Despite recently learning that a couple of people we usually trust really don't like them, we're on ¡Forward, Russia!'s side more and more as time passes. Of course they've worn out their copies of Goo, Entertainment!, Relationship Of Command and whatever Les Savy Fav album they favour, but the way they cut and shut it together really does make them stand out in this increasing morass of British bands attempting to find a pummelling niche. Apart from the fact they always pick great support bands, how they ended up supporting We Are Scientists recently is beyond us. Nine is the closest they get to radio acceptability, and that's still some way away, unlike their touring partners' Nobody Move Nobody Gets Hurt. Slim pickings all round this week, so let us just take the yellow highlighter pen to Jim Noir's Beach Boys-meets-British Invasion-meets Beta Band psych-indie of My Patch - oddly, not the track of his currently gracing an Adidas advert.
As all their press is required to state, Brewis P, Brewis D and Moore A of Field Music have been in bands with pretty much everyone who's ever considered a musical career in Sunderland in their ten years together. Much of that work, plus assorted New Tellers and Electronic Eye Machine offcuts, all unsurprisingly influenced by ELO, the Beach Boys and XTC, have been compiled onto Write Your Own History, which even survives a stab at Dave Eggers-esque knowing pretentiousness that sees the sleevenotes start on the actual cover. Thea Gilmore rocketed out of the female folkie bracket in 2003 with a sharp lyrical ear and musical blind turns and interested enough people to lead her to the very edge of media interest if no further, and just because that's abated doesn't mean Harpo's Ghost isn't worthwhile. Centro-Matic reached pretty much the same point in the late 90s, leader Will Johnson having alternated them with underwhelming trad country storytellers South San Gabriel in recent years, but his primary band are back with Americana licks and eye for detail that shits Conor Oberst in place - think some unholy amalgam of Neil Young, the Replacements and the Flaming Lips' most decodable moments - on Fort Recovery. About as far from Texas' lonely highways is the rainy Soho neon nights that the Flaming Stars have revelled in, as collected on London After Midnight: Singles, Rarities and Bar Room Floor-Fillers 1995-2005. They know a vintage organ sound when they hear one. Mining a source simultaneously completely different from and not a great distance from the core of are Glasgow's The Nectarine No.9, former Fire Engine Davey Henderson's noirnoisepop Velvets/Television/Beefheart sonic travellers who reissue 1999 retrospective It's Just The Way Things Are Joe, It's Just The Way Things Are, which is a fabulously evocative title if nothing else.