June 05



Pernice Brothers - Discover A Lovlier You (Ashmont)
Joe Pernice has written some of the finest songs of the past decade through his time as solo artist, member of the Scud Mountain Boys and lately the Pernice Brothers. This album continues in the vein of 2003’s fabulous Yours, Mine & Ours album with some brilliantly crafted guitar pop songs. Hard to pick a favourite out on first listen, but with titles such as Pisshole in the Snow, My So Called Celibate Life and Dumb it Down the humorous bitterness continues. I recall seeing the T-Shirts on their last UK tour with “I Hate My Life” across the front - says it all really! Some classic lines in these songs too “I’ll be a criminal and you’ll sell your hair” in Sell Your Hair. Fans of The Smiths (of whom Joe Pernice has written a book about their Meat is Murder album) and Go-Betweens should investigate this and all their previous albums. 



Firecracker - So Long Someday (Emerge)
Following from last years excellent Certain Things Last Mini-Album, US based Firecracker continue to make tuneful country-tinged pop/rock with great vocals. At times reminiscent of the UK’s Grand Drive and dare we say Whiskeytown. The whole album is excellent but the rerecording of the epic Box of Hearts from the mini-album has taken some of the urgency off this great track. Worth Investigating.


Husky Rescue - Country Falls (Catskills)
If your music taste is wildly eclectic, then Husky Rescue might just hit your G Spot. A real melting pot of different sounds & moods. A little bit Portishead, a smidgen of 1960s John Barry and a little bit electronica for good measure. The music is a surreal as the sleeves artwork and very trip-hop. Worth buying for the Air meets Goldfrapp track Summertime Cowboy alone.  If you like ethereal, atmospheric soundscapes then Huskey Rescue would be a worthwhile investment.


Minibar - Fly Below The Radar (Foodchain)
Following from 2001s excellent album Road Movies (includes the Ryan Adams penned tune Chocked Up), Minibar, are a London 4 piece country-rock band who departed to the US to seek fame and fortune and it looks like they are one step nearer with this album. A more mature sound and laidback tunes this time around but still great songwriting none-the-less. Come back boys, we need you here!


Richmond Fontaine - The Fitzgerald (El Cortez)
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, is this really the sixth album from these Americana troubadours? Last years Post to Wire was a classic and the UK shows to promote it were electric. Dark, moody and slower than their previous releases, but none the worst for that. Singer Willy Vlautin gives us some more road movie storytelling of life in American backwaters including domestic violence in The Janitor, army desertion in the Calexico-esque Exit 194B and money-lending in The Warehouse Life. Buy some beer and stick this on the next time the woman in your life leaves.. 

Rhett Miller - The Instigator (Elektra)
Frontman from one of the original Alt.Country bands, the Old 97s, this solo album is a pleasant surprise all round. Very, very poppy and upbeat, but his country voice really lends itself to these great tunes. A bit Matthew Sweet in places and featuring Robyn Hitchcock on one track. If you like guitar based pop/rock with simple, but clever chord structures, you’ll lap this album up.

Wilco - Live at the Hammersmith Odeon March 2005
As they say on QVC, this is not available in the shops... Most unofficial live recordings don’t even deserve the virtual cyberspace which we inhabit, but this is an exception. Extremely high quality sound catching the band on form in London. Unlike most official live releases you get the full show over 2 CDs and it really illustrates how good this band have become. While we here at soundsnew.com don’t condone non-record company product, when its this good, what do they really expect! Don’t ask us where we got it from but we’re sure you could get one if you asked around...

Grand Drive - Being Alive (BMG)
Subtitled Loose Wheels and Latchkeys 2000-2005 this is a collection of B-Sides, songs from compilations and some unreleased studio tracks. Grand Drive have made some of the most melodic British americana style music for nearly 10 years but  never really broke it big despite signing to the BMG label after their first album Road Music was released on Loose Records. This collection shows that even their out takes are better than most of the current crop of guitar bands could ever aspire to. While this is really intended for the fans there are a enough quality tracks to appeal to the uninitiated  Still amazed they didn’t sue Franz Ferdinand fo plagiarism following the release of Take Me Out (listen to the guitar lick on Needle In The Groove from album See the Morning In!). Rumours of their split have been rife since their drummer left and lead singer Danny recorded a solo album without his brother (and fellow band member) Julian which is released next month. Lets hope they keep it together and continue their close harmonies this album highlights as they deserve a bigger audience.

Tenderfoot - Save The Year (5:15)
Brighton’s Tenderfoot go from strength to strength with their latest release. We liked their Vale Industrial E.P. from April - see review: Vale. Once again the band don’t disappoint with some understated vocals and original song titles. This time we have Still Holding My Stomach In, Too Drunk to Realise I’m Making You Want To Hit Me and To Know a Ceiling Well. Their songs, at times reminiscent of early Go-Betweens, will appeal to anyone with an ear for a good tune and a liking of whimsical English wordiness.

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