Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Single Review: Vodkas by Tennis Club (2018) (self released)

There was a fair bit of love for the eponymous Tennis Club debut album among janglepophub readers when it was reviewed here earlier in the year. 

As such we are delighted to hear that Missouri based Winston Hernandez and his revolving panel of drummers (this time producer Sean O'Dell is on the sticks) are working on new material for an album due out in early 2019.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Single Review: Every Story is a Ghost Story by The BV's

At what point should a band show off? At what point should they cast aside any modicum of modesty and think to themselves 'we are perhaps the dog danglies'?

Releasing a critically acclaimed EP and album, being signed by a Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten label that houses the likes of The Luxembourg Signal (who they then toured with), Pale Lights and Jetstream Pony, getting to release this lovely vinyl 7" out of 'we only deal in musical cool' Cloudberry Records and sharing a stage at the 2018 Madrid Popfest with the likes of the BMX Bandits, might be construed as a signal to internally scream 'You Da Man'...especially if all the above happens within a couple of years of starting the band.

Monday, 22 October 2018

EP Review - Clearlake Revisted by James Dean Driving Experience (1989) (Plastic Head Records Limited)

James Dean Driving Experience did not quite fit with the very exact times of the late 1980's and as such missed out on the critical acclaim that they undoubtedly deserved.

There was just nothing definitive about their sound and as such they somehow seemed to play in the divide between being the greatest Sarah Records band that the Bristolian label never signed and arriving just that couple of years to late to capitalize on the mid 1980's jangle-pop heyday that was morphing into Madchester just as they were releasing their best work.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Single Review: The Smile (orig.edit) by Lewsberg (2018) (Self Released)

Arie van Vliet and his Rotterdam based four piece Lewsberg have been the subject of much gushing love from janglepophub over the last year. especially in relation to their eponymous, self released debut album that we reviewed earlier in the year here.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Album Review - Feelings by The Future Dead (2015) (Gnar Tapes)

I have a little five year old daughter. She is the apple of my eye. She also has two elder brothers whose level of protection towards her is so vehement that I genuinely do worry for any future beau, when, at the age forty, daddy (might) finally lock away his shotgun and let her date (a pastor, chaperoned by daddy/brothers for the initial three years).

Monday, 15 October 2018

Readers Choice Playlist (Sept 2018)

September 2018 saw Janglepophub feature 122 tracks on our album reviews / #dailyjanglepop series on our various social media sites. These covered a vast array of janglepop nuanced tracks from the 980/00/10's.

The Top 20 (see below) is decided purely by the 7 day engagement rates of the janglepophub readership on our various social media sites including blog link clicks.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

EP Review - Object by Seventeen and the Berlin Wall (Self Released) (2018)

As a kid I had a plastic kaleidoscope. In fact I had several over my very earlier years. Like a miniature Captain Pugwash I would thrust one end to my eye and lethargically twist the other end to unleash an array of psychedelic shapes and patterns straight into the as yet unfettered innocence of imagination. I loved them because I could get lost in them. They added impetus to my general ADHD day dreams. They added beauty.

This release gives me the same wondrous feeling for it is good shoegaze and good shoegaze can provide a beauty that enables your mind to drift off and explore the cracks and crevices of its soul, just like a kid gazing into a myriad of rock pools and thinking they have seen something that eventually was not there. 

Initially the 1st half of the album piles on this aesthetic. Reminding of the sweeter moments of the James Hanna / Asobi Seksu arsenal of the mid 2000's, the general sound is a wall of guitars upon which is layered gradually increasing levels of intensity and the sort of musical bells and whistles that might persuade people to use a post-rock tag if it was not for the fact that somehow the wall never veers from the overtly melodic.

All of the three opening tracks have the same sense of the beautifully disarranged as if someone had re-engineered the general shoegaze aesthetic by taking the sound apart and then putting it back together in a vastly different, ultimately better order. The best of these tracks is undoubtedly Vision (see below), with its strange ever increasing intensity that  somehow emerges even without any obvious tempo change. Like the kaleidoscope this tracks just takes me places with its trance like tendencies. It provides the most beautiful company when fostering a day dream.


Similarly  Spiral,  has the same hypnotic reverie, with its droning thrummed guitar work depicting the best of Hush era Kula Shaker (have they been forgiven for being too posh yet by the British public yet?). If it was not so perfectly invasive on the senses it may well be perfect meditative music.

However, it is in the second half of the album that the excellence transcends to more exalted climes and increasingly satisfies my life long need for high end melody. Here the tracks attempt to increasingly negate the shoegaze vibe. It is most definitely still there but the guitar riffs are simply too accentuated, too beautiful and too jangled and dominate the shoegaze maelstrom with the sort of beauty that bands such as The Luxembourg Field or The BV's provide in abundance.

The best of the three tracks and indeed the true stand out of the album, is the jangled beauty that is Scene (see below). I have been critical of the increasing movement towards what the kids call janglegaze these days, in previous reviews. However when a band gets things right within this sub genre to jangle-pop / shoegaze the effects are truly wonderous. This track gets its 'very right' as the previous mentioned musical kaleidoscope has the clarity of Real Estate style jangle-pop interlacing the 'gaze' foundation to provide a musical soundscape that totally enthralls.


I know very little about this band other than they are a young four piece from Tokyo. However that is really not a problem as their music gives me time, space and impetus to create their characters !

Beautiful stuff.

Artist Links


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Album Review: Paraparlor by Sharesprings (2018) (Dismantled)

Sharesprings are from Jakarta in Indonesia and are backed by Indonesian label Dismantled. Immediately the condescending first world Brit in me wants to like them just because they are from somewhere that is so far from the usual tired and furrowed western musical paths. I want to consider them the plucky underdog who have overcome not being at the main centres of the musical universe to produce a 'worthy' album. I sicken myself.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Album Review - Canary Island Breakfast by Airport (2018) (Self Released)

Just over two years after their sublime Slow Decline of an Evening Herald debut album should have wiggled the beauty receptors of way more people, the Portland four piece that are Airport are back to provide yet more 'stunning'.

Simultaneously difficult to place yet endearingly familiar, this albums sees a continuation of the bands usage of the two primary aesthetics that were seen on the debut. Initially there is still the beautiful female croon of Rachel Zakrasek that conditions the longer tracks such as Line By Line (see below), I Disappear and Eagle Cases with a sense of sultry beauty that reminds me of an indie-pop version of Cat Power. It is all slightly illegible breathless sensuality which is accentuated by the slightly hazy surf pop riffs that are wrapped around the laconic core.

However, it is in the adoption of the second musical stylistic that the album truly excels. Here the sultry haze of the longer tracks are consumed by a more clear precise indie-pop sound enabling the jangle-pop to start to breathe. Tracks such as Sober, the album's lead single Go On, Andi, Chasing and the true stand out of the album in Candy Cane (see below) adds a sparsity and transparency to both the Camera Obscura style Tracyanne Campbell vocal stylistics and the thin almost tinny, yet gloriously jangled riffs, to produce a sound that is as enchanting as it is exclusively Airport.

It could be that after two albums with the same beautiful aesthetic that Airport may decide they need a somewhat different direction n future releases? However with a current sound that incorporates elements of indie-pop, jangle-pop and dream-pop in it's beautiful whole, I hope they stifle the temptation for a while longer and consider the sum of the parts as enough.

Artist Links

Friday, 5 October 2018

Album Review: Vauxhall and I by Morrissey (1994) (Parlophone)

Without doubt this was the most personal album that Morrissey had released since the debut album by 'The Smiths' over 10 years earlier gave clues about the shaping of his sexuality as an adolescent.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

EP Review - 378 Vol 2 by The Bascinets (2018) (Self Released)

In my decidedly working class upbringing clever people were overly revered. Anyone who read a lot was something of an academic demi-god to my lot. My Mum used to clean for an old WW1/2 army Captain who had books to the 'top of the ceiling' and was apparently 'extremely well read'. Similarly my Dad had the same boss for several decades who he laughed at for being too posh, but still adored because he too 'was extremely well read'. Reading was just really impressive to our sort and gave you the highest of social credence.

Despite being imbued with qualifications coming out of every orifice myself these days, there is still that council estate kid in me that wants to give head bowed deference to all that is clever, to all who are 'extremely well read' .

This EP (a swift follow up to the equally superb 378 Vol 1, reviewed here) gives me that feeling as it is plain to see that this band, despite their tender years, are 'extremely well listened', with all of these 5 tracks visiting a different jangle-pop inference.

Initially the opener Bikes (see below), has a musical foundation portraying the sort of chopped up, withdrawn atmospherics of any number of Dunedin Sound type bands, with perhaps the distant slightly vacant production of earliest The Bats or The Clean being the most potent reference point. Ultimately the clarity and depth of the jangled guitar riffs adds more shine to the Dunedin vibe giving it a definitive sense of originality.

The second track is a somewhat harder to place but definitely the most fun whilst trying to do so. There is that modern take on the 1960's, laconic bouncing jangled melodies that the current artist Super 8 is excelling in at present. However this introductory vibe is gradually commandeered by a modern Paisley Underground aesthetic that has notes of both Rain Parade and more specifically The Long Ryders.

The darker dank jangling atmospherics of indie rock bands such as DIIV or RVG is the next influence to be visited. All chunky bass lines mixed with lucid threads of jangled riffs, this track touches at the points where post-punk stopped and the jangle-pop movement started in the mid to late 1980's. In an EP that visits so many fringe jangle-pop nuanced musical strata, this type of track is absolutely essential to this release in terms of completeness.

The EP finishes with a visit to two more modern jangle-pop citations. The stand out track of the release, Harold In Conversation see below), hoists itself into brilliance with the juxtaposition of Holy Tunics style uptempo jangled riffs (although any number of Brooklyn bands could be the reference) to a manic almost The Cure screeched vocals. Vocally it is extremely different to anything they have ever done before, but somehow the newly found lack of vocal control is tailored to 'weird perfection'.

The closing track is all things Nap Eyes. Soft wistful vocals delivering soft wistful melancholy whilst the most beautiful jangled chords are woven into the fabric. Somehow this track is almost expected at the end of a hitherto frenetic release and the sense of down tempo undoubtedly completes a journey of much of their favourite music.

I have been unabashed and unashamed in my total adoration of this band for a couple of years now and a) there is nothing in this release to change that stance and b) I will keep on about them until you all listen !

Artist Links

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

EP Review - EP by National Carpet (2006) (Self Released)

I once watched a documentary on one of the 17 squillion channels that our cable TV subscription provides. This in itself was quite an achievement as it meant that I had somehow wrestled the TV remote from the clutches of either my kids or wife, thus sparing me from cartoons and other assorted juvenile enticements, as well as the sort of reality TV shows that sees 'Pets win Houses' or chronicles the highly 'interesting' shenanigans of young people getting drunk, swearing a lot and eventually revealing high sex drives with assorted partners, who they eventually marry and quickly divorce...repeat on loop.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Album Review - REPO FAM by REPO FAM (2018) (Gentle Reminder Records)

Repo Fam is the latest solo project of Michelle La Pena who could be relied upon to go all manner of ballistc crazy behind the keyboards for avant garde Washington DC punk rock band the Foul Swoops.  The band are a beguiling mix of weird and unhinged and La Pena more than held her own in such aberrant company.

EP Review - Proper by Athensville (2018) (Self Released)

This debut EP from Philadelphia based Athensville, superbly celebrates the period between the mid 80's and very early 90's and effectively catalogues a journey whereby new wave morphed into jangle-pop, before eventually being consumed by all things college rock.