THE PRIMITIVES: Lovely – 25th Anniversary Edition: CD

Formed in the British city of Coventry in 1985, THE PRIMITIVES garnered a following through several singles on their own Lazy Records imprint before signing to RCA for their first studio LP, Lovely. THE PRIMITIVES combined the guitar-based sensibilities of other indie acts like The Jesus & Mary Chain while adding a distinct audio / visual flair thanks to Tracy Cattell’s distinctive vocals and bottle-blonde hairstyle. They are credited with kick starting the niche indie subgenre of “blonde pop.”

The album is basically a re-recording of tracks from their earlier singles, but still manages to be a cohesive whole that retains the excitement and energy of not only the original recordings, but still sounds amazing today. This is a great clear and crisp sounding remaster that gives the band the clarity and power that stands out from the twee and boring female fronted indie bands out there nowadays. You get the entire first album, leading off with their most well-known song “Crash”, plus a second CD of bonus tracks that are a treat for fans. Compiled with the help of guitarist PJ Court, this 2-CD compilation also has an annotated booklet boasting rare photos and personal memories from the band.

A great first album that has been beautifully remastered, great bonus tracks and still stands up as one of the better albums from its time period…how could you go wrong? I’m glad that Cherry Red got this album back out to the public so that people can get a chance to hear a band at their peak having a great time.

THE PRIMITIVES: Everything’s Shining Bright, The Lazy Recordings 1985-1987: CD

Between 1985 and 1987, THE PRIMITIVES issued five singles / EPs on independent label Lazy Records before signing with RCA Records. Everything’s Shining Bright is named after their planned Lazy Records album, which was abandoned when the band left the label for RCA and seven of the ten previously unissued tracks on here stem from those sessions. Also unearthed is the band’s very first demo from 1985, consisting of three tracks including a dry-run through their eventual hit “Crash”.This 2-CD set also boasts their promo-only live album at the ICA with MORRISSEY introducing them and completes their entire Lazy Records output from that period. The compilation also features the band’s first four singles, four more demos, their gig freebie/promo single and a booklet with a great overview of their early career.

In the mid ’80s, music was a mix of cheesy pop pap, glum indie and hair metal, then along came THE PRIMITIVES with their jangly, feedback filled pop that kicked things in the arse and let in a bit of fun and decent music back into the charts. The singles were a breath of fresh air and the music papers of the time took notice and gave them some coverage and got the ball rolling to eventually move onto bigger things for them.

The songs sound even better today with the fantastic remastering job and of course with how bad the charts are now, this really sounds fresh and exciting. The demos give you a chance to hear the band raw, but yet still melodic and it’s cool to hear how the songs sounded at first. The unreleased songs from the abandoned album are a very nice addition to the collection, very well-played and tuneful, plus a live album that shows the pure energy and fun that the band put forth on stage.

You can’t go wrong with a collection as terrific and full of songs that will get stuck in your head as soon as you hear them once. The band was just hitting the heights of their power and it’s a great way to get everything that you are missing from this band all in one place.

TEASING LULU: Black Summer: CD

Debut album from Brighton, UK band that would fit in with ELASTICA in their punk rock influenced sound. Contains three catchy as all get out singles, “The Ex-Factor”, “Waste Of Time” and “Cat & Mouse” all produced by the STRANGLERS JJ Burnel.

They come tearing out of the gate with “The Ex-Factor” and start things off with energy and an explosion of exuberance. This continues into the next few songs “Waste Of Time”, and “I’m So Bored”. “Lady Luck” is a bit slower, but has great playing and will get you moving, then it’s right back to the jumping “D.I.H.” and “Loser” with its screams and great bitter lyrics. “Black Summer” is a lovely acoustic song that lets the vocals shine and the band shows that charging at you at 100 miles an hour is not all that they are capable of doing. “Cat & Mouse” starts with some thick bass, great throaty vocals and a fantastic punky and poppy groove. “You Ain’t My Baby” is another standout track that keeps you rocking out.

This is one hell of a tight and well produced album with sharp edges that are smoothed out a bit with the incredible vocals. It has grooves and melody to spare and is an album that deserves to be in your music collection and played for all of your friends.


Formed in Kentucky in 2010, this roots music oriented band has its beginnings in the various punk bands that the members used to play in. The band has gone beyond the borders of punk and found its niche in more introspective and quieter sounds that still retain the integrity and heartfelt emotion of their punk beginnings.

“Road Song” kicks things off with a very smooth sound and a plea that they will be home from the road and it all is played with emotion and a sense of yearning. The songs all have the sound of a band that has its heart on its sleeve and they are giving you their all. With the great lyrics and the tight musicianship, this is a great debut that will have you coming back for more. The songs aren’t party anthems, they are from the heart, and will get you thinking and the emotive playing will hit you hard.

With not one filler song on this album, the have started off on the right track and I can’t get enough of this album. They remind me a bit of BLUE RODEO, kind of country-tinged music that doesn’t have the twangy sound of country, but has the parts that don’t suck. A truly great album.

THE PALE FACES: Another Such Strange Bird: CD

THE PALE FACES hailing from Leicester, UK are a lo-fi, experimental, noise band that mixes it all up with garage rock and runs with it. This three-piece takes a very indie feel and sound and turns the droning and dissonant sounds into a goulash of delicious delights that keep you coming back for seconds.

“Girl From The Past” has the early ’80s sound of experimentalism and noise, but creates a textured song that compels you to relisten to the sounds being explored on this track. “O Mummy O Daddy” brings out the dirty garage-rock doused in organ and a groove that forces you to move along to it in your chair and is exceptionally memorable, especially the vocals that have a ton of distortion on them and go from being kind of blase to screamed. “Eat You Alive” has an interesting keyboard sound that incorporates a little bit of gothiness with the haunting vocals that would have made a huge splash on mix tapes back in the ’80s. “No Kisses Blues” brings back a nice swaggering groove that harkens back to the ’60s and mixes it up with noise and creates a cool jam. “Sweet & Sour Sixteen” has a ’60s pop sound mixed in with the rocking groove and gets you moving along to the song and wishing that it was at least twice as long. “Island” is a very interesting slow song that has a ton of atmospheric sounds and gothy vocals that kind of make it sound like a song that would be on a horror movie soundtrack…very cool. “A Thing Called Man” has a definite post-punk edginess to its sound and then the more goth-like sound of a ’60s influenced SIOUXSIE SIOUX vocal takes over for “Soul Connection”. “Dark Lips” is a very interesting experimental track, almost trance techno-like that has some great screaming at the end. “Black Swan” begins with more screams, dissonance and noise and slips into being more melodic with returns to the sound of the beginning of the song mixed in and gives listeners a very noise filled, but complete and fitting end to the album.

The band isn’t trying to be the most proficient and technical players, but that’s the charm, noise can be just as technical as a precise guitar lick or drum fill and every bit as exciting. THE PALE FACES have given us an albums of mind-blowing textures and sounds and adds a colorful palette that should make their faces just a touch less pale.

RUN, FOREVER: Settling: LP

Settling cover art

Some very earnest and heartfelt indie pop with a little bit of punk mixed in from RUN, FOREVER on this very short album.

You get ten songs in just over twenty-six minutes so you know that they aren’t going to mess around when it comes to this album. Most of the songs are very big sounding, very much room filling anthems that would sound great in a live setting. There are a few acoustic songs on here that show a different side to this band, the song “Braddock Beach” has a great feel to it, you just start getting hypnotized by the vocal and the acoustic guitar. Some other stand out tracks were “Good Enough,” “Settling,” “Postcards” and “Braddock Beach”.

These guys have done a great job on this release, being able to show their more emotional, sensitive side and mixing it up with some great fast songs. This is a very ambitious album that a lot of bands couldn’t pull off, bit RUN, FOREVER have done it and very well I might add.

UNIFIER: Colorado: CD

This is the debut album from the band that used to be known as FUTURE GHOSTS until another band from Chicago served them a cease and desist letter to change their name.

This pop rock band has a bit of punk mixed in and really did a great job on this album with some tight playing and emotional singing that really set them apart from a ton of other bands mining the same field. There is a lot of melody on this album, but they still manage to have some heavy layers in the songs that add substance and punch to the songs. UNIFIER has put out an album that will satisfy your craving for something a little bit more than the average band and should get you in a good mood with the above average songs that they put on this album. Songs like “Crush,” “Traps,” “Bitter? Better,” “Colorado,” “Shame,” “Shadows,” and “Mission Control” stood out for me.

This was an album that no matter which song I started listening to, it was never a bad one, that’s some damn good quality.

THE JEALOUS SOUND: A Gentle Reminder: CD

This is a re-release of their debut album with bonus tracks. The new deluxe digipak version will include 4 bonus tracks including a brand new song and the 2008 Got Friends EP and the double vinyl LP version will include those as well as 2 remixes of the song “Got Friends” including one by Jimmy Tamborello of the POSTAL SERVICE and features Nate Mendel of FOO FIGHTERS/SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE on bass.

This is one of the best melodic rock albums that I have heard in years, it really was a pleasure to hear this album with all the bonus songs because it all flows together so well and seamlessly, it was like it was meant to be released like this all along. The vocals are so smooth and inviting that it drew me in, especially with the quality of the lyrics, the band really played their heart out on these songs with so much emotion and feeling going into every one of the songs. “Perfect Timing,” with its rumbling bass-led verses and explosive chorus was a treat, “Change You,” has a pounding drum beat and gritty guitar riffs, “Beautiful Morning,” starts with distorted guitar riffs and then explodes into the chorus, “Promise of The West,” and “This Is Where It Starts,” were just some of the songs that stood out for me.

I really have to say that this is one of my favorite albums right now and I plan on playing this a lot and to as many people as I can.

ANNABEL: Youth in Youth: CD

Youth In Youth cover art

ANNABEL is from Kent, OH and these four guys have put out eleven new songs that are pretty damn catchy and stick with you after you turn off the album.

On this, their sophomore album, have put out a mighty fine mix of indie pop, and emo, but not the crappy, mopey kind, more of the emotional part of that type of music. There are tons of hooks on this album, the drumming really has a nice feel, the guitars have some nice fuzz on them, the bass lines are throbbing in the background and the singer has some really nice harmonies going on throughout the album. These guys have a couple of real short instrumentals to break things up and not every song is fast, but everyone has something to keep your interest throughout. The production and mix could be a bit better, with the bass getting lost sometimes, but you still get the emotion and feel that they are putting forth.

I really think that this is going to give them a good push and make people take notice of them.


This five song EP from Perth, Scotland’s WE CAME FROM WOLVES has put out a really cool bunch of songs that have massive potential for getting a room full of people to sing along with them.

You can hear the Scottish accent in the vocals which was a nice thing to hear for a change since most vocalists try to sing without an accent, I think that it added something to the songs, some personality that’s missing from a lot of other bands doing rock music nowadays. The band puts out a great rock sound with some modern touches and a bit of a punkish underbelly, but never veering too far that way. The songs are very melodic and catchy and will be getting played more often in my car so I can sing along and soak up the energy and love that they’ve put into the music. The title track “Cope” draws you into the album with energetic and melodic choruses and great lyrics and vocal hooks.The band is really tight and have the groove locked down which is great for such a relatively young band. The drummer is doing such a good job bringing the right amount of thump to the songs, the guitar is nice and sharp, with great bass playing as well.

I really thought that the band put a lot of effort into this release and it shows with how well the entire package was, from production, songwriting, and the playing. This is a definite winner.