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Various
Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited

Tribute albums are so often a bummer, but this one really works. Serge Gainsbourg just seems to be a great artist to interpret for English-speaking bands/performers. The best track is Kid Loco and Jarvis Cocker's take on "I Have Come to Tell You That I'm Going," which has a late-night, downtempo feel. Although...view item »

Drowsy
Snow On Moss On Stone

Drowsy is Finnish singer / songwriter Mauri Heikkinen and he's back with another album on Fat Cat. This chap plays the acoustic guitar very well in a late 60's acid folk kinda way. This recalls Nick Drake, Smog, and possibly Syd Barret. There is a dark humour to many of his lyrics and the whole thing is ve...view item »

Matthew Dear
Fabric 27

Minimal techno tracks are the easiest to mix out of all the electronica genres. Especially the bare, stripped down selections that Matthew Dear features here. Fabric 27 is loaded with nice dreamy tracks to fall asleep to. Not a great album to be playing at a party...unless all your guests are minimalist fans. If you are a fan of this genre and l...view item »

Detonations
Static Vision

Great raw raunch rock ala Stooges, MC5. Nice powerful recording. I understand one of the guys was in the Drags so definitely some of that in there. The lack of high-tech studio wizardry gives this disc a DIY-edge, but with an overdrive that marries the rawness of the early '60s Northwest sound with the rock 'n' roll excess of '70s glam-punk. There'...view item »

Sunny Day Sets Fire
Brainless

Sometimes something comes along though that's much more palatable on the ear. Take this debut 7" by Sunny Day Sets Fire on Brikabrak records which is bright summery pop taking in bits of latter period Flaming Lips, Polyphonic Spree etc and melding it together to make a perfect pop tune. This I can see the ...view item »

Ed Lawes
14 Tracks/ Pieces

New from Ed Lawes on Planet Mu. This is a mixture of slightly avant garde electronic mayhem (think Squarepusher at his most...er...difficult) towards something that is somewhere towards some of your neo classical stuff but not particularly nice......so something akin to Squarepusher jamming with an old school dusty o...view item »

Copy
Mobius B

The songs never really get boring on this one (I really like “Afro Oven”). I consistently love how he layers multiple melodies over one another flawlessly - it's like candy for my ears. I love the 8-bit chiptune sound that still fills very rich. I can't accurately describe it so I'll just stop here. I will add that if you like synth music with ...view item »

Fruit Cats
Spelled In Bones

Good feeling, catchy melodies and harmonies with folky, psychedelic lyrics. I went into Spelled in Bones knowing, in the back of my mind, that previous Fruit Bats albums have been merely okay and not good or great. Listening to Spelled in Bones, I was taken aback at how refined their sound seems to have become - the first half is filled with 60's p...view item »

Metal Hearts
Socialize

This band sounds so much, ok too much like Pinback. I'm a huge fan of Pinback and all Rob's and Armistead's work. I checked this out after hearing the song "Socialize" on the Team Sleep channel for Pandora. Although that is certainly the standout track, the rest of the album doesn't disappoint or stray far from that basic sound. I'd say it's perfec...view item »

Cub Country
Stay Poor, Stay Happy

Cub Country's Stay Poor/Stay Happy earns the best compliment I can give a record--I fell in love with it, driving down a dark highway in the middle of the night with it playing at top volume. Equal parts alt.country and rootsy alt.rock, it moves from tales of lost love to vignettes of wistful hope with taut, inventive lyrics. There's elements of...view item »

The Peels
The Peels

The Peels are a hard rock band from San Francisco, once based in Seattle. This is their first album as far as I know. They are a visceral and powerful group. The song "Only Son" has the feeling of something great. The singer Robyn Miller is really good, especially on "You Talk Too Much." She reminds me of someone in between The Distillers and ma...view item »

Spank Rock
Rick Rubin

New on Big Dada is 'Rick Rubin' by Spank Rock on CD and 12" and its some serious booty shakin' business. Floor friendly hip-hop in the Diplo kind of mould. Dope beats, razor sharp rappin and an acid tinged remix by President evil. Proper party music....view item »

Citay
Citay

According to Feinberg, Citay is influenced by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen, and Heart...but wait - don't think this is 70's rock worship. Citay get to the blissed out acoustic moments of the above mentioned bands to create something that sounds so fresh, breezy and full of the right kind of dirt and sunlight. With an onslaught of guitars, ...view item »

Death Chants
Death Chants

Onto the chirpily named Death Chants with their deluxe reissue of a long out of print CDr that came out on Time Lag donkeys years ago (well 4 years to be precise). The band are no more but during their 2 year rampage they knocked out a bunch of limited CDr's and tapes which were gobbled up by you experimental folkalists. Firstly I'm gonna say ho...view item »

Brian McBride (Stars of the Lid)
When the Detail Lost its Freedom

Some more quick reviews because we're as busy as a cuckoo. First up  Brian McBride (not the Fulham striker but the ex Stars of the Lid bloke) has a new album of textured ambience out on Kranky. It's kind of as you might expect  - very ambient  warm synth sounds  - very minimalist compositions both orga...view item »

The Double
Loose In The Air

The Double are influenced by any number of 80's post-punk bands, they usually have a tendency to be moody and are signed to Matador Records. Loose In The Air could have been incredible, the next-best step in the post-punk/new-wave revival that would have pushed the movement beyond mere than nostalgia. It is a nice record for sure, but it's a sha...view item »

Intricate
Captain Trunk

Intricate have a new 12" (called Captain Trunk) out on Spezial Material. Firstly (as in typical SM style) the cover is tops as it features an enormous beetle type thing destroying your very own surburbia. As ever it's very Intricate with some nice crunchy beats, lots of clicky insect noises in the background and...view item »

East West Blast Test
Popular Music For Unpopular People

Great new CD on Mike Patton's fine Ipecac label. 'Popular Music For Unpopular People' is by East West Blast Test and it sounds like Itchy & Scratchy on Crystal Meth. It's Boredoms, Fantomas type bonkers gear with guitar and drums that are tighter than a gnats arse. Which ain't surprising as the drum...view item »

Lake Trout
Not Them, You

Lake Trout are back with a new album. Can you think of a worse band name? I seem to remember thinking the last album was a bit useful but I only heard it once or twice. Listening to the new album there's already comparisons to Radiohead welling within me. I have to say this band don't really do anything new or anything that hasn't...view item »

Deuce
We Can Make it Better and Faster than Deuce

Next (again I'm gonna whip through these...we're still short of our Arctic Monkeys words quota for this week) is a crazy record by Deuce. The songs have madcap titles like 'Chinese Boy wants to play in a Reggae Band'. The Music is bonkers computer generated chaos. A mixture of sentimental, cute melodies with cybernoise, punk ener...view item »

David Masson
David Masson

First up a CD that has impressed all of us here at the towers -it is by David Masson and its a self released thing. It comes in a nice brown card sleeve with a pencil drawing on it. The music is very nice indeed. Masson is some guitar player  - he has nimble fingers. The CD consists of 11 compositions with just voice, guita...view item »

The Glass
Fourteen Again E.P.

The Glass have a 12" out on some label or other. If I could be arsed I'd go and have a look but I'm a bit out of place having not been here all week. To be honest I'm more excited about the strawberries in the garden which we picked yesterday (so they're technically not in the garden now I know....). Tomorrow we get the vodka and he...view item »

Locust Toybox
Powdered Brethrens EP

Here is a CD by Locust Toybox. The similarity though is that both artists have undoubtedly been listening to Aphex Twin. This time the chirpy upbeat 'Richard D James' album springs to mind. Lots of skittery beats and  tuneful upbeat electronics. We all enjoyed this one a lot. Its the kind of record that makes everything in ...view item »

Lucky Pierre & Notes
I Hate T Shirts

Lucky Pierre and Notes 12" picture disc and CD on Melodic. Lucky Pierre has gone a bit disco and it reminds me of the Hart To Hart theme tune jazzed up. Nice strings...... The rapping on the lead track is done by Notes apparently. The packaging is totally inspired as it looks like a CDR to the tee. Even t...view item »

Bauri/ Novel 23
Split

Also on the same label is a Bauri/ Novel 23. Again more quality and this is yr regulation decent electronica you've come to expect from the label and the artists themselves. Bauri winning hands down with a killer track. Lovely....view item »

The Fold
On You

Or if you prefer yr buzzsaw angst you'll plump for The Fold who basically do what the evil Snow White do but drop some intense nu new-wave fretboard dexterity & a bit of a tune into the mix. Therefore a howling hex of foot tapping proportions. Or just emo going for the charts. Whatever, It's a floor filler. Sure that singer mu...view item »

Mando Diao
Down In The Past

Similar to Kasabian, Mando Diao has proclaimed that their music is just as good if not better than anyone they have drawn their influences from. While some might see this as pretentious, such as I, it actually really really works for them. Without that type of attitude, I'm not entirely sure that they could have made their albums as good as they ar...view item »

Hell
Grobenwahn (Best of)

I have to give Hell a lot of credit for invigorating the German techno scene with a good bit of hardness. However, with Grohenwahn 1992-2005, I lost a good amount of respect for him from the very first track, "Definition of House." Why? Because the track is completely plagiarized from the A. R. Kane remix of David Byrne's "Forestry," with some a...view item »

Hoggboy
400 Boys

Hoggboy are back as well... Wow with the return of all these great bands you're really spoiling us Mr Ambassador (say in slightly sarcastic Spanish voice...). Apparently this is the theme to some film released next year called 400 Boys.....mmm. This rocks in a glam kind of way. Think of Placebo doing 20th Century Boy and th...view item »

Desert City Soundtrack
Perfect Addiction

Pensive, melancholic, and grey, Desert City Soundtrack's slow brewing piano-led rock will cause you to go into hiding from human contact. Well, there's definitely nothing wrong with escaping life to spend a little alone time with your troubled thoughts. Perfect Addiction is definitely a choice soundtrack for that contemplative mind. With a name ...view item »

Black Basque
Time's A Factor

Another 7", this time a heavy duty red vinyl by Black Basque who just may have heard The Fall once. Or twice. 'Time's A Factor' is on Skinny Dog, has the most grinding bass line of the month & the whole thing sounds a tad skittery, drunken & awkward like It's just stepped out of the shower & run into it's m...view item »

Rosie Thomas
Pretty Dress

"Pretty Dress" is the single by Rosie Thomas taken from her 2005 album, "If Songs Can Be Held". It starts with her doing an impression of Tori Amos, for some reason, not that I have anything against Tori Amos, I just don't understand why Rosie Thomas would copy her so obviously. The voice, the melody and the piano...view item »

The Dead 60's
The Dead 60's

The Dead 60's are one of those bands I were convinced were gonna be huge but maybe I'm totally deaf. The 1st 2 singles should have been tearing up the airwaves on every radio in the land, being a scintillating blend of the Clash & the Specials compressed into a tidy ball for consumption in these fast moving disposable ages. So...view item »

Tracy & The Plastics
Culture For Pigeon

Wasn't at all sure what to expect from a Tracy & The Plastics album. Was expecting screechy electro-kitch & petulant fem-angst set to grrrrrrl aggro rhythms! But instead I get an incredibly intriguing blend of minimal electronics, wired tribalism & wonderful organ, squiggly stripped-down dancehall & pulsing electro bass. ...view item »

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