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October 2008


Your games, your voice, your awards
Last year The National Student your favourite game.
joined forces with the Golden
Joystick Awards to help make it an Celebrating excellence in video
unprecedented success, with over gaming across the board, the
three quarters of a million votes Golden Joystick Awards are the
cast by opinionated gamers. longest-established video games
awards in the world and are the
Once again the world’s most popu- only UK awards voted for by the
lar gaming awards wants to know people.
what games and consoles have
impressed YOU over the last year. After the phenomenal numbers of
people airing their views last year,
Voting for the 2008 Golden Joystick The National Student has once
Awards has been flowing since May again signed up to help make 2008
19 with the long-lists being an- the biggest year yet.
The past year has been an excit-
In keeping with the Golden Joystick ing one for gamers: the xbox360
Awards inclusiveness, every single brought us the multi-player mad-
game released between July 31
2007 and August 1 2008 were eligi-
ness of the third instalment in the
Halo series and the Nintendo Wii Last chance to have your say in the most
ble for the long-lists. has added to its cannon of brilliant
releases with the likes of Mario Kart important gaming awards of the year.
On June 19, the hallowed shortlists and recently the ground-breaking
were announced and a second keep-fit gaming of the Wii Fit.
round of voting kicked off to de-
termine the overall winner of each
Undoubtedly the game on every-
body’s lips will be the amazing Great prizes still up for grabs
category. Grand Theft Auto 4, which is likely
to win at least one award if not including a 40” Sony Bravia TV and
And now as the end of the voting
period draws near your vote could
Nokia N96 smart phones.
be vital in securing an award for But this is up to you, so get voting!

We need YOU to vote on the year’s best games at:

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Jeffrey Lewis
To those in the know Jeffrey Lewis is considered one of the finest artists of our generation;
a purveyor of brilliant lo-fi folk and creator of cult comic-books.
Ollie Millington caught up with the anti-folk hero for a little chat.....
Describe what you do? What made you cover [80s anarcho- Burdon. I love the Animals and I love book is about, etc! In fact the only really of NME, all add up to make a more
Low-fi folk, sci-fi punk and low budget punk legends] Crass - their music his work with War, but he was lame. Oh, preferable thing about the festivals is that widespread and knowledgeable and
videos! seems fairly far removed from what do you mean a particular gig of MINE? they pay so much, compared to most enthusiastic audience in the UK. Also it’s
you do? Sorry. club shows. And sometimes it’s really easier to tour the UK because you don’t
Do you see yourself as a musician or In a certain way it’s not THAT removed nice to play on the same day as other have to drive 8 or 9 hours each day just
a cartoonist first? because it is very lyric-oriented, I’m Do you have a favourite place to play bands that we’re friends with, nice to see to get to the next city.
Comic book maker first I suppose, always drawn to things with strong lyrical when your over here in the UK? folks we know.
songwriter/performer second. Not really content. As far as the full story of my dis- I do love the Brudenell Social Club in Do you have a favourite character
a “musician,” I’d say. covering and eventually covering Crass, Leeds... the Adelphi in Hull... independ- Have you seen any bands this sum- from your comics?
it’s all told better in the comic book I did ent local places like that, great atmos- mer that you would recommend? I don’t use too many “characters” other
How important is music in your life? that comes in the CD sleeve. pheres. I just saw a band in Portland, Oregon, than the sometimes-reappearing Ba-
Extremely important, I listen to music all called Inside Voices that were the best byshoes, who is sort of a well-meaning
the time! What the hell is ‘anti-folk’ - and do you You’ve played a lot of festivals in the thing I’ve seen in a long time, I’d really guy who always gets into trouble and is
see yourself as being part of it? UK this year - how did they go and like to check out more of their stuff but I addicted to shooting up truth serum. He
How important is music in general? Antifolk usually refers to performers what do you think of British festivals? don’t think they have an album out yet. has mysterious legs growing out of his
To the world at large? I guess it’s pretty who have gotten their start at the open I’d always much rather play club shows, Being on tour with Steven Malkmus & head, with little shoes on them, though
important or it wouldn’t be part of all hu- mic at the Sidewalk in New York City, they’re more intimate, the sound is gen- the Jicks was great, I loved seeing them for the truth about what’s under the
man cultures. especially performers who mix folk and erally better, I can show my artwork more play every night. shoes you’ll have to wait till I reprint a
punk in some kind of indefinable way. easily, even when I use my projector at shocking 2002 story. Also I often return
What inspires you? Because of those things I certainly AM to the character of the Sitar-Playing
People that show how amazing you can part of it, though I never set out to be, I’d Clam, he doesn’t really have a name but
be when you are just yourself, also peo- never heard of it before I’d already been he tells rhyming stories with sitar accom-
ple that show how amazing you can be performing and recording. paniment, he’s sort of a troubadour.
when you push yourself to be better! Most of my musical heroes are not
Which of your albums are you most Do you have any advice for young
Musically do you have any heroes or proud of and why? very musical themselves, which is musicians or artists? Perhaps some-
people you would like to collaborate I like the new one that hasn’t been thing you would have liked to know
with? finished yet... it’s a great mix of all the why they inspire me to create; people early on.
Most of my musical heroes are not very elements of the previous albums but I’ve Don’t second-guess yourself too much,
musical themselves, which is why they gotten better at everything. like Daniel Johnston, Mark E. Smith, just keep cranking it out.
inspire me to create; people like Daniel
Johnston, Mark E. Smith, Jonathan How does a typical song or comic Jonathan Richman, Lou Reed What’s the best advice you’ve ever
Richman, Lou Reed, they all show that strip come to fruition, do you have an received?
you can make incredible art without a lot approach that works for you? Sing more clearly so people can hear
of the tools and skills that many people Comics come about only when I devote the words. You can add things to songs
assume are needed to make the highest lots and lots of time to them, like 8 larger shows I need the room to be dark Do you have any plans to release the to make them more musically colourful
art. Not that they are not highly skilled, hours a day for days and weeks on end. which doesn’t happen at outdoor shows, comics in stores? but songs should be good enough to
but not in conventional senses. Songs come about more randomly, but also so many of these festivals are so I have a distributor for the US but no be good songs even without any extra
certainly more often if I try more. Less rainy and muddy and uncomfortable for store distribution in the UK at this point. instrumentation, or no amount of extra
What happened to the album you predictable though. the audience - AND it’s hard enough to If someone were to pop up and take on trickery will save them.
were rumoured to be working on with run around on tour and get to clubs at 5 the task I’d certainly be into it!
Grandmaster Gareth of Misty’s Big Are there any particular gigs that or 6 pm to load in gear and sound check What’s the best advice you’ve never
Adventure? stick in your mind, for good or bad but because a lot of festival slots are in Are there any particular differences received?
Gareth can take a really long time to get reasons? the afternoon it requires arriving at noon you have noticed playing here and Don’t spend too much time doing email
to things, those recordings have been Sure, the Grateful Dead at Shoreline or 1 pm, which usually means doing a playing in the USA? interviews!
sitting with him for years! Some of that Ampitheater in 1995 in California was a chunk of the driving the night before. Also I think the fact that people are allowed
stuff has just surfaced on my new CD of great show, with a surprise appearance most festivals are not okay with artists to go to shows at a younger age (UK What next for Jeffery Lewis?
demos and out-takes, “City & Eastern by the Gyoto Monks to boot, My first time selling their own merchandise after a usually allows 16 and up, in the US it’s I’m about to leave the house to play
Tapes,” most of the songs recorded with seeing Yo La Tengo, at Tramps in 1996 set, you usually have to give stuff to an often 21 and up), plus the existence of a show in New Jersey at Maxwell’s, a
Gareth were re-recorded with Kramer for in NYC was a life-changing experience, official merch seller who takes a cut of those great nationally-read magazines venerable Hoboken club... one of my
the City & Eastern Songs album in 2005. actually Tramps was also the scene of the money and doesn’t know how to like Mojo and Uncut, and the weekly favourite bands, Dufus, is playing before
one of the worst shows I ever saw, Eric explain to customers what each comic churned-out youthful enthusiasm me so I don’t want to be late!

As they release one of

the albums of the year,
Danielle Goldstein
probed avant sonic-
adventurers Gang Gang
Dance on the creation
of their latest ethereal
t started with a beheading and ended “Well, the gap was filled with an EP, a the album earlier this year, the disorder we get to do our own thing and the band
with one of the most hyped avant-garde soundtrack and a DVD. Plus our touring died down and the “Gang” started to work is much more understanding of what we
records of the year. Saint Dymphna, a kept interrupting our time in the studio,” together again rather than over each want out of a label.”
14-year-old Irish girl who was murdered she states. But even holding down time for other. They jammed like jazz musicians, As well as releasing an EP (RAWWAR), a
by her disillusioned father, happens to be that was becoming difficult. following a thin line and making the rest soundtrack and a DVD (Retina Riddim) in
the title of choice for Gang Gang Dance’s up as they went along. “We improvise and 2007 - that the band have been known to
long awaited fourth LP. Although it’s fitting “The Gang was testing out several studios play a lot of live shows to see how we can describe as a commemoration to their late
for the chaotic trials the band faced during and engineers to figure out what we liked, make it as pleasant for the listener as we singer who was struck by lightning in 2002
writing and recording, you may be happy so that took a lot of throwing out.” Bou- can. That’s how we compose music. I ap- - the band spent this summer collaborat-
to know that they haven’t taken a turn for gatsos goes on to mention that over the ply my lyrics later, or during show sets. But ing with The Boredoms in conducting an
the sinister. three years the band threw out a whole we always leave room for improvisation. It 88 minute long concert in Brooklyn with an
four albums worth of material due to the keeps it exciting,” she exclaims. 88-strong band of drummers.
And come October 20, just over three fact that they couldn’t all settle on a deci-
years after the release of God’s Money, sion. During recording the band worked with “The Boredoms asked us to do it in what-
the Brooklyn quartet will be ready to reveal several people, Sean Maffucci – their live ever way we saw fit. They left it up to us.
that all their hard work, numerous studio “The constant quest for capturing our sound engineer – and Matt Boynton (Lem- We did have some help from Ryan Saw-
changes and pernickety habits have paid live sound in the studio is a feast in onheads, Telepathe) from Vacation Island yer [Lone Wolf] and Hisham Bharoocha [of
off. itself. There were too many cooks in the Studios being key players in the mix. “We Soft Circle]. They helped with the organi-
kitchen, so to speak. Everybody wanted to also had MC Tinchy Stryder on one of our sational aspects so we could compose
In ways that their previous records were sequence, mix, sing, etc. We got confused tracks,” says Bougatsos. This would be and concentrate on the music. Of course,
more industrial and raw, Saint Dymphna with the state of the band and what we ‘Princes’, the grime track on the album it was scary to compose an 88 minute
has surpassed, by taking an even more were trying to do. Then we got back to that stands out like an extremely attractive piece in a short amount of time and play
unsystematic and almost anarchic ap- basics and it all worked out. But overall, sore thumb. “We’ve been a fan for years. live with 88 drummers. But we did it.”
proach to create a more conventional I’d say Saint Dymphna actually took like 2 We had some friends, Tim and Barry
– well, as conventional as arbitrary noise months [to record].” [grime scene documenters], ask him for Following that spectacle the band will
can be - record. There is more disparity us and he came in. It was magical.” With be heading off on a major US tour at the
between the tracks and Lizzie Bougatsos, So they were all at each other’s throats for Saint Dymphna, GGD have managed to end of October, but before they do they’ll
the enigmatic drummer and crooner with a while, some what fitting for the frenetic squash pieces from a lot of different fields be playing an exclusive one-off show
Kate Bush-esque pitch, shows signs of tale of Saint Dymphna. “Mentally ill in a of music into one huge pulp, resulting in in London. Can we expect something
following a tune as opposed to breathing good way,” as Bougatsos describes it. “I something akin to “outer space.” And to special? “We did have some serious DJs
over the tracks and letting the words fall thought it fit the album for many reasons, get the word out there, they took hold of joining us,” Bougatsos mutters. “But our
where they may. Could it really be that like the state of the band and what the Warp’s extended hand… live shows are what they are, and we just
it took three years to hone this cosmic music actually sounded like. We were do what we do.”
sound? After all, it took them a year to toying with other names [such as Within, “I think Warp approached us at the right
record the masterwork that was God’s Without] and Saint Dymphna felt like a time,” Bougatsos explains. “Other offers At least you can look forward to acquaint-
Money. We tracked down Bougatsos to stretch - a really hard path to follow - and I came at times when we weren’t ready ing your ears with fresh tracks from Saint
find out why they’ve left us hanging for so wanted to go for it. It clicked for me.” for the plunge. Warp also accepts us the Dymphna before the release, but Bou-
long and how they’re planning to make up way we are. With other labels it seemed gatsos promises they’ll be back very soon,
for it. When they got on to actually recording like we had to change more. With Warp and with “a whole lotta’ honesty.”
This Town Needs Guns
This Town Needs Guns are firing their way to success, their rapid pace math rock matches that of Oxford
contempories Foals and Youthmovies fusing it with a dynamic pop-edge. Their debut album Animals is one of
this year’s must hear albums.
Guy Halford grabbed a moment with Stu (Vocals) and Jamie (Bass) about the release of their superb debut, their
unusal name and their favourite animals.
In a time where the boundaries of popular to get stiffled all day in a job and it’s just a timestamp of everything we’ve worked on story behind it, “A guy who used to be in a
music are constantly being stretched and nice to play together with your friends and so far.” band had a brick thrown at him through a
blurred, it is only right for This Town Needs make music, and I am constantly amazed window of a bus. So he wrote a letter, and
Guns to drop their debut long-player. Hav- by Tim, Chris and Stu and the music that The band have been on tour with equally at the end of the letter he wrote ‘This Town
ing made music together since 2004, they they come together with and it’s really nice brilliant indie-act Jonquil, tonight they Needs Guns’, and so to inflict punishment
describe their formation, “Most of us met at for me to join in with that. It’s just kind of played a short set at the Turks Head in on someone ridiculous enough to throw a
uni, well actually that’s a lie, I actually met inspiring to be with people with that kind of Lincoln, it was a furious and energetic set brick at a bus. So I just thought that’s not
Tim our guitarist in uni and Tim’s brother is outlook, which is what making music should which will no doubt gain the band status going to do anyone any favours, violence
the drummer and he used to be in another be about.” as a fantastic live act, and it seems like against violence, I thought it was a strange
band, but they split up, so he moved down they enjoyed the gig just as much as the thing to say. It’s also a bunch of words that
to Oxford to live with us.” The band’s debut album is called Animals, audience did, “I think it went really well fit together nicely. In a way there’s no mali-
with each track given the moniker of a cious intent.”
After creating a buzz, the band signed to different creature, “We called the album
the brilliant indie label Big Scary Monsters. Animals because we couldn’t think of So have they been in any trouble for the
The band see the support from the label as anything better to call the songs when we We don’t have a name as of yet?
justification for their existence, “It’s weird, were writing them, so it was simply a way “Not so long ago we played in Harlow and
it’s like clarification for a band knowing that of us remembering. It was either that or lyric that says I’m this woman had written into the local paper
someone is prepared to put money and calling them Song 1, Song 2 or Song 3, and attemped to get the Police involved
time into the band. It’s nice that someone so we thought animal names were better. going to stick my because she thought we were promoting
else can see what we’re about, and do the Originally we intended to change the names the use of firearms, and it wasn’t so, it’s just
stuff that we’re not really able to.” when it was all completed, but we thought foot in your eye, not a band name, and if anyone takes offence,
there was no point.” it’s more to do with them than with us. If
Like Foals and Youthmovies, This Town yet anyway, that’s they did a bit of background research they’d
Needs Guns are making music that is
exciting, furious and extremely interesting,
With so many different animals to choose
from, it’s hard to decide which should be for the next record realise that this is a band who’s album is
named after Animals and is quite happy and
just like the bands that inspire them, “We given the immortal honour of giving a track nice about things, we don’t have a lyric that
are heavily inspired by bands that make its name, however Stu and Jamie have their says I’m going to stick my foot in your eye,
angular sort of music from Chicago, and favourites, “(Stu)My favourite is ‘Elk’, which not yet anyway, that’s for the next record.”
mostly American indie. Our main point of never gets played live, and I also like ‘Pig’. and I really enjoyed it. Tim’s guitar died the
call would be Maps & Atlases and American (Jamie) My immediate favourite was ‘Gib- other day, so he’s using Foals’ guitar amp, Whatever the theme of the next record, at
Football.” bon’, but that’s joined forces with ‘Lemur’, it costs a lot of money, but it doesn’t sound this moment in time This Town Needs Guns
in the last few gigs that’s the one that I’ve as good.” are one Britain’s best upcoming talents and
Despite such brilliant influences, the band been enjoying playing the most.” On the matter of playing live in general, “It’s are a breath of fresh air into the UK and into
seem more inspired by each other than probably at its best when people turn up, scene.
anything else, “We all like similar types A lot rides on this debut release, and This but we do enjoy going to different places.”
of music, and we do it because we enjoy Town Needs Guns seem content with the
it. We have had jobs which haven’t really result, “It’s really nice to have it physically The band have received some attention Animals is released on October 13
given us very much enjoyment. It’s easy to hold. It looks like quite nice, and it’s like for their unique name, they explain the through Big Scary Monsters
Gang Gang Dance
Saint Dymphna
(Warp) October 20 2008

Gang Gang Dance have done some-
thing truly special – in the age of music as a
downloadable, disposable commodity, they
have birthed a perfect album, a long-player in
the classic sense. This is fully-formed aural
The NYC art-collective have taken all their
outsider sounds and taken a dancier more in-
clusive direction that uses the tribal, ritualistic
elements of their sound to full affect. Throwing the biggest spanner in the works
The whirring opening to ‘Bebey’ gives way is ‘House Jam’ featuring London-based
to jungle-rhythms, and eastern-electronica MC Tinchy Stryder. As Stryder toasts “Oh
that sounds fresh and as old as time, and Shit! Gang Gang” you’ll find yourself think-
moves seamlessly into ‘First Communion’ ing you’ve switched CDs, but this is Gang Pivot
which sees Gang Gang at their most acces- Gang’s take on Grime and is the strangest
sible and is so NOW it’s ahead of it’s time (and possibly most brilliant) example of the
perfectly evokes imagery of Bladerunner’s
– the afro-beat guitars, snarled punk vocals
and echoed 80s synths rides the zeitgeist.
genre this year.
The albums colossal, cinematic production
Pivot dystopian metropolis.
Nothing is left untouched: trip-hop, 80s
techno, nineties RnB, jazz all pumped from a
pushes things forward with the intricacy of O Soundtrack My Heart Elsewhere math-rock constructions are
lifted into new realms by scattered beats and
Eno’s ambient meanderings, the expansive-
bloc-party in the nether-world, Saint Dym- ness of shoegaze’s best moments and the (Warp) echoed, whispered vocals on ‘Sing, You Sin-
ner’ which is somehow, relaxing, challenging
phna is the spirit-world covering the sounds immediacy of Timbaland’s RnB stompers – if
of the land of the living. and danceable.
The listener never fully grasps where the
record is coming from or going next, from
the sounds here don’t excite you then it may
be that your soul has withered away.
With a load of stand-alone tracks that form
33333 ‘Sweet Memory’ whilst being a great
track is a little too derivative of the post-jazz
‘Vacuum’ which is My Bloody Valentine’s the perfect LP experience, Saint Dymphna is constructs of Tortoise to be truly worthy of
‘Soon’ played by a futuristic tribe and ‘Afoot’ outstanding and absolutely essential. Why is sci-fi always so dark and full of inclusion on this release.
is 80s pop re-imagined in the most inventive conflict? What if the premise for Terminator ‘Didn’t I Furious’ however is a revela-
way possible. by Michael Banks wasn’t the rise of machines intent on de- tion – 3 minutes 30 seconds of incendiary
stroying mankind, but the machines became machine-metal that’s startlingly fresh but
fascinated by experimental-rock and jazz with a familiar dance-edge that is hard not to
and set about creating the perfect musical groove to.
union of man and machine – Pivot are the ‘My Heart Like Marching Band’ is a grand
sound of that eventuality. composition sound-tracking the end credits
O Soundtrack My Heart is the pulsing to this atmospheric Sci-fi picture of a release.
rock soundtrack to an imagined future which Pivot are the beating heart of danceable
opens with the steadily building atmospheric experimental rock music in 2008, and have
clatter of ‘October’. made one of the albums of the year.
The Vangelis-alike synths underpinning
the electro-prog of the albums title track by Chris Marks

Various Artists
Sounds Like Syllabus vol. 1

It takes a while to get past the perplex-
ing concept behind Syllabus, what exactly
makes a ‘student band’ different from any
other band and do we need a ‘student revo-
lution’ in music? I smell a marketing ploy, a
blatant attempt to exploit the student market
in a field where the student market doesn’t
really exist. Mimi Soya
Or maybe I’m missing the point and no
student bands have ever been signed and Harry, which are both good but nothing to get
the whole of popular music is rubbish and just excited about.
waiting for the ‘revolution’ to mix it up a little! Kerry Leatham is an obvious talent, her
But once I get to grips with (or discard) the aching vocals soar above her folk lament
concept behind this release it’s not half bad. ‘Run Dry’ and highlights an artist that obvi-
Not everything is a hit, like the whinny, emo- ously has much to offer and, clichéd self-
by-numbers mediocrity of Mimi Soya’s ‘Death- aggrandisement aside, Skilf spits lyrics with
wish’, but it does have its moments. the best of them - with some more innovative
Offsetting this are some brilliant tunes; production and some worthwhile content to
inventive RnB floorfiller ‘Spin That’ by Filly is his raps he could go far.
one of the freshest urban tracks out there, This agonisingly short compilation (just 11
and Let’s Tea Party’s calypso-infused, jangly tracks, is this all student music has to offer?)
indie on ’Barcelona’ should be filling indie ends with the limp 80s power ballardry of
clubs nationwide. Spider Bridge Island, that puts a full-stop on
Other tunes provide the nice-enough MOR a release that whilst having its moments is
daytime radio fodder like the Chris Wallbank’s more filler than killer.
soft rock and the piano-pop of Dead Like by David McGee
Misty’s Big Adventure
Television’s People
(Grumpy Fun) October 6

The fourth studio outing from the Brum
odd-pop mavericks is both brilliant and
perplexing in equal measure.
Misty’s are undoubtedly one of Britain’s
great misunderstood pop treasures,
consistently producing tunes that ooze
intelligence, experimentation and good old
British eccentricity – they have the capability society’s over-dependence on the goggle-
to be a truly enduring mainstream pop act. box.
But they simply don’t like to make life easy Clever concept aside there is musically
for themselves. Their love of strange ideas still much to love on this record as Misty’s Asian Dub Foundation
and musical oddity makes them a music- partake in their usually mix-and-match
geeks pop band of choice, the ultimate cult pillaging of popular music.
act, but it also creates a barrier to them It’s huge plus point is that whilst having Asian Dub Foundation The album kicks off with the incendiary
bhangra-beat blast and punk-guitar fuzz of
gaining the mass-popularity and sales their
incredible pop-genius deserves - as a fan,
no discernable singles, it works wonderfully
as an LP experience, the whole thing flows Punkara ‘Target Practice’ and the album never drops
in quality throughout its 53 minutes.
this is an annoying situation.
Television’s People is not likely to change
effortlessly – something that too few bands
are achieving in today’s climate.
(Naïve) ‘Ease Up Caesar’ is a wonderful punk-
ska, breakbeat stomper that breaks down
this fact. A concept album based on the In many ways this is the best thing Misty’s
televisual medium in both sound and lyrical
content it simply just won’t compute with the
have yet produced, the sound is fuller
and much more accomplished than their
33333 into a dub-fused dancehall knees-up, whilst
‘Altered Statesmen’ is an electro-bhangra
slice of nu-mental with a huge chorus.
majority of listeners. scattershot beginnings, and it’s not their
Asian Dub Foundation are criminally Most surprisingly is Iggy Pop’s (he loves
Based on the panoramic aural delights fault that most people simply won’t get it, but
underrated in the United Kingdom, as one ADF, apparently) vocal collaboration on ‘No
of classic TV theme tunes it is ironically that’s the card they’ve been dealt.
of the most politically aware and incendiary Fun’ as ADF tear-apart the Stooges classic
nostalgic in a way that will be lost on most Television’s People is a future masterpiece,
acts out there they should be household infusing some Asian sounds that lift it into
people. Without an understanding of the an album that will not sit right with the suck-
names. the stratosphere.
albums premise it appears to be simply it-and-see MP3 music audience today – it is
ADF are truly the sound of multi-cultural What makes this release shine is once
aping TV themes and not using them as part the right album made at the wrong time.
Britain, the sound of the clash of cultures again the bands politically-charged lyr-
of a damning, sarcastic indictment of our by Chris Marks
we have and their sound represents the ics which in the climate right-now seem
more poetic than ever, and at times even
Flobots them, Flobots represent the raised fist of dis- unity that we all crave.
The group’s eleventh studio album offers prophetic.
illusioned America, if with a little less venom As the world goes into financial meltdown
Fight With Tools and a little more soul. The message may not more of the same – a punk-influenced
dance-music fusion of dub, ragga, bhangra, at the hands of US mistakes, lines like ‘Su-
be put across in such a direct and emotive
(Universal) manner, but it is just as right-on and is sent drum n bass and breakbeat – once again perpower, what you gonna do when the well
runs dry’ couldn’t be more relevant.
via a soundtrack of live-band hip-hop, funk, making Asian sounds accessible to western
audiences whilst pushing the boundaries of Offering solutions on ‘Burning Fence’ ADF
33333 rock, punk and jazz fusion that makes the
politicising chart-friendly.
This style is by no means new, check
each of the genres they pilfer from.
The sound has progressed very little and
chant, ‘A true universal is the one solution,
otherwise you’re gonna sit on a burning
Man that damn ‘Handlebars’ track is frig- so Punkara simply isn’t as exciting as back fence, no matter what you’re for or what
The Roots, N.E.R.D and Ozomatli, but it is you’re against.’
gin’ everywhere – I’m even starting to hear it in 1995 when the band’s debut first ap-
expertly executed and in the lead-up to a Many will dismiss the bands obvious
in my sleep! Not that it isn’t a great track, but peared, at that time ADF were as fresh as
crucial election it could be the popular cul- socialist values, but it is hard not to be
hearing it a million times a day is over-kill. a daisy. But with dance music having gone
ture weapon that turns young voters to stick roused by the ideas of equality, fairness and
Getting past this annoyance of over- through many genre-melding developments
to the Republicans. change.
familiarity, Fight With Tools is actually a since that point nothing really makes them
Fans of the aforementioned bands should ADF are a kick in the face of ignorance
damn-fine and culturally important LP. The stand out today.
dig this record, as the mix of sounds have a and Punkara represents the sound of cul-
US is in turmoil – the war on terror has been However, ADF are still amazing at what
wide appeal and the lyrical-flow of Brer Rab- tural unity.
lost (creating more terrorism), the religious they do and Punkara is an LP worthy of
bit (such a hip-hop name) and Jonny 5 is up by Michael Banks
right runs riot and the country is in financial inclusion in their fantastic catalogue.
there with the best.
crisis while the corporate fat-cats protect
their multi-million pound empires – young
In a few years time Fight With Tools prob-
ably won’t stand the test of time but right This Town Needs Guns
America is pissed-off and needs to speak
out, that is where Flobots come in.
now it is a fine, funky slab of timely political
Like Rage Against The Machine before
by John Marvey (Big Scary Monsters)
Various Artists 33333
Two Thousand and Ace
(Brainlove) Firstly, I have to express my thanks
to This Town Needs Guns for giving
me the perfect opportunity to use the
33333 words ‘Chinchilla’, ‘Baboon’, ‘Badger’
and ‘Gibbon’ in an album review.
The hotly anticipated debut from the
Two Thousand and Ace is the compilation Bearsuit Oxford math-indie merchants is called
of the year. Animals and in a step away from their
Not because it collates all the biggest hits The LP is like a who’s who of bands you previously long-winded and complex than-thou indie elite whilst their intro-
in one place and not because it gives you all should check out: Napoleon IIIrd, Applicants, album titles have named each track after spective, angsty lyrics will strike a cord
the tracks you wanted off ‘that programme The Evenings, Pagan Wanderer Lu, and Gay a different animal. with moping emo-kids everywhere.
off the telly’. No this collection complied by Against You being just a few. Kicking off with ‘Chinchilla’ it sets On ‘Lemur’ singer Stuart Smith muses
Brainlove records represents just how inter- Ending with the beautiful anti-folk of the tone for the LP’s 13 tracks with it’s “You Know from the get go, it’s over”, but
esting, inventive and down-right exciting new Winston Echo, ‘Never Be The Same Again’ intricate, overlapping guitar constructs with this obvious self-pitying edge to the
music in 2008 can be. is a classic in the making and is the perfect and soaring vocal harmonies it shows song it never sounds pointlessly emotive
Over its 27-tracks each act oozes creativity full-stop to the compilation. that This Town Need Guns have much to or whiney, just incredibly heart-felt.
and has their own thing going on. Whether it Two Thousand and Ace is a must have offer. Experimentation matched with acces-
be the catchy prog-pop of Cats In Paris, the snap-shot of the British musical underground Taking cues from the Chicago indie sible pop-sounds means that Animals is
off-kilter wrong pop of Bearsuit and The Retro and is confirmation that 2008 is a great year scene (Don Caballero, Maps and Atlases one of the indie albums of the year and
Spankees or blistering electronica of Key- for new music. et al) their complex and accomplished proves that TTNG deserve to massive.
board Choir the inclusions rarely disappoint. by Chris Marks musicianship will appeal to the hollier- by Chris Marks