Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Allo Darlin' - Kings And Queens

The WIAIWYA 7777777 singles club comes to a big climax on 7th December with three new tracks from our Antipodean expat rulers of uke-pop, apparently responsible for Rough Trade's biggest selling album of the year. The advance track is lyrically along the same lines as Europe, Elizabeth comparing as parallels the elation of new love and the joy of being on stage. Maybe the big showy guitar solo through a fuzz pedal is a new direction but for the time being they're within their world of tentative susnhine optimism and that's a good thing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Heavy Petting Zoo - Hunger

HPZ's Deathproof was on Doesn't Your Balloon Ever Land?; the new demo from Swansea's most malicious is if anything even creepier, slithering basslines and quasi-gothic riffs bringing a low slung garage blues churn to the boil, Amy Zachariah's vocals menacing rather than howling. They have two Cardiff gigs coming up next month, Gwdihw on the 20th and Buffalo on the 27th, with a home game at the perfect match named Sin City on the 21st. Also, while we haven't mentioned this before, they have a dancer! I know what you're thinking, but if it was good enough for Rocket From The Crypt and the Blue Aeroplanes...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chapter 24 - Concentrate/I Was My Friend

Chapter 24 have just gone on a break, though given the blog post with which they announced it bid "a thank you for all your support and all the rad times we had with you" it seems likely to be more permanent then that. In any case their UFO-warped Raincoats/bIG fLAME centrifugal thrash is being seen into hiatus by two newly recorded tracks totalling only just over two and a half minutes, both paying no accord to anything but their own discordant spiral to hell.

Guided By Voices - She Lives In An Airport

We always knew Robert Pollard was prolific, but putting the most celebrated Guided By Voices lineup back together and then recording three albums in a year, with a fourth promised for next spring, is on an entirely different level. Such quality control means the first two haven't been all they could have been by some yardstick, but this preview from The Bears For Lunch, out 12th November, could have come straight from Alien Lanes, which given GBV were hardly breaking through barriers with every release first time round is some yardstick. Yes, it probably does end like that on the proper release too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Classic Education - Little Red Riding Hood

A pleasing filler 7" out now from the people behind the sixteenth best album of last year, a faithful-ish garagey cover of Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, with Elvis' Crawfish covered on the flip.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wake The President - Bill Drummond

The latest deceptively troubled missive from the Sandbergs, out on a split 7" on the 29th, dips as before into another era of Scottish jangle pop and inject it with a metaphysical unsureity hinting at menace. Apparently based on a homoerotic fantasy about the erstwhile King Boy D, the video sees Erik pay tribute to Drummond's most fabled doing by wandering round the island of Jura, asking questions but not actually burning anything.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Johnny Foreigner - 3 Hearts

So after a Twitter gag relating to comeback tours which has led to Alexei being asked to this day whether they're about to break up or what, JoFo are putting out a new EP next week by the name of NAMES (all capitals, we're all assured) The new four-strong lineup has been putting on some incendiary shows of late and this first taster melds usual tropes - tappy solo, Kelly as understanding yang to Lex's existential yin, talky bit, false ending - to a invigorating set of joyous mortar explosions of guitar and divebombing everybody-emo-shouty-together peaks. Labelled 'Weezercore', intriguingly. If you're British you can preorder it from Alcopop, and as it's an Alcopop release it's nothing as dull as a physical format, instead alongside a set of badges.

Monday, October 15, 2012

T.O.Y.S - Make Luv/The Blanche Hudson Weekend - Consume Me

Two forthcoming releases on Odd Box, an indiepop label with a go-to high batting average of noisy lo-fi charge. T.O.Y.S. you should know from Doesn't Your Balloon Ever Land? - in fact the track they contributed to that was an exclusive from this EP, the cunningly titled EP2 - and the other five tracks here are equally adept at crossbreeding Neu! droning charge and freaked out garage fuzz to enthralling ends.

The Blanche Hudson Weekend, who like T.O.Y.S are part of the Manhattan Love Suicides diaspora, are meanwhile releasing Deep Thrust EP, which slightly confusingly is being advertised as a single from a forthcoming album and two B-sides. Their J&MC feedback quotient has been toned down to reveal the dark hearted core, something that'd fit in with the more widely lauded nouveau likes of Pins in its command of quasi-confrontational, Raincoats inflected post-punk whirling with a Primitives/Darling Buds-like pop desire somewhere underneath which eventually impacts and lets the bloody mindedness run free.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Naked On Drugs - Death Dance

Apart from there being two of them and being based in Manchester there's not the greatest amount of detail on these (not least as they also seem to be trading as just Naked), which would seem to be the way they like it. You do imagine they bonded more over the Burroughs/Ginsberg/Kerouac axis than music from the creeping, sliding, slithering methodology behind their guttural blues in a seedy jazz club, quite early Bad Seeds reaching back to the likes of the Flaming Stars or the almost melodic core behind latter Royax Trux, while simultaneously basing itself around a clarinet solo. An EP is out next week.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Ralegh Long - The Gift

Here's an STN exclusive, the video (directed by Sophie Di Martino) to the title track from Long's newly released second EP, available via Bandcamp; a sighing, conflicted piano ballad to be filed next to Darren Hayman's Ship's Piano. In Long's own words:

"In the last year I really began to explore the craft of writing on the piano. It makes for different songs. At the same time I started hearing things differently, listening to artists like John Howard, and Bill Fay, and feeling different about the place of sentimentality in music. I wrote about this here. Without realising it, I’d carried with me an opposition of honesty and sentimentality. For this record I dropped that opposition. I’m interested in how you can be vulnerable and direct in music without descending into trite statements. To that end it’s a very naked record. Although the writing is heavily crafted, it was mostly recorded live in single takes."

Follow Ralegh on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Calories - Summer's Not

Birmingham's Calories have spent years now in a state of 'just about and around' but have never lost the ability to crush all in their path into small fragments when they so desire. With a reconstituted lineup now including Dominique James ex of Sunset Cinema Club and currently Johnny Foreigner's regular producer, this cut not destined for their forthcoming third album coasts on a big fuzzy riff and a one line shoutalong chorus, punchy and having to dearly hang onto its own coattails.

Pale Lights - Boy Of Your Dreams

It's been far too long (about two weeks) since the last proper indiepop on here. So let's have some now. Pale Lights are based in New York and are led by a former member of Comet Gain (admittedly this encompasses about 12% of the world's population by now) who was later in Velocette and Kicker. As for Pale Lights, they come right from the chiming, quietly despondent school inhabited by the Go-Betweens, the less outre bits of Felt, Aztec Camera without the studio shine and early Orange Juice. They have a self-titled 7" EP out now on Calico Cat.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Cheatahs - The Swan

New Wichita signings and forthcoming Cribs tour support, Cheatahs are a little bit Hold Steady classic rock riff style reappropriation, a little bit lo-fi fuzz rush (they have connections with Male Bonding and Weird Dreams) and a little bit early 90s college rock of a Superchunk/Drop Nineteens stripe. Oh, and a lot whole forceful hook-laden and driving.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Totem Terrors - Unkind

We've been following Cardiff duo Totem Terrors for a while in a couple of forms and this might be the most alert they've sounded, if you discount the nonchalance of the vocals. The sinuous, constant riff against the insistent chanting and sudden breakdown where a lesser band might have placed a chorus, recalling a more legible Pere Ubu circa Dub Housing, brings a new vitality to the whole wiry (and Wire-y) post-punk 'thing'.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Fashoda Crisis - Horatio

Our favourite Essex inexplicable art-hardcore trio have a new EP, The Jowls of Justice, out 26th November. From there, a trackabout the fun adventures of a man and his fantasy pony. Sort of.

Cats:For:Peru - Three Brothers

Sheffield's C:F:P are supporting This Many Boyfriends at the next STN Presents... show (Tuesday 16th October, Leicester Firebug) so with a new single out today it'd be churlish to ignore them. Having pinged from post-Arcade Fire grandiosity to lively indiepop they've now taken a turn for the Yeasayer, a deceptively complex electropop melange which kicks in with a glam beat approximation from a buzzing synth before heading into intricate layers of driving keyboards, chiming guitar lines and stuttering, sleek rhythm lines as much for the feet as the head.