9 You know in Jurassic Park how they make the beasts from the DNA found in the dinosaur blood sucked up by mosquito’s who’d been crystalised in amber for millions of years? Ali Roberts was probably made in a similar way. Except in his case they extracted some ancient Celtic minstrel’s DNA and perfectly re-created him for the heartless consumption of an uncaring 21st century audience. His boundless talent seems sadly squandered on you all. What a waste.
10 When I was about 17 I read that Howard Marks book Mr Nice. I’m not proud of it. I was 17. It was what you did. Even then the guy’s cod philosophy and self serving morality made me want to sick up in my mouth but one thing did strike me about Marks: he always used to check into hotels under the name ‘Waylon Jennings’. Anyone who name checked the original country outlaw must have had at least a few ok-guy fibres rattling around his bones. Anyway, Waylon might have dodged death by trading his seat with the Big Bopper on ‘the day the music died’ but it got him in the end. Here are his last few tunes. I miss him every day.
Suck & Swallow
8 You aren’t likely to see the Hard Ons selling car insurance or butter anytime soon. In fact, if you live in Kettering you’ll be able to see them play the Sawyers next month. However, I defy you to show me a band that has played melodic punk so well and so hard for so long. Here we find Australia’s greatest punk export tidied up into 25 handy morsels to represent their 25 years. Thanks Boss Tuneage!
The Flowers Of Hell
Come Hell Or High Water
7 Wow, this is like that Guitar Loops record J. Spaceman put out a while back played by the band they get going on the Last Night Of The Proms. In a good way. There has to be at least thirty people playing on this album. Must be a ripe smelling tour bus.
8 This one is really going to piss off the chin-stroke guys who stand on the front row of shows at The Red Rose muttering things like “intriguing” and “what great use of mid range” at incomprehensible walls of sound ‘cos guess what? Magik Markers only went and wrote some tunes. Ones you can hum along to and everything. Pop: 1, beard scratch: 0.
Take My Breath Away
8 Despite naming his record after the theme tune from Top Gun Mr Boratto manages to improve upon the promise of his superb debut and offers a refined set that may initially seem restrained but after a few plays suggests you really are hearing the whole 11 working at full tilt. Hardly dancefloor fodder but all the more spectacular for it.
The Unknown Folder
8 Woah. Hold on a minute there. What just happened? I’ve tried listening to this several times now and I’m still not sure. But something about it is relentlessly exciting. If I was 16 these guys would be my Lightning Bolt.
Loren Connors & Jim O’Rourke
Two Nice Catholic Boys
Family Vine Yard
9 From blissed out, fuzzy feedback to atonal, bluesy dirge in the split of an eye and back again. Three tracks in 45 minutes and not a bum second amongst them. Does O’Rourke ever not be anything other than absolutely perfect?
Hymn To The Immortal Wind
2 For a long stretch there Mono got away with being a slightly boring version of Explosions In The Sky that people claimed to like because they had scary song titles. Now that it’s finally OK to say that Explosions suck Mono are just well, boring.
0 You can dress a turd up in as many Lou Reed solo records and Red Crayola B Sides as you like but it will still be a turd.
Mick The Spanish
Alaska In Winter
1 Ouch. What is this? It sounds like a keytar wearing a Von Dutch cap having an epileptic seizure. This kind of made me want to pull my eardrums out with a bent paper clip and then just read forever in a log cabin in the Cotswolds.
2 Every time I see Geoff Travis’s son around he seems like a happy go lucky guy. Not a care in the world. Has anyone told him his dad is frittering his inheritence away on this? I know it has been a few years since their last one and I am all for loyalty but you have to draw the line somewhere.
Birds Of Delay/Family Battlesnake
8 They may well be minor national treasures but that isn’t going to stop the Birds of Delay droning on nihilistically across one side of this 7” while Family Battlesnake takes it down a notch on the other. If you like white, round things that are made out of a substance you can touch then this might just be the release of the month for you.
Cosy Fan Tutti Frutti
Ploughing Furrows Into Rotten Burrows
10 If you don’t know who Mark Durgan is and you claim noise then go home. Durgan has been terrifying people as Putrefier via bilious missives on his Birthbiter label for the better part of two decades now. This handsomely presented 12” on Bill Kouligas’ fledgling Pan imprint offers three tracks under Durgan’s own name that may be a little more organic than you might have imagined but still pack a hefty punch to the gonads when you least expect it.