A lot of arse is talked about musical reinvention, specifically by tabloid people who apparently genuinely think Madonna hopping between changing dancefloor trends or Robbie Williams going from balladeering boy band member to balladeering solo singer is genuine risk taking. Try, then, dark countrified emotionally charged Saddle Creek-approved anti-folk from one of Test Icicles. Devonte Hynes, the one with the pink guitar who seems to know everybody in the London indie scene, does very well for it too with debut 7" Galaxy Of The Lost, produced by Mike Mogis and featuring Emmy The Great on backing vocals. (Incidentally, well done to nme.com for their recent headline about Lightspeed Champion's debut proper London show, "Jack Penate and The Strokes come together". Penate came on to add guitar to one song, and the set finished independently of him with a cover of New York City Cops. They were about as "together" as Pakistan's Islamic factions.) Not a lot about this week - if A Silent Film have been taking lessons from Oxford bretheren Radiohead they certainly wouldn't be the first, or worst, as demonstrated on cinematic EP The Projectionist. Hands up who thought The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster had bitten the dust? One of the first to emerge from the Brighton scene, in the nearly three years since their last album they've lost a guitarist, been dropped by Island, become labelmates of Luke Haines and who knows what other dark arts. EP In The Garden is their first release in all that time.
GoodBooks occupy a mildly odd position in the realms of young British guitar bands - never ascended to Next Big Thing status but nonetheless described as a hype band in some quarters, often passed off as something that's already been done even though they were considered original standouts when the bands who were doing it back then were in the process of doing it. In a word of Pigeon Detectives and Good Shoes why it's them who suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune is another issue, but as it is it seems not a lot of people have decided not to like them. Their loss - Control shows a band some steps ahead of much of the pack, a band who value ideas just as much as three chord thrills and far more than aiming for the Jo Whiley constituency, much as they value pop specifics such as, y'know, hooks and choruses. Like the oft compared to Bloc Party, they know their effects pedals and influences outside the post-punk hegemony, in their case the much namedropped by Max Cooke Hot Chip and other alt-dancefloor targets. This isn't New Rave, though, the synths adding to the guitar-fronted rhythms rather than being the be-all and end-all. If nothing else, at least this late in the game it's great to have a first album that isn't a complete waste or letdown. The Wedding Present's mark on John Peel session legend is well-established and was celebrated with a six disc box set in April. What's less well remembered is Cinerama, the band David Gedge formed as a side project to reflect his love of John Barry and his desire to move away from Weddoes guitar squall, did ten of their own between 1998 and 2003, collect on The Peel Sessions' three discs, all of which are also out seperately. Just as many gems, on a comparative count-up, lurk here, as well as covers of Yesterday Once More, All The Things She Said and Groovejet and on the latter sessions Wedding Present songs old (Spangle) and new (I'm From Further North Than You). The eccentric scratchy indie-funk of Cud has worn surprisingly well in parts, and with a one-off date at Summer Sundae festival on the way (inspired by Guy Garvey's pronouncement last year that there are "bad things going on in the world, and I don't mean Cud reforming"?) the big hit album Asquarius and concept debut When In Rome, Kill Me are summarily extended and reissued. A similar treatment awaits The Young Knives Are Dead, despite the band's disapproval of Shifty Disco's re-release of their raw 2002 mini-album debut. We never quite knew where we stood with the Lo-Fidelity Allstars - like Bis, their influence today may be far greater than anyone would have suspected at the time, but for most their best moment was their reworking of Pigeonhed's Battleflag. Best of Warming Up The Brain Farm attempts to act as judge and jury. And whose idea was a Platinum Collection of Suggs' solo material?