Category Archives: Records

World’s End Girlfriend – Seven Idiots

Damnit Mario, put that crack pipe down, Yoshi’s come over to see you. Mario! MARIO! Stop licking the walls, what the hell is wrong with you?!

Japan’s World’s End Girlfiend’s tenth offering is like being stuck inside the most difficult level of Mario 64, which I was always pretty rubbish at, but set in 2051, with Jeff Bridges’ Tron character shouting at you in a cowboy drawl, so you’re at once confused, excited and frustrated because you can only parse every other word.

Dense, complex and, at times, remarkable, Idiots goes from layered guitars to drawn out funk (Decalogue Minus 8 sounds like early Chilis, upside-down and underwater, produced by avant garde jazz troupe Polar Bear), with more twists and turns than a stray pube.  Highly recommended.

4/5

You can follow Neal Wallace on Twitter @nealjwallace

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Renegade Brass Band – Radio Rebelde

Following on from the likes of Youngblood, Hypnotic and Hot 8, Sheffield 12-piece Renegade Brass Band enter the fray with their blistering debut Radio Rebelde. Yeah, yeah, brass band, sounds like a day out in Southport, drinking tea and geriatric breath, but right from the Latin-infused open Barrio, Rebelde just makes you wanna dance, damn-it!

Centred around the highlight Junktion, each track on Rebelde brings in something new – aggressive rhymes, tight horns: it’s riotous, raucous and uninhibited. With 12 players going at the same time, the sound can become a little crowded at times – Vex’s words get a little lost. But, frankly, when you’re having this much fun, who cares?

4/5

www.renegadebrassband.com

You can follow Neal Wallace on Twitter @nealjwallace

True Love Cast Out All Evil

The music industry can be a desolate wasteland. Aging rockstars huddle together around dubious collaborations, trying to stay warm while the scene around them radiates with innovation, but few albums have offered a greater rehabilitation than True Love Cast Out All Evil.

Through violent drug addiction, schizophrenia, and a lobotomy, Roky’s brilliance has been tragically suppressed. However, his family have persisted, capturing moments of fleeting beauty and excitement when they could convince Roky to play, and eventually brought him back from a colourless list of life-threatening vices.

During the worst period of Roky Erikson’s mental illness he was a regular heroin user; played white noise from his radio at full volume; legally declared himself an alien and contracted such horrific dental ulcers that they nearly killed him. He was arrested and lobotomized by the Texas state police force in 1969 for the possession of one joint.

The album opens and closes with distant scratched lullabies, original tape-recording’s Roky’s mother took during a period of self-prescribed detainment in his own home. However, the re-recorded tracks, handpicked by Will Sheff of Okkervil River, serve as signposts to the creativity which characterized Erikson’s career. His vocals range from a timid whimper into bold melodies (on tracks like ‘Forever’ and ‘Be and Bring me Home’) and occasionally aggressive thunders (‘Goodbye Sweet Dreams’), but they never lack dignity.

Sheets of reverberating guitars and warm string sections turn Roky’s raw emotional lyrics into euphoric sentiments which, whilst attacking legal and medical institutions, honour the value of family, community, love and music. The title track ‘True Love…’ emerging from the boisterous ‘John Lawman’ most resonantly demonstrates this. It is, of course, important not to underestimate Okkervil River’s ability to craft something which is both beautiful and potent but this is all about Roky finally getting what he fully deserved to have a long time ago.

Ewan Kelly

 

Samizdat | the Stax edition

Another Samizdat podcast in which we play some Stax records and talk some nonsense.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

1st collector for Samizdat | the Stax edition
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Track list:

1. Booker T and the MGs – Green onions

2. Jean Knight – Mr big stuff

3. Albert King – Born under a bad sign

4. Otis Redding – (Sittin’ on) the dock of the bay

5. William Bell – I forgot to be your lover

6. The Staple Singers – I’ll take you there

You can follow us on Twitter @samizdat_ed

 

Can’t touch this

Radiohead released their eighth album, The King of Limbs, last week to, surprise surprise, widespread critical acclaim. “A challenging album, difficult to review, but beautiful and interesting”, was the general consensus. Hmmmn. Forgive me, but should an album really be difficult to review? I mean, I’d struggle to review The Saturdays’ album because, you know, it’s probably total shit, and even if it’s not, it’s music-box-churned-out-pop-dirge. Not music I listen to, not in a lucid state anyway. Besides which, an album should be fairly easily gradable on some arbitrary scale. But this is not a review, it’s a critique. Of the critics.

I’ve been a big fan of Radiohead for many a year. In fact, when people ask me who

Red trousers. photo: David Sh.

my favourite band are I will often refer them to the Oxford quintet. I even loved The Eraser, and I think Kid A is a near-perfect record. But I’m losing patience.

Sure, Limbs is a half-decent record. It’s gone some nice trademark tinkly bits, some catchy bass riffs, a smattering of Selway’s jazz infused drumming. I’m not saying it’s a bad record by any stretch. The problem is, Radiohead haven’t put out anything truly groundbreaking since 2001. And they shouldn’t have to, either – they’re great songwriters and fine musicians. However, when they put out a fairly average album, it ought to be treated as such.

It seems the only other person who noticed this is Barbara Ellen (ahhhhh, Barbara) in The Observer. Perceptive, she is, delightfully describing Radiohead’s sound as “like drunks tripping over Jean Michel Jarre’s dustbins”. But it’s not Radiohead’s problem. They’re now so revered, held on some music-royalty pedestal way above their contemporaries that their next record could just be Thom Yorke falling on top of a vocoder whilst playing glockenspiel with his penis, accompanied by Johnny Greenwood crying onto an infant’s face, and the crits would love it. “Ohhhhhh, once again Radiohead push the boundaries of ‘music’.” Actually, that does sound like a fairly interesting record, but the point stands.

It’s the old adage, “Man, you just don’t get it.” Well, Yorke, I do get it. You’re just not as good as you used to be.

*I’d like to point out that I thought of this article about a week ago but I was too lazy to write it. Then Babs wrote hers, and it seems like I stole her idea. I didn’t. Besides, we were all thinking it anyway.

You can follow Neal Wallace on Twitter @nealjwallace

Podcast – Go folk yourself

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Us talking some rubbish about folk music that we like.

Track list:

1. Lal & Mike Waterson – Bright Phoebus

2. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Ingrid Bergman

3. James Yorkston and the Athletes – Shipwreckers

4. Horse Feathers – This bed

5. Anais Mitchell ft. Greg Brown – Why we build the wall

6. Villagers – Meaning of the ritual

Follow us on Twitter @samizdat_ed

Podcast – Go folk yourself

Us talking some rubbish about folk music that we like.

Track list:

1. Lal & Mike Waterson – Bright Phoebus

2. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Ingrid Bergman

3. James Yorkston and the Athletes – Shipwreckers

4. Horse Feathers – This bed

5. Anais Mitchell ft. Greg Brown – Why we build the wall

6. Villagers – Meaning of the ritual

Follow us on Twitter @samizdat_ed