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Demo time... New bands, first moves, early recordings... Cherry-picking the best...
7th May '10  LAHARS – Lahars – A slow moving, gently gliding, slightly dark, rather soothing, extremely smooth solo musical project from Simon Thomas. Soundscapes, gentle textured guitars, loops, an ebow, and yes we could call it gentle post rock, thankfully none of those now cliché-ridden crescendos though, just slowly drifting by in a colourfully soothing way, positive use of electricity, slow waves of inviting glowing musical warmth. There are voices in there but not obviously, voice as another instrument, as part of these four instrumental pieces - the simple considered sound of empty beaches in twilight, of time and space, just rather soothing and rather enjoyable instrumental soundscapes – www.myspace.com/lahars 
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23rd March '10:  NOVEMBER FLEETLessons In Perspective is the name of this three track disc that came with a folded paper ship and so much optimistic humility. Strident three piece from London making their early moves and dropping three rather impressive songs on a disc that could be a demo or a self released three track DIY single they sell at gigs or... so blurred these days, fine first moves whatever this release is  . Intelligent band exploring a coherent form of spit-clean modern rock and things that aren’t too far from the emotional patterns of bands like My Chemical Romance, Coheed & Cambria, Biffy Clyro and such. An ambitious sound, searing and alive with hope, with flighty optimism and with just a little something in there that hints at a musical personality of their own and of good  things yet to come. Early days but they’re ready to stand up and be counted, they were just singing about standing up and being counted, that and bullets to their shoulder... Three girls, crisp sound, confident sound, bold and waiting open handed for those who understand. Emotionally bold rock music that doesn’t need to defend itself for heaven sake, no need to look any taller, fragments worth defending and fuse alight and ready to ignite. They have this fine way of bouncing off each, a way of making this simple and closing all argument as their songs breathe on your neck, grand fables to unfold. The three of them have something here, could be the simple fact that all three of them are girls and thus they escape the clichés of all those millions of emo flavoured post-hardcore boy bands that they vaguely sound like, or maybe their spark is something more to do with the confidence and the clear ambition where so many of the others are just happy to follow? Whatever it is there’s something a little extra here with the broken jaws and knowing... “This melody in not a vacuous cliché, it does not wish to sell itself or be sold; it does not delusions of grandeur...”  These are three fine songs, this is a fine new band, a band “committed to using every sinew and synapse to become something altogether ‘other’. What the f**k else can we do?”. I like this band – www.novemberfleet.com or www.myspace.com/novemberfleet
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4th March '10: A TORN MIND – Five tracks and a rather fine forty minutes of modern melodic neo-prog from Livingston, Scotland. Rather reluctant to actually call this neo prog, it clearly is that but the notion of neo prog is such an unappetising one isn’t it? Neo prog equals polite, technically ‘perfect’, risk-free non-adventure and frankly everything prog rock was never meant to be. Neo prog equals Conservatively polite boring music made by rule obeying middle age men, anal music made by tediously boring bands with names like Spock’s Beard, bands who were briefly interesting for five minutes and are now defiling the good name of prog rock.  A Torn Mind don’t deserve to be tarred with the same neo prog brush, it isn’t fair to call them so, however, that is what they are – a new young and potentially exciting neo prog band. Yes! That rarest of rare beasts, an adventurous and potentially exciting neo prog band! Or at least a band who sound excited by their craft, a band alive with discovery, with desire, with possibility, alive with the need to really go for it and to actually challenge themselves at they set about the art of going for it. Yes indeed, a new young (neo) prog band really Going For The One!
           These are early days though and as hopeful and enjoyable as this set of recordings from the melodically adventurous A Torn Mind are, this release is far from the finished article. Right now this sounds like a very good set of demo recordings, a sketch book, a work in progress. The band are talking of it in terms of a debut E.P (called Barriers) and announcing launch dates and such.  May just be a little to early and they really need to sort out the raw production, that slight dull-edge demo feel and indeed the quality of those vocals (in terms of their recording rather than the ability of rather decent singer Grant Kilpatrick). Back in the best underground days of prog and the early moves of such bands as Marillion, IO, Pallas and such, back in the days of the extremely healthy Marquee-based UK prog scene, back before the dreadful cape of neo cast a boring shadow over the scene that was prog rock, back when it was exciting. Back there this recording from A Torn Mind would have been welcomed as a more than decently received (well traded, enthusiastically reviewed) demo tape introduction, something to serve as a declaration of intent, a calling card before the first release proper, the shape of things to hopefully come, a more than impressive start.. but not the debut release ‘proper’. 
        What we have here is a real (Rael) old school prog band, a band in line with the early traditions and early adventurous of the 80’s and UK bands  like Citizen Cain, Twelfth Night, Tamarisk – adventurous, epic, sometimes euphoric, all ticking clocks and time that never stops, the best job that you can do and proper prog birthed of the legacy of earlyGenesis, Yes and such.  Sailing over the edges of the world, seeing through the trees, those melodic Wind And Wuthering moments of It Bites or the early adventures of the once good (before ‘neo’ and aren’t we good ego set in) Jadis, that euphoric drifting of classic Camel, the precision of late 70’s early 80’s Rush – A Torn Mind have it all there through the trees waiting for us, lost in the minds, for hearts and for heads, of course it isn’t cool to say any of this, fug your coolness, proper prog is as cool as f***, always has been, always will be. Fine new band here, they can rock it when they need to as well, here you go progheads, we got a live one. And it isn’t that that recording is that bad, real good demo quality, not quite nailed in terms of production, in terms of texture, in terms of being that first ‘proper’ release, almost there, and there’s time enough, excellent demo... And they have an edge of their own, a modern outlook, an eye to the front, ideas of their own to add touch of different colour from that sax, the drama bubbling under the surface of tem minute epic Vita.... 
      Good start, fine demo, proper modern prog band, lot of hope here, the five tracks have been running here on repeat for a good few days now, nice one... www.myspace.com/atornmindband

15th Feb '10:  THEDEALWASFORTHEDIAMOND – Lander/Grey Cells - Nice enough instrumental post rock that’s rather like a lot of other rather nice post rock. Builds up with all the slow burning drama and looming wide-screen epicness you’d expect from your instrumental post rock bands. All that nice cloud-parting sky-touching stuff that these epic instrumental post rock bands do and the slightly cynical tone you may just be catching here really should be blunted by the fact that although once again it is a little too obvious, Thedealwasforthediamond are far far better at it than most. A little more than just another Isis out there painting Russian circles on their explosions in the sky. Most of this instrumental post-rock stuff is leaving us a little bored right now, Thedeal... do it with a little more class, a little more imagination, a little more of a need to stretch themselves, if you really want more of this instrumental post rock then this Brighton four piece are standing out a little from the crowd, they’re evolving rather nicely, touch of real prog in there, yes indeed, I think they've pushed through the post-rock boredom factor and cut us a bit of light – www.myspace.com/thedealwasforthediamond
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13th Feb '10: WHAT THE BLOOD REVEALED – Instrumental post rock from the West Coast of Scotland, they’re operating in those areas well mined by others - Isis, Mogwai, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles and many more. The four piece do what we’ll politely call the same old instrumental quiet/loud guitar driven post rock thing well enough.. The four piece are maybe a little too obvious and making the same moves as all the others right now, these are early days though and hopefully they’ll be challenging both us listeners and, more importantly, themselves, in time for their threatened debut album that they say will be out this year. The three tracks here suggest they could well be capable of challenging if they’re brave enough. All too easy this sounding like all the others business, come on you bands, we need more that just more of the same, lots more, will we get it here? Who knows..  www.myspace.com/wtbr

11th Feb '10: MODEL SOCIETY – Well they do their 90’s sounding New Wave Of New Wave Brit Pop Blur flavoured These Animal Men, melodic Jam indie guitar pop thing well enough, can’t claim that they have a sound that excited anyone around here. They seem to have their act together, doing their chosen thing with a touch of commitment, here’s a link should you feel the need – www.myspace.com/modelsocietyband

10th Feb '10: MILK - Kind of lost count of how many bands called Milk there have been now, this particular bottle of white stuff are from London. Are they a new Milk or have we heard them before? They have a sound that we’re certainly familiar with, that female-voiced blend of restrained considered shoegaze-psychedelia touched moody indie guitar rock. Moody swirls, those spiralling guitar delays, restrained atmospheric indie rock, decent enough set of demo recording early moves if you should be partial to that shoegazing thing, decent enough band getting out there and doing their thing... www.myspace.com/milknoise

30th Jan '10: GAETANO - Good songwriter here, fine tunes, good recordings and a rather impressive band making some rather good early moves. Delightfully difficult to pin down (that’s a good thing), four songs from an album he/they plan to release later this year. This is well worth your time, kind of Ben Folds feel, lush synths, fine textures, bit of experimental colour in there bringing the fine songs to life. Clever details, clever songs, something really good here, slight psychedelic feel loitering around the edges. Gaetano are/is Camden based “My name is Gaetano, I am a singer/songwriter and keyboard player. I am currently working on my first album” says the short letter of introduction....  Now if there’s any record label types out there, then maybe they want to be glancing in this direction? Just good songs, breezy songs, delightful details, little twists, uplifting intelligently clever considered pop songs that are never obvious, love those keyboard atmospheres that build up alongside the drums on the third track, Conscious Man, neat build up with those drums...  www.myspace.com/gaetanoserra

23rd Jan '10: CUTNANCY – Band from Bridgewater, Somerset, making some rather decent early moves and finding their collective feet...  Got to find your feel before you can make that foot print, need your feet before you can leave an impression. Right now Cutnancy sound like a half decent rather energetic small town grungy alternative indie guitar rock band. They sound like the sort of band the local promoter always gives the support slot to when the bigger name comes to town – the promoter knows they’re good enough to be the local support, they’ll bring all their mates and do the job, they won’t let the promoter down. Cutnancy’s biog boasts of recent gigs opening for both Skindred and Inme and right now they wear their influences and record collections on their sleeve – some decent ideas though, not short of ambition, and just maybe, in a year or so, when their ideas have formed and their musical identity shaped a little more, in a year they’re be a little embarrassed that they sent this demo out. Not that this is a bad demo, they can play, they’ve got energy, they’ve got attitude, they’ve clearly got ambition, they clearly want to be more than just a half decent local support band aping their record collection. The second of three songs, a thing called X Marks The Spot, comes with a certain amount of bite, while Beat Of The Drum suggests an artistic ambition and a healthy interest in psychedelic hard rock and a tentative step towards some kind of post-hardcore prog flavoured lost-in-their-heads adventure. Potentially maybe decent sometime soon band worth keeping an eye on in the hope that they build on the gutsy ambition and the raw promise, there a good band in here trying to break out, still finding their feet right now though, we look forward to more from them – www.myspace.com/cutnancy

22nd Jan '10: BYGONE - Campfire acousticness and a have-guitars-will-play-anywhere attitude from a rather accomplished band from the “South East” of England... that’s all they said, “South East”. They call it Acousticore, we can go with that. Strong songs, strong tunes, personal words. Bit of a Green Day feel to those song structures actually, no so obvious, but that vibe, that earthy punky-folk feel Green Day songs had back then when they were good and they’re stripped down to the basics. Bit of an acoustic Crowded House feel? Bygone are certainly a strong band, a fuller-bodied less inward looking Frank Turner maybe? A bold acoustic bands, a thoughtful band, a questioning band, a band who don’t reveal themselves straight away, takes a listen or two to really get the depth they have... Acousticore indeed, if that sounds like your thing then here you go, they do their chosen thing rather well – www.myspace.com/bygoneacousticore
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20th Jan '10: ILLNESS - Sound like a rather impressive instrumental band jamming in a rehearsal room while they wait for a singer to fall from the sky and answer their frontperson wanted adverts. Sound like a tight enough guitar driven post-hardcore rock band with some colourful ideas - a twist here, a barb there, not quite good enough to pull it off as an instrumental band in their own right (although the musicians around here seem to think different). Certainly enough here to impress and looks like they’re worth keeping an eye on. They say they’re planning a ‘proper’ release soon, so I guess they do see themselves as an instrumental band, maybe they will be able to pull it off some day soon? Maybe they will excite more than jsut their fellow musicians? They appear to be out playing live already. They’re from Brighton, I don’t know, if they’re not going to have a singer then they need something in there that gives them an edge. Right now they sound like a bunch oftight musicians playing potentially decent post-hardcore flavoured slightly mathy slight scungy That Flipping Tank style instrumentals that now and again turn a head. Bane Face is the best of the four here, like that one rather a lot, that one just might get some radio play in the coming weeks... Interesting band making some early moves here - www.myspace.com/illnessband

30th DEC '09: Time to dive in, headfirst, deep end, in we go, the ever growing demo mountain...  Rule one you bands, write your damn names on the CDr, with the best of intentions we throw these things in the cruncher and then the phone rings or the postman knocks or the cat sets something on fire and wallop, distracted, your CD is separated from the cover and we have no idea who the hell we’re listening to. Not to say that anything that’ we’ve listened to so far today has been worth writing a name on... Is the idea of sending out a demo a thing of the past? One hundred and sixty one “friends” requests from bands on MySpace again today, all of them expecting us to go check out their pages and then assuming we have, send dumbflip messages saying idiotic things like “thanks for being a fan and for all the support”. Most of you bands just don’t have your shit together do you... come on, it really isn’t that hard...

Ah first demo worth some of our words and your time, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind...

LOS SALVADORES – Wasps, Birds And Clients - Cavorting fiddle driven folk and levelling the land, festi-folk with just a touch of punk attitude and energy, that early Levellers feel if you want us to be vague and lazy and point signposts for you to follow should you wish. Little more refined and a little more in terms of layers and words and emotion actually, Levellers feel, not a clone though, jsutthe same kind of spirit ot their defiant folk energy. Mellow edge at times – strong, defiant, joyous, bring on the summer and a friendly field somewhere. Nice artwork, always a good sign, here’s the link -  www.myspace.com/lossalvadores

THE PABLOS – 60’s sounding psychedelic indie pop rock band from Leeds, causing a fuss in their home town so they say. They have a touch of energy, they do their very 60’s groovy bluesy psychedelic indie thing well enough. Decent three tracker that captures it all, a gig at the Pigeon Toed Orange Peel is what they need, not really our thing but hey, decent enough... www.myspace.com/thepablosmusic

Bands, come on, if you can’t make even the smallest effort, if you can’t even put your CDr in a cover with a track listing and a website address or an e.mail or something....  And here comes another one, this one was handed to us at a gig, decently functional artwork and packaging, not that exciting ot look at but hey, at least they did something in terms of art... One track, nothing that good, might be a decent song writer in there somewhere, no website, phone number, e.mail address or anything anywhere on the cover or disc! Little biog on the inside cover, they’re from Market Drayton, Shropshire and I guess we could go do a search on line if they were inspiring us enough to go grab a mouse... Come on bands, if you can’t get the basic little things together you’re just telling all those labels and gig bookers and writers and such that you’re not worth the time and effort even if you do have some half decent music... Who’s going to invest time, effort or indeed money in a band who can even manage to put contact details on the demo they’re handing out? And then there’s this one, all slick and arrived here with about ten pages of glossy hype and lyrics and manager’s business card and..... boring as hell music... Well no, nor boring as hell, I imagine hell to be far from boring, a real hell would be endless boring slick ‘professional’ demos and managers announcing the next big thing like the boy who cried wolf and next please... There will not be a demo from 2009 left on the shelf when we enter 2010...

DEATH OF THE ELEPHANT - Ah Now this is more like it, a disturbing looking note, hand written in red pencil, inside a strange looking greetings card, along with a rather colourful cartoon-like sticker alive with bees flying out of what must be a honey pot... At last, some attitude... There’s three of them, feisty shouty girl fronting a ballsy three piece, we’ve told you about them before. Raw guitars and messy songs, shouting, twisting, screaming, oh yes... turn it up, a demo with a bit of life... brush your teeth and stand in line, they’re here to wash your mouth out. Don’t talk too much or she’ll cut you up... She sounds like she might not be bluffing, she sounds like she might enjoy it... doesn’t mean she’s not friends... She sounds like a demanding headpecker of a mindf**k with her shouting and yelling  and “lick me, f**k  me, feed me...” Her name is Dee, the other two are Tom and Dan (nobody with more than three letters allowed in this three piece then). We’ve told you about them before, this is more of the same as the last time.... More raw, trashy, shouty, punky, messy, destructively beautiful, dangerous car crash music and attitude and do not mess...  They’re from the Essex side of London, we like them... www.myspace.com/deathoftheelephant

DANIEL J NIXON – Two quiet unassuming almost whispered songs... Quiet voice, simple acoustic guitar, scratchy strings, almost whispered words, less is more, raw melancholic lonely voice. “My name is Daniel J. Nixon and I’m a songwriter from the middle of nowhere (Leek, Staffordshire). I write music that sounds a little bit like Elliott Smith and little bit like Iron & Wine and a lot like neither of these”.  And indeed he does, not quite with the depth of Elliot Smith but there is some of that innocent early beauty here, especially the second song called Matilda, Please... Raw and simple, early days charm  – www.myspace.com/iamdanieljnixon

OVERTHROW – So Much Power, So Little Time - Energetic indie punky melodic guitar pop rock. All punk pop harmonies and emoness and pretty much sticking to the tried and tested formula you’ve heard a thousands times before from bands all over the globe... Well that’s how this demo kicks off, really does them no favours that opening track. Wonder how many ears have made it through that first track? Wonder who told them to put the ‘commercial’ song on first? They clearly have far more to offer than this punk-pop by numbers opener...  This is more like it, bits of reggae added to that punk pop sound, bit of skank, tunes that at least attempt to leave the well-trodden path and go somewhere just a little different. A touch of political bite, a few questions thrown, songs that take an influence from bands they clearly grew up on, songs that hint at wanting to find a sound of their own though (besides that predictable opening track). Decent punk pop band (from Guildford) making their early moves and rightly attracting themselves a bit of attention, worth checking out and keeping an eye on – www.myspace.com/overthrowrock

8th DEC '09: THE LULLABIES - Poppy Nirvana energy and some half decent, albeit not that original, indie grungy pop rock songs. Far too Nirvana to really get that enthusiastic about, they do do it well though, already better than those Foo Fighters (who isn’t?). They’re from Brighton, far too Nurvana flavoured right now, let’s hope they develop something a little more original ‘cause there’s a half decent pop rock band in here somewhere – www.myspace.com/thelullabiesuk

IN FICTIONS – A new band from Sheffield featuring former members of 65Daysofstatic, Nine More Lies, Art Department and Saving Mitsuko... We’re talking melodic atmospheric neo-prog flavoured indie rock. Gently flowing cultured epicness and a refined sound somewhere between those Editors, Mew, Radiohead type bands and those who come from the Porcupine Tree, early Marillion end of things  - that first track sounds like it might be shaping up to be Lavender for a moment or two, or at least an amalgamation of several things from Misplaced Childhood (no bad thing), the second track heads more towards the epic Editors areas, rather impressive two tracker – www.myspace.com/infictions or www.in-fictions.co.uk

28th NOV '09:  HOLD YOUR HORSE IS – Well that name suggests they might be coming from a Hella direction, what with the name they’ve borrowed from a Hella album and all...  Well yes, they are vaguely coming from that direction, kind of, Hella aren’t the first band that would come to mind, Hold Your Horse Is do have that mathy indie post-hardcore energy... They’re from Surrey and this two tracker is full of bluster... Full of bluster, full of energy and a whole host of (mostly) US alternative/indie and flavours that are running alongside a slightly awkward, positively jarring English post-hardcore/indie feel. They kind of sound like a lot of things, they’re a reasonable snapshot of the last five years in terms of small band in a transit van indie/alternative post hardcore Southern England. You’ll find it all there bundled up in two stridently energetic, positively busy, reasonably decent songs. They sound like a lot of busy blustery post-hardcore flavoured punky indie mathy Southern English bands, only major problem is the fact that they’re doing it all without adding any real identity of their own. Right now this is a band seriously lacking a personality or identity, a band desperately in need of a finger print, in need of anything that’s just a little bit different . Lots of bits of this, bits of that, vocals have an Art Brut feel... Lots of things, lots of good things, all they need is that vital touch of x factor, something that marks them out, something that allows you to recognise who you’re listening to...  Decent early moves, decent new band, we look forward to developments, there’s something good possibly brewing up here... maybe... – www.myspace.com/hyhi 

14th NOV '09: THE HYSTERICAL INJURY – Our Lives Are A Futuristic Nightmare – Comes in a neat handmade cover, we like handmade covers, we like bands who take the time, bands who can be bothered about things like the art, always a good sign... They’re from Bath and this probably is a self-released single that’s already been about for a few months.  Whatever it is - demo, self-released single, this is a classic piece of D.I.Y attitude and energy. Feisty band, raw edges, jagged guitar sound, low edge rumbling bass guitar is their weapon of choice, that and some busy forward moving drums alongside a sweet-sounding do not mess voice. They’re a duo, Annie Gardener handles those blistering bass lines and vocals, Lee Stone propels the drums and drives the whole thing. Four busy tracks, for slicing tracks, on your toes, feedback feeding. The cover is a hand made screen-printed thing made by artist Danny Le Guilcher... Raw blistering alt.rock energy, punky drive, forthright vocals – Raincoats, Sonic Youth, Lightning Bolt, That F***ing Tank – raw, menacing, demanding, driving, busy, thundering along like that have other places to be. Four impressive songs/tracks/bites, busy bands, in all senses, we like this – www.myspace.com/thehystericalinjury

19th OCT '09: SUBGENERATES - Those riffs are pure early 80’s Cardiacs scratchy going off and things, on the less complicated punky Seaside side of things rather that the big wall of sound that came along later. These Subgenerates with their spiky riffs are from Taunton, Somerset and this is very very Cardiacs indeed... Tasty four tracker actually, four busy songs, they may just be pushing it in terms of the liberties taken with those ‘borrowed’ riffs and rather familiar song constructions, do rather like this though. Bit a Subhumans edge? Quite a big punky edge in there with the positive energy actually – Subhumans, Crass, old school punk... Hang on there’s another disc in here as well (main disc was all packaged up in full colour and cellophane and ready to sell and such, second is just a CDr with hand written song titles). Bit more of a band starting to push themselves with this second disc, is this them evolving? If it is then looks like they could be taking their influences and doing something a little different with them, touch of Dead Kens, touch of Amebix, sounds like things are moving on rather nicely, squalor is alive... All sounds very well produced D.I.Y  and this set of songs on this second disc are still very very Cardiacs but... And all rather nostalgic in a positive 80’s underground days of zines and broken photocopiers kind of way - giving us a warm glow actually, kind of miss bands and sounds and attitudes like these...  Is it too Cardiacs? Well it is very very Cardiacs - nah, who cares, the scratchy punky edge and the fact that they get that it isn’t about being annoyingly wacky makes this work – good one you Subgenerates, keep it coming, keep it evolving, more please – www.myspace.com/subgenerates
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1st OCT '09: MOJO BLITZ – Rather decent slice or four of mellow West Coast flavoured relaxed psychedelic retro rock from Sydney, Australia. Sounds rather early 70’s Californian, touch of an Eastern vibe. They do it with a laid back refined warmth, just a hint of relaxed funk in there with their mellow rock. www.myspace.com/mojoblitz

16th Sept '09: THE MINIONS – Bolton’s Minions have themselves a new three track demo. Raw, busy, tunefully good energetic ska flavoured brass driven skanking punk-pop. Three new tracks, all of them good enough to lead things as a serious single (if they ever got them recorded decently) and like we said last time, they sound like they’d kick up an imperial leisure of a storm live... www.myspace.com/minionsofjeffrey

6th Sept '09: GODZILLA BLACK – This one turns ears and grabs minds straight away, this is different, this is good!  A whole album’s worth and all ready to go. Twelve tracks from the London band that instantly demand attention. Pointy drumming, cultured yelping and all angular, not your regular angles mind you, this band are seriously different – burning wires and a fear of a flat planet, don’t fall off the edge now. How are we going to dance around the architecture this time?  They sound like they should be on one of those genuinely cutting edge labels like Skingraft, they sound a little like Arab On Radar without really sounding anything like anyone with what sounds like two drummers and a whole load of Pulp Fiction and new wave fizz and fuzz and tribal and kind of unsettling.... Rumbling, rolling, new wave bite, a surf-kissed riff here, an edgy roll there, and really like nothing that can be conveniently pinned down... Alien tunes that will sail very close to the edge of your world – mostly drumming... Under-pinned by some frantic drumming, there is two of them hitting those isn’t there? They were a little light on information, just hand delivered disc dropped though our door with no names or anything, kind of disturbing to think these people are on our doorstep late at night... Twelve seriously good tracks and a front line album ready to go, seriously good, seriously different, now if we were still in the record releasing business we'd be on the phone straight away   - www.myspace.com/godzillablack
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2nd Sept '09: THE QUIRKY – One track demos are never that helpful in terms of getting a real angle on anything. This sounds interesting enough though, sunny folky psychedelia laced with spoken word soundbites and delicate instrumentation, lots of bright colour, dare we mention the H word?, These people sound like hippies – not that that’s a bad thing... A song about LSD and sunny summers of love and... and well, here you go – www.myspace.com/thequirky – Oh and they also put on a regular night at the Cross Kings over in Kings Cross, London. Next one is tomorrow, 3rd September, VIV ALBERTINE (of the Slits) playing with her new band, more on that from www.myspace.com/gigglinggig

27th AUG '09: Focusing on the whole of the doughnut, hole and everything, surely we should be to attending to the hole as well? 

DEMO REVIEW: THE LAZE – Spacetime Fabric Conditioner – This isn’t really a demo, this is things in progress and an early taste of some kind of masterwork and an album almost ready for release – pay attention serious forward looking cutting edge prog-friendly labels out there, I think they’re looking for someone to take notice and put this out - and someone really should, this is seriously good! We’re talking some kind of instantly attention-demand frontline blend of the best side of brooding Faith No More fused with the progressive drama and seriously challenging adventure of classic King Crimson. Radiant keyboards, moody mountains of imaginative light and shade and stop the boat, the jester, the lark’s tongue is aspic, all lighthouse keepers and whoever’s helping young Washington to cut that cherry tree down for one mad-dive prog rock clock-ticking lawn-mowing minute, stop everything! We have a serious band here, this just might be the missing link that glues together the classic English prog of long past days and the forward looking musical adventure of now. This is cutting edge post-whatever you got for people who understand the glorious beauty of early Genesis, the dramatic adventure of Van Der Graaf or classic King Crimson, this is all that kicked in to a slightly twisted here and now with such gutsy passion, with such understanding of what this thing we call prog is really about... This is the real deal, this is proper full-on unashamed cool as f**k cutting edge expertly crafted dirty-fingered keyboard driven, sax-fuelled twisted English prog rock adventure and when they get the release details sorted we’ll delve a lot further in and tell a hell of a lot more about how brilliant it is... 
 You can catch The Laze on tour in the UK with Upsilon Acrux and Honey Ride Me A Goat at the start of October, now that is going to be a serious event of a tour, those three bands together is almost too much! More from www.myspace.com/thelaze
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25th AUG '09: Tuesday Tuesday, hot and sticky, and more artistic endeavour and the continued battle with...Well let us take on the demo mountain... got to be some good fresh exciting music here to shout about...

THE DAILY BATTLE WITH DEMO MOUNTAIN...

         We’ve been throwing demos in the chewing machine for what seems like hours now, chewing them up while leaves get twisted, cats bark for fresh food, the sun burns down and people ask us if we’re going to Reading, (no we’re not going to bloody Reading!). Demo after demo, hopefully throwing 'em in, spitting them out again and to quote our good friend Senator Clay Davis, “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeittttttttt!”. 
              The truth of the matter here is that, however hopeful we are when we throw these discs in to the player, nearly all of these demos these days are pretty much, at best, politely alright.  politely alright is not good enough and we could waste several chunks of this fine sunny day writing half-hearted three-line polite review after half-hearted three-line polite review that ends with an uncommitted polite comment and a My Space link you won’t really be inspired enough to bother to hit... We could politely tell you about polite indie rock demos from Scotland or the same old polite ska-punk from Manchester or more shouty pink-haired electro girls with their Hoxton art-school wannabe same old same old that really isn’t that clever when seventy three others have already done it ahead of them this year... We could tell you about this slice or remarkably politely average (very average) Bon Jovi pub-metal from Essex that’s about to be ejected and violently mangled... or this or that or or or... 

       or or or... Or this lot who’ve been sending in the same remarkably average, politely slick, pop-rock politeness in to us for at least the last five polite years or so now – every six months, like clockwork, they send in another demo and always with the same politely-printed press-release claiming they’re the next big thing ‘cause the bloke who books Tuesday nights at the Hope And Anchor said so once.... 

     Yeah, sure, we could clutter up our pages with polite review after polite uncommitted review and tell you how they all politely sound a bit like this crossed with something a bit like that... Endless reviews that in reality no one will care two rotten red apples about. It isn’t that most of these bands or demos are really that bad, just that they’re not very good either.... Come on you bands, we're not impressed, The Bunk isn't impressed, no one is impressed.... We want your music to jump out of the speakers and bite our ears, to stop us in our tracks, we want you new bands to grab us by the throat and demand our attention, demand our words, our page space, our airtime, our shouting and frothing and barking - this parade of politely average half-hearted demos will not do! This one we’ve got on now is some bloke in his bedroom at an electric piano like we’re on some late night after hours cheesy cruse ship to somewhere south of politeville.. What on earth makes you people think any of this is going to be wanted by anyone besides your being-polite-because-they-love-you immediate family and handful of so-called friends who won't tell you the truth? Jesus, look at that! There’s twenty four songs on here! “Some of it sounds like Cardiacs” he says, no it bloody doesn’t! You don’t get around our ears like that. Miles away from being anywhere near the goalposts... 

               ...Oh hell, listen to this one! Nearly as bad as the one we had on a minute ago that came with some shouty hand-written teenage punk rock style manifesto that might have looked good on the paper in their heads, no good if your music sounds like it was made in a cardboard box out the back of a Scout hut before mummy called you in for tea and told you off for using sharp pens without permission... And here come some more shouty electro look-at-us Hoxton toss.
          Started off here politely telling tales of how everything was politely average, almost as average as that band who sang about how everything was average (or that other average average lot who sang about cashpoints and wanting to be the Clash but never ever were whatever XFM and the bloody NME tried to tell us, Hard-Fi, that was them, whatever happen Hard Fi? Weren’t they supposed to be the biggest band in the world by now?). On and on they go, some of these things really are worse that those damn everything is average Kaiser Chiefs, at least the demo mountain is getting a little smaller. 
         Some (not very) polite heavy metal now, man with bollocks caught in a poodle’s jaws by the sounds of things, oh dear, this is nowhere near average, where the hell have this lot come from? Cardiff? Oh dear! Gawd help us, Cruncher ‘d fall down one of his holes if he was to be subjected to this! 

            Ah, jeszzzzzzzzus, this one is on one of those blank white CDr things, not even a name written on it, some dreadful emo indie pop band who could be from anywhere, comes with a press release – if you are going to send these things in then at least get it together to write your name on the disc! The damn thing will get feed in to the machine, the phone will ring, we’ll forget who you are and wallop, blank disc, no name, which cover did it come out of? Who knows? Who cares? In the bin... Gawd, read this press release that came with the blank disc, how many giraffes are this lot having? “Full Scream Ahead serve up a mesmerising blend of thunderous rock, squalls of guitar and cavernous drums, with shimmering melodic passages, with dizzying musical layers and a myriad of emotions, they have a sound that could well grow into the best British thing for years....” – ummmm... no you bloody don’t, you’re not even politely average! No, can't resist, here's the link to "the best British thing for years", this is the kind of polite avergeness that clutters up our day... 

Next please... Some band called She Hit Me First... yeah, who can blame her? Hit them again!  And you lot from Glasgow with your Banksy balloon stickers, we politely told you last time you sent us this very same demo (and followed it up with a million e.mails) that we weren’t that impressed, take the polite hint, if you send this in for a forth time then we will actually review it, you won’t like what we say, we’re being very polite here... sheeeeeeit! And this singer-songwriter being all moody sitting on the beach on his cover... we know how bad this is going to be well before we put it on... No, wrong, far worse then we expected! Do any of you people even bother checking out what we cover here before you waste your stamps and jiffy bags? Argghhhh, listen to this one! Are you people deliberately sending this stuff in just to annoy us!?
           Oh sisters of bloody mercy, we got bad bad goths with Pet Shop Boy synths and comedy Marilyn Manson gravel voices now – “I sing about Ancient Egypt, outer space, cemeteries and forsaken places of body and mind...” We need to get out of here.... We really do listen to every demo that comes in...
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24th AUG '09: BAD FOR LAZARUS - Riddle that one, holy burning toast, lashings for bats, five piece band from Somewhereville England, something to do with reading lesbian poetry or maybe nothing to do with reading any poetry, messing with the Cramps and the Stooges and The Pixies and mostly some kind of eighties b-line matchbox on a course for disaster and all that To The Bones Icarus Line dcuzzy rawness, adrenaline, attitude, slashed blues, broken guitars and low slung hell yeah punk rock n’ roll chaos, old rats on new ships or something like that... early days. Heavy nasty pop... got some good You Tube action on their MySpace.  They’re at the Comedy Cafe (opposite Cargo), Shoreditch, London on September 4th  - www.myspace.com/badforlazarus

OMNIVORE – Spandaurandurandaulallet - we get an Omnivore passing through here every couple of years or so, this latest Omnivore are from Leeds and appear to be connected to those other wild noise-makers Death Qunt. Actually it looks like it may just be Death Qunt with a new name and more of their wild freeform jazz noise delivered with attitude, drive and raw threat. More of that rushing all over the place hard-boiled free form jazz honking, not so freeform that things are out of control mind you, these people are not making mere noise for art’s sake, they’re in control of their challenging sound. We’re talking John Zorn, The Thing and heading out towards those Flying Luttenbachers at times... Seven instrumental jazz-sax driven tracks in a hand made cow-camouflage cloth cover with a hand painted luminous green band logo on the front... Just how we likeit... www.myspace.com/omnivoreband
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24th AUG '09: CUTTHROAT CONVENTION – Denizens Of The Bath House - Cutthroat Convention are a musical law unto themselves, they’re like no one else, it really should sound alien and awkward, it really isn’t... Even at this early juncture you know who it is straight away, a couple of DIY demo releases and they’re already instantly recognisable, now there aren’t too many bands making their first moves that you can say that about. Strange lines, twists, things that really shouldn't be happening or at least shouldn’t be working in terms of conventional rock music. This is seriously progressive other rock and they really don’t sound like a single other band out there, or at least any band we can point a signpost at as some kind of vague dancing about architecture type clue... They’re London based, via Japan, their packages always stand out, so does their stencil art and hand made creativity that fanfares each batch of fresh music. Seven tracks this time, all good and they had us lost for words last time and they have us even more lost for words this time... And all their creations are there to cling on to,  outbursts of franticness, strange lengths, twitches, gibbers, darkness, sinister bits, disturbing bits – strange rather than difficult or awkward or hard-boiled, Cutthroat Convention are strangely easy to listen to – very very strangely easy and just so compellingly different  - and yes, they do sound Japanese, very strangely Japanese though, like the strangest Japanese movie full of animated cat-buses that somehow makes such obvious sense. Cutthroat Convention are just different, they’re impossible to describe, they’re rather good, they’re very very good with their strings and their slowly burning skin and their seeing of the light and the rain and their sinister undercurrents and different time signatures and strange lengths and... This time the music turned up in a mysterious hand-painted box along with loads of good looking artwork and tales of parasites and their paradise and... and... and ...oh just go find out, hit the link and find out, they really are worth finding out about, go now...  www.myspace.com/cutthroatconvention

14th AUG 09: THE LADIES OF SPORT – The product - Demo from Brooklyn, three slightly poppy, slightly quirky, catchy electro-pop inventiveness – bit of a They Might Be Giant feel, touch of Flaming Lips, although they’d probably rather us namedrop Beck or MGMT, three rather likeable songs from the two girls and singing boy drummer - www.myspace.com/theladiesofsport

10th AUG 09 - DIALS – Fix The Imbalance (self release) – Four slices of rather polite and maybe potentially epic indie rock that touches on a bit of musical adventure here and there while they content themselves with flirting with bands like Amusement Parks or Placebo or... www.dialsmusic.com

31th JULY 09 - TORTURO NERVOSA – Wired raw grungy punky punchy shouty alternative edginess from deepest Scotland. Four tracks that sound like a lot of things we’ve encountered before, them shouty alternative grunfy punky guitar bands we can all name, damn good at it though, bag loads of energy, attitude and a slice or two of abrasive class in there with that hint of a nasty edge – www.myspace.com/torturonervosawillkillyou
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chaka (organart.com)19th JULY 09: NIXA – Three track demo from a rather professional sounding London based band. Nixa describe themselves as a ‘modern rock band’, they’re all very slick and yeah, ‘modern’, one of them there emo/indie slick melodic rock bands that really don’t do much for these ears. Let me politely point out that they do their chosen thing impressively well and leave their melodic slickness and modern pop-rock rule obeying with you. If you like slick indie guitar rock and things like Biffy Clyro or Foo Fighters then they do it well enough, they have their  thing together... Here’s a link, off you go and investigate, not exciting us much – www.nixa.co.uk

10th JULY '09: HAKEN – Full album’s worth of demo quality tracks and a potentially Impressive work in progress from Surrey band Haken. If you appreciate that neo-prog, technical prog-metal side of things and if bands like Dream Theatre do it for you, then Haken are going to be of interest. They’ve been around since 2007 and they’re fast building themselves a healthy reputation... There’s plenty of colour and imagination here, hints of ambitious prog-flavoured rock that has lots of the story telling qualities in there with the melodic prog adventures of the old school – Camel, 70’s Genesis, IQ, early Marillion -  woven with Haken’s modern technical sound. Some of that modern side is maybe a little cold and a little too much technique over substance, this does sound like a demo though – the right production might do the trick? Maybe?  Plenty of tasty mood switching, plenty of light and shade, plenty of proper old school proggyness, clever key changes, colourful composition - unfortunately there’s a lot of cold clinical technical fret-wanking, some rather uninviting look at me ego-cheese and technical showing off when what’s really needed is some feel, some heart and some soul. I don’t know, when you listen to stuff English bands are coming up with next the really exciting provoking progressive bands from other places, bands like Extra Life or Cheer Accident then... um... well...   – www.myspace.com/hakenmusic

JUNE 25th 2009: CATO STREET CONSPIRACY – Oh look, this lot are doing their chosen thing impressively well, just ain’t really our thing, and maybe not the most original of things either... that slick emo indie pop rock polite guitar thing laced with melody and harmony... the Oxford band’s lyrics are a little more rewarding than most of these emo-indie modern guitar pop bands and good luck to ‘em we say. Here’s a link, if it sounds like your thing then they do it well enough, three pin-point tracks and go investigate and get it out of here and I think we’ve been polite enough for today and you know what we really think of things like this – www.myspace.com/catostreetconspiracy
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13th JUNE '09: DEMO REVIEW:  LOW TRAMON - Back To The Iron -   There is always cause for optimism with this club, and there is delight to be found in the pile of demos and the slices of discs that slash away at us and this is frantically good from the start... Attention demanding new wave no wave and tunes that grab you by that collar and dance you around like a knee-jerk psychotic robot that can’t contain anything... Raw and frantically wired, and everything sounding bigger, grabbing gulps of punk rock new wave sax driven air  . Frantic sax jousted with angular bass line and broken by design, this is a shot in the arm. Cutthroat conventions and urgent urgentness urgently pushing the borderline with a case of twisted insides and all gone wrong in glorious 3d colour like some mutant 50’s comic book monster and the alpha rhythms of cavemen explained. Anyone remember the glorious brief explosions of Camp Blackfoot? Was that the attack of the electromagnetic microwave man? Low Tramon are from London and what did the hungry lion say about people who have been or still are in bands such as the much missed Optimism Club, Cutthroat Convention, Raising Objections and such...? Shall we name-drop some not so obscure names now? Melvins? Devo? Flying Luttenbachers? Inner City Unit? Jesus Lizard? Pointy staccato search in the dark frantic goodness, this is the sound, five demo tracks and all alive like the flames on the mountain pass feel safe alone? A case of twisted insides, every channel switched on... oh yes, like this one.... Attack of the electro magnetic microwave men... let's roll the tape, don't touch that dial...don't drop your launch box, we need to talk survival, smiles as wide as crocodiles www.myspace.com/lowtramon

Low TRAMON play Tommy Flynns, Camden, London on June 18th

12th JUNE '09: DEAD STAR SONICS seems to mostly be a lo-fi psychedelic pop thing from singer/guitarist called Nicky Sonic, well entirely actually, he’s a one man band. A dense fuzzy Lou Reed, Dandy Warhols, Modern Lovers, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualized kind of affair. Three rather decent songs, good guitar sound, kind of wired and fractured and it seems he was once the singer in Babyfood back there...  www.deadstarsonics.com or www.myspace.com/deadstarsonics
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31st May '09: SPACE DUST, WIDOWS, GAY BEASTS, AUTOMATIC PRIEST AND SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, RADIOHEADS.... So the mystery of the space dust has been solved, packages dropping through the Organ door, I mean, who sticks a second class stamp and an address label on a package of Fizz Wiz popping candy?! Stalkers! Our post people are forever giving us strange looks. Indeed the Royal Mail representative was rather perplexed by the rather used-looking black lace panties in the see-thru plastic envelope the other day, that was a good one, no idea who that was, not the first time either... Sunday bleedin’ Sunday once more and time to get our radio heads on once more, my turn this week (Sean) and that means a bag load of all the new exciting challenging things that have tuned up alongside the space dust and the underwear and this great CD that just this very moment fell through the letterbox, hand-delivered, this sunny Sunday afternoon. New material from WIDOWS, we’ve been waiting for this one! New recordings and music is still exciting when you search through all the average compromised conforming and no, we’re not quite ready to join The 17 and abandon it all yet. So we got fresh Widows and we got the new GAY BEAST album here this week  - “Minnesota’s premier agit-prog queer band”, does that mean there’s more than one? Is there a  whole bag load of agit-prog queercore noise bands in Minnesota? Ten a penny? This Widows CD is excellent, and the space dust stalker? Turns out it was THE CURSORS, who in turn have a new single that has something to do with space dust and we’re they on good form at the Inn On The Green under the Westway last night or what? They played alongside those ever evolving RUDE MECHANICALS (who had loads of new material and we need that Automatic Priest to play you! They’re recording a new album this next month it seems) and ANARCHISTWOOD with their new stand up drummer, good times and healthy artistic creativity under the West Way over here in West London - it was the closing night of the ExGracia artshow. So yes, SUNDAY IS RADIOHEAD DAY – ORGAN HOUR, 9.00PM UK time on Resonance FM, 104.4FM on the dial in London, and world wide via www.resonancefm.com – whoosh, this new Widows stuff is impressively good, arrived here fifteen minutes ago and straight on to the radio tonight... We love that Resonance radio station and all the art and the get up and do it creativity that’s around at the moment, these are golden creative times and treasure them, it won’t always be this good, these things are always going in circles, we've survived through so many now... now for some Lillywhite Lilith....alwas space for a classic piece treasure to aim at new ears... off with our radio heads on, oyster cards a bleeping and a labour of passion, radioheads indeed... 

29th May '09: BURT BACHARAK FIGHT CLUB – Electric Ghost – One track demo disc things (in boring uninspiring non-artwork covers) are never that great in terms of getting a handle on a new band and writing a review – kind of need a little more that the one dimension offered here by this relatively new English band. Kind of decent first shot though, kind of frantic fuzzy, kind of more low budget, urgent kind of Swastika Eyes Primal Scream kind of thing – kind of... Kind of looks like they’ve got a three track single of the way, this might even be the lead track on said single – worth checking out... kind of... www.myspace.com/redcamerauk
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Your eye19th May '09: EYES... FREE DOWNLOAD? GRAB A TASTE ANYONE? We played a couple of tracks on the radio show last weekend, now we have to be massively impressed to play one track, so two tracks played tells you what we thought on first couple of listens, seem you, dear listeners, agreed (we do love your thoughts and feedback....) Here’s a slice of this week’s radio show playlist notes:
          “Studio experiments, lumps of funk/soul/rock, field noise, “a chaotic kids disco wrapped in  day-glo”? Bits of Dan Deacon, a “butt-naked Bach with a peacock’s feather stuffed up his...”   (offers the press release), no not really chaotic, just different and instantly good in a stop and listen to this kind of way... Dance and funk and no-wave lo-fi electronics and just experiments and textures and most importantly tunes...” 
           And a friendly person at the band's label says "“Hi, Thought you guys and girls might be into this! (You should have received a physical copy the other week?) I was wondering if you fancied putting this MP3  up on your site as a free download for your readers?  It's an absolutely cracking track from USA's psyche-no-wave punksters, 'Eyes' forthcoming debut album 'Night Eyes' with us, Seed Records, which is due out on the 1st June 2009. If you like your Health, Ariel Pink or Love Pump United sounds, you might like this. If it's your bag, great, if not, no probs.  Please let me know your thoughts either way”.
                   "Why not" are out thoughts, we like Eyes, eyes are good things, Eyes are a good thing, Organ is about good musical things and using your eyes and....

        The album is called Night Eyes, and like the man just said, the rather impressive album is out on June 1st. You can grab a free taste here and you can explore more here - www.seedrecords.co.uk or www.myspace.com/iieyes
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19th May '09: A LIST: Tunnel 28, ruddy ducks, Japanese knotweed, dumbstick Motley Crue tribute bands, almost every band on My Space, so called punk rock labels run by the money-laden sons of large industrial institutions who think they can make the rules, chin stroking, post arriving soaking wet even though it isn’t raining, false locust trees, the general public – have you listened to the general public and their soundbites on those twenty four hour news channels, their contributions to radio phone-ins, London PR people who think they’re more important than the bands and labels who pay their bills, ratty-faced English post rock bands who've all been playing the same tune for the last few years, the lack of a decent London gig guide, someone should do one, smug Dave from Eton, Mohawkins and his Monsters, who is Mohawkins? People who make lists...
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10th May '09: BLUE LIONS is a project created by Myles Broscoe, a guitarist and composer from Montreal. He has had a bit of a schizophrenic career in music, but this is an attempt to distill his past experiences and influences into a coherent whole. This is also his debut as a singer. Myles performs with naïve clarinet, guitars, synths and electronics. The music draws heavily from the music of West Africa and Albert Ayler, as well as his own experience as a guitarist in Montreal groups Les Angles Morts, AIDS Wolf and The Arcade Fire. This thing is in its infancy. A 7" split with friends and compatriots Black Feelings will be released this spring, with a full length to follow in the next year. - www.myspace.com/milobrosco

THE SLOW BLADE - Electronic darkwave indie rock from a London based band who mix up a healthy Franz Ferdinand thing with poppy a Depeche Mode feel - www.myspace.com/slowblademusic

9th May '09: THE GREEN RIVER PROJECT – Pure undiluted proper British heavy metal, one for those who like it on the Maiden side of life, all those busy onslaughts of classical metal guitar, galloping runs, dead men walking and full on no messing bits of things like Accept, Tygers of Pan Tang, Dio, Y&T and those neighing bits of screaming guitar at the end of the riff. We’re talking fists in the air, aces high, no return.... Now you’re either going to love this or absolutely hate it, there is no middle ground here. And hell of toast, does this no messing London outfit have a bursting set of great big egos or what? Especially guitarist Mick... Here’s what he says on his personal My Space page “Hey hey I'm Mick Priestley and I'm guitarist for The Green River Project. There are some things you should know about me..  a) I'm cooler than you are.. b) I get more girls than you do... c) I play guitar better than you do and... d) My band's better than yours!” – and you know what, when it comes to full on mine's bigger than yours heavy metal - not thrash, or glam or metalcore or death or technical wankothon prog metal or any of those side issues – when it comes to no messing pure all the way up to eleven no return heavy metal and bad attitude and everything louder and faster and bigger than everything else them Mick just might be right! Ego inflated f***er certainly can play and his band have it nailed down well and good! Of course if you’re in the camp that thinks metal to be a Tapped up pile of ego infested same old riffs and pretty much a pile of nothing but pantomime horse-poop and Bad News then Mick and his band probably back all that up as well - the evidence is all here m’lud, case is rested, preposterous heavy metal nonsense..! Guess if you’re in that second camp they couldn’t give a flying V what you think of their band. Want to know what I think? No? Tuff, I’m telling yer anyway, I’m a metalhead, I think most metal sucks, this is proper no messing undiluted in your face proper metal... everyone else around here thinks this sucks, and of course there isn’t an original move or note or lyric line anywhere near these five tracks and  I love it and I got the keyboard and I’m writing the review. They’ve even got the balls to out Kat the Great Kat with their version of The Flight Of The Bumblebee, they back up all their claims and their great big egos, this is everything you want from yer ‘eavy bleedin’ metal... preposterously good and proper! - www.myspace.com/greenriverproject08
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F**ked Up, Camden Barfly, 2008 (Organart)9th May '09: WRAPPED IN PLASTIC – Vibrant rich silky alternative darkwave pop with an electronic edge and a healthy touch of Curve/Nine Inch Nails/Jesus & Mary Chain to gently propel it all along. Girl-voiced lushness, exquisite warmth, seductive dark wave electro pop and rising tempratures from the London based three piece. Bett Rettig on vocals, Debbie Smith (ex Curve/Echobelly) on guitar, Kendra Frost on bass. www.myspace.com/wrappedinplasticuk – they play The Water Rats here in London on May 11th 

PINK NARCISSUS – New band (from Brighton) and some fresh recordings from Oliver Spleen, he of the rather explosive (and now no more) Flesh Happening. Less of your Buzzcocks style and those in your face ejections this time around, little more fragile and all thunder clouds and sealed emotions this time - darker edge, less obvious, less of a confrontation. And everybody lies, everyone but you. More of a perverted edge to those riffs, still those sticky lyrics and the baiting and Ma look at me, I’m on the top shelf now. More of a twisted post punk thing this time around. Less jumping on your toes singing right at you this time, coming at you in a less obvious way, leading you in to their dark corner, their black burning dark corner - a different kind of happy ending and Oliver still there with his broken wings and high heel hope and that frantic fragile style of his... Still bits of Manics and Buzzcocks and Magazine and Smiths, far less obvious now though and still there in all in his very own tormented cut your losses and take shelter kind of way - and you wouldn’t really expect anything less, A new band every bit as good as his old band. Still raw, still early days, this is very a raw demo recording from a band with a fragile edge of their own, a personality ready to blossom, a promise of things to come – www.myspace.com/pinknarcissusband

CARLIS STAR – Breezy sunny feel-good alternative harmonised Beach Boysish summer pop from Manchester. Follow up to last year’s debut single, sounds like they have things ready for the next step, this sounds likes a rather fine ready to go summer EP to us - especially that second track To Name A Few, actually no, Been & Gone is best, Been & Gone is a beautifully sublime piece of intelligent harmonised restrained gliding pop goodness. Actually all these songs are great, The Goodwill Robot is favourite now... all four tracks are fine, four glowing slices of everbrightness, clever simplicity, impressive uncluttered harmonised goodness. www.myspace.com/carlisstar or www.carlisstar.com. Carlis Star play the Hungry Pigeon Festival in Manchester on May 23rd  - No, Been & Gone really is best of four fine tracks , Been & Gone is a perfect piece of glowing pop, something rather special... 

Stop press: Hang on, what’s going on here? They send a demo in last week, we write a review, stick it up on line, check the link and then see they’ve already split! What’s going on there Carlis Star!? Reform! 

Stop press: Seems they'll be back... "Hi, I really appreciate you writing such a glowing review on my songs from Carlis Star. I will return! That's a promise. Simon"

HYPER SNYPER – They sound like a riffed-up Happy Mondays, actually those riffs aren’t a million miles away from Stone Roses riffs really. Two raw tracks, demo quality early moves, they’re from the East Midlands, they sound more like mid 90’s Madchester. Crispy Ambulance chancers and that Monday’s groove, they claim to be a bunch of brickies and sparkies... Crunchy synths and guitar riffs, laddish Primal Screams, plenty of energy, groove, that singer certainly sounds like he’s from the North West, kind of like 'em... www.myspace.com/hypersnyper1
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30th April '09: FREEDOM FACTION – Cambridge girl-fronted no messing old school street punk band. Four of em, three rather large beefy males and a pink haired girl called Rhianna Milton.  Tuneful yet shouty ‘77 style punk rock with a poppy hook or two here and then. Think raw basic no messing Pistols, X-Ray Spex, Vibrators, Vice Squad, Blondie flavoured delivered with straight ahead right on your toes in your face chav-girl baiting style. No messing, proper basic punk, don’t think they’d claim to be doing anything radically different, they're laced with the right attitude, sound like they’d be a blast live  - www.myspace.com/freedomfactionUK

29th April '09: THE SECRET INVASION – Rather interestingly different two track demo disc from Middlesborough and a band with more than a healthy touch of Wedding Present about them. A touch of Gedge, a twist or two all of their own - second song is particularly intriguing with those harmonies and those deep rich wordy salutes. www.myspace.com/thesecretinvasion

28th April '09: DEATH OF THE ELEPHANT – Holiday - They’re deliciously raw and messy, “Here’s a CD for you” says the colourfully hand written letter, “rough and DIY, not because we’re old school, but because we’re poor...”. Keep them poor we say! Noisy trash raw old school messy garage punk rock and the last thing they need is budget and production and ‘proper things’ like that destroying their positive energy and that beautifully raw edge. Punky “noisy garage punk stuff” of a frantic Gossip, Babes In Toyland, Bikini Kill nature. There’s three of them, girl singer, two boys, some kind of Anglo American Chelmsford meets California thing going on  (Certainly busy playing South of England gigs so I guess they’re based over here). Spot on in your face grrrl fronted punk rock raw shouty energy, check ‘em out but don’t give them any money or anything, keep this band poor and raw.... www.myspace.com/deathoftheelephant
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22nd April '09: WIDOW’S MITE – two track demo from a new Sheffield band. There’s some early signs of ambition here, they’re playing around with those ideas that flirt with post hardcore noise and that indie/post-rock quiet, they have a hint or two of an emerging musical personality and a desire to push themselves just a little than your average band... Lot of those quiet build up to a throat-ripping scream things going on at the moment and it is a little obvious right now - early days though, there are little hints of good band making their first early moves here, something just might develop, could do with being a little less obvious about it, worth keeping an eye on to see where they take it - www.myspace.com/widowsmiteband

20th April '09: BINEWSKI – Inside The Reptile House (self release). Sixteen and a half minutes of considered energy, is it all one song or some kind of joined together eleven track mini concept album? They’re from North West London and this is an ever shifting scape of goodness. Kind of cleverly constructed pop rock energy and colourful urgentness, their webpages reveal very little. A quarter of an hour of well produced concept pop rock, colourful modern pop rock that pokes sticks at My Chemical Romance, that bites down to the bones of Enter Shikari – far better than both actually and you sir, give me a shilling if you are willing... No, scratch those reference points and those way off-target name drops, Binewski’s modern sounding pop rock concert sounds nothing like Enter My Chemical anything and if you listen very closely there’s bits of all kinds of things and they, whoever they are, sound like no one you could easily put a bruised index finger on – bits of Killing Joke, touches of neo-prog stitching things together, atmospheres, toes dipped in different musical waters.... Good ideas, no modest dreams to shatter here, well worth checking out and keeping a spare eye on – www.binewski.com
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