Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beaty Heart - Seafood

Bands have got to have time to write and record albums, we appreciate, but it still feels like quite a while since we last heard from the visually-artistically inclined trio - sixteen months since their last track on STN, at any rate. That suggested album is out later in the year; firstly, available on limited edition cassette, almost of course, through Heart Throb Records' Bandcamp, is a drum circle of joy touched by a simmering Animal Collective with greater spacial awareness amid the sort of shuffling African hi-life influences that may hae been more de rigeur in London three or four years ago but in the right hands still work a percussively bouncy treat. Forthcoming dates of interest include Shacklewell Arms on March 1st, Southampton Joiners on the 8th, Notting Hill Arts Club on the 12th and a single launch at White Heat come April 9th.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Universal Disappointment Sponge - The Lost Art Of Steeplejacking

Describing themselves as 'postmodern artrock noise nonsense', which is about all the preparation you need, Universal Disappointment Sponge include Sim from Fashoda Crisis and have just put out a pay-what-you-want EP, Time To Surrender Puny Earthlings, all obtuse references (including a tribute song to Strange News From Another Star), slabs of attack guitar and thunderous, secretly scabrous songs liable to collapse in on themselves through the ruddy-faced effort at any moment. They have a tourette of Wales coming up - 30th March at Le Pub, Newport, then to Cardiff a day later for Gwdihw's fine looking Juxtaposed Micro-Fest.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Public Service Broadcasting - Signal 30

Ahead of a 46-date tour, alongside debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain, out May 6th, and followed by playing practically every festival in Britain, the non-Tennant duo PSB's Kraut-PIF expands into new horizons both ways, moving from The War Room EP's war propaganda staple into sampling American road safety films, chiefly the notoriously graphic 1959 video which is now public domain, while driving guitars and electronics towards shoegazing territory.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Department M - I'll Fax You An Apology

Department M is the new venture of Owen Brinley, formerly of Grammatics, whose ambitious sonic constructions are brought into a digital realm on this debut single, electronic patterns, shivers and jolts plus drum loops plumbing depths and cascading around Brinley's pure, haunted vocal.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday catchup: Hop Along/Balthazar/Police Squad

Hop Along - Young And Happy!

Newly signed to Big Scary Monsters, the Philadelphian trio are most immediately notable for Francis Quinlan's voice, rasping and straining at its upper limits but carrying tenderised emotion along within. Her obtusely personal connection is reflected somewhat in the stop-start crashing post-emo (original form) guitars, ragged along the edges but intense at molten core. Album Get Disowned is out April 8th.

Balthazar - Do Not Claim Them Anymore

An acoustic shuffle that threatens to turn into the BBC snooker theme, not that they'll know what that is as they're Belgian, their introspective lollop is bolstered by subtle flute and vague jazziness. They're currently touring with Local Natives ahead of the release of second album Rats on the 25th.

Police Squad - The Crew's Own

The Liverpool outfit follow an EP from last year with a single out March 18th that takes a rhythmically inclined staccato beat and shatters an art-rock frame around it, leaving jagged shards of post-punk guitar and stuttering funk bass all over the place, not often thoroughly coalescing but making up intriguing pieces of the whole.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Spotlight Kid - Budge Up

In this of all weeks the influence of glazed over early 90s shoegaze is absolute. Nottingham sextet Spotlight Kid's Shieldsian thrusts brought them some attention in mid-to-late 2011; this new single out in March deliberately slows down to create an eddying swarm of manicured noise, the Slowdive effect heightened by Katty Heath's ungraspable ethereality. Then that all turns back on itself, builds back up from base camp and soars right over the top into the biggest wave of sound.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Gun Outfit - Flyin' Low, Maria

We seem to have only mentioned Olympia, Washington's Gun Outfit once before on here and that in a list, but their bass-free SST-slacker sound has more often than not been pretty great. Let's sort that lack of promotion out with the first track from Hard Coming Down, their third album for PPM Records (Barr, Best Coast, Abe Vigoda) PPM is Dean Spunt of No Age's label and you see what he saw in this driving take on their kind of drilled-down lo-fi attack, intersecting dual guitars facing off. More streamlined than before, somewhere in the range of a more ragged around the edges Throwing Muses via, say, Sebadoh, the claimed folk influence is for once audible in Carrie Keith's impassioned, not unlike Patti Smith (or, ahem, Courtney Love) vocal.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Just Handshakes - London Bound

(We're British) suffix dropped, the first single from the impending debut album Say It mines that still weakly beating heart of post-punk, hi-hat frenzy and unstable bassline providing a jittery surface for the obtusely jangling guitar shards and Clara's quixotically sweet delivery, transplating either Swedish or early 90s indiepop influences into a dark northern back room before a dynamic (ideally) radio-ready chorus takes it into a different dimension. File next to the Popguns, Primitives or similar.

Elephant - Skyscraper

It's been a good fifteen months since we last heard from Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck, in which time they've split up (in both senses) and reformed (in at least one). An album is finally imminent, this first single, out 25th March, moving their electronic shading into a prominent background role behind a rewired girl group swoon, spidery guitar and blissed-out rhythm connecting dreampop to Dreamboats & Petticoats as multitracked backing vocals invoke doo-wop behind Rivas' heartaching coo. It's all rather lovely but intricately detailed in achieving such.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Android Angel - Her Shoulders

EXCLUSIVE! Following Chicago John comes a second offering from Paul Coltofeanu's low-key keyboard odd-pop outlet. The vibe this time is late night confessional, on surface less whimsical and more personal, apparently low budget in construction but delicately poised and loaded with charge in execution.