The Dirty Dozen – Fucked Up Takeover
Pearls – At Home With You (Re:peater Records, 10 Jun)
This is good! It's got a real Yo La Tengo vibe, a full sound too – like My Bloody Valentine. I’m a real sucker for English indie vocals [note: Pearls are Australian], maybe because I've idealized that mid-80s period of English music so much. Also, being from Canada, we have some of the worst music in the world in our charts. We gave the world Nickelback…so much blood on our hands. It's also nice to hear a band with a fuller sound again, because ‘twee’ hit indie music like an atom bomb.
Stagecoach – Jonah Lomu (This Is Fake DIY, 20 Jun)
This is a little too slick for my tastes. It reminds me of The Rentals in those hooky parts, but the vocals are recorded really weird. I guess we live in an era of home studios. Weezer's probably an influence to these guys. Certainly isn't anything that's gonna blow me away, but what do I know.
Top Buzzer – Remission (Back2Forward Records, 13 Jun)
The song sounds real cool, but the production is what kills it for me. It's too slick. If this was only rawer... it kicks out like a Toy Dolls-esque, UK punk song from the second wave. This is definitely the kind of stuff I like: fast, punky, poppy. Maybe I’m not in the demographic they’re aiming for, perhaps they're trying to appeal to a younger person, who would not identify with the production values I enjoy.
The Kills – Future Starts Slow (Domino, 27 Jun)
Oh, I just interviewed them the other day for my TV show. It's funny because Jamie [Hince, guitarist] was in Scarfo; he was a punk dude. Alison [Mosshart, singer] was in this band from Florida called Discount. I was never a big Discount fan. When The Kills first came out, it was such a departure; they distanced themselves so far from their old selves. New names, new style. Would this chart here?
The Skinny: Well, it might get on the radio...
If this is your mainstream radio, it's pretty awesome. If I could hear this everyday instead of the new Avril Lavigne single, I would be pretty stoked. Again though, I'd like this to have dirtier production. I think they're a cool band though – they definitely have swagger.
Mike Nisbet – Not Long (Self-Released, 9 Jun)
Now this is what Canadian indie music sounds like [note: Mike is a Glasgow based singer songwriter]. Which might be because of my overexposure to it, but it's not my favorite type of music in the world. It's not anything against the artist, because it's completely inoffensive, but it actually sounds like something people where I'm from would really respond to. This guy should definitely come tour Canada, ‘cos he will be huge. For real!
Spare Snare – I Am God (Self-released, 30 May)
This is kinda cool. It's that 90s, lo-fi, home-recording vibe. Maybe I'm just used to hearing music on shitty speakers, ‘cos once again I'd say it's a little slick for my liking. But there are definitely some Pavement and Sebadoh leanings here. It needs a subtle tape hiss.
The Machine Room – Girly (Tape Club Singles No 1, Out Now)
You can definitely see what they're going for, a New Order, OMD kind of thing. Once again, from my perspective, what I loved about that music was when it was really raw, really angry. This is coming at it from the other side. I would not turn this off if it came on the radio.
Dead Boy Robotics – Ever (Tape Club Singles No 1, Out Now)
I love the vocal interplay. I'm a sucker for it. And I love talking in songs too. This sounds really cool, but I like electronic music when it's slow, more than when it's a danceable beat. Maybe it's because I hate dancing so fucking much. I just hate rhythmic movement! I can picture – if I was asked to DJ a party – playing this. It would mean people dancing when I'm DJing, as opposed to leaving, which also happens a lot when I DJ.
Sons and Daughters – Breaking Fun (Domino, 6 Jun)
I like those guitars. Now this is the kind of production I was talking about – where the vocals aren't so crisp and poppy. They're compressed a little bit. I really like this song; I like the chorus. When I think of Scottish music – like the Shop Assistants and Josef K – that's what the chorus reminds me of… a little darker than twee.
Junior Boys – Banana Ripple (Domino, 30 May)
Pretty dancey! I think it's the way it's recorded and the production, it's not as infuriating to me as a lot of dance music is. It's also my cultural bias toward Canadian music. I'm sure if anyone else from Fucked Up was here, this would be getting nines and tens, people would be dancing. I can't stress enough how much the rest of my band would enjoy this.
Patrick Wolf – House (Hideout Recordings, 20 June)
Maybe it's because the record we've been making, but I'm really getting into theatrical vocals and presentation. This also sounds like it could be from a stage show; it's got that Broadway quality to it, but it's almost too soaring for me. Saying that, I've always thought his voice was really cool and the song's fun. I'm the last person who should be commenting on production because I don't know how to produce! At all. If I recorded an album it would sound like an ass – a literal ass...
Single of the Month: Berlin Heart – Blanket Over Sky (Re:peater Records, 10 Jun)
This is really good. I hope it's not completely instrumental though, because – with the exception of Mogwai – I'm not a big fan of instrumental music at all. Maybe it's because I have no technical ability whatsoever and I think that technical ability in music is the most overrated skill. Definitely got a Goth vibe to it. Not Goth as in Bauhaus, more Nick Cave/Birthday Party.