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Shoegaze / Post-Rock / Math / Experimental Indie

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Do Make Say Think
Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn

Do Make Say Think are my favourite of the Constellation bands. They avoid the unrelenting pomposity of your Godspeeds but have the melodic and arranging know-how to create records that are varied, emotional and huge in scope. Being a wanker muso, I'd say that the best thing about this record are the...view item »

Burmese
Lun Yurn

This is certainly by far the most violent release I've heard this week. Burmese are a five-piece from San Francisco, apparently, although all the text in the artwork is in Japanese except the band's names - Mike, Mike, Mark, Weasel and Tissue. I can't help but wonder if Tissue is his actual name or an elective pseudonym, and if it is th...view item »

Plantagenet 3
Modern Myths and Fairy Tales

Atmospheric almost surf style music from this Lahndann group. It sounds like the soundtrack to an unmade film...probably (I'd hope) a surf style spaghetti western starring Wayne Sleep as a light-footed sheriff who rides a surfboard on a horse trying to keep a group of bandits (led by the rather excellent Mel Gibs...view item »

Efrim Manuel Menuck
High Gospel

This is the bloke who elongated The Silver Mount Zion's set to even more mammoth proportions when I saw them last year with rambling go nowhere stories between songs like a coked up 80's Rod Stewart on a particularly gruesome edition of the Russell Harty show. I'm being overly harsh, of course, I was so tired ...view item »

The Pattern Theory
The Pattern Theory

Blooming post-rock time now. I'm unsure how to accurately describe this, it's a very melodic and sweetly executed instrumental rock album with progressive and electronic undertones. Lots of dynamic, playful percussion; woozy old analogue synths adding a really spacious, exploratory dimension; inspired splashes of...view item »

Elika
Snuggle Bunnies

Well I was reading the press release for this and it goes on about synths, field recordings, sound installations etc and I was expecting a right load of "beard". What I did get was a total pop album, the vocals of which sound reminiscent of Madonna (especially the 'Ray of Light' era). Listening to it with headphones on though I'm hearing a lot m...view item »

Thisquietarmy
Vessels

Eric Quach records under a number of different monikers but he's possibly more famous for Thisquietarmy (now known as TQA for review purposes because my fingers are tired). His music tends to be quite varied as well (the big multi headed beast he is) as he treads from genre to genre like a tip-toeing Canadian doom pixie. This album is kinda doom...view item »

Gang Gang Dance
Eye Contact

So Gang Gang Dance's journey has seen them release material on the Social Registry, Warp, Young Turks and eventually landed them on 4AD whom they now have presenting this full length following the 'Glass Jar' 12". I can't help but feel that 4AD have lost their identity a little in recent times, both musically and aesthetically. Whether that's a ...view item »

Jookabox
The Eyes of the Fly

We liked this Jookabox CD, at least a couple of us did here at the diversely staffed & attitude-rich compendium of rickety towers that is Norman. It seems only people with really stupid names make good music these days. Like Badger Flour & Horse Goblin. They're my new bands. But they're not as fun as David 'Moose' Adamson's project which...view item »

Emphemetry
A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets

Ahhhh close my eyes and I'm transported from this dingy office into green pastures as opener 'After Catalunya' evokes pastoral scenes with its delicate ambience and meandering almost folky guitar. This is the work of the talented Richard Birkin Of Derby who plays guitar, piano, loop pedals and also sings. You just get the feeling that an inc...view item »

Buk Buk Bigups
Buk Buk Bigups

Yeah! This is theeeee SHIT! Wonky, druggy new-wave disco funk. Gimme gimme gimme. This S/T effort is decidedly spilling with odd flavas. A wired, itchy, possessed motorik workout with some proper groovy old organ and tripped out guitar licks all over the shop - this is what a hybrid of Stranger Son of WB, LCD Soundsystem, an almost comatose Do...view item »

Shearing Pinx
Weaponry

Shearing Pinx have a great album cover on Weaponry. It's a pastel print of a lion coming out of the darkness and the lion is trying to swipe an 18th century fop off his bicycle! It could be an 18th century fop, or a member of some urchin rock band.. Who knows,you never see them at the same gig. The record's a beast too, a really filthy sound that s...view item »

Hiking
Trenches / Bikini Atol

Didn't realise X-mist was still going so that's some good news right there. Nice! Hiking are a new outfit featuring members of Bad Dudes, Silver Daggers and Bipolar Bear and they make a righteous party racket that sounds instantly appealing the moment the needle hits the wax. The press release suggests that they sound like Les Savy Fav reinterpr...view item »

Ponytail
Do Whatever You Want All The Time

Didn't even realise this was on the way which has made for a pleasant surprise. Those of you already familiar with this frantic psych-rock outfit will probably be as excited as me but I get the impression they are relatively unknown round these parts so maybe not. Time to listen up kids. You may already be familiar with guitarist Dustin Wong's e...view item »

Lake
Giving and Receiving

While not as musically interesting as Lake's other releases, this album's lyrics have a little more occasional bite to them as well as a bit more humour. There are not a lot of surprises on this album if you've already listened to the band, but it is nonetheless a nice addition to their previous works, offering more enjoyable lo-fi odes to bette...view item »

Nasdaq
Dead Peasants

Now these guys sound pretty cool, albeit play music that absolutely screams 1999. You know, The Redneck Manifesto, Billy Mahonie, El Hombre Trajeado & Reynolds - that sparse instrumental post-rock stuff. This CD is forged from a single 27-minute long jam that has some nice intertwined guitars, jazzy inflections & steady quietly dynamic d...view item »

Mogwai
Hardcore Will Never Die. But You Will

Now described as veterans, Mogwai were the king pins of the once-sprawling post-rock scene and now one of the few survivors mainly thanks to their superb life affirming live shows and consistent recording history. To some ears they have been smooth sailing for a number of years now so what will a new album bring? The opener, the misleadingly tit...view item »

Connan Mockasin
Forever Dolphin Love

Instant classic! If you manage to hear during that time when one is half awake half asleep, you'll see how far that takes you....view item »

FOUND
factorycraft

This is the second album by Found and this time they have the walloping might of Chemikal Underground behind them. Initial impressions - very Scottish, dodgy rhyming couplets but it gets better as it goes on. It sounds a little like a Hot Chip that grew up on Wire and Josef K rather than Sylvester or whatever it was they were listening to, in th...view item »

Parts & Labor
Constant Future

Having been a fan of Parts & Labor for years now, seeing them live in small and large venues, I was originally wowed by their powerfully thrown up walls of noise, their anthemic joyfulness of their experimental “noise rock”. But Parts & Labor seem to have raced to bring out album after album and in their last outing...view item »

Jeans Wilder / Jen Paul
Split

The Luyas
Too Beautiful To Work

Debut album from artsy Canadian experimenters who create gorgeously strange, echo-ish space age faerie noise dream pop; where tender fragility is tied to an exploratory sense of adventure by angelic strings of wonderment. These are otherworldly forays into sparkly star-float realms of mischievous Elvin innocence. Includes members from ...view item »

Lia Ices
Grown Unknown

"Love is Won", the opening track on "Grown Unknown" by Lia Ices is a stunning piece of work - the kind of song you get completely lost in. It's like she's uncovered this great, soulful lost track by The Beatles and claimed it as her own, or something. Admittedly, a lot of this is down to the production but you co...view item »

House of John Player/ Toddlers
Shyrite/ Son Esqueet

Trying..to..avoid review....cliche...by not...actually...placing my...fingers on the keyboard...so here is my review for the House Of John Player/Toddlers split 7"..................Great stuff wasn't it? Only joshing chief, its good for morale. The House Of John Player side is sort of downbeat electronica, that has a sweet hazy feel to it....view item »

Sonic Youth
Simon Werner A Disparu

I'm liking this shit. I think it might be my favourite SYR release actually. I think I got a little bit bored with the 'solid, dependable and consistent' thing with The Eternal; I guess I felt like it was more of the same thing they've been doing since about the turn of the century only less inspired than the likes of Murray Street, Sonic Nurse ...view item »

The Phantom Family Halo
Music From Italian T.V.

Going into this as a total virgin to The Phantom Family Halo's world I'm not sure what to make of the first couple of minutes and I'm certainly not confident about rattling off a load of shite telling you what this album's like because it sort of seems as though it could go just about anywhere and by the end might have completely contradicted wh...view item »

Terror Bird
Human Culture

I remember us getting a 7" in by Terror Bird a while back and thinking 'that's some nice Gothic infused pop music'. Well, Terror Bird return with a full on debut LP thanks to the lads at Vendetta and Night People ('night night people people...'). It's been said before, and i think it's fair to repeat the claim that Terror Bird's stuff is basical...view item »

My Bloody Valentine
Isn't Anything

Remastered version of My Bloody Valentine's groundbreaking, genre-defining, genre-defying 1988 album. As every MBV fan agrees, this is by far their best album - literally no-one on the planet of sane mind believes 'Loveless' is better. ...view item »

Phil Manley
Life Coach

Phil Manley is an awesome guitar player. You know dis. The man (ley) has paid his dues to the underground music community tenfold with bands like Golden, Trans Am, The Fucking Champs and Oneida plus he now engineers for a living so he's passing on his skills to a new generation of musicians! Aw bless! I'm surprised it's taken him this long t...view item »

At Last An Atlas/ Paul O'Reilly
Ships Leaving

'Ships Leaving' is a split cd release by At Last an Atlas (Greg O’Brent) and Paul O' Reilly who are two singer songwriters from Ireland. First up i'm admiring the classy Stumptown printers cd design and packaging! Beautiful recycled hard card offset printed in posi-vegan inks, nice. At last an Atlas stumps up five tracks of ambient pop beauty. Pr...view item »

Soft Circle
Shore Obsessed

Okay so the speil on this is that it is the work of Hisham Bharoocha who was apparently a founding member of Lightning Bolt and Black Dice. It's pretty much a one-man band type affair with the dude rocking the drums, electronics, bass, guitar and vocals. Benjamin Vida takes pity on his tired hands and helps out with guitar and synth. Together th...view item »

Small Town Boredom
Notes From The Infirmary

This is quiet, very quiet indeed. I can hear the footsteps of the last remaining Norman Records workers over the top of it. The guitars are picked delicately and intimately and the vocals are hushed in the extreme. The vocals immediately remind me of something, I guess one could be Tindersticks and also Sophia but there's something else - its on...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Garlands

Every bit as brilliant as their later work although not nearly as accessible, "Garlands" demonstrates what Cocteau Twins are really about: originality. No one else has ever sounded like them at any stage they were ever at. The songs here are towering, oddly menacing, star-eyed gems of minimalism, from the days when Robin Guthrie's only guitar ef...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 »

Nudge
As Good As Gone

Nudge's last album was called Cache, which is quite funny because I've had to read the press release for As Good As Gone via Google's cache because the rickety old website is broken. Well I tittered. Nudge is dudes from Fontanelle, Strategy and Valet and they make an interesting broth of ambient dub post-rock soul pop which skillfully walks the t...view item »

Stereolab
Not Music

Are they no longer high-frequency discs? I was obsessed with these lot when I was around me early 20's. Yes I sent off for all the limited 7"s, made sure I bought the spangly vinyl 'Emperor Tomato Ketchup' and sat there on my bed poring over it like it was an artifact from space (I think it actually was...) then they went lounge kitsch jazz and ...view item »

Apse
3.1

Fuck Buttons aren't the only band with a single out on ATP this week... Oh no... For Apse also have seven inches of single in the form of double A side single. The did an album for the label around a year ago and have also recorded for Equation and Acuarela. '3.1' is a slab of deadly serious indie rock. I wasn't convinced on first play but a quick ...view item »

Excepter
Late

This 23rd record from New York vocal/electronics outfit Excepter is a pretty crazy affair that creates double confusion due to the fact that the A-side plays inside out (or is it back to front?). Can't work out if it's a pressing fault or what but the B-side plays normal style?? Strange. Other than that it's business as usual for this mysterious...view item »

Boredoms
77 Boa Drum

Five just on principle y'knarr? Five just 'cos it's Boredoms. Five just 'cos they got seventy-seven drummers (cool dudes like Brian Chippendale, David Grubbs, Alan Licht etc. etc. etc., not boring session geeks) to hit things all at the same time on the seventh of the seventh oh-seven in Brooklyn while Eye jumped around twatting his weird guitar...view item »

Mystery Twin
Mystery Twin

Ooh! Pretty pictures! All done by Cailan Burns, aka Mystery Twin. The music's similarly lovely and, combined with the fact that the sun's just popped out for its brief daily afternoon jaunt around these parts, is making me want to go and find a field to run around in. I guess mellow instrumentation and light, laid-back and airy electronica style...view item »

No Age
Nouns

Just spent 10 minutes ordering some shoddy fast food only to be told they don't deliver to these grimy streets. Tsk! Have to console myself with the adrenalized experimental fuzzgarage squall of No Age's 1st proper big record, 'Nouns' If the EPs didn't stir your broth then there's no hope for you. This is the best thing Sub Pop have unleashed in an...view item »

Magic Lantern/ Ben Nash
Split

Back to less clubby pastures with this new split effort on Blackest Rainbow. Ben Nash takes us on a journey with shimmering drone, sinister cosmic ambience and erm, a kind of wavering cosmic chamber drone piece that reminds me a bit of the Cluster/Eno stuff. It's all fairly hypnotic gear & rather than the one epic, you get four different moo...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Stars And Topsoil

On Stars & Topsoil, most of the key cuts from their 4AD studio albums and EPs are present, and the overall output of songs like "Aikea-Guinea", "Sugar Hiccup" and their minor hit "Heaven Or Las Vegas" provide the ultimate snapshot of the Twins unique brand of ethereal guitar pop. Stars & Topsoil does manage to connect the metamorphosis t...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Lullabies To Violaine Vol 1

Clint here eating a delicious satsuma and about to give you the run down on some truly brilliant releases this week. First up and absolutely corking retrospective by Cocteau Twins. Its entitled 'Lullabies to Violaine - Singles and Extended Play 1982-1996' and its a collection of all the singles and B s...view item »

My Bloody Valentine
Loveless

Fully remastered version of My Bloody Valentine's 1991 classic, Loveless. Done by the man himself it is, as ever with MBV, difficult to work out where the myth ends and the truth begins. Kevin Shields claimed that listening to these new versions would "definitely" produce a different emotional effect from the originals. Listen through headp...view item »

Hrsta
Stem Stem In Electro

That Constellation label are back with a CD/LP by Hrsta. Nice post rock stuff which starts off like Quickspace on mogadon being shat through a wind tunnel. As is the nature of this bleak & apocolyptic Canadian imprint, there's big desolate instrumental passages & a kind of neo classical longing present throughout ...view item »

Fuzzy Lights
Twin Feathers

"Twin Feathers" is the second album by Fuzzy Lights and was released in 2010. It's a kind of post-rock soundscape where violin is mostly used as the lead instrument. Most of the tracks build from slow, mournful pieces into crescendos of disturbed, screeching strings and clattering drums. Some tracks are instrumental and some have either a male o...view item »

A Silver Mt Zion
Pretty Little Lightning Paw

A Silver Mount Zion release a new mini album (though almost full price so thanks Constellation). Four tracks of pompous avant garde oddness. Me likes.... Hints of Godspeed and in the last track earlier Flaming Lips came to mind. Very interesting and if you like yr music big then this will suffice. Quality....view item »

Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth

The addition of the superb live material makes this one of Sonic Youth's best albums. The musicality is more accessible than with Confusion and Bad Moon Rising but it's still Sonic Youth and it captures their Branca influence strongly. I would rate this alongside Evol, Sister, the Whitey Album, Goo and Sonic Nurse as the very best albums capturi...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 »

Deekie
Amusia

There are placid sounding records... then there's this. Deekie don't so much come roaring out of the traps. They come prancing out of the dimly lit bedroom of the depressed. It sounds pretty good though. It's mostly gently plucked guitars and hushed vocals. A mouse might consider auditioning for lead vocal duties next time as I reckon it could p...view item »

The Intelligence
Crepuscule With Pac-man

Another great Intelligence release! My personal favourite tracks include a raw and very enjoyable " I Walk In A Lonely Light". Another favourite is "Crushed Up" which is one of the more psychedelic and experimental tracks off the albums. The opener "My Ears Are Dust" is a great opener and introduces the album brilliantly....view item »

Always
Cruising & Gross Odour

Not since a Harry Pussy 7" I picked up years ago have I seen so many tracks on a seven inch single. 'Cruising + Gross Odour' the debut from Always has nine in total. Always is Alex Vivian from Melbourne and his work is very much based around his vocal. This is Lo-Fi as hell and has strange chanting, spoken word bits...view item »

Windsor For The Derby
Against Love

One of post-rock's quiet fringe concerns, they've (Secretly Canadian) sold us this one as a drone record. It's rather more than that. There's a steady percussive "pulse" on most tracks which could actually fool you into thinking they had (gasp!) a DRUMKIT in the studio. Also I keep on getting rather "tuneful" passages of guitar, albeit sometimes...view item »

Plantagenet 3
Plantagenet 3

Blimey, someone's got their baritone guitar out for the lads. And if it's not a baritone then it should be as they're using it to make a kind of instrumental Morricone/post-rock hybrid somewhat in a Labradford vein but a fair bit more overtly riffy and hook-oriented.. I mean it's not Man... Or Astro Man? or anything but it's not done in a po-fac...view item »

Here We Go Magic
Pigeons

I was tempted to go see these folks at Primavera and i'm kinda regretting now as this is a great sounding LP. The follow up to last years self-titled LP on Western Vinyl, 'Pigeons' is the sound of a fully evolved group gaining a ton of momentum. Whereas their last LP was based primarily on the four track recordings of lead man Luke Temple, 'Pige...view item »

Her Space Holiday
The Young Machines- Remixed

Wichita (again) have joined forces with Mush (US alt hippety hop label) to bring us a CD by Her Space Holiday. Not very hip hop you'd think and I'd be inclined to agree with you. Though when you look at the list of shiny remixers, namely, The Album Leaf, Arab Strap, Matmos, Super Furry Animals, Dntel, Blockhead, Broken S...view item »

Grails
Doomsdayer’s Holiday

Grails I've never really got. Try as I might I just find the music a bit too hoary, stonery and proggy for my tastes. And here's their brand new album Doomsdayer's Holiday on Temporary Residence! It's well proggy.... the production I like though and there's some nice bits in it. Clearly a bunch of talented folk here and the homage to John Barry on ...view item »

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