Thursday, 31 December 2009

Domes Of Silence – Temple Of The Wasp

Domes Of Silence issue the first new material since their debut album Mescaline, with this new single. Singer Sean has one of those really strident vocal styles, like Julian Cope. Temple Of The Wasp sees his vocals lighter; yet still sinister while the music is fuzzy and wild like the Stooges. There are odd breaks while he appears to stalk his prey and a twiddly guitar bit that doesn’t quite fit, but there’s something wonderfully mid eighties, grebo and sleaze rock about it all. Live fave Bad Wisdom is even better, like the above but more straight forward. And it sounds like it was recorded on motorbikes.

Temple Of The Wasp is out now on all the usual download sites.

Domes Of Silence myspace is here

Bunnygrunt – Matt Harnish & Other Delights

This is the third Bunnygrunt album, and the first since their reunion (turns out this isn't quite right, see post comments. Bloody unreliable internet info!). The Limits Of Southern Hospitality is Juliana Hatfield fronting the Lemonheads, a boisterous pop classic. Shotgun rocks like a female led power pop group, 1000% Not Creepy is a 100 miles an hour surf pop tune, fizzing effortlessly along and S. Kingshighway Bubblegum Factory is Status Quo forced through a Redd Kross makeover machine. The rest of the album buzzes past in a delighted slacker power pop fashion. Here’s a band that make good record, but probably make even more sense live.

Matt Harnish & Other Delights is out now on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

Bunnygrunt myspace is here

Afternoon Naps – Parade

As evidenced by the first couple of songs, Cleveland’s Afternoon Naps are perfectly sweet kids you could take home to meet your parents. The Day We Started is high pitched shrill vocals, delicate melodies and instrumental breaks where all the instruments sound like kazoos. Mitten Fingers is Gorgeous George era Edwyn Collins, highly enunciated vocals and clipped guitars, while Seasons May Change is like Colin Clary and his melodic twee. The Fall Companion is classily crafted indie pop and Catholic School is its female vocalised counterpart. Discoverse and Bubblegum 45 are mildly unassuming gems, while Digitally Altered Sunset is a lovely mellow way to finish this, their second album.

Parade is out now on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

Afternoon Naps myspace is here

Monday, 21 December 2009

The Lovely Eggs – If You Were Fruit (US)

I previously reviewed the UK version of this album here, but the US version comes with bonus tracks. These include Jon Carling, which is a mini biography of the artist, I Collect Snails, a lo fi combating male/female vocalled list song and I Want To Be In Your Fire, a petulant school girl thrash. Oh Weird Heart completes things, living in a David Lynch world while a bicycle wheel spins in the background. Basically you should own a copy of this album, and either release will do, although this is obviously the one for completists.

If You Were Fruit is out now on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

The Lovely Eggs myspace is here

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Brilliant Colors – Introducing

The debut album by Brilliant Colors, a female trio from the States, starts with some cute girlie indie pop, like the Shop Assistants minus the bite. Absolutely Anything has a bit more spunk to it, stropping about the dancefloor like a petulant kid. English Cities is Banshees lite, while You Say You Want is much less frenetic, and better for it, an exercise in studied cool. Over There is much better, early Weddoes clashing with Talulah Gosh. Mythic is rather splendid jabber pop, while Short Sleeves At Night and Motherland are punk girls on the riot. Overall, it’s a decent album, fun and pretty brief.

Introducing is out now on Slumberland Records

Brilliant Colors myspace is here

Saturday, 12 December 2009

musicforvoyeurs – musicforvoyeurs

And this is the second album masterminded by Rick Senley. It leads off with a broken phone call, discordant piano and fuzzed guitar, to make a suitably dramatic and odd opening to the album. Getting A Good Time is all Red Indian chants and sleazy trip hop wheezes. Shards of electric and sheet metal fly with Twins, shimmering in the darkness, while This Life Isn’t Really For Me is a jaggedy guitar line. The End is tinkling piano that finishes abruptly, Breakfast For Wine tinkles innocently, then more psychotically when shards of guitar jab in and Travelodge Love is a lost tune, a husky spoken word and the sign of hard times. Who I Am is a noodling sketchy piece, until it is transformed by some spoken word from the ether. Minsk is a delightful maudlin, moody piano piece and The View From Up Here Is Terrible goes from nondescript instrumental to disorienting far eastern piece with the music wobbling all over the place. To close Drink The Miracle Water opens with stabbing proto synths and burbles along in a menacing way before being interrupted by the inspirational vocal sample. That Rick wrote this album on morphine and crutches after coming out of hospital tells you a lot about how it turned out this way. If only more people would take inspiration from the bad times to produce work as interesting and good as this.

musicforvoyeurs is out now and available from the musicforvoyeurs website

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan - I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan

This is the first of two albums sent to me by Rick Senley, the man who is, amongst other things, I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan. I Like Your Mouth starts the album, a harsh house tune with a scientific/industrial twist. The Happiest Smile Of The Year is a wobbly beast and disorienting enough to induce my daughter to be sick at the climax. Get Off, I Will Kill You locks into a chuggy electro groove, while How Many Days Have We Lost? cuts through with swathes of shimmering electronic sheen, vaguely reminiscent of Pale Saints version of Kinky Love. A Nightclub sounds more like a maudlin walk in a desolate seaside town, Growl and Homage both provide minimal disturbances and Ignorance Is No Defence is a runaway car careering out of control before coming to rest peacefully in an urban wasteland. The jabbering techno beats at the end suggest demise so brutal. As we approach the end we get F, which is a dustbowl country electro instrumental and The True Horrors Of Hell, a swirling instrumental that is just as its title says. I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan is a fine album of weirdness and best listened to alone at night.

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan is out now and available from the I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan website

Monday, 7 December 2009

Pants Yell! – Received Pronunciation

The fourth Pants Yell! Album is all over in 9 songs and 26 minutes, but things this succinct and sweet don’t need to hang around before the worm their way into your brain and heart. Proceedings start with the languid Frank and Sandy, a slacker anthem for the indie pop set. Rue de la Paix is a gorgeous melody, the Go Betweens without the heartbreak and with eternal optimism, while Cold Hands recalls the Lemonheads at their most effervescent and poppy. Got To Stop jabbers and jerks its way to cool, Someone Loves You yodels its way through a rollicking decent tune and Marble Staircase sounds like a wonky salute to heroics. To Take rounds things off a cracking pop album in a Ben Kweller fashion.

Received Pronunciation is out now on Slumberland Records

Pants Yell! myspace is here

Friday, 4 December 2009

Ray Rumours – Le Pont Suspendu

Le Pont Suspendu is the second album from Ray Rumours, who are Ros Murray with various friends. Lead track Chausseurs is a jaunty bubbling little thing, sounding like its being projected from an old gramophone. It positively pulses with a sepia tint, in a wonderfully beautiful way. Meaningless Words is a delightful left field indie popper, with a little more backbone, a touch of class and a marvellous melody. The Turtle is a ukulele shuffling distant cousin of Herman Dune, while Berlin To Poznan is a cool church youth group. Snowman is a charming and twee circular banjo melody, Puddles And Rain a shimmy and shake in yr cute flowery dress and hiding behind a bowl haircut, while October is a marvellous meandering instrumental, like a gently flowing stream in the woods. Finally you get some more slight, twee pop songs to round off a splendid album.

Le Pont Suspendu is out now on Stitch-Stitch

Ray Rumours myspace is here

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Very Most – Winter EP

And hot on the heels of the Autumn EP review, here’s the Winter one. Away In A Manger is cutely reimagined with ukulele and sleigh bells but somehow sounds less twee and more like Herman Dune. Splendid stuff. It’s The Best Thing reminds me of the Flaming Lips at their most angelic, spectral and beautiful. It’s a divine thing that shimmers incandescently. Finally, When Does The Goodwill Start? echoes the previous track musically, with a touch of sweet Beach Boys thrown in for good measure.

The Very Most myspace is here

Winter EP is out now on Indiecater Records

The Very Most – Autumn

Bit late on this one, but this was the third instalment in The Very Most’s seasons series this year. When Summer Finally Dies is breezy and cheery, the polar opposite of the season it’s representing. Maybe it’s the sound of someone happy to embrace the incoming nights and kick their way through the fallen leaves. It sounds like Teenage Fanclub have kidnapped the Star Wars cantina band and gone to duet with them in Hawaii. Following that Sweater is blissfully melancholic Beach Boys with a classy robot kazoo break while Autumn Air is a brief foray into chiming pop.

The Very Most myspace is here

Autumn is out now on Indiecater Records