The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience – I Like Rain: The Story Of The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience - I Like Rain: The Story Of The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

Like their better-known more senior labelmates and fellow compatriots, The Chills, The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience were intractably linked to the fluctuating fortunes of New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records.  Yet unlike Martin Phillipps’ recently self-renewed power-pop outfit, The JPSE were a far artier and more awkward proposition that perhaps … [Read more...]

Vile Display of Humanity – Vile Display of Humanity

Vile Display of Humanity - Vile Display of Humanity

The members of the thrash metal/punk rock band Vile Display of Humanity are originally from Chicago, Illinois, but they moved to Seattle, Washington to have a fresh go at it, unleashing their 20-track, 100% DIY, self-titled album this past spring.  Like minds Doug Mitchell (vocals), Jake Youngberg (vocals, guitar), David Foster (lead guitar), Marty … [Read more...]

Isnaj Dui – Dioptrics

Isnaj Dui - Dioptrics

A singular quality of the great, maverick World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer was to make the complexity of his games appear effortless. In displays of near-Mozartian simplicity all of his moves seemed to happen exactly ‘just in time’, entirely belying the inherent intellectual and creative oomph necessary to achieve such a high level of play. To … [Read more...]

Al Berkowitz – A Long Hereafter / Nothing Beyond

Al Berkowitz – A Long Hereafter / Nothing Beyond

A decade ago, the then Berlin-based band of Spanish expatriates The Inhabitants gained a new member, an American living in the German capital and whose name was Al Berkowitz. By 2009, Al himself had left the band, but The Inhabitants decided to retain his name, for reasons that are known only to Ignacio Simón, Lorenzo Palomares and Santiago … [Read more...]

Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There

Yo La Tengo - Stuff Like That There

Yo La Tengo have been in a retrospective bubble since 2013’s well-received but too quickly forgotten Fade LP.  With an expanded version of 1993’s sublime Painful (as Extra Painful on Matador) and a vinyl reprint of 1990’s well-loved Fakebook on vinyl (on the Bar/None label) both appearing last year, backwards glancing has been helpfully reminding … [Read more...]

GOLD – Gold

GOLD - Gold

With a moniker and debut album name as auspicious sounding as GOLD one might expect this Brooklyn based group's first record to be packed to the gills with all sorts of ornate bells and ostentatious whistles. On the contrary, Julie DeLano (bass/lead vocals/songwriting) and her bandmates Christy Davis (drums), Leslie Graves (backing vocals) and … [Read more...]

Lesa & Ross – self-titled

Lesa & Ross - self-titled

This debut release from Lesa Aldridge and Ross Johnson is proof that you certainly shouldn’t guess the sound of a record from its cover.  With its pastel-hued front sleeve image of Aldridge with former lover and collaborator Alex Chilton, the eponymous debut from the 'Lesa & Ross' duo suggests a lush ‘70s-scented folk-rock affair extending upon … [Read more...]

Laura Cannell – Beneath Swooping Talons

Laura_Cannell_cover_4000

In a braver world a work such as Laura Cannell’s second album, Beneath Swooping Talons, would likely be released on an imprint such as Hyperion or even Veritas. Instead, the issue falls to the catholic tastes of the ever eclectic and adventurous Front and Follow. For what we have here is a bold collage of (only slightly) updated early music and … [Read more...]

The Bulls – “Rumors”

The Bulls - Small Problems EP

The Los Angeles-based, self-described ‘dream-gaze’ duo of Anna Bulbrook (The Airborne Toxic Event, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) and Marc Sallis (The Duke Spirit) has just released its latest single, “Rumors”.  It’s one of five songs and a remix that appears on Anna and Marc’s debut EP, Small Problems, which will drop August 28 on Diet Pink … [Read more...]

Short Takes (Fake Shark, Ships Have Sailed, Paul Doffing & Monks Of Mellonwah)

Fake Shark - "Cheap Thrills"

Fake Shark – “Cheap Thrills” The best summertime jam of 2015 has arrived in high style with the slinky, infectious dancefloor hijinx of “Cheap Thrills” from Vancouver-situated act Fake Shark.  Formerly known as Fake Shark Real Zombie, the trio of Kevvy (songwriter, vocalist, member of Die Mannequin), Louis Wu (guitarist), and Tony Dallas … [Read more...]