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New to You – Death Rattle

What better way to kick off the week than with something new? And something black, thumping and rather in-your-face. Death Rattle are Helen and Chris Hamilton – a dark electro duo based in London. Their debut EP HE&I (‘He & I’) is due for release via Frontal Noize on October 15th 2012. This track is called ‘The Dig’ and will annoy people next to you on public transport – this is also good on a Monday. Check it out!

Vigo Thieves – The Art School, Glasgow

A stock sequence in the nature documentary business is the ‘opening flower’ montage. You know the one – flower slowly begins to open up, reaching towards the sun before standing proudly, beautiful and alive. It’s a lovely image, and it’s repeated so often simply because it’s one we can all relate to. There really are few things in life more satisfying than watching something achieve its potential. That same feeling is what makes this gig so special.

You see, Vigo Thieves have grown so much over the last few years that are virtually unrecognisable from the clunky indie-poppers they started out as. Like many young bands – and being a young act is not so much about the age of the artists than the art itself – they’ve taken a while to find their own sound. Unlike many young bands these days, they’ve done the hard yards on the road, gigging all over the country and honing their craft. What has emerged is a sleek, gloriously passionate band with soaring ambition and the ability to realise it.

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The Unkindness Of Ravens – Virus

You know when you hear a rock star complaining about their ‘demons’? Well, Howlin’ Whippet is the man to call and battle them. And he always kicks their arse. Thankfully, he’s put down Jessie J’s for an hour to review a new album for us.

Despite the rather unwieldy name, The Unkindness of Ravens deal in a very compact, hypnotic electro/rock hybrid. Opener Viper features Nina Wagner’s sultry death ray vocals over Ben Raine’s fuzztone bass and a sparse drum machine backing. There’s a hint of Suicide’s pulsing, propulsive grooves amongst the industrial carnage. This is not a band that sounds like it takes prisoners.

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New to you – Saturday Night Gym Club

Saturday Night Gym Club sounds like most people idea of hell. Apart from those weirdos who actually like exercising. Luckily, the band who bear that name make music which is an altogether more pleasant experience. Their new EP How to Build a Life Raft is out now and is well worth checking out if you like floaty electro which contains a pop sensibility yet still retains an emotional core. Download the title track here and let us know what you think.


Weekly what’s new – The Naked and Famous

It’s taken a while for The Naked and Famous to get some ‘traction’, as the marketing people have it. They seem to be poised now at the take-off stage. Will new single ‘Girls Like You’ propel them upwards? Let us know what you think.

Whippet out – Heaven 17, Glasgow ABC

The Whippet goes out searching for redemption in the strangest places. he finds some in the form of electro-pioneers Heaven 17.

Once more the intrepid Whippet drags his weary bones out in the wintry Glasgow night. This, I have to say, is more at the behest of Mrs Whippet who has something of a penchant for what is known in Anarchy Heights as “Eighties throwbacks”.

I do, however, have something of a soft spot for the album being re-lived tonight. It’s the 30th Anniversary of Penthouse And Pavement, and I’m keen to see what a 21st Century makeover will bring to one of the albums that defined the Thatcher/Yuppie-era.

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Wednesday what’s new – Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith

Crystal Castles have always given the impression of being far more cool than good. Far too much emphasis on haircuts and not enough on actual records led to a couple of albums of undoubted potential but ruined by several bleepy wig-outs which sounded like the fridge playing up.

However, this seems to have unblocked the creative pipes, as their new single is a corker. ‘Not In Love’ features Robert Smith and thus sounds like a Cure song. This is, undoubtedly, a good thing. Indeed, as Smith wonders which way to take his day job, can we humbly suggest that the world would prefer them to go electro again rather than continue to mine the heavy industrial goth of the last few albums? Just a thought.