singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
15 April 2006
(listening with headphones)Linn LP12
Linn Ittok LVII
Linn Arkiv
TAG McLaren CDT20R / Chord DAC64
TEAD Microgroove Plus
Linn Kairn
Sennheiser HD600

No new reviews in ages, I know. It’s not that I’ve got bored of doing it, or been too busy, but simply that I haven’t bought any records for the last couple of weeks. I go through these phases where I don’t much listen to music, and as a result I stop buying. Had to have this one though.

Starts off with people humming Abide With Me (the music you hear when you die in Wanted: Monty Mole, or when you’re about to start the Cup Final.) Kind of nice, but ultimately kind of uninteresting.

There’s something about their sound that I just like though. At the moment I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s good. On Memphis Industries, another label that insists on using those absolutely vile crinkly plastic inners that never fit in the sleeve. This does have an etched b-side, which is always fun, but usually a missed opportunity. This one is quite good.

3

I love Bearsuit, obviously, ‘cos they’re crackers. What to say about this? Sounds like Bearsuit. They start. They stop. They shout. They go too fast. They mash odd bits of song together. They even give you a fridge magnet, which now sits proudly next to my Pansy Division one. It’s good, but it’s no Itsuko Got Married. My favourite track is the first one on side two, because it’s the most mental.

3

My take on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is that they’ve made some brilliant records (Maps, Pin, Bang) but when they aren’t blowing me away, they kind of bore me. I’m afraid this is kind of boring. The b-side is good though. It’s on a picture disc, so it sounds terrible, obviously.

2

A graphic device last seen, if memory serves, on Alan Partridge’s ice-white socks.

The ‘b’ is dead good, and sounds like Bis when they were still daft and childish, with a hint of pre-smack Yummy Fur. The ‘a’, however, sounds like Dweeb, which can’t be a good thing. Another picture disc, which in no way makes up for this week’s complete lack of coloured vinyl.

3

Not your average Static Caravan release. I’d assumed this was some “clever” title for another super-cool electronic outing but no, it’s stuff done by some dude on his holidays with a banjo, singing about a refusal to enter the modern world. And it’s great! The last song sounds kind of like The Mavericks, but it’s a lovely, simple, contemplative record, spoilt only by another of those awful plastic inner sleeves. Static Caravan, shame on you. You’re old enough to know better.

4

Recommended to me by a friend who saw them at South by Southwest, they have a kind of eighties indie guitar sound (that’s from before “indie” was a dirty word), and it’s okay.

3

Oh, this one is easy to describe. Sixties girl group. Not a lot more to say. Great. Single of the week. (Not that we have one.)

5

Back when I was at University I bought a double 7 inch compilation called F–k that Weak Shit Volume 2. It was largely rubbish, but it gave us a tremendous catchphrase. (It took me thirteen years to find a copy of Volume 1, which turned out to be completely without merit.) To this day. one of my friends regularly dismisses bands like Camera Obscura and The Essex Green as “weak shit”. Pfft.

Imagine The Essex Green as a good cup of tea. Two bags for two people, five minutes in a warmed pot, a little bit of milk, no sugar. Lovely. Now we can describe Lavender Diamond as half a mug of milk topped up with hot water, then a teabag dropped in, stirred once, and removed. That’s how weak they are. Seriously. This is the weakest shit I have ever heard, and I love it. Their half of this record is so pretty, so delicate, so very fey.

I can imagine a lot of people taking a very strong objection to Lavender Diamond, but not me. This week I also bought a four track EP called Cavalry of Light, for which all the above comments and the rating also apply

5

I think Islands are something very much to do with The Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire are one of those bands, like TV on the Radio, who I want to like but just don’t get. This hasn’t done anything to change my mind. It’s a bit dull, and I hate the sleeve because it reminds me of those old Steamboat Itchy style cartoons.

2