I bloody love the Pixies. They’ve been one of my favourite bands since I first heard Bone Machine; before my balls had even dropped. To this day I consider their performance at 2005’s Leeds/Reading festival my finest live event. To their hordes of vocal admirers, they carry around an enormous legacy everywhere they go. It’s probably this pressure that has kept their back catalogue compressed and minimal over the years. Indeed, even with their lengthy hiatus, you’d have expected more than six LPs from a band with the stature and history that the Pixies enjoy. For me, this has always given them a mystique that greatly adds to their presence.… [continue reading]
Beyond the static-tined avalanche of white noise and synthesiser synaesthesia, Boards of Canada’s recent Tomorrow’s Harvest L.P. is a surprisingly comprehensive journey towards – and eventually away from – collapse. But what stands so intriguing in this breakdown? What leads the release of this record to captivate so easily with giddy addiction? And just what exactly is being portrayed across the ice-pines and bark-bergs of this somehow begotten, faintly belated landscape?
First, one has to be careful in attempting to view the effort as a concept album in the strictest terms. Despite its clear thematic loyalties (mostly to secret broadcast, ghostly premonitions and narcissistic evolution), there is no great or detailed tale to be found under the layers of softly structured tone poetry. … [continue reading]
My love for Radiohead is something I can trace back to the age of six. Anyone who knows me well enough is aware that I answered my humble Beano filofax’s query of “Favourite Band?” with “Radiohead”, and my allegiance to them has only grown stronger since. That’s a background I feel I have to give before spotlighting Thom Yorke’s debut solo effort – something that wasn’t released until deep into Radiohead’s career. Even I went into The Eraser with more trepidation than excitement, far more worried about its implications for my favourite band and what it meant for their future.
Despite the fact that my very first pirated version of it had the first two seconds of every track cut off, it only took one listen for me to know the release was more than solid. … [continue reading]
Pavement are one of those cult bands that you just eventually come across one day, and it may be hard to pin down exactly how they appeared in your life. For me, I can’t at all remember who introduced me to them, or how I found their work. Despite the vessel that brought them into my life being clouded in mystery, I can still recall strongly how I felt upon hearing Stereo (Brighten the Corners‘ opening track) for that first time. I was already a big fan of Pixies, and a few other calling card bands in that alternative-guitar-rock style, yet Pavement backed up their raw and esoteric ditties with an amazing intelligence and wit that I hadn’t heard before. … [continue reading]