REVIEWS
Words: Brian Bordello




Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea joined the Monolith Cocktail team in January 2019. The cult leader of the infamous lo fi gods, The Bordellos, has released countless recordings over the decades with his family band of hapless unfortunates, and is the owner of a most self-deprecating sound-off style blog. His most recent project, Roi (with John McCarthy and Dan Shea, of Beauty Stab and Vukovar infamy) debuted recently through Metal Postcard Records with the paean to local record shop single, ‘Dormouse Records’. They’ve also just released their seasonal dirge, ‘Christmas Morn‘.

Each week we send a mountain of new releases to the self-depreciating maverick to see what sticks. In his own idiosyncratic style and turn-of-phrase, pontificating aloud and reviewing with scrutiny an eclectic deluge of releases, here Brian’s latest batch of recommendations.

The Membranes ‘Nocturnal’
EP/29th November 2019

Post punk originators [their description] The Membranes return with a angular piece of synth darkwave melodrama, the kind Soft Cell used to offer up in a damn fine fashion many years ago and the kind Vukovar piss out quite brilliantly nowadays. This strange EP for some reason has me picturing Scooby Doo dancing with ghosts at a high school prom: the soundtrack to a horror film nobody wants to watch.




New Art School ‘My Band’
(Metal Postcard Records)
Single/3rd December 2019




A song somewhat indebted to the ‘Clash City Rockers’ guitar riff, which is indeed a good thing; a track that struts and stutters in teenage delight; a song that delights in youth and self celebratory joy of being in a band; a song that takes me back to the days of cold rehearsal rooms and badly formed bar chords; yet another piece of single magic from the New Art School.




Prophecy Playground ‘Politely Polluting’
Single




A beautiful toe dip into the waters of melancholia; a Nick Drake foray unto the dying embers of the sun; the kind of track Ben & Jason use to thrive in making, all wonderfully arranged strings and a softly picked acoustic track. Should we call it early seventies psych folk? Yes we shall. And what a beautiful early seventies psych folk it is too.




Pink Chameleons ‘Songs’
(Soliti) EP/13th December 2019




Modern Garage band rock n roll, what’s not to like. It’s maybe not the most original of genres but anyone out there who enjoys The Brian Jonestown Massacre and BRMC and bands of their ilk will love this six track EP of storming rock n roll – well five, with a rather beautiful mid sixties stones like ballad lovingly placed in the middle and my favorite of the six, although the last track, a fine slightly weird Fuzztones like rocker, is also highly recommended.



REVIEWS
Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea



Thirty Pounds Of Bone and Philip Reeder ‘Still Every Year They Went’
LP/ 29th November 2019

This is a bewitching LP of old sea shanties recorded on a working fishing boat at sea; a wonderful idea and quite stunningly performed. There is a beauty in the loftiness which captures the dark magic romance of the sea and also keeps alive some quite genius beautiful old folk songs.

Acoustic guitars blend beautifully with the sound of crashing waves and sea birds weaving a spellbinding web of sound. In this day and age of here-today- thrown-away-tomorrow it makes more than a refreshing change to hear a album that you will keep and play and be a mainstay in your music collection for the rest of your days: a truly beautiful collection.




Lark ‘Bleeding Songs’
(Wormhole World) LP



This is the fourth LP by Lark, originally released in 2014 and now re-released by the wonderful Wormhole World label – available as a limited edition CD release and download. Once again we find Lark soundtracking the darker side of the psyche with their alternative guitar sounds that at times remind me of the Spear of Destiny and Theatre Of Hate and early Nick Cave. Songs that bark and whirl and reach for the stars, grabbing and devouring the nighttime sky, spewing out reams of beautiful poetical bile. An album that lovers of late 80s early 90s alternative music will take to their black and decaying hearts.




New Art School ‘The Chosen Ones’
(Metal Postcard Records) Single/ 25th October 2019



The magic of a Stones like riff really cannot be underestimated; there is a beauty to it, there is a certain life affirming quality that really cannot be denied. This the third single in as many months from New Art School is as essential as the first two. ‘The Chosen Ones’ is a song that once again captures the vim and vigor of youth, a remembrance to the days when music really did matter and the radio and a 45” single was your god.




Pieter Nooten ‘Se Dire Au Revoir’
(Rocket Girl) LP/ 22nd November 2019



Music like time is a great healer, and this is an album of exceptional instrumental beauty; an album to help heal yourself, with music to lose yourself in, to wrap yourself in the memories of total forgiveness; a sound solid state of lost rapture and misunderstandings, the aftershock of melancholia and sadness colliding to leave the etched image of the birthmark you will no longer stroke and caress; the semi drunken smile of a semi drunken lover you will no longer have the honour of taking for granted, watching them walk away for the last time, the streets forever stained with the holy image of your regrets. Music like time is indeed a great healer.




TROIA = Pascal Deweze + Helder Deploige + Sjoerd Bruil ‘S​/​T’
(Jezus Factory) LP/13th December 2019



This is actually quite a commercial sounding album; not what I was expecting at all: funk, retro spy theme craziness interspersed with chopped up backward piano and atmospheric melancholia Sci fi wonkiness and Krautrock sensibilities abound.

Available to buy on a ltd edition cassette, only 50 copies, or on download I would certainly recommend to anyone with a taste for the unusual or anyone wanting to dip their toe into the slightly avant-garde before submerging themselves into the joy of the madness, as this LP really does have some fine melodies. A wonderful little adventure of a record; like watching a split screen TV showing Bagpuss and The Clangers.



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