HI/JACK – Rank And File EP

Hi/Jack’s 2016 album ‘No Cover’ is one of those records that lacks something. Across its forty minutes, the duo pound through eleven tracks that blend a garage punk aesthetic with furious metal riffs. They certainly couldn’t be accused of approaching their work in a half-arsed way, but it shows why the guitar/drums/no bass set up is perfect for a purer garage rock sound but not much else. When applied to music that should be given the full bells and whistles approach – as with the semi-metallic influences that infuse most of Max Liam’s guitar playing – the lo-fi approach just sounds shoddy.

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Watch the new video from Andy K. Leland

Since the demise of his indie rock band My Cruel Goro a few years ago, Andy K. Leland has immersed himself in a world of very lo-fi singer songwriter songs.  His last EP was so DIY, it was possible to hear the creaking of floorboards as he played.

His new digital single ‘A Chair Is A Chair’ continues down an ever introspective path, this time with his sparse acoustic work joined by drone guitar and mellotron.  The track has been complimented by a no-frills, lo-fi, VHS inspired video clip, which you can now view in full below.

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FRED ABONG – Pulsing EP

In the summer of 2018, singer-songwriter Fred Abong released his ‘Homeless’ EP, effectively returning him to the world of recording and live performance. In support of the disc, Fred made extensive appearances across the UK with Kristin Hersh, including a very memorable show at Ramsgate Music Hall on a very hot Sunday night.

Unleashed into the wild on the eve of a second UK tour with Kristin, ‘Pulsing’ in many ways, is a logical continuation of ‘Homeless’. While half the EP takes an electric stance, fans of Abong’s previous release will find an immediate kinship in its deliberately introspective vibe.

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ANDY K. LELAND – Happy Daze EP

Andy K. Leland first came to the world’s attention as one third of Italian/Icelandic alternative rock band My Cruel Goro. Disbanding after just two (excellent) EP releases, the band decided that having members so widespread wasn’t geographically viable and Andy embarked on a solo career. The first fruits of his solo work are minimal. Fans should not expect the full volume Ash-meets-S*M*A*S*H riffage of his previous band. Instead, ‘Happy Daze’ presents Leland with an acoustic guitar and a few microphones in a lo-fi, introspective set up.

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SPEED BABES / ARSENE OBSCENE – split cassette

Chicago’s Speed Babes have released several DIY records since 2015 – two full lengths and a staggering five EPs, to be precise – very much taking the Robert Pollard inspired route of capturing the moment. Sometimes the energy of a performance can be more important than perfection.

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