Thursday, March 26, 2015

Girls Names - Zero Triptych

You always fret whenever a band returns with a track they proudly claim is eleven minutes long and in three parts but Girls Names pull it off with this 12" out May 11th. Give it a while to work through the electronic fuzz and hang on as it blasts into the stratosphere in a not-un-Toy-like manner, infused as much with post-punk darkness as the psych-Kraut-shoegaze fun.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Catenary Wires - Intravenous

Having done thirty years' service to indiepop through Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey moved out to the countryside and ended up writing and recording a set of songs that remain minimally acoustic while still sumptuously put together, influence somewhere between the great country duettists and the Magnetic Fields. Album Red Red Skies is due 1st June.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Roxy Rawson - Bouncing Boots

We were wondering just recently what had become of Rawson, a Parisian conservatoire trained violinist and pianist raised in Hitchin and now based in San Francisco Bay with a leaping, swooping vocal style whom we first wrote about not much short of four years ago and pretty much never heard from again... until now. Turns out that after a Pledgemusic campaign in 2012 she fell ill for a while, her upcoming album Quenching The Kill charting her journey from darkness into hope. Drama and ambition are here in spades, plucking out emotive imagery and vulnerability with the innate knowledge that better is on its way. If this is how that early promise is being fulfilled the album might well be one not to sleep on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Post War Glamour Girls - Southpaw Stance

A little less claustrophobic, a little more skyscraping, just as lost in hope terms, PWGG's first new material since last year's glorious Pink Fur album (a split 7" with Battlelines) might have a big hook, chorus, solo and all that but still comes on spoiling for a fight, unyielding in its abstractfully dark outlook.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Alimony Hustle - DWUW

The very new Bristolian duo - and we know we've expressed problems with duos in the past but they're a lot more subtle than most - have something to say on their Gutter Gutter Strike Strike Gutter Gutter EP and a wellspring of tightly wound emotions based on guilt, regret and being let down to say it within. At one British remove from the Tanya Donelly/Kristin Hersh open-sore blueprint, Leah Pritchard's dynamically emotive vocal propelling a melodic acidity which eventually produces the sort of riff that emerges from nowhere to batter at the door.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Lord Huron - The World Ender

The second taster of second album Strange Trails sounds when put into words much like the first, that is to say first wave rock'n'roll refracted through the gaps in the striped high sunlight. It rattles, it basks in the heat and it coasts along entirely sure of itself. No wonder, given the lyrical reincarnation theme.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Joanna Gruesome - Honestly Do Yr Worst

Ah, the most glorious of all the abbreviations. Second taste (and first single) of second album Peanut Butter, out 11th May and promising both "jangle pop" and "drone organs" almost as if they know us, clocks in under the two minute mark and still finds time enough to wrongfoot the listener, styling out as a natty harmonised summery power-pop cut before the noise and anger comes in as if it were merely a hookline.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Acorn - Influence

It's nearly five years since Ottawa's expansive, investigative folk-futurist MVP Rolf Klausener and friends put out the second Acorn album No Ghost. Having reconfigured his approach since a new record, Vieux Loup, is finally due in the spring, from which comes this electronically inclined workout, a deep old electric bassline and floaty synths rubbing up against a pensive vocal, conflicted lyrical self-examination and guitar strums that could best be described as minimalist.

Heavy Petting Zoo - Isabelle

Just in time for St David's Day our favourite Swansea surf-garage kids return with a single that forms part of The Joy Formidable's Aruthrol singles club (this is Aruthrol C, out on 7" 26th March). Weighing in well under the two and a half minute mark the propulsion is car chase sequence ready, the guitar shudders and charges and Amy Zachariah tempts the unwary onto the rocks. Oh, and if you're quick and in Cardiff they're playing Clwb Ifor Bach early this evening as part of a festival to mark the saint's day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Comet Gain - To The City's Core

Last year's Paperback Ghosts album was autumnal and bucolic; its follow-up EP is distorted and psychedelic. This, new Comet Gain followers, is what they do. There's a whirring Farfisa, Rachel Evans' damaged call-outs, a rippling guitar solo, something that almost qualifies as a breakbeat and a rock'n'roll going wrong underlay. Comet Gain headline what looks like a remarkable alldayer at London's Shacklewell Arms on 7th March with Withered Hand solo, Tigercats, Simon Love with A Little Orchestra, Evans The Death, Darren Hayman, Pete Astor (The Loft/Weather Prophets) and Bill Botting (Allo Darlin')

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cloud - Melting Cassatt

Tyler Taormina describes Zen Summer, his second album as Cloud out April 7th, as intending to "help those experiencing the anxiety associated with a state of flux. I wanted it to envelop the listener completely, and for them to realize that things would be alright in the end". He's certainly throwing himself into the picture as this sounds like Why? gone dreampop, confessional lyrical flow in a wavering voice over floating textures and misleadingly genteel backing.