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Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

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We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

In a way, they're Ween for the 21st Century. You get the sense they won't stand still for long, and they're next album will probably be something of a departure from this. (er, correction, it is a departure from this) Boatloads of feeling, pop aesthetic and influences from all over the place. Infact, it's pretty fun ...view item »

Team Spirit / Urugauy

I’m getting hurled way back into my young adulthood with this breezy little 7”. The A side has a fairly decent stab at the type of sound produced by swathes of plaid-clad rock bands of the early ‘90s who dealt in slightly discordant guitars, plaintive vocals producing a sound...view item »

Then Comes Silence
Then Comes Silence

Here’s an album from a brand new band from Sweden, Then Comes Silence, who formed about a year ago out of the ashes of Sad Day For Puppets and Antennas. Interestingly they recently played their very first gig in support of ...view item »

Memoires d'Automne

This one here is the first vinyl issue of a 1996 self-produced tape by French coldwavers Memoires D’Automne, and as you would expect it’s full of metronomic beats, watery guitars, brittle bass and heartfelt vocals, with more than a hint of gothy post-punk retro, re...view item »

The Wind-Up Birds
The Mild Awards

These fellas are one of those passionate feisty homegrown bands you cannot help but be energised by. They're kind of what you'd term new-wave pub-rock doom and channel the urban psychosis of Happy Mondays, ...view item »

By Hook or By Crook

Leeds. I’m in it today. It’s raining, almost pitch black and completely grim. This unrelenting, unremitting greyness is maybe why it produces so many great underground bands and, of course, has spawned the worlds greatest record shop even if we do say so ourselves. Thi...view item »

Dear Thief / The NJE

Got a pretty ace split 7” here from The #NJE# (short for Near Jazz Experience) and Dear Thief. The #NJE#, who I’d never heard of before, are a trio of people I have heard of before; Terry Edwards on sax, ...view item »

Sonic Youth
Smart Bar Chicago 1985

Sonic Youth, let’s face it, are a band we all love and a valued part of our modern lives, so how are we supposed to fill the yawning void left in our lives while they’re taking some time off to figure out their future? Well very thought...view item »

Guided By Voices
White Flag

Bob Pollard’s rejuvenated Guided By Voices have slowly been winning my heart again over the course of the three albums they’ve brought out in the two or three months it must’ve been...view item »

The Lemonheads
Mallo Cup

For me, "Mallo Cup" marks the start of Evan Dando's Lemonheads, where the American pop-punk gave way to melodic indie rock. This was originally included on The Lemonheads third album, "Lick", which was a make-do-and-mend album made up of few tracks recorded by a broken-up band suffering from musical differences and early EP tracks. "Mallo Cup" w...view item »

The Fourth Dimension

Stay are a four-piece from Barcelona who describe themselves as “space-rock” on their record sleeve but what’s really happening on here is some ‘90s-style indie jangle with more than a dash of Britpop influence. Phil just told me that Liam...view item »

Ennui/ Eighteen

I remember Shinies’ previous single was a total Teenage Fanclub worshipping bit of summer indie pop, so it should be no surprise that we’ve got a similar thing going on here, with lead track &l...view item »

The Evens
The Odds

It’s been a while now since Ian Mackaye’s legendary Fugazi went on hiatus and he started recording and touring with Amy Farina as The Evens, producing an altogether quieter and more contemplative style of ...view item »

Edie Sedgwick
We Wear White

Edie Sedgwick is the long-running solo outlet of Justin Moyer, who has also been variously involved in El Guapo, Supersystem, Antelo...view item »

Scott & Charlene's Wedding
Para Vista Social Club

Craig Dermody, head dude of the Neighbourstastic Scott and Charlene's Wedding, should probably try to cheer the fuck up a little.  Because for all the woes of small-town living in Australia it seems to equip one with the wherewithal to produce a superb little album.  An album full of the woes of small-town living in Australia, ...view item »

Cody ChesnuTT
Landing On A Hundred

On “Landing On A Hundred” Cody ChesnuTT gives Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Stevie Wonder a run their money with his brand of funky soul. “Til I Met Thee” has all the hallmarks of a soul classic. “That’s Still Mama” has some amazing bass playing on it. This album is patchy...view item »

US Girls

From humble beginnings with the murky ‘60s girl-group-channelling spectre-pop and lo-fi psychedelia/grainy hypnagogic noise of her first couple of records, the lovely Meghan Remy lands on old UK hipster stable FatCat with her "most realised album to date...view item »

Waves Of Fury

Combining infinitely danceable beats with a swirling maelstrom of guitars that occasionally veer off the page – but never entirely out of the book – and a deeply satisfying overlay of funky horns and born-to-boogie bursts of piano. With Sharp’s heart-wrenching vocals – that owe debts to James Brown and James ‘Iggy P...view item »

The Luyas

When I started to play the first track for the first time, I was thinking, "Oh, this is kind of boring." But I kept listening, and as the seconds passed, my ears started going, "Wait a minute... yup, this is getting interesting...". It takes its time and builds, but it never makes you feel impatient; just the opposite: pure listening satisfactio...view item »

Azure Ray
As Above So Below

Azure Ray's Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink are known for their delicate, almost fragile vocal harmonies coupled with very introspective perspectives, set in melancholy arrangements of piano, acoustic guitar, cello, and strings. As Above, So Below, despite its 6-song, 23-minute length, shatters the mould. The dream vocals remain, but the acoustic b...view item »

Ty Segall

How can a band be so damn prolific but also responsible for so many consistently great records? Segall is kinda like The Stones to fellow travellers Thee Oh Sees’ Beatles, to carv...view item »

Frightened Rabbit
State Hospital EP

Doesn't hang together like the albums, but makes me appreciate how well they construct a record. It's a gorgeous extension of the Old Old Fashioned sentiment lyrically, and it's got a killer arrangement. Scott Hutchison and company have continued to move forward with top notch creations that strive for greatness and more often than not hit the m...view item »

New Relics

The last Errors album ‘Have Some Faith In Magic’ was a pleasing step up for the Glasgow post-electro-pop rockers and I guess they’re just going with the momentum because here’s a brand new eight-song mini-album les...view item »

Play For Today

It’s hard to say whether Ultrasound were mocked in their day because one of them was extremely fat or that they produced music of unmitigating shite. Probably a bit of both. After several years in the wilderness not phoning e...view item »

The Proctors / Apple Orchard

More indie shenanigans this time from The Proctors on a split 7” with Apple Orchard. Both terrible names in my eyes, one of my first friends had that P surname and he was a total doylum who preferred Erasure to...view item »

Boston Spaceships
The Greatest Hits Of Boston Spaceships (Out Of The Universe By Sundown)

Robert Pollard's second best band of all time, Boston Spaceships, have a lot of pop nuggets scattered in their vast discography, and this compilation -- spanning four years of material -- tries to sum up the band the best it can: silly, jangly and occasionally closing in on the greatness of ...view item »

Unnatural Helpers
Land Grab

Here’s a band I’ve never heard of before, Unnatural Helpers, knocking out a brand of indie rock that sounds ever so familiar already. They’re the kind of band that was ten a penny in the post-grunge era, with spiky mid-paced pop...view item »

Dinosaur Jr.
I Bet On Sky

Dinosaw Jumper are back with their latest album that sounds like J. Mescalines and the Frog but with the love-lorn one out of ace Indie emo noiseniks September-NO! re-instated and doing his day job like what he did in the late...view item »


'Moms' marks the first Menomena record since frontman elect Brent Knopf left to focus on his solo career. The result is a brighter, more emotive and arguably less robotic sound, with remaining songwriters Danny Seim and Justin Harris writing an urgent and touching treatise on their parents. The instrumentation is wacky, colourful and tragic, wit...view item »

Gyratory System
John Frum / 1968

This is just what I needed right now. Right from the outset on this EP we’re treated to a barrage of bright, bouncy melodic synth, building up in insistent looped layers for a shuddering mechanical pop onslaught which is indulgen...view item »

Robert Pollard
Jack Sells The Cow

After the surprisingly excellent second Guided By Voices comeback album ‘Class Clown Spots a UFO’, I wondered whether the newly discovered inspiration found throughout that LP could be transferred to frontman ...view item »

Believe You Me

This band Ombre is a collaboration between Julianna Barwick and Helado Negro, so I have high hopes, and so far I’m not disappointed, with a beautifully balanced mix be...view item »

Dead Can Dance

When such acclaimed bands as Dead Can Dance rise from the dead it is always a great event and their new album Anastasis stands up to their high standards and our best expectations. And straight away with the first chords of “Children of the Sun” we are immersed into the atmosphere of grandeur – all melodies show vaguely orienta...view item »

Nu Sensae

I like Canada, I really do. I know they gave us Bieber and Nickelback and those obnoxious canadian pharmacy spam emails, but they gave us good things too. Tegan and Sara, canadian bacon, Rush and so on and so forth. Now add to that hardcore-punk trio Nu Sensae and you’ve got a well rounded list. I kn...view item »

Ape School
Junior Violence

Junior Violence is underpinned by wide influence, but a judicious comparison can be made to David Fridmann's production. Think spastic use of experimental sound and electronic nuances framed by the hook-filled indie rock trinity: bass, guitar and drums. Johnson, a keen but hapless lyricist, has a terrific voice, further hemming a--dare the eclec...view item »

Best Of

Ah, Blairmailer. Strummy, tuneful Aussie greats who emerged out of the ashes of Crabstick, a band who single-handedly soundtracked my sloppy drunken late teenage years. Crabstick only released one album in their lifetime (although another two posthumously) but it was a good ‘un. &l...view item »

Halo Halo

This Halo Halo single has some weird skeletal post-punk business with a girl singing and some tasteful minimal Afro-style lead guitar lines. It’s kind of like how I’d imagine a Delta 5 acoustic performance to sound....view item »

Lower Dens

Baltimore's Lower Dens return with their sophomore effort on Ribbon music, hitting us with a meticulous and well thought out follow up to 'Twin-Hand Movement'. I'm not a huge fan or owt but I reckon they've got a pretty neat style....view item »

King Tuff
King Tuff

King Tuff are the latest in a line of rock'n'pop hopefuls to dip their toes in the Sub Pop Jacuzzi party pool in the hopes of future immortality. They open big...view item »

Alabama Shakes
Boys & Girls

Jack White favourites Alabama Shakes arrive for real with 'Boys & Girls', their debut album on Rough Trade. Their debut EP and Third Eye 7” has sold well so there's definitely some interest in these kids. If you don't already know, The Shakes specialise in modern Soul, Blues and ...view item »

The Bastards of Fate
Who's A Fuzzy Buddy?

What the fuck is this? I genuinely can't tell if this band is trying to be annoying or not. They're doling out a brand of bouncy, brash indie pop with impossibly irritating yelpy vocals delivered with absolute full-throated confidence and conviction. The tunes are actually dead catchy but...view item »

Dum Dum Girls
I Will Be

This is a collection of rattling, slightly lo-fi indie anthems built from a kaputting drum machine, lolloping female (& occasionally male) vocals plus hollowed-out guitar that are produced in such a way that the songs become quite infectious in their poppy simplicity. I initially disliked the single because I found the chorus a bit too derivati...view item »

J Mascis
Several Shades of Why

J Mascis's new solo offering is quite a... dare I say restrained affair. Gone (but not forgotten) are the usual traits that I would usually associate with the Big J...or Jizzy M if you're feeling Hitman & Her about it. Like dressing like somone who's just walked backwards through a grunge wardrobe (sez me..I'm still flexing the classic long ...view item »

Moody Gowns / Bearfoot Beware

We're doing our supporting the local scene thing here with this new split 7” from Leeds's own alt-pop weirdos Moody Gowns and Bearfoot Beware. On the Moody Gowns side there's a bouncy little number called 'Stepmother' which marries Oingo Boingo-style wonky outsider pop with a kind o...view item »

The Times
This Is London

The Times were an ‘80s post-punk/indie band formed from the ashes of Teenage Filmstars by Ed Ball (Also previously of Television Personalities). This Is London was their 2nd album, originally released in 1983 and had a sound influenced by &l...view item »

The Icarus Line
Live In London

The Icarus Line are a severely underrated band with 5 excellent albums under their belt and this live album is no exception. Live cuts from their 4th album Wildlife mixed with some then unrecorded tracks (now available on the 2014 mini album Avowed Slavery) make for a good time. For fans of guitars and good music....view item »

Disco Inferno
The 5 Eps

I'm not one for looking back usually. Neither were Disco Inferno. They were the true futurists of the 1990's, a band so forward thinking that it is rumoured that Rough Trade kept funding their releases despite a shocking lack of sales as they were convinced that they were to be the 'Ca...view item »

Light Asylum
Light Asylum

Light Asylum is a solid debut from the duo which encompasses the might of their sound without overstating its concept. While its lyrical content is often more associated with the biblical imagery that peppers goofier strains of heavy metal, its passion lain out over hard synths and pulsing beats makes for a new kind of dance music, where the foc...view item »

The Liftmen
Luftwaffe Pond

I've just written 'Life Without Buildings' on the skin of my banana. Breakthroughs come only once in a while in this reviewing lark and my brain is so scattershot that if fleeting thoughts are not noted they will be forgotten by the time I've typed out the album title. Anyway, there is so...view item »

Shola/ Pillow Talk

One thing I like about this time of year is that everyone seems to save their summery records for the sun coming out so we suddenly get a glut of more positive-sounding vibes hitting the office speakers. This one here from Manchester three-piece Shinies has a really summery '90s indie vib...view item »

Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Think you know what to expect from Spiritualized by now? Well, you'd be right! Yup, the English band with the American spelling are back with a new platter of their ambitious indie-psych-pop-gospel-drug music packed with 11 cuts that sound jus...view item »

Heavy Blanket
Heavy Blanket

"Ever wondered what Band of Gypsies would sound like if you mixed it up with Japanese hard psych and smoked it through a giant power bong?"Well, not really but I'm hearing it now and me is very, very impre...view item »

Oh Cult!

Nice bit of hard grooving post-punk business here from Logikparty. I'm quite partial to a bit of post-punk so the spidery shrill guitar tones and Poly Styrene-esque vocal delivery are really floating my boat. In the poppier moments things can &ld...view item »

The Mars Volta

Evolution and drastically changing is business as usual for The Mars Volta. Noctourniquet feels like it might be half trying to do something genuinely new and half trying to keep one foot in their previous style. As always with The Mars Volta a lot of fans will hate this album just because it isn't like their debut, a lot of fans will blindly lo...view item »

Things We Lost In The Fire

On Low albums, the heart flutters and then stops altogether, the hushed harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker slowing into nothingness -- whether over delicate strums or ascendent and doomy rock fanfare. Things We Lost In the Fire is arguably the band's opus, offering each iteration of their sound at its ...view item »

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