Just squeezing the May Music Review in before the end of the month. And to kick off this month's mailbag of music are some folks who like trains. And history.
iLIKETRAINS - Terra Nova (single released 29th May on Fierce Panda)
Terra Nova is about Captain Scott's doomed 1912 Antarctic expedition and the b-side is about the Norwegian who beat him to the pole. This is rock music for A-Level history students perhaps. iLIKETRAINS sound a bit like Explosions In The Sky, lots of quiet loud and expansive rising guitars, with a Northern gloom voice over the top. Which we like very much. Their live shows are a bit of a corker too apparently.
Kill The Young - Addiction (single released May 8th on Discograph)
Sprightly indie punk pop from Manchester's young Kill The Young who should have released the Brit tinged funky Ramones bop of the b-side, Radio instead. Not that the a-side's not good, with a nice line in US post-grunge hooks, just the b-side's better.
The Fever - In The City Of Sleep (album released 15th May on Kemado Records)
16 tracks, 16 ways to merge an overwhelming array of influences from The Fever. In one track alone, for the sake of argument let's pick Redhead there's the Floyd, the Kinks, Blur, and some kind of twisted David Lynch take on The Small Faces to a spooky fairground organ. It's all dementedly dark in a Nick Cave sponsored suburban fairytale nightmare kind of way; lots of otherworldy guitar twangs and wooden blocks. The soundtrack to a bad day Chris Morris thought up for you. There's even a sea shanty in there somewhere.
Ghosty - Grow Up Or Sleep In (album released on 29th May on Broken Horse)
The press release mentions The Flaming Lips (Wayne Coyne appears on the bonus track), Bright Eyes, Pavement, The Shins and The New Pornographers. So we know we're in Coup-land observational Americana, jaunty and jangly and sun shiny fun and yet serious at the same time. If the corporates made a video to Big Surrender it would have surf boards, posters for Shins gigs and floppy haired US indie kids having fun or looking sad. Luckily they won't. Ghosty probably stand closest to The Shins in feel than any of the aforementioned, crossing over towards Ben Folds Five territory: quirky, intelligent, left-field melodious pop. Which is really quite annoying when it's still cold outside though.
Motorpsycho - Black Hole / Blank Canvas (album released 1st May on Stickman)
Motorpsycho's comment on this double album is that it's probably too long. Maybe so, but the joy of double albums is that you don't have to play them all at once. Unlike last year's Foo Fighters folly there's no good side / bad side going on. Just two sides of pure unadulterated, unfettered rock. A veritable volume of rifferama celebrating in the sheer joy of the electric guitar. No stone is left unturned in exploring the infinte and varied possibilities of chugging and crunching guitars; the opening riff of No Evil alone is so metal it almost hurts. But don't go thinking this is just a feast of rejuvenated Judas Priest. BHBC also funks and grooves and rumbles along jumping between QOTSA patented dirty riffery, the bombastic po(m)p opera of Queen and just about everything in between both quiet and loud. There's even something resembling a grunge power ballad. If you can imagine such a thing. As the album progresses it becomes a thing of wonder to see how many styles these Norwegians effortlessly draw in without ever really drawing attention to the fact or detracting from its own coherency. And in doing so just pips the post for our recommendation of the week over The Fever.