Classic thirteen – Piggin’ brilliant

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IF EVER a band deserved better, it would be The Longpigs.
Born in the heady days of Britpop, the group penned four of the defining singles of my misspent youth – Far, On And On, She Said and Lost Myself – before releasing a dire sophomore album and going their seperate ways.
And although guitarist Richard Hawley and singer Crispin Hunt have both achieved modicums of success since The Sun Is Often Out, the group – named after a cannibal term for humans – are one of the biggest “what if'”s of that era.
Because this LP, which peaked at a lowly number 26 back in ’96, was a brilliantly ambitious, bombastic slice of indie way ahead of laughable comtemporaries like Menswe@r and Rialto.
Alhtough in musical history The Longpigs will be a mere footnote, at the time they kicked ass – and I urge you to indulge.

Hit and mist

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WITH this release, James Yorkston is now four LPs into a career that has promised to deliver, at some point, a truly classic album.
And some sections have already hailed When the Haar Rolls In, named after the mist on the North Sea, as it.
However for me, this unfulfilled promise continues to roll on.
Undoubtedly Fife’s James Yorkston can deliver some beautiful, string-soaked folk indie, but it can be so understated it’s like he’s not saying anything at all.
A ramshackle yet beautifully crafted record, When the Haar Rolls In is well worth a listen, but lacks the dynamism – or should the be athleticism – to make it a truly memorable record.

Wave Pictures put their footprint down

YOU’VE heard of the blues – now the world’s first green record is to be made.
Wymeswold band The Wave Pictures are set to record their next release with as low a carbon footprint as possible.
According to reports, the band’s next EP, out on Moshi Moshi Records on October 6, will solely be available digitally with no physical CDs being produced, and promos and press releases will be sent via email only.
It will be recorded at the solar powered The Premises studio in London, with the band and engineer travelling to the sessions on foot.
The process will be filmed – but entirely on solar-powered cameras.

Majestic LP from Rose Kemp

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WOULD Rose Kemp, by any other name, sound so sweet?
Probably – for Rose’s third album, Unholy Majesty, sees the singer blossoming into an epic, unique and awe-inspiring proposition.
Influenced heavily by folk – after all, Rose’s parents were both in the seminal electric folk band Steeleye Span – the Chris Sheldon-produced Unholy Majesty mixes stoner rock and classic rock, with splashes of goth and prog to create a bruising, stomping backdrop for her talents.
For the star of this ten-track show is undoubtedly singer Rose, whose operatic vocals swing from snarls and growls on the polarised likes of the grinding Nanny’s World to the tender Flawless.
The approach to everything on Unholy Majesty is daring and different – and the result is the Bristol-based singer’s crowning glory.

The Young Knives are cutting edge

• ASHBY’S finest musical export The Young Knives release a new single on September 8.
Dyed In The Wool, an abstract, anthemic slice of drum-driven indie, is the third track to be lifted from their second album Superabundance.
And in a world-first for the rock world, the single will be accompanied by a promo video shot entirely in 3D.
• Rolo Tomassi are finally releasing a debut album after the success of their self-titled debut EP in 2007.
The group’s debut, Hysterics, is “a joyous explosion of melody, noise, anger, youthful exuberance, getting into the groove, not feeling the need to compromise or make music for any other reason than the drive to create something unique, messy and wonderful, a love of science, experimentation and punk/hardcore/what-the-hell-is-that-core”.
• Tokyo Police Club – who are Canadian, civilian and not open to new members – have released new single Graves.
The track, taken from debut album Elephant Shell, is another furious, angular indie stormer with more hooks than a Peter Pan convention.
• Soul sensation Estelle releases her sassy new single Pretty Please (Love Me) on September 15.
The track, taken from Mercury Music Prize nominated album Shine, is a collaboration with Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo.
• Tasty power pop outfit The Hot Melts release their debut single (I Wish I Had) Never Been In Love on October 20.
The track is a showcase for the awesome foursome’s sizzling driving energetic sound.
• Sheffield band Little Man Tate are hotting the charts with a quick one-two in the form of single Hey Little Sweetie on September 8 and album Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy on September 15.
The group are also heading out on tour to coincide with the releases, including a visit to Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms and Leicester’s Charlotte.
• Cuban fusion group Madera Limpia release new album La Corona on September 29.
The duo, who hail from Guantanamo, mix modern rap and raggae and dancehall with the traditional Changui music of Cuban.
• Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joan As A Policewoman is taking a trip into the charts from September 22, with new single Holiday.
The track, available on download and as a 500-copy limited edition 7″ picture disc, is lifted from her acclaimed sophomore album To Survive.
• If all of this is music to your ears, you can read more from the pop world online at Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice.

Reasonable effort

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AT FIRST glance, Roots Manuva‘s fourth studio album, Slime And Reason, appears to have been formed from the same primordial soup as his previous effort, the deeply awful Awfully Deep.
Slime And Reason showcases the same rich, deep timbre and distinctive vocalisations of South London’s Roots, real name Rodney Smith, over bass heavy British hip-hop beats infused with dub and electro influences.
But where on Awfully Deep Roots was prone to shouting his point, leading to a frustrating listen, here the focus is more on subtlety – leading him to produce some of his best work since tracks like Witness (One Hope) and Join the Dots from sophomore LP Run Come Save Me.
After a couple of listens, orchestral inflections and piano hints seem to appear, with the Metronomy-produced Let The Spirit showing an almost U-turn in Manuva’s sound.
For this reason, Slime And Reason should be one to stick with for Roots Manuva.

Do it again!

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WHERE do I start, where do I begin?
Brotherhood, the new release from the Chemical Brothers, is a collection of the dance duo’s greatest hits “with a kick and twist”.
Whatever that means.
Because listening to the album, as a long-term devoted fan of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, I really can’t tell how the beats are any more block rockin’ than they were before.
Therefore I would question how neccesary this release is, considering they already have Singles 93-03 available.
Gripes aside, however, you cannot argue with the quality of the Chemical Brothers’s back catalogue, and the two new tracks here, Keep My Composure featuring Spank Rock and Midnight Madness, don’t let the side down.
And having set a precedent with Radiohead‘s The Best Of and Biffy Clyro‘s Singles 2001-2005, there really is no way I cannot give Brotherhood full marks.