This is the second album from this 90s influenced indie rock band from Saint-Etienne, France. While the album starts on a melancholic note reminding of the French 90s pop punk scene with “Albuzy Wings”, it gets much more exciting with the second song “Pagan Crap” that delivers some cool tight glammy rock’n’roll full of energy. These guys are into SENSELESS THINGS and MC4, it is quite obvious when hearing the guitar melodies and vocal harmonies in songs like “My Precious Friends” (you’ll hear some great Jerry Lee piano in this one) or “Eternal Sunset”. Sometimes early PLACEBO is not that far (“Out Of Time”) but the band also gets into more adventurous Britpop territories in “The Gift”, “You Got To Live” or “Half of Us” and its MANICS vibe. On the other hand, VANILLA BLUE also offers us some sunny pop punk in “Again and Again” and “In an Empty Seat.” The good surprise is the psych-punk tune “Panic” featuring POISON IDEA‘s Jerry A. “Sweetheart” is one of the catchiest songs on here and “Darker Than Blue” leaves us with a post-punk note. Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.
Richmond, VA band TOWARD SPACE has just released a new video for their new single “Modern Medicine”. This time the band takes us into a dream-like atmosphere slwoly turning int a psychotic nightmare in which groovy bass, Lynch-esque guitars and naughty nurses all meet under 80s lights and a vintage horror movie mood.
Produced by Toward Space
Alors que la plupart des artistes pop cherchent à plaire au plus grand nombre sans jamais faire la moindre vague, Morrissey a toujours manié l’art de la provocation, de l’ambiguïté et du paradoxe avec brio réussissant ainsi au fil des années à attirer autant de fans que de détracteurs. Il existe même un club d’ “ex-fans”! Le titre du livre de Nicolas Sauvage semble alors pleinement justifié même si ces 600 et quelques pages s’attardent beaucoup moins sur les scandales et sur la vie personnelle du dandy vegan mancunien que sur son imposante carrière. Chaque album y est disséqué dans les moindres détails (un gros manque dans l’autobiographie parue en 2013!), les dates y sont précises, les différents line-ups étudiés à la loupe et les citations toujours bien choisies.
La fascination du personnage pour le glam rock y est aussi largement abordée, que ce soit en ce qui concerne la fameuse légende du fan club des NEW YORK DOLLS jusqu’à leur reformation (dont Morrissey est à l’origine), son amour de T-REX, BOWIE, SPARKS et du très sous-estimé JOBRIATH, mais aussi sa collaboration avec le regretté Mick Ronson.
L’auteur avoue : “Ecrire sur Morrissey est un exercice délicat. Plus qu’avec d’autres artistes, on s’autorise à être parfois sentencieux et à se montrer systématiquement exigeant. Cette exigence, c’est Morrissey lui-même qui l’a imposée par une règle fixée tacitement.” C’est cette exigence d’une précision chirurgicale qu’on ressent tout au long de cette lecture qui réussi tout de même à tempérer certains propos du chanteur sans forcément les excuser.
Fruit d’un travail de recherche impressionnant et d’une passion entretenue de longue date, cet ouvrage vous apprendra forcément quelquechose sur The SMITHS (mais bien entendu pas la date d’une hypothétique reformation !) ou sur la carrière solo de Steven Patrick Morrissey que vous soyez fan hardcore ou juste amateur de quelques albums. Ce livre vient également enfin combler un manque évident dans la littérature pop en France. /Laurent C.
Holy smokes, my brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, if you like good music, this record is gonna shock you with it’s Replacements like greatness. It is extraordinarily, mind bogglingly good. Reminds me, some, of that Sylvain song from the Dolls reunion record, “End Of The Summer” and the Generation X song, “Heaven’s Inside” and not just thematically, but his guitar playing has become somewhat spectacular, his singing’s been perfected, the songs themselves are beautiful, he’s become an all around fantastic entertainer over these past few decades, and I can say that to you as somebody who knew him briefly in our early twenties, when we shared many of the same influences, collaborators and even common experiences. I was writing about his early work in my personal memoirs, how I remember really digging a goth demo he did called “Tombstone Radio”, and then, seeing his Manic Street Preachers influenced band, A Streetcar Named Disaster, and then, appreciating the Dimestore Haloes song, “Hot Pink Stereo”. I have not kept up with his prolific discography in recent years ’cause I been otherwise involved, but honestly, man, oh man. It’s just so good. You like Paul Collins the Beat, or Candy, or Rick Springfield, Chris Isaak, or Material Issue? This album might become one of your very favorite records. He is eclipsing some of his own former influences, at this point. “Ever Since Ever Since” is undoubtedly one of the best power pop records I’ve heard in a long time. Sensational, uplifting, energizing, it’s what you want. “One Black Summer” reminds me of my whole youth, really, the bottles we emptied, basement shows, and girls we knew who wore a lot of makeup. I think the big, right now, solid platinum hit you need to hear most urgently is called, “Endless Summer Ends”. I’m an absolute fan club, total sucker for this stuff. Just dig this right now. I dunno about you, but I really love this. Also, he has a good sense of humor, and does not take life so dead seriously like I do, and in perilous, uncertain, tumultuous, oppressive and regressive times like these, I’ve come to really respect and sincerely appreciate his work. Vive le Cheap Cassettes! /JD Misfortune.
Suzie Stapleton releases “Angel Speak” film/single, a song from her album ‘We Are The Plague.’
‘Angel Speak’ is a stripped back affair with Stapleton making a switch to acoustic guitar and her delicate vocal taking centre stage.
Stapleton filmed and edited the video herself, collecting footage through the changing seasons over the past year around her home town of Brighton. “A year,” she says, “when great beauty has shone from small things often taken for granted and passed by in the rush of life.”
Stapleton will be playing her first shows in 20 months supporting Humanist in the UK in October. She is also working on a follow up album with funding from Arts Council UK.
Suzie Stapleton -Tour Dates October 2021
Saturday 23rd – Academy 3, MANCHESTER
Monday 25th – The Prince Albert, BRIGHTON
Tuesday 26th – The Lexington, LONDON (Sold Out)
American powerpop band The POPRAVINAS are back with a 4th album. Influenced by bands like The REPLACEMENTS, they give a lot of importance to the melodies in their music as you can hear in “Do The Creep” or in “Is There Anybody, Anywhere But Here?” The POPRAVINAS also have an americana (almost country side) in songs like “Self Made Derecho” or “Fade Out.” It sometimes feels like The STONES are jammin’ with SOUL ASYLUM when you listen to “Feasibility Holdout” or “Minor Resistance” and you’ll hear a Western saloon atmosphere in “Bunkin’ In Reno”! A song like “Might Want Out” has a 90s indie vibe, you can easily picture REM playing it while “Zoom To The Ocean” and “Who Started That” both take us to 60s/early 70s California. If you look for a cool summer album with solid songwriting, then look no further! /Laurent C.
Argentinian powerpop/indie artist Juan Pablo Mazzola (AKA BABY SCREAM) has just released “Guts”, a song with a BOLAN/ALICE IN CHAINS/LENNON vibe. The end of the video includes extracts from a conversation Pablo had with a friend.
Pablo is working on a new BABY SCREAM album at the moment.
After releasing the promising EP “Standing At The End Of The World”, SPENCER ROBINSON is back and offers us this 8 song album in which you’ll hear the same dark and intimate atmospheres. “Drink Gasoline, Spit Fire” and “Killer On The Farm Tonight” set you right into this film noir meets deserted American areas mood. Sometimes, it almost feels like TOM WAITS is jammin’ with ROWLAND S. HOWARD when listening to songs like “Bleed Me”, “Take Me To The Killing Floor”, or “Enter The Void.”Although this album sounds very different froom what Spencer used to do with The LORDS OF ALTAMONT, you can still hear a few traces of 60s garage/psyche rock in “September” and in “Teenage Supernova” for instance.
The door to SPENCER ROBINSON AND THE WOLF SPIDERS‘ world has been left open, don’t be afraid… /Laurent C.