Wednesday, 30 September 2009

listen to me i'm on the stereo, stereo

let's get down to brass tacks: tomorrow's radio show will have no theme or nonsense, just a set of cracking tunes.

these include: new releases (mountain goats, why), touring bands (king khan, pixies), another 'turning japanese' entry (andersens) and stuff i forgot to play last week (the human league, damon & naomi). plus MUCH MUCH MORE etc.

does that sound nice? it does, doesn't it, 12-1pm or anytime with the nifty listen again button.


Monday, 28 September 2009

new poster design(osaurus)

you may have already noticed the wonderful new poster on the right hand side. well here it is in SUPER EXTREME ULTRA size:

ace, isn't it? the massive increase in quality compared to earlier posters is down to the fact that, rather than me struggling to crudely photoshop some random image, october's has been, well, commissioned i guess. the brief was roughly as follows:

"hi, i'm a bit drunk, can you draw something with dinosaurs?"

"sure, what are your favourites?"

"oh gosh, how to choose... um, well i suppose any of the classics... tricerotops, brontosaurus... any of the jurassic park alumni really. i'll leave it up to you"

and lo and behold, the above was the outcome. fucking lovely. it's the work of one david lemm, an artist and friend whose website might be of interest. have a look here.


Saturday, 26 September 2009

reviews: why, atlas sound, the social services

here are three more reviews of albums i've been enjoying lately:

The Social Services - It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security

Two-thirds Glaswegian/one-third Swedish indie-poppers The Social Services have a love-hate relationship with drummer Martin Frödén’s home nation. “Oh Sweden, I’m sorry to say that you’re tedious sometimes,” The Baltic Sea begins, followed by a list which begrudgingly admits its Scandinavian charm (“your recycling facilities are second to none”, “you design such great furniture and storage solutions”). Then comes the bittersweet pay-off - “but nobody smiles back at me” - and suddenly a sweetly comic pop song becomes unexpectedly poignant. When they then cry “we can be your friends!” it’s tempting to declare The Social Services the best thing since sliced Lucksmiths, but unfortunately the rest is less instantly lovable. Medium Pop Ballad is as bland as its title suggests, while a West Coast-accented cover of You Are My Sunshine would’ve sounded lazy even if Glasvegas hadn’t already done it a year ago. But there’s still plenty to cherish; you should at least consider their offer of friendship.

Out 28th September

Atlas Sound - Logos

Bradford Cox was understandably upset when an innocent filesharing error on his part resulted in an unfinished Logos being hawked around cyberspace, so much so that (now deleted) blog posts indicated he might never complete it. Luckily he's dropped the intransigence to polish the LP to its intended glory, though perhaps Pathos would be a more apt title, its persuasive charms appealing more to the heart than the head. In his Deerhunter guise, Cox's compositions are hardly 'ordinary', but with Atlas Sound he ventures further leftfield, playing with texture and form and using repetition to draw out the nuances of his graceful compositions. But despite his reputation as a singularly creative, renaissance-style maverick, Logos is occassionally hijacked by its guests, in particular Stereolab's Laetitia Sadler who causes Quick Canal to sound like, well, Stereolab. But since Stereolab are awesome, this only makes the pastime of getting lost in these looping lolls even more appealing.

Out 19th October

Why? - Eskimo Snow

Short-but-sweet opening track These Hands announces Eskimo Snow’s emotional register. Blessed as ever with a grandiose gift of the gab, these ten tracks see Why?’s Yoni Wolf “facing history with little-to-no irony”, his distinctive speak-croon articulating personal quandaries as opposed to simply dazzling with word-games. OK, so there’s still a fair amount of irony scattered amongst the introspection, but combining wit with intimacy continues to serve Mr Wolf well: for example, the straightforwardly-phrased yet complexly-poignant “these hands are my father’s hands but smaller” introduces a paternal theme hammered home nine tracks later, in album highlight the Blackest Purse’s appeals for parental vindication: (“what should these earnest hands be holding?...Mom am I failing?”). Musically, Why? drift further away from previous hip-hop experimentations, moving them closer to conventionality. But they retain enough idiosyncrasies to ensure that textbook strings can’t eclipse their sparkling intellect, mellifluous innovation and, most profoundly, the rhythmic heart propelling these revelatory lyricisms.

Out 5th October

Thursday, 24 September 2009

wall of sound etc

another radio show in the bag. the whole 'link-the-songs-to-a-uni-subject' thing wasn't all that, but luckily the songs themselves were. have a listen here.

- david bowie - heros
- tv on the radio - staring at the sun
- health - die slow
- atlas sound - the light that failed
- why - against me
- the social services - the baltic sea
- tenniscoats - baibaba bimba
- the babies - meet me in the city
- fanfarlo - luna
- fuck buttons - sweet love for planet earth
- wild beasts - all the king's men
- strike the colours - rivers


Wednesday, 23 September 2009

stay tuned to this frequency

the radio show tomorrow is gonna be bonzer, it's all, like, based on subjects wot might be done at uni or something. i'll probably play something from eskimo snow (THAT'S RIGHT THE NEW WHY ALBUM) and the human league. i have little else to say on the matter at this moment in time, so here are some wise radio-related words borrowed from mr holder:

this is rockin' radio the wall of sound
the music that rocks
the music that shocks
that music that comes to you from everywhere
as this is the music of the land
i love that music
i love that sound
i love that record
i love that noise
stay tuned to radio subcity
the wall of sound

Radio wall of sound

Comin' up from my tower

Radio wall of sound

24 hours of power

oh yeah.

thursday, 12-1pm,

Monday, 21 September 2009

september playlist

the hangovers i have after bottle rocket are the best kind of hangovers. mixed in with the dull throb of red-striped headaches and heavy eyelids is the warmth of smug happiness. september's bottle rocket was flipping awesome from my perspective, and i hope that at least a few others shared my enthusiasm. some thoughts:

1. apologies for not managing to include every request during the night. though i'd say that if you request u2's with or without you at 2:55, claiming that it'll make "everyone go wild, they're dying for it" isn't the most convincing argument...

2. people like depeche mode, the police, weezer, shangri-las and fleetwood mac an awful lot.

3. they also like mclusky, but it makes them aggressive. never thought i'd see a proto-moshpit form on bottle rocket's dancefloor... odd.

4. housemartins have a surprisingly strong fanbase too for that matter...

5. now that the dancefloor's all chequered and cool, it doesn't look so bad at the beginning of the night when it's still sans disco-feet.

here's the playlist:

1. Radio Dept. - Pulling Our Weight
2. Superchunk - Art Class
3. Pocketbooks - Fleeting Moments
4. Guided By Voices - Teenage FBI
5. Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
6. Yo La Tengo - Mr Tough
7. Jens Lekman - Maple Leaves
8. Adam and the Ants - Car Trouble
9. Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment
10. Language Of Flowers - If I Can't Have You
11. Acid House Kings - We're the Acid House Kings
12. Architecture In Helsinki - It's 5!
13. The Jags - Back of My Hand
14. TV on the Radio - Staring at the Sun
15. Devo - Gut Feeling
16. Pixies - I've Been Tired
17. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Lie Down Here (and Be My Girl)
18. They Might Be Giants - Dr Worm
19. The Go Team - Ladyflash
20. Okkervil River - Pop Lie
21. Belle and Sebastian - Blues are Still Blue
22. Camera Obscura - The Sweetest Thing
23. Blondie - Union City Blue
24. Shangri-Las - Give Him A Great Big Kiss
25. The Ramones - Blitzkreig Bop
26. Triple School - Awesome Ball of Flame
27. Mclusky - Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues
28. We Were Promised Jetpacks - Quiet Little Voices
29. Modern Lovers - Roadrunner
30. Pavement - Summer Babe
31. Magnetic Fields - When My Boy Walks Down the Street
32. The Go-Betweens - Right Here
33. The Hidden Cameras - Ban Marriage
34. The Supremes - Hard Day's Night
35. Darlene Love - A Fine Fine Boy
36. Kenickie - Classy
37. Death Cab For Cutie - Sound of Settling
38. Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper
39. Weezer - My Name Is Jonas
40. Manfred Mann - Blinded By the Light
41. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
42. David Bowie - Golden Years
43. Prince - I Would Die 4 You
44. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
45. The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
46. Pulp - Babies
47. The Smiths - Still Ill
48. Idlewild - When I Argue I See Shapes
49. The Cribs - Men's Needs
50. The Housemartins - We're Not Deep
51. Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies
52. The Police - Message in a Bottle
53. ABBA - SOS
54. Depeche Mode - I Just Can't Get Enough
55. Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
56. Cliff Richard - High Class Baby
57. Dexy's Midnight Runners - Jackie Wilson Said
58. Rocket From The Crypt - On A Rope
59. Liars - Mr You're On Fire Mr
60. Danananaykroyd - Some Dresses
61. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Doing All the Things That Wouldn't Make Your Parents Proud
62. David Bowie - Héros
63. Woodie Guthrie - This Land Is My Land


Saturday, 19 September 2009


is bottle rocket night! woop woop woop!

if anyone has any further requests to add then add em on the facebook page and we'll stick em in the pop-bags alongside all the other lovely stuff we have lined up. stuff like dexy's midnight runners. stuff like tv on the radio. stuff like...ach, wait and see.

11:30 - 3:00am

nice n sleazy (sauchiehall street, glasgow)




Thursday, 17 September 2009

radio shmadio

so, bottle rocket radio is underway again (hooray, hooray!)

if you aint already had a listen, click here to do so.

after a couple of fluster-fying glitches, i settled down to play all of this:

- triple school - reader
- triple school - reader 2
- the big pink - dominos
- trashcan sinatras - should i pray?
- paper planes - doris day
- there will be fireworks - says aye
- husker du - don't want to know if you are lonely
- mew - repeaterbeater
- rocket from the crypt - on a rope
- pastels/tenniscoats - song for a friend
- times new viking - move to california
- dead boy robotics - the original man
- deastro - parallelograms
- the temper trap - sweet disposition

it'll be back in the same slot (12-1pm) next week, though only on the net (we won't get FM again until march probably). so that's, midday (or listen again whenever).

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

fresher's guide...

so a wee while ago i was given the pretty broad brief to write an "introduction to scottish music" for the skinny's fresher's guide. obviously, that's a pretty huge remit, so i tried to angle it towards acts likely to play gigs in the next year, though that still forced me to cut out loads of great bands. i haven't actually seen the fresher's guide yet (they're being distributed at unions and fresher's fairs across the country apparently), so i dunno if any snips/changes have been made, but thought i'd stick it up here for others to peruse if they fancy. somehow managed to squeeze over seventy acts into a one-thousand word piece...


Welcome to higher education. During your degree you’ll probably kip in dusty lectures, choose liquid refreshment over required reading and, considering you’ve chosen to peruse these pages, no doubt see a lot of live music. Some will be awful. So awful you’ll be tempted to begrudgingly surrender to four years soundtracked exclusively by the Baywatch theme, Chesney Hawkes and the braying of the drunk and disorderly.

Please don’t do that. Persevere and discover a new favourite band, DJ or club-night every time you get your glad-rags on. If that seems like hard work, here are some suggestions to get things started. Some you’ll know, some you might not - yet. They range from lone synth-wranglers to folk collectives of vast proportions, as well as guys with guitars making a racket the old-fashioned way. These disparate musos hail from across Scotland, lumped together here in the hope that, wherever you now call home, a selection will play nearby in the next year. But don’t quote us on this, and certainly don’t take our word for it.

Instead, take this list and add to it the countless others squeezed out by word-count-induced Archimedean displacement (who says the Skinny can’t augment yer syllabus, eh?). Then add all those we’ve yet to hear and fall for, and all those that don’t yet exist outside of a drunken conversation or an absent-minded daydream but who’ll be filling our pages in months to come. For now, this lot are humbly presented as well-worth your time and student loans, but they are, let’s be clear, the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Some need no introduction. If Franz Ferdinand, Camera Obscura, Mogwai or a reformed Vaselines come to town, you already know what to do. Others might disappoint by their absence; if Belle and Sebastian remain AWOL, take comfort in Stuart Murdoch’s God Help the Girl project which, fingers crossed, might take a step closer to cinemas sometime soon. If not, Chris Geddes is sure to be mixing tropical-jazz-funk-disco somewhere or other.

When it comes to home-grown legends, a more dependable bet would be Teenage Fanclub or Idlewild, with new albums from both due in coming months. And though there’s no firm date for a This Gift follow-up, an intense gig from Sons and Daughters can’t be far off.

Then there’s those just arriving on the cusp of Barrowland-sized devotion: follow We Were Promised Jetpacks’ upward propulsion, witness The Phantom Band spurn easy categorisation, and bask in the melodrama of Broken Records. The Twilight Sad, meanwhile, should be comfortably nestled in the upper echelons of ‘best-of-year’ lists come December.

Frightened Rabbit have already made that jump, and if you haven’t yet enjoyed their Arab Strap-esque lyricism and anthemic choruses up-close then you’ll want to remedy the situation quick-sharp. Speaking of Arab Strap, Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat and the Best Ofs prove great things can emerge from a beloved act’s demise. (see also: ex-Delgados Lord Cut Glass and Emma Pollack).

Also no stranger is King Creosote and the rest of the Fence Collective ranks, a recommendation trotted out year on year for good reason - even if you don’t catch any of them during term, their annual Anstruther-based Homegame festival is conveniently post-exams - road trip anyone?

Not that Fife has a monopoly on folk-inspired loveliness: Withered Hand’s witty melancholia and Eagleowl’s bittersweet whispers are certain to impress, as are fellow Edinburghers Jesus H. Foxx and the impassioned Meursault. Glasgow answer with the gentle beauty of Sparrow and the Workshop, while also being home to Dundonian Yusuf Azak and his lushly vertiginous folkscapes. A Secondhand Marching Band show, meanwhile, is surely the only place you’ll hear an accordion, flute and ukulele-based rendition of Battles’ Atlas.

Glasgow also houses the Edwyn Collins school of indie-pop, with Wake The President the cream of the new crop. In addition, Butcher Boy and Zoey Van Goey uphold the romantic spirit of NPL, Peter Parker add a dash of riot grrrl, while Inspector Tapehead channel the Beta Band, utilising clocks and stray toys like a three-headed indie-Ray Mears. Speaking of Beta Band (R.I.P.), King Biscuit Time and The Aliens aint too shabby either…

They are, however, tricky to dance to; luckily there’re are plenty of electro-conjurers providing such a service. Errors you no doubt already know - if not, they’re ace; Gay Against You (and Joe Howe’s side-project Ben Butler and Mousepad) will leave you a sweaty, exhausted mess; chip-tune hypee Unicorn Kid will make younger siblings feel similarly; while Found resemble a proggy Hot Chip before they turned sombre.

Ever wanted to watch a bare-chested, blind-folded man beat himself with torches whilst subjecting his audience to digital noise? Then performance-artist/loud-scary-bloke Kylie Minoise is your man. Also at the decibel-heavy end of the spectrum are nightmare-in-lycra Take A Worm For A Walk Week, knitted gimps Ultimate Thrush, two-man rock-behemoths Bronto Skylift, pig-masked horror show De Salvo, and Titus Gein, who worship the synth and the Grohl simultaneously.

Back in the realm of indie-rock, Paper Planes create sizable new-wave waves with their surf stylings and Copy Haho retool college-rock alt-forefathers winningly. Now an oh-so-clever riddle: what’s got twelve legs, infinite smiles and, um, four ‘na’s? Dananananayroyd! If a weird flatmate starts posting passive-aggressive notes about unkempt hallways, a live dose of the sextet’s pandemonium-pop should ease frustrations.

Or you could gather in awed reverence at the loop-station alter of Wounded Knee; chuckle at the antics of Devo-tees We Are The Physics; gawp at Remember Remember’s aural collages; get lost to the dramatic swells of There Will Be Fireworks; enrol in Triple School; cautiously Google Sexy Kids; swoon to Maple Leaves; jump at Dirty Summer’s scuzzy rock-n-roll; get inexplicably choked up by My Kappa Roots; partake of The Foundling Wheel’s ramshackle clatter or sip whiskey to the countrified Wilson Tan. Not to mention Twin Atlantic, Over the Wall, Ross Clark, Dead Boy Robotics, How To Swim, Findo Gask, Vars of Litchi, Gummy Stumps, Vom, Bricolage and… well, you get the idea. Have fun uncovering the rest.

Monday, 14 September 2009

bottle rocket radio this thursday, noon till one

Summer - or the space between endless winters that we like to jokingly refer to as summer - is supposed to have died for another year, yet here I am looking at blues skies and a lovely evening sun. Go figure. It means I’m unusually chipper as I set about planning bottle rocket radio’s return to the subcity web-waves...

The first show’ll be focused on reacquainting last year’s listeners with the format and setting the template for newcomers – some new music/forthcoming releases, some gigging acts visiting the city, and the launch of a new (probably) recurring segment, Turning Japanese (you win a coconut if you guess what sorta music I’ll be playing then… nope, not songs about masturbation, songs from the land of the rising sun!). And as ever there’ll be lots and lots of Jurassic Park. Old dog, old tricks.

but that's not all! i'll undoubtedly be doing a fair bit of blethering about this saturday's dancing party. i personally reckon it'll be categorically ace, but i'd urge those visiting the blog for the first time to make up your own mind... and conveniently, you can do so this saturday! if there's a better way to top fresher's week (or not-so-freshers week if you're a decrepit fogie like me) then i'm the queen of sheba. and i'm totally not.

11:30pm - 3:00am
£3 (or nowt if yer already in sleazys by 11:30pm)

Br x

Saturday, 12 September 2009

sunset rubdown @ stereo, 10th september

i enjoyed another smashing gig courtesy of the skinny on thursday, here are the words i wrote in exchange...

Prog is not a dirty word. It’s occasionally worth reminding ourselves of that. The authority-baiting allure of punk can convince many an adolescent psyche of prog’s irredeemable ridiculousness, delaying the acceptance that grandiose multi-part opuses are sometimes quite alright thankyouverymuch. Sunset Rubdown are most certainly prog (evidence: their new album’s called Dragonslayer and tonight’s audience includes one excitable gent playing air-piano while a compatriot wields an imaginary baton and conducts, I dunno, probably a goblin orchestra…).

They are also fantastic. Spencer Krug is already a niche-legend, his repute emblazoned on posters for tonight (though he self-consciously worries the by-line “featuring members of Swan Lake, Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes” doesn’t give his bandmates enough recognition). Throughout, his voice carries a dramatic urgency which their epic compositions build upon, piling musical motifs high without becoming tiresome. Moreover, there’s not a wizard’s cape in sight. Prog without self-indulgence? Baroque n’ fucking roll.

5/5 stars

Friday, 11 September 2009

september skinny

the new skinny's been about for a while already so you've probably already had a chance to browse its pages. if not, well, you should. it looks like this:

and as well as the cover feature (with the spiffing twilight sad), there are interviews with the lovely tori amos, part chimp, mew, anti-pop consortium and the dodos amongst others. braw.

but i wrote none of that. words of mine that made it to print include reviews of the frightened rabbit, the big pink, on histories of rosenberg, andrew w.k., pastels/tenniscoats (in an abbreviated and, oops, slightly incorrect form...), trashcan sinatras and strike the colours, and preview blurbs for hockey and gang of four.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

okkervil river @ oran mor, 9th september

another live review up at the skinny, this time of the splendid okkervil river:

Okkervil River are good to their UK fans, making the trip to our shores at the drop of a hat these days. Tonight there’s no new record to promote and (presumably) no outstanding label obligation to fulfil, yet here they are, back in Òran Mór for the second time in ten months, and I’m presumably not the only wide-eyed audience member who’d happily make it an even more frequent arrangement. Highlights are bountiful, with Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe the possible pinnacle - live, its quiet bits are quieter, its loud bits louder, and its distortion bleeds even more profusely. Elsewhere, the opening of A Stone scythes conversations into reverential silence, before the Beach Boys-channelling John Allyn Smith Sails reignites the room. “I aint coming back again,” Will Sheff sings in a closing Westfall, but it’s safe to call his bluff on this one.

4/5 stars

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

tori amos @ royal concert hall, 8th september

i was fortunate enough to score review tickets for tori amos last night, here's the review (up now at the skinny)

Reputations are mysterious things. Rumours of past gigs had painted Tori Amos as a humourless virtuoso who’d sooner tell talkative fans to sling their hook than let their blethering encroach upon her arpeggios. Well, if that Tori exists she’s hidden tonight behind a mesmerising performance, the intensity of its apices offset elsewhere with a playful showiness. It helps that she has pockets of fans for whom the word ‘devotional’ doesn’t seem sufficient, and though it takes a while for the first strangled “I LOVE YOU TORRRRRI!” to lurch forth, Amos plays to their enthusiasm throughout.

In particular, her stool-straddling Janus piano-playing is damn impressive, and a sly smile suggests she’s all too aware of its ability to drop jaws. Even an unfortunate blunder from the Concert Hall - leaving the PA playing Blondie during part of her set - doesn’t spark a diva tantrum, Amos either unaware of the distraction or unwilling to let it ruin tonight’s highlight, a solo Taxi Ride. Early favourites - Cornflake Girl, China - are drip-fed but Abnormally Attracted to Sin naturally dominates, with a fierce Strong Black Vine proving most memorable. The first few rows are on their feet and worshipping at her ankles before its last chord is struck, but even those less animate in their appreciation seem suitably impressed.

4/5 stars

(i've since heard that she's absolutely lovely in interview as well - i guess this pre-image i had of her as some stern ice-maiden was exaggerated from the time when she did in fact tell chatterboxes to leave the gig, or else wholly imaginary... it's nice to have false preconceptions righted)

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just click here and introduce yo'self.


Tuesday, 8 September 2009

the mill first birthday show 27th august: some young pedro, we were promised jetpacks, broken records...

i usually wait until the skinny have published my reviews before sticking them up here, but since its been a coupla weeks since the mill's first birthday gig i thought i'd jump the gun this time lest it be be made dated and redundant... here're my thoughts:

The Mill’s anniversary shindig gets off to a disappointing start when it transpires that illness has spirited away Jill O’Sullivan from Sparrow and the Workhop’s voice and forced the band to cancel. Complimentary beer courtesy of the sponsors comforts the disappointed while a compilation of past acts to grace the Mill’s stages is screened. The, er, mixed parade of luminaries makes you grateful for the calibre of acts booked tonight: while the organisers’ fortnightly efforts to curate a decent line-up, gratis, have yielded their fair share of stinkers (it’s easy to forget how many god-awful scarf-clad guy-linered bands exist), tonight they’ve pushed the boat out with two of Scotland’s most celebrated rising stars.

Before that, surviving support act Some Young Pedro flaunt their Pavementy chops like a de-spazzed Cap’n Jazz. Abrasive hooks coupled with a willingness to wander down less tuneful cul-de-sacs draw favourable comparisons to Fugazi, and they easily coax chatterers stage-ward.

We Were Promised Jetpacks then proceed to reap the rewards, with vast choruses (Quiet Little Voices remains their finest four minutes) and their ever-growing assuredness harvesting the audience’s affections. While the majority of their set is plucked from debut These Four Walls, one impressive new song pushes their sound into more turbulent territory, before a closing Short Bursts firmly places their seal on the evening.

…which is bad news for tonight’s nominal headliners. The noticeably-thinner crowd is more a testament to the preceding act’s popularity than a criticism of Broken Records, the po-faced dramatists demonstrating their talents with dependable intensity. Only an over-reliance on worn tricks (epic crescendos tend to raise fewer goosebumps on their fifth or sixth outing) prevent them equalling the night’s earlier triumphs. Still, it’s a rousing end to the Mill’s first year; let’s hope for similarly generous birthday celebrations in 2010.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

album reviews: strike the colours, damon & naomi, demons...

here's another three of my reviews recently added to the skinny website:

You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons - Contact High Wit Da Demons (***)

The problem with naming your band You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons is that, even if you subsequently shorten it to ‘Demons’, you ain't leaving a word-strapped reviewer much space to write about the record. So I’ll be brief: fourth album Contact High Wit Da Demons is a continuation of the Portsmouth four-piece’s riff 'n' roll psych rock jams, and while proficient, its horizons are too narrow to turn the heads of anyone not frequently lug-deep in this kinda thing already. Lead track 2009’s title is a bit of a red herring - its raw feedback-drone, fret fiddling and drawled vocals sound anything but contemporary - but while you might have heard all of these sounds in roughly these shapes, Demons have managed to successfully squeeze a little more juice out of their vintage influences. A measured recommendation then, and with several words left to sp…

out september 21st

Damon & Naomi - The Sub Pop Years (****)

Following the demise of Galaxie 500, Damon (Krukowski) & Naomi (Yang) stuck together, lowered the volume and continued in a similarly dreamy mould. Specialising in serenely soporific lullabies, the only challenge to the tranquil calm they create is likely to be listeners’ attempts to muffle their heartbeats lest they drown out the subdued somnambulism. The Sub Pop Years draws from each of their albums with the label, from The Wonderful World Of and Playback Singers through their work with Japanese psychedelics Ghost and on to their San Sebastian live release (represented here by a sugar-sweet rendition of New York City amongst others). Their collaborations with Ghost are strongest – Judah and the Maccabees is teary perfection, while the oneiric Great Wall is eight drifting minutes that feels like two – and while their minimalism won’t appeal to everyone, this is an excellent introduction to the duo’s hushed charms.

out september 7th

Strike The Colours - Seven Roads (***)

To strike the colours at sea is to accept defeat, to surrender, to give up. As far as nom de guerre’s go, Reindeer Section alum Jenny Reeve has picked one laden with dramatic possibilities and inherent poeticism. Seven Roads builds on the successes of debut The Face That Sunk A Thousand Ships with ten enchanting narratives of love, loss and plenty more besides. On Cold Hands, Craig B (formerly of Aereogramme) provides an earthy counterpoint to Reeve's crystal cadence, but otherwise it’s her soulful delivery and cutting directness that shine brightest: the final syllable of the line “If I don’t belong to anybody, let my legs walk to the edge of the cliff” could stop you in your tracks. The only criticism to be made is perhaps of a lack of variety – tracks work individually but altogether it’s tough to comfortably digest. Nonetheless, Reeve once again proves herself a refined vocalist and composer who sounds anything but resigned.

out september 28th

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


so it's settled - bottle rocket radio will definitely return to subcity for the new academic year! it looks like we have the thursday 12 - 1pm slot (for now at least - last year there was a fair bit of movement in the first couple of months till the schedule settled down...).

and to re-launch the station, subcity have splashed out on an FM license for fresher's week, so if you're in the glasgow area you'll be able to hear the first bottle rocket radio of the term on your wireless as well as through the interweb! huzzah!

so, start a-twisting yer radio dials to 106.6fm - and if you aint lucky enough to call glasgow home but fancy a gander at our show nonetheless, then is your new friend.