Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Francobollo - We're Going To... Rio (Moonshiner Records) 
Francobollo - We're Going To...Rio

Release Date: 25th November 2013

Here we have a new single made by two guys who dress up as the former Spanish dictator Franco and Bollo the ape from the Mighty Boosh. Or five guys from Sweden but now living in Finsbury Park. The latter might seem more plausible on paper but when you hear 'We're Going To...Rio' it could easily be written and performed by two nutters in fancy dress. Or it could just be the weirdest ever attempt at writing a world cup song. The rumbling, brooding bassline suggests that this is going to be a moody rock beast but soon the gentle, circular guitar riff comes in and then Super Furry Animals style vocals and it all becomes clear. This bonkers indie at its best and, if I didn't know these guys were Swedes, I would have put money on them being Welsh such are the similarities to the likes of SFA and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. There are also at least two false endings and a weirdly spooky piano outro which all add to the quirk of this song.  Bonkers but in a great way, that's the best way to sum that up I think!

Live Dates:
31st October - Queen Of Hoxton, London
23rd November - The Lock Taverns, London (Single Launch)

28th November - The Four Bars, Cardiff


The Leisure Society - Tearing The Arches Down (Full Time Hobby Records) 
The Leisure Society - Tearing The Arches Down

Release Date: 25th November 2013

Just to get this out of the way first off, the video for this song is yet to be made and if you want to make it then you can enter the competition to make it with the winner being picked by fancy actor/director type fella, Paddy Considine . To make a good video though, you're going to need to know what the song sounds like in case you don't have any speakers, access to the internet or ears. 'Tearing The Arches Down' is a dreamy yet eccentric slice of English indie pop, the kind this isle has been producing for a few decades like it was spitting out cherry stones. Think Young Knives, Pulp, the Kinks, My Life Story, the Devine Comedy (in on a technicality, like Terry Wogan) and LWM favourites the Little Philistines. If I was to be so bold as to recommend a starting point for a video, I would suggest something story based featuring the Leisure Society in some typically English settings such as a greasy spoon, the back of a sweaty bus, a grey train platform, a dated village pub and a park bench. But I'm blogger not a video makerer type person so what do I know?

Live Dates:

15th November - Muziekodroom Club, Hasselt
16th November - Crossing Border Festival, The Hague
25th November - Junction 2, Cambridge
26th November - Queens Social Club, Sheffield
27th November - Rubly Lounge, Manchester
28th November - Electric Circus, Edinburgh
29th November - The Grand, Clitheroe
30th November - Academy 2, Leicester
1st December - Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury
3rd December - The Stables, Milton Keynes
5th December - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
7th December - New Greenham Arts, Thatcham
8th December - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

9th December - The Joiners, Southampton


Volage - Maddie EP (Howlin Banana Records) 
Volage - Maddie EP

Release Date: 1st November

According to their Facebook page, Volage's interests amount to just two things; Fuzz and Flowers. Considering their EP cover features flowers and every one of the six tunes is fuzzed up to the max, I'd say that's a pretty accurate description even if it's not very useful for a blogger trying to find an angle on a band! Nevertheless, we'll let the music do the talking and dive straight in, non? Oui. Y'see, Volage are a Parisian quintet who kick things off with the jaunty, jangly 60s infused 'Not Enuff' which has punk sensibilities but the melodies of Hermans Hermits or Manfred Mann. Meanwhile, 'Wall Of Smoke' feels like somewhere between early Dandy Warhols and Redd Kross  and 'Many Hopes' has hints f early Arctic Monkeys but only if they'd been more influenced by Beach Boys records and a recent French exchange trip.    

The deceptive acoustic openings of 'I'm A Fool' soon give way to oh-so-cool, fuzzy guitars and dirty, growling bass that would have many a hipster shaking their bobbed hair cut in approval. 'Bob Is Alive' (presumably named after that brief period when everyone though Bob Hoskins was dead and then realised he wasn't) is a dark, almost incomprehensible change in direction for Volage, much like that moment when a fun, drink fuelled night takes a sobering turn for the worst upon the realisation that your wallet has been stolen and you dropped your phone down a toilet. Finishing up with 'Heart Healing (Take 1)', it's obvious that Volage have slowly been getting more and more inebriated throughout the recording of this EP as they finish up with an impish, Lennon being Bowie being Bolan style tune that, if the needle got stuck in the wrong place, could drive you insane extremely quickly. And that is a very real possibility as this EP is being released on delicious white 10" vinyl for your delectation and I wholeheartedly recommend that you tuck in. Bon app├ętit!


That Fucking Tank - A Document Of The Last Set (Gringo Records) 
That Fucking Tank - A Document Of The Last Set

Sometimes a band name can be enough to make you want to listen to them. Sometimes the song titles are enough to arouse interest in an album. Sometimes, just sometimes, the two collide and you can get very excited about an album without hearing a note. The fact that this band is called That Fucking Tank and this album features a song called 'Bruce Springstonehenge' has got me hooked. Moist and hooked. Oh, and they're a duo and duos are, like, so 2013.

The introduction to this album is also an introduction to the band in the form of 'Lovely Lads' that soon gets barged aside by the gorgeously insistent 'Making A Meal For Beethoven' which almost has an 80s metal meets grunge feel about it. 'Wonderful World Of' is the tune Presidents of the USA would have written if they'd ever got really bummed out and makes perfect use of Andrew Abbott's specially tuned baritone guitar which comes writhing and growling out of the twin bass and guitar amps. And then it's time for a deep breath as we approach a song title that even the Stereophonics might reject because of its sheer size; 'The Rain Travels All The Way From Siberia And This Is Where It Breaks' is scuzzed up 70s cop show car chase music and I kinda love it in a one night stand sorta way. 'NWONWOBHM' is at the other end of the song-title scale for brevity and pure intrigue but oh my giddy aunt does it have a monster sized riff that Josh Homme and co would die for!?

Despite starting off like a Ting Tings song, 'Acid Jam' develops in to a rumbling, throbbing, sex beast of a jam that you feel should have a broad American accent speaking unnecessarily loudly over the top of it announcing some sort of prize fighter. That's the thing with That Fucking Tank, there are no vocals whatsoever to speak of and I'm a little torn as to whether that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, the tunes stand up by themselves and are, let's face it, balls to the wall rock'n'roll awesomeness. On the other hand, stick some good rock screaming on top of this and maybe a bit of charm and you'd be on to something very special indeed. Listen to the music and tell me that Andrew W.K., Josh Homme, Alex Turner or Jim Jones wouldn't sound good on some of these tracks. Anyway, I digress, 'Mr Blood' is up next with swirling, swooping guitar notes and a skipping rhythm that promises much and delivers with a stuttering middle eight.

When we finally arrive at the eagerly anticipated 'Bruce Springstonehenge' we discover it to be a thinly veiled and heavily distorted use of the Boss' 'Dancing In The Dark' riff. Which is nice. Swiftly following up is the equally awesome titled pair of songs, 'Dave Grolsch' and 'Keanu Reef' which continue the theme of scuzzed up guitars, heavy distortion, big riffs, tight drums and a lack of vocals. I genuinely love the music on this album and the grooves had me going big time but I'm always worried with instrumental acts that I would get bored at a live show with nothing to sing along to. For all I know, That Fucking Tank put on amazing, gravity defying live shows and I sincerely hope they do because these tunes deserve a heaving, sweating mass of bodies reacting to every beat and every note forcibly wrung out of that guiter.  

Live Dates:

1st November - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds w/Rent Boys

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Slim Loris - Future Echoes & Past Replays 
Slim Loris - Future Echoes & Past Replays

There are times, in this blogging biz, that you come across an album or a single weeks or months after it was originally released and, although the intention of the blog is to keep the focus on all things new, you still have to give it a mention. Swedish troubadours Slim Loris released this album back in May (how long ago does that feel right now?) but it's still worth noting at this autumnal stage of the year. Maybe especially so. You see, from opening tracks 'Fear Of Flying', 'Head On The Floor' and the Soggy Bottom Boys inspired 'Domestic', the melancholic approach to folksy Americana is something to behold and something to revel in. Indeed, the echo-laden piano opening strains of 'While I Breathe' might as well be on the soundtrack to some film about the Great Depression and 'In Silence' has the sort of rabble rousing chords and rhythm to it that Springsteen would get excited about. However, mix that in with a bit of Elbow and Nick Cave just to give it some emotional depth and you're getting a little closer to the Slim Loris sound.

'Visions Of Tomorrow' and 'Clean As A Whistle' are Mumford & Sons all over whilst 'I Will Forget' is a lilting, yearning, emotive piano and violin duet that tugs at the heart strings and prods the tear ducts. The delicate start to 'Hero' that soon gives way to a gravelly voice and rich acoustic strumming sets this up to be a Snow Patrol style ballad which ends up being more like Bon Jovi - I'm not sure which is better or worse. The violins are back for 'Norah' as the shuffling rhythm keeps heads nodding and toes tapping but there is not subtlety to 'Awakening' which is all stomping drums, heavy piano chords and impassioned vocals, pleading to the listener in a borderline cheesy way but I think they just get away with it. Final track 'October In White' is for any country fans out there who need a new melancholy tune to listen to whilst on the top deck of a steamed up and soaking wet bus on the way from work. All in all, this is a solid album with plenty to write home about but it's so much better suited to this time of year - just perfect for the wind and rain of Autumn, not the sun and optimism of Spring.

Listen/Download Here:

Saturday, 26 October 2013


The Bats Pajamas - Just Ripe EP 
The Bats Pajamas - Just Ripe EP

This is the kind of music that you will either love or hate. There is very little point in anyone trying to convince you to change your mind because to your ears this will either be pure, unadulterated bliss or nothing more than scratchy, fuzzy, tuneless noise. Let me talk you through it; 'You Get By' opens  proceedings with an almost naively simple riff that stirs up memories of teenage practice rooms and the first stirrings of musical creativity. 'Ambra Vallo' is equally scuzzy and and rough around the edges but it has a slightly more sophisticated swagger about it, almost as though the music is evolving in front of our ears.

The Toronto quartet turn up the garage rock gauge on 'Haunted BBQ' before the sunny, beachy tones of 'Breaking News Live' wash over the airwaves and the melody quotient increases yet again. The final tack of this collection is 'Mass Telegrams' is a more insistent, Jon Spencer meets the Pixies type number and finishes the EP in the style that perfectly befits the Bats Pajamas. This isn't the kind of music that is going to be a worldwide smash with the masses but I am so glad it exists as it is the perfect example of a gang of mates picking up some instruments and making the music they want to make in the way they want to make it. Love it or loathe it, you have to respect that.


KynchinLay - Dogfathers 
KynchinLay - Dogfathers

Anyone remember Terrorvision and Space? KynchinLay do. 'Dogfathers' is a little bit skanky, a little bit indie and a little bit rock'n'roll.....y. There's nothing wrong with it as far as it goes, it's even got elements of Gogol Bordello and System of a Down about it which I am all for, but there's nothing about this tune that particularly grabs me anywhere good. I fully expect these guys would be something pretty exciting live but I'm going to need to hear something a little more exciting from them before I can be tempted down to a gig.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Sand - Clay (Kscope) 
Sand - Clay

Release Date: 28th October 2013

For the first time in a very long time I have found one of those really annoying songs that reminds me so strongly of something that I can't quite recall that it's become irritating. 'Clay', by North Atlantic Oscillation offshoot Sand, is a wonderfully messy mixture of Biffy Clyro, Belle & Sebastian, James Bond themes and Teenage Fanclub. However, the sound is also highly reminiscent of someone else.....Orange Juice? No, not quite. Divine Comedy? Catherine Wheel? Nah. Jim Noir? A little bit. It's ace, that much I will say. Bonkers and ace. So it doesn't really matter who it reminds me of does it? (Except it does a bit and now I won't be able to sleep).


The Fauns - Seven Hours (Invada Records) 
The Fauns - Seven Hours

If it's possible to fall in love with a voice then consider me smitten with the vocal talents of one Alison Garner. Ms Garner is the voice of atmospheric indie stompers The Fauns and hers is the angelic tone that drifts across the wall of noise that is created by the band with impressive gusto. 'Seven Hours' is, confusingly, a five minute long barrage on the senses but, much like standing in the face of a strong wind on a coastal wall, it is a barrage that I wholeheartedly welcome. As the sounds build and bass line rolls in like an Adam Clayton special, Garner's voice softly undulates on the waves of melody before the storm breaks and the crashing swathes of guitars toss her vocal around like a defiant ship in a storm. This is huge sounding music and may well be destined to become a montage bed on the BBC at some point in the future but in the meantime just close your eyes and turn to face the wind.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013



There is nothing better than walking in to a venue and being hit in the face by a wall of feedback and booming drums. Tonight's welcome chorus comes courtesy of Plymouth noise mongers Damerels and what a might noise it is too. Masters of feedback and the grumbling bass, Damerels warmed the room up nicely as the crowd arrived, moist from the wesctountry rain sweeping in from the sea.

Next up on the bill were brother and sister duo Joe Gideon & The Shark who I had only heard of rather than actually heard in the past. It is an absolute pleasure to report that this twosome were a revelation combining the spoken word elements of Jim Morrison, the quirky cool of Gryff Rhys and the delivery of We Are Scientists - and that's just Joe Gideon. Joe's sister, the Shark (Viva to her friends), is a twirling, whirling octopus-cum-mad-scientist of a musician as she switches expertly between microphones, drums, keyboards and loop stations all with the precision of a gymnast. There is something spell binding about their songs and their performance despite their almost complete lack of audience interplay. A more than pleasant surprise.

Something that wasn't a surprise was the ferocity, energy and swagger with which the Jim Jones Revue hit the stage. For the uninitiated, the London 5 piece play piano driven rock'n'roll with the sneer of the early Rolling Stones, the style of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and a stage presence these shores haven't seen for quite some years. As they sweated, growled and gurned their way the songs that have brought them popularity, it quickly became apparent that it wouldn't matter if you didn't know the tunes as the infectiousness of the performance and the primal rumble of the bass guitar mixed the lowest of the low notes on the piano forces you to get involved. After a short break - presumably so that the band could wring the sweat out of their shirts - the band returned to the stage and preceded to take requests from the audience and orchestrate a clap/stomp/shout/swear/sing along. It didn't matter that half the crowd didn't know the early stuff, by the time Jim Jones was leaning out from the stage we were all eating out of the palm of his hand as his band of rock'n'roll reprobates teased us, pleased us and generally did unholy things to their instruments. This is how a rock'n'roll band should sound live but, more importantly, this is how a live rock'n'roll band should perform and that is a big part of what makes the Jim Jones Revue so special.

More Information:

Damerels -

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Allusondrugs - My Cat/Fruit (Clue Records) 
Allusondrugs - My Cat/Fruit

Release Date: 11th November 2013

Now, call me a softy but I wouldn't have expected a song called 'My Cat' to be a churning, seething, juggernaut of a rock beast ready to chew up everything in its path. Unless, of course, the cat in question was actually a genetically modified Panther with a particularly sore head and a revenge on its mind. Then again, Allusondrugs are a band that never fail to surprise me with their inventiveness and willingness to go to those dark and heavy places that other bands are too scared to approach. The hypnotic bassline alone is enough to convince me that that this is a great song on first listen, not to mention the huge guitars and vocal melody holding together in the face of an audio hurricane. 'Fruit' is a lighter piece of music with bouncy, riff heavy guitars and an almost haunting vocal that is borderline prog but just the right side so as not to be self indulgent. Having said that, the lyric "pull my skin off and gather my bones" suggests these guys are either listening to way too much early Genesis and Pink Floyd, smoking too much weed or watching too much obscure Japanese cinema. Or all three - let's face it, we've all had Sundays like that, right? No? Just me then...

Live Dates:
26th October - Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds
30th October - Bar 1:22, Huddersfield
1st November - The Black Bull, Castleford
29th November - The Black Bull, Castleford
30th November - Escobar, Leeds
13th December - The Cockpit, Leeds

15th December - The Wardrobe, Leeds


The Creeping Ivies - What Would Joey Ramone Do?/Ramona Wolf (Holy Smokes Records) 
The Creeping Ivies -
What Would Joey Ramone Do?/Ramona Wolf

Release Date: 16th November

LWM's favourite Glaswegian duo are back with another single and it's crammed full of their trademark sounds. The Creeping Ivies, for the uninitiated, are a guitar and drums outfit who like to rock things old school and they want you to join in. 'What Would Joey Ramone Do?' is a three chord head banger covered in sugar sweet vocals and plenty of lip curling attitude all wrapped in some dark glasses and a leather jacket. The other half of this release, 'Ramona Wolf', is a more moody, considered tune with Duncan Destruction's reliable thudding drums providing the platform for Becca Bomb to howl and yowl like PJ Harvey in a pit of rock'n'roll despair. These guys need to head to the US soon and start playing gigs at some seriously trendy bars - not that anyone will understand a word they're saying, mind.

More information:

Live Dates:

25th October - Art School, Glasgow

16th November - Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow (single launch party w/ Future Glue + Twin Mirrors + Homesick Aldo)

19th November - Windsor Hotel, Kircaldy 


Radio Radio - Capulets EP (Sidetracked Sound) 
Radio Radio - Capulets EP

Oh I do like to follow the progress of bands from the early, early days and watch them grow and develop. South London boys Radio Radio sent me their demo of 'Weird Alice' a while back and they've gone and formed themselves a whole EP, it's the natural progression of things. The open with jaunty, summery, acoustic lead 'In Cold Blood' which brings to mind bands along the lines of the Zutons, the Coral and the View at their most playful. The stomp and pomp of the aforementioned 'Weird Alice' is up next with its fast shuffle and repeated taunts to our poor damsel Alice. 'Subway' has an almost 60s New York drawl to it along with the muted guitars and sneering vocals. Finally, a title track of sorts in 'Fine Young Capulet' which is straight out of the Alex Turner book of song writing which features two rules; keep the tempo up and try to get as many syllables in as possible. Overall, the EP weighs in at a speedy 11 minutes but the four songs contained within that time show enough promise to expect that Radio Radio should go on to bigger and better things.


Jim Lockey And The Solemn Sun - Wilderness Of A Wild Youth (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun - Wilderness Of A Wild Youth

Release Date: 21st October 2013

This new single by Cheltenham four piece Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun is absolutely dripping in influences old and new which speaks volumes for the open eared attitude of the band. For a song that lasts less than three minutes, 'Wilderness Of A Wild Youth' contains elements of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, Biffy Clyro and Del Amitri as well as label mates Crazy Arm and Frank Turner. You can see from that list that Jim et al aren't likely to be pumping out bass heavey euro disco but are instead firmly rooted in the folk rock genre full of big guitars, impassioned choruses and a relentless, pounding rhythm. B-side 'Forefathers' is a raw but lilting acoustic rile against whatever it is you want to rile against. Xtra Mile Recordings seem to gathering a great crop of musicians who not only have something important to say but have a wonderful way of saying it - I for one thoroughly approve.

Live Dates:
27 October - The Cookie Jar, Leicester

16th November - Alexandra Palace, London (Vans Warped Tour)

Saturday, 19 October 2013


The Great Dictators - Sleep/Coming Back In Style 
The Great Dictators - Sleep/Coming Back In Style

Well, well, well. What have we here? Seven strapping young men from Denmark under the collective name The Great Dictators bringing us dark, treacly, sinisterly psychotic indie-pop. That's what we have here. The four tracks on this EP kick off with 'Sleep' which, if you're a fan of Nick Cave, Interpol, Trent Reznor, is an absolute must listen. 'Coming Back In Style' has a little more hope about the music but the lyrics are distinctly morose and could only come from a land where the landscape is bleak and beautiful at the same time. Then come two sketched out songs which are simply beautiful in their simplicity and sparseness. 'Memphis' borders on the rawness of Johnny Cash's 'Hurt' with a low strummed acoustic guitar and a deep, rich, world weary voice singing alone in the early hours of a blood stained morning. The picked notes that introduce 'One Of Us' lift the spirits and the song features the bonkersly genius lyrics of "Don't worry I won't spill drugs on you any more, or piss on your wrists when you sleep". As far as a taster goes, this has definitely whet my appetite and got me itching for more so let's hope it's a long winter for our Danish cousins and they have plenty of time to spend inside writing more darkly rich ballads fuelled by strong alcohol and a macabre view of the world.  


Ismael Clark - Let Me Introduce You To Ismael Clark 
Ismael Clark - Let Me Introduce You To Ismael Clark

These days, everyone seems so slick with the way they communicate and even unsigned bands send out Electronic Press Kits with links to their video biography and a documentary of that time they went quad biking with Damon Hill. So, to get an email from a musician that says, in no uncertain terms, "please review my music but if you don't like then please don't publish it" is refreshingly honest and I am a sucker for that in the music industry these days. Needless to say, the fact that you're reading this means that Catalan import Ismael Clark is right up my musical street.

'So Loud So Low' opens this five track collection with a mixture of Jose Gonzalez, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen but not a hint of a Spanish accent. Following straight after is the country blues stomp of 'I Still Owe You A Duel' which is a great song title for starters but is also great little acoustic fuelled romped that James Morrison would love to have thought up. My favourite track on this collection comes, oddly, smack bang in the middle in the shape of 'And God Rained The Quail' which has a circular, almost flamenco style riff smothered in impassioned and passionate vocals that are themselves dripping in smoke, liquor and experience. The darkly jaunty lilt of 'Golden Calf' should be used to soundtrack the opening of a film depicting a contract killer getting up on the morning and going through his normal routine before embarking on a day's killing. And lastly, but not leastly (yes it's a word),  we have the gentle piano waltz of 'Funes', yet again featuring the dusky, seductive tones of Mr Clark. Ismael has an original sound and a variety of styles within just five songs that most artists don't achieve in a whole album so I look forward to hearing more from our new Spanish neighbour.

More information:


My Son The Bum - Everyday is Halloween (In My World) 
My Son The Bum - Everyday is Halloween (In My World)

Much as the festival of Halloween is an American important that has outstayed it's welcome and become nothing more than an opportunity for teenage girls to dress up as a slutty witch/nurse/cat/superhero/slut, My Son The Bum are drifting over to British airwaves with a novelty song that really shouldn't hang around for too long if there's any justice. New Yorkers, My Son The Bum, have a new single out just in time for 31st October entitled 'Everyday is Halloween (In My World)' and whether you like it or not is up to you. Me? Not so much. It's not that I can't stand the song, there are some great crunchy guitars and fuzzy riffs but as far as I can tell it's nothing more than a bad, grunge rip off that does nothing to excite or disturb as you might expect a Halloween themed song to do. Opportunity missed in my book - 'the Monster Mash' it is not.


Katie Bulley - Chasing 
Katie Bulley - Chasing

It's never easy to go things alone when you've been part of something bigger for a long period of time but sometimes it's for the best. Katie Bulley spent years as part of Canadian popular beat-combo the Barettas but is now going it alone and this, her debut single, already proves that going solo was a smooth move. 'Chasing' is a laid back, smoky love song with a bluesy, breezy feel that brings to mind the likes of Jack Johnson or G Love and the Special Sauce. Bulley's style has a wonderfully sepia tone to it and you can almost hear the vinyl crackle in her voice (despite the fact that I'm listening to this via Bandcamp). And hey, any song that gets killer bees and sangria in to the lyrics is a winner in my book! Bulley's debut album, the appropriately named 'Lone Wolf', is out in 2014 and I think it could be one well worth checking out.

Listen/Download Free Here:

Live Dates:

2nd December - Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto


Malik & Pettite - Malik & Pettite EP (UP Records) 
Malik & Pettite - EP

There are areas of the world that don't have a particularly strong musical heritage and, underdog lover as I am, I'm always keen to hear new music coming from these areas. Like it or not, Coventry is one such area so receiving this EP from duo Malik and Pettite was a glimmer of hope on a musically bleak horizon. This quartet of songs opens up with the surprisingly jaunty 'No More Love' with its duelling acoustic guitars a tight vocal harmonies between our two heroes, Steve Malik and Loz Pettite. 'Rise Up' is a similarly up tempo tune with a bouncy, Beatles meets Arctics meets Jake Bugg melody strummed with gusto over the shuffling drum beat.

There's a very radio friendly aura to the duo's music, in line with the likes of Jake Bugg, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini which should see them make some headway with a Radio 2 audience but I'm not sure there's enough of an edge to make them world changers just yet. Nevertheless, 'Only You' is a wonderfully McCartney-esque pop tune that bounces along with a simple charm and an innocence that is hard to ignore. The final track on the EP is 'Victoria', a plaintive love song full of distance, remorse and heart ache but also some cheesy guitar melodies that were last heard in an American sitcom. Malik & Pettite are a lot more lively and positive than the majority of acoustic acts around at the moment but they might want to consider reigning that back in from time to time to avoid slipping in to the world of daytime TV montage music. A murky world indeed.

More information:

Live Dates:

20th November - The Bedford, London

Thursday, 17 October 2013


Jamie Lenman - Fizzy Blood/Pretty Please (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Jamie Lenman - Fizzy Blood/Pretty Please

Release Date: 28th October 2013

I have a friend, a friend called Ben. On the one hand, Ben is a cad, a bounder and the absolute last person I would introduce to any woman I had any affection for. On the other hand, Ben has a sensitive soul, bakes amazing cakes and has a terrifyingly encyclopaedic knowledge of musicals. It is because of this duality of personality that I love Ben and it is for very similar reasons that I absolutely adore the music that comes out of the head of Mr Jamie Lenman. This debut solo single from the ex-Reuben front-man is the perfect example of both barrels on his particular cannon, pitting the fierce, unrelenting riff heaviness of 'Fizzy Blood' against the charming, slick indie-swing-pop of 'Pretty Please'. Both are songs that in their own right I would love but the fact that they come from one mind, on one single and, in this case, share the same video just makes me a little bit gushing. I mean, for crying out loud, here is a guy that in the space of 5 minutes could headline the Download Festival before going on to the musical guest on Strictly Come Dancing. How many artists can you name who could do that? Apart from Ozzy Osbourne. There's an album coming out soon too which should be pretty special and a handful of live dates that, by all accounts, will be the first and last for this collection of songs. Go see him. I wish I could. Oh, and Ben? He kinda looks like Lenman too. Weird, eh? 

More information:

Live Dates:

10th November - Banquet Records, Kingston-Upon-Thames
4th December - Green Door Store, Brighton
5th December - Temple, Birmingham
6th December - King Tuts, Glasgow
7th December - Night & Day, Manchester
8th December - Thekla, Bristol
9th December - Garage, London

10th December - Garage, London


Let's Kill Janice - Shake My Head 
Let's Kill Janice - Shake My Head

I met a lady called Janice today, possibly the first Janice I've ever met, and then I got home to find an email entitled Let's Kill Janice. I have to admit, I was a little confused, disturbed and scared until I realised Let's Kill Janice was just the collective name for four self-confessed slackers from Bristol. Those four slackers - the Camberwick Green-esque Joe, Joe, Gigi and Josh - create gloriously rattling, shambling indie-pop which, if I'm being completely honest, is probably a bit fast paced in this instance to be truly called 'slacker'. 'Shake My Head' reminds me of the first time I saw the Subways in a crappy bar in North London and the drummer was over-enthusiastically throwing in too many drum fills while the boy/girl vocals hung on to the harmonies by the tips of their fingers. This is the essence of youth packaged in to a musical three and a half minute treat. Enjoy.

Listen/Free Download Here:


Kins - Aimless 
Kins - Aimless

When I was really drunk once I made myself a late night snack of a chunky peanut butter and Bovril sandwich. It shouldn't have worked but it really did and to this day, every now and again, I will revisit that snack with deep affection. Kins have a similar impact on me in that their Alt-J vocals combined with Dutch Uncles disregard for time signatures and a love of woozy melodies shouldn't really provide a compelling listening experience but, somehow, it works. I suspect the loose, groove laden drums and explorative guitar noodling has something to do with it but, hey, let's not over analyse. All you need to know is that 'Aimless' - perfect title by the way - has a gentle enough style to make it appealing to the masses coupled with enough artistic ingenuity to appeal to the musical snobs out there. Surely it's a win-win scenario?

Live Dates:

31st October - Oakford Social Club, Reading
11th November - Joiners, Southampton (w/Francis Lung)
12th November - Gullivers, Manchester (w/Francis Lung)
13th November - Broadcast, Glasgow
14th November - Shipping Forecast, Liverpool (w/Franci Lung)
15th November - Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (All Years Leaving Festival)
16th November - Start The Bus, Bristol (w/Coleen Green)
18th November - Birthdays, London (w/Francis Lung)

21st November - The Hope, Brighton (w/Francis Lung)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


The Tricks - In The Doghouse EP (Unison Music Group) 
The Tricks - In The Doghouse

Release Date: 28th October 2013

OK, who's ready for some indie maths? Four songs = an EP. With me so far? But if three of those tracks are just different versions of the same song, thus meaning that there are only actually two songs, does that still = an EP? Or just a single? Discuss.

This EP from Hertfordshire quartet The Tricks is headed up by the indie stomp of 'Better' which is like Feargal Sharkey fronting Kings of Leon and singing a song written by Vampire Weekend. It's poppy, quirky and has a certain, awkward charm to it that will always be appealing within British indie bands. Following on from this opener is 'The Dead Of Night', a much darker, edgier affair to begin with before those big pop vocals burst back in and the stadium sized riffs do their best to get along with the bouncing bass line. And then there's another version of 'Better', the full version we are told. As far as I can tell, the full version is just longer at the beginning and the end so nothing to write home about. And then if  you haven't had enough of 'Better', the final track is the Bedroom Sessions version - essentially a roughly recorded acoustic version of the song we've heard twice already. It's not that 'Better' is a bad song, quite the opposite, but I just don't think anybody outside of the R&B world needs to hear the same song three times on one EP - I mean, that's 75% of a CD given over to the same song, is that value for money?

Live Dates:

30th October - Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Mixtape Saints - Heavy Water EP 
Mixtape Saints - Heavy Water EP

When I were a boy, back in t'day, I used to get little postcards inside my CD and 7" singles that you would send off, prepaid natch, with your details on to get free stuff from your favourite indie bands (I got a limited edition single from Heavy Stereo once. Boom). Anyway, the address on 90% of these cards was in Leamington Spa and, until I received the EP from Mixtape Saints, that was literally the only fact I had in my fact bank about Leamington Spa. So, already Mixtape Saints have double my Leamington Spa knowledge by virtue of just being natives - well done chaps. This four track EP starts with a refreshingly up tempo 'Sleep' which has a nicely American punk-pop sound to it but with unmistakably English vocals and sensitivity. Track 2, 'Heavy Water', however starts with game changing distant gospel chant and handclaps that soon give way to a stuttering riff and an impassioned voice that sounds like Joe Strummer or an Anglicised Bruce Springsteen. This is passionate stuff with an earnest edge but it never crosses over in to the insincere or posing stature that you often get from a lot of US bands that stray too close to Emo. On 'Smoke, Mirrors and Misery' there's a definite hint of LWM favourites Crazy Arm in the folkish riffs and throat busting vocals which I am all for. Final track, 'In To The Storm' is an acoustic affair featuring the tuneful yet powerful vocals of Sam Maloney who leads the band like a general leader leading his troupes in to war. This is a genuinely engaging and talent laden EP that should get some attention heading the band's way but I'm not sure there's that one tune on there that will make these guys stand out in a fairly congested market place. I live to be proved wrong though. Just ask my girlfriend...

Live Dates:

2nd November - Zephyr Lounge, Royal Leamington Spa (EP Launch Party)

22nd November - O2 Academy, Birmingham w/ Sonic Boom Six

Sunday, 13 October 2013


Turtle - Who Knows 
Turtle - Who Knows

So here we have another solo artist/producer (Jon Cooper) performing under an assumed name (Turtle) in order to retain some anonymity, one assumes. 'Who Knows' is the lead track off an EP that is being released at the end of the month and it's a blissfully woozy piece of chill out music in keeping with the likes of Sufjan Stevens which is fine by me. Glaswegian Cooper has mastered the art of creating an atmosphere before chucking a light beat under it to motor the tune home. This isn't the kind of song to get you ready for a night out but for a cold Sunday with a debilitating hangover, well, it's just perfect. It sounds like my head feels and that is unbelievably comforting.

Live Dates:

1st November - The Nest, London


Katie Melua - The Love I'm Frightened Of (Dramatico Entertainment) 
Katie Melua - The Love I'm Frightened Of

Release Date: 28th October 2013

There are two things you need to know before I start this review; Firstly, I will review anything I get sent to review regardless of whether I love it or loathe it. Secondly, anyone who has talked to me about music will know that I have a particular confusion about why and how Katie Melua ever became as popular as she is. Nevertheless, my inbox contains Ms Melua's new single and I fully intended to review it as fairly as possible.....until at one minute and six seconds I am fed the following lyric "This is the love that can't be seen, no detailed instructions or Japanese symbols like you find on a washing machine". What has just happened, in my ears, is that Katie Melua has compared the complex and logic defying intricacies of the heart to the Japanese translation of the instructions to a washing machine. The music itself is a countrified ballad and Melua's voice is a nice, soothing tone but it's the lyrics that always seem to turn me off her songs. Melua neither manages to observe well enough to be quirky nor does she perform with enough lightness to allow you to laugh with her rather than at her. In the age old parlance of theatre auditioners, "Next!"


Filipe Alvim - Zero EP (Pug Records) 
Filipe Alvim - Zero EP

Filipe Alvim is, in his own words, a "22 year old unemployed man who doesn't know how to do anything". Filipe Alvim is also a Brazilian living in Brazil and creating music for the youth of Brazil, not for tourists. This five track EP is a fantastic example of what can be found on the world music scene if you're prepared to delve a little deeper and forgo the fact that you might not understand any of the lyrics. 'Domingo' opens proceedings and instantly all you can imagine is the Strokes jamming lazily by a beach hut in vests and with at least 4 days of stubble growth doing nothing to stem the tide of sweat trickling down their faces. 'A Divisao' has a more grand, almost 80s indie feel to it with distant vocals and a bonkers guitar solo that would be more suited to a Queen concert but the talent is undeniable. 'Jardim do Amor' is a Doors-esque, organ smothered tune with sunshine dripping from every pore and a sense of French pop romance that, personally, I just can't resist. The use of cowbell and scuzzed up guitars give the tune an extra edge but if you're not already in love then you need to get out more.

On 'Passageiro', Alvim gives us a more cinematic insight to his world with Dick Dale guitars and that gorgeous organ making an appearance again. Final track, 'Meu Sofa' is a mumbled, sleepy almost out of time tune that should only be heard at the end of a night when all the drinking, dancing and romancing has been done and it's time to go back to somebody's home. For all I know, Alvim could be singing about hammocks or extreme right wing politics but my naive sense of trust doesn't believe that anyone channelling the Strokes, the Beach Boys and, well, the sun, can be a bad person. So, let's all fall in love with Filipe Alvim and let him bring a little sunshine in to our lives. Lord knows we need it!


Forever Cult - Fuxx EP (Clue Reords) 
Forever Cult - Fuxx EP

Release Date: 7th October 2013

Two of my favourite new artists of the year, Narcs and Allusondrugs, have been nurtured and developed by Clue Records so when I was sent the new EP by another of their artists, Forever Cult, I was understandably moist with anticipation. Fortunately, the Yorkshire trio don't disappoint with this three track EP that shows off their effortless ability to fuse punk tendencies and melodic leanings with a mid-Atlantic drawl. Opening track 'Sinking' has elements of Engine 88 and the Wrens about it whilst remaining resolutely indie at the same time. 'Graves', however, has more of an Arctic Monkeys feel about it, with a lip curl sneer and a sense of the glamorous - despite the song title. Final track 'Luck' (not big on long titles, Forever Cult) starts as a lament with swagger but soon becomes a chugging juggernaut of a love song that many a band would be glad to have on their albums. I'm holding on to the hope that Clue Records are going to put together some kind of label tour otherwise it's going to take me an awful long to catch all three of their future stars live from my outpost here in the Westcountry. Go on Clue, you know you want to...

Live Dates:
19th October - Carpe Diem, Leeds
26th October - Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds
30th October - Bar 1:22, Huddersfield w/Allusondrugs
29th November - Black Bull, Castleford w/Allusondrugs

13th December - The Cockpit, Leeds w/Allusondrugs


Handwrist - Branching Out 
Handwrist - Branching Out

Who's up for a 3 track instrumental prog-rock album but a solo artist from Lisbon, Portugal, that contains "material not government approved...possibly the opposite"? The three tracks contained in this collection - 'Prologue', 'Monologue' and 'Epilogue' - total just under an hour of music so must surely be considered an album in terms of length but each song has its own movements as well, making this a truly prog record. There are elements of Jazz, some wonderfully loose rock drumming and the kind of instrumental interplay that made the Doors and Frank Zappa so well respected. However, there are also moments of plain old nutsiness that sound like the theme tunes from Children's TV in the twilight zone.

By the time we venture in to the 2nd movement of this album, the tone takes a more progressively medieval approach and you can fully imagine Rick Wakeman and pals getting excited by this kind of fair. For my money, by this point it's all getting a bit self indulgent but then I don't really know what I expected from a three track, one hour long instrumental album entirely written and performed by one person with an obvious axe to grind about the state of music - his own press blurb boldly states "Hopefully there are freaks who have outgrown the ordinary and who like a little adventure in their life, or at least in their MP3 player".  Don't get me wrong, there are some nice ideas here and individual sections have their appeal but it's just not for me. I fully accept that there is a time and a place for this music but I'm nowhere near stoned enough or in a big enough bean bag to fully appreciate it. Mind you, it's all being offered up as a free download so you might as well pop it in on your MP3 player and have a good old freak out on the bus to work tomorrow.


Josephine & The Artizans - Lacrymosa 
Josephine & The Artizans - Lacrymosa

Release Date: 21st October 2013

Well, this is new. I mean, totally and entirely new. Here we have an eleven piece band fusing live classical music (no, not a sample) with indie, dub and reggae vibes whilst drawing on Mozart for musical inspiration and a sense of social dysfunction for lyrical direction. This is a genuinely refreshing experience as the operatically voiced Josephine leads her gaggle of artizans through a musical journey that takes you from the Royal Opera House down to the corner of Brixton High Street stopping at every pub venue and rehearsal room in between. 'Lacrymosa' , literally translated as weeping in Latin, is an ambitious, adventurous and brave song that ebbs and flows with a musical liquidity that many bands fail to achieve when playing just one genre but to achieve this with numerous genres in one song is even more impressive.  I'm going to keep an eye on these guys to see what they come up with in the future and I think you should too - I just hope they resist the lure of Britain's Got Talent...

More information & Free Download:

Live Dates:
25th October - O2 Islington 2, London

15th November - Live @ Kensington Roof Gardens, London


Death In Texas - Pluck EP 
Death In Texas - Pluck EP

Release Date: 7th October

Regular readers of Listen With Monger will recognise the name Death In Texas as a couple of their previous singles have tantalised my audio taste buds in the past. The latest EP brings previous singles 'Oil & The Water' and 'Fear Of The Hundred' together with 2 new tracks to tie together this period of their musical production. For my opinion of the first two tracks, you might as well read the reviews elsewhere on this blog but I'm going to concentrate on the two newer tunes in this review. The first of these, 'Sonic Switchblade', is typically grandiose as neo-classical piano, thumping drums and droned bass notes merge the stylings of Regina Spektor, Muse and Tori Amos delightfully. The husband and wife duo of Kane and Ruth Power have found a fantastic niche and this EP shows that off perfectly. Final track 'Pluck' is full of relentlessly rippling piano riffs and sweeping cymbals that Matt Bellamy would be proud of and you would be entirely unsurprised to see these guys performing alongside Jools Holland on his TV show such is the quality of their musicianship and originality of thought - I'm fairly sure the musical pixie would still try and boogie-woogie it up but, hey, that's his thing, right? I'm not sure where Death In Texas go from here as this music is too big to be played in pubs around London town but they need that following before they can get on to the bigger stages. It's a conundrum, that's for sure...

Thursday, 10 October 2013


The Creature Comfort - The Creature Comfort (Critter Communications) 
The Creature Comfort - The Creature Comfort

So, according to the press bumph, the Creature Comfort are the long lost great hopes of the Madchester era who were forced to disband on the verge of great things. Band leader Ben Le Jeune has pulled together a line-up in order to make a comeback and release what is technically the band's debut album...twenty odd years after first getting together - even Bez wasn't that laid back! This half hour album of post punk fun kicks off with 'Sauce' which will surely be adopted as the new theme for the comeback of Ready, Steady, Cook such is it's edible lyrical content and dad rock tendencies. 'Sally Sucks' has more of the spirit of Iggy and the Stooges about it but it's still a little creepy listening to what is a fairly weathered voice singing about Sally sucking and her rich daddy.

The simplistic, almost naively honest sentiment of 'I Do Need You' is charming although I'm not sure the song needs to be five minutes long - there aren't really enough ideas to justify this for what is essentially a post punk love song. The Beatles-esque opening of '1,000 miles' is instantly appealing and Le Jeune's vocal delivery is on a par with Lennon at his more charismatic or the Zutons at their storytelling best. The warm, funky bass line that opens up 'Step Down From The Sky' is tempting and seductive and the thick slices of juicy organ partially deliver on that promise but overall this song, as with the majority of the album, just doesn't quite deliver on its promise. The baggy and loose bass and organ interplay on 'Windowpane' gives us an indication of what this band might have been back in the day but not it just feels half a beat behind the rest of the world which is either sad for the band or sad for us. Expansive drums and some thin guitars herald the beginning of the end of this album as 'Electric Eyes' lurches in to life and, once again, the initial promise of the song dissipates as the chorus arrives. Overall, I wish this album had been released 20 years ago so that the band could have learned from their own ill conceived ideas because I think there is more to come from them that could be genuinely exciting. There's still time though, I gues...

Live Dates:

11th October - Gulliver's, Manchester


Sonic Boom Six - The High Cost Of Living (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Sonic Boom Six - The High Cost Of Living

Release Date: 28th October 2013

Fancy a bit of socially aware indie-pop that you can skank to and has some really nice crunch guitars and squelchy synth sounds? Yeah? Thank God for that cos I've got literally nothing else for you right now. Sonic Boom Six are back with new single 'The High Cost Of Living' and it's a big ol' tune - potentially (whisper) this could be their break through tune. It's got hints of Republica and Lily Allen which will appeal to the masses, the aforementioned awesome guitar and synth noises which will appeal to the 'cool' crowd, some deft observation on consumerism and the real price of cheap labour and, finally, you can dance like your uncle dances to Madness without looking like a plank. Throw in a bit of tight snare drumming and a nice video which seems to feature members of Kraftwerk working as shop assistants in Debenhams and this has got XFM playlist written all over it. And why not, eh?

Live Dates:
On tour with Hadouken
28th October - The Junction, Cambridge
29th October - The Academy, Oxford
30th October - The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
31st October - The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
1st November - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
2nd November - Guildhall, Gloucester
3rd November - Sugar Mill, Stoke


17th November - Alexandra Palace, London

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Chris T-T & The Hoodrats - The Bear (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Chris T-T & The Hoodrats - The Bear

Release Date: 7th October 2013

In the 90s, when I was stumbling blind in to the world of becoming a music obsessive, I started picking up certain record labels that I thought I had fairly infallible taste. 4AD, Food, Rough Trade and Geffen were all up there but, with the advent of the internet, record labels seemed to become less important. Now, though, it seems to be switching back again with the excellent output of Domino Records and, my new favourite label, Xtra Mile Recordings. For it is this hive of musical activity that has brought us, among others, Chris T-T and the Hoodrats and the marvellous example of good ol' English songwriting that is their 9th album. Come on in, the water is lovely....

'1994' opens the album with a pastiche on the Prince song of a numerically similar name along with some shambly, rambly guitars and an infectious indie melody. But this is just a warm for the dirty bass scuzz of title track, 'The Bear', which rips in to life like a serial killer at the moment they admit to themselves that they kill because they enjoy it - pure, unadulterated freedom. "I might be a king in winter but I'm still a king" sings our indie-folk-hero as he name checks Joan Rivers, Orson Wells and Lenny Henry and slips in words like 'gumption' as if t'were natural. Things take a turn for the more countrified on 'A Beaten Drum' which is like Midlake doing Frank Turner on a soggy Sunday afternoon, watching the rain roll down the windows and wishing Ski Sunday was still on. Meanwhile, 'Paperback Karma Sutra' has the fragility of a Damon Albarn penned love song along with Billy Bragg's panache and a sense of musical and lyrical honesty that is hard to resist - trust me, I tried and I just couldn't.

At around the half-way stage, everything goes a bit lo-fi electro with a squelchy keyboard melody persistently thrumming away on 'Idris Lung' before it all goes a bit Polyphonic Spree and the aforementioned keyboards go batshit crazy. Apart from being a strong contender for song title of the month, 'The Music Is Alive With The Sound Of Ills' is a nostalgic tale of drinking in parks after dark and fucking pandas. I think. I'm probably missing a lot of the subtleties to Mr T-T's lyrical fun but, frankly, I can enjoy that level of understanding on listen number 23 - which this album will get, no diggity. The mournful, frosty tones of 'Gull' give way to the angular, scratchy pop of 'Bury Me With a Scarab' which brings to mind Reuben in their pomp or a dirtier Franz Ferdinand with more alcohol in their veins. The weary trumpets of 'Jesus Christ' herald a potted, four minute history of JC himself disguised as a jangly indie stomp in the style of Teenage Fanclub as Chris sagely sings "Jesus never said anything about the sex or the gays or any of that shit" like a winner. As the album comes to a close with 'Tunguska', a song that seemingly got dropped off the Bladerunner soundtrack, it is not hard to see why Chris T-T is so well respected but it is also sobering to think that out of his head have come nine albums, NINE ALBUMS, of inciteful, funny and though provoking music. Kudos Chris T-T, bravo the Hoodrats and ruddy well done Xtra Mile Recordings. No go and see the guys on tour. Go on....GO!

Live Dates:
10th October - Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
11th October - The Arch Inn, Ullapool
12th October - Ironworks, Inverness
13th October - Oran Mor, Glasgow
15th October - Komedia, Brighton
16th October - Shepherds Bush Empire, London
17th October - Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester
18th October - The Globe, Cardiff
20th October - The Musician, Leicester
21st October - Atrix, Bromsgrove
22nd October - St John's Church, Oxford
23rd October - The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
25th October - Open, Norwich
7th November - St Philips Church, Salford
8th November - Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
9th November - Cluny, Newcastle
10th November - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
11th November - Junction, Cambridge
13th November - Discovery Centre, Winchester
14th November - Phoenix, Exeter
16th November - St Mary's In The Castle, Hastings
17th November - Wedgewood Rooms, Porstmouth
19th November - Glee Club, Birmingham
20th November - Greystones, Sheffield
21st November - Floral Pavilion, New Brighton
22nd November - Folk House, Bristol
24th November - Moon Club, Cardiff
28th November - Town Hall, Ipswich
29th November - The Black Swan, York
30th November - Bush Hall, London (w/ Jim Bob Carter USM)
5th December - Kraak Gallery,  Manchester
6th December - All Hallows Church, Leeds
7th December - Old Cinema Launderette, Durham
13th December - Eras Of Style, Bexhill
14th December - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
15th December - Watershed Arts, Milton Keynes
18th December - The Monarch, London

20th December - The Lamb, Devizes