Mogwai - No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew) EP (Chemikal Underground)
It takes some effort to dislike Mogwai so why bother. Xmas Steps builds to something tense and pounding which suitably climaxes. However, "oi strings NO!" Rollerball is subdued, not a thing like the game/sport we should be participating in, come ten years time. Small Children In The Background is the sound that they would make if a typhoon came along and blew them away (the kids that is, not Mogwai). There's a moment when you realise you're in the eye of the storm, thinking it was over and then it is. Hairy. Now if John Madden had not been such a dick, there would have been another track which topped even this.

Quickspace - Quickspace Happy Song #2 (Kitty Kitty)
This is beefy and chunky, Quickspace at its best. Its amazing how the flute/recorder/whatever keeps up and prominent. It has a lurching, jumping feel. Very funky. You can't hear what they're singing about it but you just know its something good. The b-side is called Ming. You can't fail with a name like that, its like J Mascis never went away. Have you been to the pit?

Moby - Honey (Mute)
I think the sun shines out of Moby's arse. A mumbling idiot is looped over standard dance backdrop to full effect. And it all works by a shed. Later Memory Gospel reminds me of Massive Attack when they're being any good.

Rothko/Billy Mahonie - split single (Fierce Panda)
Owen has been raving about the Billy Mahonie song he heard on Peel, so I checked it out. And its the one I heard on there that had the Nosferatu Man breaks, just like several other bands of the moment. Its a pretty fine tune, the sort from Spiderland continent. Rothko attract also with one of those post rock songs that dinks and donks as a wave of something spins through the distance at an alarming rate. The bass sounds like thunder (the whole thing is basically bass). Its rare for me to these days listen to a record and then want to immediately listen to it again but it happened to this one, both sides. With Rothko edging it.

Six By Seven - For You (Mantra)
With each passing single Six By Seven seem to be comfortably mainstreaming out but this still contains special moments where it really, worthily, kicks in. And for a b-side we get a long, slow drone track to keep in the good books of the indie police.

Special Duties/The Creed - split single (Bricks Music and Records)
Here we find Colchester's Special Duties tearing through a song railing against Maximum Rock n Roll, a magazine that chooses not include those that have had the slightest bit of success, and basically the general such attitude that very often rears its head in the punk scene. Its a worthy target, on an operative seemingly so intent on keeping things small and insular. On the flipside is Japan's The Creed creating the sound of a band totally going for it.

Stanton - Four Walls EP (Jonson Family Records)
You should hear from these in the future. Here are four tracks of laid down bare songs in a kind of Fall manner with vocals edging very closely to Ian Curtis with a better backing. The guitar sound on Brain Seems Happy Enough Sleeping reminds me of that attained by Arab Strap on the track Themetune. Next song and they sound like early early REM, all making for a pleasant change from hipster drone.

Hole - Celebrity Skin (A big bad record label)
This tops anything and everything on Live Through This. The b-sides seriously suck though. I still have plenty of time for Courtney and despite this having been touched by Billy Corgan's trotter the single is incredibly catchy, direct, hooky and the vocals/lyrics actually remain in my consciousness after the song has passed on.

Tiger - Friends (Ireland)
Cool, I thought Tiger had blown it completely, big style, but here they are back sounding like The Fall. And it works so well and out the bag comes a miraculous escape.

Dawn Of The Replicants/Inner Sleeve - split single (Fierce Panda)
Inner Sleeve sound breezy and eighties. Dawn Replicants sound wobbly here, kicking in at random intervals. Curious split.

Magoo - Swiss Border Escape (Chemikal Underground)
Chummy. Very poppy, sort of light for Magoo. Probably better live, like most of their stuff. You do remember how it goes after a few plays though, so I guess it is catchy and some sort of success. Fuzzy but mellow.

Ultimate Warriors/Abathakothie - split single (MooCow Records)
I won't mess you about or lie to you, I'll just tell you that this is probably the best seven inch in history. It is the Ultimate Warriors side that makes it. 9 songs of wrestling themed madness takes control. We're given a lyrics sheet but you cannot hear the words which is a shame because its the stuff of genius. The Abathakothie side is three tracks of messy, noisy instrumentals.

Twenty Third Chapter - Astringent Mask EP (MooCow Records)
This three songer roars. Twenty Third Chapter sound like Household Names finest Medulla Nocte. The magic moment comes on the b-side when in slips Travis Bickle's mirror facing speech, making for a frightening sample and mindset indicator.

Archive - Demo
This three tracker from Plymouth comes on like a Mogwai tribute band but it does still sound awesome, high above demo quality, albeit heavily tainted. The first song is Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home with foreign radio tagged onto the start and finish. The remaining two tracks are more subdued and don't kick in so hard but do provide a delightful little drone.

Metrotone - Be Like Stars (Bad Jazz Recording Co.)
Be Like Stars reminds me of muffled JAMC with its echoing drums and distanced vocals. Constructing Clouds is one long chant with an ear-splitting climax. Mad candy.

Various - Leaders In Lightcontrol EP (Hummy & Joey)
It unfortunately sounds like that this is going to be the final Hummy & Joey EP. It starts with i s a n blissing out, barely moving. David Wrench follows sounding like a cross between Nick Cave and Ian Curtis playing at a piano, reaching. Spare Snare close the EP with a rough and distorted ride. The diversity of this release works.

Helen Love - Long Live The UK Music Scene (Che)
Helen Love take the piss. I love their cheeky lyrics but they are terminally sad and, so as such, really are taking the piss. They stick around with impressive endurance. I have quite a big thing for namecheck songs so this is OK (good even) by me. The music however never changes, Blitzkrieg Bop. Piss take. This band cannot be destroyed. Or even discouraged. Rhyming Chris Evans and Shed Seven though, genius.

Sketty - Demo
This band were involved with a double booking fracas for upstairs at the Garage for Gringo Night. The resulting battle royal saw Gringo victorious. Cannot comment further right now.

Gel - Rosie And Jim (Che)
Catchy and crappy. I used to sing Rosie And Jim myself: "Rosie and Jim, Rosie and Jim, what a fucking mess you're in". Its already better.

The Make Up/Lung Leg - split single (Versuvius)
More of the same from Make Up. Lung Leg weigh in with something very poppy, sounding like Lush at their height, to me.

The Yummy Fur - Shoot The Ridiculant (Guided Missile)
The very productive Yummy Fur here have gone all silly and Kraftwerk and it works against them.

Girls Against Boys - Park Avenue (GEFFEN, major label inc.)
Reports of them going industrial are painfully true. This smells heavily of major label interference, and at what date exactly did GVSB turn into Nine Inch Nails? I really wish there was more I could say, something optimistic to report but... Kill The Whole Band, they can't even play.

Assembly Line People Program - Noise Vision (Transcopic)
This is actually tops. Hyped because of its label, or rather who runs it, thankfully the music rules for me. Assembly Line People Program actually are an interesting band. The first side sounds like the mighty Devo with the singer from the Knack wheeled out of retirement or interrupted from his 37th Japanese reunion tour. A factory full of energy and spastic jerk.

Penthouse - Remix EP (Beggars Banquet)
I thought this would be a whole lot better than it is. I guess that's the thing with dance songs and remixes, for full effect you have to play them FUCKING LOUD!

Aerial M - October (Domino)
Unfortunately Vivea is not as memorable as Wedding Song No. 3 but then again it never would be and nothing else is. The standout here is the Misfits cover on the b-side sounding like anything but a Misfits number seeing Dave accompanied by nature.

Karate - Operation Sand (Southern)
split single with Crownhate Ruin (Art Monk)

Operation Sand is too sensitive I think displaying too many REM sensibilities on show. Terrible starting point for potential Karate fans. The split with Crownhate Ruin on Art Monk Construction is back in print which features the awesome Cherry Coke, which we agree is probably their best recording to date.

Beastie Boys - Intergalactic (Grand Royal and ?)
I'll save the general B-Boy praise for the album review. Not the best Beastie's song but so, all the ingredients are almost nearly all here. This has you putting on robotic voices and walking squarely to the beat. For me these are the best rap voices going. The video is hyper also.

Fat Les - Vindaloo (someone)
Just part of the great Colchester scene, by a very vague link. Better than Echo Bunnyman's World Cup effort and more yobbish than Twee Lions On A Shirt. I think Keith Allen is fucking great anyway. Peas and Mash are in the video too, which rightly takes the piss out of The Verve. Keith Allen recently proclaimed Chris Evans is a cunt in the new version ("Keith, can I wash your car") and the bit where they shout bucket can easily be turned into fuck it. Tops. This could be the best song ever.

Sonic Youth - Sunday (Dave Geffen)
This song is pretty cool and actually the track that gets the Thousand Leaves album running. Also to it's credit, how perfect is the video. The use of Macauley Culkin is genius. No Home Alone here. Rumours of Macauley being fucked up have been spreading like wild fire for ages now, so what do we get: Macauley looking super fucked up by design. Chic. Credit to the boy though, he knows what he's doing it seems. And what is happening is that the video is being mentioned almost everywhere, or at the very least in more places than it would have been otherwise. He's more interesting than Kim Deal Pollard and Kathleen Hanna it seems. A subtle breakthrough might still be on the cards. Who'd have ever expected Phil Gayle of the Big Breakfast to ever be mentioning Sonic Youth. Similarly Macaulay Culkin, now resembling a teenage Thom Yorke (v.poor fucker), is receiving much needed cred and attention after, maybe for, a failed career. Its a long way for him from being molested by Michael Jackson in order to get on MTV. And then we get a Nirvana b-side cover for a b-side. The package is complete. (and then it goes and does fuck all!)

Fatboy Slim - Rockafellar Skank (some cool dance label)
Dig those disco beats. I shouldn't really like this because it is the music associated with arseholes. I was chased up the stairs at Tottenham Court Road station to the sound of some dick singing this. By accident. I first caught this on MTV and liked it. What a victim. Repetition rules. And I still like it! Right!

El Hombre Trajeado/the Karelia - split single (Flotsam & Jetsam)
El Hombre sound fresh and make me feel young. Like Quicksand is like a song you'd expect to find on a kids documentary on woodlice and hedgehogs. In other words, it sounds natural. The Karelia remind me of Folk Implosion, lovely lo fi plastered with FX.

Reynolds - Demo
Racket. Terrific din. Crazy songs with Devo like vocals. Epics sounding like Shellac doing Kashmir. This is an incredibly exciting demo recorded on a boombox alone.

Woodbine - I Am Too Loud (Domino)
This is better than I ever dared imagine it would/could be. It starts out total mellow but painful, and distorts into something quite different but similar. Minimal isn't healthy being this large.

Mudhoney - Night Of The Hunted (Super Electro)
More garage than grunge, but its a real thrill to own something new by Mudhoney. Mark Arm's still catchy and catchin'.

Macrocosmica - Space Geek (God Bless)
There is a moment here when a voice goes "and I woke up naked in Colchester". That'll be Brendan then. The four tracks here are split between two rockies and two experimenties. And neither win, resulting in a double disqualification.

Magoo - Holy Smoke (Chemikal Underground)
Coming on like a popsick Shellac, this is unmistakably Magoo. Good lead, bad follow.

Grandaddy - Summer Here Kids (Big Cat)
The word summer has never found a more fitting home. This song sounds so free, conjuring up the feeling of being a little 'un in the summer, being an arsehole and wasting time. This song actually takes off and flies.

Crest - 68 Comeback (Noisebox)
The main track is sort of lacklustre. The b-side, I Have A Sister, is breathtaking and the sound of a band meeting its potential.

Blonde Redhead - Slogan (Touch & Go)
Ew. A Serge Gainsbourg cover that's unlike anything I've ever heard from Blonde Redhead before. I've just seen a clip of Lemon Incest featuring Gainsbourg and gal. Now I see the point.

New Bomb Turks - Veronica Lake (Epitaph)
Fast, high fuelled punk rock n roll. It sounds to like the Supersuckers playing at the wrong speed.

New Radiant Storm King - Barium Springs (Rainbow Quartz)
My first experience of the Storm King and what a joy. Here is a band like Magoo and Grandaddy not relenting, with a vocalist at times blending like Bob Mould. Poppy with daggers.

The Male Nurse - My Own Private P Swayze (Guided Missile)
They've kind of buggered it up. The Peel version is one of the greatest things recorded in history. This version betrays last summers brilliance.

Lungleg/El Hombre Trajeado - Club Beatroot Part Six (Flotsam And Jetsam)
Here's a slowy from Lung Leg, all sounding very serious. Disappointingly plodding and painful. El Hombre Trajeado blow them away. They remind me of the Van Pelt (or what from them I've heard) only extended. They strike the saddest notes but I still enjoy them. Later on the vocals come in for a show, pointlessly. One greatest thing alive.

Pink Kross/The Radio Sweethearts - Club Beatroot Part Five (Flotsam And Jetsam)
Pink Kross crash in and out with Tension Toy. You can either dance to it or you can't. Personally I can, so wahey. The Radio Sweethearts on the other hand run the Neil Young/country axis with a song that sounds a tad like the King Of The Hill theme crossed with The Old Laughing Lady. No!

Warser Gate - Karneek Temple (Rafter)
The contents of a room clatter to the floor as a wayward shuffle noise comes crashing into the listeners focus.

El Hombre Trajeado - Logo (Flotsam & Jetsam)
Here's a vert, whimsical track. Images again recur and the finale is a question to the answer we all would like to know. Moonunit Manual sounds like a well functioning rail service, max jangly.

The Carbon Arcade - Demo
Music from another Dave Pajo fanclub, five instrumentals of mostly challenging guff.