Here’s an old recording I made of Scottish group California Snow Story (ex-Camera Obscura). It’s from a lovely live set at Tchai Ovna back in 2006. David from the group recently asked me for the full recording, and pretty soon afterwards this one turned up on Soundcloud. David also tells me there’s a new album in the works so stay tuned!
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Here is a late find from last year – shockingly I did not know that one of my favourite groups The Intelligence had a new record out. I’d heard that the last one was going to be their last, but apparently not. Vintage Future picks up where they left off and even takes Finnberg back to slightly more experimental ground. It’s another classic In the Red release, with a great cover. Surprisingly, it made few waves. Surprisingly because it’s brilliant.
K Records revealed the first track from The Shivas’ new album several months ago – and the rest of the record is very much in the same vein. That is, more relaxed than we’ve become used to from this fantastic group. Better Off Dead is folky and jangly and considering all the sad things we’ve been reading about K recently, it’s something of a return to form. It’s probably also some of the last recordings done at Dub Narcotic studios, which Calvin had to sell off to pay debts.
The Higher State with Marty and Paul Messis have a new album, called Volume 27, out soon. Here’s a video for “The Worst of Their Treason”, the first song released to the public. The video looks like it’s shot in San Francisco a long time ago. Any know who the band in the film are?
Here’s a video for The Turns’ new, stripped-down single “Believe Me”. It’s coming out on Lolipop soon and is the first thing they’ve released since their debut 7″ EP last year. Wonderful video and and a brilliant guitar solo.
One of my brother’s classmates was badly burned by an aerosol can once, but that’s not why I’m writing today. It’s because Chris Parker’s UK based label Pogo Records is back with another smashing 45. “Afraid of the Telephone” is a new belter, by what seems like another dreamed up punkpop fantasy from Parker. Like his previous outing Chain Letters (who cut the brilliant “Bad Reflection” single a couple of years ago) it’s put together from members of various musical and geographical backgrounds. The Aerosol Burns features two punked-up powerpop hits, with the a-side reminding me of that other telephone classic “Hanging On the Telephone” by The Nerves. Have a listen below and pick up a copy before they’re long gone.
Stockholm punks Viagra Boys have finally released their first record. It’s a monster of an EP and everything I could have hoped for after seeing them live in Malmö last summer. “Can’t Get It Up” is a modern classic and right up there with the best of Black Time. It’s the Swedish label Push My Buttons who are behind this excellent release, which is a welcome return to form after that amazing Outer Minds release. Check out the video for “Research Chemicals” below, recorded at a bar in Södermalm. The band will be back in Malmö next weekend for a gig organized by Rundgång Records.
Check out my article for HYMN on Viagra Boys.
One of the most anticipated album releases of the year is here, Mystic Braves’ third LP, which has appeared in digital form only. The vinyl should be available from Lollipop sometime next year, but this means that we have another contender for our imminent end-of-year lists. This year, I will also be submitting my lists to HYMN, but I’m not sure how their tally will work.
I must admit I was a bit late in catching onto last year’s Mystic Braves masterpiece Desert Island, which has eventually revealed itself as one of the best records of 2014. The cover of “Pain In My Heart” is right up my street. And now we’ll also have to look out for the upcoming 45 by related outfit The Creation Factory (how brilliant is that name?) on Market Square Recordings. Days of Yesteryear delivers all the jangle, organ and psychedelia you could possibly wish for on a longplayer, check it out on bandcamp.
Phil Moore’s classy 60s outfit The Kumari are back with a new single. After the amazing 45 on Hey Girl! they’ve now made a reputation for themselves to live up to. “Walking” is available now from the French label Croque Macadam. While the flip “Beam” is very similar to the folk-rock stylings of their last outing, the top lays down some serious grooves. “Walking” sounds like The See See at the wildest and best. Now we’re just waiting for The Kumari to make it over to Scandinavia for some gigs.
Heaters are back with a second album, out on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond – and the coloured vinyl is almost sold out already. I love my green copy of the non-album single “Mean Green” and while this record is more mellow it’s still bang on psychedelic stuff. Holy Water Pool will keep you dreaming about sunny poolsides a bit longer.
In case you didn’t know, The Mantles have got their act together and recorded another album’s worth of Bay Area goodness. The brilliantly titled All Odds End, is out at the end of the month but you can already check out the nervy “Hate to See You Go” and a couple more on Soundcloud. This actually reminds me of the new Blank Realm record out on Bedroom Suck, which is quickly becoming a favourite of 2015.