Monday, February 23, 2009

The Answering Machine


The Answering Machine's video for their new single, "Cliffer," is easily the best video I've seen so far this year (even if it will probably give me nightmares tonight). It's touching and funny, the colors are great, and it features some great performance footage... basically, it's everything a band would want out of a video. Although I'm doubting that the song is really about the falling out of a ventriloquist and his dummy, I think the video is a perfect fit for the upbeat indie-rock song as the lyrics seemingly explore the difficulties inherent in any relationship ("Oh, just because I'm on your side, doesn't mean you're right"). I'd go into more detail, but I can sum it all up by saying that the whole song is killer.

The Answering Machine release “Cliffer" on the 9th March through the brand new indie label, Heist or Hit Records. It's featured on their forthcoming debut album, Another City, Another Sorry, which should be released in May. Be forewarned, this album is going to be huge.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Duels - Free Album Download

Myspace // "Sleeping Giants [Napoleon III Remix]"

We haven't written about one of our favorite Leeds bands, Duels, in quite a while, but that doesn't mean that we've forgotten about them. Their debut album was packed with a good mix of ridiculously catchy songs ("Potential Futures" and "Pressure On You") and more melodic and sensitive anthems ("Brothers & Sisters" and "Young Believers"), making it an easy choice for our year end lists back in 2006.

After months of looking for a physical copy of their sophomore album, The Barbarians Move In, without success, I went over to their website today... only to find that the band is hosting the entire album for free download to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the record's digital release! I assume it'll only be free for a limited time, so make sure to jump over to their website asap. Although I haven't listened yet, if the songs are half as good as "Regeneration" (the video above) then we'll all be in for a treat.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Delorentos Are Breaking Up

Myspace // "Do You Realise" [mp3]

Yesterday, Delorentos announced some very sad news--that founding member Ronan decided to leave the band and, as a result, the group would be disbanding. Clearly, it's been a tough few months for the band who--regardless of their success in 2008--had their label deal fall through and their distribution company go bankrupt. Luckily, before they call it a day, all four members are going to record a new album together and maybe play a couple farewell shows.

I'm totally bummed, because I love love love their debut,
In Love With Detail, which is a shining example of perfect indie-rock. Though I never had a chance to see Delorentos play live, I'm hopeful that I'll actually get to see the other three members when they re-form as a new band sometime in the future. Keep checking their Myspace page for updates on the recording process and everything else.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Wintermute "Dead Or Not He Was Wearing Sunglasses"


Kevin at Big Scary Monsters told me this video wouldn't be done for a couple of weeks, but it seems that there was a video editor out there who worked around the clock to get this thing finished.

This is a mighty good song, but not quite sure what's going on here. Who is this girl? What is she doing? These are quite compelling questions. That house party looked fun though.

Their debut album, Robot Works, will be out later this spring.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Copy Haho

Myspace // "Pulling Push Ups" [Audio] // Copy Haho EP [Pre-order]

Scottish group Copy Haho aren't just from Scotland -- they're really from Scotland, hailing from the Aberdeen area, more specifically Stonehaven. The band's debut EP is set to be released on quickly rising micro indie Big Scary Monsters. The label has a proclivity for stunning math rock, and they have a knack for picking the cream of the genre's crop. Those of you in England can catch the very tail end of the band's short tour, where you'll be sure to see plenty of spiky and skewed guitar theatrics.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Flashback Thursday: Jawbox "Savory"

The best song off of one of the best math rock albums at the peak of the genre. This song is such no-brainer -- easily one of the best songs ever. I know this band got so much shit for jumping to a major from Dischord for this album, but the critics were silenced after For Your Own Special Sweetheart dropped. The video may be a little dated, but I could listen to this song over and over for days and not get sick of it.

Jawbox may not have been the kingpins of the District like Fugazi, the cool kids like Girls Against Boys, untouchable like Nation of Ulysses, or arty like Shudder to Think, but they were the best thing to come out of DC in the '90s.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Myspace // "Offensive Coordinator" [Audio]

Although it's been a few months since Brighton trio Elle Milano called it quits, it doesn't mean we've stopped mourning them in the Exitfare office. Their legend has only grown, from us waxing nostalgic about the two gigs we caught from them at the Great Escape last year to Beth commenting to me today about good Psirens were. It's obvious that Adam Crisp, a member of both of those outfits, has something quite special going on in the songwriting department.

Entrepreneurs is his latest project, one that is a complete left turn from what he has done in the past. As far as we know, it's just him and an odd assortment of instruments. It's electronic, but it still retains the same wry cynicism we came to love from the Milanos. He's even tried his hand at some remixing, include an excellent reworking of a Hannah Shark (of Arthur) song.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Tigers That Talked

[Photo Credit: David Sorley]

Myspace // "23 Fears" [Audio] // "23 Fears" [Buy]

This is a Leeds group that has flown under our radar until very recently, but it seems as though all of the right people in England have been paying attention to them. Their recent single "23 Fears" has received nods of approval from Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe, Radio 1, and Q Radio while the band is busy prepping their debut album. First time listeners will notice similarities to Elbow and the Arcade Fire, but the band puts their own mystical spin on the formula. The band has relocated to a chapel in Lincolnshire with Adam Noble (the Guillemots), and while they still in midst of recording, expect the finish product sometime later this year.


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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Flashback Thursday: The Charlatans "Can't Get Out of Bed"

It wasn't until '94 that I discovered The Charlatans with their Up to Our Hips album, but like many Brit bands of the time, I was hooked from that day on. This was the first song I heard from them and it remains one of my favorites.

Some of you may be skeptics, but You Cross My Path, which was released last year, is actually quite good.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

4 or 5 Magicians

[Photo Credit: Paul Choy]

Myspace // "Nice Little Earner" [Audio]

Brighton group 4 or 5 Magicians is a band formed around songwriter Dan Ormsby, whom plays out and often records with musicians he feels are "better at playing stuff than me." They have just finished recording and mixing their debut album with Ian Button (Death in Vegas) with a tentative release date of April. Should be a riot! The band have had singles out on This is Fake DIY ("Change The Record" / "Ideal Man") and Alcopop! ("Forever on the Edge"). The band is playing a string of dates this month, including one while I am in the country. Again, this should be a riot!

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Long Overdue 2k8 Revue

I am temporarily returning from my law school inspired blogging hiatus to post my long overdue year end lists for 2008... because someone was begging/bugging me to share.

Top 30 Albums of the Year (2008)

1. Johnny Foreigner - Waited Up Til It Was Light
2. Johnny Flynn – A Larum
3. Elle Milano – Acres of Dead Space Cadets
4. Foals - Antidotes
5. Blood Red Shoes – Box of Secrets
6. The Subways – All Or Nothing
7. Let’s Wrestle – Let’s Wrestle
8 ¡Forward, Russia! – Life Processes
9. Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
10. Cajun Dance Party – The Colourful Life
11. Mystery Jets – Twenty One
12. Bromheads Jacket – On The Brain
13. Rotary Ten - These Are Our Hands
14. Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart
15. The Features – Some Kind of Salvation
16. Look See Proof – Between Here & There
17. Margot & The Nuclear So And So's - Animal
18. Dartz - The Sad History Of The Village Of Alnerique
19. Bloc Party – Intimacy
20. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
21. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
22. Cazals – What Of Our Future
23. American Princes – Other People
24. Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
25. Black Kids – Partie Traumatic
26. Lightspeed Champion - Falling Of The Lavender Bridge
27. Birdmonster – From the Mountain to the Sea
28. Nada Surf – Lucky
29. XX Teens – Welcome to Goon Island
30. The Young Knives - Superabundance

Top EPs of the Year (2008)

1. Mumford and Sons
2. Dananananaykroyd – Sissy Hits
3. Wintermute - Fun With Wizard Stencils
4. The More Assured
5. Simon Says No! - Ahoi de Angst
6. Cut Off Your Hands - Happy As Can Be
7. Rademacher – ERA
8. Ketch Harbour Wolves - Dead Calm Horizon
9. The Jealous Sound – Got Friends
10. The Video Nasties – Tour EP

Favorite Bands that Did Not Release Albums in 2008

1. Bombay Bicycle Club
2. Dinosaur Pile-Up
3. Grammatics
4. White Lies
5. Sky Larkin
6. Pulled Apart By Horses
7. Fox Cubs
8. Bodies of Work
9. This Et Al
10. The Clik Clik

Favorite Shows of the Year (2008)

1. Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons @ Hotel Café (LA, 09/26/08)
2. Elle Milano @ The Prince Albert (Brighton, 05/15/08)
3. Foals @ The Middle East (Boston, 05/06/08)
4. White Lies @ The Roxy (LA, 10/30/08)
5. Johnny Foreigner, Cocknbull Kid @ The Honey Club (Brighton, 05/16/08)
6. Let’s Wrestle @ Horatios (Brighton, 05/17/08)
7. Lightspeed Champion @ Union Pool (Brooklyn, 03/08/08)
8. The Mystery Jets @ The Honey Club (Brighton, 05/17/08)
9. The Clik Clik, The Damn Shames @ Arc (Brighton, 05/17/08)
10. Passion Pit @ Henry Fonda Theater (LA, 11/01/08)

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Lea Shores

Myspace // "Fear SOS" [Audio] // "Guillotine" [Video]

Not too sure about this, but we might be the throes of a psychedelia revolution right now as there are a glut of great bands on both sides of the Atlantic producing some pretty mind-blowing music, including the Brothers Movement, the Black Angels, Sweet Jane, and Darker My Love. Add the Lea Shores to this list, a band that I neglected to check out until Friday.

The band has been hailed by the likes of the NME and Andy Bell (of Oasis/Ride), while they have supported the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Kasabian, and the Dandy Warhols. The band's debut EP, Butterfly, is out now.

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