None last month so loads this month:
Vice December Reviews
Life Half Over EP
9 Jesus, these guys are so old, fat and miserable that you almost feel sorry for them. Except that they just made the UK hardcore record of the year by about a gazillion miles. So you just end up being jealous of them instead.
House Of Brothers
Big Scary Monsters
7 How did someone who used to play in a really scary screamo band end up making something that sounds so quietly fragile that it might snap at any minute under the sheer weight of sleepy eyed, world weary wonder? I have no idea. Maybe it was a girl. That usually does the trick.
8 Does Chris Corsano ever sleep? One minute he’s banging on saucepans in your living room, then he’s improvising with Paul Flaherty, next he’s making concept CDR’s about cricket and before you know it he’s up onstage at Glastonbury playing drums for Bjork. On this one it all comes across like Sunburned with a Space Invaders obsession.
Neutral Milk Hotel
On Avery Island
10 When ‘In The Aeroplane Over The Sea’ got re-released last year a cartload of indier than thou guys like, erm, the fat one from Franz Ferdinand all clambered over each other to get on the cover-sticker to pretend that they had all been listening to Jeff Mangum for ages but had all been doing so on illicit bootleg tapes. Total crap. ‘In The Aeroplane’ had been widely available for years. It is this gem of a blueprint for that masterpiece that was hard to get hold of. My buddy Sal gave me a copy of it. He is a great guy. I wish I saw him more often.
Fear & Flouride
7 We covered these guys a while back and their live shows continue to either make people fall in love with them or hate them right off the bat. At last here comes a record. It does sound a lot like PIL with a really angry guy up front but that is no bad thing. Nice sleeve to boot.
What Are Friends For
8 In a just world this little band from Brighton who do a more than passable impression of Shudder To Think would be clutched close to the hearts of every lonely boy who sees themselves in a Nick Hornby novel. Instead they all cry themselves to sleep with Bat For Lashes. Sucks to be young in oh eight.
Sleight Of Heart
Full Time Hobby
8 Imagine if you were in a band like the Blue Nile and only put a record out every 5 years. The guys from Arab Strap would make you feel super lazy. Moffat’s everywhere and as well as doing a bunch of compilations and knocking out a genuinely funny Christmas single this is Middleton’s second solo LP of the year. Phew, just writing it all down makes me feel inadequate.
8 You know the cover of ‘Déjà Vu’ where its all sepia shots of the four them like they are hanging out with Jesse James and drinking moonshine out of the barrel of a shotgun while they ride horses around backwards on the run from a pack of Redskins? This is would make a great soundtrack to that imaginary film I just made up in my head. Someone should make that movie.
Shadows Of The Sun
666 Wow, the Wolves In The Throneroom Album was looking like a shoe-in for black metal album of the year but then this turned up. Everything about it is perfect: foggy, mystic organs, ghostly melodies and the fact that it sounds absolutely nothing like black metal. The purists will hate it but people who like music purely on the whether it is good or not basis will love it. It even sounds more like Current 93 than Current 93 do right now. Amazing.
The Helio Sequence
Keep Your Eyes Ahead
3 I liked it when Sub Pop released the Wolf Eyes record a while back. Not because it was a good record (they’ve done far better stuff, check out the ‘Egypt Skull’ CDR if you can find it) but because I liked the idea of someone buying it purely because it was on Sub Pop and then being totally bummed that they had just spent a tenner on screed noise. It’s kind of depressing that the label that released Earth 2 has become a bit like Eastenders: you really do know what you are gonna get and it’s gonna sound a lot like this.
Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
2 Skeleton guy from Deerhunter who photoblogs his own turds releases solo record. World fails to turn on axis. The title is pretty Godspeed eh? Whatever happened to those guys? Maybe they heard the new Stars Of The Lid and gave up.
The Social Registry
9 You know how in Jurrasic Park they make the dinosaurs out of ancient mosquitos crystalised in amber? If Richard Attenborough was ever going to do a ‘Planet: Bugs’ or whatever this would totally be the soundtrack to the crystalisation process.
10 I am not sure where Abaddon is but the Abaddon that Saviours are hanging out in sounds like a waaay different place to the Abaddon that Pinback were singing about in that ‘Summers In Abaddon’ record. The Pinback one was full of girls called Penelope, this one sounds like it is full of demons and splayed virgins and stuff. I prefer this one.
The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull
4 While everyone else was too busy watching how low Sunn could go Earth only did gone and become proper band. Ok so they are a bit of a slower version of a normal band but it’s a shame that it isn’t really all that interesting. Also: what’s with the hyper-literal cover at?
8 Someone told me that Comets On Fire have split up. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but if it is: no drama! Here comes Comets mark 2 with Ozzy on vocals to pick up psyche-sludge riffing baton.
Cutting Pink With Knives
8 I saw Cutting Pink With Knives years ago supporting Trencher in some sweaty pit somewhere. They were awful. The bass player had a wireless setup and was running around the crowd, semi-naked knocking people on the head while the rest of the guys on stage played pretty unnecessary synth-screamo. As a lesson to all bands out there (and like a big recorded two fingers up at me) Cutting Pink have somehow managed to get pretty great in the intervening period. Oh, and the cover is the best thing we’ve seen all month. Mainly ‘cos it was made by our pal Kate Moross who seems to be able to turn anything she touches in 27million carat gold. This the first release on her new record label, where does she find the time?