reviews july 2008

Clara Kindle & Mortis Tobias, Trunk (Woodland Recordings) CDR
Sometime soon construction workers excavating the foundations of a new building in Berlin will come across a long forgotten basement cellar from where some battered metal containers are salvaged. It will turn out that the site is where the old UFA studios once stood and inside these reclaimed tins will be badly degraded rolls of movie film. Painstaking attempts will be made to restore these but in the main these efforts are going to be futile as the degradation of the material is too great, except in just one case. Joyously, one reel will be found not to have deteriorated as much as the others and the flickering monochrome images that are saved will be hailed as a lost masterpiece of the silent era by film buffs, if not the unconcerned general cinema-going public.

All these things could happen, or not perhaps, but we already have the soundtrack for this unknown treasure. Recorded in a basement in Brighton, darkly magic and inventive expressionism. Carefully and elaborately packaged, this album is a work of excellence in itself – no matter what events may unfold on a German building site. (Laurence)

DJ Ordeal, Trip With Me 2xLP
An anthology of rare and unreleased tracks from the master of bemusement and brilliant bewilderment: even to his small band of avid devotees the good DJ can be a source of perplexion. One side of vinyl here is given over to live recordings of piano recordings accompanied by drums and Christmas decorations. He’s the only player in a field of his own. Whilst some might content themselves with manipulating tape and recordings, our loveable maverick appears to seek to manipulate the listener and the listeners' response to the puzzles he produces. A lovingly composed vinyl package from an artist who really does do it his own way, a standing ovation please for a wonderful eccentric. (Laurence)

Slow Down Tallahassee, The Beautiful Light (Thee SPC) CD
This lot were blessed with the mark of special ones from the beginning, and their first album is realisation of that early promise. A sheen of pop polish envelopes a tarnished romantic heart that has suffered the many battering blows of disappointment and degradation, but the degradation is not always unwelcome and disappointments are never felt by the hopeless. The light may be beautiful but all that it shines upon isn’t, we can’t help reaching up to this light despite the darknesses in our nature and the feeling that it all might just be a waste of time. This album sees catchy sparkling pop tunes express such uncomfortable truths, this band are one of the best in our little country at the moment. (Laurence)

The Just Joans, Hey Boy ... You're Oh So Sensitive (Wee Pop) 3” CD
I chuckled that their colloquial vocalising made The Proclaimers sound like Noel Coward. I smiled indulgently that ones so young should be quite so prey to ennui. I frowned ever so slightly that here was another just too cute- for-words and clever-by-half little indie band. I tried you know, I really tried not to like this bunch – I failed miserably! Perhaps it was their genuine freshness that melted my icy heart? Their way with a simple tune and a simple line? But I’m definitely not going to fall in love with them, no way, never! But, actually, I think I may have already, despite myself. (Laurence)

A Short Fanzine About Rocking #20
Not very short - seventy pages all told - but it certainly is all about rocking. A rather comprehensive tome containing contributions from over two dozen enthusiasts and aficionados and result in an avalanche of CD and gig reviews that cover just about the entire rock spectrum. Ten probing interviews with, amongst others, Set Your Goals and Evergreen Terrace make this a handy A to Z for those navigating through an ever changing but somehow constant genre. (Laurence)

Everlong #10
“A Bristol Punk Fanzine” it says on the front cover, a pithy summation of the contents that would be hard to improve upon. An interview with Pete Stride and ESSO of the venerable Lurkers take this journal beyond the local interest category, as does a plethora of reviews relating to matters punk. There are no web-site or e-mail addresses for this ‘zine, so it’s pen and paper – just like the good old days. £1 and SAE to 1 Shilton Close, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 9UZ. (Laurence)

A Fog Of Ideas #1
A small and stylish debut that appears to have been largely composed by one chap using a typewriter, a lovely touch. This little splash into the indie-pop sea avoids such ‘zine staples as rants and reviews but instead offers a series of interviews with the likes of The Summer Cats, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, and The Vivian Girls as well as The Boy Hairdressers, a short-lived band from way back when whose members all progressed to great things in different artistic directions. (Laurence)

Wrap Up Your Troubles In Dreams #1 & #2
A super sherbet just fizzing with ideas that sparkle off at dizzying tangents. Interesting label interviews (Slumberland, 555, and Red Square); band interviews (Haircuts, Comet Gain, and Komon amongst others); and live/record reviews. It’s items such as Lesson One in a beginners course in Polish, a Banana Muffin recipe, and an appraisal of unjustly forgotten author Noel Streatfield that make this the most impressive debutant in ‘zineworld for some time. But gosh, issue two is already upon us, slighter of frame but still maintaining the charming editorial policy of its predecessor – and with a sample CDR from the Series Two label to boot. How could you ever resist? (Laurence)

: reviews : interviews : live : features : shop : search: contact