Local Natives move in


GORILLA Manor, the forthcoming introduction to Californians Local Natives, is one worth going ape about.
Because the LP from the group, who amazingly remain unsigned in their native USA, sees the group assuredly occupying similar ground to recent success stories Grizzly Bear‘s Veckatimest and Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes.
The group’s sweeping orchestral indie is crisp but remains inventive throughout, with unexpected vocal directions and beautiful little interludes hidden mid-song to reward repeated listens.
A mature release for a debut from a band that’s at least partially-unsigned, Gorilla Manor is a stately effort.

Colourmusic not a full spectrum


THE Yes! EP sees psychedelic folk fivesome Colourmusic taking a positive step with their art.
Because up until now, the group – who sound like they take their inspiration from acts like The Flaming Lips and The Polyphonic Spree – have taken their main inspiration from colours, and released EPs about them called Yellow and Red.
However musically, after the eponymous anthemic opener sets out the group’s stall, the whirring psychedelia here doesn’t quite evolve to do anything to tickle the listener pink.
It’s a shame – especially given the glut of ideas the band have reputedly brought to their live shows.
At one show, having not shaved or cut their hair for six months, the band invited the audience up to chop off their hair and clothes as the set progressed, while at another the audience were free to come onstage and paint the band with emulsion, and at another they faked the death and carried out the funeral of guitarist Nick Turner.
If Colourmusic can capture a little more of that on next year’s studio album, they should have something to really whet the palette.

Chemists find the right formula


I ONLY get this excited about a debut album from a band once or twice a year – the last time I can recall would be Fighting With Wire‘s Man Vs Monster back in March.
It’s the sheer joy of finding a band I’ve never heard of whose music just makes me smile – and the reason I listen to endless Threes, Fives And Sevens and Understanding Electricitys.
Because at the first time of asking, with Theories Of Dr Lovelock, The Chemists have found the right formula.
The Bristol band’s LP is a sparky compound of indie, alt rock, punk and a little pop, which what it lacks in originality it makes up for in sheer exuberance, not least on opening This City and Radio Booth – although probably not on unexpected Britney Spears cover Toxic.
Destined to be pffff-ed at by a slew of critics for not being oh-so-clever, for fans of sweaty straightforward rock I prescribe The Chemists.

Young Guns go for it


ALTHOUGH a group in its infancy, judging by Elementary Of Youth, Sound Of Guns are targeting the very top.
Because despite there being a few tweaks needed, all the elements are here for a stadium-filling rock band in the vein of The Enemy and The Music.
You only need to listen to the various elements floating around in tracks like Galaxy to know this band are thinking big.
So when a full length rolls around from Sound Of Guns, it’ll be worth a shot.

Nick Jaga

EXPERIMENTAL jazz act Jaga Jazzist have a new album out early next year, One Armed Bandit.
And to celebrate, Ninja Tunes have offered a taster of the Norwegian nine-piece’s album in the form of title track and forthcoming single, One Armed-Bandit.
Click here to grab a copy.

Back into the ‘fold


PERFECTO Vegas sees dance stalwart Paul Oakenfold back where he belongs – behind the decks, that is.
Because it’s no gamble putting the legendary DJ in charge of a two-disc mix of less trancey, more progressive house music like this, inspired by his residency at the Palms Casino And Resort in Las Vegas.
The mixing is seamless and although never close to chill-out nothing here is rushed, with each track given its chance to grow – much like Oakenfold’s hair, it seems.
There is a real flow to the album, which heads straight for the dancefloor before slowly building in more and more vocal turns, which do stray towards the cliched at times.
Oakenfold is set to release a new album of original material next, titled Pop Killer, and it almost seems a shame – as there are few better at picking and mixing other people’s work.

Albums Of The Decade

Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)

DJ Shadow – The Private Press (2002)

Glassjaw – Worship And Tribute (2002)

LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver (2007)

Libertines – The Libertines (2004)

Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory (2000)

NERD – In Search Of… (2002)

Portishead – Third (2008)

Radiohead – Kid A (2000)

Strokes – Is This It? (2001)

Broken Places a quick fix


IF YOU’RE planning on checking out The Broken Places, the forthcoming EP from Last Tide, you’d better make sure you’re wearing some interesting footwear.
Because five-track release from the Washington DC outfit is shoegaze all the way.
Taking its lead from late ’80s acts like My Bloody Valentine, the EP is a droning collection which when it works, such as on Shapeshifter, is a perfect quick fix.
And don’t worry, your welllingtons/espadrilles/winklepickers/clogs will get you through the less inspiring moments.

The roaring noughties

A HEADS up for you readers, it’s nearly time, this is the end of an era – and my Albums Of The Decade are compiled and ready to go.
That’s right, my top 10 of the past decade – assuming nothing mind-blowing is released in the next couple of months, that is – will hit the blog on Monday.
Of course you’ll still have to sweat on the Albums Of The Year, but I think it’s safe to say that the decade-defining albums should be set in stone by now.
Of course, I’d love to hear your picks – let me know on the forum, or leave your comments below.