Why shop with us? 0113 245 4399

Weekly Update David First, Cibo Matto, The Workhouse, Francisco Franco, Sore Eros & Kurt Vile, and more...

We’re happy, we’re happy, we’re happy, we’re happy and we’ll punch the man who says we’re not. By jiminy jove we are happy at the Towers this week. It’s been a week of tremendously high-quality releases with some early Albums o’ the Year contenders amongst the deluge of fine releases. Sit down, put your feet up and let us tell you all about it...

First up Cheatahs. This has been an office fave for as long as we can remember, their brand of Swervedriver meets My Bloody Valentine shoegaze harks back authentically to a glorious time in British music yet brings something a bit new and fuzzy to the party. Have a look at Ian’s 10 out of 10 review here and decide for yourselves. Similarly the Temples album didn’t disappoint with its kaleidescopic brand of 60s-inflected pop/psych, heavy nods to Tame Impala yet if anything even more catchy.

Surprise release of the week was a brand new album from Axel Willner (aka The Field) under his Hands alter ego. This is great stuff, like a creaky, grainy Boards of Canada slowed down to 16rpm and injected with a bit of Gas style vapour. Lo-fi pop siren Keel Her delivered her debut in some style - a poppy, fuzzy, varied effort packed full of top notch distorto-pop. Mr Sun Kil Moon gives us a new opus of his haunting misery...comes with a bonus CD and poster (if you are quick).

On any other week our favourite album would be the one snuck out by Francisco Franco. This is a record full of wonderfully brittle instrumental guitar themes sounding like Ducktails trying to re-work some long lost Durutti Column tracks. The Ducktails reference doesn’t stop there as it’s released on Ducktails’ main man/Real Estate good guy Matt Mondanile’s label.

Also there’s brand new things from Bill Callahan with his ‘dub’ album “Have Fun With God’; Cibo Matto with a long, long awaited new album called ‘Hotel Valentine’; there’s a new Epic 45 CD EP called ‘Monument’ which features a Tears For Fears song as well as an ISAN remix AND collaboration with Disco Inferno’s Ian Crause. And Maximo Park (whose album is STILL not out on vinyl) waste no time in unleashing a 12” accompaniment which includes most notably a Mogwai remix.

Plenty of out-there stuff this week, from Eye’s beardy psych and vintage synth fiddling experiments, through Papir’s latest impressive missive of hypno-groove workouts, to This Heat’s Charles Hayward drops a double 12” featuring Maximillion Dunbar and JD Switch mixes.

Packaging of the week is awarded to The Workhouse’s 10”/3”CD/book fold out combo containing another instalment of their rainswept (post) rock. Another 10” comes from Sore Eros in partnership with the ever popular Mr Kurt Vile. And Tennis, the modern day answer to The Captain and Tenille, get off their yacht long enough to deliver a 10” of their floaty Motowny sugar-pop.

On an electronic tip there’s an uber cool new L.I.E.S compilation featuring all your recent favourites from the influential label. Ant was also impressed by Hobo Cubes’ first release on wax after a slew of cassette releases. Willie Burns ‘Tab of Acid’ is NOT just what it says on the tin, instead being a ferocious, caustic, acid-techno stormer. Glitchy dreamer The Green Kingdom returns with his ‘Expanses’ homage to his favourite ambient techno tunes of yesteryear, whilst those in need of some archive modular synthscapes should look no further than David First’s ‘Electronic Works 1976-1977’ compilation.

Smaller but no less wonderful things this week come from Wild Beasts who return with a more synth orientated direction that we just can’t decide upon. The ‘Wanderlust’ 7” is still damn good by anyone’s standards. There’s a long awaited comeback from US noise-popsters Swearing at Motorists who re-emerge with a brash new 7”. You won’t be able to stop singing along to Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures’ incredibly catchy ‘Orange Juice’ 7” which should come with a government health warning. Even better it comes on vinyl which looks like an orange.

What else? Well...there’s a new Connan Mockasin 12”, some cool Third Man re-issues of Charley Patton and Mississippi Sheiks, a new 7” from a Vivian Girl (Cassie Ramone, to be precise), and a great re-issue from noisy New Zealanders Shoes This High.

Need I go on? No, you all have homes to go to. Have great weekend and don’t EVER lose the smooth.

Clinton and the yacht rock renegades.
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Various

Choubi Choubi! Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq Vol. 2

10/10 from Mike

The first of these Choubi Choubi compilations on Sublime Frequencies is widely regarded as one of the label's best, so it's exciting to see that there's finally a second insta...read on »

Cheatahs

Cheatahs

10/10 from Ian

Every once in a while a band comes along and you just instantly fall head over heels in love with them, for me Wichita’s latest signing Cheatahs were exactly that, love ...read on »

A.M.

Dragonfly

9/10 from Ant

Trensmat take a wee break from the outstanding industrial techno emissions of Dwellings and Stave with their second (I think?) release from A.M, better known to his buddi...read on »

Patricia

Body Issues

9/10 from Ant

Here is the inaugural release on Stephen Bishop’s (Basic House) Opal Tapes vinyl offshoot label Black Opal. Patricia’s ‘Body Issues’ was originally rel...read on »

Henry Blacker

Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings

9/10 from Mike

This is good. Phil told me I'd like it when he brought it round but when he said it was noise rock I was thinking it'd be some kind of coruscating racket like Divorce or somet...read on »

Sunroof!

Rock Power

9/10 from Mike

Here's the latest album from Sunroof! (well actually a vinyl reissue of a 2003 CDr on his Rural Electrification Program label), which is of course one of Matthew "Skullflower"...read on »

Fat White Family / Taman Shud

Split EP

9/10 from Mike

People keep telling me I would love the most recent Fat White Family LP 'Champagne Holocaust' but I still haven't got round to investigating it. I'm sorry, I expect I would lo...read on »

Bushman's Revenge

Thou Shalt Boogie!

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The Norwegian jazz/prog scene is a highly divisive topic at Norman Towers. On one side of the office there's me, Kim, Mike and Ian who will happily listen to Motorpsycho and E...read on »

Pierre Henry / Alex North

Malefices / The Bad Seed

9/10 from Mike

I've saved this double-header 7" on Finders Keepers for last this week so I can end on a high note. On side A we've got French concrete maverick Pierre Henry's score to 'Malef...read on »

Alexandre Navarro

Lost Cities

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve got some tapes to review here. I was supposed to review them last week so sorry to the people at Dronarivm for my laxity. This tape by Alexandre Navarro was on my s...read on »

Zombi

Spirit Animal

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s the latest of Relapse’s beautifully put together Zombi vinyl reissues - a lush double LP of ‘Spirit Animal’ on fancy red vinyl. I’m sure y...read on »

Swearing At Motorists

Burn Down The Wire

9/10 from Mike

Swearing At Motorists, aka Dave Doughman, a very friendly man with a cracking moustache, hasn't put out any records in a while, but now he's back with a new single right now a...read on »

Krokofant

Krokofant

9/10 from Mike

I'm an unashamed fan of all things Rune Grammofon and particularly that heavy Norsk jazz-prog they bring out so much of, so it's no exaggeration to say I'm enjoying the shit o...read on »

Keel Her

Keel Her

9/10 from Mike

Rose Keeler-Schaffeler has been making music for so long that I had to check that this was her debut album. It is. On it she's put together 18 of her lo-fi pop miniatures for ...read on »

Temples

Sun Structures

9/10 from Clinton

Are you wanting an unrelenting hit album that you will sing all through the summer? If so then this could be it. Temples early singles impressed; variously recalling Teardrop...read on »

Hands (Axel Willner)

The Soul Is Quick

9/10 from Clinton

Immediately when you put the needle on the records you know there’s the tell-tale sign of quality present. Therefore  it is no suprise that this is the new ambient ...read on »

Willie Burns

Tab Of Acid

9/10 from Ant

This is the second 12” on The Trilogy Tapes from US producer William Thomas Burns. The ‘Tab Of Acid’  EP is so hot you’ll need to wear sunglasses ...read on »

Hobo Cubes

Apex Ideals

9/10 from Ant

Looks like I was l was late to the Hobo Cubes party having just looked at the man’s extensive discography. My introduction to Montreal's Francesco De Gallo’s music...read on »

Shoes This High

Straight To Hell

9/10 from Mike

Shoes This High were a New Zealand band who specialised in an unhinged, jagged brand of post-punk and only ever brought out a single 7" before vanishing. That EP was so good t...read on »

Papir

Papir IIII

9/10 from Mike

Danish psych trio Papir are now on their fourth album, the imaginitively titled 'IIII', and as you would probably expect by now, it's got some instrumental psych-rock jams on ...read on »

Charley Patton

Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order Vol 4

9/10 from Mike

I haven't always been kind about Third Man Records in the past, as recently as three years ago the label seemed resigned to be little more than a novelty single generator, but...read on »

Connan Mockasin

I'm The Man, That Will Find You

9/10 from Mike

When I first started spinning this new Connan Mockasin single I wasn't sure if I was playing it at the right speed, and I thought it was a cover of some classic soul song. In ...read on »

Various

L.I.E.S. Present Music For Shut-Ins

9/10 from Ant

Like its predecessor ‘American Noise Volume One’ this two disc set rounds up tracks from  a whole bunch of releases on the first disc and then complies unrele...read on »

Anodyne

Fractured

8/10 from Clinton

Its not like me to want to party.My usual music of choice would be a slow jam Sun Kil Moon or of late the Miracle Legion’sinsidious glistening guitar twinkles. So recen...read on »

Hatti Vatti

Worship Nothing

8/10 from Mike

It's taken me a couple of listens to get my head around this album, not so much because of what goes on as because of how little happens, but it happens in a very tasteful and...read on »

Jozef Van Wissem & SQURL

Only Lovers Left Alive

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's a teaser 12" for Jim Jarmusch's new film 'Only Lovers Left Alive' - a "crypto-vampire love story" (quoth the press release). I see there's some kind of gig coming up in...read on »

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell

Black Sheep

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's now-long-gone LP on Rise Above never failed to raise a smile when I had to pack a copy for an order with its preposterous anthropomorphic parr...read on »

Forever Pavot

Miguel el Salam

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's a lovely 7" of psychedelic pop on Sound of Salvation, the label that introduced you to Klaus Johann Grobe. This time it's a Parisian who records under the name Forever ...read on »

Stats

2 Minds

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This is the second consecutive single I've reviewed today that's an indiepop song with no guitar. What's happening to the world? This is very different from the psych-pop of F...read on »

The Traps

Boom Pow awesome Wow

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Something new from the ever-awesome Castleface this week, this time it's not something brand new but an album from ten years ago by The Traps. It's non-stop blown out lo-fi ga...read on »

Sunn O))) & Ulver

Terrestrials

8/10 from Mike

I'm coming to the home stretch of this week's review marathon and running out of time so I have to make the frankly jarring aesthetic leap from the earnest '80s tweepop of Hel...read on »

Seeds Of Doubt

DCP EP

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s another tardy tape review on account of my recently-deceased cassette player. This one’s on the always-great Italian Beach Babes and it’s a band I hav...read on »

Segue

Athabasca

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s my second late review for Dronarivm after the passing of my home tape player. This one is by Segue, who has worked with the collaborator-in-chief Pleq before so i...read on »

Xiu Xiu

Angel Guts: Red Classroom

8/10 from ReviewBot300

To be quite honest with you I haven’t been following Xiu Xiu’s trajectory all that closely since their admittedly excellent breakthrough album ‘Fabulous Musc...read on »

epic45

Monument EP

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Epic45 are back with a new EP! Well I say new, four of these tracks have been released before a couple of years back on Monoscope and the other two are an ISAN remix and a rew...read on »

Francisco Franco

Francisco Franco

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Two things I’ve been digging recently: 1, when ex-noise artists grow older and start making inroads into more melodic terrain and 2, the fact that Matt Mondanile has a l...read on »

Andrew Paine & Richard Youngs

Highwaymen EP

8/10 from Mike

I'm not familiar with Andrew Paine although a quick search tells me he has a few records out and I've just not been paying enough attention. Richard Youngs I do know though, s...read on »

Bill Callahan

Have Fun With God

8/10 from Mike

Now this may make me a few enemies but I've been tiring of Bill Callahan in recent years. Perhaps it's the fact that I have a job where I have to listen to every record, but w...read on »

Sun Kil Moon

Benji

8/10 from Clinton

Sometimes I wonder if it would just be better for everyone if I’d gone ahead and married Mark Kozelek. I wouldn’t need anything from him, if he would just sit on a...read on »

Juan Wauters

N.A.P. North American Poetry

8/10 from Clinton

I went dog-eared into the cinema yesterday to watch ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’. Two hours of unrelentingly bleak Coen Brothers brilliance which exemplifies the struggle...read on »

Cibo Matto

Hotel Valentine

8/10 from Mike

I thought these girls had split up! Apparently not, although this is their first album since the late '90s. You wouldn't know it to listen, though, with the Tokyo-via-New York...read on »

The Green Kingdom

Expanses

8/10 from Mike

Michael "The Green Kingdom" Cottone is back this week with a CD on Dronarivm, and it has a concept of sorts, aiming to "evoke vast and expansive environments" in homage to his...read on »

Jackson C. Frank

Jackson C. Frank

8/10 from Ian

Earth Records brings us this reissue of a lost folk gem, originally released back in 1965 this album by Jackson C Frank was produced by none other than Paul Simon after he saw...read on »

Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures

Orange Juice

8/10 from Clinton

THE VINYL IS LIKE A MASSIVE ORANGE!!! This is the guy from Herman Dune with The Wave Pictures. I can hold my hands up and say I’ve never really been a fan of either but ...read on »

Prolife

Overheated / Gold Leaves

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Dark stuff this. Formed by members of Deathrockas Slug Guts with the intention of laying down some bleak minimalist techno, Prolife are strictly in the Cabaret Voltaire, Suici...read on »

Girl Trouble

Hit It Or Quit It

8/10 from Mike

Interesting reissue alert! As you are probably aware by now, grunge is officially back. We've got youngsters like Cloud Nothings, Henry Blacker, Dope Body and Kal Marks turnin...read on »

Les Claypool's Duo De Twang

Four Foot Shack

8/10 from Mike

Plank-slapping goofball Les Claypool's oddball funk-rockers Primus are one of the ultimate "Marmite" bands, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers multiplied by Ween - few people will...read on »

David First

Electronic Works 1976 – 1977

8/10 from ReviewBot300

After these recordings, David First went on to perform in avant-punks The Notekillers before moving to New York to participate in the avant garde and still works as a neoclass...read on »

Koudede

Guitars From Agadez Vol. 7

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Tuareg guitarist and singer Koudede was a greatly respected musician in his native Niger, helping give a voice to "the Tuareg struggle against exploitation and to exalt their ...read on »

Cassie Ramone / Xray Eyeballs

I'm a Freak / Only You

8/10 from Mike

Got a split single here with some cool indie rock on it. On side A there's Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone strumming away at an acoustic guitar and singing about how she's a loser. ...read on »

Charles Hayward

Smell Of Metal

8/10 from Mike

New 2x12" EP here by ex-This Heat man Charles Hayward, with two new tracks on the first disc and remixes on the second. On side A, 'Lopside' mixes live-sounding drum breaks wi...read on »

Sore Eros & Kurt Vile

Jamaica Plain

8/10 from Mike

This Sore Eros & Kurt Vile 10" comes in an uncommonly thick green card sleeve with the artwork screenprinted on it, dead classy. On side A there's the lengthy 'Jamaica Pla...read on »

Atom TM

Ich Bin Meine Maschine - Remixes

8/10 from Mike

This new Atom TM 12" has three remixes followed by the album version of the song being remixed, so I'm going to start on track 4 and work my way backwards if that's alright wi...read on »

EYE

Live At Relay

8/10 from Mike

Speed review time! Here's an LP by a psych-rock quartet called Eye. There are three songs on here and they mix Hawkwind style beardy psych with some vintage synth fiddling tha...read on »

Mississippi Sheiks

Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order Vol 4

8/10 from Mike

Jumping into my time machine for another one from that ace Third Man reissue series of the people who influenced the people who influenced your favourite musicians. This is th...read on »

Featured albums

The Green Kingdom
Charles Hayward
Willie Burns
David First
Hobo Cubes
Tennis
Maximo Park
Cheatahs
Wild Beasts
Connan Mockasin
epic45
Cassie Ramone / Xray Eyeballs
Swearing At Motorists
Cibo Matto
Hands (Axel Willner)
Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures
Keel Her
Papir
The Workhouse
Sun Kil Moon
Francisco Franco
Shoes This High
EYE
Various
Temples
Sore Eros & Kurt Vile
Bill Callahan