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Crawton Leek "Swan In Mystery Garment" (The Lesser Newcastle, England)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem, 1 Oct 2007
This review is from: Demon (Audio CD)
It's a real shame that Scheer never got the recognition they deserved. They had a canny ear for riff and melody, a frontwoman with a voice to die for, and a fine selection of tunes. This, sadly, does not always guarantee success, and so they split after just one album (a second being released posthumously).

This single was released towards the end of their brief, bright span, and was available only on tour and for a short while through the Scheer fan club. It is, therefore, something of a prize amongst Scheer completists (yes, we do exist).

'Demon' - as people who are taking the time to read this review will probably already know - was one of the highlights of 'Infliction', Scheer's debut. It showcases a stunning riff, managing to chug and swirl all at once, and a particularly inpressive vocal turn by the aforementioned frontwoman, Audrey Gallagher.

Of course, this is not the track that will catch the eye of the diehard Scheer fans - B side material is the focus of our attentions, and this does not disappoint.

'Obsession' is a nasty little beast, in harmony with some of the more spiteful numbers that featured on Scheer's swansong, '...And Finally'. Just like much of this band's B side output, quality-wise it would have fit happily on an album, but it isn't a tune that wants to play nice with the other children.

That would be reason enough to buy this item, if it weren't for the final number. Those in the know will be aware of the fact that '(Green Room) Sex Kitten' was originally to be found on Scheer's first single, a wonderfully lo-fi cut of Wish You Were Dead. It stole the show then, much as it does now. Noticably different to the original, the sound is fuller, the production crisper, and Audrey's voice stronger than before. In some ways this detracts from the charm of the original, but a good song remains a good song, and '(Green Room) Sex Kitten' remains one of Scheer's best. If you don't own either version, make sure you secure at least one of them ASAP - this version can only be found here, and on the similarly limited 'First Contact' single.

If you see this, buy it - you'll regret missing the chance if you don't.

Stuff on My Cat
Stuff on My Cat
by Mario Garza
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuff + Cats = Awesome, 21 July 2007
This review is from: Stuff on My Cat (Paperback)
A spin off of the Stuff On My Cat website, this book is page after page of moderately inconvenienced cats partially obscured by a wide range of items - clothes, booze, food, remote controls, toys, anything that can be momentarily balanced, Buckaroo-style, upon a prostrate feline.

Like simple ideas often are, this is a minor work of genius. Every page is packed with glossy colour pictures of cats with stuff on them, a concept that is far better witnessed than read about. I have yet to meet a person who can subdue their sniggers when confronted with this book.

The brevity of the book means that the comedy does not overstay its welcome, allowing for repeat flickings in the future - a perfect toilet book, and a great gift for the cat lover in your life. Who knows, maybe they'll be inspired to create some works of perfectly-balanced moggy art themselves...

Earth 2
Earth 2
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 8.01

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DRRROOOOOOOOOOOOONNE, 13 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Earth 2 (Audio CD)
The word 'heavy' is often used to describe this album. Accurate as this is, if images of Slayer or Sepultura or bands of that ilk enter your mind, then prepare a rethink. This is a very different breed of heavy - so heavy, in fact, that it starts to double back on itself and become strangely ethereal.

Throughout the album, there is a constant droning tone - indeed, the final track 'Like Gold And Faceted' is pretty much just that, with occasional percussive decoration. After a fashion, this drone begins to have a profound effect on the listener. It's no big surprise to learn that certain people use this album as a method of conquering sleeplessness - loud as the music may be, it is undeniably relaxing.

If you have read this far, you will now have a good idea of whether or not this album is for you. If you like your thrills fast and to the point, then stroll on - the shortest, fastest track here is the 17 minute 'Seven Angels', a positively elephantine, treacly riff that takes its sweet time, inviting you to tag along, but not really being bothered if you decide to or not.

If you do fancy something different, with a slow burning payoff, then you could do far worse than pick this up. A perfect starting point for anyone's drone collection.

Rough Trade Shops Singer Songwriter 1
Rough Trade Shops Singer Songwriter 1
Price: 41.32

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have item for acoustic misery-hounds, 12 July 2007
Granted, the singer-songwriter genre (such as it is) is not for everyone. Many people find acoustic strums with soul-searching lyrics and mopey delivery a singularly unappealing prospect. If this is you, then take your money elsewhere.

If, however, you love the sound of introspection, vexed ambition and lost love set to delicate, mournful accompaniment, then this is an absolute treasure-trove.

In keeping with the previous Rough Trade releases, this compilation in no way attempts to be comprehensive - as a previous reviewer has mentioned, such luminaries as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell are absent - but rather to shed a light on the murkier corners of the genre. It achieves this by digging out lost gems and forgotten artists, mixed together with the slightly more familiar, resulting in a wonderfully mixed bag.

Don't be fooled by this review's preamble, though - depression is not the only stock in trade of the artists here present. Indeed, Franklin Bruno's 'Irony Engine' is cheery and sweet, Jeffry Lewis's 'Don't Let The Record Label...' wryly amusing, and King Creosote's wonky percussion (milkbottles, maybe?) is pure sonic charm.

Granted, there are a couple of duff notes - Nick Cave's offering is by no means his best work (mind you, Cave's 'average' beats most people's 'good' any day), and Victoria Williams' 'Summer Of Drugs' is a mite too twee for these ears - but the good stuff massively outweighs the bad.

An essential purchase for those in the know.

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