Black Country, New Road – For the first time

By gum, we’ve got ourselves a scene. Sure, it’s been a scene for a couple years now, but I’m sure there’s a scene in Topeka that’s gone just as long if not longer. This scene’s gotten too big for its britches, and it’s hardly a scene anymore, it’s a country. When it cries for independence,… Continue reading Black Country, New Road – For the first time

Japan’s Quiet Life Gets Another Listen

Released in 1979, Japan’s third album Quiet Life marked a stylistic turning point from the London group’s glam-rock beginnings and the electronic, experimental art-pop they’d pursue in the early ‘80s. On March 5th, BMG will release an expanded CD edition of the album, appending B-sides, non-album singles, alternate mixes and an entire live show recorded… Continue reading Japan’s Quiet Life Gets Another Listen

Adulkt Life – Book of Curses

Every once in a while, recombinant DNA experiments pay off. Male Bonding was a London garage punk outfit with a promising sound that often came up tantalizingly short on the key dynamics of hooks and transgression. Enter Chris Rowley – onetime member of Huggy Bear, UK standard bearers for the riot grrrl movement helmed stateside… Continue reading Adulkt Life – Book of Curses

Endless Digital Birthdays – Becoming a Body

I think there’s a neighborhood or damp-in-the-night cobble street in the UK that cranks out clay schizophrenic models that mold and shape into Escher appropriations by Dali. The monstrous “it” blobs seething through closed storefronts while Jekyll and Hyde scream for their lives. The subterranean workshop makes these models with Talking Heads records and sheet… Continue reading Endless Digital Birthdays – Becoming a Body

Stray Kills to Fill in the Gaps

An assortment of B-sides and rare tracks from the first ten years of The Kills are being gathered for a tidy release called Little Bastards, out Dec. 11 via the Domino Recording Company. Assembled non-chronologically, the 20 tracks are culled from debut EP Blood Pressures in 2002 up through 2011’s “Future Starts Slow” single, oddly… Continue reading Stray Kills to Fill in the Gaps

The Psychedelic Furs – Made of Rain

The Psychedelic Furs are what you might call a “legacy” act. They’ve been around forever, since the late ’70s, and they found much success in the early ’80s with the albums Talk Talk Talk, Forever Now and Mirror Moves (Robert Smith of The Cure once cited Mirror Moves as one of his favorite albums). Sometimes “legacy” acts rest on their laurels… Continue reading The Psychedelic Furs – Made of Rain

Smoke Fairies – Darkness Brings the Wonders Home

Smoke Fairies play the real folk blues. At first glance, that’s likely the last thing you’d expect out of these two almost stereotypically prim-and-proper looking British lasses, which is part of what makes them even cooler. Upon emerging from Chichester in southern England some 13 years ago, Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies have conjured some… Continue reading Smoke Fairies – Darkness Brings the Wonders Home

Wire Polishes Off a Batch of Strays

Originally intended for release on Record Store Day, now that that’s been further postponed and subdivided Wire are saying screw it and going ahead with the wide release of their new album 10:20 on June 19, via their pinkflag label. Although as is the case with several other Wire albums, “new” requires an asterisk. A… Continue reading Wire Polishes Off a Batch of Strays

The Psychedelic Furs Unpack Their Umbrellas

Who would’ve realistically expected the Psychedelic Furs to serve up a superior quality album in 2020? Yet the three songs offered so far in advance  of the July 31 release of Made of Rain – “Don’t Believe,” “You’ll Be Mine” and “No One” – find the Furs tapping into the shadowy post-punk bag of tricks that made… Continue reading The Psychedelic Furs Unpack Their Umbrellas

ALA.NI – ACCA

ALA.NI brings starlet presence to misconceived miscellanies in her sophomore album ACCA, resulting in aural sensation that keeps you well fed. After proving her worth with the suave, tin-can radio approach on her 2017 debut, You & I, this time around she has an all new spunk that makes ACCA sound totally fresh and even… Continue reading ALA.NI – ACCA

A Girl Called Eddy

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Not a Kid Anymore: A Girl Called Eddy is a Woman Called Erin. And She’s Finally Back. For the mastering process for the songs on Been Around, her second album as A Girl Called Eddy, Erin Moran took the recordings to London for Frank Arkwright to hone to perfection at Abbey Road Studios, the facility… Continue reading A Girl Called Eddy

Ben Watt Surveys the Storm Damage

Ben Watt, photographed at the Asylum Chapel in London for his upcoming album “Storm Damage”

Ben Watt released his first single in 1981, produced by Kevin Coyne, followed by a five-song collaboration with Robert Wyatt in ’82 and his first solo album, North Marine Drive, in ’83. He then put his solo career on hold for nearly two decades when he joined forces with his now-wife Tracey Thorn to form… Continue reading Ben Watt Surveys the Storm Damage

Comet Gain – Fireraisers Forever!

When we last heard from Comet Gain, the long-running London collective was in an introspective and sedate mood – relatively speaking. While 2015’s Paperback Ghosts had its fair share of raucous moments, ringleader David Christian foregrounded the gentler, somber tunes that previously lurked on the periphery. The new Fireraisers Forever! flips the balance. The notion… Continue reading Comet Gain – Fireraisers Forever!

And Here They Are…Again…Wire Return

Post-punk legends (and Stomp and Stammer favorites) Wire will dialyze their kidney bingos once more on January 24 when the foursome releases Mind Hive on its own pinkflag label. It’s risky to draw many conclusions from a single track by this crew, but advance single “Cactused” finds Colin Newman and company in fine late ’80s… Continue reading And Here They Are…Again…Wire Return

Girl, Where You Been?

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For a long time, many fans had resigned themselves to the thought that – after a flurry of EPs and a lovely, critically-lauded, self-titled debut album produced by Richard Hawley that has gone on to be regarded as a great lost classic of sophisticated pop music (think Bacharach, Carole King, Carpenters, etc.) – we might… Continue reading Girl, Where You Been?

Shakespears Sister Pairs Up Again

Shakespears Sister is a name that hasn’t occupied our headspace in quite a long time. But lo and behold, Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit are back with their first single together in 27 years, “All the Queen’s Horses,” one of two new songs included on Singles Party, a just-released compilation album also including 16 remastered… Continue reading Shakespears Sister Pairs Up Again

Bat For Lashes Goes Missing on New Album

When last we heard from Bat For Lashes, Natasha Khan was a bride mourning the loss of her husband-to-be, whose death in a car accident ended their marriage before it began. Come Sept. 6, she’ll reemerge with Bat for Lashes’ fifth album, Lost Girls (AWAL Recordings). Like Two Suns before it, Lost Girls showcases Khan’s… Continue reading Bat For Lashes Goes Missing on New Album

Babylon

Franco Rosso’s film premiered at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival without the benefit of subtitles to clarify the Jamaican Creole dialect called patois, from the 17th century when West African slaves were exposed to English language vernacular. As an example of racist reaction to Jamaican transplants and their passion for reggae, National Front graffiti abounds in… Continue reading Babylon

The Mekons – Deserted

The Mekons mean business this time. You’ll need to rewind to the mid ’90s and I (Heart) Mekons for the last case of this motley crew extending such an olive branch to those outside their circle of devoted fans. That’s not to say The Mekons have phoned it in the past 20 years – far… Continue reading The Mekons – Deserted

Pet Shop Boys – Agenda

Aging, past-their-prime, English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have digitally released a new four song EP aptly titled Agenda. Out April 12 on vinyl, it features nostalgic/retro-sounding, catchy-as-hell New Wave pop tunes with lame/snarky lyrics, chock full of cheap political rhetoric and propaganda disguised as ironic, cheeky humor. For each of the four songs released,… Continue reading Pet Shop Boys – Agenda

Let the Good Times Roll

Let the Good Times Roll: My Life in Small Faces, Faces and The Who By Kenney Jones [Thomas Dunne Books] “Even to this day I still can’t properly get to grips with how quickly it all happened,” writes Kenney Jones in his new autobiography Let the Good Times Roll. “At the age of 15 I… Continue reading Let the Good Times Roll

Nobody Told Me!

Nobody Told Me! My Life with The Yardbirds, Renaissance & Other Stories By Jim McCarty with Dave Thompson [Lulu.com] Jim McCarty, drummer and founding member of The Yardbirds, offers an engrossing account of his band’s tumultuous history and succession of legendary lead guitarists (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page) in his new autobiography Nobody Told… Continue reading Nobody Told Me!

Steven Wilson

Element of Surprise: Steven Wilson Puts the Bone In In some ways, the 2017 album To the Bone introduced a more user-friendly Steven Wilson. Certainly, Wilson’s fifth solo full-length features a good deal of the musically ambitious progressive rock styles that led to his being named Prog Rock King by the 2015 Progressive Music Awards… Continue reading Steven Wilson

Holly Golightly Back With Her Old Chaps for New LP

Since moving to a woodsy plot of land in Madison County, Georgia, Londoner Holly Golightly has mainly focused on caring for horses (and other animals) and recording/performing with her partner Lawyer Dave as Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs. Their most recent album, Clippety Clop, was even a thematic platter all about horses! But every now… Continue reading Holly Golightly Back With Her Old Chaps for New LP

More Blumpies Coming From Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons are one of the most calculated, trite, safe, phony baloney “folk” bands out there. They, along with a few copycat bands riding their coattails, have quite frankly bastardized the folk genre and turned it into corporate insurance commercial background music. Maybe while Marcus Mumford rhymes words like “fire” with “desire” (what a… Continue reading More Blumpies Coming From Mumford & Sons

Public Image Ltd

Fat ‘n’ Happy: Leading a Revived Public Image Ltd, John Lydon Keeps Smiling in the Face of Adversity “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” With that question posed to an audience at San Francisco’s Winterland on January 14, 1978, visibly unhappy vocalist Johnny Rotten (neé Lydon) ended his tenure with the Sex Pistols. Not… Continue reading Public Image Ltd

More Kicks From the Kinks Kabinet

There’s been lots of Kinks news lately, but it’s all been positive, so that’s fine with us! And here’s more. First up, a 50th Anniversary Edition of the band’s beloved 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society will be issued on October 26. Various configurations of the re-release will be available, from… Continue reading More Kicks From the Kinks Kabinet

The Iggy/Underworld Encounter, and Why You Need It

Among other things, Iggy Pop is a masterful raconteur and a hysterical comedian, two God-given talents for which he’s rarely given credit or commendation. The blokes of the British electronic endeavor called Underworld clearly admire said traits, however, as they basically cornered Jimmy O in a London hotel room two years ago to record a… Continue reading The Iggy/Underworld Encounter, and Why You Need It