28 February 2011


I've been trying to find some information about and hear more music of Trogons since better-blog Pinglewood posted about them back in November. I figured that I'd wait around and, given how great the song was that was shared back then, information, more music and a buzz of excitement would have fallen in my lap by now. For some reason it hasn't, and Trogons still seem as little known now as they did back then - a mere 138 Last FM plays from 51 listeners and only 1 post on HypeMachine, at time of writing.

Trogons are based in London, and are apparently formed of current/ex members of the likes of Kasms, Betty and the Werewolvees, Spin Spin The Dogs, and The Human Race (posted about on BF here). Their sound is dark psychedelic rock - with distorted guitar twangs, underlying unsettling synth sounds and brilliant, dark and troubling female vocals - as well as some hints of both 60s pop and 70s prog. It possibly shouldn't work, but it most certainly does, and these few words can not do it the justice it deserves.

This blog post is unlikely to give them the success they deserve as a band, but hopefully they can find it somehow or another. The Marc Riley session a few days ago should help, as would buying their music; do that here and here. Listen below, too.

Protest Song no.678 - Trogons


SoundCloud | Tumblr | Facebook

27 February 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

Not the most exciting of weeks for alternative releases ever, but still a few well worth a trip to your local record store for.

Week starting February 28:

Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High EP (Sub-Pop)

Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High

Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (Atlantic)
Rainbow Arabia – Boys and Diamonds (Kompakt)
V. A. – Before The Fall [Mark E. Smith Comp.] (Ace Records)
Cave Singers – No Witch (Jagjaguwar)

24 February 2011

New Years Evil

As much as I gripe and moan about Plymouth – its lack of cultural goings on especially in the field of music, its general right-wing attitudes, even its geographical location – it is good to know that there are some good things going on not all that far away.

New Years Evil are based in Exeter. For those not so clued up on the south-west of England, that’s about an hour train journey (which, in these parts, is considered city-neighbours). I’m not overly fond of having to travel an hour for gigs and the like, but they’re making sounds well worth 60 minutes of bad company and cramped, smelly conditions. Kind of abrasive and almost grungey, yet still accessible and with songs that are at least a little bit ‘pop’, they make me pull funny faces and nod my head at a pace I usually try to refrain from. Widely blogged “Shame” is guitar riffing, care-free vocal, and drum-rolling fun whereas “100 Guitars” sounds like a made-up-on-the-spot bedroom-recorded jam. They’re also one of Art Is Hard Records releases, which, for me, is confirmation of their goodness.

Check out some tracks below, buy the split 7" with The Black Tambourines over at Art Is Hard Records, and download a free cassette tape (however that's possible) and buy some other stuff at their bandcamp page. If you're interested, you can also check out my blog post on split release buddies The Black Tambourines here and label chums Art Is Hard interview here.

New Years Evil - Shame

NEW YEARS EVIL - 100 Guitars

Bandcamp | SoundCloud | Art Is Hard Records

23 February 2011

Évariste Galois

This won’t be for everyone, but it will be for some people – which makes it worth writing about, right? Right. For those people it’s not for, please accept my apologies. Or give it a chance to grow.

Évariste Galois are from Cardiff. They’re named after a mathematician, which makes them automatically awesome in my eyes. They, like many Cardiff bands, are made up of members of other bands such as singer and guitarist Matthew who plays drums in Saturday’s Kids and guitarist Sion who sings and plays guitar also in Saturday’s Kids.

They play American inspired almost emo and pop-punk tinged alternative rock, which isn’t usually my cup of tea but which, for some reason, I enjoy here. Like Saturday’s Kids, there’s the odd mistake here and then but the songs just have a real nice feel to them which I find difficult to resist – and they’re also good live. They were also thinking about splitting up recently, but they decided against it so that’s good news.

A little while back they released a split CD with Matthew’s other band Saturday’s Kids available over here. They also have some stuff available on bandcamp, or you can listen and download below.

Évariste Galois - Fauna

Évariste Galois - Past

Bandcamp | Facebook

22 February 2011

Y Niwl: New Video

Don't usually care about videos, but I like the band, the song and even the video itself so why not. Y Niwl's video for Undegpedwar, a single taken from their self-titled debut:

Ever been to a gig at an Anarchist club before?

I hadn’t before I went to Brighton’s Cowley Club to see Shield Your Eyes, P For Persia and Illness. You have to buzz a bell to get in, and then someone opens a little hatch before letting you in, which was actually a little intimidating. But the place had a brilliant atmosphere – a buzz of conversation and a pint of lager for only £2.50, which both meant it didn’t really matter that I was on my own.

Unlike most shows, this had a real DIY feel to it. Chairs and tables were stacked up against the wall to clear some floor space for the bands, those in charge of the doors were the first band on, all the staff behind the bar at Cowley Club are volunteers, and everyone knew each other – even the music being played through the PA was of other friends’ bands. It helps you to appreciate all the effort that goes in to making the night happen, which in practice essentially means that, at gigs like these, there aren’t many arseholes and most people are just wanting to have a good time.

First on were Illness. I’d seen them once before at One Inch Badge’s Sea Monsters Best of Brighton mini festival at Prince Albert, and also got kindly sent their debut album, Some Vegetable Waste. I’d also blogged about them because, simply, they’re good (here). They’re a tight, energetic, and intelligent band and all three of these came through their instrumental indie rock jams live brilliantly. This was their 8th (I think) night on a UK tour but it didn’t show at all. It’s strange – they’re the sort of band that you wouldn’t expect would be easily accepted by the masses, they like the lo-fi aesthetic and it’s just guitar and drums, but everyone in Cowley really liked it.

Illness - Rich Psychology

Next up were P For Persia. I hadn’t heard them before so I didn’t know what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised. Their music isn’t the easiest to describe, but among the distorted vocals (shouted through an amped up telephone), synth sounds, guitar riffing, instrument swapping and general noise was a lot of energy, fun and volume. Also included in the set was a moment where lead singer and guitarist dressed up as a sea monster and were subsequently silly-stringed (not a real verb) by the rest of the band. It’s the sort of moment you wish you had a video camera. It was fun and also impressive given that they are touring with Illness. They should be knackered, apparently they weren’t.

P For Persia - Turtles All The Way Down

The lead band were Shield Your Eyes. I got sent their album a little while back and, to be honest, I wasn’t the hugest fan of it (though this is judging from only one listen). Also, by this time my rubbish cold was re-surfacing and my bed was calling. I didn’t last much of their set because of the latter. It was loud, though, which is a good thing, right? Kind of noisey rock with hints of early (actual) emo, math, and post-rock. You’ll have to judge this one for yourselves seeings I can’t, apparently, give any useful input.

Shield Your Eyes - Oranges

The point of this blog post? None, really. Just really to share some good music and express my excitement at the Brighton music scene. Looks like there are some really great things going on.

Illness website | P For Persia Facebook | Shield Your Eyes


BAANEEX are a band from London. They describe themselves as “Dracula-inspired garage punk/noisepop/roarcore.” Although not especially useful in actually working out how their music is going to sound, this little bio does at least give you a hint that they might be a bit odd.

Indeed they are rather odd. As well as odd, their sound is somewhat wide-spanning and incredibly difficult to pin down. Weird Dance 2 is two songs, or two bands even, in one. All kraut-y influenced weirdness – a looping bassline strutting alongside wobbling synth amidst moments of semi-shouty vocals and even some kazoo – takes up the first few minutes of the track, but is then interrupted by speedily jerked guitar and raucous drums, only for the kraut-y jams to return once more. It’s chaotic and confusing, but exciting, fun and even manages to be catchy.

They’re equally as multi-faced, noisey, screechy and unpredictable with the rest of their recorded output thus far. Picnic Swan sees them verging on almost prog-rock territory, a guitar licks over bass-y blurring and an echoing synth line; dragging on but doing it gracefully for 4 minutes before the synth starts to pierce through, bass swell and drums build. Nothing really happens, but nothing really needs to. Hoovering Concrete is mostly dirty indie rock instrumental jams, only breaking down for periods of Sonic Youth-styled brash noise.

Coool Count, on the other hand, is a one minute catchy, fuzzy pissing-around jam - switching from repetitive spoken word layers to shouty aggression, but what really grabs the attention most is the amusing (and NSFW) vocals/lyrics. And 90 second long Football Round Up is of similar lo-fi instrumental jamming vain.

I’m pretty sure I don’t understand it, and God knows where they’re planning to go with it, but regardless, this is great. Just give it a bloody listen. Debut EP Weird Dance is out on Odd Box Records here.

BAANEEX - Weird Dance 2

BAANEEX - Coool Count

BAANEEX - Hoovering Concrete

SoundCloud | Website | Twitter

21 February 2011

Dan Amos Documentary

My fascination with the brilliant Dan Amos continues. His music, via band Burglarised, as previously posted about on this blog twice and on social media apps countless times, is distorted, effortlessly incredible pop music. Thankfully the guys from Illness are keeping my Dan Amos needs fulfilled, and have made this short documentary on him, his music, and why it's so brilliant and fascinating. Check it out below.

DAN AMOS vs THE FANS from Illness on Vimeo.

Download Burglarised/Dan Amos full album Thunderheart here, or listen to and grab some individual tracks below.

Dan Amos/Burglarised - It Doesn't Happen Often

Dan Amos/Burglarised - See What I Can Do

Dan Amos / Burglarised BF post | Illness BF post | Illness website

19 February 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

Plenty more new album, EP and 7” releases from the obscure, unsigned, and alternative crowd this week. Here's a pick of the best.

Week starting February 21:

Yuck – Yuck (Mercury Records)

Yuck - The Wall

Meilir – Cellar Songs EP (Self-released)
Frankie & the Heartstrings – Hunger (Pop Sex Ltd/Wichita)
Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine (Carpark Records)
Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie Xx – We’re New Here (XL Recordings)
Cults – Go Outside 7” (In The Name Of/Columbia Records)
Davids Lyre – In Arms EP (Mercury)
Rainbow Arabia – Without You (kompakt)

17 February 2011


So a few weeks ago I pretty much called Ryan Gabel a weirdo when talking about his music project Arc Light, in an introducing article over on ThisIsFakeDIY. I didn’t have much to base that assessment on, just an album or so of material under his solo work as Arc Light, but it looks like it may have been a fair assessment after all, with fresh evidence coming from his new project, Myrrh.

This time Ryan is working with a friend (named Landan, apparently), who seems to bring out an even weirder side. Myrrh has a similar lo-fi and psychedelic feel to his Arc Light work, only it’s even darker and spookier. Club (Drum Sound Life), for instance, opens with weird and echoing vocal samples which are then joined by fairly minimal bleeping and echoing synth lines which lasts throughout. There’s not much more to Way Body Moves, either – buzzing bass, random bleeping synth, wah-ing noise, and spooky vocal samples once more.

It’s hauntingly empty of any of the ingredients we usually associate with songs, but it just works. Listen and download two tracks below, or head to Myrrh’s website to download five-track N’ajzabi Beats for free.

Myrrh - Great Gathering

Myrrh - Club (Drum Sound Life)

Website | MySpace | YouTube

16 February 2011


Ratatosk is the work of Cardiff musician Rhodri Viney. I posted about his band Right Hand Left Hand a while ago, but I should also mention his solo stuff too because, quite simply, it’s really good.

Rhodri’s pretty well known and respected in Cardiff. He used to record under the name Teflon Monkey but had to change it because of some legal threats he got from a big, evil company. He also does solo work under the name Broken Leaf, plays in post-rock band Vito, and has contributed to the recordings of the likes of Brave Captain (Boo Radley’s Martin Carr), Sweet Baboo, Gorki’s Zygotic Mynci and countless others. But today I’ll be talking about his stuff under the name of Ratatosk. Keeping up? Okay.

Ratatosk, for me, is a little bit like a combination of some of his other output. There’s plenty of impressive use of loop pedals and an experimental nature like with Right Hand Left Hand; only it’s all technically-finger-plucked acoustic guitar with a fragility and melancholy, more like with his work under Teflon Monkey and Broken Leaf. Songs are enjoyable and emotive, both the guitar and vocals communicating a real sadness, but they’re also impressive. Layers of guitar lines are seamlessly added together to what sounds more like a gaggle of Django Reindharts rather than one man alone, and Rhodri then adds further layers of other instruments including piano and a saw which sounds unusually and surprisingly brilliant.

You can the stream in full and buy album C’est La Vie Tragique below or over at Bandcamp, where you’ll also find a release cataloguing his work as Teflon Monkey. People in or near Cardiff will also be able to catch Ratatosk live if you keep your eyes peeled. It is an experience not to be missed.

Ratatosk - Damnati ad Bestias

Bandcamp | MySpace

15 February 2011

Pheromoans: Release Debut Album

Pheromoans full length album is something I've been looking forward to pretty much since the day I heard they'd be releasing it, so it's pretty good to see that it - in all its 17 track glory - is finally out now. Technically released yesterday (and posted on here today because I'm rubbish), It Still Rankles is out through Convulsive Records and, although I've not heard it yet, is sure to be crammed full of brilliant pissing around, lo-fi punk racket.

The Brighton/London/Gatwick Airport/generally south-East based five-piece were featured on this very blog back in November here if you want to read some superlatives. Otherwise head to Convulsive Records here to find out more info and details of how to order. You can also stream some non-album tracks below.

Pheromoans - Robotic Son

Pheromoans - Sussex Tomb 1

Facebook | Convulsive Records

Mrs. Magician

There Is No God is a pretty outlandish and bold statement to put as the title of a song. The type of statement that, although might catch the eye, make smile, and perhaps even improve the opinion (in a roundabout way) of a certain percentage of listeners, could put off a good portion of the band’s potential fans who are of opposing religious or spiritual opinion.

Of course not all of those of the believing disposition would dislike Mrs. Magician simply for opting for that as the title (and chorus) of a song, it is likely to irk at least a small minority. But, if even the most offended of theists did give There Is No God a listen, they might struggle to resist its charms – a catchy juxtaposition of surf-y pop sounds with noisey, rock-y guitar riffs and distorted bass sounds (very possibly inspired by the likes of Best Coast and Wavves).

It’s a juxtaposition that Mrs. Magician do well. The almost opposingly titled Angel Baby takes similar, though notably less upbeat, cues; 60s slow motion pop influences regurgitated through cheap microphones and distorted guitars, and with I'm Gonna Hang Out With The Lesbians Next Door & Drop Acid (not even going to comment on that song title) bringing a modern touch to a similar era; opting for catchy surf-y guitar twitches and echoed vocals, whilst a second guitar screeches discordantly throughout.

Although there may be a mass of others bands using similar formulae today, Mrs. Magician do it to at least as enjoyable effect and their two 7” releases (There Is No God out October 2010 and The Spells out March 2011) are definitely worthy of your time – especially given they’re both available for free download from their bandcamp page.

Mrs. Magician - There Is No God

Mrs. Magician - I'm Gonna Hang Out With The Lesbians Next Door & Drop Acid

Mrs. Magician - Angel Baby

Bandcamp | Facebook

14 February 2011

Eagulls: Debut 7" Released Today

For all the looping synth complexity, twinkling electro sounds, and fancy experimentation around today, it's still good (heck, even refreshing) to hear a band getting hype for writing trusty old guitar led punk songs.

Eagulls are indeed much hyped, but perhaps it's for that very reason. There's no messing about and no pretence, the Leeds band just get on with fairly simple but importantly really good songs. Although their sound is more along classic British rock lines of the likes of Stiff Little Fingers, early Blur, and hints of The Cribs, it comes as no real surprise that Eagulls are formed from the embers hardcore bands. Guitar sounds softed, pace slowed down and throats slightly more lubricated and Eagulls' sound is born.

Their debut 7" is released today through Not Even Records. A list of where it can be bought can be found here.

Council Flat Blues - Eagulls

Acrostical - Eagulls

MySpace | Kudos to The Pigeon Post for being there as early as always

Alexander Comana

Lead singer of sprawling post-rock-cum-big-pop band Among Brothers (featured here) and (recently ex) guitarist for hardcore five piece Goodtime Boys, Cardiff based Alex Comana’s solo stuff shows him edging into new musical territory less explored by his bands.

Hints of the likes of Bon Iver and Real Estate pop up in the only recording I’ve heard of his solo stuff so far; his song Apnea showing he’s no plain old singer-songwriter aiming to bore you to sleep. Five minutes of intelligent and emotive folk with self-harmonised vocals, well put together acoustic guitar/banjo strums and plucks, and some moments of piano, electric guitar and wind instruments adding texture and depth. Pretty nice, and perhaps a fairly pleasant track to eat a Valentine's meal to.

Alexander Comana - Apnea

MySpace |

13 February 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

What a WEEK! Debut albums from two of the more hyped new bands from over the pond in the last 12 months, and new, much anticipated material from some of the more ‘experienced’ artists.

Week starting February 14:

The Babies - The Babies (Shrimper)

The Babies - Meet Me In The City

Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo (Turnstile)
Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (Rock Action)
Ringo Deathstarr – Colour Trip (Club AC30)
Bright Eyes – The People’s Key (Polydor)
La Sera – La Sera (Hardly Art)
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (Island)
Sonic Youth - Simon Werner a Disparu [Soundtrack]
The Lovely Eggs – Cob Domino (Cherryade)
A Hawk And A Hacksaw – Cervantine (LM Duplication)
Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence (Polyvinyl)
Various Artists - Rought Trade Counter Culture 10 (Rough Trade)

12 February 2011

Voluntary Butler Scheme: New Stuff

I always thought Voluntary Butler Scheme was alright. Not incredible, sometimes not my cup of tea lyrically, but on the whole I enjoyed his music (and also his production on other people's music, such as Sweet Baboo) - but I really didn't foresee myself blogging excitedly about a new release from him in 2011.

The Chevreul EP has just gone up on bandcamp and Rob, still based in the midlands if his tagging is anything to go by, has really developed and expanded his sound. It's never been straight down the middle and bland pop and has always been fairly varied, but here Rob takes a much more experimental turn. There's an increased focus on electronics - some vocal effects (at times even along almost Animal Collective lines), the use of samples, twinkling and looping synths and even hip-hop beats and turntable scratching popping up here and there. It's not all new sounds, though, with the single sticking to the fairly similar catchy big pop sounds as previous works.

The EP is apparently just a taster for a new album (following on from his At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea debut) coming, presumably, fairly soon. It's said to include some instrumental stuff, which should be interesting. Listen to the incredibly catchy (and with awesome guitar twanging) new single 'To the Height of a Frisbee', and also the EP in full, below. There's also a free remix from Dan Le Sac if you, unlike me, are interested: here. I'm actually really excited by this!

To The Height Of A Frisbee by Voluntary Butler Scheme

Bandcamp | MySpace

11 February 2011

Harald Grosskopf

This is incredible, wonderful, unbelievable synth-led beauty from Harald Grosskopf's apparently seminal album Synthesist released in 1980, due to get a reissue in the coming weeks. I'm your average idiot and know very little about the Berlin artist, but even a fool like me can appreciate the brilliance of these songs. I quite often find myself amazed by bands from 30, 40 years ago, but this... Just listen.

Harald Grosskopf - So Weit, So Gut

Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist

RVNG Intl. are reissuing the album in just a few days time, along with a remix album Re-Synthesist. And just to think of which bands the 80s are best remembered for.

Youth Castles

Nothing overly original or groundbreaking, but three tracks of Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine heavy influence from New York/New Jersey’s Youth Castles.

Hangover Kid starts with a fairly basic high-pitched guitar lick but a drum machine and countless guitar pedals and vocals effects later it becomes something all the more intriguing and interesting – like much of shoegaze, these are essentially pop songs wrapped in blankets of noise. Youth Castles do it pretty well, and tey also add interesting tweaks here and there, such as on Feel, where the typical MBV woo-ing synth noise is replaced by a female vocal sample which works really well and is a nice touch.

There are far worse bands to be influenced by. Grab stuff below or head to bandcamp. Full EP expected ‘in Spring’.

Youth Castles - Problems

Bandcamp | MySpace | via

10 February 2011

Mood Rings

Mood Rings recreate the sound of yesteryear, just like many others bands do, but, unlike many of their peers who adopt similar approaches to songwriting, the Georgia-based group are very particular in their selections of which music from yesteryear to take influence from, and are also very good in their execution of this.

Despite their sound being heavily influenced by the music of the past, it’s the types of music that the band are influenced by that also makes it very now. It might be that they just happen to love the music that is so popular and fashionable right now, or it might be slightly that the band know just which combinations of genres will get bloggers twitching in anticipation after reading about or hearing them.

Year of Dreams would sit entirely comfortably on the new Smith Westerns album, with clear 70s rock (and many of its branch-off genres) influences in both the vocals and in one of the guitar lines, but also 60s pop influences in the drum beat and in a second echoing guitar line. Heavy Favorite continues the band along 60s pop and doo-wop lines - enough to satisfy any Frankie Valli fan wanting some new material; whereas Washer sees them step into darker, even more reverb-y territory. Heavily distorted guitar strums and echoing vocals with still a hint of that 60s surf-pop influence recap The Jesus and Mary Chain side of the shoegaze era.

I don’t really care which one of those is true, to be honest. I’m just enjoying the result of it for now. Free songs below or on their own bandcamp, and also a free EP, Sweather Weather on this bandcamp page here.

Mood Rings - Heavy Favorite

Mood Rings - Washer

Bandcamp | MySpace |>

9 February 2011


When a certain kind of middle class folk talk of ambience, they mean how many working class or rowdy people there are in any given place – a restaurant, a cinema, a gig venue. When I talk of ambience, I mean this – the music of Austin-based artist Miles Kelley.

His free EP These Things I Know is five tracks of beautiful, laid back, wistful sounds, all of consistently high electro-ambient quality, with hints of folk and pop. These Things I Know, for instance, is 4 minutes of tender noise and crackles before a laid back and delicate bass-snare beat kicks in, with harmonic “aah”s, and Yr. Escape is of similar, though perhaps catchier, chilled out vain. Grey Skies and Ocean Girl are slightly less minimal; slightly faster-paced, more energetic, and with louder bass beats, but they still won’t stir you from your mid-noon semi-snooze.

It reminds me of Lemon Jelly, which I find awesome in itself, let alone the fact that this is generally just lovely, magical music. Listen and download below, or download the entire thing from bandcamp for free – which is also packed full of loads of other releases from Miles, including a sweet cover of Best Coast (also playable below). Brilliant.

Milezo - Yr. Escape

Milezo - Grey Skies

MySpace | Bandcamp

8 February 2011

Wanda and Wonder

So yeah. I listen to quite a lot of music. Lots of it is really good, lots of it really isn’t, and there’s lots of it somewhere in between.

I downloaded an EP from Athens duo Wanda and Wonder (not sure what possessed them to decide on that name). Although I found the whole EP at times a little overly cheesey, felt a few songs have a bit too much going on, and generally found it a bit hit and miss and lacking consistency across its 5 songs, I did really like their song Bass Is Nice.

It’s got a kind of Animal Collective thing going on at times, but then I say that about everything so don’t take that too seriously, and is generally just a brilliantly brave song. It’s got a shamelessly (even more so taking into account the song title) catchy bass-line throughout, and vocals that range from really deep to super high pitched, monkey/Animal Collective style “wooh”s and it generally just doesn’t give a shit about anything but having a good time. Stylistically it’s not too different from the psychedelic influenced twisted pop of the other four songs on the album, but just manages to work in a lots going on, nowhere to hide kind of way where some of the other songs don’t quite.

Listen to and grab Bass Is Nice below, head to Last FM to grab some other free songs and also try the rest of the EP (available free here) just to see if you disagree with me or not. You probably will, my taste is rubbish.

Wanda and Wonder - Bass Is Nice

Last FM | MySpace | Via

7 February 2011


This comes lifted pretty much directly from The Pigeon Post, as anybody who follows this blog on Twitter or likes it on Facebook will know, so make sure you head over there at some point to find out abut other bands I might post about in a week or two.

Spacemonster is the work of Kenny Hamilton and he makes the kind of lo-fi, scratchy bedroom pop that I find utterly impossible to resist. Kenny sings with a real honesty and his songs are built up piece by piece, fragile layer after fragile layer. On Swimmer Summer, for instance, Kenny sings to the noise of fuzzy layers of guitar, undoubtedly built up with both effects and loop pedals, and a drum-machine beat so rudimentary it's essentially an out-loud metronome - but the beauty is that the songs need no more than those few ingredients to shine through as the perfect pop songs that they are. Pines, also taken from Kenny's 5-track EP Gills which is available on bandcamp, is great too. It's kind of what you'd expect the result of a collaboration between Johnny Cash and Bradley Cox would sound like - Kenny's fragile and distorted vocals and fairly minimal acoustic guitar strums reminiscent of the musical projects of the latter, whilst a typically country bass-line buonces throughout.

I just adore it, and the EP is well worth the $1 that it seems to now cost on bandcamp. There also seems to be a free album available from HERE which is linked to on Kenny's MySpace. I'm not too sure what it's like yet as I've not had chance to listen (it's downloading now, in fact) but I'm pretty excited to. There's a decent chance it could be somewhat musically different to Gills given that his MySpace page looks to have been abandoned for a (wise) move to bandcamp, and also seeings there seems to have been a band name change in that period too. Alluded to by the URL of his bandcamp page, MySpace sees Spacemonster listed as American Spacemonster. I have faith in Kenny that it'll be darn good though.

Spacemonster - We Are Too

Bandcamp | MySpace

6 February 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

Some fairly long awaited releases out this week, both debut albums and follow ups. Don't forget, if you're going to buy these, support your local independent record store by buying it from them. Like this one in Cardiff. Or this one in Brighton. Or even this one in Manchester. Or if you're not in the vicinity of these cities and want to find out the closest record store to you, head here.

Week starting Monday 7 February:

James Blake - James Blake (Atlas/A&M))

James Blake - Love What Happened Here

The Streets – Computers & Blues (679 Recordings)
Cut Copy – Zonoscope (Modular)
Harrys Gym – What Was Ours Can’t Be Yours (Splendour)
Boxer Rebellion – Cold Still (Absentee Recordings)

4 February 2011

Music For Your Plants

It’s not every day you stumble across a new band who are opting for the progressive rock sound. Sure, Mystery Jets started with some heavy prog influences and wrote a few 8 minute songs, but then they went all cheesey 80s pop on us. It’s understandable why lots of bands steer clear of the prog sound or perhaps even why Mystery Jets moved away from it. Given it’s a genre best known for being over-dramatic, pretentious, and boastful, and being eventually ended by the anger and lack of fussing around of the punk movement, it’d take a brave and perhaps foolhardy band to recreate the prog sounds - especially if they had any slight desire to gain a fan-base that doesn’t consist solely of 60 something-year-old long-haired men who simply won’t let go. Music For Your Plants might just be that brave band.

Although the Estonian group are no King Crimson, the experimental and instrumental songs taken from their EP released a few months give more than just a nod to the 70s prog sound; giving it a spruced-up twist that might even get the kids of today listening in, a bit like those children’s cartoons that are secretly teaching the kids how to do their sums. Combining the synonymous with prog drawn-out guitar lines, and the lack of vocals, with twinkling and bubbling electro blips and perhaps more of a self-awareness, Music For Your Plants bring a freshened and turned-hip prog sound, along with modern contemporaries perhaps such as Drum Eyes, to the 2010’s in real style.

It’s about time it made a comeback anyway, right? Listen and download some tracks from their EP below, or grab the whole thing here.

Music For Your Plants - Mr. Huanted

Music For Your Plants - A City In The Sea

MySpace | SoundCloud

3 February 2011

Basement Fever

In case anybody was wondering, this blog is named after a song by an American band called Experimental Dental School, or XDS as I think they're currently known. They have the whole album, Forest Field, that the song is taken from for free at their website, here. It's guitar twang-and-shriek, drums rattle, and vocal sometimes-harmonised weird goodness.

It used to be a guy on guitar and a girl on drums. Now it's the same guy on guitar and a new guy, replacing the girl, presumably on drums. They're in the process of making a new album and it'll most likely be good.

Obviously thanks to them, but also thanks to Cardiff-based gig promoters Loose who put on Experimental Dental School almost two years ago at Buffalo Bar that I decided to attend on the off-chance of it being good. (It was good, by the way).

Listen to Basement Fever and Cheap Winer River (I didn't think that was as good a name for a blog) below.

Experimental Dental School - Basement Fever

Experimental Dental School - Cheap Wine River

2 February 2011


Prepare yourself for a long ride with this one. 10 minutes of instrumental noisey, grungey rock jam from Brighton’s Colonics. They’re not the finished package just yet, but they’ve certainly got me intrigued and looking forward to hearing more.

Colonics - Persephone

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1 February 2011

New Animal

The thing with music blogging is that, quite often, you’ve only known of a band a few weeks and only listened to their stuff a handful of times before writing and posting about their music. It’s fairly obvious why this is the case (you know, the nature of blogging about new music is that the music needs to be new, really), but what it can mean is a lot of positive press and superlatives for bands who make music that immediately grabs you, leaving those bands whose music burns its way slowly into your mind sourly unrepresented.

Take New Animal for instance. I was literally just preparing myself by listening to their self-titled album to put up a blog post praising a track or two from it, whilst also commenting about my disappointment that not the rest of the release could live up to these tracks’ standards – but then it finally hit me, and I finally ‘got’ the record.

15 tracks of worldy sounds from Atlanta’s Kris Hermstad and Derek Burdette, their album is largely made up of harmony-filled psychedelic pop songs through the medium of a range of big vocals, twangs, jingles and buzzes. Other Side has one of the catchiest choruses (and bass-lines, actually) I’ve heard this year (granted, it’s only a month old) which is slowly built towards and finally comes after three minutes of teasing, and much of the album follows catchy pop, alebit sometimes downbeat, suit. its But it also delves into the darker and varied side of things on regular occasions, too; Science seemingly New Animal’s (slightly lighter) take on Nine Inch Nails with a ticking drum-machine and buzzing synth throughout, and the likes of Last Winter, Fires In The Backyard and In The Water At Night sees them delving into the melancholic depths of - perhaps Bon Iver influenced – country and folk.

New Animal isn’t perfect, and some tracks aren’t as good as others. This is no surprise. It’s the case for the vast majority of albums, obviously. But it does offer far, far more in terms of consistency, strength and breadth than I originally gave it credit for. Thank God for doubting myself.

Download some stuff below or grab it in its entirety at bandcamp.

New Animal - Other Side

New Animal - They Don't Know

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