Review: Trumpets of Death – Teeth + Teeth = Teeths

Hey kids! Been a bit quiet round these parts for the last few weeks, hasn’t it? But to make up for that, here’s the first of two or three (or four if I really get my arse into gear) reviews which will hopefully tie up some of the loose ends of 2011, predictably culminating in … Continue reading

Review: Ben Butler & Mousepad – Formed For Fantasy

Ben Butler & Mousepad is the musical alias of Glasgow-based keyboardist/composer/producer Joe Howe, with the accompaniment of drummer Bastian Hagedorn. A solo project (insofar as Howe is the sole composer, and the music on offer is very much synth/electronics-driven), this is his debut album, following the promising “Infinite Capacity” EP. Howe and Hagedorn are joined … Continue reading

Review: William D. Drake – The Rising of the Lights

To those in the know, William D. Drake’s songwriting credentials have never really been in doubt. His contributions to Cardiacs, The Sea Nymphs, North Sea Radio Orchestra and others, not to mention two exquisite solo albums of quirky, psychedelic prog-pop all attest to the fact that Mr Drake certainly knows how to write a decent … Continue reading

Review: Hauschka – Salon des Amateurs

If you’re anything like me (and if you’re not, why are you reading this?) then you’ve probably heard quite a lot of music in your time. So much music in fact, that even during your self-imposed quest to explore the furthest reaches of musical oddness and originality you’ll more often than not find yourself listening … Continue reading

Review: Ensemble – Excerpts

“Beautiful” is one of those words that is so often tossed about willy and (more to the point) nilly, that it quickly loses all meaning and becomes just another cliché. Is that sunset really beautiful, or is it just unusually pink? Is that baby really beautiful or is just another shrieking heap of muck-encrusted flesh, … Continue reading

Review: A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen

Nestled somewhere near the centre of the math/noise/post-rock venn diagram, A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen is the self-titled debut from this Antwerp-based outfit, centred round guitarist Craig Ward (formerly of dEUS, amongst others) and drummer Butsenzeller (a.k.a. Geert ‘Bootsie’ Budts of DAAU, etc.). Between them they grind out a brash and exuberant brand … Continue reading

Review: ANT-BEE – Electronic Church Muzik

ANT-BEE is essentially a studio project with Billy James assembling a kind of dream-team of 60s/70s psychedelic/progressive/avant-rock veterans including former members of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band and Zappa’s Mothers of Invention as well as Peter Banks, Jan Akkerman and both Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth from Gong (this is by no means an exhaustive list, … Continue reading

Review: Led Bib – Bring Your Own

Following its Mercury Prize nomination, Led Bib’s fourth album Sensible Shoes garnered an unprecedented amount of critical acclaim from mainstream sources for an artist signed to the ever-reliable (but far from fashionable) Cuneiform label. Whilst I never fully agreed with the hype merchants who hailed them as some kind of hip new saviour of jazz, … Continue reading

Review: Jaga Jazzist – One-Armed Bandit

It is official; the world has gone topsy-turvy. Chickens are hatching into eggs, horses are riding on the backs of jockeys, the sun is orbiting the earth. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof – bands seeking a wider audience are going prog. Chicago avant-rock legends Cheer-Accident did it back in 2009 by toning down their … Continue reading

Review: Nichelodeon – Il Gioco del Silenzio

It’s hard not to be won over by “Il Gioco del Silenzio”, this Italian septet’s first studio album. Though a predominantly dark, brooding affair, it is infused with a splash of wit and charm, and exhibits a degree of macabre theatricality, all of which helps to prevent it from becoming an oppressively or overwhelmingly morose … Continue reading