The demo recording turned up in our Advent Calendar Of Music back in December, which must have been the tipping point towards the single release of Battle's Tendency, right? People who downloaded that should be aware that it's not changed that much, perhaps tightened up a bit, slightly more obviously ProTooled but that's inevitable these days and still hasn't garnered that much attention. Oddly, despite pushing many, many buttons - pop-punk, instantaneousness, NME interest, smart videos, blonde female singer - Be Your Own Pet haven't really taken off across the land yet either, which is a shame in that Adventure would sound right at home on daytime Radio 1.
Graham Coxon's fifth solo album Love Travels At Illegal Speeds continues in much the same vein as the previous couple - well executed punk-pop with melodies and noise hand in hand, subtly tricksy playing, a few off-kilter single contenders and a rubbish artist-painted cover. The Concretes In Colour perhaps isn't as strong as the original - why dump the indie wall of sound they became respected for? - but we suspect would win out on sunnier days than these, especially as Romeo Stodart's in tow on one track. Very much not meant for picnics in parks are the Archie Bronson Outfit, refugees from the days when Lawrence Bell would sign bands to Domino (he spotted these playing one lunchtime in his local, apparently) and not expect them to go gold instantly. They're still on Domino, we should stress, which is a filip in this of all weeks when Mishka has a new record out, and their garage-soul-blues gets a second outing on appropriately titled Derdang Derdang. On the other side of the musical spectrum we find Stephin Merritt, who while it was inevitable would one day release an album called Showtunes it's perhaps less obvious that it would be actual tunes from shows, and scores from three works by Chinese opera writer Chen Shi-Zheng at that. Reissue of the week? That'll be the 2CD set of the Fall's Middle Class Revolt from 1994, not one of their more highly regarded records but it does have Hey Student! and Behind The Counter on. Compilation of the week? By a mile, The Trip curated by Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey, where Bobby Bare is followed by Alan Vega, Johnny Wakelin's In Zaire ("in Za-ere!") is just along from Lee Hazlewood and the whole thing closes with Dion, Neil Sedaka and the Shipping Forecast theme.