TACHYCARDIE ‘Autonomie Minerale’

This is the third album in a trilogy of ambient sound-art works by French composer Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy. Consisting of seven pieces of strange, dark, tribal, alien ambient dissonance and warm unnatural half-light!

In the first piece, ‘Parties sud puis nord’, tribal drums and hyper percussion are intermittently infiltrated by reverberating clangs and deep disturbed atmospheric noise. It is a strangely compelling listen! Although if listened to by those of a disturbed mind it may likely trigger psychosis, one-legged

Russian dancing or paper moon madness!

In ‘Gris de haute pression’ tribal drums and hypnotic looped bells hang in the air. The sound of a mast creaking on a ghost ship is heard as the vessel nears a bleak volcanic island. A lone sea birds’ cry echoes across the dark looming cliffs! The mind retreats, the darkness falling over crumbling dreams and burying hope in the inky blackness!

The best piece is perhaps ‘Collision au sens strict’ – Throbbing alien dissonance reverberates across a dead ocean as metal insects scurry across the coffin-like box you wake up in! Disturbing and exhilarating!

The composer explains what we all had guessed: ‘This piece resulted from…the mechanical oscillation of a stone that is hit…and the electronic oscillation of a home-made synthesiser…no one can tell where synthesis starts and sonic naturalism ends.’

You will not find another album like this. It will penetrate your dreams bringing raptures of nightmare terror, joyous pain and nerve scraping pleasure. As the stones with eyes move closer, watching, surrounding your house, you may never ‘escape into night’ or feel at ease again!

CHRIS PLUM ‘The Small Hours’

The new album from Detroit indie veteran Chris Plum (Brendan Benson, Mood Elevator) is an album inspired by jazz ballads from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s but with a modern twist! The band put together from musician friends consists of piano, double bass, brushed drums, guitar, brass and woodwind. All the songs are self-penned originals filled with humour and observation and are memorable after only a couple of plays.

‘The Executive’ reminds me of a song that Elvis Costello could have written, when he has occasionally written in a similar jazz ballad vein. But, the standout track for me is ‘No More Heartache’ – which musically shares common ground with early Tom Waits!

It is obviously a labour of love for Chris so good luck to him for following his muse regardless of commercial considerations.


The Early Mornings ‘Ultra Modern Rain’ (EP)
(Practise Music/Rough Trade)

This is the second excellent EP by Manchester 3-piece The Early Mornings and features 5 tracks of spiky post rock no wave – sharing DNA with the likes of Wetleg, the Breeders, The Fall, and The Raincoats.

It is an exhilarating ride of moody bass lines, spikey guitar, distorted chords and garage drums with vocals by Annie Leader.

Standout tracks: ‘First Words’, ‘Ultra-Modern Rain’, ‘Loves Not Hard’.

The Neon Kittens ‘Frozen Peas’
(Metal Postcard Records)

Taken from the debut album No Drugs Required this is a slab of post pandemic madness – a release from the confines of drudgery -, sounding like a cross between early Gang of Four, the Scars and a Felix the Cat cartoon, bounds along like a gazelle chasing a bus! A superb single, unlike anything else around today!

Flipside ‘FriendZone’ sounds like the music from South Park – Terence and Philip doing a mad dance while the corpse of Kenny looks on as Cartman ‘charms’ a new girl-friend! Brilliant!

Fuz ‘First Light’
(Menace Records)

‘First Light’ is the excellent debut single by French duo Fuz. Laid-back soulful vibe, indie post-rock with interesting low-key melodies from the guitar and keyboard duo. It has echoes of mid 70’s bands like Steely Dan or Johnny Green and the Greenmen (‘Seven over from Mars’)! One to play on late night radio shows like ‘Nobody’s Listening Not Even My Mum’!

No(w) Beauty ‘The Art of Four’
(Menace Records)

‘The Art of Four’ is the exceptional new single from four-piece French jazz men No(w) Beauty. The instrumental is propelled along by hip-hop style drums and bass where the piano and trumpet alternate between melody and melodic soloing! Love it! A full album follows on February 24th.

Complete Mountain Almanac ‘February’
(Bella Union)

The second single from Neo-Folk duo Complete Mountain Almanac is a stunningly beautiful song contrasting the effects of climate change on the planet with the effects of breast cancer on the body. The collaboration is between exceptional singer and musician Rebekka Karijord and poet and lyricist

Jessica Dessner (who developed the cancer). The duo are joined by brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National. Their self-titled Debut Album is out Now!

Rigolo ‘If’

The new single by Italian alt-pop group Rigolo builds on an indie post-rock vibe but what makes them sound unique (to these ears) is an electric cello played upfront to carry the melody pre-vocals! It seems to be a song about self-discovery and working out your true place in the world. Sung in English the song acquires an air of irony and humour, which I’m not sure is intentional (and occasionally reminds of Einar from the Sugarcubes)! The song is fairly inoffensive pop music despite using the F word a few times. I expect they are the equivalent of The Beautiful South in their own country with their dual boy/girl combined and alternating lead vocals.

New Album Aliante is out now!


Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea’s Roundup


The cult leader of the infamous lo fi gods, The BordellosBrian ‘Bordello’ Shea 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 releases include the King Of No-Fi album, a collaborative derangement with the Texas miscreant Occult Character, Heart To Heart, and a series of double-A side singles (released so far, ‘Shattered Pop Kiss/Sky Writing’, ‘Daisy Master Race/Cultural Euthanasia’ and ‘Be My Maybe/David Bowie’). He has also released, under the Idiot Blur Fanboy moniker, a stripped-down classic album of resignation and Gallagher brothers’ polemics.


Paragon Cause ‘Disconnected’
18th June 2021 (Taken from the duo’s upcoming album Autopilot, released 13th August 2021)

I like this track it has an aura of pop songs from the past like Jane Weilden’s ‘Rush Hour’, or one of those other fine breezy pop songs. It has the wind in its sails and floats like a bobcat with the ear of the bank manager’s fond final digressionary wish ringing in its typecast high school jinx way. Trust me it is a lovely joyful pop song and I for one cannot get enough of those. And my dear readers I have the feeling that you cannot either. And if you can get enough, you are reading the wrong blog…go and stroke your chin to the Quietus and lose yourself in a nose flute extravaganza box set.

Salem Trials ‘Head Full Of Stinging Bees’
Available right now

A slice of alternative guitar magic from Britain’s greatest current guitar band. Yes indeed, the Salem Trials are back with a scratchy almost Goth like vignette with Scary Monster era Bowie guitars and Russ ranting as only Russ can. Just over two minutes in length and it sounds like no one but the Salem Trials. ‘Head Full Of Stinging Bees’ can be downloaded for free from their Bandcamp page, which I urge you to do or you will be ever known as a twat who likes to preen yourself in front of a Shane Richie poster circa his days in the Grease Stage show.

Mega Bog ‘Weight Of The Earth, On Paper’
(Paradise Of Bachelors) Out there right now

I like this; it has an air of a post punk hippy commune getting together to make an enjoyable romp through the pages of a musical that should have been written but for some strange reason never was. It could have been Hair for the balding generation. I can imagine this band drinking green tea and driving badly due to their minds being somewhere else…yes, I enjoyed this.

Eamon The Destroyer ‘My Drive /Silver Cloud’
(Bearsuit Records)  Available Right Now

I am a huge fan of Liverpool based guitar wonder extremist bigflower and ‘My Drive’ and ‘Silver Shadow’ have the same appeal. Both of the songs have the same melancholy, the same scorched by the sun lost in a desert atmosphere a place where the neglected go to dream bittersweet dreams of a past memory not knowing if it truly happened or not. These two tracks are lost in a world of their own and will certainly appeal to lovers of Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips as they plough the same furrow. I’m looking forward to their forthcoming album, which should be a rewarding and interesting listen going off the excellence of this debut single.


Synthetic Villains ‘Obstacle Navigation’
Available right now

Obstacle Navigation is actually a very good listen; ten tracks of mostly synth instrumentals that use old Analogue drum machines and synths with electric and acoustic guitars processed via violin bows, ebows and various effect pedals.

The tracks take in moody synth pop but have more than a tinge of psychedelia: ‘Sunbeam Flyer’ could easily slot onto Primal Scream’s Screamadelica without much fuss, even borrowing the ‘Loaded’ bass line, which of course the Scream themselves borrowed, and ‘Wander Off Wondering’ reminding me of the early Shaman before they struck it rich with ‘Ebenezer Good’.

This is an inventive and very relaxing album, and as with all good instrumental albums does not have one waiting for the vocals to arrive. It will take you on a soothing and rewarding journey to the centre of your own psyche.

Foreign Age ‘Understanding Animals’
Available Right Now

The three B’s, The Beatles, Blur and Barrett seem to be the order of the day with Foreign Age. Pure pop for nostalgic people, all descending Beatle guitar chords and vocal harmonies, the sort of album The Bees used to release with little commercial success in the early noughties and I expect this album to achieve the same fate. I’m not saying that this is a bad album, for it is not, it is a very enjoyable album, but the days of “ba ba ba” choruses are no longer the order of the day sadly. But Foreign Age does the artier side of Brit pop very well. And the album is well worth investigation.  

The Early Mornings ‘Unnecessary Creation EP’
Available right now

Jerky rhythms and slandered guitars are always a joy to behold with one’s ears and The Early Mornings are indeed a joy. It’s like the Slits if they were a cartoon band guesting on The Banana Splits. The Banana Slits in fact: what a perfect description. Yes, The Early Mornings are one of those wonderful post punk bands who have a talent of having melodies float from their scratchy guitars and performing well written songs of teenage lust and teenage problems even if the band themselves are not teenagers. The kind of band who makes one wish they were young again: and believe me that is always the sign of a good band.

Cathal Coughlan ‘Song Of Co-Aklan’
(Dimple Discs) Available Right Now

I always loved Fatima Mansions, one of my fave bands from the 90s, so was pleased to see this in my inbox as Cathal is a fine songwriter, a gifted lyricist, and has a voice like spiked honey, and as angry as a box of shaken Bees. And I’m pleased to say his new album has all the aforementioned in great quantities, and I’m not disappointed at all.

He always had a way with the written word Cathal; a little like his hero Scott Walker whose music and song writing is an obvious influence in they both dwell on the darker side and darker characters of life, and like Scott, Cathal knows his way around a melody and how to paint such beautifully dark and sometimes comedic images with his lyrics. And after listening to the track ‘Owl In The Parlour’, I ask why has Cathal never been asked to record a James Bond theme for he certain could give Matt Monroe a run for his money.

Song Of Co-Aklan is an album of dark adventure; an unfurling of one of Music’s great mavericks; a reminder of just how great a songwriter this often-ignored artist truly is.

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