Hypnodrone Ensemble – The Shape Of Space

Hypnodrone Ensemble - The Shape Of Space (CD edition)

After a previous four-album series from the Little Crackd Rabbit imprint that ran from late-2013 to late-2014 - which yielded particularly impressive wares from A.R.C. Soundtracks and P.J. Philipson - comes the first in another run of four CDs to appear over the next year or so.  Whilst the second studio set from the divine Brave Timbers and … [Read more...]

Malportado Kids – Total Cultura

total cultura

Here’s something truly new and different. I’ve never heard a band quite like Malportado Kids. Their infectious dance-punk has a tropical twist, invoking warm summer days of partying under a sweaty sun. But they have a message as well, which is passionate and serious—a message of anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and feminism. Total Cultura, the … [Read more...]

Giant Sand – Heartbreak Pass

Giant Sand - Heartbreak Pass

Returning to his core operations with Giant Sand - after two somewhat overlooked solo albums in 2013 (The Coincidentalist and Dust Bowl), a side-project collaboration with Radian and more time overseeing further entries in his still ongoing back catalogue reissue programme - Heartbreak Pass finds Howe Gelb commemorating thirty years since the … [Read more...]

Strange Names – Use Your Time Wisely

strangenames

For their first LP Strange Names apparently had plenty of time on their hands, as after recording Use Your Time Wisely in their hometown Minneapolis the trio relocated to New York where they re-cut the entire album again. Not remixed, added overdubs or even one or two new songs, but completely ditched the original recordings and began afresh, from … [Read more...]

Spectres – “Stealed Scene” b/w Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – “The Sky Of All Places”

Spectres RSD

As part of a concerted campaign of protest against the misaligned mechanics of Record Store Day - as outlined in full on the Record Store Day Is Dying website - comes a split seven inch co-released by Sonic Cathedral and Howling Owl Records, featuring Bristol’s Spectres and Guadalajara’s Lorelle Meets The Obsolete covering each other’s noise-soaked … [Read more...]

Bleak/Sovereign – split EP

Bleak/Sovereign Split EP

Although the implosion is impressive, "Princip" turns into an overlong event marked by heavy dust and smoke. After the song's obligatory creepy opening audio clip, harmonics herald a wrecking ball of distortion on a Kong-stomp beat. Once this song's initial metal-breakdown business wears thin, we hear some variations and another audio clip. Then … [Read more...]

New Politicians – Remission

remission

There are a lot of things I really like about New Politicians. There’s their classic, post-punk sound. There’s their strong sense of melody and songwriting. But most of all, I really appreciate that the lead singer doesn’t try to sound like Ian Curtis. This might seem like damning with faint praise, but that’s not my intention. I’ve heard far … [Read more...]

Owen Tromans – “No Heart” b/w “Memory Girl”

Owen Tromans - "No Heart" / "Memory Girl" / "The Raven King" 7" EP

Owen Tromans’ uninhibited less album-led routes of recent times have served him well.  For although last year’s The Golden Margins was no slouch of a long-player, his more short-form wares since 2009’s The Fall Of Acre album have freed-up his muse somewhat.  Across a sublime split 7" with Wooden Wand, the sprawling “Long Now” download single, a … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 4 Songs

Monks Of Mellonwah - "Never Been Good"

Monks of Mellonwah – “Never Been Good” Australian alt-rock/pop four-piece Monks of Mellonwah has been going strong since 2009, releasing EPs (Stars are Out (2010), Neurogenesis(2012), and Sky & the Dark Night (2013)) and acclaimed debut album, Turn the People, in 2014.  John de la Hoyde (bass), Joseph de la Hoyde (guitar), Joshua Bassari … [Read more...]

The Slow Readers Club – Cavalcade

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There was a phrase that used to crop up in the music press every other week that I could never quite decipher the full definition of. 'Landfill Indie' wasn't and still isn't a compliment, but I thought I had at least part of it translated and it basically referred to bands whose musical credibility was in some way questionable, not the groovy kids … [Read more...]