IF YOU’RE not too into your sludge metal, a first encounter with Thou is more like “ow”.
However for fans of the genre such as myself, the up-and-coming act don’t so much tick the boxes as slowly crush them.
Downbeat, deep, dark and deadly, the fact the throat-vocal heavy metal group drag five tracks out over an hour tells you all you need to know about Summit.
However among this intense, thick miasma of metal, flecks of experimentation appear, such as acoustic instruments and choirs.
With Summit Thou haven’t peaked, but they’re inexorably on the up.
IT’S ALWAYS nice to have a local band doing good – and Love Ends Disaster!, having swapped Loughborough University’s Freefest for Reading and Leeds, are doing just that.
With their debut album City Of Glass, you can see them emulating the likes of Belton’s The Young Knives, Castle Donington’s Late Of The Pier and Wymeswold’s Wave Pictures.
An inventive collection of indie rock which sounds like a cross between Talking Heads and The Rakes, the group seem at home in the studio.
Eschewing standard songwriting formula, the group throw off-kilter riffs at the listener and frequently explore unexpected musical avenues.
As a result it’s a rock LP that intrigues the listener rather than knocks them for six – but it grows on you eacha nd every listen you give it.
THE sun-soaked climate of Los Angeles normally reflects in the sunny output of its bands – but not in Autolux’s case.
The group’s second album, Transit Transit, is a downbeat collection of slow, shoegazing rock more in line with Radiohead than The Beach Boys.
Not that this is a bad thing, and while it takes the listener a while to tune down to its rhythms, Transit Transit reveals itself to be a moving piece of work when you do so.
CERULEAN, the debut album from Baths, is worth dipping into.
Showering the listener with subtle beats and awash with delicate, acoustic-based samples, if you want to gauge Baths’ temperature imagine an ever-so-slightly more tubthumping version of Daedalus.
Glitchy productions akin to impossibly ‘now’ acts like Toro Y Moi and Junk Culture over echoey hints of indie rock a la Broken Social Scene, Baths deserves to tap into some of these more established acts fanbases.
FASTEN your seatbelts and prepare for a ride back in time… on board Analog Africa’s Afro-beat Airways.
A musical black-box of previously lost recordings from 1970s Ghana and Togo, the names may not be jetset – the likes of Orchestre Abass, Ebo Taylor And The Sweet Beans, De Frank Professionals and Apagya Show Band all feature – but these were all high-flyers in their time.
The result is a mixture of afro-funk, synth disco, afro-beat, boogie, and anything else energetic and afro-centre you can think of.
So if you’re looking for a departure from your usual listening, check in with Analog Africa’s latest as soon as you can.
NORMALLY if the thought of a grizzled old Welshman excites you, you’d probably be a grizzled old Welshwoman.
But everyone should make an exception for Tom Jones – who for the hundredth-odd time has come back with the cool once again with new album Praise And Blame.
A tour through a collection of spiritual American standards from Johnny Cash-esque confessionals like What Good Am I? to the pumped up numbers like Don’t Knock, Jones strips back his art to its most exposed, raw sound yet – Sex Bomb this ain’t.
Instead it’s something fresh, something challenging and something progressive, and I applaud Jones for doing it.
FRENCH band, Scottish vocalist, American subject matter, English influences – if Turzi can recreate this form across an album he’ll have the world at his feet.
Gallic knob-twiddler Roman Turzi and friend’s Baltimore EP – inspired by rioting in the city in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King – features the vocals of Bobby Gillespie and a sound which fuses acid house beats and a Manchesteresque swagger.
The track, which has a definite touch of the Swastika Eyes about it, then gets a generous helping of hit-and-miss remix for the rest of the EP, the highlight being the dark Lynch Mob Assault On Baltimore reworking.
I advise you buy, beg, borrow or loot yourself a copy from Monday.
VETERAN band The Innocence Mission release their latest LP My Room In The Trees tomorrow.
And Eight albums in, the American act have grown from a dream pop sapling into a blossoming band, perfecting their gorgeous, rich sound.
However with folky guitars swathed in sweeping strings, My Room In The Trees is so perfect, for better or worse it passes so seamlessly it barely registers with the listener, like a breeze though leaves.
NOONDAY Underground’s cut-and-paste sound is a cut above – although it’ll likely go over the heads of most.
The pseudonym of Paul Weller-collaborating Simon Dine, Noonday Underground takes an Avalanches-style approach to making music.
Instead of crafting “proper songs”, The K-O Chorale is a collage of samples from odd musical backwaters – Disney soundtracks, church choirs, surf rock bands, operas etc. – that doesn’t really do what most albums do.
Instead the result is a slightly bonkers woozy mish-mash that floats around leaving smiles in its wake.