singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
11 January 2007
(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

Minimal. The words, the percussion, the guitar riff, everything is as stripped down as it can be, but the whole still sounds fat and strong. They probably take it all very seriously.

This record, on very fetching blue vinyl, conforms to Cassingle’s First Saxophone Conjecture, which states that there is no record in existence which employs a saxophone which wouldn’t be better without it. An often heard challenge to this is Baker Street. Without the break, the record would not exist at all, thereby improving it. QED.

Back to Cherry Lips though, and just before Bob Holness kicks in with the horn, you think it’s finished – but it hasn’t. They probably do that so when they play live it catches out people who haven’t bought the record, and the real fans can feel smug and superior.

3

I’ve never been a big Arab Strap fan, so I’m not sure why I bought this. I’m glad I did though, because it’s good. It’s supposed to be their final record, and it sounds like it. There’s a real end-of-term swansong feel to it (Cocteau Twins were good at that.) and the trumpet reminds me of the Spitting Image theme tune. Excellent

4

I don’t get this. Random kind of electronic stuff. Could be great if it’s your bag, but it does nothing for me.

2

I’ve noticed that people in London have, on the whole. much better shoes than people up here. Other than that, London is rubbish.

2

There’s a lot of rubbish indie about at the moment, and The Boyfriends are no exception. But, I like them. Yes, they sound like a slightly less capable Gene, and they probably still go to see Morrissey whenever he tours, but they’ve got good tunes, so I’m pretty happy.

3

With its “provocative” sleeve art and negative as negative can be lyrics proclaiming the final death of pop music, it would be easy to hate this. But, not only do they have good tunes, they make good points. Yes, everything can be seen as shit if looked at from the right position, and it’s so easy to give up on things that there’s almost no excuse not to. But we all know we’ll keep going back to our crackheads and our sevens. We have to.

4

This is on a lovely colour of vinyl. Clear pink, but, if you’re English and my age, you may recall the pink stuff you got to rinse your mouth with at the dentist’s. It’s like that in grooved, circular plastic form. London girls, apparently, are so hot. Well, let me tell you, some are, but there are also some right pigs. This is a bit of a pig. Frankly, I’d rather listen to The London Boys. Sleeve art by Nathan Barley.

1

I wasn’t particularly impressed with Barcelona. Over-rated in my opinion. I much prefer Madrid. (Or London. I was joking when I said it was rubbish. For “comic” effect.) Unlike the Indelicates, this is a record you want to like. There are about forty people in this group, all on the front of the sleeve, and not a looker among ‘em. (They’re also obviously from Sweden.) It’s positive and happy and clappy though, which is admirable, but it’s somehow kind of flat. You’re on their side, you want it to be great, but it isn’t quite, so you’re disappointed.

The b-side might be okay if the words weren’t awful. As it is, they are, so it isn’t. Short though, which is always nice.

2

Finally, a record with swearing in it comes with a version without swearing in it. As is well documented, I don’t like swearing in records, even tatty, shouty, enthusiastic, ace ones like this. Reminds me very slightly of Bette Davis and the Balconettes. Oh, whatever happened to them. Does anyone but me miss them? I doubt it. Now there was a band who knew how to swear in a record.

4

Wintertime Queen was a great record wasn’t it? However, since then, The Butterflies of Love have gone a bit more upbeat, a bit more boring, and got Chris Rea in on vocals. No need.

2

Comes with a sticker on the front providing an endorsement from the NME. Hmmm. Well, now they have an endorsement from the world’s least-read music website too. I’ll even try and do it in an NME style, to keep things neat.

So that’ll be “Goldfrapp on acid”; or “Ladytron meets Paul Sleaze in a crackhaüs and discusses Pet Sounds”?

And do they keep mentioning chicken?

3

I like Lucky Soul. They’re so unashamed about what they are. Here’s a band that makes The Pipettes sound modern and original, and they don’t care. They do what they want, and they do it so very well. Great sound, great look, great songs. More please.

4

This is great, because they give you a 3 inch CD in with your seven. Alas, I don’t want two copies of this weak as piss, anaemic indie. This is what Henry Rollins thought Morrissey sounded like.

1