Saturday, 20 October 2012

october playlist

since last month's bottle rocket was a recap of sorts, we set ourselves a wee challenge last night - to only plays songs that hadn't featured before in any of the 51 (!) previous bottle rockets. and we did it!*

1. the legends - another sunday
2. stars - backlines
3. yo la tengo - lewis
4. ringo deathstarr - rip
5. handsome furs - repatriated
6. django django - default
7. hospitality - friends of friends
8. wild flag - future crimes
9. telekinesis - country lane
10. new order - everything's gone green
11. plasticines - barcelona
12. talking heads - new feeling
13. the fresh & onlys - presence of mind
14. iggy pop - fire engine
15. paws - jellyfish
16. jefferson airplane - somebody to love
17. the doors - love her madly
18. the au pairs - dear john
19. twin shadow - the one
20. summer camp - better off without you
21. robyn feat snoop dogg - u should know better
22. von sudenfed - the rhinohead
23. lcd soundsystem - tribulations
24. liars - brats
25. big audio dynamite - e-mc2
26. the shins - fighting in a sack
27. magazine - a song from under the floorboards
28. david bowie - breaking glass
29. the b-52s - whammy kiss
30. pavement - cut your hair
31. josef k - heart of song
32. public image limited - public image
33. sly and the family stone - dance to the music
34. rocket from the crypt - young livers
35. the police - don't stand so close to me
36. weezer - getchoo
37. green day - sassafras roots
38. sir douglas quartet - she's about a mover
39. wilson pickett - land of 1000 dances
40. marvin gaye - aint that peculiar
41. shirley ellis - soul time
42. the smiths - shakespeare's sister
43. pixies - alec eiffel
44. le tigre - phanta
45. sparks - wacky woman
46. electric light orchestra - sweet talking woman
47. idlewild - you held the world in your arms
48. belle and sebastian - dog on wheels
49. abba - does your mother know?
50. the magnetic fields - you me and the moon
51. kirsty maccoll - free world
52. prince - let's go crazy
53. ash - girl from mars
54. extreme - get the funk out
55. fleetwood mac - rhiannon
56. def leppard - pour some sugar on me
57. justin timberlake - like i love you
58. bruce springteen - two hearts
59. the cure - friday i'm in love
60. deee-lite - groove is in the heart
61. the rolling stones - hot stuff
62. bryan ferry - let's stick together
63. the jacksons - blame it on the boogie
64. eddie floyd - good love, bad love

*well, almost...

Friday, 19 October 2012

TONIGHT: dancing to stuff in sleazys

what stuff?


and other stuff too.

nice n sleazy

11:30pm - 3am


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

GFT programme note: Ginger & Rosa


Please note this article contains spoilers

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
                                                T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

Though T.S. Eliot published The Hollow Men long before the Manhattan Project completed work on the world’s first fission bomb, the poem’s final stanza is oft-quoted in relation to fears of nuclear destruction. To offer a single example from popular culture, the above lines appear as an epigraph to Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel On the Beach, filmed two years later with Stanley Kramer in the director’s chair and Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner amongst its stars. On the Beach depicts an Earth decimated by nuclear war, with the northern hemisphere reduced to rubble and bones, and the last pockets of humanity (in Australia and other lower-latitude countries) left choosing between slow death by radioactive fallout or a quick demise via a government-provided suicide pill. There is no rescue, no deus ex machina saviour to restore hope, just a quiet acceptance of mankind’s self-made fate. In the context of the Cold War, with the potential horrors of total nuclear annihilation all-too-real thanks to MAD-logic and diplomatic deadlock, On the Beach offered a sobering vision of what was at stake.

Ginger & Rosa opens with its own stark reminder of nuclear warfare’s apocalyptic potential, using grainy footage of mushroom clouds and Hiroshima’s blasted landscape to succinctly establish the period’s perils. The wasteland scenes swiftly segue to a pristine London hospital, where two babies are born in parallel beds, one named Ginger, one named Rosa – literally entering the world in the shadow of nuclear war. The narrative then shifts forward to 1962, to the peak of atomic uncertainty, as the Cuban missile crisis threatens to make the gist of Shute’s fiction a terrible reality. Now aged sixteen, Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert) approach adulthood in a world of infinite, unbearable insecurity. Writer/director Sally Potter has described the period as ‘a transitional moment where people didn't know what was coming next’[1], a description applicable to both the historical era in which the film is set and the particular stage of life its titular duo are in the midst of navigating. Though in some ways both girls seem older than their years (as if their coming-of-age has been hastened by the gravitas of the political climate they inhabit), Potter provides frequent reminders of childhood: for instance, when Ginger moves in with her father, the first things that are unpacked are her teddy bears, which she arranges carefully on her new bed. The casting of Fanning in the part, just thirteen-years-old at the time of filming, similarly emphasises the character’s youth.

Ginger is more sensitive to the potential atomic danger than the more blasé Rosa, penning poetry on the subject and embracing the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. To Ginger, nuclear war is an impossible-to-ignore weight, a dread drilled deeper with every ominous wireless announcement (an early scene has Ginger overhear a calmly-delivered but chilling news report, in which a polite RP accent recites estimates for the number of expected casualties should missiles ever launch: 100 million dead in the USA, 115 million dead in Europe, and so on). But Ginger is more than the sum of her nuclear fears. Fiery annihilation may be the most universally-shared of her concerns, but it is accompanied by a host of more personal growing pains and upsets – most profoundly, the burden of concealing the illicit relationship that develops between her father Roland (Alessandro Nivola) and the teenage Rosa.

When Roland and Rosa have sex on-board Roland’s boat, Ginger stifles sobs in the cabin next door, quietly reading The Hollow Men aloud as if seeking comfort in Eliot’s doom-laden lines. As she hesitantly repeats ‘this is the way the world ends’ over the upsetting sounds emanating through the cabin wall, the sadness caused by her father’s actions seems to fuse with her omnipresent fears of nuclear destruction, forming a single ball of confusion and distress. Her bottled-up hurt is subsequently given a visual analogue in one of the film’s few school scenes, when a science experiment ends with an explosive chemical reaction inside a test tube. The tube’s miniature, contained blast seems to reflect both Ginger's internalised pain and the much larger explosive threat that otherwise preoccupies her thoughts. ‘I’ll explode if I say it!’ Ginger later cries when pushed to divulge her unpleasant secret, her words further merging the two traumas. Consequently, the film’s working title, Bomb, seems as much a descriptor of Ginger’s emotional maelstrom as it is a reference to an actual A-bomb.[2]

This synthesis of the personal and the political is a dynamic Potter has utilised before: for example, Yes (2004), in which a romance is tested by post-9/11 anti-Muslim sentiments, or The Man Who Cried (2000), set against an inter-war backdrop of anti-Jewish pogroms and the rise of Nazism. In Ginger & Rosa, the director ‘wanted to make a film about how we are all in the world and the world is in us. The most personal events, in family life [and] friendship, are echoed by the most extraordinarily huge events in the world.’[3] As Ginger’s story ends – not with a bang, but a whispered contemplation of what the future might hold – bombs both literal (the superpowers’ stockpiled warheads) and figurative (Ginger’s clenched inner pain) remain un-defused. But in her parting message of forgiveness and love, there is hope.

Christopher Buckle
Researcher and journalist
October 2012

[1] Quoted in Shoshana Greenberg (2012) 'Transitional Moments: Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa at the New York Film Festival', The Huffington Post, accessed 15/10/12 at

[2] Catherine Shoard (2012) 'Ginger & Rosa - Review', The Guardian, accessed 15/10/12 at

[3] Mark Olsen (2012) 'Elle Fanning tears up on screen and off with Ginger and Rosa', LA Times, accessed 15/10/12 at

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Document 10: A Year of Independence

Document film festival returns to Glasgow this month, running at various venues from the 19th to the 28th. Here's a preview piece written for The Skinny...

To change the world, you have to change perceptions. It’s a rationale that’s driven politically-minded film festival Document for close to a decade, inspiring its organisers to seek out and screen hundreds of documentaries from across the globe, shedding light on an extensive array of human rights issues. This year’s selection is as varied and internationally-focused as ever, demonstrating that, ten years in, their commitment to awareness-raising remains strong.

The ten films selected for the main competition demonstrate this continued breadth of interest. Amongst those looking to impress an international jury of programmers, filmmakers, journalists and academics are Love in the Graves, a study of homelessness in a Czech graveyard; Another Night on Earth, in which Egypt’s revolutionary protests are discussed in taxis by passengers and drivers; and Desert Riders, which exposes the practice of trafficking young boys to the United Arab Emirates where they’re forced to work as jockeys in the popular sport of camel racing, risking serious injury on the racetrack and enduring deplorable living conditions off of it.

Elsewhere are films spotlighting selflessness, like Justice for Sale, in which a Congolese lawyer confronts the flaws in her country’s judicial system. Other competition choices present a more conflicted ethical morass, such as the Sundance-supported The Redemption of General Butt Naked. During Liberia’s long, bloody civil war, Joshua Blahyi slaughtered men, women and children indiscriminately, claiming responsibility for thousands of deaths and leaving a trail of grieving families and mutilated victims in his wake… and then he found God. Directors Daniele Anastasion and Eric Strauss follow Blahyi as he preaches the gospel and repents his unspeakable sins, testing audiences’ capacity for forgiveness in the process.

In addition to the main competition, Document 10 will honour Cambodian director Rithy Panh with a lifetime achievement award, on behalf of the worldwide Human Rights Film Network. The award recognises a remarkable career spent analysing the terrible consequences of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, in films such as S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, in which prisoners and captors from the notorious Tuol Sleng prison are brought face to face with one another; or his more recent study of the prison’s ruthless director, Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell. On a similarly retrospective note, this year’s festival will feature handpicked highlights from previous Documents – which, considering how infrequently screened some of these films are, is likely to be much appreciated by those not present first time around. But the overall focus remains on bringing new works to Glasgow cinema screens, including opening gala choice Special Flight (an insight into a Swiss detention centre, in which illegal immigrants are held pending deportation) and The Collaborator and His Family, one of a number of films in this year’s programme to focus its attentions on Israel and Palestine. The family in question are Palestinians from Hebron in the West Bank, forced to seek asylum in Tel Aviv when it is discovered that the father has been acting as an informant for the Israeli security services for over twenty years. Also taking inspiration from the region and seeking to challenge expectations is Ameer Got His Gun, about an Israeli Arab who volunteers for military service, raising a raft of questions about civic identity and social duty.

With debates, workshops and other events planned around the films, Document’s decennial edition mixes protest with reflection; echoes of the past with hopes for the future; headline stories with plights that languish far from the public gaze. It’s a festival in which watching the films is only part of the process; it’s the discussions that follow that matter most.

Monday, 8 October 2012

paws, north american war @ cca, 4th october

Tonight begins with a major disappointment: the promised rum and coke floats are unavailable. The CCA weren’t keen on the potential mess, explains a barman, and though he could maybe rustle one up for us, “it’d probably be expensive.” We opt for beers, dolefully wondering if the night will ever recover from such a damaging blow.

It does, and then some. North American War light the match, bringing the crowd closer using squalling noise-rock and Anna Schneider’s aloof vocals as lure. The dynamic brings Sonic Youth to mind, an exalted point of comparison that NAW measure up to ably. By the time the last lick of feedback’s been stifled, the room is full and expectant.

PAWS swiftly set about stoking the flames. Things start civilised: heartfelt opener Catherine 1956 is respectfully received, as are the next couple of slices of crunchy fuzz-rock. But when Phil Taylor notes that the photographer leaping speakers front of stage is the most animated body in the room, the hint is taken with both hands. With no barriers or security, crowd surfing breaks out en masse, as the front rows take turns atop in a never-ending flow. Behind them, PAWS power through the bulk of Cokefloat and more, with Jellyfish and Boregasm the ante-uppers and Misled Youth’s Bainz the pick of those offering space to catch breath amidst the sugar rush assault. Whoever nixed the actual cokefloats knew what they were doing: tonight was messy (and awesome) enough without.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


 bottle rocket is coming and michael will tell you why this is GOOD NEWS.

“What I really want from music: that it be cheerful and profound like an afternoon in October.”
Frederick Nietzsche

If big Fred were around these days, he’d be down at BR quicker than you can say “God is dead”. If you, like Fred, are looking for a cheerful and profound club night this October, get your ass down to Sleazy’s on Friday the 19th. There you shall hear all manner of existentialist pop, postmodernist punk, nihilistic new wave, and other stuff like ABBA.

Here’s the lowdown:

11:30PM – 3AM!

Fridays are still the new Saturdays.

RSVP ladies and gents

Friday, 5 October 2012

pyramid songs: an interview with efterklang

From a frozen ghost town in the Arctic to the stage of Sydney Opera House, Efterklang’s Rasmus Stolberg maps out their fourth album’s journey...

Five hundred miles from the North Pole, in the upper reaches of the Svalbard archipelago, lies a ghost town. For almost seventy years, miners lived and worked in the Pyramiden settlement, hauling coal for Mother Russia; now, Pyramiden is abandoned, home only to polar bears, gulls and the occasional off-beat tour expedition. Its human population upped sticks years ago, but their detritus has yet to decay, seemingly locked in time by the frozen climate. But while low temperatures have slowed the rate at which tundra reclaims the land, they haven’t halted its encroachment entirely, with window frames now nests for seabirds and grass protruding through wooden slats and concrete. In a forgotten auditorium, the world’s northernmost grand piano warps and gathers dust.

Even before Magic Chairs came out we were already talking about how we would like to make the next album,” says bassist Rasmus Stolberg, speaking from Heathrow’s departure lounge. “We had this idea of connecting it to some kind of location. For example, we talked a lot about recording everything in a forest – drums, vocals, but also samples of the forest itself. So we were throwing around ideas, and suddenly we get this email full of photos of this place up in the Arctic and we were just mesmerised. The guy emailing us was suggesting it as somewhere to make a music video, but we were already thinking this is way too good for just a music video.”

The email came in summer 2010; the following year, Efterklang journeyed north, imaginations sparked. Beyond the initial email, how much research did the band do beforehand? “We decided to read up on it, but there’s not much written about it actually. We also got some general books about how to travel somewhere like Spitsbergen [Svalbard’s largest island] because… well, it’s not like going to Paris,” Rasmus laughs. “We had to go into this shop in Copenhagen with a totally long list of equipment – new shoes, new jackets, that kind of stuff. We’re not really wildlife-types so that was interesting for us too. But musically, the whole idea was to come totally unprepared: the first day of the album is the day that we set foot in that ghost town. We wanted all three of us to have the same beginning and reference points, because sometimes when you start making an album, each member can have a different starting point, or just a different idea of what kind of album we’ll be making. We were curious to see what would happen if we all started in the same place, on the same day, by going on this expedition and adventure together. And that worked out really amazing for us."


The trio – Rasmus, Caspar Clausen and Mads Brauer; drummer Thomas Husmar left shortly before – spent nine days exploring the deserted town, making over 1000 field recordings. "When we came back it was all about those sounds. Well, first it was about sounds, and then it was about testing what the recordings could be turned into.” Rusted metal containers, empty vodka bottles and other forsaken relics (including the aforementioned grand piano) were processed into a glorious array of unfamiliar and elemental instrumentation, and Piramida gradually took shape. “If I was sitting next to you I could tell you a lot about every sound in every song,” says Rasmus, evidently still enthused by the results of their alchemy. “When I listen to the album now, and start to process certain sounds, I just get this inner image of the three of us discovering or recording the origin of that specific sound. It’s a lovely feeling – a feeling of connection, I guess, to the music we’ve made.”

Elements of this song-writing method were first seen in Vincent Moon’s 2010 film An Island. On that occasion, the destination was literally closer to home, with the band performing amidst nature on Als, the island on which Mads, Caspar and Rasmus were raised. “An Island was a big inspiration for us,” Rasmus confirms. “There’s a scene where we go sort of sound-hunting and gradually a beat arrives – it’s more of an abstract experimental kind of thing, but it inspired us to use that same technique for an album.”

A trailer for Piramida, posted online in June, showed the band engaged in a similar act of sound-hunting, with footfalls and birdsong gradually matched to the harmonic swells of Dreams Today. We ask whether there’s any more footage from Spitsbergen to come. “You mean like a sequel to An Island?” Rasmus hesitantly replies. There’s an intake of breath. “You’re close… I’m not going to say anything else. But you’re on to something!” Whatever the band’s plans are on that front, they don’t involve returning to Svalbard. Where An Island was a genial, warm affair, with family, friends and others from the community taking part, Spitsbergen was both isolated and isolating. “When I left that place I didn’t feel like ever coming back,” says Rasmus. “It’s not a place made for humans. It’s a beautiful spot, but being up there, it sort of felt like this place is not really for man, and it sort of made me sad. It’s in spots like that, where nature is so dramatic and we as humans have to try so hard to make a living, it just becomes so clear that we’re like this parasite, using up the world’s energy and… well anyway, that’s the sort of thoughts I had while being up there.”

Not that Piramida is a concept album per se. “It was more an inspiration and a beginning than it is actually about that space,” says Rasmus early in our conversation; when we later ask if he considers Efterklang’s other albums products of their environment, he gently rebuffs the suggestion. “I don’t really feel that” he says. “I think the music is all part of our brains and our imagination, and the location just inspires [that]. It informs the music, but we just use it to fuel the feelings and dreams of music we already have inside.”

Stage two took place at the band’s studio in Berlin, where they went about transforming their myriad, abstract field recordings, first into “small sketches”, then into full songs. “When we came back we thought ‘let’s not have a deadline, let’s get really deep into experimenting with all this stuff and let an album come out of it slowly,” Rasmus recalls. “But then a month into this process, Sydney Opera House contacted us…” An open invitation to perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in one of the most iconic venues on the planet would surely turn anyone’s head, but for Efterklang, the offer had additional significance. “The architect [Jørn Utzon] is Danish, and we consider it, well, I think it might be one of the proudest moments in Danish history, or at least in modern history. We’re so proud of the Sydney Opera House in Denmark, so to get that offer was just mind-blowing.”

Balancing the two projects – writing and recording Piramida while also planning for a symphony show on the opposite side of the world – wasn’t easy. “Initially we thought ‘oh my gosh, no, we can’t do this’ because we’d just decided not to have a deadline, and we cannot play shows at the same time as making albums. It doesn’t work that way for us.”

The issue comes from the band’s varying live set up, in which the core members are supported by a flexible cast of additional musicians. “We’d told everyone in our live band, ‘this is it for now, we’re dissolving the whole thing, making a new album, and when we come out the other side we’ll decide then what kind of live band we want to have.’ To go about and play shows in the middle of making an album, we’d have to call up the old band members and play the old songs and suddenly you go right back into old habits. And that’s not good for changing your game; to move forward, you need to have an empty slate. So saying yes to the opera house was totally stupid.”

Their unlimited window for experimentation was suddenly shrunk to a matter of months, though the deadline only seemed to stoke their creativity. An enforced period of “really, really intense song-writing” furnished 18 complete songs, ten of which appear on Piramida, with the rest earmarked for release later down the line. “I’m glad it worked out, but it was totally stupid to say yes. We’ve never worked so hard in our lives.”

As if to illustrate just how hectic their schedule has become, a distracted Rasmus suddenly notices that his flight is about to start boarding. It’s mid-September and Efterklang are on their way to Ireland, to start rehearsals for the first post-Sydney Piramida shows. This October, the tour visits the UK, with Andre de Ridder conducting the Northern Sinfonia at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. En route to his plane, Rasmus discusses the Piramida concerts further.

“They’re an extension of what we did in Sydney. We were extremely happy with how it turned out, and extremely relieved as well because it was so hard to finish it in time. When you do a show like that it’s a lot of work to orchestrate it – there’s visuals, there’s a whole orchestra who need notes to play, you need to collaborate with the conductor… there’re so many things, so playing that only once, well that just sucks!” he laughs. “But we’re so lucky now that we can do it 14 or 15 times this fall – that’s quite fortunate and unusual I guess, for a band in our position.” Don’t you ever wish it was logistically simpler?Oh yeah, absolutely, I think that a lot,” Rasmus replies from the aircraft’s loading tunnel, moments away from yet another journey in support of the band’s vision. “And then once I go off-stage after a performance I’m so happy that I want to do it immediately again. So it’s a big pain in the ass, but it’s also a big payoff.”

[written for The Skinny]

Thursday, 4 October 2012

reviews: rozi plain, gav prentice, dog is dead

Rozi Plain - Joined Sometimes Unjoined (****)

Where Rozi Plain’s debut Inside Over Here was pieced together from various home recordings, the creation of Joined Sometimes Unjoined involved a full band and studio; a significant development for a performer often defined by her DIY inclinations, but one worn lightly. The opening tracks – the dainty Cold Tap and the dancing rhythms of Humans – are graceful and beguiling, with echoes of pals, Fence-mates and sometime backing band Francois & the Atlas Mountains in the former’s steel drums and the latter’s faintly afrobeat undercurrent.

But it’s on side two that Plain really impresses, with an exuberant re-record of See My Boat going off like a party-popper; Take It’s muttered protests and mantric guitar swirling together hypnotically; and the warm brass of Catch Up (from where the album gets its name) beautifully underpinning its otherwise fluttering cadence. As a whole, Joined Sometimes Unjoined’s charms are subtle but impactful: good, sometimes very good.

Out 22nd October

Gav Prentice - The Invisible Hand (***)

You can appreciate why Over the Wall’s Gav Prentice felt the need to release these songs under his own name, as opposed to incorporating them into the music made with OtW partner Ben Hillman: not only is his solo debut’s stripped-back style a world away from Treacherous’s playful alt-pop, but throughout, The Invisible Band sounds acutely, sometimes painfully personal.

The arrangements are predominantly lo-fi and bare, placing emphasis squarely on vocals that are by turns vitriolic (the spitting verses and howled refrain of Burning Down) and miserable (the self-pitying I Know That). At times, this focus is unflattering, with the aforementioned I Know That becoming one long whine (possibly deliberate, considering its lyrical content, though intent doesn’t make it any less arduous to listen to). But elsewhere, his heartfelt passion is palpable and affecting, with Square Mile’s knotted sadness and the sneering How Are You Sleeping? stirring emotions, albeit in very different directions.
Out 15th October

                                                    Dog Is Dead – All Our Favourite Stories 

Dogs Is Dead - All Our Favourite Stories (***)

Nottingham’s Dog is Dead have been all over this summer’s festival calendar, and with good reason. Debut LPAll Our Favourite Stories sounds ambitious and expensive, its robust indie-rock built not for poky basements but wide open spaces, indicating an act already operating on a somewhat grander scale than most indie debutants. It’s little wonder the majors came knocking, with the album’s three singles to date – moody torch-song Two Devils; Hands Down, which fuses aspects of Arcade Fire with The Ronettes; and the lounge-scented swing of Glockenspiel Song – demonstrating both commercial appeal and a confidently forthright song-writing bent.

Unfortunately, they already seem to have lost some steam, with nothing else quite living up the same standard. Yet with a few coming close (like the closing Killers-ish electro-ballad Any Movement), and residual promise in even the dullest stretches, it’s easy to envisage them leaping up line-ups come next year’s festival season.

Out 8th October

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

dvd review: The Fairy

the fairy

 La Fée is the third feature from a three-way filmmaking partnership, in which each member shares three roles: writer, director, and performer. It’s about an unorthodox fairy named Fiona (Fiona Gordon), who offers three wishes to a hotel night watchman named Dom (a deadpan Dominique Abel); two are granted immediately, while the third is delayed by a series of comic set-pieces.

Like Fiona, the film’s success ratio is about two thirds, with the magic of the opening acts drifting marginally into tedium by the end, but for a while at least, it’s enchantingly silly. The trio (rounded out by Bruno Romy as a myopic Magoo-like café owner) concoct a giddy string of sight gags, child-like dance routines and ever-escalating farce, spinning a fluffy yarn with echoes of Keaton’s silent cinema and Tati’s almost-silent cinema. But it's too lax and patchy for greatness – and is played too broad for some tastes – leaving it, appropriately enough, a three star experience.

Out 8th October

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

reviews: y niwl, omega male, holly golightly and the brokeoffs

Y Niwl - 4 EP (***)

Surfing in North Wales may involve a thicker wetsuit and a lot more shivering than its Californian equivalent, but in Y Niwl, the scene’s got a surf-rock soundtrack virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The accuracy with which the Gwynedd quartet recast the sun-blushed East coast sounds of Dick Dale, The Ventures and the like is uncanny, their short and snappy instrumental jams ticking every expected box: guitars are tremulous and reverby, rhythms crisp and constant, melodies straightforward and fun. Their fidelity to a fifty-year old blueprint would reek of novelty were it not so skilfully delivered, and though its appeal will likely be limited to existent genre aficionados, Y Niwl sound rightly proud of their niche. 

Out today

Omega Male - Omega Male

Omega Male is David Best of Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi and Sammy Rubin of Brooklyn’s Project Jenny, Project Jan – a partnership started at distance and completed in a pair of sessions in their respective home towns. Both members’ day jobs are discernible: Best’s comically flippant vocals are dryly delivered over motorik electro à la F&J, but the atmosphere’s been loosened by some of PJ2’s more unbuttoned pop tendencies.

It’s a successful synthesis, particularly on tracks like You Bore Me to Tears (which creeps in with whispers and bows out with horns), Buildings Like Symphonies (which meshes cinematic faux-orchestral crescendos with analogue bleeps and a glitterball climax) and the dark and dangerous X. Best comes across as the dominant creative voice, and while Omega Male sometimes feels too close to his other work to feel like its own distinct entity, when its levels find their synergy, it’s highly effective.

Out 8th October

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs - Sunday Run Me Over (***)

Sunday Run Me Over is Holly Golightly’s fifth album in five years with Lawyer Dave (aka one-man backing band The Brokeoffs). For most artists, this would constitute a significant creative run, but Miss Golightly isn’t most artists, her discography noted as much for its prolificacy as its proficiency.
Her latest record’s rustic, rootsy style is nicely summarised by a trio of country covers, including a rough and ready Hard to be Humble (preceded by some endearing Facebook-riffing tomfoolery), and an impious re-write of Opry staple We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (And A Lot Less Rock N Roll) that switches the ratios and broadsides religious hypocrisy. Around these, the duo’s original compositions hold their own, particularly hoedown closer This Shit is Gold, and though they don’t bring any new ideas to the table, they know a few solid tricks when it comes to enticing folks to dance on top of them.

8th October