Coo dude


BRIGHTON-based dance DJ Amongst The Pigeons has scrubbed up well on his first offering, Music To Brush Your Teeth To.
On first listen you wonder where the LP is going, meandering about in a world of blips and subdued beats.
But then the individual tracks get you – like the fantastic lo fi Frank Turner collaboration Lazin or smile-raising weirdness such as Bird Flew – and you realise that Music To Brush Your Teeth To is like one long quirky interlude from start to finish.
So any DJs looking for something a little different to drop in and shake up a set, Amongst The Pigeons should have something to ruffle a few feathers nicely.

A pleasant Thought Forms


WEST Country post rockers Thought Forms should become a big noise with their eponymous debut album.
Because on the post rock scale, three-piece Thought Forms are more full-on roomshakers a la Amusement Parks On Fire than Sigur Ros-style soundscapers.
Two thirds of the time, their music is drenched in reverberating feedback – for the best part listening to their debut offering Thought Forms is like curling up into a foetal position and lying inside Kurt Cobain’s speaker stack.
There’s a quieter side too to their music, which waxes and wanes pleasingly across the course of the entire album, although the biggest influence creeping in is of grunge.
So if you’re going record shopping next week – keep Thought Forms in mind.

Juice is loose


WHAT should have been a mouthwatering prospect from Juice Aleem is sadly rather dry.
Jerusalaam Come, the anticipated first album from the UK rapper, should have been a showcase for a brilliant talent.
And in a way it is – with Aleem non-stop throughout with a flow that’s half-Roots Manuva, half-Saul Williams, double speed.
When his deep dextrous wordplay is coupled with decent backing tracks, such as on Higher Higher or First Lesson, Aleem is up with the UK’s best.
Sadly the sought-after MC is too often let down by staid, predictable backing beats and production which has left his obvious vocal talents buried.
That said, while this LP is unlikely to convert the masses, for hip hop heads there’s plenty of reasons to turn on the Juice.

I’m against Gay Against You


I NEED structure in my life.
I make lists.
I make lists of the lists I have compiled.
For that reason, the anarchic computer abuse that is Gay Against You is just not for me.
The eclectic eccentric electro punk duo’s second album, Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes, is a constantly clashing landscape of wildly differing sounds running into one another.
It’s no surprise to hear that band members Lachlann Rattray and Joseph Howe don’t really get on – making them perhaps the only band in the entire history of bands to form over “artistic differences”.
The other day, while looking for my The Best Of The Jackson Five CD, a teetering stack of albums taller than me on tippy-toes fell onto my head.
And listening to the Glaswegians’ LP I’m reminded of that sickening moment once again.
Because if you’re after the musical sensation of finding fragments of a lifetime’s music in a muddled, broken heap, this is it.

Live Xcerpts


LISTENING to The Xcerts‘ rough and ready debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile, you could tell that the Scot rockers would have been taking to the road.
Because in a studio setting, the energy and enthusiasm of their Idlewild-meets-Snow Patrol rock was barely restrained.
Whereas at the famed King Tut’s venue, the group can let it all out, with tracks like Aberdeen 1987 taking on an extra emotional edge.
The quibbles of their LP remain, such as the need for a little polish – but I imagine if you remedied them you’d be taking out the very charm of The Xcerts.

Y Not see Young Knives

YOUNG Knives are set to headline the Y Not Festival.
The local band are top of the bill on Sunday night at the festival, which is being held in Matlock from July 31-August 2.
Also appearing at the festival are Noah And The Whale, Nine Black Alps, Frank Turner, Beardyman, The Whip and more.
A spokesman said: “For one weekend a year, the gorgeous Peak District countryside is home to the Y-Not Festival.
“Y Not is an intimate music festival steering away from the huge corporate events so many others have become.
“At Y-Not you can see great live music, party the night away or watch the sunrise from your campfire.
“Whatever you want from a festival you will find it here and have a fantastic weekend… so why not?”

Stick In A Pot stuck in a rut

AS FAR as Stick In A Pot‘s debut EP When The Monsters Arrive is concerned – stick in a pot, and leave there.
The Brighton-based band’s five track outing starts with a Jan Hammer-esque intro, Splinter, that really jars with the rest of the listing, before launching into two painfully plodding second rate indie tracks, Acclimatising and Plinky The Alien that sound like a sedated James.
With dodgy lyrics about beards and aliens, the whole affair smacks of a group that’s trying just a bit too hard.
And when the tempo ups with Our Inert Inmate, it only goes to show that the tortuously-low beats per minute was the only thing that seperated them from the crowd.
Closing track Luterin (Victoria’s Side Of The Story) is alright.

Franky panky


TO BE Frankmusik must be a lot of fun.
His debut album, Complete Me, is a turbocharged collection of synth pop that is bouncier than a spring made from jelly.
The dancey backing tracks sound like Erasure on steroids, while Frankmusik – real name Vincent Frank – sings over the top like a straight-laced Mika.
When it’s good, it’s pure pop perfection.
The problem is for every gold-plated track, there’s two that have been soaked in cheese, and as a result the LP is inconsistant.
But it matters not.
The Stranglers-sampling When You’re Around, In Step, Three Little Words, Better Off As Two – if there’s any justice, Frankmusik should have complete chart domination with Complete Me.

Sleepy Sun shine


ALL this recent Mercury Prize talk has got me in the mood to look back at the past year of releases – and one album that demands a mention is Sleepy Sun‘s dawning.
Akin to last year’s In The Future by Black Mountain, one of my Albums Of The Year no less, their debut LP Embrace sees classic rock and stoner rock coming together.
And into this mix, the San Franciscan band – whose motto is “let’s get weird” – add a covering of acid-soaked, spaced-out psychedelia.
It’s a heady feedback-drenched mix – especially as most of the tracks on the album, which was released back in May, are seven-minute epics.
If you want to fly your freak flag high, Embrace is definitely one to hang on to.