Album Review: Fawn Spots – From Safer Place

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From Safer Place, the début album from York-based punk trio Fawn Spots, rests on a tipping point: written, recorded and self-produced at the bands own rehearsal space, it captures them in ferocious form, a band at the threshold of the familiar and about to slash and burn their way into unknown territory. Having built a fearsome […]

Album Review: Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space

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Public Service Broadcasting is a band that ought not to be able to release more than one album. The formula of putting music to samples of archive footage is something at first arresting; it’s the sort of simple-but-effective idea you can’t believe nobody has exploited properly before. However, having heard the band’s fascinating debut record […]

Album Review: Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

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Noah’s voice is somewhere up in the ether. Opener ‘Sequential Circuits’ christens the album with a languorous sweep of the arm, the choral vocal so drenched in reverb that the edges blur. Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) harmonises with himself as sustained, echoing synth plays the same trick. The beat is a damp pulse, a squidgy […]

ALBUM REVIEW: DAN MANGAN + BLACKSMITH – CLUB MEDS

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With the 2014 albums of the year lists still fresh in the memory, early releases for the new year have the responsibility of filling us with optimism for the next 12 months. Step up – Dan Mangan + Blacksmith. The multi-instrumentalist Canadian folk popster, Dan, grew up on a diet of Nick Drake and The […]

ALBUM REVIEW: KLOZAPIN – KLOZAPIN

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The self-titled debut album from New York based band Klozapin is an exciting and vibrant mixture of genre, sound and influence. With so much going on identifying a category in terms of genre has proven difficult, and indeed the band pride themselves in this lack of restraint in the music (with elements of psychedelia, rock, […]

Album Review: Trash Kit – Confidence

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There’s an innate appeal in hearing bands who push boundaries and plough their own furrow. The interest for the listener in being at the edge of the musical map is there are fewer points of reference, no landmarks to keep us on track and provide comfortable orientation. For the bands performing in this space, there […]

Album Review: Cool Ghouls – A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye

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San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls’ second album A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye recorded live to tape by Sonny Smith (Sonny and the Sunsets) and mixed and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring) captures a band enthralled to the heady sound of late sixties ‘Nuggets’ era garage and the loud guitars […]

ALBUM REVIEW: 2:54 – The Other I

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2:54’s ‘Scarlet’ EP instantly caught my attention a couple of years ago, prompting me to sign up for their 2012 Deaf Institute gig. The London based alternative rock band’s self titled debut long player shortly followed, and didn’t disappoint – their broody, understated, infectious melodies hit all the right spots. Sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow front the four-piece, […]

LIVE: LAMB – 01/11/2014

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- ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER – Lamb were arguably at their peak when I was most impressionable, blending genres that I was immersed in at the time – trip-hop and drum & bass. 22 years ago, Lou Rhodes and Andy Barlow agreed to start a band, in a bar on Manchester’s Oldham street – they made […]

Album Review: Aldous Harding – Aldous Harding

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The plain unadorned picture of Aldous Harding (actual name Hannah) looking back at you on the cover of her début, eponymously titled album, in many ways hints at the subtle pleasures hidden within. It’s an album of stark beauty, an album which could have been made any time in the last fifty, if not a […]