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The best (and worst) of March

Though it was dominated by return-to-form albums by the big-hitting likes of The Breeders and Yo La Tengo, dig deeper and there were some excellent records passing under the radar. Take a look at the best and worst of March's vinyl.

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Anna von Hausswolff
Dead Magic

On this day of fervent and unforgiving snow, it’s nice to see an Anna von Hausswolff record hiding under my behemoth of things to review. Hausswolff nailed her low-key gothica into the walls of a grand cathedral on ‘The Miraculous’, centering her organ around eerie instrumentation for an unrelenting tour de force. She comes bac...view item »

Caroline Says
There's No Fool Like An Old Fool

Having previously made an incredible record ruminating on the floods of inertia she felt moving back in with her parents, Caroline Sallee’s music continues to beguile from unexpected corners on ‘No Fool Like an Old Fool’. This gorgeous, amorphous record has hints of ‘Nebraska’ and shades of decades-old pop; it hides...view item »

Cavern Of Anti-Matter
Hormone Lemonade

The truth of the matter is that it’s a Phil thing. Cavern of Anti-Matter is our boss’s band through and through, having wowed him with the double-whammy of Tim Gane and motorik rhythm. Me, I like ‘Hormone Lemonade’ fine, but given that I spent the ten minutes prior to sitting down with the record trying to work out why I ...view item »

Dungen & Woods
Myths 003

Who’s idea was this? I don’t know whether I’d like to shake or wring their hand. Carelessly meshing together all and any definitions of psych rock, the Mexican Summer Myths’ festival series collates Swedish jammers Dungen and folksy coo crew Woods into one album of live ventures. A wahing and sun-soaked ascent to the cosm...view item »

Eric Chenaux
Slowly Paradise

This guy is obsessed with Eric Chenaux and stunned by just how far he’s gone this time. Having slowly developed a spangly, highly affected guitar sound through a litter of pedals and a frantic knack for fret racing, Chenaux has spent his career revisiting and refining the folk songs he made early in his career. Records like ‘Sloppy G...view item »

Guided By Voices
Space Gun

Unorthodox Elephant Surgery. Benign LAN Party. Jonathan Telecastar’s Big Day Out. Racing Guy Burns a Sundae. Levitation Suits. Airplane In My Bathroom. Airplane In My Tuxedo. Airplane In The Bagging Area. Sacrosanct Power Socket. Generic Cloning Mishap. Circumnavigated Yoga Pants. Swimming With Bag. Cancelled Goth Canteen Screenplay. Fun I...view item »

Huerco S.
For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)

Huerco S. has pretty much hit pay dirt on his second full-lengthh album and a string of well received 12" releases which showcased his talent for twisting house and techno music into interesting new shapes. What he has done here is pretty much remove any semblance of either genre from the music leaving it as kind of fumes of what was once club m...view item »

James Plotkin
The Joy Of Disease Demos + Remixes

James Plotkin has delved into his archives and exhumed a bunch of previously unreleased, home-recorded, instrumental demos for his 1996 album ‘The Joy Of Disease’, which was released on John Zorn’s Avant imprint. They form an interesting sort of alternative version of the album which stands up in its own right. The man's skills...view item »

Meadow House
This Should Not Be Happening

Well at least Phil is vindicated. His potential company-destroying decision to release Meadow House's 'Misadventures on the Scorn Cycle' late last year was met by a collective panic by anyone in our organisation whose ability to finance Christmas depended on actually getting paid whilst you the public turned away in their droves.  But now F...view item »

Mount Eerie
Now Only

A year after releasing the quiet, sparse and distraught ‘A Crow Looked At Me’, Phil Elverum offers another record of listless and plain-spoken songs grieving for his wife Geneviève Castrée. Hearing these songs live last year, it was obvious they were an expansion of the same repertoire, speaking and moving with similar ...view item »

Nap Eyes
I'm Bad Now

You know what, no. Don’t do that, Nap Eyes. This is fine. It is now, but it’s not bad. Try and reduce expectations to an all time low if you want, but I’ll enjoy your album of plodding, pared-back, garaged guitar rock just fine. I am fairly certain that with a few well-placed calls I could find a handful of ...view item »

Rolando Simmons
World Building

Rolando Simmons (real name Mattias Östling) was trotting about doing his own thing when Aphex Twin dropped one of his tracks at some live thing or other then suddenly his little analogue world turns upside down.  This is his debut full length following the earlier sold out 'Yuo're Life' EP and h...view item »

Soccer Mommy

Fans of singers and songs, listen up: here’s a damn good singer songwriter. The name is misleading; the song titles are sparse. The devils, though… they’re in the details. ‘Clean’ is an incredibly good and deceptively humble record from the band known as Soccer Mommy and led by Sophie Allison. Its chord sequences a...view item »

The Breeders
All Nerve

Two amusing stories came out of the recent the Breeders interview in Uncut. One was that Kim Deal grows catnip for the cats of the other members of the band. Secondly drummer Jim Macpherson had the indignity of having Robert Pollard warn him about his drinking whilst being a member of ...view item »

The Ex
27 Passports

I would be remiss to leave the phrase “anarcho-punk” out of a review of the The Ex. But I don’t know how useful it is. Knowing The Ex are anarchists is interesting, it might even mean you respect them. Punk isn’t being too helpful here either. They are punk, this is punk, but to leave it at that would almost be insultingl...view item »

Yo La Tengo
There’s A Riot Going On

My favourite genre of completely useless televised news is the “What’s your secret?” bulletin, where they find an elderly couple who’ve been married longer than we can imagine holding a short conversation and the interviewer asks them why they still want to sit next to each other. That, but, like, for bands -- you’d...view item »

Young Fathers
Cocoa Sugar

Once causing me to choke on a shreddie when seeing them being announced as Mercury Music Prize winners, Young Fathers are one of the very few winners of that mystical prize to actually be any good and also to keep making good records and not immediately going down the spout.  Part of the reason for this is the self contained environment the...view item »

Young Jesus
Young Jesus

If you like early Modest Mouse or American Football or Built to Spill then come this way. Young Jesus have *that* sound as if the band have recorded in a snow piled house on the outskirts of Minnesota. Opener 'Green' is great. it'...view item »

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