Friday, 22 June 2018

Eddie & Ernie - Time Waits For No One

The basement of a New York record shop, 10 years ago: the clerk is playing the most amazing selection of funk 45s from his own collection. He offers to sell me some, starting at $100 each. The price is too heavy.

I flick through the cheaper singles in the racks. He stops me when I hit Bullets Don’t Have Eyes by Eddie & Ernie: “The best single of the last 5 years, no question.” I had the single and shared his enthusiasm.

Eddie & Ernie, one of the greatest - possibly the greatest - soul duos of all time, ranged from blistering pace to downhome tenderness and beautiful pain. Not for nothing are they the only act featuring on all four of Dave Godin’s legendary Deep Soul volumes.

Time Waits For No One is the first Eddie & Ernie vinyl album collection. Of course it’s brilliant. Its 10 tracks won’t be enough once you get the taste, but you can then move on to the Kent compilation Lost Friends.

Even then you’ll find yourself without what I rate as their true masterpiece, It’s A Beautiful World. Find that on Kent’s excellent Stone Soul - San Francisco's Loadstone Label compilation.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Red Red Eyes - Horology

Red Red Eyes make quietly grand baroque pop. Their electronic hypnosis is addictive, understated and avant-garde.

Horology is cosmic English music informed by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Broadcast’s spooked electronica, Serge Gainsbourg’s breathy noir and the United States of America’s experimental mini-symphonies.

If you like fear and paranoia, sad nostalgia and suburban melancholy, then you’ll love these songs’ ultra-styled grace. They’re also incredibly captivating live. If they play near you, go and see them. Buy the album first. You won’t regret it.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Devonns - Come Back / Think I'm Falling in Love

Classic Chicago soul direct from Chicago in 2018. Come Back was apparently written in 10 minutes - I’m more ready to believe it was written in 1972.

Better still is the b-side, Think I’m Falling In Love, a full 5 minutes of gently seductive orchestral soul with not a second wasted.

They pronounce their name "De-vaughns" which is a nod to Willian DeVaughn, whose Diamond in the Back you surely know. Yes, that 7-minute sweet soul opus that sounds just like Curtis Mayfield.

Which is where The Devonns are going. If you’ve got the chops - with help from Ken Stringfellow, no less - to sound like primetime Curtis, the future’s yours.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018


I say: the two essential members of Joanna Gruesome (come on, it didn’t quite work after Alana left), who are sounding fresher and brighter (they might not agree with those words) than the half-hearted last JoGru record.

Using the heavy metal umlaut in their name is surely a nod to Husker Du. The MBV debt is still obvious and restricted to the bent notes and sonic savagery of Isn’t Anything, and Ecstacy’s clearer tunes.

They’re my new favourite band. You‘ve got to see them live.

They say: “Taking influence equally from Black Sabbath’s “Into The Void”, D.C.-area hardcore legends VOID, and Raincoats number The Void, the group ‘Ex-Vöid’ was formed and began to compose short power-pop songs with titles like Boyfriend, Angry (At You Baby), Lying (To You Baby), and My Baby Is a Communist.”

So there you go. A difference of opinion. You can make your own mind up this way:

Friday, 11 May 2018

Young Scum album

The green shoots of the indiepop revival came through 2 years ago with Young Scum’s Zona ep and then bands like the BV's and Say Sue Me. Their album confirms something’s really starting to happen.

Young Scum do this with high-octane riffs, the jangle turned up to 11, spirited romanticism by way of Aztec Camera’s High Land, Hard Rain and the utter assurance that Jim Beattie was the talented one in Primal Scream. It’s got the potential to inspire a full-scale indiepop resuscitation.

It doesn’t hurt that Alvvays, who include Hummingbirds and Primitives covers in their set, are doing serious business. It’s all part of the escalation.

If nothing else, anyone still mourning the passing of Allo Darlin will have found a new favourite band.

Tape fans, make your way to Citrus City
Vinyl fans, your needs are met by Pretty Olivia

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Shit Bitch

“I love getting head from you, but you give me a UTI.” Royal Heady is the best, filthiest and, er, catchiest DIY punk song since Fuck Marry Kill by Daddy Issues. Then there’s the pay-off line: “dirty dick, I can’t piss.” You need this song in your life.

If you were in any doubt where Shit Bitch are coming from, there’s a hymn to an Australian TV presenter referencing “Carrie Brownstein, the coolest girl I’d ever seen.”

It’s not all crunchy riffs and energetic tunes - Kings Way edges into ballad territory proving Shit Bitch’s melodic power makes them genuine contenders whichever way they play it.

By Christmas they’ll surely be bigger than The Courtneys at the very least.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Lachlan & Snowy - Six Songs and Six More Songs

Is there a new genre called ‘Australiana’? *quickly Googles* Nope, don’t think so. So let’s say that Australiana is where dolewave got a bit drunk and mopey, played some Bakersfield country records and decided ‘that's sort of what we should be doing’. Bands like Dag, Lower Plenty, Ciggie Witch and Grandstands.

Lachlan and Snowy - or Lachlan Denton and Liam Halliwell who are both moonlighting from Ciggie Witch and The Ocean Party - are doing this new Australiana.

Six Songs and Six More Songs feature pretty much that evocative and tender sound with suburbia’s low-level alienation. Apart from one song, Do What U Wanna, which sounds like Velcro. You remember Velcro. *quickly Googles what happened to Velcro* Oh, that’s Ashley Bundang who’s in Ciggie Witch with Lachlan and Snowy.

The typically incestuous Melbourne scene at work with predictably lovely results.