Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Wolfhounds: Divide and Fall

Wait for it - this one grows. Where their comeback single Cheer Up visited rough-and-tumble mangled jangle, Divide and Fall uses wrecking ball guitars and a sledgehammer bass to create an agitated noise. Did someone say Sonic Youth?

This is closer to the awkward Ron Johnson sound of the C86 compilation, on which The Wolfhounds found themselves, than the pop side of that record. The guitar solo mid-way through, though, gives Divide and Fall the pop kick.

Something for everyone, you'd think. But some of us thought that about The Wolfhounds 25 years ago. We were wrong then, but The Wolfhounds were right, as they are now. Commercial success may be ever elusive, but that's really not the fucking point.

Monday, 28 October 2013


Everything about Too Good To Me sounds just right: it's a soul-shakin four-to-the-floor anthem, all driving beat, searching vocals and rousing horns. When the northern template is recreated well - and this has been done very well - it's hard to fault.

Trambeat come into their own with Walk In My Shoes. It's the British mod-soul revival by way of The Style Council with gospel vocals. Northern purists will be surprised by the rap and the guitar solo, but this song proves Trambeat know their 60s R&B.

They've got character and range. Whether they do more straight-up motorcity sounds or reach into Immediate's back catalogue for inspiration, I'll be listening. Both sides of Trambeat's debut suggest more very interesting - and exciting - things to come.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Chills interviewed in 1987

Why do you think New Zealand suddenly has all these bands?

"The isolation really helps. We didn't want to get caught up in the struggle to succeed. We just played and that's a good attitude to start with."

This interview is from Simply Thrilled Honey fanzine.

The Chills have a triple(!) vinyl live album, Somewhere Beautiful, about to hit the shops. It sounds amazing.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Band In Heaven: Caught in a Summer Swell

Well, this is unexpected. The Band In Heaven have turned from the dark arts of velveteen drone (sample song title: Sleazy Dreams) to making one of the year’s finest psych-pop records in Caught in a Summer Swell.

This album finds them rubbing shoulders in 2013 with Dream Boys paisley underground and Veronica Falls crepuscular jangle. The sonic intensity of the songs comes from the tension between darkness and light, feedback and melody, male and female vocals, the stupid giddiness of getting high and then coming down.

Like their previous records, they still remind me of The Blue Orchids. And that’s always a good thing.

Thursday, 10 October 2013


The 2013 winner of best My Bloody Valentine recreation goes to Wildhoney. Like Me features bent notes, squalling guitars, gales of feedback, clattering drums, bone-crunching riffs, disembodied vocals and a tune blasting straight up into space.

My Disguise and Super Stupid on this 7" ep are just as strong. If Wildhoney can write an album this good, then they'll get at least the deserved attention that Jonanna Gruesome, the 2012 winner of best My Bloody Valentine recreation, are getting this year.

My Bloody Valentine, since you asked, are doing quite well in 2013's recreation of themselves, but let's face it, mbv is no Isn't Anything. And using Isn't Anything as year zero is what this game's all about.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Trust Fund: Don't Let Them Begin

These bedroom ballads are all stark melodies and a bare voice; everything else is stripped back to the bone. The rawness is tempered by humour, kind of like Jonathan Richman (you know, and I bet Ellis, who is Trust Fund, knows the words to Hospital).

The very impressive Don't Let Them Begin tape is largely a mixture of Melody Dog's kindergarten pop and subdued psychedelia by way of Elephant 6. Then there are songs like Complicate, a dramatic theatrical explosion that would re-ignite The Flaming Lips' career. If they only had the guile to still write songs like that.

trust fund - "complicate" from trust_fund on Vimeo.