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Chris O'Toole - Reviews

Yo La Tengo

Here to Fall Remixes
Inspirational hip-hop influenced reinterpretations on vinyl only of lead track from Yo La Tengo's latest 'Popular Songs' album

To Rococo Rot

Accessible electronica on eighth album from experimental and continously evolving Dusseldorf-based trio To Rococo Rot


American Gong
Exuberant and imaginative indie rock on tenth album from Quasi, the other project of Built to Spill guitarist Sam Coomes, and Janet Weiss, the drummer for both Sleater Kinney and Stephen Malkmus

Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now

Fixin' the Charts: Volume One
Shallow and throwaway debut album album from Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now, which in reworking several popular standards veers close to parody

Nick Cave And Warren Ellis

The Road : Original Film Score
Pastel Nick Cave and Warren Ellis soundtrack to faithful new film adaption of Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road', which proves restricted by the film and book's macabre and desolate nature

Quicksilver Messenger Service

Live At The Quarter Note Lounge, New Orleans, LA, July 26 1977
Rewarding double live CD recorded at a gig in 1977 by influential San Francisco acid rock outfit, Quicksilver Messenger Service


Bonfires on the Heath
Glorious and melodic folk-tinged pop on fifth album from continously underrated London-based group, the Clientele


God is Good
Gloomy, but meditative and compelling stoner rock on fourth album from stoner rock duo, OM

Big Pink

A Brief History of Love
Stylish, but unsasisfactory debut album from much hyped electronic duo and recent 4AD signing, the Big Pink

Manchester Orchestra

Mean Everything to Nothing
Cerebral, but surprisingly versatile debut album from Atlanta-based group the Manchester Orchestra, which will come as a welcome treat to punk metal fans


Brand Neu!
Erratic and uneven tribute album to influential 7O's German experimental group Neu!, which includes contributions from Sonic Youth, Primal Scream and School of Seven Bells

Wooden Shjips

Compelling combination of German minimalistic influences and Detroit-style garage rock on second album from experimental Californian-based group, Wooden Shjips

Jackie-O Motherfucker

Ballads of the Revolution
Evocative and lush-sounding tenth album from psychedelic/folk experimentalists, Jackie O Motherfucker

Bonnie Prince Billy

Surprisingly vibrant new album from Will Oldham, under his moniker of Bonnie Prince Billy, which, while losing none of his usual darkness, proves to be more hopeful in its tone than his past work

Katie Malco

Four Goodbyes
Refreshing, but compelling tales of love and loss on new four song EP from Northampton-based singer-songwriter, Katie Malco


The Snow Leopard EP
Mesmerising compilation of highights from this year's 'Rook' album, B-sides and live tracks on new EP from highly acclaimed baroque pop outfit, Shearwater

Jackie O Motherfucker

The Blood of Life
Effective combination of new material and reworkings of old songs recorded live in Amsterdam by Portland-based oddball and maverick post rockers Jackie O Motherf**ker


Incomprehensible, but occasionally rewarding fifth album from Skeletons which defies easy categorisation and is a delightfully disorientating mess

El Perro Del Mar

From the Valley to the Stars
Sparse, immaculate-sounding third album from El Perro Del Mar, the moniker of Swedish chanteuse Sarah Assbring, which somewhat overtly downbeat, does not quite match up to the heights of her well-received eponymous second album

Hamell on Trial

The Terrorism Of Everyday Life: Live From Edinburgh
Lo-fi, but abrasive live album recorded at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival from New York-based singer-songwriter and social satirist, Hamell on Trial, which twisting common interpretations of reality into new and exciting shapes reveals to its listener the modern world in a new light

Tall Firs

Too Old to Die Young
Thoughtful and excellent second album from much acclaimed Maryland psychedelic folk duo Tall Firs, which like its predecessor has been released on Sonic Youth's Thurstone Moore's Ecstatic Peace label

Fuck Buttons

Richly rewarding combination of noise and melody on debut album from tribal-influenced duo, F**k Buttons


Compellingly intense debut album from unpredictable and aggressive pioneers of the Los Angeles Underground scene, HEALTH

Xiu Xiu

Women as Lovers
Menacing and near psychotic, but compelling eighth album from Xiu Xiu, the project of avant garde musician Jamie Stewart.


Rough Trade Shops Counter Culture 07
Variable compilation in their annual 'Counter Culture' series from the Rough Trade label including sveral of the main acts on the current alternative scene including Dan Deacon, No Age, Pete & the Pirates, Von Sudenfed and Of Montreal

Jóhann Jóhannsson

Unique merging of electronica with acoustic instrumentation on latest work from prolific Icelandic neo-classical musician Jóhann , originally intended as the musical accompaniment to a 2002 theatre piece and now reshaped as a standalone album

That Fucking Tank

The Awesome Magnet
Painfully raw but powerful new single from superior Leeds-based hardcore trio That Fucking Tank


The Flying Club Cup
Superbly melodic and optimistic second album from Beirut, the project of young American singer-songwriter Zach Condon

Two Gallants

Two Gallants
Mornful and regret-sodden, yet enthralling third album from Californian-based duo Two Gallants who make their unique sound by mixing up punk, rockabilly and blues


Stunning B sides and rarities collection from Japanese instrumental and classically inspired post rock group, Mono

Animal Collective

Splendid new single from the Animal Collective, the first on Domino Records

Asobi Seksu

Vibrant-sounding electronic pop on upbeat second album of shoegazing New York-based art rockers Asobi Seksu


Down Below It's Chaos
Ballsy rock on somewhat cumbersome sixth album from Kinski, the first to feature vocals from the previously all instrumental Seattle-based post rockers

Two Gallants

Scenery of Farewell
All acoustic new EP from country punks Two Gallants recorded on tour at sound checks and on the tour bus, the follow up to their rapturously received Saddle Creek debut, What the Bell Tolls', from last year

Strange Death of Liberal England

Forward March !
Focused and passionate debut mini-album from Portsmouth-based post-rock band the Strange Death of Liberal England who combine brash liberal politics with explsoive tunes


The Freed Man
Rambling and ragged, but stimulating re-release with extra tracks of spearheads of the lo-fi movement Sebadoh's mid 1990's album, 'The Freed Man'

Asobi Seksu

Walk on the Moon
Impressive debut UK single from New York-based shoegazing group Asobi Seksu


Surprisingly mellow and subdued second album from JESU, the project of Justin Broadrick, the former frotnman with Napalm Death and Godflesh

Trans Am

Sex Change
Umpredictable and invigorating seventh album from durable post rock/electronica act, Trans Am


Hold Me in the River
Exuberant, urgent latest single from their new second album 'The Beatific Visions' for the much acclaimed Brakes


Paint by numbers metal on debut album from Raindayfuckparsde, the new band of ex-Unborn guitarist Nigel Morton and North by Northwest drummer Paul Dudley

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