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Damnably "Damnably" (Stratford Shopping Mall.)
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Colapsar E.P.
Colapsar E.P.
Price: 6.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Americana (UK) 8/10 “mini masterpiece of lo-fi rumblings…”, 18 Jun 2014
This review is from: Colapsar E.P. (Vinyl)
John Kennedy XFM Radio (UK)”FANTASTIC!”
Pocket Jury (UK) “The overall highlight is the fantastic ‘Blue Fugue’, which sounds like a collision between Frigid Stars era Codeine and Zuma era Crazy Horse. Building from a lush, unhurried foundation, Gargan executes a blistering Neil Young-esque guitar solo which carries the narrative of the song long after the vocals have stopped. Collapsor is certainly a striking collection of songs and you can’t help but feel that if it takes another four years for a sequel, it will be very much worth the wait.”
Slowthrills (UK) “…subtle melodies delivered in an understated baritone vocal coupled with edgy, occasionally heavy guitars. The way the songs creep up on you and develop is reminiscent of that great, often overlooked band Silkworm.”
Tom Robinson (UK) on FU’s ‘A Love Like Infinity’ : “It starts out like vintage Tyrannosaurus Rex then develops into a meandering lofi epic that’s not quite like anything else I’ve heard this year. Lovely liquid guitars, offkilter drums, unexpected harmonies and an approach that’s fresh and uplifting. What’s not to like?”
Sodapop (IT)”…the visibility they deserve is coming.”
Americana (UK) 8/10 “mini masterpiece of lo-fi rumblings…”
Whisperingandhollerin (IR)8/10 “Former Utopia inject new life into the faded denims of grungey slackerdom, with the crunching guitars and twisted pop dynamism of the Pixies and the plaintive tones and monster solos of Dinosaur Jr. And it’s totally welcome.”
3voor12 (NL) “… sound like something the Pixies would like to have.”
damusic (BE) “Zest With something strong to the lo fi of Pavement smoke (but even more rattling) knew this trio to inspire us.”
‘A Love Like Infinity’ was voted #19 in the ‘Hogmanay Hundred’ in Ally Gourlay’s Art School Dancing Castle FM Radio show,
‘Blue Fugue’ in a at #15 on ‘Left Of Centre’ on Morlands FM radio and Former Utopia had an Honorable mention in Ken Katkin’s Trash Flow radio (Cincinnati based) best of 2013 list here


Attica!
Attica!
Price: 12.14

5.0 out of 5 stars 7.8 PITCHFORK, 8/10 SPIN, 4/5 The Skinny, 7/10 Popmatters, 9/10 Louder Than War, 8/10 Americana UK, 18 Jun 2014
This review is from: Attica! (Audio CD)
Attica! is the 5th album from Cincinnati’s Wussy, and the first to be released in the UK following the 2012 compilation Buckeye. These 11 new tracks were recorded at John Curley’s (Afghan Whigs) Ultrasuede Studios, and mastered by Dave Davis at QCA, both of Cincinnati, Ohio. 2012 marked the first excursion outside of the US for Wussy’s Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker, and Attica! is partly drawn from their experiences. Former Ass Ponys guitarist John Erhardt joins the band as a fifth member on pedal steel, and the album as a whole sees Wussy incorporate new instrumentation including piano, organ, harmonium, synth, mellotron and e-bow. This, together with guests on Cello & Theremin, adds a greater range and depth to their sound. PRESS:>>>>>>> 7.8 PITCHFORK, 8/10 SPIN, 4/5 The Skinny, 7/10 Popmatters, 9/10 Louder Than War, 8/10 Americana UK. As played by BBC 2 + 6 Music Gideon Coe, Marc Riley, Steve Lamacq, KEXP


San
San
Price: 12.56

5.0 out of 5 stars "This is a really good album and Damnably is a label that continues to impress me." from Collectivezine, 18 Jun 2014
This review is from: San (Audio CD)
I'd not heard of Smallgang prior to picking this out of the review pile but this is something of a collaborative effort with all the songs being written by two brothers who form part of this trio. They then recorded the album with a bunch of guests as well as themselves. I'm familiar with some of them - you'll likely recognise some names from the list amongst their CVs - Bitch Magnet, My Bloody Valentine, Shonen Knife, to name a few of them. The album title means "Three" in Japanese by the way.

This kicks off with the brief, aptly-named "Precursor" before it settles in to the taut rock of "Imminent Child". "Orbs" is up next and is somewhat darker with a thick bass line leading the track. See this track for exemplary use of the bass guitar by the way. In fact, the bass work throughout is one of the best things about the album - really prominent. "No Lotus" is also notable for its grooving bassline. That song reminds me of Blank Realm a little bit. The general feel is a little dark and maybe a little moody thanks partly to the distinctive, baritone lead vocals and their deadpan delivery. Stylewise, I'd put this down as indie /alt rock with a 90s flavour. It is mid-paced in the main and a few of the songs feature female backing vocals from Gill Sandell from Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo, and also Ritsuko Taneda from Shonen Knife. They work particularly well on tracks like "Dust" and "Hibernation". Most of the songs do something a little different and it keeps the high standards it sets from that opener right through to the end. The last three tracks are particularly good starting off with "Cards" which brings a more melancholy feel and a nice jangle on the guitar sound alongside the male and female vocal interplay. "Replacements" is the last actual song and is a strong, slow-burning rocker and the album ends with a humdinger of a noisy and rowdy instrumental rocker which climaxes amidst a wall of feedback. This is a really good album and Damnably is a label that continues to impress me.


Gala
Gala
Price: 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "GALA, an album that ranks with his finest work...is among the best records of the past quarter century" Carl A. Zimring, 10 Jan 2014
This review is from: Gala (MP3 Download)
"I want a way to break that Nashville sound," Phelps sings on Gala's lead off track, and though he can't break that mold for everyone, there's no danger of the Downer Trio lazily aping an aesthetic. Phelps's fuzzy guitar is more gristly than meaty on this loud/quiet/loud track, and his voice is as oddly endearing as ever, resembling Stephen Malkmus or Jeff Mangum in the way he goes from a seemingly disengaged baritone to a cracked, spine-tingling yelp. "Put some shoulder in it, boys," he implores, and the band complies." Joel Oliphant Pitchfork

"This is a magnificent return from Joel Phelps...It's adult music for the modern 'indie' listener." Muddy Anti-Pitchfork

"GALA, an album that ranks with his finest work...is among the best records of the past quarter century" Carl A. Zimring

"the most direct and rock-like work since his contributions to Silkworm." Dusted

"it's crushingly sad and an absolute corker" Collective Zine
Radio play also on Bob Harris (Gideon Coe sitting in) BBC Radio 2,Duyster on Studio Brussel Radio, Varity Mix on KEXP, Midday Show KEXP, Jon Solomon WPRB, Ken Katkin's Trashflow & Ally Gourley's Art School Dancing on Castle FM.


Collapsar
Collapsar
Price: 6.93

5.0 out of 5 stars 8/10 "Former Utopia inject new life into the faded denims of grungey slackerdom, with the crunching guitars and twisted pop dyna, 2 Jan 2014
This review is from: Collapsar (MP3 Download)
Gaffa (DK)"...The band's timing was absolutely superb, and the chemistry between Rama and George was a pleasure being a spectator. The heavy drums and the piercing guitar cultivated melodic love. Definitely a band to well could bear to hear again,..".
John Kennedy XFM Radio (UK)"FANTASTIC!"
Pocket Jury (UK) "The overall highlight is the fantastic `Blue Fugue', which sounds like a collision between Frigid Stars era Codeine and Zuma era Crazy Horse. Building from a lush, unhurried foundation, Gargan executes a blistering Neil Young-esque guitar solo which carries the narrative of the song long after the vocals have stopped. Collapsor is certainly a striking collection of songs and you can't help but feel that if it takes another four years for a sequel, it will be very much worth the wait."
Slowthrills (UK) "...subtle melodies delivered in an understated baritone vocal coupled with edgy, occasionally heavy guitars. The way the songs creep up on you and develop is reminiscent of that great, often overlooked band Silkworm."
Tom Robinson (UK) on FU's `A Love Like Infinity' : "It starts out like vintage Tyrannosaurus Rex then develops into a meandering lofi epic that's not quite like anything else I've heard this year. Lovely liquid guitars, offkilter drums, unexpected harmonies and an approach that's fresh and uplifting. What's not to like?"
Sodapop (IT)"...the visibility they deserve is coming."
Americana (UK) 8/10 "mini masterpiece of lo-fi rumblings..."
Whisperingandhollerin (IR)8/10 "Former Utopia inject new life into the faded denims of grungey slackerdom, with the crunching guitars and twisted pop dynamism of the Pixies and the plaintive tones and monster solos of Dinosaur Jr. And it's totally welcome."
3voor12 (NL) "... sound like something the Pixies would like to have."
damusic (BE) "Zest With something strong to the lo fi of Pavement smoke (but even more rattling) knew this trio to inspire us."


Buckeye
Buckeye
Price: 11.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The best band in America"? Perhaps not - but Wussy have an unmistakable identity., 10 July 2012
This review is from: Buckeye (Audio CD)
BBC Music Review:

"The best band in America"? Perhaps not - but Wussy have an unmistakable identity.

Mischa Pearlman 2012-07-04

Earlier in 2012, esteemed American music journalist Robert Christgau - one of the first professional music writers - pronounced that Wussy "have been the best band in America since they released the first of their five superb albums in 2005."

It's about as superlative as praise can be, and a good hook for Buckeye, the Cincinnati band's first official release outside of their homeland. Comprising material from those "five superb albums" - four studio records and an acoustic reworking of their debut, Funeral Dress - Buckeye condenses Wussy's career to date down to just 60 minutes and 17 non-chronological tracks.

It's an easily digestible and enticing entry point into the band, revealing the core foundations of the band and the consistency of their music they've made since forming in 2001. Centred around the songwriting skills of Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker - both of whom take turns to write and sing these songs - the band's music harks back to the 90s heyday of US alt-rock, taking in influences such as R.E.M., The Mekons, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo the blissful shoegaze of Galaxie 500 and more besides.

Yet, each of these songs possesses a sense of unmistakable identity - they are, without doubt, Wussy songs. The most remarkable of these is the brooding, slow-burn closer, Little Miami. Taken from 2011's Strawberry LP and led by Walker's tremulous vocals, it's a beautiful, slow-motion apocalypse that shudders with a taut, desperate energy. That they can craft a song like that but be equally successful with the nostalgic rock'n'roll jangle of Maglite, the jarring paranoia of Pulverized and the plaintive sadness of Muscle Cars clearly demonstrates the wide-ranging sounds that inhabit their dreamy, anachronistic and quintessentially American world.

Whether they're "the best band in America", as Christgau asserts, is, naturally, a matter of opinion. Nevertheless, this collection proves that Wussy are certainly a band with an incredibly rich past and, undoubtedly, an equally rich future.


The Wishes Of The Dead
The Wishes Of The Dead
Price: 12.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Former Karate front-man pens beautifully realised folk-leaning love letter to the Kennebec River., 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Wishes Of The Dead (Audio CD)
The first full length solo release in a decade by cult postpunk
veteran Geoff Farina. Mastered by Bob Weston.
What about this new album then?

How did this record happen?

Geoff Farina recently spent a year living in a small New
England town along the Kennebeck River in Maine, where
he wrote the ten vivid songs that constitute his first fulllength
solo release in a decade. "My wife and I moved to
Maine following her oneyear
teaching contract at Colby
College. We expected to miss the city, but life along the
river turned out to be quite interesting. " Local culture
inevitably found its way into Geoff's music: "Hammer and
Spade" recounts the proud struggles of region's original
settlers, "Prelapsarian" squints at the world through the
delusional eyes of the local heroine addict, "Twilit"
echoes the muted pleadings of the divorcing couple living
in the basement apartment, and "Prick Up Your Ears"
captures a small town's cautious patriotism as their
National Guardsmen ceremoniously cast off to
Afghanistan and Iraq.

What does it sound like?
Geoff's earnest baritone evokes Tony Joe White and
Leonard Cohen, while his intricate fingerpicking descends
from Mississippi John Hurt, Sam McGhee, Elizabeth
Cotton, Blind Arthur Blake, and other Piedmont'styled
guitar influences. The Wishes of the Dead is more directly
influenced by Geoff's experience with some of Maine's
older musicians, from whom he learned fiddle'based
ballads and dance music brought to the region by
European immigrants over a century ago. "Scotch Snaps"
recounts Geoff's trips to obscure fiddle contests and
regional bluegrass festivals in search of musicians, and
also to countless antique stores and flea markets in search
of country records, old printed music, vintage guitars, and
other musical ephemera that can now only be found far
from the ever'expanding urban population of savvy
musicians.

Who is Geoff Farina?
Geoff has been writing songs, making records, and touring
for almost 20 years. He is best known his 12 years fronting
Boston's progressive rock trio Karate, as one'half of the
seminal early'90s indie duo The Secret Stars, and more
recently, as the leader of Glorytellers, his acoustic trio
with a pair of releases on Southern Records. Geoff
currently lives in Chicago where he teaches music history
at DePaul University, plays in several bands, performs
classic pre'WWII Piedmont and Delta guitar arrangements,
and collects vintage guitars.

Press Quotes

Alternative Press - "If Farina has learned anything in his 20-plus years as a musician, it's how to turn the worst parts of life into the greatest art."
Pocket Jury - "Former Karate front-man pens beautifully realised folk-leaning love letter to the Kennebec River."
DOA - "one of Geoff Farina's most generously melodic collections, which repays patience with warmth from a distinctive songwriting intellect."
Steven Rainy BBC Radio 1 Ulster - "it's a wonder piece of work.."
Slow Thrills - "both a fine collection of contemporary songs and a homage to legendary folk guitarists"
clicky clicky music -"consistently rich and rewarding"


Sweet Christmas
Sweet Christmas
Price: 2.67

5.0 out of 5 stars It's frosted garage fuzz'pop and the band's first, 17 Dec 2011
This review is from: Sweet Christmas (MP3 Download)
2011 has been an exciting 30th anniversary year for
Japanese rockers Shonen Knife who released their
16th studio album `Free Time' together with the `Osaka
Ramones' tribute album. The band rocked a month
long European tour, not stopping when they returned
to Japan for a small tour before jetting off to North
America only 45 days later for another extensive tour.
Now they've recorded this sugary sweet jingle'bell
rock cracker of a single `Sweet Christmas'.
Naoko is quite a lover of cakes and her `Rock'n'Roll
cake was one of the standout track on `Free Time'.

It's frosted garage fuzz'pop and the band's first
Christmas single since "All I Want For Christmas" copenned
by Thurston Moore, and their UK hit `Space
Christmas' that held the imagination of the nation
back in 1991.
The B'side contains an acoustic rendition of `Sweet
Christmas' and a cheeky cover of `We wish you a
merry Christmas' with Emi and Ritsuko each
contributing vocals on a verse after Naoko.
Uncut "rocks like Motorhead designed by Hanna'Barbara"
BBC Music " The Osaka Ramones, you must concede, still have it."
Big Issue "for energy and fun, its no wonder they're Japan's prime
punk act"
247
"Upbeat, quirky and fun: that's what the band does best."
Artrocker "chock'full of singalong fun times"
Sunday Express "an absolute breath of fresh air"
The Fly "Always charming, always exhilarating... simply perfect
pop."
Mojo "an exercise in lustrous pop."
The Sunday Times "...irrepressible slice of bounce'along indiepop.
Beguiling." Stewart Lee
NME "As youthful, enchanting and boisterous as ever before."
DIS "addictive garage rock"
Independent on Sunday "may be a joyous blast of buzz saw pop,
but you just know that the live shows will be even better."
SubbaCultcha
"brilliantly bonkers"
The Skinny "characteristically bizarre and childishly charming"
Scotsman "(Free Time) is an album in love with the simple,
energising thrills of guitar'based rock'n'roll"


No Off Switch: An Autobiography
No Off Switch: An Autobiography
by Andy Kershaw
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars liked this, 7 Nov 2011
This is a very important book that highlights the genuis of Kershaw, Peel and Walters-a period I listened in on.
I'm glad Andy highlighted the terrible mismanagement of the BBC by that buffoon Andy Parfitt and the whole cult of
the producer as opposed DJ's that actually liked music.
It was refreshing to hear about his hatred of Nick Cave, Clapton and other such empty gas giants.
He is a one off and very funny and natural. Read it!


Awesomer Than The Devil
Awesomer Than The Devil
Price: 7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars God album, 7 Nov 2011
these are a great band and this is well recorded and full of energy. One of the most exciting bands in North American today.
No idea what that watching the hydroplanes is about though?


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