Bright Sparks

Parastatic – Lost Highway

Father Sculptor - "A Series of Songs"

...there’s this toughness about their music; you could guess this could be the work of a bunch of arty chancers, but I don’t think it is. I genuinely think this is the way they want to express themselves.

Louder Than War – A Label Review

The ethos of the label seems to be striking the right balance between entertainment and intelligence: there’s no cleverness about any of these records or the bands for that matter, just honesty in the approach and directness in their message.

Dots Will Echo – Drunk Is The New Sober/Stupid Is The New Dumb

a heady mixture of bad hip hop, clumsy indie rock and absurd pop

Hectorina - Hey Hey Safety Man

You can imagine this lurid, restless music being a hit with film buffs and other solitary types… though it has a lot of space and a sense of occasion. Just don’t play it at business meetings.

Saint Max and the Fanatics

Imagine the ghosts of Flanagan and Allen brought to life - albeit their gentle vibe as pictured by a bunch of speed freaks.

Call the Doctor – Hands Will Shake

The difficulty is with this sort of music – good songs or not - is that there have been so many bands ploughing this particular sonic furrow this past ten years. And it’s often difficult to pick out the ace in the pack. There again the LP is stuffed with good quality teen pop and I shouldn’t be looking to set agendas in reviews.

Blind Television – Demo(n)

I suppose that the absence of any considerations apart from trying to make the best noise they can is what makes this music tick.

UMA – Drop Your Soul EP

The accent is on repetition and meditation rather than any musical proof of the artistic renaissance of the newly gleaming German capital (almost inevitably UMA are from Berlin).

Hiva Oa - Future Nostalgia for Sale

Quiet, reserved, but possessing something intangible and precocious that I just can’t quite put my finger on, tracks like Urban and Ghosts steadily creep up on you.

Is/Is - III

Despite the lethargy or maybe because of it, there’s something about this record that is very good, almost enchanting, maybe it’s pure attitude that drips from the music, almost like sap from a tree. You get the feeling they really don’t give a shit. I do, I like it.

Hello Bear - This One Girl

If you’re looking out for a new slice of power pop/indie rock then Hello Bear will fulfill your head nodding/toe tapping foot quota easily

BalloonMan – Aurelia EP

It would be nice to hear them live as you get the feeling that they are fairly withdrawn on this record, determined to ensure that they records their parts just so.

Father Sculptor - Blue / Ember

It’s sparky, cheeky and confident and possessing a talent that catches the listener.

Magic Towers – N.4

This is a record that has a decidedly spiritual side – the band is interested in creating a portal for us to transgress – and I have to say the music is deeply trippy and does have a very strong hypnotic presence that is incredibly difficult to resist.

The Marionettes – The Rightness of Blindness EP

Classic assertive and literate pop... not sure why it reminds me of the Wedding Present or The Bodines but it does and that’s me just showing my age.

Johnny 5th Wheel & the Cowards – Spike / Yes That’s Right We’re Stealing Your Soul

It kind of gives a kind of nod Lonnie Donnegan too. I think… Oh, and the whole experience is over in 5 minutes flat. As I said it’s fun stuff, nowt wrong with that.

PsychicEyeClix - Serious Idiots

Mangled Limbs has the semblance of a tune – led by a sad female vocal – but it’s still crushed like a block of refill underneath the blurping beats and synth smears.

Silver Magic Ships – Back to Bad Habits

Back to the Drawing Board in particular is a great soul-style rocker replete with a groovy rhythm and a savviness that the other tracks lack.

Conor Mason – Standstill

So I’d say a really good record if you like your troubadours young and wide-eyed. Good enough to knock cynical old me into reviewing at any rate.

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