January Vice Reviews here:
The Notorious Hi Fi Killers
Which Side Are You On?
10 Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if The Sonics fed their guitars Kyuss steak sandwiches and Eyehategod bongwater all day just to see what would happen? Me too! Turns out the results have been hiding in South East London the whole time behind a silly name and a wall of Big Muff distortion pedals.
Giant Man, Giant Plan
10 If you impulse buy a horror film from the 99p bin at your local petrol station at 4am there is a high chance that it will contain a scene in which the main guy enters the house or hotel or wherever the scary killer is hanging out and a radio will be switching stations at random. That is always my favourite part. It’s ridiculous and I’ve seen it at least one million times but I still love it. This is a whole record of that moment. So I’ve been playing it a lot and waiting behind doors with my Freddie mask on lately.
1 I have no idea where the White Hinterlands are. Or what a Phylactery Factory is. It all sounds like it might be a big, eerie warehouse on some frost-bitten mining town’s outskirts where the sun only shines for three days a year. And that the factory owners daughter might be a trapped, porcelain skinned maiden who dreams of escaping into a land of swooping bats and fluttering, incandescent fairies. And then sings about it. Unfortunately thinking all of this up is far more exciting than what comes out of the CD player when you put the album inside.
Soiled Mattress & The Springs
Honk Honk Bonk
Upset The Rhythm
9 Everything about this album is fun. Not forced ‘lets all play musical chairs ‘cos it’s Dave’s birthday’ fun but huge ‘I’ve not had this much fun since I was 14’ grin fun. The weird Mathew Thurber artwork, the jittery sax bits, all of it. Fun, fun, fun! Sure they may have lifted their whole shtick wholesale from Captain Beefheart’s lunchbox while no one was looking but since when was that ever a bad thing?
Kill Rock Stars
3 I thought Jamie Lidell already had the whole ‘check it out I’m a nerdy white guy doing Prince with not a lot of help’ market covered? Regardless, calling your record “14kt Gold” is always going to make you sound like you should be the house band on an episode of My Super Sweet Sixteenth while the birthday girl cavorts in a diamond encrusted thong to your snakey hipped b-lines.
5 Am I missing something here? Have all the people who keep going on about Tropicalia and Afro Beat whenever these guys come up ever heard a Fela Kuti or Gilberto Gil record? Evidently not. Neither have these smug Manhattenites by the sound of things. Sounds more like the next Clap Your Hands Say Hey Look! It’s An Indie Band No Will Give A Shit About In 12 Months Time to me. Sure they have some nice tunes but so did the Van Pelt and they actually deserved to be remembered forever.
9 Another slab of muscular, metallic, Clevo-style punk from the best band in the world playing this style of hardcore not called Integrity. When they played our pub last year the kids were going so crazy we worried the ceiling downstairs was going to collapse. Again.
And So I Watch You From Afar
This Is Our Machine And Nothing Can Stop It
8 Imagine if Mogwai were from Belfast and grew some balls. Or, if Pelican still meant it. These guys would destroy the pedestrian post-rock love in that the Explosions In The Sky curated ATP looks all set to become. Except that they will never get invited because they are from the Republic Of Ireland. That and they’d play everyone else off stage.
7 From the pretty disturbing Japanese school girl getting skull-fucked by an octopus tentacle popsicle on the sleeve to the deranged yelps that go on inside, Comanechi remain one of London’s most unhinged arty, noise-rock party bands. Imagine how boring shows at Bardens would be without Akiko running around with her tits out scaring all the first year photography students.
Zero Life/Night Vision
8 If there was an anti-Ketamine that instead of collapsing into a heap of your own vomit and failing to communicate or move for twelve hours would make you spring up and become a multicoloured, all night dancing machine, like Chris Akabusi in a Timmy Mallet outfit, this would definitely be the soundtrack. Which unfortunately remains theoretical unless you have gone back in time and you are at the Hacienda in 1987.
7 I’d never heard of Midfield General up until about a week ago. Then it all went supernova. Posters all over the place, people talking about it in the pub, I’d turn on the little DAB radio my girlfriend got me for Christmas and yup, Midfield General is there doing a pretty great BBC Radio 6mix. Then the album lands on my desk and it turns out that it’s been Damian Harris, the main guy at Skint, buddy to Norman Cook and all round “nicest guy in music” all along. I guess I need to start paying more attention.