May 06



Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery (Cooking Vinyl)
Bought this at their terrific gig in Meze Newport and its a blinder. From opener Cover Up The Mines to Calling Thermatico and single Triggers and Trash Heaps this is one of the most powerful and accomplished Americana albums to emerge in years. Will Johnson’s gravely voice with a Texan twang matches these guitar driven soundscapes perfectly. Instant classic and album of the year so far.



Great Lake Swimmers - Bodies and Minds (Fargo)
Another CD bought at South by South Wales gig this month. The album of lo-fi acoustic country is another brilliant record which is equally good as they were performing it live. Very laid back and slow. As lead singer Tony said that night “you’re in for a great night if your idea of a good time is sadness”! and he’s right. Moody as a grounded teenager but strangely uplifting and soulful. Their set opening Lets Trade Skins is the finest track but there’s plenty more. Highly recommended.


Jim Noir - Tower of Love (Atlantic)
 If there is any justice in the world Jim Noir will be a superstar by the end of the year. With a string of excellent singles behind him (My Patch and Key of C are included here) he has released a wonderful summery Beach Boyesque pop album just as the sun comes out. With one of tracks being used in am advert for the World Cup it can only be a matter of time his infectious catchy tunes are being hummed by workmen everywhere.  

Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers (XL)
This album has been hyped so much it had to be a disappointment and unfortunately it is. Brendan Benson is a brilliant songwriter and his album The Alternative to Love was a classic slice of power pop but this collaboration with Jack White is in the main turgid and uninspiring. No supergroup here I’m afraid just a couple of mates messing around in the studio. Only decent track is 60s sounding organ driven Store Bought Bones. Save your money and buy one of the other albums on this page.


Semifinalists - Semifinalists (V2)
Semifinalists make a strange brew of My Bloody Valentine and the Arcade Fire. Sometimes quiet, barely whispered female vocals and other times full on distorted guitar with male vocals. At time sit sounds like a compilation album as there are so many styles and influences. Singles Show The Way and Lets Kill This are highlights.


Various - Transgressive Singles Vol 1 (Transgresive)
Been collecting the wonderful Transgressive 7” singles for some time so this is a nice way to catch up on the first 5 which are rarer than rocking horse poo. Includes The Subways debut 7” 1AM which regularly goes for 100 on Ebay and you get a compilation DVD too. Bargain at a tenner we reckon.

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