LP Of The Issue 1:

Dead Kennedys – “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables” (Cherry Red)

The 25th anniversary wave of Punk Rock, possibly now an actual tsunami, threatens to engulf us all in 2006. If bird flu don’t get us first - we will surely drown in reissued pogo-related memorabilia. “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables” was only re-issued in 2002, for dog’s sake. It was perfectly serviceably re-mastered that time. So what’s new?

Well, the cover, for a start. Gone are the dulcet black & white tones of earlier additions. Gasp at the sight of real colour flames engulfing the presidential limo (err, actually they’re cop cars! – US Car ID Ed.). This visual upgrade was at the behest of the surviving Dead Kennedys (i.e. – the ones that survived the court case) themselves, you understand: apparently, someone fucked up back in the day in the art department - & the cover should always have been in colour. So now you know. Only the words “Special 25th Anniversary Edition CD + DVD” spoil the new improved artwork. Doh! (much like the Cherry Red Punk Collectors Series - only totally spoilt by the words: “Punk Collectors Series” – IN RED)

The actual LP is the same as it always was, however: fucking brilliant. The Dead Kennedys were the US answer to the Sex Pistols. No other Yanks could match their intensity, integrity & intrinsic valour. They practically invented Hardcore single handed. The original 14-song cycle remains the same. Nothing added, nothing taken away. Ignore the recent courtroom wranglings that have somewhat stained the legacy of the DKs, & in particular that of Mr Biafra, & focus, instead, on the fact that every member of the group is now getting paid (East Bay Ray was so chuffed, he even turned up to oversee the digitalising).

The ‘Bonus’ DVD disc, “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Eyeballs”, is a feisty documentary capturing the early days of the group & the recording of “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables” - featuring group members (not much Jello, as it happens), key personnel & plenty of unreleased concert footage. A fantastic insight into the birth of one of the most important groups in the history of US Punk Rock

The Dead Kennedys picked up the baton when the first wave of English groups stumbled & fell. The Dead Kennedys were about as anti-establishment as it was possible to be in 1979 (if you weren’t actually a member of Crass). The political content of this LP is equally as relevant when applied to US foreign policy today as it was back then. Sadly, it’s not only the song that remains the same.

Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05

LP Of The Issue 2:

Patti Smith – “Horses – Legacy Edition” (Arista)

Patti Smith had it all: Lenny Kaye, John Cale – Robert Mapplethorpe on box brownie! From the moment I heard “Piss Factory” (not included here) I was smitten. Patti Smith had the kind of attitude you didn’t normally expect from a woman. She looked like Keith Richards. She sounded well pissed off. She stared out from the cover of “Horses” like the template for my perfect woman. The one I’d never meet.

As soon as she sang:

“Jesus died for somebody’s sins, not mine”

. . . I knew instantly that the phrase would look radical & challenging painted onto the back of a black leather jacket in white paint. It was a fucking crying shame I was neither old enough nor rich enough to own a leather jacket – or be entrusted with paint. Eventually Crass painted the very same words into the intro to their “Reality Asylum” - & I subsequently painted the word CRASS onto the back of a second-hand leather jacket - so we got there in the end.

The ‘Legacy’ edition of “Horses” arrives in suitably expanded circumstances: we get the original LP on disc 1, Patti’s landmark 2005 performance of “Horses” at The Royal Festival Hall on disc 2 – plus a ‘stunning’ 32-page booklet featuring rare photos & in-depth essays from Sandy Pearlman, Paul Williams & Smith herself.

At the end of the re-issue day, “Horses” is as dense & enthralling as it ever was. I’ve always felt vaguely emotionally & intellectually threatened by Patti Smith. Maybe I was just too young at the time & have been on the back foot ever since. Hours more fun for my analyst.

Jean Encoule – tMx 22 – 11/05

Stars – “Set Yourself On Fire” (City Slang)

Canada, Canada – so good they named it twice. Or was that New York? I can never remember.

“When there’s nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire”

So opens the third long player by Stars.

“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” follows rapidly: the instantly appealing voices of Torquil Campbell & Amy Millan combine in a bittersweet replication of the perfect harmonies of Prefab Sprout. Romance is back on the agenda - & broken hearts litter the recording studio floor. Used tissues pile up in the corner by the drum booth. This is beginning to affect everyone. What started as a simple break-up has become a song that erstwhile lovers the world over will play to each other in the hope that one or the other will change their minds & the heartache will stop:

“Live through this and you won’t look back”

“Set Yourself On Fire” is up next. It fair rattles along. So much so I could positively swoon. This is pop music. The kind people like Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg & Lloyd Cole were making brilliantly whilst the rest of the UK was trying to weld disco to punk for the very first time. You may well have looked very fucking cool carrying your copy of “She Is Beyond All Good & Evil” around town dressed in a black greatcoat – but when the shutters were up, the cocoa made & the fire stoked to the chimney – it was “Imperial Bedroom” you slipped onto the stereo – not “In The Flat Field”:

“20 years asleep, before we sleep, for evermore”

“Ageless Beauty” is exactly that. Pop music that hasn’t forgotten Kirsty covering “New England”. Underpinned by a chugging celestial chord sequence, this is the type of music radios were made for. It swirls, it squeaks, it revels in it’s own glory - but it never loses sight of it’s ability to move the listener:

“We will always be around”

“Reunion” saunters in on a genius gtr arpeggio before Campbell slouches to the mic - more Paddy than ever. The piano stabs in the second verse (2.03) are glorious, warm & tear inducing:

“All I want is one more chance to be young and wild and free”

“The Big Fight” is possibly the most Prefab moment here. Confessional. Professional. Deeply moving. Especially if you’ve just been through a massive break-up – something akin to a bereavement. It can happen. If it hasn’t happened to you yet – then fuck it – you won’t get it:

“He doesn’t want her but he just won’t let her go”

“What I’m Trying To Say” ups the tempo back to mid-pace for another celebratory pop stomp. Sometimes it’s hard to say the things we really want to say:

“You look good in the clothes of a poseur”

“One More Night” is a full-on-weep-fest. Ushered in by strings far too polite to be orchestral & way too authentic to be arranged. You’ve been together a while – but now you’ve split up – neither of you have really come to terms with it. What do you do? You fuck. Then it really hurts.

“The end should be a good one”

“Sleep Tonight” rolls down the hill on a riff that recalls Ride’s “Vapour Trail”. Amy Millan melts the hearts of abominable snowmen & frigid bitches the world over:

“You will cry & I will cry because all the love’s alive tonight”

“The First Five Times” records the first five fucks of an ultimately doomed relationship, concluding thus:

“In every way I’ve changed since then . . .driven outside and driven in”

“He Lied About Death” could be about George W Bush. I sure hope it is. That would be prefect:

“I hope your drunken daughters are gay”

“Celebration Guns” is a string-drenched ode to the body bag: the ‘must have’ accessory for any fashion conscious corpse. A lullaby for a nobody you never met. Victims are the true casualties of all wars:

“Goodnight, sleep tight – stranger”

“Soft Revolution” quietly kicks off atop a persistent bass gtr line, brazenly washing its melody in strings by the river’s edge as it whistles:

“We hit the streets with all we had, a tape recording of the sound, of the Velvet Underground”

“Calendar Girl” picks the months off one by one – making notes as she goes – tearing pages – trashing time. The years turn into weeks, the weeks turn into days, the days turn into hours, the hours turn into minutes, the minutes turn into seconds – then - it’s all gone. It’s all slipped by so fast. Life moves at a pace, this, we tend to forget. Until it catches up with us. Until it knocks on our door:

“Whoever is up there, please, don’t let me die”

Stars, in the making, indeed.

Jean Encoule – tMx 22 – 11/05

Deerhoof – “Runners Four” (Kill Rock Stars)

The enchanting child-like voice of Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki collides with frenzied guitars facing each other off, racing jerkily to the end, chased by the hammering of drums. First comes breathlessness, then dizziness, and before you know it you’re lost. Tossing and turning in a whirl of sound. I feel like I’ve fallen into some kind of a dream, and maybe I have.

This is something like Deerhoof’s eighth album now, and it may well be their best. At a mighty twenty songs, Runners Four pulls you in and drags you along, rocking back and forth, clutching at spasms of guitars. It’s a mass of happy contradictions: gentle and aggressive, speeding up then smashing to a slow, loud and quiet, raw yet complex. It stops and starts, no chance to breathe. Just as you relax into the tender serenity of Satomi’s voice you’re smacked in the face with a big wall of sound. That’ll teach you for settling in.

One of the best things about Deerhoof is what they sing about. Childlike dreams of love (‘Mon ami nna. Take my hands now. Walk to where you like. Streets are flowers. Kites are flying by.’), magic, story’s of shadows and spy’s, pirates and stars and…lemon’s (‘A little lemon hides it’s rind. Sour person’s double mind, who won’t let go of you. A troubled team, a little lemon who, Still lives inside of you’).

‘Vivid cheek love song’ is the sound of sunshine itself:

‘love, love, love la la la’

‘O’malley, former underdog’ is the one that lingers. Masomi’s voice leads the way, building to a climax of rattling guitars and drum drum drum’s.

‘Spirit ditties of no tone’ rushes forward with a grinding bass, howling guitars and primal drumming.

‘Bone dry’ sees one of the men of Deerhoof take over the vocals. Tender breathy voice, whispering in ear, tender song.

‘Midnight bicycle mystery’ is full of nervous twitches, blips and bleeps. Fidgeting guitars. Stuck in a modem, trying to escape. Answering thrusts of layered guitars is Satomi’s elevated, penetrating hollers.

‘Sirustar’ moseys along at a gentle sway. Her enigmatic voice stands alone with a wavering guitar. Then attack, attack, attack.

‘Spy on you’ echoed in Satomi’s murmers. Constant jangling guitars, piercing guitars, screaming guitars. This is one hell of a song.

‘RRRRRRRight’ a little reminder of Deerhoof’s past albums. An urgent frenzy of guitars and drums. Satomi’s voice of magic: ‘Magnifique. Viva whee. Let em sing for liberty. Fantastic. C’est la vie. Ring a bell for joy. Singing for the ending.’ This is the ending we wanted, and this is the ending we got.

Runners Four is an album of many sounds, and may be the one that pushes them into more accessible grounds. Guitars howl and bend and scream exploding in your face only to pick you up and gently rock you back to sleep. Experimental and yet stripped of all pretension. Deerhoof stand, naked, in front of you. Unapologetic and all consuming. This is what we need right now. Out of the silence into the rumpus.

Nat Shooter – tMx - 11/05

Shit Disco – “Disco Blood” (Fierce Panda)

Fierce Panda walk tall where others fear to tread. Taking a punt on Scottish pranksters, Shit Disco, is not exactly the type of move you practice at Record Label University – or on your part-time business studies class, either, for that matter.

Shit Disco, for their part, party like it’s 1983. “Disco Blood” is part LCD Soundsystem, part ACR – but resolutely all there: taut beats, slapped-up bass, electronic interference, wired guitars & a disinterested vocal. What could be more now?

Backed by the equally impressive “I Know Kung Fu” on the 12” & bolstered on the CD by remixes from Clor & Konx-OM-Pax, Shit Disco could be providing the biscuits on a regular basis for some time to come.

Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05

Wolf Parade – “Apologies To The Queen Mary” (Sub Pop)

Wolf Parade formed to play support to Arcade Fire, if that helps at all. I’d like to tell you more about them, but the print inside the booklet accompanying this CD release is printed so fucking small I’d be amazed if even Joe 90 could read it. And is there a biog on the website? What fucking website?

Musically, Wolf Parade employ vocals, gtrs & drums in roughly the same manner as any other Canadian group currently wowing the underground. They are a couple of notches heavier than Arcade Fire on the ‘one louder’ scale, but no less intense. If I had to pitch one catch all ‘they make me think of this’ type dubious journo sound bite, I’d go with: The Triffids, circa “Born Sandy Devotional”. There’s definitely something very Australian about Wolf Parade.

Opener “You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son” snatches the medal for Most Convoluted Song Title Of The Decade from a gutted Liars - & pounds its way into your affections. David Byrne springs to mind - in collision with “Pills & Soap” era Costello. The Queen-esque vocal harmony at 1.21 is slightly worrying, however.

Of the further highlights contained within the city limits of “Apologies To The Queen Mary”, “Modern World” simply chugs along. Like a very heavy old car with malfunctioning brakes. The pick up at 1.24 is exquisite – ushering in, as it does, the main vocal refrain. Banjos pluck & pianos pound. Not a million miles away from what Wilco were doing five years or so ago. “Grounds For Divorce” breaks it’s fairground organ swirl on a regular basis with a wonderful bridge into what could well be a chorus. “We Built Another World” rocks the left field hard before nailing down a groovy lick that is as infectious as it is clever. “Same Ghost Every Night” recalls Cobain at his most bruised – whilst sounding NOTHING like Nirvana.

“I’ll Believe In Anything” is the best song here. At 1.57 the tension drops like a piano falling down the stairs as seen from the perspective of the person stood at the foot of the stairwell. The emotive content falls through you ears directly into the very pit of your heart.

“Nobody knows you and nobody gives a damn”

Wolf Parade have made a debut LP that ensures they will make a follow up – and in these uncertain, troubled times – that’s got to be something to be admired. Too many things happen too quickly these days. Sometimes it’s best to let things stew.

Harrison Bored – tMx 22 – 11/05

Be Your Own Pet – “Damn Damn Leash” (Rough Trade/XL)

Be Your Own Pet’s debut 45, “Damn Damn Leash”, is available once again (albeit in a ltd format) – via this Japanese Import Maxi CD EP.

Featuring 6 cuts: “Damn Damn Leash”, “Spill”, “Electric Shake”, “Fire Department” (which amusingly makes optimum use of the chords to Buzzcocks’ “Boredom” - as well as name checking safety pins – which can’t be bad – can it?), “Take That Walk”, “Hillmont Ave” – plus the video to “Damn Damn Leash” – this is the perfect catch up vehicle for those who’ve missed out.

Be Your Own Pet’s particular brand of garage rock is spikey, attitude laden and sassy. Expect good things from their debut LP when it drops in 2006. Can’t wait to see which riffs they nick for that.

The Katestar – tMx 22 – 11/05

Metal Urbain – “Les Hommes Mort Sont Dangereux” (Seventeen)

More 25th anniversary celebration, this time courtesy of France’s second best Punk group (Alan Partridge racing driver joke, Day Today fans?). I know, I know, I’m incorrigible. Or should that read ‘wanker’? - I’m never sure.

One thing I am sure of, however, is that European Union Ruling Number 21637/23-64 clearly makes it ILLEGAL for any citizen of any member state not to own every note ever recorded by Metal Urbain - in every format - regardless of how many times you may already own it (even if you own all 3 x original 7” 45s, “Les Hommes” & “L’Age D’Or” on vinyl - all signed my each individual group member).

Metal Urbain remain THE finest group to ever work with a drum machine in the history of French Punk Rock - & for that they should be rightly revered. I’ve loved this group since 1978. Where the hell have you been?

Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05

Artic Monkeys – “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Domino)

Welcome to the hyperdome: the latest in a very long line of northern beat groups has arrived. Freddie & The Dreamers, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, The Stones Roses, Northside, Oasis – all have been painstakingly absorbed into the Monkey’s sound.

“I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” employs a Roses grove, Oasis subtlety & the philosophical import of Dermo. The kids, bored of waiting to be told what to do next, do exactly what they’re told. To the letter. This IS the most important group since the last most important group. Because we say so. Who we are is irrelevant.

“Bigger Boys And Stolen Sweethearts” is ample proof that the Monkeys have not had their heads buried in the sand these last couple of years. They’ve obviously noticed The Libertines have spilt up - & see their catalogue residue as equally fair game.

“Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick” is exactly what the Roses used to do when Ian Brown ran out of lyrics. Maybe the Monkeys should have done what Oasis used to do in similar situations: get Noel to sing!

What with Frank Ferdinand, The Testicles & the Monkeys, Domino are fast becoming one of THE most irksome faux-alt labels in the history of fake independence (& then they go & spoil it all by releasing something stupid like The Fire Engines! – Contradictions Ed). C’mon kids, you know the score. Tell it like it is.

Mike Twat – tMx 22 – 11/05

Test Icicles – “For Screening Purposes Only” (Domino)

Test Icicles. Consider it. Roll it round your mouth. Wrap your tongue around it & suck. Spherical objects. What goes a round comes a round. Gobstoppers. Three boy’s puerile innuendo is another man’s brain-numbing tedium. OK, so they used to be called Balls. Doncha just love progression?

“One of the smartest & edgiest things to come out of the UK in years” – Kerrang!

“More vital than haemoglobin” – NME

Is it any wonder no one reads the music press any more?

Test Icicles probably believe they’re ‘pushing the sonic envelope’ all the way to experimental central with this, their debut long player. Test Icicles are three poshoes & a drum machine. Three ideas & a pseudo-indie record label desperate to appear cutting edge.

So, what’s the recipe “For Screening Purposes Only” today, Jim?

Step 1: Take 50g of ‘Distilled Essence Of At The Drive In’.

Step 2: Ignore all progressions made in the interests of science by Mars Volta in the ensuing decades.

Step 3: Mix in 250kg of ‘Rhymes Of The Beastie Boys’.

Step 4: Keep it hardcore - you know the score.

Step 5: Deny ever attending public school.

Step 6: Push fringe out of eyes.

Step 7: Get pissed because Million Dead got dropped.

Step 8: Spend at least 20 minutes on the lyrics.

Step 9: Make the LP sleeve a ‘homage’ to ATV’s “How Much Longer?”

Step 10: Shout out loud: “Will This Do?”

Test Icicles say more about the desperation of the British music industry than a convention of hopelessly out of touch faux-underground record ‘company’ executives being egged on by a gang of fundamentally-easily influenced middle class wankers than all the futility in China.

At last – three selfish cunts it’s OK to hate - even more.

Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05

Team – “The Line From A-B” (Captains Of Industry)

You’ve got to admire a group who funded the recording of their debut LP by flogging fags smuggled out of Iraq around the pubs & social clubs of the West Midlands. No, you’ve got to. Some of them used to be in the Air Force! Probably even the SAS (they don’t like to talk about it that much, unless they are Ross Kemp or Andy McNabb).

“The Line From A-B” is TEAM’s 2nd LP, released exactly a year to the day from the release of that nicotine funded debut, & sterling stuff it is too. Taught, powerful, pummelling, yet fiercely melodic, TEAM fuse Fugazi, Shellac & Mogwai shaped dynamics & inform them with a fucked up pop-core sensibility.

TEAM have reclaimed US post-hardcore & sewed it onto a grubby Union Jack. Thank fuck someone’s flying the flag!

Evan Halshaw – tMx 22 – 11/05

Envy & Other Sins – “Prodigal Son” (Loog)

More Midlands action – has someone found out where we live, or something? Am I suddenly ‘our man in the Midlands, or what? I live near Portmeirion (just moved down from Rhyl), for fucks sake. I am not a number, all right?

Envy & Other Things have dropped a solid gold Glam-splattered monster with this, their debut for Loog Records. They’ll probably hate me for this, but I’m getting early Queen – circa “Sheer Heart Attack” – a bit of Sweet – even splashes of semen from the giant spurting cock that is The Darkness! Parody, homage, I really couldn’t say – but I’ll take this over Babyshambles any day of the week. Now, where did I put those tickets to the opera.

Evan Halshaw – tMx 22 – 11/05

The Rampton Release Date – “My Dad’s A Spastik My Life’s Fucking Fantastic” (Demo)

Now someone’s taking the piss. Encoule, how come I’m so geographically specific, all of a sudden? Dudley’s The Rampton Release Date (top moniker, muckers) go all totally un-PC with this excellent EP dedicated to Baxter Dury.

“I’ve Been Like This For Years” & “Hell Is Self Made” mark the debut of drummer, Aust, who has only recently made the drum machine redundant. The aforementioned drum machine gets it’s own back in style by being ‘all over’ the best track here, “Damage Limitation”: Joy Division eat Slayer.

The Rampton Release Date have impeccable taste, a justifiably & ancient sense of sick humour & just the right amount of balls to pull it off. Chunky!

Evan Halshaw (your man in the Midlands, apparently – tMx 22 – 11/05

Scab Level – “Peaches” (Rundevilrun)

More fantastically packaged & beautifully realised stuff from Greece’s Rundevilrun Records. Seriously, marketing & design freaks – take a gander at this shit & get with the programme – regardless of the musical content, Rundevilrun releases are always the best dressed chickens in town.

Scab Level – 3 studio engineers, a lighting technician & a ‘businessman’ – blend emo, punky waver populism, ska loungecore & a raft of imaginative samples to fashion a heady brew which is as addictive as it is intoxicating. This is vibrant stuff that deserves anyone’s attention.

The Katestar – tMx 22 – 11/05

Infidelity – “Viewer From A Black Star” (Rundevilrun)

It’s taken Infidelity nigh on a decade to fully develop their sound, an infectious conglomeration of 80s alternatives: The Cure, Joy Division, The Chameleons, The Sound. Add some burning garage guitars & a handful of fragile pop songs & you’ve got some kind of noughties gothic-noire renaissance.

Infidelity could teach a few of the UK’s totally lame artrockers a thing or two about atmosphere – it was so much more than just a Russ Abbott song!

The Katestar – tMx 22 – 11/05

The Lodger – “Watching” (Double Dragon)

This just in: The Lodger piss all over the Icelandic Monkeys – so stick that in the hood of your fucking branded kagoul & blow it out of your uninformed, uneducated nose-shaped arse. No dreams of Parliament of Funkadelic here – The Lodger make gloriously affecting & intimate populism for a post-everything cognoscenti.

Along with !Forward, Russia!, sexmachina, The Long Blondes & Duels, The Lodger are leading the second wave of Northern resistance - & this time the likes of the appalling Kaiser Chiefs are definitely not invited. After all, this is not a low!

Mike Twat – tMx 22 – 11/05

Luxembourg – “Luxembourg vs Great Britain” (dogbox)

Luxembourg grow from strength to superhuman ability with this official release of “Lux vs GB” - reviewed as a download only last issue:

“Luxembourg are keeping the pressure on pop’s young pretenders with another slice of genuine quality. Streets ahead.”

Is what we said. Have we changed our minds in the interim? Have we fuck. Luxembourg have been Bunker favourites & the ‘crew most likely to’ for nigh on the last 2 years. We’d hardly fuck ‘em over at this stage, would we? We’re not the NME, after all. Building things up & then knocking them down has always been the job of people like Mark Beaumont & Fred Dibnar. Not jolly old punk rockers like me. Go & buy this CD, now - & stop wasting your money on inferior tat.

Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05

Intoxica – “Razorwire EP” (Bliss Mutator)

London’s Intoxica (have you run that name past Intoxica Records, by the way?) are a ‘twangy’ garageband who cite The Gun Club, The Breeders, The Chameleons & The Jesus Lizard as influences.

The “Razorwire EP” is the perfect introduction to Intoxica, showcasing, as it does, all facets of their sound. Power-pop, rockabilly & surf-wave are all stitched into the collars of their long black coats - & the likes of “Gina” & “Degenerate Blues” are destined to push them further on down that ole’ road to success. Interesting.

Mike Twat – tMx 22 – 11/05

This Et Al – “Wardens”/”Rotary Queen” – (Jealous Records)

Leeds/Bradford quartet This Et Al return with their third 45.

“Wardens” is a stunning statement of intent, laced with urgency, determination & (quite possibly) spite. Travelling at a pace well in excess of the pedestrianism of many of their peers, This Et Al are rapidly carving out a niche all of their own:

“He wore a swastika to your wedding”

What a swaggering follow up!

“Rotary Queen” is deeper, darker, longer – it takes a few listens to get under your skin – but once there, it’s a bit like a tattoo: takes some scrubbing off.

This Et Al are a fucking revelation. Hunt this motherfucker down & hand over the cash.

Jean Encoule – tMx 22 – 11/05

The Priscillas – “Aloha From Holloway” (Damaged Goods)

5-track mini LP plus 2 videos, “Aloha From Holloway” collates The Priscillas finest single moments to date onto one viable vehicle: “Gonna Rip Up Your Photograph”, “All My Friends Are Zombies”, “Brain Surgeon”, “Should Be Me” & “Can’t Decide” are all shining examples of the powerful populism of their medium. Their craft is finely honed. Their pedigree assured.

I’d like to tell you which videos are included, but the promo copy I’m listening to as I type features the legend videos will be on finished CD. Oh well, never mind. I like The Priscillas. And you will too.

Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05

Napoleon IIIRD – “EP2” (Brainlove Records)

Leeds’ Napoleon IIIRD loves his city but won’t walk home at night. This could either make him lazy - or just a bit of a chicken. Judging by the sounds encrypted on “EP2”, it’s more likely to be the latter rather than the former. There is very little sloth on display in this cabinet.

At the end of the day, Napoleon IIIRD is a fairly traditional songwriter at heart – he just loves to bury his light under a pile of bushels. Championed by everyone from The Guardian to artROCKER, Napoleon IIIRD is climbing the ladder up from underground to overground as we listen. Somewhere between a Beck & a hard place.

Mike Twat – tMx 22 – 11/05

V/A – “Live At Purr” (Purr)

Purr Records have been cutting edges live on a regular basis at Moles Club in Bath for the last 5 years. Even Ross Millard of The Futureheads has noticed - & he’s from oop north!

By way of celebration, Purr put on 8 groups over 2 nights: The Fog Band, Pete & The Pirates, Park Attack, Manic Cough, Snow White, Comanechi, Tiger Force & Wet Dog - & pressed ‘record’ on the tape machine.

The whole damn caboodle is now available for your cultural digestion & edification, courtesy of “Live At Purr” – a 2-disc CD/DVD:

Disc 1 - a 19-track live CD - captures at least a couple of track apiece from the aforementioned 8 groups above. Disc 2 - an 18-track DVD - features tracks not available on the CD. The DVD also contains 2 separate edits of the legendary “Ready, Steady, Purr” promo film – the original 23 minute version – plus a recut with additional footage. “Ready, Steady, Purr” features 19 other groups who graced the Purr stage between 2002/03.

For details of the groups featured in “Ready, Steady, Purr” & a full history of Purr & all the groups who have sailed in her over the last half-decade visit:

Jean Encoule – tMx 22 – 11/05

Wrath Supersevens – 7” Singles Club 2005

The ever-redoubtable Wrath Records are back again – this time with instalments 9 & 10 of the riveting vinyl soap opera that is their: Supersevens Series. This time with added geographical resonance!

WRATH30 – Wrath Superseven 9 – features Wakefiled’s Piskie Sits & The Old House:

Piskie Sits wear their love of the kind of US slacker racket we usually associate with Pavement, Sebadoh & Dinosaur Jr proudly on their (possibly) checked sleeves - whilst still finding both time & space to drop a little JAMC & Vaselines into an already heady mix. Expect an LP on Wrath before long. The Old House, on the other hand, stretch their admiration for Morrissey past the point of parody to somewhere altogether cleverer. What charming men!

WRATH31 – Wrath Superseven 10 – features Sheffield’s Champion Kickboxer, The Interiors & Chuck:

Champion Kickboxer deal in what is possibly not known as ‘medieval chamber populism’ – but do it very well, regardless. The Interiors open up with strident bass & insistent drums – which is always a good start – before firing up a snarling punk informed garage stomper replete with Hammond trills & girlie thrills. Chuck advise us to “Kill ‘Em All” & implore the Lord to ‘sort them out’. That’s a good idea. Now where shall we start?

Wrath continue to surprise, inform & entertain in equal measure. More power to their collective elbows.

Guy Debored – tMx 22 – 11/05

Public Relations Exercise – “Stop P.R.E” (Demo)

Stalwarts of the UK underground scene, Public Relations Exercise have opened up for 65 Days Of Static, Youth Movies, Million Dead (rip) & thisGIRL amongst others during the past 12 months. This 3-track demo CD captures the full range of their repertoire – aiming squarely for ‘art’ over commerciality.

“Spoil The Paper”, “Catalyst” & “A Noise” are all equally impressive – math metal, classic rock & post-punk hi-hats – all forced into an envelope that can only expand further.

Evan Halshaw – tMx 22 – 11/05

And What Will Be Left Of Them – “Dance Damn You Dance EP” (Filthy Little Angels)

And What Will Be Left Of Them follow up their absolutely superb debut 45, “Hi Fi Low Life”, with this enticing 4-track EP.

Straight out of Worcester with attitude, And What Will Be Left Of Them have recently been treading the boards alongside !Forward, Russia! (sorry, kids, my keyboard won’t do the exclamation mark upside down!), Art Brut, iDou, The Hot Puppies, The Loves & Volcano, I’m Still Excited.

“L’Amour Violent” is the peach, plum pear here - another fucking belter straight out of the same blender that cooked up “Hi Fi Low Life”.

“Dance, Damn You, Dance”, “Throw It In The Pit, Kid” & “Dripping Wet” come a close 2nd, 3rd & 4th – but it’s “L’Amour Violent” that truly takes the biscuit. And What Will Be Left Of Them are probably referring to the opposition. It’s looking a bit weak, right now.
The Katestar – tMx 22 – 11/05
Contact: - We're All Addicted To Something