Alternative music reviews

February 28, 2008


Filed under: cogwheel dogs,ramblings,the resonance association,the studiofix — @ 11:34 pm Comments (0)

My Cogwheel Dogs interest is turning to love and admiration. I have found that if you play the songs off the latest Cress EP at very loud volume in the car then the vibrations feel wonderful. The song Anti-Coagulant is just glorious when the windows begin to shake. Every band and scrape of the Cello drives itself into your body and the vocals are rich and varied taking the cue to leave any obvious pop mediocrity. And you can download the EP for free by going to and entering your email address. You get a link to download on entering your email address (and can unsubscribe immediately if you are shy).

After declaring The Resonance Association’s Failure OF The Grand Design as the best album of last year I am happy to point out that there is a free download of an EP of re-worked tracks from the album on Burning Shed. The rascals include a track that isn’t even on the album Montag Morgen and found myself bathing in every note of the feedback guitar. Any sane person’s reaction to this world should be wrapping their arms around themselves and rhythmically rocking in a chair – this is a soundtrack to it, but don’t tell your Psychiatrist.

I’m probably very late but I have spotted that at some time in the last year The Studiofix did upload a free EP How I Spent My Summer Vacation. It’s totally different from the debut album where they belted out a Rock/Soul/Indie classic – but it has a very special charm to make your toes turn up in their socks. You can also learn what a “cockblock” is. Download from here

February 1, 2008

What I Did In My Holidays Part 1

Filed under: boxing,ramblings,the studiofix — @ 2:35 pm Comments (0)

Normally, as soon as I finish writing a review of a submitted CD, I cast it towards the wall of CDs next to the bed. It has to fend for itself from then on, either snuggling up to fellow unsigned items or attempting to infiltrate the alt-country that dominates my post-vinyl years. The CD’s destiny is to lie there gathering dust and being squashed below all the other CDs that follow.

Given that I suddenly had some time, I began to listen to the past five years of CDs. More recently I even bought an external drive and started to convert my music to MP3 as well as adding a very cheap MP3 player to the car. I now carry a half Gig of selected tracks around with me.

What did I learn? I learnt that the music I have been listening to and reviewing is just as good as anything else I have in my collection. I can mix Scud Mountain Boys and Drunk with The Reverse and Things In Herds and it all equally brilliant and inspiring. As a side effect of this confirmation I also realised that it is not the quality of the music that leads to a band being signed/unsigned famous/unknown. I have no idea what does make that difference but it probably includes a large slice of luck (“that was lucky” said a spectator to Gary Player as he holed a long put. “Yes, ” said Player, “and the more I practice the luckier I get”).

In all of this walking down memory lane, I returned to two albums that sound even better after a little time away from them. repeated listens (out of choice and not duty) now mean I can place them into my personal “Greatest classic albums of all time, ever” list. I think its just a coincidence that both bands are from Los Angeles.

The Studiofix Will Change Your Life (2006). The Studiofix play music that is Indie Rock/Funk/Soul and bring together musical elements from the 60s onwards. Mind you, you could make anything sound good when you are fronted with a girl who can sing like Paco.

Way Down East by Boxing (2003). Sadly split up now. Boxing produced an album of bewilderingly quirky and twisted Indie music that can years later still surprise and energise.