Reviews 26


Reviews 26


Singles Of The Issue 1:

The Rotters – “Japanese Punk” (47 RPM)

The Rotters

The Rotters are Huma, Orang Utan, Gorilla & Chimpanzee. The Rotters are a Punk Rock group – just like your mama used to make ‘em. In fact, les Rotters could have been expressed by Tardis - direct from 1978:

“What’s the recipe today, Jim?”


1 x intro
2 x verse 
3 x chorus

Just add:

10g of buzz-saw guitar thrashing
10g of pedestrian cardboard tub-thumping (courtesy of The Horrors’ Farris Rotter)
10g of inaudible bass rumbling
10g of street-femme shouting

Place In A Recording Studio For 30 Minutes:

“Don’t like you hair
Don’t like your face
Don’t like your clothes
You’re a disgrace
Don’t like your style
Don’t like you shoes
Don’t like much
About you” – “Japanese Punk”

“Are You Ready Yet?” & “Put Your Money” are more of the same - & why not? No one likes them - they don’t care. As the endorsements on the record’s sleeve attest:

“The Rotters are just embarrassing & unlistenable”

“The lyrics are void of any though, wit or amusing cliché, the vocalist’s strained voice sounds like an East-End alley cat on heat & the simple guitar chords are bereft of any tunefulness whatsoever”

If you haven’t got the message yet – your head may well be up your own arse. Chapeau, Rotters!

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Single Of The Issue 2:

Sexaphone – “Fuck Your Space” (Yakisakana Records)

If you like your Punk Rock fucked up – then Sexaphone are for you. Too Bad & her pure mean Sexaphone cohorts take more time out from Black Time to drop their second 4-track EP:

“Double U” shows the A-Lines how to rock a garage without bothering to open the doors first.

“Fuck Your Space” is bonkers Punk Skronk. A eulogy to everyone’s favourite capitalist, Rupert Murdoch!

“My Heart’s Down” is truly perverse clatterpop from people who don’t ordinarily refer to their own music as clatterpop.

“M.E.A.N” is pure cramped up rock & roll - & my favourite track here.

If Sexaphone didn’t exist then the world would be a darker, colder place. If this record isn’t sitting with your other records - then you’d better stop calling it a collection.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Answering Machine – “Oklahoma” (High Voltage Sounds)

Manchester – so much to answer for – is here once again: this time shaped like The Answering Machine. The A-side of this, their debut 45 - “Oklahoma” - takes The Strokes guitar sound, ups the tempo - & adds suitably northern tyke vocal sensibilities. The verses are sluggish, granted - but the chorus is worth the admission price alone. B-side – “The Hold Up” – is even better. Of course, on paper, none of this should work - The Strokes are hardly regarded as cutting edge these days, after all – but at least they’ve used the 1st LP as their template - &, as a consequence, The Answering Machine are well worth leaving a message on. I’m sure they’ll get back to you soon.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Bureau – “After Midnight” (High Voltage Sounds)

Manchester’s The Bureau cite Magazine & Gary Numan as an influence - but sadly “After Midnight” sounds nothing like a cross between “Shot By Both Sides” & “Are Friends Electric?”. If I had to hazard a guess as to which 2 groups had been spliced together in the Petri dish to create The Bureau – my money would be on The Killers & The Bravery.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames – “Drop The Decade” (Dance To The Radio)

The decade, presumably, being the 80s. Naffos! I hate to say this – as I have nothing but admiration & respect for those cuddly insurrectionists at Dance To The Radio – but I, for one, am bored shitless with people trying to weld the word ‘Punk’ to the word ‘Funk’. Just go back & listen to any Gang Of Four Record other than “Damaged Goods”. Now go & listen to The Au pairs. By the time you’ve found your old Delta 5 records you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from. It didn’t really work then – so what chance has it got in 2006?

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Pink Riot – “Impressions” (Fake Product)

Pink Riot hail from Elstree – home of the famous film studios - & count Kruatrock, Radiohead, PIL & Augustus Pablo as influences. “Impressions” sounds like Genesis P Orridge fronting DAF. “Give Up” sounds like Steve Ignorant fronting PIL. Full marks to Pink Riot, then, for their excellently efficient ‘influence conversion ratio’. Spot on. Extra points can be added for taking ‘experimentation & substance over a flock of seagulls haircut & tight jeans’ any day. That’s the spirit.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Pigeon Detectives – “You Know I Love You” (Dance To The Radio)

I loved the first Pigeon Detectives 45 - “I’m Not Sorry”/”I’m Always Right” – both sides were alive with naïve charm – fired, I assumed at the time, by the spirit of Northern Irish Punkpop, circa 1979. “You Know I Love You” sounds flat & forced by comparison - & that’s a shame. “Wait For Me” is better – but I can’t help wondering whether the ‘next big thing’ tag so hastily foisted upon them back in March/April of this very year is anything other than a tad premature. Let’s face it, if you have to use quotes from Music Week on your press release, there’s little doubt about your true intentions. Maybe The Pigeon Detectives are fired by something else, after all.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Rotating Leslie – “Fire! Fire!” (Seriously Groovy)

Expulsion, arrest, insanity, LSD – just four of the many diverse elements that brought Hertfordshire’s Rotating Leslie together for your listening pleasure. As every heads or tails freak knows – there are two sides to every coin - & the second 45 from Rotating Leslie is most definitely a record of two sides. A-side - “Fire! Fire!” – is bog-standard ‘gritty, harmonic, art pop’ – arf arf! In post-Futureheads gritty-harmonic-art-pop-UK 2006, what isn’t? A breath of fresh air soon becomes halitosis if you don’t clean your teeth every morning & every night! B-side – “Piss In The Disco” – attempts to reconcile Greg, Adrian & Dan’s ‘love/hate’ relationship with their erstwhile dance-music-scene ex-buddies by grafting some squiggly acid house washing machine noises onto their Futureheads impressions in the hope that no one will notice they haven’t bothered to write a song.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Piranha Deathray – “Dolly Dolly”/”Last Australian In Sapce” (Dogbox)

Stoke Newington – once the butt of many an Alexi Sayle joke – can hold its collective head up once again – thanx to the sparky Pulpisms of Piranha Deathray. “Dolly Dolly” – inspired by Shonen Knife’s “Dolly” – is intelligent, soaring pop, shot through with just the right amount of eccentricity & flair. Comparisons with label mates Luxembourg are not unfounded – especially as The Bourg’s Alex Potterill not only adds keys - but twiddles the knobs too! “Last Australian In Space” is ample proof that the A-side is no fluke – so much so - that this debut 7” 45 is what we used to call a double A-side.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

H Bird – “Pink Lights & Champagne” (Dogbox)

Kate Dornan, Kasia Middleton & Aug Stone pedal seductive populism. Initial laboratory tests have found traces of Zazoo, Dusty Springfield & St Etienne. “Pink Lights & Champagne” – recorded by long time St Etienne mucker, Ian Catt – comes on like Kenickie fronting Belle & Sebastian. “Dear Dead Days” is more sublime: an evocative melody winds its way in & out of a tenderly picked acoustic, surrounded by melancholic piano & unobtrusive orchestration. Short & sweet – it’s over before you even realise you’ve fallen in love.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Somatics – “Dynamo Mercurial” (Demo)

This arrived with out any fuss or bother – or a press release either, for that matter – so I expect nothing but forgiveness for knowing nothing at all about The Somatics. What is apparent, however, is that “Dynamo Mercurial” is a 7-track self-financed EP affair – presumably available from the link below.

“Mercury Rising” begins soaked in old-school U2 atmospherics - with phased male vocals - backed by a spectral lone female voice. By the time the drums kick in - around the two-minute mark – the ghost of Hendrix is in the house - & an implied heaviness takes control. “Elemental” is altogether more appealing – Slowdive taking on the Morning After Girls, perchance? “Rebound” mixes whimsy with folkier tendencies - like a 21st century Fairport Convention jamming with Giant Drag – evoking the spirit of something far older than anything on display thus far. “The Lost Weekend” is impossibly beautiful – more Fairlight than Fairport, granted – but Joe Boyd would probably sign them on the spot - if he was still in the business. The guitars come crashing back in for “Remote” – the perfect synthesis of the full range of colours in the Somatics pallet. “In Flight” dips its feet into Beatles territory - with a supporting nod to the Byrds - & seems a tad out of place as a consequence. Incongruous just about covers it. “Ghosts” brings proceedings to a close with a sprawling epic that incorporates all of the above & more.

In conclusion, The Somatics deserve your time, your ears - & anything else you can do for them to help them realise their dreams. I suggest you hit the link below.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

Dead Disco – “Automatic” (Fierce Panda)

Ladytron meets Girls Aloud, screams the press release. Kate Bush fronts The Killers, chips in the influence pile! Oh my God, here we go again. “Automatic” is spunky – like Mike Skinner used to be funny. It presses all the right buttons – if semi-automated button pushing is what turns you on – but beneath all the ambition - the hollow bell of careerism rings true. I’ve never been that keen on discos, to be fair - & if I we’re to pass any given evening idly gyrating beneath a giant crystal ball – I’d probably be more inclined to chose Shit Disco.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

And What Will Be Left Of Them – “Wet Week In July” (The Little Hell Fire Club)

trakMARX favourites AWWBLOT return once again with a download-only follow up to 2005’s “Dance, Damn You, Dance” EP. “Wet Week In July” is darker, harder, meaner, stronger - the constantly competing voices of Red White & Blue Peter straddle their self-styled clatterpop with panache & conviction. Like a slightly sinister B52s shagging the Teardrop Explodes – AWWBLOT must be very happy – ‘cos everyone wants to shag the Teardrop Explodes!

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

The View – “Wasted Little DJs” (1965 Records)

“Wasted Little DJs” is one fuck of a storming radio play dead cert. Hits, I think we used to call them. Intro, bridge, witty verse, enormous incomprehensible chorus, breakdown, doo doo doo doos, screeching guitar solo, repeat chorus till collapse. Although The View hail from bonnie Scotland, they sound like they should have come from Northern Ireland, circa 1979. Take the bloated corpse of the drug-addled Libertines – embalm it with the Arctic Monkey’s - & dress it up in Rudi’s stencilled boiler suits for the funeral! Marvellous.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Reverse – “A Clean Incision” (Run Out)

To accuse The Reverse of going backwards would be pedantic. Their particular brand of romantic introspection may well be more House Of Love than Funhouse, but even the hardest heart in the house would find it nigh on impossible not to melt on hearing stand-out cut: “Don’t Take My Love Away” (itself a distant cousin of Cohen’s “Hallelujah”). From the people that brought you Sarandon, boasts the press release - & even though The Reverse possess little of their effervescent quirkiness – there is something of genuine warmth & substance here that threatens nothing but promise. “A Clean Incision” is the first in a series of 3-EPs The Reverse plan to release over the ensuing year. On the strength of “Don’t Take My Love Away” – it may well be worth collecting the set.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Hot Club de Paris – “Everyeveryeverything” (Moshi Moshi)

If all else fails, Hot Club de Paris could open a How To Sound Like The Futureheads college. Rotating Leslie (see above) would doubtless sign up immediately – as would just about every other ‘gritty-harmonic-artpop’ combo currently polluting the record shops of the UK like a pox. This is the kind of record Zane Lowe would describe as ‘the hottest record in the world right now’ – before asking his producer what to play next. Hot Club de Paris, meanwhile – not content with sounding EXACTLY like Futureheads (complete with regional accent realism) – have chosen to look like them too! Contempt is not a strong enough word.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Piskie Sits – “What Is The Point?” (Wrath)

Hurrah for Piskie Sits! Hurrah for Wrath! Hurrah for the record-buying cognoscenti! “What Is The Point?” takes a loving respect for Pavement & Sebadoh & skilfully weaves in some Teengage Fanclub style subtlety to fashion the kind of musical jumper you’d be chuffed to bits to get from Aunty Amber on any given Christmas Day. B-side – “Jelly Ring” – is equally beguiling – a cornucopia of winding melody – ever so slightly cracked at the edges – soaked in the sincerity of practised outsiders. Piskie Sits demand a place beside the classics in your collection without delay. Their forthcoming debut LP – “The Secret Sickliness” – has just become my most anticipated long player of 2006.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Rampton Release Date – “This Suicide Is Costing Me Money” (Demo)

The Rampton Release Date follow their stonking “My Dad’s A Spastic – My Life’s Fucking Fantastic” demo with 3-further cuts of aural insanity. “This Suicide Is Costing Me Money” mashes up Industrial, Punk, Metal & Who Cares What Else to fashion the kind of rumbling noize-fest that should be inserted up the arses of every Math-rock group on the planet in the name of regression – RIGHT HERE – RIGHT NOW! Imagine Motorhead, The Locust & Ministry evolving in the same test tube. Devastating.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Lost Penguin – “Mr Whippy” (Pop Disc)

This sounds like it was recorded down the telephone – not in an arty LoFi way – but in a ‘my God, that’s fucking quiet’ kinda way. No wonder the main refrain of B-side – “Disco Dazzler” – is: “turn the volume up!” Allegedly, Lost Penguin are exponents of the New Rave Culture currently setting the editorial rooms of the ENM, Guardian & Observer on fire. I don’t care how cheap their broken keyboards are – Lost Penguin sound nothing like X-Ray Spex. Winners of the prestigious Most Pretentious Press Release Of The Issue Award. Oh yeah, the rekkid’s shit too!

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Shimura Curves/Tim Ten Yen – “Stronger”/”When The Song Applies To You” (Brainlove Records)

Brainlove Records 7” Club No.2 – the second release in a planned series of 5-singles – brings us two distinct flavas of sculptured modern populism – one on each side: Shimura Curves, 4-girls straight out of London Village, peddle lush, harmony laden chamber pop with mildly sinister undertones. Self-styled Singing Salaryman, Tim Ten Yen, meanwhile, hits us right between the eyes with his enigmatic take on Magnetic Fields. Neither of these pieces would be out of place at the British Home For New Populism: Dogbox Records - & in case you hadn’t noticed – that’s a compliment!

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

Education – “Cool As You”/”Charles” (AA Double)

This only arrived this morning – but that hasn’t stopped me falling in love at first listen. A-side - “Cool As You” - employs a vaguely Smiths-ish template, speeds it up - & proceeds to venomously take the piss out of ‘older gentlemen’ who refuse to grow up! “I’m not as cool as you”, shouts the chorus, thrashing guitars pinging left, right & centre of the mix. At 2.09 - the song breaks down - sampled voices fill the speakers, mockingly. “Look great, feel great”, intones the punch line. B-side – “Charles” – does much the same for Prince Charles as “Cool As You” does for men of a certain age. Education could teach you a thing or two. You’re never too old to learn.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Danger’s Close – “Demo Recordings”

No titles, no names, no pack-drill. Danger’s Close rock the melodic end of the Old School Punk Rock spectrum with some panache, that’s all we know. Their female vocalist sounds a bit like Pauline Murray – thus the overall feel is “Don’t Dictate” era Penetration - & that can’t be a bad thing.

Tel – 01473 434860
Email –

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06


LP Of The Issue:

Blacktime – “Midnight World” (Into The Red)


If Blacktime were American they would be on the cover of every two-bit music magazine in the UK - at once! As it is, they’re English - & for the most part – they’re largely ignored. That’s not just a crying shame – it’s a fucking disgrace.

“Midnight Time” – the group’s second long-player for In The Red Records – is quite possibly the best British Punk Rock & Roll record since “Blackout” – their debut LP. Blacktime are peerless, after all - & any accusations of nepotism can go fuck themselves: what fledgling independent record label wouldn’t want to make their first release a record by one of their favourite groups? It’s all about heroes/heroines. It’s all about reverence. It’s all about resonance. If it isn’t – you’re in the wrong game, boy!

“Midnight World” picks up where “Blackout” left off. Punk Rock, Garage Punk, Rock & Roll, Rockabilly & Dub are pushed head first into the swamp of futile gestures. The trash aesthetic is a way of life. Caution, Too Bad & Stix are your friends. Let them guide you through 16-new cuts of aural destitution:

“Mystery Shopper”/”Middle Class”/”I’m Desperate”/”Office Suicide”/”The Mummy”/”Panic Attacks”/”Psychic Tracks”/”Capital Of Pain”/”You’re Stealing My Time”/”Living Sign”/”Midnight World”/”Out With The In Crowd”/”New Fiction”/”Nightime Pt.2”/”Classical Mess”/”Escape Velocity”

There are no standout tracks. They’re all fucking brilliant. No 2-track short cut to Ipod heaven here, bub. No easy way in. no easy way out.

Jean Aramis Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Schwervon – “I Dream Of Teeth” (Olive Juice Music)

Nan Turner & Major Matt Mason are the King & Queen of NYC’s Anti-Folk community - & “I Dream Of Teeth” is Schwervon’s 3rd long player. The LP’s title relates to dentistry issues:

Matt: “I don’t have health insurance so I had to go to NYU dental school, which was scary. There was just a big room with cubicles & dentist chairs in them, with various drills & sounds going off”

Nan, on the other hand, a young woman oft troubled with an irrational ‘fear of bad things happening’, began having nightmares in which ‘my teeth were full of decay’. All omens considered, “I Dream Of Teeth” seems strangely pertinent.

“Winners Lose”, “Flaming Dragonfly”, “Sore Eyes” & “Undertow” – are the gems here – up there with anything either one of our intrepid duo have committed to disc thus far – in any connotation. “Dog Walkers Of The World Unite” & “What Did You Call Me?” also deserve a mention.

With all the current bollocks surrounding the use of the word ‘folk’ – ‘folktronica’, ‘lap-top-tronica’, etc – it’s refreshing to be reminded that Anti-Folk is still the natural antidote to fingers-in-the-ears hey-nonny-no self-indulgence. If you ever wondered what Sonny & Cher would have sounded like if they’d been backed by Pixies – here’s your chance.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

V/A – “Anti-Capitalism” (Overground Records)

The 4th in Overground’s Anarcho Punk compilation series brings together 23-tracks of bedlam, chaos, confusion, disorder, disorganisation, lawlessness & pandemonium. 17-of these babies are either alternate versions of previously released material - or previously unreleased tracks – which means “Anti-Capitalism” scores a healthy 75% on the tMx exclusivity factor gauge! Conflict, Crass, The Epileptics, Rudimentary Peni, The Cravats & Antisect stand shoulder to shoulder with lesser know regional outfits to paint a vivid picture of a time when political conviction meant more than attempting to steal the Mills barriers from outside of No.10 Downing Street. With a 24-page booklet bursting with info, biogs, contax, rare photos & a foreword by Penny Rimbaud (Crass), “Anti-Capitalism” is an evocative snapshot of a country at war with its leadership. Vive la revolution!

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

The Stabilisers – “Wanna Do The Wild Plastic Brane Love Thing? (Acid Jazz)

Hot on the heels of their recent “Do The Brane” 45 – Allan Crockford’s (The Prisoners, The Headcoats, The Solarflares) Stabilisers drop their 2nd long player. “Wanna Do The Wild Plastic Brane Love Thing?” is somewhat of a revelation – being – as it is - absolutely jam-packed with 17-mother’s-little-helpers to keep you dancin’ all through the night.

The Stabilisers sure cut a dash: their threads are sharp, their barnets short & their tongues never far away from their cheeks. Reminiscent of The Boys, The Jam, The Chords, The Buff Medways & all things modernist, this excellent collection doesn’t contain a duff moment in all it’s 48 minutes 25 seconds. My favourite tracks today are “Mental Illness Is Good For You”, “Drunk Again”, “She’s A Goth” & “Taking The Piss”. The Stabilisers then – essential if you haven’t learnt to ride a bike yet.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Jowe Head – “From A Parallel Universe” (Topplers Records)

Erstwhile Swell Map & TV Personality Jowe Head has been swimming against the tide for 30-years now. Luckily his arms were not too tired to record “From A Parallel Universe” especially for us: the ones who still care.

“Son Of Merman (Part 1)” floats on a bed of Augustus Pablo shaped melodica. Bacharach & David’s “Paper Mache” becomes mid-paced powerpop. “Cake Shop Girl” – a Head-composed Maps song from the darkest recesses of 1980 – still sounds as fresh as a deli-pastry. “Neither Fish Nor Fowl” somehow manages to out-Wait Tom Waits. “Jack In The Green” boasts a filthy bass-line & sparring violins. “Serbsville” provides a delicate instrumental interlude. “Strange Celestial Roads” out-freaks Sun Ra’s original on every tier of the cosmos. “Mermer” ropes in oblique analogue electronica whilst “Son Of Merman (Part 2) draws proceedings to a close with a 21st century sea shanty.

“From A Parallel Universe” is beautifully packaged in gatefold card splendour, decorated with Jowe’s own distinctive designs - 40-minutes of eclectic eccentricity from one of the UK’s most endearing legendary outsiders. Chapeau, Topplers. You win again.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Spotlight Kid – “Departure” (Club AC30)

Spotlight Kid have risen from the ashes of Nottingham’s oft ignored Six By Seven. Fronted by Bent vocalist, Katty Heath, Spotlight Kid’s debut LP was born out of a shared love for all things MBV, Slowdive & Lush.

Opener - “Never’s Too Soon” - effortlessly sets the tone - with it’s raging Kevin ‘Green’ Shields 6-string attack: there may everything but the kitchen sink thrown in here - but the tune still shines through. “Can’t Let Go”, “Seefeel”, “A Million Ways” & “Electric Forecast” stand out from the more mundane atmospherics elsewhere – but the overall limitations of influence dictate that “Departure” is anything but.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

V/A – “Digital Penetration” (alt/del Recordings)

Compilation companion to the much hyped ENM-branded New Rave Of New Rave ‘scene’. All your glow-stick waving, air-horn taxing favourites are here: Supersystem – who sound like Blancmange, The Presets – who sound like a Blancmange tribute group, The Neon Plastics – who sound like The Killers sicking up some Blancmange they ate earlier, Revl9n – who sound like Wendy James fronting Altern8, Mother & The Addicts – who sound like they’ve wandered onto the wrong compilation, Corey Dargel – who sounds like Aled Jones fronting Magnetic Fields, Crystal Castles – who sound like they’ve been invented especially for “Digital Penetration” by an increasingly out-of-touch Malcolm McLaren, Architecture In Helsinki – who sound like the kind of thing you may here in a particularly ‘happening’ elevator, Envelopes – who definitely are on the wrong compilation, dealing, as they do, in wonky, skronky folk-pop, Letters And Colours – who sound bored, Bricolage – who sound like Orange Juice, New Young Pony Club – who sound like Tom Tom Club, Dandi Wind – who sound like they’re blowing in the wrong direction, We Are Wolves – who sound like Pop Will Eat Itself - & the appallingly monikered Skychild – who sound tired.

Only These New Puritans, Shit Disco, Theoretical Girl & Klaxons – ‘scene’ haters one & all - & Cut Copy – Australians – have any merit whatsoever. Not so much a ‘scene’ then, more a kind of marketing strategy.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Sarandon – “The Completist’s Library” (Wrath Records)

Sarandon have made quite a name for themselves with their 2 x 7-track EPs for Banazan - & 2 further 7-track mini-collections for the ever wonderful Wrath Records. 2 + 2, as any Doctorate In Mathematics will tell you = 4 - & all 4-scrumptious EPs (28- tracks, maths fans!) are gathered together for your deconstructionist pleasure here on “The Completist’s Library”. Sarandon give ‘gritty harmonic artpop’ a good name whilst managing to sound nothing like the Futureheads - & any group with a lead singer called Crayola is all right by me.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Sick 56 – “Punishment” (JSNTGM Records)

The follow up to their corrosive debut, “Recipe For Disaster”, “Punishment” has taken Sick 56 the best part of 12-months to nail down. The pace throughout is furious. Indignation seeps from every note. The guitars seethe, the vocals rally, the drums propel - & the bass secures it all to the floor like an industrial staple gun. 12-salvos of terrace chant fervour - 12-blistering condemnations of post-modern British existence – 12-good reasons for making “Punishment” your number one anti-establishment purchase of the month. Full-on Punk Rock meets Power-Metal in a hail of broken blood vessels.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

Collapse – “Collapse” (Fake Product)

Collapse count combos such as Lightening Bolt, Wolf Eyes & Unwound as compadres – so that gives you some idea where they’re coming from. “Collapse” is a 6-track 10” mini-LP from Fake Product – the label that we thought only released singles. What do we know? Fuck all, apparently! What do Collapse care? They’re not remotely bothered. They’ve been shifting bucket loads of Ltd CD singles on 1234 Records through Rough Trade’s door this past year. Dissonant, stubborn & bereft of any thing remotely approaching tuneage – Collapse are definitely not recommended to sufferers of angina! If you like your Punk Rock to veer towards the Jesus Lizzard end of the Punk Rock spectrum & you do not have a heart complaint – then Collapse will do just fine. My favourite was “Anxiety” – just in case anyone’s interested.

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Instant Species – “Robert The Bruce’s Spider” (IS Records)

We last encountered Instant Species on Wrath’s Superseven (No.12) 7” 45 delivering “Hombrecide” (included here) to the masses. This sparky Huddersfield troupe are something of a self-perpetuating enigma – having already self-released 5 LPs prior to “Robert The Bruce’s Spider”. This kind of makes them the new Pulp on one level: patiently waiting to be discovered by an ever-fickle pop public. How disappointing, then, that we no longer have John Peel to slowly but surely plug away at the nations sub-consciousness on a nightly basis on Instant Species’ behalf, as he most surely would have done had he still been with us. With barely a whiff of a Futurehead’s pastiche, Instant Species chuck out sea shanties, spaghetti western inflections, disco, waltzes & ska to compliment their solid alt-pop wanderings. If you’re not washing your hair tonight, track yourself down a copy of “Robert The Bruce’s Spider” from the link below - & help fuck the fashionistas.

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06

Tapes’n’Tapes – “The Loon” (XL Recordings)

These Minnesota shufflers have been causing a kerfuffle ever since their formation in 2003. At this year’s SXSW they played 9 showcases – causing many a grown A&R man to wet their pants in the process – whilst fending off groupies like MTV, Radio 1, Music Week, ENM, Rolling Stone & The New York Times with a rolled up copy of the “DIY Guide To Making It Big”.

Let’s go back in time: “The Loon” was recorded in a shed with the group’s close friend Erik Applewick knob twiddling. Tapes’n’Tapes were so chuffed with the results they decided to invite Erik to join the group - & hastily set about self-releasing the LP from their own bedrooms! By Xmas of 2005 “The Loon” had sold over 10,000 copies – lodging it at number 21 on CMU’s Top 200 – whatever that is! We can deduce a couple of interesting things from this statistic:

Tapes’n’Tapes must have a large bedroom!. Tapes’n’Tapes must have rich parents - because pressing up 10,000 records isn’t cheap!

Meanwhile, back at SXSW – a chequebook fight broke out – resulting in Tapes’n’Tapes signing a worldwide deal with XL Recordings for an undisclosed fee believed to be in excess of $100!

OK, OK, enough bullshit, already. Just tell us what they sound like & stop trying to be clever, I hear you say:

Tapes’n’Tapes say very little to me about my life. If this is ‘left-of-centre-experimental-indie’ than I’m off to Mars on holiday next week as a special guest of NASA. I hear little of Pavement’s ‘basement indie’, even less of Talking Heads’ ‘eclecticism’ & absolutely none of the frenzied power of Pixies. What I do hear is 11-tracks of faceless, boring, generic ‘schmindie’ made by people ‘just a bit too clever for their own good’. All very commendable, & all that, but about as boring as watching the latest edition of Ucunt dry.

Robert De Janeiro – tMx 26 – 09/06

TV On The Radio – “Return To Cookie Mountain” (4AD)

Excuse me while I don a false beard for this one. It’s important to have something to stroke whist listening to TV On The Radio.

First impressions: well, I always like a hand-written press release, don’t you? You can tell by the scriblings out & stuff that they were really concentrating while they were doing it. Circled ‘key words’ seem to suggest some kind of ‘hidden code’ is being used here:

“Family” – “At War” – “In Love” – “Waffle” (or is that water? – terrible handwriting, sorry) – “Violence” – “Rainbow” – “Toxins” – “Addictions” – “Good:Bad Vibes” – “Family”

‘Dear Listener’ is a nice touch too – like any of the recipients of these kind of packages are actually listening. The pencil drawing of a ‘TVOTR Time Line’ is a bonus! Now I know exactly when TVOTR became a ‘5-piece-family’. Peace, at last!

The packaging is lovely though – as it always was with 4AD – so shall it always be. Lots of abstract portraits of bird’s nests, trees, houses, tree houses & ghosts. I want to like the music too – I really do. It’s just that barber’s shop quartets bore me rigid - & I’ve never hankered after hearing Outkast jam with Modern English.

I’m in no doubt whatsoever that TVOTR are talented chaps – some of their – ahem, ‘sound-scapes’ – are really quite engaging – but then they go & spoil it all by saying something stupid like:

“I bought you flowers from the dying woods of Brazil
This little bird
While the kids burned down the greenhouse pushed the charred frame into the landfill
Put his beak to the word
We bought the new bodies we bought diamond encrusted guns
So who the hell are you?
Making out so high in the backseat of a car-bomb under carcinogenic sun”

“Wash The Day”

Summary: pretentious – some sunshine - with cloudy patches!

Guy Debored – tMx 26 – 09/06

Jean Encoule – tMx 26 – 09/06
Contact: - We're All Addicted To Something