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obscure punk quasi-genre – you’ll have had to more expressionistic territory anchored around
reviews
FUCKED UP wear your collectorscum hat yourself to hear Gardiner’s bass and guitar – virtuoso, but ever
The Chemistry Of Common Life (Matador) the six 7”s compiled here. The obtainability has tasteful – and some playful flute that brings a
Fucked Up’s first long-
varied with each release (Mike Ashley will trade pleasingly exotic air to proceedings. ***RW
player for Matador tackles
Newcastle United for No Time, the last one) but
albums
the weight of the world,
the Reatard musical model, equal parts Ameri- ROLO TOMASSI
and then some, maintain-
can garage, commercial-flop Britpunk and zippy Hysterics (Hassle)
ing its brutal lyricism and
powerpop, stays on course throughout. ****NG
Rolo Tomassi’s highly an-
A GUY CALLED GERALD
caustic guitars. Twice ticipated full-length debut
LAMBCHOP
Black Secret Technology (A Guy Called
Born and Black Albino album smacks a little,
OH (ohio) (City Slang)
Gerald Records)
Bones capture the swells of melody buried I’m afraid, of a rush job,
deep beneath layers of reeling feedback, even Kurt Wagner and co following the whirlwind
Rescued from the kind of ‘cult status’ that
balancing pop choruses in their hardcore kapow. release their 10th album that was 2007. A little.
amounts to no-one being able to hear it by Gerald
You don’t expect a kick to the head to filtersin and once again it finds Tracks like Oh, Hello
Simpson himself, Black Secret Technology origi-
bongos, harmonica, operatic swells and an intro the man in the cap n’ Ghost, Nini and Scars rightly remind us why the
nally came out in 1995 on a now-forgotten label
on the flute: strangely beautiful and ragingly specs delving deep, deep, band received so much press attention last year,
called Juice Box and garnered high praise on
enticing, there’s more to Fucked Up than just an deep within (if that’s at but the rest is largely filler; there is, after all, a
release for its transplanting of fresh jungle tex-
abrasive moniker. *****EK all possible after the intro- limit to which the repeated mashing of keys and
tures onto his previously showcased excursions
spective Damaged). It’s another subtle affair, pedals can be classed as musical genius. Still,
in electronica. In 2008, it can’t truthfully be said
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND Kurt’s barely audible vocals drifting in and out of a few tracks stick out, which suggests they’ll do
to sound revolutionary, but like similar works
Memory And Humanity (Join Us) this ever-changing band’s luscious instrumenta- well from the record. **RE
from that era – Goldie, Omni Trio – holds water
tion. It will take a few listens but the results
as a perfectly enjoyable period piece. ****NG
Now releasing records on their own label,
referred to via a volley of platitudes equivalent to
are downright rewarding, as no-one conveys THE SEA AND CAKE
sadness, chaos and confusion amidst tranquillity Car Alarm (Thrill Jockey)
THE ALIENS
the MP who resigns to spend more time with his
quite like Lambchop. ***SP
Luna (Pet Rock)
family, FFAF’s fourth album pretty much sounds Fifteen years and eight albums down the line,
like their first. While preferable to the My Chemi- and Chicago veterans The Sea And Cake just
The Aliens return with a second album dripping
cal Foreigner mulch of their last one, this doesn’t
MOGWAI
want to, you know, relax. Car Alarm sets the
with an intriguing blend of atmospheric rock
amount to anything with much purpose, and one
The Hawk Is Howling (Wall Of Sound)
guitars to ‘chug’, and lets Sam Prekop’s breathy
and psychedelic pop. Luna’s sound is a complex
song (Maybe I Am?) features the lyrics “Maybe The sonic noise-peddlling vocals hang over each song like benevolent cloud
melting pot, at times resembling an ethereal
I’m an atheist / What if there’s no God?” Deep Scots return with their formations. It all sounds weirdly like French
Pink Floyd and the next minute pure, unabashed
like peaktime Alanis. **NG first studio album since MOR sophisticates Phoenix: polished, proficient,
Beach Boys. Thanks to these diverse influences,
early 2006. Having found tight and vaguely mature songs that, at a guess,
The Aliens have delivered a unique and undeni-
GREGORY & THE HAWK a happy compromise grow on you nicely after 20 or 30 listens. We
ably ambitious album. At times it’s slightly dis-
Moeni And Kitchi (FatCat) between the audio don’t get paid for these you know. ***WS
jointed, the eclectic sounds not always merging
hedonism of Young Team
as they should, but nevertheless, Luna shows
Gregory & The Hawk, aka New Yorker Meredith
and lulling ambience of Mr Beast, The Hawk is TV ON THE RADIO
great promise. ***RK
Godreau, had been, up until her discovery by
FatCat, without a label, manager or agent, yet
Howling reaches every corner of your psyche. Dear Science (4AD)
With uplifting melodies in The Sun Smells Too
THE ASH & THE OAK
managed to sell over 15,000 singles indepen- In a comparable manner
Loud, sombre Tracy-esque drum shuffles in I
The Ash & The Oak (Country Mile)
dently. Indicative then, of her popularity, and to latter-day Radiohead,
rightly so for her Sufjan Stevens-esque songs are
Love You, I’m Going To Blow Up Your School
New York experimentalists
Homegrown, quality
heartwarmingly beautiful. Delicate but quietly
and furious explosions of sound in The Precipe,
TV On The Radio redefine
folk from this laidback
fierce, Godreau’s is a refreshing talent that will
the band again prove themselves worthy musi-
what an independent rock
Newport mob. This is
no doubt spark an abundance of female singer-
cians. ****RE
song can encompass.
a very cohesive and
songwriters, all attempting to mimic this Spec- Their evolution continues
accomplished debut;
tor-like musical kitschness that so oft proves a
NEW ORDER
apace on this third album proper, flicking
the vocal harmonies
winning formula. ****RE
Double Disc Collectors Editions (Rhino)
from gothic overtones to joyful celebrations of
are lovely, the melodies
We don’t, round these parts, normally have sonics and trademark barbershop vocalisms
memorable. The album has a hazy, comfortable
HERMAN DUNE call to mull over 10 CDs in one review. Reissue in the space of mere eye-blinks. Crying and
feel and although the tunes are slow and gentle
Next Year In Zion (City Slang) champs Rhino have put paid to that by get- Family Tree are masterclasses in beautifully
they’re also full and rich, earthy tones and plenty
ting hold of the first five New Order albums, constructed heartstring prods minus cloying
of little touches filling up the silence. Well played
It’s a funny game, the singer-songwriter game.
remastering each one and adding to each a CD sentimentality. And if you’re not mesmerised
and with a timeless sound that makes you long
Resting so much on charisma, one man’s Neil
of remixes, flipsides and such. Bostin’! Let’s do by DLZ’s ever-building dark cloud portent, then
for warm summer nights. ****EG
Young is another’s David Gray. Opener My Home
Is Nowhere Without You is almost a brilliantly
this. Movement came out in 1981, eight tracks of you’re probably not listening correctly. ****AA
poppy yet dark postpunk by a youthful band still
BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY
conceived slice of Will Oldham-does-Tex-Mex
mourning the death of their former bandmate, THE WALKMEN
Is It The Sea? (Domino)
– gently lilting percussion, mariachi trumpets
and lyrics eloquently mining a well of misery
Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Even if Martin You & Me (Fierce Panda)
Live album from the self-appointed prince of
– but the rest of the album resolves itself into the
Hannett wasn’t on production, much of it would
Keeping the Americana style of A Hundred
Americana that’s lent a vaguely Caledonian
soundtrack to margarita night at Cliff Richard’s
still sound a lot like JD. Power, Corruption
Miles Off but recording it in a 1950s recording
flavour with the addition of Alex Neilson on
summer villa. Pleasant and painless on the way
And Lies (1983) is where they discover dance
studio with the warmth turned all the way up
drums and Edinburgh-based Harem Scarem on
down, but nothing that’s going to stick in your
– Arthur Baker producing this time – and
has improved The Walkmen’s sound no end and
fiddle, flute, banjo and accordion. Fans of the
head or your guts come the morning. ***RW
cements their foundation of bubbling synths
would suggest that this is what they were aiming
Prince are likely to be satisfied but, as there’s
meeting romantic guitar-pop. That said, ‘85’s
for all along. The gentle but meandering intros
nothing revelatory here, those few who might
THE HOT PUPPIES
Low-Life moves back towards rock slightly, but
and the gradual build up of speed throughout
be approaching this release as fans of the live
Blue Hands (THP)
on The Perfect Kiss and Subculture is no worse
the album works perfectly and exudes a sense
album in general (anyone?) might like to try
for it. Brotherhood (1986) is a guitar-centred
of mournful nostalgia. Buy it and remember hot
Fushitsusha’s Double Live (either of them) or
Aberystwyth’s finest are
album with kickass drum breaks that were
dusty summers. *****NR
Ted Nugent’s Double Live Gonzo first. ***IP
back with their latest
expertly utilised in CD2’s plethora of acid/house
instalment, perhaps their
thudders and snaking edits; post-New Order’s
THE CLASH
most accomplished effort
Ibiza revelations, these occupy the heart of 1989
Live at Shea Stadium (Sony BMG)
to date. Their 2006 debut
smash Technique. It sounds like a responsibility-
generated enough interest
No Clash releases for a
free summer even before World In Motion sees
for this album to be highly
while – then three all at
out CD2, and this whole reissue programme.
anticipated, thus the pressure was on. It is
once. The book: The Clash
Each ****NG
often the case where the followup albums fail to
By The Clash, The Clash
live up to the (sometimes unfair) expectations
Live: Revolution Rock
PAULA GARDINER TRIO
– however, this does not disappoint. Patience is
DVD, and a live album
Hot Lament (Edition)
required and some mainstream audiences may
recorded in 1982, when
overlook several tracks, however, songs like King
Head of the jazz course at
the Clash played to 60,000 people supporting
Of England and Clarinet Town should not be
the Royal Welsh College
The Who. The Clash hit the stage with London
ignored. ***AF
Of Music And Drama,
Calling and end their set with I Fought The Law,
Paula Gardiner is a pretty
via Police On My Back. The energy is relentless
JAY REATARD
big figure in Welsh jazz,
on the other 14 songs, and overall this live album
Matador Singles ‘08 (Matador)
which is, I suppose, a
is totally magnificent. *****DN
little like being a prime
Self-evidently the work of a vinyl junkie – you
mover on the Norwegian dubstep scene. Hot
pretty much have to be if you want to pull off
Lament begins with cool jazz, before moving into
such loving apery of the ‘Killed By Death’ hyper-
BUZZ 48
OCTOBER2008.indd 48 25/9/08 3:26:45 pm
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