Review: Leapfrogging conventional rock sounds and hop-scotching conformity, these unassuming young gentlemen yell "Up your pigeon-hole!" to an industry obsessed with format and repeated musical templates. In the humble surroundings of a quaint English seaside village, the members of Odd Shaped Head reside in chaotic harmony: Paul (bass/vocals), Ricky (guitar/vocals), Rob (drums) and Andrew (guitar); from childhood chums to grown up geeky misfits. The quirky quartet release their new single "Egomatic Annie". Their eclectic brand of energetic, rhythmic, funk-punk, jerky bass popping, powerful scatterbrained drumming and stabbing guitars bursting into vibrant melodies draws more fans along to venues already packed with a collage of characters. This is not to be missed.
Review: OCS, aka Orinoka Crash Suite, is one of the lesser-used musical incarnations fronted by voraciously hard-working Californian John Dwyer. While retaining his love of the fantastical, imaginary and otherworldly, Dwyer's 20th album 'Memories Of A Cut Off Head' is in stark musical contrast to the frenetic garage-rock output of his usual formation Thee Oh Sees. Working with long-term friend and bandmate Brigid Dawson, he's crafted a surprisingly tranquil and reflective record of strange folk-psychedelia, made stranger still by Dwyer's broad use of instrumentation, ranging from lush string arrangements, through harpsichord and musical saw, to Radiophonic Workshop style synthesis. The revival of the OCS moniker was long overdue, but after twelve years thrashing out incendiary garage-rock, this weird and impressive oasis of calm reminds us of Dwyer's musical depth, and that he doesn't always have to concuss to be convincing.
Review: Olden Yolk are fresh psychedelic pop-rock-folk and downbeat-pop duo Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer outta New York. Bringing together stomp boxing guitar rhythms with synthesized sounds, space echoes and other trippy textures, the band's work finds itself in a middle ground that's somewhere in the midst of The Go-Betweens or Yo La Tengo. "Living Theatre" presents the pair with their second album and it follows last year's self-titled LP, this time delivering hypnagogic folk and kosmische rhythms, expanding and refining Butler's work with former band Quilt. Our picks being the dreamy episode in "Meadowlands" and the shoegazing surf folk of "Grand Palais".
Review: Hailing from Italy, Opez are specialists in a particularly dusky, understated brand of instrumental melancholia that they style themselves as 'Latin Desert and Funeral Party Music'. Whilst some listeners may be reminded of the likes of Ry Cooder's 'Paris Texas' soundtrack and Calexico, the truth is that the inspiration for 'Dead Dance' comes mostly from this duo's heartland home. With '50s tinges resonating alongside a richly orchestrated yet entirely acoustic palette, 'Dead Dance' is twilight music replete with style and grace Regardless of this outfit's origins, fans of Los Lobos, Cowboy Junkies and Angelo Badalementi will find themselves every much at home here.