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Physical Format-20190501

  • Published in Columns


Only just over a year now separates the tunes being reviewed in this column from the time of their first play & an opinion being expressed. How many bands will therefore be known elements due to being that bit fresher in memory if heard from other sources?

April 2018 turns up none.

Island were apparently set for "a huge year" at the time of 'Ride' and 'The Day I Die' being the lead disc in this box. Having never heard of them up to this point we're either dealing with a different definition of huge or my head's even further in the sand than I thought. Within the first couple of bars on the silver 7" it's pretty obvious this will be in the earnest, yearning, indie rock camp & so it proves. I've definitely never heard it before so maybe they had a whimper rather than a bang last year. The first side is not even half done before I've seen on Discogs that the disc last sold earlier this year for a whole quid. Five folk want it though so I'll list it. A swift play of the B side confirms this to be the right course of action. The band have an album out and one live date coming up this summer, according to their site.
Chloe Black's photo in the accompanying booklet immediately has me expecting to not be a fan of 'Good Times' and 'Waterbed'. The transparent vinyl is as seethrough as the style of synthetic, Lana Del Ray-lite pop on offer. She's been at it for three years at least though so fair play in terms of persistence. Again five folk seem to be after the disc online so if I can get £6 that's a win. The B side is as 'raunchy' as you'd expect from the title. Yawn. Chloe's website shows she's mainly been making double entendres on Facebook of late.
Team Picture seem to favour white dungarees in their promotional picture, another warning sign. '(I Have A) Little Secret' sounds like ABC in places, which is no bad thing but it's pretty unmemorable stuff. '(I Want Your) Life Hack' begins very slowly. It's then got a dirtier guitar sound than the A side and a bit more oomph but again it's not really anything special. The band's website's Live link informs you that they're about to finish a short tour of the UK.
Three discs in and I've yet to play a track all the way through. Will Jerry Williams or Tuska change that?
The former immediately brings Lily Allen to mind so it's hard to maintain interest in 'Grab Life'. 'Babe' is a lot better as it sounds more honest. Not hard to listen to the whole thing as it only seems to last 90 seconds or so. One which more could be done with. Not a keeper though and potentially another £6. Jerry unfortunately shares a name with a popular old Swedish singer so online it's been a bit hard to find out what she's currently up to but there is this.
Tuska are a duo from London. They may have listened to some early Tame Impala in their time, given the similarity their take on psychedelia has to that. 'God Knows Why' isn't bad, indeed by the time it gets to the mainly instrumental final quarter it's a very pleasant listen. Then it just stops. 'Ambrosia' is more of the same but a bit less engaging. According to Discogs four people want the disc, yet there is no sales history and nine people have it for sale, from as low as 76p but I can apparently possibly get a tenner for it. I'll take that gamble. According to Facebook the duo have done nothing in the past year.

Physical Format-20190424

  • Published in Columns
March 2018 saw the Flying Vinyl debut of Our Girl, a band who our contributor Steven Velentzas was touting back the autumn before when we had our one outing at Blogtober. Like the tortoise I get there in the end. Though he got there first in the tale. Whatever.
Tracks 'Our Girl' and 'Sleeper' are housed on white vinyl and it's obvious I've been missing out through my tardiness. Shoegaze elements, soaring bits, pleasant vocals all combine to form a very appealing sound on the lead song. 'Sleeper' further states the trio's case for being amongst the best thought of indie bands of the past five decades. This one stays here. Online it shows that the band have a number of live dates coming up in the summer although I doubt I'll see them until Rockaway Beach in 2020.
Sharky gets turquoise vinyl for her efforts 'Hawaii' and 'Cause And Effect'. I had to check I'd not put the deck onto a previously unknown 78rpm setting, such is the Pinky & Perky sound of the falsetto which eminates from the first song. It's debateable whether an auto-tuned voice would actually sound more natural. Beat-wise the song is pretty good but the vocals are too comic for me. The B side is in fact Sharky's first single and was apparently played a lot on 6music a year ago. I don't recall hearing it. Nobody's bought a copy on Discogs since last summer but I'll see if I can get £4 for it. Rather hard to find Sharky's online presence but it doesn't look like much has been happening (here) since this disc came out.
Boniface's 'Phantom Limbs' rushes out of the speakers to begin with but, before you can get all arm wavy, it calms down for the verse before giving you the release at the chorus. Unfortunately Flying Vinyl have decided that the band's hometown of Winnipeg is in the USA rather than Canada but, that error not withstanding they've done them a solid by releasing this upbeat number. Sylvan Esso fans will be quite taken with it. 'For Love' is a piano-led beast of a different nature entirely. Pleasant but not a keeper. Facebook shows the band are still getting shit done and that you'll possibly see them if you're off to see Foals.
Juke Lucid seem to aim for the middle of the road and a future as a wedding band with the pallid 'Move Maker'. This is not the sort of music that will inspire you to do anything other than become an Estate Agent, or to radically change what you listen to in ordr to avoid such a fate. 'Parallel Vision' works well as an instrumental and it's clear why it was the band's debut single, being more assured than the A side on this disc. That trick though perpetuates that annoying moment in the '90s when record companies decided to start releasing multiple versions of songs across different formats, in the hope (no doubt successful at the time) of conning punters into buying the same thing often just for (often crappy) B sides. For sale it goes though as it turns out it has vocals after all. Online it seems the band have been silent since last summer.
Brandon Can't Dance keeps it moody on 'Pop Queen Of The Teen Scene'. Apparently it's led to him being compared to Morrissey. I'm not sure who comes off worse with that association. 'Dead Growing' is raw, groany & a bit more upbeat at least but Evan Dando he ain't. No one's bought the disc recently on Discogs despite (as is the case with the previous disc) 10 folk selling it and four apparently wanting it but I'll list it all the same. BCD doesn't have a large online footprint but his bandcamp indicates not much has been going on since last summer.
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