Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Echo Boomer – EP

A new EP from Oxford’s Echo Boomer and a drift in sound is apparent. The Circle is like Fyfe Dangerfield solo, with a particularly bouncy eighties beat. It’s studied and terribly over commercial, but there’s something rather cool about it. It’s also pretty retro, but still stands out from other retro stuff. Learning To Lie is odd. It’s very much eighties big music, all windswept and tortured, with a wailing guitar solo in the middle too. You Are is gorgeous widescreen turbulence, and something definitely influenced by Guillemots second album, in that the tracks that moved to more middle of the road, but with a quirky identity. It springs along, in a Bladerunner landscape, with an airy, ominous vocal. Finally Broken Bird is a slightly too sappy, a true middle of the road piece. It has its own charm however, its languid gait making you smile despite yourself.

The EP is self released and available from the band's myspace

Monday, 19 April 2010

Godzilla Black – Godzilla Black

After a bunch of EPs here is the first album from Godzilla Black. Opener Fear Of A Flat Planet has a juddering bass line pulsing through it, and funks like Funkadelic on an African holiday. It has mini breaks of respite while a heartbeat thuds and percussion tinkles, and then it tribally kicks back in with some voodoo sounds. Immense. The Bad Place is deranged and highly charged electro industrial funk. From Here To Clare is frenetic like a psychotic early B-52s, while Insect Day is some jittery fun, but not too noticeable. Burning Wires gets more experimental, being jabbering electro gabba, First Bite In is a neat Link Wray style instrumental and The Drought is a crazed metal, with added sax funked up near instrumental. The vocals that there are don’t add much. Sadly Imaresident is dull sludgecore and Amazing is just weird, mysterious rambling. Finally Enjoy Yourself is a ridiculous mess, the kind of thing that happens with too many bad drugs and some spare tape left in the studio.

Godzilla Black is available for streaming and as a free download here

Friday, 16 April 2010

David G Cox – David G Cox

David G Cox has a voice somewhere between Tom Waits and Stephen Meritt. The Serpent’s Tale is a dusky jazz odyssey told down a back alley, between the dumpsters. The choir of the dark side help out with some spiritual backing vocals. She Moves Through The Blue is even better, a kind off lounge lizard act, David’s slippery but gruff voice meanders through the music. Duet has a Greek slow quickstep beat, and a sultry duet vocal wise. Merry Go Round sounds like Cathal Coughlan on a slow boat to nowhere, which is rather good if you were wondering. Song 7 is Spider and the Fly spookiness, double bass and brushed drums, spooky hemmed in rockabilly. Forever And A Day is a twiddly folk thing with intertwining female vocals, coupled together so close and so warm. Please Don’t Cry could be the best thing here, a bare piano melody and a cracked voice, Mercury Rev type sadness. The Ballad Of the Yellow Moon is a sweet m/f tender folk ballad, while Bogart and Bacall is like Tim Burgess doing a Nick Cave murder ballad with seaside organ. When The Blue Sky Turned Red is an affecting little duet, more of David singing with ebbing and flowing female backing vocals, it twists and turns gently. House Of Cards is another jazzy, sleazed up thing, that turns all freestyle and a bit Ghost Town to complete the album.

The album is out now on Dreamtrak. David's myspace is here

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Blanche Hudson Weekend – The Rats In The Cellar EP

And neatly we move on from the last Manhattan Suicides final release, to the first from The Blanche Hudson Weekend, featuring Caroline and Darren from said band. It leads off with Grip Of Fear, a female vocalled and oh so cool song, all black leather trousers and pouting. It’s reminiscent of Some Candy Talking, mainly in attitude, but once or twice musically also. But that’s no bad thing as the band evidently have enough style and musical skill, not to mention enough of their own identity to pull it off. Sharks follows that and is rather slouchy, with it’s just got out of bed hair and demeanour, so achingly cool, but lovely too. Final track Only Snow takes the Sharks blueprint and improves on it somewhat. A fine EP for fans of the fuzz pop melodies.

The Rats In The Cellar EP is out now on Oddbox Records

The Blanche Hudson Weekend myspace is here

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Manhattan Love Suicides – Dandelion Session

The Manhattan Love Suicides ceased to be last summer, and their final recordings as part of a session for Dandelion Radio are now released on Odd Box. Everything is in place on amazing opener Misery City, which is a combination of high speed thrills channelling Mary Chain, Birdland and sixties Nuggets too. It’s derivative but highly authentic and heartfelt too. Even if it wasn’t, this is rock n roll at its best. An acoustic version of Veronica is like a spruced up and fresh faced version of the Velvets with Nico, while Never Far From You is a fuzz laden Talulah Gosh. Time Enough At Last slouches and fuzzes elegantly and an acoustic Things You’ve Never Done has a tender quality and the best singing on the album beautifully brought to the fore. I’m Not A Young Man Anymore reminds me of the primal beat of Altered Images Dead Pop Stars, done over by an even dark side. It drones on for a wonderful seven minutes. To complete this release there are also mono versions of all the tracks for those of you who prefer their sound that way.

Dandelion Session is out now on Oddbox Records

The Manhattan Love Suicides myspace is here

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Various – Home

Home is another compilation of new, unsigned bands and it’s available as a free download. There’s some interesting stuff contained within. The Big I Am’s track is rather lovely in a heartfelt and bucolic Del Amitri sounding way. Fair warms the cockles of the heart. Big Hands Big Hearts deliver a piece of bouncy twee electro fun, while My Little Pony’s Skipping Down the Street is as twee as it sounds, but its infectiously melodic and with a backbone. It‘s all very Welsh and loveable. Head Of Light Entertainment’s Lady Godiva’s Horse is playful and joyous, Snippet’s Man Without Mobile is offbeat quirk, a bit like the Voluntary Butler Scheme and If I Grow Old by Dan Whitehouse is like one of Just Jack’s more recent tunes, only less oddball. Beachy Head Music Club provide a sombre version of Carter USM, all sardonic vocals and English home truths. Sleep by Stealing Sheep is a sweet shoop shoop of a song that reminds me of Blue Roses. Bobby Wotnot is like Johnny Cash being channelled by a mellowed out Beck, while Wim Oudijk delivers something between Beefheart and an easy listening jazz odyssey. Richard O’Flynn falls somewhere between Damien Rice and Marc Bolan’s hippy folk days, so it’s difficult to decide whether I like this one. Overall though, there is some fine stuff and it’s certainly worth a listen.

Home is released by Rash Records and is available as a free download from their website

Monday, 12 April 2010

The Consulate General – Person Number

The Consulate General is one Alexander Chen, living in Gothenburg, but of Taiwanese-American extraction. Along with various musical guests they do indie pop with an electronic tinge, a genre which on the basis of the opening salvo is sweet enough, but doesn’t amount to a great deal. The tinkling ping pong ball instrumental that is Patricia Soriano manages to be much more special in only 45 seconds. 65 Or Older squeezes and hugs your soul and is based around a cheap keyboard demo mode and some eerie and childlike music. Liesa Lietke is a squelching squirming instrumental, while Lonesome Sunday is very good, sweet and spiritual, like a fine mellow Boo Radleys thing. We bypass a lot of ok tunes until Sweet Solano, which is understated loveliness. It’s like Flying Pickets updated with African drums and gentle strings. As so often these days, there’s a very good EP here, made into a mixed bag album.

Person Number is out now on Circle Into Square

The Consulate General website is here

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Here is the first product review on the site. The iHat, despite its name, is not an official Apple product and in fact retails for £13. It's ideal stocking filler material for when that time comes around. Basically it's a kind of skull cap looking affair, with headphones built inside, so your ears and head keep warm and you have an unsightly lead trailing from the back of your head, like you are some kind of robot. Being external rather than in ear headphones there is a lot of external noise coming through, which spoils your listening somewhat. Overall, it's a pretty nifty idea poorly executed. Someone could pick up this and run with it, producing something decent, but for now we have the iHat which is fun, cheap and not to be taken seriously.

Buy the iHat from Mobile Fun here

Jonsi – Go

The lead track on the first solo album from Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi is Go Do. In fact all three tracks from that single are included on this nine track album, so rather than bother you again explaining what they are like, I’ll direct you to my single review instead. The first new track is Animal Arithmetic, which whirrs round like fast rotating child’s windmill, then as things drop away here is Jonsi breathlessly, impatiently trying to make his point, repeatedly. As he finally does so, the music ebbs away beautifully. Tornado sounds more like the dead of winter, everything pristine and beautiful, but with a malevolent menace, waiting to spring into life and cause chaos at any minute. Swishes carry Jonsi’s voice over a sombre piano melody. Boy Lilikoi skitters away and Jonsi floats away on his train of thought. There’s a nice bit where the tunes ebbs away and pipish noises herald the tune back in, ushering its arrival. Sinking Friendships is angelic choral sounds, which explode into life midway through, before settling down again to caress the melodies with waves of sumptuous electronic sounds. Around Us is all waterfalls and fast flowing rivers. You can’t help but think of the harsh beauty of nature in Jonsi’s music. Finally Hengilas is dark and brooding, sumptuous and makes you want to cry. Beautiful stuff indeed.

Go is out now on Parlophone

Jonsi's website is here

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Momeraths – A Single Cup Of Tea EP

This is the second EP by The Momeraths, with one single in between. A Single Cup Of Tea has to be one of the most delicate songs of recent times, especially when its one that’s not overly twee. Cascading waterfalls of boy/girl vocals brim over a music box tune. The voices intertwine again on Millipede Stomps, clipped male vocals that are soulful like early Paul Heaton. It gathers speed in the bridge like something from Promenade era The Divine Comedy. The Boyfriend Song is a juddering twee boneshaker of a song, hurtling along gently at breakneck speed and finally The Photographer is a whirling cute jig.

A Single Cup Of Tea EP is self released on April 12th

The Momeraths myspace is here, where you can buy the single and download the title track for free.