A multi-national trio of joyous noisemaking intents, the oddly named My Cruel Goro bring loud guitars and a boundless energy that’s potentially appealing to those who found themselves glued to the pages of Britain’s NME music rag back in the mid 90s. Perhaps not the guys who fervently followed the Blur vs Oasis spats, or those who patiently awaited news of the next Echobelly tour or were just casually looking to see if editorial policy meant that Morrissey was out of favour that week; more those readers and listeners who looked forward to new releases from Superchunk and were keenly following the progress of Ash’s recording career. Indeed, for those who still get a kick out of Ash’s noisier material – ‘Darkside Lightside’ etc – the three songs which make up this release should bring both a nostalgic charm and a sense of relief that a musical influence that’s some twenty years gone at the time of this release could still sound so vibrant.
In terms of retro sounds, things rarely come any more assured and gorgeous than those of London based Honey Moon. On their debut EP, it’s as if the quartet have been sucked through a time tunnel back to 1967, to a time when fashion boutiques like Granny Takes a Trip were all the rage for the wealthy and hip in-crowd, a time when experimental music was still in its infancy, but more importantly, a time when music was becoming rather sophisticated. From there, they’ve learnt a great musical craft, transported it back to the present and layered it with a modern sheen and a few filters. The EP’s four tunes jangle with a lazy, blissed-out sense of cool; each of the players bringing something special to this short musical throwback.
Coming to prominence as part of the second wave of ska in the late 70s, The Selecter will seemingly always be best known for their early singles ‘Three Minute Hero’ and ‘On My Radio’ and their 1979 full length ‘Too Much Pressure’. As one of a dozen or so albums released on the 2-Tone label, it achieved instant cult status and sounds just as fresh decades after it was recorded. The years passed and The Selecter endured shifting line-ups but, during an on-off career, continued to make great music and never lost their edge with regard to live performance.
Hearing the opening notes of this debut full-length LP from Canadian stoner rock band 88 Mile Trip has the unfortunate effect of making the listener want to turn off the disc in an instant. Frontman David Bell delivers the opening verse of ‘The Repressed’ a cappella style which, quite frankly, isn’t the best move. His huge voice has a natural tone, but much like hearing Glenn Danzig bellowing with no sense of occasion or restraint, in terms of over-singing, it’s incredibly overbearing. He wails through each word at full volume and really it’s not easy to listen to. Maybe the band wanted to make a statement and chose such uncompromising beginnings deliberately, but there’s also every chance that Bell isn’t quite the vocalist he aspires to being.
They’ve been friends forever; they’ve toured America; they’ve supported Honeyblood and released a couple of excellent EPs – a self-titled disc in 2013 and 2014’s ‘Second Nature’ – and yet after years of sweating it out, Bristol’s Brockley Forest are still very much an underground act. Their third EP, 2015’s ‘The Die Has Been Cast’ not only marks a welcome return, but also showcases a much broader musical spectrum than anything the duo has committed to tape previously.