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Worst Records of the Year

Because we spend our lives telling you how good things are, it's sometimes nice to just kick back and indulge our favourite guity pleasure: slagging off terrible records. They are everywhere. Terrible records. Week in, week out we subject ourselves to horrific, unlistenable and downright disappointing records. Terrible records. Please don't get upset if your favourite disc is in the list, tho'. It's just a bit of fun. Hey, even with the records we hate we will usually find something to enjoy. With the exception of that Flaming Lips album of Beatles covers, which is just vile.
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This Is All Yours

'This Is All Yours' is experimental rock act Alt-J's first record since their  conceptual debut, 'An Awesome Wave', and was mostly written in free time around touring that record. "Hunger of the Pine", the record's first single, features a sample of Miley Cyrus' "4x4".    Tracks Intro Arrival in Nara Nara Every Other Freckle Left Hand Free ❦ (Garden of England) Choice Kingdom Hunger Of The Pine Warm Foothills The Gospel of John Hurt Pusher Bloodflood pt.II Leaving Nara

Christopher Owens
A New Testament

Once the frontman of Girls, one of indie rock's most acclaimed bands, Christopher Owens has since been carving out new space for his more conceptual and folk-influenced songs. He released 'Lysandre' early last year, and now readies 'A New Testament', another record that winks at religious intervention. Slight choruses and sad folk jams abound.

It’s Not Unusual

This five-song disc features a cover of the quasi-title cut that Tom Jones made most famous. Of course, the D.O.A. version of "It's Not Unusual" has an entirely different tone than that of the perpetually panty-showered Vegas crooner. Vocalist Joey Keithley revels in the schmaltzy track, extending notes with a throat-splitting caterwaul and enough rasp to make even the most hardened punk fan cringe.
  • CD single (VIRUS120CD)
  • £3.99 £2.00 (saving: £1.99)
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…And Star Power

It's Foxygen, those goofy psych-rockers with a penchant for the 60s and maybe also flowers! They haven't released a record since their well loved 'We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic', but they promise this one -- named 'Star Power' after an imaginary radio station they made up -- is as good, if more punk, and also a little more soft rock. A nice contradiction, if you ask me.

Minus Tide

Lemonade bring their glitchy electronic pop back home with their third record, 'Minus Tide'. It boasts a predominantly percussive sound and also brings the band's production values to the forefront. Autumnal chillwave vibes for all.
  • Vinyl LP (CSN045)
  • £14.99 £7.50 (saving: £7.49)
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After The End

I've not heard of Merchandise before but here they are with their third album. Its been mixed by Gareth Jones who produced Depeche Mode's 'Berlin Trilogy' of albums. Everyone has a Berlin trilogy these days. Anyway Merchandise are a typically moody lot. From the little I've heard I'm thinking of Interpol, early Killers and the like. The singer is wearing a nice shade of lipstick  - it really suits him. Anyway here, they've been joined by extra members. Chris Horn does what his name suggests and plays sax as well as other things. According to what is written in the NME this is a much more pop based album than previous efforts. They are sick of faffing about with arty stuff and are now coming for your dollar.  The initial LP pressing will be on green vinyl you know. 

Transitions I

• Since the release of his debut album in 2011, SBTRKT has cemented his role as one of the most acclaimed electronic artists and performers around. What began as praise in his hometown of London has now reached to every corner of the globe. • SBTRKT launches ‘Transitions’, a collection of six instrumentals written and produced over the past year that reference the creative process that led to his debut album. • The Transitions series will be released through Young Turks on three individual 12” records. Each one will feature artwork and 2D Moiré animation by A Hidden Place. The action of removing the inner bag from its sleeve creates a unique visual effect which is replicated digitally by moving the mouse on the ‘Transitions’ website.

Teenage Guitar
More Lies From The Gooseberry Bush

Robert Pollard is the ringleader of the merry indie rock men Guided By Voices, who have been releasing dozens upon dozens of records since the late 80s. Pollard is renowned for making surreal jangle pop classics that are snipped off at the ends, traditionally playing them out at under two minutes at length. As such, he's got a lot of time to write more songs: his average output a year is about ten records, under about five different aliases. Teenage Guitar is yet another solo project of his, and brings forth the bizarre, experimental reaches of his brain for a concept album with thousands of tracks (well, like, twenty-odd). It's arguably his most conceptual record since Guided By Voices' 'Mag Earwhig!', full of lo-fi humming and loose vignettes. Billed by Pollard and PopMatters as being more Pollard than Pollard, this is definitely an album by Robert Pollard.    Tracks: Go Around (The Apartment Dwellers) Spliced At Acme Fair A Guaranteed Ratio Good Mary's House Skin Ride Full Glass Gone All You Fought For Gear OP No Escape Matthew's Ticker and Shaft  a. come to breakfast b. the girls arrive c. division of swans d. when death has a nice ring The Instant American Normalized New Light Birthplace of the Electric Starter A Year That Could Have Been Worse

The Flaming Lips
With A Little Help From My Fwends

In absolutely horrific news, Flaming Lips have seen fit to re-make 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band' with a selection of people they call their 'fwends', the thought of which makes me puke with the whole matey celeb pointlessness of it. Miley Cyrus is on there as is Juliana Barwick and My Morning Jacket. Sometimes the worst ideas turn out ok but I have visions of the Bee Gees still despairing appearance of the film version of the album back in 1978. Flaming Lips have done some good music over the years so I hold out some kind of hope. But on paper a terrible, back-slapping,  vapid idea. 

The Kooks

Hoping that maybe you will and wishing someone would, the Kooks have named their fourth record -- their first in three years -- 'Listen'. Britpop dudes with questionable and possibly made-up accents, the Kooks return with an interest in making their sound shinier and less indie rock: frontman Pritchard decided to enlist Soundcloud producer and hip-hop artist Inflo for the record, so there are certifiable beats on this record. 

The Magic Numbers

The Magic Numbers are Ealings' kind-hearted indie pop band, and they’re back with their fourth record (which is also their first since 2010), entitled 'Alias'.  "E.N.D." is the second single to be released next to the record, a smooth jam fronted by bandleader Romeo Stodart and a hell of a lot of string swells. It's available on 7" alongside a b-side clled "End Of The World"

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Simple & Sure

The Ting Tings
Super Critical

Shouty indie pop duo Ting Tings continue to be a thing with 'Super Critical', their third record to date. In their time away, it sounds like they've been listening to a lot of HAIM and digging the whole light disco homage thing. The guitars bounce in that direction, the percussion gets a little bit more primitive, and you are definitely expected to dance. 


Cheery, tongue-in-cheek psych rock seems to fit the bill for this band named Wampire. Their new record, 'Bazaar', is full of guitar fuzz lore, with song titles like "Wizard's Staff" floating around in there. It was produced by Jake Portrait, who has worked with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and helps keep the riffage clear and articulated throughout.