COMIC: BEN BAILEY Zombies In Brighton
A non-linear narrative that places an army of zombies wandering about in Brighton, staggering and moaning the way that zombies are wont to do, munching on limbs and generally cluttering the place up with orgiastic violence and killing. You take responsibility for your actions as you decide the path you take, all the while managing to thumb a sarcastic nose at poi, vegans, goths and gimps, until you discover if you’ve survived. Nicely written and illustrated, this is well worth a look.
ALBUM: HAMILTON YARNS Rising (Hark!)
Noodles, bleeps, muttered vocals and stark arrangements are the tools of Hamilton Yarns’ somewhat peculiar trade. There is a policy of pre-rock about the production -early electric instruments accompany these mini fables of otherworldliness; balloon rides, hilltop fires and abductions, in the slightly sinister manner of Oliver Postgate with a seriously spiked drink. It’s wilfully difficult and narrow in its potential appeal, but we like that about music a lot of the time. Oddly beautiful if only in quite short doses.
ALBUM: LOST IDOL Brave The Elements (Cookshop)
Head honcho of the Cookshop label, James Dean steps out from behind the office desk to deliver his second long player under the Lost Idol moniker following his 2006 debut. A loose filing under ‘electronica’ is probably warranted, but this in truth covers more avenues than such a cursory pigeonholing. Folk harmony vocals crop up, as do ethereal Eno-isms and rambling Lemon Jelly workouts with the odd vintage Gary Numan synth moment, all making up an accomplished and appealing listen.
SINGLE: MONSTERS BUILD MEAN ROBOTS Psalm57 (Nice Weather For Airstrikes)?
As a thoughtful gift from MBMR to you, you can pick this up for free at the label’s website, and we thoroughly recommend you do. In a progression from the more electronic sound of their first album, this sets out an altogether more organic stall for the sophomore release – echoes of Arcade Fire are a welcome surprise – as the band make more of a faithful translation of their onstage sound to record. The most irresponsible song this month, with its danger-baiting, albeit polite, refrain, “I suggest that you burn down your homes.”
ALBUM: PALM SPRINGS The Hope That Kills You (Random Acts Of Vinyl)
Songwriters DC Cane and J Russo have come some way since their 2007 debut album – still present is the instrumentation’s sprawling melancholy and the attention to production detail, but the most obvious and immediate progression is the quality of the songs themselves. Billed as a documentation of the aftermath of heartbreaking loss the album nonetheless avoids being mired in gloom, rather it’s a light at the end of the tunnel that makes you dry your eyes, blow your nose and greet the world with renewed optimism.
ALBUM: SECOND TIME LUCKY Drink, Sleep, Repeat (Rann)
It’s always difficult to review new ska records that come into the office, so familiar and enamoured are we of the 1979 template as well as the Trojan founding fathers. The south coast seems to attract more than its fair share of ska contenders, and STL here deliver a tight and bouncy take on it, brass and bass-led with a fiery female vocal. The only low point is a risible lyric on Emo vs Ska – an apparent throwback or homage to 1964’s kickings on the beach, although we quite liked the last line, “…and pull your fucking trousers up.”
SINGLE: TC Mental Problems (DV8)
Another promising release from the good people at DV8, a collective offering students a studio outlet for their grime and breaks. TC Johnston is this month’s offering, the solid title track on a similar theme to Dizzee’s Bonkers, and it’s backed up by some accomplished mixes ranging from drum’n’bass to 2 step and dub step, all from fellow DV8ers. We’ve said it before, but we love what these people do for burgeoning Brighton talent, and usually the results vastly belie the inexperience of the playerz.