dijous, 29 d’agost del 2013

PERSIAN CLAWS. Persian Claws

Female fronted Persian Claws self titled album has a lot of bite. Yeah, I said it. Regardless of my bad puns or jokes or whatever, Persian Claws are genuinely a really rad band. With no song over three minutes long (as my readers know, this is a godsend), the New England punk rockers are clearly in demand (only 9 vinyl copies left) and I suggest you snatch em up before they’re untouchable. @LeahLovecat


Seabright label their album Tomorrow on Bandcamp as “dream pop,” but don't hold that against them. The 13 song record, a DZ Tapes release, doesn't come close to the sterile dreariness that plagues that particular subgenre. Maybe because it jumps so frequently between influences, like J Dilla-inspired interludes, tropical shoegaze, and Animal Collective weirdo harmonies (yeah, my favourite parts are when psychedelic sampling surfaces from beneath the swamp). So many reference points usually threaten cohesion, but Seabright reconcile them all convincingly. Tomorrow is wrapped in a kaleidoscopic fog that lingers even in the spaces between tracks; despite sounding like many things at once, it's deeply personal, like we're hearing a catalogue of Seabright's musical images, radioed directly to our brain from their own neurotransmitters. When every other psyche band is shooting for the stars, Seabright seem perfectly content with inner space. (Chart Attack)

SLIM LORIS. Future Echoes and Past Replays

Sweden has a quiet history of producing some rather lovely music through the years and Slim Loris add to that catalogue. Here on their latest album 'Future Echoes and Past Replays', they offer up an album brimming with songs that glow with life and verve. Opener 'Fear of Flying' is a pop filled sugar-rush, rumbling in on a Pixies pop pulsing bass, then launching into a chiming sunshine song. It recalls the perfect rock/pop of nineties hits such as the Gin Blossoms' 'Follow You Down' and 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' by Deep Blue Something. After that guilty pleasure start Slim Louris waltz us into 'Head on the Floor'. This is a gentler, simple song that tells a tale of a girl's day and how he longs for her as there's "no place I’d rather be." The song has a stately grace, held up by an earthy and warm vocal.

Evoking a windswept, storm-flecked landscape 'Domestic' has an immediate, darker, menacing feel. It becomes a duet between two souls both lyrically and aurally, as a sweet female counterpoints the male. For all its dark undercurrent, the song becomes a celebration of love protecting you in the "darkest hour". By 'While I Breathe' the pop rush of the start is long forgotten as a plaintive piano ushers in a melancholia bent with its sombre tones. Simple strings and words of struggle heighten the drama of the song. 'In Silence' can only be a fuller song in comparison, but it feels muddled, too much 'kitchen sink' thrown in, and struggles to find a cohesive structure. After the muddle of 'In Silence', 'Vision of Tomorrow' fares so much better. A country-pop song in the realms of NEEDTOBREATHE, 'Vision of Tomorrow' can be heard blasting out of radios somewhere in the endless lands of the Midwest. Under its sheen it has an folky earthiness to it and the vocals are impassioned in the vein of The Waterboys' Mike Scott. Another beatific piano line introduces us to 'I Will Forget'. This song has an almost nursery-rhyme-like wonderful simplicity to it. Then there is a true sense of lost and longing as you hear that "I'll forget you in the end".

Bringing back the folk earthiness that was used so well in 'Vision of Tomorrow', a foot-tapping beat and lovely use of a penny whistle gives 'Clean as a Whistle' a carefree air. Then it finds a rawer spirit, with a stomping break bringing to mind Seth Lakeman. Childlike chimes wrong-foot you slightly at the start of 'Hero', this is another song that falters slightly and struggles to find itself. At times it has elements that standout, but overall the song suffers from another somewhat rudderless feel. The last handful of songs closing out the album start with 'Norah', it's a simple country-pop song that is somewhat forgettable, but has a sweet feel to it. Penultimate song 'Awakening', is better fare, opening with almost Coldplay-like grandeur and the strongest vocal yet. It matures into a graceful and powerful modern adult rock song. It almost falls into Nickleback cliché, but manages to stay the right side of emotive by being truly impassioned. And to 'Future Echoes and Past Replays' closer, 'October in White'. This is true alt-country lament sung across a lone electric, its warmth coming from its words and a subtle use of harmonies. And as the album bows out Slim Loris have given us an record that has has moments of great quality and song-crafting.


As Radiator Hospital, Sam Cook-Parrott makes imaginative indie pop befitting of his 22 years-- a guy who seems to have all stakes invested outwardly in matters of the heart while stuck too deep in his own head to make it work. His noisy power-pop and home-recorded blues draw from vintage bubblegum and soul as much as twee, injected with the high-pitched anxiety of his own persona, a crushed romantic with a mind always racing to no real finish line. "Everytime he calls you/ I can hear a change in your breath," Cook-Parrott sings on "Our Song", a most resonant highlight from his new Something Wild LP. He spits the words fast as the inner-logic of his brain. "Your voice is hushed and controlled/ Maybe you're just tired of straining your throat/ Or maybe there's something you don't want me to hear."
That voice may faintly recall one of the year's best records-- Waxahatchee's Cerulean Salt. Cook-Parrott sang on the LP's "Peace and Quiet" and has recently toured with Waxahatchee on bass. Something Wild on its own should appeal to fans of Waxahatchee's emotional candor and the smart pop-punk abandon of her sister Allison Crutchfield's band Swearin'. Fittingly, Allison sang on Wild cut "Are You Feeling Me?", and Swearin's Kyle Gilbride helped record the album at the house they all share in Philadelphia, as he did Cerulean Salt.( Pitchfork)


With Summer officially upon us and the warm sun swiftly baking our feet into the pavement, it seems fitting that we need an album to listen to as we document Summer 2013. Buds is the album I choose. Its surfy and punky, fast songs and sweet fuzzy vocals. Its what you listen to while eating that second scoop of ice cream, while riding the subway downtown or sitting in the park while you watch parents tug their kids around on leashes. Its an album for the everyday and for the everyman (or woman). Surf Curse have wide appeal and its best you get to know them now, before everyone steals your idea to have them as the soundtrack to your Summer. @LeahLovecat

CHARTS. Vacation

THE SPILLS.Spooky Roller Disco

Words by Benjamin Shaw

Living in London and enjoying a lengthy career in the NHS, it is fair to say that I am mostly fucking miserable. There are a few perks, obviously – the long hours, fluorescent lighting, MRSA – but there are only so many complimentary painkillers you can take before the vomiting gets more annoying than the headaches. So, for the past few months, Wakefield’s The Spills have been my go-to painkiller.

Having had loser-rockers Runaround Kids ram their name down my Twitter throat for months, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about when they supported Fever Dream in that Dalston last year. Trev, Grant and myself all stood, mouths agape, as they tore through their opening song and new single Atomic Arabian Facebuster. Life would never be the same again. Until Monday. Then it was just as rubbish again. But at least I had a new love to get me through the commute. 2011′s Occam’s Razor has been my feeling-blue album ever since.

Joy then, when this EP should turn up in my inbox.

Spooky Roller Disco is mega. I shit you not. All those other times I’ve written nice things about stuff on here, I was winging it, it was all rubbish, I just had to say those nice things to get published. Honestly, you’ve no idea. But this is it. The real deal.

We begin with a delightfully sloppy riff that fumbles with its keys for a while, before finally finding the yale, and OPENING THE DOOR TO ROCK. Instantly, it puts a grin on your miserable British face. Big Superchunk guitars fight amongst each other, and sweet pop melodies touch you up and seduce you with the coarsest, whiniest voice you’ve heard since Conor Oberst faked it so perfectly. Even with the words about wanting to scratch the features from your own face out of lonely desperation, you’re like, “Yeah, I know, right!?” and the fuzzlove guitars carry you off to your happy place.Frakkin’ A finishes with the messiest shredding West Yorkshire has ever seen. And it’s glorious.

Instantly, we’re treated to a beautiful, almost classic-feeling chord progression in Gretna Green. After the mess and noise of Frakkin’ A, it feels almost euphoric to leap into crisp and shimmering pop like this. It’s a lovely touch. The distorted fuzz soon returns though and big drums with occasional marching beat flourishes lift the whole thing skywards, as singer number two screams “..so take me back to Gretna Green!” until his lungs explode. Like I said, mega.

At the risk of sounding like a sycophantic music writer, this next song is pretty good too. Chock full of Archers of Loaf, Silkworm, Polvo, fuck it, just a lovely northern take on anything Merge Records were releasing around 1994, and it’s great. It speeds up, drones and screeches until it can’t keep up with itself and just passes out with sinus pressure.

Bowing out with Long Weekend, they pull a similar trick again as with Gretna Green, and follow the white noise of Going Back to Missoula, Montanawith pure Pavement-pop bliss. It’s at this point I totally run out of adjectives. How many times can you use ‘mega’ in one review? I don’t know, it’s just ace, this song. Well good, I love it. It’s not easy this writing lark, you know. Especially when you are this drunk.

A lovely little EP. I would say that it’s all over much too quickly, but I think that’s part of the charm. Big, grinning, duelling guitars, effortless melodies and mega, yes, mega tunes. There is so much good stuff coming out of Wakefield at the moment, it’s obscene. Kinda sickening, being a northerner stuck in
the south.