Top Sounds - J

JADED EYES - Hatespeak {Boss Tuneage/ Serial Bowl} Latest slice of smartness from these Leeds, UK veterans and it’s just a mere two tracks on one dark red 7" slice of vinyl. Bit of a 1984 (as in George Orwell) theme going on here, from the title track through to the labels on the record. Lead track ‘Hatespeak’ zipped along and kept me going back to GRAY MATTER for some reason. Flip the disc and you get ‘One Percent’ that flows on a RITES OF SPRINGish guitar riff before a bilious chorus and a fragmented riff kicks in. It’s probably the stronger of the two tracks too. Have to say, it’s those gnarled, distinctly British sounding vocals (which are also legible) that separates these fellas from other bands who may attempt to do this DC Revolution Summer-esque Punk. Black and white sleeve, no lyric sheet, no download code - just two cracking tracks from what must be among the very best bands in Britain at present. Hopefully this is a warm-up for the band’s third album. If it follows the sound here, it could well be the band’s best yet also. (22.05.18)

JILTED JOHN - True Love Stories {Boss Tuneage} To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic one-hit-wonder who bellowed ‘Gordon is a Moron’, comes this stunning re-issue of JILTED JOHN’s debut album. Not only do you get the original 1978-released album on coloured vinyl, but there’s a reprint of the classic ‘Jilted John’ 7", extensive new liner notes and even a reprint of the Mice and Ladders board game that came with limited copies of the initial run. The album features 12 tracks recounting the teenage angst of being a loser in love, forming a virtual concept album of John’s (non)love life. Lyrically it’s witty, musically minimal and geeky and totally resonant with anyone who has been a teenage loser - especially if you happened to be one in 1978! Besides the iconic ‘Jilted John’, other highlights are ‘I Know I’ll Never’, ‘The Birthday Kiss’ (that includes the great line about being alone in my bedroom with my chips, feeling sad) and the follow-up single ‘True Love’. It’s easy to see why this was an influence on PULP’s Jarvis Cocker as a lot of his traits (albeit in a different format) are here. Definitely one that any 70s Punk enthusiast should have but it’s also one very much of its time. No matter, this is a splendid package and other, lesser, labels should take note as to what a quality reissue is all about. (15.09.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including:
JADED EYES, JELLO BIAFRA AND THE NEW ORLEANS RANCH AND SOUL ALL-STARS, JILTED JOHN, JIM JONES AND THE RIGHTEOUS MIND, JOHNNY MOPED, THE JONES, JONNY MANAK AND THE DEPRESSIVES and JOYCE MANOR/ Toys That Kill split

Top Sounds - K

KOSKI, DARIUS - What Was Once Is By And Gone {Fat Wreck} Second solo album from the SWINGIN’ UTTERS mainstay and you get 16 tracks of Americana, Blues and Country. Of those 16, four are instrumentals and appear to be bridging pieces between the album’s sound. There are the more subtle acoustic tracks that brought to mind ‘A Conversation’ era GRANT HART and there are also more forceful, rocking blues numbers. Highlights would include the first three tracks that embody that GRANT HART feel, ‘Because He’s Beautiful’ that’s the most electric track here and brought to mind MIKE NESS’ solo work, the CRAMPS-esque Swamp Blues of ‘Yes I Believe’ and ‘Imitation Tala’ that is the most adventurous track, co-opting mystical Indian drones akin to THE BEATLES. Best track however is either ‘A Fresh Glass Of Nothing’ that’s all European flavoured acoustic swing with Mrs Koski on backing vocals or ‘Little Johnny’ that’s got energetic acoustic guitars and a lilting piano refrain all through. I could never see SWINGIN’ UTTERS doing any of these songs as they are drastically different in both style and content. Fact remains though, they’re still good songs that deserve your attention. (11.09.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including:
KINDLING (2 reviews), KOMPLIKATIONS, DARIUS KOSKI and KRIMEWATCH