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

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Girls Names
Stains on Silence

Like the world itself Girls Names music just seems to have got darker and bleaker over the last few years. Though the fact that they previously appeared on labels such as Captured Tracks and Slumberland would suggest (correctly) that there was a part of their sound that was brighter and poppier.  But this is bleak going on unbearabl...view item »

The Stroppies
The Stroppies

This here is a lovely discovery. Lovers of doing music quick, the Stroppies apparently took their logistical influence from Guided by Voices and the Great Unwashed, aiming to write and record as soon as the ideas existed, sealing it all in before anything could change within the song DNA. Guided by Voices are a good starting point, since they sp...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 »


Attention people who own guitar rock records and an overflowing bucket of feelings: this one is for you. The four earth-scorched guitar songs contained within this EP belong to Danish band Mikkel Holm-Silkjær, who makes bizarrely shaped emo tunes that sound made on tracing paper that’s then been torn up and thrown towards the nearest...view item »

The Moral Crossing

For anyone who only reads about Leeds being a great vibrant city let me re-iterate -  it is still bleak. Very bleak. It is made up generally of quite tall grey concrete buildings which block out any sun that has the audacity to squeeze through the near constant cloud cover. No wonder bands from Leeds are miserable  - I mean did you hea...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 has been everywhere and been in everyone. Perth, San Francisco and New York, Rat Columns, Total Control and Lace Curtain. Here he makes and album of grimy and grungy lo-fi that suggests Marc Bolan has been dug up covered in soil a...view item »

Ulrika Spacek
The Album Paranoia

It’s a brave new world we live in when I’m reviewing a record off of an NME stream, but here we are -- I’m pretty sure Chris Moyles orchestrated this in collaboration with Windows 10. Ulrika Spacek are sugar free psychedelic merchants from London, and if their upcoming tour with Sunflower Bean...view item »

Light In Your Mind

Cymbals open ‘Light In Your Mind’ with a glitch in serenity. Their beautiful, symphonic sound stutters like a dying light-switch, patched vocals and looping violins blocking the perfect flow and holding it back in a world of small anxieties. Clever stuff; pretty cool stuff. Expanded from its gauzier and more primitive early stages, C...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

A band famously similar to Deerhunter, Ulricka Spacek made good on the time they were given in ‘The Album Paranoia’ to weave a record of retro-futurist guitar sparkle, mirroring some of indie rock’s best bands in wide open spaces. Being its target audience -- krautrock dads, satisfied by nothing...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 »

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 »

Ulrika Spacek
Everything, All The Time

Alas I review this with the awful new Slaves screaming away in the background. Not this one's fault and glad they turned the guitars up in the intro just for situations like this. Once they've got the Sonic Youth bit out of the way the dynamics change entirely into a ...view item »

Proper Ornaments

Well I'm enjoying this but I'm cold where I am sat so I'm going to have to whip through it before I freeze to death. Proper Ornaments are duo of people from Veronica Falls and Toy and Ultimate Paintings and yes you are right they make tuneful ...view item »

These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores

On lovely pea green vinyl. I insisted yesterday that we played this in the office so I could get an idea of what it was like. Thirty minutes later Ian takes it off the stereo saying ‘that was ok’. I’d forgotten it was on and could barely remember a second of it.   The general consensus backed up b...view item »

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

You know those days when everything is so damn awkward and everything irritates? Well David West begins his album like this, all orchestral tune ups and noise and I just want him to get on with it. Eventually he does and in ‘Peace and Love’ sings a Herman Dune like thing that enjoys slathering a big ...view item »

Weird Dreams
Luxury Alone

I argue in a previous review about the need for actual bands with several different personalities and creative ideas within. Weird Dreams are the opposite, a one man operation from start to finish and it is noticeable that one person bands tend to have a politeness about them as the person in charge gets the sound just as they like it. ...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

Here… are some angry dudes. A fairly common feature, and their noise rock does things that will appeal to fans of That Kind Of Thing: you like Metz, it’s got the gnarled vocals; you like Shellac, the guitars hate you back; you’re into McLusky...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

Okay indie poppers Cymbals Eat Guitars return this week with sophomore effort you've probably not been waiting for, but I expect you don't remember hating them either. They step out on the wrong foot sadly, instantly pummelling the listener with cinematic strings and weirdly compressed piano on...view item »

Girls Names
Arms Around a Vision

Girls are really popular for band names at the moment. Last week we had Girl Band from Dublin; this week it's Girls Names from Belfast.  This starts promisingly with some severe post punk clanking all nice and metallic. The track then shifts gear into a Josef K st...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 »


Post-punk dramatists Autobahn have everything that makes their genre feel like a pantomime. Their stoical, barbed wire band name is a proper description of the music, which uses goth vocal taunts and industrial beats to trade off the age old oxymoron of this music: is it churned out by machines or made by hyper-sensitive songwriters? ...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 »


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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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