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Physical Format-20190417

February 2018 now so by the end of this month we'll only be a year behind the curve with Flying Vinyl releases. There is though a certain perverse pleasure in having not managed to listen to all of these records until such a period of time has passed.
 
Two of this week's acts have certainly risen to a point of being reasonably recognised names (and I've even managed to see one of them live) in the time between release and now - Dream Wife & Boy Azooga.
 
Dream Wife kick the five discs off with 'Take It Back' and 'Fuu' on transparent bubblegum pink vinyl. Anyone who's aware of the band will be aware of their energetic, punky tunes and their spiky (to the point of dangerous at times) live delivery of the material. Side A is then a bit of a surprise, being at the poppier end of the group's sound as well as a tad unintelligble lyrically. As 'Fuu' is the final song on their debut album how it sounds is no doubt well known. Solid as the release is I'm interested to see how much I can get for it so it's getting listed for sale. The band have a lot of live dates this coming summer. Details here.
 
Second in line this week is London singer-songwriter Luke Prosser, here recording as Bad News Club. 'The Painter' is another one of those maudlin, Nick Drake-esque tracks which Flying Vinyl seem to hold a lot of stock in for some reason. As the 7" has never gone for more than 75p on Discogs I suppose there's plenty to be maudlin about. B side 'Absent' is surprisingly rather more positive sounding but the discs going in the flea market pile nonetheless. According to his Facebook page Luke's not done much since last spring.
 
Seeing the name Yonaka again now I'm wondering if I've in fact also seen them live, at Rockaway Beach, seeing as it's just a short trip to there from their base in Brighton. I'll check later if 'Bubblegum' and 'Gods & Lovers' don't ring any bells. The group have a reasonably weighty, if not that exciting, rock sound. Republica come to mind as an influence. 'Gods & Lovers' is a lot lighter in character and a bit crap as a result. Up for sale its nice blue vinyl goes. Turns out I've not seen them before but they have a lot of live dates coming up so you might get to.
 
Brad Stank (I know ...) seems to be a purveyor of smooooove. 'Daddy Blue' sees him trying to woo the woman of his dreams whilst inviting her to mop up his tears. That might be a good chat up look for some people I suppose. At one point the tune makes a sound like it's disappearing up itself, just before the final chorus brings it to a merciful (though oddly quick) stop. 'OTD' is more of the navel gazing, mumbled same. Surprisingly people have paid as much as £9 for the disc on Discogs so hopefully I'll get something close to that. Facebook shows that Brad's still plugging away.
 
'Loner Boogie' rings an instant bell, having heard it a lot on 6music prior to getting hold of the Boy Azooga album. Another song which ends too soon but one I'm very happy to retain in the collection. AA side 'Face Behind Her Cigarette' shows the band have variety in their arsenal, being as it's much more of a downbeat groover. Still one you'd be happy to get on a dance floor to. The band's site shows they too are out on the road a bit in the coming months.
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Physical Format-20190410

 
Racing through two months' worth of discs this Friday afternoon so as to make up for losing a Friday to the second week of the Easter holidays in a fortnight's time. Convoluted? It makes sense to me at least.
 
January 2018 then and first up, on orange vinyl, are The Amazons who it seems are much loved by those at Flying Vinyl, having had an offshoot special release too. Brave folks in this era to name yourself after a tax-dodging retail outlet we love to hate but up to them. Musically I'm left cold right away by the piano-driven 'Palace' (assumed to be the song on the side labelled with the image from the front of the cover). 'Ultraviolet', listed in the booklet as the initial track is definitely worthier of that position, anthemic as it aims to be. It's also indistinguishable from the rest of it's ilk. If you're the right age it'll probably be a favourite for a few years and you'll ask 80 year old Steve Lamacq to play it for you for some nostalgia when you first become a father or mother but I've no need to keep it. The band's site shows they have a new album due out next month so no doubt live shows will coincide.
 
Nia Wyn brings Duffy to mind (& what's she up to now?) The phantom of BBC Introducing hangs over her, like it did Isaac Gracie the other week.'Do You Love Enough' has a pleasant beat to it and is a wee bit haunting vocally but overall it's pretty thin stuff. 'Help Me' sounds a bit more like Janis Joplin but that's never a positive from my point of view. Again the beats are okay but it doesn't grab me so up for sale it goes. From a look online Nia appears to have not been up to much in the last 15 months but she does have a gig in Brighton in May.
 
Demob Happy get transparent green for their weighty outing 'Be Your Man' b/w 'Dead Dreamers'. QOTSA are a very obvious influence here. Which is all well and good but does it inspire me to seek out an album's worth of material by them? The A side overstays its welcome and the B side sounds too much like Muse for my taste so another for sale. The band are touring the USA throughout this coming May.
 
Violets' 'Falling In Time' is another glacial, smooth ,'80s-like piece of pop, suitable for the background in a TV drama but not much else. 'Bodyshock', on the reverse, is equally unshocking. The disc was apparently last bought on Discogs for 60p in January this year so looks like it's the flea market box for it. Typically it's not easy to find an online presence for their name so no idea what they're up to at the moment.
 
Finally this month we come to Luke Marzec's 'Another Guy' and 'Say One More Time'. The A side's a minimal electronic effort with him singing for our understanding over the limited beats and synths. The B side is even more minimal. Music to go to sleep to. Another one for the flea market as, despite his  supposed "host of loyal listeners" no one's bought a copy from Discogs since last August and even then it commanded less than £3. Facebook shows Luke had a new song out last month.

 

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Physical Format-20190403

 
This is the second version of the opening as somehow the original disappeared. Hence why it's shorter.
 
December 2017 now. Will any or all be culled?
 
Anteros - 'Bonnie' & 'Love'. Buttercup yellow vinyl, attractive. Reminiscent of both Sleeper & Texas, although in a good way in the case of the latter. Possibility of a tenner though so culling. Album When We Land has appeared on Deezer this week so they're still plugging away it seems.
 
Sulky Boys (or possibly Boy, depending on whether you believe the booklet or the record) suffer from a rubbish name but do lo-fi well on opener 'Shasta Fay'. One of the best tracks in the series. 'Amorous Battles' has a good indie jangle to it, bringing Ride to mind a bit. Unfortunately it also sounds a bit wonky so the pressing may be iffy. A keeper nonetheless. To add to the confusion the band's Facebook page lists them as Sulky Boy yet they're happy to have the Sulky Boys cover image as their header photo. Crazy guys. Some live dates coming up this year.
 
Confidence Man are this month's act I'm already acquainted with, albeit only due to getting hold of their album last year. 'Better Sit Down Boy' is on that album so almost no need to play it (they may have re-recorded it for that I suppose) either way it's as catchy and fast paced as remembered so thumbs up. 'Boyfriend' is also on the album, either in the form presented here or modernised. I can't tell. A great pulsating track though so this one also stays. Keep up with their stuff here and stay confident.
 
Trudy & The Romance hail from Liverpool and are apparently our doorway back into the sounds of the '50s. You can't accuse Flying Vinyl of lacking variety. The single cover art is crap but they do get transparent red vinyl. They sound only vaguely like a band from the above mentioned decade. Not a good one either. 'Is There A Place I Can Go' leaves me hoping there is and that it has no musical equipment. 'Junkyard Cat' reminds me of The Libertines, or some other Doherty-fronted, drunken-sounding act. Apparently five people want the disc on Discogs so they're welcome to it. The band have an album out and some shows in May. Dates etc. here.
 
This week's band with a foodstuff in their name are Milk Disco. 'Weekender' has a good thumping bassline and the vocal style is somewhere between speaking & singing. Sufficiently original to warrant keeping I feel. 'Twisted Wheel' is obviously simmilar in style but delivered at a slower pace. It's in an odd position of being music I can appreciate without seeing myself playing it often in the future or bothering to get an album's worth of. Yet it still feels like it ends too soon. The band seem to have just played their last gigs for a while but keep an eye on their doings here.
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Physical Format-20190327

 

November 2017's selection from Flying Vinyl contains . As an aside there's been no interest shown in the discs from previous months which have made their way on to Discogs but it's early days yet.

Even before beginning to write the body of this I've opened a tab for Discogs as the Colouring disc ('Heathen' and 'White Whale') is so obviously not something I'll be listening to again on purpose. Their smooth '80s slightly jazzy pop sound is anathema. According to this month's booklet they supported the 1975 in North America in 2017 and that's another black mark by association with one of the worst named acts of the century. 'White Whale' offers up more of the same from the A side (the songs are interchangeable in their blandness). Unsurprisingly the valuation on Discogs is under £5 but I'll settle for that. By the looks of the band's website they've not been very busy since 2017.
 
Cosmo Sheldrake's the only one of the five acts this time around that I'd heard of prior to the parcel dropping through the letterbox. I think he's supposed to have a reputation as being a bit off the wall. 'Come Along' doesn't come across as something that'll be getting sung by the masses much in the future. Not good enough to have him mentioned in the same breath as Nick Drake or even Badly Drawn Boy. 'Mind Of Rocks' starts off with a female chorus at a pace which brings to mind pagan rituals. It goes a bit wonky too but it's not totally clear if that's to do with the pressing or deliberate. There's the possibility of a tenner being paid for it so I'd rather have that. Cosmo's website also doesn't show much recent activity but he does have a couple of gigs lined up for the summer.
 
Next up, on solid white vinyl, are The Ninth Wave. I've recently become aware of their existence and I'm sure someone I know suggested giving them a listen. 'Reformation' ticks a number of nostalgia boxes but not really for any style I was very into. I can't help thinking that they'll be less successful than Franz Ferdinand in their heyday and sink just as quickly. 'Heartfelt' has a faster pace than the A side but what I picture is Deacon Blue given a rock makeover. If someone wants to pay me a fiver for it they're welcome. Their site confirms they're alive & well with a small tour of the UK imminent.
 
So far we're three for three this time around. Given that Isaac Gracie apparently had help from BBC Introducing (so says the blurb) there's a good chance its kiss of death won't reverse the disposal trend.
 
And so it proves. Nice solid scarlet disc but yearning, drippy singing on 'All In My Mind' immediately have me switching it over to 'Reverie'. Which is better vocally but does the world need another "woe is me" tune? £20 on offer so that's four out of four getting listed. Isaac's still on the go though, with his first gig of the year scheduled for late in April.
 
Stereo Honey are immediately on a sticky (geddit?) wicket as a) there's too many bands around with honey in their name (and you don't really want your stereo anywhere near spreads) and b) they've opted for an acoustic B side. 'The Bay' comes to life when it hits the instrumental passage around halfway through and is the best song from this bunch of discs but still not one I feel a need to keep hold of. 'Angel', in the version presented here, doesn't grab me at all or give the impression that the original version would either. Whilst Discogs has no sales history (not usually a good sign) and only three people want it (but yet there are 15 selling it) I can apparently hope for the best part of £15 so that's a clean sweep. Spotify playlisting them and chatting with GQ seems to be keeping the band busy at the moment.
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Physical Format-20190320

 

Flying Vinyl's October 2017 selection gets our attention this week. So far none of the discs I've decided to let go have had any attention on Discogs but lets see if they'll be gaining company in the inventory from this iteration of the column's inclusions. Or indeed whether I'm well behind the curve in not having played the best thing since sliced bread until now.

Black Honey receive the transparent pink (slightly bloodshot) treatment for their 7" of 'Bloodlust' and 'Ghost'. The A side's got a good bit of pace to it and so progresses at a good indie rock clip. The B side's an acoustic version of what is presumably an album track. As mentioned in a previous column the point of such versions escapes me and this is a bit dull on the whole. £18.70 seems to be the going rate on Discogs so will take a punt. The band's website show's they're set to tour the UK & Europe during spring 2019.

Horsey fetch up in transparent bottle-green vinyl. 'Park Outside Your Mother's House' starts off unpromisingly but after it initially blows up there's a bit more oomph to it. Gallon Drunk come to mind as it rolls to a close. 'Weeping' begins with a similar late-night, intimate jazz club vibe as the A side but again comes to life as it progresses before dribbling away at the end. Doubtful I'll be playing either side often in the future or getting owt else by the band but for now it's being listed for sale & kept. The group's Facebook page shows them to be active at the present time.
 
Brighton's brotherly duo Underwater Boys take up the third slot this time around. 'Everyone You Know' is earnest, yearning, synth-driven pop. Pleasant if a bit drippy. 'Bye & Bye' wasn't likely to be anything other than similar to the A side. No one seems to want it on Discogs though (last sale at time of writing was 50p in January) so it's into the flea market box with it. The pair's Facebook page shows they were active up until at least November last year.
 
No such fate for disc number four however. Given that she and her band are going from strength to strength it's almost redundant to write up Pip Blom's 'Babies Are A Lie'/'School' double A sider this far down the line. But here goes. Catchy, honest and jangly the first track has that quality of sounding effortless in it's composition & performance whilst 'School' deserves multiple repeat plays and is surely one of the best tracks of its kind produced in 2017. Debut album Boat is coming out in May and all the details of live shows etc. can be found here.
 
Last out of the box this time is Maddee from Toronto. Mention of R 'n' B in artist blurbs always makes me wary, given that my concept of it doesn't seem to tally with what's meant (i.e. I'm stuck in the sound of the '60s). 'Lost' though conforms to what I understand to be the current usage. It's a bit Lana Del Ray meets Sade. Wine bar background music - enough of a beat to provide pleasant noise but turn it one notch louder and the atmosphere's ruined. 'Weight' leans a bit more towards Sylvan Esso territory but on the whole there's no compelling reason for this to stay in my collection. Facebook shows Maddee is still active.
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Physical Format-20190313

We've reached September 2017 in this retroactive exercise of reviewing the Flying Vinyl singles I've had gathering dust. So far four out of ten have been either listed for sale on Discogs or failed to sell for 50p at a flea market & thence gone up on display in my kitchen window. What fate awaits the next five?
 
Alvvays get a fetching transparent orange for their disc of 'In Undertow' and 'Dreams Tonite'. The A side must be one of the more memorable releases in the Flying Vinyl canon, getting a fair bit of airplay on 6 Music three years after they caught people's attention with 'Archie, Marry Me'. Enough for me to recognise it all these months later anyway & it's certainly not unpleasant to hear it again. 'Dreams Tonite' is a slower, dreamier song than 'In Undertow' & so fine as a B side. A nice pairing on the whole. I thought they'd shot their bolt with 'Archie' but they've probably a few years left in them although their website shows no activity since last summer. 
 
Transparent pink is the order of the day for London trio Calva Louise. 'I'm Gonna Do Well' races along nicely in a surf-pop vein - good riffage, quirky synth parts and some top notch screaming. So enjoyable in fact that I'm going to turn up the volume and play it again. B side 'Getting Closer' begins in more ponderous fashion but the guitar thrashes early on hold promise & sure enough we get some epic screaming not that long intp the song. This is probably my favourite disc of the three months I've so far written up. Their Facebook shows them to be on tour in the UK at the moment, in support of LP Rhinoceros.
 
Francobollo hail from Sweden. 'Future Lover' sounds like Pavement at their heaviest, which is no bad thing. As it progresses though Weezer at their roughest come to mind and after that point they've lost me. Being very quiet, like Elmer Fudd, just so you can then be VERY LOUD is pretty dull on the whole. I can't imagine this coming over at all well live. B side 'Finally' is acoustic, something I fail to see the point of when the tune was obviously written to be played electrically. Discogs reckons I could possibly get £8.70 for it so listed it is. From a look elsewhere online it seems the band have been quiet since summer 2017.
 
Geowulf get no points for their name. Boy/girl duos are ten-a-penny & this pair sound no different from the likes of Joy Zipper (who I'd forgotten about until going through 7"s to donate the other day. Hung on to theirs for now though) etc. 'Saltwater' is decent enough pop, particularly the instrumental break midway through, whilst B side 'Drink Too Much' is also equally pleasant in recounting how Star Kendrick is apparently a bit of a handful when she has a skinful. It may not of course be autobiographical. Hedging my bets here as I'm keeping it but also listing it, seeing as double figures are a possibility and it has a decent sales history. The pair are active this week at the SXSW love-in so clearly still a viable outfit.
 
Last up this time around, appropriately you could say, comes Turtle. Typically for Flying Vinyl, at least at this point in its history, the tracks on here ('Calculate' and 'Blood Type') are listed in the opposite order on the sleeve but then described as A & B respectively in the box's accompanying booklet. Whichever is which both are good slices of electronic music at the darker (but still tuneful) end of the spectrum. After finishing this piece I'll be seeking out the Turtle album, Human. 2017 also seems to be the last time that Turtle produced anything.
 
 
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