Label
Release Date
12 Nov 12
Forming half of the original (and undoubtedly greatest) line up of Public Image Limited, Yin and Yang sees punk survivors Jah Wobble and Keith Levene reunite and serve up an offering of mixed results. Kicking off with “Yin and Yang” this sees Wobble proclaim “fucking ying and fucking yang/soft little whisper, big fucking bang” like a particularly blue cockney version of John Cooper Clarke, accompanied by Poptones-esque guitar noodling by Keith Levene. After this semi-hilarious opening, second song “Strut” effectively does what it says on the tin, a funked up jam of a song.
Artist
Release Date
01 Oct 12
The covers album –the last refuge of artists currently on a crash course towards the metaphorical creative brick wall or a chance to pay tribute to those that they admire? History has given us both good, bad and indifferent examples of these, ranging from the celebrated 1973 pairing of David Bowie’s “Pin Ups” and Bryan Ferry’s “These Foolish Things” to Duran Duran’s unfairly maligned “Thank You” from 1995 (yes, I do realise that I’m in a such a tiny minority that you’d need to employ the services of a jeweller’s eye piece to see it).
Artist
Label
Release Date
01 Oct 12
New Relics sees the return of Glasgow three-piece Errors, mere months after the release of the well received Have Some Faith in Magic.
Artist
Label
Release Date
24 Sep 12
Play for Today sees the return of Ultrasound after an absence of 13 years since their debut album, the neglected classic Everything Picture. Kicking off with the valedictory “Welfare State”, the lyrics clearly address both the distance between this and their previous work and society at large "This song is the clarion call/ And if it means we have to reform/ We crashed and burned but we return/ To claim our stake." As an opening statement “Welfare State” succeeds and sets the tone for the album with its crashing power chords, organ stabs and egalitarian friendly lyrical themes.
Label
Release Date
20 Aug 12
LA-based oddball (which is seemingly necessary to say in every review of him) Ariel Pink’s latest Mature Themes sees it opening with the playful, cheesy organ-led “Kinski Assassin”, a highly arch opener oddly reminiscent of the Divine Comedy (the Neil Hannon fronted band, not Dante’s epic poem) and sets the tone for the rest of the album with its references to “Blow jobs of death” and all. Sharing an almost psychotically obsessed preoccupation with sex like its namesake Klaus Kinski, its jaunty tune masks a grubby underbelly which is prevalent throughout the album.
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Label
Release Date
20 Aug 12
“Good things come to those who wait” or so says the phrase which extols the virtues of patience. Bill Fay’s career (if it can be called as such) certainly subscribes to this with the former fruit picker/gardener/factory cleaner releasing his first studio album in 40 years, a period of time that would make even Axl Rose blanch with embarrassment. However, Fay’s journey is one that deserves respect and his return to the limelight (as it were) is something that must be both admired and celebrated.

Live at Hammersmith Apollo, London

Artist
Arriving on a stage that has perhaps singlehandedly kept the local branch of Interflora afloat for the next decade, and clad in mental institution chic, Faith No More started proceedings with a ferocious "Woodpecker From Mars".
Artist
Release Date
11 Jun 12
Veteran musical collective Piano Magic’s 11th album sees them grab both the baroqueness of Dead Can Dance and the skeletal stylings of late 1970s/early 1980s New Wave, swallowing them whole and spitting out that which made them original. Kicking off with the mournful cello of the short instrumental of “Matin”, we know that this is not going to be the feel good album of the summer. It effectively lays down the album’s musical ground rules and embarks on a what will transpire to be a familiar journey.
Artist
Label
Release Date
09 Apr 12
Imagine an alternative universe wherein Bobby Conn is the most popular and famous pop star on the planet: "Never Get Ahead" was a worldwide number one hit for 20 consecutive weeks; both takes of "The Language of Love" held numbers 1 AND 2 in the US Charts and "King for a Day" was used in a series of hugely popular ads for Burger King despite the violent protestations from his more militant vegan fan base. Of course, even in an alternative universe this would never and could never happen.
Artist
Label
Release Date
20 Mar 12
“Songs can go a million ways” states Lee Ranaldo in the liner notes for his new album Between The Times and The Tides.  With a line-up including Sonic Youth partner in crime Steve Shelley and additional help from musical Zelig Jim O’Rourke (himself once part of the Sonic Youth set up) Ranaldo tries to demonstrate this from the off.