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Reviews Written by
Peter Hill ""yoghurtknitter"" (Waterville Ireland)
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Lixiviate
Lixiviate
Price: £10.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Let's percolate, 23 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Lixiviate (Audio CD)
Although nothing exceptionally new this is a fine album from this Japanese band (you'd think they'd be Welsh with that moniker?)
Shoegaze(y) but with a punky edge with strident guitars (some bits in a MBV wobbly-reverb style) and sweet female vocals, there's nothing to dislike here.
Most of the tracks are upbeat rockers except for the ballad 'when is forever' but even this gets a couple of guitar bursts thrown in for good measure. There's even an anthemic cover of The Cure's 'boys don't cry' which is possibly even better than the original, and i love The Cure.
If you liked 90s britpop and don't mind some heavier guitars with fuzzy edges added, you'll love this.


Courting Strong
Courting Strong
Price: £10.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanna hold your hand....Seriously., 23 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Courting Strong (Audio CD)
This 4 piece Durham band have unleashed an album as catchy as nits at school.
Male/female (accented) vocals over 10 tracks full of joyous abandon. Songs all about spud guns, youthful encounters and (boring) GCSEs.
They're a cross between The Arctic Monkeys, Pete & The Pirates (the spiky guitars), The Spook School & The Lovely Eggs, the latter especially when Naomi takes over vocals on 'bubble in my bloodstream'.
4.5 stars out of 5 or 9/10.


We Come From The Same Place
We Come From The Same Place
Price: £10.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Friends for life, 22 Feb. 2015
There's a lot to love about this album but it's Elizabeth's voice that gets me every time. It deserves a BIG word to do it justice. Melting, enchanting & expressive, although apt, are insufficient. It's not a word i'd normally use but 'diaphanous' seems warranted. Delicate and fragile.
This is their 3rd album and it's a very mature offering and something they've been promising since their debut. It's difficult to see how they will better it with album number 4?
Darren Hayman expresses their attraction admirably in his sleeve-notes saying "if you listen to this record and think 'they could be my friends' then you're right, they really could be".
Apart from Elizabeth's perfect vocals there's some great guitar playing too, ranging from ukelele through picked guitar to all out scuzzy mayhem. A lot of the songs are quite restrained but they do let loose on 'bright eyes' with dual vocals and 'half heart necklace'.
Simply stunning.


Swan Dive
Swan Dive
Price: £13.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At full stretch, 16 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Swan Dive (Audio CD)
I came across this band on a 'Moshi Moshi' various artists album and took the plunge as i loved Molly's voice.
It's a lovely album but a little too smooth for my tastes. It's a cross between The Beautiful South, Sixpence None the Richer (who Molly played with?) and an in-house bossa-nova style nightclub band.
This album is a compilation of their earlier Japanese releases and Molly sings beautifully throughout with some occasional male backing. There's plenty of jazzy brass & woodwind included plus harmonica on 'charade' and plenty of orchestration. She also gets quite sultry on 'ordinary day'. I preferred it when she sings with minimal backing e.g on 'luckiest girl in the world' where it is just her voice over a strummed guitar.
Less interesting are tracks such as 'Groovy Tuesday' which is just too groovy and 'moodswinging' which is just too swingy!
There's also a cover of Blondie's 'Heart of Glass' which seemed rather pointless.
Pleasant & enjoyable on a sunny day.
6 out of 10


Hurray for Everything
Hurray for Everything
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £23.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Let's go for a ride, 12 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Hurray for Everything (Audio CD)
Fuzzy were/are a sadly underrated and overlooked band who have produced 3 very good albums.
This is their last one and to be honest i preferred the first two but this is still pretty good. If you love this one you'll be in for a treat when you hear the earlier albums.
Generic indie rock with strident guitars and lovely female vocals.
The best tracks are 'are you living', 'over the edge' & the scmaltzy but delicious chorus on 'motorcycle'.
It's let down by too many average (albeit good) tracks whereas earlier albums were just choc-a-bloc with great songs but still worth a listen.
3.5 stars or 7 out of 10


Action/Adventure
Action/Adventure

4.0 out of 5 stars "Caught in the storm of your eyes", 10 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Action/Adventure (Audio CD)
The third (and final?) album from this excellent band and they've gone out on a high.
Its a natural progression from their earlier albums with maybe a few more keyboard flourishes but is still full of their well known harmonies and bursts of guitars.
There's nothing revolutionary here, it's been done before, but they do/did it with such aplomb that you can't help being impressed.
Amongst the usual fayre is 'i don't want your love' which has a very deep male vocal (a la Stephen Merritt) and there's also an interesting cover of 'Anarchy in the UK'. It's rather a twee version and sounds quite weird. Whether it's an experiment to highlight how different classic songs can sound when changed totally or just a p*ss take i'm not sure?
There are 14 tracks and a few are just average but overall a fine album.
8 out of 10


Kissing By the Superconductor
Kissing By the Superconductor
Offered by HANG LOOSE Records
Price: £6.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Its a GAS, 8 Feb. 2015
I really liked their 2005 album 'name droppers' but i'm finding this earlier 2002 offering less desirable.
They're classed as post-punk-pop (whatever that is) but they reminded me a lot of The B52s with heavier guitars.
It opens well with 'Hear It' which has some fine guitar work and is very catchy in a generic indie rock way. 'Steve Vai Boyfriend' follows which is very funny & catchy and then we get 'Bionic' which is more restrained and somewhat funny (the humour though becomes a little too over-used) but things then go into decline for quite a few tracks until picking up again with 'Civil War Reenactor' with lovely female vocals (generally preferable to the more shouty male variety).
It's not a bad album but they've released better.
6 out of 10.


Summertime
Summertime
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine pop, 5 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Summertime (Audio CD)
As the cover (with lovely artwork) succinctly states, here are "ten pop songs by Pale Sunday".
This Brazilian band have produced a fine example of jangly indie pop. Nothing spectacular or life altering but just some delightful tunes to ease your soul.
Most of the songs have gentle introductions before bursting into guitar heaven and they also throw in the occasional keyboard twinkle or soothing brass.
The vocals are quite restrained and unusual (but nice) having a plaintiff/hushed/reticent tone to them and one of the songs '1978' is sung in their native language.
There are a couple of more average tracks but overall an enjoyable album.
4 stars/ 7 out of 10.


Baby Teeth
Baby Teeth
Price: £11.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Snakebite, 4 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Baby Teeth (Audio CD)
Great name, great artwork & great music.
The debut album by this three piece band packs one hell of a punch. How 3 individuals produce such a cacophony is amazing.
They have a fine pounding rhythm section but their sound really revolves/hinges around Marissa's remarkable guitar playing. It varies between howls of feedback to intricate finger picking and all styles in between. The overall sound has a fairly bluesy feel but with a punky edge. Perhaps a cross somewhere between Free, Hendrix, Robin Trower & Wild Flag?
The one downside for some listeners might be Marissa's vocals (although i loved them). She has an unusual vocal delivery and also a warble/wobble in her voice. I found it intriguing but some might find it difficult.
4.5 stars or 8.5/10


Dr Bronner Org Lavender Shaving Gel 208ml x 1
Dr Bronner Org Lavender Shaving Gel 208ml x 1
Offered by All Mall Shop
Price: £11.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Dr Please, 25 Jan. 2015
I normally use one of the Lush shaving creams in a tub but this was bought for me as a present and i must admit i'm pleasantly surprised.
It's organic, fair-trade, animal friendly and the company appear to be an ethical organisation.
I wouldn't usually choose Lavender as a fragrance but here it's fairly muted and not overpowering and you only need a small amount of the gel to obtain an excellent lather. It's lasted about 3 times longer than my normal Lush cream and is therefore great value for money.
The one very minor (and probably irrelevant??) complaint is the colour/appearance of the gel. I naively thought it would be a nice purple/blue colour but it's a quite drab brown affair!!
Highly recommended and i'm seriously thinking of changing to this product full time although perhaps with a different smell.


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