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Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

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The Collectable Few
Headstrong

I'm thinking 'guilty pleasure' here. I mean anything that sounds so much like the execrable likes of White Lies shouldn't be doing anything much for me but I think it's done well enough here to more than excuse itself for being in such company and that's quite an achievement. Big fucking eighties production like a more ballsy M83, some New Order...view item »

British Sea Power
Valhalla Dancehall

My mate has a funny story about being kicked out of one of British Sea Power's mum's conservatory for skinning up a joint at a party. He now thinks they're a total joke and is confident they can't be any good even though I assure him they're one of the most popular UK indie bands today and have been for years. I reckon they've stuck to a pretty ...view item »

The Decemberists
The King Is Dead

The Decemberists are one of those unfathomably popular bands who seem to get the love from everyone despite sounding like the kind of American band around in the 80's/90's intended for those listeners who found REM a bit too 'challenging' (Toad the Wet Sprocket anyone? Velvet Elvis? Rembrants?). It's folky college rock with nasal vocals that gra...view item »

School Knights
Rush s.k.

I kinda like this label. They introduced Cloud Nothings to me who have been floating my boat for a wee while now. They chuck out these limited CDR releases and the majority of the ones I've heard are dynamite. School Knights is a chap from Weed Diamond and here he's teamed up with Zack Roif to make a strong 4 track power-punk-pop EP. It's not a ...view item »

The Wind-Up Birds
Courage, For Tomorrow Will Be Worse

The Wind-Up Birds are some good time lads from here in sunny Leeds. They've got a 7" EP out now containing four sumptuous indie rock efforts plus a bonus download of said sumptuous tunes. Good to see these fellers easing us into the transition from wax to digital... it's tough times for the poor old vinyl record. Anyway, The Wind-Up Birds write ...view item »

Outer Limits Recordings
Julie

Sam Mehran a.k.a. Sam Meringue returns with another dose of Outer Limits Recordings fun. 'Julie' is Meringue's British power pop ballad that dwells on dramatic themes of love/suicide/reincarnation etc. By comparison to previous O.L.R. releases this effort is very much consistent with the concept of a proper pop song, featuring coherent vocals an...view item »

Piskie Sits
The Way I'd Like To Go

This new EP from Piskie Sits is a slackers call to arms. It makes you want to shuffle about in a plaid shirt. It makes you feel like wearing woolly hats in Summer. They take the best parts of such alt-rock acts as Pavement, Vaselines and maybe even Sonic Youth, and fashion four solid tracks of quality slacker rock. The guitar lines chime, the dr...view item »

Pavement
Brighten The Corners

Fuck me, I don't know where they're digging up all the bonus tracks for these Pavement reissues but there are at least a thousand on the one for Brighten the Corners so it's obviously an abundantly generous source. There's a whole other career in there. I'll limit this to a quickie since it should be common knowledge that Pavement are about the...view item »

The Sequins
Japan/ Alive

Is it just me or is there anyone else who doesn't give a shit whether Pulp make a comeback or not? I'm tired of people getting so excited. Come on they weren't that great were they? I mean there's some ok stuff but its not a cue for 30 somethings to act as if the Beatles had reformed. I blabber on about this because this new single is very Pulp,...view item »

Modest Mouse
The Fruit That Ate Itself

Originally released in 1997, ‘The Fruit That Ate By Itself is the third EP from American indie rock luminaries Modest Mouse. Produced by founder of K records- Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson- this EP is more in line with Johnson’s past work, recalling the playful indie-funk of Dub Narcotic System, and it is built around a leane...view item »

Phil The Tremolo King
11

Aw man I'm sooo tired.... I really need more sleep! I'll see if my namesake can keep me awake! It's a quirky one this one alright. It's packaged in one of those arigato packs with a silk screened cover. Inside you get a little booklet with some info with some drawings and words in. Musically it's very different to the kind of music which normall...view item »

Sonic Youth
A Thousand Leaves

Along with Washing Machine, A Thousand Leaves is a clear indication that Sonic Youth have transcended the barriers of punk, noise, avant-garde, etc. and have become coincident with the core of modern music and modern lyric poetry across all genres and forms. A Thousand Leaves, sporting long, autumnal, melodic meditations like Hits of Sunshine an...view item »

Plug
Plug

Plug are a couple of gals from London and after a handful of singles Upset the Rhythm have released their self titled album for mass consumption! It's a cheeky one on first listen. After a short opener of just some weird noises you get a nice electro(ey) hip-hop style number which is a wee bit like Luscious Jackson with some deep keyboards. It's...view item »

The Phantom Band
The Wants

Both myself and Brian remember liking a Phantom Band album from the past but neither can remember much about it or how it differs from this one. This is a collection of sludgy Scottish rock and roll with heavy nods towards Clinic, Sons and Daughters,and mid period Depeche Mode. Its all a bit gothy and serious at times, but there are some pretty ...view item »

Weezer
Death To False Metal

So, you’re approaching 40, your hair is starting to disappear and that lovely fitted shirt your wife bought you last summer is now two sizes too small. You’re starting to realize this is the end, this is your downhill slope, you’re getting old and there is nothing you can do about it. But wait! Why not try to reconnect with you...view item »

Insect Guide
Dark Days and Nights

The new full length album from these guys sounds pretty sweet. It has shoegaze leanings and it reminds me of a more futuristic Velvet Underground. It has a massive dollop of goth splashed bleakness all over its pretty little face. There are quite a lot of things going on in this record. Some of it sounds unrelentingly bleak, but just when you st...view item »

The Temper Trap
Conditions Remixed

I always thought that Sweet Disposition would be a hard song to remix and I'm not wrong here. It's not bad by any means, but the angle it was approached just didn't work. I think more could have been done with the stem of just the guitar riff. Working over that. There is some melody lost throughout and it's one of those moments like some of the ...view item »

Sore Eros
Second Chants

I love a spot of dreamy cosmic Americana me. Sore Eros (featuring the supremely off-kilter genius of Gary War & friends!) are the latest psych-Yank hopes launched onto these humble shores, a curious long player arriving in my fat lap through the Shdwply imprint. Being scared of vowels is of no real concern when yr putting out records like this....view item »

The Black Heart Procession
Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit

Haven't really been keeping up with BHP's progress over the past few years. I saw them play a while back and really enjoyed the morbid display of rock minimalism. Nowadays they seem to have perked up a little and even enjoy a bit of the old remix treatment. So, here we have a kinda mini-album EP thing with three BHP originals interspersed with r...view item »

Superchunk
Majesty Shredding

Damn! Superchunk!!! It seems like it's been a while since I heard from these guys and girl and what a happy day it is. Saw them at Primavera earlier in the year and i felt like I'd been transported back to a better time and place. Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav sang a song with them and he looked like the happiest man in the world...i was super ...view item »

Big Troubles
Drastic & Difficult

This Big Troubles 7" is the first in a series of Olde English Spelling Bee 7"s due over the coming months. Recommended to the label by Matt Mondanile (Real Estate, Ducktails etc.). Big Troubles trade in a mutant form of lo-fi pop recorded in an almost industrial style. Be warned, though B.T. are slightly harsh on the ears you'll be rewarded long...view item »

Weezer
Hurley

I consider myself a pretty big Weezer fan, I have heard all the albums and will pretty much pick up all the new stuff they put out. Unfortunately, I don't think that they went anywhere new with this album, and I didn't really find anything too appealing with any of the tracks. They've rocked harder on other albums, and there aren't really any gr...view item »

The Black Angels
Phosphene Dream

Phosphene Dream has a lot of the signature "doom and drone" sound that made this band so refreshing and mind blowing in the underground Psychedelic Revival rock scene, we now see them embracing a new lighter, almost happier tone on some of the songs on the new album. This actually works very well. In fact, it kind of gives the band a sorely need...view item »

The Thermals
Personal Life

Well, actually maybe they won't warm your heart, but they just may rock your socks off. It is a bit different from their previous albums though as it isn't as high energy (with the exception of "I Don't Believe You"). I read somewhere else that this album is a "grower", and I would agree with that as I started to like the songs more the more I list...view item »

The xx
xx

Fucking obsessed with this album. True, bits are a bit samey, what with the ultra minimal stripped back style they employ, the harmonies are lush and the dinky guitar lines are so emotive, can't get these simple, smoky, mellow tunes out of my head. At last, a true marriage of soul & indie that doesn't make you balk at the idea. The sleeves ...view item »

Pontiak
Living

Pontiak do rock music right, with a low-slung rhythm-section heft driving along nice crunchy riffs. Sometimes they are more of a vocal blues-rock outfit and sometimes they plunge into thick sludgy instrumental depths. Living is their fourth album, and it has been mostly unava...view item »

Interpol
Antics

Here we go. You know those Interpol guys? They made one of the best albums EVER a couple of years back. Out of the blue. Totally flattened The Strokes with their dark & doomy take on 80's overcoat rock smeared in New York grime & stunning claustrophobic production. Like Pixies & QOTSA, a band who'd made...view item »

Pixies
Trompe Le Monde

If there was any worry that the Pixies would lose the raw energy of 'Surfa Rosa' by their 4th album, Frank Black put those worries to rest. 'Trompe Le Monde' isn't just relentless surf/punk though; "Space (I Believe In)" is a bizarre mix of prog rock and heavy metal and "Lovely Day" re-visits the feel of Doolittle classic "Hey". It may take...view item »

The Fall
The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall

Beggar’s Banquet are launching the next phase of their Fall reissue campaign, hooray hooray! Next up is The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, a relatively ‘mainstream’ (gasp!) Fall album, full of hooks. One of the first Fall albums to feature premium...view item »

Minus The Bear
Omni

Another good album from Minus the Bear. It's more pop oriented than the previous efforts. The production is more polished, and the songs are more radio friendly than the earlier MTB albums. But the songs are still great, and that's what matters after all. I wouldn't by any means say the new album is a sellout, more that the album actually reache...view item »

The Departure
Lump In my Throat

So to lighten up I put on the new single by The Departure which is available on CD and 7". The cover is extremely new wave which it would have to be. Musically it's very new wave which it would have to be. Chameleons, Psychedelic Furs etc.... That's who this sounds like. I want to be nice about it but I'm very un inspired th...view item »

Bloc Party
Mercury

Bloc Party are back with a brand new single called Mercury. Its funny listening to this and then the new Cure single and you realise how similar the voices sound. I have no idea what on earth ' My Mercury is in Retrograde' means... we think he needs more oily fish. Anyway it's good to know he's recovered after his furious beating by Jon Lydon's evi...view item »

Thurston Moore
Psychic Hearts

Away from Sonic Youth, Thurston has done some super avant-garde, weird stuff and also some fine pop stuff in this. These are very good 'stick in your head for days' songs, particularly those on the first half of the album. Some of the others are slow and lazy, maybe because they're more personal stuff, the title track and "Queen Bee" have some of h...view item »

Judah Johnson
Judah Johnson

This self titled CD is really good tuneful indie rock that once again uses the Jeff Buckley school of vocal mayhem. Bit of Haven bit of Coldplay bit of Grandaddy. Covers all the indie rock bases....view item »

Archie Bronson Outfit
Islands

Here is the new single from Archie Bronson outfit. The first track is bluesy rock that at least has the decency to turn up with a tune in tow. Its produced by Hotel. Isn't that the feller out of The Kills? I think so. If you like your rock nasty and bluesy out of the back of pub (with beer soaked carpet) then you might lik...view item »

TK Webb
TK Webb

Here's another of those fancy flash Mexican Summer jobs in fat cardboard sleeve on high quality virgin vinyl with a download code limited to a paltry 750 copies. I know nothing about this dude at all aside from his name. It's a nice name as well.... I'm toying with changing my name to TK Phil... that's gonna be mint. Anyway this guy has had a fe...view item »

The Acutes
Set On You

Leeds' very own THE ACUTES: "Set On You", A duo of drums, vocals and guitars reminiscent of the jangly indie-pop of yester year- think Postcard records minus the spiky ness of JOSEF K but with the rythmic intensity of say ORANGE JUICE, as you'd imagine the lead track is a typical tale of yearning, I'd recommend they listen to Big Flame's ...view item »

Querelle
Querelle

Speaking of the Duds I was gonna release a split single with them and Querelle some time back but then gave up on the label after I realised just how fickle the record buying public is. ah the bitterness is still strong within. It's a shame really cos Querelle are quite fantastic and Sink & Stove have the honour of brin...view item »

Mum Smokes
House Music/ Easy

Aussie quartet Mum Smokes have this fine double set out on Sensory Projects, they're a Melbourne collective writing sublime breezy, easy going indie pop with a classic edge whilst retaining a sense of homely modesty. To begin picking at the 31 tracks over this 2 album retrospective is ridiculous but I can hear Felt, B&S, Eggs, later era Pavemen...view item »

Bombay Bicycle Club
Flaws

The 2nd album from U.K. band who released the outstanding debut I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose. Flaws is a completely different animal--filled with purely acoustic folk/pop songs that are beautiful & compelling in their straightforward, thoughtful simplicity. Vocalist Jack Steadman has a subtly emotional & riveting voice that add...view item »

Blitzen Trapper
Field Rexx

This is one of my favourites. I love the weirdness; it's blue-grass, with some experimental quirkiness, with a definite indie-rock feel. I would say their sound is original pop/newgrass, rock, somewhat country? "Asleep for Days" was the first song of theirs that I had heard when I listened to the album. On first hearing the song, I thought that Mod...view item »

Archie Bronson Outfit
Hoola (House Of David Remix) / Hoola (Moscow Remix)

Before hearing this I assumed that the Archie Bronson Outfit might be indie fops or horrid acoustic rock in the vein of sandal wearing, surf ponce Jack Johnson. Or a total pub rock band. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as one of my all time favourite bands are the amazing Ducks Deluxe. Archie Bronson are more like 80s wrestling film "...view item »

Blitzen Trapper
Destroyer Of The Void

So, it starts off like the Beach Boys, the harmonies, the bass, then after a minute we hear a little Brian May style guitar followed by backing vocal ahhhhs that are lifted directly from Queen’s “March Of The Black Queen” and more May guitar. The rest of the title track is reminiscent of Queen&r...view item »

The Fire Engines
Hungry Beat

The Fire Engines have another collection out. This one different to the odds and sods collection released on Domino. 'Hungry Beat' is a compilation of their 3 singles and their mini album for the 1st time collected onto one lovely CD. I have to say Brian was the specialist in this field but now he's gone I've sort of got into it a bit more. This wh...view item »

Smudge
Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra

Smudge are an Australian band led by Evan Dando cohort and songwriter extraordinaire, Tom Morgan and feature the drumming skills of Alison Galloway who was the inspiration for The Lemonheads "Alison's Starting To Happen". "Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra" was their fourth and final album and was originally released in 1998. "Hot Potato" and "Breadcrum...view item »

Beads
Evil

Jesus H. Corbett I wasnt expecting this. It looks a bit death-rock (judging from the sleeve), but in fact what we have here is something that could have been knocked out by Robert Pollard. Not that thats a bad thing. It's a nice song, slightly psyche in its production, and could even be accused of being a bit Beatles-esque. It's a fairly straigh...view item »

Radical Face
Ghost

I had heard the song Welcome Home on the telly on one of those angsty teen channel 4 dramas a few years back and whilst I liked the song never investigated further. Fast forward to last month and I was reminded of this album after reading about his latest project, The Family Tree trilogy. If you haven't heard Radical Face before I would heartily r...view item »

Jaguar Love
Hologram Jams

As with the now defunct Blood Brothers, Johnny Whitney once again seems perfectly content to carve out his own niche based on a singular vision of progressing his own shrieking avant-garde post-punk farther into indie/synth-pop territory. Where the Blood Brothers were floating between the hardcore and indie scenes, and unable to fully be cleared...view item »

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