Sept 07



Morning Bride - Lea Valley Delta Blues (Letterbox)
Bought on the strength of their gig at Hot Burrito, its good to see that the music translates to record as well as it does live. The mix of American female and British male vocals seems to work set to a bizarre backing of country influenced pop (which includes keyboards and cello!). Sort of Pulp and Nouvelle Vague jamming with the Handsome Family is as close as it gets! The simple analogue production keeps this quirky and entertaining collection of pop nuggets pure and free of new-world trickery.    



Rilo Kiley - Under the Backlight (WEA)
Fourth album from Rilo Kiley and following on from singer Jenny Lewis’ highly acclaimed solo album Rabbit Fur Coat their latest offering has a lot to live up to. Less country than their earlier releases and with what seems like a dated 80s sound, its hard to see where they are going. Jenny’s voice is as perfect as ever but the songs lack the clever hooks of More Adventures and often sound like mid-period Blondie cast-offs.    


Super Furry Animals - Hey Venus (Rough Trade)
SFA previewed most of this album when we were lucky to see them at their residency at Clwb Ifor earlier this year and it does not disappoint. With influences obvious (especially Phil Spectors Wall of Sound on Runaway) and a very laid back 60s feel for most of the set. A few exceptions with Neo Consumer and Into The Night being more trad SFA sub-glam guitar fare to keep the interest up. First single Show Your Hand is a classic slice of 3 minutes SFA pop. It seems that moving to the smaller Rough Trade label has not curtailed their enthusiasm or changed their outlook. Long may they continue if this is the standard....     


Tunng - Good Arrows (Full Time Hobby)
Third album from the new-folkies sees them move on from their earlier electronic noodling over clever Northern acoustic folk music and in a more mainstream direction. Each track is titled with one word such as Take, Bricks, Spoons, String etc.. and its all pretty compelling stuff. The song Bullets has potential to take them out of the underground and into full public glare 


Gravenhurst - The Western Lands (Warp)
Not really a band but one guy (Nick Talbot) playing all the instruments and singing. An eclectic mix at some times sounding like a compilation album with tracks as varied sounding as from Thirteen Senses to a mix of My Bloody Valentine and Wilco. The singles Hollow Men and Trust are stand out tracks which alongside a cover of Fairport Conventions’ She Dances makes for a thoroughly enjoyable 43 minutes.


Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (Domino)
Really liked last years Feels album, but on first listen this is just as weird, but lacks some of the  innocent charm. Part Beach Boys (with Brian off his head) part Flaming Lips, Animal Collective experiment with sounds, rhythms and vocals unlike any current band. Tracks named Cuckoo Cuckoo, For Reverend Green and Derek hardly enthuse, but don’t be fooled, Strawberry Jam seems like a long lost Mothers of Invention album. Would they pass the Acid Test?! Only time will tell......

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