The August Bank Holiday Weekend is always packed full of fantastic music events, but it just wouldn’t be the same without an annual dose of the highly acclaimed TDK Cross Central. Slap bang in the centre of London at an urban Victorian Goods Yard dating back 150 years and incorporating three of the capital’s finest late night spots, the two-day festival of cutting edge sounds should be on everyone’s hitlist for either Saturday, August 25th or Sunday August 26th — or even both for the party animals.
The Episodes, released on Durtro Jnana, is the eighth solo album from experimental troubadour Chris Connelly, formerly vocailst of the metallic/industrial persuasion having served time in outfits like Ministry, Revolting Cocks and Pigface and collaborated with members of Cabaret Voltaire and Killing Joke and latterly of the avant-folk type in the vein of an earthy Bowie or reclusive Scott Walker type, with a healthy mixture of lounge and post-modern/post-rock styles.
Lose All Time follows Canadian’s You Say Party! We Say Die!’s debut, Hit The Floor, which was released on Sound Document last year. This latest release is on the Fierce Panda label, an imprint that seems to be broadening their horizons from varieties of indie-rock to encompass dancefloor abuse — Lose All Time’s relentless disco-punk follows hot on the heels of the well-received debut LP by Shitdisco.
So-Cal trio Nick 13, Jeff Rofredo and James Meza aka Tiger Army are back with another record of trademark upbeat psychobilly/punk in the form of Music From Regions Beyond released through the Hellcat label and produced by legendary punk desk helmer ‘Huckle’ Jerry Finn.
This is the first career-spanning greatest hits collection from punk-rock legends Social Distortion. The band originally formed amongst the LA hardcore scene back in 1978 and despite the obvious end of that era, numerous personnel shifts and the tragedy of losing long-time member Dennis Danell back in 2000, the band are still rocking on — confirmed by the fact that this compilation includes a new track, exclusive to this release.
Following his solo debut Nova Lux last year, MGR, aka Mustard Gas and Roses aka Mike Gallagher, axe-man from post-metal stormtroopers Isis, is back with a new collaborative work with SirDSS, the initials DSS surprisingly not standing as a TLA (three letter acronym) for Department of Social Services but actually for David Scott Stone, former guitarist of Slug and Get Hustle and collaborator with many including Big Business — dishing out the guitar work on the recent awesome Here Come The Waterworks — as well as Fantomas, Melvins, The Locust, Merzbow and more.
Brought together recording on Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions Volume 9 and 10 Jeordie White (better known as Twiggy Ramirez, of Marilyn Manson fame, and now playing bass with A Perfect Circle as well as Nine Inch Nails) and Chris Goss (frontman of desert doomsters Masters of Reality and producer of stoner legends Kyuss and Homme’s pop band Queens of the Stone Age) struck a chord and penned a few tracks together afterwards. After bringing in Hella’s Zach Hill they recorded a load of stuff, some of which made it on to a ten-track EP I Got a Brand New Egg Layin Machine in 2005. Bringing together material from the last five years or so the duo, plus Hill, plus an assortment of other alternative music cronies including the aforementioned Homme, Josh Freese (Vandals, Devo, A Perfect Circle, NIN), Dave Catchling (Eagles of Death Metal, Mondo Generator), Whitey Kirst (Iggy Pop) and Peter Perdichizzi (The Flys), have put together a weird and eclectic album of punk rock, twisted sixties pop and, not unsurprisingly, desert-loose ramblings. Weird? Eclectic? On Ipecac? I know…
Eddie Argos, lead singer of Art Brut, is a star. Well, not in the UK. In the USA the band have appeared on nationwide chat shows, have played with Ghostface Killer and were given single of the year by Rolling Stone. In Germany they have supported Oasis and Argos has had his lyrics discussed in a Berlin University lecture. Over here he can barely get arrested (well, he probably could if he did something bad like knocking a policeman’s hat off).
On the first two albums Tomahawk have pretty much done exactly what it says on the tin and produced the records that you could easily expect — coming from the sum of its parts: mix up Faith No More (Mike Patton), Helmet (John Stainer), Melvins (Kevin Rutmanis) and Jesus Lizard (Duane Denison) and you get a skewed punk-rock, with perhaps the largest presence coming from vocalist Patton (who is rarely involved in a project that doesn’t come out sounding incredibly like his own) and guitarist Denison (whose guitars take the musical fore) — the two original founding members. 2003’s Mit Gas was in some ways a little disappointing for this, though offering some great noisy and atmospheric rock it sometimes lacked the edge and power of the original self-titled blast (2001), when it was a new prospect. Here on Anonymous, however, the band shake things up and really go for something different. Now a three piece (after Rutmanis departure during sessions) the group have made a concept record delving into the musical part of the American heritage which their name conjures image of.
Despite starting out as Sonic Youth-inspired banjo and clarinet outfit, Coley Park are more part of a typically English lineage of low key psychedelic indie-pop. Now on their second album, they have worked with The Go! Team’s Ian Parton previously, and Neil Halstead from Mojave 3 on this LP. Halstead’s band is the better representation of what Rhinoceros has to offer.
No Age are two improbably-named LA hipsters (Dean Spunt and Randy Randall) who used to be together in the influential but obscure hardcore trio Wives, who split in 2005. Weirdo Rippers is NA’s first CD and first long player, and is a best-of compilation culled from 5 limited vinyl EPs released in a few months on 5 different DIY labels (including Upset The Rhythm in the UK and Deleted Art from Sweden).
This is the second full length from terribly young Californians Epsilons who with luck should have finished high school by the time this record is out. Killed ‘Em… is a straight up garage rock record: three or four chord punk songs with Stranglers type organ, Chuck Berry inspired guitar solos and uncomplicated structures.
Originally released more than ten years ago Durtro Jnana have re-released Current 93’s “Hallucinatory Patripassianist” (as termed by mainman David Tibet) trilogy The Inmost Light, made up from three separate records released within 1995 and 1996. Here Tibet is joined by long time collaborator and influence Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound, as well as other like-minded souls including Michael Cashmore (Nature and Organisation), Ben Chasney (Six Organs of Admittance), Joolie Wood, John Contreras, William Basinski, William Breeze and Amy Phillips — and the records also feature guest vocals from Nick Cave, Coil’s Jhonn Balance, Andria Degens of Pantaleimon, Shirley Collins and more.
Contained within the retro book style of the record’s artwork the Quiet Lane EP is a collection of sunny pop songs from the apparently almost hermitic (through spending time writing at home writing these tunes) Coley Park. The EP’s title track is lifted from the album Rhinoceros, to be released next week and it is a delightfully upbeat, bouncing tune, if perhaps a little similar to comparable material.
This four-track EP is a compilation bringing together the two self-recorded 7” releases by the doom metal quartet predating the work that the majority of the band are now famous for in Sleep, and more recently Om and High On Fire. Although the slightly messy production is now a little dated (after nearly twenty years…) the music is in many ways fitting with trends which are more popular now and is generally ultra impressive — vicious vocals, huge riffs, punishingly slow tempos — this is some awesome doom.
It’s been two years since Tom Holland released anything on the cult hip-hop et al label that he founded, Anticon, and that was as his alter ego, Sole (on Live From Rome). Following five-or-so years of lo-fi mixtapes, EPs and compilations Holland has bought his instrumental Mansbestfriend project back to it’s spiritual home for the first ‘official’ MBF release.
DJ Mayonnaise, along with Alias and Moodswing9 (in which he also played) was one of the first artists to be released on what is the now influential San Francisco Based Imprint Anticon. DJ Mayonnaise’s work as with much of the Anticon roster is characterised by the integration of sampled and live instrumentation.
In 2004, after a brief but influential career The Beta Band broke up, went bankrupt and went off to get jobs in Waterstone’s or something, I don’t know, went off the radar at least. But here they are right back on it! Like the bit at the end of Top Gun where Maverick re-engages to save Val Kilmer and millions of teenagers across the world gave each other massive high fives. YES!!
Salt is the second full length from Nashville born Forget Cassettes who are currently sallying around Europe with …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.
The air grew dense while the floor got packed when headliners, Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) took the stage. The army of sixteen year olds girls and gay men went ape shit when lead voice tress LoveFoxxx danced onto the stage in a sequined figure skating suit, tossing handfuls of confetti to her adoring crowd.
Dear Companion is the debut solo effort from Espers vocalist/guitarist Meg Baird, recorded within spare moments of the recording sessions for the Philadelphian psych-folk group’s II. The music has a much more traditional feel than its progressive partner though, often remaining just vocals and guitars, though offering some gorgeous multi-tracked harmonies, and working half from traditional source material.
This is the fourth album by the Israeli-born Keren Ann, who has quietly built favourable comparisons to Nico and Francoise Hardy (along with general critical acclaim) with 2002’s La Disparition, Not Going Anywhere from 2004 and her last album Nolita. These last three have been self-produced but she has taken the interesting step of bringing in former Tool and QOTSA affiliate Joe Barresi to mix this latest eponymous project, though fortunately he’s kept the metallic elements for another time – that would be a jarring step too far.
12 Stone Toddler are a band out in a field left of the normal pop world, the modern one at least, although they are far from being a retro band. Their focus on hook-laden songwriting at the centre of a complex of influences gives them something recognisable but quite unique from their peers. Perhaps the best stylistic comparison comes through looking into the last album from Californian mentalists Mr Bungle, where the mentalism is toned down to rest on a more focused pop-tinged exotica.