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Outsideleft Week in Music... Holy Hives! We're hearing from... The Hives, Devendra Banhart, Creep Show, James, Big Girl, Whatitdo Archive Group, PJ Harvey, Jazmin Bean, Bird Streets, Hackedepicotto, Mapache, Drew Daniel and John Wiese, Blake Mills, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Eddie Spaghetti & Frank Meyer, Jesse Ray and the Carolina Club, Lush, Candy Whips, Fizz, Deer Tick and Bonny Doon

Outsideleft Week in Music... Holy Hives!

We're hearing from... The Hives, Devendra Banhart, Creep Show, James, Big Girl, Whatitdo Archive Group, PJ Harvey, Jazmin Bean, Bird Streets, Hackedepicotto, Mapache, Drew Daniel and John Wiese, Blake Mills, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Eddie Spaghetti & Frank Meyer, Jesse Ray and the Carolina Club, Lush, Candy Whips, Fizz, Deer Tick and Bonny Doon

by OL House Writer,
first published: June, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

The Hives. Straight to the point.

Summer pounding down is a beautiful thing. Hose pipe bans in full force in the South East, while we enjoy the cooling mists conveyed by a midlands lawn sprinkler, enjoying a weekload of hits. That's a life. By the time we meet again, we'll have passed by the longest day of the year and will be looking forward once more to winter and at least seven months of permagloom. For now though, summer hot hits.

SINGLES

THE HIVES - Countdown To Shutdown (FUGA)
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by Tim London

Straight to the point, totally meaningless. Beautiful.


JESSE RAY AND THE CAROLINA CLUB - Sweet Like Sugar (Soundcloud)
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by Toon Traveller

Been on holiday for almost three weeks and returned to huge dollop of records to review, began with a short listen. As I skipped through, I was reminded of Bruce Springsteen's song "57  Channels and Nothing On". The narrative, mid 90's, man drives to 7-11 for some beer, gets into argument, shoots a shopkeeper, claiming in defense, his expensive cable subscription delivered 57 channels, and there was nothing on. Having listened to a rising tide of 'all sounds the same bands' jesus is was tough. This is the jewel, a lazar sharp beacon of hope from artists that still believe in fun good time music. A great slab on face down, rocking blues, strangled voices, dog yelps, and driving guitar, gritty, grubby, hard as nails, soft as candy, music, it's all there. "57 tracks and THE ONLY THING ON". Here's a version to enjoy.


BONNY DOON - Let There Be Music (Anti Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Opening with a swing along, tap along piano, and happy in the sunshine day. "Let there be music, and sadness, but only sometimes". This is one of those delightful summer songs that 30 years ago would have been blasting out of windows down,cars, as people headed for the coast. Or exploded from pub beer gardens, as pints were slurped. This is one of those perfect songs that bounces. It's got sentiment, attitude, a perfect antidote to the current angry, vicious, 'call them out' world. In the 70's all the resentful punks would have hated this "hippy dippy slippery trash", and that's all their losses. We need to kick back, sit down and relax, and just live in this happy moment, even if only for a few minutes, in these sad stressful days.Uplifting, an escape from Trump and Boris Bullshit. This really, really rinkytinks.


BLAKE MILLS - Skeleton Is Walking (Verve)
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by Ancient Champion

Am unsure if this is a new low for Verve Records. I'm no completist. I'm no' interested much at all. But this has the stench of the Blue Nile about it. Checks a lot of meandering boxes. Lumbers along. It is very professionally done. But people'll keep hiring him anyway.


LUSH - Triangle (Advance Music Ru)
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by Ancient Champion

Less than nothing happening here. Bit of hi hat to be pondered. Bit of bass drum and a swirly thing. OMG What's not to love. Redefining minimalism. Lovely.


DEVENDRA BANHART - Twin (Mexican Summer)
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by Tim London

It’s always a small shock to me when artists who have spent their careers developing a maverick persona, the kind that fans love them for, play the pop game: miming along in a video drama promo, even as they hit their fifties, making a late 80s thriller soundtrack synthi pop toon with farty fretless bass ’n’ everything. It’s very professional. Well done to all concerned.


CANDY WHIPS - ALTCHBS (Kitten Robot Records)
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by Alan Rider

"We love the sound of broken glass" state Candy Whips.  So do I, but this 'aint it.  A.L.T.C.H.B.S. stands for 'At Last The Children Have Been Synthesized' and has a distinctly cheesy 70's, Buggles, sound to it.  When I found out that this was a spin off of joke retro glam rock band Glitter Wizard (who I'm sure I have reviewed before) that all made sense.  Once again, there is an attempt to plant this into my brain by simply repeating the title phrase over and over.  I have news for you Candy Whips, that won't work.  Dock a point for trying to pull a fast one.


HACKEDEPICOTTO - Schwarze Milch (Mute)
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by Alan Rider

For over 20 years Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) and artist, musician and filmmaker Danielle de Picciotto (co-founder of Love Parade) have been working together as Hackedepicotto, which has made for a wildly creative partnership, capable of producing something as sublimely wonderful as 'Schwarze Milch' from the forthcoming album 'Keepsakes'.  Languid horns, a sinuous anaconda beat drawing it along, topped with a delightfully bonkers video to accompany it.  This is music for hot summer nights, but with a distinctive twist.  As promised, we will dissect the album when it arrives to see if it meets the early promise of this and I may even see if they fancy having a chat about it with OL over a tequila.


WHATITDO ARCHIVE GROUP - Mirage (Record Kicks)
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by Ancient Champion

More great genre-bending sounds from the WhatItDo. DoILoveYou? YesIDo. Whistle it, like y'do. Read their Track By Track of the entire Palace of 1000 Sounds LP, right here⇒


JAZMIN BEAN - Piggie (UMG)
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by Tim London

Is it the chorus? - ‘Oh, silly piggie, Rolling in your own shit again’ - is a bizarre earworm. And investigation proves that this is a song from the perspective of a young woman or girl abused by her father. For me, the song is let down by the identikit teen rock and the ‘message’ is diluted by its ordinariness. But, somehow, it still feels ‘important.’


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND - Because The Night (CBS)
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by Lee Paul

Because the Night belongs to Horlicks and Slippers these days means he can't be singing this with a straight face on his current UK tour can he? All the singing subtlety gone. Great memory though. 


FIZZ - High In Brighton (Decca Records)
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by Alan Rider

Fizz are one of those 'superstar' bands (and I use that term advisedly as I've never heard of any of them) comprised of individually successful solo artists who presumably felt like being part of a gang.  Whilst I can't disagree with the sentiment, 'High in Brighton' is a bit of a blip of a song.  It plays.  You listen.  Its bowls along, repeating its mildly annoying chorus of "I want to be high in Brighton" at you over and over in the hope it will become an ear worm (trust me, it won't).  Its what the phrase 'Meh' was made for.


MAPACHE - What A Summer (Calico)
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by Ancient Champion

If your reason from the very opening chord is to purely evoke Gordon Giltrap and remind me of how Poppy Debonairre used to love him so before she moved on in '75 or whenever. Then you've nailed it right here, fellows. FFS. I am so inspired by this I am going to ask the OL folks to have FFS added as a new ecstatic or otherwise grade. 


DEER TICK - If I Try To Leave (ATO Records)
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by Alan Rider

I have an almost masochistic urge to review every Deer Tick product that comes my way, if only to find new ways to express my deep and instinctive dislike for them, whilst at the same time still hoping I will find something to like.  However, Deer ticks unbroken record of producing bland, yet teeth gratingly breezy, homeboy Country Alt Rock continues with yet another stinker to my ears.  If they did, indeed, try to leave I certainly wouldn't stop them.  In fact I would pay the taxi fare.  The video opens with someone preparing to cook a chicken and stuffing various vegetables up its dead bottom, which makes a handy analogy for the best place to put this.


BIRD STREETS - California High (Sparkle Plenty)
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by Lee Paul

If you're gonna have a fogey-ish white guy who looks somehow like a whole bunch of people you've looked at before, if you've gotta have all that, well Bird Streets is as good as it gets. Featuring understated pedal steel from pedsteel legend Jim Hoke. Sweeping soft rock pondering. There's nothing wrong with that. Looking forward to seeing whether I can engage with an entire LP ta, at the end of summer.


EPs

PJ HARVEY - I Inside the Old I Dying (Partisan)
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by Ancient Champion

I hold on to an iteration of PJ Harvey as the bridge builder, like she's been endeavoring away, scouting locations, sketching plans for her very own Zavikon Island pontoon. For an entire career. Forever. This is the PJ Harvey I like, building a bridge between West of England Folk and the very nastiness of rocknroll. I Inside the Old I Dying is the type of PJ Harvey I don't enjoy much. Couldn't make it over to far side. Not that that will matter to those who prefer their PJ Harvey's on that side of the bridge. Dude, this does not rock.


LPs

CREEP SHOW - Yawning Abyss (Bella Union)
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by Alan Rider

There are some acts whose members just have such a gold plated reputation and history that they can almost do no wrong and have the enviable quality of making everything they do effortlessly brilliant. Creep Show are they one of those acts? Alan Rider say so, here⇒


DREW DANIEL AND JOHN WIESE - Continuous Hole (Cold Spring)
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by Alan Rider

'Continuous Hole’ is one of those collaborative albums that are popping up everywhere with increasing frequency post Pandemic, this time between Drew Daniel (Matmos, The Soft Pink Truth) and John Wiese (Sissy Spacek, Smegma, LHD) and is the product of more than a decade of recordings in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore. The PR blurb claims "the rhythmic cuts are constructed entirely from volcanic, gnarled abstraction ", which is actually a great description of this. Reminiscent of Coil at their most abstract, this is not an easy listen right from the 15 second opener of jangly noise, through the stuttering and uncomfortable 'Un Mask' to the Musique Concrete of the closing 'Surprise'. 'Continuous Hole’ is a tightly grafted and abrasive series of disjointed and distorted cut ups that have a distinctly unsettling effect.  Do I like it?  I respect it, but I can't honestly say I understand it.


BIG GIRL - Big Girl Vs God (Weird Sister Records)
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by Alan Rider

After their storming single 'Instructions 2 Say Sorry' that opens this album, I had big expectations of Big Girl.  I don't know quite what, just big expectations.  So I feel a bit let down as I felt distinctly underwhelmed by this.  And I like to be whelmed.  "Whelm me" I can often be heard muttering under my breath at my reviewing station.  Despite hitting a couple of high spots with the tracks 'Mother Tongue' and 'Big Car Full of Mistakes', singer Kaitlin's voice strains in places to do what she wants and the schizophrenic nature of the songs, intended to show off virtuosity, range, variation and all round smug muso cleverness no doubt, just end up being bloomin' confusing and a bit all over the place.  Pianos do battle with crashing drums and guitars, croons and whelps switch places.  Quiet bits.  Loud bits.  Inbetweeny bits.  You get the picture.  If this were a book I'd say sack the editor.


JAMES - Be Opened By The Wonderful (Nothing But Love Music)
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by Jay Lewis

"James have that perverse ability to catch you completely off guard, to floor you... to do so usually when you least expect it." Jay Lewis listens to new James while considering the old James⇒


Other Materials

EDDIE SPAGHETTI & FRANK MEYER - My Sharona feat. Berton Averre of The Knack ( Kitten Robot Records)
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by Alan Rider

This  version is over a year old now and the original track is obviously much older, but stumbling across this on Youtube when it auto played after another track I was reviewing reminded me of what a one hit masterpiece this is.  Love it or hate it, you all know it inside out.


Essential Information
Main Image: The Hives screengrab

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