So first you're going to pick up the Boy Least Likely To and Final Fantasy singles listed last week that got moved forward, and then what? I'm From Barcelona, for a start, the Swedish 29-piece outfit who, yes, are named after Manuel's catchphrase. Best not to wonder. The issue we often have with heavily overstaffed bands is that after the idea's been played out for one single it can pall afterwards, but that one single is usually monumental. Just as Soldier Girl was, though, We're From Barcelona is a spectacular effort. Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family were among our main outdoor stage highlights of Summer Sundae, but we don't recall him doing the more upbeat than Badly Drawn Boy comparisons suggest The City Is At A Standstill in his set, oddly. Finally please welcome back Helen Love, DIY bubblegum dancepunkette who once made it onto Radio 1's playlist, whose Junk Shop Discotheque is her/their first single in four years, we think.
Come on, where else are we starting? We've been watching The Victorian English Gentlemens Club's progress since the very start of the year, and we're more than glad that their debut album has comprehensively failed to let us down. As jagged rhythm brushes up against spiky guitar flavoured with offbeat visualisations and many a chorus, it suddenly strikes you - well, us - that this might be the British whatever-post-punk-is-being-called-this-week album of the year, or at least certainly up there in live contention with the more publicised bands. See if you agree, as we've just stumbled across the video for forthcoming single Impossible Sightings Over Shelton when it had had one play on YouTube. Oh, then just buy it. And don't download it illegally, as Fantastic Plastic are a constant joy of a label who need the money. Elsewhere we've not been totally won over by the stripped down nature of the Dears' Gang Of Losers but we can see it scoring high on a lot of people's end of year lists, Warren Defever's long running experiments in ADD pop as His Name Is Alive reaches critical levels on the finally issued in Britain Detrola and the Easy Star All Stars follow Dub Side Of The Moon with Radiodread: Tribute To OK Computer. Chicago psychedelic popsters The 1900s' mini-album Plume Delivery opens with longtime STN earworm Bring The Good Boys Home, which if it's cheap enough is reason enough to take a punt. Bestival: The Album is an appropriately eclectic mix of bands playing in the Isle Of Wight in two weeks' time where Guillemots sit between the Super Furries and Kitty Daisy & Lewis while Kid Creole snuggles up to the Dub Pistols and Love Is All. Finally, Pet Sounds is an album that not only does everybody have but has been reissued so many times you wonder whether someone isn't trying to win an ambitious bet. We've got the one with the stereo and mono mixes on one CD, if you must know. This latest repackaging for the 40th anniversary takes that same disc and adds a DVD of rarities and Making Of footage plus alternate versions and the like. Sandbox not necessary.
Had enough Beach Boys yet? Well, tough, as here comes a Collector's Edition box set of Live At Knebworth 1980, the 1976 Good Vibrations Tour and Endless Harmony, the 2000 authorised two hour documentary interviewing nearly anyone who was anyone in their story. We thought The Tube Series 1 had been released on DVD a while back, but maybe it just got pointlessly delayed. Very much of its time, of course, but still more relevant than Transmission With T-Mobile.
Rough Trade is the second in the Labels Unlimited series, after Warp, telling its history and analysing its stylistic quirks with rare photos and interviews. We're concerned that the synopsis refers to 'Scritty Politty', but the story of the label's rise, brief fall and rise again is difficult to mess up. Meanwhile We Could Have Been The Wombles: The Weird and Wonderful World of One-Hit Wonders is an eye catching title, and certainly more so than The One And Only, the title this light but likeable tribute to one-off hitmakers was released under in 2004.