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Physical Format-20190605

  • Published in Columns
No September review folks as someone at the pressing plant or Flying Vinyl HQ left my discs for that month shrink wrapped so they're up for sale in mint nick, much as I think I like Kagoule and a couple of the other discs actually looked interesting. If only I could download the tracks to find out ...
Anyway, October 2018 instead and first up are Black Honey, who I think I disliked last time they featured in a box. Apparently they've "stormed the charts" since then, which says a lot about that institution and why many people pay no attention to them. 'Blue Romance' passes by barely noticed as I'm typing the above and 'Crowded City' isn't too bad, in a Gwen Stefani-like way when it cuts loose but outside of those bits it plods. The band's site shows them to be touring Europe & England over the summer.
Nancy get a nice purple vinyl disc for the oddly wobbly 'Teenage Fantasy'. Think Tame Impala and you'll know what to expect. The B side just features a remix of the A side so nothing very special overall. Facebook shows the band are still active.
Elle Musa has a nice voice. 'Lime Green' is pleasant, in the singer-songwriter vein. It could though be any number of falsetto-voiced folk singing and strumming away. It's also a very short song. 'Rosa & Henri' adds a piano to the mix and things come over all Amelie OST. Pleasant. Facebook advises that Elle now has an album out.
Mint (this week's other act who are likely hard to find online) hail from Grimsby and are another act seemingly styling themselves on The Wonder Stuff, if their photo's anything to go by. 'Nothing Seems To Get Me High' is a pretty good track in the thumpy/shouty vein of rock. The band have elements of The Hives in their sound but, as seems to be the case often with songs in this column, the track ends too soon. 'Superglue' chugs along at a good pace but there's a comedic element about the band's sound which makes it hard to take the whole thing seriously. Maybe that's the point - they're here for a good time not a long one. Overblown solos abound but this time the unexpected ending is pulled off fine. Have a click on the band's site to see what they're up to at present.
Blood Red Shoes are an act I'm surprised to see in this box, thinking them a bigger act than would need the association. Here they are though with 'Mexican Dress' and 'Beverly'. Our regular contributor (and instagram guru) Steven is a big fan of the duo but I've never been bitten deep by their work. This single seems unlikely to change that. The A side is efficiently melodic and a bit dark with a tune which, if heard repeatedly might be something you'd find yourself humming snatches of. As I'll only be playing it once that won't happen here. 'Beverly' goes down the moody & slow route. Fine if you like that kind of thing but I don't get past halfway. The web shows the duo are touring Europe & the UK from now until the end of November.

Scruff of the Neck Presents ... - 20160208

  • Published in Columns


For your entertainment at the start of another working week here's five more hand-picked delights from the Scruff Of The Neck stable.

Yawning Dog – 'Sponge'

Leeds' slackers Yawning Dog only released this video in the early hours of the morning, but we were lucky enough to get an early viewing. Suitably psychedelic, the video reflects the band's and indeed the city's, DIY ethos perfectly whilst the track itself is a wonky foray in to the warped world of West Yorkshire slacker rock.

Mint – 'Wolves'

Hailing from Grimsby, Mint are a four-piece whose roots stem from mid-'00s indie but still manage to sound surprisingly fresh and contemporary. 'Raised by Wolves' is three minutes of angular guitars and frenetic percussion that push the track forwards. With new material on the horizon, you should be seeing a lot more of Mint in the future.


Just Mammals – 'River Runs Gold'

Another track barely a day old, and another band from Grimsby, Just Mammals make decade-spanning indie-pop. Bouncy and upbeat, 'Rivers Run Gold' is the band's latest effort and sees guitar jangles form a lazy haze over a '60s pop drumbeat. Infectious.


Larkins – 'Let Your Hair Down'

Keeping the trend going, Manchester's Larkins released 'Let Your Hair Down' late last week. A brooding '80s influenced track, it feels darker and more mature than the previous work, though manages to retain a degree of melody thanks to sporadic guitar licks that play off against its propulsive bass and relentless drums.


The Jade Assembly – 'Nothing Changes'

Emotive and emphatic, The Jade Assembly have been doing the rounds in Manchester for a few years now, garnering swathes of fans in the process. Latest single 'Nothing Changes' is a huge, anthemic track that calls to mind Augustines, had they formed in Lancashire and not New York.


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