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  singles - tasty 21
  - Razorcuts
- Simpatico
- The Liberty Ship

-
Mower
- The Folk Implosion
- Funeral for a Friend
- Katastrophy Wife
- Ten speed Racer
- The Ga Gas

- The Evening Lights
- Boot 50
- Lady Leather Machine

- Puscha
- The Playrights
- The Sons
- Airport Girl
- Read Yellow
- Spearmint
- Ella Guru
- Hoboken

-
Engerica
-
Athlete


Razorcuts - A is for Alphabet (Matinee)
More choice cuts from the distant past in another lovingly packaged Razorcuts release from Matinee. This one features the gloriously chiming, not to mention summery, 'A is for Alphabet' - something of a trademark 'cuts song with its almost bell-like Rickenbackers and glorious harmonies. Meanwhile, in other news, we have four other obscurities for your pleasure. 'First Day' is much in the same vein as 'A is for...' but takes a slightly more introverted stance, until it bursts into the chorus with the sort of rush that has the hairs on the back my neck standing up. 'Snowbound' is just about the perfect song. Lush, intertwined guitars, reminiscent of Marr during 'The Queen is Dead' days, this melancholy masterpiece mixes doleful lyrics with a somehow joyous feel, that has me smiling all day. Two demos to finish - the first of which, 'Sometimes I Worry About You' is taken from the band's early days and retains that sort of wired yet dreamy edge found on 'Big Pink Cake', whilst 'For Always' ends this near perfect ep on the note that it should - in a hail of chiming guitars and sweet, sweet melodies. How I wish I'd been able to grow up with this band. But how glad I am that Matinee has seen fit to introduce them to me now.

Simpatico - Club Life (Matinee)
Club Life is one of those Matinee releases that slowly creeps up on you. At first listen it's very easy to dismiss this kind of electro-twee as lightweight, knockabout stuff. But then you realise that it's the lightweight, knockabout-ness (...ermm) of pop music that turned you onto it in the first place, and so everything's alright again. The same could be said of 'Club Life' which has this listener, oddly enough, thinking of Yazoo. Not too sure if Simpatico will thank me for that, but hey...it's meant as a compliment. I think.

 
The Liberty Ship - Northern Angel (Matinee)
Quite possibly one of The Liberty Ship's weakest songs, it seems odd to me that they've chosen 'Northern Angel' as the title track of their new single. So, we'll gloss over that and go onto the other three excellent tracks, such as 'This World', which sounds like Marc Elston is sitting by a river contemplating his navel on a summery day - and that can only be a good thing. 'Final Kick' features the excellent vocals of Rachel, a perfect accompaniment to Elston's shy indie boy touch. Finally, 'Small Lives' is another one of those extremely laid back Liberty Ship songs, Marc plucking away almost nonchalantly. Marvellous stuff....just skip track one.

Mower - The Morning After (Transcopic)
Mower, you worship at the altar of early Supergrass, and if 'The Morning After' isn't a rip off of 'Caught By the Fuzz' then you can call me Colin and take me for daily walks around the park. The single certainly has some go, but then so does a Status Quo song. You take your pick.

 
The Folk Implosion - Pearl (Domino)
The ever increasing adventures of Lou Barlow carry on...not quite at the same pace as yesteryear, but he dawdles on, nonetheless. 'Pearl' is alt country in excelsis, and therefore I find it a bit dull. One for those who like their beer warm and frothy and get excited at gigs about types of guitars....and cowboy hats.

Funeral for a Friend - Juneau (Infectious)
This, on the other hand, rocks out all over the place. Is this what they're calling 'emo' these days. Back when I were a nipper, that was Fugazi and Bob Tilton and all them there bands. This isn't too bad...if only you can past the Joe Elliot vocals, which need to be sorted out, and someone should tell the singer that putting an echo on his vocals makes him sound like a goth. And that sort of thing needs to be stamped out immediately.

 
Katastrophy Wife - Liberty Belle (Integrity)
Pretty bloody impressive, it has to be said. Kat Bjelland is not afraid to mess things about a bit, but here she's gone straight down the line and made one of the best Mudhoney tracks Mudhoney haven't made for years. And what's this? A Biz remix? Yes, it is, and it's fantastic too.

 
Ten Speed Racer - Ten Speed Racer (Red Flag Records)
Abysmal indie rock stuff. One of those songs that threatens to take off but all you end up with is a wimpy power chord, put so deep in the mix that it may as well not be there at all. In fact, the whole band sound like they're on sedatives. Snap out of it youths!

 
The Ga Gas - Breaking America (Crisis)
Breaking wind more like.

 
Evening Lights - 2003 tour cd
A most wonderful thing. Hand crafted by the very band themselves, this 6 track live ep showcases the talent of one of the newest additions to the Shelflife roster, and what talent. For a band whose sound veers between the sugar sweetness of the Popguns and the raw pop of The Wedding Present, Evening Lights sound remarkably fresh. 'On & On and 'Lovely Disaster' (which sounds like a typical C-86 name!) are particularly ace, and by the time the lilting 'Wintermute' fades into nothingness, one is left feeling that Evening Lights might just be one of your favourite bands by this time next year.

 
Boot 50 - Popstars (Pulse Records)
Boot 50, on t'other hand, won't. At least they wont be one of my favourite bands. Those still lamenting the passing of the Wildhearts are on the one hand, bastard sad, and on the other hand looking for a band itching for a band that thinks that the four chord thrash is somehow sexy and exciting. It isn't. It's about as sexy as rubbing halibut all over your nether regions. Still, they're better looking that Busted.

 
Lady Leather Machine - I Want Something (Lemonade Handshake)
Aye, a fucking haircut. Utter crap, that makes the Datsuns sound like Aphex Twin. That is, as they say, all.

 
Puscha - Maybe We Want To (Full On)
Not quite as sure as Billie Piper then, are Puscha, but this fair rocks some. I could even go as far to say that this has a touch of the Placebo about it, until half way through when the most filthy guitar solo comes in and ruins everything. Then it all goes a bit metal. Shame.

 
The Playwrights - The National Missing Person/Lies of the Suburbs (Sink and Stove)
Oohh..a quite brilliant ep. 'The National Missing Person' reminds me somewhat of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's better pop moments, and is quite brilliantly melancholy - just the sort of thing to listen to on rainy day train journeys, or when lying on a freshly cut lawn staring at the sky...you get the idea anyway. Meanwhile, 'Lies of the Suburbs' is more of an XTC angular romp, but is all very good too. Watch with interest.

 
The Sons - One Man Floats (Look Records)
What can one say about this record? It's particularly inoffesive and sounds like it was made by men who wear plaid shirts and chop wood all day. I'm trying nice to be hard about something that leaves me cold, please bear with me.

Airport Girl - Do You Dream in Colour (Matinee)
The indie version of Je T'aime, no less! Have Airport Girl yet to release a less than spectacular record? If they have I'm yet to hear it. I was gonna ask why this is released on Matinee and not Fortuna Pop!, but, looking at the inlay, I see that a certain Jimmy Tassos plays bongos on track three - 'Easier To Smile'. Not only does this expose Jimmy as a hippy of the first order, but that the entire indie world is utterly incestuous. It has been written. This record? Oh yeah, it's bloody great, as ever.
Read Yellow - Read Yellow ep (Fenway)
Four tracks of massive guitars, screaming vocals and, undoubtedly, big hair - Read Yellow are undoubtedly now. Fans of the equally as frightening Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster will love this ep. Myself, well, it's Friday morning - a weekend of relaxation awaits - the likes of the wired 'Fashion Fatale' and 'Static' aren't making my slippers ease on any quicker or lighting my pipe any faster. But then again, I think that's the point. One for the noise junkies in the audience.

 
Spearmint - Left Alone Among the Living (hitBack)
Ahh, welcome back Spearmint. Welcome back from a two year gap when you...well, you went a bit shit I'm sorry to say. Any song that rips off 'Sweeping the Nation' is fine by me, and, to be honest, Spearmint rip their own song better than most. 'Left Alone...' doesn't quite hit the heights of their masterpiece but echos the almost perverse tragi-comedy of much of the 'A Week Away' album. Meanwhile, 'Death of a Scene' echoes mid-period Morrissey, with it's 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful' ethos, and, indeed sound. Lastly, 'Uninvolved' takes you back a couple of decades using retro synths. Good to have them back.

 
Ella Guru - 3 Songs from Liverpool (Banana)
In truth, these songs sound about as far away from Liverpool as it's possible to get. Not to say that's a bad thing - this is a pretty impressive debut, that sees Ella Guru gather up their chaps and drink their milk and get off their horses...or something...it's sort of, y'know...alt.country. Having been to Liverpool a few times I don't remember many cowboys and indians. Then again, at least they're not The Farm.

 
Hoboken - Hotel Lisboa (Royal Jelly Records)
If this isn't Babybird in disguise then I am Mother Teresa. Which is good news because I suit one of those big, all-in-one shawl things she used to go about in, but that's another story. Think Hefner's electronic turn and mix it with - some more - early 80s noises and you have 'Hotel Lisboa'. 'Safe' is even more futuristic in a 1981 Mute Records way. If that butters your toast, cool. But it's a bit too cool for me...

 
Engerica - Trick or Treat? (Wrath)
You know what to expect from Engerica, but this is a little more interesting that usual. Instead of trying to sound like a terrible sixth form grunge band, 'Trick or Treat?' stops and starts and is generally quite good. Think Ikara Colt at their angular best. Down this road lies excellent, now do please keep it up.

Athlete - You Got the Style (Parlophone)
Oh why don't Athlete just call their songs 'Umm'...or 'Maybe'...or 'Yeah, We Could Do, I'm Not Fussed'. This is so inconsequential and dull that you have to wonder if the people making this music actually like it, never mind about those who are gonna buy it. Deary me.