Friday, 25 May 2018

EP Review - Four Stories by The Soft City (2012) (Calico Cat)

Love the Pale Lights? Wish you could find more music or a similar nature? Have searched high and low with fruitless fervour for something that will satisfy your lust for their inimitable salacious jangle? Well look no further ladies and gentlemen, for your search may well have ended with this band, which is PL founder Phil Sutton's (ex Comet Gain, Kicker, Cinema Red and Blue and Velocette) previous band, where the similarities in aesthetic are striking on both the self titled album (2010) and even more so on this superb four track EP (2012).

Album Review: The Astonishing Rise of Charlie Tipper by Arrest! Charlie Tipper (2018) (Breaking Down Recordings)

Arrest! Charlie Tipper could be considered as something of jangle/indie-pop 'super group', having been formed from ex-members of notable bands such as The Flatmates, Groove Farm, Forest Giants and Beatnik Allstars. It is perhaps because of their past achievements that the band have had a bit of fun with the music industry and changed their name three times since 2015 using various different 'Charlie Tipper' variants. As it states it their bio, they did so because 'they can'.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

EP Review - Town Runner by Make Sure (2017) (Self Released)

I came to Make Sure in a somewhat perverse way. Seduced by the laconic hazy jangle-pop of the Summerooms 2 album, When the Summer is Over (2017), I searched the internet for more of the same from the same singer-songwriter, Joshua Aubrey Jackson. As such it came as something of a surprise to find that his work under this Make Sure moniker (he has also released work under the name Fiery Crash which I have yet to hear) is considered his primary project and all else secondary.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Album Review - Up on the Sun by Meat Puppets (1985) (SST Records)

Despite a vast back catalogue encompassing 14 albums over the 35 years+ since their self-titled debut in 1982 (which still remains an essential listen after all these years) it is only really the Meat Puppets II album that has ever really solicited the sort of widespread critical acclaim the band deserves. However, in my 'humble' but ultimately correct opinion, it is this, their next album, that truly deserves the most widespread plaudits.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Album Review - Broken Biscuits by Corin Ashley (2017) (Murray Hill Records)

In the late 1980’s / early 1990’s I had a bit of a crush. Not a crush in the way that teenage kids get all besotted about similar spotty youths and plaster their bedroom walls with all manner of memorabilia, but a crush that was a tad more subtle and merely involved ensuring I watched as much Dawson Creek and the goregeous Katie Holmes as possible, before she was eventually whisked away on the wings of a scientology space ship by a man who was old enough to be ...well me actually.

Other than my appreciation of the sheer unadulterated svelte, teeny-tiny cuteness of Miss Holmes, the other notable thing about Dawson’s Creek was that the cloying teenage angst story-lines were accentuated by a surprisingly eclectic soundtrack of largely left-field music within each episode. As such one particular episode (I think someone had been bullied, dumped or had got sick on alcopops for the umpteenth squillionth time) led me to all things Corin Ashley as  I hunted down a 2001 track played in an episode called Spork by an early 2000’s power-pop band called The Pills, in which he performed lead guitar, vocalst and song writing duties for.

This in turn has led me to become something of a devotee of Ashley’s solo projects and in my opinion this album is his strongest work yet. Initially the album opens with a very The Pills like track in Little Crumbles, although it has far more layers of melodies in the back ground that successfully fight their way through the organised mayhem that typifies the best of power-pop. However with the exception of my favourite track, the erudite but massive Broken Biscuit #6 – The Cookie Crumbles (see below), this is a raucous exception to an album which has far more concentrated melodic sensibilities than his previous solo releases.

As such the fulcrum of this album revolves around that The Beatles off centre, skew pop essence. It is a sound that can make you sound silly if it is not done with enough hap-hazard attention to ramshackle detail so that it is does not sound at all processed. 

As is usually the case with this consummate professional a number of tracks, especially the sublime Eleanor Rigby-esque Edison’s Medicine (see below) and the Strawberry Fields essence of Broken Biscuits #9: Plaster and Pins somehow manage to get the ratio between the muted under production that Martin Newell / The Cleaners From Venus excel in, whilst at the same time letting the clarity of the mid-tempo Beatles-esque melodies be omnipotent.

The brilliance of the album is all the more startling considering the fact that Ashley, despite only being in his late 40’s, was unfortunate enough to suffer a stroke in 2015 which left him paralysed down the left hand side and unable to sing. The fact that the remaining half of this album was completed after he has spent a year recuperating and learning how to use his left arm and sing again, is testament to the strength of the man and his genuine love for music. A love that is felt coursing through every note of every track on this album.

Artist Links

Album Review - 2 Steps from the Middles Ages by Game Theory (1988) (Enigma Records)

In the post-The Smiths final few years of the late 1980's, there was a uniformity to jangle-pop. Many American bands were joining the R.E.M / Miracle Legion / Pylon college rock party just  too late and swathes of British/Irish bands such as The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Frank and Walters, The Chesterfields, The Mock Turtles, 1000 Yard Stare and the The Corn Dollies were enjoying the new post Morrissey / Post-Punk licence to provide non-suicide jangle. Even Half Man Biscuit Half Biscuit were augmenting the total irreverent irrelevance of their pop-culture diatribes with the sounds of the era's jangle-pop.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Album Review - It Ain't Me Babe by The Turtles (1965) (White Whale Records)

In the mid 60's there were three prevailing trends:

1.  Early hit single? Yes? Release an album out as soon as humanly possible Earning potential was the most important consideration.

2.  Not enough album ready songs to release the above album? Worry not...Call 1960's super-hero Bob Dylan to save the day with a plethora of his 'cover ready' folk tracks. He was effectively 'CoversMan'.

3.  Be a bit jangly like The Byrds.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Album Review - The Catherines by The Catherines (2018) (Mondo Canape Records)

A band with the name The Catherines whose chosen album art is a black and white 1960's photograph of a quintessentially British looking lady, appearing to look a tad resigned and wistful  (it is generally the same aesthetic for much their album art and videos) really should mean the band is a) a bit British b) does all things pretty and c) is female fronted. They should really sound like The Sundays. Then all would be well in the musical universe as all rules would be observed.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Album Review - Out of Time by R.E.M (1991) (Warner Bros)

Out of Time was the most commercially successful of all the R.E.M albums, despite being the one phase one album (i.e. their best years prior to the Up album in 1998) that certain music journalists, whose reviews include in depth analysis of guitar tabs and ‘time signatures’ (whatever they may be?), denigrated with the sort of frenzied passion usually only reserved for other multi-million sellers such as Aqua’s Barbie Girl or the Crazy Frog tune.

Fake Compilations - The Marsh Marigold Showcase (1989-2018)

Whilst all notable musical trendies in my early 1990's student days were either trying to desperately suppress their middle class privilege by wearing scruffy clothes and going crazy for obscure grunge bands or trying to accentuate their pseudo intellectualism by loving all things Sarah Records...I somehow found myself more besotted with a German label called Marsh Marigold after hearing 50 000 000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong's track Amelia. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Album Review - Think I Need The Light by Holy Now (2018) (Lazy Octopus Records)

I got married at the age of thirty. Prior to that I was a committed bachelor enjoying the simple pleasures of life such as regular gigs, beers with mates, football at the weekends and being a serial monogamist in a number of long(ish) term relationships. Several of these ended due to what certain ex-beau's referred to as my 'commitment issues'.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Album Review: NE-HI by NE-HI (2014) (Manic Static)

I listen to music a lot. I have a job that basically entails staring at a vast array of spread sheets and statistics then making decisions about what group of my staff will implement and ultimately take the blame if the decisions turn out to be wrong (for that is the joys of higher end management!). Staring at spread sheets uses little more than my eyes and the occasional flexing of a mouse finger, meaning that my ears are free to listen to about 8-10 hours of music a day within the confines of my office.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Readers Choice Playlists (April 2018)

April 2018 saw Janglepophub feature 133 tracks on our album reviews / #dailyjanglepop features on our various social media sites. These covered a vast array of janglepop nuanced tracks from the 1960's - 2018.

The top 20 is decided purely by the 7 day engagement rates of the janglepophub readership on our Facebook, and Twitter sites and on the blog links clicks (highest to lowest).

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

EP Review - Beautyness - EP (2018) (Self Released)

Beautyness are a four piece band from Minneapolis (Minnesota) consisting of front man and founder Alex Guderian, Dave Martini, Matt Rector and Tanner Gray. There sound is one of melancholic that borders on an all pervading sense of needy introspection. This aesthetic is developed by a constant alternation between the grumbling chess thumping purveyed within indie rock and a more laconic wistful early 90's dream pop stance. These two seemingly polar opposites are filled with a muted jangle-pop that is so subtle that it feels almost as apologetic as it is beautiful.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Album Review - This Town by Ta Toy Boy (2018) (Make Me Happy Records)

I have become mates with a big Afrikaaner (a Dutch speaking white South African) who lives across the road from me. He is the exact polar opposite to the limited masculinity of my 'Britishness' and revels in the fact that he can kill an elephant with one stern look and make all manner of stuff, like canoes, honey badger traps, taxidermists shops and rifles out of one of its toe bones with one hand, whilst skinning and ultimately cooking am entire buffalo on an open flame with the other. I swear he sweats pure testosterone.