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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.

Physical Format-20190424

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.

Physical Format-20190417

February 2018 now so by the end of this month we'll only be a year behind the curve with Flying Vinyl releases. There is though a certain perverse pleasure in having not managed to listen to all of these records until such a period of time has passed.
Two of this week's acts have certainly risen to a point of being reasonably recognised names (and I've even managed to see one of them live) in the time between release and now - Dream Wife & Boy Azooga.
Dream Wife kick the five discs off with 'Take It Back' and 'Fuu' on transparent bubblegum pink vinyl. Anyone who's aware of the band will be aware of their energetic, punky tunes and their spiky (to the point of dangerous at times) live delivery of the material. Side A is then a bit of a surprise, being at the poppier end of the group's sound as well as a tad unintelligble lyrically. As 'Fuu' is the final song on their debut album how it sounds is no doubt well known. Solid as the release is I'm interested to see how much I can get for it so it's getting listed for sale. The band have a lot of live dates this coming summer. Details here.
Second in line this week is London singer-songwriter Luke Prosser, here recording as Bad News Club. 'The Painter' is another one of those maudlin, Nick Drake-esque tracks which Flying Vinyl seem to hold a lot of stock in for some reason. As the 7" has never gone for more than 75p on Discogs I suppose there's plenty to be maudlin about. B side 'Absent' is surprisingly rather more positive sounding but the discs going in the flea market pile nonetheless. According to his Facebook page Luke's not done much since last spring.
Seeing the name Yonaka again now I'm wondering if I've in fact also seen them live, at Rockaway Beach, seeing as it's just a short trip to there from their base in Brighton. I'll check later if 'Bubblegum' and 'Gods & Lovers' don't ring any bells. The group have a reasonably weighty, if not that exciting, rock sound. Republica come to mind as an influence. 'Gods & Lovers' is a lot lighter in character and a bit crap as a result. Up for sale its nice blue vinyl goes. Turns out I've not seen them before but they have a lot of live dates coming up so you might get to.
Brad Stank (I know ...) seems to be a purveyor of smooooove. 'Daddy Blue' sees him trying to woo the woman of his dreams whilst inviting her to mop up his tears. That might be a good chat up look for some people I suppose. At one point the tune makes a sound like it's disappearing up itself, just before the final chorus brings it to a merciful (though oddly quick) stop. 'OTD' is more of the navel gazing, mumbled same. Surprisingly people have paid as much as £9 for the disc on Discogs so hopefully I'll get something close to that. Facebook shows that Brad's still plugging away.
'Loner Boogie' rings an instant bell, having heard it a lot on 6music prior to getting hold of the Boy Azooga album. Another song which ends too soon but one I'm very happy to retain in the collection. AA side 'Face Behind Her Cigarette' shows the band have variety in their arsenal, being as it's much more of a downbeat groover. Still one you'd be happy to get on a dance floor to. The band's site shows they too are out on the road a bit in the coming months.

Physical Format-20190410

Racing through two months' worth of discs this Friday afternoon so as to make up for losing a Friday to the second week of the Easter holidays in a fortnight's time. Convoluted? It makes sense to me at least.
January 2018 then and first up, on orange vinyl, are The Amazons who it seems are much loved by those at Flying Vinyl, having had an offshoot special release too. Brave folks in this era to name yourself after a tax-dodging retail outlet we love to hate but up to them. Musically I'm left cold right away by the piano-driven 'Palace' (assumed to be the song on the side labelled with the image from the front of the cover). 'Ultraviolet', listed in the booklet as the initial track is definitely worthier of that position, anthemic as it aims to be. It's also indistinguishable from the rest of it's ilk. If you're the right age it'll probably be a favourite for a few years and you'll ask 80 year old Steve Lamacq to play it for you for some nostalgia when you first become a father or mother but I've no need to keep it. The band's site shows they have a new album due out next month so no doubt live shows will coincide.
Nia Wyn brings Duffy to mind (& what's she up to now?) The phantom of BBC Introducing hangs over her, like it did Isaac Gracie the other week.'Do You Love Enough' has a pleasant beat to it and is a wee bit haunting vocally but overall it's pretty thin stuff. 'Help Me' sounds a bit more like Janis Joplin but that's never a positive from my point of view. Again the beats are okay but it doesn't grab me so up for sale it goes. From a look online Nia appears to have not been up to much in the last 15 months but she does have a gig in Brighton in May.
Demob Happy get transparent green for their weighty outing 'Be Your Man' b/w 'Dead Dreamers'. QOTSA are a very obvious influence here. Which is all well and good but does it inspire me to seek out an album's worth of material by them? The A side overstays its welcome and the B side sounds too much like Muse for my taste so another for sale. The band are touring the USA throughout this coming May.
Violets' 'Falling In Time' is another glacial, smooth ,'80s-like piece of pop, suitable for the background in a TV drama but not much else. 'Bodyshock', on the reverse, is equally unshocking. The disc was apparently last bought on Discogs for 60p in January this year so looks like it's the flea market box for it. Typically it's not easy to find an online presence for their name so no idea what they're up to at the moment.
Finally this month we come to Luke Marzec's 'Another Guy' and 'Say One More Time'. The A side's a minimal electronic effort with him singing for our understanding over the limited beats and synths. The B side is even more minimal. Music to go to sleep to. Another one for the flea market as, despite his  supposed "host of loyal listeners" no one's bought a copy from Discogs since last August and even then it commanded less than £3. Facebook shows Luke had a new song out last month.



Physical Format-20190403

This is the second version of the opening as somehow the original disappeared. Hence why it's shorter.
December 2017 now. Will any or all be culled?
Anteros - 'Bonnie' & 'Love'. Buttercup yellow vinyl, attractive. Reminiscent of both Sleeper & Texas, although in a good way in the case of the latter. Possibility of a tenner though so culling. Album When We Land has appeared on Deezer this week so they're still plugging away it seems.
Sulky Boys (or possibly Boy, depending on whether you believe the booklet or the record) suffer from a rubbish name but do lo-fi well on opener 'Shasta Fay'. One of the best tracks in the series. 'Amorous Battles' has a good indie jangle to it, bringing Ride to mind a bit. Unfortunately it also sounds a bit wonky so the pressing may be iffy. A keeper nonetheless. To add to the confusion the band's Facebook page lists them as Sulky Boy yet they're happy to have the Sulky Boys cover image as their header photo. Crazy guys. Some live dates coming up this year.
Confidence Man are this month's act I'm already acquainted with, albeit only due to getting hold of their album last year. 'Better Sit Down Boy' is on that album so almost no need to play it (they may have re-recorded it for that I suppose) either way it's as catchy and fast paced as remembered so thumbs up. 'Boyfriend' is also on the album, either in the form presented here or modernised. I can't tell. A great pulsating track though so this one also stays. Keep up with their stuff here and stay confident.
Trudy & The Romance hail from Liverpool and are apparently our doorway back into the sounds of the '50s. You can't accuse Flying Vinyl of lacking variety. The single cover art is crap but they do get transparent red vinyl. They sound only vaguely like a band from the above mentioned decade. Not a good one either. 'Is There A Place I Can Go' leaves me hoping there is and that it has no musical equipment. 'Junkyard Cat' reminds me of The Libertines, or some other Doherty-fronted, drunken-sounding act. Apparently five people want the disc on Discogs so they're welcome to it. The band have an album out and some shows in May. Dates etc. here.
This week's band with a foodstuff in their name are Milk Disco. 'Weekender' has a good thumping bassline and the vocal style is somewhere between speaking & singing. Sufficiently original to warrant keeping I feel. 'Twisted Wheel' is obviously simmilar in style but delivered at a slower pace. It's in an odd position of being music I can appreciate without seeing myself playing it often in the future or bothering to get an album's worth of. Yet it still feels like it ends too soon. The band seem to have just played their last gigs for a while but keep an eye on their doings here.

Physical Format-20190327


November 2017's selection from Flying Vinyl contains . As an aside there's been no interest shown in the discs from previous months which have made their way on to Discogs but it's early days yet.

Even before beginning to write the body of this I've opened a tab for Discogs as the Colouring disc ('Heathen' and 'White Whale') is so obviously not something I'll be listening to again on purpose. Their smooth '80s slightly jazzy pop sound is anathema. According to this month's booklet they supported the 1975 in North America in 2017 and that's another black mark by association with one of the worst named acts of the century. 'White Whale' offers up more of the same from the A side (the songs are interchangeable in their blandness). Unsurprisingly the valuation on Discogs is under £5 but I'll settle for that. By the looks of the band's website they've not been very busy since 2017.
Cosmo Sheldrake's the only one of the five acts this time around that I'd heard of prior to the parcel dropping through the letterbox. I think he's supposed to have a reputation as being a bit off the wall. 'Come Along' doesn't come across as something that'll be getting sung by the masses much in the future. Not good enough to have him mentioned in the same breath as Nick Drake or even Badly Drawn Boy. 'Mind Of Rocks' starts off with a female chorus at a pace which brings to mind pagan rituals. It goes a bit wonky too but it's not totally clear if that's to do with the pressing or deliberate. There's the possibility of a tenner being paid for it so I'd rather have that. Cosmo's website also doesn't show much recent activity but he does have a couple of gigs lined up for the summer.
Next up, on solid white vinyl, are The Ninth Wave. I've recently become aware of their existence and I'm sure someone I know suggested giving them a listen. 'Reformation' ticks a number of nostalgia boxes but not really for any style I was very into. I can't help thinking that they'll be less successful than Franz Ferdinand in their heyday and sink just as quickly. 'Heartfelt' has a faster pace than the A side but what I picture is Deacon Blue given a rock makeover. If someone wants to pay me a fiver for it they're welcome. Their site confirms they're alive & well with a small tour of the UK imminent.
So far we're three for three this time around. Given that Isaac Gracie apparently had help from BBC Introducing (so says the blurb) there's a good chance its kiss of death won't reverse the disposal trend.
And so it proves. Nice solid scarlet disc but yearning, drippy singing on 'All In My Mind' immediately have me switching it over to 'Reverie'. Which is better vocally but does the world need another "woe is me" tune? £20 on offer so that's four out of four getting listed. Isaac's still on the go though, with his first gig of the year scheduled for late in April.
Stereo Honey are immediately on a sticky (geddit?) wicket as a) there's too many bands around with honey in their name (and you don't really want your stereo anywhere near spreads) and b) they've opted for an acoustic B side. 'The Bay' comes to life when it hits the instrumental passage around halfway through and is the best song from this bunch of discs but still not one I feel a need to keep hold of. 'Angel', in the version presented here, doesn't grab me at all or give the impression that the original version would either. Whilst Discogs has no sales history (not usually a good sign) and only three people want it (but yet there are 15 selling it) I can apparently hope for the best part of £15 so that's a clean sweep. Spotify playlisting them and chatting with GQ seems to be keeping the band busy at the moment.
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