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Thursday, 19 July 2007

GLORIOR BELLI - Manifesting The Raging Beast, Southern Lord Recordings

GLORIOR BELLI

Manifesting The Raging Beast

Southern Lord Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: SUNN81

France isn't the first country that springs to mind when ruminating over the black metal genre - Norway maybe, and in more recent years the troubled USA, but France...? Those in the know are well aware of French BM superiority - we have Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord and more recently Monarch doing the do for all things blackened so maybe there is a pedigree from that land better known for love songs. Now we have Glorior Belli, who have been snapped up by the ever reliable Southern Lord for their debut emission and seem to revel in their knowledge of classic black metal. You … Read more
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GLORIOR BELLI - Manifesting The Raging Beast, Southern Lord Recordings
L'ACEPHALE - Mord Und Totsclag, AURORA BOREALIS

L'ACEPHALE

Mord Und Totsclag

AURORA BOREALIS

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.49

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: ABZX017

Continuing Aurora Borealis's exploration into the muddier waters of blackest metal comes this unexpected gem from Portland Oregon's L'Acephale. Taking their moniker from a secret society and publication from French writer and occasionally atheist mystic Georges Bataille this dark intellectual thought is carried directly into the band's singular and dirt-ridden experimental sound. Taking cues from Burzum's career-defining 'Filosofem' but also gleaning influence from the likes of Drudkh, Akitsa, Ulver, Striborg and Hate Forest this is the kind of black metal that I just don't hear enough of -… Read more
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L'ACEPHALE - Mord Und Totsclag, AURORA BOREALIS

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

OS MUTANTES - Mutantes Live - Barbican Theatre London 2006, LUAKA BOP

OS MUTANTES

Mutantes Live - Barbican Theatre London 2006

LUAKA BOP

Format_dot_cdCD + DVD // £13.99

WORLD

Cat. Number: VVR1047282

In recent years the Tropicalia genre has seen something of a resurgence in popularity, the young listeners of modern psychedelic and world sounds have found it within themselves to look to the past few decades and have discovered great and wonderful things from South America, and in response the great albums have been re-issued and repackaged to meet this demand. Os Mutantes were always the oddest of the Tropicalia crowd, and some say the most rocking, but in response this new found fan base they actually re-formed, coming together for festival appearances and for … Read more
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OS MUTANTES - Mutantes Live - Barbican Theatre London 2006, LUAKA BOP
SOUVENIR'S YOUNG AMERICA - An Ocean Without Water, CRUCIAL BLAST

SOUVENIR'S YOUNG AMERICA

An Ocean Without Water

CRUCIAL BLAST

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CBR61

There's always room for some smoky slowed-down heavy rock around these parts, and ever since Earth unleashed their mighty 'Hex' on us all, we have been hypnotized into a permanently doomed state, lying in wait for the next slice of windswept metallic Americana. It seems then that the unusually moniker's Souvenir's Young America are here to help, and like Grails before them they take the framework of instrumental rock and give it a kick up the ass as they show they ain't afraid to turn those amps up to eleven. Fusing the chunky sound of Ash Ra Tempel and Amon Duul II with … Read more
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SOUVENIR'S YOUNG AMERICA - An Ocean Without Water, CRUCIAL BLAST
BLACK MAGIC DISCO - Black Magic Disco, Important Records

BLACK MAGIC DISCO

Black Magic Disco

Important Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: IMPREC148

A devastating collaboration between ex-Jackie O'Motherfucker frontman Tom Greenwood and the My Cat is an Alien duo Maurizio and Roberto Opalio along with friend Ramona Ponzini, Black Magic Disco is a journey into pure dense spiritual drone. You might think you've had enough of drone, especially if you already own a large proportion of either JoMF's or MCIAA's catalogue but there's always a reason to own more, especially when it's documenting something as monumental as this. You see Greenwood asked the MCIAA brothers to join him for a two month tour, and of course they obliged, but ra… Read more
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BLACK MAGIC DISCO - Black Magic Disco, Important Records
( R ) - In Pink, Important Records

( R )

In Pink

Important Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: IMPREC 157

When searching for some info on Google for this album, the latest from Larsen and XXL man Fabrizo Modonese Palumbo to be exact, I managed to stumble across something a little worrying. Written by a member of the public claiming to be 17 years old (I have a feeling she could have been younger, if it really was a she that is) this was something of a fan site for American recording artist Pink, but was written in what can only be described as code. From what I could work out through the mud of Americanisms and textual shortcomings this young lass thinks that you can never truly die a virgin because (in her word… Read more
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( R ) - In Pink, Important Records

Monday, 16 July 2007

ANGELO BADALAMENTI - Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack : Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, Warner Brothers
You must have sussed now that we're quite the Twin Peaks fanatics over here at Boomkat HQ? We pretty much live, sleep, eat and drink Twin Peaks on a daily basis, I mean I have trouble looking into a mirror because whenever I do I have the urge to smash my head against it as a mark of respect for Agent Dale Cooper. So now it comes to reviewing this, the soundtrack to the much maligned Fire Walk With Me, a film which divided opinion worldwide. David Bowie, a new Donna? We didn't know what to do at the time, but looking back now at th… Read more
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ANGELO BADALAMENTI - Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack : Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, Warner Brothers

Thursday, 12 July 2007

VIRNA LINDT - Play/Record : Virna Lindt In London, LTM Recordings

VIRNA LINDT

Play/Record : Virna Lindt In London

LTM Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: LTMCD 2489

After the unashamedly kitsch Cold War-themed pop of her irresistibly daft debut album, Shiver, Virna Lindt returned with this follow-up LP in 1985. Play/Record is driven by a more fleshed-out production job, but still rests much of its focus on a fondness for all things retro, with tracks like 'Festivo' geared towards '60s and '70s lounge. It's more than a little bit strange listening to an album from the mid-'80s that has designs on sounding as though it was made twenty years or so earlier. The engineering of the record remains resolutely in 1985, with all the customary re… Read more
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VIRNA LINDT - Play/Record : Virna Lindt In London, LTM Recordings
STATELESS - Stateless, !K7 Records

STATELESS

Stateless

!K7 Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: !K7214CD

Review to follow shortly…
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SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO - I Believe (Prins Thomas Mix), Wichita Recordings

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO

I Believe (Prins Thomas Mix)

Wichita Recordings

Format_dot_cdCDS // £3.49

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: WEBB148SCD

With the cogs of the Simian Mobile Disco hype machine still grinding away, 'I Believe', the second single to be lifted from the much talked about Attack Decay Sustain Release takes the tempo down a notch or two from the mighty Technotronic-referencing 'It's The Beat' that preceded it, and features a full vocal. All things considered, Messrs Ford and Shaw have gone and made a proper song of it. As far as B-sides are concerned, this CD version includes Simian Mobile Disco's very own 'Space Dub' remix (which gets a bit heavy on the echo chamber and drops the vocal out), plus an epic reworking from Nordic disco maven Prins Thomas. Smashing.
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SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO - I Believe (Prins Thomas Mix), Wichita Recordings
TINDERSTICKS - BBC Sessions, Universal

TINDERSTICKS

BBC Sessions

Universal

Format_dot_cd2CD // £13.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: 9849276

Being massive fans (almost obsessives) of Stuart Staples' life-changing indie doom-rockers Tindersticks you could probably imagine how much we've been looking forward to this bumper double-disc collection of rare recordings for the BBC. You see the Tindersticks have always been one of those rare bands that never lost it, never stopped being anything other than devastating, one of those bands that you can count on for great songs and great live shows. Their seamless welding of indie-rock with gigantic orchestrations and soul was unlike almost anything we had heard before and had a rich emotiona… Read more
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TINDERSTICKS - BBC Sessions, Universal
LETHAL BIZZLE - Bizzle Bizzle / Babylon's Burning The Ghetto, V2
Legendary More Fire Crew stalwart Bizzle is back with a double A-Side and lemme tell you now it's massive. First off is the self-aggrandising 'Bizzle Bizzle', an almost breaks-heavy slice of prime Sarf London grime business held together by Bizzle's lethal flow. This is where it's at for me, and it shows Lethal B's production is on form, short, sweet and to the point - should go down a treat at the local rave. Flip over and we see Bizzle exploring his Grindie sound with a cover of the Ruts' 'Babylon's Burning' - let's say this is something fer the young'uns as fo… Read more
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LETHAL BIZZLE - Bizzle Bizzle / Babylon's Burning The Ghetto, V2
MISHA - Teardrop Sweetheart, Tomlab

MISHA

Teardrop Sweetheart

Tomlab

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: TOM102CD

Misha is the New York-based duo of Ashley Yao and John Chao, who have already previewed their considerable pop wares on their contribution to the ever-colourful Tomlab Alphabet Series of 7"s. Teardrop Sweetheart is the first full-length outing for Misha, and serves as definitive proof that they can sustain their hook-laden appeal over the course of a forty-minute album. From the opening hand claps and brass of 'Scars', you can tell thse guys have a pretty special knack with a tune. The opening verse of 'Crystal In Love' has a bit of an electronic John Lennon quality to it, only for a bout of s… Read more
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MISHA - Teardrop Sweetheart, Tomlab
PORT ROYAL - Afraid To Dance, Resonant

PORT ROYAL

Afraid To Dance

Resonant

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: RESCD024

The whole electronic shoegaze revival is set to boot off yet again in a few weeks thanks to the re-appearance of a certain Mr. Schnauss, a man who played a crucial part in the resurgence of the whole genre a number of years back. Italian band Port-Royal are an act who fuse shimmering, noisy shoegazw guitars with electronic beats and synths, but unlike many of their contemporaries (who are moving further and further away from incorporating electronic elements), Port-Royal have with 'Afraid to Dance' brought the electronics right up to the fore. The construction of the album is similar to their… Read more
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PORT ROYAL - Afraid To Dance, Resonant

Monday, 09 July 2007

INTERPOL - Our Love To Admire, Capitol

INTERPOL

Our Love To Admire

Capitol

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: 0946 3 96248 2 9

Interpol have made the jump from being a big-hitting indie act (with a Pitchfork end of year 100 topping debut no less) to a major label band, unleashing this long-awaited album on their new home, Capitol. Such upheaval tends to herald a change of tack by a band - if nothing else, an enhanced production budget tends to be evident, and that's at the very least. Interpol seem to have been largely unaffected by this shift however, instead keeping to the kind of scale they've already found success with, and the jagged austerity of songs like 'No I In Threesome' and single 'The Heinrich Maneuver'… Read more
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INTERPOL - Our Love To Admire, Capitol
RECOIL - SubHuman (Standard Edition), Mute

RECOIL

SubHuman (Standard Edition)

Mute

Format_dot_cdCD // £9.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: CDSTUMM279

subHuman is Recoil's 5th studio album, and to mark the occasion they've got together with the good folks at Mute for an impressive multi-format release. The album comes after a six year recording hiatus from musician/producer Alan Wilder, former member of Depeche Mode. Recoil had been up and running back in the Depeche Mode days, but it was after Wilder's departure from the band in 1995 that the side-project went fulltime. Apparently, upon returning to the studio to start writing and recording this album Wilder had all-but entirely forgotten how to use his equipment, finding his sequenc… Read more
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RECOIL - SubHuman (Standard Edition), Mute
LAS MALAS AMISTADES - Patio Bonito, Honest Jon's Records

LAS MALAS AMISTADES

Patio Bonito

Honest Jon's Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

WORLD

Cat. Number: HJRCD29

Colombia's Las Malas Amistades have been working together for thirteen years now, ever since the group met at university, sharing a love of '60s and '70s latin American crooners and spikier indie rock sounds. This third album sees the group fashioning short-form pop songs from all manner of lo-fi acoustic and electronic sources. The end result is a kind of punky tropicalia, whose harmonic and rhythmic idiosyncrasies are made all the more impressive by the on-the-fly DIY sounds used in the making of the record (check out those Casio sounds). With the vast majority of these pieces clockin… Read more
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LAS MALAS AMISTADES - Patio Bonito, Honest Jon's Records
RAY BARRETTO - Hard Hands, FANIA

RAY BARRETTO

Hard Hands

FANIA

Format_dot_cdCD // £9.99

DISCO / BOOGIE / FUNK

Cat. Number: FANIA1043752

This was percussionist and composer Ray Barretto's second album for Fania, dating back to 1968. By this point Barretto had already established himself as a leading light in New York's burgeoning Afro-Cuban and boogaloo scenes, and Hard Hands saw him laying on street-level funk and swinging salsa rhythms. Although there's a mighty big band format to these recordings, Barretto's own conga performances are prevalent in the mix, effectively framing the other instruments, making the rhythms sound characteristically heavy and authoritative. Some of the best-known, most celebrated tracks from Barretto'… Read more
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RAY BARRETTO - Hard Hands, FANIA
EARTH - Hex, Southern Lord Recordings

EARTH

Hex

Southern Lord Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: SUNN48

Back in stock! Initially seen as something of a curate's egg on Sub Pop, Earth have gone on to be one of the most influential bands of recent years, spawning the entire dronecore / death metal scene (Sunn O))) etc.) as well as helping to mould the likes of Mogwai, Jim O'Rouke and (if their reverential appearance on the recent 'Legacy of Dissolution' LP is anything to go by) even Autechre. Back with their first proper album for 9 years ('Hex; or Printing In The Infernal Method'), Earth seem eager to discard the overly distorted sound that has come to stereotype them, preferring instead to embark on a journey t… Read more
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EARTH - Hex, Southern Lord Recordings
ELLIOTT SMITH - New Moon, Domino Recording Co
Featured CD

ELLIOTT SMITH

New Moon

Domino Recording Co

Format_dot_cd2CD // £8.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: WIGCD198

It's all too easy to eulogise excessively over the talents of a departed artist, but the importance of Elliott Smith's songwriting legacy would be hard to overstate. Since his untimely death in 2003, fans have been largely deprived of posthumously released material (Tupac he ain't), with only his unfinished final album, From A Basement On A Hill, making it as far as shop shelves. "New Moon" is a very different collection to that album's broad, at times sprawling ambition, and dates back to Smith's 1994-1997 Kill Rock Stars period which led up to crossover success on the Good Will Hunting soundtra… Read more
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ELLIOTT SMITH - New Moon, Domino Recording Co
PELICAN - City Of Echoes, Hydra Head

PELICAN

City Of Echoes

Hydra Head

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: HH666124

I've long had a soft spot for Pelican and their willingness to blend glacial post-rock with dark metal. The band's last album 'The Fire in our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw' took ideas from the similarly inspired ISIS and Neurosis and extended the tracks to Godspeed-style lengths, losing any desire to layer vocals and foist 'proper song structure' into the tracks. It was bound to be successful and the band's sizzling riffage paired with a willingness to embrace the quiet-loud-quiet-loud post-rock structure gave them instant recognisability within muso circles, their use of metal sounds (heavy dist… Read more
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PELICAN - City Of Echoes, Hydra Head

Friday, 06 July 2007

CHERRY GHOST - Thirst For Romance, heavenly

CHERRY GHOST

Thirst For Romance

heavenly

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.49

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: HVNLP59CD

Upwardly mobile Mancunians Cherry Ghost are getting all kinds of exposure at the moment thanks to their lighters-aloft single 'People Help The People', and the album amply lives up to that promise, delivering eleven tracks worth of northern indie soul, not a million miles away from Heavenly labelmates Doves. Cherry Ghost meld that kind of anthemic post-Britpop indie with an Americana influence: the title track opens the album with a skiffling swagger that's part The Coral, part Ryan Adams. The next couple of tracks ('4am' and 'Mountain Bird') give alternate vantage points on this sound, … Read more
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CHERRY GHOST - Thirst For Romance, heavenly

Thursday, 05 July 2007

PLANTS - Photosynthesis, STRANGE ATTRACTORS

PLANTS

Photosynthesis

STRANGE ATTRACTORS

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.49

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: SAAH051

Sprouting up from the psychedelic folk undergrowth, Plants are an arresting new trio made up of Joshua Blanchard, Molly Griffith-Blanchard and Jesse Stevens, who successfully merge bluegrass and folk disciplines with deep drone. Like fellow botanically-themed travellers Lichens there's a marriage of acoustic instrumentation with electronic tones that's achieved with a rare seamlessness. Opener 'Photosynthesis' is rather intimidating in its scale and Ligeti-esque oceanic choral sounds, but follow-up 'Seedling' reveals a gentler, more song-based side to the band. There's even a bit of Radiophonic-st… Read more
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PLANTS - Photosynthesis, STRANGE ATTRACTORS
NONLOC - Between Hemispheres, STRANGE ATTRACTORS

NONLOC

Between Hemispheres

STRANGE ATTRACTORS

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.49

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: SAAH047

Nonloc is the solo project of Bright guitarist Mark Dwinell, a man who while being able to play his little indie heart out has a special place reserved in his heart for the minimalist compositions of Steve Reich or Terry Riley. Not having heard his work in Bright I actually made that up a bit, but honestly the first thing I heard when I put this disc on was a marvellous understanding of minimalism - across 'Between Hemispheres' (his debut album) Dwinell layers looping phrases of guitar and other elements to create some truly breathtaking moments. This is not the sort of thing you can just rus… Read more
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NONLOC - Between Hemispheres, STRANGE ATTRACTORS
VARIOUS / NUMERO GROUP - Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label, Numero Group
Releases in Numero's Eccentric Soul series focus on a particular American city or label and present a digest of the finest, least likely to have been heard material for your listening pleasure. In this case, the Miami is under the spotlight, with the Deep City label being the hub for Florida's soul talent during the early to mid '60s. It's pretty astonishing to think that this music has, essentially, been lost in the mists of time all these years - there are some real gems here. Naturally, there's a clear influence from early Motown than pervades over this collect… Read more
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VARIOUS / NUMERO GROUP - Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label, Numero Group

Wednesday, 04 July 2007

AMP - All Of Yesterday Tomorrow, RROOPP

AMP

All Of Yesterday Tomorrow

RROOPP

Format_dot_cd3CD // £13.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: RR02PPCD

I never cease to get 'the fear' when I see a 3cd boxset - it's just so much music, there's almost no way the momentum can be kept up for that long is there? Well this bumper collection from Bristol based collective Amp has confounded my meagre expectations. The group, led by Richard Amp and his singing accomplice Karine Charff have been busying themselves making gorgeous widescreen dronerock for fifteen years now taking in absolutely loads of collaborators under their large, welcoming wings including the effervescent Dave Pearce of Flying Saucer Attack and Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundatio… Read more
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AMP - All Of Yesterday Tomorrow, RROOPP
MONKEY DON'T - Gubbins, MANNA

MONKEY DON'T

Gubbins

MANNA

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CDMNA004

I've been reading a lot about this Mark Robbins chap (he's the sole member of the unusually named Monkey Don't) and apparently he's a bit of a strange one. Not only is he afflicted by Thalassaphobia (that's fear of the sea for non Greek speakers) but he has seriously debilitating OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). It's a wonder he gets any music done then, but when you think about it, unhealthy obsession should be a big part of any musician's life shouldn't it? I know I have an unhealthy obsession with quite a number of elements of the music scene, but would I regard that as obsessive compulsive?… Read more
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MONKEY DON'T - Gubbins, MANNA

Tuesday, 03 July 2007

ENNIO MORRICONE - Trio Infernale OST, Dagored
Contemplating Ennio Morricone's soundtrack discography is a fairly daunting prospect. Although most famous for his Sergio Leone collaborations and his later Hollywood work, Morricone has worked on countless giallos, crime movies, all manner of Italian pulp cinema as well as bonafide classics like The Battle Of Algiers. Hard to say where Trio Infernale fits in to all that, but judging from the sleeve stills it looks like a bit of a romp (although the sleevenotes do go on about murder and dissolving people in vats of acid...). Accordingly, the slapstick radiophonics of 'Rag Nuziale (Pri… Read more
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ENNIO MORRICONE - Trio Infernale OST, Dagored

Monday, 02 July 2007

RADIOACTIVE MAN - Fed-Ex To Munchen (Andrew Weatherall Mix), Rotters Golf Club
Review to follow shortly…
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INTERPOL - The Heinrich Maneuver / Mammoth, Parlophone

INTERPOL

The Heinrich Maneuver / Mammoth

Parlophone

Format_dot_cdCDS // £2.49

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CLCD 894

Presumably all Americans have trouble spelling the word 'manoeuvre', but Interpol really have no excuse: if they're going to steal our accents from under our noses they can jolly well take the correct spellings with them. Mind you, let's not lay into them, it could be worse: they could be Editors who actually are British but steal their accents off Interpol... Where was I? Oh yeah, Interpol are back and this time they're on a major label. Other than that, it's pretty much business as usual - that business being darkly anthemic, Joy Division-influenced, angular indie rock of the hi… Read more
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INTERPOL - The Heinrich Maneuver / Mammoth, Parlophone