WHY WE NEED EVERYTHING ELSE Pt 67,009 MAVERICK "FUNERAL" (UNIVERSAL)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Well it slithers in on sub Rocky Horror intro noises and that is very much as good as it gets. Mainly because what follows is trickily syncopated schlock that struts a tired electro-trash bit of nonsense. I have to face facts, it's fucking horrible and that's why I hate it.
If you want busy, self-important clatter, you're a bigger idiot than me and Maverick combined. IS IT ANY GOOD? No, there's much better stuff out there and it's called 'everything else'. WHERE IS IT?www.mavrickofficial.com
MAKING AMERICA GRATE, AGAIN FILTER "TAKE ME TO HEAVEN" (WIND UP RECORDS)
RELEASED? 8th April. SOUNDS LIKE? Generic rawk, but it actually sounds much worse if you watch the video while you're listening. Our comprehensive and scientific survey of three wasted people shows that 100% of those watching and listening thought that Filter should be boiled for glue to keep Trump's wig on, while 100% who just listened to "Take Me To Heaven" thought that Filter were 'not all that'. Obviously that's unfair and fails to take account of the high production values for the video, the impressive application of marketing expertise and the effort made to impress.
I mean, the press stuff says this, this, er, single, this video, this event has nothing less than "an LA rooftop party, champagne, and industrial vibes". You have to love the apparently irony free juxtaposition of 'champagne' and 'industrial' and the video manages to be the most patronising since Beneton went missing. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes, it's a brilliant example of post-rational Americana. The funniest thing, like, er, ever, is that Filter think that they're some kind of rebellion rather than Tea Party toddlers. WHERE IS IT? www.officialfilter.com
THE WORD WE ARE LOOKING FOR IS... CRITTI & THE BORZOI'S "STUART'S COVE EP"(BIG CARTEL)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Great, but that's only ninety percent of the story. The other good stuff is that the press release is more like an incoherently enthusiastic fan letter and that the band have a whimsical, yet brutally elegant solution to the age old 'what do we put on the b-side?' question, they have the same tracks, played backwards. It is impossible and should be illegal to do anything other than love them. Even so,the love flows easily because the title track out Beatles the Beatles with a massive, intricately lush swoon and swing that's clever enough to deploy plastique guitars and toy trumpets as well as massed choirs in towering embankments and a solemnly loping drumbeat and you will never hear synths work harder.
The word we are all looking for is magnificent. The favourite is "Twenty Eyes" a slow spin through muffled production that numbers They Might Be Giants and The Smiths as possible influences and a guitar that bends as it stings the slow burning, sweet core of churning bass and angelic vocals. IS IT ANY GOOD? Very, very. Forget the silly 'indie' accoutrements of rough cartoons and bedroom recording tales, "stuart's Cove" is a genuine, grown up and very proper record, it's also fucking brilliant. WHERE IS IT?www.facebook.com/Critteandtheborzoi
HE NEVER THINKS OF YOU ANDY SHAUF "THE PARTY" (ANTI RECORDS)
RELEASED? 20th May. SOUNDS LIKE? We loved his debut so much that we said nice things about it and it's only fair to warn you that we're going to say nice things about "The Party" as well. The nice things include the observation that Andy Shauf may still be a glass half empty, cracked and poisoned by life, kind of guy, but his sound is maturing nicely. Obviously, we don't know, or much care how more or less diy his recording methods are nowadays, but the actual sound in the headphones is fuller and richer and his vocals are very much more intergrated, so the overall sound is like the best of Burt Bacharach and consequently gorgeous, despite the occasional, but casual brutality of the piano chords. That's not going to stop the easy, obvious and accurate Beatles comparison, late Beatles comparison, because Andy Shauf is doing the supposedly simple things very well.
Those 'things' are settling on the concept (A party, each track is another character at the party) and then writing simple, elegant and insidious melodies and layer-caking the mix with a sumptuous melange of instruments and effects and, obviously, narrating with gentle, but forensic dissections of every body and everybody involved. I could have just said it's the lost Burt Bacharach concept album. Mind you, there's more than nine of the 10cc in here as well. So it's odd that "Martha Sways" ends up as the favourite track, it's a yawing acoustic ache and he can sing that there's no weight holding him down, but "The Party" is a hefty bit of kit, it has styles, oddities and all of that, but it has real substance as well. You should also know that Mr Shauf is playing live shows real soon and possibly real near, just click THIS for details. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes, it is a brilliant record and it's a very easy record to listen to and to understand and to relate to and that's probably why it's a joy to enjoy. WHERE IS IT?www.andyshauf.com
GRATE EXPECTATIONS BATS FOR LASHES "IN GOD'S HOUSE" (PARLOPHONE)
RELEASED? 1st July. SOUNDS LIKE? Good. The whole bats for Ms Khan and her wibblings has kind of passed us by, I mean, an acceptable version of Lily Allen is every kind of of oxymoron, but the new, artier, more fragile and altogether more accessible incarnation offers genuine promise.
This 'release' is the second taste from the forthcoming album, "The Bride", so there's a concept on the loose and we know that you know your Dickens and that means that references to Miss Havisham are forbidden, but the thudding bass lines winding ever tighter around Khan's tautly ethereal vocals contrast so sweetly with the collapsing synths that it sounds more like a restrained Siouxsie than a career changing popster. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes, it's a slice from a cake, but it's still cool as a stand alone. WHERE IS IT?www.batforlashes.com
THE TRUTH ABOUT M VINCE GRANT "MY DEPRESSION IS ALWAYS TRYING TO KILL ME" EP (SOUNDCLOUD)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? If you came to me and suggested that ramming the Verve through Crowded House in a big, stadium stylee kind of way you'd be shitting teeth before you hit the ground. I know, I'm very, very sorry and I'm very, very sorry because you are right and getting Vince Grant to wire every single thing he's feeling, ever felt or noticed to some throbbing, melodic towers of emotion was a very good idea indeed and that's the the opener, "Meloncholia" covered and if they're all this intense it's a good job this is only a five track ep. Another please...
"Oceans II" is in the same vein, only with cuter keyboards and an eye on radio play, another... "Edge Of The World" is, I am guessing, from the older end of his songbook, it's a more simple thing, tarted up nicely by low key guitar fuzzes and defaced by an intrusive organ (quiet at the back) and it's the committed delivery, nagging piano and the simple structure that makes "edge Of The World" two things; the best track here and and possibly the best track that Traffic never did and it's more than enough reason to own and play this ep. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes. WHERE IS IT?http://vincegrantmusic.com
IF YOU WANNA GET AHEAD... START RUNNING SIZZY ROCKET "THRILLS" (MAKE IT UP)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Fractured and frilly electro that that stamps and clatters enthusiastically and angrily around a mix that's nine parts attitude, one part hispanic and no parts Partridge Family. It's very sexual, because it is, like all good sex, nasty, brutish and lasts around three minutes.
Obviously this is proper pop, it's both trash and brilliant and this makes Sizzy Rocket much better than Leonard Cohen because Leonard Cohen can't do pop and I don't have to pretend to like Sizzy Rocket. IS IT ANY GOOD? It beats the crap outta Leonard Cohen. WHERE IS IT?http://sizzyrocket.com/
RAT FUCKING FUN THE GILLS "GIMME, GIMME" (i-TUNES / SPOTIFY etc)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Lots of fun. Punky, space, swamp, sneering, comic, cut n paste bombast. It's a bit like Oasis with talent or Primal Scream with a sense of humour. The Gills represent everything, and I mean everything that was ever good, or supposed to be good about 'indie rock'.
The Gills mean rock music created independently and free from careerist shite, fashionista bullshit and obviously and inevitably interesting, challenging and a lead ton of rat fucking fun. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Clever people making loud and catchy noises for fun, if that's not pop n roll you can have my tits for ear muffs. WHERE IS IT?www.thegillsmusic.com
BEND OVER BEETHOVEN! KONG "MUTE POET VOCALISER" (PEACEVILLE RECORDS)
RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? Hard rock. Excellent hard rock. Like many other chin-stroking wankers I have been far too pleased to point out that the best and the truest metal was produced from the late sixties to the early eighties. So, it's a little inconvenient to have one of the best metal albums in the history of ever land in the inbox with a 1990 original release date stamped on it. Kong are also Dutch and they look like shit, but "Mute Poet Vocaliser" is a landmark rock album.
You listen to something like "P.R.O.K.O.V" and you can hear the alpha male version of "Nevermind" without Kurt whining, you listen to "Cows" and realise why you always thought that the Chilli Peppered take on metal funk was way too lite and you revel in, never mind listen to "7/8" and know why The Kills are never going to get near winning a swamp rock fist fight with a real band. In short and in truth; "Mute Poet Vocaliser" is first and first a peerless rock album and it's also one that transcends genre quibbles and it's one that you must hear. IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes, it's the definitive heavy rock album and no annoying vocals neither! WHERE IS IT? http://kong.nl/p/r/mpv.html