Nov 05



We Are Scientists - With Love & Squalor (Virgin)
We saw them first back in April (see WAS) and said they’d be big! This album sees the madcap New Yorkers re-record their first two self released EP’s as one collection.Including the top singles Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and Great Escape this is first class new wave power-pop (remember 1978 anyone?). The trio are sharper than a butchers knife and twice as dangerous. Nice pussies on the sleeve should appeal to the kids too...



Animal Collective - Feels (Fat Cat)
Seemingly recommended by everyone who likes underground music this is definitely one for those of you who like their music to be non-mainstream. Lying somewhere in the Flaming Lips or Mercury Rev territory, the Animal Collective are making music that could almost be described as “avant garde”. On first track Did You See the World vocals are part whispered, part sung with fluctuating pitch, keyboards are “tinkered” while the drums pound a constant beat. Purple Bottle seems like a less structured Arcade Fire song and Bees sounds like the zither being plucked to lyrics “the bees, ggrrr, ggrrr”. Bizarre but somehow compelling. Get in early for a copy with a free live EP which makes them sound even stranger than in the studio!


Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City)
Silver Jews have been knocking out their brand of Americana for years now and this album is their finest by far. Sounding a bit like an upbeat and uptempo Lambchop or less bonkers Handsome Family. With songtitles like Punks in The Beerlight, Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed and How Can I Love You If You Won’t Lie Down? you get the feeling main man David Berman has his tongue firmly wedged in his cheek. Some really good tunes back up the razor sharp lyrics. A must for you Alt.Country lovers out there.

Bonnie “Prince” Billie - Summer In The Southeast (Sea Note)
Will Oldham (AKA the Bonnie “Prince”) has made some corking albums over the past ten years or so under various guises. This live collection sees songs from his past couple of albums given an airing in front of screaming, whooping and hollering (or maybe just stupid, drunk and stoned) crowd. The sound recording is no great shakes and few of the songs sound anywhere near as good as their studio versions. Definitely one for completists. Maybe you just had to be there? Buy Master & Everyone if you haven’t got it instead.

Babyshambles - Down In Albion (Rough Trade)
Pete Doherty’s first album with his new outfit since the Libertines imploded last years is a disappointment unless you like listening to half-ideas and demos. Stand out tracks are the singles F*ck  Forever, Killamangiro and the rather splendid Albion  but the 16 tracks could do with some serious quality control and a decent production job. Mick Jones should be ashamed of his so-called Producer credit. It’s one thing to capture a bands energy and rawness but another to do a rushed job and not make the best of what are in a number of cases, embryonic songs. It sounds like all he did was press the pause button on the 8 track Portastudio and even Pete could probably do that himself!

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