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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K-Holes – Dismania

In addition to being one of the ‘core’ medicines defined by the World Health Organization, ketamine is also used in veterinary medicine…and to get people high out of their minds.

New York City band K-Holes get their name from folks who like to snort horse tranquilizer up their noses. Under the influence, users can experience a K-hole, a slang term describing the “subjective state of dissociation from the body which may mimic the phenomenology of schizophrenia, out-of-body experiences or near–death experiences”.

Needless to say, Dismania is murky and dingy proto-punk and, and much like witnessing an overdose in the Botanic Gardens, is hard to look way from.

Snag mp3s of “Rats” and “Frozen Stiff” here (courtesy of Hardly Art)

Artist: K-Holes
Album: Dismania
Label: Hardly Art

Buy K-Holes Dismania

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Gemma Ray – Island Fire

With serious competition at every turn, it’s little surprise that England’s Gemma Ray has meandered in the realm of cultural obscurity for the majority of her career. Her fourth long player, Island Fire, is quirky and soulful enough to catch the attention of selective listeners tired of that other Rey, but the album as a whole suffers from a serious case of dissociative identity disorder.

Some songs are light and playful to the point of being harmlessly forgettable, while others are so mean-spirited that they’re seared into your mind like that time you walked in on your parents bumping uglies.

Artist: Gemma Ray
Album: Island Fire
Label: Shock

Buy Gemma Ray Island Fire

*previously published by Rip It Up Publishing

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Charlotte Gainsbourg – Stage Whisper

Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Stage Whisper is a double album featuring fresh studio tracks and live recordings of songs from two most recent LPs, IRM and 5:55. While any Gainsbourg aficionado will certainly appreciate the live performances, the real draw is the studio material.

Picking up where IRM left off, the dark nu-disco electro pop of Stage Whisper is pitch perfect; with Gainsbourg’s cold, mechanical vocals gliding over hard, fuzzy beats. Now that I think of it, Gainsbourg hasn’t been this sexual since her brush with incestuous paedophilia with papa Serge on the track Lemon Incest back in 1984.

Artist: Charlotte Gainsbourg
Album: Stage Whisper
Label: Elektra

Buy Charlotte Gainsbourg Stage Whisper

*previously published by Rip It Up Publishing

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Found – Factorycraft

I don’t know if Scottish band Found was trying to be ironic when they gave themselves a name that ensures no potential fans could ever find them online.  Maybe their “off the grid” approach makes them more authentic as artists, or something.

I once read that the Scottish accent is the most pleasing, determined by a poll of people surveyed from around the world.  I’m not sure how accurate that study is, considering Scottish accents are harsh. As in, I can’t understand half of the words that are being said harsh.

Anyway, Found released their first single on a playable chocolate 7″ record. While the song is catchy, it’ll never be as nearly delicious, or desirable, as chocolate.

Artist: Found
Album: Factorycraft
Label: Chemikal Underground

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FisherKing – Circles

The press release that accompanied FisherKing’s debut album, Circles, described their sound as “heartfelt lyrics, memorable melodies and buzzing pop hooks”.  This may sound mean, but I don’t think I could write a more bland and meaningless description of a band if I tried.

FisherKing is essentially a good pub band that I would gladly pay a $10 cover to see, however I would just be using their show as an excuse to go out and get shitfaced. Nothing like feigning enthusiasm for a mediocre band in order to disguise your crushing alcoholism!

Snag a couple of mp3s here (courtesy of Triple J)

Artist: FisherKing
Album: Circles
Label: independent

Buy FisherKing Circles

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Bluejuice – Company

Where to start with this album? The band members outlined in neon green on the press release like some low rent TRON ripoff? The hokey ska/disco fusion music?  Grown men naming their songs with excerpts from an MSN chat? Maybe it’s the fact that the band stylizes their nonsensical name with an exclamation point instead of an “i”.

Company is like your alcoholic friend.  At first he’s super fun and a blast to be with, but by the end of the night you’re getting kicked out of bars because of his undecpiherable mumbles and the piss stain on the front of his pants.

Artist: Bluejuice
Album: Company
Label: Dew Process

Buy Bluejuice Company

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Wavves – Life Sux EP

At this point in Nathan Williams’ career it is safe to say that he has become the buzzband reincarnation of Willie Nelson.  Oh, wait, Willie Nelson isn’t dead?  Huh.  Well good for him.  Do I want to hit this?  Of course.  What was I saying?  Wavves.  Right.

It seems to me like naming your EP Life Sux is an open invitation to journalists to trash your music.  Maybe that was the intention.  But he’s just doing his thing, hanging out with his buds, making music. I wonder if Williams only wants to be Dave Grohl because it’s a pain in the ass to spell Krist Novoselic.

Artist: Wavves
Album: Life Sux
Label: Ghost Ramp

Buy Wavves Life Sux

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