Saturday, December 27

Top releases, 2008:

For those who haven't yet been able to get hold of a hard copy of the fourth fanzine, here's the list of The New Thing's Top 20 releases of 2008. Singles, EPs, and albums are all counted together in this Festive Twenty to create a definitive picture of the year's highlights. Or so we think.

1. Factory Floor - Bipolar (S)

2. KASMs - Taxidermy (S)

3. Electricity In Our Homes - We Thought It Was But It Wasn't (S)

4. Ulterior - 15 (EP)

5. Hatcham Social - So So Happy Making (S)

6. These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid (LP)
7. Ipso Facto - Six and Three Quarters (S)
8. These New Puritans - Elvis (S)
9. An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump - These Sins (EP)
10. Factory Floor - Planning Application (EP)
11. S.C.U.M - Visions Arise (S)
12. 1000 Robota - Hamburg Brennt (EP)
13. Neils Children - I'm Ill (S)
14. The Ruling Class - Flowers (S)
15. The Horrors / Suicide / Nik Void - Shadazz (EP)
16. ddd - ddd (EP)
17. O Children / S.C.U.M - Ace Breasts / Smile (EP)
18. Project:Komakino - Project:Komakino (EP)
19. Plug - Fresh Pleasures (S)
20. Disconcerts - Human Figure In Motion (S)

Friday, December 19

ESG and A Certain Ratio for 1/1.

One Of One, the record label and promotion franchise run by Electricity In Our Home's Bonnie Carr, has announced details of their second London event. ON02 will bring ESG, the pioneering New York punk-funk group whose liquid basslines have backed not only their own songs but innumberable samplers' too, to the Barbican Centre. Support will come from none other than A Certain Ratio, Manchester post-punk icons, who played several shows with ESG in the early 1980s. It's all scheduled for March 3rd 2009, and tickets and information are available from the Barbican website.

Saturday, December 6

KASMs album & new single.

KASMs have finished recording their debut album at Abbey Road studios, and are to release it some time in the next few months (although as yet it has no name and no artwork). Before that, though, comes their next single, 'Bone You'. It can be heard on their MySpace page and brings an ultra-distorted industrial edge to their sound, while preserving the band's gift for combining melody and structure with bone-crunching vicious noise.

Sunday, November 30

Hatcham Social covers EP.

Hatcham Social are due to release Party, a download-only EP of cover versions, some time in the next couple of weeks as a final release before they put out their next single and album (due in the first two weeks of March). The EP features covers of songs by Shocking Blue (via Nirvana), The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lou Reed, The Beach Boys, and Pavement, and will be available from the Hatcham Social forum A Clearing In The Woods on December 8th, along with accompanying artwork designed by the band which can be folded into a CD booklet.

Saturday, November 22

Ulterior thrown off tour.

Ulterior have been dismissed from their tour with The Faint, apparently due to misbehaviour at their Manchester Academy show. The statement from the band:

After last nights screaming performance at Manchester Academy, we are really sorry to say that we have been pulled from the remainder of the UK tour with The Faint.

Read that how you like as we’re not allowed to make any further comments as to the reasons why.

Massive apologies to those who have bought tickets already and to those already on their way to The Scala - we’ve only just had confirmation right now.

Also, thanks to everyone who came down to support us in Manchester, you guys were amazing!

Monday, November 17

Ipso Facto and Magazine::support and collaboration

This year Ipso Facto supported Siouxsie Sioux, next year it's Magazine. The legendary post-punk pioneers have chosen the Ipsos as their support for their reunion gigs next February, after making contact via MySpace. Not only will Ipso Facto be warming up the crowd in London, Manchester, and Glasgow, but also singing doo-wop backing vocals on some songs from 1981's Magic, Murder and the Weather album. The four-piece are known to be enormous fans of Magazine, who have reformed despite the death in 2004 of guitarist John McGeoch (to be replaced on the upcoming tour by Norman Fisher-Jones), and Rosalie Cunningham has described her group as 'starstruck' by the opportunity. Tickets are selling out fast.

12 Feb - The Forum, London
13 Feb - The Forum, London
14 Feb - Academy 1, Manchester
16 Feb - Carling Academy, Glasgow
17 Feb - Academy 1, Manchester

Saturday, November 8

band spotlight. ADVERT

With a clanking, hypnotic throb of Sonic Youth guitars and industrial drum machines, a band called Advert are about to lurch into the spotlight with a show at The Horrors' Set Up Club. The enigmatic three-piece write songs named after girls and cover Billy Idol's 'White Wedding', but this isn't power pop; noise-laden live shows draw audience members into a trance but Advert hardly communicate with words: instead, they get their message across with layers of oscillating industrial post-punk. Keep your ears open.

Thursday, October 30


An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump have unveiled the details of their first release: the four-track These Sins EP. The release contains Bird favourites 'Lights Out', 'Saints Don't Cry', 'The Past Between Us', and '100%', and is out on 7" vinyl and digital download on December 8th. 'Lights Out' will be released as a promotional digital single on 17th November, with the launch party the day before at 93 Feet East (with The New Thing DJs). The EP, meanwhile, can be preordered from the Birds' MySpace now. With the media spotlight growing after the band's recent appearance in NME, this one's sure to sell out.

Sunday, October 26

KASMs album.;

Another small piece of news: KASMs have reportedly recorded their debut album. More details to follow as they surface.

EIOH delay.

Bad news: the next Electricity In Our Homes single on 4AD has been pushed back to a January release. Good news (for Americans at least): they're due to play South By South West in Texas next March.

Hatcham Social album.;

News on Hatcham Social's debut album: it's been recorded and mastered, it's called You Dig The Tunnel, I'll Hide The Soil, it's produced by Tim Burgess and Jim Spencer, it'll be released in February or March 2009, and there'll be a single out before the end of the year. The band are also set to play the South By South West festival in Texas next year as part of a wider American tour, possibly taking in the Coachella festival. Good news all round. Also, keep your eyes on their MySpace for a new track in the next week or so...

Friday, October 17

REVIEW. Ipso Facto: Six & Three Quarters/Circle of Fifths

This double A-side both continues and develops the eerie psychedelic grooves which Ipso Facto have been ploughing recently. The swirling bass and organ and the monochromatic lyrical hallucinations of debut single 'Harmonise' are still present and correct on A-side 'Six and Three Quarters', but nothing remains of that langorous lifelessness for which they were criticised: the addition of some jaunty rhythms from Samantha Valentine and the much-improved Victoria Smith make this music to march to, a triumphant parade of dark shapes and dreams. The synth and melodica-backed AA-side 'Circle of Fifths' also maintains an underlying groove which grips from the outset and stops the eerie melodies from sliding into lethargy. The Krautrock legacy of shuffling tribal rhythms hasn't been lost on Ipso Facto; that, coupled with some top-notch songwriting and breathlessly confident vocal stylings from Rosalie Cunningham, contribute to what has to be of the best singles of the year thus far.

'Six and Three Quarters'/'Circle of Fifths' is out on Mute Irregulars on Monday. Ipso Facto support The Last Shadow Puppets this autumn; support dates for legendary post-punk band Magazine are rumoured to be in the pipeline for next February.

Saturday, October 11

Belated EIOH news.

Just noticed:

'we are now a three piece band and have scrapped all of our old material and written (and are writing) new songs. we are recording a new 7" single next monday to be released on 4AD in the next couple of months. we are aranging some uk and european dates also for the near future.'

Sorry for taking our finger off the pulse. We can, however, let you know that the single is 'Silver Medal in Gymnastics', and it's been produced by John Linger. More to follow.

Thursday, October 9

Ipso Facto Video / Bird Pump EP

1. Ipso Facto, who release their next single 'Six & Three Quarters' on the 20th, have unveiled its promotional video. A gang of monochromatic psychedelic ghosts march forth around the four-piece, who for once are the most colourful people in the room.

2. An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump have announced details of their debut EP, recorded with Rory Attwell of KASMs. It's out on the 1st December, and a mini-tour to promote the record should follow. Before that the Birds can be caught playing all around London, including a support slot for S.C.U.M and a Dice Club show, and are also in this week's NME (twice).

Sunday, October 5

The Horrors - 'Shadazz'.

'The world hasn't seen them for a couple of years...' - it's the introduction to the live Suicide B-side rather than The Horrors' offering, but it applies equally to the latest single from everyone's favourite NME cover stars of 2006. After a long wait, and with surprisingly little fanfare, The Horrors have released their latest single. It's the first in a series of EPs by various artists on the Blast First Petite label paying tribute to Suicide, the New York no-wave originators whose Alan Vega apparently turns 70 this year. Future releases are due to feature Suicide contemporary Lydia Lunch, Bruce Springsteen (who'd have thought?), Liars, Effi Briest, and S.C.U.M (with their cover of 'Wild in Blue'), but this, the first, will be the most exciting to those who've been waiting with bated breath to find out what The Horrors sound like after a year spent immersing themselves in experimental electronics.

The clues were all there: the collaborations with S.C.U.M and Ulterior, the Set Up Club, Spider and the Flies... The 'Shadazz' cover sounds a lot more like the esoteric instrumental piece 'Gil Sleeping' than any other track on their Strange House debut. A dub bass groove and solid drumbeat form a spine for some barely-there distorted slide guitar and a shower of flickering synthesizer noises, but overall this is firm Suicide territory: dark and eerily catchy, but above all as minimal as possible. Faris Badwan's screaming days are over: the frontman is cool and snarling, taking an uncanny angle on Alan Vega's restrained ferocity while firmly retaining his own voice. Whether they'll keep that up when we hear their own work is another matter, but for now there are more shrieks from Vega on the B-side (unreleased Suicide track 'Radiation') than on Badwan's 'Shadazz' vocal line.

A special mention is due for Nik Void's 'Rocket U.S.A.' cover, the second B-side track, which combines laconic Flying Lizards vocals with a great pulsing synth line and provides a good reminder of Suicide's influence on every single dance act since the late seventies, but all in all that and 'Radiation' are just further incentives to find out for yourself what The Horrors are up to, and to get a taster of their new sound (due in album form in the new year). They're in the process of casting off their immature garage rock sound and looking forward to new territory: 'Count In Fives' this isn't, but that can only be a good thing at this stage.

Thursday, October 2

N/C 'I'm Ill' video

Here, in all its glory, is the new 'I'm Ill' video from Neils Children, directed by Stephen Campbell and featuring SKIPtheatre.

The single is out on 20th October on the band's Structurally Sound label.

Micron 63 single details.;

Here are the full details for the release of Micron 63's first single. 'Death Is Colder Than Love' will be released on 7" vinyl on 20th October, with 'Anatomy of No Escape' on the B-side. There'll also be a digital EP to download, featuring remixes by Ulterior/Zlaya, Factory Floor, and Killit. A sample of the A-side and the whole of the B are available to hear at As the next release from the DiscError label, we're pretty excited about this one; both sides display the collective's distinctive collision of techno melody and driving industrial beats. Micron 63 play with labelmates Ulterior on the 22nd, and apparently have something special planned to launch the single, so keep your ears glued open.

Tuesday, September 16

Horrors recording finished.

The Horrors have finished recording their second album, with enough tracks laid down to make for an 11- or 12-track LP and some singles, and are due to release it around March. The first single - and therefore the first sample of what has been rumoured to be a new sound - is due to be let loose before Christmas (although it should be remembered that the same was said around this time last year), with more to follow before the album. Presumably we can be expecting promotional live dates before too long as well. Good news all round for those who were doubting that the band would resurface any time soon.

Monday, September 15

ddd: drown. FREE DOWNLOAD

We're pleased to offer ddd's 'Drown', the standout track on their recent self-titled EP, as a free audio download.
Click here to download 'Drown'.

We described the track as a 'mechanical guitar squall', saying that 'a persistently simple riff lays the foundations for an extended introduction of synthesised beats and noises, before Woollaston’s laconically malignant vocals slice defiant words into the mixture'.

Download it now, and visit the ddd page at to listen to more. The EP is available in a number of good record stores.

Thursday, September 4

OFFSET FESTIVAL. review, pt. 2;


Two thirds of An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump returned to the stage early on Sunday afternoon to open the day again, this time in their guise of Eve Black/Eve White. As with their other group, the duo can’t be described as an exciting live act in the traditional sense, but their deep vocal stylings and haunting electronics sent a shiver down the spine and once again spread an instant atmosphere around the tent, not least with a superb cover of Otis Blackwell’s Fever.

The next act, Maria and the Mirrors, had more in common than An Experiment... than the Eves, with their drums and bass guitar set-up, but also shared a distinctive hypnotising tribal wail with Effi Briest. As far as the two ladies literally mirroring each other on the drums and pumping out these soulful evocations went, they were a fascinating live act, with elements of New York punk-funk groups ESG and Liquid Liquid; but the fly in the ointment was their bassist, who lurked at the back of the stage between the two. The framing effect and the drums and costumes made the whole performance look a bit like a pagan sacrifice, and the imposing central figure exerted an extreme influence, jabbering horribly into the microphone and actually halting the drummers with his hand several times. The distorted bass gave the sound a thrilling edge in contrast to the drums and chanting, but the overall impression was simply one of ego. If that’s reined in, though, Maria and the Mirrors will prove a promising addition to the shriekbeat canon.

Occupying the next slot were O Children. The stage was an intriguing sight before they came on with its central microphone at least a foot higher than its partners on either side, but when the four-piece arrived they got straight down to a riveting set of no-nonsense post-punk. The immense presence of vocalist Tobias seemed to lend the whole band a sense of unity, and they tore through a brief set of songs ranging from creepily downbeat (Ace Breasts and Dead Disco Dancer) to creepily triumphant (Radio Waves). Their obsessive lyrics tie the disparate sounds together, and a set of melodies which are both substantial and instantly memorable make O Children an excellent package, and one which is sure to garner more attention. Listen now.

The Ruling Class swagger onto the stage and launch into their psychedelic Madchester sound as though they’re playing Brixton Academy. While the music they play is by no means original, it’s both unusual in modern indie rock, and possessed of an enticing vibrancy. Jonathan Sutcliffe on vocals bears a slight and highly appropriate resemblance to Ian Brown, and the riffs and harmonies on Flowers and Umbrella Folds scream Waterfall, but it’s difficult to criticise the energy the five-piece show, and far easier just to sit back and enjoy Tomas Kubowicz’s intricate guitar lines and Alfie Tammaro’s baggy backbeat. A couple of high-profile support slots in the near future should establish this band as firm ‘ones to watch’, and it seems likely that they’ll get the popular status that they so clearly crave. Whether their current material will hold up to radio scrutiny is a separate matter.

Having dropped vocalist Thomas Warmerdam only three weeks before their Offset performance, Electricity In Our Homes have become a jerky power trio with all three remaining members contributing vocals. These weren’t perhaps as strong as they could have been, and Warmerdam’s distinctive voice is still missed, but promising touches on a set of all-new material including an excellent cover of the Beach Boys’ Little Honda show a development already underway. This was after all their first gig as a three-piece, and in time the new format should offer more freedom to experiment for one of London’s most innovative bands.

As ever, The Violets gave a performance which is technically flawless and delivered with extreme competence: Alexis Mary is a perfect frontwoman, slinking across the stage to deliver everything from a croon to a shriek and even improvising to fill in for a missing melodica, and Joe Daniel’s guitar work gathers unsettling flickering and storms of noise in one masterful stroke, almost making the band’s rhythm section obsolete of his own accord (though they too are highly professional). There is something about them, though, which is slightly unsatisfying; I would say they lacked soul were it not for the emotional depths of their songs, but it' probably just that they’re too polished and competent, especially when following the DIY charms of Electricity In Our Homes. Their set is highly enjoyable and very energetic, but slips past quickly without leaving much lasting impact. That’s hardly a complaint however, and I would hate to give the impression that they aren’t a great live band. See and enjoy them; they play rarely enough.

They’re followed by a much-anticipated set by Neils Children, who have been working in seclusion on their LP X.Enc. for the past few months. Some album tracks surface, including the revived Communiqué and Sometimes It’s Hard To Let Go, and recent single Reflective/Surface gets an enthusiastic reception, but more surprising is the presence in the set of older songs such as Stand Up and the closing attack of ancient-but-great single Come Down. Could it be that John Linger, ever the progressive, is finally embracing his band’s past? An interesting diversion is provided by the SKIPTheatre company, who perform a piece of PiL-soundtracked physical theatre before Neils Children take the stage, as well as skipping with hoops and scattering black feathers during An Exchange in an echo of the collaboration on the band’s latest video for I’m Ill.

The final performance of the evening, aside from a slightly dubiously-placed late set from electronic act Prinzhorn Dance School, were Ipso Facto, who proved the persistence of their current rise by filling the tent for the first time. The band have taken leaps and bounds since their early concerts, and their skill as musicians is now beyond question; Victoria Smith in particular has turned into a sharp and skilful drummer. Theirs isn’t exactly music to fight to, but they certainly created an eerily beautiful atmosphere in the packed tent with their sombre and serene psychedelia, before finishing with a triumphant new song in - controversially - a major key, which spread the smile from their faces throughout the audience. As happy, bob-haired aficionadoes spilled grinning out of the tent, it was obvious that Ipso Facto had taken another step on their ascendant road, and provided the perfect way to close the Experimental Circle Club tent for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 3

OFFSET FESTIVAL. review, pt. 1;


The epicentre of the more interesting side of the weekend was the Experimental Circle Club stage. Erroneously but somewhat appropriately named ‘The Experimental Circus’ by one particular member of Offset staff, the tent provided high-quality sounds throughout the festival: the diversity of the music on offer was clear from a glance at the line-up, which progressed from the crazed electronoise of Cementimental opening the Saturday afternoon to a refined but joyful psychedelic set from Ipso Facto on Sunday evening.

The first song-based act to take the ECC stage was An Experiment on a Bird Pump, who drew a fair crowd thanks to growing media attention (as well as the backing of The Horrors’ Faris Badwan). Despite delays which lasted throughout the weekend putting their set back by an hour, the Birds didn’t disappoint, and their soulful vocals and grunge instrumentation provided a good warmup for what is still to come. They’re by no means a band given to vulgar displays of power and speed, but a taut energy ran through their set and their restrained pace and musical minimalism perfectly suited their afternoon slot.

They were followed almost immediately by I Am The Arm, reduced to a three-piece after the recent departure of bassist Kane Martindale and who give performance of great intensity but one which showed the strain of the reduction. It’s particularly clear when vocalist Cyan Assiter-Clark is forced to switch from bass to guitar, and then to synthesiser, in the space of only three or four songs that, having only recently replaced their drummer, the Arm clearly need a new bassist as well. But they’re still making strides in songwriting and technical competence and the future looks bright, particularly with rumours of a release with DiscError floating about. Only time will tell.

Although ddd were set to follow, Paul Simmons (the guitarist for Ulterior, making a guest appearance in place of the absent John Kontos) had left his guitar pedals in Hackney and, rather than accept the alternatives offered, had gone to fetch them and left a hole in the programme which was filled by Futurism Vs. Passeism. Unfortunately, the phrase ‘plagued by technical problems’ has never been more appropriate: with the drum pads and microphone both playing up and the band becoming visibly frustrated, relief was sought in the New Bands tent as they struggled through their set. The technical failures would have been disappointing to any band at any time, and must be a constant danger for Futurism’s extensive electronics, but for a group playing a return show with new members and material they proved doubly crushing. Hopefully a future demonstration of the band’s developments hasn’t been ruled out.

ddd, arriving on stage a short while later after Simmons’ return, proved a blistering contrast to Fvs.P’s mystical electronic meltdown. A sharp and noisy sound attack is always guaranteed with Darryl Woollaston’s project, but Simmons’ contributions lent it, if possible, even more anger - his frantic slashing at the high end of the guitar strings were a perfect background to Woollaston’s robotically rhythmic guitar and vocals. A triumphant collaboration.

After a weird and not entirely wonderful set from No Bra, whose cult appeal I fail to understand, there was a noticeable crowding of the tent in anticipation of a performance from S.C.U.M, the band of the moment. The group arrived from an earlier performance in Norwich only shortly before taking the stage, and there had been some ill-feeling over their requests for a later slot (which were not entirely unjustified when the rest of the day’s bill was considered). Although slightly robbed of their atmosphere by being performed in full daylight, Thomas Cohen’s echoing vocals and the group’s tribal drums and menacing synth lines fetched a fair response from a crowd whose lack of movement apparently belied their appreciation, based on the positive words that could be heard in the tent after Rauridh Connellan had destroyed his drum kit and lurched over the front barrier before disappearing behind the stage. Cohen is developing into an iconic Nick Cave-style frontman, and their forthcoming single Visions Arise should cement S.C.U.M’s status as the Next Big Thing; whether they can sustain the bubble is a matter for the future, and at the moment they are a band living very much in the present.

Night had fallen by the time Factory Floor took the stage, and an audience which grew steadily throughout their set showed that their artistic draw is a great deal more powerful than their media presence. Latest single Bipolar has been absent from their live performances almost since its release, and most of their set consisted of new material, although Francis Francis (their next release) got an enthusiastic reception with its screaming guitar line. Factory Floor are moving away from their obvious influences into territory which is entirely their own, and although they aren’t a band that court the spotlight, they must sooner or later be thrust inevitably into it.

Of all the lineup changes in evidence on Saturday, perhaps the most drastic was from Micron 63, who have doubled in size in the past few months to a live four-piece. Their place on the bill was a little unusual for a group who have received little media attention and who are yet to release their first single. A more obvious move would have been to give a popular group with more stage presence such as Ulterior this peak slot, and to move Micron 63 to later in the night when their pounding bass synth and flickering vocals could have made for an excellent dance set. They were a little lost on an early crowd who are still gearing up for the night, but still put in a decent show which pointed to a great deal of potential.

When Ulterior did take the stage it was towards midnight and most of those who weren’t camping had left. Their performance closed the night acrimoniously with heckling from the back of the tent, and a tense set showed the growing influence of stadium rock on the group: they seem to be taking their love of the Manic Street Preachers to new extremes with a more tuneful sound.

Pt. 2 EXP. CIRC. SUNDAY to be posted tomorrow.; both parts and more to be published soon in an Offset edition of The New Thing fanzine.;

Wednesday, August 27


Ulterior, who have been uncharacteristically quiet since the release of second single 15, are shortly to launch a renewed attack on the nation's eardrums. An autumn tour with New York noise rockers A.R.E. Weapons is soon to be announced, starting on 23rd October and taking in Brighton, London, Leicester, Nottingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle.

As well as that, Ulterior guitarist Paul Simmons will be making a guest appearance with Darryl Woollaston's ddd, filling in for second guitarist John Kantos, at the Offset Festival this weekend: a performance not to be missed by fans of attack-minded sounds and angry noise. The two bands both play on 18th September at the Metro Club on Oxford Street.

Monday, August 25

Neils Children 'X.Enc.' details..;

The first release details for Neils Children's full length debut album X.Enc. have been revealed, and the album's track listing is now visible at The 11-track album includes forthcoming single 'I'm Ill'/'Terror at Home' as well as a selection of tracks demoed over the past two years, and will be available towards the end of the year. Watch this space and the Neils Children site for more details - the band can be seen among a terrific lineup at the Offset Festival on 30th-31st August.

Friday, August 8

EIOH - change in the air.;

Lead vocalist Thomas Warmerdam has left Electricity In Our Homes, leaving them to continue as a three-piece. The split seems to have been friendly, with Warmerdam wishing to concentrate on other interests; the band are not currently seeking to replace him, but intend to test out their current members as vocalists. The band's next concert is on the 30th August at the Offset Festival in Essex, as they continue to promote their successful latest single 'We Thought It Was But It Wasn't'.

Neils Children - 'I'm Ill'

The next single from Neils Children will be the fantastic 'I'm Ill', due for release in September on the new Structurally Sound label established by the band. The b-side is 'Terror at Home', and both tracks are set to appear on the forthcoming LP X.Enc, out in October or November provided all goes well. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 5

Hatcham album nears completion.;

Hatcham Social have started the recording of their as-yet-untitled debut album in Cheshire, under the eyes of Tim Burgess of The Charlatans and Jim Spencer (producer for New Order and Johnny Marr among others). The band have been laying down tracks in the Big Bushroom studios in Middlewich for the last week, and are expected to spend another three weeks recording before announcing release dates and an autumn tour.

Saturday, August 2

1000 Robota debut album.;

Everyone's favourite new German band, 1000 Robota, have revealed details of their debut album. Du Nicht Er Nicht Sie Nicht ('Not You Not Him Not Her', not that we speak German) is due on 26th September on CD and 12" vinyl on Tapete Records, and features ten completely new songs, many of which recieved their UK debut during the band's performance at The Set Up Club last month. The track list is...


'Mein Traum' ('My Dream') is the first single from the album, out on 8th August also on Tapete, and available on limited edition 7" vinyl. It's backed by a new recording of 'Hamburg Brennt', the title track from the band's debut EP, and the A-side is currently available to hear at the band's MySpace.

1000 Robota play three UK shows this week: Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen (4th August), Colchester Arts Centre (5th), and the Hull Adelphi (6th) before heading back to Germany until November.

S.C.U.M to release debut single.;

The wave of hype building under S.C.U.M has finally broken, with the news that they are to release 'Visions Arise' as a single on Loog Records. With production by Tom Cowan of The Horrors, and a new b-side called 'Second Sea', the release is due on 15th September, and is sure to be popular after the band's performances at the Underage and Offset Festivals in August. The single will be launched with a party at Shoreditch Church on 11th September.

Sunday, July 20

Plastic Passion debut album

Plastic Passion, the finest modern purveyors of new wave pop, have announced the release of their debut album, Contrived Imagery - but only in Japan. It's due to be released on the (new) Knew Noise label on CD on 10th September, and hopefully it will be available to buy online for anyone who isn't Japan-based. The first single from the album is reported to be 'Beneath the Light', but that's still to be confirmed. The LP's tracklisting is...

Pass Over
File Under
We Have Come So Far
Look Around
Scratching at the Door
Not Art
It's Been Done
Beneath the Light
It Stops

Tuesday, July 15

IPSO FACTO :: next singles.

The second single from Ipso Facto, 'Ears and Eyes', is set to be released on August 4th. The limited edition single was recorded with Liam Watson at his Toe Rag Studios on the finest vintage analogue equipment, previously used by The White Stripes and Billy Childish among others, and is available on single-sided 7" vinyl. It's released on Pure Groove's Germs of Youth label, and the band are due to mark the release with an instore appearance at the Farringdon record shop on 31st July at 6.30pm, followed by a chance to buy the record before its release and get it signed by the band.

The group are due to follow this up with the release of '6 & ¾'/'Circle of Fifths' (tracklisting tbc) in September on Mute Irregulars. This one's produced by John Rivers, who, as the engineer for The Specials' 'Ghost Town', brings a suitably atmospheric touch. Those two tracks can be heard on the Ipso Facto MySpace now, and the band play a number of live dates throughout the summer.

Sunday, July 13


Darryl Woollaston’s ddd machine has been ticking away in the background for three years now, adding new cogs (second guitarist John) and churning out one razor-sharp single per year as precisely as clockwork. Now, with their first extended release, they’ve upped a gear. Their self-titled EP flicks directly into action with the mechanical guitar squall that is live favourite and standout track ‘Drown’: a persistantly simple riff lays the foundations for an extended introduction of synthesised beats and noises, before Woollaston’s laconically malignant vocals slice defiant words into the mixture.

What ddd have lost in manic punk energy since their inception they’ve gained in sinister rigidity and sheer technical competence, and every part of the common electric guitar contributes to the array of noises: ‘Drown’ features the sound of the strings reverberating after the back of the guitar’s head is hit, and we don’t dare to imagine how the deeply unsettling scratching noise on ‘Spiral’ was achieved. The robotic pace and voice of the first and third tracks are offset by the darting-eyed paranoia of ‘Concentration’, with its schizophrenic whispered background vocals matched only by the madness of the guitars.

Though the EP is only one track longer than their singles, it’s still a step forward for the ddd project, and its technical precision is unmatched. The duo are starting to gather more recognition for their otherworldly noises, and it’s with great excitement that we look forward to the next twist of the screw.

The EP is available now from the iTunes Music Store, and numbered, limited 10" vinyl copies can be bought at the launch party at the Old Blue Last on the 20th.

Monday, June 23

That bird pump band have recorded an EP...

An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump have just finished recording their debut release with Robert Harder, who has releases by The Slits, Theoretical Girl, and Talking Heads under his producing belt. The new EP tracks will be unveiled soon. For now, we have an exclusive slice of information: plans are coming together for a collaborative track 'Violets of Dawn' between the Birds and 'a very tall frontman in a well known band'. Draw your own conclusions...

Thursday, June 19

Hatcham Social free track & update;

Stirrings from the Island of Doctor Moreau, where Hatcham Social are reputedly preparing to record their debut album. An official announcement is imminent, but we hear that recording will start within the month, with Tim Burgess of The Charlatans producing, and that there'll be a new single announcement soon.

A taste of things to come is offered in the form of the new track 'Superman', available now as a free download from the A Clearing In The Woods forum. A synth line (a Hatcham first as far as we know) lends it a certain shoegazing air, but it's still got the barrel of delicate pop melodies and fitful rhythm section from earlier singles, and it's definitely worth the trouble of signing up to the forum. Also on offer are early ticket releases, more free downloads, and frequent updates on the band's activity, so sign up now and brighten up your day.

Wednesday, June 18

O CHILDREN/S.C.U.M at Puregroove ./

Two hyped new bands combine to record a split EP for the newly-opened Puregroove shop in Smithfield. Both present their debuts to public scrutiny, and play a free instore on the 13th June with The New Thing in attendance. Our thoughts.

O Children are at the centre of a punctuation crisis - O.Children? O-Children? Who knows? Who cares? - but that hasn't stopped them from attracting a fair amount of attention since their first shows in March, including a place in big letters on the poster for Offset Festival in August (this time as O'Children). The Puregroove EP and appearance proves that sometimes you should believe the hype: an indie Goliath of a singer switches vocally between Elvis Presley and Ian Curtis at the drop of a mic stand, and a ragtag trio of musicians combine melody with aggression to post-punk perfection. Their EP track 'Ace Breasts' is rock 'n' roll gone wrong in the best possible way, with unsettling treble guitar lines and voyeuristic lyrics from that voice contributing to a tour de force of eerie indie.

It's a worthy debut, backed up by an even better live performance: those who've heard the band's MySpace demos are urged to catch them live, since their sound opens right out on the live stage - they exude a vivid energy and a great stage presence even in a striplit record shop at twenty to seven in the evening. There were tears wept over the split of Bono Must Die, but if this is what its disparate members have come up with next then we're happy.

S.C.U.M should be familiar to many after being tipped as 'ones to watch' by NME at least three times in the past few months, and the growing attendance as their Puregroove stage time approaches is a testament to that exposure. Their EP track is called 'Smile', so it might be seen as a kind of antidote to Lily Allen: a lurching three-time bass rhythm catapults the listener into the band's own personal aural hell, with gunshot drumbeats and cold vocals echoing from side to side.

The band play up their visual style onstage so the absence of their normal strobe setup leaves them looking a little naked at Puregroove, but the spaces are thoroughly filled with electronic noise and the gyrations of the group's stalking frontman Tom, who provides the obligatory set-climbing photo opportunity on the shop's fragile-looking shelves. It's an unusual S.C.U.M set then - they don't even wreck the drum kit - but, with a growing instrumental unity and some excellent new material, it's both satisfying for now and indicative of greater things to come.

The split EP is available from Puregroove in Smithfield now on CD, and comes highly recommended. Play it loud and frequently.

Sunday, June 15

EIOH single - final details:::

'We Thought It Was But It Wasn't' / 'After Many A Summer Dies The Swan'
500 LTD 7" singles
Released on Too Pure/WAKs
23rd June 2008
(PURE 218s)

Launch party: 29th June - details tbc.

'We Thought It Was But It Wasn't': another disjointed uneasy Electricity In Our Homes post-punk pop-song. One point five minutes no punches pulled: scratched Bunnyman/Fire Engine guitar enters ear ricochets round skull strikes sparks off cracked crazed vocals to the accompaniment of steam powered rhythm pieces slowly deconstructing stop start stop start stop start. Buy it.

Tuesday, June 10


Two individual pieces of single news;

1// Project:KOMAKINO's first single, 'Penumbra 1', will be released on 1st October on April77 Records, but for those not wishing to wait it can be heard now at their MySpace. It's certainly an improvement on Kris Kane's solo demo version, with the added band members each making their contributions and a new vocal style which develops the former Ian Curtis-style gloom into something less murky and more distinct. The group's next release is the Project:KOMAKINO EP on 28th June, which we strongly recommend you buy.

2// Ulterior's '15' single now has a confirmed release date of 16th June - that is, the coming Monday. The follow-up to 'Weapons' is another essential buy - it's on DiscError, and available at any decent record shop.

Monday, June 9

KASMs 'Taxidermy' - further details //

You should probably know that KASMs' first 7" single 'Taxidermy' will now be released on 21st July, and that, further to our previous news on the topic, the b-side will feature not only 'Siren Sister' but also 'Elevator': a bumper package for all shriekbeat connoisseurs.

Saturday, June 7

Horrors album::UPDATE

Having finished preliminary songwriting sessions for their second album, The Horrors are set to relocate to Bristol to start recording in two weeks. Whether this turns the album into a trip-hop soundscape will be revealed in the winter, when the album is released: a date of January has now been suggested, another delay justified by the need not to rush, and a world tour is due to follow.

Monday, June 2


Both sides of Neils Children's next single are now available to stream from their MySpace. 'Reflective/Surface' is an angular stop-and-start affair which disguises a dark lyrical face behind its upbeat Josef K-style guitars, with the band's psychedelic roots still apparent in its shimmering instrumental break. 'Exposure' is more downbeat, its background vocal harmonies and eerie sound effects showing a continuation of the band's movement into new territories. The AA-side single is now available on April77 records - download it from this month with a code available on April77 clothing, or buy it from a record store near you. Neils Children play Dice Club this Saturday.

Wednesday, May 28

KASMs:: new 7"

The details for KASMs' new 7" single have been unveiled, and we're pleased. Side A will feature 'Taxidermy', a live favourite and a standout track on their debut EP. The flipside has new guitar-storm 'Siren Sister', a sinister warped blues now audible at their MySpace page. The whole package is due in July 8 on Trouble Records, as well as a special edition yet to be revealed. And it has a free poster. An essential release: get it as soon as it hits the shelves.

Project:KOMAKINO EP release details;;

The recording of the debut EP from Project:KOMAKINO, a self-titled 4-track 12" record, is finished, and the band have announced release details. The record, recorded and mixed by the four-piece in 36 hours, will be limited to 300 copies, hand-numbered and screen-printed. Production duties are courtesy of Bonnie K of Electricity In Our Homes, and the EP will be released on Parlour Records towards the end of July.

Monday, May 26

EIOH single delay;;

News in brief: the date for the next release from Electricity In Our Homes has been pushed back a week to the 9th June while artwork is being developed. More information as we hear it.


Ipso Facto have announced the first details of the follow-up to debut single 'Harmonise', which sold out on DiscError Recordings in October. 'Little Puppet' will be produced by Gareth Jones (Wire, Einstürzende Neubaten, These New Puritans), with 'Smoke and Mirrors' on the other side. The song, one of the band's first, was rejected as a debut single prior to 'Harmonise' but is now due to create another hype explosion around the all-girl psychedelic combo - copies will again be limited when the single is released on DiscError within the next few months, so keep your ears pointed this way for a release date soon.

(Disclaimer after some confusion: this entire post is hearsay and rumour, and is not to be trusted...)

Friday, May 16


Some good news concerning Neils Children reaches our ears for the first time in a while. After months of suspicious silence following the abandonment of the planned 'Pop:Aural' album, the band have confirmed that they are set to release new material over the summer and beyond.

The long-awaited singles 'Reflective/Surface'/'Exposure' (April77) and 'I'm Ill' (Waks, with newly-announced b-side 'Terror at Home') are set for release in June and July/August respectively, and, most excitingly, a new 12-track LP 'X.Enc' in September or October - possibly allowing a joint album-promotion tour with The Horrors in the autumn.

More details on release are to be announced nearer the time, but it's likely that the band's sound will have developed yet again by the time the album is released, with a darkly melodic direction promised. With N/C drummer Brandon Jacobs (whose side-project Goodnight & I Wish released debut EP 'Dreams... Wishes, and Fairy-tales' this week) promising that the new album will 'blow everything we've ever done out of the water', expectations are running high. It's up to Neils Children to fulfil them and, for the first time in their nine-year career, get a full-length album out.

Thursday, May 8

FVs.P WLTM singer (F) for friendship & more;;

Futurism Vs. Passeism are looking for a vocalist after the departure of Stephanie Baker for reasons as yet unknown. Applicants should be female, and be able to play keyboards and, ideally, guitar too. Applicants should message FVs.P at their Myspace - anyone willing and able should be clicking right now to keep this excellent band on its feet.

Thursday, May 1

Wire & Ipso Facto for Offset;;

Post-punk legends Wire and the monochrome psychedelia of Ipso Facto have both been confirmed for Offset Festival on 30th-31st August. Offset, tickets for which go on sale today, also features an Experimental Circle Tent with already-confirmed acts including Ulterior and Electricity In Our Homes; the addition of the ascendant Ipso Facto and their eerie organ sounds, as well as one of the most influential and innovative groups of the post-punk era in the headline slot, puts Offset among the best summer festivals for followers of The New Thing. Early £35 weekend tickets are available from for a limited time now.

Tuesday, April 29

Project:KOMAKINO debut EP;;

Fans of atmospheric post-punk are set for an excellent June, as Project:KOMAKINO - now a four-piece after the addition of synthesizer-player Andrew Hiles - have announced their debut release* on 12" vinyl. The self-titled EP will be released on Parlour Records, and will be the first recorded document of the four-piece band, who play Dice Club on 11th May and The Country Club (alongside The New Thing DJs) on the 23rd. See them, buy the EP, and support this exceptional new group.

*Long-term readers of The New Thing might remember our review of the one-man Project:KOMAKINO's limited debut EP in November, but that's apparently been erased from the records.

G&IW: The Future

With Neils Children playing fewer and fewer concerts, drummer Brandon Jacobs has a lot of time on his hands - and he's using it to make a major solo assault on the musical world in his Goodnight & I Wish guise. Having made his first appearance on a major stage supporting The Long Blondes, and after the release of his DIY debut EP Dreams...Wishes, and Fairy Tales on May 5th, he's due to release a single, 'So Much For The British Summertime' on June 23rd (three days after the summer solstice - a fitting release date if ever there was one). That's before beginning work on his debut album, due for the end of the year. A busy time, and not necessarily good news for the wellbeing of Jacobs' percussion commitments... but more of that later. For now, the future looks bright for twee lullaby-pop.

Sunday, April 27


Dirty Snow are an enigma at first glance: a starkly monochromatic male/female duo, making atmospheric post-punk in the vein of Faith-era Cure - an influence they pay tribute to with a cover of 'All Cats Are Grey' - and under the influence of electronic music and shoegaze. It takes a little investigation to discover their origins in a gallery in Hackney in 1999 as a conceptual 'ghost band' founded by artists Esther Planas and Marc Hulson for the Five Years project. Since then they've played around London and Europe for nights including Decasia and Zoo Music. How The New Thing have missed them so far is largely due to their lack of publicity - this isn't a band so much as an experimental artistic project, with possibly the least commercial approach we've ever seen. That we haven't previously picked up on them is our mistake, since they make some of the best music we've encountered fresh for quite some time - and apparently their live appearances are even better. Discover them now to make up for nine years' worth of lost time.


ddd have announced their first extended release: a three-track EP featuring new songs 'Drown', 'Concentration', and 'Spiral'. The first track on the forthcoming release can be heard on their MySpace now, and it's another modern classic of ruthless guitars and uneasy electronics. Based on recent live performances, the other two tracks should be just as good. Keep checking back for release details as and when they trickle in.

Thursday, April 24

Hatcham Social..::..NEW SINGLE

Hatcham Social have announced preliminary details of their next single. The follow-up to the hugely successful 'So So Happy Making' has already been recorded with Faris Badwan and Andy Savours sharing the producer's chair, and the B-side is reputed to be a Beach Boys cover. More information on the upcoming single will appear here as soon as it reaches our ears, but in the interim you can have a butcher's at the brand new Hatcham Social forum, A Clearing In The Woods, and catch the band live as they support The Charlatans on their British tour next month, with Electricity In Our Homes and Ipso Facto also playing one support date each.

Saturday, April 19

Horrors&N/C album news;;

Faris Badwan's made it known that The Horrors are planning to record their second LP in June. Having left Loog Records, the label on which they released Strange House, in favour of XL, the band will finish writing new songs before going into the studio, and hope to release not only the album but also one single before the end of the year. This could mean a later release date than the previously-announced September, but the band appear confident that the album will be worth the wait.

It's rumoured that Neils Children are also in the process of picking up the pieces of the unreleased Pop:Aural and recording a new album in a warehouse, without any kind of outside help. They claim to be heading in a more melodic direction, and with new single 'I'm Ill' currently advertised as 'coming soon', there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for fans of the group. More information, of course, when we get it.

Thursday, April 17

Exp. Circ. Tent announces line-up;;

This year Essex's Offset Festival plays host to a tent curated by the Experimental Circle Club, and the line-up has just been announced: a veritable 'Who's Who' of the best new music from London and beyond. Included on the bill are...

S.C.U.M // Electricity In Our Homes
Eve Black/Eve White // I Am The Arm // ddd
Futurism Vs Passeism // Factory Floor // Micron 63
**K // S.I.N.S. (tbc) // ErrorOrchestra // Cementimental

Also included are DJs from London's The Sect and UFO Club, Brighton's Where To Now?, Nottingham's Noise*, Southend Kool Kids Klub, and Madrid's The Junkettes, as well as Exp. Circ. Club sounds and visuals.

The festival takes place in Hainault Forest (30 minutes from London on the Central Line) on 30th-31st August, and features another six stages with over one hundred artists yet to be announced - including some very special main-stage headliners still under wraps - as well as sideshows, stalls, and a zoo.

The full line-up is to be announced soon, and we've also been promised even more acts in the Exp. Circ. Tent, so earballs must, as ever, be kept open. Tickets go on sale on May 1st for £35. You cannot afford not to attend.

Monday, April 14

Micron 63 sign with DiscError;;

The newest artist to sign up to the DiscError roster is Micron 63. The industrial three-piece have not been around for long, but they have already supported Project:KOMAKINO and have garnered great attention for their driving electronic beats: the DiscError signing means they are now labelmates of Ulterior, raising speculation of a collaboration or support role. Watch out for the debut Micron 63 release over the next few months - it's sure to be good one.

Wednesday, April 9


At last Electricity In Our Homes have been forced to relinquish their 'most annoying band name to type repeatedly' title. The first group we've ever heard of to be named after an 18th-century oil painting, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump is a new project combining two talents: Lady Himalaya of Decasia Club and New Black Light Machine, and female electro-soul duo Eve Black/Eve White. With Ms Himalaya on bass guitar and the two Eves on stand-up drums and vocals respectively, the group make dark, minimal surf rock with soul vocals. It's a little like the aural version of a David Lynch film: atmospheric, scary, and arty as fuck... Catch them live at Decasia Club on 26th April supporting Factory Floor, or (better still - we're DJing) with Project:KOMAKINO at The Country Club Set in May.

Tuesday, April 8

Forthcoming releases;;;;

These New Puritans have announced the release of 'Swords of Truth' as the next single off LP Beat Pyramid. The video can be seen here; the single will come out on 5th May on 7" and 12" vinyl, as well as a digital download, with Angular Records in the UK and Domino worldwide. B-sides are yet to be announced.

Electricity In Our Homes, meanwhile, will also be releasing a new single next month. The release date is May 19th, the label is Waks/Too Pure, but other details are a little thin on the ground.

Finally, Billy Trivial is set to release his debut release, a 7" EP, on the Salvador Dali's Garden Party label in the summer.

That's about all for now. Further details...will be here.

Tuesday, March 25


Today we take a glance at the latest passenger on the side-project train: Plastic Passion's bassist Lemmi Eaton, and his new band The Crepes. They produce a variety of noises, including the barbershop doo-wop of 'Love Is For Mugs', but their main drive seems to be danceable funked-up noise-punk: 'Prettymusicmakingmachine' is particularly good, combining the Plastic Passion vocal style with an instrumental line that sounds like listening to XX Teens playing 50s rock 'n' roll with your head in a bucket of water. Fans of Plastic Passion needn't fear, since Lemmi claims the band are 'just for fun', but it's certainly an intriguing and enjoyable listen, and some live performances further down the road would certainly be welcome... a band to keep an eye on, certainly.

Monday, March 24

REVUE// The Sonics at Le Beat Bespoké 4;;

The biggest problem with bands who reform decades after the event is the 'soft in their old age' dilemma. The last years have seen this curse strike again and again, from the flaccid Sex Pistols comeback to the Jam-without-Weller fiasco and the soulless prog-nonsense of the reformed Who... even X-Ray Spex are charging thirty quid a pop for their Roundhouse reunion later this year. With all this defiance of the 'hope I die before I get old' spirit in the air, the biggest dangers facing The Sonics as they played their first-ever UK shows since their messy 1967-8 break-up were incoherence, obsolescence, and musical flab.

Thankfully, the sagging tonight is confined to the waistlines, and the music flexes its muscles all night with a taut and energetic set of garage rock classics. A support set by The Horrors, featuring a resurrection of 'Crawdaddy Simone' as well as new material, is the first thing that faces the occupants of Kentish Town Forum on the Sunday of the Le Beat Bespoké 4 Weekender, after promoter Rob Bailey has announced (to at least one cheer) the cancellation of a planned appearance by former Libertines frontman Pete Doherty. The Horrors, playing their last show before a break to record their second album, get a fair response from a crowd psyched up for straight garage rock, especially considering the band's new, almost gothic, direction. The fact that many of the pointier-shoed, bigger-haired members of the audience stay towards the front after the last organ chord has echoed into the air shows the debt that The Sonics are owed by their support band.

Those who do stay forward have made the right decision: twenty minutes later, the brutal riff of 'He's Waitin' ' rings out from Larry Parypa's Epiphone and The Sonics boom into life. Naturally few if any of the audience have seen them live before their 2007 reunion, but the energy that the five-piece band put into the music would shame a band forty years younger: Gerry Roslie's bellows and screams defy the passage of the decades, and the songs - 'Strychnine', 'Have Love, Will Travel', 'Psycho' - show how extensive and influential the band's back catalogue is.

'We'd love to play 'til three or four in the morning,' claims saxophonist and vocalist Rob Lind at one point, and the energetic spirit and sense of dangerous fun that fills the room as the set climaxes is testament to the continued force and aggression of a band with an average age approaching 60. The closing chord of 'The Witch' ringing in the ears of of an ecstatic crowd swarming into taxis to head to the after-party was final proof that the band deserve every 'legendary' tag that's flung at them, and that you don't need to be angry young men to serve a majestic, aggressive, and thoroughly enjoyable helping of the finest garage punk known to mankind.

Sunday, March 23

KASMs to release 7";;

Following the sell-out of their debut EP, KASMs have announced the release of their first vinyl release: a 7" single on Trouble Records in the near future. Details are scant but will be visible here as soon as they appear.

Saturday, March 15


A new venture from Rhys Webb and Tom Cowan, in association with Ulterior and The Experimental Circle Cub : The Set Up Club. Starting from 17th May, the Set Up plans to do for the 80s what The Cave Club has done for the 60s: expect gothic, industrial, punk, noise, and shoegaze. The first night features Factory Floor live, and we'll have more details when they arrive; until then...

In other news, Plastic Passion are to release an EP in May on Filthy Little Angels Records, featuring various tracks demoed over the past two years, before recording songs old and new for a further release later in the year. For more information... space this watch.

Thursday, March 13

Next release from EIOH;;

Electricity In Our Homes have announced first details of the follow-up to September's successful 'The Shareholders' Meeting' EP. The DIY post-punks will release a 7" single on Waks Records in late April, with pre-orders available in a few weeks. Tracklisting and further details to follow... watch this space.

Tuesday, March 11

KASMs;; debut EP out now

We knew that KASMs had a release in the pipeline for this month, but we've still been surprised by the sudden release of their debut EP, available now from Rough Trade, Puregroove, or their MySpace page. It's a six-track minidisc in a hand-printed tin, and it's only £5. We're sure it's great, but we'll review it properly for you as soon as we get our hands on a copy... watch this space.

Friday, March 7

Neils Children future plans;;

Undaunted by the collapse of planned LP Pop:Aural, Neils Children have announced plans for another album. Their progressed sound, with more synthesisers and a melodic darkness, will apparently get its full-length debut this year (although we wouldn't put money on it), and Brandon Jacobs claims that it will 'blow anything we've ever done out of the water'.
Let's hope so.

Monday, March 3


The Riddles are an exciting prospect, a three-piece punk band who build the stranger sides of 60s garage rock into their cacophony. Their confrontational attitude and description of their own sound as similiar to childbirth are only hints of the thrashing noise that assaults the ears from the outset: dirty guitars, wild snare-heavy drums and smacking basslines are all layered under a vocal which is simultaneously falsetto Johnny Rotten and mock Mark E. Smith. If you like an aural riot of an evening, you could do a lot worse than this lot.

Friday, February 29

Horrors album update;;

The Horrors album has been postponed. Its original tentative release date of March has been altered to something like September, according to Faris Badwan, in order to avoid rushing the work. Reasons have been to the effect that in order to develop the spontaneous energy of the first album into a more mature and long-lasting sound, time and care must be taken. Nonetheless new material is being written and recorded as we write, and the rumoured Suicide cover (of 'Dance', as far as we know) will be released as part of a tribute to the electronic pioneers in the near future. So all that is needed is to play the waiting game. Watch this space.

Thursday, February 21


Neils Children are moving on... John Linger has confirmed that the plans for the release of LP Pop:Aural have now been abandoned, after almost a year's delay since the original planned release date. The album was apparently scrapped after a dispute with Shoreditch's Fortress Studios, where recording was taken place. This isn't the first time that Neils Children have scrapped album plans, and we're sure their sound will carry on developing. For now, fans will have to be content with forthcoming singles 'I'm Ill' (Waks Records) and 'Reflective/Surface' (April77), and with the Neils Children club night The Only Fun In Town, which takes place in Cheshunt on Saturday with the first performance from the three-piece Project:KOMAKINO.

Monday, February 18

REVIEW// The Horrors; These New Puritans; Ulterior

If you compare the mid-2000s with the early 1980s, it's easy to draw small-scale comparisons: Neils Children with The Cure, The Violets with Siouxsie and the Banshees (with apologies), These New Puritans, maybe, with The Fall. The Horrors, in this grand scheme, are rapidly becoming the new Bauhaus. Their current live act (more synths, fewer garage songs) and their new material (less blues-structured and less centred around the '60s sound of Rhys Webb's Vox organ) hints at the future development of the 'gothic' sound hinted at already on tracks like 'Draw Japan' and 'Thunderclaps'.

But the audience gathered at London's Astoria for the five-piece's appearance in the NME Shockwaves Awards series haven't heard that yet. They're busy having their minds blown by the support band. Ulterior - Horrors favourites, Ipso Facto labelmates, and the harshest noisemongers in London - open proceedings with a solid attack of splintering feedback. Their industrial electronics are a breath of fresh air in a music industry where the first sign of a synthesizer gets the glowsticks lit up faster than jackals around a corpse. The quartet look and sound fantastic: shrouded in smoke, lit from behind, and wrapped in their wall of noise, their leather jacket proto-grunge image makes it seem like The Jesus & Mary Chain have killed Suicide, stolen their souls and their gear, and jumped twenty years into the future to play for us tonight.

Ulterior are, in short, an impossible act to follow, but These New Puritans (everyone's favourite mystical genre-benders, and very much in fashion at the moment) do their best. Frontman Jack Barnett, dressed in a suit of featherlike armour, is as cryptic and restless as ever, and some songs - the shortened 'Navigate Navigate' that opened the set and the stiltedly rhythmic 'fff' especially - are well-performed. 'Elvis' is the song that most gets the crowd going, of course, but the almost hip-hop beat of 'Swords of Truth' also goes down well. Interestingly, the vocal-distorting live environment (the Astoria is like a tin can) meant that the band had a return to the mysterious lyricism of their early career - definitely a plus, since the clarity of the vocal production on their album Beat Pyramid is one of its downsides.

Try as they might, though, TNPS can't match the energy and mystery of Ulterior's show-stealing set. The wait for The Horrors is soundtracked by tedious electro-beats for prepubescent glowstick-toters courtesy of Canadian duo Crystal Castles, but it's worth it when the lights go down and the familiar jerky introduction to 'A Train Roars' fills the venue.

The band stalk onstage and don their instruments, and kick into life as Faris Badwan is contorted as if every cymbal crash was a pin into his own personal voodoo doll. The set was a little less frantic than it has been, but this wasn't necessarily a bad thing (except for those who'd only come to yell 'shake!'), since the ditching of '60s stompers like the 'Jack the Ripper' and 'Crawdaddy Simone' covers, and 'Death at the Chapel' (R.I.P.), gave the new material a chance to shine in its monochromatic, skeletally lyrical glory. There's a sense of climax and drama that wasn't present in some of Strange House's blasts of garage, and, from what can be heard (once again, the Astoria's acoustics let them down) the lyrics have also matured.

New material aside, the setlist is largely based around the less garage moments of Strange House (including a particularly good 'She Is The New Thing'), although 'Count in Fives' and set-closer 'Gloves' (with the traditional improv section) give plenty of opportunity to let loose with some psychedelic stomping. The larger stages that The Horrors are playing nowadays don't give Faris such opportunity for prop-orientated hi-jinks, but a giant Rubix cube is somehow procured and swung into the seething audience. After playing around forty-five minutes, the band drop their instruments and skulk off, leaving a wall of feedback noise and vain chants of 'encore' hanging in the air. Maybe their next concert, being as it is in support of The Sonics, will be a last bow to the 1960s; for now, as Faris Badwan introduces 'Sheena Is A Parasite' as 'the moment that happened two years ago', The Horrors are moving onwards and upwards, and getting better all the time.

Thursday, February 14

Band spotlight//FACTORY FLOOR

Factory Floor are a mysterious post-punk trio from Hackney: electronic, abrasive, and fiercely original, and claiming to prize ideas over ability. They work with vintage equipment and tape loops, layered with feedback, insistent Krautrock bass lines, and ethereally harsh vocals; current single 'Bipolar' is the proud owner of an inspired combination of Kraftwerk-inspired metallic beats and ambient synthesisers, along with the obligatory Jim Morrison/Ian Curtis post-punk vocals. Speaking of Jim Morrison, the band's cover of The Doors' 'The End' is a close challenger on the original. The band are set to play a variety of East London venues in the near future, and sound like they're worth seeing; if you don't believe us, listen to their MySpace tracks.

Monday, February 11


Fans of brutal electronic noises are in luck: Ulterior have announced the imminent release of a second 12" single on DiscError Recordings, featuring '15', 'Fireship', and 'The Death Of Everything'. The single, produced by Zlaya Hadzic (experienced with noise, having produced Sonic Youth and others), will be out in March; previous single 'Weapons' is available from Rough Trade etc., and tickets are still on sale for the band's appearance in support of The Horrors at the Astoria on Saturday.

Saturday, February 9

Camden Market ablaze;;

I was planning to go to Camden Market tomorrow; I have changed my plans. A 30-foot fire is alight on the north side of the market, to the north of the railway bridge and canal. Apparently it was caused by an electrical fault in a market stall; there's some confusion over the actual location of the fire - apparently it's in a storage area, and the back of the Hawley Arms pub, rather than any main stall sites - although there have been no reported casualties (early reports of people trapped have been denied by the fire service). There are about a hundred fire officers tackling the blaze, and it's being brought under control, but it seems to have damaged old Victorian buildings as well as endangered property. I think I'll go to Brick Lane instead.

Friday, February 8


It's been announced that The Horrors will be supporting none other than the 60s garage group, The Sonics, at The Forum in London on 23rd March as part of the Le Beat Bespoke 4 weekend. The weekend (three nights over the Easter Bank Holiday) is a celebration of the 60s underground movement, hosted by legendary garage DJ Rob Bailey. The Sonics will play two performances, having reformed in New York last year after splitting in 1968; the LBB4 gigs will be their first ever in Europe. The Horrors are supporting them on the Sunday night, and, having claimed the legendary punk forefathers as a major influence and covered their song 'The Witch', should be on top form. The first Sonics gig has already sold out; the second is not to be missed for anyone interested in garage punk.

(Tickets can be got here, and go on sale on the 11th at 9am... get in quick.)

Sunday, January 27

New N/C song montage//

Neils Children have posted an aural montage of some of their new songs onto their website. The 40-second clip features extracts from 'Reflective/Surface' and 'I'm Ill', as well as short snippets from a few other unknown songs. You can hear it here.

Friday, January 25


We've been following their development and hanging on their every move for about a month now, and finally the enigmatic Futurism vs. Passeism have taken off their masks. We now know that the electronic group contains four members with a 3:1 gender ratio and at least one ex-member of Wretched Replica. We already know that their mixture of These New Puritansesque electronics, New York No Wave, and atmospheric noises is one of the most exciting things in London at the moment. And finally we know that you can and should experience and unwravel more mysterious layers this Sunday when they perform live for the first time at the first #NUMBERS# club. Go.

Thursday, January 24

Band spotlight//KASMS

The 'gothic' tag has been applied to some great music, but nowadays 98% of the general population will stick it on Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, and scratch their heads at the mention of the Virgin Prunes. So it's good to see some healthy cynicism on the part of KASMs, a London four-piece who describe their music as 'chaotic quasi-gothick shriekbeat'. They sound as fresh as a band who formed only four months ago should, and their demos (recorded live) echo Siouxsie Sioux and Poly Styrene through the tormented screeching vocals of Rachel-Mary Callaghan, and acts like These New Puritans or early Joy Division with their sparse, spontaneous drum and bass guitar noises. They're supporting Neils Children alongside S.C.U.M on the 13th February in Hoxton - those based in London should definitely pop along, since they sound like a fantastic live act. New Yorkers can also catch them in various venues from 16th-20th February.

Saturday, January 19

REVIEW// The Violets; The Lost Pages

Comparisons to Siouxsie and the Banshees have been pretty much constant throughout the three-year musical career of The Violets, and they don’t seem to like it much. So although they’ve recently added a bass player to their ranks (giving them the same touring line-up as the Banshees) and embraced a decidedly gothic look for the artwork of their new LP The Lost Pages and its accompanying singles, the music itself seems to have been composed as a deliberate two fingers to all the lazy journalistic Siouxsie comparisons.

So what does it sound like? Well, The Violets are still giving their old punk sound plenty of voice - it’s here in new track ‘Forget Me Not’, and in ‘Descend’, a new version of a 2006 single with the addition of well-placed stabs of guitar feedback from Joe Daniels. It’s also present in the Hitchcock-inspired ‘Foreo’, released as a single earlier in 2007 and still the band’s best-known tune.

But there are some drastic changes at work. The first thing that the newcomer to the album hears is the pop-punk of first track ‘Shade To Be’. I was actually about to check my disc to make sure I’d actually bought The Lost Pages instead of something by Paramore, before Alexis Mary’s glottal stops persuaded me that I hadn’t been cheated by my record store. Other Siouxsie-defying uncharacteristic tracks include ‘Half Light’ (which is more like country and western) or ‘Nature of Obsession’ (acoustic Latin pop?!). Sometimes this genre-bending approach works (latest single ‘Troubles of Keneat’, a foray into electronics and drum machines, is great), but usually, while they’re not actually bad, these tracks sound like a band pushing their own boundaries for the sake of it, rather than some kind of exciting new sound.

Happily, there is such a sound running through the album. ‘In Your Statue’ is a piece of sweeping post-punk genius, and that thread is continued with the more sedate ‘Co-Plax’, which has even more cryptic lyrics than The Violets’ usual fare - ‘co-plax, co-plan / melts planet to hand’? Understanding what it’s about isn’t really necessary though, because it’s great. ‘Hush Away’, also a single in 2006, was an early example of this dramatic, cinematic sound, and the beginning of the version on The Lost Pages, with Mary’s haunting vocals emerging from a storm of noise, is nothing less than majestic; ‘Parting Glances’, with an extended instrumental outro, would have made the perfect album-closer, and is probably the best song here (rivalled only by ‘Hush Away’).

Yes, The Lost Pages could have benefited maybe from a little less ‘look, we can use acoustic guitars’, and a track reshuffle. But sections of it are evocative, atmospheric, and wonderfully crafted. Isn't saying it sounds like the Banshees recorded it a good thing?

Monday, January 14

REViEW// Neils Children &c.; DICE CLUB

13th January 2008;; Despite the several new club nights that crop up every month to play the more interesting side of music, The Dice Club remains one of London's best for a wide range of music from the last fifty years, and also for its live lineups. This time it was Neils Children, playing their first major London show since October, who topped the bill with support from Silhouette (alias Helena Gee of Zoo Music), and up-and-coming four-piece I Am The Arm.

Silhouette opened, a solitary figure who took the stage forty minutes late. This was her first show with electric instead of acoustic guitar, but her folky singer-songwriter stylings were still a strange choice of support considering the other two acts. Her contemplative music doesn't lend itself that well to the live environment, especially when that environment is still less than half-full two hours after doors, and her lack of a backing band (something she's in the process of recruiting) didn't help as far as creating atmosphere went. But these stacked odds (appropriate for the Dice Club?) didn't impede too much with a set which peaked with a very nice cover of The Gun Club's 'Sexbeat'.

The next act on were Silhouette's polar opposites in everything except dress sense. I Am The Arm are fascinating to watch. Half of the band - vocalist/synth-masher Cyan and a one-man drumstorm called Twitchy the Ratbag - are all shrieks, Ian Curtis gyrations, and flailing; the remainder (bassist Kane and backing vox/synthesizer Aimee) are calm and collected. This tension, increased during a Barrett's-Floyd-in-1966 beginning, created a set which was electric in both senses, and got a fair bit of shoulder-banging going on down at the front. In fact my only minor gripe was the complete lack of any communication to the audience outside of the songs, but otherwise the Arm were brilliant - we predict a bright future.

Still, we can't imagine that many people were at Dice specifically to see either of the support acts. Neils Children's performance was an unusual - almost informal - one by their standards. For a start, they were out of their usual uniform, playing in civvies. Then there was the fact that the eternally-silent Keith Seymour was singing backing vox, and the backing tracks that have accompanied songs including 'Window Shopping' for recent performances weren't used.

All of these things were slightly surprising, but one thing that we were expecting (or rather hoping for) was new material, and we weren't disappointed. A new song (whose name we didn't catch) was first on the setlist, and another - announced as future single 'Exposure' - came towards the end. We're happy to say that these new songs were more than good enough to justify the expulsion of 'Communique' and 'The Night Is Over' from the setlist. Although the N/C performance was a short one, it was more energetic and tighter than their civvies let on, and must have got most of the crowd counting down the days to Pop:Aural.

Friday, January 11

COUNTING IN FIVES;; A Horrors Documentary

Nylon Magazine has announced the impending release of a documentary on The Horrors' June 2007 tour of the USA, directed by Marvin Scott Jarrett (most famous for doing pop-punk music videos). The trailer can be seen here; the film will be premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA, on January 18th.

More details? watchTHISspace//

Wednesday, January 9


A few pieces of collected news;;;

// The Horrors' second album progresses. Chris Cunningham, who made the 'Sheena Is A Parasite' video among other things, has been wearing the producer's hat for their recent sessions, and more new songs are set to be unveiled at their upcoming shows.

// Hatcham Social will be headlining a show on the 100 Club on the 17th February to celebrate the release of their new single 'So So Happy Making'. Support comes from S.C.U.M, Electricity In Our Homes (probably), and (in a weird twist of scheduling) Neils Children, with DJ sets from Faris Badwan (producer of the Hatcham single) and the P.I.X fanzine. Tickets can be bought from (who send you some kind of serial number which you bring to the gig instead of a ticket. It's a bit odd.)

// The Cave Club runs a night on 26th January with The Masonics, another bunch of garage throwbacks in novelty costume. The day after, a new Junkettes-affiliated night called #NUMBERS# brings one of our favourite new bands Futurism Vs. Passeism to The Legion, Old Street.

// NEW MUSIC;; Brandon Jacobs has done a little to redeem himself after the overcloy of his debut EP with a very nice cover of Pink Floyd's 'Jugband Blues'.

Tuesday, January 8

If you like NEiLS CHILDREN;;;

The first in a series///
if you like;;;
then try;;;
TELEVISION PERSONALITIES // ...And Don't The Kids Just Love It

This album was the Television Personalities' full-length debut, and if you're a fan of Neils Children and you don't own it yet, you should go about tracking it down as soon as possible - apart from it being a brilliant album in its own right, it belongs firmly in the N/C 'influences' box.

The TVPs belonged to the same indie pop splinter of post-punk as bands like Josef K, The Fire Engines, and The Monochrome Set; all big influences on Neils Children's sound. Not only that, but the TV Personalities sit right in the middle of the line connecting the whimsical sounds of the 1960s - Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, and especially The Kinks - to the psychedelic elements of Neils Children's music (especially on tracks like 'Enough of Trying' or 'Run Before We Can Walk').

There are Mod tendencies in TVP tracks like 'Geoffrey Ingram' and 'Parties In Chelsea' which match up well with the influence that N/C take from The Jam and others. Those who like the Goodnight & I Wish style of psychedelic doodle will love 'I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives'. And lyrically, Dan Treacy has more than enough tales of doomed love to satisfy any fan of the Children. In short, if you need something to fill up the last few months until Pop:Aural, you can't go far wrong with this collection of tracks.

///more soon;;watchthiSspace.

Sunday, January 6


The Experimental Circle Club has been running nights in Southend regularly since September, but now the New Year is here they've decided to return to their roots. To make the club more spontaneous and to avoid complacency, the Exp.Circ. will be hosting irregular nights throughout the southeast for the foreseeable future, and advises those who wish to attend to 'keep their earballs open'.

Meanwhile, Ipso Facto are gearing up for their second release with DiscError with the unveiling of two new songs, 'Eyes of the Blind' and 'Smoke and Mirrors'. The new tracks are just as mysteriously atmospheric as previous releases, but there are new innovations like added electronics from Cherish Kaya's keyboards, and what sounds suspiciously like a Mellotron... we'll have release dates as soon as they're announced; watch this space. For now, listen to the new tracks at the Ipso Facto MySpace.

Friday, January 4

Band spotlight//I AM THE ARM

Our last band spotlight were S.C.U.M., and if you liked them, here's another band of keyboard-wielding post-punkers in the Boys of Brazil vein. These have been around for quite a while; they formed in early 2006 under the name Cyclic Suicides to make biting electronic music with only two members, but over time they've added a drummer and a bassist, and their sound shows the progression: electronics are still integral, but wild drumming and punk-spit vocals lend the music gallons of attitude.

They've released two EPs on Decasian Records, and support Neils Children at Dice Club on the 13th January. If you live in London, go and see them. If not, visit their MySpace and buy their music; you won't regret it.