June 05



Malcolm Middleton - Loneliness Shines (Chemikal Underground)
Nothing at all to do with TVs Malcolm in the Middle this Malcolm is also guitarist with Scottish indie heroes Arab Strap. This crazy keyboard led tune starts with the line “Feels like the worlds against us today” and goes on to be a stunning dark pop song with Malcolm’s Glaswegian tone only adding to the atmosphere. Brilliant, highly limited 7” only. Could tell you a sordid tale about when Arab Strap played live in TJ’s Newport, but we’ll leave that for the next time we meet in a pub....



Brakes - All Night Disco Party (Rough Trade)
Supposedly some sort of new-indie Brighton super-group as it features members of British Sea Power, Tenderfoot and Electric Soft Parade. Hardly CSN&Y and certainly not like any All Night Disco Party you’ve ever been to unless you count the one on Father Ted where the only record they had is the Specials Ghost Town! Pretty ordinary guitar riff with the enthralling lyrics “All Night Disco Party, North South, East West, Left Right, ” bleated over the top. Maybe they should go for next years Eurovision Song Contest?

The Rifles - When I’m Alone (Xtra Mile)
More young men letting out their angst with scratchy sub-ska guitar that seems to be appearing in more and more records over the past few weeks. “Why don’t you get a job, I’ll worry about that tomorrow” they sing. If I were you sunshine I’d get down the Job Centre now cos your bands got a shelf life of about 6 weeks..

Hot Hot Heat! - Goodnight Goodnight (Sire)
Taken from the superb Elevator album these Canadian boys can really knock out a good guitar tune. Apparently breaking up is not hard to do with  “Goodnight, Goodnight, you’re embarrassing me, you’re embarrassing you” Another Picture Disc, its like the late 1970’s all over again!

Sons and Daughters - Dance Me In (Domino)
Female vocal led spikey guitar song with a nice shuffling drum beat and lots of “woa woas” over the chorus. Catchy and interesting indie skiffle pop kids. Issued on both red and blue vinyl with different B Sides!

The Magic Numbers - Forever Lost (Heavenly)
Their cartoon video has been played to death on MTV2 but does the record stand up to repeated play on the stereo? Pleasant (bordering on bland) jangly summer tune which sounds like it may be a hit for this band of two pairs of brothers and sisters. A British Mamas & Papas anyone? Their first two 7” singles go for small fortunes on Ebay if that shows the level of interest in them. Nice Picture Disc...

Leaves - Catch (B-Unique)
Not really a new release but saw this lot in Bristol last month and liked them enough to dig this out of some old stock in a local record emporium. This is a slow, very melodic and swirling keyboard number. You’d never guess they were Icelandic from the vocal he sounds more Thames estuary than anything else...

Arcade Fire - Power Out (Rough Trade)
 They really were blistering when we say them last month and this is one of the finest tracks from the very wonderful Funeral album. Issued on two different 7” singles, one B Side has them playing This Must Be the Place joined by David Byrne. Not surprising then that they reminded us of an insane Talking Heads that night.

Flaming Stars - Stranger On The Fifth Floor (Vinyl Japan)
Everyone’s favourite garage rockers The Flaming Stars (the late John Peel was a big fan) have been knocking out B-Movie style rock ‘n’ roll for over 10 years now and never fail to disappoint. Another thrashy guitar and 60s organ tune his time celebrating illicit tower block love and its sounds like they’re having a good time.. B Side is a live version of early classic single New Hope for The Dead recorded in Germany. Saw them years ago in an empty TJ’s. They looked more like characters from a Tarantino movie than pop stars, but certainly put on a good show. 

Lou Barlow - Holding Back The Year (Domino)
 It’s OK, this songs nothing to do with Simply Red! Lou Barlow has forged a career in music spanning time in Dinosaur Jnr, Sebadoh as well as recording under the name of Folk Implosion. This single sees him taking a direction towards country with a more stripped down sound of just a strummed acoustic guitar and slapped thigh for accompaniment. A bit like Willy Mason, its basic but works really well with his voice. 

Teenage Fanclub - Fallen Leaves (Pema)
First single from the very pleasant Man Made album. Archetype Fannies close harmonies and melodic guitar based tune with a bit of keyboard thrown over the top to make it a bit different. It seems everyone loves them but they haven’t had a hit in the 15 or so years they’ve been going. Could be time for a change of direction and your own Crazy Frog style ring tone boys?!

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