May 05

Arcade Fire - Us Kids Know (Arcade Fire)
Originally out in 2003 and reissued for the tour, this legendary 7 track mini-album hints at the brilliance that would become the Funeral album. We challenge anyone to blind taste track I’m sleeping in a submarine and not think its Bjork! No Cars Go an accordian led Talking Heads romp which gave the album its title (us kids know, where no cars go) was a highlight of their Bristol gig. Headlights Look Like Diamonds has their trademark glockenspiel hook running in the background and sounds it was lifted straight from the Funeral sessions. Buy one on tour or wait for Merge Records to reissue shortly..


King Creosote - Rocket D.I.Y. (Fence)
Highly polished outing from the prolific King Creosote. Originally a member of now demised Beta Band, he went off and helped form the Fence Collective which seems to issue a new album weekly from their small base in Fife. This is one of the labels finest releases and has King Creosote sounding like an updated Ivor Cutler (if that were possible!). No life in a scotch sitting room here, but plenty of clever tunes and lines such as “I was past 35 years of age before my face made that much sense” are pure genius. Not folk, yet not pop or rock, this almost defies categorisation, but we’ll go for “indie acoustic” with very much it’s own identity. In a world where most bands sound the same or copies of others from 20 years ago, King Creosote would be allowed to extend his empire to varnish, lacquer, beeswax and many other wood preserves if we had our way! 

Clem Snide - End of Love. (Fargo)
Following from last years excellent Soft Spot album, Eef Barzelay continues to dredge his heart for tunes on religion, friendship and love. The sound is much more polished on this record than previous Clem Snide efforts. Eef is sounding even more like Michael Stipe these days but the band have made a record far superior to any of the recent REM outings yet won’t be playing stadiums to promote it. Obvious single contender Fill Me With Your Light could actually be a hit if they’re not careful and give them the recognition they so deserve. Get it early to have a bonus CD of extra tracks and video.

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cold Roses (Lost Highway)
First of a number of albums due from the prolific Ryan this year, this is a double with a full band that sees him return closer to his country-rock days since Heartbreaker. After his falling over exploits in Bristol last January and then falling off stage in Liverpool the next night, its a wonder he could pay again after breaking his hand. Cold Roses is a confident return, the inclusion of haunting pedal and lap steel adds the country tinge element missing from his last few more rocky outputs. Highlights Let it Ride and If I am a Stranger from disc two which are even closer to his Whiskeytown days then most of his solo efforts. Why they couldn’t have dropped the bonus track and made it an 80 minute single CD is a bit of a mystery, but worth buying if country-rock is your thang...

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