Virginia Wing – Rhonda EP

Although Virginia Wing’s slightly erratic release patterns might have thrown a few people off the scent over the last three or more years, it has at least allowed the trio to continue making significant artistic leaps forwards and sideways between releases.  Having proved themselves as serious-minded contenders with the kaleidoscopic art-pop of … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#47 (Noveller’s Sarah Lipstate on The Ascension)

Noveller’s Sarah Lipstate on… Glenn Branca’s The Ascension (99 Records, 1981) I discovered Glenn Branca when I was 19, the same year that I discovered guitar effects pedals.  Sonic Youth and no wave bands such as Teenage Jesus And The Jerks and The Contortions got me through my senior year of high school and influenced my earliest years of … [Read more...]

Earth Recordings: Bert Jansch, Judy Dyble & Tariverdiev

Since tentative beginnings at the start of 2014 with a bare-but-warm vinyl reissue of Jackson C. Frank’s eponymous 1965 LP, the London-based Earth Recordings has fast become a go-to archival enterprise with its increasingly close-to-essential spread of releases. Co-founded by Fire Records’ latter-day main-man James Nicholls, designer Alex Hornsby … [Read more...]

Wreckless Eric – amERICa

Having redemptively resurrected the bulk of Eric Goulden’s post-Stiff Records canon - through reissues of his two LPs with The Len Bright Combo and three under his Wreckless nom de plume - Fire Records now releases the first new Wreckless Eric full-length in a decade or so.  As the typographically-punning title suggests, amERICa is a … [Read more...]

The Chills – Silver Bullets

Scrutinising the sleeve-notes of the first studio album from The Chills since 1996’s Sunburnt reveals a lengthy feature-film-like list of locations, players and supporting cast members in the low-key yet epic story of the New Zealand legends’ long-trailed official return.  Detailing multiple recording sessions going back to 2013 in studios spread … [Read more...]

Blank Realm – Illegals In Heaven

The evolution of Brisbane’s Blank Realm from embryonic psyche-rockers to power-pop chameleons over the last five years has been one of most gratifying artistic success stories of the revived Australian independent music scene.  Building on the cocoon-shedding diversity of the lo-fi Deja What? (2010), the frenetic full-flight precision of Go Easy … [Read more...]

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...]

Mission Of Burma – Vs. (reissue)

Having redelivered Mission Of Burma’s debut 1981 mini-album Signals, Calls, And Marches as an expanded gourmet vinyl set to UK and European audiences for this year’s Record Store Day, Fire Records now also returns to print the on/off/on Boston band’s first full-length album from 1982 - Vs. -  for the same record-buying territories (at the same time … [Read more...]

Half Japanese – Volume 3: 1990-1995

With the still-fresh Volume 2: 1987-1989 set, Fire bottled-up three of the most accessible and distinctive Half Japanese albums (with associated archival off-cuts) for novices to find an easy way into the most sprawling branch of Jad Fair’s vast discography.  The newly-released Volume 3: 1990-1995 is a far gnarlier collection that takes a braver … [Read more...]

Death And Vanilla – To Where The Wild Things Are

Having released a salivating breadcrumb trail of geographically-scattered limited edition vinyl and cassette releases for the likes of Kalligrammofon (Sweden), Hands In The Dark (France), The Great Pop Supplement (UK) and Moon Glyph (US), the Malmö-birthed duo of Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson (AKA Death And Vanilla) have certainly cultivated a … [Read more...]