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Fives All the Five Heart record reviews from May 2024


All the Five Heart record reviews from May 2024

by OL House Writer,
first published: June, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

46 Five Heart Reviews in May...

All of May's 46 favourites in one place. I can't recall a month with so much certified great music. Well done to all of our reviewers for listening for so long and so hard and being discerning and all that. This music was reviewed by Alan Rider (6), Toon Traveller (11), John Robinson (1), Ogglypoogly (5), DJ Fuzzyfelt (8), Ancient Champion (9), David O'Byrne (1), Lee Paul (4), lamontpaul (1).


ADWAITH - MWY (Libertino Records)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

I wrote in my preview of this coming weekend's Focus Wales Festival that the Adwaith gig on Friday night will be the hottest ticket at the entire event, and this new single, MWY (More) the second from their as yet unnamed third album is clear evidence to that effect. Built on a great bass groove and a thumping beat, on first hearing it sounds a little slight but my goodness does it get its claws into you.Catchy as heck with trademark Adwaith vocal harmonies and crashing guitar chords. If this is any indication of how their new album will sound, it'll be even more stunning than their first two!

AHMED MALEK - Theme Rythme Léger (Habibi Funk Records)
by Lee Paul

Ahmed Malek was a prolific composer. His Soundtracks incorporated jazz, psychedelic rock, and funk with Arabic traditional means and sounds. His daughter passed all of this unreleased tapes to Habibi Funk is 2015, and now, oh Wow! 

AMEN DUNES - Rugby Child (Sub Pop)
by Toon Traveller

Someone's found their grandad's vinyl collection, worked out how to access the 'solid floppy' they read about in history class, discovered Joy Division, and spawned this. Strictures of Bauhaus, Echoes of the Bunnymen, but it's hardly The Cure for music's malaise. Sure there's the welcome minor chord miserablism, a racy rat-a-tat-tat of sticks on the drum's rim. There's even that deeper in the mix, a tad anxious, slightly desperate, depressed world worried vocal. There's nothing inherently bad here, but nothing to sit up and listen to all excitedly neither. If you want late 70s, English post punk, guitar band miserabilism, this will float your boat, all the way to the next Cure gig.

ANA LUA CAIANO - Vou Ficar Neste Quadrado (Glitterbeat Records)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

The title track from Portugal's Ana Lua Caiano recent album which translates as 'I Will Stay In This Square.' It's about people who prefer to stay in their safe place, certainly not what Caiano does with layers of looped vocals, drum machines with the occasional muted synth stab and brief melody. It doesn't sound promising but it is an utterly charming 2 minutes 38 seconds. I love it!

ATMOSPHERE - Strictly Leakage (re-issue) (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
by Ogglypoogly

You’d be forgiven for thinking Strictly Leakage would sound and feel dated, but no. Ogglypoogly tells you why right here→

AUSTIN PERALTA - Endless Planet (Brainfeeder)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

DJ Fuzzyfelt revisits Austin Peralta's Endless Planet. He does that right over here→

BEIN-E - An Unforeseen Silence (Bandcamp)
by Alan Rider

Bein-E is a shortened version of the bands full name 'Bein-a-heleiden-schafts-gegenstand’, standing for ‘The thing that you almost want, but not quite’.  We featured them back in October last year you may recall.  The sentiment behind the name is very apt though, as 'An Unforeseen Silence' is a slight and subtle collection of ethereally experimental pieces, darkly reminiscent of Coil.  Snatches of violin and echo'd repeats mingle with synth washes, vinyl crackles and pops, distant rumbles, and siren-like wails, with faint voices barely discernible in the background, as if locked in a cellar room.  Titles like 'Danger of Death' belie the subtlety on show here, being a more suitable title for Death Metal Grindcore excess, which this most definitely is not. It's hard to put a finger on Bein-E, so mysterious does this sound.  Feeling partly formed in places, but deeply atmospheric throughout, crawling under your skin and laying in wait, an Unforseen Silence is out now on Bandcamp.

BLUSHING - Silver Teeth (You Tube)
by Toon Traveller

A real unusual sound and mix. First of all Hair. Long hair. Then crotch mounted guitars, thrash, bash, smash in noise terrorism. Drummer modelled on Animal from the Muppets, total commitment to his art. Sure there's no melody, but wtf, there's some deliciously harmonic dueted female voices, floating above a wall of raw, unadulterated, cross cut buzzsaw guitar drone. Like Shoegaze on uppers. Combinations that just shouldn't work, but the mix of violent noise and calm harmonies work, totally out there and totally weird and totally wired me.  

BROADCAST - Spell Blanket - Collected Demos 2006-2009 (Warp Records)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

As anything that Broadcast ever released? DJ Fuzzyfelt thinks so. Fuller review right here→

CHANCE THE RAPPER - Buried Alive (Youtube)
by Ancient Champion

Oh God I love Chance the Rapper so much, thanks for sharing him with me. And even here as he is, being restored from being Buried Alive, and you know why that story is everywhere. This feels like a total resurrection. The vitriol over the motown strings, over the gospel sing's... Too cool. From the forthcoming album 'Star Line Gallery' - a reference to Marcus Garvey's Black Star Line, in space, maybe? I've already listened a lot and want to hear it again already.

by Ancient Champion

"If you keep the house in the family, you can keep the family in the house." C'mon, I love Chance the Rapper. We've got to stick together. I'm driving round weeping. Emotions all messed up. The Common 6th Sense/Mob Deep sample evokes memories of being homeless in Echo Park nad being rescued by my friend Terri. That was our listenin'. 

CMAT - Aw, Shoot (CMATBaby)
by Ogglypoogly

There’s a new CMAT song? It’s a cinematic feeling country pop number tinged with melancholy. Lyrical storytelling delivered in what's by now surely an unmistakable vocal style, well  you can all be “ Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise” that I’m going to urge you to hear it soon and often. (And why yes, yes I have watched Fight Club recently)

COMMON - Wise Up ft. Pete Rock (Loma Vista Recordings)
by Lee Paul

Oh wow! This might or might not be a curtain-raiser for a new LP from well I don't wanna call them elder statesmen. Statesmen will do. Common is such a shoe-dropping on so many lines writer. So great. This is as they say, propulsive. Worth a listen or 100. I hope there is an LP

CORTEGE - The Relentless Sun (Self-Released)
by Toon Traveller

Tubular bells, chimes and reggae drum opening. A melodica, beloved of reggae master Augustus Pablo. Well hints, interrupted, rock's crashing power chords, drums, dub's hinted echoes, "Zipp" It's closed out, shut down, over, finito, ended. 3 minutes long, really? It's a sliver of time, a flash of brightness, "puhhff", and it's gone. Wonder. mystery, mystique. Magic, sprinkled in it's wake. Enigmatic. entrancing, and wildly evocative of open spaces, hearts and places.  Soul engaged, explored and inspired. 

ELIJAH MINNELLI - Vine & Fig Tree ft. Little Roy (Fat Cat)
by Ancient Champion

From the forthcoming, as ever it seems, super limited LP, Perpetual Musket, Elijah Minnelli has teamed up with four vocalists from the world of reggae to breathe new life into traditional and folk songs. For the old testament derived, explicitly anti-war, Vine & Fig Tree featured Jamaican singer-songwriter, Little Roy. It is a moving combination, Little Roy infusing Elijah Minnelli's low-register sonics with warmth and yearning. 'Live in peace and unafraid.' If only.

FONT - Hey Kekule (Acrophase Records)
by Toon Traveller

Every now and again someone borrows so much from the past, so well, few new ideas or delights are anticipated. On closer inspection, it's a little funky small town Talking Heads, back alley LCD Sounds, with a little mix-in of sounds from New York's migrant roots. All that said, Font actually have something of their own here though, although most likely for the underground gang. Will they gain a bigger audience? Only if listeners are as audacious as the band.

by Ancient Champion

From a new collection called Her River Raves Recollections. Cachou features superior mumblings throughout. Two magical minutes. It's a summer delight and kind of reminds me of the essence of my love for Jonathan Richman of course. Instruments designed to be taken to the beach or the park. All music should just be this and no more. It's love! And it feels just great.

FRANK TURNER - Ceasefire / Girl In The Record Shop (Xra Mile Recors)
by Toon Traveller

Right said, Frank, and alright said Toon. Read the whole review right over here→

GABY MORENO - Alma Florecida ft La Lom (Cosmica Artists)
by Ancient Champion

If anything gets you getting out the mid-century tiki torches and teak polish this week this is surely the one, right? The wholly incredible, grammy winning, Guatemalen-Los Angelean - if that's a thing, Gaby Moreno and La Lom, with their first new music since 2022, and what music! Wow! It's a little authentically trad. You know Gaby previously worked with Van Dyke Parks on her 2019 album, ¡Spangled! To say you could play Alma Florecida all day long would be an understatement. It is simply blissful. 

GAZELLE TWIN - Black Dog Live (Invada Records)
by Alan Rider

Composer, producer, and visual artist Elizabeth Bernholz – aka Gazelle Twin – is a force to be reckoned with, and performs with an excoriating intensity that is rare. Following the release of her last album, the five heart rated Black Dog, she played the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton, in November last year, as part of her Black Dog tour and recorded four live tracks there for this EP, two of which also have video of her astounding performance.  Opening with the spine chilling 'Two Worlds', the downward spiral into wrenching pain and suspense continues with the jittery 'Fear Keeps Us Alive' before 'A Door Opens' sees Elizabeth in torch singer mode, restrained, yet tightly wound.  The EP closes with the aptly named 'Unstoppable Force'; stomping, nightmarishly pulsating, an eerie synth grinding away like an infernal machine as she intones over the backing, twitching and lunging until its abrupt end.  More performance art than gig, Gazelle Twin certainly has a dark vision.  We are hopeful of getting to ask her about that for OL soon. 

GEORGIA RUTH - Duw Neu Magic (Bubblewrap Collective Records)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Duw Neu Magic is the second single from Georgia Ruth's forthcoming album Cool Head, which will be available in June 21st from Cardiff's Bubblewrap Collective Records. Duw Neu Magic gives us a lovely skittering beat, a melody to whistle and a beautiful lyric about her family. Somebody said it sounds like rainy Paris in the 60s. I couldn't have put it better myself.

GRAHAM PARKER AND THE GOLDTOPS - Last Stretch of the Road (Big Stir)
by Toon Traveller

Jeeeessuuus. Like you, I thought he was dead, feels like he's been away for decades. Perhaps he never went away, just never played a theatre or a radio station near me. Worth the wait? Well not too sure, he seems to be in that Americana feel and groove, so hip, and popular these days. Yeah it's a throw back, there's even a mouth organ opening the tune. I ask you, how RETRO is that? It's one of those sat at the trestle table humming, steering wheel tapping, stuck in traffic, songs. But Parker's voice is still singularly raw, with that loser's rasp. Oddly Graham, perhaps he always did, sounds like a Dylan voice from the late 90's. Wistful fading memories, tinges of wasted years, dried up tears, little self pity. All present, and correct.

HAMISH HAWK - Big Cat Tattoos (So Recordings)
by Ogglypoogly

I wasn’t prepared for just how much I would like Hamish Hawk, yet somehow in the past couple of years they’ve become a staple in my regular listening. Heading toward perfection (nothing should be considered perfect - it leaves only a downward trajectory) this has been music that’s restored my faith in Pop.  So, the anticipation of a NEW track made for an excruciatingly long Monday - hoping to get out of work on time to be safely in the confines of my kitchen to prepare Dinner and listen to the radio, like I was back in my early 30’s. If you’re hoping for more soaring chamber pop that’s soaked in sunshine and pear drops, you might be momentarily disappointed. But I urge you to stick with it, because within the opening 20 seconds here we are, another disgracefully catchy track. The verbosity and crisp diction remain, that faint sense of deja vu remains, echos of the eighties rattle through the back of my mind never settling on anything definite but capturing that same feeling. That this is the lead single for an upcoming album is very promising. If you’ve not given this a listen yet, then now is  very good time to do so.

HOMER - Racecar Driver (Big Crown Records)
by Lee Paul

Homer's sidehustle from a dayjob as one of the most in demand drummers in the world (Amy Winehouse, Solange, Adele, Silk Sonic + way more...) His first solo record, with the samples and horns, it puts me a little in mind of Money Mark, with big epic beats. Oh, and vocals from a girl called Golden. All exceptional.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL - Dopamine (Cooking Vinyl)
by lamontpaul

From Isobel Campbell's new Cooking Vinyl EP, 'Second Guessing'. Perhaps best known for her recordings with Mark Lanegan. Dopamine is Isobel at her most lyrically contumacious. Does the tortoise take the hare, anywhere? No matter how slowly one exhorts the other to go. Meanwhile the band is playing like a bunch of tortoises, with chainsaws in some few parts. While the entire EP is great, Dopamine is just sensationally brilliant.

JAKE XERXES FUSSELL - Leaving Here, Don't Know Where I'm Going (Fat Possum)
by Toon Traveller

Xerxes has a wonderful world weary voice, lost, abandoned, drifting, and the travelogue blues, Salt Lake City, Alabama. He's sorta tired, sorta lost in the soul of his heart. A captivating voice, suffering, ache. "Alabama water tastes like cherry wine" — people say their water is wonderful the world over. Xerxes is tired in life, there's no indication if it's love, crime, chasing a dream. Arrangements match a washed out, sun bleached life, there's that sense of straight line roads in border scrub. Bordered up places, closed down towns, abandoned hopes, tired played out dreams, he's got the whole them all.

JANKO NILOVIC - Etheor ft. JJ Whitfield & Igor Zhukovsky (Broc)
by Ancient Champion

Sometimes I click through to accompanying videos, or youtube placeholders, for a track as brilliant as this and it is so weird that on the planet I am amongst only a handful of people seemingly interested in some of the most exciting instrumental music you will get to hear. Explanation?

JAY WIRES - Meaningless (Yes Trigger Music)
by Alan Rider

Jay Wires has access to an absolute Alladin's Cave of vintage synth equipment, that is mind boggling in its possibilities.  For many that would lead to an OTT, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, approach, but Jay is way too savvy for that, carefully crafting a superior '80's style electro pop track on the aftermath of a traumatic breakup with a narcissist. It strikes the right balance between a slightly wistful and melancholic set of lyrics, coupled to a soaring and bouncy synth pop tune. 'Meaningless' may be the title of the track, but meaningless it most certainly isn't.

JESS CORNELIUS - Laps in the Drugstore (Loving Empire)
by Ancient Champion

Laps in a Drugstore is just great in every way. The result of understanding the need to be less fearful of fear. I wish I could write such an understated pop tune. Imbued with the handheld, independent ethic that fuels Outsideleft too, I feel. The guitar/drumalong Laps in a Drugstore has been gesticulating for a while, but Jess says, “Watching the relentless and preventable horrors inflicted on Gaza over the past six months has made releasing new music a dissonant experience – it can all feel so trivial. But a friend recently reminded me that, like art, joy is also resistance, and this video is really centered on that: not losing your own joy and humanity while pushing for change. I love making music videos because they feel a lot like songs or stories: I never know what I’m really making until I’m over halfway through. This one was just me with my phone and a tripod and a big rock…and my kid makes a sweet cameo too.” One of the good ones. Can't wait for the LP CARE/TAKING which arrives on June 14th.

JON GORDON - 7th Avenue South (Artistshare)
by Toon Traveller

Toon Traveller gets into getting back to 7th Avenue South with Jon Gordon, right here→

KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS - That Delicious Vice (In The Red)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

The Kid and his ensemble return with their first new album in 8 years,DJ Fuzzyfelt has your review, right here→

LOL TOLHURST X BUDGIE X JACKNIFE LEE - We Gotta Move ft. Isaac Brock (Play it again Sam)
by Toon Traveller

These guys are out on tour with Miki Berenyi, and while I am unsure how many superstar vocalists they'll have on their bus, here on vinyl we get Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, We Gotta Move is a great funky fat hit. Opening on the drums, a striding street walking confident sure step. Wonderful vocals, high and mighty, and one of those semi-rap,semi-lists of joy lyrics. Reasons to be happy, glad, and alive. Sure it echoes 90's popped up, toned down, soft funk. And like all echoes, the signal is a contrast to the original. It  dances along, a confident street stroll, past cafes, bars, We Gotta Move. A soundtrack for the Lower East in New York, London's Spitalfields, or Paris' Sentier's  street fashion neighbourhoods. It's a fat, good for your health, slice of modern street funkshun, struttin' to the junction.

LOUIS COLE - Things Will Fall Apart (Brainfeeder)
by DJ Fuzzyfelt

A taster for Louis Cole's forthcoming album Nothing. Everything about this is epic. Big music but at the same time Cole's vocals make it sound quite intimate. Ably assisted by a vocal chorus led by his Knower co-conspirator, Genevieve Artadi, his usual trio of backing musicians plus Dutch based Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley. Things Will Fall Apart is still led by Cole's distinctive drumming style. This bounds along until the last 90 seconds where a beautiful outro, straight out of a 30s movie dream sequence takes over. Playful as ever...I Love Louis Cole as the Thundercat song says...

by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Second album in two years from Michael Head, and, as with the last one Dear Scott, is again produced by Bill Ryder-Jones. It's not a bad album, usual Love/Arthur Lee influenced songs, the odd curveball but simply nothing stands out. It's much of a muchness. Dear Scott's first half a dozen tracks were similarly run of the mill but then something turned and the second half of the album was stunning, wheras this record is just run of the mill. It sounds lovely though, Ryder-Jones string arrangements do lift things a bit but its all a bit so so.

MIKI BERENYI TRIO - Vertigo (Bella Union)
by Alan Rider

No one can have missed the fact that we rather like Miki Berenyi here at OL, and have done since the other worldly sounds of Lush ground to a halt for all the reasons set out in her book 'Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me From Success.'  The tragedy is not only her experience with the all consuming monster we call the Music Biz, but that Lush were tagged as 'Shoegaze' which lumped them in with all the other leaden dirge that movement produced.  This is a cut above any of those bands now reformed and out and about on the nostalgia circuit, being a new band with an upgraded and reimagined sound incorporating electronics, which actually suite her unique voice very well.  Whilst she desperately needs to choose a better name that makes the band sound less like a pub Blues act, the combination works well on the evidence of this, and with a tour with support act Lol Tolhurst (Cure) and Budgie (Banshees/Creatures) - yes I did say that they were supporting her! - about to kick off, she is relaunching herself with some style.  Any others thinking of emerging out of musical retirement, and a good few who already have, could well take a lesson from her.  This is very much the way to do it.

MOMUS - Yikes! (Darla Records)
by John Robinson

John Robinson thinks Momus is just too good on his new LP, Yikes! There's a review right here→

RICHARD HAWLEY - In This City They Call You Love (BMG)
by Ogglypoogly

Richard Hawley's ninth solo album, 'In  This City They Call You Love,' is a seamless addition to his discography. Read Ooglypoogly's full review right here→

RJD2 - Catch the Exit Door (RJ's Electrical Connection)
by Toon Traveller

A whole jewelry store of shining sparkly ideas, each and every one of them funky as hell, drums and horns, wah-wah guitar. A slinky, sleazy, foot tapping, arse shaking, slab of revivalist funk and soul. A fabulous drop, a cute guitar break, and we're back into the groove, and it's a hell of groove. Fat as a juicy fatburger, sharp as a switchblade, with a smattering of blown mind psychedelic organ. And did I tell you about the tuba? This oozes groove, it's a celebration, it shouts out memories and the glorious futures we want. A summer playlist natural, I need not add anything else.

SPLINTERED - Between Scylla and Charybdis (Fourth Dimension)
by Alan Rider

There are some releases, Alan Rider says, that just stand out as being different, above the herd if you like. Check out his full review of Splintered, here→

SYBS - Olew Nadroedd (Libertino)
by Ancient Champion

You don't need much information from me for this LP. You can hear it on every spin of the record. Furious guitars, all the more lethal for being barely bridled. Grumbling bass and lumpen drums, with a lite cymbal touch to aid in the racing along. Olew Nadroedd has all of the madness you heard the first time you listened to 'A Catholic Education.' Maybe more so. Wild! And so... Love! SYBS have everything. Come to Bearwood! Perhaps only the young can dare to make music this great. The Sound of Young Wales! Ha! This is one great record.

by Ogglypoogly

Go forth and listen. Ogglypoogly say so... over  here→

THE RINGO JETS - Cehennem Köpekleri (Ferment Records)
by David O'Byrne

It's ten years since Turkey's "The Ringo Jets" released their eponymous first album. OL's newest contributor, David O'Byrne gets psyched out by their new heavy single. See the whole review right here→

VARIOUS ARTISTS - No Songs Tomorrow (Cherry Red)
by Alan Rider

Alan Rider listens like there is no tomorrow, right here→

VINCE STAPLES - Why Won't The Sun Come Out (Def Jam)
by Lee Paul

I guess one of the biggest releases in the world this week is the Vince Staples LP, 'Dark Times' his 8th LP, and while he's of great interest to the mainstream now, remember when it was a coup to get him to Insecure's Block Party? That was joyous; or when he was hanging out with Earl Sweatshirt types in the indie margins. Staples records have always afforded a little defiance of convention, expectation and form. I kind of like how he has moved the world into his orbit and not vice versa. Why Won't The Sun Come Out is just a beautiful monologue, a conversation. Possibly of interest to our poet friend Duncan Jones–could have him updating his piece on pop records with talking bits. What about pop records with only talking bits? Why Won't The Sun Come Out is the final track on 'Dark Times', it features New York singer Santigold chatting about a weird dream, about creativity and spirit. It's the greatest, reaffirming rap records as the most reliable place in music to find superb storytellers. "It's easier for a girl to come over and give you pussy than it is to come over and give you a hug." Not in my house.

WALT DISCO - Come Undone (Lucky Number)
by Toon Traveller

Wow, this is out there, wherever there is. Weird, in the weirdest weird way. Disco vocals samples from the 70s. Lead voice, falsetto, jerky, deep and haunting — think Cher, meets Heather Small from M People. Magical piano stabs, wacky out there time changes, can you dance to it, I can't. Can you fist pump hhhhmmm not really. This is just so wacky, weird post pop magic. I am flummoxed, nicely. All considered, this is measured, coordinated, and delightfully constructed.

YOUNG JESUS - Am I the Only One (Saddle Creek)
by Ancient Champion

From the brand new LP, The Fool. Young Jesus is the man really. The Fool, already on so many mid and end of year best lists. Am I the Only One embodies all that is good about Young Jesus in three minutes. The verbosity, the poetry. The garrulousness. And of course, self-doubt. 'Sitting up late in bed, self-hate and shame, Wanting to be dead, wanting to grow another body'. 

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