Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea’s Reviews Column

Singles/Tracks/Videos

Exclusive Video:-

Schizo Fun Addict  ‘Forever Before’
(Fruits Der Mer Records)

Well how apt a few days after David Crosby the king of Laurel Canyon died we are sent the latest video by Schizo Fun Addict [an exclusive in fact]. Yes my dear readers you are the first people to cast your eyes and ears over this beautiful Laurel Cannyon Autumnal breeze-like guitar song, a song that is possessed by the magic of 1967 Byrds with the slight tinkerings of space rock synth.

Forever Before” is a song one can imagine gracing and being a highlight from the debut album by the mythical band or should that be group the Kelly Affair from the movie Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. A song dipped in the serendipity of pure magic.

“Forever Before” is a teaser from their forthcoming album released in March on Fruits Der Mer Records, and I for one cannot wait.

Benedict Benjamin ‘Furlough Blues’
February 3rd 202
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If post-punk folk with a hint of psychedelicised Byrds is your thing then this rather excellent single needs to be gracing your listening device. The first track taken from a forthcoming album Tunnel, which if ‘Furlough Blues’ is anything to go by, is going to be a bit of a stunner.

Maple Mars ‘Anchors Aweigh’
(Big Stir Records)

It is nice to see and hear in fact that there are still songs like this being made and released. ‘Anchors Away’ is a well written and performed guitar pop/rock song, a track with no edginess no quirkiness just a straight-ahead song with melodies and guitar solo; the kind of song one might nod their head to and tap their foot whilst considering another pint or, if it’s time to venture out into the cold night and risk a dodgy take out from the Flaming Duck. The kind of song one would imagine being played in a bar in America in the mid 80s on some TV show, when the lead character was some handsome private detective who always had the women throwing themselves at him: although he was far too old for them. Yes indeed a leather jacker [new and polished] and a seductive moustache, which he never seemed to get beer froth on. A handsome devil indeed, and this would be the music of his choice, well played guitar bar roomish type of rock…he might occasionally drive a motorbike.

Bigflower ‘Hope There’s Someone’

The Mighty bigflower kicks off the New Year where they left of the last with a song of atmospheric beauty. ‘Hope There’s Someone’ is of course a cover of the Anthony And The Johnsons gem, but the gem is polished and covered in layers of Ivor Perry’s magical guitar to produce a track of soul and heartache. One day a label is going to gather these monthly slices of guitar perfection and release an album of artistic triumph.

The Wot Nots ‘Oi’
(Metal Postcard Records)

Old style punk-rock or punk-rock old style, I will let you decide, but either way we have a catchy short blast of rock ‘n’ roll, part early Fall part Alternative TV.  The aural equivalent of stumbling over some Sniffin Glue fanzines and getting teary nostalgic for the days when you used to nick coal from the back of the coal lorry or graffiti ‘never mind the bollocks here are the Sex Pistols’ on your neighbor’s shed. The Wot Nots ARE PUNKTASTIC.

Albums/EPs

Guided By Voices ‘La La Land’
(GBV Inc)

Another album from GBV (Guided By Voices). Yes everybody’s favourite lo-fi guitar wheeling merchants; a band that is often mentioned in the same sentence when reviewing my band The Bordellos, although we sound nothing like them: lazy journalism at its finest. But what we do have in common is we both write tuneful quite often short songs of perfection, and this album La La Land is indeed full of them.

What I love best about GBV (Great British Virgins) is their shorter songs. My least favourite are their longer songs: ‘Slowly On The Wheel’ is a bit dull to be honest at six minutes long. But their tunefulness and fine lyricism, heartfelt and snide-y at the same time words filled with a vim and vigour, should be injected into everybody’s record collection. See GBV (George Benson Versus – versus who I do not know; maybe Gene Vincent and the guns of Sunset arrival) are on the whole a fine band but you really don’t need me to tell you that and this on the whole this is a fine album: but you really do not need me to tell you that.

Panthervision ‘Now In 3-D’
(Kool Kat)  3rd February 2023

If one misses and longs for the days when The Primitives and The Darling Buds and such punk indie pop guitar led female vocal fronted bands ruled the airwaves, you could well enjoy Now In 3-D. For the little blighter is jam packed with melody led guitar frenzy, with just the right amount of cheeky sass.

Panthervision have the fine art of guitar pop perfected, or should that be purrfected. They know what they are good at so they never stray from their lane, sticking fine and true on the road of straight ahead guitar pop.

Neon Kittens ‘Van Goghs’s Ear EP’
(Metal Postcard Records)

The soundtrack to Lydia having her Lunch, a seductive strut through the streets of a post-punk apocalypse, a place where hi-brow sleeziness and dancing like Thurma and Travolta is compulsory, the sound of Neon Kittens is one of sex seduction and the flashing neon light offering sex to the music of your choice an elicit affair with the cool kids record collection. It is a place where the Velvet Underground and the Flying Lizards meet up for black coffee and talk art. The Neon Kittens are cool motherfuckers.

The Conspiracy ‘New Years Day EP’
(Metal Postcard Records)

The New Years Day EP is a fine way musically to start off 2023. Although listening to The Conspiracy you could be starting off 1990, as this is an EP that takes one back to the late 80s early 90s, for there are songs on here that weave the same magic as the much underrated Wonky Alice, a fine band that never got the success they deserved, a band that I hear has recently reformed, but enough about the fine Wonky Alice and more about the Conspiracy. As I said, they weave a guitar based magic with a hint of art –pop; a band that sounds very British, like the way the Kinks or the Smiths or the great Billy Childish sounds British: an arrogance of melodious melancholy that tips a hat to politics, sexual or otherwise.

New Years Day is indeed a fine way musically to start this New Year.

Tim Cross and TV Smith ‘Words And Music’

This album is a collection of unreleased tracks by Tim Cross and TV Smith, two former members of the legendary punk band The Adverts who of course where much more than your everyday punk band as they took punk into an almost spikey bubble-gum prog direction with their classic second album Casts Of Thousands.

The late Tim Cross also worked with the likes of Mike Oldfield, Fleetwood Mac, Hall & Oates and many others as well as playing on many excellent albums by the punk troubadour TV Smith. This album has a wonderful lo-fi quality about it as the songs are mostly demos and the odd live recording, and contains some quite wonderful early 80s sounding synth pop – ‘Lucky Us’ being a complete poptastic gem and a track one can imagine gracing the charts of the day. And ‘The Lion And The Lamb’ being a typically beautifully written piece of folk punk, whilst ‘Driver Or Passenger’ coming across like Dire Straits being fronted or indeed affronted by a snarking Luke Haines.

All in all Words And Music is a gem of an album and one again that shows TV Smith and indeed Tim Cross really have never got the acclaim and success they truly deserve.

Meadow Argus ‘Dancing Through a Slow Apocalypse’

This seven-track EP or mini album is rather fantastic. Seven tracks that explore the strange world of folk psychedelia and Krautrock, at times reminding me both of the Beta Band and Broadcast but with a poppier more commercial pop edge. ‘House Husband’ even has a twangy Fender guitar sound Buddy Holly would have been more than pleased with.

Dancing Through a Slow Apocalypse is an album of pure musical adventure genre hopping with a fluid style and ease that cannot be anything else but admired.

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CHOICE MUSIC FROM THE LAST MONTH
CURATED BY DOMINIC VALVONA

The very last monthly playlist of 2022 is a bumper edition of eclectic choice music from the last month, with a smattering of tracks from upcoming December releases too.

This month’s picks have been collected from Dominic Valvona, Matt Oliver, Brian ‘Shea’ Bordello and Graham Domain. The full track list can be found below the Spotify link.

The monthly will be back in the New Year. Until then absorb this behemoth of a selection, and next month, ponder and peruse the blog’s 140 plus albums of 2022 features.

TRACK LIST IN FULL

Black Market Karma/Tess Parks  ‘The Sky Was All Diseased’
Enter Laughing  ‘Met Me When I landed’
Salem Trials  ‘Man From Atlantis Is Dead’
Humour  ‘Jeans’
Cities Aviv  ‘Funktion’
Vlimmer  ‘Mathematik’
Gabrielle Ornate  ‘Phantasm’
Dead Horses  ‘Can’t Talk, Can’t Sleep’
Lunar Bird  ‘Driven By The Light’
Mui Zyu  ‘Rotten Bun’
Thank You Lord For Satan  ‘When We Dance’
Pozi  ‘Slightly Shaking Cells’
My Friend Peter  ‘When I Was’
U.S. Girls  ‘Bless This Mess’
Sofie Royer  ‘Feeling Bad Forsyth Street’
Surya Botofasina  ‘Beloved California Temple’
Edrix Puzzle  ‘Shadow of Phobe’
Let Spin  ‘Waveform Guru’
Etceteral  ‘Gologlavka’
Juga-Naut  ‘Camel Walk’
The Pyramids  ‘Queens Of The Spirits Part 1’
Illogic  ‘Nowhere Fast’
Planet Asia/Snowgoons/Flash  ‘Metabolism’
Dabbla/alone  ‘Adept’
Karu  ‘Spears Of Leaves’
Neon Kittens  ‘Nil By Vein’
Renelle 893/King Kashmere  ‘My Demons’
Mount Kimbie/Don Maker/Kai Campos Ft. Slowthai  ‘Kissing’
Homeboy Sandman/Deca  ‘Satellite’
Uusi Aika  ‘S-T’
Gillian Stone  ‘The Throne’
Raw Poetic/Damu The Fudgemunk  ‘A Mile In My Head’
Boldy James/Futurewave  ‘Mortemir Milestone’
Arthur King  ‘Dig Precious Things’
Tom Skinner  ‘Voices (Of The Past)’
Trans Zimmer & The DJs  ‘Wind Quintet No. 3 In E Major, Second Movement’
George T  ‘Dub On, King’s Cross’
The Dark Jazz Project  ‘Great Skies’
Noémi Büchi  ‘Measuring All Possibilities’
Russ Spence  ‘Spectrum’
Seez Mics/Aupheus  ‘Cancel The Guillotine’
Dezron Douglas  ‘J Bird’
Fliptrix/Illinformed  ‘Eden’
Apollo Brown/Philmore Greene  ‘This Is Me’
Illogic  ‘She Didn’t Write’
Milc/Televangel Ft. AJ Suede  ‘Ronald Reagan’
Vincent/The Owl/Nick Catchdubs  ‘Fade 2 Black’
Shirt/Jack Splash  ‘Cancel Culture’
Clouds In A Headlock/ASM/Daylight Robbery  ‘3D Maze’
The Strange Neighbour/Leolex/Bobby Slice Ft. DJ Sixkay  ‘Keep Your Head Straight’
Kormac  Ft. Loah & Jafaris  ‘Bottom Of The Ocean’
A. O. Gerber  ‘Walk In The Dark’
Ben Pagano  ‘Hot Capital’
Hög Sjö  ‘Love Is A Gamble’
Kinked  ‘Introduzione Alla Fabula’
Årabrot  ‘Going Up’
Old Fire Ft. Julia Holter  ‘Window Without A World’
Meg Baird  ‘Star Hill Song’
Susanna/Stina Stjern/Delphine Dora  ‘Elevation’
Rita Braga  ‘Nothing Came From Nowhere’
Orchid Mantis  ‘Endless Life’
The Zew  ‘Come On Down’
Ocelot  ‘Santa Ana’
LINN  ‘Okay, Sister’
Sanfeliu  ‘Grassy Patch’
Young Ritual  ‘Ages’
Yermot  ‘Leaning To Lie’


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