Total Control - 'Typical System'

Total Control - 'Typical System'

Total Control's second album takes hold like a headache. It's suffocating, lyrically unforgiving and a near-faultless expression of the bleak power of minimal punk. 'Glass' whips like helicopter blades, 'Expensive Dogs' is unremittingly harsh, the...

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Esben And The Witch - 'A New Nature'

Esben And The Witch - 'A New Nature'

According to legend, a young PJ Harvey once wrote to post-rock pioneers Slint to ask if she could be their singer. If the collaboration had come off, it might have sounded like this third album of windswept epics from gothic Brighton trio Esben...

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Half Japanese - 'Overjoyed'

Half Japanese - 'Overjoyed'

Beloved of Kurt Cobain, Half Japanese's Jad Fair is a prolific artist whose four-decade career has included collaborations from both his side of the Atlantic (Yo La Tengo, Daniel Johnston) and ours (Teenage Fanclub, The Pastels). Combining the...

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Ballet School - 'The Dew Lasts An Hour'

Ballet School - 'The Dew Lasts An Hour'

Call it serendipity or just plain stalking, but it's fitting that Ballet School should end up signed to Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde's label. The Berlin-based trio are obviously and explicitly in love with their boss' band, co-opting their...

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The Vines - 'Wicked Nature'

The Vines - 'Wicked Nature'

Did someone mention a grunge revival? This sounds like a job for Craig Nicholls! Though The Vines were a good 10 years too early trying to be the new Nirvana in 2002, their quiet/loud Cobain-isms make far more sense in an age where Menace Beach...

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Zoot Woman - 'Star Climbing'

Zoot Woman - 'Star Climbing'

Stuart Price has built a stellar career as producer for the big-name likes of Madonna and The Killers. It's somewhat baffling then, that he continues to make records with Zoot Woman, the band he formed in 1995, unless he's keen to assert the...

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Simian Mobile Disco - 'Whorl'

Simian Mobile Disco - 'Whorl'

Ditching their computers, Simian Mobile Disco recorded live(ish) in the Californian desert using two modular synths, two sequencers and a mixer. The result is akin to a live album from beard, never-quite-redeemed German synth pioneers Tangerine...

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Moodoïd - 'Le Monde Möö'

Moodoïd - 'Le Monde Möö'

Melody's Echo Chamber guitarist Pablo Padovani - aka Moodoïd - came to wider attention last September when his band of liquid leaf-adorned waifs released their self-titled debut EP. Produced by Tame Impala's Kevin Parker (also ex-boyfriend of...

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Blonde Redhead - 'Barragán'

Blonde Redhead - 'Barragán'

'Barragán', the title of Blonde Redhead's latest adventures into twisted urbanite indie, means 'warrior' in ancient Spanish - a translation in keeping with the New York sophisticates' swashbuckling approach to convention on this ninth studio...

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Pulled Apart By Horses - 'Blood'

Pulled Apart By Horses - 'Blood'

The trouble with making your name off the back of demented screamo meltdowns with titles such as 'I Punched A Lion In The Throat' is that anything you do subsequently makes you look like you've gone soft. But that's not the only hurdle facing...

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