Isn't it supposed to be albums that dry up in the last couple of months of the year? Actually that's not quite fair as there's some decent stuff out this month, but bar an Animal Collective Fireworks 10", and that's more out of expediency than artistic merit, we can find nothing that we'd feel safe in recommending to you this week. Luckily what we can talk about are...
...or mini-albums, if you prefer. The first one's got eight tracks in 31 minutes, so how would you class it? This is also probably something Pagan Wanderer Lu sweated over at some stage, we're sure. Perfection RIP is his doing a reverse Radiohead, in that having released quite a few releases on what we'll call analogue download (YouSendIt and so forth) since last year's Independent Scrutineer EP he's expecting you to go to a shop, or an online shop, or a download service, and pay for it. It, as per usual, being lo-fi electronica plus socio-political sarkiness plus far too many ideas to comfortably fit into any easy classification. Regarding the latter you'd say much the same, on a grander scale, for Grizzly Bear. Ten tracker Friend isn't for the curious newcomer, being as it is alternate versions of songs from their two albums plus a couple of covers, including their live favourite version of He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss) and covers by CSS, Band Of Horses and Deerhunter spinoff Atlas Sound.
You'd be surprised how wildly Misty's Big Adventure split opinion. Well, no you wouldn't in truth, given if the upbeat cabaret with jazz and ska undertones doesn't get you the sight of Erotic Volvo will, but you rarely see a review or blogger that doesn't settle for either fervency or revulsion. If you're in the former category, you need to know that after transferring across labels with every release they've settled for their own Grumpy Fun imprint for Funny Times, a third selection of Grandmaster Gareth's wistful wryness to oddpop. Darren Hayman has long put records out under his own auspices, and literally under his own name, being Darren Hayman Records. It's been mostly Hefner rarities and reissues to date but there's been a steady flow of solo EPs too, which made it seem surprising to us that The Secondary Modern, named after his own country/bluegrass-ified backing band, is only his second full-length. Hayman, obviously, remains David Gedge's spiritual heir as bedroom love poet to the indie kid set. You wouldn't imagine the first thing that would come to mind of members of the Archie Bronson Outfit discussing a side project is raw blues-inspired garage - they could just make another album if that's the case - but Sam Windett and Mark Cleveland's The Pyramids's self-titled debut does indeed somehow wring even more direct intensity out. New Zealand duo the Brunettes' not entirely seriously minded carefully constructed Spectorish Shins-pop has been running for nine years but they've only just landed a wider deal with Sub Pop for Structure And Cosmetics. Ben Nicholls doesn't like making things easy for himself. Not only does he simultaneously operate guitar, bass drum, hi-hat, Vox organ and bass pedals, he's called his one-man operation Dennis Hopper Choppers. That's Dennis Hopper Choppers. Luckily Chop turns out to be accomplished murder rockabilly. Long Blondes fans, look this way for Glasgow scene glitter kids The Royal We, whose debut is also their farewell release, having already played their last gig before their singer returns to LA. In reissue news, it takes a brave marketer to squeeze out two CDs representative of Can's massively influential entire career but Anthology just about manages it, while the Slits' second, less mud-featuring 1981 album Return Of The Giant Slits gets remastered for all it's worth.
It's often been the quick way out to describe Sigur Ros' glacial magnificence as instructive of their extraordinary Icelandic surroundings. Heima puts that to the test, as the band are filmed performing in caves, follies, hillsides, abandoned buildings and community halls on a summer tour that's like no guerilla gig you'll ever have seen.
The Replacements should have been the breakout band from the early 80s underground, the youthful Minneapolis rock'n'rollers emerging in 1981 and producing a number of cult albums before it all fell apart. Sabotaged by their own actions, to be precise, as oral history All Over But The Shouting by Jim Walsh charts twelve years of drunkenness, FM rock and pressures of major label success.