Monday, 27 July 2009


Since I reviewed the first Mayfair Set single, one of their members, Dee Dee, has signed up to Sub Pop with her main project Dum Dum Girls. And we know what this means: if there's one independent label in the world that still has a lot of prestige after 20 years of life is them, so she will be pretty popular by the time they publish her first album and the single with the same name in a couple of months. Blank Dogs, on his side, has also released his last album, Under and Under, that has also got him more popularity.
Now they come back again with a new EP, this time a six song 12' that takes a step further that mix of 80s pop they established with the first release. And if they keep on doing these beautiful songs together this side project will probably get to be as notorious as both their other projects. Junked!, the opening track is close to K Records and Dark House and Cease to Be sound like a proto-shoegaze demo. And in all these songs we can see how Dee Dee's voice sounds every time more comfortable and Blank Dog's bass lines some of the most imaginative since the British post-punk invasion.

The Mayfair Set - Dark House.mp3


It was the beginning of 2008 when I first got on contact with Memory Cassette, a mysterious band with a blog that was uploading there their EPs to download for free. There's a total lack of information about this project, not even the names of its members. The only info we have is that some of all its members are also part of Weird Tapes and Memory Tapes. Yes, everything about tapes, but even with their obsession about this cool again format, it has not been until this month that they finally published something in a physical format and, guess what, it's not been a tape. The first release of Memory Cassette is a 500 limited 7 inch with four songs previously given away for free at their website and still available there, so not in it for the money, for sure. The four songs here include my particular favourite one, Asleep at a Party, a beautiful and sad shoegaze song that takes you back to the Slowdive days. But the single is completed with three more upbeat songs, closer to the glory days of Darla, being Surfin' the most likely to be played at a party. Even they say this EP is sold out you can still find copies at Rough Trade London.
And to celebrate this release, more free songs online: A remix EP called Call & Responses with four mixes of two of the songs of this single by the likes of CFCF or their own side project Weird Tapes. You can find all these and more at:

Released 13/07/09

Memory Cassete - Asleep At A Party.mp3


Josh McIntyre, from Pirate/Rock duo, posted one afternoon a link with some new songs he had done solo in the Gorilla vs Bear blog and was amazed when he got home that night and found out he had 800 plays and offers from record labels. This after less than a day of life of his myspace profile. And some weeks after the existence of his solo project, Little Girls, it had already eclipsed his main band. Two EPs later, Thrills (already sold out) and Tambourine, he released a 7" single on the omnipresent Blank Dogs label Capture Tracks, and the myth is already bigger. The delayed released, due to pressing problems, just got me home last week and consists of two songs close to the sound he's been following in his previous material; shoegaze punk-surf with hard to understand lyrics, if there are any, that melt in the background of those playful guitars and rhythms. Simple and infective.

http:Little Girls - Youth Tunes.mp3

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Low has always been one of these few bands that have never disappointed me with any of the releases back to the day when I discovered them with that hypnotic cover of Transmission in a Joy Division covers record. I was very sad the day I found out Zak Sally had quit Low. This happened just after Alan's public meltdown during The Great Destroyer tour, that has to be canceled just after visiting Barcelona, where everybody could feel the tension that something was not going right. And then Zak disappeared. And only appeared again to create his own publisher, La Mano, and release some of his comics and some of others. And when nobody expected him to come back to the music world the sudden news of a new 7 single under his own name just came weeks after its release by Sub Pop.
I really didn't know what to expect as I'd never heard his voice before and after listening to Why We Hide, I have to say that you should better forget he ever was in Low. This song is kind of a reaction to Low's music or, maybe, if you want to make connections, it could continue at the point where he left the band. Although Low went back to the minimal and slow routines after the noisy and upbeat The Great Destroyer, we could say that Sally continues this noisy way to hand out a raw and grungy song that looks back to the first Sub Pop catalogue. the B side, When I said i Missed You I Just Meant My Aim Was Off (The Quiet Life) it's even more raw and primitive and it's ending looks like another reaction to Low's mysticism, filling in the last seconds with swears and shouts. the album is coming in some weeks.

Released 13/07/09


Many artists have been trying to make dance music with traditional instruments, from punk funk to even disco, but Django Django, who also make music you can dance to, have nothing to do with it. They basically use traditional instruments, repetitive percussion and pastoral and acoustic elements but doesn't sound like a bunch of hippies as they dress these things on a 4x4 rhythm. Both songs could be mixed in a techno session by, I don't know, Villalobos, without being difficult for him to find the right tempo; but both songs could also be reinterpret by, I don't know, Fleet Foxes, without being difficult for them to adapt them.
OK, you are probably confused by now but if I say they are the closest somebody has been to The Beta Band savoir faire, you will probably understand it better.
Originally from Scotland but placed in Dalston, London, they released this first single in Shadazz, a small record label from Glasgow that has previously released records by El Hombre Trajeado or James Orr Complex. Two songs: Storm, with a repetitive drum tempo and a vocal melody that takes you back to the 60s Americana and Love's Dart, with a more subtle clicking percussion and a westerny guitar loop. Both songs are great and could be loved by many people who enjoy from classic rock to modern composition.

Released 13/08/09

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


I Remember buying Passion Pit's Sleepyhead and Solid Gold's Get Over It at the end of last year and thought both singles were really summery to be released in Winter and promised great expectations for the future of both bands, both to publish their first LPs in 2009. First came Solid Gold's Bodies of Water and the disappointment was not huge but the record was more new-romantic revival style than I expected. Then, Passion Pit released their first proper LP, Manners, and I thought that Solid Gold's was not that bad in comparison. And now that is officially summer, Solid Gold release their second single, Bible Thumper, maybe their second best song in the album and a song that should be played in every outdoors disco between Phoenix's Lisztomania and Jack Penate's Tonight's Today. 80s synths, 80s choruses, 80s beats and noughties revival production, and a much better song than anyone from Passion Pit's overrated album. One of these days I should learn not to believe the hype.

Released 13/07/09

Solid Gold - Bible Thumper.mp3

Saturday, 11 July 2009


This 10 inch is the first official Girls release in the UK, even the main track was first published last year as a 7 inch single in the USA and it's been sold out for ages. Since its first release they have been getting more and more popular thanks to the internet blogging effect and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart recommendation in every single interview they've offered for the last 7 months. They've also toured Europe and played popular festivals all around. Everything with just two really limited sold out singles that have never been available in Europe. This is the power of the media and internet these days. Two good singles, some good words, and you are the next big thing. And to celebrate it, Girls release this song again, one of their best, with a new B-side, the expendable Solitude. They still have not recorded their first record yet, or at least that's what they said to a friend of mine after one of their London gigs, but they have plenty of songs to do it so judging for what you can hear in their concerts. The only doubt is if they are going to be up to the expectations.

Released 06/08/09

Girls - Hellhole Ratrace.mp3

Thursday, 9 July 2009


Julie Doiron's been releasing music since the beginning of the 90s, first with Eric's Trip and later as a solo artist. I remember the first Eric's Trip releases, back then in the first Sup Pop glory days, mixing quiet acoustic songs with more noisy indie songs. Then they split and Julie started publishing solo records, mixing acoustic solo efforts with more band based recordings, but mostly sad intimate songs about friendship, love and dancing alone. And this year, after the reunion of Eric's Trip for some live shows, she came back with a new solo album where you can feel the influence of this reunion in the final sound of these recordings but, sadly, with compositions that do not reach the greatness of her previous two albums. In this shared 7 inch, Julie re-records two of those songs, Oh, Heavy Snow and It's Nice To Come Home, in a more direct, raw and stripped down version. On the B-Side, Calm Down, Is Monday, a Canadian band that is nothing else than Fred Squire from Blue Heeler with Julie herself. They have been collaborating for a while in different projects such as the superb Mount Eerie's last album Lost Wisdom or when they tour live as Julie's live band but they play together with this alias when they perform Fred's compositions mainly. Their sound is not so far from Julie's own or Okkervil River's, who also collaborated with Julie before. They are going to release a full album next autumn.

Calm Down, It's Monday - Sweetest May.mp3

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Hello again. it's been a long time since my last post, not that I forgot or don't care anymore but I'm on holidays in a place with no internet connection and nice weather so not much in front of the computer and not aware enough of new releases. It's summer time and nothing better than a good compilation for those summer nights and the one I'm covering here is the last one from the series The World's Lousy With Ideas and the first one that is a whole LP and not a 7" single. Almost Ready Records presents this volume 8 of the series with some of the most talked about bands of the season, even more in this blog, and they actually hand out some of their best tunes yet. Vivian Girls' Lake House makes me be really impatient about hearing their soon to be new record; Blank Dogs' Ages Ago is close to be radio friendly; Times New Viking's A Lot of Pai and Thee Oh Sees' Schwag Riffles are contagious and the rest of tunes are also up to the expectations. All the tracks here are exclusive to this compilation and a must have. And it's just released on vinyl so throw away your CD player if you haven't done it yet.

Vivian Girls - Lake House.mp3

Times New Viking - A Lot of Pai.mp3