Getting ready for 2014 part 2


Well, after keeping us waiting for several years and teasing out half a second clips of music here and there (well, that’s what it seemed like), Warpaint have announced that their sophomore album will be released on January 20, 2014 (the same day as Mogwai’s new album, better start putting some money aside for post Christmas, eh?)

The tracklisting for the self-titled record is as follows (according to NME)

1. Intro
2. Keep It Healthy
3. Love Is To Die
4. Hi
5. Biggy
6. Teese
7. Disco//Very
8. Go In
9. Feeling Alright
10. CC
11. Drive
12. Son

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The first track to be released in its entirety is ‘Love Is To Die’ which can be streamed below:

Getting ready for 2014

Mogwai 2013

Yup. The year still has two more months yet to run, but already those of us who blog and write for websites are being asked to consider our favourites for this year and who might be our top tips for next year.

In addition to which, some people are getting ready to release new albums, and first up are Mogwai.

Although Mogwai’s last studio album Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will came out in 2011, it doesn’t seem like so long, perhaps because in that time they have given us the remix album A Wrenched Virile Law and the Les Revenants soundtrack, as well as a couple of EPs, so the home fires have been kept burning, so to speak.

Their seventh studio album is entitled Rave Tapes, which will be released on January 20 and the tracklisting is as follows:

1. Heard About You Last night

2. Simon Ferocious

3. Remurdered

4. Hexon Bogon

5. Repelish

6. Master Card

7. Deesh

8. Blues Hour

9. No Medicine For Regret

10. The Lord Is Out Of Control

You can stream ‘Remurdered’ below…

…and if you submit your email, you can download the mp3 for free!

The return of Katie Sutherland


I’ve long supported Katie Sutherland on this blog, right from when I first saw her supporting Emma Pollock over six years ago.

She’s performed as Pearl and the Puppets in that time, but right now she’s back, as Katie, and this is her forthcoming single ‘Canvas.’

You can pre-order the single here

Good to have you back, Katie. Here’s an interview I did back in 2007.

Album Review: Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins -‘Blur The Line’ (Oh Wow Dang)

This Nashville three-piece (or is it four, there seem to be four people in the pictures) specialise in blurring the lines between the sound most associated with their city with a southern take on garage punk. And a very fine record their third album is, too.

Opening track ‘Oh God’ starts off country, takes on Eastern influences and gradually gets more and more garage-y. It’s really quite some feat and has to be heard to be believed. It’s a really impressive start to the album.

Other fine tracks on the album, which I’m really enjoying are ‘That Man and ‘She Blows.’ In fact the first half of the album is stronger than the second, which doesn’t quite grab you as much as the first. But while your can point to aspects of the sound (Imagine Fleetwood Mac working together with Patti Smith as both of them sounded in the second half of the seventies with a fresh feel to proceedings) and where it has come to, there’s something quite invigorating about this band.

Lyrically not one to play in front of those more conservative types, though, perhaps…


Blur the Line is out on Oh Wow Dang on October 21.

Album Review: Tears For Fears (re-issue)

Tears for Fears album

Tears For Fears -‘The Hurting.’ (Universal)

December 2003. The expected UK Christmas No.1 is from The Darkness, an eighties-rock influenced band who have been doing massive business for the past six months. Debate has raged about whether they are serious or tongues are firmly in cheek. The single ‘Christmas Time’ is completely over the top, and full of knob gags that are scarcely more subtle than Mrs. Slocombe’s Pussy.

However, in the end, the no.1 record is ‘Mad World.’ Performed by Michael Andrews with vocals by Gary Jules, it’s a cover of a Tears For Fears song that features on the cult movie of the time, Donnie Darko. Despite the Andrews/Jules version have been cited as an example of cover versions that are better than the original, within a very short space of time, everyone is proclaiming the Tears For Fears version better, and a rapid growth of interest in their back catalogue starts. It’s perhaps a bit like a sudden re-writing of history like Winston Smith in 1984 knowing that Oceania is sometimes at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia, and sometimes the other way round, but this seems to have a happy outcome.

Tears For Fears, then -and now- consist of two men, Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal. Taking their name from Dr. Arthur Janov’s psychology work (which also gave Primal Scream their name), the two got together in Bath. It’s perhaps surprising to discover that most of the album was written on an acoustic guitar, when this is widely – and rightly -regarded as a new wave, synth pop classic.

Knocked into shape over the course of many months, the album spawned four hit singles in the aforementioned ‘Mad World,’ ‘Pale Shelter,’ ‘Change’ and ‘Suffer The Children.’ These are all excellent points into the album, but it’s also worth remembering the title track and ‘Ideas As Opiates.’ Yup, the band had produced a concept album, looking at ideas about moving from childhood to adulthood. Yet, this didn’t alienate people at the time. The band were feted by sources as seemingly different as Smash Hits and John Peel; ‘Mad World’ made no.5 in Peel’s Festive 50 in 1982, and they also recorded a session for him. They had, after all, released an excellent album.

Re-issues should offer the buying public something extra and this is a fairly deluxe passage. As well as a concert film (not that us reviewers got this!), there is a disc of edits and remixes and a disc of sessions including the aforementioned Peel one and two they recorded for David ‘Kid’ Jensen. The edits disc is for completists who really feel that they have to have every version – it does get rather grating listening to a handful of the singles over and over again. The sessions disc provides us with insights into how the songs came into being, and it’s always good to see Radio sessions being available commercially rather than having to rely on illicit mp3s uploaded from ancient cassettes.

So a full package, but one that shows this as being a ‘new pop’ classic that holds up well, thirty years since its original release.


The Hurting is reissued by Universal on October 21.

Presenting…In Snow

In Snow

I get a whole heap of submissions, and sometimes it becomes truly wearisome.

And then sometimes, I’ll get something that blows me away, and makes me glad that I do this.

One such submission is from Birmingham, Alabama’s In Snow (I’ve never got further than New Jersey, so I have no idea if there is ever any snow in Alabama, but anyway). They are a four piece post-rock quartet, consisting of Brooke McCarley (Bass), Sam Porter (Guitar), Michael Pocus (Drums) and Christopher Suda (Guitar).

This is their first recording, entitled ‘Red Towers’ it lasts 28 minutes, and it’s available as a pay what you like basis from bandcamp.

Find the time and buy it, and treasure it.

Album Review: Glasser


Glasser -‘Interiors.’ (True Panther Sounds)

The second album from the one woman orchestra that is Cameron Mesirow is really quite a treat. The album isn’t so much a concept album per se as an album interested in different ideas about interior and exterior space, while investigating, as the press release puts it ‘themes of love, anxiety and the constraints of each in one’s life.

Some clue may be given in the album’s track titles -‘Shape,’ ‘Landscape’ ‘Exposure’ and the like. What is also clear is how certain adjectives use in reviewing music are overused to the point of abuse and making records sound (on paper, so to speak) as far away as possible from what they are actually like. So yes, this is a chilled form of electronica, but a million miles away from the naff albums that are no more than background sonic wallpaper.

Yes there are hints of jazz – see ‘New Year’ but not in the way that might suggest this is some album in the vein of a dinner party soundtrack. This has been described in some quarters as being an architecture-obsessed album, which brings to mind the idea of something grey and overly obsessed with form. Not this album.

I’ve given this several plays already, and I intend to give it many more. If you want to hear something beautiful and inventive, clever without being pseudo-intellectual, cast your ears this way and give them (and yourself) a treat.


Interiors is out now on True Panther Sounds

New from Prince


It’s been busy round 17 Seconds Towers the last few days, hence why the blog has been quiet.

But one of the submissions that I have received is the latest single from Prince, entitled ‘Breakfast Can Wait.’

Whilst I think his output over the last twenty-five years has been variable (from 1989’s Batman soundtrack onwards), and his most, er purple (no gag intended) phase probably was between Dirty Mind and Lovesexy. However, there have certainly been some gems since then – and I think this new single and its accompanying video ‘Breakfast Can Wait’ is one of them.

Watch out for the female Prince impersonator in the video, too…

Philip Chevron remembered

Philip Chevron of The Pogues

Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron passed away today, after a battle with cancer. He was just 56.

Regarded as hugely influential on The Irish punk scene, he joined The Pogues around the time of their second album Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. While frontman Shane MacGowan remained much of the focus, Chevron was a songwriter for the band too, including ‘Lorelei’ on Peace and Love and ‘Thousands Are Sailing’ from If I Should Fall From Grace With God.

‘Thousands Are Sailing’ was not released as a single but remains one of their most-loved songs, dealing as many of their songs did with the Irish diaspora.

‘Lorelei’ sounds different from many of the Pogues other songs, and is no less affecting for that.