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Shoegaze / Post-Rock / Math / Experimental Indie

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Battles
Mirrored

Battles: "Mirrored" debut long player for Warp is finally out. A fine live proposition, recorded, their sound is only slightly more contained. The dynamic is a play-off between the pulverising polyrhythmic percussion and the melodic interplay of the munchkin vocals, keyboards, guitars & effects. At times seeming to contain elements an...view item »

Royal Trux
Accelerator

Royal Trux finish up their "decades trilogy" with Accelerator, their tribute to the music of the 1980's. But it ain't no Flock of Seagulls! With the absence of bass on the album, Neil Haggarty's guitar sizzles with raw riffage. Jennifer Herrema's joplin-esque vocals add a primal, pure edge to the feeling o...view item »

Vic Chesnutt
North Star Deserter

I've never really heard any Vic Chesnutt before. Hey you know what it's like... There's a lot of records released and then you're plundering back catalogues....there's just not enough hours in the day. Well now I get to (finally) hear him with his new CD and LP on Constellation. I have to say 'North Star Deserter' is a joy from start to end. The wo...view item »

Arab Strap
The Red Thread

Probably one of the most underrated Arab Strap records, and it's a blinder. It's sluggish, it's hungover, it's wonderful, and it has some of their best tracks 'Love Detective' and 'Screaming In The Trees' to name a couple. Might be the last slow burning Strap record before their final years (studio releases wise), so what's the point in this alb...view item »

Thisquietarmy
Unconquered

Yes here's a CD on Polish label Foreshadow by Canadian pre/past/post/future shoegazers Thisquietarmy which is the one man band of Eric Quach. Though guest stars on the album include Aidan Baker from Nadja (always brings a chuckle) playing some guitar shaped thing and Meryem Yildiz utilizing their throat and vocal chords. The album over it's 8 track...view item »

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Yanqui u.x.o

Godspeed are back with a brand new double album and compact disc. What do you think it's gonna be like then? Bet you could just guess what's it's gonna be like. More of the same I hear you cry??? Well yeh it is even with Albini at the mantle it doesn't sound drastically different. But it's mos...view item »

A Place To Bury Strangers
Exploding Head

A Place To Bury Strangers, NYC's loudest rock band (though i'm sure that accolade actually belongs to Sonic Youth) return with their second LP 'Exploding Head'. With their emphasis on "total sonic annihilation" A Place To Bury Strangers have the uncanny ability to nab from the most likely of places (shoegazing rock, goth, 80's synth rock, 80s Br...view item »

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
White Lunar

Warren Ellis from Dirty Three and Nick Cave from Nick Cave have spent a bit of time together in recent years doing fantastic film scores and here we've got a double CD collection of them, presented in a handsome gatefold-style pack along with some selected odds and ends. I've seen a few of the films involved (which include John Hillcoat's The P...view item »

Gowns
Broken Bones

What on earth is going on... This Gowns record has some crazy lady singing about being sick in drugs in a car. Taking drugs in cars is bad. Bikes, helicopters, hovercrafts are fine, but never in cars. Anyway the music proceeds in unexpected ways with a cool sounding fucked up fiddle/ bagpipe sort of instrument. Drums are whacked frantically, s...view item »

Part Chimp
Thriller

Part Chimp I always loved, back in the days when I listened to breakcore & fell over in a state every weekend. Well I don't listen to Shitmat any more but I'm still prone to falling over on occasion & still revel in the fuzzy revved up mess that these guys force out of their speaker stacks. 3rd album in and it's business as usual. 'Thriller' opens ...view item »

Sax Ruins
Yawiquo

It's simple, yeah? Sax + Ruins = Sax Ruins. Having lost his longtime bass pal a couple of years back Tatsuya Yoshida has given up on his solo drum jaunts and recruited a game chap by the name of Ryoko Ono to play the old classics with the power of wind rather than the rumble of bass. The Zeuhl-prog of Magma and the like which formed a large par...view item »

Oneida
Rated O

The second part of the epic Thank Your Parents triptych embarked upon by Brooklyn’s finest band, Oneida. Rated O is itself a triple album, and it's one of the most remarkable collections of modern times, spanning experimental repeato-rock, deep psych, weird noise electronics and all sorts of other magical...view item »

Hangedup
Kicker In Tow

Now we have the Hanged Up newie on cd and vinyl. As is the incestuous nature of these mysterious canadians, I'd bet me bottom teeth there's some folks from GYBE featured on this rather lovely record. Old Too Pure faves Long Fin Killie spring to mind immediately as do the 'Sp...view item »

Marmoset
Record in Red

The album's simplicity belies a deeply psychotic streak in this Hoosier hoedown: talk of monsters speaking in the singer's voice ("telling me what to do"), artists as Green River Killers, etc. Tremendous, creepy stuff. Pretty simple execution (indie guitar, bass, drum rattle) but with nice parsley on the side: echo, keys, sha-la-las. For fans of...view item »

Azalia Snail
Avec Amour

The sounds incorporated into Snail's slow-moving, trippy meditations include both traditional and unusual rock-band instruments. There's a hypnotic quality to these songs, a smooth surface that rests on layers of voice, keyboard tones, brass and saxophones. It is hard to hear the components of any given song as they move in and out of focus, yet th...view item »

Death of London
Here's to the Death of Death of London

Ooooooohhhhh I didn't know a new release on Unlabel had arrived. Behold a CD by Death Of London 'Here's To The Death Of London'. These fellows had a track on the recent Unlaut compilation on the label. Blimey it's a right old chugging alt rock riff-athon. 3 tracks in and I'm quite getting into this EP. The production is full fat and meaty. 'Fire Of...view item »

My Sad Captains
Here and Elsewhere

Sittin' here caressing my beloved tub of low fat cherry yogurt. Not one to advertise products, me (apart from our weekly round up of musical platters!!) but Rachel's organic low-fat bio live bloody rules my world & I'd probably be dead without it, taking into account my tumultuous lifestyle. My Sad Captains accompany my dairy treat consumption ...view item »

Pink Mountaintops
Outside Love

This is the 3rd release from Vancouver, Canada band led by Stephen McBean of Black Mountain, Blood Meridian. PM lay a captivatingly hazy psychedelic cloud over beautifully desolate Americana chorus chants in a sky that sometimes thunders with Jesus & Mary Chain style rock chords. The lyrics reach deep into the darkness with a hopeful cynicis...view item »

Wiqwar
Wiqwar

Wiqwar is the collective name for the output created by the brothers Wickwar and this s/t effort is the follow up to the well received Fence records release last year. The Wickwar brothers ideas are both refreshing and uplifting much like a can of my favorite carbonated grapefruit drink T'ing. Wiqwar, like T'ing provide a refreshing alternative to ...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
The Snake

Wildbirds & Peacedrums seem to have totally polarised the office with The Snake which can't be a bad thing now, can it? Getting a reaction's always a good thing. Phil and Business Lady aren't fans at all but Brian and I like it, the neurotic lady vocals and percussion heavy arrangements no doubt appealing to our post-punk sensibilities. Imagine...view item »

Land Of Kush
Against The Day

Constellation always bring me the shit. There's not many records on the label I've struggled with and most I've thoroughly enjoyed. Here's another one by Land Of Kush called Against The Day. It's a side project of Sam Shalabi who's a stalwarts of the Montreal avant garde music scene. He's played in Molasses and the Shalabi Effect to name just 2 t...view item »

Tristeza
Mixed Signals Remixes

First up is the Tristeza remix LP (Mixed Signals remixes). I reviewed the CD some time back and finally the vinyl from Rocket Racer hath arrived and worth the wait it was. There's 3 bonus vinyl only remixes by Fridge, Astorria and Djjims whoever he may be. A lovely looking t...view item »

Cove
The Brown Tape

Hey now its COVE who featured on the above compilation. Post rock lives in the body of Cove as they take us through a guitar driven  rock frenzy. Dawdling like an adolescent outside threshers there music is like the sound track to angry teenagers across the country. Moody, uncompromising, repetitive, edgy. Phil says Shellac, ...view item »

Grizzly Bear
Friend

Grizzly Bear: 'Friend' EP (Warp) Ten track mini LP or EP if you will, that includes tracks by the band covered/performed by CSS and Band Of Horses plus a version of the Goffin/King track 'He Hit Me'. If you sw...view item »

Oppressed By The Line
Soft Focus

Trying to excersise my mind muscles this morning with Oppressed by the Line's 'Soft Focus' CD. It's a fine collection of wistful electronic pop songs with an old skool heart, constructed with modern technology. Passages of enveloping, caressing sound make me think of a less Radiohead indebted Julian Fane. Waves of warm yet melancholic sound tussle ...view item »

Cove
Rusted Pick-Ups

Lastly (cor I'm reet outta puff now...) is a 13 track odds 'n' sods collection by Cove. These math rock titans have just said farewell to an integral member apparently, so this is a tribute to him. You don't get Oasis doing that do you? So you get 4 track demos, live recordings, rehearsal cuts & the drummers auntie's budgie ma...view item »

Phasen
The Crisis Is Over

Lately the CD's on Distant Noise seem to be finding their way into my review pile. Not that I'm complaining as they're always a welcome listening experience for when things get a bit hectic you can just switch into chill mode. So the latest lovely 'The Crisis Is Over' comes from US producer Phasen who's released stuff on U-cover. Pretty melodic ele...view item »

Trans Am
The Surveillance

Can instrumental music tell us something about surveillance? An interesting attempt to prove it can, and one of the few records that addressed the subject in the pre-9/11 US....view item »

Volcano!
Paperwork

So the new Volcano! album has come in and reading the reviews down the bottom of the page here I've got to say I'm completely baffled.. 'Will appeal to fans of Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, Why?, Liars, Battles and even Sparks!' it says, 'Will appeal to fans of OK Computer and Muse' I say. There seems to be quite a big disparity between wha...view item »

The Dead Science
180g Villianaire

A brand new signing to Constellation. In the absence of new Godspeed records (which is what you all really want from the label) youll have to make do with The Dead Science and they're new opus 'Villainaire'. The first tme I heard this I thought it was pretty good though and further playing has cemented this. It's epic... I'll give it that. Really b...view item »

Stereolab
Chemical Chords

Was listening to Stereolab's latest album 'Chemical Chords' and failed to entertain me. It's weird seeing them on 4AD like. As well as the double vinyl LP there is a limited edition Japanese edition of the CD available with extra tracks and in a mini gatefold sleeve an obi strip. I used to like Stereolab but I'm not into their recent material as ...view item »

Volcano!
Africa Just Wants To Have Fun

Anything's going to be an improvement after The Fratellis so Volcano! have got it pretty lucky this week, in this context it sounds like the greatest artistic work produced by mankind since Commando. The peculiarly titled 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun' is apparently a dig at goons like Bono which is always nice to hear, not that you'd be able to...view item »

Oneida
Preteen Weaponry

The first part of the epic Thank Your Parents triptych of Brooklyn’s finest band, Oneida. Preteen Weaponry is a long jam in three parts that goes deep into the heart of the band’s magic formula: Kid Millions’ infinitely engaging drums circle around the organs and guitars at th...view item »

Liars
They Were Wrong So We Drowned

When Liars released this as a follow up to their dance-punk debut album, critics and fans were not ready for the pummeling that "They Were Wrong" delivers. However, because 2004 were simpler times where everyone couldn't stop talking about Franz Ferdinand (...embarrassing....view item »

Patti Smith & Kevin Shields
The Coral Sea

Anyway here's is this unlikely duo's long awaited 2 CD collaboration called The Coral Sea recorded live and it's about Robert Mapplethorpe (long time friend of Patti). This is extremely hard work. The guitars are lovely..... nice wooshy feedback which any MBV fan will recognise though it's considerably more sombre. Over the guitar work you have ...view item »

Sigur Rós
Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

This album, which translates to 'with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly' is pure enjoyment. With a standard rock band arrangement this group produces a landscape that reminds us of innocence...whether we knew any or not. A kaleidoscopic journey of sound. I am enthralled....view item »

Team LG
The Way We Do It

Very nice CD by LG which is one half of Psapp. Apparently LG have already split up which is extremely inconsiderate of them. Maybe they'll reform for a farewell tour once this rockets to number one in the hit parade. Anyway its really really nice. Twinkle factor set to 100...it sounds like an exact cross between Empress...view item »

Ten Kens
Bear Fight/ Y'all Come Back Now

Ten Kens are a new signing to Fat Cat with their debut UK 7" called 'Bear Fight'. Do you know Ten Kens? Do you know one Ken? I have to say I personally don't know any Kenneth's. Sure we sell to a few here but I wouldn't say they're friends. Shite aside this Toronto bunch of lads tread a similar path as Broken Social Scene we reckon. Tasty big ...view item »

Spokes
People Like People Like You

This is little album is amazing!.......got lent it from a mate at Uni and just cant stop listening to it....its one of those that grows and grows...some bits make you want to explode.............if you dont buy it then get a copy somehow......everyone needs to have this.......but dont tell them I said that...music for music lovers............ ...view item »

Boredoms
Super Roots 9

The Boredoms proper go for the spiritual trancendental mantra stuff on 'Super Roots 9' which is out on Thrill Jockey in a stunning gatefold CD package with booklet. This is ridiculously over the top and dramatic and epic sounding with huge choirs of angels singing and gargantuan, enormous crashing drums. Really cinematic sounding and I think its be...view item »

The Most Serene Republic
Population

Don't you hate it when you get water stuck in your ears from having a bath or shower. This is the situation I find myself in this morning and could do with a plunger.. Best crank up the volume then. I just unpacked 'Population'. The latest long player from Canadian indie pop rockers The Most Serene Republic. For your hard earned you get an optimist...view item »

Mouthus
The Long Salt

A good place to start if you're not familiar with the Mouthus experience. Utterly bizarre rendering of vaguely rock based format with totally fractured but mesmerising rhythms, undescribeable (?) guitar riffs, neanderthal electronics and the densest, most profound vocal moans imaginable. And if that doesn't sound good to you I'm gonna send me t...view item »

Shit & Shine
Cherry

I'm so gutted that the courier hasn't turned up with the Shit & Shine 'Cherry' 2LP on Riot Season as I'm a bit of a fan. I recall seeing them last year and all of a sudden a member of the audience, like myself, folically challenged got up and started bustin' moves like he was at a rave. He completely shattered the bald man stereotype and libera...view item »

Escalade
X's &; O's

The first release on Cuckundoo Records (not strictly true but according to the catalogue number) is by Escalade AKA Tokyo based artist Greg Sullivan. 'X's & O's' immediately reminds me of Hood. Phil reckons there's a bit of Pinback in there too. His vocal delivery especially makes me think of Chris Adams. It's a gently, breezy track with fairly...view item »

Roy's Iron DNA
Men In Wax Jackets

managed to grab a promo copy of this through a friend in the business.... fantastic... been waiting for these guys to release something for a while and it was worth the wait. Has depth and loads of singalong stick in your head type tunes.. Silent Majority is a cracking song! ! ...view item »

Feu Therese
Ca Va Cogner

Feu Therese I'm told is some French Canadian God Speed related thing. Phil told me cos he knows everything about Godspeed related things. Second track on 'Ca Va Cogner', 'Visage Sous Nylon' is a Giorgio Moroder inspired synth pop track It's a bit of a strange one this... There's a bit of a 70's synth prog thing happening here along with experimenta...view item »

Canon Blue
Colonies

In the absence of actually being able to buy a physical copy of the new Radiohead album then I think you should check out the Canon Blue CD 'Colonies' on Efterklang's Rumraket label. The similarities on some of the tracks are striking. Actually to be fair to 'em there's only a few tracks with rip Radiohead off and these days anyone who does any inv...view item »

Miracle Fortress
Five Roses

Five Roses is lush, layered electronic atmospheric pop that is absolutely disarming. This disk seems to fall into the mental 'filing space' of other bands that I have come across that evoke the same impression with me - I call it "Narcotic Pop". The kind of music whose gentle lulling minor key melodies and layered electronic soundscapes, accompanie...view item »

Messages
Destination / Glades

Messages: "Destination" (The Social Registry) Is a sound-art project that incorporates gliding tones and tension building atmospherics conjured up with a Gopihand (an Indian string instrument), guitar, keyboard, turntables, tone generator and sampler. One of those records that could easily dip below you radar unless you give it some conce...view item »

Skallander
Future Life Remixes

Skallander: "Future Life Remixes" 7" (Type) In which the reworkings are undertaken by Signer and Muriel Tsains.The Signer side is stripped down with handclapping and electronic static padding. The flipside utilises some backwards masking and tinkly, shiny, chiming naivety and pianos (the new guitar folks!) ...view item »

Charles Atlas
Felt Cover

The Charles Atlas CD on Static Caravan is also rather splendid. Very very beautiful mellow electronic music. More tuneful than a large seal throwing big barrels of tunes at you. Really laid back. For fans of Yellow 6 (without the Cocteaus) and other floaty type music. Felt Cover is...view item »

Misha
Teardrop Sweetheart

Now its New York Duo Misha with their debut album Teardrop Sweetheart. The lads think it sounds like Prince (who apparently is giving his album away free with the sunday papers). Its pretty lovely stuff actually. flowery pop with with electronic beats and analogue keyboards and softly sung male vocals. It sounds really gentle like floating down a s...view item »

Bonde De Role
Bonde De Role with Lasers

Bonde Do Role: "With Lasers" (Domino) is twelve tracks of guitar fueled Baile Funk with shouty raps, call and response antics, handclaps all over the place. The attitude is just dance, go mad and have a laugh. Produced between Hackney and Curitiba (Brazil), like MIA for indie kids according to the office banter. ...view item »

Scraps Of Tape
This Is A Copy Is A Copy

The first thing I thought of when the first track on Scraps Of Tape's 'This Is A Copy Is This A Copy' came on was that it reminded me of Isis with it's post metal sound. Later on though things become a lot lighter with hints of Do Make Say Think, Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky etc. So yeah basically a post rock album that's not going to blow your so...view item »

Fly Pan Am
Ceux Qui Inventent N'Ont Jamais Vecu?

Something I greatly enjoyed last week was the Fly Pan Am LP which is by far the best thing I've heard from them and probably the best thing I've heard on Constellation in a while. This rocks in a repetitive experimental dare I say it almost Can like fashion. But with showers of guitars dr...view item »

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