Monday, 24 February 2020

Weather Problems

Apologies for the lack of posts in February. This is simply down to Weather Related Problems at our base. We've been through three storm periods this month and are expecting a fourth. So as we continue to batten down the hatches, IDHAS will return as soon as the current expected Storm has ended.

We are used to the occasional Storm here, but successive ones have made us to consider buying a boat or a Galleon to be more exact. There is a massive backlog of Reviews that will be caught up with rapidly as soon as we are able and have a stable net connection.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 91

Welcome to the 91st Edition of the great I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza. 24 songs which unusually include 3 archive tracks. See if you can spot them.

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 are the contents of Volume 91 :

01 Shonen Knife - Buttercup (I'm A Super Girl)
02 Dinky - Jennifer Against The World
03 The Society Of Rockets - Failure Industry
04 A Girl Called Eddy - Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart
05 Open Sound  - Thinking Of You
06 The Bitter Springs - Men Behaving Badly
07 Matt Megrue - Afterglow
08 Greg Dayton - Falling Fast
09 Upset - No Exit
10 Sparks - Armies Of The Night (UK Album Version)
11 Answering Machine - Bad Luck
12 Loose Buttons - Home Movies (Let Down Lately)
13 Cherry Parke - Captain Bullseye
14 The Glad Machine  - Virginia
15 Ages And Ages - Just My Luck
16 Elettrodomestico - Aloha
17 Meseroles - Twin Star
18 Matthew Milia - Attention Students
19 Zebrahead - Shock And Awe By The Sea
20 Baby Scream - Warm Fuzzy Feeling
21 Chris Church - Your Sun Is About To Shine
22 Eamon Ra - Waiting For The Morning
23 Papa Satch - Driving Time
24 The By Gods - PTO

IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 91 Mixcloud Link 

Or Click Below


Monday, 10 February 2020

Mick Dillingham Interviews : The Greek Theatre

The Swedish duo of Sven Froberg and Fredrik Pesson go by the name of The Greek Theatre and are a studio based combo with three quite remarkable albums under their belts so far. As with the likes of The Luck Of Eden Hall, they take the adventurous spirit of late sixties and early seventies music as a jumping off point, having been made aware of the musical freedoms and possibilities of that richly creative time.

If they are returning to the glorious past it is always to grab hold and pull it unblinking into the bright light of today.  They effortlessly range from magnificently cinematic in scope to movingly intimate in a moment.  Both musically and production wise, there’s an abundance of thrilling detail to explore and enjoy in every new listen and made vital by the beautiful song writing quietly turning at the heart of it all.

Listening to the new album, When Seasons Change, for the first time I glimpsed languid shards of early seventies Floyd, a sprinkling of Joe Boyd’s Witchseasoning, the joyous progressive country of the original Barefoot Jerry and the gentle shimmering ghost of Tom Rapp on the album closer Sail Away.

By the third play all I was hearing was unmistakably The Greek Theatre above all else and that’s the beguiling magic of this very fine combo. Let’s sit down with Sven and chat awhile.

What are your earliest memories of first getting into music?

"I have memories at the age of five of my best friend’s oldest brother playing the soundtrack to Andrew Lloyd  Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar all the time. I didn’t get the lyrics or the very dramatic story but was so absorbed by it that I refused to leave when my mother came to fetch me.

I was listening to "rock" I proudly told her. As I grew older I didn’t hear it for many years but when I finally bought it I realised that little kid was right. Top album. Fantastic singing and playing and the songwriting is unbelievable.

I was probably eleven when my parents bought me a cheap bass. Totally the wrong instrument to start with when you have nobody to teach you. At fifteen I started playing guitar and that suddenly made playing bass easier too."

When did you start writing songs?

"I must have been sixteen. I had formed my first band and introduced my first effort as a cover of The Knickerbockers "High On Love". We learned to play the song and to my amazement everybody was pleasantly surprised when I admitted to actually being the writer.

For me music is the highest art form by far. To be able to see if I had the ability to communicate, like good music does, was probably an unarticulated reason. Also, like a lot of other introverted kids, music seemed to be a natural expression.

Are you slow or prolific?

"Very slow when it comes to completing songs. Structure and melody comes, at times, very easy. Lyrics can take years. Long dry periods and then without notice spurts with good stuff. "

Were you in any early bands worth noting?

"Yes the first one that springs to mind was called "The Shepards Of Mighty Joy". A unique hybrid of barbershop and chamber pop. Three singer songwriters playing upright bass, drums and acoustic guitars pared with a string quartet.

If you listen to "Old Jawbone" from our latest album that will give you a tiny idea of what we sounded like. Our vocal sound was close the '67 era Beach Boys (think Smiley Smile). We did a couple of sessions with a brass band that still blows my mind.

Fredrik was in a powerpop group called The Halos who did a two song demo that was produced by Ken Stringfellow of the Posies. A memory for life no doubt. An amazing player and quite a character I’ve been told."

So from what I understand you and Fredrik formed the band in 99 and then wrote a whole lot of songs, enough for four albums and then the muse deserted you? How does the song writing process work with you, where do you lyrical ideas come from?

"Yes, as I said earlier, the muse has a way of deserting me. Still I’m thankful for the songs I was able to write during that fertile period. The song writing process is for me very zen, in that the harder I try the less I accomplish.

The best way is to pick up the guitar and sing and play before I have the chance to think of what to do. It’s so easy to get caught in old, used structures. I need to surprise myself. Lyrics works like dreams: I tend write about feelings, often blocked or painful. Still I want there to be hope not gloom."

Talk about the first album Lost Out At Sea.

"Lost Out At Sea was recorded over a very long period. It was not our first time recording, but the technique was changing during it’s making, which for us created new possibilities. The songs where strong as we had so much to chose from.

We were learning along the way and made millions of mistakes. It’s raw and crude in some ways but is has a special magic to it and it’s my favourite of the albums we’ve made so far. One of the best decisions we made was to let Jon "Mojo" Mills do the promotion for the Lost Out At Sea cd-release.

Thanks to his good work the "right" people got to hear it. Nathan Ford of the Active Listener was an early supporter and one of the first to make us realise that we communicated with the listener, that this whole endeavour was worth pursuing."

Talk about the follow up album Broken Circle….having different players involved must have changed your approach at times?

"Yes no doubt. Tomas Eriksson´s drums really transformed our sound. At the same time his playing was really suited to the big, long songs that we had decided to record. The record was an effort to show what we are capable of, that we could stretch out and rock too. And it was a chance for Fredrik to shine and show what an amazing guitarist he is."

And now we have the fantastic new album When Seasons Change.

"The new album is a reaction to Broken Circle. The songs, if not all, are a bit more subdued. My initial idea was to incorporate and combine flute, cello and strings for a kind of chamber pop, Bryter Layter sound.

Since we couldn’t afford a string arranger much of the process was spent listening to string arrangements in a rock/pop context (Robert Kirby´s stuff, Forever Changes, Moby Grape’s He and many more) to analyse how they are structured. Working with cellist Leo Sander, violinist Sandra Marteleur and flutist Erik Lundin was such a thrill.

Most of the bass and drums where recorded by Fredrik Swahn, from The Amazing and Dungen, in his small but great studio. He also plays bass on most of the tracks. Loved working with him, great guy!"

What would you say were your biggest influences?

"Byrds, Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, Beatles, Big Star, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, Mad River, Pink Floyd (68-70) and many, many more."

How happy are you with the finished albums? Are they close to your original vision….have you been tempted to stretch the rules or change anything?

"Well in my head I’m already far into planning the next album and hopefully start to record it in May to early June. And at this stage in the process, I’m always overly critical of the last album. I kind of need to destroy it to be able to start something new and fresh.

That said you can’t reinvent yourself all the time, you need to build on your last accomplishments and we learned a lot making this album. There is a strange dynamic to our band as we don’t have a formula or a band sound that we can wrap every song in.

Every new track is a new mountain to climb and new space to explore. I honestly think that we’re doing something unique, in that we don’t sound like anyone else, which cannot be said of many others these days. At the end of the day I really hope that will count for something."

You can listen to and buy When Seasons Change and pick up the Back Catalogue here. You can also buy the Vinyl from Sugarbush here and the CD from Kool Kat here.  You can also review Don's IDHAS Review here.


Ages And Ages - Me You They We

A couple of years ago, I marvelled at they year that Detroit, Michigan had and 2019 seems to have been Portland Oregon's year. Hot on the tail of Norman's IDHAS Album Of The Year, Ages And Ages keep the quality count high.

I'm a little late to the party here as Me You They We was released in April last year and it is the fourth album, but the first since a certain Orange figure appeared in the White House and it shows lyrically. This isn't about Making America Great Again, it is more about the country losing its values and heart.

Hear at IDHAS, we have a real feel for great pop bands with biting lyrics and Ages And Ages fit the bill completely. Indeed at times, there is a real UK Dream Pop feel to the band, the vibe is certainly gentle compared to the venom in the words.

There is also more than a hint of Psych at times and certainly, West Coast Pop. Previous albums have edged on Folk, here there is far more pure Pop. All The Sounds Of Summer is a great song, big harmonies with a Bacharach beat.

Hiding Out could be something released on the Subjangle label and you can almost hear the weeping on Day From Night. But is the straight ahead Pop that works best, the sound is very Un American, more UK and European.

Songs such as Way Back In and How It Feels hit the mark, but all 10 songs pull their weight. Special Mentions must go to the Beach Boys feel of Just My Luck and the way Unsung Songs is transformed by a superb Guitar Solo. Great Pop! Great Album!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Friday, 31 January 2020

The Northern Pikes - Forest Of Love

We end January in far more familiar territory. The release of this album, 16 years after their last, It's A Good Life, marked a welcome return for the Canadian Pop Rockers. Add to that delight with the addition of Kevin Kane to the three founding members. IDHAS have been long time fans of The Grapes Of Wrath,

Kane is not only restoring the second guitar to the band, he's all over the album, The Pop sensibilities that The Northern Pikes have always been noted for are present and correct, but Kane seems to have added an edge that enhances everything. 

The title track has a wonderful mix of Goth and Psych Pop, a crackerjack of a song. Mr Unhappy is a strum along a charming Summer Of Love feel with the guitars bursting to get out. Draw From The Deck could be Glasgow 1989, wonderfully so.

Elephant Who Lives Here has a 70's Fleetwood Mac feel, it's a fine gentle soothing affair. Juliana could be Al Stewart, Folk Rock with a big chorus. King In His Castle has everything, mixing a down and dirty verse with a Petty-esque chorus.

Although the Psych feel of King In His Castle is top notch, the stand out song here is one of much more simplicity. Canada Boy is a classic slab Of Power Pop, as good as anything you will hear anywhere. It's all hooks and nets.

It's really welcome to have The Northern Pikes. Forest Of Love provides even more joy in revealing that they are not a heritage band. Forest Of Love is a splendid album that stands up with anything around at present. Well done you four!

You can buy and listen to the album everywhere. You can find out more about the band and buy physical product here. See you in February!


Bandaid Brigade - I'm Separate

I am not going to preach again about Punk being labelled and so the bands can't play. Both Zach Quinn and Brian Wahlstrom have made their names in Hardcore Punk, the former in Pears and the latter markedly in Scorpio. The pair are joined by Paul Rucker from Armchair Martians and Chris Fogal of The Gamits.

Bandaid Brigade are not Punk, nowhere near it. This is great Pop Rock, bordering AOR and at times Modern Prog. The San Diego quartet have fashioned up an incredibly Commercial album that pushes all the right buttons at the right time.

We have a community joke that most ex Record Company people have an Arista 1975 attitude. They still act like it's 1975 and expect masses to flock to their independent releases as if music like the wheel had been reinvented. Well, Bandaid Brigade feel more 1985 and that's a compliment.

That's not to say that there isn't a versatility about them, because there is and some. The Soft Rock of Holding Steady (Sax and all) is very different to the Footloose like, Break The Grid. Attila has the feel of an AOR version of The Motors whilst Nothing Matters is pure 70s Soft Rock.

Nothing goes all Tom Waits, yet Stay Busy is pure Lounge Funk. Travel Light is all Love Boat Tropicana. The band are at their best though when the Pop breaks out. Everything is a wonderful slice of UK New Wave Pop and the stand out song is Treat Me Like A Christmas Tree.

That song perfectly blends the catch all of Modern Prog with a big AOR Chorus, there's even a blistering guitar Solo to close it out. Who would have thought these four would record something so catchy. I'm glad they are and I hope to here more in the future. I'm Separate is Top Notch.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Monday, 27 January 2020

I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 90

We reach Number 90 in the world of Audio Extravaganzas. 21 splendid songs to show those that say there is no great new music around how wrong they are. They can sit there with Raspberries blaring out (again), learning nothing.

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 90's playlist.

01 City Maze - I'm The One
02 Local Drags - Pins
03 The Industry - Limbo
04 Gal Gun - Beauty Community
05 Nada Surf - Live Learn And Forget
06 Willie Wisely - Cut Your Groove
07 Jeff Whalen - Ground Game For Worm
08 Creem Circus - Automatic Style
09 Pea Green Boat - Cook Robotic Chef
10 Beach Slang - Let It Ride
11 Kiwi Jr - Leslie
12 Ex Norwegian - Buffalo Billycan
13 Alexandra Savior - Saving Grace
14 Michael Shuler - Nevergirl
15 Clive Gregson - April Turnaround
16 Basic Plumbing - As You Disappear
17 Neutral Snap - Bed Sweats
18 Rob Martinez - Seems Like Only Yesterday
19 Surface To Air Missive - Easy Way
20 Øyvind Holm - After The Bees
21 The Society Of Rockets - Witch Trials Revisited

IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 90 Mixcloud Link 

Or Click Below


Kiwi Jr. - Football Money

Remember when Indie meant something? It wasn't a category to lump everything in that didn't fit elsewhere. Is It Pop? No! Is It Rock? No! Oh It's Indie then. It was largely a scene for inventive bands, which you either loved or hated, that the majors would go nowhere near.

Indie may not have credibility any more, but moaning that there aren't any great new bands around now, says more about you. There patently are some incredibly talented left field groups in circulation. You just have to look rather than be spoon fed or wait for another misguided If You Like This.

Canadians, Kiwi Jr are one such band. They come across as a sort of Modern Lovers for the next generation, but there is far more to them than that. Much more. There's a lyrical with and depth that compares to stalwarts like The Sugarplastic, even XTC.

Kiwi Jr. are quirky and come at songs from unusual angles, but they are not as Lo Fi as people would have you believe. The sparser arrangements complement the songs perfectly. There's also plenty of Wit on offer and a fair bit of Jangle.

It may be that the underlying vibe is Power Pop, although they are probably too cool admit that. There's a great deal of fun on display, although very much like, say, The Housemartins, this is hidden in the subject matter which is more about the banal.

All ten of these songs stand up in their own right. Whether they have big choruses or are all over the place, matters not one jot. Lyrically brilliant, highly observational with some killer stand alone lines. Football Money is a fantastic listen and it's all done in 28 minutes, so you can play it twice in an hour.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Willie Wisely - Face The Sun

Los Angeles's Willie Wisely has released his eighth studio album, his first since 2012 and the Singer Songwriter has lost none of his chops. Face The Sun confirms his versatility. Wisely divides his time between Laurel Canyon and Nashville and those two locations offer some influence to his music.

Fall Inside Your Eyes reveals this most with the mix of West Coast and Country. It is a fine cover of the Jackie Lomax song. The overall vibe is a mellow one, although it should be noted that the album takes on a new life when he lets go as the Pop sensibilities really come to the fore.

Sutures Loose bounces along like a cross between Christie and The Tremeloes. It's a splendid song, beaten only by the magnificent, Cut Your Groove which is great 60's Pop with unusual twists like the keyboard break which is joyous.

Illumination is a special slice of Psych Pop with a fine vocal reminiscent of Nick Heyward. No Surprises is beautifully laid back with it's country tinge via some ace Pedal Steel. The title track that closes the album has a dream like quality and another fine vocal.

At times here, I'm reminded of Stephen Bishop. The variety is commendable and largely works, although the lounge funk of It's Better Not To Care is a bit hard work. Overall, some great songs are recorded beautifully and I could listen to Wisely's voice endlessly. Face The Sun is a fine listen.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Creem Circus - The Glitterest, Sladest,. Rockin'Est.Laidest, Overtime-Paidest, Boogiest Band In Town

I'm often asked where I got my love of music from. Fortunately, I had Parents who influenced me as I know many more had to put up with James Last and Mantovani. I was raised on Buddy Holly and The Beatles, with a liberal dose of Hank Williams.

But most influences come when you started to buy music under your own steam. With 70's kids, particularly boys, everyone bought singles and I was incredibly lucky to have Glam Rock to start with as a nine year old.

My collecting got more serious when I started to buy albums and Glam Rock was never really about albums. But that two year period between 1972 and 1974 was such fun. Bands dressed up, were outrageous in a cartoon way and of course it was your music, Parents hated it.

Few bands have mastered evoking those times without looking like a bad parody. The Darkness, although they nodded to the Big Hair Rock of the 80's. Ulysses, certainly at times, although there is far more to them that. Now you can add Creem Circus and they are star spangled Glam or Glitter if you live in the States, which they do.

Creem Circus are the brainchild of Chris DiPinto, owner of DiPinto Guitars in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Away from the day job of building Guitars, the album was fashioned in the shop basement. The quartet which consists of DiPinto, Ben Brower, Gloria Goodrich and Rock Bottom Rob offer up a glorious glamtastic affair, hand claps and all.

The thing about most of the original Glam Rock bands is that the playing wasn't so adept, certainly not as adept as these four and this technical ability enhances the enjoyment. This isn't throwaway stuff or satire, this is top quality listening.

There is an underlying tongue in cheek wit that gets right under the skin of the period. Yes it is all fun, but the songs stand up really well in their own right, plus you can spot the influences. The Drum sound, those hand claps, the call and respond and those fantastic twin guitars.

La Machine is like one of those rockier Sweet B Sides, Rock And Roll Party is Marc Bolan backed by The Glitter Band. Pretty Rebel is a chirpy Lou Reed Transformer era, Come On Laddie could be Suzi Quatro if it were not for the Male Vocal.

Allegehny Bvm could be The Steve Gibbons Band with a Chinn And Chapman chorus. Automatic Style is T Rex until some splendid Blistering Guitar at the end. Those Shoes starts like Mud, again definitely Chinn Chapman.

As well as attempting a Tyrannosaurus Rex length album title, Creem Circus have nailed the peiod without ever sounding derivative. The album is a reminder of a time when people bought music when it didn't matter what was going on in the world, because you had your music. Sadly now, music doesn't sell, it is largely given away and the songs reflect the outside world.

This is a magnificent departure from the norm, providing the benefits that music should have. It should be enjoyable. It should be sing a long. It should be fun. Creem Circus caught me by surprise and I'm grateful that they did. Everything seems fine now, so well done you four. This is a revelation and an essential purchase.

You can listen to and buy the album everywhere. It is also available on CD or Vinyl from the likes of Amazon and more importantly, great independent record shops.


The Society Of Rockets - Unearthed

San Francisco's The Society Of Rockets have always felt like a well kept secret. Seven albums in and the band have evolved. Initially known for some fine Psych Rock, their last album, Family Ways, marked a move into a more laid back sound.

Family Ways was a much more laid back affair, excellent in its way, but a bit hard to quantify with what had gone before. The playing was as great as ever, as were the hooks, but the Country Rock was definitely a new path.

Unearthed follows on from that album, but takes the material on a pace. There's also reminders to the past. Failure Industry is a crackerjack of a song, venomous yet incredibly melodic with a killer riff and unexpected noises, it is a joyous affair.

Don't be afraid of the Country Rock reference either. There are no Cowboy Hats here, indeed I'm more reminded of a band like Del Amitri. Calico is the nearest to straight ahead and Open Season is moody Americana, but both work beautifully. This is largely due to the quality of the songwriting and playing.

The World Is Wrong is in CSNY territory, but again more modern, think Brent Rademaker. Bummertown is another example of the band stretching out, with it's killer guitar ramping up the noise quota.

Error Era ends the album wonderfully with a gentle moody affair that borders more on the Indie earnestness of younger pretenders and it threatens to explore at the end. Unearthed is a fine album. Forget what has gone before, treat the album on its own merit, because this is a fine listen.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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


I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2019 : 11 - 20

It's been difficult to get these choices down to 100. I'm also not a believer in saying one album is better than another. Most of the time you are comparing Apples To Oranges. I'm not a List person, I just think what's the point.

However, for the last couple of years I have compiled Best Of 2019, normally I just said what my favourite album of the year is. I've done it again, because these posts seem so popular and the aim of this Blog is to get exposure (and Sales) for the artists.

There is no meaning or judgement on an album that is Number 1, Number 100 or not on the list. Anything that I review on here, mention on Social Media or play on the Radio Show is as highly recommended.

I would also add that the Top 100 includes albums available as Download Only. To suggest that they are anything less than equal to a Physical release is patently nonsense and omits many wonderful albums.

I will compile a Top 20 of Reissues and Compilations combined after all this is complete. For each album, I've posted a song from it and a link to the review, where you can find further details on how to listen or buy the album.

11 Andy Bopp - Maker       IDHAS Review

12 Lannie Flowers - Home       IDHAS Review

13 Mounties - Heavy Meta       IDHAS Review

14 Empty City Squares - 337       IDHAS Review

15 Daystar - The Complete Recordings       IDHAS Review

16 The Bobbleheads - Myths And Fables       Review

17 Project: Ghost Outfit - Project: Ghost Outfit       IDHAS Review

18 Scott Gagner - Hummingbird Heart       IDHAS Review

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

20 The Mommyheads - Future You       IDHAS Review