Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales - Everything Boom!

100% pure dynamite! Good time rock 'n' soul from Berlin!

Hey boys and girls, you lookin' for a good time? Well who the hell isn't these days?! If the news ain't depressing enough the weather is! Fortunately there's always the sweet delights of music. And they don't come much sweeter than this here garage and soul belter from Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales. I only recently got tipped off about them but their debut album has been blasting out from my speakers for the past few weeks. I may be late to the party but I'm hoping to make up for it by playing this belter loud.

With their mix of soul, rock 'n' roll and garage rock they sure ain't no soul-searching navel gazers. This is music to be played loud, music to soundtrack the good times, music to party to, music to get drunk to. It's an album that'll have you phoning your mates up at 3am to tell them you love them. Better still, invite them over to share in the good-time party vibes. With 100mph drums, wailing saxophone, crunching guitars and Maiorano's feelgoood songs and lyrics it's bound to get the party started.

If you like what you hear you'll be pleased to find the band have some UK and German gigs next month, hopefully in a town near you. Leave yer blues and the door, get down the front and have a blast. It would be impossible not to!

Upcoming Tour Dates
19.10.16 – Hamtorkrug, Neuss, Germany
20.10.16 - St. Moritz Club, London, England
21.10.16 - The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool, England
22.10.16 - The Lexington, London, England
26.10.16 – Yorckschlösschen, Berlin, Germany
04.11.16 – Komplex, Schwerin, Germany
24.02.17 - Wild At Heart, Berlin, Germany

Click here for more on Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales.
Click here for Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales on Facebook.
Click here for Off Label Records.

The Fuits de Mer Guide to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (Ltd. Col 7”)

Thanks for all the fish! Three wildly different takes on a British TV-Theme classic!

This limited edition 7” has been out for a few weeks now but is still available from the Fruits de Mer website. Well worthy of your investigation and your pennies it features the spacerock theme tune from the TV adaptation of Douglas Adams' sci-fi classic, re-imagined by Astralasia, Icarus Peel, and The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies. The track 'Journey of The Sorcerer' was originally by The Eagles. Who woulda thought eh fact fans?!

The Astralasia version is a driving piece of galaxy-spanning electronica, just the ticket for a journey into the unknown. Icarus Peel takes it to a more reflective soulful level complete with Hammond vibes and guitar wig-out. The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies take is straight out of the Ladbroke Grove speed 'n' squat scene of the early '70s. Get groovin' freaks!

All copies come with a bonus CD featuring additional remixes and an additional version by Quantum Surf Rocket Garage Dolls plus new music from Astralasia and Sendelica's Pete Bingham. A bumper package!

Out now on a limited edition colour vinyl 7”.

Click here for Fruits de Mer Records.

Soft Hearted Scientists - Golden Omens

Modern life is weird! Prolific Cardiff collective's 7th long player!

It's been a busy few months for me and I've not always been able to post here as often as I would have liked. One release I definitely didn't want to let slip through the net is the latest opus from Soft Hearted Scientists. Hot on the heels of their recently reissued debut Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth comes Golden Omens, their latest album of new material, this time on a double CD. Split into 4 parts, it's a song cycle that once again helps us see the world with fresh eyes. This is a band with a seemingly bottomless well of inspiration from which they conjure up tunes to delight and entertain us.

There's a Robyn Hitchcock lyric that goes something like “a sideways glance in a full on world”. I may have that slightly wrong but it sums up what Soft Hearted Scientists are all about. Their songs are rooted in the ordinary and everyday but make you see the world anew, opening your eyes to the inherent weirdness and absurdity that surrounds us when we step back and examine what's going on around us. Odd juxtapositions and associations abound.

Not only that but musically they continue to come up with the goods. Gentle pastoral folksiness one minute, into soundscapes and Barrett-esque whimsy the next. As hinted at on the album sleeve, Soft Hearted Scientists are the musically equivalent of jellyfish, fascinatingly odd and funny, they swim beneath the surface, are endurable and ever present, and might just sting you. Encounter them and life is never quite the same again. Dive in and swim with them!

Click here for Soft Hearted Scientists' website.

The Wicked Whispers - New 7" single + upcoming shows!

Good news! The Wicked Whispers have a brand new 7" single out now on Electone Records. A double A-side affair, the 2 tracks are 'If I Set You Free' and 'Zodiac Girl'. In support of the single the psychedelic scousers have lined up some happening shows for October.

Check out the suitably colourful video for 'If I Set You Free' below and read on for the gig info!

The band play :
LONDON - Thursday 6th October 2016.
This Feeling at The Water Rats (+ West of The Sun / velettes)
Event page:

LIVERPOOL - Friday 21st October 2016
Buyers Club (+ special guests DUSST & The Probes)
Event page:

BIRMINGHAM - Thursday 27th October 2016
Hare & Hounds Kings Heath (+ special guests Lee Southall (The Coral) +Ulysses)
Event page:

Cyanna Mercury - New video + forthcoming debut album!

Good pals of ours, Cyanna Mercury, have a new video out for 'There Will Be A Time'. It's the 4th track to be revealed from their debut album, Archetypes, which is due out in November. The video is inspired in part by Alan Parker's 1984 film Birdy.

Dig in, get deep and enjoy!

For more info visit the band's website.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Suburban Homes ... Are Bored EP

Provincial punk punch on The Suburban Homes' latest EP!

The Olympics and Paralympics aside, 2016 has been a terrible year to be British. The dissatisfaction that many have felt across the country manifested itself in the Brexit result, quite possibly the lamest, most self-defeating revolution ever. A political own goal more embarrassing than England's form at the Euros.

We were led down this route by battling Etonians, whose austerity politics satisfied the reactionaries of middle England, bolstered as they were by the press, who blamed the country's ills on anyone without a voice, the powerless rather than those actually in charge. Benefit seekers and immigrants took the brunt of the blame, while corporations and banks continue to screw us over.

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Er... yes. Big-time!

Perhaps here's not the place for me to get this off my chest. After all it's just a humble little music blog. But It seems that the heart of angry protest still beats in pockets across the country. The latest EP from The Suburban Homes gives hope that the youth may save us from ourselves once again. Or at the very least make a damn good righteous racket while trying to.

The Crawley punks' latest was recorded before the Brexit referendum and doesn't address it directly but it does tap into that sense of desperation and helplessness that many marginalised communities across the country are subject to. That feeling that we all deserve better than what we get. There may be a poverty of imagination across our political spectrum and we continue to be passified by our homogenised mainstream culture, which is precisely why The Suburban Homes deserve to be heard. I don't think this 12” EP is actually available as yet but keep an eye on the band's Bandcamp page for more info.

Click here for more on The Suburban Homes.

Welcome To Shitsville
Small Town Boredom
Barbie and Ken
iPhone Suicide
Paranoia + Frustration = Constipation

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Fast Camels – Tales Of The Expected

Third LP from Scotland's premier neo-psych band!

Glasgow may be 5,000 miles from San Francisco, and nowhere near as warm and sunny but maybe it's looking out from a west coast onto a large body of water that induces a psychedelic mindset. Okay maybe not, but there's certainly plenty of that psychedelic mindset on the latest LP from The Fast Camels, one of the best neo-psych outfits in Britain right now. And plenty of the Glasgow-based band's inspiration comes from that other west coast. Check out their debt to Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' on 'Watchmaker', or the dark acoustic vibes of 'Madame Matron' a track that would fit in easily on Love's Forever Changes.

It's been 2 years since their previous long player, Deadrooms And Butterfly Dreams, and 9 since their debut, The Magic Optician. There's been no major stylistic overhaul, with the band content to mix '60s psych influences with some '90s Britpop swagger. Though the band seem re-energised with a fresh batch of tunes that if anything surpasses their previous output, playing to their strengths in the studio and gelling like only a well-gigged and rehearsed band could.

The primary influences of US psych bands from '66 onwards (A support slot at one of the recent Love Revisited gigs must have been a boost and a validation) is there in the music but lyrically they couldn't be from anywhere else except these isles. The sense of humour found in their Kinksian vignettes is purely British, a tradition that goes right back to the days of music halls. Check out their dig at bar-room bullshitters on the title track opener, or 'Joy Of Roy', a character study that peers beneath the surface of ordinary everyday people to reveal their quirks and foibles. So musically it's a pill-poppin' trip down the rabbit-hole, while lyrically ripping the piss out of their acquaintances like only us Brits know how to do. A true transatlantic trip, and one you need to experience.

The Fast Camels are -

Drew Sturgeon: vocals/guitar
Mark O'Connor: vocals/lead guitar/12 string acoustic
Andy Rene: vocals/bass guitar
Joe Smith: drums/organ/vocals
Craig Jenkins: vocals/percussion

Click here for The Fast Camels' website

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Bordellos - Gary Glitter EP

A brave move to title your latest EP after one the music world's most reviled figures, but the The Bordellos are no ordinary band. The title track of their new release is not a celebration of the man but more of a lament for a time when mainstream music was colourful and exciting. Brian from the band explains - 

"It is a EP influenced by the sad decline of the magic that once could be found in mainstream music, now it seems to have all but vanished, music once could excite you entice you scare you make you feel uneasy or elated just by turning on the radio no matter what time of the day, this is our attempt at putting something slightly subversive back on the radio."

This theme continues through the other three tracks, 'Attack Of The Killer B-Sides' is a list of those classic tracks that are at least the equal of their more celebrated flipsides. Have a listen and add your own. 'Free Download Generation' is a satire of now, a time when new music is so omnipresent and readily accessible but little social or cultural impact. The final track 'Disco Pants' is a post-punk gem about community and retail therapy. How about that! Anyway it's a great EP and available (as a free download no less!) from their Bandcamp page. Get listening!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Is This Music? - Teenage Fanclub Uncovered - A Spotify Playlist

With a new album from Teenage Fanclub on the horizon I've been immersing myself in the surprising amount of records of theirs that I own. LPs, CD & 7" singles along with appearances on compilation LPs and magazine freebies. With this in mind I present you with a Spotify playlist of songs they've covered. Some are on LPs, some on B-sides, some on tribute albums, but all given the Fanclub makeover and all an insight into their likes and influences. There were also a couple of Neil Young tracks ('Burned' and 'Don't Cry No Tears'), but they aren't on Spotify so I couldn't tag them on. Anyways, I'll stop prattling. Long live the Fanclub!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Embrooks – Nightmare / Helen (Ltd 7”)

The Embrooks first recordings in over 10 years! Out now on State Records!

It may be over a decade since The Embrooks committed any music to ½-inch tape but this brand new 7” single shows they can still come up with the goods. They've kept their hand in during the intervening years with drummer Lois bashing the skins for garage-y pub-rockers Thee Jezebels, and bassist Mole playing for numerous acts as well as setting up State Records and Sandgate Studios, a facility that ranks alongside the legendary Toe Rag for capturing an authentically vintage sound.

Where The Embrooks are concerned this sound is all about that mid-'60s “pop goes weird” moment, crucially pre-concept album, when 7” singles ruled. It's beat-driven art-rock still with still enough “pop” in it to care about melody and hooks. 'Nightmare' is the darker side of this single with pilled-up guitar motifs and scattershot drums. It owes much to The Creation, The Who and The Yardbirds et al whereas the flip 'Helen' shows the band's lighter, poppier side, albeit with a guitar sound nasty enough for Dave Davies. A cracking record, get it while it's hot!

Limited to 500 copies in front-laminated flipback sleeve.

The Embrooks are -

Mole—bass guitar, vocals
Alessandro Cozzi-Lepri—guitar, vocals
Lois Tozer—drums

Click here for The Embrooks on Facebook.
Click here for the State Records website.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Luck of Eden Hall – The End of the Lane (Ltd. Edition 7”)

Limited edition 7” from long-serving Chicago psych band!

For a band that's been around since the '90s TLOEH still come up with the goods. This very limited release on Mega Dodo Records contains two tracks of top notch neo psychedelia and comes complete with a cover illustration that will have book and art lovers wetting their pants. Author Neil Gaiman (yes that one!) has kindly donated a drawing for the front cover of the single. So frame the sleeve on the walls by all means but do play the record!
'The End of the Lane' is inspired by Gaiman's book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It fades in gently with guitar motifs and softly sung vocals. With tasteful use of echo it's a soothing balm that builds into a more manic segment underpinned by frantic drums and guitar shreds.
The flipside 'Blown to Kingdom Come' is taken from the band's recent long-player The Acceleration of Time. A Bowie-esque full band stomper and a nice contrast to the gentle side of the band displayed on the lead track.

This 7” single is released on 15th of August and is available on two colours -

Blue vinyl edition limited to 150 numbered copies (Singles Club members only).
Black vinyl edition limited to 150 numbered copies (general release).

Click here for more on The Luck of Eden Hall.
Click here for The Luck of Eden Hall on Twitter.
Click here for The Luck of Eden Hall on Facebook.
Click here for Mega Dodo Records.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sideways Society – 4-track EP of Bowie / The Action covers (Ltd. Col 7”)

Californian band's discerning tribute to '60s UK modernism!

A true gem this one. Following on from the appearance on the recent Fruits de Mer freebie Bowie compilation, Sidewalk Society have recorded a couple less obvious tracks by the artist formerly known as David Jones. And well worth your pocket money they are too! A great tribute to a great man, and a reminder that there's plenty of Bowie tracks worth investigating pre-Hunky and Ziggy.
In keeping with the mod-nugget theme are a couple of tracks originally recorded by The Action. An art-school mod frenzy vibe for those who dig that kind of thing (hell, who doesn't?!) A platter that's sure to have you heading for the dance floor, but packed with a heft of latent psychedelia to keep the Heads satisfied too.

Released as a limited edition colour vinyl 7”. (OUT NOW!)

  1. Can't Help Thinking About Me (David Bowie & The Lower Third)
  2. Look At The View (The Action)
  3. Let Me Sleep Beside You (David Bowie)
  4. Strange Roads (The Action)

Click here for more on Sidewalk Society.
Click here for Fruits de Mer Records.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

San Antonio Kid - San Antonio Kid

Swabian tumbleweed and twang!

With the horrendous battle for the White House currently raging, perhaps it's time to remind ourselves that the USA is not all bad. It has after all given us so much in cultural terms. And especially where music is concerned. The broad umbrella widely known as Americana has taken hold everywhere. In the Swabian town of Augsburg, Germany lives a quartet of urban cowboys who go by the collective name of San Antonio Kid, their name taken from a 1941 cult western movie.
Their self titled eight track album re-imagines Ennio Morricone's paeans to wide-open deserts but via a traditional guitar band set-up. Kind of like a surf band that's got sick of the ocean and re-located 500 miles inland. It's a gem of an album for anyone who loves a bit of Lee Hazelwood, Spindrift or Alt-country in general. On top of that it may contain the best whistling solo ever committed to tape (or Pro-Tools for that matter!) on 'Strangers', a track that would have made the Kill Bill soundtrack had they got round to recording it fifteen years ago.
Anyway it's not just me that digs 'em. Their brand of tumbleweed twang has garnered them recent tours with like-minded Brits The Hanging Stars. Check out this album and watch out for them bursting through a saloon door near you soon!

Click here for more on San Antonio Kid.
Click here for San Antonio Kid on Facebook.
Click here for Off Label Records.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The 14th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus – August 5th-7th in Cardigan, West Wales

Fruits de Mer's annual extravaganza in west Wales! This summer's hot ticket!

Good ol' Fruits de Mer know how to turn an unbearably strange summer into one that's actually enjoyable. Anyone wishing to escape Brexit and and Donald Trump for a few days should head over to Cardigan in lovely west Wales for the annual FDM-run festival.

Acts appearing include Twink & The Fairies, Vibravoid, The Electric Stars, Sendelica, Soft Hearted Scientists and our good friend Ted Selke (Seventh Ring Of Saturn). There'll be vinyl goodie bags on the Saturday and Sunday too. What better chance to hang out with like minded people and hear some great music!

Along with the live apprearances, quizes and general good vibes, each attendee will receive three free CDs featuring tracks compiled by Fruits de Mer. The CDs feature bands playing at the festival along with a globe-straddling array of new and old favourites. Tickets are limited to 150 only and will no doubt sell out. What are you waiting for?!

Click here to purchase tickets online.
Click here for the Fruits De Mer Records website.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Missing Souls – Sweet, Sweet Sadie / The Alligator (Ltd 7”)

Storming garage soul 45 out now on State Records!

State Records further their reputation as the leading garage label du jour with this latest release from The Missing Souls. It's the band's first for the label but they already have a couple of 7” singles to their name along with a self-titled LP on Dangerhouse Skylab Records. The band hail from Lyon, France and have been together just under two years, in which time their stuff has been well and truly got together. This single recorded in-house at State's custom built studio is ample proof at that.

Both tracks here are covers. 'Sweet, Sweet Sadie' (originally by The Teardrops) centres around a fuzz guitar riff with a Phillicordia organ solo that takes the track into freakbeat overdrive. 'The Alligator' is a dance craze track originally by The Us Four, driven here by punding drums and complete with hand claps, a truly wild guitar solo and trademark boy/girl vocals.

This is a record that deserves to be played loud. A must have single for any self-respecting garage 'n' beat DJ. Freakbeat a-go-go baby!

Limited to 500 copies on monophonic black vinyl.

Click here for The Missing Souls' website.
Click here for The Missing Souls on Facebook.
Click here for the State Records website.

The Missing Souls are -

Zaza Sharps – lead vocals, bass guitar
Little Big Ian – lead vocals, guitar
Ricky Bilbao – organ, bass guitar
Lester Mizzi – drums, vocals