Saturday, 27 January 2018

Album Review: Electric Trails From Nowhere by The Golden Rail (2017) (Label: Pretty Olivia Records and Off The Hip)

Although Ian Freeman and Jeff Baker have had a song writing relationship that has spanned 30 years encompassing notable Australian bands like Header, The Rainyard, The Palisades and the Summer Suns, they perhaps may not have envisioned being as prolific as they have in the last 18 months.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Album Review: Escapists by The Autumn Stones (2015) (Self Released)

The saxophone is a rare commodity in jangle-pop. The saxophone is an equally rare commodity in post-punk. Therefore it is incredibly bizarre for me to be writing a review on this Toronto based crossover post-punk/janglepop band that features heavy usage of the sax.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Album Review - Fragments and Curiosities by Armstrong (2017) (The Beautiful Music)

I am old. Therefore I still like Twitter. I follow Welsh singer-songwriter Armstrong. His account is not like many other artist accounts.

Not for them the constant need to attack timelines explaining in fluent humble brag just how essential it is for any disposable income to be spent on their discographies or on a Beijing made, flimsy T-shirt, that compensates for its immediate first wash disintegration by placing a lop-sided, impact font, band name somewhere near the general chest region.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

EP Review: 28th Day by 28th Day (1985) (Label: Enigma Records)

28th Day were a (much too) short lived antidote to a College Rock scene that was beginning to get lost around in the vortex of its own importance and a post-punk / new wave scene that was morphing into the ridiculous hairstyles and shoulder pads of everything new romantic..

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Album Review: Martin Newell's Jumble Sale by The Cleaners from Venus (2017) (Self Released)

As a young soccer coach many moons ago, I coached a teenager who was so incredibly talented that he inadvertently exuded arrogance. If he played in a match,  he invariably excelled no matter what the level of opposition he encountered. He later went onto to play in the Premiership and always retained that air of complete control. His arrogance was backed had its foundation in genuine ability.

Martin Newell reminded me of my former sporting charge, when, during a promotional interview for this compilation, he declared...

...At the risk of sounding arrogant, it also demonstrates to a lot of clowns who are supposed to be good songwriters, that I leave better songs in my demo heap than most of them can come up with as as best-shot.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Album Reviews (A-Z)

Please see below links to all EP / albums reviewed by janglepophub in the alphabetical order of the Artist.


Friday, 19 January 2018

Album Review: Take In The Sun by Bike (Flying Nun Records) (1996)

Andrew Brough had limited creative input in his previous band the Straitjacket FitsHowever he was responsible for penning arguably their most critically acclaimed track and certainly their biggest commercial success, in the atypically melodic, Down In Splendour as well as the equally superb Sparkle That Shines.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

An Interview with Linda Karlsberg of In Deed

Regular janglepophub readers will know of my absolute adoration for Swedish Brit/Janglepop act    In Deed and their October 2017 release Everest (Link to album review here)

As such I got all sorts of 'fanboy delighted' when vocalist Linda Karlsberg kindly agreed to a Q&A in which she reveals information about her melancholic persona, badger loving guitarists, a love of the Wedding Present, humble mail order beginnings and the best summation of the digital/vinyl conundrum I have heard yet.

Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to present to you the lovely unassuming, Linda Karlsberg (below):

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

EP Review: The Regrets by The Regrets (2016) (Self released)

I first came across Seattle band The Regrets when a friend sent me a link to their cover of The Smiths 'These Things Take Time'. Although it has nothing to do with the reviewed EP, brilliance supersedes article protocol and it is posted anyway (see below).

Strangely enough 'The Smiths reason' why I checked this  EP culminated in a false, but ultimately meritorious dawn, as The Regrets utilize numerous non-Smiths styles from in and around the fringes of jangle-pop, rooting them to the vocal ambidexterity of front man Joel Azose and to 1960's melodic pop sensibilities, before encasing them in with the extra allure of very subtle fuzz.

As such the EP adroitly promulgates several different jangle-pop nuances in its short tenure. Initially those that like the more traditional clean cut jangle purveyed by recent favourites such as SkytoneThe Jangle Band, The Legal Matters et al, will the brilliance of a track like Make it Right (see below).

                                                                                                                                                                    However is not in the subtle shifts on the traditional that they truly excel. This is when they add their own flirtations to various other jangle schematics, as reflected in the Horsebeach style echo of What Can I Say and the Albert Hammond Jnr style riffage of the true standout, Always, And Never Again (see below).                                

Monday, 15 January 2018

Where Are The Strange People by KiDD (2017) (Label: Pretty Olivia Records)

An unexpected bonus of writing this blog is to share a little bit of cyber space with a few of my heroes who follow me on social media.

One of these kind souls is Stuart Kidd who has performance credits with bands such as BMX Bandits (current band), Primary 5, Dr Cosmos Tape Labs and Daniel Wylie's Cosmic Rough Riders and more recently a critically acclaimed project with The Wellgreen. In effect Mr Kidd has been a purveyor of fine, around the fringes jangle-pop for nearly 15 years and any release promises pedigree.

He did not disappoint. Initially there is a lo-fi/bedroom pop chic (juxtaposed with the most subtle inflections of psych) aesthetic that defies the normal wallowing introspection that often accompanies such genres. However Kidd is not using this album in true lo-fi style to express just how intensely bad his life is or how evil his parents were for once refusing to let him have a rabbit and this in itself starts the album with a notable and refreshingly different nuance.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Readers Choice Playlist (December 2017)

Hello everyone and thanks for visiting janglepophub.

Welcome to the first of a monthly series of JangleJukebox playlists featuring all 59 tracks featured in our #dailyjanglepop series posted on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr

The playlist has three parts:

1)  Top 20 readers engagements... as chosen by the janglepophub readership... clever IT fellas let me pay for a program which calculates the 7 day social media engagement rates of all #dailyjanglepop posts.

2)  All other featured tracks (those that did not make the top 20...but will still be great !)

3)  Editors Top 10 - janglepophub's favourites from all the tracks featured below (marked with an asterix (*)

Album Review: Evelyn by Vestiges (2017) (Self released)

Usually at the start of a review it would be customary to introduce the members of the Vestiges and say a bit about their history. However their is little time...having read reviews regarding the singles from the album I want to fend off an attack from ambient types and their fluffy dream-like, dreamy, dream-pop references. It is time to plant the jangle-pop flag in West London sand and claim these brilliant youngsters as our own.

So how can we claim Evelyn as 'ours'? Initially the trivialities. The cover art (see above) rejects the usual dream-pop gossamer pink hued indecipherable pictures associated with dream-pop and gives us the clean lines of what is very obviously a house.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Album Review: Other Towns Than Ours by Last Leaves (2017) (Labels: Matinee Recordings / The Lost & Lonesome Recording Co.

Albert Einstein, he of mad hair, even madder eyes and (should have been) committed genius, is widely attributed as stating:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

Accordingly, upon news that three quarters of The Lucksmiths were reforming working upon Marty Donald songs (the previous main songwriter) my initial excitement was tinged with trepidation.After all the only obvious personnel/musical changes were that Noah Symonds (ex-Great Earthquake) was replacing Tali White on drums and the already familiar voice of Donald was now the main vocals. Could things be different? Had their moment gone? Would anybody care this time around?

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Les Fradkin Guitar Showcase

The old adage of you can do anything if you 'really' want to (can't you just see your parents/sports coach/teacher's neck sinews strain slightly as they place sincere emphasis on reeeeaaaaalllyyy?)  is absolute nonsense.

After hearing my fathers recordings, particularly on our annual ten hour journeys to Cornwall in the late seventies (for those not from the UK, this is the only place in our 'sceptred isle' that affords holidaymakers the remote possibility of a glimmer of sunshine) there was no one I 'really' wanted to be other than Les Fradkin (or a bat catcher...another story altogether).

So when I got my first paid job, my initial purchase was a guitar and lessons. In true Bryan Adams style I played 'until my fingers bled' for approximately seven years. At this point mutual teacher/pupil consensus concluded that I was to the guitar, what Donald Trump is to race relations. It was a constant battle of opposites.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Fake Compilations, Vol.1. - The Best of the Magic Bullets (2004-2011)

The Magic Bullets were a San Francisco based anglophile band who enticed our aural senses between 2004-2011.

Their committed anglophile musical tendencies took several definitive shifts during their seven year tenure. Their earliest work seen on the Young Man's Fancy and the A Child but in Life Yet A Doctor in Love albums saw them offer everything that was spiky about the British post-punk era Gang Of Four / Talking Heads aesthetic. The jangle-pop is extremely limited but it is a skilled post-punk effort.

The 2009 Lives for Romance (EP), saw the band start to hit their jangle-pop stride as their first musical shift materialised with all things post-punk being usurped for a The Smiths affectation. Vocally Philip Benson becomes all things Morrissey except for the yodel histrionics and the guitar work becomes a Johnny Marr arpeggio sound.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Album Review: JangleWaves by Skytone (2017) (Label: The Beautiful Music)

In a previous mid 2000's incarnation I received an album to review from the management of a pop-rock band from somewhere in deepest poshest southern England. Despite my eventually unpublished denigrating review (so much for review integrity, I never worked for that magazine again!) The Feeling went on to release five albums between 2006 and the present day.

My disdain probably stemmed from the fact that they were so different from the Postcard influenced indie rock bands dominating the era. Not for The Feeling the crisp twanging guitar influence of Josef K or The Fire Engines. No, there influences were all things kitsch in 80's pop rock music and I mean all things.

A couple of months later I suddenly felt the need to play the album again after one of their tracks suddenly launched a spirited and viscous ear-worm attack.. Six months later many of the other tracks had proceeded to pursue me in the same manner and the album had remarkably become an essential companion on my two hours of daily commutes.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

EP Review: The Backyard by Miracle Legion (1984) (Incas Records)

I remember a wise man, one simply too brilliant for name recollection, penning 'that if all the praise about R.E.M were true, they would be Miracle Legion'.

Indeed the finest Connecticut offered, was the band 'that mate', who just had to be different to everyone else (just out of sheer cussedness and a need to exercise their self-proclaimed heightened sense of individuality) used to proclaim preference for from the US College Rock scene.

Such au contraire types were desperate to differentiate between the two bands, usually dismissing R.E.M as too commercial in the absence of any other definitive explanation.

In fact the opposite was true. Miracle Legion released this EP, then sauntered off touring in the UK signing for Rough Trade while R.E.M remained with the relatively small I.R.S label in a bid to retain artistic control.

However, that really is the only fundamental difference. Miracle Legion have the same liquid chord structures as R.E.M and Mark Mulcahy had amazingly similar vocal stylistics, albeit a tad deeper than Stipes allowing him to handle the moody Everybody Hurts type tracks that both bands were capable of producing. However the difference was essentially very subtle.

Friday, 5 January 2018

EP Review: Copies Fading by Faux Canada (2017) (Self Released)

Despite exuding the unfettered masculinity of a thousand Trojan warriors (not) I cannot help feel motherly towards San Francisco based, Faux Canada. Like a doting matriarch, I have been keeping a very close eye on them for a number of their formative musical years, hoping nothing goes wrong and that they develop their full potential.

Initially there was a tear in my eye observing  trembling baby steps with the 2013 debut release, Exploding Secret Laughter EP. I could see that the muted jangle in this release was abundant with childlike potential but, as is the way with toddlers, their sense of direction was not fully formed as they clumsily bumped around with strange electronic bloopage in their tracks.

Their bruised bums began to heal with their next single release, The Day We Became Houseguests / Hooray This Projector (2014). Here their musical muscles began to develop to some extent, reducing the need to hold onto the electronic musical hand rail and just becoming more confident in their musical movement. There was still some strange French popisms apparent, but they were now becoming engulfed by a less toddler like physique that was asserting a definitive personality.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Documentary Review - REM: Out of Athens produced by Ken Sweeney (RTE Radio)

Producer Ken Sweeney is plainly a R.E.M fan. You can just feel it in his voice as he narrates the links between interviews with band members and Athens 'scenesters' in this hour long documentary (Soundcloud link of full documentary below). Perhaps this enthusiasm is engendered from a heightened appreciation of the R.E.M craft arising from his time spent as the front man for early 90's Dublin jangle-pop band, Brian (Click here for Brian bio).

His is a genuine infectious enthusiasm that hints at all things fanboy without crossing that line into 'gushing' (one of my biggest documentary/interview pet hates) as he delivers a superbly sequenced series of anecdotes that offers plenty for both the most committed R.E.M fan to those that have just began to take an interest in the four piece from Athens.

Album Review: Everest by In Deed (2017) (Label: Open Mind Records)

Despite a 16 year hiatus since their debut release  (2001's critically acclaimed At 4000 Meters) Everest shows that the passage of time has not diminished a style that flutters effortlessly between the polar opposites of 60's Byrdsian jangle-pop and mid 90's Britpop.

In my opinion their are two areas where this album/band excels. Initially the jangle inflected tracks of Five Times A Day, Don't Need Don't Care and According to You (see below) are beautiful examples of Linda Karlsberg's providing the melodic impetus that enables the fluttered drums of Marcus Seversgard and the unobtrusive melodic guitar work of Richard Ohrn to weld together in tracks that show the modern need to add reverb and echo to anything potentially pretty is massively overrated.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Album Review: Love Junky by The Popguns (1995) (Label: 3rd Stone Records)

Perhaps events conspired against The Popguns preventing the critical acclaim and commercial success that a quality album like Love Junky deserved?

Initially they were significantly late arrivals to a departed scene. Tracks such as Star (see below) and Second Time Around, show lead singer Wendy Morgan (nee Pickles) as the absolute antithesis of all things fey that the female vocalists were offering via Sarah Records.

If not ever aggressive, Morgan's vocals were loud, dominant and were the foundation and thrust to the jangling, chiming guitars that shimmered obediently in the background. Effectively if this album had been released 6-7 years earlier they may well have ridden on the Australian Triple J band wagon as their sound was so similar, despite their overt 'Brighton Britishness'. They were certainly conformable with the likes of Falling Joys and The Clouds. Unfortunately by the time of release in 1995 the British youth were now more concerned in taking sides in the Blur/Oasis hissy-spat and their moment was lost.