Monthly Archives: August 2012

Eugene McGuinness – The Invitation To The Voyage

I’m not entirely sure who Eugene McGuinness is trying to be: ’70s David Bowie or late ’90s Robbie Williams. The Invitation To The Voyage is full of confounding juxtapositions; sonically shifting from spacey disco anthems to garage surf and trippy rockabilly.

McGuinness is so completely all over the radar that if he were a character from a movie he would be equal parts greasy sax guy from The Lost Boys and that dude who wore Abba’s poop around his neck in that movie about drag queens.

Artist: Eugene McGuinness
Album: The Invitation To The Voyage
Label: Domino

Buy Eugene McGuinness The Invitation To The Voyage

*previously published in Rip It Up issue #1203


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Cate Le Bon – CYRK

Apparently the Polish word for circus is “cyrk”. I have a hard time believing this because of the absence of vowels, and don’t give me that “and sometimes y” bullshit. Disregarding my disdain for the album’s title, CYRK is the second offering from the creepy Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon.

Le Bon first gained recognition with her curious preoccupation with death and unconventional song structures. Le Bon is essentially the British version of America’s St. Vincent. They’re both talented doe-eyed weirdos who just happen to write pop songs that get under your skin and make you feel slightly uneasy.

Artist: Cate Le Bon
Album: CYRK
Label: The Control Group

Buy Cate Le Bon CYRK

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Simone Felice – Simone Felice

The self-titled debut of Simone Felice, is a dark trip down well worn American roads. And by dark, I mean an unnerving preoccupation with death and murder.

The album opener, the deceptively upbeat Hey Bobby Ray, details brutal domestic abuse that ends in homicide. New York Times is a reminder of how morbid modern news outlets can be, and Dawn Brady’s Son has an itchy trigger finger.

Ballad Of Sharon Tate takes Felice’s fixation of mortality a step too far. Eliciting the mental image of Tate ‘with a rope around her neck, and heavy with child’ is just in bad taste.

Artist: Simone Felice
Album: Simone Felice
Label: Warner

Buy Simone Felice Simone Felice

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Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair

Hair is a masterfully crafted ode to psychedelic and garage rock from the 60s and 70s. The record tells the story of Ty Segall and White Fence, two longhaired hippies of the Age of Aquarius living a bohemian lifestyle and fighting against the conscription of writing shitty pop songs in the modern musical landscape.

The duo uses their music to rebel against record labels and society’s so-called “Top 40”. Will Ty and White Fence succumb to the pressures of conventional songwriting? Or will they succeed in their quest to liberate the brainwashed masses that greedily consume manufactured bubblegum pop?

Artist: Ty Segall & White Fence
Album: Hair
Label: Drag City

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Alex Winston – King Con

It really is refreshing when a female pop star sings about something other than their cooch or getting shitfaced. Michigan born Alex Winston doesn’t write songs about her extra terrestrial rape fantasies, or getting high as a “starship” and engaging in promiscuous activity. Instead, the 24-year-old sings about parasitic playfulness and an infatuation with The King.

King Con is bubbling with enthusiasm, so much so that it runs the risk of being grating to some. However, only the coldest of hearts will find anything to dislike about this album. Winston’s genuine passion and zeal drive all twelve tracks, each one just as charming as the one that precedes it.

Winston’s imagination and eagerness results in a record that full of in-jokes and personal flights of fancy. Listeners may not fully understand what Winston is getting at, but the entire record is fun and infectiously catchy.

Artist: Alex Winston
Album: King Con
Label: Island

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The Cribs – In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull

For a decade we have watched The Cribs grow from their lo-fi roots, and hung on every self-deprecating word. Even legendary guitarist Johnny Marr was not immune to the innate charm of the DIY garage rock the Jarman brothers cooked up.

Granted, The Cribs have never been wholly original. Their debut was released on the coattails of all those other rambunctious British bands of the early 2000s, however The Cribs’ ability to write killer hooks and towering choruses has given them a significantly longer lifespan than their contemporaries. Their fifth LP, In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull, is easily their best yet.

Artist: The Cribs
Album: In The Belly Of The Brazen Bully
Label: Wichita

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Apologies

I know that there has been a shortage of posts recently, I hope you’ll forgive me, but my excuse is a legitimate one. As the photo above suggests, I moved house. The long and arduous process of packing up one’s shit and trekking it somewhere else is pretty much over, save for the fact that I haven’t connected the Internet yet. Until I do, posts will be coming at you rather sporadically, and for that I apologize.

In the meantime, have a look at a couple of musicians and their fans who probably haven’t missed me all that much!

Tape/Off

Mark Tulk

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