Thursday, September 24

disconcerts : A. MEDIC


February's debut single from Chichester's finest (only?) frenetic post-punk trio was a masterly amalgamation of everything that was best about 80s DIY punk, scratching brilliantly and pulsating like a long-lost Fire Engines single. The A. Medic EP doesn't do anything new, but it does everything several notches bigger and better. 'Cotton' and 'Tongues' are tightly-structured pop clatterers, with as much in common with Gang of Four or A Certain Ratio as with The Desperate Bicycles; the rhythm section of Rick Trust and Alan Pilkington worms its way into the subconscious while the brain focusses on Hugo Hamper-Potts' slashing guitar, and lodges there for good. There's something about Hamper-Potts' yelps which recalls the (very brief) time when The Young Knives wrote exciting and brilliant pop songs, but don't let the comparison put you off - it sounds like Disconcerts are in no danger of running out of ideas any time soon. A perfect balance of DIY and disco; wherever Disconcerts head next, we hope they keep the best of both worlds as well as here.

A. Medic is released on 5th October on limited 12" vinyl, and is available for preorder from the Parlour Records website.

Monday, September 21

New Horrors single.

The next single by The Horrors will be out on 2nd November, and will be 'Whole New Way', a non-album track featured as a bonus track on Japanese copies of their current LP Primary Colours. It's rather strange decision - while the track isn't bad, it's definitely not traditional single material; based around a repeating major-key bass loop and studded with twinkling synthesisers, it is to all intents and purposes a perfect b-side. It's also five minutes long, and doesn't really go anywhere until the last minute when the guitar and synths start sliding beautifully together. Not, as we said, the obvious choice of single - but possibly, considering the first track released from Primary Colours was the eight-minute krautrock epic 'Sea Within A Sea', no more than we should expect nowadays from The Horrors. In any case, it's looking like the b-side, the Psychedelic Furs-style album title track 'Primary Colours', will get the club plays.

Friday, September 4

The New Italian Wave

At last, a new phenomenon. For three years now, Italian club nights like London Loves in Milan and Rome's Fish n Chips have been bringing the post-punk and industrial sounds of London's East End to Italian audiences, playing the same records and bringing the same bands - Hatcham Social, Neils Children, Ipso Facto, Electricity In Our Homes, These New Puritans - to Italian fans, and gathering the country's like-minded youth under the banner of the alternative. Now the reaction is imminent: a new wave of Italian groups is trying its luck in London, returning to its musical roots in a foreign city, with its own singular sound.

As with the London groups, musical styles and fashions vary wildly. European Coldwave is a frequent reference: Soviet Soviet ( and General Decay ( both employ the leaping basslines and chiming guitars of groups like Siglo XX and Asylum Party, but also take chilly atmospheric notes from their European predecessors' original influences (mostly Joy Division). Too Young To Love ( are cryptic and symbolic, a smoke-wreathed enigma of a band: a unique blend of unsettling percussive rhythms and hazy melody draped in austere Grauzone-style synthesizers; they are to release their debut EP on Trouble Records (home to An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump) later in the year. Death in Plains ( is a one-man electronic project, brilliantly warping childlike synthpop melodies with distorted industrial percussion and already attracting attention from London's DiscError Recordings and photographer Dean Chalkley. Meanwhile Dance for Burgess ( push their pop-inflected blend of Josef K and The Cure towards psychedelia - they've recorded with KASMs' Rory Attwell, and played with The Horrors and S.C.U.M at this year's Isle of Wight Festival.

All of these groups have played in London, or will soon have done so; several have forthcoming releases on English labels, and we urge you to support these new bands. The only question is this: will their homeland will embrace them as vigorously as the starved alternative London scene is currently doing? Is Italy itself ready for the new wave, or will it make an impact only where the ground has already been broken by its British predecessors?