Japan 3.11.11: A Benefit Album

Released by Polyvinyl Record Company

11th March, 2011: the Tōhoku earthquake strikes Japan, resulting in a catastrophic tsunami hitting the pacific coastline of Japan killing over 15,000 people and leaving entire towns absolutely devastated. The earthquake also caused another crisis in the form of the continually unraveling nuclear disaster of the Fukushima power plant. Many people are still left without homes or amenities as they slowly try to rebuild their lives. But I don’t need to tell you all of this, really…because anyone with half a brain-cell would have been following the devastating news from Japan as it happened.

In a show of good-form, Polyvinyl Record Company has decided to put together a compilation of PV and non-PV artists in order to help the tireless aid operations that are continuing throughout Japan. 100% of the profits from this record will go to the American Red Cross to help with the relief effort in Japan.

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Tense, Dark & Noisy

Album review: Underground Railroad – White Night Stand

Listen to ‘Russian Doll’:

London-based Parisian expats Underground Railroad release their third album White Night Stand this month. Despite the band having previously confessed their love of American music, their dark and noisy, proggy post-punk definitely has more of a British feel this time around. Well, those gloomy London days were bound to have an effect sooner or later…

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Synth is Golden

Review: Pulseprogramming –Charade is Gold

Chicago’s Pulseprogramming, the brainchild of vocalist/producer Marc Hellner, are a multimedia studio-based collective that have been releasing material for over a decade. New album ‘Charade is Gold’ is a beautiful slice of subtle synth-pop which delicately mixes dreamy shoegaze with analogue loops, undulating bass, deep monotone male vocals and uplifting, airy female vocals. Continue reading “Synth is Golden”

Graceless ending to a lovely evening

Live Review: Cats:For:Peru EP launch + Japanese Sleepers @ The Bowery, 25.03.11

After managing to rope in an old friend to come out with me, I get to The Bowery in high spirits. I’ve been meaning to catch a Cats:For:Peru show for way too long now, so what better way to kick things off than with the launch of their new EP?
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A Thousand Plays…

Review: Mazes – A Thousand Heys

It can be so refreshing to hear some straight-up indie rock every once in a while; just a band that know how to play a good tune without four synthesizers and twenty pedals daisy-chained through a grand piano, a small cat and the kitchen sink. Whoever said that a cheery melody and a catchy chorus weren’t exciting anyway!? Because British band Mazes are about to prove them utterly wrong…

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Go ahead, you can laugh all you want…

Gig Review: Ben Folds @ o2 Academy 26.02.11

Ok so, I know it’s almost a month after the fact (blame my dissertation for this) but I just wanted to do a little ditty about the Ben Folds gig I went to last month.

My whole family loves Mr Folds, so my ‘little’ brother and I decided to fork out the hefty £25 for a ticket to see the fella live in Sheffield. Seeing as we’d both seen him a coupla times before, we knew it would be worth it in the end…
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Deep and Dense

Album Review: Firesuite – You’re an Ocean Deep, My Brother

The first time I listened to Sheffield-based band Firesuite’s new album, ‘You’re An Ocean Deep, My Brother’ I almost had a cortical aneurism and it took me a full four weeks to pluck up the courage to listen to it again.

Let me explain…this record is so big, so epic and dense that I really think it is going to be of massive importance to this band’s career. When I heard it I went, “Oh my god…” and I couldn’t really take in the sheer heroic scale of thing. All I could think was, “How the hell am I going to review this?!!!” Well, eventually I managed to think up some strings of word-descriptors to do so; I was planning a piece of expressive contemporary dance but the editors pulled the plug on that at the last minute…so, words it will be.
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Songs for hamsters in chocolate mugs

Nat Johnson & The Figureheads – What the heart pours into

The skinny: An EP of rocking songs!

The review proper: Exactly what it says on the tin.

Stream – ‘Margot’


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