Tasty offering from Simian Mobile Disco


A NEW album from Simian Mobile Disco is a mouth-watering prospect at the best of times, but this first taster of their own record label Delicatessan will have you smacking your lips.
This is no slur on their exceptional oeuvre to date – I am a massive fan – but Delicacies steps away from the gimmicky, guest vocalist side of the duo.
Instead – much like the Chemical Brother’s 2010 album Further – intense, heads-down, dark dance is on the menu.
Nom nom nom.
Pounding, engrossing, extended electronica pervades, making a sound more akin to Deadmau5 or even Autechre in style.
It’s well worth getting your teeth into, and chewing until your jaws ache.

Coritani – Death And Rebirth

CORITANI’S new CD is heavy going – but that’s what you’d expect from a band who are, to quote Vivian from the Young Ones’ jacket, very metal.
Each track is an epic patchwork of chugging riffs, throat-ruining growls and thumping drums, with only one of the five tracks shy of five minutes.
Stylistically, the band’s sound is a brave take on traditional heavy metal, groove metal and sludge – with no relent and no concession throughout, although the band clearly don’t take themselves so seriously, with tracks like Electric Donkey Zombie Sheep and stand-out Trevor The Ice Turtle.
Death And Rebirth – a reference to the group’s rising from the ashes of the outstanding Evangelion – is a snarling beast of an EP, and if you don’t run scared it really gets its teeth in.

Ben Matravers – Step One

LONG Whatton’s Ben Matravers Step One starts out on the right foot with Say.
The opening number is an emotional effort which communicates through a Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly-style guitar and vocal laced draped with fleeting ornaments like guitar harmonics, warm hums and tinkling keys.
Pianos take over with Blood On My Hands, with the singer-songwriter stripped bare of Say’s production bar a desolate echoing effect, before title track Step One steps up proceedings with a full band, a less introvert approach and, I imagine, a dark twinkle in his eye.
My Place Is Here rounds off the four-track EP with a guitar picking exercise which teeters between being melancholy and upbeat throughout.
A dark, folk-tinged, atmospheric effort, I can’t wait to see how Mr Matravers steps things up from here.



AUSTRALIAN band PVT don’t like doing things by the book – in fact, when they formed they were a completely improvisational act.
And this boundless approach to music making is evident of PVT’s latest Church With No Magic, which seesaws between electronica and rock.
The LP by PVT, previously known as Pivot, has an ever present electro throb and piston-like beats balanced in varying degrees with a Robert Smith-like vocal and Joy Division synths throughout.

Summit intense to listen to


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.

You’ll love Love Ends Disaster! in the end


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.

Okay Bells


THEY may not be as festive as their name would imply, but dance act Sleigh Bells sound like they’re trying very hard to get some form of festivities going.
The problem is on Treats they’re trying too hard – with speaker-busting levels of samples and sound effects taking their toll, even the sturdiest of speakers will struggle not to fart out these tracks.
On the occasions everything gels – like the Funkadelic-sampling Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells really are a treat.
The rest of the time they need to treat their work with a less is more attitude.

Safe In The Steep Cliffs top


ALTHOUGH I’m a month behind the release of Emancipator’s Safe In The Steep Cliffs, I’m bursting to blog about it.
The DJ came to the fore supporting Bonobo recently after a steady ascent to fame, and you can see how he landed the job – with similarities between this LP and Bonobo’s brilliant Black Sands.
Equally chilled out and possessing the same head-nodding beats, the LP is an abundance of warm, string-soaked, orchestral cinematic electronica, and deserves an equal amount of plaudits.



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.

Classic forty nine – Dreadbanging


WHAT do you get if you mix dub reggae and heavy metal?
No, the offspring of that unholy union is Dub Trio’s third album, Another Sound Is Dying.
The album, which is instrumental apart from the standout No Flag featuring Mike Patton of Faith No More on vocal duties, fuses heavy metal riffs fuller than Rik Waller leaving an all you can eat buffet with ponderous Mogwai style space rock and skanking Lee “Scratch” Perry dub sections.
On paper this should be a shambles, but on record it actually works.
The movements from one section to another never seem to jar, and there is a unlikely unity that carries through the whole LP.