Records of the Week: The Year’s Gaps

Full of good intentions, I’ve been remiss on more than one occasion in posting a review of some recent releases and re-releases so I’ll catch-up with a playlist today and a 140ish-character review of some of those albums. Enjoy.

Port Erin – Ocean Grey
80s indie given a makeover. The Fuzz… hints at Durutti Column while darkness shrouds Chaos in the Streets. Six songs of sheer delight.

Angelo de Augustine – Swim Inside The Moon
Beautifully crafted sparse acoustic pop balances against the ethereal vocals. Music to drift away from the cares of this world to. Stunning.

The Fall – New Facts Emerge
There’s something reassuring about The Fall; Mark E. Smith’s barked vocals criss-cross angular guitars, proving age needn’t dull the senses.

The Strypes – Spitting Image
The pains of growing up in public. Driving r’n’b underpins the growing influence of Paisley Underground. Youthful energy swapped for melody.

The Burning Hell – Friend Army
A teaser for the upcoming album Revival Beach, the usual combination of inventive lyrical dexterity and quirky yet catchy pop sensibilities.

The Solarflares – Can Satisfy You
Fine Freakbeat from the Prisoners/Prime Movers lineage. Inside of a Dream sets the tone carried all the way through this under-rated album.

The Solarflares – That Was Then…And So Is This
A melodic outing, mature freakbeat if you like. Includes the excellent instrumental Angel Interceptor, compulsory night-out music.

Judy Dyble, Andy Lewis – Summer Dancing
Folk meets soul via psych, showcasing the gorgeous vocals of Judy Dyble and Andy Lewis’ musical influences, threads woven around a haunting organ.

The Anarchy Arias – The Anarchy Arias
The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, indeed. Never Mind This Is Bollocks ought to be the title of, ahem, classical interpretations of the Pistols.

Eric Bibb – Migration Blues
Acoustic blues fuelled by a righteous sense of injustice, Bibb weaves his tales of the downtrodden amid the bigot-driven suffering of the Deep South

Ted Leo – The Hanged Man
Eclectic and at times brutal indie punk for grown-ups. Mixed in with the strong storytelling we’ve come to expect from previous albums.

Chuck Prophet – Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
A rootsy car drive across the mid-west with the soulful voice of Chuck Prophet luring you onto a journey through rock ‘n’ roll

Organissimo – B3atles
Motown led the way in soulful covers of Beatles classics; this takes it a step further with Hammond-led lounge grooves with a smoky jazz tinge.

The Style Council – Our Favourite Shop
If you own one TSC record, this must be it. Fusion of jazz, funk & 80s blue-eyed soul with an edge in Weller’s most overtly political album

The Style Council – Cost of Loving
Patchy follow-up to Our Favourite Shop. A Woman’s Song is a gem with typical TSC fare in Heavens Above, Fairy Tales & The Cost of Loving.

The Style Council – Confessions of a Pop Group
Showcasing Weller’s diverse writing in ‘The Piano Paintings’ (side A), jazz-inflexed classical music & soulful pop of ‘Confessions’ (side B).

The Style Council – Modernism: A New Decade
Rejected by Polydor, it’s an audio photo of the house-influenced soul scene at the time. Dare one say it’s run of the mill? Do dare, do dare.


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