MATTHEW NORTH When You Cry (self-released)
SECRETS FOR SEPTEMBER If I Need (self-released)
Matthew North has a new solo single out 22nd April, then on 20th May there's the new single from Secrets for September, the band Matthew North plays guitar and keyboards with. I'm reviewing advance CDRs, but believe the actual releases are download only. Each single features just the title track. When You Cry begins as a minimal acoustic singer-songwriter piece, then part way through it morphs into a full-band rock song with searing guitar soloing and a smattering of retro synth. If I Need is hard-hitting yet atmospheric rock, featuring the vocals of Ellie Taylor. The chorus sets a catchy, folky melody to ethereal keyboard accompaniment, before giving way to an extended intricate guitar solo. Good stuff, with the usual high quality musicianship expected of Matthew North and his associates. More info at www.matthewnorthmusic.co.uk and www.secretsforseptember.co.uk
ANDY B FEATURING SCOTT MORRISON & ISHY Another Rainy Day EP CD (Pastime)
New 4-song EP from Andy B (also of National Pastime, Falling Trees, and The Thought Clouds), who has teamed up this time with Scott Morrison (formerly of The Morrisons) and Ishy (The Real Ish Band) on backing vocals. Drums are provided by Andy Ward, with all other instruments being played by Andy B. The EP acts as a taster for Andy's forthcoming album Magic Numbers, due for release later in 2015, which will include all four tracks. The songs hark back to the classic era of indiepop, with Andy citing the Television Personalities, early Primal Scream, Sarah Records, and the C86 scene amongst his influences.
The fuzz/jangle/organ-driven Count to Ten is followed by Another Rainy Day, a melancholic song incorporating jangly guitar, atmospheric synth, and strong vocal harmonies from Ishy. You Made Your Getaway is reflective, introspective indiepop, this time featuring dual vocal harmonies from both Scott and Ishy, whose voices work well with the song and make for an effective addition to Andy B's music. Your Clown is another melancholic piece, with a strong melody with slight folk inclinations, and featuring interweaving vocals from Andy and Scott.
It's always good to hear retro indiepop such as this; I look forward to the forthcoming album! In the meantime, the EP can be purchased on CD from pastimerecords.webs.com or downloaded from pastimerecords.bandcamp.com
PETER LACEY Wayward Song 7" (Pink Hedgehog)
First ever 7" single from Pink Hedgehog Records, fulfilling Peter Lacey's ambition to release his music on vinyl. Wayward Song is sophisticated piano-based retro pop balladry with an inventive instrumental interlude that adds a driving bassline to ethereal, dreamlike music with ambient inclinations: a combination of sounds which avoids obvious cliches and really works. Many Moons Ago also defies easy categorisation, combining folk-pop, baroque pop and harmony pop with hints of bossa nova and early 20th century theatre music. Peter Lacey is a top quality songwriter, the songs here featuring strong catchy tunes, meaningful lyrics, and innovative arrangements. Highly recommended! Available from www.pinkhedgehog.com
FRANKLIN'S KITE Hurdles and Rewards 3" CDR (Little Treasure)
Franklin's Kite is the current project of Marc Elston, formerly of Bulldozer Crash and The Liberty Ship. This nicely presented EP, released by Bubbletone's Little Treasure offshoot, comes packaged in an inner paper sleeve, outer wraparound sleeve and plastic bag, recalling the classic way in which indiepop 7"s were packaged in the 80s and 90s. Hurdles and Rewards is a superb indiepop song, having that perfect balance of brightness and melancholy that all the best examples of this genre share. Bringing together jangly guitar and atmospheric, dreamlike keyboard, this is a song that would have fitted right in on Sarah Records, and is making me feel very nostalgic for those days. The Way You Danced With Me recalls the style of 1980s guitar pop that broke through to the mainstream whilst retaining credibility in the indie scene; the lyrics namecheck Falling and Laughing and This Charming Man, giving a hint as to the musical direction this song is travelling in. Hawker Hunter Tower Bridge Incident sets a wartime story to a strong, catchy indiepop arrangement, incorporating the effective addition of atmospheric noise effects that suggest the sound of an aeroplane. The Colours They Bring is great noisy-round-the-edges, super-melodic bedroom pop, featuring fuzzy buzzy guitar and a chugging punky rhythm, along with retro organ and vocal harmonies. An absolutely fantastic EP, each song approaching indiepop from a different direction, showing the genre's vibrancy and diversity. The songs recreate that same thrill I got from indiepop when I first got into this style of music all those years ago. I can't recommend this enough! Limited to 150 copies, available from www.bubbletonediscos.com/littletreasure
BENE GESSERIT The Second Benefit 7" and The Record Store Day EP 7" (EE Tapes)
Belgian experimental electronic duo Bene Gesserit have been active since the 1980s, and their 7" The Second Benefit is divided into a New Side (with three previously unreleased tracks recorded between 2009 and 2014) and an Old Side (with three early 80s tracks taken from cassette-only releases). The Record Store Day EP compiles seven mid/late 1980s tracks, all previously unreleased except for one which previously appeared on an underground compilation tape. Both 7"s are packaged in the classic underground way, in wraparound sleeves in a plastic bag, and come with photographic inserts. The Second Benefit also comes with a unique hand drawn art insert.
Starting with The Second Benefit: Willen Sie Tanzen Mit Mir? is dancey pop subverted by dark, experimental aesthetics. Les Simples d'Esprit Ne Sont Pas Toujours Bien Compris is arty experimental pop combining la-la-las with spoken robotic vocals. Éléphant Extraterrestre sounds exactly like its title, in that it combines lurching, bellowing sounds that conjure up an image of the heavy, swaying walk of the elephant with futuristic spacey electronic noises. Over on the Old Side there's the avant garde pop of Step by Step, She Sells Sea Shells on the Sea Show is atmospheric electronica with an off-centre edge, and Slowly Walking Between People is experimental pop with a dark post-punk touch.
On The Record Store Day EP, Les Bijoux sets text from Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal to an off-kilter electronic rendering of classical and Middle Eastern music accompanied by thundering abstract percussion. Choses et Idées Ne Sont Qu'illusion is a surreal, nightmarish sound collage. Straks is a quirky instrumental where fun meets chaos. An Insane Rabbit sounds like an electronic take on silent movie soundtracks, combined with unhinged cackling.
Bene Gesserit are a great band who think outside the box. Recommended to anyone who appreciates the bizarre, the arty, and the homemade. Available from www.eetapes.be
PINEAPPLE unreleased tracks CDR
Pineapple is a punk band that includes Duncan Pope from The Conspiracy. Originally around in the 1980s, they reformed with a new line-up in 2009 and seem to be making a name for themselves around their local punk scene. They have previously supported UK Subs, The Damned, and Vice Squad, and have a gig coming up on 28th August 2015 supporting TV Smith at the Plymouth Junction.
Since the punk movement originally appeared, there has been a spate of punk bands who seem more interested in rehashing the same old formulas than making music that genuinely rebels against conformity.
I'm pleased to say Pineapple are undoubtedly no such 'punk by numbers' outfit. Whilst broadly categorisable as punk, they also take on board elements of styles and sounds not normally heard within this genre, and as such are injecting some real originality back into punk.
This selection of songs, recorded for a planned future album, begins with the most straightforwardly punky track here, Snakes & Ladders, a melodic punk anthem for their local football team Plymouth Argyle. Up next is Spirit, which breaks the punk mould by incorporating some meditative, ethereal keyboard alongside the jagged and angular punky guitars. Werewolf is a strong melodic track, more powerpop than punk per se, and also including some guitar work that wouldn't sound out of place in a prog or heavy folk-rock track. Changes, originally recorded by The Conspiracy in 1995, appears here in a punked-up, heavy powerpop version which really works well with the song. Hubris is heavy, dark and angular, yet incorporates melodic vocal parts alongside the angry ranting.
Pineapple are in the process of recording an album's worth of new material, which they aim to have completed by the end of 2015. They are currently seeking a label for this forthcoming album. Visit www.reverbnation.com/pineapple6
THE HAYWAINS Bobbie Gentry's Tears 7" (Dufflecoat)
The Haywains were familiar names in the late 1980s/early 1990s indiepop scene, with records out on labels such as Vinyl Japan and the then-fledgling Elefant label, as well as frequent appearances in fanzines and DIY compilation tapes. They reformed in 2013, the first batch of their post-reunion recordings being released as a 7" on Cloudberry Records (reviewed last issue). Now they have four more brand new tracks out soon on Dufflecoat Records, released as a download and limited edition 7" with three different colour sleeves. The music here is definitely pop, full of strong catchy tunes, yet it has a certain punk attitude. Resolutely DIY, the songs are rattly and rickety in all the best ways, and are all under three minutes long. There's a strong sense of fun here, but also a sense of irreverence and non-conformity: "Tell them we won't toe the line/Stick your bigotry where the sun don't shine". The infectious enthusiasm that has always been a feature of The Haywains is still very much present, and fans of their earlier material will not be disappointed. Available as of July 2015 from www.dufflecoatrecords.fr; band info at www.haywains.co.uk
THE PROCTORS Cellophane 7" (Kingfisher Bluez/Shelflife) and Kaleidoscope 7" (Dufflecoat)
The Proctors' latest single Cellophane will be released shortly as a joint release between the Kingfisher Bluez and Shelflife labels. Cellophane is not the version from the Everlasting Light album (on Shelflife, and well worth checking out), but a new version featuring guest guitar from Terry Bickers of The House of Love. The song has an expansive dreampop sound which is really great, balancing a strong catchy melody with atmospheric effects. B-side Signs of Life features guest vocals from Pascale of Watoo Watoo. This is a janglier song harking back to the golden age of indiepop and recalling Sarah bands such as Brighter and The Field Mice. Another really fantastic track that takes me right back to the days when I first stumbled upon this genre, recreating the same sense of excitement I got from indiepop back then.
Still available is The Proctors' previous single, the Kaleidoscope EP, on Dufflecoat Records. Kaleidoscope is laid-back, dreamlike and ethereal jangly indiepop. Seven Wonders is from the punchier end of janglepop, unafraid to turn the noise up now and then without losing its sense of melodic beauty. Dreaming of Another Boy is bright, jangly, catchy pop with a 60s touch. The Proctors are a seriously top-notch indiepop band whose music makes me feel so glad to have found out about this genre.
Visit theproctors.bandcamp.com, www.shelflife.com, www.kingfisherbluez.com, and www.dufflecoatrecords.fr
THE SEVENTH RING OF SATURN Mountains of the Moon 7" (Nusrat)
Following their recent Ormythology album (reviewed earlier this issue), The Seventh Ring of Saturn return with a new single with two exclusive non-album tracks. This is a translucent pale green glow in the dark vinyl 7" packaged in a hand stamped hard card sleeve, featuring two 1960s cover versions. The Grateful Dead's Mountains of the Moon combines a folk-tinged tune with an arrangement that blends raw rock n' roll with Indian music. All the World is Love, originally by The Hollies, is a brilliant psych track with lashings of sitar and swirly vocal effects. Well worth checking out - available from www.tsros.com
THE CATS NEVER SLEEP/THE INSEKTLIFE CYCLE Friends of the Fish 3 lathe cut 7" (Fruits de Mer)
ME AND MY KITES/SOFT HEARTED SCIENTISTS Friends of the Fish 4 lathe cut 7" (Fruits de Mer)
Two new split singles from Fruits de Mer Records, each one being individually lathe cut and limited to just 50 copies. They are only available to buy at the upcoming 13th Dream of Sardonicus festival, held in Cardigan, Wales on August 7th-9th. On the first of these 7"s, Swiss band The Cats Never Sleep provide an instrumental psych-rock track that effectively combines chilled-out and more forceful moments, all with a strong emphasis on melody. The Insektlife Cycle, from the Philippines, contribute a piece called Sungaze, which is aptly titled as it brings together a sunny optimistic melody with a shoegaze style atmospheric noise approach, whilst also coming close to psych and post-rock territory. Their piece has the potential to appeal equally to fans of psych-rock and of 1990s indie rock. Whilst those two bands are new to Fruits de Mer, the following 7" features two familiar names - Sweden's Me and My Kites and Soft Hearted Scientists from Wales. Me and My Kites contribute the song War from their brand new album Is It Real or Is It Made? (more on this very soon in Aquamarine). A great track which brings together aspects of jangly psych-pop, folk-rock, and sunshine pop into a cohesive whole. Soft Hearted Scientists appear with an archival track from 2007 which views surf music through a psychedelic lens. Guaranteed to sell out immediately and become instant collectors' items. For more information visit www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
THE FLATMATES When You Were Mine 7" (Astro Girl)
1980s punky indiepop band The Flatmates reformed a while ago with new members Brian Price (also of Peru) and Lisa Bouvier, alongside original members Martin Whitehead and Rocker. This second single from the new line-up is out on Italian label Astro Girl Records, and features two cover versions. First up, Prince's When You Were Mine, a super-catchy buzzsaw punk-pop track setting a pure pop tune to the noise and chug of punk. Then there's a version of Cinerama's Comedienne, retitled Comedian here as it's now a female singer singing about a man. Fuzzy, buzzy noise guitar, retro organ and strong vocals come together to create another slice of catchy noisepop. The Flatmates' frenzied pop sound is a lot of fun. They have a new LP in the works - actually their debut, as The Flatmates mark 1 never made a studio album. The two songs here are however exclusive to this 7" and will not be featured on the LP. The single is limited to 500 copies so grab it while you can at www.localunderground.co.uk or astrogirlrecords.bigcartel.com
YOUNG SCUM/REPORTERS split CDR (Dufflecoat)
Reporters are a band from Nottingham that includes Chris Morgan of The Deddingtons and Saltbox, alongside bandmates James, Andy and Paul. Radio Waves is brilliant jangly powerpop that's a must for fans of Teenage Fanclub, Creation-era BMX Bandits, Cosmic Rough Riders, or any of Ric Menck and Paul Chastain's bands, while Haircut is a noisier track combining aspects of shoegaze and indie rock with an indiepop sensibility. Young Scum sounds like it ought to be the name of a snotty, ranty punk outfit, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact this band play bittersweet indiepop in the classic 1980s/early 90s style, combining heart-on-sleeve vulnerability ("If I could stop worrying I would") and carefree, innocent optimism ("I can't wait till summer when I can hold your hand") with sunny melodies and bright jangly guitar. Another great indiepop release from Dufflecoat Records, available at www.dufflecoatrecords.fr
EXILES I've Got Secrets Too CDR (Dufflecoat)
This 4-song EP from New York band Exiles reveals two distinct yet overlapping sides to their sound, one towards the dreampop end of the spectrum and the other a more jangly indiepop style. Dawn Patrol is beautifully atmospheric dreampop/shoegaze, recommended for fans of Secret Shine, MBV or Love Spirals Downwards. Love and War is jangly and sweet indiepop, as is Photograph, which adds a hazy, dreamlike undercurrent, and a slight nod to the 60s in the chorus, which juxtaposes sentiments of unrequited love with a catchy pop tune. In Subtle Attack, a floaty ethereal haze envelops a pure pop melody. Whether you like your pop ethereal or jangly, there is a lot to like here. Available at www.dufflecoatrecords.fr
WARHORSES Song of the Month EP CD (self-released) and Burning Desire 7" (Escape Velocity)
Two highly impressive releases from Warhorses, a retro rock band who seamlessly combine raw, dark and psychedelic components into a thoroughly exciting whole. First up, the Song of the Month EP, which features five tracks. Rumble Seat is heavy psych-tinged retro rock with a hypnotic groove and lashings of vintage organ; reminds me a little of Purson. Horse 5 is dark rock with a Wild West twang and a loping, trancelike bassline. Crawl translates an early 1990s indie vibe into a rock setting with its drawn-out vocals and fuzzy, hazy atmosphere. Red Turns Black is a dark, snarly number that bridges the gap between goth and psychedelia. Joyful Boy is laid-back yet sinister, heavy psych-rock shot through with a sense of experimentation.
On the 7" we have Burning Desire, which is slow and sludgy, with a sleazy garage rock sound, and Bury Your Dead, raw and intense retro rock incorporating a mindbending guitar solo and hypnotic pulsing electronics. Definitely a band I'm keen to hear more from. Visit warhorses.bandcamp.com
BRONCO BULLFROG Marmalade 7" (Sunstone)
New single from this authentically vintage-sounding band that includes Andy Morten, one of the editors of Shindig! magazine. Marmalade is a super-catchy mod-meets-psych homage to the eponymous citrus jam, wrapping whimsical lyrics like "Spread it on your toast this morning/Orange peel stops you from yawning" in a 1960s-style arrangement featuring swirly psychedelic guitar soloing and soaring vocal harmonies. (She's Having An) Existential Crisis is retro pop with observational biographical lyrics, which truly does sound like a genuine product of the 60s. Vintage recording techniques courtesy of State Productions at The Ponswood Hit Factory, and a sleeve with faux folded edges to replicate 1960s record sleeve construction also add to the overall retro vibe. This is a limited edition single that is close to selling out already, so grab a copy while you still can at www.sunstonerecords.co.uk
OLDER WISER HARDER Church of Sound and Vision CD (OWH Records)
Last issue I reviewed Richard Earls and Thierry Audousset's Older Wiser Harder vol 1 EP; they have now adopted Older Wiser Harder as the name of their musical project. This new six-track EP, the second part of a three-part series, continues in the duo's tradition of providing unusual packaging for their music. The CD fits into a slot within an oversized handmade card folder which also includes an A5 lyric booklet. For those that know Richard Earls for his collaborations with indiepop band Skittle Alley, his music here is very different from them and far outside of the boundaries of indiepop. The Church of Sound and Vision is a bluesy retro rock piece, its lyrics a barbed attack on media brainwashing and TV addiction. The Long Goodbye is a poignant depiction of a family affected by the father's Alzheimer's disease, set to a stark piano arrangement. Study in Blue is a brief piano instrumental, melancholic in tone. Bless Me Bartender mixes vintage pop and soul with fierce guitar, wailing harmonica and forceful vocals. Just Standing in Line is another short instrumental piece, this time guitar based, taking the form of sparse Americana. I Stand Accused draws on vintage soul and blues, its lyrics a loud call for peace, love, joy and open-minded politics. Deep lyrics with a clear message appearing alongside mature and sophisticated instrumentation is the common theme of this EP, which can be obtained via olderwiserharder.blogspot.fr/2015/05/church-of-sound-and-vision-cd-ep-out-now.html
DREADNAUGHT Gettin' Tight With Dreadnaught and Have a Drink With Dreadnaught CD EPs (Red Fez)
Dreadnaught are a long-running band with eclectic influences, formed in 1996. The last I heard from them was their 2001 album The American Standard, but I was pleased to discover that they are still around and have released a whole bunch of other stuff since. I have here their two latest EPs, this year's Gettin' Tight... and the preceding EP Have a Drink..., released in 2013, each EP containing five tracks.
Gettin' Tight... begins with Nervous Little Dogs, a frenetic, twisty-turny mix of prog, metal and folk. The Badger combines harmony pop, angular and frantic punk, and proggy convolutions. This Time Next Year is an off-centre reinterpretation of country rock. Knife Hits merges experimental electronica and sound manipulation with folk-tinged prog rock.
Over on the previous EP, Surface Raid is a creative blend of heavy-hitting rock, complex, choppy-changey prog, and orchestral music that sounds like it belongs in the soundtrack of a big budget movie. The Bear blends the absurdist end of prog with off-kilter bouncy pop. Trophy Bride is quirky and angular, jumping around at all manner of tangents, while retaining an accessible pop-rock sensibility at its heart.
Best defined as avant-garde rock or genuinely progressive prog rock, Dreadnaught have an original, exciting sound that I can recommend highly. Visit www.dreadnaughtrock.com
PLUME OF FEATHERS First Date (Tourist Info/Archdeacon of Pop)
Plume of Feathers is a new band comprising Paul Tierney (Lonely Tourist) and Chris Webb. This single, available as a download from Tourist Info as of October 30th, followed by 7" vinyl on Archdeacon of Pop, is released as a taster for their forthcoming album due out in February 2016, which is centred around the theme of pubs, the things people do in pubs, and the closure of pubs around Britain, the name Plume of Feathers being taken from one such now-defunct pub in Bristol. I am reviewing a promo CDR which only features the title track, so can't comment as yet on the B-side track(s) from the forthcoming 7", but First Date itself suggests future offerings from this band will be well worth looking out for. The song is breezy janglepop, with a hugely catchy chorus that's crying out to be sung along to. It's an effective meeting of opposites, with dreamlike keyboard and jangly guitar juxtaposed with a gutsy, punchy rhythm, producing a perfect synthesis of the classic jangly 80s indiepop style and the harder-edged indie sounds of more recent times. Really great stuff, will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this band. Further info at www.facebook.com/plumeoffeathersmusic and www.facebook.com/ArchdeaconOfPop
RODNEY CROMWELL Black Dog CD (Happy Robots)
Rodney Cromwell is the alter ego of Adam Cresswell, formerly of John Peel faves Saloon and electronic duo Arthur & Martha. Following his debut solo album Age of Anxiety, released earlier this year, he now releases this 4 track EP of new mixes of album tracks. The album emphasised a retro analogue sound and approached synthpop from an indiepop perspective. Here, these new remixes have developed more of a crossover appeal, adopting a dancefloor-friendly style whilst retaining underground credibility. Black Dog (Version) features a super-catchy melody and perky dance-pop arrangement contrasting sharply with the lyrics, which are a candid exploration of Cromwell's struggles with depression. This track also appears later on the EP in extended form. You Will Struggle (Rod's Glitchy Disco Mix) is everything you'd expect from the subtitle: a relentless 70s disco groove merged with staccato vocal samples. Barry Was An Arms Dealer (AUW's North-Poindexter Remix) comprises darkly witty lyrics set to a combination of swirling ambient soundscaping, robotic voice, and dancey electronic beats. This is a brilliant EP that proves that electropop and dance music can indeed be intelligent, thoughtful, and original. Find out more at www.happyrobots.co.uk
MARC ELSTON Normandie by Sundown CDR (Dufflecoat)
Marc Elston has previously been involved in bands such as Bulldozer Crash, The Liberty Ship, and the recent solo project Franklin's Kite, which was responsible for some of the most exciting indiepop I'd heard in recent times. Now he abandons the Franklin's Kite moniker in favour of his real name for this new 4 track EP out on Dufflecoat Records, one of the premier sources for classic indiepop sounds in the 21st century. Normandie by Sundown is luxurious bossa nova influenced pop, airy and summery yet far transcending its 'easy listening' roots. Everything You Say and Do is rollicking 80s-style indiepop with a barbed lyrical wit. Other People's Stories combines breezy retro indiepop with a multifaceted song structure that puts an original spin on the genre. The Wonder Hour is beautiful dreamlike pop with chiming jangly guitar and atmospheric keyboard, recalling the sort of songs that made Sarah Records so important to me back in the day. Marc Elston is a seriously talented songwriter. Well crafted songs topped off with strong vocals make for an EP that's just as impressive as its Franklin's Kite predecessor. A must-have release, available from www.dufflecoatrecords.fr
THE HONEY POT Lisa Dreams 7" (Mega Dodo)
Mega Dodo launch their new single club series with this limited 7" featuring two new tracks from The Honey Pot, which are exclusive to this release and will not be included on their forthcoming album Inside the Whale. Crystal Jacqueline provides lead vocals on Lisa Dreams, a bouncy pop song with vocal harmonies and whimsical psychedelic lyrics about swimming in ice cream and sleeping in a bed of unicorn down. Into the Deep, sung by Icarus Peel with backing vocals from Crystal Jacqueline, is an altogether more intense affair, combining elements of 60s West Coast psych-rock with a dark atmosphere. Each song is very different from the other but both are really great. The singles club is limited to 150 members, who will receive four 7" singles over 12 months, this one being followed by 7"s from Octopus Syng, Us and Them, and another yet to be confirmed, alongside various exclusive items of memorabilia. Available only at www.mega-dodo.co.uk
NATIONAL PASTIME Bring Me Your Sunshine CDR (Pastime)
New EP from National Pastime, released as a taster for their forthcoming album. The band's previous line-up of vocalist Andrew Padfield, drummer Chris Head, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Botterill (also known as the solo singer/songwriter Andy B) are now joined by Scott Morrison on guitars and backing vocals. Scott Morrison is also known for his recent solo recordings, as well as having previously been the singer in The Morrisons. Bring Me Your Sunshine is great jangly indiepop in the 1980s tradition. Do What You Do has a harder-edged, fuzzy noise sound somewhere between garage rock and shoegaze, combined with a bright and optimistic indiepop chorus with 'sha-la-la' backing vocals. Summer Haze is melancholic, wistful indiepop balladry. Perfect in Every Way sets heart-on-sleeve lyrics of unrequited love to a retro DIY indiepop arrangement. National Pastime are strongly influenced by old-school indiepop, citing influences such as Television Personalities, early Primal Scream, Sarah Records and the C86 scene, and their music is much recommended for fans of this style. The CD version can be bought via pastimerecords.webs.com; there is also a download version available from pastimerecords.bandcamp.com
CABBAGE Le Chou CD (Play & Record)
Debut EP from Manchester-based five-piece Cabbage. Kevin features excitable shouting over a chaotic mix of garage punk and wild psychedelic improvisations. Dinner Lady is angular and idiosyncratic post-punk with a twisted sense of humour. Contactless Payment combines raw garagey psych rock with a warped post-punk edge. Austerity Languish is a hyper-energetic lurching noisefest, really brilliant. White Noise seems more restrained on the surface, a dark-edged post-punk/alt-rock track with a Wild West twang - though you sense the crazed energy raring to get out, which bursts forth around four minutes in with a maelstrom of caterwauling wordless vocals over intense guitar noise. The music of Cabbage is wild, discordant and fierce, though not without a sense of fun. Available at ahcabbage.bandcamp.com
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