The Local Strangers – Take What You Can Carry

I think it’s fair to say that February wasn’t  a great month here.  But never mind, it’s gone now and what started out as a rather mundane and unremarkable day somewhere in the middle of it was brightened up by an email received from a band whose debut EP I had in these pages a mere few years ago, offering me a listen of their brand new (and second) full.. Read More

Black Whales – Through The Prism, Gently

It’s all a bit “fits & starts” here at the moment I’m afraid.  Blame work.  The upshot of all this is that instead of getting to spend time doing this, I’m currently waking up, going to work stupidly early, getting home stupidly late, soup and then bed.  For six days a week.  Ah well, it’s infinitely better than what I was facing this time last year. On the plus side,.. Read More

Alain Johannes – Fragments and Wholes, Vol.1

There’s something rather pleasing about using numbers as something other than passing the time or showing how much there is of something.  Tomorrow’s 11/11 is a good example of this as it is with its symmetry and a date that avoids transatlantic confusion, but throw the year into the mix and add the all the digits from 11/11/2014 together and you end up with another eleven.  Which is nice.  So.. Read More

Matthew Ryan – Boxers

Usually, and certainly of late, I find it a struggle to find that elusive interesting “in” to a record, that unique moment that allows me to begin a train of thought to wherever.  The most difficult thing for me with this particular one is that it was all to easy to do and I remain unsure about if I want to go down that track.  But here I am and.. Read More

Little Big League – Tropical Jinx

Onto the second part of this visit to the State of Pennsylvania, which I now discover is more of a Commonwealth anyway.  No idea what that means, but there you go.  And after having my hearing and nerves shattered by 4 and 5am fire alarms here, I am in no state (or commonwealth?) to find out properly.  Little Big League are a band from Philadelphia, Tropical Jinx is their second.. Read More

Half Man Half Biscuit – Urge For Offal

At work, I am involved in the office Fantasy Football League.  I’m not doing very well if truth be told, but that isn’t the cause of my despair as far as this little competition is concerned.  My consternation lies firmly in the fact that I am incessantly finding my team name to an ever-expanding group of people who go “I don’t get it” whenever I extol the etymological origins of.. Read More

Mark Lanegan Band – Bubblegum

It’s rare that I do posts of a personal nature these days.  Partly because I’ve become a little bit more guarded over the past couple of years anyway due to this & that, but I suppose it’s mostly because I’ve been so busy trying to listen to so much new stuff that I’ve not been looking backwards so often anymore.  Which is probably why it came as a genuine shock.. Read More

Horsebeach

Somewhere in the lower reaches of my pile of DVDs are a small group of imported Hong Kong editions of films by Miike Takashi, because they were impossible to get over here at the time (and they were also very cheap).  The Japanese director is well-known for being a bit multicultural with his cast who generally spoke their own language in conversation with others speaking a different one.  An interesting.. Read More

Smoke Fairies

It always seems a bit strange when a band goes eponymous some way into a career.  The usual way about things is to self-titlingly announce yourselves right at the start and then take it from there, wherever “it” takes you.  When it does happen though, it’s an eyebrow-raiser.  Why now?  Why this? It does all become rather apparent once attention is paid to what the Smoke Fairies have achieved with.. Read More

Sweet Apple – The Golden Age Of Glitter

I have no idea if it was a collective act or sheer coincidence, but somewhere along the line a switch was closed and we all became earnest, miserable sods.  Or at the very least I did and presumed that everyone else did too.  Thankfully, we have Sweet Apple here to decide that not only is it perfectly OK to be fun and bright and occasionally silly, but it’s also possible.. Read More