Archive for July, 2006

July 30, 2006

BENJAMIN PROSSER & THE TAP COLLECTIVE – Killing Flaw (7″ Single)

Killing Flaw CoverFitzrovian Phonographic FITZ001: 24th July 2006
1. Killing Flaw
“You don’t know, can’t take much more, ’cause here it comes, killing flaw”
2. Below The Plough
“Dry winds done, so what’s up now, all alone, below the plough”

‘Killing Flaw’ is a dissonant mess, like a more fucked up Yeah Yeah Yeahs or a more insane Velvet Underground, so basically a little bit on the raw side. Benjamin Prosser howls about being “Fucking low” while his band ‘The Tap Collective’ destroy their instruments. At first it just sounds like noise but it soon sucks you in with its tribal rhythms and violent Guitars.

Far superior is ‘Below The Plough’ which is credited to just ‘Benjamin Prosser’ and has a totally different sound. If you’ve heard Kurt Cobain’s painful acoustic performance for MTV then you’ll have some idea. It’s a haunting, echoey and mysterious masterpiece that is best listened to in the dark for added atmosphere.

The 7″ packaging is some of the best I’ve seen. It comes as a Jukebox 45 in a plastic slip surrounded by a hand-written lyric sheet and drawing (Apparently the paper is made from recycled bank notes). This is then wrapped in two transparent sheets that have the beautiful label artwork and information. It’s all contained in a re-sealable bag and has two badges chucked in as well. When you’re unpacking it you feel like you should be wearing those white museum curator gloves. It’s Fitzrovian Phonographic’s first release and is limited to just 250 copies.

In the event that you can’t get a copy, all is not lost because Benjamin is giving ‘Below The Plough’ away free.

Below The Plough mp3
Remembrance mp3
Idle Hands mp3

Benjamin Prosser MySpace Page
Fitzrovian Phonographic MySpace Page / Rim Records Website

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July 30, 2006

THE MARDY BUMS – Who The Ch*ff Are The…. Mardy Bums (7″ Single)

Who The Ch*ff Are The.... Mardy Bums CoverThee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation SPC012: 24th July 2006
1. Put Wood In Hole
“Ubiquitous brass, chestnut cliché, cobblestone path, Scargill toupee, Hoxton fin, put it in the bin, sir, botanical bear, anyone for wicker?”
2. Does It Say Doormat On Me Back?
“Yes I’ve got two quid for the bus, no that’s not enough for both of us”

Are they a real band, are they a piss take or are they a heartfelt tribute? Whatever the truth behind The Mardy Bums, they’ve recorded two damn fine tunes. Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation actually introduced the world to the Arctic Monkeys by giving them a slot on one of their long sold out Fanzine CDs. So if anyone’s got a right to release this record they do.

‘Put Wood In Hole’ is absolutely irresistible, if you don’t sing along with the shouts of “You tight arsed bugger, you tight arsed bugger, you posh southern get” you’re obviously dead inside or perhaps you’ve just suffered a sense-of-humour-ectomy. Between the chorus’, stereotypical regional images like Ferrets, Flat caps and Whippets are fired out like shotgun pellets. ‘Does It Say Doormat On Me Back?’ is a downbeat ballad and that’s almost as good as the A-side. It’s got that finely balanced mix of humour and sorrow that marks out brilliant song writing.

The back of the sleeve comes with a selection of abusive forum comments by Arctic Monkeys fans like “Jesus wept”, “Is this a joke?” and “What a bunch of fucking losers”. To which The Mardy Bums reply “Ta very much for all the comments, we’re reyt encouraged by wot you’ve said”. On the inside of the sleeve is a photo of Sean Bean as Sharpe, and for me his catch-phrase was always “You bugger!”. The band members are also listed as Oliver, Piers, Tarquin and Barty!

I’ve just read on their MySpace page that Piers has quit after a “shooting incident”, James left in “acrimony” and Barty left due to “exhaustion”.

Click here to buy the 7″ for only £3.

Click here to watch a video of stills from Sharpe cut against ‘Mardy Bum’ by Arctic Monkeys. Or here for a video about Sharpe and Harper’s friendship cut to ‘Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’.

The Mardy Bums MySpace Page
Thee SPC Website / Thee SPC MySpace Page
Arctic Monkeys Website / Arctic Monkeys MySpace Page

July 25, 2006

KID HARPOON – The River, The Ocean, The Pearl (CD Single)

The River, The Ocean, The Pearl CoverBrik A Brak Records BRKCD02: 10th July 2006
1. Riverside
“Lets fish for gold and throw off our rags, paint a new scene, where the shopping trolley snags”
2. It’s Time
“Feel the pins and needles, rushing up the spine, shooting stars, fill my eyes”

The music of ‘Riverside’ keeps threatening to explode at any moment.  Kid Harpoon’s voice has the same tension, as it slips from an angelic falsetto to an angry snarl.  ‘It’s Time’ is a gentle acoustic number that allows Kid Harpoon to show his more mellow side.

The CD is worth buying just for the excellent ‘Noggin The Nog’ style artwork.

It’s Time (Demo) mp3
Fifty Seven (Demo) mp3
Childish Dreaming (Demo) mp3
Late For The Devil (Demo) mp3

Kid Harpoon Website / Kid Harpoon MySpace Page
Brik A Brak Records Website / Noggin The Nog Fansite

July 25, 2006

THE RUSSIAN FUTURISTS – Paul Simon (7″ Single)

Paul Simon CoverMemphis Industries MI068S: 17th July 2006
1. Paul Simon
“I’m so burnt out, I’m a shell now, it’s the worst of lows, it’s the first to go, it’s the last to come back, when the sun melts the snow”
2. The Plight Of The Flightless Bird
“Hey did you ever know that years are just slippery numbers, and that I still get chills when I hear Paul sing ‘Golden Slumbers'”

‘Paul Simon’ isn’t about the man himself, it’s more about recreating the glorious Brass sound of his finest moment ‘You Can Call Me Al’. Almost hidden beneath the triumphant sound are some truly brilliant and quite dark lyrics. ‘The Plight Of The Flightless Bird’ starts off like The Beach Boys before morphing into The Postal Service. Once again the lyrics are fantastic.

‘Paul Simon’ is taken from their new compilation ‘Me Myself & Rye: An Introduction To The Russian Futurists’ and ‘The Plight Of The Flightless Bird’ is from an earlier album. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this brilliant Canadian band before… well, better late than never.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Paul Simon’ on YouTube.

Click here to buy ‘Me Myself & Rye’ from HMV for only £8.99.

The Russian Futurists Website / The Russian Futurists MySpace Page

July 25, 2006

GRAHAM COXON – I Can’t Look At Your Skin / What’s He Got? (2x 7″ EP)

I Can't Look At Your Skin, What's He GotParlophone R6702: 17th July 2006
1. I Can’t Look At Your Skin
“Better start making changes, before they put you away, shooting looks down every street, feral kid with no beliefs”
2. Time For Heroes
“Oh it’s eating, it’s chewing me up, it’s not right for young lungs to be coughing up blood, and it’s all, it’s all in my hands, and it’s all up the walls”
3. What’s He Got?
“Saw you on the corner by the cash machine, you made the cutest couple that I ever did see”
4. Outta My League, Dear
“Will you burst my bubble, will you burn me down, will knock me out, will you bring me round, would you kiss me back from the brink of death, would you sacrifice one good clean breath”

This is a nice double 7″ package with two A-sides and two B-sides.  There seems to have been a screw up at the record plant because the A-sides appear on the first 7″ and the B-sides on the second, despite what the labels say.  ‘I Can’t Look At Your Skin’ brings to mind great Pop-Punk bands like The Ramones and The Undertones.  You’ll be banging your head along to the endless shouts of “I can’t look at your skin, ‘Cos it’s doing me in” at the end.  The other A-side ‘What’s He Got?’ harks back to the American Rock ‘n’ Roll of the late 50’s and early 60’s.  Despite a great Harmonica solo it’s the lesser of the two A-sides.

Graham’s cover of The Libertines ‘Time For Heroes’ isn’t as good as the original but it did succeed in reminding of how good they used to be.  His voice is much clearer than Pete Doherty’s which highlights what a great lyricist he was.  Lines like “I passed myself down on my knees, tell me what can you want, when you’ve got it all, the whole scene is obscene, time will strip it away” show his uncanny ability to diagnose his problems, but sadly not to treat them.  With it’s handclaps ‘Outta My League, Dear’ is reminiscent of the early Pop sound of The Rolling Stones.  It’s easily the best of the four tracks.

Click here to watch Jamie Theakston interview Blur for Rock Profile “It’s not my fault, nobody showed me how to work the machines!”.

Graham Coxon Website / Graham Coxon MySpace Page
All Over Me Fansite

July 25, 2006

FRANZ FERDINAND – Eleanor Put Your Boots On (CD & 7″ Singles)

Eleanor Put Your Boots On CoverDomino RUG234CD / RUG234: 17th July 2006
1. Eleanor Put Your Boots On (Single Version)
“Eleanor put those boots back on, kick the heels into the Brooklyn dirt, I know it isn’t dignified to run”
2. Ghost In A Ditch
“We end it, it’s all over, she’ll marry me but I’ll hold her, she shovelled the dirt into my face, but I don’t care”
3. Fade Together (Avalanches Remix)
“So far away, oh God you are so far away, let’s fade together, let’s fade forever”
4. Wine In The Afternoon
“So this is summer, and the Calor gas, is running low, but I don’t mind, I’m doing things and doing them with… you”

Franz Ferdinand have recorded a new version of ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’ using a Banjo.  It doesn’t really work and isn’t an improvement on the powerful Guitars and Pianos of the original.  I’m not sure if the lyrics are about suicide, liberation or perhaps both.  ‘Ghost In A Ditch’ is a song steeped in bloody murder, which is sung by Nick McCarthy in a Syd Barrett style.  On ‘Wine In The Afternoon’ Alex paints a life of poverty as a romantic life, because he’s got a bottle of Wine and the one he loves.  It’s got a new lyrical attention for detail and a great sing-a-long chorus.  The A-side and these two B-sides seem to be exploring a new Folk influenced sound.  It’s promising, but I wouldn’t advise them to drop the old Franz stomp just yet.

If you’re expecting bizarre cut up records and unusual samples on the ‘Avalanches Remix’ then you might be disappointed.  What you get instead is like the Jazzier moments of the Bladerunner score (I keep expecting Harrison Ford’s world-weary voice to pop in) or like a rainy day spent listening to ‘Kind Of Blue’.  The dreamy soundscape they’ve created perfectly compliments Alex’s sighs.

Click here to download lots of rare Franz Ferdinand mp3s.

Here are links to watch videos of ‘Darts Of Pleasure’, ‘Take Me Out’, ‘Matinee’, ‘Michael’, ‘Do You Want To’, ‘Walk Away’, ‘The Fallen’, ‘L. Wells’ and ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’ on YouTube.

Franz Ferdinand Website / Franz Ferdinand MySpace Page
Franz Ferdinand Fansite

July 24, 2006

GOOSE – Black Gloves (7″ Single)

Black Gloves CoverSkint SKINT120: 17th July 2006
1. Black Gloves
“Instrumental”
2. Black Gloves (Extended)
“Instrumental”

‘Black Gloves’ has one of the most insistently pulsating grooves since The Chemical Brothers last rocked out (And that was quite a while ago). It’s got an ominous Gary Numan like bit in the middle, which is just an excuse to thrillingly build the song back up again. By the end you’ll probably be frenetically jumping around the room. So when the song comes to an abrupt halt at 2.38 while in full flow, you’ll be left breathless and scrambling to flip the record over and hear the ‘Extended’ version. It builds up slower and mercifully it comes down slower too. ‘Black Gloves’ doesn’t have any vocals and it’s very repetitive so at some point I may loose interest… but right now it’s rocking my world.

Here are links to watch videos for ‘Black Gloves’ and ‘The Making Of Black Gloves’ on YouTube. It’s one of those great videos we’re a very small budget has been used to stunning effect.

Goose MySpace Page

July 24, 2006

THE FLAMING LIPS – The W.A.N.D. (2x CD Singles)

The WAND CoverWarner Bros. W706CD1 / W706CD2: 17th July 2006
1. The W.A.N.D.
“Time after time those fanatical minds, try to rule all the world, telling us all it’s them, who’s in charge of it all”
2. The W.A.N.D. (Goldfrapp Supernaturalistic Remix)
“I got a trick, a magic stick, that will make them all fall, we got the power now motherfuckers, that’s where it belongs”
3. You Gotta Hold On

“There’s nothing to be afraid of, you’ve got to hold on ”
4. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (In Anatropous Reflex)
“It’s a very dangerous thing to do exactly what you want, because you cannot know yourself or what you’d really do”

The title of The Flaming Lips’ new single stands for “The Will Always Negates Defeat”. Which is reflected in its gloriously positive sound, and the fuzzed up Guitar riff that sounds like an army of killer Bees marching to the tune. The lyrics find Wayne railing against the warmongers by invoking the rather phallic image of a huge wizard’s Wand that he’s waving around. Goldfrapp’s remix is more in line with their earlier more ethereal moments rather than the more recent Glam Pop sounds.

‘You Gotta Hold On’ bears a striking resemblance to ‘Something In The Air’ by Thunderclap Newman. It even uses the line “When will you smell it, man it’s in the air”, but it suffers by comparison. Lastly is a new version of ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’ with only a lone Piano to accompany Wayne’s vocal. It’s testament to the quality of the song that when it’s stripped right down it still matches up to the original.

Here are links to watch videos for ‘Fight Test’, ‘Do You Realize??’, ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’, ‘The W.A.N.D.’ and ‘War Pigs (Live)’ on YouTube.

Also, click here to watch The Flaming Lips’ cover of ‘Suspicious Minds’ from a sadly departed C4 music show called Re:covered. I remember being blown away at the time and thanks to the wonders of YouTube I can see it again.

The Flaming Lips Website / The Flaming Lips MySpace Page

July 21, 2006

TAPES ‘N TAPES – Insistor (7″ Single)

Insistor CoverXL Recordings XLS231: 10th July 2006
1. Insistor
“Mickey the ol’ lithper, said hey there hey mister, cold razor’s edge will meet you in the light”
2. Frankfurt (Demo)
“1, 2, 3, 4, ah!”

‘Insistor’ has bizarre lyrics like “I’ll be your Badger” delivered in a manic Frank Black style voice.  The music reminded me of The Zutons, Sons and Daughters and a sweeter version of Dan Sartain.  This has been my first encounter with Tapes ‘n Tapes and now I can hear what all the fuss has been about.

B-side ‘Frankfurt’ is a fuzzed-up Garage-Rock thrasher that sits firmly in the ‘Demo’ category.  It’s not exactly essential listening.

Tapes ‘n Tapes are kindly giving both these tracks away free, and five others too.

Insistor mp3
50s Parking mp3
Beach Girls mp3
Cowbell mp3
Icedbergs mp3
Omaha mp3
Frankfurt (Demo) mp3

Click here to watch the video for ‘Insistor’ on YouTube.

Tapes ‘n Tapes Website / Tapes ‘n Tapes MySpace Page

July 21, 2006

RORY KINSELLA – Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll (Mix CD)

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll CoverLeisure Recordings LEICD001: 10th July 2006

This is a fifty-five track, hour long CD that chops together any songs that feature more than a hint of ‘Sex’, ‘Drugs’ or ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Some of the songs are so filthy and offensive it’s a miracle they we’re ever released in the first place. Like some kind of twisted symphony it comes in two movements. Tracks 1-27 concern the ‘Sex’ and tracks 28-55 concern the ‘Drugs’.

It mixes filthy mouthed comedians like Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor, Hip-Hop stars like Beastie Boys, Jay Z and De La Soul, Rockers like Jimi Hendrix, Primal Scream and Iggy Pop, Electronica like Coldcut, Peaches and The Prodigy, Reggae artists like Peter Tosh, Max Romeo and Jackie Brown and many others too numerous to mention… and of course Ian Dury.

The fact that it’s split in to so many tracks is annoying. Some are only seconds long and of course when you listen to them on your mp3 player you get loads of gaps. So it’s worth dusting off that old CD player thing and listening to it on that.

You can buy this CD from Piccadilly Records for only £6.99.