Finally, it’s (almost) here!


As an avid watcher of the Edinburgh music scene, I feel like I have been waiting for the debut album by Jesus H. Foxx perhaps even longer than the eagleowl one (though I believe that’s due soon).

Song, By Toad Records released their fine six track EP Matter back in 2009, and as Toad Supremo Matthew Young says, ‘their debut album has been, they have assured me, mere weeks away from completion. And two and a half years later, here it is.’

Out very, very soon (can’t see a release date but it’s soon), and entitled Endless Knocking, this is the first track to be made available as a free download, the rather fine ‘So Much Water.’

The album tracklisting, by the way is:

The Reins, Quick
So the Wind Won’t…
Permanent Defeat
Elegy For the Good
Half the Man You Were
This is Not a Rental Car
So Much Water
Twins (reprise)

A review will follow shortly. Oh, and it has the fine ‘cello sounds of Pete Harvey on not one, but two tracks. Matthew Toad told me that he ‘is trying to prise Pete’s solo album out of him.’ Come on, I’m waiting…

The continued rise of Azealia Banks


I think it’s fair to say at this point in 2012 that Broke With Expensive Taste, the forthcoming debut from Azealia Banks, who I have featured on here several times, is one of the releases I am most looking forward to this year.

Having been voted the coolest person in music at the end of 2011 by NME (Which can be a poisoned chalice), she has been hanging around the UK charts with ‘212’ seemingly pretty much since then, and her new EP 1991, is due soon.

Before the album comes out (due in September), there will be a mixtape entitled Fantastic. Taken from it is this rather fine track called ‘Jumanji’ which is another fine example of why listening to her is -in the finest way possible – like being on the receiving end of quickfire. It’s co-produced by Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke, friend and associate of Rustie, who I championed on this blog back in 2008.

play it loud…



Wavre are a brand new band.

When I say brand new, I mean it. As in: they’ve only just got together as an act (their facebook page is less than two weeks old, fer Chrissakes). They’re from Dallas, Texas and consist of Garry Brents (bass, vocals and keyboards) and Dominique Patton (vocals, keyboards and samples). they first grabbed my attention because they mentioned The Cure and Mogwai in their email (I know! I’m such a sucker!! It worked.). The first influence they list is Twin Peaks, but they also mention 17 Seconds favourites like Burial, Explosions in the Sky and Yuck. This all adds up to an impressive whole. Utterly beautiful and compelling. I am eager to hear more and have had these on repeat this evening.

As far as I can tell they haven’t played live yet. They have however put together an impressive collection of demos and these are free to download. They are also starting to get blog love already, from both The Sound Of Confusion and Indie Middle Of Nowhere
. There will almost certainly be more.

This is from their soundcloud page. If these are just the demos, then God alone knows how fricking awesome their debut LP will sound.

17SEC28 out now!


It was never intended that 17 Seconds Records would leave it so long between releases, but this came out today!

The This Kingdom EP by Matt Norris and the Moon can be streamed here and bought from the band’s bandcamp, or from other sites including iTunes, eMusic, and Amazon, as well as being able to stream at Spotify.

I’ve already posted this video before, but I do think it’s rather fine…

You can also download this track for free (not on the EP, btw):

There have been some nice bits of press, including The Scotsman, Rhythm & Booze, dauphin mag, [sic] Magazine, For Folks Sake, Folk Blues & Beyond, and Thank Folk For That.

Not only that but nice pieces have appeared at RingMaster Review and Frost Magazine.

There are quite a few live shows coming up, too, over the next month or so:

May 23, The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Scotland
May 24, The Cafe Continental, Gourock, Scotland
May 25, Hootananny, Inverness, Scotland
May 26, Newmarket Bar, Thurso, Scotland
May 27, Y-not Bar & Grill, Thurso, Scotland
May 30, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, England
May 31, Knockengorroch World Ceilidh, Castle Douglas, Scotland
June 3, Dirty Weekender Festival, Kilmarnock, Scotland
June 6, Go North 2012, Inverness, Scotland
June 8, 20 Rocks, Falkirk, Scotland
June 9, The Classic Grand, Glasgow, Scotland
June 27, The Third Door, Edinburgh, Scotland
June 30, Kelburn Garden Party, Largs, Scotland

Album Review: The Leg


The Leg: ‘An Eagle To Saturn’ (Song, By Toad Records)

One of the things about records being put out by people you know is that you do get a slight insight into at least something about the record that you might not otherwise. I first met Matthew Young of the very fine Song, By Toad Blog and latterly record company, five years ago, at a Camera Obscura gig in Edinburgh. It’s been great watching the label grow and seeing the (and I mean this as a compliment) weird and wonderful releases that have come out.

Let me start by a comment from Matthew on the label’s website about The Leg’s latest album: ‘I still can’t decide if I think this album is an amazing pop record or just plain fucking mental. Like most of the best albums I reckon it’s a bit of both.’ I think that’s probably very true. When I first put this on I really wasn’t sure that I was going to like it. It needed to be focused on and given some serious attention, rather than being approached as yet another record I needed to review.

Very wise. Because two of The Leg’s mainstays are both Pete Harvey and Alun Thomas. Pete Harvey has done a lot of work around the Edinburgh music scene and I look forward to his first solo album (I don’t know if such a thing is in existence yet but all the things of his I have heard over the years suggest this is going to be a very fine record indeed). Almost up against him is Alun Thomas, who is on drums and ‘singing.’

Barely half an hour long, what at first starts off as sounding almost cacophonous reveals itself to be an exciting and original album. Alun Thomas comes on like a Scots Tom Waits, Pete Harvey is a genius who seems to have been soaked in baroque and classical music as they made this record, and the end result is like a fiery Scotttish Pogues. This record will doubtless unnerve some but if you are prepared to give it the love and attention it deserves, you will find this a rewarding listen.


The Leg -‘Bake Yourself Silly.’ mp3

Album Review: Samuel Jackson Five


Samuel Jackson Five -‘Samuel Jackson Five’ (Denovali)

Camper Van Beethoven. Brian Jonestown Massacre. Dandy Warhols. Music is full of bands punning and playing with words. On this, their fourth album, Norway’s Samuel Jackson Five are so much playing with words per se, but are introducing singing and attempting to go beyond the post-rock genre of their first three albums (er, apparently. I haven’t actually heard them.)

It might be a slightly obvious -and therefore lazy comparison to make-but perhaps the band that most comes to mind when comparing this album is Battles. In the sense that there is a sense of ‘prog’ meaning good, nods to math-rock and jazz and even -dare I say it -yes, post-rock. The chiming sound on ‘Never-ending Now’ almost works like a call to prayer. Whilst they may be experimenting with time signatures and sonic textures, this is, perhaps, an astonishingly enjoyable and easy album to get to grips with.

It works as a very successful whole, but there are also some standout tracks here ‘…And Then We Met The Locals’ and the wonderfully named ‘Electric Crayons’ (the mind boggles) that are worth checking out. I may have striggled with the notion of ‘progressive’ for years, but here it is in the sense of moving forward, rather than an obsession with wizards and how many keyboards you can get on a stage whilst mangling classical masterpieces.

Take the time to investigate.


Samuel Jackson Five is out now on Denovali

EP review: The Son(s)


The Son(s): Leviathan EP (Olive Grove)

I think the winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11 are probably going to be etched onto my mind forever. The first was miserable, grappling with long-term sickness, and wondering how I was going to get through. The next one the situation had changed: I was working for library services, and Mrs. 17 Seconds was expecting a baby. The weather was even worse, and we muddled through. Healthy baby boy, now aged fourteen months.

It was clearly a long winter for others as well. The promotional notes for The Son(s) follow-up to last year’s fine self-titled debut LP (do check it out) read: “These songs were sung and recorded in an old cold, empty, echoey flat in Edinburgh. Away from home, stuck in the dark middle of winter. It was the coldest winter there for more than 50 years. Temperatures fell to minus 14C. It was colder at night, colder still at home. Snow fell, trains stopped.” Yet out of it was born this fine six track EP.

Checking in at twenty minutes, there’s sufficient difference in these tracks to really draw you in. Second track ‘If I Hear You Talk apostrophes Again’ is quite uptempo, whereas the opener ‘Roaring Round The House’ and ‘Half Lived’ are more reflective. I’ve always felt the cold, bleak Scottish winters seeped into the sound that Mogwai make (check out anything from their Chemikal Underground phase for particualr proof of this), and in a totally different way so it proves to be the case with Leviathan.

This is a beautiful EP. Take the time to check it out.

Leviathan is out now on Olive Grove

More music from my inbox: Frankie Rose


One of the things about having to work for a living is that a) I don’t get to hear everything that arrives in my inbox and b) I don’t get to write about it. ( I do however get lots of unsolicited email, and the rather irritating follow-up emails from people aggrieved that I haven’t listened to what they have sent.) But the arrival of the rather good remix by the Go! Team of Frankie Rose’s ‘Apples For The Sun’ reminded me that I have been rather remiss in not writing about Frankie Rose.

Ms. Rose has an impressive CV so far, what with her being (a founding member, songwriter, instrumentalist and vocalist) in the Vivian Girls and drummer and occasional vocalist in Crystal Stilts, and now a fine solo career to boot, which is the indie equivalent of having your cake, eating it and making trifle out of it as well.

Her latest awesome solo album Interstellar was released earlier this year and is well worth hearing.

This is ‘Know Me’ which is taken from the aforementioned Interstellar:

This is the aforementioned remix of ‘Apples For The Sun,’ the original version of which can be found on the album. It’s a pretty good piece of work in its own right -and it certainly hit the spot on a pleasant Saturday evening (great to fionally see some blue sky here in Scotland!)

Hope you enjoy these. BTW, if you enjoy these, please leave me some feedback -I don’t bite. Much…

Soome covers for Friday


I know.

There was a time when there were a LOT more cover versions posts, but as DMCA notices and the like started to kick in, it became harder to post stuff -even with honourable intentions without someone ripping it down (rather than politely emailing you and asking you to take it down as used to be the case).

As was generally my custom, there is no theme, other than that they are cover versions. Enjoy

Album Review: Taffy


Taffy -‘Caramel Sunset’ (Club AC30)

According to some sources, Japanese act Taffy have a large debt to Britpop. Whilst I can certainly hear a bit of that in here, to these ears by far a bigger influence onthe Tokyo four-piece is a mixture of c-86, shoegazing -and even a bit of grunge.

Led by vocalist Iris, there might even be a slight nod to Osaka’s Shonen Knife as well, though less of a tendency to sing about food, on the evidence of this LP at least! Over the course of this record, there are no major deviations or explorations of the potential of the indie-pop genre. On the other hand, the album has no pretensions, but a whole heap of anthems to make you jump up and down for joy. And they are streets ahead of so much of the sonic stodge that seemingly passes for indie these days.

Recent single and album closer ‘So Close’ is probably the strongest track here, but there’s plenty on offer to interest casual listeners, too.


Caramel Sunset is out now on Club AC30.