Thee Oh Sees
In The Red
8 Who knows who John Dwyer was trying to kid when he dropped the first Oh Sees record under the OCS moniker and it was all willowy folk and whimsy. We all knew he couldn’t stay away from the vein-burstin’, neck-throttlin’, mike-chewin’, garage-psyche he practically invented with Pink & Brown, Coachwhips and The Hospitals for long. And he didn’t. Here are all the bits he left off the early Oh Sees records played twice as fast to make up for lost time.
Aleph At Hullicinatory Mountain
10 How many albums in your record collection feature contributions from a former Adult Video Network ‘Best Three Way Sex Scene’ award winner? While it might seem as relevant as a Highland Caber-toss champion playing the next Dr Who the appearance of Sasha Gray on David Tibet’s latest is made all the more worthwhile by showings from Matt Sweeney, Andrew W.K., the bloke Coil who collectively rattle out eight of the most chillingly perfect songs you are likely to hear all month/year/decade.
Summer Of Hate
9 Once upon a time I saw a screamy hardcore band called The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower at The Victoria Inn in Derby. If you’d tried to tell me then that two of the members of that band would go on to make a shimmering, Jesus & Mary Chain does mid-period Velvets album on a country label I’d have eaten my Orchid t-shirt off my own back and scoffed my Saetia records for dessert. Sometimes the sound of being completely and totally wrong is a wonderful thing.
9 I am not sure if I should even talk about this one. It was such a terrifying experience listening to the thing that I’m worried it’ll sense I’m discussing it and come hurtling out of the speakers to rape my ears all over again. Vennt make truly disturbing sheets of power electronics roar into waves of crushing doom to devastating effect. I can’t tell you much more about the band other than it really wouldn’t be a surprise if they had nicked their band name from the Von song of the same title.
The Bastard Noise
Our Earth’s Blood IV
10 Five discs and over five hours of singular, bloody-minded brutality, cro-magnon electronics and sonic disintegration. Hardly a month goes by without an emission of bilious carnage from the Bastard Noise camp and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This release is a veritable high summit of international ‘skull-servants’ with Merzbow, Christian Bass and Surrounded all popping up within the confines of this handsomely constructed, die-cut nugget of Bastard history in the making.
Jam Is The Bastard
Magnolia Electric Co.
9 Someone recently told me that Jason Molina now lives on Brick Lane. Can someone please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know whether this is true or not. I have been hanging out there a hell of a lot lately so that I can casually bump into the guy and gushingly tell him how he possesses the greatest voice of his generation and other embarrassingly over the top grovellings and there are only so many bagels one man can eat.
Upset The Rhythm
8 Come on ladies. Your Animal from Sesame St on drums, Geezer Butler bass lines and whole heap of haunted forest clincking and cloncking over the top sure makes for a good listen but a band called breasts going for that album title? I bet they’ve never told their mothers.
That Fucking Tank
8 Being named after a line from Apocalypse Now and with a litany song titles that appear little more than a pubescent excuse for wordplay (“Bruce Springstonehenge”, “Keanu Reef”, “Dave Grolsch”), you’d be forgiven for expecting That Fucking Tank to be mal-nourished, over-excitable sixth formers. The fact that they’ve been playing together over a decade and a half and have honed overdriven, melodic math-rock to within an inch of its life though means that all is forgiven.
Beacons Of Ancestorship
5 I had this noodling out of my headphones for almost half an hour before I could be bothered to check what it was. It was a moderately pleasant half an hour. I didn’t feel aurally robbed or anything. But silence would probably have worked just as well.
Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic
5 Apparently everyone at SXSW had a huge hard-on for this. Which is strange as it basically amounts to average singer-songwriter guy Luke Temple’s laptop project. It’s nice enough in its own little meandering loopy way but you can’t ignore the odd whiff of patchouli that makes the whole thing smell a bit like a Devandra offcut that fell off the dreamcatcher head dress and into a Korg.
4 Wow, this sounds like the kind of aspirational disco-pop that they’d play in an elevator in Argos to try and stop you from killing yourself when you realized that for some reason you were in an Argos so big that it had elevators.
The Glass Bead Game
Young God Records
10 Wowsers, who’d a thunk an ex member of The Lights Alive would end up putting a record out on Micheal Gira’s label? Blackshaw remains one of this countries best kept secrets but you can forget all the Takoma/Tompkins Square and “tnext John Fahey” pigeon-holing that tend to follow him around. This set sees him casually bolster his acoustic roots with orchestrated, strings, piano and voice with consummate ease. Is there anything he can’t do?