Sampler)

The Maccabees - Wall of Arms (Album Sampler)

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8 out of 10

Now this is a challenge, how do you review an album sampler? I could dissect it and analyse all the individual tracks but I can’t help but think that ruins the spirit of the album as a collective. The simplest conclusion I can come to is to review my forecast based on a taster, early predictions are it’ll be rather delightful.

My previous experience with The Maccabees was a very brief one, I thought ’Toothpaste Kisses’ was pleasant enough but nothing earth shattering, if I’m honest they nearly all but passed me by unnoticed. Fortunately by reviewing this sampler me and the Maccabees had a second chance and the impressions were much stronger.

To touch back on my earlier problem I found it particularly hard to capture the album ’Wall of Arms’. Trying to gauge pacing and concept on only four tracks proved to be tougher than I thought, I can only assume they went for the more mainstream friendly tracks and that they’ll be broken up with something a bit more melancholy, but as I said, that’s only an assumption.

My first concern about this sampler was that it might lack variety as it’s more than common with bands of this assortment; fortunately what they do show is diversity in techniques. The perfect example is the drumming, never once overt or over the top and always does exactly what is require, but the style and capability hasn’t gone unnoticed, coupled with the intense BPM of ’Kiss and Resolve’ and this sampler proves that The Maccabees have more than enough range.

’Love You Better’ is the first single from ’Wall of Arms’ and features on the sampler. A wash of delayed hypnotic guitar that is extremely striking coupled along with minimal but effective brass, a very nice touch that adds that little more impact to the crescendo.

This sampler isn’t completely devoid of issues though, my main gripe is as lovely as the vocal are I can’t help but feel the melodies are all a bit familiar to each other, although this didn’t occur to me until I truly noticed how similar singer Orlando Weeks tone was to Win Butler from Arcade Fire (no bad comparison, quite the opposite in fact).

With the right pacing and production this album has the potential to easily out do there earlier efforts and truly thrust The Macaabees into the mainstream, I look forward to hearing the final effort.


1. Love You Better
2. Can You Give It
3. Kiss and Resolve
4. One Hand Holding

Saturday, 25 April 2009

News - Latitude Festival Music Additions - White Lies....

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Latitide Festival’s latest music additions on the Obelisk Arena are as follows:

~ White Lies ~ Pretenders ~
~ Flashguns ~ The Chakras ~

Friday, 24 April 2009

News - Visible Noise Signs...

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The Dead Formats have signed to Visible Noise. Their self-titled mini album will be released on the 1st of June.

News - Damiera Leaves Equal Vision Records

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Damiera are no longer on Equal Vision Records.

Taken from their MySpace page:

"After nearly four years and two releases together, Damiera and Equal Vision Records have decided to part ways. We are going to spend much of this summer working on our next album, with a planned release in 2010."

News - The Rocket Summer Due This Summer...

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The Rocket Summer’s new album called "Of Men and Angels" will be released this summer.

News - Inkwell - New Album Out Now!

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Inkwell have released their new album "Rivers Of Blood And Sadness, Or Maybe Happy" this week through One Eleven Records.

News - Against Me! Are The Original Cowboys

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Against Me! will release their new CD "The Original Cowboy" on the 7th of July through Fat Wreck Chords.

From their MySpace page about the record:

"We are proud to announce that on July 7th, 2009 Fat Wreck Chords will be releasing "The Original Cowboy". These predominantly never-before-heard demos were recorded at Goldentone Studio in Gainesville, FL with Rob McGregor on July 15th, 2003. The session was scheduled just prior to our trip to Memphis' Ardent Studios where As The Eternal Cowboy was recorded (our second full length, and our first release with Fat).

Having already recorded our first full length album and two previous EPs with Rob at Goldentone, we wanted to do something different for our second full length. We specifically wanted to make an all analog recording which we could do at Ardent. With Rob McGregor coming along to produce, we wanted to make sure he was familiar with the songs, so we made this demo recording.

At the insistence of Fat Mike, the song "Cavalier Eternal" from the 7/15/03 session did end up making it onto As The Eternal Cowboy, Mike preferring the demo to the version made at Ardent.

Recorded and mixed in only a couple of hours, The Original Cowboy was only meant to be a trial run, but, listening to it today, there's a part of me that feels foolish for ever recording these songs a second time. -Tom"

News - The Dear Hunter Announces Act III...

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The Dear Hunter will release their new album "Act III: Life and Death" on the 23rd of June through Triple Crown Records.

Track Listing

1. Writing on a Wall
2. In Cauda Venenum
3. What it Means to be Alone
4. The Tank
5. The Poison Woman
6. The Thief
7. Mustard Gas
8. Saved
9. He Said He Had A Story
10. This Beautiful Life
11. Go Get Your Gun
12. Son
13. Father
14. Life and Death

News - The Devil Wears Prada - Sassafras

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The Devil Wears Prada have added a new song called "Sassafras" to their MySpace page.

News - Taking Back Sunday Are New Again

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Taking Back Sunday will release their new album called "New Again" on the 2nd of June through Warner Brothers Records. Their first single from the album is called "Sink Into Me", and is available now on iTunes.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

News - In The Midst Of Lions Sign To Strike First Records

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In The Midst Of Lions have signed to Strike First Records. Their debut album "Out Of Darkness" will be out on the 26th of May.

News - Shapes EP & Tour Dates

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Shapes head out on tour next month in support of their brand new EP "’The Pasture, The Oil" which is their first for Big Scary Monsters Records.

04.05 - Birmingham, The Flatter
05.05 - Manchester, Kro Bar
06.05 - London, Old Blue Last (free entry - w/ Blakfish)
07.05 - Nottingham, The Chameleon Arts Cafe
08.05 - Huddersfield, The Parish
10.05 - Sheffield, The Harlet
13.05 - Southampton, House Party
14.05 - Portsmouth, Fat Fox
15.05 - London, Hot Damn - Purple Turtle
16.05 - Brighton, BSM showcase - The Great Escape (free entry matinee show - w/ This Town Needs Guns, Blakfish and more)
21.05 - Brighton, Hot Damn - The Ocean Rooms
28.05 - Dublin, The Lower Deck (w/ Blakfish)
29.05 - Cork, Cypress Avenue (w/ Blakfish)
30.05 - Limerick, TBA (w/ Blakfish)
31.05 - Derry, Sandino’s (w/ Blakfish)
01.06 - Belfast, Lavery’s (w/ Blakfish)

News - BANGBANGBANG! Are Done.

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BANGBANGBANG! are on indefinite hiatus.

From their MySpace page:


As of today, BANGBANGBANG! are on an indefinite hiatus for personal reasons and all gigs have been cancelled. We’re very sorry to let down the promoters and people coming to the shows we had booked.


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

News - Before Their Eyes Involved In An Altercation!

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Submitted: "An altercation took place at last night's Before Their Eyes ( show in Poughkeepsie, NY. For details and photos hit up the band's MySpace blog here:"

News - Anti-Flag Album Videos On YouTube

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Submitted: "Each week Anti Flag will post a new video relating to each track off of The People or The Gun.
Click below to see EPISODE 1 - Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C. (Sheep In Shepherd’s Clothing)

Anti-Flag - The People or The Gun - June 5/8/9 2009 SideOneDummy Records."

News - Cancer Bats - VANS Instore

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Submitted: "ANNOUNCEMENT: Cancer Bats store appearances at Vans Leeds and Exit Manchester
As part of the VANS 'Off The Wall' tour, Cancer Bats will be dropping by the Leeds and the Exit Store in Manchester to meet and greet fans and sign some goodies. Rumour has it that the band are keen to get their skateboards out and christen the mini ramp in the basement of the Vans Leeds store, so grab your board and you could be skating with Cancer Bats.

30th April - 6pm

Vans Leeds
24 King Edward Street

3rd May- 5pm

16 Halle Mall
Manchester Arndale
Upper Floor
M4 3AQ

For more info and signing times visit"

News - Big Scary Monsters Records Signs Mutiny On The Bounty

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Submitted: "Big Scary Monsters Records have signed Mutiny On The Bounty from Luxembourg. ’Danger Mouth’, the bands debut album (recommended for fans of Meet Me In St Louis, The Fall of Troy etc etc) will be released on 1st June. A few UK dates have been announced for May and they’ll be back in August for a full tour. There are 3 free MP3 downloads available at along with a cheap, limited time only pre-order deal."

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

News - Latitude - Music Additions - Regina Spector and Passion Pit

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Regina Spector and Passion Pit have been added to the line-up for Latitude Festival this year on the Obelisk Arena and Sunrise Arena respectively.

Event Details:

16th - 19th July 2009
Henham Park Estate, Southwold, Suffolk

Ticket Information:

Weekend tickets £150 plus booking fees . Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £60 plus booking fee.
Weekend ticket prices include car parking and camping . Days include car parking only.

Credit Card line: 0871 231 0821
Online: . .

News - TesseracT UK & European Tour

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TesseracT have announced UK and European tours, the full dates are below:

21 April - The Cellar Bar, Bracknell
22 April - Hobbits, Weston-Super-Mare,
23 April - New Market, Hotel Bridgwater
24 April - HAMMERFEST, Prestatyn
8 May - The Pitz, Milton Keynes

21 May - The Rock, Copenhagen, Denmark
22 May - Halle 5, Leipzig, Germany
23 May - EUROBLAST FESTIVAL, Koln, Germany - w/Textures and Dagoba
24 May - Sophie's Pub, Roermond, Holland
29 May - TSUNAMI FEST, Tram, Huizen, Holland
30 May - TSUNAMI FEST, Tram, Huizen, Holland
31 May - TSUNAMI FEST, Tram, Huizen, Holland

5 June - Lounge Bar, Alton
26 June - Bicester FC, Bicester

9 to 19 July - UK Tour with No Made Sense (venues to be announced)

8 August METALFEST, The Underworld, London

Monday, 20 April 2009

News - Placebo: For What It’s Worth

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Placebo have announced they are releasing their new single "For What It’s Worth" on the 1st of June.

Live dates:

Saturday 9th May - Sheffield O2 Academy
Sunday 10th May - Bournemouth Opera House
Tuesday 12th May - London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

News - Fightstar + In Case Of Fire Tour

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Fightstar & In Case Of Fire are touring together starting this week:


Wed 22 OXFORD Academy
Thu 23 BRISTOL Bierkeller
Sun 26 NORWICH Waterfront
Mon 27 BIRMINGHAM Academy 2
Wed 29 NEWCASTLE Academy 2


Fri 01 PRESTON 53 Degrees
Sat 02 LIVERPOOL Barfly
Mon 04 EXETER Lemon Grove
Tue 05 PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
Wed 06 LONDON Islington Academy
Thu 07 MANCHESTER Academy 3

News - The Answer Postpone Shows

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The Answer have had to postpone a few of their upcoming shows:

"Due to ligament / tendon damage to drummer James Heatley's left hand, THE ANSWER regret to announce the postponement their imminent UK headline club shows. The affected shows are as follows:

Apr 20th Belfast Mandela Hall
Apr 22nd Nottingham Rescue rooms
Apr 24th Glasgow Grand Central



Says singer Cormac Neeson, "We are bitterly disappointed to have to postpone our UK headline shows especially for all our fans who have been waiting so patiently for so long. We have left the decision to the absolute last minute in the hope that the medical problem with our drummer James might get better. Unfortunately his hand is swollen and he is in immense pain. He has struggled with pain-killers to get through the recent 30 minute support sets on the AC/DC tour and whilst he can perform a short support set, it is a medical impossibility for him to perform a full one hour and fifteen minute headline set at present.

We are all very upset that we cannot play our full headline show and we will reschedule the postponed shows as soon as we can.

Furthermore and as a token of our appreciation to all our disappointed fans we will provide a free and new limited signed tour poster for everyone who has purchased a ticket and this will be distributed at the rescheduled shows.

Once again we are very sorry at not being able to perform but you know we would never postpone any show unless it was an absolute necessity and in this case we are all hoping that James will make a swift and speedy recovery""

News - The Audition Drop Off Tour!

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The Audition have dropped off their tour with Kevin Rudolf:

"Hey all,

I’m sorry to inform you that we will not be able to play any further dates on the "Let It Rock" Tour with Kevin Rudolf after tonight in Anaheim. We are extremely sorry to those of you who were coming out to see us. We will be announcing new dates soon though.

We will still be playing tomorrow in Tucson with Hyper Crush and Cash Cash, so we’ll see you guys there!

We’ll keep you posted on our tour plans as soon as we can. See you all very soon!

- The Audition"

News - We Shot The Moon Add Songs To PureVolume

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We Shot The Moon have posted two songs called "Miracle" and "Woke Her Up" on their PureVolume page.

Review - Southerly - Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist

Southerly - Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist

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8 out of 10

The second album from Portland based Krist Krueger and friends, Southerly, now a fully formed band, have created here not what I would necessarily describe as a "unique" sound but instead a brilliantly arranged and orchestrated culmination of styles.

Opening track, Visage Sans Expression, sounds half like a standard modern folk song and half like Clint Mansell's soundtrack for Requiem for a Dream which hints at what is about to follow throughout the rest of the album. That being, wonderfully put together pop-acoustic songs which often sound very simplistic until you pay attention to what's going on in them.

On A Coarse Design, you realise that this easy on the ear guitar song also has a very interesting and intricately constructed bass line and what I find most appealing is that the accompanying backing vocals are just enough to create effect but not so prominent to distract from the main vocal line. It's this attention to detail that really goes towards what makes this album great.

The delicate and pleasantly discordant guitar motifs are something that recurs on a lot of the songs, along with pleasantly meandering bass lines. This is accompanied in How to Be a Dreamer by syncopated piano and guitar chords which underline what I suppose could be called a chorus although Southerly often strays away from the standard verse-chorus-verse form.

Amongst the pleasant guitar plus vocal style songs, there are also shorter instrumental additions such as the tension building predominately piano based, Pistols in Paradise which sounds almost like the music you'd hear underneath a melodramatic silent movie.

If I had to recommend just one song to listen to from this album it would be Dreams that Make Men Free. Not only does it contain some of the most poignant lyrics but it draws together many of the features that collectively make this album appealing, the wonderfully odd motifs, the unexpectedly dissonant mid-section which quickly resolves itself into pleasant acoustic vocal melody which all the way through is punctuated with another lovely discord between voice and trumpet on the first line of each chorus.

Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist have the same sort of attention to detail as an Adem album but with all the charm of songs from artists like Liam or Neil Finn, or Ruarri Joseph. Definitely a must for anyone that likes, interesting, upbeat happy songs but which have a little more meat on their bones than your average singer/songwriter offering.


1. Visage Sans Expression
2. Close to the Crime
3. Soldiers
4. A Coarse Design
5. Taking Stock
6. For the Speechless Coward
7. How to be a Dreamer
8. If We All Forget
9. Pistols in Paradise
10. Cold Caller
11. Dreams the Make Men Free
12. Breath of My Youth
13. When We Have to Go
14. Simple Simon

Sunday, 19 April 2009

News - Juliette Lewis Returns!

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Juliette Lewis will release her new album "Terra Incognita" in the autumn. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta) has produced the disk.

Tour dates:

Tue-May-12 Berlin Germany Kesselhaus
Thu-May-14 Bilbao area Spain Azkena Rock Festival
Fri-May-15 London UK Koko - Club NME - 18+
Sat-May-16 Brighton UK Great Escape Festival - Concorde 2./09.45
Mon-May-18 London UK Not In Kansas Anymore @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
21-May Liverpool UK Sound City Festival - Stanley Theatre
Fri-Jun-5 Rock am Ring Germany Nurburgring / Eifel
Sat-Jun-6 Rock im Park Germany Zeppelinfeld / Nurnberg
13-Jun Rodez France Festival Skabazac
18-Jul Istanbul Turkey Rock'n Coke Festival - Istanbul Park Circuit
19-Jul Berne Switzerland Gurten Festival

Review - Hundred Reasons - Oxford O2 Academy, 5th April 2009

Hundred Reasons - Oxford O2 Academy, 5th April 2009

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7 out of 10

After interviewing guitarist Larry Hibbit before the show tonight, I had mixed expectations for tonight's show and for some reason I had the distinct feeling that I was going to be disappointed - the main reason being that the band's 3rd album 'Quick The Word, Sharp The Action' being re-released this month, and I wasn't really a huge fan of it first time round. It lacks a certain amount of the excitement that was instilled within me after every listen of 'Ideas Above Our Station' or 'Kill Your Own', and perhaps the fear of that being delivered in a live setting was going to put me off too? Anyway, you don't need to know the reasons behind my doubts - the hangover from the night before was probably the real reason for the sinking feeling in my stomach. All you do need to know is that (for the most part at least) I was wrong.

Whilst the newer material didn't quite captivate me as much as the oldies, the band showed themselves off as great musicians and played an excellent set. 'Kill Your Own', title track from album number 3 sounded nothing short of epic and personal favourite of mine 'If I Could' managed to transport me back to the age of 17 again. Although the connection between band and crowd that I used to be able to instantly recognise at H*R shows isn't really on display tonight, the band still play a great set and successfully manage to entertain the crowd here tonight. I shall definitely try and catch them again, but this time without the hangover.



Review - Jack Butler - Fit the Paradigm

Jack Butler - Fit the Paradigm

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4 out of 10

So, this is more Caledonian art-pop, from the smokes that gave us the likes of Orange Juice and la Ferdinand. They're even continuing the trend of naming a band after a person. There is a bit more going on with Stirling's Jack Butler, though. Just. In fact, I would go so far as to say there's too much going on. The album hurtles along at such pace; it seems to be in fear of the listener losing interest. Bloc Party yelps clash above artschool-ska, whilst Jack Penate seems to be gobbling speed through it all.

There are some nicely fluid guitar lines, in Just Fit The Paradigm and Boy vs. Beast, for example, but they don't hang around. Even the considered lyrics whip by in the wind - the irony of 'these kids'll buy anything to pour through their ears' from the aforementioned title track notwithstanding. It takes Ostinatos to almost save the album from careering over the edge of the angular cliff, before it, too, goes off into a 'lion sleeps tonight' seizure, complete with jungle whoops. There's just no need for it. By the close of the album, the band is sounding like rip-offs of themselves, which is quite a feat. As my driving instructor used to say, before launching into another sermon about Christ: you can do the accelerator - now let's look at the brake.


1. Hit It Out The Park, Son
2. From Plea to Paper
3. Are You A Hustler?
4. Ode
5. Boy vs. Beast
6. Just Fit The Paradigm
7. Let's Testify!
8. Velvet Prose
9. Bushido Codes
10. He Got No Game!
11. Surgery 1984 (Operations I & II)
12. Ostinatos
13. Apocalypse Clocks

Review - William - Slightly Delighted

William - Slightly Delighted

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4 out of 10

Your appreciation of this South-of-the-river trio will probably hinge on whether you can stomach the high-pitched Pavement-meets-Hefner vocalising of guitar and lyrics man Gavin Housley, vocals his own PR describe as 'feline'. That's as in 'like a cat'. Check out the opening track, where we leap to uncomfortable heights within seconds. Elsewhere, we have a ukulele'd stab at Joanna Newsom for variety (Tacit), together with loping bass and breathiness (Headscream). The whole ends with the six minutes-plus attempted indie epic of Memory Net, which possesses a guitar line not lacking charm but it's nothing that Ball Boy haven't done before and many times better. If they can avoid drowning in the love from Lowe, Lamacq and co., things could happen. Until then, it's continued crawling of the Camden sidewalks.


1. Youngun
2. Headscream
3. Tacit
4. Midi
5. Foreshore
6. Memory Net

Review - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz!

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8 out of 10

Considering it's only six years since YYYs breakthrough album 'Fever To Tell', it's pretty alarming to hear how much the band have changed. After we all fell in love with 'Fever To Tell', I was certainly expecting more of the same but the Brooklyn three piece silenced the harshest critics with 2006's 'Show Your Bones' and 2007's 'Is Is', with it's uncompromising and ballsy grungy filth.

But something had to give; YYYs were part of the brief 'new wave' movement when virtually anything from New York was almost heralded as the next big thing. It is therefore actually quite nice to see them still around and to see them do something completely different.

Disappointingly, it's quite easy to get off side early with their latest offering; 'It's Blitz!'. Everything I've ever read comments on how 'there's no guitar, where's the guitar?!', and in fairness there's not much to find. Frankly this is a bit of a shame, given how much Zinner's guitar work stylises the band. But let's get past that. Change people, change.

The album begins with current single; Zero', which despite its constant exposure and airplay is far from the finest song on the album. But you don't need to wait long for the record to come into its own, and when it does we are met with a delightful mash of beats and synths and Karen O's unique and sweet yelping skilfully draped over the top. The record maintains a similar vibe courtesy of long-time collaborator and producer Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio), and displays some Karen O's best vocal performances to date, the mix of sincerity and tension compliments the record in a blissful way.

It's a brave and ultimately daring move for the band, considering the devoted fan base they have built up. Those who are waiting for another 'Fever To Tell' will most likely be disappointed, but this mature and confident album showcasing a different side to a much loved, interesting and progressive band.


1. Zero
2. Heads Will Roll
3. Soft Shock
4. Skeletons
5. Dull Life
6. Shame And Fortune
7. Runaway
8. Dragon Queen
9. Hysteric
10. Little Shadow

Review - Therapy? - Crooked Timber

Therapy? - Crooked Timber

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10 out of 10

Therapy? are back with there 10th album Crooked Timber and it's one of their best yet. Many bands by their 10th offering would have found a formula and stick to it, not Therapy?. Don't get me wrong the essence is still there, but with a heavier more rhythm driven sound there's so much more to them and it also means they remain as fresh to listen to as they were when I first heard them 15 years ago.

An extremely enjoyable album to listen to and there are some interesting lyrics too which wash over you as a part of the sing or should you want to think about them you will find a deep well of thought and meaning. The title track 'Crooked Timber' comes from 18th Century philosopher Immanuel Kant "From the crooked Timber of humanity, no straight thing was made", this could be taken to mean that nothing is ever perfect, but that's what I take from it and someone else derive something else entirely. And with each song you really get the feeling that these songs have truly been worked on to get the most out of them.

The stand out tracks for me are 'Clowns Galore' with it's use of guitar made to sign like a fairground ride or carnival attraction and the instrumental Magic Mountain which is quite simply immense.


1. The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself
2. Enjoy The Struggle
3. Clowns Galore
4. Exiles
5. Crooked Timber
6. I Told You I Was Ill
7. Somnambulist
8. Blacken The Page
9. Magic Mountain
10. Bad Excuse For Daylight

Review - Ironik - Tiny Dancer (feat. Chipmunk) (Single)

Ironik - Tiny Dancer (feat. Chipmunk) (Single)

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2 out of 10

Elton John states that Tupac and Kanye West were only two artists he'd let sample his records and 'that says everything about how much I rate Ironik'. Well good on you Elton, good on you; even though it isn't strictly true. Off the top my head I can think of various songs with Elton John samples, as well as dozens of legitimate covers.

On the topic of covers, I wasn't even a particularly big fan of Dave Grohl's cover of 'Tiny Dancer'. Dave Grohl's cover of this however, was at least heart felt, well sang and true to the original. See, I believe the point of a cover is to add something to a track that the original lacked, a seasoning of sorts, something that will set it apart, bring it to a new audience, transcend genre or indeed in this case modernise it.

Well then, we seem to have a problem. At what point did someone, genuinely think, that Elton John's timeless, awe-inspiring and beloved 'Tiny Dancer' could be improved on? I mean, clearly someone did! We have this cancer of a record to prove it. Somewhere someone thought; 'You know who didn't nail 'Tiny Dancer'? That Elton John'. 'Yeah, needs more rapping doesn't it'? 'Yeah, needs an urban vibe, that'll really bring it into 2009''.

The weirdest thing however is that the sample from said classic 70's rock ballad doesn't even work in the track. It simply doesn't scan. It's sped up slightly to enable it to fit in with Ironik and Chipmunk's lyrical 'flo', but it just sounds as though it's been haplessly and carelessly forced in, like body builder in a baby gro.

The rest of the track though is OK, the verse I mean. It's your standard R&B / grime affair with the two MCs rhyming each other off (lol) and it works well. It's all pretty slick, ticks the boxes and does the job but then before you know it, it's that chorus again. Totally unnecessary.

I've heard a lot about Chipmunk and actually quite liked his first single. I'm also not hugely surprised to see him feature on a pre-fabricated sure fire top 5; Ironik however I know less about, though according to his press release he has got over 100 thousand friends on myspace. So good for him.

Next up: Stairway to heaven featuring Flo-Rida.


1. Tiny Dancer

Review - Francis Rodino - Circles & Squares

Francis Rodino - Circles & Squares

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3 out of 10

Despite the Pearl Jam-like riffage in lead single Burn, Francis Rodino is more Daniel O'Donnell than Eddie Vedder. We all know how lucrative the mawkish acoustic-singer-songwriter market is. Lucrative enough for this album to get recorded on fifty grand's worth of pre-orders through MySpace and Facebook, anyway. If your idea of high emotion is watching re-runs of Heartbeat, or you find yourself crying during television talent contests then you'll play this album on a loop until the cockroaches take over.

The rest of us will simply wonder why the world needs an album sounding like the bloke from the Corrs doing a 'solo project'. Despite the crafted and heartfelt lyrics, it doesn't do to pay too much attention. 'The things that they taught you in school never needed no use' (Science) - missing Grammar was an error, clearly. 'Drink to the sex that you'll never forget' (Drink) - we're back to Dodgy O'Donnell, again. Overall, this album could be a soundtrack to Facebook - well-meaning and shiny but spend time with it and you may wonder if you're wasting your life.


1. Burn
2. One Love
3. Any Day Now
4. Walk With Me
5. Science
6. Don't Say Never
7. Blood
8. More Than Before
9. Drink
10. Wonderful From Here

Review - Morrissey - Something Is Squeezing My Skull (Single)

Morrissey - Something Is Squeezing My Skull (Single)

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8 out of 10

OK so I'm not the biggest Morrissey/Smiths fan in the world, but 'Something Is Squeezing My Skull' is certainly not what I was expecting. After the last single 'Throwing My Arms Around Paris' was more along the lines of what I'd expect this song has floored me. Don't get me wrong it's not death metal, but some of the drumming wouldn't go amiss in that style, and the lyrical content is what you'd expect. But the music is so much rockier than I'd ever given Mozza credit for, seriously from the outset this is a real belter. I think it's about drugs, though I could be wrong, but the extensive list he reels off has to give it away.

The rock stylings are nicely complimented by the orchestra and it's short and punchy enough to line up alongside any pop song today. The B-sides you can get with this are all lives tracks from a radio 2 special recorded in February.


1. Something Is Squeezing My Skull