Friday, January 29, 2010

Black Tambourine

I like Black Tambourine as much as the next indiepop fan, just so long as that indiepop fan isn’t American and in a band! They’ve been the number one influence to drop for a generation of US indie bands, which points to their position as being the first American band to harness Mary Chain feedback, girl group pop sensibilities, simple punk guitar solos and a ramshackle DIY ethic.

Nothing about them in 1990 was that original to anyone who'd been paying attention to the UK indie underground of the previous five years, but they picked up the baton with a certain essence that still makes them sound pretty special today.

Slumberland are releasing a retrospective with four new songs on March 30. There’s an MP3 of For Ex-Lovers Only here and a tracklisting for the album here:
1. For Ex-Lovers Only
2. Black Car
3. Pack You Up
4. Can't Explain
5. I Was Wrong
6. Throw Aggi Off The Bridge
7. Drown
8. We Can't Be Friends
9. By Tomorrow
10. Pam's Tan
11. For Ex-Lovers Only
(First Demo)
12. Throw Aggi Off The Bridge
(First Demo)
13. Heartbeat
14. Lazy Heart
15. Tears of Joy
16. Dream Baby Dream

Friday, January 22, 2010

Erland & the Carnival - Trouble In Mind

Erland & the Carnival better last year’s excellent debut single, Was You Ever See, with Trouble In Mind, a whirligig of spellbinding psychedelic folk that rubs shoulders with Gorky’s bewitching Spanish Dance Troupe and Super Furry Animals’ captivating Northern Lights. Glory, surely, beckons.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Outdoor Miners

On their debut single, Twelve Hundred Dollars, Outdoor Miners have the raw explosive urgency of Wire – of course they do! – the helter skelter melodic mayhem of late 80s Dinosaur Jr and the snappy lo-fi of Guided By Voices. If it sounds like Our New Skin by the Edsel Auctioneer, then that’s a happy accident.

The b-sides on this Canadian band’s 7” are no less assured: Keep Me Warm proves the lead track is no fluke, while Turn You Into Glue is the song Stephen Malkmus forgot to write for Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Free gig at the Hangover Lounge this Sunday

The Middle Ones launch their debut single!
Sam Forrest from Nine Black Alps promotes his solo record!
Oh, Atoms will do anything for a bit of cash and some booze!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Mountain Movers - The Day Calls Out For You

For their third album, The Day Calls Out For You, The Mountain Movers have stripped it right down. The sun-kissed pop and horn-driven soul of debut album We’ve Walked In Hell has been shown the door to reveal a bare-boned band that’s taken the ragged narcotic haze of their second outing, Let’s Open Up The Chest, and made it rougher, hazier and looser. And, yes, this time round The Mountain Movers have hit the bullseye again.

Campfire country and semi-conscious psychedelia swap notes with the same deceptively drowsy drawl of Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and the sweetest slacker rock is fired by the sort of compulsive noise that J Mascis makes at the top of his game.

Recorded pretty much live to two-inch tape, The Day Calls Out For You has the rarefied air of an album that’s been excitedly uncovered by collectors after decades of obscurity. If you played it to those collectors, they’d be likely to believe it was such an artefact. With only 270 copies made, it’ll be changing hands for serious money among future collectors. And it’ll be worth every penny. Get yours today.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sourpatch - Crushin'

Sourpatch’s debut album, Crushin’, tears through the emotions from falling in love to breaking up. There really isn’t the time for anything more given the breakneck speed with which they dispense their infectious punk pop noise. It’s simple and it’s catchy and it’s adorable and it works.

I – and many others – have previously noted a similarity with Small Factory, but a friend’s comment in the pub the other week that Small Factory were much better live than on record had me revisit that opinion. For those of us who had the pleasure of seeing Small Factory live, their records benefit from the memory of their captivating gigs.

I’m not disputing the wonder of singles like Suggestions or What To Want, but Small Factory never ran wide-eyed and breathlessly through an album with such joie de vivre as Sourpatch do on Crushin’. This is a knock-out record with the pop hit of Heavenly Vs Satan and the thrill-a-minute of the All Girl Summer Fun Band at their tempestuous best.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lost Soul: Jackie Montre-el

If I made money from it or created new records from it, it’d be called crate-digging. As it stands, let’s call it by its real name: a typical Saturday afternoon. On one of these recent outings, a single by Jackie Montre-el turned up. Anyone familiar with her Doomed By Jealousy on Pure Soul, quite possibly the best Kent compilation of them all, would have felt their pulse quicken.

The a-side, Love Me Or Leave Me Alone, is an unspectacular r&b wail BUT flip it over and every Southern Soul essential – pace, drama, hurt, countrified guitar and subtly persuasive horns– is in the right place on What Do You Want From My Life.

It cost £1, thanks for asking.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Joe Pernice solo gigs

I've seen Joe Pernice, in whatever band he was touting at the time, live many times over the years and enjoyed each gig. It's been a while since the last one and given that the gross cost of a ticket is almost twenty notes for the London show, it'll be a while until I see him again. Seriously, touring acts, don't use seetickets. Their mark-up takes the piss.

Tuesday, Jan. 26
The Union Chapel, Islington, London

Unless Mr Pernice is careful, he's only going to sell tickets to long-term fans; the ticket price suggests the thinking might be 'the audience is the same as before, only they're older and wealthier now'. It's often those with most money (those high-powered jobs take their toll, you know) who lose interest in going to gigs. Especially on a Tuesday night.

Tickets are cheaper for the two other dates (no seetickets interference and, of course, held in towns where the streets aren't paved with gold...).

Wednesday, Jan. 27
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Scotland

Thursday, Jan. 28
Academy 3, Manchester, UK

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Headache City

Headache City's second album, We Can’t Have Anything Nice, snuck out quietly late last year but makes just as much noise as their self-titled debut from 2006. The turbo-charged speed might be a nod to their Chicago hometown's hardcore history, but the furious thrash and gleeful guitar solos point to a stronger affiliation with both the New York Dolls’ debauched glamour and the original spirit of 76.

Stand By My Side is all ramalama rock’n’roll and handclaps; and if the refrain to Down The Drain (“just watch our lives wash down the drain/we live our lives like we’re insane”) seems well-worn, you can’t help but smile at its panache and the conviction of its delivery.

Unlike their eponymous debut, which was enriched by two songs (Suicide Summer and Wax Pedigree) a cut above the rest, there’s no stand-out classic on We Can’t Have Anything Nice. This makes the album a more even affair and a fraction stronger for it, too.

Interested purchasers have got one option.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dum Dum Girls single, album and UK tour

Dum Dum Girls' new single Jail La La is out on February 15, inevitably and rather wondrously revealing absolutely no musical progression whatsoever. The debut album, I Will Be, follows on March 29, which will undoubtedly be more of the same. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to mix it.

There’s a UK tour next month, although at the moment “UK” means “London”, but more dates may be added:
25-Feb London Bardens Boudoir
26-Feb London White Light @ Lexington
27-Feb London The Rest Is Noise
02-Mar London White Heat @ Madam JoJos

Anyway, the press release is here:
Released on February 15th via Sub Pop Records (SP869) ‘Jail La La’ is the first, and rather fine blissed-out pop 7” single taken from the Dum Dum Girls debut album, I Will Be (Sub Pop, March 29th). The single will be backed with ‘Play With Fire’ a track which is exclusive to this release and does not appear on the album.

Featured as the #1 best band at 2009’s CMJ festival, Dum Dum Girls have confirmed their FIRST UK shows in February for a series of dates across the capital.

Having released an EP on Captured Tracks, a 7-inch on Hozac and a CD EP on Zoo Music, the Dum Dum Girls churn out blissful pop that falls somewhere between The Ramones and the Ronettes. Which, in our opinion, is a very good thing.

Produced by Dee Dee and Richard Gottehrer (Strangeloves, Voidoids, Blondie, The Go-Gos and, more recently, The Raveonettes), I Will Be is neither lo-fi nor too polished. Just eleven songs in under thirty minutes -- it’s a short tribute to love, fun and the classic pop form of the ’60’s girl groups and early punk rockers.

I Will Be Tracklisting
1. It Only Takes One Night
2. Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout
3. Oh Mein M
4. Jail La La
5. Rest of Our Lives
6. Yours Alone
7. Blank Girl
8. I Will Be
9. Lines Her Eyes
10. Everybody’s Out
11. Baby Don’t Go