31 July 2011

Milestones: Noel Gardner

Milestones is a feature looking to gain an insight into the tastes of a particular character of the music 'industry'. We ask them a few questions and they kindly answer.

Noel Gardner is one rocking dude. A regular writer for Drowned In Sound, The Quietus, and the BBC album reviews site, and music editor for Cardiff independent magazine Buzz, Noel is a genuine inspiration of mine for the consistently high quality of his writing, how amazingly prolific he is at it, and his pretty incredible knowledge of such a wide range of music. Any regular gig-goer in Cardiff will recognise him, often found swaying back and forth at the front of gigs or stood to the side with a notepad in hand - or promoting them under his (and friends') Lesson No. 1 guise - and to learn about the development of his music taste is something I've found fascinating to read. Find Noel's responses to the generic Milestones questions below.

The album that first got you into music:

I guess there are about ten or 12 albums from say late 1993 to a year after which all make an equal claim for the above but I’m pretty sure the first album I bought (on cassette) with my own money was What Hits!?, which was a Red Hot Chili Peppers compilation with only one actual hit song on it. When I was 14 I thought that RHCP were just the coolest a band could be, which was a result of having almost no social context for what ‘cool music’ might be. (I grew up in Cornwall, where older people who looked, to me, like they’d figured out how to live dressed more or less like the Chili Peppers.) By the time I found out that the members of the band actually had ‘cool’ and ‘acceptable’ taste in music, eg old LA punk and Neu! and stuff like that, I found the Red Hot Chili Peppers pretty hard to listen to.

This song ‘Backwoods’ off of it is a good and typical 80s RHCP song, I think. It is quite sweet how they attempt to educate their listeners about the old music they love (see the lyrics) but do it in a completely excruciating way.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Backwoods

The band that dominated your teenage years:

Real talk: from the ages of I think 10 to 13 (until I bought the above album) the only band I liked or listened to was Status Quo. Honestly I think my mum and stepdad were pretty disappointed in me. After that however it went something like – 13-15: RHCP, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Blur, Portishead, Smashing Pumpkins; 16 and 17 Stereolab, Mogwai, Sonic Youth, DJ Shadow, Chemical Brothers, Radiohead; 18 and 19 Underworld, Orbital, Flying Saucer Attack (and the whole area of badly recorded drone rock in general), Tool, Fugazi, Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney, Godspeed! plus shit tons of old records by (mostly punk) bands that didn’t exist anymore. Almost all those bands are still AOK with me.

I feel like you can see the evolution from hapless dipshit willing himself to like grunge music so he’d be more popular at school, to NME-reading entry level alt with a small A-level student grant, to annoying indie dork who thought writing for the student newspaper would be the best decision he’d ever make. In answer to your question, there isn’t one band really.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Sonic Youth - 100%

Fugazi - Waiting Room

The album in your parents' collection that made a lasting impression:

I could write, like, an essay on the music that was round the house when I was growing up. Maybe one day I will, but the long and short of it is that most of it was really good and interesting stuff that is held in pretty high regard by ‘tastemakers’ today. I don’t think my parents (and stepdad) were in any way the 80s equivalent of ‘hipsters’ or whatever so I think it’s just kind of a coincidence, and/or the result of archivist/nostalgist culture reassessing absolutely everything.

Anyway, in my preteen years there was an effort to have me (and my brother and sister) listen to stuff from their collections that was kind of wacky in a way kids would like, which incorporated singing ‘Rocky Raccoon’ and ‘Sloop John B’ in the car, and a bit later things like Ivor Cutler, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and Tom Lehrer. If anyone reading this has kids, playing all the aforementioned to them is a totally awesome idea, although there is a necrophilia joke on one of the Tom Lehrer records. I have a really high tolerance for stupid novelty bullshit music today which I think pretty definitely traces back to that.

When I finally got into borrowing my folks’ LPs, the one that jumped out as being obviously rad and made by heroic people was Vincebus Eruptum by Blue Cheer. It belonged to my dad and was definitely the heaviest thing he owned. This album fucking rules and has one of the best guitar sounds ever. Listen to ‘Parchment Farm’ which incidentally I never knew was a cover until just now.

Blue Cheer - Parchment Room

The album that has dominated your last 12 months listening:

I have a problem, albeit one that results from a situation I appreciate, with not listening to albums for long enough. This is mainly cos people send me free shit in the post/email all the time, so like I say, not complaining, but it does mean that loads of good things get short shrift. The three things I’ve probably listened to the most in the last year (with links to me writing about them cos I’m a fuckin narcissist OK) are Made Fles by Extra Life; New Brigade by Iceage and On A Mission by Katy B. The last two of those are doing perfectly well for themselves as far as I can see but the Extra Life album really deserves more love.

Extra Life - Head Shrinker

The most exciting new band you've heard recently:

This would probably be Iceage again, especially if ‘exciting’ for you incorporates “this band have the potential to reach the audience their excellent music deserves”. I am completely terrible at recognising if a band has ‘commercial potential’ or is going to get big somehow, and very rarely invested in it happening, but when I first heard Iceage in January of this year that was something that really struck me about them. There does now appear to be a pathway being created for them to be successful, ie selling about 5,000 albums and having 50,000 people illegally download their album, so hats off to me and my 1% success rate of prediction.

Iceage - Broken Bone

Of other, less blogged-about stuff, I think The Lowest Form are maybe the best new band in the UK. Or my favourite because it’s not a competition, man. Anyway they just put out a 7” that will kill you if you like stuff like Void and Die Kreuzen and Double Negative.

The Lowest Form - "7.4.3"

And the one song that best represents what it is that you do:

29 July 2011


There are no two ways about it; Flamingods are weird. They make the kind of noise that is impossible to pin down to one genre alone - exploring a wide range of sounds, and creating them with unusual methods.

The London five-piece are perhaps most easily comparable to Islet - percussion-led experimental sounds, touching on 'freak folk' and 'tribal' through the use of distorted vocal samples and synths, and with an interest in a range of worldwide musical cultures. Much like Islet's are, you expect Flamingods' live shows to be an interesting and unusual spectacle, not to mention one that is difficult to keep up with.

Although their sound doesn't initially seem to be a particularly inviting one - all experimental noisy racket - it's well worth sticking with and getting lost in. Listen below, or download a full album for free at bandcamp.

Flamingods - Sun

Flamingods - If You Can Walk

Bandcamp | Facebook

28 July 2011

Die Jungen

So this is embarrassing. I live in Plymouth, which, compared to the United States of America and Germany, is very close to Southampton. Die Jungen is from Southampton, and yet blogs such as no fear of pop, Pasta Primavera, and yvynynl have all known of him far longer than I have. Yeah, soz about that.

Perhaps what makes this most sad is that Die Jungen is excellent. Largely dark, downbeat, and indebted to yesteryear, Die Jungen's minimalist and lo-fi pop compositions make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. They feel genuine, they feel 'real', and most importantly they sound brilliant. It's difficult to believe these songs were written amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Die Jungen - I'm Sorry Bo Diddley

Die Jungen - 10-24

Die Jungen - The Way Down

Facebook | SoundCloud | Bandcamp

27 July 2011

Water Moccasins

So this is ace. New music from a dude from New Hampshire, formerly in The QC, apparently - and now going by the name Water Moccasins.

EP Broken Tone is four tracks of luscious, woozy, beautiful noise - the first half slightly more melodic and tuneful, the second more experimental and dreamy. Layers of delicate synth lay atop reverberating guitar and modest vocals to stunning effect. It's this kind of thing that makes you fully understand why some people refer to shoegaze as 'dream pop'.

This is really, really good. Listen below, or download the full EP for free from bandcamp.

Water Moccasins - Gone

Water Moccasins - Stay Here

Bandcamp | via

New: Jewellers

In all the excitement (?) of yesterday, it looks like I missed some new music by Jewellers. Still regularly give the Newport duo's debut album - the excellently chilled out Sleep Education, available for free from their bandcamp - plenty of listens so it's ace to see they're working on new material.

Jewellers - Failure

Bandcamp | Facebook

26 July 2011

Holy Fun

Lo-fi garage rock from Texas, I think. If you like this kind of thing you'll like it, if you don't you'll probably hate it. Don't think it needs too much explanation. I like it for it's 'I really couldn't care less' and 'I know these demos are scrappy as fuck but meh' attitude. Yeah.

Holy Fun - Little Girl?

Holy Fun - Weak As Shit

Bandcamp |

New: Pains of Being Pure At Heart

New music from the New York band. What do we think?

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Tomorrow Dies Today

dot com | Facebook

25 July 2011

Holy Stain

Amidst growing personal suspicion that - despite Stokes Croft and all its related awesomeness - Bristol wasn't perhaps as 'buzzing' as I'd previously seen it in my mind, up step Holy Stain and blow that silly suspicion away with an almighty wall of noise.

Through driving tech-y drum beats and layers of guitar - ranging from intricate and plucky to heavily distorted, droning, and in your face fuzz - the Bristol four-piece give a bloody good go at the shoegazey post-rock sound. Given that, it was probably a little bit silly to miss them play a free gig the other night.

Check some stuff out below, or download the (intermittently excellent) Sun Zoo EP for free (with permission) here.

Holy Stain - Explosion

Holy Stain - Mark E. Moon

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

New Album: Triptides

It's pretty ace seeing a band work from early demos and obscurity to getting to a point where they can put out their debut full-length, and we're really happy to see that surfy US duo Triptides are indeed releasing their first album - Psychic Summer - out through Beachtapes, no less.

We first posted about them on BF back in November so it's pretty exciting to be writing about their album 9 months on. As anyone who has listened to them in the past would expect, and given the amount of time they seem to have spent nurturing it, it sounds pretty darn ace on first listen.

Listen to and download some tracks they've made available for download from Psychic Summer, or go and buy the whole thing from bandcamp.

Triptides - Spirit Flows

Triptides - Psychic Summer

Bandcamp | MySpace

24 July 2011

Milestones: Oliver Primus (The 405)

Milestones is a feature looking to gain an insight into the tastes of a particular character of the music 'industry'. We ask them a few questions and they kindly answer.

Oliver Primus is the founder and editor of music and culture website The 405 and, aged 26, his dedication to keeping the site running over the past few years has been pretty darn impressive - especially coming from my personal perspective of that of a contributor to the website, ensuring The 405 is packed full of top critical reviews and ace features. More recently the radio series was a big success and, following a re-design, the site is looking really ace. Perhaps most incredibly is that that is indeed his real name.

The album that first got you into music:

I think the first record I really got into was Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins. It's a great record because it manages to stay consistent over two discs, showcasing the most brutal aspects of the band, as well as the most beautiful. I used to listen to it daily, but after killing it for a few years I took a break from it. I remember hearing it again a few years later and thinking "fuck, Infinite Sadness really is awesome." When I was younger side Mellon Collie (the heavier side) was what I really connected with. Teen angst and all that I suppose.

Smashing Pumpkins - Muzzle

The band that dominated your teenage years:

Alongside Smashing Pumpkins, I listened to a lot of Fugazi, At The Drive-In, a lot of Silverchair (don't judge!) and probably a million other bands that I don't really listen to anymore.

At The Drive-In - One-Armed Scissor

Growing up in Norwich, my gig choices were pretty limited, but there was a period when Hundred Reasons / Jetplane Landing / Biffy Clyro / Hell Is For Heroes / Lostprophets used to play in Norwich all of the time. I look back at that period of my life (about 10 years ago) with a smile on my face. Biffy used to be great when they started. I know people often say stuff like that because they think it makes them sound cool, but seriously, they used to be great. What went wrong?

Biffy Clyro - JustBoy

The album in your parents' collection that made a lasting impression:

I had a conversation with my girlfriend last week about this as we were trawling through YouTube looking at videos that reminded us of our youth. My earliest childhood memories in that respect came from our weekly drive to London to see my grandparents/cousins/extended family. My dad would always pick the music on the way there, and my mum on the way back. My dad would 9/10 pick blues stuff like Clapton, BB King etc but also threw in a lot of American rap stuff too (which seems odd now that I think about it). My mum on the other hand would pick stuff like Simply Red. I suppose my dad had better taste, but my Mum's poor taste as a 30 year old woman probably helped me decide what I really didn't like, so I thank her for that.

Saying that though though, her record collection (despite its brevity) is actually quite cool. Lots of Roxy Music, Zeppelin, Cohen etc. The Country Life record by Roxy Music sticks in my mind the most. Not really for the music so much, but more the album artwork.

Roxy Music - The Thrill Of It All

The album that has dominated your last 12 months listening:

Oh man, this is when I have to consult iTunes... So it turns out Baths and Kanye West have had a lot of plays over the last 12 months. They always say it's the records that you don't instantly fall in love with that will stick with you the longest. Okay, I've never actually heard that before, but it sort of makes sense I suppose.

I came to Cerulean by Baths quite late in the day really. In fact, it was a Twitter suggestion that made my pick it up. Whoever suggested it...thanks! Whenever people ask me to explain what style of music Will Wiesenfeld makes, I tend to skip the genre tags in favour of what it feels like, which is the feeling you get when someone you like gives you a hug. It's warm, homely and lovely.

Baths - Lovely Bloodflow

The Kanye West record (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) took me a while to get used to. I've always dipped in an out of his work, and felt that this was another case of 'two strong songs, a few ok tracks, rest filler'. The more I listened to it, the more I came to realise how great it is. Ok, so it has a few silly moments in it, but overall it's very strong.

Kanye West - Power

A special shout out to the Broken Dreams Club EP from Girls. They followed up a fairly solid debut album, with a perfect EP. Great move.

The most exciting new band you've heard recently:

My brain is setup to breakdown the second I get asked questions like this. Let me go look through iTunes again...

Einar Stray is a pretty exciting dude. His album Chiaroscuro is a marvel and I had the pleasure of seeing him Norway last year. He was phenomenal. Another Norwegian band I like is Team Me. They have stupidly massive pop hooks.

Einar Stray - Chiarscuro

On the basis of his unreleased album, Youth Lagoon is up there as one of my favourite people on the planet right now. Just wait until you hear The Year of Hibernation. Holy crap, what a great record!

Youth Lagoon - Cannons

And the one song that best represents what it is that you do:

Broken Dreams Club by Girls or, if I'm cheating, the Pop Massacre compilation from Friends of Friends. Does that make sense? Basically self loathing and constantly doubting yourself, all whilst working every second of the day. Welcome to the music industry baby.

Girls - Broken Dreams Club

Check out The 405 for ace reviews, interviews and features, as well as news, videos, live photos and loads of other stuff. You should also follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

23 July 2011

Yesteryear: The Cherry Smash

Yesteryear is a new weekly feature on Basement Fever aiming to highlight some ace music from the past that hopefully you won't have heard of, or if you have heard of it, maybe you haven't got around to listening yet. Yeah.

The Cherry Smash seem like an apt first choice for Yesteryear, given that if I stumbled upon them on bandcamp today, they would be blogged without doubt by tomorrow. Thanks go to Reeks Of Effort for turning me onto them a few months back.

Formed in California in the mid-nineties, their only release - 7" West Coast Rip Off - is three tracks of lo-fi jangly/surf pop that I absolutely adored on first listen, which they put out in '96/'97 before they changed their name to Spectacle, toured for a little while with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and released an apparently unsuccessful full-length. Still, their 7" is pretty ace. Hear the excellent Airport Girl and Nowhere Generation below.

The Cherry Smash - Airport Girl

The Cherry Smash - Nowhere Generation

22 July 2011

New: La La Vasquez

Some new recordings from Brighton all-girl three-piece La La Vasquez... They were ace when I saw them play in Cardiff last year and it looks like they've been pretty busy since; preparing a release for Sex Is Disgusting, and putting out a split with Neonates on onec records. Like I said, they were good when I saw them in Cardiff, but it seems like they've 'upped their game' some more. Listen:

La La Vasquez - Other Side

La La Vasquez - I Will Follow

Facebook | SoundCloud

Michael Christmas

The rain continues to fall during the British summertime, just as bands continue to make lo-fi surf and garage rock tunes - fronted on bandcamp with a hazy image of a beach - that I fail to resist. Again, nothing incredibly original or new from LA Florida act Michael Christmas (who were named Dali Jensen up until about a week ago), but it's just the kind of 'vibe' that I want staring depressingly out of the living room window. And that these (self confessed "sloppy and thrown together") demos were written and recorded by one dude alone, that's pretty impressive, right? New stuff is promised soon but until then listen below, or download a full EP's worth of material for free at bandcamp.

Michael Christmas - Serff Jones

Michael Christmas - Nada one

Bandcamp |

21 July 2011

New: Kid Harpoon

We all remember Kid Harpoon. You know, the one what made that folk music. Well, he's back, and he's, er... well, not very 'folk' any more. Think more Prince-meets-Beach Boys out and out pop. Listen:

Kid Harpoon - Collecting Rain

dot com | Facebook

New: Veronica Falls

Ace new track from Veronica Falls, as a preview for their upcoming debut album out on Bella Union, September 20.

Veronica Falls - Come On Over

Facebook | SoundCloud

20 July 2011

8tracks Mix

So I was asked to make a mixtape by 8tracks, which is a pretty ace new website where you can... make mixtapes. Typically I went for unsigned pretty bands, and gave it a prick-ish name. Listen below if you want, or compete with me by making your own mix. Whatever.

Check out 8tracks over here.

Hoop Dreams

Perhaps the biggest regret of most music bloggers is that they just don't have enough time. Given that, for the majority, blogging is something that is done in spare time - a 'hobby', according to the Job Centre - where other responsibilities (jobs, family, friends, other journalistic obligations) often take higher priority, allocating time to give every piece of new music adequate time to settle and to grow can be tricky. Naturally, and regrettably, this can lead to only those pieces of music that are immediate internal hits receiving all the blog love and those that time to grow little to none.

Hoop Dreams are a three-piece from Conway, Arkansas who, luckily for me, put their debut EP San Jose up onto bandcamp for free. Luckily in that, had they not, and had I not downloaded it, there's every chance that I would never have listened to it again. Going through browser histories and keeping written lists as to bandcamp and SoundCloud pages to revisit is a time-consuming task. A task that I and many other bloggers would love to have the time for but, unfortunately, more often than not, simply don't. Luckily that, had I not listened for that second time, I probably would 't have listened for the third, or the fourth.

Suffice to say that San Jose is a release that grows after each listen. What at first comes across a little twee and overly sweet develops, as layers and textures become more apparent - the bending, jangling, distorted guitar parts; the perfectly judged drum parts; the plodding bass; the sweet and pristine female vocals; - and as the songs reveal themselves to be more than they at first seem to be. Although tagged on bandcamp (amongst other genres) as 'surf pop', Hoop Dreams are perhaps more comparable to the sweet and jangly pop of UK band Standard Fare which is ace, obviously. Don't act like a typical blogger. Don't judge it on first listen. Download it. Let it grow. I can't wait to hear more.

Hoop Dreams - Passing Through

Hoop Dreams - Vacation

Bandcamp | Facebook

New: Dum Dum Girls

Six minutes and thirty one seconds. 'Epic'. Coming Down is the lead single from forthcoming Dum Dum Girls full-length Only in Dreams, out through Sub Pop on September 26.

Dum Dum Girls - Coming Down

dot com | Facebook

19 July 2011


"Here come another all female lo-fi group," announces an unnamed blog in response to London band Novella. "just what we need hey".

Yes. Damn those women and their music-making. Don't they know we've had enough of them? It's not like women are unrepresented in music, right? It's not like the whole fucking industry is dominated by men, eh?

Fuck that. Novella are ace. And they're women, and that's ace too. The Things You Do is out August 15. Hear it below.

Novella - The Things You Do

SoundCloud | Facebook

18 July 2011

Gross Magic - We're Awake Tonight

When actually done well, there's not much better than pop music, is there? And some of the best I've heard in the past 12 months undoubtedly is from Brighton artist Gross Magic.

I posted about the excellent and eccentric Sweetest Touch just before it blew up all over the internet over on Lost Lost Lost, and it's pretty ace to finally hear some new material. We're Awake Tonight is another track lifted from his debut EP - out on The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing - and you can hear it below. So excited about this.

Gross Magic - We're Awake Tonight

Facebook | SoundCloud

17 July 2011

Milestones: Music Fan's Mic

Milestones is a new feature looking to gain an insight into a particular character of the music 'industry'. We ask them a few questions about music, and they do their best to answer.

From one blogger onto another, this week's Milestones throws the same questions as last week at music blogger and writer Jamie Milton of Music Fan's Mic. Jamie is 19 years old and yet is already a regular contributor to esteemed music publications such as This Is Fake DIY and The Line Of Best Fit; and his own blog - Music Fan's Mic, which he has run for a number of years with friend Gareth - is a respected source for new music and artistic critique of its own - not forgetting the excellent podcasts that he manages to put together on a worryingly regular basis. And he has a girlfriend. And still manages to squeeze in some Football Manager. I don't know how he does it.

The album that first got you into music:

Moby's Play crosses a multitude of genres. I seem to remember picking it out of some catalogue (because that’s how music was ordered in 1999…) and asking my Mum to get it. I might have heard ‘Natural Blues’ on top of the pops and so that’s what most likely led me to it. I wasn’t necessarily so keen on the straightforward chill-out stuff – I was really into the darker material, like ‘Natural Blues’, which is about a kid coming home and finding his brother dead. Those lyrics only became prominent after a few years of having the record, though! It was mainly the elements of blues and soul that made me so intrigued.

Moby - Run On

The band that dominated your teenage years:

I feel like my love affair with Radiohead is very much over. That’s a shame, considering how blown away I was by their records. It wasn’t immediate. I had OK Computer from when I was about 13 but I once sat down with Hail To The Thief and all of a sudden Thom Yorke was shouting at my ears; “You have not been paying attention!” and God damn, he was right. It span off from there.

I’m still a fanboy – I can’t deny that because I fell for The King Of Limbs like there was no tomorrow. But I’m sick of the mystery; the secret, last minute announcements – it’s all grown tiresome. I will always play their records though. Kid A remains my favorite all-time album, alongside The Knife's Silent Shout.

Radiohead - Idioteque

The album in your parents' collection that made a lasting impression:

Buddy HollyThat’ll Be The Day. It’s a vivid memory: Me dancing around the kitchen to this with my Mum. It was all-out catchy and I loved it. Then, as I’ve grown up, I’ve seen this guy’s work reflected in many of today’s acts. Part of me still wishes the rock’n’roll scene had emerged around now so that I could’ve spent my teenage years in those well-lit discos you see in films like Walk The Line.

Buddy Holly - That'll Be The Day

The album that has dominated your last 12 months listening:

PortisheadThird. I suppose it’s justifiable that I came so late to discovering this band. In between their second record and this one, I’d gone from cracking my head open on the edge of a door after running around a slippery kitchen, dressed as Batman, with my eyes closed (1994 – aged 3), to getting a job and saving up for a few months away in Australia with my girlfriend (2008 – aged 17). In other words, I’d grown up whilst Porishead had gone walkies.
I didn’t get hold of Third when it first came out – my interest was numbed by the fact that I hadn’t heard any of their stuff before. Then ‘Machine Gun’ got played on the radio and I began to understand (mainly because every music publication said as much) that this was a very important band, returning to the fore like they’d never disappeared in the first place. It’s an incredible work, particularly production-wise. I don’t know if there are many people out there I respect more than Geoff Barrow, especially when you consider his recent work with The Horrors.

Portishead - The Rip

The most exciting new band you've heard recently:

When I grew up, Brighton, despite being a beautiful, vibrant place, didn’t have much to boast about musically apart from Fatboy Slim and The Kooks… Now, things seem to be turning a page. There’s Cold Pumas, who I’m particularly excited about but I guess Regal Safari represent what I’m into at the moment that little bit more. It’s glimmering, visceral electronic music and because they’re a full band, there’s the potential for a wonderful live show. I’m imagining a grand stage and a dazzling visual display from these guys one day.

Regal Safari - Light

And the one song that best represents what it is that you do:

Because we’ve gone through more domain changes, site hacks, design tweaks than most blogs tend to survive. I feel very comfortable with how MFM is going at the moment; I think it’s only just beginning to find its feet. But of course, it’s always susceptible to change.

LCD Soundsystem – I Can Change

Keep up with Jamie's Music Fan's Mic on Facebook and on Twitter for some excellent new music tips and a soothing voice.

15 July 2011

Video: Ghost Outfit

When Matthew says that Ghost Outfit are probably the best live band in Manchester right now, given his pretty vast knowledge of anything worth knowing about going on up there, he's probably right.

It doesn't take any sort of expert, though, to recognise that Ghost Outfit might well be on to something. I Was Good When I was Young is genuinely one of the most catchy songs I have heard all year. Vibrant, fun, and most definitely a little bit silly, the video shot by Manchester Scenewipe to accompany the track is most certainly fitting. Listen - and watch, obviously - below.

I Was Good When I Was Young from Ghost Outfit on Vimeo.

Facebook | Bandcamp

Acid Glasses - My Pale Garden

Good intentions are all well and good but until they're translated into good actions, they're kinda a little pointless. It's an obvious point, but one that I apparently refuse to take notice of time and time again.

Listening to the wonderfully unusual 'My Pale Garden' by Memphis artist Acid Glasses on an iPod in a pub in London last week, I had every intention of getting home that night and spreading the e-love. Then - being in a pub and all - I drank (impressively bargainous) beer, got on a train and inevitably didn't write anything that evening.

So here I am, 8 days on, finally moving this good intention into some actual-bloody-action, and in that time the song has already been impressively (and deservedly) well covered - The Pigeon Post, A New Band A Day, The Line Of Best Fit, Music Fan's Mic, and even the bloody NME all spreading the love.

For what it's worth - which frankly isn't much right now - I really like this song. Presumably somewhat like trying describe the flavour of a Big Mac to somebody who has never eaten meat, Acid Glasses' (aka Nick Burk) experimental take on psychedelia/pop/electronica/whatever-else-it-might-be-categorised-as on is very possibly unlike much you’ll have heard before, barring some crazy remix of some super catchy pop song. That it has been compared to bands spanning from Animal Collective to The Beatles is a decent insight to its tricky-to-pin-down sound. And whilst it is odd, it's not made with the aim of being kooky.

It's due to be released on 7" through Stroll On Records early Autumn but until then have a listen and download of it in digital form.

Acid Glasses - My Pale Garden

Facebook | Tumblr

14 July 2011

Still Corners: Album Announced

It's been a long time coming, but London's Still Corners have finally confirmed details of a debut album - Creatures of an Hour will be released through Sub Pop, October 10.

The two-piece have been causing increasing excitement for their excellent and haunting experimental pop for a good while now, and when I (finally) got to see them live at Great Escape a few months back they certainly didn't disappoint. Really looking forward to hearing what they can do with a full-length.

Listen to and download 'Cuckoo' from their latest 7" below, and catch them live at Latitude (pretty much now), Field Day in London on August 6.

Still Corners - Cuckoo

Bandcamp | Tumblr

13 July 2011


You know you hear something and immediately get hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Yep, that's how excited I was to stumble upon the SoundCloud of Dolfinz.

Ignore the acoustic guitar, ignore the Slipknot tee, this will give you the entirely wrong impression about the Stonehaven two-piece. There's no dull acoustic strumming, there is nothing anything even close to Slipknot-style screaming or double-base-drum overload. Dolfinz are excellent. Noisy, lo-fi and almost grungy-influenced yet still comfortably lumped in with the rest of the garage rock crowd, they give the slightly tired genre a massive kick - songs thrive through infectious choruses and guitar lines, satisfying and distorted shouts, crashing drums and guitar riffs, and some thoroughly enjoyable lyrics (personal favourite, given their name, being "I've got a blowhole on my head"). Songs are perfectly balanced in pop and rock measure, and have a fresh care-free feel.

Honestly, I am so excited to have found these and I honestly hope they get massive. Listen for yourselves below. Oh, and if you book gigs, let it be known that they'll be touring in August and are looking for some shows. Please book them somewhere near me.

Dolfinz - Coral Reefer

Dolfinz - Blowhole

Dolfinz - So Mean

SoundCloud |

12 July 2011

New: Male Bonding - Bones

Although we're a blog focusing on the best new bands, every so often the odd 'thing' from a not-quite-so-new band will drop along that we can't resist but share - especially seeings Male Bonding's debut album is still on a pretty much constant loop on my MP3 player.

Listen to new song 'Bones' - which will be on new album Endless Now, due to be released on Sub Pop on August 29 - below. It's great. Real excited for the full album.

Male Bonding - Bones by subpop

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Illness - Break-Up Tape

It's with sad news that I write this blog post to report that Brighton two-piece Illness - featured on Basement Fever here - have announced that they'll be calling it a day.

After a few years making their scruffy math-tinged instrumental rock together - happily playing in people's kitchens along the way, as well as spreading some musical love on their blog - Emilio and Spencer will be moving in opposite directions. I'm sad.

It's not all doom and gloom though, the pair are giving away a tape-full of their last ever material to mark their fair-well. Listen below, or grab the whole thing for free from their bandcamp page.

Illness - Nathan Crayon

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10 July 2011

Milestones: The Pigeon Post

Milestones is a new feature looking to gain an insight into a particular character of the music 'industry'. We ask them a few questions about music, and they do their best to answer.

Featured this week is Matthew Britton, music writer, new music expert, and the 'brains' behind on-the-ball blogs such as The Pigeon Post and lostlostlost. Any regular follower of Basement Fever will know that we're good friends so it seems only right to have Matthew as the first feature. And if we're being honest, Basement Fever probably wouldn't exist were it not for The Pigeon Post. So...

The album that first got you into music:

There are a load of contenders for this, but I've decided to go for the album that properly got me into music, rather than just being the first time that I appreciated it or felt slightly excited about it. So there's no place for the variety of novelty hits of the early 90's that I made my Mum buy on cassette (Mr Blobby, you were purely misunderstood in your genius) and there's thankfully no room for Limp Bizkit and the nu-metal crew that blighted my mid-teenage years.

It's a choice probably typical of people my age and skin colour - The Libertines cast a huge shadow over everyone who went after them for quite a while, and for a few breif years their sense of brotherhood and ability to make a nice little ditty were the central narrative to my life. I joined their forum, downloaded Pete's acoustic, solo stuff (the material of which would go on to form the basis of his entire career as a solo artist) and toyed, however shortly, with the idea of getting a libertine tattoo when I was old enough. The first album intrigued me, but the second sent me over the edge, and I spent day upon day listening to it on repeat, eking out the details of it's minutiae, desperate to get closer.

It'd be nice to look back upon the time fondly - it gave me a sense of musical identity, a sense of the broader world outside of the terrible second rate pop-punk I'd listened to before hand and gave me enough courage to try out more stuff of a similar vein. sadly, a lot of people didn't see it as such an opportunity, and have instead decided to sit upon the legend, boldly guarding it every Saturday night in indie discos up and down the land, as they get played alongside the ridiculously less exciting likes of Oasis and The Courteneers. Just like Pete himself, the chance to step up the pantheon of true greats was there, but instead it's wallowing in the gutter.

The Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now

The band that dominated your teenage years:

...and this is what it led me onto. The Libertines might've made the inroads, but Forward, Russia definitely took over my life for an inhumane amount of years. I own, at last count, about 15 of their trademark t-shirts, I went to their every Manchester show (except one where they supported Biffy Clyro, in which I got the date wrong and spent a week moping afterwards over the ticket I'd already purchased), purposely turned up late to work just to go see them do instore performances. I threw abusive messages at their roadie after learning that he'd slept with someone from their forum, of which I was subsequently banned for said abuse (taking signs with the legend 'Bentley is a Paedo' on don't go down well, apparently), and at their last show I almost broke down in tears after travelling to Leeds just for the occasion.

More than that, it's defined the years afterwards, too. A load of people who used to go to the gigs have gone on to do much more important things - Jamila, who runs Cruel Rhythm (formerly Fucking Dance) was at the front of every show, taking pictures, Cal from D/R/U/G/S once put on the singer's solo project on at his house and, more relevantly for me, it's house I first became friends with Miriam (my girlfriend).

Forward, Russia - 12

The album in your parents' collection that made a lasting impression:

My mum didn't really listen to full albums - she just used to make these little mixes for the car. We didn't even really listen to radio that much, come to think of it, but the mixes were always present, and occasionally themed - around the time of Euro '96 and World Cup '98, she'd swap over to her football based tapes. But there was one that always seemed to be on, and the one track that always stuck with me was Crash, by The Primitives. It was largely mixed in with stuff by Blondie and other 80's pop music, so for years I presumed Debbie Harry was signing on this, but it's a pretty perfect pop song, heavily weighted towards the chorus with a load of 'nah nah nah' action to pad it out.

Famously (in the family, at least), the mix carried on halfway through this song the first time we got in the car after Diana's death. I'd be certain that my mum had got in the car to get up to that section if she didn't spent the the entire funeral crying about it all a few days later.

The Primitives - Crash (Live)

The album that has dominated your last 12 months' listening:

There are loads of good albums and then there are a few that are brilliant. Then, every couple of years, there's an album that completely redefines everything you thought you liked and utterly refuses to go away. I didn't really get on with Kanye's first couple of albums, and even the better tracks on them still felt a little bit weak. But My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy isn't anything like his past works at all. In short, I think it might be perfect.

Only Kanye could've made this album, purely due to the level of depth and complexity you have to endure as a listener. We all know about his ego, his many misdemeanours, his connections, mis-trust of the media and his background, and the joy of the album is watching them all play up against each other, the bombast and bravado having to go up against humility and self loathing - and god, does he know how to self-loath. Runaway is, without doubt, one of the great masterpieces of the decade - you're essentially listening to a man have a nervous breakdown, but he's doing it with such bluster that it never descends into the realms of emo or massive self-indulgence. Then you play it against the likes of Power, and the pure pop of All of the Lights, then consider he's got the larger than life Monster on there too - it's beyond brilliant. A man of sickening talent, he is never ever going to top this as an album, and we can only hope that he doesn't try.

Kanye West - Runaway

The most exciting new band you've heard recently:

Might not grab straight away - certainly didn't for me - but Bos Angeles have the potential to be the biggest thing to spring out of the bandcamp-combing scene, and I can only hope that they do. The fact that they're pretty much the complete package already defies belief, too.

Bos Angeles - Beach Slalom

And the one song that best represents what it is that you do:

On a loop.

Lovvers - Wasted Youth

Follow Matthew on Twitter, or read more of his stuff at The Pigeon Post or over at LostLostLost to find some of the genuinely best new music from around the world.

9 July 2011

New: Joanna Gruesome

The line between taking influence from and merely imitating is fine and highly subjective. What one person lauds as a respectful nod to, someone else will call direct plagiarism. This is an age old debate, and one that will undoubtedly never be resolved.

Indeed with acts like Cardiff five-piece Joanna Gruesome opinion will be split. Their fuzzy guitar and twee boy-girl vocal pop sound is by no means a new one - yet at the same time it's not a massively popular genre that they've decided to sound like so that they immediately shoot to fame. They're just a few kids making the kind of music that they love, and that's cool with me.

Hear a few older tracks on Basement Fever back here, or listen to the two newer ace demos below.

Joanna Gruesome - Sugar Crush

Joanna Gruesome - Madison

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8 July 2011

Competition: Foot Village Brighton Tickets

Hello all. Basement Fever are back with OUR BIGGEST AND BESTEST COMPETITION YET and all you need to do is answer ONE SIMPLE QUESTION. That's right. Go on. Read on. I dare you not to.

Once again linking up with One Inch Badge - our Brighton-based promoting and label-running e-chums - we have two tickets to give away to one lucky reader to Furballs; a live music extravaganza taking place on THURSDAY 21ST JULY at Green Door Store, featuring Foot Village and support from Bitches, Peepholes, and Negative Pegasus.

Foot Village are from LA and are noise merchants of the highest order; using strictly drums and shouty vocals to communicate their message that music just isn't weird enough. Fans of Sonic Youth, Mclusky, Future of the Left and high decibels will most certainly enjoy.

Foot Village - Lovers With Iraqis

Bitches are a London two-piece, involving themselves in anti-social and scrappy post-punk sounds, with shouty boy-girl vocals rallying back and forth and plenty of atonal guitar feedback.

Bitches - Wallett

Peepholes are London/Brighton-based and synth-led, but that doesn't make them any less punk or fucking noisy than the rest of this line-up. Female fronted and absolutely frantic, these are absolutely ace and I've been wanting to see them for ages.

Peepholes - Carnivore

And Negative Pegasus are Brighton-based and furiously noisy also, though dealing more with heavy, feedback drenched psych-rock than the reverb-punk of the rest of the line-up. Featured on NME today, these definitely won't be timid in opening up the show.

Negative Pegasus - Psychic Energy

A genuinely excellent line-up at probably my favourite Brighton venue. To win, answer the following question: Which band was Negative Pegasus' Todd Jordan formerly in (hint: HERE)? Was it:

a) Todd and the Dead Seas of Jordan
b) My Device
c) Nick Cave and the Bad Eggs

Email your answer to basementcompetitions@gmail.com - along with your name and address - BEFORE Thursday July 14, when one winner will be picked at random. One entry per person. 18+ only. Strictly no "re-selling" or any of that rubbish, and please only enter if you can definitely attend.

Best of luck.

6 July 2011


Call it what you want, be it chillwave or even ambientelectropsychfunk, this by US-based Gardens & Villa is some chilled-out funky ass shit, or something.

Gardensandvilla - Orange Blossom

Soundcloud | Bandcamp

4 July 2011


When did small, DIY bands start making such massive sounds? Fuck knows if Hookworms know when it started, but they sure as hell know how to do it - the Leeds band making some impressive reverberating, crashing, driving psychedelic sounds.

I'm a little confused as to how it took me so long to listen and also how everyone doesn't know about these yet, but the latter will probably change in the not-so-distant future given an ace tape is due out this summer. Listening to the opening track of that cassette, Medicine Cabient, below.

Hookworms - Medicine Cabinet

P.S Please give me some credit for not going down the "Hookworms' songs get stuck in your head like their namesakes get stuck in your gut" route. I'm sure someone else will.

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