Genre pick of the week Cover of Tennis Court / Lowtalkin by Menace Beach.

Menace Beach

Tennis Court / Lowtalkin

Menace Beach are Ryan Needham (vocals, guitar), Liza Violet (vocals / guitar / synths), Nestor Matthews (drums), Matt Spalding (bass) and MJ (guitar) plus a revolving cast of friends and acquaintances.

Having served notice of their intent with the ‘Lowtalker’ EP earlier this year, Menace Beach release a double A-side ‘Tennis Court’ / ‘Lowtalkin’ on Memphis Industries.

After several untreated breakdowns and a subsequent rash decision to relocate to Leeds, Ryan and Liza shacked up with MJ (Hookworms) to re-imagine their crackly 8-track demos. Joining them on the session were friends Nestor Matthews (Sky Larkin), Matt Spalding and Robert Lee (Pulled Apart By Horses), who fought their way through Liza’s rats nest of cables and homemade synth modules to blast through the songs during another all-nighter, having so much fun in the process that they all decided to stick around.

Both tracks were recorded, produced and mixed in the Spring of this year with MJ at his Suburban Home studios in Leeds. Friend of band Lan Mcardle of Joanne Gruesome was on hand to lend her admirably shouty pipes to both tracks (the line “with nothing in it” in ‘Tennis Court’, and the “lowtalkin’” yell that propels the track of the same name).

Where ‘Tennis Court’ shows off Ryan and Liza’s inclination towards fuzzed out, psyched up melody, ‘Lowtalkin’ is a sub-two minute blast of exhilarating noise.

Stereogum had this to say: “It’s been a while since I’ve heard old-school indie-pop that sounded quite this vital, and I suggest that you listen to the song…”

Limited to 500 clear vinyl 7”s with download code.

Over the last decade and a half they've built a trove of eight full length albums, well over a dozen compilation appearances, digital-only rarity releases and multiple singles; a feat that many modern bands would certainly find daunting. They've impressively managed to grow this lengthy body of work whilst building a solid underground fanbase in the USA, aided by extensive touring with old psyche buddies: THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE & THE LILYS whilst still remaining solidly underground, cult band.

The A4 sound is a hypnotic hybrid of several different genres filtered through the kaleidoscope of all things psychedelic, "Krautrock", "Shoegaze", folk and even 70s "Cosmic" country rock and despite never shying away from wearing their influences squarely on their sleeves, it’s their longevity that has matured them to the point of originality rather than simply homage. It is that same longevity that has enabled them to do whatever they want, when they want, allowing them the freedom to experiment, which certainly makes up the foundation for anything truly "psychedelic".


Ltd LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl.

The long awaited follow up to 2010’s Full English Beat Breakfast, 'Last Man On Earth' is Big Boss Man's 4th album. The British four piece return with a new set of songs and recordings that take a fresh approach to the BBM sound - their hip hybrid of Latin, Jazz, Soul, Psych and ’60s/’70s drenched R&B is now expanded with the added dimension of a brass section and guest vocalists adding to the further sonic and rhythmic explorations from the band; taking us on a one heck of a brand new trip!

'Aardvark' a jazz dance floor filler, rush released fresh from the studio mix sessions as a free download in April 2014 was the first track to be taken from the new album, immediately receiving strong radio support from BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2, including multiple spins by Craig Charles on his Funk & Soul Show, who declared that "I've been a big fan of Big Boss Man for many years. Big Boss Man ‘Aardvark’. Double Groovy!" Additional radio plays came also from Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft, Cerys Matthews, Chris Hawkins and Huey Morgan at the stations.

Reference Points: The Bongolian, Soul, Funk, Latin Soul, Boogaloo, pop Hammond Grooves, Jazz, Beat, Mod Jazz.
File Under: Rock/Pop, Funk, Dance, Boogaloo, Soul, Jazz, Mod.


LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

Bitchin Bajas

Bitchin Bajas

    Bitchin Bajas have been around the world in five years, chasing sonics through space and time and coming up with a lot of conclusions along their discographical path. Always they push forward, recklessly consuming processes in order to realize their own works - but the sound and the music regularly emerges with tranquil essence, bringing them and their listeners into a shared experience.

    Bitchin Bajas’ output has been remarkably diverse in search of this singular goal, which makes for great listening across multiple albums. With the release of this new album they have mapped and traversed their own ecosystem as they journey in search of the aural epiphany, the true unknowing.

    Bitchin Bajas use their many methods to attain perfect flow throughout the 76 minutes of this self-titled album. Acoustic is the beginning. Eastern tonalities relocate Bitchin Bajas farther inside the source, finding the timeless time from long ago and slowly sliding via fader until then is now, until acoustic goes analogue.

    The space found on ‘Bitchin Bajas’ was located with organ, synthesizer, winds, xylophone and autoharp, employing a 1” 8-track tape machine to the fullest extent. Additional contributions from strings, keys, guitar and field recordings helped make ‘Bitchin Bajas’ everything that it is.


    2xCassette Info: The trip through ‘Bitchin Bajas’ took in all kinds of sonic terrain. When it was done, an additional mix was made, omitting the intense peaks of the album to create a ‘Relaxation Version’. This mix has been added to the cassette version only, making a double tape set.

    'Dark Pool' is the new studio album from Black Rain, the project’s first in 18 years. Produced in New York City by Stuart Argabright, Black Rain’s founder and figurehead, 'Dark Pool' is a work of hard-edged sonic fiction rooted in cyberpunk's quintessential neo-noir cityscape / dataspace but projecting into a farther future of biotechnological advancement and alienation. Partly inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick protégé K.W. Jeter (particularly 1996’s 'Edge Of Human', which picked up where Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner left off), and Paolo Bacigalupi’s 2009 novel The Windup Girl, a vision of 23rd century Thailand plagued by genetic and economic terrorism, 'Dark Pool’'s humid dystopia is also acutely Ballardian in its vision of manmade and natural worlds encroaching upon each other: a vivid psychogeography of half-submerged high-rises and hidden jungle laboratories.

    Stuart Argabright first landed in New York in 1978. By day, he worked as a landscape gardener for the upscale likes of Rock Hudson and Bob Dylan, while at night involving himself in all manner of subcultural activity. He co-founded seminal no wave minimalists Ike Yard (whose early 1980s work has been cited as an influence by the likes of Kode9, Young Echo and Silent Servant), collaborated with the late Rammellzee in futurist hip-hop outfit Death Comet Crew and as Dominatrix scored a bona fide club hit with the downtown electro classic ‘The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight’ (1984).

    In 2013 Black Rain released an EP of live recordings, 'Protoplasm', on BEB. Three of the EP’s four tracks appear here on 'Dark Pool' in radically revised and expanded form: the stuttering ribofunk of ‘Endourban’ is now anchored by ominous string pads faintly redolent of Argabright’s labelmates Raime, while ‘Data River’ revisits the accelerated beat-stream of 'Black Rain'’s 1996 album Nanarchy, and the low-slung ‘Protoplasm’ has evolved into a sprawling, syncopated techno epic - the sound of red dawn rising on an illegal replicant rave. A further seven new productions feature. ‘Burst’, its title perhaps a nod to Sogo Ishii’s 1982 biker gang saga Burst City, harks back to the scrap-metal-banging brutalism of 'Black Rain' mk.1; ‘Xibalba Road Metamorph’, the album's angry, anguished centrepiece, externalises the sadness and self-loathing of Jeter’s oppressed post-human workforce. ‘Night In New Chiang Saen’ reimagines dub as the viral product of one of AgriGen’s morally suspect scientific initiatives in The Windup Girl, before ‘Who Will Save The Tiger?’ calls upon spidery, Metalheadz-esque breakbeats and wailing guitar drones to summon a 23rd century Ark. Vocals (on 'Profusion' and 'Profusion II') from Zoe Zanias (Keluar), and a brief spoken intervention from Sean Young (who of course played Rachel in Blade Runner) are simply the most audible manifestations of a dejected feminine presence that haunts the entire album. For all its textual references, 'Dark Pool' is a visceral and straight-talking affair: its bodyhammer rhythms and brooding sound design require no explanation for their impact to be felt.

    After a trio of releases as potent as 'Misery Is A Butterfly', '23' and 'Penny Sparkle', it shouldn't come as a surprise that the new Blonde Redhead album, 'Barragán', sounds so confident.

    There is continuity in the presence of producer/mixer/engineer Drew Brown, who was a key member of the team during the making of 'Penny Sparkle', and who made a number of telling suggestions along the way this time around. It was Drew who persuaded the band to head out to Key Club Recording in Benton Harbour, Michigan, where they encountered an amazing trove of vintage synthesisers – it was, in Kazu's words, "analogue heaven."

    When Blonde Redhead formed back in 1993 – initially a quartet, but, from 1995 onwards, the indivisible trio of Italian / Canadian twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace and Japanese sometime art student Kazu Makino – their music was obscured by their associations with post-No Wave art noise. The name was taken from a song by Arto Lindsay's short-lived band DNA and back then, these references suggested a band just out of step with fashion, doomed innocents stumbling into an inhospitable post-grunge landscape.

    But they're still here. And after 21 years it's suddenly obvious that Blonde Redhead have never made records for fame, or for money, or to ape their teenage heroes, or to indulge any of the dumb, ephemeral impulses that clog up the blogosphere with dumb, ephemeral music. They're making music, simply, because they have to.

    From the opening title track of 'Barragán', where acoustic guitars sway lazily alongside the flute-like tones of a Chamberlin synthesizer, it’s obvious that these songs breathe. The melodies occasionally flirt with folk music; outdoor sounds, including a suite of field recordings that Drew made in London’s Kew Gardens, are woven gently into the mix; and there is the odd moment where the band lets down their guard and leave a charming imperfection in the finished article. “Maybe we should work on it a little bit more” murmurs Kazu, midway through the spare, slinky “Cat On Tin Roof.” Tracks like “Dripping,” “The One I Love,” and “Defeatist Anthem” have all the emotional punch of previous high water marks like “Elephant Woman” and “23” – they just feel slightly less calculated, more serendipitous. And “No More Honey” has as much soar and swagger as anything else in the Blonde Redhead catalogue.


    Darryl says: With subtle and brooding guitars and occasional hazy electronics, Blonde Redhead return as classy as ever.


    Ltd LP Info: Limited Edition vinyl package with accompanying "Peel and Reveal" sticker insert.

    From Toronto, Jennifer Castle writes folk songs about friendship, love and heartbreak.

    ‘Pink City’ is a stirringly beautiful album every bit a step forward from 2011’s ‘Castlemusic’. Its barer arrangements - often just piano, guitar and voice with string arrangements from Owen Pallet - highlight just how good a songwriter Castle is. Her singing has an intuitive style, not always following the expected melody but soaring along on its own current.

    Greil Marcus wrote in The Believer that Castle “reaches a pitch of mystical transport so gorgeously ethereal she seems to drift off into lands that don’t appear on any map.”


    Darryl says: Folky tales of friendship, love and heartbreak from Toronto's Jennifer Castle. Delicate and ethereal sparseness.

    Wild Billy Chyldish & CTMF

    Punk Rock Enough For Me / Zero Emission

    Wild Billy Childish & CTMF are back with a new 7” with 2 exclusive tracks. 'Punk Rock Enough For Me' is the A-side, it's a classic Childish composition giving you a long list of things that are 'Punk Rock' enough for him. The B-side features Ju Ju on lead vocals and it's a proper 1977 punk romp, reminiscent of Alternative TV at their best. This is a limited edition pressing on Brown vinyl.

    They are currently recording a few more tracks for their third album 'Acorn Man' which will be out on Damaged Goods later this year. Lookout for a more singles coming out around the world soon, Squoooge and Amphetamine Reptile for a start.

    Tashi Dorji

    Tashi Dorji

      First release on Ben Chasny's (Six Organs Of Admittance) label. Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Access to any music created outside the country is limited, as are most cultural options, given the geologically isolation of the country. How Dorji went from a life so remote to developing his innovative and revelatory guitar style is mind-boggling.

      Yearning for access to the world outside, Dorji pursued and obtained a fully-paid scholarship to a liberal arts school in Asheville, NC, in his early twenties. He’s since settled in there (save a short stint in Maine), soaking up a vast array of music, most notably the works of Derek Bailey and John Zorn. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world.

      After a handful of cassettes on various labels, Dorji presents his first proper album on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and inspired by spreading word of Dorji’s talents. The six compositions here are hand-picked by Dorji and Chasny as the most representative and far-reaching of his recordings. Taken together, they announce a new guitar music unlike anything being made today.

      • The first Earth album to feature vocals since Kurt Cobain sang on their debut EP!

      • Legendary vocalist Mark Lanegan (Queens Of The Stone Age, Screaming Trees) sings on two songs on the album.

      • Sub Pop recording artists Rose Windows’ vocalist Rabia Shaheen Qazi delivers a incredible vocal performance on the song:“From The Zodiacal Light”

      • Renowned guitarist: Brett Netson (Built to Spill) is the featured 2nd guitarist on the entire album.

      EARTH's career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from "the riff". This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume and feedbacking drone or via a sparse unravelling take on folk.

      With Primitive And Deadly, EARTH's tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to come full circle twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music. For the first time in their diverse career, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment.

      As much as Carlson's guitar has always been the focal point of EARTH's music, it's been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is the prominence of guest vocalists Mark Laneganand Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of EARTH into something approaching traditional pop structures.

      On "Rooks Across the Gates"Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. "From the Zodiacal Light," meanwhile, takes a late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour.

      This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where EARTH recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).

      Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is EARTH reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock.


      Darryl says: The seventh album from the mighty Earth brings forth huge monolithic slabs of drone noise, and for the first time since their debut EP sporadic guest vocals! Lung crushingly brilliant!!


      2xLtd LP Info: Gatefold 2LP version contains one exclusive bonus track: “Badgers’ Bane", Black Vinyl European Exclusive.

      T.G. Elias

      Granny Takes Her Last Trip

      "Plymothian troubador TG Elias, aka Tom Elias, has self-produced, written and recorded four solo albums of remarkable quality, with a forthcoming release on Liverpool label Viper Records. The larger than life songwriter brings a sublime blend of Blues, Folk, Country, Soul and Gospel to his unforgettable performances. Backed by blues legend Harmonica Pat and the soothing angelic harmonies of Lucy Ridges, Tom has been described as “something of a folk genius, combining intercontinental sounds with his own brand of homespun romance."



      The first single to be taken from the Flowers’ album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do is “Joanna”, a song about someone suffering from a depression so deep that has become part of their identity. “Joanna” was the second song recorded in their sessions with producer Bernard Butler but the first where everything just clicked and the band knew they had a working creative relationship. “He made it sound full of vitality and excitement”, says Rachel, Flowers’ lead singer. “We were thrilled with the results and couldn’t wait to get back and record the rest of the album with him.”

      Flowers are Sam Ayres (Guitar/Synths), Rachel Kenedy (Vocals/Bass/Synths) and Jordan Hockley (Drums), brought together by Sam’s advert for a singer to make music like "Madonna through a broken tape machine". Drawing a line between the joyous fuzzpop of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and the minimalist brilliance of Young Marble Giants, the reception at their live shows has been nothing less than rapturous, with audiences blown away by their intensity and compelled by their sparse beauty: Jordan a physical yet inventive presence behind the drum kit, Sam a constant blur of kinetic energy on guitar and Rachel utterly still. It is this dynamic that has been captured over the fourteen deceptively simple pop songs that comprise Flowers debut, Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do out September 8th via Fortuna Pop! (UK).

      Most of the songs weigh in at less than three minutes, a deliberate strategy for a band that seeks strength in simplicity. “Our songs tend to be quite short - if there's something that doesn't need to be there, we take it out. Hoping for just the best bits,” explains Rachel. “We love all kinds of things, Ramones, Madonna, The Misfits, Iggy & The Stooges, Joy Division, all sorts! The album doesn't sound too much like any of those, but the songs are short and simple pop songs, and all those artists we love write songs like that.”

      Indeed, Flowers’ genius is in their ability to convey a remarkable amount of emotion with minimal instrumentation. Rachel possesses one of those beautiful pop voices to die for, with echoes of Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins), Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) and Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), whilst Sam’s guitars chime and churn with an incredible intensity and Jordan’s drums rip right through with urgency and precision, resulting in a beautiful album that conjures up a strange and entrancing sort of magic. Haunting, mesmerizing and intense, Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do is an impressive calling card from a sensational new band.


      Ltd 7" Info: Coloured vinyl 7” Ltd to 500 copies.

      Free Time

      Esoteric Tizz

      Free Time’s new 7” for Underwater Peoples pairs the saturnine “Guess Work” with the uptempo flip “Esoteric Tizz”. The double A-side presents a unique juxtaposition of form, a spaced-out pastoral take on the nature of love contrasted with a hectic pop exploration of what it can mean to live a double life. Free Time is Melbourne expat Dion Nania on guitar and vocals, Jonah Maurer on guitar, Mike Mimoun on drums, and Eric Harm on bass – though the 7” features original bassist Adrienne Humblet. Opener “Esoteric Tizz” is a bursting, fast-paced ride from the start. Recorded by Jarvis Taveniere, the track features a tumultuous melodic structure reminiscent of Felt at Lawrence’s most energized.

      Alternatively, “Guess Work” is an atmospheric ballad highlighted by it's impressive tonal technique. Recorded by Real Estate’s Martin Courtney, the song offers a full palette of corrugated timbres and warmer, aqueous hues, drawing inspiration from Kevin Ayers and Leonard Cohen. These two slices of guitar gold are the newest work since Free Time’s 2013 self-titled debut (Underwater Peoples, UPLP023). Both releases feature striking artwork by Sylvia Jeffriess. “The New York-via-Melbourne quartet transcends mere contemporary indie rock pastiche by playing with pace and intensity…” Jamieson Cox, Pitchfork.


      Where Were You Then?

        Further was a decidedly west coast indie rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1991 by brothers Darren and Brent Rademaker, Josh Schwartz and Kevin Fitzgerald. The Rademaker brothers along with Josh went on to form Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde respectively, Kevin Fitzgerald became the drummer for the Circle Jerks and the west coast lo-fi California indie rock sound actually became a thing with the kids.

        Overdosing on Weed, Surfing and Dinosaur Jr's "You're Living All Over Me" as well as flat out turning down major label offers, Further was fuelled by DIY spirit and their music tested the boundaries from the lowest of fidelity to the indie-est of rock...with releases on Bongload Records (home of Beck's Loser 12"), their own Christmas Records, Ball Product (Creation Records), Fierce Panda and many more.

        Further received acclaim from the UK press including a 9 out of 10 review in the NME as well as Peel Session from long time fan John Peel. Further were a permanent fixtures on the LA indie scene where they shared bills with everyone from the likes of Pavement, Beck, Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Royal Trux, Urge Overkill, Archers of Loaf, Codiene...real indie-rock, you get the picture?

        Friends of Lou Barlow from Dinosaur Jr, Further had a knack of exploding into Dinosaurs sonic territory. When Further went on tour with Sebadoh in the 90s, Lou was asked by the NME if he had anything to say to J Mascis...? Lou replied smugly..."ever heard FURTHER?"

        This record compiles the best of the singles and EP tracks from 1991 to 1997 all re-mastered from the original vinyl.


        Ltd LP Info: Includes fanzine.

        The Gaggers

        Sharp Lies / Hostage

          It’s a 2 track 7″, the A-side is from their second album “Blame You’ , the B-side is a non-album exclusive track called ‘Hostage’ London rippers the GAGGERS burst on the scene a few years ago with a gaggle of 7” that went in and out of print in a heartbeat. Dead Beat Records released the debut fulllength LP 'Rip You Apart' that screeched through 12 loud, fast and grimy scuzz punk classics that use snarling bouncy riffs and lewd, crude lyrics to carve out supremely awesome, mangled, degenerate sounds. Earlier this year, the band much-anticipated second fulllength ‘Blame You’ was released in Europe on Wanda Records and will get the American treatment this Autumn courtesy of Modern Action Records. From the opening caustic, cocky, chord the GAGGERS stab yers ears with ten tunes that chase each other out of your speakers, one as charming as the next, with tales of love, lust, nihilism and other such dandy daydreams that only the GAGGERS can come up with. Channelling the same ragged, dysfunctional spit as the Pagans, early GG, the Heartbreakers, Weirdos and the Germs; the GAGGERS fully embrace their sloppy, shambolic ineptitude to puke out spastic, two-minute blasts of nihilistic three-chord brilliance. Gutter-chic at its absolute finest.

          Announcing "Overjoyed", the first album in 13 years from legendary punk band Half Japanese. One of the most influential bands of all time, Jad Fair and Half Japanese spearheaded the DIY and Lo-Fi movements, influencing countless bands such as Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, and perhaps most notably, Kurt Cobain (who ranked Half Japanese amongst his top 50 favorites, had them open the "In Utero" tour, and was wearing their t-shirt when he died). Without exaggeration, Half Japanese is one of the most important bands in the history of music. "Overjoyed" was recorded and produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, and ranks amongst the best albums of the band's catalogue.


          Darryl says: After 13 years away, Half Japanese return to the scene with 'Overjoyed'. And they prove themselves to be as vital as ever, melodic indie-punk that keeps them ahead of the pack.


          LP Info: Limited edition splatter vinyl.

          Inspiral Carpets


          The Inspiral Carpets – along with the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays – made their name as part of the whole ‘Madchester’ scene, with a string of classic singles and a lucrative line in iconic T-shirts.

          Between 1989 and 1995, the band notched up 15 hits and four Top 20 albums. In 2003, they re-formed and have been playing ever since. In 2011, they reunited with original singer Stephen Holt.

          In September, the band unveil their first new album for two decades – simply entitled Inspiral Carpets.

          “Spitfire” is the first single to be released from their eponymous new LP. Already previewed at their sell-out show in Manchester at Band On The Wall, the song will be promoted by a video which has been shot at Gorton Monastery (another Mancunian institution!).

          Peter Jefferies


            Peter Jefferies (This Kind of Punishment) released his brilliant sophomore album Electricity in 1994. While his solo debut, 1990’s The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World, has drawn comparisons to classic singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and Townes Van Zandt, Electricity is a far more sparse and nocturnal affair. Jefferies’ earthy baritone weaves between piano, guitar, cello and analog tape machine noise, pulling in listeners to the deep pastoral life of his music.

            With guest appearances from heavyweights in the New Zealand music scene (Straitjacket Fits’ Shayne Carter, Plagal Grind’s Robbie Muir and the Dead C’s Bruce Russell), Electricity has garnered a cult following among fans, yet the songs possess a singular quality—every note, utterance and flourish reflect back to Jefferies alone. The simple arrangements, in particular on ballads such as “By Small Degrees,” convey fiercely intimate moments as well as Jefferies’ tremendous range and playfulness as a writer. This first-time vinyl reissue includes four bonus tracks from 1992’s Swerve EP and is highly recommended for fans of Flying Nun Records, John Cale and Jim Shepard. After 20 years, now is the time to revisit the groundbreaking work of this New Zealand legend.

            Incredibly, after all his work as a founding member of both The Clean and The Mad Scene, Hamish Kilgour has never released a proper solo album of his own, until now. Fans of his work over the years will no doubt be pleased with this debut release. All of It and Nothing is an ode to the power of jangle, highlighting Kilgour’s innate ability to both gleam the melodic cube and let the choogle of a chord progression ride itself to greatness. Written and recorded in collaboration with Gary Olson, who captured the album at his Marlborough Farms studio and accompanies Kilgour on some songs, the album carries a distinct hushed intimacy, full of soft-spoken phrases and light guitar play that belie the power of the music it provides.

            • First-ever solo album from founding member of The Clean, The Great Unwashed and The Mad Scene.
            • An ode to the power of jangle sure to please fans of his other work
            • Recorded by Gary Olson of The Ladybug Transistor, who contributed to the songwriting

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Darryl says: Debut solo album from the Clean's Hamish Kilgour. Lo-fi jangley vibes and half spoken/half sung vocal delivery that brings to mind early Beat Happening. Cool and melodic indie gems.

            It makes sense that the new album from The Lemonheads sounds like a mix tape slipped to you by a music-obsessed friend anxious to turn you on to something new. In fact, the idea for the band's new covers record was inspired by Gibby Haynes, ringmaster of the Butthole Surfers, who for years has made mixes for his longtime friend Evan Dando. 'Making a good mix is an art, and Gibby has it down,' says Dando. 'I thought it would be fun to share these songs with other people like he shared them with me. So I picked the 'greatest hits' from his mixes and covered them, along with a few other songs I always wanted to play.'


            Ltd LP Info: 180 Gram Yellow vinyl, includes download card.

            The Living Eyes

            Guilty Pleasures / Lowlife

            Limited edition new two tracker from one of Geetroit’s (that’s Geelong, Victoria to you pommy losers!) best! The Living Eyes deal in punk rock, as in pop, with a snarl and whipsmart edge. Australia has some killer stuff going on (as usual), and this new breed of Murder Punk Unknowns features the likes of the Living Eyes at the forefront.

            Snotty, snarly, and almost both tracks being pop hits (from the gutter), fans of the Hard Ons, Psycho Surgeons, Fun Things, and Ramones might want to check some of this action out!! A Split release with Agitated and Anti-Fade. 200 for UK only…


            Before The Dawn Heals Us

              "Before The Dawn Heals Us" is the follow up to "Dead Cities, Red Seas And Lost Ghosts", showing a more cohesive, developed and realised interpretation of M83's epic vision. The songs are more fully realised, the production superlative, and the album flows beautifully and ranges from full on sonic assault to lush introspective ballads. Fans of bands such as Mogwai, Spiritualized, MBV, or Hope Of The States, for example, will love this album, as will fans of more esoteric acts such as Ulrich Schnauss and Boom Bip, and the nascent growing 'nugazing' acts such as Engineers and Radio Dept.


              Dead Cities, Red Seas And Lost Ghosts

                In a style of Mogwai recreating Joy Division via My Bloody Valentine on analogue machines complete with the breaks of Plaid, M83 are far from yet 'another French electronic act'. M83's distinct sound emerged after just one album: both modern and melancholic.. In early 2001, their first album, bearing the same name as their group was released by the cutting-edge French Gooom label. Critics emphasised the album's graceful and nuanced melodies and the cinematographic quality of the dialogues, as well as the band's ability to make synthesizers sound like guitars. This, their second album, is more ambitious than its predecessor, complex yet accessible thanks to its melodic effectiveness, as heard in the super-powerful "America" and the dreamlike "Beauties Can Die", with its virtual chorale sounding an endless final note.



                  Aptly titled M83, this album served as the French electropop outfit’s debut release in 2001 on Gooom. Recorded as a duo by founding members Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau, the album was described by Pitchfork as “how it feels to live inside a triumphal music box.” The track names can be read in order to describe a boy/girl meeting at a party. Taken in tow with the sampled movie dialogue throughout, the album serves as a poignant soundtrack for the simplest of scenarios.

                  Four years on from the Grammy nominated, critically acclaimed release Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (featuring platinum selling single “Midnight City”), French electronic act M83 re-issues their first three albums in addition to two digital EPs featuring remixes and B-sides from those albums. After several years of being out of print, M83 (2001), Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts (2004), and Before the Dawn Heals Us (2005) will be released August 25th, 2014 on Naïve Records.

                  M83 has become a household name amongst music lovers due to extensive success across many formats. Since Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, not only has M83’s Anthony Gonzalez scored two films: Oblivion (featuring Tom Cruise) and You and the Night (directed by his brother Yann Gonzalez), but his music has been used across a plethora of movies, television shows and commercials, most recently in films The Fault In Our Stars, The Vampire Diaries, and 22 Jump Street. Huffington Post even reported, “few recent albums have had a bigger impact on movie music than M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.” At radio, M83 reached #1 on the CMJ charts, #1 at Commercial Specialty, and #5 in Commercial Alternative Radio, while receiving rave reviews from publications across the world, including Pitchfork, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, XLR8R, Filter, and countless others.

                  The Magic Numbers


                  A full on 70s style disco groove topped with Magic Numbers distinctive sweet, melancholic vocals. I've not seen it but there's just got to be a glitterball in the video!

                  After the release of 2012’s Circles LP, Moon Duo’s Sanae Yamada and Ripley Johnson relocated the band for the second time since its 2009 formation in San Francisco, this time from Blue River, Colorado to Portland, Oregon. Though the band had been initially conceived as an experiment in maximal sonic possibilities with minimal personnel and they had always toured as a duo, before heading to Europe in the summer of 2013, Yamada and Johnson decided to change things up and for the first time ever, try adding a drummer. That drummer ended up being John Jeffrey, who was hired sight unseen after meeting Moon Duo’s manager in Berlin.

                  As it happened, Jeffrey joined the band just in time for a tour that “was defined by sweltering heat,” as described by Yamada. Despite shows every night during the most brutal stretch of summer, Yamada, Johnson and Jeffrey soon realized Moon Duo as a three-piece was gelling through the hot and hazy weather, and having a drummer in the mix added a dynamism and flexibility they had never experienced before on stage. They decided to document this new incarnation of the band and asked engineer Mattia Coletti to record the Italian leg of the tour.

                  Live in Ravenna is the result of one of those nights of recording. It does an incredible job of capturing the emerging sound of Moon Duo as a three-piece. “Ravenna was memorable for a number of reasons, the most prominent being the really very intense heat, and the setting — Hanabi has an outdoor stage on the beach, the Adriatic Sea only meters away,” Yamada explains. “The show that night, and the recording of it, sort of encapsulates everything that was happening at the time – the heat wave, the journey, and the shift in the energy and composition of the band.”

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd LP Info: Limited to 500 copies.



                    Described as 'progressive death indie' Oceansize were founded in Manchester in 1998 and from the beginning their compositions were uncompromising and daring. Their debut album "Effloresce" (2003) struck a cord with indie press and fans alike. Whilst the debut was very much in your face, the second album "Everyone Into Position" (2005) showed more epic and detailed compositions, that combined their intricate song structures with a modern sound in a perfect way. "Frames" picks up where the previous album left off. The compositions are more mature and the songs combine musical virtuosity with an emotional depth that rarely can be found in today's music.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xLtd LP Info: 180g vinyl.

                    It’s a rare thrill nowadays, when listening to the opening few bars of a track, to hear a voice that slices its way through such a riot of colour and effortlessly holds your attention. The smoky jazz vocals from PHOX’s Monica Martin provide a heavy, sultry coating to the glittering pop background that slides into clarinet interludes.

                    PHOX were born in Baraboo, where six unlikely musicians kindled their creative streaks, almost as a family. It’s with the bare, strippedback harmonies and subtle melancholy of the lyrics that show PHOX have created something totally enchanting and unique, captivating from the first listen and bringing a live audience to a mesmerised standstill.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd LP Info: LP is pressed on 140g coke bottle green clear vinyl and featuring a digital download card which also includes the two CD bonus tracks.

                    Pierced Arrows

                    This Is The Day / Zip My Lip

                    Back in April the Glasgow record shop Monorail Music in partnership with Glasgow International commissioned a limited 7" by the Pierced Arrows to coincide with their debut Glasgow show and the UK Priemier screening of "Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story"

                    In the end the Pierced Arrows' Fred Cole had to have emergency heart surgery and thus the band were forced to cancel their trip.

                    Thankfully Fred is now making a speedy recovery and the 7" is now released!

                    Limited to 500, each hand-numbered 7" comes with paper insert, 2 flyers and a gig ticket for the now mythological concert and hand-stamped inner.
                    2 classic tracks recorded live in Austin, Texas by SPOT.

                    The Posies


                      The Posies’ 1988 debut is back and bigger than ever! Little did Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow know when they dropped off their cassette to Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., The Minus 5), the clerk at their favourite record store (who happened to do A&R for the indie label PopLlama), that a power-pop dynasty would begin. Originally released by the band on cassette, then issued on LP (with one track removed), and later on CD, Failure set the independent music world on fire.

                      Omnivore Recordings is proud to reissue this landmark album, complete with eight bonus tracks, including one available for the first time. Housed in a digipak, Failure contains the original 12 songs + bonus material from the highly sought after and out of print 2000 box set At Least At Last, as well as tracks from the Spanish only 15th anniversary edition + one track recently located in The Posies’ extensive archives. The booklet contains press clippings and essays from 1988, as well as updated messages from McCaughey and the band.

                      The original 12-track playlist is restored and available on vinyl for the first time since its original issue (and cut by Kevin Gray). The LP (initial pressing on coloured vinyl) also includes a download card for the entire CD program. While Auer and Stringfellow have continued on—whether as members of the reunited Big Star, as The Posies and as solo artists—the journey began at Failure. Step back in time and hear the future.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: Coloured vinyl on initial pressing.

                      Leeds indie / rock band Pulled Apart By Horses release their new 12 track album, the follow up to 2012's "Tough Love".

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Darryl says: Impressive melodic rock noise from this Leeds four piece. Swaying somewhere between Queens Of The Stone Age and Nirvana, Pulled Apart By Horses (along with current darlings Royal Blood) prove there's plenty of fun still to be had in the rifftastic RAWK arena!!

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: Limited edition Indies Exclusive pink vinyl.


                      MTV Unplugged 1991

                        Released as a mega limited 4 LP set for Record Store Day, these two classic MTV sessions now get re-released as two separate double album.

                        MTV Unplugged 1991 includes early R.E.M. favorites ‘Fall On Me,’ ‘Radio Song,’ and ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).


                        MTV Unplugged 2001

                          Released as a mega limited 4 LP set for Record Store Day, these two classic MTV sessions now get re-released as two separate double album.

                          MTV Unplugged 2001 features ‘The One I Love, ‘So Central Rain (I’m Sorry),’ and ‘Losing My Religion.’


                          Mean Love - Bonus Mix CD Edition

                          With roots in the rich musical history of North America as well as Africa, Sinkane provide a new perspective on what soul music is, and what it can be. Sinkane’s 'Mean Love' rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. Ahmed Gallab has created an altogether unique compound of sound, stylistically nostalgic and ultramodern at the same time. From Gallab’s childhood in Sudan there is a Pan-African influence of popular Sudanese music and haqibah, as well as distinct horn and synth arrangements more common to East Africa. This background merges with the lessons learned from Ahmed‘s stints with obsessive craftsmen such as Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal, and especially the monumental task he underwent as musical director of ‘ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor.’ Gallab excavated and arranged a treasure trove of lost classics from the West African synth-pioneer to put together a now legendary series of performances. 'Mean Love' is an album with an open door invitation, and gets deeper with every listen. You hear it right away in the blistering opening track, “How We Be”. An instant classic, sounding like a lost gem of soul funk, a sweetness of voice alongside honey bass lines, the tune grips you and makes you wish for a dancefloor, while enticing you to stay for the whole journey of the album.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: Includes 23 track bonus compilation CD while stocks last.

                          CD Info: Includes 23 track bonus compilation CD while stocks last.

                          Sun Machine

                          Tamaho Hitman

                          Fused over the summer of '13, the four piece made a rapid entry onto the London scene with their brash, bold and, as it reaches it’s giddy peak, strangely uplifting debut ‘Have You Seen It, It's Alive’. Evolving out of previous projects and collaborations the group combine a strong 60's pop-psych sensibility, inspired by the likes of Phil Spector and the tropical insanities of Os Mutantes, with wide sonic-jams and lush textures, articulating their vision with virtuoso and conviction. As their deranged and off-kilter new single ‘Tamaho Hitman’ makes quite apparent, this outfit are imbued with a life affirming and compassionate message; Sun Machine have arrived with every intention of shaking up the lethargy that swamps much of the current UK scene.


                          Picture You Staring - Bonus Disc Edition

                          Tops are a four-piece band from Montreal, equal parts girls and guys, delivering a raw punk take on AM studio pop. Their new record, 'Picture You Staring', is a lush array of timelessly crafted songs.

                          'Picture You Staring' gathers strength through intimacy. Self-written, recorded, produced, and the result of 12 months holed up in Arbutus Records' Montreal office-space turned studio, this album contains 12 impeccable examples of pop craftsmanship that will reward repeat listeners.

                          Singer Jane Penny gives a voice to the silent girl at the edge of the circle, disillusioned but honest and unpretentious, a tone complemented by David Carriere's seamless guitar playing and the measured drumming of Riley Fleck. TOPS' songs are delivered with a cool restraint that blend with the individuality and self-assured desire of their female lead.

                          David and Jane met in middle school, but didn't stay in touch until they reunited in Montreal where they've been collaborating since 2009. Unintentionally initiating a pop music scene in Montreal, their strange homemade recordings have gained an international following. In 2011 they joined Riley Fleck and started jamming at the loft space La Brique where they wrote and recorded their first record, Tender Opposites. TOPS continue to engineer and produce their own records and make their own videos in collaboration with fellow artists and filmmakers. In opposition to commercially driven pop music, TOPS pursuit lies in creating moving songs that succeed earnestly, disregarding trends and myth-making.

                          Jane, David and Riley have equal footing with their respective instruments and their sparring exceeds the imagination of any individual. For their new record TOPS have enlisted Madeline Glowicki to play bass. Like Jane and David, Madeline grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and went to the same elementary as Jane. A natural musician, and contributor to the Editorial magazine, the band are happy to have another prairie girl on board. LA based painter Jessica Dean Harrison created the artwork especially for the release. It is a conceptual interpretation of the record's title, continued in a large poster depicting a group scene, included with the purchase of a vinyl record. If you'd like to learn more about Riley, pre-order the album on iTunes and you will receive an informational PDF created by his bandmates that depicts his growth and development into a man.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Darryl says: Soft focused and dreamy balearic indie-pop with breezy female vox and lush instrumentation. One for fans of Saint Etienne.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: Includes a three track bonus (CD) disc.

                          CD Info: Includes a three track bonus (CD) disc.

                          Finally, a new deep cut from Melbourne’s visceral post-punk band Total Control. Typical System, their second LP, was written, recorded, created over the past two years and is set for US/Worldwide release via Iron Lung Records
                          Total Control emerged from Australia’s dynamic punk scene in ’08, releasing a succession of 7”s that developed from an aggressive post-punk band sound to studio forays into electronic forms from minimal wave to house. Their debut LP, Henge Beat, was commended as one of the few records released in 2011 that evaded the ease of classification and competent tribute act status of most modern bands.

                          Subsequently, they have released three very different records: a split 12” with Thee Oh Sees, a 7” single on Sub Pop and a house remix 12”. Typical System develops on the incongruent demands of their debut LP and ensuing releases, a further development on their continually evolving sound.

                          Tuk Tuk

                          Chambray Record Shopper Tote

                            Lovely new chambray (that's denim to you and me) tote bag from the good folk at TukTuk.

                            The main compartment is big enought to carry your 12" vinyl purchases, and there's also a 7" pocket on the front for those few cheeky sevens you've picked up too.

                            The main compartment has a magnetic stud fastening, and there is a phone pocket and zip pocket for all your other bit's and pieces, both in lovely check fabric (like the linings in their leather record boxes).

                            It has nice long handles, big enough to sling it over your shoulder, but not so long that you can't carry it in your hand.


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