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Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

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Ra Ra Riot
The Orchard

Following up an album as good as The Rhumb Line is a difficult task. Ra Ra Riot had a major element working against them: the untimely passing of John Pike, their original drummer and a great lyricist (who penned various songs for The Rhumb Line). They also faced the possibility of a dreaded sophomore slump. Now, I've read some early critiques o...view item »

Rags & Feathers
The Other Side of Morning

What a beautiful record... imagine Gram Parsons having cups of tea with the Decembrists on a crisp autumn morning. A heartwarming lush, lyrical , folksy oddysey! These guys are ones to watch for the future... ...view item »

The Rain Band
Knee Deep & Down

The Rain Band (who gave me this?). Its a new single. Its dark swirling heavy overcoated guitar rock somewhere between Mansun, The Chameleons and something altogether more scary like the Sisters of Mercy. Knee Deep & Down is released on 7", 12" and CD ...view item »

Punks On Mars
Bad Expectations

Punks On Mars are actually a garage pop crew from Not Mars, and are fans of the Japandroids manifesto: thrilling nights playing easy chords and sick riffs. Bad Expectations is quick power pop for those who like the sound of loose guitars and thrown off ideas. The name is a good signi...view item »

Poor Moon
Poor Moon

This is a beautiful album, and while there will be comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott have really tried to make this something else with the help of brothers Ian and Peter Murray. The overall aesthetic has a similar vibe to Fleet Foxes but doesn't have quite the same intensity or energ...view item »

Panico
Kick

I haven't listened yet the album but I hope is so great as the album art. I really loved the album art made by Rodrigo Pereda....view item »

Cheatahs
Sunne EP

A sunny panzanella (an Italian salad, ok?) from Cheatahs. Their first release since their debut record, Sunne EP is yearning for optimism. Awash with reverb on everything, big hazy vocals, a wall of guitars and grooving drums. This is a nice slice of spring light at the end of the wintery tunnel. Think No Age, Cave-In a...view item »

Odd Shaped Head
Egomatic

Whoooo, OSH rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   They are so cool, a definate must see! x ...view item »

Of Arrowe Hill
Dulce Domum

Here's a new album by Of Arrowe Hill... 'Dulce Domum' is a sprawling opus of Guided By Voices/ Oasis style alt rock.... Sometimes it's quite trad and other times it's kind of quirky. It's very polished sounding indie rock which will appeal to those who like the rocki...view item »

The Notorious Hi-Fi Killers
Behind the Smoke and Mirrors

Mid-tempo psych rock from these suave Lahndoners. They have a shoegaze slant that I find interesting. They have a well produced sound. It is a psych rock record without the wailing walls of guitar and tin can percussion. I guess it reminds me of something like Wolf People but with less rock. It defiantly comes from the same ball park. This CD is...view item »

Noisettes
The Count of Monte Christo

The Noisettes with 'The Count Of Monte Christo' on Vertigo. Saw them play this live at the Reading festival particularly stoned on my couch and was very very blown away. She is an impeccable performer and her harmony and vocal interaction with the guitar player was amazing. In the cold light of day it seems slightly less impressive but heavens it's...view item »

The Maccabees
Marks To Prove It

Marks To Prove It is the fourth album produced by indie rock group The Maccabees, following a three year gap. All the hallmarks are still in place though, don’t worry: omnipresent guitars and choruses that are probably anthemic or something. This was available on lots of different colours of vinyl but it's just av...view item »

Sauna Youth
Distractions

Originating from Brighton, Sauna Youth are everything a post punk band should be: impossible to categorise, totally wild live performers with a sound that is contradictorily harmonious and brutal at the same time. ‘Distractions’ consists of 14 instinctive songs about desire, carried by a sound that is both superhuman and super weird....view item »

The Marigold
Erotomania

We can't find much out about The Marigold here so the music's got to do the talking for them (as it should be really), judging by their names I'm assuming they're Italian though. Their sound brings to mind everything from grunge to early Sebadoh to a less intense Isis, most of the tracks are all-out rockers but there's the odd little experimental i...view item »

Magnet
The Tourniquet

Magnet's boyish charm comes through with a decided strength as many of the songs, although still questioning life; start to find a new direction and purpose within the stage of intimacy and comfort. I listen to Magnet because I like being able to listen to dreamy romantic contemplations savouring each inflection of his voice in his magical elect...view item »

Looking Glass
The First Real Target EP

Looking Glass is the work of My Sad Captain main man Jim Wallis. This is a self-released effort prompted by support from Marc Riley who seems to have a soft spot for the band. Can't really think of any wordy anecdotes that might help describe such humble sounding indie pop as it's all far too earnest, well played and serious for all that. Wallis...view item »

Loose Talk Costs Lives
Wax & Gold

Loose Talk Costs Lives are a Leeds band who are peddling this Afrobeat-inflected indie rock that's so fashionable currently. I guess the most obvious and lazy comparison here has to be Vampire Weekend. I bet they get that a lot but whatever, they're making slightly smug indie pop with a nod to ...view item »

Like A Stuntman
Fresh Air Is Not The worst Thing In Town

Remember that Like A Stuntman 7" we liked the other week? You wanting more? Bet you are... Your prayers have been answered and we have a whole album on CD here for you by the afore mentioned quirky indie warriors. But it's not all indie... oh no. There's a fair selection of electronics here as well just to confuse. Overall I'd say i...view item »

Lime Headed Dog
KFUM&KFUK/ Lorenzo

Got a two track debut CD single from Lime Headed Dog which is the work of Joel Cox who used to be in Good Shoes. 'Kfum & Kfuk' is experimental schizoid indie pop that's quirky and fun reminding me a little of The Chap. There's lots of energy and plenty going on. I asked Phil if he could describe it and he couldn't and neither could I so just go...view item »

Muse
Absolution

Absolution is renowned for being the Muse album on which Matt Bellamy checks the time and then reads it out to us, and really, who could forget the catchy refrain from "Time Is Running Out": "Hey hey, folks, there isn't much time left", etc. Also some other songs in a maximalist rock opera bubble of solipsism....view item »

Muse
Black Holes & Revelations

The prog rock equivalents of Russell Brand attempt to delineate their super anthemic pop rock and turn it into something big, bold but nuanced and experimental on Black Holes & Revelations. I'm sure you'd love me to tell you that it's awful and they fail unequivocally, but I'm not going to do it, leaving this item des...view item »

Muse
The Resistance

It's quite an achievement to be the actual worst band in the world but over a series of albums Muse have done it time and time again. New one 'Drones' is the one even Muse fans say is bad. 'The Resistance' from 2009 is somewhat better but that's only a relative thing. You'll like it if you like Queen and importantly the album got the Brian May s...view item »

Leaving the Fold
Contort

LEAVING THE FOLD (I'm convinced they used to be just The Fold!!!) have a pretty darn cool single on Marquis Cha Cha too. It's nowt particularly new (like, so whaaat?) but if I were 18 again I'd be well into the melodic post hardcore of 'Contort for the Two of Them' with its dense walls of dive-bombing guitars stabbed up by...view item »

Superchunk
Come Pick Me Up

Recorded in 1999 at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago and produced by Jim O’Rourke, ‘Come Pick Me Up’ allowed Superchunk to evolve into a more experimental sounds directions including accompaniments from horn sections provided by Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, and Bob Weston and string instrument contributions from Fred Longberg...view item »

Large Mound
Go Forth & Amplify

So if Clint can bow out with a Scientific Laboratories release then I can begin with one. A thoroughly excellent CD in by Large Mound. A hugely enjoyable collision of punkey Irish indie & adrenalized rifferama coming in somewhere between Dinosaur JR, Teenage Fanclub & most noticeably, St. Johnny, old mat...view item »

Large Mound
Raised On Rock

Large Mound release a CD on Julius Geezer which is Ross from Joan of Arse's label and it's lo fi shambling indie rock. The best band name I've heard in some time though why I don't know??? Honest to goodness indie rock in an early Lemonheads/ Dinosaur Jr way but more Irish sounding...view item »

Cheatahs
Murasaki

‘Murasaki’ is Cheatahs third release, following their debut album and underground hit ‘Sunne’ EP. The record sees Canadian Nathan Hewitt, Californian Dean Reid, British James Wignall and German drummer Mark Raue more consciously exploring their cultural diversity over distorted guitars and breaking synth lines. For fans o...view item »

The Kull
Transference

The Kull- Transference- CD on City Silenced Records... The first impression I got of this album was that a couple of middle aged blokes had got together and tried to get in touch with their youth. Basically a mid-life-crisis on CD. There is still something there though, no doubt. Would recommend this to fans of Placebo....view item »

Kit
Broken Voyage

KIT are a band featuring members of XBXRX, Hawnay Troof, Snowsuit*, Warbler, Lil Pocketknife, Boxleitner and have their debut long player Broken Voyage' out on the ever fun Upset The Rhythm. It's a tremendous blend of upbeat noise thrashings with a pop sensibility Reminding me of Deerhoof at times. Short and sweet little songs. Just like this revie...view item »

Kingsize
The Daze

Weekender Records have chirpy single out by Kingsize who are a London band that make us think of a less shambolic Libertines. It's fairly commercial indie rock . I struggled with words to write about this so Phil told me to write ' if you like this kind of thing you'll be singing it on the way back from the pub while you're clubbing peoples faces o...view item »

The Juniper Band
Time For Flowers

THE JUNIPER BAND 'Time For Flowers' CD is a far more conventional affair, with it's rather traditional approach to alternative / indie music. Utilising Electric guitar, Bass, Drums, Rhodes, Synth, Hammond etc. Quite dramatic sounding at times and made more interesting with some additional effects. Slightly depressing at times with a few...view item »

Jesus H Foxx
Endless Knocking

Jesus H. Foxx are a Scottish seven-piece who include three guitarists and a cornet/glockenspiel player within their ranks. This long-player here came together “almost immediately” over the course of two and a half years, apparently...view item »

iLiKETRAiNS
Sea Of Regrets

I Like Trains are leeds very own bleak pop pioneers. New single 'Sea of Regrets' is a song inspired by the environmental musings of natural scientists James Lovelock and George Monbiot and seems to touch on themes of a doomed human race. It's the first single from thier new self produced/released LP expected later this year. It's a thoughtful track...view item »

I'm A Robot
I'm A Robot

I'm A Robot are a new band and tthis is their debut album out on Virgin. It sounds like John Lydon/ the fella from Hot Hot Heat singing and it's got an early eighties feel to it (like everything at the mo). Catchy and quite different to anything else that's kicking around in this e...view item »

Idle Times
Idle Times

Is it just me or is every band "on the up" in the current pool of U.S. Underground acts obsessed with sounding lo-fi, 80s or just really fucking druggy? These guys don't sound 80's though. They do sometimes fall into the 90's post-Slanted & Enchanted category. Those wonderful bands that buried their rambling, shambling tunes under swathes of...view item »

The Icarus Line
On The Lash EP

Jesus. The Icarus Line are constantly touted as the most dangerous band on the planet. They're about as "dangerous" as The Bronx. Bad eyeliner & Tinderstick's old suits. Marlboro "cool" & fake blood. They also sound like a tuneless dirge of OTT rock 'n' roll clichés & are one of the du...view item »

Hot Hot Heat
Let Me In

This nostalgia stuff is getting ridiculous. Can you believe mad cow disease is back already? Its only just gone away. Just like Hot Hot Heat. Around 2004 they sounded a bit scratchy and Talking Heads like. They have a new single out called "Let me in" They now sound like (insert big mega-bucks band name). Truly awful faceless indie nonsen...view item »

Heartyeah
Traps

Again on top label Sheffield Phonographic Corporation we have Heartyeah with their album Traps. An angry and jolted mixture of contemporary electronic bass and beats with "classic" rock electric guitar action. The chanting and shouting vocals are driven to distortion creating a chaotic and juvenile sound that is energetic and innovat...view item »

Heat from A Dead Star
Seven Rays Of The Sun

Heat from a Dead Star are on Ace of Hearts, the label probably best known for bringing Mission of Burma to the world, so it's probably not surprising that there are links all over this 'Seven Rays of the Sun' CD from Roger Miller playing piano on one track to newer Burma member Bob Weston grungily engineering. All signs point to AMAZE but in realit...view item »

Harrisons
Wishing Well

Here come yet another buzz band called The Harrisons. Its decent pop rock with a bit of Maximo Park about it but you're not really buying it for the music are you? Comes on CD and 7"....view item »

The Gossip
Movement

As much as I love Beth Ditto's voice, this is an inconsistent, incomplete album. It differs from 'That's Not What I Heard' in that there are actual "songs" here, as compared to the "skits" that defined the first album. Because of the clarity of the production and the longer songs, The Gossip's flaws are more obvious here; the lyrics are bad (and...view item »

Gold Sounds
Home Schooled

GOLD SOUNDS HOME SCHOOLED EPGold Sounds are a London based 5 piece that have been bubbling away on the London scene for a couple of years now, and just released their first EP. Although their name has more than a nod to 'Pavement', their sound is firmly in 'The Shins' camp, weaving melodies around the vocals of lyricist and front man George Nap...view item »

Kid Wave
Gloom

Beach pop forever, right? It's kind of weird that this record is called 'Gloom', considering Kid Wave's emotive guitar tones, slick bass and wide-eyed melodies. These songs have the feel of despondent garage rock, but remind of acts like Best Coast and Beach House, giving off waves of that summery, nostalgic sound that used to rule our live...view item »

Ghost Outfit
I Want You To Destroy Me

It’s hard to believe that Manchester’s Ghost Outfit are a two piece, this debut for the Sways label has the big sound of a full band with a crunch of guitar and thundering drums. ‘I Want You To Destroy Me’ seems like the first proper rock album I’ve revi...view item »

White Reaper
White Reaper Does It Again

White Reaper do sneery-vocalled rough-tinged indie-rock, and they do it pretty well. The lead melodies, often carried out by a keyboard, are bright and shiny, whereas the guitars have a grimey crunch to them. White Reaper Does It Again is, illogically, their debut album, and it’s coming out on Polyvinyl....view item »

Franz Ferdinand
Walk Away

First let's get this Franz Ferdinand Xmas single out of the way. It's really hard to cynical about 'Walk Away'. Unlike the jawdroppingly annoying 'Do You Want To', this has everything you'd want from a Kapranos & Co ballad. An opening guitar line that screams "classic" as it seems so familiar before it tumbles into the kind...view item »

The Foxes
Lover, Killer

In essence, The Foxes' ability to produce honest, raw and yet unique energised rock and roll seems to be nothing short of effortless in this track. The Kinks-esque opening firmly roots 'Lover Killer' in the realms of a guitar-led sound followed by profound urbanised lyrics. The greatest compliment one can pay to this scintilating three minutes i...view item »

Flying Matchstick Men
All Yr Secrets

So from such sublime delights to the Flying Matchstick Men single on One Records which is so contrived it made me wish I too was constructed of wood as it would be easier to set fire to myself and rid myself from having to review this. Think of a sub-Kaisers band trying to be so painfully trendy it hurts. Only 500 on 7" tha...view item »

Fear of Music
Fear Of Music

And on to Fear Of Music who have a 6 track EP on Blowout records which sounds a bit like Cooper Temple Clause to me. It's a bit Britpop and a bit shouty.... cue the noisy guitars and hey presto you have indie shouty anthemic gear which is kind of OK ish but it's all been done a squillion times before.  There's a bit of...view item »

Fear of Music
We Are Not The Enemy

Onto Fear of Music who release their debut 7"/CDs on Fastermusic. It's called 'We Are Not The Enemy' and it's medium paced average indie type gear which is very MTV2 and it reminds me of  Cooper Temple Clause, Feeder and other such great, great bands. Am being terribly polite about this bit we think it's a bi...view item »

Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe
I Declare Nothing

Anton Newcome of The Brian Jonestown Massacre has been working with Tess Parks for a little while, and the collaboration has now borne fruit in the form of I Declare Nothing, ten sprawling tracks of hazy tone, languorous vocals from Parks over Newcombe&...view item »

Walter TV
Blessed

Walter TV are contemporary nomads of Canadian basement origins. ‘Blessed’ was recorded and mixed between the bands shared apartment in Montreal, LA and on tour (whilst members Joe and Pierce were away touring with Mac DeMarco). It’s DIY surf metal, with punk sensibilities and an obvious soft spot for heavy metal shredding....view item »

LA Priest
Inji

LA Priest (aka Sam Dust) is not from LA, but from the UK, where his former band Late Of The Pier used to kick up a storm. Inji is his first solo release, and is filled with curious touches. Weird digital pop music with a joyous tinge. Attractive (and, if you want it to be, green!) vinyl...view item »

Eyes & No Eyes
Eyes & No Eyes

Here’s an album of strident indie pop from Eyes & No Eyes. This quartet play a moody kind of indie pop which is presented with epic and loud production here, filling the spaces between guitars and vocals with droning cello and vintage analogue synths. This is one of several of these super-slick indie rock records I’ve had to revi...view item »

Electric Spoon
You/ The End Begins

Marquis Cha Cha jumping on the folk bandwagon shouts Flip as I put on the new single by ELECTRIC SPOON. Nice simple plucking guitar with gentle voice following the guitar line. It Sounds like a badly recorded Nick Drake which gives it a timeless feel and. Yeh really drifty and lovely voice...a simple pie. Like a cream scone rather then a lemon meri...view item »

Elbow
Leaders of The Free World

This is a strong pop ballad band and this third album, Leaders of the Free World, is the best place to start because it has their most accessible melodies and the perfect mix of slow-tempo and mid-tempo pop ballads, which will draw comparisons, musically, to Coldplay and, vocally, to Peter Gabriel. Don't let these comparisons bother you. Elbow is n...view item »

Effi Briest
Rhizomes

I don't know this band. I know of them and I've heard them but I don't understand them. I think that's what I meant. I don't understand them. Maybe now is the time. After all if Blast First and Sacred Bones are on the case then maybe it's just me? I was expecting a maximum goth-out and there's certainly a fat goth element hanging around here. Si...view item »

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