Like a personal shopper for your vinyl record habit, we present to you our finely curated 10 best releases from the month of March. These are all extremely worthy of your time...
The Young Gods - Data Mirage Tangram
True story: the first song I ever heard by The Young Gods was ‘Figure Sans Nom’, the lead single from new album Data Mirage Tangram. As it transpires, Switzerland’s The Young Gods have been making industrial noise since 1987 and I’m ignorant for not knowing that! Their first album in eight years, Data Mirage Tangram comprises seven tracks, the shortest a piddling 6 minutes long, and is a real lesson in the art of staying on the right side of the heavily experimental spectrum.
Listen to: Figure Sans Nom
FEWS - Into Red
FEWS’ second album Into Red at times offers a captivating, oppressive form of psych-rock akin to The Cooper Temple Clause or Toy (‘Paradiso’ and ‘Limits’) yet at other times straight-up falls into the Datsuns-shaped garage rock blueprint (‘More Than Ever’ and ‘Business Man’) to ensure the overall mood sits somewhere in the middle. Fortunately both sides are equally brilliant.
Listen to: Limits
Snapped Ankles - Stunning Luxury
A bit like Predator 2, Snapped Ankles have left the comfort of the trees for the bright city lights, finding nought but a bleak world of grey estate agents and too many coffee shops. On their second full-length album – Stunning Luxury – our favourite flora friends bring technicolour electro-clash chaos to our brutalist concrete existence. Collecting more than a few new fans on the way, Stunning Luxury outdoes their debut LP – Come Play The Trees – by some margin.
Ten Fé - Future Perfect, Present Tense
Ten Fé’s second album Future Perfect, Present Tense falls into the same dream-daze indie pop as Day Wave, Castlebeat or Chain Wallet, evidenced nowhere better than on tracks like ‘No Night Lasts Forever’ and album standout ‘Coasting.’ There are more than a few Americana influences in here, too, on tracks like ‘Caught On The Inside.’ You’d be forgiven for thinking Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan were native somewhere closer to Nashville rather than Walthamstow.
Meat Puppets - Dusty Notes
Admit it – you didn’t know the Meat Puppets were still a thing? Well they sure are and the release of Dusty Notes marks their 15th studio album as a band and also brings back together the original full line-up, no less. Though never likely to stray entirely from a harsher, more experimental psych-rock background, Dusty Notes digs the deepest yet into their darker psych-Americana side, with some incredibly exquisite results.
Crows - Silver Tongues
Signed to Joe Talbot’s Balley Records label they may be, but Crows are no IDLES mark II. Things in common of course – alongside other punk contemporaries like Shame or Heavy Lungs – but Crows stand on their own. Incredibly difficult to pigeon hole (some kind of post-punk at a push), Silver Tongues thrives on a claustrophobic intensity – the album allegedly recorded in a blacked-out studio in order to build a powerful brooding atmosphere, which totally comes through on the record.
Listen to: Chain Of Being
Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe
Miss Universe is impossible to place. Wafts of Amy Winehouse, something of The Strokes. As with King Krule, Nilüfer Yanya is indie pop with an edge and an incredible voice. Drifting effortlessly through upbeat tempos - a parody of chart music - and into her characteristic riffage. Genre-hopping doesn’t quite do her justice: swerving u-turns and backflips are far more accurate.
Listen: In Your Head
American Football - American Football (LP3)
American Football, the emo band’s emo band, hit another home-run with LP3 (technically just called American Football again.) Given the universal thumbs-up, LP3 continues to tread the more sullen waters of Jimmy Eat World or Brand New and where lesser bands could be accused of being dull and dreary, American Football pull off sombre with a mastered maturity that has taken years to perfect.
Lower Slaughter - Some Things Take Work
Some Things Take Work, the second album from Bristol-via-Glasgow sludge rockers Lower Slaughter, perhaps takes itself more seriously than debut album What Big Eyes, earnestly exploring deeper themes, such as mental health, while losing absolutely nothing of the heavy-riffing mud monster that made them so impressive the first time around.
Listen: Some Things Take Work
Brutus - Nest
However you wish to try and identify it, the second album from Brutus – Nest – certainly has my attention. It is a thunderous and intricate record, truly cross-genre and a very welcome rarity in a tech-rock/metal scene that so often underwhelms. With the sheer depth of the brutalist wall of noise that these guys create, the less is more approach hasn’t been this well documented since A Place To Bury Strangers or Motörhead.