While the Hot Puppies single that would have firmly placed them up among the top of the UK female-fronted pack, the Blondie-does-Scary Monsters-esque King Of England, seems to have been cancelled (at least in over the counter terms, you can mail order it from their website) there's still plenty of interest, not least from Welsh compatriots Future Of The Left. We should warn you that we're going to come over all unnecessary about their album Curses, released on the 24th, but 7" Small Bones Small Bodies does far more than a good enough job at ferociously evil sludge-hardcore. They'll never cross over, but if we were to take over they'd be one of the most beloved band in Britain. In fact, Falco should be on the next series of Never Mind The Buzzcocks. He'd piss it. iLiKETRAiNS are about as likely as FotL to make the Album Chart Show, but The Deception does suggest a very slight flattening out of their post-rock dynamics. This is all relative, of course, it's still a chimingly doomed elegy from the point of view of Donald Crowhurst, the sort of subject they were bound to get round to covering eventually. Like their own compatriots CSS, you begin to wonder on news of the advertising-aided reissue of baile pop gem Solta O Frango whether Bonde Do Rolê have that much confidence in the rest of their material. SixNationState, thus far and for most of their forthcoming debut album exultant in party indie-dub thrills, explore their Coral side better than the Coral have for some time on We Could Be Happy. Remember when White Stripes singles, at whatever stage, were events? Like the song itself, You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told) just drifts by now.
A big week for the big shots, with the overplayed Kanye/Fiddy duel (who really believes 50 will retire?) taking top honours with KT Tunstall bringing up a shapely commercial rear. Over on the independent benches, having reneged on their Columbia tie-up to go back into Memphis Industries' friendly embrace (and Sub Pop in America), we find the block party fuzz pedal cheerleaders of your dreams, the Go! Team. If Proof Of Youth doesn't move that far away from the cut and paste signifiers of Thunder Lightning Strike it's because this world is so definitively their own, or rather Ian Parton's own, as while it may sound more like a band effort now he has five other people to call on during recording it still sounds like it's been mixed for large parts from a transistor radio signal. So for the most part - clever move putting My World, a pastoral folk youth education TV theme tune of yore fed through a laptop, third after the two singles - it's a mess of samples, guitars and raps, the disprite sample library beefed up both by Ninja and guests (Chuck D, Marina from Bonde Do Role, Solex, the none more Go! world-sounding Double Dutch Divas), and it sounds like the toughed up summer jam ellipsis to the first album's playful darkness. Gravenhurst have never been predictable, starting as Nick Talbot's psych-folk project before turning on last album Fires In Distant Buildings into a thing of controlled menace. The Western Lands sees he become they and things take another turn, inspired by the end of nu-gaze that values its Krautrock beats as much as its drones and effects pedals, although the ghost of Shields looms large. As a reminder of Gravenhurst things past, so does the perhaps more literal ghost of Sandy Denny, both in tribute, in core melody and in Fairport Convention cover. It might take its time to click, but the rewards are worthwhile. Animal Collective may be the type of band that fools reckon are just pop bands in waiting, but they have melodies and harmonies on Strawberry Jam. The sort that get hurled at a wall at disorientating speed of thought alongside every kaleidoscopic broken beat and odd sound they can think of, but the roots are there even if the garnish is gleefully poisonable. Chalk it up as 'not quite experimental crossover yet, like it matters". Whereas Animal Collective get lauded by the avant-garde artpop gentry, it's left to sites about jobs in regional journalism to laud Bearsuit, who pack Oh:Io with no less in the way of noise and frenzied instrumentation but prefer post-C86 proper indie to noisemaking. No such messthetics with Actress Hands, so much auxiliaries to the Brighton Scene that they even include a White brother, who join the list of Big Star-inspired luminaries on Boys Need Jazz. Siouxsie has divested herself of half of her stage name on, after all these years, solo debut Mantaray, coming across as a Weimar cabaret PJ Harvey. With the Sopranos steady income cut off Alabama 3 return to the acid-country grindstone on MOR. Finally, who feels ripped off that The Fall Box Set 1976-2007 features only 5 CDs? What it does contain is cherrypicked singles, B-sides, album tracks, live rarities (Hey! Marc Riley is one of twenty previously unreleased recordings) and all sorts of gubbins found down the back of Mark E's sofa.
And to complement that windfall comes The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Fall, written by Mick Middles, previously behind the only officially endorsed Fall book and now attempting a track by track analysis. Wouldn't a H P Lovecraft and Philip Dick anthology be quicker?