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Physical Format-20190529

So I've finally gone and done it. The email to cancel my Flying Vinyl subscription has gone in. Originally the intention was to do it after having reviewed all of the releases I have but, given the chances of me suddenly finding I want to keep all 50 of the discs remaining to be written up are slim, it felt right to pull the plug now. The label's 50th box was waiting for me when I got back from holiday in the first week of this month (when this is being written) and the contents were visually unappealing and the assumption is that the music will be too. The box also had some rubbish on it about your music collection resembling your coffee collection. Who collects coffee?

Everything's being got rid of one way or the other after being played for review purposes too. The chances of future plays are near zero for any of those I've kept hold of up to now (the Pip Blom disc is the only one I can think of which could well get that, or the Theo Verney one) and I need the space for the numerous good singles from my youth that I want to keep. Those won't get may more plays over the years either but that's beside the point.

Which fate then awaits the releases from August 2018? Discogs or the fleamarket for someone to take a 50p punt on?

That month found the orange vinyl going to Bad Sounds with 'Couldn't Give It Away' and 'Honestly'. Poppy and upbeat though it is the first track has no depth and is totally disposable. 'Honestly' sounds a bit like De La Soul round about when they first started. Amusing but not really funny so clearly one for folk already into that sort of thing rather than me. The duo's site shows they have an album out but no upcoming live shows.

Fur (a band probably destined to be hard to find online) get the clear vinyl this time around. 'If You Know That I'm Lonely' has a pleasing indie jangle and pacing to it, bringing to mind more the likes of Peter & Gordon rather than The Beach Boys, if we're sticking with the booklet '60s comparisons. B side 'What Would I Do' has a definite 'last dance' thing going on. It's even better than the first track (apart from the sudden ending) and I'd keep it in a flash but it seems to command good money on Discogs so on it goes. Facebook shows the band will be on tour in the UK in the autumn.
Citrus Heights first track is called 'Vanilla' and it's a wholly apt name. Limp and weak as piss. 'Lovers' seems like wishful thinking on the band's part. Wedding band material. Facebook shows the band have a new song out and will have played a show by the time this column is published.
Sports (another bunch it may be hard to search for on the web) start things off on 'Shiggy' with a meaty bit of synth. They and the previous band share a bit of '80s smoothness but there's more conviction here and the American trio would steal Citrus Heights' dates with barely any effort. 'Don't Tell Me' is a pacier, funkier affair and less to my taste in this genre but it's still obviously an accomplished track which would fill the dancefloor. The ending's a bit weak though. The band are still active online although not much in the past couple of months.
Last up this time around are Yassassin with 'Wreckless' and 'Sinner'. Imagine Elastica's comeback and you're in the same room as this lot. Except they seem to be doing it at half speed. 'Sinner's a bit quicker but still a mite ploddy. Not the sort of thing that would encourage me to seek them out live, on the off chance that they liven up when on stage. By the time you read this the band will have played at The Great Escape & maybe have some other new information on social media.

Physical Format-20190522

It's a few weeks since I last wrote one of these columns, having bunched a few together in advance of going away at Easter but, with one lot of holidays done and the summer ones within sight, it's time to get on to July of 2018's Flying Vinyl box.
Since last actually writing there's been a Discogs sale - £2.50 for the Boniface single to someone in Poland. There's hope yet then that the other discs I'm wanting rid of will also shift.
The Night Cafe get a cheery orange vinyl for their songs 'Turn' and 'Felicity'. The latter is thankfully not a cover of the Orange Juice number. On both tracks they get a decent bit of shoegaze/indie guitar going without overblowing it. Pleasant stuff which I'll be keeping although, having not heard their name mentioned before digging the disc out tonight I'm presuming I'll not find much action about them when I have a look online for the current state of their affairs. The band's Facebook shows they're debut album will be out in the autumn, which is probably more than I was expecting.
Tempesst are London-based Aussies (at least they were last summer) who resemble The Wonder Stuff a bit. 'Doomsday' was supposedly one of the 'psych-rock hits of your summer' but it must have happened when I wasn't looking. They have a big sound which would no doubt reach apogee if they ever get to play stadiums but, as it goes, the strings bring to mind late Verve. 'Roller Coaster' feels more like ABC. Smooth with strings. Okay but hardly psych by any stretch. Keeping it for now though. Facebook shows the quintet are still plugging away at it.
The Flying Vinyl discs have some truly awful covers. Sports Team's 'Liberal Friends'/'Stanton' is definitely one of the worst, a shit bust of Charles & Diana (the point obviously being to be crap but still). Their name rang a vague bell but it seems that they're not in fact who I thought, which is handy as they're nothing special. Plodding, mid-paced indie and a singer who sounds as if he apes Bryan Ferry on stage. Something North of a tenner is apparently possible on Discogs so listed it is. Facebook reveals the band have played a couple of festivals this year so no doubt they'll be doing a few more of those over the summer.
Krush Puppies and Good Foxy also have rubbish covers. The former do at least have the better name of the two.
'Petal Head' is a moody, breathy effort to start off as it plods along. The guitars go a bit Elastica then its back to plodding. On 'Passata' the vibe is lighter but unfortunately to the point of inconsequence. No one seems interested on Discogs so off to the fleamarket it goes. The band seem to have been quiet since February 2019, according to Facebook.
Good Foxy are apparently a quartet yet their booklet photos contain five blokes. They're also apparently 're-energising '60s psych-rock'. So much so that of course they've become massive since last summer and there's no point in me reviewing 'Winning Man' or 'Don't Get It'. Part of that last statement is at least true. Another one for the fleamarket. The band's website shows them to have a few live dates in the coming months.

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Things don't begin particularly summery with the June 2018 selection from Flying Vinyl. Nova Twins' Skunk Anansie meets The Prodigy sound is as heavy as that description is intended to convey. 'Hit Girl' pounds away with stacks of attitude and anger infused through it. 'Lose Your Head' does pretty much the same thing, although it lacks a hook & I barely took it in as I was typing a message whilst it was on. I think I've filled all the head space I have for this sort of thing so it's going up for sale. The duo have a new single coming out in the near future, according to Facebook.
Premium Leisure apparently curate their rock (so says the booklet this month), whatever that's supposed to mean. 'Water Pistol' doesn't make me think "classic rock 'n' roll" so that's another badly written element of the blurb. It's okay; no edges and no hooks but inoffensive. Like George Harrison's comeback in the late '80s. 'Gold Tunes' is more of the same. No one seems to want it on Discogs so it's into the fleamarket box. The act seems to have little online presence and to have been quite quiet since last summer.
Paris Youth Foundation (from Liverpool) get off to a good start with the sprightly paced 'The Off Button'. There's a good mix of synth-backed bits and guitar-heavy passages and I find myself comfortably nodding along to it. 'London', on the flip side, is a bit less accomplished and Snow Patrol-like but it's the second song so who ever plays those anyway? The band have a few live dates coming up this month.
Kashmere, from their photo, look like they enjoy Kasabian via Manic Street Preachers. 'Tokyo' fits firmly into the post-Britpop landfill indie bracket so that impression wasn't too far off although it does kind of come into its own just as it's winding to a close. 'Codeine' is thankfully not another version of that much covered '60s track but is rather more polished and synth-driven than the A side. Someone's apparently so loveable they're as addictive as the drug. Holy moly. Unsurprisingly the chances of a sale on Discogs appear slim but it's listed anyway. The group seem to have released no music in the past few months but do have a new badge for sale.
The Pale White also seem to be channeling Kasabian a bit on 'Loveless' and, as the track progresses I find myself thinking about Secret Machines, who I streamed earlier today having been reminded of them whilst getting rid of the singles I'd bought years ago. Decent enough indie rock which didn't find major favour & seems to have seen them disappear after only a few years. Unfortunately I predict the same for this trio. 'Peace Of Mind' is a grittier affair than the first track, however, and I find myself warming to the group. This one stays with me for now. The band toured Northern Britain earlier this year but their own site lacks any further information just now.

Physical Format-20190508

And we're at the 12 month mark! At this rate I'll be cancelling my subscription by the end of the summer, or sooner if I keep getting more than five discs dealt with at a time.
Whilst typing the above the scarlet 7" by Ten Tonnes has been spinning. The stage name of Ethan Barnett, 'Cracks Between' is decently listenable '90s indie, albeit I'm not grabbed enough to play it twice. 'Lay It On Me' is equally Radio 2-friendly but not for me in the long run. You can order the debut, self-titled Ten Tonnes album, out May 03, here.
Hatchie also has a '90s feel to her sound but there's a catchier element to 'Sugar & Spice' without it descending into pop dross. 'Sure' though starts off rather too slowly for my taste and then becomes formulaic. The best part of £20 could be mine according to Discogs so it's on the list. Hatchie has just finished a tour of the USA and UK dates for the summer can be found here.
Husky Loops I've already heard of but have no recollection of hearing. 'When I Come Home' is a pretty slow and ponderous semi-acoustic effort, with a kind of crap rap in the middle. 'Daft' is apparently the sort of song they more usually do. It's a bit like Arctic Monkeys on their third album, if a bit slower. Not a good advert for seeing them live. On to the Discogs inventory for this clear disc too. The band's website seems to indicate they've not much going on at the moment.
For four lads to all agree that The Old Pink House is a good name for a band is pretty amazing. The Geordie quartet have a bit of the Maximo Park about their sound on 'Jaded' whilst 'Black Hole' (very topical at the time of writing this review) plods along easily enough at a reasonably upbeat pace but neither song's that exciting and they don't sound like they'll ever make that much of a splash. Like Husky Loops there's little seemingly going on with the band online just now.
Calpurnia are signed to Transgressive and there seems to be a trend that the discs co-produced with that label end up on Discogs for sure. Then again I've got rid of nine of the ten I've been playing tonight so that statistic probably means little.
'Greyhound' has quite an AOR-ish guitar solo at one point and 'Louie' also manages to sound far older than the combined ages of the four band members. It's in fact very good. And, now that I've re-read the booklet I remember that one of the quartet is the lad who plays one of the main characters in Stranger Things, Finn Wolfhard (the lads from Newcastle might want to appropriate that as a better band name). Keeping it for now but it's also listed as future plays will no doubt never happen. Again they seem to have not much in their diaries for the coming months.

Physical Format-20190501


Only just over a year now separates the tunes being reviewed in this column from the time of their first play & an opinion being expressed. How many bands will therefore be known elements due to being that bit fresher in memory if heard from other sources?

April 2018 turns up none.

Island were apparently set for "a huge year" at the time of 'Ride' and 'The Day I Die' being the lead disc in this box. Having never heard of them up to this point we're either dealing with a different definition of huge or my head's even further in the sand than I thought. Within the first couple of bars on the silver 7" it's pretty obvious this will be in the earnest, yearning, indie rock camp & so it proves. I've definitely never heard it before so maybe they had a whimper rather than a bang last year. The first side is not even half done before I've seen on Discogs that the disc last sold earlier this year for a whole quid. Five folk want it though so I'll list it. A swift play of the B side confirms this to be the right course of action. The band have an album out and one live date coming up this summer, according to their site.
Chloe Black's photo in the accompanying booklet immediately has me expecting to not be a fan of 'Good Times' and 'Waterbed'. The transparent vinyl is as seethrough as the style of synthetic, Lana Del Ray-lite pop on offer. She's been at it for three years at least though so fair play in terms of persistence. Again five folk seem to be after the disc online so if I can get £6 that's a win. The B side is as 'raunchy' as you'd expect from the title. Yawn. Chloe's website shows she's mainly been making double entendres on Facebook of late.
Team Picture seem to favour white dungarees in their promotional picture, another warning sign. '(I Have A) Little Secret' sounds like ABC in places, which is no bad thing but it's pretty unmemorable stuff. '(I Want Your) Life Hack' begins very slowly. It's then got a dirtier guitar sound than the A side and a bit more oomph but again it's not really anything special. The band's website's Live link informs you that they're about to finish a short tour of the UK.
Three discs in and I've yet to play a track all the way through. Will Jerry Williams or Tuska change that?
The former immediately brings Lily Allen to mind so it's hard to maintain interest in 'Grab Life'. 'Babe' is a lot better as it sounds more honest. Not hard to listen to the whole thing as it only seems to last 90 seconds or so. One which more could be done with. Not a keeper though and potentially another £6. Jerry unfortunately shares a name with a popular old Swedish singer so online it's been a bit hard to find out what she's currently up to but there is this.
Tuska are a duo from London. They may have listened to some early Tame Impala in their time, given the similarity their take on psychedelia has to that. 'God Knows Why' isn't bad, indeed by the time it gets to the mainly instrumental final quarter it's a very pleasant listen. Then it just stops. 'Ambrosia' is more of the same but a bit less engaging. According to Discogs four people want the disc, yet there is no sales history and nine people have it for sale, from as low as 76p but I can apparently possibly get a tenner for it. I'll take that gamble. According to Facebook the duo have done nothing in the past year.

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March 2018 saw the Flying Vinyl debut of Our Girl, a band who our contributor Steven Velentzas was touting back the autumn before when we had our one outing at Blogtober. Like the tortoise I get there in the end. Though he got there first in the tale. Whatever.
Tracks 'Our Girl' and 'Sleeper' are housed on white vinyl and it's obvious I've been missing out through my tardiness. Shoegaze elements, soaring bits, pleasant vocals all combine to form a very appealing sound on the lead song. 'Sleeper' further states the trio's case for being amongst the best thought of indie bands of the past five decades. This one stays here. Online it shows that the band have a number of live dates coming up in the summer although I doubt I'll see them until Rockaway Beach in 2020.
Sharky gets turquoise vinyl for her efforts 'Hawaii' and 'Cause And Effect'. I had to check I'd not put the deck onto a previously unknown 78rpm setting, such is the Pinky & Perky sound of the falsetto which eminates from the first song. It's debateable whether an auto-tuned voice would actually sound more natural. Beat-wise the song is pretty good but the vocals are too comic for me. The B side is in fact Sharky's first single and was apparently played a lot on 6music a year ago. I don't recall hearing it. Nobody's bought a copy on Discogs since last summer but I'll see if I can get £4 for it. Rather hard to find Sharky's online presence but it doesn't look like much has been happening (here) since this disc came out.
Boniface's 'Phantom Limbs' rushes out of the speakers to begin with but, before you can get all arm wavy, it calms down for the verse before giving you the release at the chorus. Unfortunately Flying Vinyl have decided that the band's hometown of Winnipeg is in the USA rather than Canada but, that error not withstanding they've done them a solid by releasing this upbeat number. Sylvan Esso fans will be quite taken with it. 'For Love' is a piano-led beast of a different nature entirely. Pleasant but not a keeper. Facebook shows the band are still getting shit done and that you'll possibly see them if you're off to see Foals.
Juke Lucid seem to aim for the middle of the road and a future as a wedding band with the pallid 'Move Maker'. This is not the sort of music that will inspire you to do anything other than become an Estate Agent, or to radically change what you listen to in ordr to avoid such a fate. 'Parallel Vision' works well as an instrumental and it's clear why it was the band's debut single, being more assured than the A side on this disc. That trick though perpetuates that annoying moment in the '90s when record companies decided to start releasing multiple versions of songs across different formats, in the hope (no doubt successful at the time) of conning punters into buying the same thing often just for (often crappy) B sides. For sale it goes though as it turns out it has vocals after all. Online it seems the band have been silent since last summer.
Brandon Can't Dance keeps it moody on 'Pop Queen Of The Teen Scene'. Apparently it's led to him being compared to Morrissey. I'm not sure who comes off worse with that association. 'Dead Growing' is raw, groany & a bit more upbeat at least but Evan Dando he ain't. No one's bought the disc recently on Discogs despite (as is the case with the previous disc) 10 folk selling it and four apparently wanting it but I'll list it all the same. BCD doesn't have a large online footprint but his bandcamp indicates not much has been going on since last summer.
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