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Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

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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 »

Vincent Vincent & The Villains
Pretty Girl

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 »

Sunny Day Real Estate
LP2

In a word LP2 is a lot less "gritty" than Diary; some emo music fans may take that to mean that it's a weaker album seeing as the whole appeal of "emo" music to come off as raw as possible, but I feel that it works out better in this case. Either way, both albums are must-listens for any well-rounded music connoisseur. In the case of LP2 the ins...view item »

Free Energy
Stuck On Nothing

When music isn't challenging, it better be fun and catchy if it wants attention. Stuck on Nothing aims for the latter path, but it does so rather unapologetically. It doesn't aim to re-invent a genre, but to continue down a familiar path that would be less enjoyable if altered. Most of the elements feel immediately recognisable, the reference po...view item »

Calories / William
Split

I've never heard of these guys before, but I have to say I quite enjoyed listening to it. Side A is the Calories side and its an enjoyable romp. I think the first song "Mortal Boys" is a real winner. Quite poppy but with a shouty Hardcore feel. The William side isn't too bad either .Kind of like a female fronted Idlewild I guess. Both the...view item »

Frog Eyes
Paul's Tomb: A Triumph

Frog Eyes albums get better and better and it shines through with Paul's Tomb. In their past albums, Frog Eyes were very hit or miss...some songs are great while others sounded like distorted static that might be better skipped. Not so with Paul's Tomb, I say. Fans of Frog Eyes should embrace this album and promote it. If anyone has been on the ...view item »

Harlem
Hippies

Harlem began life as a duo of duel vocalists Michael Coomers and Curtis O'Mara who switch between guitar and drums according to who wants to sing, they've recently employed the assistance of bassist Jose Boyer for there sixteen track debut on Matador. Having honed their skills in various dive bars and shoe box venues in their home state of Texas...view item »

Nom De Guerre
Love Thy Neighbour

Nom De Guerre are a group i know very little about which is odd because these guys are screaming to be heard. From the of it's apparent that these guys write ambitious, excitable pop music for folk who enjoy a good time. According to the press release, 'Love Thy Neighbour' is a concept LP based around on the classic whodunit murder mystery theme wh...view item »

Magic Bullets
A Child But In Life Yet A Doctor In Love

Now the Magic Bullets with a Child But In Life Yet A Doctor In Love. Its quite a traditional chiming guitar pop sound with The Wedding Present Talking Heads and Gang of Four Referenced. The vocals sit over the music like him from the Strokes or the geezer from Arcade Fire. SO many references makes me worried that they're treading a familiar path. T...view item »

Emanuel & The Fear
Listen

Amazing debut album by Emanuel & The Fear. Highly recommended for fans of complex or orchestral music. A little experimental too, but I would consider the majority album as orchestral pop. This is a very diverse 19 song suite that rewards multiple listenings. This is one talented band that deserves recognition and it reminds me of the days gone ...view item »

Disappears
Lux

Disappears. Nice name. It is indeed rare to find a straight rock orientated band on Kranky. But when it happened, they were bound to be pretty ace. This band make my kind of music too. Riveting together such elements as stoner & space rock, the more tripped-out end of NZ indie rock and adding a little dash of Krautrock into the bargain, 'Lux' i...view item »

Nice Nice
Extra Wow

More Warpyness courtesy of Portland based Nice Nice and their new album 'Extra Wow'. Kicking things of with a psychedelic outburst that evokes a Lightning Bolt if they smoked mega chongs everyday kinda vibe before kicking into single 'One Hit'. Coming across as lot more aggressive than i originally remember this single, i'm drawn to the Franz Ferdi...view item »

Alice In Chains
Dirt

Dirt was no doubt groundbreaking when it was originally released, as evidenced by the current bands who imitate Alice In Chains' style. Unfortunately, the album has not aged well over the years. Don't get me wrong, I understand that this is one of the most important albums of the grunge era, and I do appreciate the emotional quality in both the ...view item »

Dead Can Dance
Within The Realm Of a Dying Sun

This is music for the soul-satisfying moments that find my feasting eyes reading by candlelight in a dark and breezy room. The mixture of Celtic, African, Middle Eastern, and other musical traditions always makes Dead Can Dance a great bet for a very good album. Brendan Perry's voice has somewhat of the tone or sound of Tony Bennett, Dean Martin...view item »

Double Dagger
Masks

Double Dagger are a punk rock trio from Baltimore. Their sound is made up of Drums, Bass and Vocals. "Masks EP" was their penultimate release and came out in 2010. They sound very much like you'd expect from a punk band on the Thrill Jockey label, i.e. like a band on Touch & Go. There's definitely a Steve Albini influence to their sound - dr...view item »

The Happy Hollows
Spells

The Happy Hollows released Spells on October 6th 2009. The Happy Hollows can be seen playing all over Los Angeles, and they have opened for Silversun Pickups on multiple occasions. The debut album from local LA favourites is jam packed with goodness. The Happy Hollows have released an album that is compris...view item »

The Brothers Movement
Blind / Sister

Shit, who let Richard Ashcroft in? Shit,this also reminds me of Starsailor. This is epic sounding rock with HUGE guitars and HUGE vocals. It has a massive chorus.The drums are HUGE. Did I mention it sounds like Starsailor? This is music for people who consider Oasis and a hundered other BritPoppers (ShitPops) cutting edge. Its not my job to warn yo...view item »

I Was A King
I Was A King

Norwegians, I Was a King have made one of those anachronistic efforts from the 00s for people who miss the early 90s, which is fine by me. Guitar driven with melting melodies and a trick or two borrowed from the likes of Teenage Fanclub (see “Step Aside”) and ...view item »

BEAK>
Beak>

Trippy, throwback, groovy, spacey and certainly not pretentious, Beak> is an experience. Think Joy Division or Radiohead. Hey, why not even mention Portishead? Beak> is a blend of all three, in my opinion. According to discogs, this album was recorded live in one room with no overdubs or repair, with only edits to create arrangements. You ...view item »

Medication
This Town

This Medication album came from the distributor with a bit of paper on it instructing us to 'Play this loud', something which always seems kind of necessary with these echoey lo-fi garage rock jobs. They always seem to play some sort of trick on you whereby they doesn't sound particularly loud even when they're up at deafening volumes, it must be a...view item »

Good Shoes
No Hope, No Future

Poor old Good Shoes. I always find it the saddest when it's a stomping, rocking and joyous indie band that crumbles into obscurity rather then those cold ones with monotonous sounds that have no emotion. Whatever your gripes with indie bands from the noughties (I had that so called 'word') leave them at the door....view item »

The Loungs
We Are The Champ

Now The Loungs with their new album We Are The Champ out on Akoustik Anarkhy Recordings. Sprouting from St Helens they've got a style than never strays far from melody. It appears that they're an all singing 6 piece and have created some big harmonies over simple poppy music. Each bar has been painstakingly fussed over and its not without its Magic...view item »

Fuck Montreal
Winter Mange

Fuck Montreal.... Actually I was thinking of moving there as that's where all the big videogame companies hang out and I thought I could get a job there with my many talents of err.... running a record shop. probably not gonna happen so I'll review this Fuck Montreal 7" which has just landed on the Stumparumper label. This is some grotty scuzz...view item »

Fast Lady/ Scorpio Scorpio
Love Dictator/ United In Rock

We once spent an afternoon listening to 'The Money Shot' by Fast Lady. We were pissing ourselves laughing at the lyrics. It's described as 'Mutant Yorkshire Poodle Machine Def Leppard mullet bad Tattoo ROCK' I can't better that. The new 7" collaboration with Scorpio Scorpio V/Vm Test records has the immortal lyrics 'We're united in emotion, bu...view item »

Abbas Mirza
Demolition

This album is fantastic, I managed to get one of the few signed copies! Take Me Away really rocks with it's blusey verse & grungey chorus; the vocals seem to tear through any other instrument. Plastic Smiles comes across like an acoustic sea wave with crashing guitar sounds & backing vocals clashing for attention. Hope turns To Di...view item »

A Grave With No Name
And We Parted Ways At Mt Jade

A grave with no name have a nice new seven inch E.P out containing the following lovely tracks; 'And we parted ways at Mt.Jade'/'Ghosts and Stones'/'The passing of a day (interlude)'/'Stone Setting'/'Horses'. A grave with no name is the guise of Alex Shields who is responsible for the writing, recording and production of this top release, he's obvi...view item »

Belladonna
Hey Weirdo!

Belladonna are a two super tough punk chic's from Darlington. They cut their teeth playing the rough working men's clubs of the North-east so, you know they are like, totally bad ass. 'Hey weirdo' is their debut album, it's a husky and sexy hard. Imagine if Queens of Noise made a record, this is what it would sound like. ...view item »

Le Tetsuo
Sometimes I’m walking around I feel like I’m going to open up and crack

Le Tetsuo, Le Tetsuo, where for art thou Le Tetsuo...Ill tell you where Le Tetsuo is… on a really fashionable street corner in London being extremely fashionable. This song 'Sometimes I'm Walking Around I Fell Like I'm Going To Open Up And Crack'' isn't too bad though and doesn't outstay its welcome, it's quite minimal and punchy, but why do...view item »

Nirvana
Live At Reading

I was there! I was there! For the entire weekend at the 1992 Reading Festival, rumours circulated that Nirvana had pulled out. One rumour was that the Pixies were to replace them. This did little to placate me, I wanted to see Nirvana! Throughout the Sunday that Nirvana were to headline,...view item »

Nosferatu D2
Nosferatu D2

Nosferatu D2 are a to piece from Croydon fronted by Ben Parker whose lyrical style and emotive vocal has impressed a bunch of label dudes and media types around the UK. Entitled 'We're Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise' Nosferatu certainly know how to string a catchy album title together yet the title does re...view item »

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Just Like Kicking Jesus

So after that last Brian Jonestown Massacre album here's a brand new 5 track mini album thing on 12 Tonar which is an Icelandic label. These tracks were all recorded during the sessions of the last album... 4 are exclusive to this release. There's a bunch of alternate versions of tracks from the last album which are a bit useful. It took me a while...view item »

On Fillmore
Extended Vacation

Fourth release from On Fillmore, Extended Vacation continues their experimental investigations into compositions with elastic forms utilising relatively avant-garde instruments, sounds, and techniques: electronics, field recordings, unusual percussion, bass grooves, various small instruments (as referred to on their press release), collage, mini...view item »

Mando Diao
Give Me Fire

These five Swedish lads care greatly for music and Give Me Fire highlights their passion. The opener is pure rock and roll and was the perfect choice to begin this album. That said, the next three tracks are the true auditory diamonds on the record. "Dance With Somebody" should really have been played on the radio, because it's just THAT SONG that ...view item »

Castrovalva
Thug Poetry

Local superstars Castrovalva are kicking up the shit on new single/E.P 'Thug Poetry' taking things way beyond the proto Lightning Bolt sound they started out with. 'Thuglife' and 'Outlawz' are ace examples of a group coming into their own, enlisting the help of Leemun Smith and his extensive vocal range to help elevate Castrovalva to new screaming ...view item »

Hello=Fire
Hello=Fire

Dean Fertita's new solo project Hello=Fire is a selection of fresh tracks that show us a different side of the man's exploits as part of QOTSA and The Dead Weather.Enjoy an intimate psychedelic session of airy syths high on drugs and vibrant guitars, stringed to nostalgic lyrics to deliver the energy of a Colonel Parker. (...view item »

Muck And The Mires
Doreen

Muck is-f---ing awesome! Can't wait to spin the vynal and go to see these guys/gal Friday night!!! How the hell do you spell vynal??? ...view item »

Russian Circles
Geneva

For me, Russian Circles have always strived, but failed to capture and reproduce their live show on record. Unfortunately they fail here, but that's not to say that it's not a good album - it just needs a little something to bring the noise out from the noise of everything else, otherwise this is a pretty standard noisecore post rock album with ...view item »

The Temper Trap
Conditions

Here is a re-issue of the debut LP from widescreen Aussies the Temper Trap. The album first showcased the soaring falsetto voice of singer Dougy Mandagi which glides across the atmospheric arena rock and places the band somewhere between Radiohead and U2. White/blue/black splatter vinyl re-...view item »

Kid Harpoon
Once

Kid Harpoon is one of those folks we've been stocking since he started and I can't really tell you what his music sounds like. His name is enough to make me think I'm just not gonna like it. If it was Harpooned Kid then I'd have probably shown a bit more interest. I thought Young Turks was about cutting edge music? Bands like The XX, Gang Gang Danc...view item »

Wetdog
Enterprise Reversal

Another absolutely smashing album is by Wetdog who not only win funniest name of the week but floor me with some proper primal & authentic agit pop, lo-fi garage rock & brittle lady-led new wave ala Slits, The Raincoats & Delta 5. They've got the old classic sounds down-pat, rumbling bass, guitar varying between spiky clean minimal &...view item »

Mumlers
Don't Throw Me Away

The Mumlers' music seems to float from a Victrola wedged into a dark corner of a mysterious antique shop. The group's second album stretches even further than their debut (Thickets & Snitches). The Mumlers' unusual influences and free-wheeling approach result in the sort of shape-shifting one would expect from a group named after a nineteent...view item »

St. Just Vigilantes
Pastor of Oaks, Shepherd of Stones

Nnnyurgh.. I went to see Melvins last night with Ant, I've got a fuzzy brain and swim vision now.. I think my head is full of cider-soaked cotton wool balls like the ones I fed to the ducks that time. Probably not the best conditions for reviewing this St. Just Vigilantes CD as much as I like it. Pastor of Oaks, Shepherd of Stones is quite a toug...view item »

Girls
Album

I hear on good authority that there is a new band called Girls who aren't girls at all but boys!!!!!! Whatever next? I'm so confused. Anyway I'm told they are all the rage so I've been passed a copy of their new album to try to describe it to you. The first song is called 'Lust for Life' but - oh and this is incredible - it isn't the Iggy Pop song ...view item »

The Toy Band
Possibly

'Possibly' by The Toy Band is on Boy Scout Recordings is a whimsical bit of Englishness with plucked guitar and a cute little flute solo. The low-key 'slice of life' lyrics are bashful and unsure in quite a charming way with lyrics about eating chips and cheese and getting messages from his mum. Bless. It's short and sweet!...view item »

Kid Harpoon
Stealing Cars

Kid Harpoon is my dad. Serious. 'Stealing cars' b/w 'Don't cry on me' is his new single. I'm not sure how i feel about my father embarking on a rock'n'roll career so late in his life but you know, he's my dad so i should show a little encouragement, love and support. So here goes, buy dad's new single!! It sounds like Arctic Monkeys before they got...view item »

Arctic Monkeys
Humbug

Hey it's Arctic Monkeys. Can't see these guys catching on with their uneasy alliance of very obviously British lyrical obsessions and highly polished modern US rock sounds. Josh Homme had a big hand in the production and it's not hard to tell that they're massive fans since the singer dude spends half the album doing his best vocal impression and t...view item »

The Fiery Furnaces
I'm Going Away

Fiery Furnaces are that rare beast of a band that are loved by a large pocket of total weirdos globally, whilst repelling just about everybody else with both a/ ears and b/ a brain. The way they schizophrenically combine progressive lo-fi pop, blues balladery, rattly caberet rock & tedious 70's AOR should be commended but I constantly feel like...view item »

The Mountain Goats
Tallahassee

4AD are going exactly the same way as original, life affirmingly INDEPENDENT allies Mute by signing pretty hopeless bands. If The Mountain Goats are the new Pixies then that pig really DID just fly past the window. More up Clint's street are these and even he thinks they're a bit p...view item »

Solid Gold
Bodies of Water

I'm not getting the Depeche and Pet Shop Boys comparisons here at all. I am, however hearing, if anything, The Mary Onettes or Sneaker Pimps. Most of the songs run at the speed of a smooth gallop (not too fast/not too slow) and they humm and whine with great use of wheezy keyboards and a very funky/slap bass sound. Great instrumentation - deep pian...view item »

Throw Me The Statue
Creaturesque

Parts of this album I could give or take, but what makes me give it a higher rating are the few tracks that get stuck in my head and won't leave. The overall sound is kind of laid back but also charged with rock/pop energy. Some of the songs have almost annoying riffs in the background that remind me of the beats generated by a kid's keyboard you'd...view item »

The Most Serene Republic
And the Ever Expanding Universe

This is a very talented band and I imagine they will be around for awhile. Like most indie-rock bands from Canada, they play around with a lot of different music styles, tempos and instruments. The one thing that is consistent is their playfulness. Playful, but not in a "hey let's see if I can figure this violin out!", don't get me wrong, these guy...view item »

Future of The Left
Travels With Myself And Another

Future of the Left totally sound like an American rock band. I guess thats no bad thing if you are American but it always sounds a little strange when the band are from Shoreditch or wherever. Anyway, Future of the Left are an evolution of the much touted McClusky. Much like the story with Kyuss, Future of the Left have taken the heaviness of thier...view item »

The Willowz
Talkin Circles

I'm a bit surprised that young punky types from California, The Willowz weren't more popular. Their short, melodic pop-punk blasts fit right in with the likes of The White Stripes or The Strokes. Their first releases were in the early 2000s, right on cue, they just weren't...view item »

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