singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
8 August 2006
(listening through speakers)Linn LP12
Linn Ittok LVII
Linn Arkiv
TAG McLaren CDT20R / Chord DAC64
TEAD Microgroove Plus
Linn Kairn
Linn LK140 (x3)
Linn Espek

There are a lot of guitar bands about at the moment. This is not, even for someone who generally likes guitar bands, necessarily a good thing.

Around, say, 1988-1991, most of the alternative music scene was bleeping. Almost everything seemed to be electronic, so guitar bands had to do something special to get noticed. We got Loveless, The Stone Roses, Dolittle, Daydream Nation, Dry, Spiderland, Transient Random Noise Bursts, and, most obviously, Where’s Me Jumper?

Now, anyone with three “mates” from “Uni?” and an expensive guitar can get two singles and an album released, and all we have to show for it is that one good Arctic Monkeys single and the continued existence of the Kaiser Chiefs.

Sennen play guitar music.

2

As I’ve said before, the older I get, the more I like country music. And, boy, am I getting older. These are on Track and Field, who’ve released some great stuff, including possibly the best single ever (you have to guess, I’m not telling you), and I think they’ve been touring with The Essex Green. So, I thought I’d give them a whirl.

They’re pretty good, I reckon, but then, what do I know? I love Neko Case, and I like Tarwater, Deep Elem, the Handsome Family, and a bunch of other independent label chancers, but is that like saying I like Italian cars when all I’ve ever seen is a Fiat Panda? Am I missing the 355s and Zondas of country? Who should I be seeking out? I’m not that mad on Garth Brooks or Rednex, if that helps.

3

The name is straight out of Nathan Barley, and the sleeve has a big teabaggy splat on it, which I don’t like. Like Nathan Barley and teabags, it’s a bit modern for my comfort. There are four URLs on the back of the sleeve for goodness’ sake, and you never got that with In The Red or Sarah. The music is odd. Scratchy guitar, all over the place bass, “Trombone performed by Dave’s Dad, Harold”. You’ll like this, it’s good

4

I normally wouldn’t have bought this because Clearlake are boring, right? Boring. They even waste a good name that would have far better suited a band who sound like Labradford or Codeine. But, it got a good recommendation, so I gave it a whirl.

The records I buy blind these days tend to fall into three main categories. Countryish, Arctic Monkeyish, or sixtiesish, and It’s Getting Light Outside is the last of those - a classy Joe Meek-ish pop tune. Soaked in reverb this could have been a killer. It’s still pretty good though, even if the b-side is boring.

4

Sleeve reminds me of that 2inches thing that used to be all over Popbitch in 2000. It’s on very thick white vinyl. It sounds a bit like The Strokes. The ‘a’ has a really good end. You don’t get so many good ends. Sonic Youth always knew how to end a song. Listen to Kool Thing. Or Personality Crisis. Frank Sidebottom also. Guy knows how to finish a song. Weird b-side on this.

2

Finishing off a rather ordinary bunch. I saved this to last because I thought it would be good, but it isn’t.

They’re Swedish, so you expect top quality pop tunes, but what you get is a load of irritating whistling. And what kind of a band name is “Peter, Bjorn and John”?

I did not like this.

1