Slowcoaches – Ex Head

First up, an excuse: I am in the middle of selling up our flat in London and relocating to Cardiff. This hasn’t left much time for music of late, but I have still been listening and discovering good new stuff. There will be a new podcast in a few days.

For now though I’d like to bring your attention to the new single (and video) by Slowcoaches. ‘Ex Head’ is pretty damn perfect fuzzy guitar pop. Slowcoaches are one of my current favourites but they’re a long way from being a ‘new’ band and I have some vague recollection of seeing them at the YES WAY fest back in 2011(?) just off the Old Kent Road in some former car dealership. They seemed to re-emerge last year with a slightly changed line up and I was lucky enough to get them booked in for the final Odd Box Weekender and they were a treat. Live they were something else. Probably the loudest band of the whole weekend (and that is saying something). I look forward to receiving this 7″ so I can flip it and here the B side ‘Sucker’.


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Maybe Don’t – Maps/Traps

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Maybe Don’t have just released their first free download EP ‘Maps/Traps’ over on Bandcamp. The band hail from Birmingham and if you listen closely you can probably work out that some of them have ‘form’.

The EP is an infectious burst of pop meets punk at an indie disco. There is something vital and life affirming in these 4 songs. Maybe it’s the space the band give their songs. Maybe it’s the I want to shout along to these songs at high volume vibe I get from it. Maybe it’s just the most fun I’ve heard in a while in simple pop songs.

Maybe Don’t sing that they ‘Don’t Care if anybody sees’ – I think they should give a hoot as this EP deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

Listen for yourself. Then download it. Then play it. Over and over and over and over.

Sofa So Good – the best of Ski Pie Rage

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Ski Pie Rage is a music blog. It’s run by a chap called David. He’s based in Scotland. It’s been a good source of hearing about what’s going on in Glasgow and beyond over the past few months.

Ski Pie Rage is now also  a cassette label and they have just released this 19 song ‘best of’ – featuring bands that have appeared on their blog. Kinda like the ‘best of’ I used to make my mates when I was teenager – all these have been hand dubbed by David. Admirable.

I’ve only got the digital files at the moment. But I am sure it’s going to sound terrific hissing out of my old boom box. The music comes from the likes of Seconds, Joya, Breakfast Muff, Crumbs, Martha and Holy Motors to name just a few. It makes for a nice snap shot of some of the DIY goings on that are currently making waves. There are some real corkers on this compilation and plenty of acts that I’d not heard before – which is always a bonus.

It’s all streaming now on their bandcamp page (go give it a listen) and all profits will be donated to  Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity – based in the UK. Admirable again.

So go and buy this cassette. Get yourself a feast of guitar goodness. Be quick, as there are only 30 of these cassettes being hand dubbed.

Kaminari -Nineteen Japanese Garage Monsters

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This record confuses me. It sounds like it’s 19 long lost 60s nuggets of Japanese garage rock/pop. But from the quickest glance around the internet it seems all of the bands on this compilation are NOW bands. I.E. currently active and new. For this it’s a strange listen. Because it’s unashamedly looking backwards to an old sound but it’s done with such vim and vigor that you can’t help be swept up in the stompy garage goodness.

Unless it really is a collection of long lost 60s gems. Which I don’t think it is. Either way I really like it. Indeed the presence of Theee Bat suggests current bands as I saw them in London a few years ago.

This LP came out on Groovie Records  of Portugal at the tail end of December 2015.

Dream Dogs – Dream Dogs

Catherine Plewa (who is also in the fab Choo Choo Trains) recorded these songs when she was starting a new ‘thing’ under the name Dream Dogs. That thing, I think, eventually became The Stay Aways (who I have had the fortune to catch live in London). But Dream Dogs is the name given to these early solo recordings. They’ve just been released on bandcamp.

Beautiful and slightly fuzzy pop tones are what we have here. This album sounds pretty fantastic today, with it’s lo-fi charm to the fore. The songs wash against you, like the distant winter sun streaming in the window. Gentle electric (or acoustic) guitar strums recalling Beat Happening or a down beat Velvet Underground. Voice and guitar, occasional drums and vocals that are low enough in the mix enough to be heard without dominating proceedings.

This is the sort of album that would sound perfect on a 2nd generation C90 cassette.This is everything I love about simple DIYPOP music. A beautiful set of songs delivered in a languid style. Pop music.

Earth Rod – Scuttling Around EP

I picked up this cassette by Earth Rod a few weeks back. The band recorded  a couple of the songs on the EP at the ever reliable Sound Savers (with Mark Jasper at the controls) and the result is a suitably scuzzy DIY lo-fi pop racket. They don’t seem to play out very often so I am not sure how I came across them – probably from trawling my bandcamp feed. The tape doesn’t throw up much in the way of clues to who the band are (edit, facebook does).

Across the 7 songs on the EP guitars are set to fuzz, the vocals remain gleefully buried.  On ‘Yay Or Nay’ the band channel some kinda rockabilly spirit. This is music for dark basements and boozy evenings. Maybe the band have heard the likes of The Cramps before. They also remind me of slightly less psychotic take on Middlesbrough’s Year Of Birds. The louder you turn the volume dial, the better the reward.

Beef Jerk – Tragic

Beef Jerk. Another Australian find. From Sydney. Marreckville? A place I got to spend some time only 16 months ago. Nothing like this leapt out and smacked me around the chops. More’s the pity. This is janglecore Australian style. It’s kinda beautiful. It’s kinda samey. It doesn’t matter. I like it. That’s what matters to me. You might like it too. That might matter.

I know very little about the band. But that doesn’t stop me turning the volume dial way up and basking in this beautiful noise.

I found this band via the Bandcamp music feed. Oh how I wish I was back in Sydney downing a schooner of beer.