Everyone Is People
9 Usually whenever the word “stalwart” is used in a review you can just skip to the end and substitute it with “mediocre”. Lords however are stalwarts in the best way possible. Like hard touring, hard playing limpets they remain steadfast, clinging to the underbelly of the UK Beefheart/ZZ Top mining garage axis like hidden African blood diamonds. In fact they are about the only band mining that axis but they’re fucking great at it. And their drummer is called Elvis.
Wham Jam Thank You Mam
Rowans & The Crops Failed
The Beast Must Die
8 This may not hit the heady heights of Blue Mercedes’ mid-80’s synth-rape of the UK charts. In fact the only people who will ever hear it are probably the very same people who attended the bands record release party. Which was also doubled as the bands farewell gig. Regardless the great David Titlow’s band (or ex-band) strum up a folk rock storm that will, in it’s own way, be very much missed.
A Mirror, A Ghost
8 I first saw these guys supporting The Mules in the basement of the Troubadour years ago. Back then they were James from the Mules side project and played woozy alt-country that sounded like Uncle Tupelo on Vicodin. This is their second record on Oxford independent Organ Grinder and despite rising from the fug slightly the whole thing still sounds just the right side of a bunch of friends playing in the back room of a bar on any given Friday.
Before Twilight And After
7 This record is on Holy Terror. What else do you need to know? Metallic hardcore? Check. Furious solos that make your face feel like it’s about to fall off? Check. Vocals that sound like the singer needs a hefty Benelin prescription? Check check check.
The Final Chapter
9 Just when you’d almost forgotten about one of the best punk acts the UK has ever seen Violent Change handily re-issue all the bands obscure odds and ends to remind you just how good the only band to ever make it out of Durham to tour with Charles Bronson and Dropdead really were.
Jimmy Jam Jar
Jackie O Motherfucker
The Blood Of Life
4 Once upon a time it was harder than spotting a gilded platinum swan making love to a russet red English squirrel than get hold of a Jackie O Motherfucker record. This absent-minded, spaced out live noodling session is out on Fire which kind of takes the fun out of the whole thing.
One Little Indian
8 We reviewed one of Jesse’s records a few months back and this is a live album which is usually the record equivalent of an artist holding up a big “hi! I’ve run out of ideas” sign and shaking it for all it’s worth. But this is Jesse Malin and you just can’t fault someone who played in Heartattack and D Generation singing about when morning still comes twice a day or not at all despite easily being old enough to know better.
Je Suis Animal
Self Taught Magic From A Book
7 You know the bits of Yellow Submarine where it all goes like the paisley lining of one of Jimi Hendrix’s coats and everyone has spinning flowers for eyes? This is like that. But with keyboards.
2 When did the “if you are in the Strokes you have to be do a sub standard solo project” dictum get leaked? Did I miss the memo? Lets hope it’s fourth time lucky and Casablancas pulls an ace out of the hole.
Mick The Spanish
Keiren Hebden & Steve Reid
1 Ow, ow, ow, stop it. Enough already. My head hurts. You’re killing me with your sheer earnest musicality and drumtasticness. Minor improvement on the last Fridge trainwreck I guess.
Does You Inspire You
4 If we had a ‘Worst Title Of The Month’ this would be a shoe-in. Pukey proclamations aside this skips along in the same fashion that every band who went to art school and practices in a shared ‘space’ in Brooklyn seems to have dialed to skewed-pop perfection of late. If we’d woken up from an 18 month coma it might be a revelation but the latest transmission from planet YeaMGMTsayer fails to evoke much more than a “meh”.
North Sea Radio Orchestra
8 Hello band British Seapower wish they could be! These guys are like a latter day Incredible String Band mess of uniquely Anglican eccentricity. And woodwind. The North Sea Radio Orchestra play a rare show at St Martin in The Fields at the end of November which you should probably go to.
8 Bands from Surrey should play pleasant music that doesn’t distract from drinking real ale out of your regulars tankard clad in Barbour and wellies too much. It’s hardly surprising then that Diagonal got chased out of a pub in their native Farnborough for inflicting three songs of their Sleep meets Guru Guru stoner-psych to an unsuspecting audience over the course of 90 minutes. Farnborough’s loss is your gain.
New York Blood
9 It’s only fuckin’ Vinnie fuckin’ Stigma from straight outta New Yoik. The sleeve of Vinnie’s first ever solo record contains: a hand grenade, some .45 bullets, a knuckleduster, a pump action rifle and lots of blood. I think the message here is meant to go something like: “it’s tough on the streets kids but uncle Vinnie was in Agnostic Front and he’s tougher than all of yous guys put together”.
Parts & Labour
8 Why does everyone gets a massive boner whenever TV On The Radio come up? It’s like they are the only band around making knowing, innovative, challenging pop music. Guess what? Here’s another one.