Saturday, 25 January 2020

Extended Play

City Maze - Heavy Heart

It has been a while since we had an Extended Play feature, so here are 5 EP's for you to cut out and keep. Gothenburg's City Maze offer up a four track Pop Rock EP of the highest order. There mainly be four songs, but all show enough variety to convince that this lot are no one trick pony.

Whereas I'm The One is Classic 80's New Wave Power Pop, Heavy Art is even more commercial, a sort of The Motors do AOR. Poison Girl is more of a fist pumper, very 80's, let's say The Alarm hitting a Final Countdown vibe.

Honestly has a real UK New Wave Beat Pop feel on the verses. The whole EP is impressive, almost like a Showcase that reveals what City Maze can do and that's a fair bit. Well worth your attention as great Pop Rock isn't easy to find at the moment.

The EP is around all the streaming sites. I will update links to buy as soon as I have them.

Out Of My Hair - The Return 

One of the absolute delights of last year was the return of Comfort and Out Of My Hair. You can read Mick's outstanding interview with Simon here. This return is rounded off by the appearance of new material and there is no resting on past glories in sight.

All three songs provide the expected gentle soundscape at which Out Of My Hair excel at. Two Stones opens up a realm of Prog Folk, all Scarborough Fair with Flute. Telepathy Planes is the nearest you'll get to a Rock Out solely for the breakout electric guitar in the middle.

The stand out here is In The Morning, a pastoral acoustic led gem of a song. The vocal is a bit Gilbert O'Sullivan but the sound and vibe is wondeful providing chill out for the pop generation. The EP is magnificent, it's great to have Comfort around again and he promises much more to come.

You can listen to and buy the EP here.

Local Drags - The Boys Are Still In Town 

I covered Local Drags' Shit's Lookin' Up here and The Boys Are Still In Town maintains, maybe even exceeds the quality of that release. What appeared to be a temporary offshoot, looks a more permanent affair and that's very welcome.

I mentioned Cheap Trick last time round and there's certainly that feel again, certainly hook wise. Girls In denim Jackets is a joyous romp whilst Fast Rewind is a bit like The Ramones doing The Damned. Pins is a real riffathon.

Pins reminds me a lot of the current Power Pop sensations, The Speedways and Big Apple 3.A.M. is so Replacements that it could be them. All four songs here are spot on. Hopefully, Local Drags are here to stay because they are great at what they do.

You can listen to and buy the EP here.

Singing Lungs - Mutter

Singing Lungs are from Grand Rapids, Michigan and provide a much noisier alternative to the other four selections reviewed here. Mutter feels very 90's Indie College Rock when bands cemented their reputations on live performances.

This is up and at 'em stuff, splendidly so, from the anthem that is The Kids I used To Know to the early R.E.M. like Leave The Lights On. Even something that starts more mellow like Demo Tape, breaks out into something louder. It has to be said wonderfully so.

Time Well Spent is close to Garage Punk, something that would feel at home on the Rumbar Records label. All five songs are dandy, the best is probably I Don't Remember Much which has an Irish New Wave feel, almost Pogues like without the twiddly bits. This is excellent.

You can listen to and buy the EP here.

Gal Gun - Beauty Community

Illinois's Cal Gun return with a welcome EP. The feel is very Weezer. That's Weezer before they wanted to be a Boy Band. This is never more so on the wonderful Pop Rock of Beauty Community, which is enhanced by a killer riff and a great guitar solo.

Happy Just To Dance With You is very 60's, almost Merseybeat. Merseybeat is thankfully less in abundance lately, because a lot of it is Karaoke, this song however shows that when it's done well, the toe tapping count is high and this is done really well.

Pizza Community is an alternate take on Beauty Community. But if you think that you don't get much bang for your bucks, worry ye not, because there is potentially no cost with this EP at Name Your Price on Bandcamp. I look forward to hearing far more from Cal Gun.

You can listen to and download the EP here.


Friday, 24 January 2020

The Industry - The Industry

Every now and then, more then than now, you hear an album that absolutely knocks you sideways. These moments are few and far between. I like to think that I know what's going on, so when something hits you out of the blue, you want to find out much more about the artist. I'm in the process of that.

This trek started when I first heard Buildings, a song that sounds like a cross between Field Music and The Futureheads, so obviously there will be XTC comparisons. It is a wonderfully inventive offering and it made me want to find out more about The Industry.

On finding the album, I am even more captivated, even though little is on it to compare with Buildings, except  Limbo which is a fantastic slice of Indie Guitar Rock. Now that I'm armed with more info, I will happily blab on about how it came to be and the songs contained within.

Willem Smit of Canshaker Pi and Personal Trainer was contacted to do something for The Into The Great Wide Open Festival in the Netherlands. Having decided to gather together his favourite Dutch Indie Musicians together to make the album, he wrote the ideas for all the songs and then finished them with the guests.

At the end of the summer last year, all 14 participants headed off in a boat to the Durch Island Of Vlieland. All songs are performed by Personal Trainer, which has a fluid shifting Live Line up with guests such as Pip Blom, Cees Paris and Jaap van der Velde of The Homesick. (Incidentally, I will be reviewing the new album by The Homesick in the upcoming week).

The album was recorded on the boat and the island and the results are awe inspiring. Those two Indie anthems aside, the rest of the album contains nothing similar. The whole affair is all over the place, wonderfully so. The Window could almost be Lounge and includes some splendidly wayward Trumpet from Ian Cleaver.

Frisbee is pure C86, whilst Lena Hessels provides a wonderful vocal on the brooding, moody, In Flickering Time. Pip Blom takes over on Oh Not Again, backed by six local schoolchildren on a dreamy soundscape. that borders on Prog.

Solo Blasting is a Personal Trainer Song that takes New Wave Garage to a whole new level. Compare that to the beautiful calm of Race Car. The album excites even more when the chances are taken and Obsession does that and more. A Nine minute almost Avant Garde explosion, it is a crackerjack affair. The whole thing is rounded off by a piano instrumental, just to add more variance.

There's so much to like here and I certainly want to hear more Lena Hessels, but most plaudits should go to Smit. With a concluding album to come from Canshaker Pi and then a concentration on Personal Trainer, the future certainly looks bright. In the meantime, The Industry is an exceptional album, essential to all.

At the moment, the album is only available on Spotify here.  It will be going on Bandcamp and when it does, I'll update you with the link and embed a few songs. In the meantime, I have linked "The Making Of" video from You Tube. You can also find out more about the project, with brief commentary on all 12 songs here.


Sunday, 19 January 2020

Got Live If You Want It

We've never really reviewed Live shows on here. A number of reasons really, the main one being that IDHAS has been so involved with what it was designed for that it just didn't make sense to add to workload in a half assed manner. Also, work commitments meant that covering areas other than Liverpool and Manchester could be problematic.

A change to that decision can be made now due to having additional help that allows IDHAS to cover far more of the UK. I've always wanted I Don't Hear A Single to evolve and offer different things for people to read. The addition of Mick's Interview Series has been really popular. The Social Media campaigning against the injustices that Musicians face has also gained a growing following.

IDHAS won't be attending the opening of Fridges, but if their are artists that fit in with what it does, the coverage would suit both. Between us, we would still choose the new and unappreciated, as well as the odd legacy act. As an example, one of Nada Surf's UK Shows will be covered in March.

We are more than happy for bands, management and PR to get in touch, but we will only cover artists that we like and feel that we could write a review that does justice to their talent. As this gets properly underway, I'd expect 2 or 3 Live Reviews to be posted each month.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 89

2020's first Audio Extravaganza offers up 21 songs to brighten your day.

A reminder that these episodes are compiled with great care. The aim is to produce a sort of mix tape. Hopefully this will be the soundtrack to your day. I've also learned that if you use the mixcloud player at the bottom of this page, each song title is shown as it plays.

Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence. You can listen to the previous IDHAS Audio Extravaganzas on Mixcloud here.

Here's Volume 89's playlist.

01 The John Sally Ride - Far From Eaten Out
02 Altameda - Wish Upon The Weather
03 Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - Bill's Mandolin
04 Pastis - The King And The Good Hangman
05 Out Of My Hair - In The Morning
06 Star Trip - Salto al Vacío
07 David James Situation - Said And Done
08 Mansion Harlots - Meet Me In The Shadows
09 Defecting Grey - Make It Impossible
10 Seth Timbs - Blue Beret
11 Extra Arms - Hold Me (All The Time)
12 Fallon Cush - Burn
13 Wolf Parade - Out Of Control
14 The Dowling Poole - Made In Heaven
15 The Greek Theatre - Laurence Of Laurel Canyon
16 The Whiffs - Please Be True
17 Mint Mind - Brother, You're Not My Brother
18 The Speedways - Kisses Are History
19 The Northern Pikes - Canada Boy
20 The Ashenden Papers - Melodie Robin
21 Tombstones In Their Eyes - The Demon

IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 89 Mixcloud Link 

Or Click Below


Thursday, 16 January 2020

I Don't Hear A Single - Top 20 Compilations And Reissues 2019

I Don't Hear A Single almost exclusively deals with New Album Reviews. I do sneak the odd Re-Issue or Compilation in and I also review them away from IDHAS. Therefore not as much fuss is made here about them here, but people do like to see recommendations.

So here are my favourites from 2019. That is it for last year now. 2020 Begins here.

01 Ex Norwegian - Something Unreal : The Best Of Ex Norwegian (2 CD)

02 The Dukes of Stratosphear - Psurroundabout Ride (CD + Blu Ray)

03 Sparks - Gratuitous Sax And Senseless Violins 25th Anniversary Edition (3CD)

04 Mick Ronson - Only After Dark (Complete Mainman Recordings) (4CD)

05 Various - Big Stir Singles : The Third Wave

06 Various - Shake Yer Popboomerang Volume 3 (2CD)

07 Stephen Duffy - I Love My Friends (2CD)

08 The Go-Betweens - G Stands for Go-Betweens Volume 2 (5CD + 4LP)

09 Be Bop Deluxe - Modern Music (4CD + 1 DVD)

10 New England - The New England Archives Box Vol 1 (5CD)

11 The Springfields - Singles 1986-1991

12 Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue - The Collection

13 Alan Price - Between Today And Yesterday

14 Various Artists - Men Of The Moment (1960s Pop Gems Written by Roger Greenaway & Roger Cook)

15 Various - Big Gold Dreams - A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989 (5CD)

16 The Babys - Silver Dreams (Complete Albums 1975-1980) (6CD)

17 Loser - 1993 - 97 - Remasters and Rarities (Lund Bros)

18 Mighty Baby - At A Point Between Fate And Destiny – The Complete Recordings (6CD)

19 VA - Dreams To Fill The Vacuum - The Sound Of Sheffield 1977-1988 (4CD)

20 Various - Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia In Britain 1986-1990 (3CD)


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

IDHAS Best Of 2019 Summary

Over the ten previous posts, I have covered I Don't Hear a Single's 100 favourite albums of 2019. Each post counts down the list in batches of ten. A review is linked and a sample song from each album is included. You can look at these posts at your leisure.

In the meantime, here is the complete top 100 in a list format, so that each album is present here in a sort of cut out and keep handy guide. This is the post that will be promoted on Music Groups etc. We move away from 2019 tomorrow to cover 2020.

01 Norman - Buzz And Fade

02 Ulysses - On Safari

03 Nick Frater - Full Fathom Freight-Train

04 Mansion Harlots - All Around A Fairground

05 Bryan Estepa - Sometimes I Just Don't Know

06 The Junior League - Adventureland

07 The Brothers Steve - #1

08 The Armoires - Zibaldone

09 Ben Vogel - Whistling After Midnight

10 Pernice Brothers - Spread The Feeling
11 Andy Bopp - Maker

12 Lannie Flowers - Home

13 Mounties - Heavy Meta

14 Empty City Squares - 337

15 Daystar - The Complete Recordings

16 The Bobbleheads - Myths And Fables

17 Project: Ghost Outfit - Project: Ghost Outfit

18 Scott Gagner - Hummingbird Heart

19 The Bishop's Daredevil Stunt Club - End Over End

20 The Mommyheads - Future You

21 The Supernaturals - Bird Of Luck

22 Spelling Reform - Stay Inside

23 The Anderson Council - Worlds Collide

24 Custard Flux - Echo

25 The Voluptuals - Terminal Patience

26 Dave Cope And The Sass - Dave Cope And The Sass

27 Green Buzzard - Amidst The Clutter & Mess

28 Colin Wylie - Colin Wylie

29 In Deed - Everest (US Edition)

30 Ronny Tibbs - Lone Fry

31 Remo Drive - Natural, Everyday Degradation

32 Pastis - Circles

33 John Howard - Cut The Wire

34 My Little Hum - Pioneer

35 Louise Connell - Squall Echo Rale

36 The Vapour Trails - See You In The Next World

37 David Brookings And The Average Lookings - Scorpio Monologue

38 The Late Great - Temporary Love Songs

39 The Magic E's - Dead Star

40 The Lunar Laugh - Goodnight Noises Everywhere

41 Alex Lahey - The Best Of Luck Club

42 ANC4 - ANC4

43 Telekinesis - Effluxion

44 The Bungalows - Something's Going On

45 Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - And Now For The Whatchamacallit

46 Paulusma - Somehow Anyhow

47 Jordan Jones - Jordan Jones

48 Super Low - Super Low

49 Tullycraft - The Railway Prince Hotel

50 The Fast Camels - Full Of Strange

51 Erk - When Night Meets Day

52 Big Nothing - Chris

53 Berwanger - Watching A Garden Die

54 Cabana Wear - Cabana Wear

55 Onesie - Umpteenth

56 Mike Adams At His Honest Weight - There Is No Feeling Better

57 Matthew Milia - Alone At St. Hugo

58 The Warhawks - Never Felt So Good

59 The High Strung - Quiet Riots

60 Wrinkles - Other Days

61 Traffik Island - Nature Strip

62 Rainbow Danger Club - Treehouse Empire

63 Mannequin Pussy - Patience

64 Doug Tuttle - Dream Road

65 The Gold Needles - Through A Window

66 Big Eyes - Streets Of The Lost

67 Bottlecap Mountain - Dismayland

68 Fangclub - Vulture Culture

69 The Greek Theatre - When Seasons Change

70 The Needs - You Need The Needs

71 I Was A King - Slow Century

72 James Clarke Five - Parlor Sounds

73 Extra Arms - Up From Here

74 Råttanson - I'd Much Rather Be With The Noise

75 WarrenScottBand - The New Deal

76 The Galileo 7 - There Is Only Now

77 The Morning Line - North

78 The Pozers - Crybaby Bridge

79 The Tor Guides - Backwards In Reverse

80 Mothboxer - Time Capsule Volume 1

81 Gretchen's Wheel - Moth To Lamplight : A Tribute To Nada Surf

82 The Nines - Shipwrecked - Eggers Songbook Volume 1

83 The Decibels - Scene, Not Herd

84 Pictures - Hysteria

85 Kimberley Rew and Lee Cave-Berry - Enjoy The Rest Of Your Day

86 Sofa City Sweetheart - Super(b) Exitos

87 Nagillum - 52 Weeks

88 Slumberjet - World Of Sound

89 Charlie Rebel - The People's Republic Of Earth

90 Bertling Noise Laboratories - The Frodis Tape

91 The Persian Leaps - Electrical Living

92 Pattie - Cotton Candy, Rusty Nails

93 Philip B. Price - Bone Almanac

94 RPWL - Tales From Outer Space

95 The Laissez Fairs - Marigold

96 The Amplifier Heads - Loudah

97 Mondello - Hello- All You Happy People

98 The Resonars - No Exit

99 Cassettes - Wild Heart

100 The Taylor Machine - Hometown Advantage


Monday, 13 January 2020

I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2019 : Top 10

01 Norman - Buzz And Fade       IDHAS Review

02 Ulysses - On Safari       IDHAS Review

03 Nick Frater - Full Fathom Freight-Train       IDHAS Review

04 Mansion Harlots - All Around A Fairground       IDHAS Review

05 Bryan Estepa - Sometimes I Just Don't Know       IDHAS Review

06 The Junior League - Adventureland       IDHAS Review

07 The Brothers Steve - #1        IDHAS Review

08 The Armoires - Zibaldone        IDHAS Review

09 Ben Vogel - Whistling After Midnight        IDHAS Review

10 Pernice Brothers - Spread The Feeling       IDHAS Review