Sofa So Good – the best of Ski Pie Rage


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


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.

Year by Year #1

I was born in 1970. So for fun I’ve chosen one song from each year I’ve been alive up to the current date. Just for fun. They’re not necessarily my favourite songs but they are all songs I like.

01 Syd Barrett – Dominoes (1970)
02 Sly and The Family Stone – Spaced Cowboy (1971)
03 Curtus Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead (1972)
04 Iggy and The Stooges – Shake Appeal (1973)
05 Neil Young – Walk On (1974)
06 Neu! – Hero (1975)
07 The Modern Lovers – She Cracked (1976)
08 Radio Birdman – New Race (1977)
09 Pere Ubu – Navvy (1978)
10 Human League – Empire State Human (1979)
11 Chrome – Eyes On Mars (1980)
12 You’ve Got Foetus on Your Breath – Am I Surrounded By Incompetence (1981)
13 Felt – I Worship The Sun (1982)
14 Daniel Johnston – Speeding Motorcycle (1983)
15 Butthole Surfers – Cherub (1984)
16 Minutemen – The Big Stick (1985)
17 bIG fLAME – XPQWRTZ (1986)
18 The Darling Buds – If I Said (1987)
19 Pixies – River Euphrates (1988)
20 Pussy Galore – Dick Johnson (1989)  (Accidentally missing).
21 Bongwater – Folk Song (1990)
22 Leatherface – I Want The Moon (1991)
23 Chumbawamba – Stitch That (1992)
24 Transglobal Undergound – Sirius B (1993)
25 Flying Saucer Attack – Standing Stone (1994)
26 Yo La Tengo – Tom Courtenay (1995)
27 Imperial Teen – You’re One (1996)
28 Atari Teenage Riot – Start The Riot (1997)
29 Do Make Say Think – Disco & Haze (1998)
30 Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Faraway Eyes (1999)
31 Future Pilot A.K.A – Witchi Tai To (2000)
32 Le Tigre – Get Off The Internet (2001)
33 Free Loan Investments – Rain Go Away (2002)
34 Johnny Cash – Devil’s Right Hand (2003)
35 Reigning Sound – We Repel Each Other (2004)
36 Candy – Black and White (2005)
37 Sister Vanilla – Jamcolas (2006)
38 The Darlings (Allo Darlin) – Emily (2007)
39 The Manhattan Love Suicides – Clusterfuck (2008)
40 Myelin Sheaths – What’s Yer Diagnosis (Psychosis) (2009)
41 Standard Fare – Philadelphia (2010)
42 The Happy Thoughts – Back Of The Line (2011)
43 Ela Orleans – Tumult In Clouds (2012)
44 Winter Bear – Jump In The Fire (2013)
45 Nun – Suppress Electricity (2014)
46 G.L.O.S.S. – G.L.O.S.S. (We Are From The Future) 2015

(Music) Things to look forward to in 2016

I don’t think I’ve ever (in all my music blog guises since 2004) done a looking forward to these things kinda post. So in 2015 I break this tradition.

Music stuff (that I am not releasing) that I am looking forward to in 2016:

Witching Waves – Crystal Cafe. I saw their label take delivery of these early yesterday (they posted a pic on a Instagram). Seriously becoming one of the best bands currently knocking up fuzzy guitar pop with a dash of The Cure thrown in. This kinda band must be a thing, already? Surely.

Whatever Ela Orleans comes up with next is going to be interesting. Following on from her ‘Upper Hell’ record I’m really be intrigued to here how she develops her sound after her collaboration with Howie B.

Pinkshinyultrablast have a new LP ‘Grandfeathered’ shipping via Club AC30. Talk of a heavier sound. Lead single that emerged this year ‘Kiddy Pool Dreams’ definitely hints at the decibel levels rising. One of my faves from 2015 and I think they’re primed for even better things in 2016.

Kid Canaveral played the Odd Box Christmas party and they showcased a some cracking new songs that are due to surface on their 3rd long player in 2016. This will be released on the Lost Map imprint. The band are now expanded to a 5 piece and I sense more sophistication and electronics will be bubbling to the surface on this one. Let’s hope they don’t lose the thrilling power pop that made them so awesome in the first place.

Martha – just finished recording their 2nd LP, apparently. I assume this will come out on Fortuna Pop! Hoping to build on the immense promise shown on their debut ‘Courting Strong’.

One of the most intriguing labels I stumbled across last year was Lugubrious Audio. I was first alerted to the label by Nathan from Martha (not a surprise as both Martha and the label hail from Durham) and I bought 3 of their cassette releases in 2015. One of which by Dead Friends was amongst my favourites of this year. So I am really keen to see what they come up with next.

Australia has provided a vast amount of listening pleasure in 2015. Bands like Wireheads, Mope City,  Beef Jerk et el have all made records I’ve enjoyed and I get a lot of my Aussie tips from the great Did Not Chart blog. So I will keep my eyes on what’s happening down under in 2016. I am sure I will be blown away by another slice of Australian indiepop.

Joanna Gruesome went through a line-up change in 2015. Singer Alanna McCardle departed and was replaced by two new singers (Roxy and Kate) so it will be fun hearing what the new line up comes up with.

The Jesus and Mary Chain have been recording a new record with Youth. Their first since 1998. I am all kinds of all over the place on this one. But I would be kidding myself if I was to say I am not looking forward to hearing what the band have come up with. Youth himself has recently commented on the recordings:

“That’s been a great joy for me,” he says. “What they do with their music, to be allowed in and to produce it is what gets me excited, and what they do as artists is what it’s all about. We managed to find common ground. And I work very fast, so it came together very quickly.”
He took the band out to his studio in Andalucía, Spain, which he built “just at the beginning of the demise of the big studios” – around 15 years ago.

Nun (from Melbourne) released a great debut record in 2014, which saw it’s US release in 2015 on Hozac Records. I really hope they have something new for 2016 as this record remains a constant on the turntable here. And their facebook page suggest new songs – they recently posted this video clip of a new song being played live.

Also we could reasonably expect exciting new records (some I may well be releasing on Odd Box and some I am most definitely not! ) from the likes of: The Wolfhounds, Fever Dream, The Ethical Debating Society, The Smittens, Frozy, T.O.Y.S, The Transistors, Nobunny, City Yelps, Trash Kit, Wolf Girl and T-Shirt Weather.

And I can dream about a new record from the Box Elders (I know they no longer exist, but I can dream right?)


Top 50 LPs of 2015

Odd Box has released 5 LPs this year. Asking me to rank those is an impossible task. But each of these 5 albums deserve to be mentioned in any self respecting blog post considering their favourite releases of 2015:

Frozy – Lesser Pop
The Manhattan Love Suicides – More Heat! More Panic!
The Ethical Debating Society – New Sense
Two White Cranes – Radisson Blue
Nervous Twitch – Get Back In Line

I shan’t include them in the run down below. But rest assured these are great albums and deserve to be heard by all.

Here are my ‘other’ favourite albums of the year.

01 Ela Orleans – Upper Hell (HB Recordings)
02 Sauna Youth – Distractions (Upset The Rhythm)
03 Eerie Summer – the way i don’t understand anything anymore (Self Released)
04 Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015 (Domino)
05 Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters (Club AC30)
06 Drinks – Hermits On Holiday (Heavenly)
07 Try The Pie – Domestication (Salinas Records)
08 SPORTS – All Of Something (Father/Daughter records)
09 Wireheads – Big Issues (Tenth Court)
10 Evans The Death – Expect Delays (Fortuna Pop)

11 Mammoth Penguins – Hide & Seek (Fortuna Pop)
12 Beef Jerk – Tragic (Self Released)
13 Peach Kelli Pop – III (Burger)
14 Totem Terrors – Hard Science (Diet Pops)
15 Chorusgirl – Chorusgirl (Fortuna Pop)
16 Dead Friends – The Worthless Chug Of Affluence (Lugubrious Audio)
17 Fever Dream – Moyamoya (Club AC30)
18 Expert Alterations – You Can’t Always Be Liked (Kanine)
19 The Fireworks – Switch Me on (Shelflife)
20 The Spook School – Try To Be Hopeful (Fortuna Pop)

21 Twerps – Range Anxiety (Merge)
22 Try The Pie – Rest (HHBTM)
23 Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Milk!)
24 Trust Fund – No One’s Coming For Us (Turnstile)
25 Brad San Martin – Tell Someone (Jigsaw)
26 Darren Hayman – Chants For Socialists (WIAIWYA)
27 Knife Pleats – Hat Hark Beach (WIAIWYA)
28 The Catenary Wires – Red Red Skies (Elefant)
29 Grubs – It Must Be Grubs (Reeks Of Effort/Tuff Enuff)
30 Trust Fund – Seems Unfair (Turnstile)

31 Oh Peas – Difficult Second Chair (Time of Asking/Diet Pops)
32 Motorhead – Bad Magic (UDR)
33 The Lovely Eggs – This Is Our Nowhere (Egg)
34 The Penny Licks – The Penny Licks (Self Released)
35 Shopping – Why Choose (Fat Cat)
36 Tigercats – Mysteries (Fortuna Pop)
37 Joey Fourr – To The Floorr (Milk Records)
38 Simon Love – It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time (Fortuna Pop)
39 Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss (Sargent House)
40 Bjork – Vulnicura (One Little Indian)

41 Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin (PIAS)
42 Sleaford Mods – Key Markets (Harbinger Sound)
43 Owl & Mouse – Departures (Fika Recordings)
44 The Membranes – Dark Matter / Dark Energy (Cherry Red)
45 Milky Wimpshake – Encore, Un Effort (Fortuna Pop)

As always I’ve not included EPs, singles or split releases. And I have probably forgotten something I really like. That always happens.

Podcast – Favourites of 2015

Here are 50 songs from some of my favourite releases of 2015.

1.Makes A Difference – Mammoth Penguins
2.Instrumental 11 – Flying Saucer Attack
3.Weird Around You – Eerie Summer
4.Resilience – Two White Cranes
5.Summer Song – Peaness
6.Burn Masculinity – The Spook School
7.Child’s Play – The Ethical Debating Society
8.Electricity – Motorhead
9.Get Away From Me Right Now – Flemmings
10.Another Drop – Beef Jerk
11.Crooked Cults – Wireheads
12.Getting On In Spite Of You – SPORTS
13.I Don’t Know – Oh Peas!
14.Confidence Man – Transistors
15.One Step Too Far – Knife Pleats
16.Glitter – Pinkshinyultrablast
17.No Moon – Chorusgirl
18.Dreamers – Trust Fund
19.Heartbeat – The Penny Licks
20.The Ships – Closed Circuits
21.Transmitters – Sauna Youth
22.Old Wounds – Try The Pie
23.Dragged Out – Chelsea Wolfe
24.Spilt The Beans – Drinks
25.Untapped Utility – Mope City
26.Snow – Frozy
27.Pedestrian At Best -Courtney Barnett
28.Rest – Seconds
29.Arselicker – The Glad Eye
30.Frozen Wasteland (Do It Again) – The Manhattan Love Suicides
31.I.D.K.E.W.Y.S.F.N – Teaser Pony
32.In The Street (If This Is The Future) – Nervous Twitch
33.I Don’t Want To Be Alone Again – Milk Crimes
34.Hello Dear – Melge
35.Shit Typhoon Hits Grantham – Dead Friends
36.Flutter Through The Winter – T-Shirt Weather
37.The Records We Never Play – The Catenary Wires
38.Sleeping In The Backseat – Tigercats
39.Back To You – Twerps
40.When You Die I Will Like You – Actual Crimes
41.We Are One – Ela Orleans
42.Chicken – Totem Terrors
43.Talk About Terry – Terry
44.Dance Forever – Fever Dream
45.Let’s Go Backwards – Beyond Pink
46.Yes, I Helped You Pack – Ghostpoet
47.Nude Beach – Peach Kelli Pop
48.Such A Stupid Fool – Expert Alterations
49.Windwaker – Grubs
50.Intrinsic Grey – Evans The Death