9 Olafur Arnalds is in fact an Icelandic composer prone to an output that borders on the R. Stevie Moore side of prolific. If Arnalds’ stuff wasn’t so bonkers-ly eclectic and consistently brilliant the rate at which it turns up would be plain annoying but this Sergei Diaghilev-inspired seven song score for award wining British choreographer Wayne McGregor is as good as anything else I’ve heard this month. Or this year for that matter.
The Bastard Noise
9 Eric Wood’s dogged sonic crusade continues. This CD documents a Bastard Noise live excursion recorded at Atmosphere in Osaka during their Japanese tour, which saw dates with fellow angrier-than-thou noisemongers Corrupted and Unholy Grave. The show consists of a single unrelenting and profoundly disturbing wave of wailing, clunking and screeching that lasts for almost 40 minutes. It is guaranteed to have your girlfriend questioning how anyone could ever call this stuff music and it is titled “Overtures For A Planet Destroyed”.
Pissed Happy Child
8 Have you noticed how Liars records always need a hook? There was the first one where everyone was like “hey look! Karen O’s boyfriend made a record! Even the guys she fucks are creative!”. Then there was the witches one and the last one was self-titled so that had the automatic “this record is just us trying to be us” thing going on. Apparently Sisterworld has something to do with the band moving to LA and becoming obsessed with how people define themselves as individuals in such a morosely homogenised city. Maybe everyone should just forget about punchy one-line summaries and focus on the fact that everything these guys touch turns to gold.
It Doesn’t Matter
8 In a just world Saxon Shore would be as big as former drummer J. Tillman’s other band. That’s Fleet Foxes btw. Or at least as popular as Explosions In The Sky who they make look rank amateurs at the whole really-quiet-then-really-loud game. Maybe they should send their albums to Sir David. Twining epic post-rock with polar bears lounging on melting icebergs worked for Sigur Ros right?
8 While the broadsheets, monthly glossies and guitar-centric blogs continue to salivate over post-dubstep (what does that even mean?) it might be a good time to point out that that whole sound has already been handily pre-packaged and co-opted into a new line of Fabric mix CD’s for easy mass consumption. If you want something genuinely strange and exciting that retains the ghost of a two-step beat then you could do worse than throw your lot in with Baron Mordant and his truly of-kilter productions.
May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way
8 After a barren period for bass music long players (the Silkie and 2562 albums aside) we get sent two odd-ball gems in one month. Along with the Mordant mini masterpiece reviewed elsewhere you might as well pick this one up as well to help restore your faith in UK bass and beats. You’re hardly likely to get Theremin’s, cowbells or the Hackney Memorial Free Jazz Marching Band playing brass on the latest Rusko 12” are you?
Custard Cream Chucker
9 This is technically a reissue but unless you were one of the 200 people who managed to get a copy of the Wild Power vinyl pressing this CD will be your first chance to get a hold of these seven tracks of Pentagram and St Vitus worship so we’ll treat it as a new release. Hope that’s OK? Instead of getting all hot and flustered about Bass Brian from Lightning Bolt playing drums on this album just try putting the record on, staring at whatever that winged and horned thing is on the sleeve and enjoy some true metal.
Pyramids With Nadja
Pyramids With Nadja
Hydra Head Records
5 What do you do once you’ve shoegazed yourself into a corner and your post-metal is making even yourself yawn? Buddy up with another band that are having the same problem and hope for the best! The results sadly do not demonstrate this course of action as wholly sound.
8 Jesu consistently continues to be the best thing that Broadrick’s touched. Warped, shimmering patina’s of crackling noise and lurching stabs of volume that catch you off guard all topped with a vocal that sounds like it’s being phoned in by Orpheus as he descends.
Spin Spin The Dogs
Leave Me In Leicester
8 British guitar music’s best kept worst secret. A bit like witnessing human birth, a Spin Spin The Dogs live performance is simultaneously disturbing and engrossing. The band somehow manages to make a virtue of sounding like four people playing four very different songs. No mean feat. With the arrival of mythic London avant-garde musician Luke Younger on guitar to complement Dean Hinks’ Seinfeld inspired bass lines, John Wilson’s staccato drums and unhinged front man Vincent Larkin’s bizarre ramblings only a fool would bet against their imminent world domination.
The Soft Pack
The Soft Pack
8 We interviewed these guys in the magazine way back when they used to be called The Muslims. That name proved a little bit of a hot topic so now they’re named after a brand of dildo instead. I scratched my noggin for a good few minutes trying to rustle up a funny dildo analogy or metaphor but came up blank. Sorry about that. Who needs dildo gags when your record sounds like the prefect puzzle of Jonathan Richman fronting the Velvets with nagging Replacements hooks smattered all over the place for good measure though huh?
…And Then We Saw Land
Full Time Hobby
4 There’s something far too optimistic and smug about folktronica. Maybe it’s something to do with fusing bucolic and traditional music with forward thinking electronic instrumentation but it’s always seemed like the aural equivalent of owning a Prius to me.
The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
3 Someone is forever playing this band on the office stereo then not owning up to it. I guess that says it all. Indulgent, schmaltz stuffed indie that you should be ashamed to own up to liking in public.
Built To Spill
There Is No Enemy
8 If you can’t figure out what the hell Dan Bejar is singing about on the last Destroyer record, you find the guy from Modest Mouse’s vocal like nails down a chalk board and you want to sock the guy from the Mountain Goats for making ever album he puts out like a Catholic act of confession then don’t worry: you are not alone. Just listen to Built To Spill. The faultless indie-rock band that make a Pavement reunion seem utterly pointless.