CHAOS,CUTENESS,WHIMSY AND RAGE
Orchestra Of Cardboard "Songs From The Forthcoming War" (Optimistic Recordings)
We adore the Orchestra Of Cardboard, an entity that's largely the creation, passion and fault of Daniel Edelsteyn and he has a large,largely cool and interesting back and forward story that involves printing money, making movies, vodka running, eliminating poverty and blowing shit up,with dynamite, as you do. That's all covered here and here. We're just talking about the album and it's a lovely, compelling thing and as challenging as you care to make it. This means that "Songs..." ranges confidently across familiar alt-pop soundscapes and you can pick up and pick out bits of Wreckless Eric, quite a few bits of Brute Chorus, Nick Lowe, V-Twin and Darren Hefner.
The obvious standout is "Germans In Space", a smart bit of clattering woozy floating along in a cloud of feedback, but the whiplash versus whisper of "Storm Doris" is it's own lil' rock opera and "The Shetlands" is some kind of catch and call love song that slides between the lovers in a yawing shuffle scarier than "Wuthering Heights". Naturally, everything else is very nice and/or very good.I mean "Sad Disco" is a sublimely sad update for both Soft Cell and The Leighton Buzzards reflections on the horror of the big night out and "Picasso's Boots" takes a fairground stutter-waltz around some absinthe drenched version of Paris. This why "Songs From The Forthcoming War" is fun, frightening and every shade of smart, skewed n screwed pop excellence and it's out now and you can get it here.
IT'S ALL GONE STACEY DOOLALLY, AGAIN!
We have a theory, a theory about modern music and our theory is this; 98% of it is so blandly inoffensive and uninteresting that we're tempted to swap the drugs for more ammo, but the remaining 2% (Tina,please check the maths)is evenly split between the wonderfully wonderful and the even more wonderful car crashes. The good people at BOTTOM OF THE POPS understand this and take a weekly trawl through the hitler-porn web to compile a weekly chart of the least played tracks in the world and these are they for a week in March 2019...
Disturbing, it's the stroke that announces itself with scary artwork before capturing the sound of lego being forced into the willing noses of placid faced teutonic toddlers. The degeneration into a kind of joyless gallop-beat to the gas chambers is very uplifting, when it stops.
Eighties computer game noises that snuck onto a slab. Exactly the kind of insistent and fucked up funkiness that we need to put a carrott up the arse of the mindless 'mindfullness' bastards.
This is great, give them your ears, your money and the money you don't talk about.
Riffery too sharp for the bottom of the pops, but a clunky old construction that makes late Arctic Monkeys sound up to speed with that nineties beat. On the other hand, if Sleeves came from Leeds and had learnt how to scowl properly, they'd be well cool.
It's a mess, but it's short and sweet-ish and the mix is worse than Milk Tray and anything that makes Jilted John sound like Debussy is kind of classy. Also, I may be very drunk or they may be singing "Come on Ringo".
It's a shame, but hell isn't what it used to be. Still, neither am I and while I'm trying to slag the fucker it is growing on me, like some throbbing, warty old tumour and it's hard not to love the ever circling growl of a riff and it's cover flight of scuffed electro intrusions. More of this,them, you know, next please!
Truly fucking awful. It's like everyone has forgotten how Duran Duran were shot in their fat, smug faces for being smarty cunts, all that playing in tune and twitch-switch sharpness clip-lipping meaningless lyrics. Mark my words,it'll be chorus and hooklines next, bastards.
Ah, the disgusting scent of success. Yes, this has all been done before, mainly by Bowie, a man who obviously failed to burn his discards and that's how Suede drew breath and now
we have Low Life, synth clattering and muttering into the fetid slot between "Diamond Dogs" and "Pin Ups". Do like the hubris-a-go-go chorus,though.
Spot on, earworming, nag, nag, nag perfection. Eastern tinted and all the more perfect for that and, in a 'news just in' moment... they're only Italian and going on to morph into strident and treble-high sharpness.
Having the most commercial band name since Anal Cunts or Gay For Johnny Depp isn't enough for The Proper Ornaments,oh no. They crack on with what can only be described as wet lettuce George Harrison. I hate The Proper Ornaments for their flawless dishonesty as much as I love Oasis for their cack-chorded hero worship of The Beatles. Can I have my gun back, please?
When you see George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, in drag, shuffling, cheek to very cheeky,they'll be doing it to this meisterwerk.
I'm not sure how much I want to be told that this track was put together by some algorithm, but it would be nice. Oh come back...
Now we have the bit where nice, or mostly nice, young, or mostly young people send in what we all agree to call 'Singles' and we listen to them because it's easier than listening to albums...
NOT ACTUALLY INSPIRED
Morabeza Tobacco "Ally McBeal" (Luminelle)
We're quite snotty and quite proud of the fact that we don't read press releases. So you can read this for us... "Swedish duo Morabeza Tobacco have always been ones to repurpose cult TV shows into their music. The pair now return with their latest release ‘Ally McBeal’, although it is not actually inspired by the hit TV show."
Well, we're all agreed that 'inspired' isn't the word of the day and why the frankly uninspiring Ally McBeal had to be dragged into this is a shitty stick best left unplayed with. I mean,if you're going to torture Enya, at least buy a rack, kidnap her and get busy with the soldering iron.
STICK WITH IT... AND HIM
FIELD MEDIC "I USED 2 BE A ROMANTIC" (Run For Cover Records)
He drones that he "Needs a drink tonight" and moans about being '"on the road" and, cluster-fucked by a duvet (Tina, please check this,it might be 'Bidet') of cliches and tropes that fail to describe the horror of doing exactly what you want, but maybe not getting quite enough reward and attention for it. Still, if you stick with it and him... you'll hear him rough stamp a crisp, but swampy jangle-ramble called "I Was Wrong" and that is genuinely good and so we'll say that the album is called "Fade Into The Dawn" and you can find out about it here.
SPIFFY PUNK FOR THE OVER TWELVES
WEAK "THE WHEEL" (B Core Disc)
Way fucking hey, Weak sound like early Green Day spliced with Glucifier and the ruff-cut, retro bounce drums are in a cute death wrangle with a blizzard of guitar poses and noises. It's all going terribly well.
Weak come from Madrid and have lots of other records for you to enjoy and all their doings can be discovered here.
THE ODD SNATCH
BEING DEAD "HOT CAR" (SURVIVING THE GOLDEN AGE)
From the opening tones, the first few seconds, the initial snatch of huge, but fragile vocal you know all about Being Dead. There's a connection to early Spector, there's a lot of French popping going off in the faces of unwary Beach Boys and the odd snatch of Syd Barrett is gloriously odd.
I think that the really great thing about Being Dead is that they effortlessly and joyously combine unaffected experimentalism with sharp, musician chops and a love of their work ethic. I love the work of Being Dead and and you can hear why on Spotify.
DIE IN DAMP VILLAGE HALLS
FAFA GALOURE "I AM THE SUN" (YouTube)
This is fucking awful and it is fucking awful because most of the fucking awful youth club bands from the early eighties had the decency to die in damp village halls before they grew into dead-eyed, dead serious, thirty somethings mangling needlessly complex takes on Eurovision. Look, listen and loathe;
Of course the lyrics are awful, Fafa Galoure are a band from Israel and they're smart enough to avoid advertising that, but dumb enough to write and sing in English and this means they end up trying to be some kind of prog-pop outfit with moon-june wordsmithing. Like I said, fucking awful.
FRENCH AND SERIOUS?
PAUPIERE "HOWARD CARTER" (LISBON LUX RECORDS)
Ooh, saucy stuff, it's a little like Doctor Phibes, but without the ears falling off. This means that Paupière are swooning an elegant swoop through the usual electro-synth-pop spaces and sounding French and serious while they're at it. You can hear them do "Howard Carter" on Spotify by clicking here
and you can see-hear some of their earlier stuff below;
Fun, isn't it, aren't they? It's a bit like The Thompson Twins were suddenly more relevant, unless you understand French. More merde is available at the label webshite
HATE WILL SET YOUR FEE
THE FUSS "VITAMIN" (GOOGLE)
You may be thinking of putting out some swoony, drop-beaten poppy thing, so tune into The Fuss and "Vitamin" and don't do that. Yes, too harsh, too dismissive, but listen to the drippy, vitamin free, wet blanket of a track and come back to argue the toss, because toss is what we're talking about. The Fuss are here.
CRAZY WITH DESIRE
THE WATERBOYS "RIGHT SIDE OF HEARTBREAK" (MISSING PIECE)
I'm nervous, Mike Scott is a real songwriter,like Carole King, or Leon Russell or anyone who isn't Guy Cunt-On-A-Stick Chambers, so let's just 'do' the single from the new album... "Right Side Of Heartbreak" is a sleek, soul-shuffling, bubble-funked, pop drifting kind of thing that captures peak form Joni Mitchell by dropping elegant sand into elegant gears and World Party comparisons are hovering while Peter Sarsted is spooning along.
Look, your reference points are your own, but Mike Scott and, or Waterboys are pop quality hallmarks and this single is just the advert for the real meat of the album so meet it at "Where The Action Is" and get to grips with the idea that challenging work can easily be pop and good and easy, yet still be fucking ace.
SKOGEBRANDT "SHARP TURNS" (SOUNDCLOUD)
Leaning, leaning and more leaning. You know, one of those songs that threatens to turn into some kind of towering, torch song of an anthem, but "Sharp Turns" never, ahem turns from it's endless, tedious intro and into an actual song.
It's both a shame and quite alarming because we could usually rely on the dark forests of Sewden to engender something. Something cringe makingly whimsical, attention-seeking dark or actually 'Wow,that person is not well' kind of thing. The artist lives here.
MAY 2019: We did have a spiffy and spiteful little paragraph to introduce the rubbish we'd written, but, computers being what they are, we lost it.This is probably just as well.
SPANKING IN SPANDEX
FLASHBACK OF ANGER "SHADES" (ICE WARRIOR RECORDS)
A record that strides in, shamelessly gorgeous in it's spray on spandex and unpeturbed by the forty year timewarp and then it gets twiddly... Twiddly and terrifying, this is retro-metal and most of it at warp factor nine and while some records come with warnings of offensive language "Shades" should have 'May Cause Fitting' plastered all over it.
There are a whole ten tracks and they're mostly interchangeable, being, as they are, fast, busy and hilariously complicated, like sex in a dustbin rolling downhill. That said, it's great fun and unlike the dustbin business packs more metallic cliches per square nanosecond than Wasp and Van Halen together.
Flashback are from Italy, but despite that they are still connected to the hitler-porn web and their bit of it is here; Flashback Of Anger
FROM AN INNOCUOUS DOG WALK...
QUIET MARAUDER "THE CRACK AND WHAT IT MEANT" (BUBBLEWRAP COLLECTIVE)
Oh goody, a thirty track concept album. Come back you coward and buckle up, there's nothing over three and a half minutes and the concept might be fun. Oh, it's Brexit, Trump, probably Climate Change as well, but let's tuck in anyway. Here's the thing, Quiet Marauder are touted as anti-folk and apart from hunting people with wooly jumpers I don't know what that means, but Quiet Marauder take it to mean that they can cheerfully convert, subvert and, frankly, pevert a whole swag of genres and this is what they do and this why we are rather keen on "The Crack And What It Meant".
It's smart, not smart alec. Everthing is snappy and snapped, the concepts are flashed up and shot down with frantic rapidity and a fast forward, unfairground ferocity, cut with grave voice overs. So, it's got one foot in 'Rocky Horror', another in the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and the third foot firmly attached to 2NU. The advice from this end is to take a whack at "The Crack And What It Meant" and down-buy-load it to your brain-phone-stem. You can find Quiet Marauder on this link; www.quietmarauder.co.uk/new-album-the-crack-and-what-it-meant/ Please do.
WHILE YOU HURT ME IN THE NIGHT
THE MOLOCHS "FLOWERS IN THE SPRING" (INNOVATIVE LEISURE)
Scrawling some beautiful jangles, howls and whines "Flowers In The Spring" is a sweetly sour album that pokes, noses, insinuates, steals and perfects an impeccable set of influences. Now, the big money opinions talk about Dylan and Lou Reed, but you'll play "Flowers In The Spring" and then hear Larry Wallis and Wreckless Eric running through the primal scream of "To Kick In A Lover's Door" or wonder how long it'll take Marc Almond to realise that "Shadow Of A Girl" belongs to him.
Obviously, the title track is very nearly pure Kinks, but Steve Harley is in there too and "All The Things That Happen To Me" is an endearingly shambolic swirl that has early Pink Floyd holding hands with the Small Faces. So, is this a 'retro' record? Not really, The Molochs can chameleon a way through the style menu and they're doing that with some real wit, rage and elegance, look, there goes "Wade In The Water" and if that's not REM on top form... The Molochs have their very own website and that's here;
The Molochs are also on a european tour in May and June and that's where we live, so look at the listings and see where you can see them.
STEEL AND PLASTIQUE, TOGETHER AT LAST!
KAINALU "KAMIKAZE MUSHROOM PALACE" (SOUNDCLOUD)
Wow, forget everything, this is pop-dance-trance perfection. It floats, it shimmers and it klangs as it bangs. "Kamikaze Mushroom Palace" is a track title to die for and the combination of satin, steel and plastique just has to make this the track of the upcoming summer?
Staying with upcoming... this is just a taster for the "Lotus Gate" album that's out in the fall, so keep an ear on Kainalu and don't miss it.
THE POLITEST BAND IN THE WHOLE HISTORY OF EVER
Go! Bodicea "Mrs Punch Is Not For Sale" (Go! Bodicea)
It's a bit of a surprise and a treat to get something so genuinely diy, daft and endearing. Two women who shamelessly channel Helen Love, Patti Smith and Squeeze and they do it all with rough cut, first take, no expense expended honesty.
It is a charming thing in it's own right, but "Mrs Punch Is Not For Sale" deserves a little more investment and a little more muscle. I mean, put some electricity and speed into "Punk Rock Kitten" and there's a Japanese top tenner and "Knicker Elastic" needs only snarling and feedback to get Patti Smith sniffing around. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/goboadicea/
METAL FINGERS TIME
LJUNG "WASTING MY TIME!" (SORAMUSIC)
We place such trust in the PR outfit (Birds Will Sing For You) that we even play the ones with awful artwork and LJUNG is never going to bother Tate Modern, but "Wasting My Time!" is a sumptuous electro-dance-banger that dances very closely to atonal breakdown.
It's a bleakly and mechanically uplifting thing, a little like a soft-porn take on the magnificent Add N To X "Metal Fingers In My Body". More noise and data is available on the LJUNG website and that is here; https://www.facebook.com/ljungtunes/
FUCK OFF, FUCK OFF, JUST FUCK OFF
ARLISTON "LOUD" (SOUNDCLOUD)
There was a band, a million long years and a zillion tart tears ago and they were called The Beatles and they sang confidently and incorrectly that all you need is love, but they'd never heard this godawful, tick-box, shit-box, souless, emotion-lite, dirty protest against music and they forgot the power of hate and "Loud" is worth hating and "Loud" is exactly, and I mean exactly the kind of crap that gets deployed for supposed shock value on Pap Idle.
Yes, it's that bad and that's just cutting slack and hoping that Arliston and their works (we listened to three fucking tracks, each more hideous than the last)are just stupid, but they sound more cynical than that. So remember, if you want depressingly slick and cynical noise, put a cat under your rear wheel before setting off. Arliston live somewhere grimy for career purposes and here for marketing.
PAUL MORRICONE "ESTRANGED" (WRATH RECORDS)
We know this bloke, he has form, mostly with the Scaramanga Six, but now he's out on his own, a twisted mass of Burt Bacharach with a knife in it's teeth, prowling euro-sleaze-pop, hunting down James Last, tooled, schooled and sustained by everything that he's stolen from his past (I put that in to cause trouble) and everything that Giorgio Moroder left lying around.
So, as you can hear, "Estranged" is, oddly rough honked sax aside, a towering inferno of a europopping anthem with yearning, yawing and regret filled lyrics that must, admit it, apply universally and, who knows, maybe Paul Morricone will, one day, go on to own a bow tie of his own? Yeah, we love him, but only until he fucks up. Until then, get your lovely ears down to...
Obviously, I'm the Patti Smith one