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Schnauser - Irritant

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Madness, they call it madness...
In my fevered imaginings I would like to think that the annoyingly over-capable DIY Sturmführer Dick Strawbridge, he of the unfeasibly humungous moustache and loveable teddy bear persona was playing the Midi-kazoo for Schnauser, the wonderfully strange yet cuddly combo from Bristol, as they cavort around the stage playing Have You Got PPI?, a particularly loose-limbed number from their fabulously tumescent new album Irritant. In my peculiar fantasy, Dick looks proudly over to his son, guitarist and singist Alan as he belts out the wonky wonderfulness that comprises Schnauser’s weird yet perfectly self-contained universe, as strange tiny creatures synchronously writhe about in Dad's bristling upper lip hair monster.
In other news it turns out that "We are the brainworm" as the Nutty Boys play klezmer, and enquiries are made by chanting girl choruses asking "Have You Got PPI?" while a craftily purloined cheesy synth line from Bow…

faUSt - Fresh Air

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"All we need...is fresh air in our brain" declaims the propulsive opening title track to this driven and tribal album, recorded on a tour of the USA in 2016, and Faust...or is it faUSt..., the rhythmic engine room of Krautrock are back on my radar after an absence of some years.

Seems like I have some catching up to do, as true to their anarchic spirit, there appears to be two versions of the band currently in existence. The version we find here, spelling themselves faUSt, no doubt after their long American connection, are steered by bassist and singer Jean Hervé-Peron ("jhp.art-terrorist") and drummer Werner Diermaier ("Zappi"). They are the most active of the two versions, having released a handful of albums since 2009, and they tour fairly regularly.

Fresh Air kicks off with the mammoth title track, which for the first half of its length is a dreamy synth-led ambient wander through a Polish translation of part of a work by French poet, painter, musicia…

Juxtavoices - Warning: May Contain Notes

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Warning: May Contain Notes is the third release from Sheffield-based Martin Archer's Juxtavoices, described by Martin, quite succinctly I feel, as an "antichoir". While the largest proportion of the strange collage of sounds emanating from this CD derives from the large ensemble of human voices, this is not choral work in traditional sense.

If you arrive at this album having never heard Juxtavoices before, you may well be shocked, but also hopefully intrigued by its sheer otherness to indulge its excesses for a while. I am lucky for I knew what to expect, having already experienced their first album Juxtanother Antichoir From Sheffield some four years ago.

Juxtavoices is a large conglomerate of singers and performers from the Sheffield avant music and arts scene, and it includes both trained and untrained voices. Although the pieces they perform are scripted, the finer details of the works are improvised, with whistles, chattering, moans, whoops and hollers coming at you…

The Fierce And The Dead - Field Recordings

The new album from Rushden musical sensation The Fierce And The Dead was going to be called That'll Lern Ya, Me Ol' Booty, but Bad Elephant label boss 'Ard Man Elliott weren't havin' none o'that, me duck, o no. Mr Elliott, issuing dictats from his lair down in That London weren't havin' no peasants 'avin ideas above their station, and so the more prosaic and cash register-friendly Field Recordings it is.

Last summer, after taking a wrong turn on the way to the Ceynty Teyn to buy a sheep, Farmer Stevens and his ragtag bobtail hayseed dixies ended up at some noisy fair goin' by the name o'Ramblin' Man where they thought they may as well set up stall to display their wares. As we all know, this involves making a mighty fine racket with them electric guitars, amplifiers, and pedal thingies.

But...there was a problem. Just before they mounted the stage, an almighty argument ensued over the ownership of the last bar of Crunchie in the bottomle…

The Bob Lazar Story - Baritonia

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You do realise that yesterday the owner of Everton FC bought the Liver Building, and the Liver Birds will be painted a rightful and justified Royal Blue, to go with our new ground nestling by the Royal Blue Mersey don't you? It's enough for those folk over at Big Stand FC to get their unwashed boxers in a twist.

...sorry, we have to take our small pleasures where we can. Now, where was I? Oh yes, the new album by Christchurch, NZ based ex-pat Scouser and Mad Koppite Matt Deacon and his American drummist buddy Chris Jago, who record under the name The Bob Lazar Story. Firstly, who was "Bob Lazar", and what is his "Story"? Whomsoever he may be, and whatever be his story (Ed's note - summat to do with UFOs...have you not heard of Google, ya lazy bugger?), this latest chapter entitled Baritonia is more than worthy of your attention, and it is more than fitting that this disparate "band" have ended up on that amorphous collective based in That Lon…

A collection of misfits and awkwardness...

Permanently snowed under with review downloads, sometimes you need a good virtual enema to clear out the crap...so here's a collection of shorties. some by guest reviewers:

Dr Watson's Sphincter Assignment - Blessed Are The Proctologists

Based in a hut halfway up Mt Snowdon, these Welsh sheep worriers occasionally come down the mountain to gather in a studio to make incomprehensible noise with acoustic instruments, including the Swansea Nose Flute, the aluminium beat box (otherwise known as "a bucket"), primal shouting, banjos and an acoustic guitar with an action that would snap the fingers of lesser men. One track consists of singist Dai Ovine-Evans-Williams screaming "Arse!" in five different local dialects over guest Steve Hackett's coruscating solo, on a loop. Matt Stevens was never like this.

Roger McNasty


Blinkywinky Possibility - Me, A Flower

Blinkywinky was once known as Susan Chives, which apparently was her real name until she changed it by dee…

The MOJO CD - Pigs Might Fly

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With a sub-title of "MOJO Presents A Compendium of Progressive Sounds", how could I resist a deeper look into the latest cover-mount CD from probably the best mainstream music magazine here in the UK? Ostensibly compiling tracks that MOJO claim are inspired by the progressive spirit of Pink Floyd's Animals album, a mere 40-years old this year, the cover note rightly makes the distinction between "progressive" and the sometimes pejorative
term "prog".



So far, so good...let's take a look to see what they have come up with...


Public Service Broadcasting - The Other Side
Last year's flavour of several months, the prog PSB never quite resonated with me. While individual tracks work well enough, like this pleasant synth melody underneath the soundtrack of Mission Control and Apollo 8 losing communication and then regaining it, as that first manned flight around the Moon disappears round the dark side and then re-emerges, the album as a whole may pro…