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Tough Love Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Proper Ornaments

One of them is in Ultimate Painting and Veronica Falls, another is in Toy and Pink Flames. Thus have we Foxhole, a record that abounds in sweet harmonies, clever songwriting and jangles galore that was put together between bouts of work with their other projects. Lead t...view item »

The Stroppies
The Stroppies

Melbourne-based The Stroppies took inspiration from Guided By Voices and The Great Unwashed in getting ideas recorded as quickly as possible so they were never standing still creatively. Starting out as a three-piece, they added a drummer following their wish to create more than the limiting nat...view item »

Value Void

Value Void, from London, have a debut album ready to be heard. One of those bands often sighted at the finest DIY venues in the city, now their lovely indie-pop post-punk can be heard on your stereo. Nothing too fancy, just young, heartfelt music made with guitars, enthusiasm and inventiveness. Re...view item »

The Willo / Energy

Two new songs from Toy, working in two fairly different styles. It's a double A-side release, so each track deserves equal prominence. ‘The Willo’ is a remarkably spaced-out seven minute number, with organ and acoustic guitar prominent. While &lsq...view item »

Part Time
Spell #6

Indiepop dreamer David Speck, better known as Part Time, treating us to his 6th album already. Wittily titled Spell #6, the record expounds on the man’s strong melancholic electronic pop sounds, reminding us of Ducktails, Washed Out, and Ariel Pink--the latter of which also making an appearance on the album’...view item »

Ulrika Spacek
Everything, All The Time

Ulrika Spacek impressed us with their record of lite jangling and psychedelic tracing paper earlier this year -- think of them as a Russian doll out of which Deerhunter spurt out of which Broadcast do. Here's a new 7", why not, and fortunately it's chock full of new material, offering ...view item »

Girls Names
Stains on Silence

It looked like Girls Names were really onto something a few years ago with their dark swirling Echo & the Bunnymen style rock but then their drummer left and that was followed by a crisis of confidence about the recordings that have turned into 'Stains of Silence'. However, re-grouped, refreshed the band have re...view item »

The Stroppies
Maddest Moments / Architectural Charades

We very much enjoyed the economical song junk of The Stroppies when we last heard it, lovingly comparing it to all things Girlpool, GbV and New Zealand indie. They're back with two new songs for the most indie rock of things: a 7". These songs are thematically united under the theme of anxiety, extending hum-along empa...view item »


Tough Love Records (Ulrika Spacek, The Proper Ornaments) drop their first EP by Danish polymath Holm, an artist who has already ma...view item »

The Moral Crossing

The third album from Leeds post punk kraut lot Autobahn manages to be both blistering and explore less brutal concepts such as love and emotion. The bands gruesome, pulverising sound should appease any fans of Bauhaus and Joy Division still lurking about.  *We have copies of the lim...view item »

Display Homes
Climate Change

Display Homes comprises chums Steph, Darrell and Greg from the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. While openly admitting to haphazard, amateur origins on the local DIY indie scene, the band sounds confident, competent and cheerful on this self-titled 7” debut. This is all about having fun with a ...view item »

The Proper Ornaments
Wooden Head

Here we have a Veronica Falls bloke and his new album with The Proper Ornaments From the get go ‘Wooden Head’ is drenched in breezy Velvet Underground summer pop with a little Byrdsian jangle thrown in, with a gentle and lazy...view item »

David West with Teardrops
Cherry On Willow

David West started out in distant Perth before working his way up through various cities (Melbourne, San Francisco) and bands (Rat Columns, Liberation) before reaching New York and this solo album with backing group Teardrops...view item »

Ulrika Spacek
The Album Paranoia

Ulrika Spacek (the name may or may not be a conscious echo of John Weise’ Sissy Spacek project) are a rock band who tilt towards the experimental: lots of fuzz hypnosis. The Album Paranoia is their debut record, bursting with excitement and promise. CD or (white) vinyl LP on the T...view item »

Light In Your Mind

London based CYMBALS return to Tough Love for their third full length and follow up to 2013’s The Age Of Fracture. Light In Your Mind is a testament to the band’s solid synth-indie-pop as well as a mark of growth - moving into more expansive pieces and instrumentals alongside the catchy pop songs. F...view item »


Danish five piece Lød grab the post-punk pot, chuck in bits of NEU!, Veit Cong, This Heat, and sense of a need to dance. Their debut release, Folder holds a krautrock groove and constant forward momentum, with a nod to no-wave sound experimentations and B...view item »

Ulrika Spacek
Modern English Decoration

They formed when they were 14, two fifths of them are called Rhys and they live in a house called Ken. Ulrika Spacek are truly a unique proposition amongst the glut of Women/Viet Cong influenced tangle rock bands. Their debut self titled record was a hero here at the towers and this follow up re...view item »

Early Recordings

Priests, who are not priests, put their first recordings out on limited-run cassettes that were only sold at shows, but it has been decided that this music deserved a wider reception. So here comes a reissue of those first two tapes, the first of which was recorded only one week into Priests’ existence! ...view item »

Girls Names / Weird Dreams
A Troubled See / House of Secrets

I have apparently reviewed Girls Names before according to our search engine. My comparison to brittle twee pop bands on that release doesn’t hold sway on their track on this new split single. It has a dark edgy 80&rs...view item »
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The Proper Ornaments
Waiting For The Summer

The Proper Ornaments comprise of Veronica Falls man James Hoare alongside another man from Argentina, single-handedly attempting to thaw Anglo-Argentinian relations with their brand of homespun ‘60s influenced pop music. They really do sound like some long lost...view item »

Blood Spitting / Broken Glass

Brooch is the meeting point between the bands Yung and Ought, with one member of each outfit teaming up in Denmark for a sterling session of smart songwriting. Blood Spitting / Broken Glass is an excellent pair of atmospheric indie-pop tunes, released in an edition of 300 7” singl...view item »

These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores

Young Danes Yung are a energetic indie rock group very keen on DIY aesthetics: the artwork and production of this EP was handled by the band themselves. These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores bounces along vigorously with a nicely overdriven guitar sound, sharp slices of feedback punctuating the songs here and there. ...view item »

Communions EP

Available on 12” vinyl on Tough Love. 5 track EP from Copenhagen four piece Communions. Heavily delayed and reverbed guitars drive these lyrically lovesick, musically emotive songs, with a groove that wouldn’t be out of place in a Joy division record. Check it out if you’re into The Sto...view item »
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Alter EP

Debut international EP from Yung, a Danish four-piece melodic punk band. One for fans of the sensational Ty Segall, Jay Retard and definitely the Replacements. Six tracks on limited edition 12” vinyl. Yung are young, fresh and urgent, too fast to dance to and to slow to feel down to. Nobody cares is a pretty stand out trac...view item »

The Age Of Fracture

This is my first exposure to London party-synthpoppers Cymbals. They've been going for a while and I've got precious little time to write this review. What's going on on this album is some danceable synthpop with elements of Passion Pit, Pet Shop Boys and ...view item »

David West
Peace or Love

Rat Columns guitarist and musical artist David West splits his time between the USA and Australia. Influenced by free-spirited artists throughout history, Peace or Love is an album of softly-strummed indie and unfettered soundscapes that also takes in disco and soul-tinged pop along the way. West's labe...view item »

Girls Names
Zero Triptych

Girls Names return here with an 11-minute opus on a 12” for Tough Love. Yes - that is the sound of envelopes being pushed by the Irish troupe, whose surfy beginnings seem eons away, here. Their attempt at the Triptych structure establishes some abstract soundscapes before embarking upon a post-punk/new wave tip, w...view item »

Big Ups
Before a Million Universes

Before a Million Universes is the second full-length from this noisy NYC three-piece. Big Ups make a razor-sharp post-punk full of hardcore vocals, low-slung bass and ragged guitar playing. Comparisons to Fugazi and Minutemen are deserved, but the band make their own sound from ...view item »

Communions EP+

This 7 track CD EP from Communions showcases a melodic DIY sound that borrow rough post-punk aesthetics and rigid New Order guitar work. This collection compiles the EP and an impossible to find early 7” and introduces the group’s exuberant mixture of punk and 4AD dream pop. Tough Love release this bittersweet CD....view item »

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Tough Love bring us a new Cymbals Eat Guitars album complete wth disturbo sleeve of a man wrapped up in stuff (well Houdini). Fans of Shudder To Think, Built To Spill and other American alt-rock style bands should take note in this brand new opus. Initial copies of this album come with a bonus 4 track CD (b...view item »

Girls Names
Arms Around a Vision

Third album from Northern Irish band Girls Names, titled 'Arms Around A Vision'. With their usual abstract approach alongside cross-Europe influences ranging from Italian Futurism to Russian constructivism - it’s one for the muso in you. One for fans of Roxy Music and Joy Division. On cream vinyl, vinyl and CD on Tough Lov...view item »

Cruising EP

Cruising’s self-titled debut EP pushes itself forward with post-punk swagger. The Irish band take their name from a gay slasher film from the early '80s, which is a great place from which to start. Cruising probably won’t shock anyone to quite that extent, but it will please with its energetic guitar-led jam...view item »


Autobahn are a group in thrall to the good old days of post-punk, where sternly grooving basslines could drive everything forwards and vocals could echo around as if they were in a dilapidated warehouse. Dissemble, the group’s debut album, carries this vision through with intense focus. On Tough Love....view item »

Blanket / Burning Bodies

The sound of young Denmark here: Yung are fresh and new and enthusiastic, their first release only coming out this year. Blanket / Burning Bodies manages to hold in balance melody and comprehensible vocals with a properly punk sense of forward drive and aggression. 7” single on the Tough Love label....view item »

Fun Adults
Sap Solid/Acacia

I pulled one of these in our stock room earlier before and I was slightly bemused by the name. Fun Adults...where do these guys get their names from? Well this is their debut single for Tough Love (though it’s...view item »

What Eternity

A slow dance with Cymbals. What Eternity is the new limited release from the London chaps. These are three tracks of electro-pop with hot synths, heartstring tugger vocals and reverby guitars. The A-side sounds like a slow-mo Arcade Fire meets Passion Pit, and the B-side has a stronger '80s flav...view item »
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So Long Sun / Love Stands Still

Communions' new 7" is post-punk with none of the gloom: on "So Long Sun", light shines down on the band, their guitar melodies sounding warm and engrossing, the hazy production sounding glorious and the heaving vocal sighs recalling the sweet early era of Superchunk. They may have shared studio space with gloomy hardcore kids Iceage, at one poin...view item »
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Big Ups
Rash / Not Today

With its perfectly judged mixture of louche slacker rock and snarling noise-punk, Brooklyn newcomers Big-Ups' debut album 'Eighteen Hours of Static' has been one of the real revelations of 2014. They went on tour and on their return went back into the studio to record two new songs, which can be found on this 7". Hopefully they're as good as the...view item »
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Autobahn 2

Leeds-based five-piece AUTOBAHN follow last year’s sold out debut EP, 1., with a second 3-track 12”, out 7th July. 2. channels the same aggressive post-punk of their debut, but feels sharper, more focused in its intent. And it’s hardly surprising – the first EP was a document of the band’s first three songs. Time ha...view item »
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Autobahn 1.

It’s rare that a new Leeds band passes me but Autobahn have done just that, spawning a 12” (one-sided just incase you’re interested) within their first year (they formed way back in Feb 2013) and impressing with support slots for Merchandise and local heroes Eagul...view item »
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Here's an admirably nasty-sounding album from duo Yvette, who mix the whole drums-and-guitar thing with some minimal electronic noise for a wrenchingly visceral explosion of post-punk with guitars that buzz and screech like exposed nerves, relentless repetitive rhythms and blasts of raw electronic noise. Second track 'Cuts Me In Half', f...view item »

Girls Names
The New Life

I seem to have reviewed every Girls Names record to date. Every time the words ‘Echo’ and ‘The Bunnymen’ are 100% guaranteed to feature somewhere within. They are a Belfast four piece who peddle ...view item »

Big Ups
Eighteen Hours of Static

I’m back in the office after a bit of a sabbatical and Team Norm must be happy to see me back because I’ve got some real gems in my review pile this morning by the likes of Kosmonaut, Ghedalia Tazartes, Lubomyr Melnyk and Pitreleh, but before I dive into that nosebag of chin-strokey fun here’s something a bit more visceral by w...view item »
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Girls Names
The Next Life

No prizes for guessing who Girls Names are lampooning with the sleeve of their new EP. It’s not lazy, it’s satire...honest! Stupid sleeve aside, though, the music that’s going on here is pretty good. On side A there’s a single lengthy new track, a plodding bit of dark indie with l...view item »
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Girls Names
The New Life EP

So, it turns out that my memory is not completely shot. About three minutes in, striking me like a pudding at a pantomime was the thought that I’d heard this lot before. They’ve gone through a slew of labels already including New York’s mega cool ...view item »
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Coming Up With The Sun

Lovver Shaun Hencher returns with this EP from his new Virals project. The lead track ‘Coming Up With The Sun’ is a great bit of garagey power-pop with ...view item »
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Girls Names
Dead To Me

So here's a supernaturally buzzing ghost-pop band from Belfast, olde Northern Ireland! I'm quite simply obsessed with this album & keep listening to the bastard thing slavishly, seemingly caught up in a delirious trance of heady nostalgia. But these cats is also minty fresh with the finest killer hooks & a casual effortlessness that is q...view item »

Fair Ohs
Pacific Rim (Early Recordings)

More people have heard about Fair Ohs early days as a hardcore band with garage rock tendencies than have actually heard the songs from that era. Six of these tracks were released in a limited run of 50 copies with handmade felt covers on Suplex Cassettes, selling quickly and remaining in...view item »
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Playground / Porco Dio Vs Schwinenhund

On Tough Love records is the 'Playground' numbered 7" from William. We've entered into a conversation about 'Just William' and Marmalade Atkins which frankly is a lot more interesting than this record. I'm sorry to say that I'm not feeling of of their scratchy angular energy . I'm sure may of you would though. Maggie reckons this sounds like T...view item »
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Firstly, I must point out that this is not a German Punk Rock group, but an indie/chill wave Londoner, whose first song introduces a cool start to the album, the sound of a man whistling and walking, to a radio, which he then turns on. The noise that comes out of it seems to repeat itself a hundred of so times, which then turns into a very c...view item »
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Girls Names / Brilliant Colors
I Lose / You Win

The couple of Brilliant Corners....sorry Brilliant Colors previous releases I've heard have been nothing short of shocking but this is a vast improvement. Like their name they steal wholeheartedly from the mid 80's jangle pop scene, But first it's Belfast's Girls Names with 'I Love' which is a vibrant jangly indie tune with bright, sharp guitars...view item »
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Let's Wrestle / Young Governor

Let's wrestle, let's let's wrestle etc. etc. Every time I read their bastard name that song goes through my stupid brain. Hey, that's about on par with one of their rhymes. The singer sings them while the drummer drums and the guitar strums and the bass player dum-de-dum-dum-dums. The last part's probably the best aspect of the thing, being plea...view item »
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Basic Nature

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Calories / William

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 »

Fair Ohs/Spectrals
Split 7”

I split release from two of the UK's most promising young acts about to head out on a mega tour together...always nice to have some support eh. Well, i'm digging these tunes for sure. The Fair Ohs dabble in a strange mix of afro-beat and reverb drenched, beach Boys-esque pop which, for some reason brings to mind the early experimentation of the Cla...view item »
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Male Bonding/Eat Skull
Year's Not Long/Heaven's Stranger

The first of a number of split double AA side singles from Tough Love records sees Portland, Oregon's Eat Skulls buddied up with Londoners Male Bonding. 'Heaven's Stranger' by Eat Skull is a poptastic lo-fi blow-out of epic proportions. Organs wail and vocals grate in just the right way. The Male Bonding track 'Year's not long' is a right lively li...view item »
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Favours For Sailors
Furious Sons

Quite taken with this lavish 12"/CD set from Favours For Sailors called Furious Sons. They apparently met in Cornwall yet couldn't sound more Californian college rock. Mid-period Pavement, Television, later GBV, Sammy USA & early Jet Plane Landing spring to mind etc. A 6 track collection of chugging, hugely melodic good-time indie rock loaded w...view item »
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Onwards & Upwards EP

Situationists are one of those bands whose packaging far excels their music which is that kinda skinny jean & checked Vans loafer clever pop ala Foals, Futureheads & Bloc Party. It's not bad music at all, just bores the pants off me with it's schizo twists & turns. I find it all a bit dull as the tight musicianship far outweighs the qua...view item »
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Mirror Mirror
Silicone Eyes/ Wulfgang Bang

Mirror Mirror next with an odd 7" of pagan prog psych-pop that would possibly fit nicely onto a record by The Chap or TCFTSIST. It's really quirky, so much so I can't work out if they're taking the piss. I really like the melancholy Pink Floyd vocal harmonies and the choral folk vibe of it all. I also get a healthy dose of the Beta Band but th...view item »
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Follies In Popular Cities

Wow! Unusual and great. Saw them on tour, and this album is super cool.Love the fiddle, and anarchic melodies. Reminds me of Suede, Dexy's, Libertines, Pixies all at the same time....view item »
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This City Hold Us All EP

Great guys and a great EP. Energetic, intricate, poppy indie. This City Holds Us All and We Are Weightless are catchy and upbeat, and Whiskey And Water is perfect headphone music you can get lost in. Highly recommended and can't wait for the next one! ...view item »
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Popular Workshop
William, It Was Really Something/ Radical

'William. It Was Really Nothing' is a song  by The Smiths. 'William, It Was Really Something' is a song by Popular Workshop. It's true... anyone can make something out of nothing but you can't make nothing from something. Fuck I'm confused Anywhere here's some jangly spiky indie pop which reminds me a bit of a less noisy Cable... ...view item »
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The Naked Dancing EP

I'm having to listen to HONEYTRAP's 'Naked Dancing' EP on their Myspace page as the CD is locked in it's sleeve by a cute little love heart wax stamp. The sound quality on these computer speakers isn't great so rather than me waffling on about how tinny it sounds go have listen for yourself on their myspace....view item »

Five Minute Wonder

Last of the 7"s on Tough Love is by WILLIAM. They sound more like an intense Yank band, kinda Clap Your Hands Say Yeah crossed with Sonic Youth or summat. 'Five Minute Wonder' is a perfect indie rock tune, raw, ready & powerful with growling guitars, excitingly skittery drums & an empowering, charismatic...view item »
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