IT'S GRIMMS UP NORTH SEEP AWAY "MATCHSTICK MAN" (SPOTIFY)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Released as a teaser from or a warning of their imminent "Social Ineptitude" ep, this is kind of slow motion Black Sabbath with some nice tech-trickery and some wonderfully awful lead vox, he's probably taking the piss, I know that I am. It's also very much worth looking up their previous works, "Trudge" is a kind of metal answer to Death In Vegas, but a million lead tons better.
IS IT ANY GOOD? Oh yes. Look up 'Bludgeon' in the dictionary and "Matchstick Man" starts playing at you. For fans of Brian & Michael. WHERE IS IT?www.facebook.com/seepaway
FROM DUMB TO NUMB Pt 117,875
MICHAEL MALARKEY "UNCOMFORTABLY NUMB" (CAT ON CAP RECORDS)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Very much like someone who owns a few alt-americanana records and "Uncomfortably Numb" is a low key drawl n growl that's gravid with the pain of this, this... Artist. We know that Michael is an artist because he says so, and about this track he refers to the "Expectations placed on the reclusive artist thrust into the spotlight and forced to deal with the unquenchable thirst of the public."
Hmmm, the track is harmless enough, but Michael is a whining cunt. From stage school, to musicals, to tv series, to making an album that references the pain and tedium of stardom. Well, go work a till and we'll find someone who actually wants to write and perform, maybe someone who writes and performs because they're driven, because they have something to say rather than fuck all to moan about. IS IT ANY GOOD? No, but that's not the point, is it Michael? WHERE IS IT?www.michaelmalarkeyofficial.com
THE POWER OF POP
GUGGI DATA "POP / ROCK" (BANDCAMP, SPOTIFY)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Bombastic, synth laden, gorgeous, anthemic and it actually is pop/rock. Yes, there's violence, yes, there's more than a debt to Todd Rundgren or Cheap Trick and everyone and anyone who is hopelessly and helplessly in love with pop (and rock) and all of it's clever, dumb-fun trickery and everyone who stands in wonder and wonders why they're crying at some combination of 'moon n june' lyric and swoonsome chorus and... That's before the riff kicks in. So, that's enough about pop and rock in the general, let's get onto Guggi Data. He's good.
All the basics are covered, yawing riffs, speedy backbeats, a cute chorus on every corner and nice mix of lyrical sweet and sour. All the tricks are in play, clean production, crisp and sharp percussion, the feedback flirtations, everything you could ask for from a pop/rock record. Obviously, it feels like a greatest hits compilation rather than album in the regular sense. This too is cool and reminds us to remind Guggi that he needs to be put a couple of not so good tracks on his next set. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes, it's a regular pop/rock masterclass. WHERE IS IT?www.facebook.com/guggidata/
GOODBYE INDIE GUITAR LANDFILL LETS TOKYO "YOU ARE" (SOUNDCLOUD / YOUTUBE ETC)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Polished, accomplished, depressing, like the lyric, though. It is lyric in the singular, so "You Are" is ideal chart fodder and there's nothing wrong with being chart frodder, except when it's dressed up as some basement collective art explosion. Lets Tokyo do perfectly okay, derivative pop stuff and everyone is okay for that.
IS IT ANY GOOD? Not really. It'd be better to talk about the work ethic flagged up in their pr blurb. Apparently, it's all do it yourself, from conception to release. However, I'm pretty sure that their r n b lite n trite was all over the fucking planet long before Lets Tokyo did it themselves and if they really are a closed circuit, diy collective, why have they got a pr agency? WHERE IS IT?https://letstokyomusic.com/
HEAD OUT LIKE A STUPID KID
JOSEPH CHILDLESS "JOSEPH CHILDLESS" (EMPTY CELLAR RECORDS)
RELEASED? 6th October. SOUNDS LIKE? A genuinely great album. Something that's nothing like Gram Parsons or The Broken Family Band, though both would love this record almost as much as I do. It's a set with a country soul, a set that puts hard rock into country-rock, a set that effortlessly captures, in passing, every cool ounce of Scandinavian ankst and every drip of the sweaty USA. Simply, Joseph Childless makes art of work and makes powerful art from the simple dirt of small words, universal themes, clear diction and very accomplished playing. I know, mental eh?
You'll be thinking that I'm going to make some reference to some mythical past, a time when 'proper albums' were everywhere and Simon Cowell hadn't been invented, but no. Joseph Childless and this, his second album are thoroughly modern and contemporary. Universal themes are constantly contemporary, but they can only be authentically addressed by people who experience them as well as having the inclination, drive and skill to share them. Share them through speech, paint, sculpture, music and anything that serves to convey ideas and emotions. IS IT ANY GOOD? We're way past 'good' and well into 'essential'. We get a lot of records to listen to and so very, very few of them step straight from the review pile to all time playlist and "Joseph Childless" is one of them. WHERE IS IT?www.facebook.com/josephchildressband/
THE FUTURE WELCOMES CARELESS DRIVERS HOLY BOY "THE BLOOD MOON" (NATIVE HABITAT)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? There's a lot of chat, chat, chatter about artificial intelligence at the moment and this sounds like the kind of thing a truculent and creative AI might come up with.
Drone, clatter, drifting sounding sheets, robotic, but throbs organically. Even I can dance to it. "The Blood Moon" is, in pop review terms, an electronica-anthem, given flesh by a matchless vocal. IS IT ANY GOOD? Oh yes, if this is the future, bring it on and turn it up. WHERE IS IT?www.facebook.com/holyboyaudio
IDEAL THREESOME:CUTE,CLEVER AND CROSS
ROME IS NOT A TOWN "I'M IN A BRAND" (STAR TRACKS)
RELEASED? 29th September. SOUNDS LIKE? Classy and nasty. Definitely, it's like Ten Benson have been rolled around in Veruca Salt. Scotch soaked drawling and growling for vocals, lazy, incoming tracer, style riffs and jangled lead notes flag up the hits.
This is really, really cute, or clever, or both. I mean, it's raw and they're sore, but they're not howling idiots and "I'm In A Brand" is a neat observation of their, or our condition. IS IT ANY GOOD? Look, when you do the noise + clever + cross equation it always equals good. Know this; "i'm In A Brand" is merely the single from the imminent "It's A Dare" album that's out on the 29th September. WHERE IS IT?https://en-gb.facebook.com/romeisnotatown/
THIS IS THE SOUND OF THE
SUBURBS CATRELL "TREND" (CD BABY)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Let's take a letter
from America; "My name is Anna and
I am contacting you regarding an
upcoming artist from Atlanta,
Georgia. His name is Catrell and he
is a multi-genre artist with family
oriented, clean, fun music.".
Thanks for that, Anna, but
describing the noise is my job, so
here goes; Catrell says 'bitches' which isn't all that family, or fun for the people so described, but there is some nice, very plastique guitar alternating with some Spanish and that's fun, but "Trend" is a very dated thing. Really, it's just street stuff from the suburbs, bad boy stuff from a good boy. Catrell doesn't sound like he's been bitten and that may be why his sound has no bite. IS IT ANY GOOD? Ah, technically correct, but it's old and tired and hip-rap-hop isn't a form that lends itself easily to safety, self-censorship and sanitising. WHERE IS IT? https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/Catrell
AND TELLING STUPID LIES CANSHAKER PI "INDIE ACADEMY" (Excelsior Recordings)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? An excitable kind of Oasis with a good whack of Violent Human System. Lots of backbeating and some odd hesitations in the drumming, cool enough to let the deranged scrawling guitar through and then the chorus stamps in and that ups, or downs us into festival fodder.
A superior version, to be sure, but this is big stage noise, nothing intimate or bashful here, a less polished kind of Weezer? Too soon? We don't care, "Indie Academy" is fun and, hopefully, ironic. IS IT ANY GOOD? It's fun and, hopefully, ironic. WHERE IS IT? https://en-gb.facebook.com/CanshakerPi/
SOMEWHERE ELSE TO GO... DEAD SEEM OLD "MISCHIEF" (LO RECORDINGS)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Sharp, sharply monochrome, snappy, crisp and jazzy, despite their people describing this as 'punchy' and 'indie'. We prefer the one word review, 'class'. Everything else is just chutney.
Dead Seem Old are currently bearded, probably pay too much for rat-droppings and gravel masquerading as muesli and are almost certainly adding cachet and empties to some achingly trendy corner of London, but nothing can disguise their casual mastery of noise. Theirs is an evolving, erratic, yet compelling soundslap. Endure and enjoy. That's what they've taught us. IS IT ANY GOOD? Please see above. WHERE IS IT?www.facebook.com/deadseemold