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autumnal feel to it, and some top form Fannie magic in the hooky Thin Air, the sunny It’s A Sign the string-laden Darkest Part Of The Night, and the spry and Byrdsian The First Sight, with a light dusting of fuzz across the soaring chorus of If I Ever Get To See. CS

TWIN ATLANTIC ***** GLA (Red Bull)

The fourth studio album from the Scottish rockers sets up as a grungy affair. Crunching riffs and the distinctive vocal of frontman Sam McTrusty strikes a chord throughout. Staying true to their roots, the album title is the code of their hometown airport in Glasgow – “the gateway to all the inspiring places we have travelled, and the same stretch that has always brought us back home again,” Twin Atlantic say. No Sleep is a killer, while the bluesy opening on The Chaser is a beauty. OS

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR **** Do Not Disturb (Esoteric)

The legendary Van Der Graaf Generator’s 13th album is powerfully progressive. Melodic tunes are interspersed with heavy vocals, light lyrics with foreboding basslines. The dark mood is elevated the catchy Forever Falling but soon brought down again by the instrumental Shikata Ga Nai. In the words of the crazy Aloft, “There’s no going back to where you were before.” Rather, there is – but the trick is to do it better. VDGG fans will not be disappointed. LN

THE WEDDING PRESENT **** Going, Going… (Scopitones)

David Gedge and the gang are back with their ninth studio album and the indie stalwarts are on top form. Much of Going, Going... won’t disorientate fans, with familiar, roaring guitar riffs on themes of falling in and out of love, but several experimental tracks stand out. Gorgeous instrumentals Marblehead and Sprague layer ethereal vocals, haunting strings and piano, while Wales merges spoken Welsh with relaxed guitars and flute before accelerating into a driving headbanger. Vintage Wedding Present – with a twist. BW

singles

a spacey, off the wall groove that drifts steadily into otherworldly territories. Dreamlike textures refrains wash pleasantly over you, giving you a tempting reason to withdraw from reality for four and a half minutes. CPI

KAMIKAZE GIRLS *** Sad (Bearded Punk)

This is a painful record to listen to in two ways. It’s painful in that it’s a very loud record indeed, with shouty/screamy vocals, wall-of-sound guitars and pounding drums. But then it’s also painful from the perspective that you’ll be sitting on the fence for hours wondering if it’s actually any good or not. BG

LAS KELLIES **** I Don’t Care (Fire)

Las Kellies have over a decade of experience exploring the various tributaries of punk and post punk whilst rarely getting lost in pastiche. A rare skill indeed. Subtle psychedelic fuzz and echoladen vocals give a distant, melancholy feel while retaining a prickly undercurrent. A winner. IP

KIZZY CRAWFORD ***

Gerridae / Jungle (Folkstock) Kizzy has honed her sound into something distinctive in the jazz and folk sphere as of late. These two tracks aptly demonstrate both her vocal talent (particularly in harmony arrangement) and instrumental prowess; however, the production feels a little flat and the melodies, whilst beautiful, are devoid of any great hooks to ensnare you. CPI

demos SILENT FORUM

facebook.com/silentforum Previously known as How I Faked The Moon Landing, Silent Forum have traded that name in for one that better suits their monochrome press shots and grandiose postpunk. The four songs on Brief Collapses, their debut EP, colour the predominant Joy Division-through-to-Interpol indie rumble with swelling post-rock guitar, River and Nameless being prime examples. It’s very nicely produced and Richard Wiggins is a diverting vocalist who possibly sings “I’m freaking out with an owl in a mansion” at one point, although I may have misheard. NG

OBLONG

oblong1.bandcamp.com

Even if you like 60s-birthed peddlers of British whimsy, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, you may not know Big Grunt – who featured Bonzos members Vivian Stanshall and Roger Ruskin Spear, recorded these four songs for John Peel in 1970, and never properly released anything. Until now. This has almost no relevance to 2016 but colour me unbothered, pal. NG

Llangennech trio Oblong emailed me the day after I’d seen another brand new group called Oblong, a very-much-up-my-alley mix of sludge metal and weird electronics. Realising that this wasn’t the same Oblong was disappointing – maybe as disappointing as getting a review that spends half its length talking about someone else – but these songs are still pretty good. Rugged indie with an impressively brash guitar sound and both Welsh and English lyrics, I suspect their collections contain a fair bit of mid-80s quasi-C86 fare. NG

THE BIG MOON ****

FAN OCTO

Silent Movie Susie (Fiction Records)

fanocto.bandcamp.com

A track to be dubbed over hip montages of summer escapades and stacked in colourful vinyl collections in milk boxes. Silent Movie Susie lies in the grass between alt-rock and festival pop making daisy chains, singing in quadruple harmonies in the sun and enticing others with her hypnotically catchy hooks. CP

Risca solo artist Fan Octo’s disciplines include videography, sculpting facial hair and, most significantly to this column, shred guitar played on one of those eight-string monstrosities. His three tracks currently online pair technically spectacular twiddling with sci-fi synth backdrops (Nexus Series) and digital death metal (The Machine). They each come with a video created by Octo himself, my personal favourite being Gravitational Time Dilation which was filmed in Preston’s Premier Inn and demonstrates that it’s not just extramarital affairs going on behind those unassuming doors. NG

BIG GRUNT ****

In Session (Megadodo)

THE INVISIBLE ****

Life’s Dancers (Ninja Tune) A snippet from their acclaimed album Patience, released in June of this year, Life’s Dancers is

THIS MONTH’S DVD PICK ALMODÓVAR COLLECTION **** 18 (Studiocanal) This collection of some of the renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar provides a good overview of the themes he deals with in his early works. Included are his iconic female-led bleakly comic melodramas Dark Habits and What Have I Done to Deserve This?, Law Of Desire, Oscar-nominated international breakthrough black comedy Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, Kika, and The Flower Of My Secret. While it is a good introduction to his work, it misses out more notable works like Volver and All About My Mother. LOB

NARCOS SERIES 1 ***** 15 (Arrow Films) For those withdrawing from Breaking Bad, Narcos offers some comfort, but much like methadone to heroin, it’s still just as addictive. Wagner Moura stars as Pablo Escobar in this series based on his life and the peak of the cocaine boom in Colombia, and while his accent is a bit off, he does an excellent job portraying the man and his battle against the authorities and the DEA. It is a captivating series that provides context to many of the issues still found in Colombia, South America and the USA today. LOB

THE WAVE *** 15 (Film Vast) A rockslide into a fjord threatens the Norwegian village of Geiranger with a colossal tsunami, which a geologist and his family try to escape, in this disaster flick by Roar Uthaug. Based on an actual risk which threatens the village in real life, and similar disasters that killed dozens over the last century, The Wave offers a novel concept. A good cast, and impressive shots put Hollywood’s tired disaster franchises to shame, but it still follows the predictable Mad Libs style formula used in disaster films. LOB

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS **** PG (Fox) This is the latest adaption of the much-loved true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a lover and patron of the arts with a love of music, and one desire: to sing. The one problem is that she can’t sing, and everyone around her doesn’t particularly want to tell her as she makes her way to Carnegie Hall. It’s overall a very funny film with great performances by all, most notably Meryl Streep. LOB

THE NICE GUYS **** 15 (Icon) Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star as private eyes in this action comedy by Shane Black, the man behind Lethal Weapon. It’s 1977 in LA, and Golsing and Crowe investigate the death of a porn star and the disappearance of a girl. It has a very well written and witty script with good action sequences, and excellent chemistry between Crowe and Gosling. LOB

LOUDER THAN BOMBS *** 15 (Soda Pictures) The first English language production by Norwegian director Joachim Trier sees a family of a father and his two sons trying to cope with the death of their wife and mother, a well-regarded war photographer. Eldest son Jonah (played by Jesse Eisenberg) comes back to the family home for an upcoming exhibition of his mother’s work, where he spends more time his father and his troubled younger brother Conrad. It tackles important issues and has a great cast and style, mixing dreams and reality, but it’s rather a slow burn. LOB

BAD NEIGHBOURS 2 **** 15 (Universal Pictures) This sequel to the frat comedy Bad Neighbours was actually much better than expected, with the bar for comedy franchise sequels being set pretty low. A young family, who battled against the fraternity next door in the prequel, want to sell their house, but this time there’s a sorority next door making their lives miserable, and naturally they clash. The film makes an interesting point about gender inequality in campus culture in the USA, and actually has some genuinely funny moments. LOB

BUZZ 49

Buzz September 2016  

This month we celebrate Cardiff's own Roald Dahl's 100th birthday with a round up of all the Roald Dahl events across Wales, interviews with...

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