LAZY FUCKERS SHOP LOCAL
SNAYX "BODY LANGUAGE" (AUSTERITY RECORDS)
We live in Hastings, the one in East Sussex, it's a got every foible and conceit that every other town has and still believes itself to be unique. So when people talk to me about 'local' music I start twitching, when they start asserting that all local music is good music I slip the safety off because I have seen the beer-bellied folk-cum-blues botherers. Of course, there's always one, or two...
This time it's the very local Snayx who are the one. They can't spell, possibly exposed to Slade records in their infancy, but they can sidle around some genuinely punk-funk rawk and they are pushing all the right buttons at the right time and they're pretty smart, as you can hear.
DISOBEYING ORDERS CAN BE FUN
BAMBARA "SING ME TO THE STREET" (WHARF CAT RECORDS)
We are supposed to cover the current single, "Heat Lightning", but couldn't really get on with it, so we tooled around the rest of the album and found "Sing Me To The Street".
This is very good, being as it is, a kind of meeting between Nick Cave and some slow motion Sisters Of Mercy thing. The dumpster choir are moodily angelic and the way they resisted the common and easy option of making an anthem from this bruising brooder shows their class. Bambara are currently on tour and the album that this comes from is called "Stray" and it's out on the 14th February.
Bambara live here; https://www.facebook.com/BAMBARA.band/
WARNING: SHAPE SHIFTING AHEAD
OTTA "AFTER IT ALL BLEW OVER" (BOKKLE / PIAS)
We often make the case that budget and technical excellence is no substitute for sincerity, madness or even talent. Now, this ep has all of that and the bum notes are perfect and even the smoothly jazzed "Near Enough A Woman" is genuinely beautiful in it's coltish shapeshifting.
The most accessible and radio friendly thing here is "Everything You Wanted" and it's lyrically uplifting and uncomfortable in equal measure and is very good indeed. Still, "Small Hour's is the single and it scuffs, chimes and quirks a merry way through an Eels like relationship re-evaluation. The whole thing is very charming, way too clever for the lo-fi tag and may even be sincere as well.
"After It All Blows Over" is released on the 24th January and Otta lives here; https://www.facebook.com/ottamusicz
AT THE MERCY OF THE WINDOW
SUN KIN "PRIVATE TIME" (BANDCAMP)
Complex and beguiling alt-pop as Sun Kin takes lovely liberties with traditional pop song construction. The influences are all thinking pop royalty as shades of Edwyn Collins are rolled in sheets of Haircut 100 and that's just "Prince Of Intention". There are singles flagged up on the press release, but everything here is a single, take "Boyfriend's Car" a lush, pretty French floor filler that's laden with up-spiced percussion and unashamedly swoonsome backing vox. Staying with swoonsome... we really like "IDKY".
We also like "Moon Crane" because it's a highly organised slice of sonic chaos that combines silken synth sheets with angry and tricky drumming, very much for those of us who enjoy missing every offset beat while not giving a shit. There is a whole whack of factual, actual information about the artist, the album, live dates and all that and you are directed to the link. Oh, you've gone already...
Sun Kin lives here; https://sunraykin.bandcamp.com/
MEANWHILE, EAST OF THE RIVER
THE RED PEARS "FLOWERS" (COSMICA)
Living in the real world, as you may well do, the concept of an 'Indie Directory' should mean nothing at all, but in America they love 'em and aspiring (indie) popsters and their pr, management and friends love them too. We have unsolicited listings in some of these directories and that's why The Red Pears earnestly invite us to their show at Ameoba, Hollywood on the 25th February. Obviously, we can't make it, but we can cover The Red Pears new single, "Flowers".
Bollocks, now we're regretting our flippancy and the distance to Hollywood. It turns out that "Flowers" is a mournfully spiked jangle and a rather good one as well. There's more about The Red Pears HERE
NO DISTRACTING WORDS
JOHN CARROLL KIRBY "BLUEBERRY BEADS" (BANDCAMP)
For those of you old enough to know about Steely Dan, hurry up and die, but before you go... John Carroll Kirby. of Stones Throw fame, has let loose with some smoothly disturbed electro-jazz and, oh happy day, the electro is in the ascendancy. Even happier, "Blueberry Beads" is an instrumental, so there's no distracting words and this means that the chunkily deliberate piano can smash chords all over the busy, but measured beats.
Interestingly enough, it's much improved by maxing the volume and getting the full effect, especially when the almost untuned Chick Corea-ish fills start dropping into the mix. Now, this is a single that trails an album and all that, ahem,jazz, can be found by clicking the link and we do kind recommend that you do.
Are you really Lulu?
Sure, are you really James Last?
WELCOMING OUR NEW RAP OVERLORDS
NASSA "KRONOS" (ALL DIGITAL)
Insanity is infectious and that's why it's hard to resist another dip into the stream of unconsciousness spraying from the USA to our inbox, so Mr Nassa emails this... " I was born on a planet called Ghan-A, my species specialize in music, your ears are mine!" As it happens, I'm quite happy to let Nassa in.
Low space rumbling and subtle electronica decorate some kind of yawing rap lament that would and should, in any fair universe be earning it's creator serious acclaim and cash. There is a quite a lot of Nassa out there and , so far , we're loving all of it, especially "Kronos" and "Cowboy Wow Boy". There is a website and it's out there, please go there.
RETURN TO SENDER
THE SLOW READERS CLUB "ALL I HEAR" (MODERN SKY UK)
It's got some nifty, switchback guitar going on, but you'd be entitled to expect that on a track that's leading the charge for their fourth album, "The Joy Of The Return" and out on the 29th March if you're interested. Really?
I'm kind of not that interested because this is the lead track from their fourth album and it's still an indie-landfill, tick box kind of thing. The guitars are down-mixed, the sub Duran Duran is horrible and I can wibble on, but that's their job. Chase cutting, not impressed, they may have been great on previous albums, but this is light and slick enough to make Arctic Monkeys sound real and radio friendly enough to make Franz Ferdinand seem edgy and you can get closer to the edge by clicking this:
MUSIC FOR SOCIAL SERVICES, YEAH!
NECROPHILIAC "NO LIVING MAN IS INNOCENT" (XTREEM MUSIC)
A fairly decent chunk of the population are male, identify as such or act so appallingly that there is no doubt. So, thank goodness for Necrophiliac and their plucky effort to explain, be outraged, excuse or glorify any or all of that. Now, you may be, like us, a common or garden idiot and wonder how the lead in single, "Kill All, Loot All, Burn All" fits in.
We're going with the idea that 'Kill All' etc is good advice to better women and we really do hope that's the case, otherwise we fall back on the known facts and they are... Necrophiliac are the softest hard rock outfit in the entire history of ever. We understand that writing about music is just dancing about architecture, or wank, but we also understand that wankers call out other wankers and if you want metal, you need to move along .
APART FROM NECTARINE # 9, OBVIOUSLY
HELICON "THIS CAN ONLY LEAD TO CHAOS" (FUZZ CLUB RECORDS)
They come from Glasgow and this is a good thing. The chin-stroking bands who can lay their soft hands on a cello usually come from Edinburgh and we love many of those, but Glasgow is where the violence and the insolence come from, apart from Nectarine #9, obviously.
So, Helicon are onto their second album and it's some gorgeous violence. The get go is some stately arrogance called "Sound Of Confession" and huge slabs of feedback are back-washed by dying guitars while a noncholant bass line stitches the mess together. Why was I not told about these fuckers before? Stow that, there's more...
Yeah, it's the 'single' a concept that's totally in the hands of the marketing department, but that's not important and "What You Love Will Kill You" is and it's another towering, tottering cliff face of feedback atrocity that's slashed with two note riffs, ferociously sharp percussion and a whirlpool of guitars that aren't impeded, at all, by down-mixed, massed vocals that say nothing I recognise, but kind of understand. Know this as well, Helicon can also do catchy, kind of, as "Glasgow Uni Accent" apes Davy Henderson by deploying a swaggering riff that slumps against some feedback shimmer and it's quite clear that Helicon are fucking ace and best taken live or very, very loud in headphones. We don't do a lot of begging, but please buy stuff from Helicon. This is the link; https://www.facebook.com/HeliconGlasgow/