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Music Release Radar Roundup Reviews

Recent Nostalgia: Release Radar Round Up – September 12th 2018

In 2018, on a now defunct blog, I began a series of mini reviews based on the music that Spotify was recommending to me on my personalised Release Radar playlist. There was only one instalment of this series but I am thinking about giving it another go as I believe it is a sound concept.

Here is the original article, reproduced for nostalgia’s sake. Hopefully you’ll find something to enjoy here:

JEFF The Brotherhood – Camel Swallowed Whole

Heartwarming lo-fi Indie Rock from Nashville. Camel Swallowed Whole has a charming laziness underpinning it. The lethargically plodding bassline sets the groove beautifully for the understated guitar melodies and laid-back vocals. A recorder solo adds to the DIY charm. In the back-half of the song a distorted and discordant guitar solo brings some vague hints of Stephen Malkmus’ early work with Pavement. A

Autechre – mirrage

The IDM veterans latest offering is a swelling sea of droning synths and intense reverse reverb. The way the weird little stutters of reverse reverb interact with the bizarrely modulated higher synths lends an illusion of tape-based production, although I suspect it was recorded using the duos unique generative production software. I imagine this would be fairly underwhelming to anyone but the most hardcore fan (of which there are plenty) and unlikely to attract many converts. B minus

J Mascis – See You At The Movies

The self-described inventor of “ear bleeding country” sure knows how to write a pretty little country rock song. See You At The Movies has a jaunty rhythm that bounces along pleasantly under his trademark sad vocals and twisting lead guitar lines (not to mention his legendary grizzled Jazzmaster tone) ensure this track will sound great to even the most casual fan. The sound of  a rock genius at rest. A

Barbara Morgenstern – Brainfuck

Pretty acoustic guitar picking nestles up comfortably alongside deep bass drones and stuttering cut up string samples on the intro to this dark electro pop song. The beats on this track are shuffling pops and crackles reminiscent of the crackle and pop of a vinyl record run-off groove. The vocals are sultry and warm, recorded with crystal clarity, lending the whole thing a ‘90’s Trip-Hop vibe. A

TV Smith – No Hope Street

There’s nothing new or original in ‘70’s Punk survivor Tim Smiths latest strum-along social commentary but he delivers it with such heroic underdog gusto that you find yourself nodding and singing along. The lyrics have a nostalgic air to them, with the verses written in the past tense and detailing disbelief at the many misfortunes that have befallen him and the grim determination to stand up to the shadowy establishment figures responsible. B

Cloud Nothings – The Echo Of The World

Spiky guitars and hyperactive drumming are the order of the day on this latest Cloud Nothings single. The vocals are grungily snotty, sounding a little like Billy Corgan in places. The tune has a sense of grandeur that I’ve never really heard in their other work, although they don’t seem to be able to reach the dizzyingly euphoric heights this track seems to be aiming for, ultimately writing a cheque the band are unable to cash. C

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Categories
Politics Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): TV Smith – Expensive Being Poor

Day 10.

This song by Punk legend Tim “TV” Smith has been on my mind a lot this week. The general response from right-wingers to the UK government’s refusal to offer the poorest children free school meals, has been to bemoan & harass them for the crime of “owning an iPhone” or “smoking cigs”. Typical mean-spirited stuff from the Tories & their legion of trolls. This song, as well as the attached Another Angry Voice infographic, has formed my own personal resistance to this callous & brutal disregard for our fellow man.

And the car is of the road 
But I never had a car 
And I pay more for food 
‘cos the supermarkets too far

 
It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Knocking on a closing door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs 
I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate


And the box is on the fritz
It’s a black and white, or was
I tried taking it to bits 
Now the picture’s just a grey fuss


It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Someone pick me off the floor
It’s expensive being poor
How can I live with what I did 
When the cinema is 6 quid’ 
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Let the good times roll 
Into a bottomless hole 
With job friends and future 
My ideal home furniture
Let the trumpets sound 
As my house falls down


And the dust begins to clear 
And I’m lying on the ground
And I’m standing on a path 
In an unknown part of town
And the path leads me away 
Over hills and out of sight
In the blazing sun by day 
And the hanging moon by night
And I wind up in a place 
Where I never have to count
And I never see the waves 
As I push my leaking boat out


It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything hurts more
Knocking on a bolted door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs

I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Check out the Spotify playlist.

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