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Outsideleft Week in Music with Black Bombers We're hearing from Black Bombers, The Linda Lindas, Wet Leg, Shrimpnose, Ezra Furman, Tempers, Teenage Fanclub, Macy Gray,  Talk Talk , Orville Peck, Fences with Bonnie Prince Billy, Houeida Hedfi, Alabaster DePlume and Brian Ladrus

Outsideleft Week in Music with Black Bombers

We're hearing from Black Bombers, The Linda Lindas, Wet Leg, Shrimpnose, Ezra Furman, Tempers, Teenage Fanclub, Macy Gray, Talk Talk , Orville Peck, Fences with Bonnie Prince Billy, Houeida Hedfi, Alabaster DePlume and Brian Ladrus

by Jay Lewis, Reviews Editor
first published: April, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

The Black Bombers - their most ambitious track to date - Jay Lewis


BLACK BOMBERS - Last Bite (Easy Action) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Jay Lewis

'All hail the commander in chief...'

The picture of the skeletal Britannia on the front sleeve of 'Last Bite' is a clue of what to expect. Black Bombers first single since early 2019 is a dark, angry reaction to the state of the nation. A dark and stormy epic, their most ambitious track to date. Read our interview with Black Bombers drummer Dave Twist here...


TEENAGE FANCLUB - I Left A Light On (Merge) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

This. This is why we've got global warming.

TEMPERS - Sightseeing (Dais Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

From the new LP, New Meaning, Tempers get the single Sightseeing going with a great, great techno intro. Spacey in a 90s ambient chill out sense, this builds and moves with undercurrents of urgency, darkness, hidden places, semi-conscious voices. Could be from the great sounds that formed a soundtrack to the post Casio pop of the '80s, when it started to cross pollinate with rock... Depeche Mode, yes I use them a lot as a point of reference 'coz we know their work and you don't need didacticism from me. Sightseeing, a perfect title for Toon Traveler, grooves and drives with mysterious hyperbole. It's that car drive in empty urban streets of city you barely know, at night, and are concerned and captivated by, sights and sounds intrigue and stress. Inentionaly or no this music captures my fears in the world today, an almost abandoned sense of community, that's held us all together in tough times, and a sense of emptiness to come. "World's gonna end before I die," captures these war haunted, conflicted, darkened, confused and fearful days for me. I want to hear more from Tempers. Come to Toon and I will go outside. 

FENCES WITH BONNIE PRINCE BILLY - Niagra/Sympathy for the Devil (Enci Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Toon Traveller

Wow! WHat a treat. Have read loads of reviews of the Bonnie Prince, seen the paintings, seen the Tour dates, none of which inspired me to get off my lardy backside. But this collab with Fences which is mainly Christopher Mansfield, for a cover of The Stones' rebel yell from the '60s - raw and aggressive then - a slab of visceral anger then, and the swaggering challenge of youth then. This is not that same song.
Okay, well it is the same song, but a way different sentiment. A whole different take. This is reflective, a paean  to life's tragic sadness. There's regret here, with the realisation that explanations are needed. This could be those words. The song of a man, a devil, a leader at the sunset of his life reflecting on transgressions. A semi confession, a semi requiem for a life nearing its end. Five stars since this is an exceptional cover, a classic piece of reinterpretation  of a song we've all heard, think we know, and realise we've just scratched the surface of it's insight. I'd give this six hearts for the inclusiion of the line, "Use all your well earned propriety, or I'll lay your soul to waste."  'Propriety' in rock = BRILLIANT. Niagra video here, I haven't spoken about, truly great, talk amongst yourselves. 

MACY GRAY - Every Night (with the California Jet Club & Maino) (Moonslice) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Well, y'know I actually do love Macy Gray and she does this programmed performed soul as well as anyone does. Maybe with a little more humanity and humour though. So what does she do all day, Macy, "Gets up at 8 and then she celebrates." Hey, that's what I do to, after a quick inventory of which parts are still working. Macy has great help though, Maino and the Cali Jet Club. Macy wants to talk "Come closer now see, this is private, I wanna talk about the times, I wanna talk about the climate." You can do that all and still feel joy. Can you feel it?

EZRA FURMAN - Book Of Our Names (Bella Union) ZERO favorite_borders
by Tim London

Good lord! I’m sort of enjoying Ezra Furman’s shaky gospel song. A pretty ordinary tune but with lyrics that remind us of what nazis will do, given the chance… It’s the production, though. As if someone snuck into the studio at three AM, smoked a bong and made a mix without worrying about distortion or levels. Hence, meaningful art! On a Tuesday, too.

TALK TALK - Talk Talk (Parlophone Records) ZERO favorite_borders
by Jay Lewis

The late Mark Hollis admitted that he would 'always regret' the first Talk Talk album. So there's something distasteful about another reissue from Parlophone of one of the singles from that period to celebrate its 40th anniversary!

In fact, why not join us again in 2028 when Parlophone celebrate their 'what the actual fuck do we do with this then?' moment as they go for a 40th anniversary repackage of the divine 'Spirit of Eden'. Abhorrent

(Note the record itself is a 4 star, but the incentive behind its re-release is a zero)

BRIAN LADRUS - Nocturnal Flight (Palmetto) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Nocturnal Flight is a SINGLE from low woodwind master Brian Landrus’ upcoming album Red List: Music Dedicated to the Preservation of Our Endangered Species. Looking at the PR blurb, misread the artist name, expected masterful minimalism from Steve Reich, ooops my mistake, not that it matters, this is delightful slice of summer afternoon jazz, it speaks o' summer streets, calmed as families café sit, soda sip, ice cream eat. It's the sound of a lazy weekend.  Love the piano and the percussion. The sax is a discordant note crashing through the summer groove, hints of distant thunder? Perhaps, the move from lazy afternoon, to party on down evening? Probably.

SHRIMPNOSE - Smoke Blanket (featuring quickly quickly and Somni) (Friends of Friends Music) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

From the LP Under Fire! Perhaps an unfortunate title... Smoke Blanket... Nice, subsonic low-fi minimalist relaxation tape for people who are pretty relaxed to begin with. It's not gonna take much more than this to push us over the edge in a very very lovely way.


ALABASTER DEPLUME - Gold (International Anthem Recording Co) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Lee Paul

Alabaster DePlume is a blower and a poet or maybe a poetic blower. Imagine say if Ivor Cutler hadn't wanted less noise, had wanted more melody with his poetry... He'd surely have recruited DePlume who has the mechanics of arresting meandering modernism, down. I am not loving the poetry bits. Just the instrumental parts that's just me. Can be funny like that about words. What about this though, Now, Pink Triangle, Blue Valley. 

WET LEG - Wet Leg (Domino Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Spanish Pantalones

Wet Leg can do know wrong as far as I’m concerned. To date, the Isle of Wight duo (Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers) have released six fantastic, glimmering, shimmering singles – all flawless. Today, the band release its self-titled debut on Domino Records in one of the more heavily-anticipated LPs of the year. (It already has a place on Spanish’s Top 10 recordings of 2022 – a coveted, early placement.) Wet Leg is made up of the six already-released singles (including the exquisite, new “Ur Mom”) along with six more new tracks, all of which are strong enough to be singles themselves. Wet Leg is the shot of adrenaline the charts need – recording of the week if you ask me.

HOUEIDA HEDFI - Fleuves de L'ame (Phantasy) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

I've been listening to Houeida Hedfi a whole lot lately. Although Fleuves D'Lame came out late last year there's no shame in getting to this review now. I mean, I've been getting to that missing skirting board in the hall for ten years. The last conversation I had with the guy about restoring the minton tiles happened a year ago. Those projects like this record feel alive, current and timeless. There's a joy with the left undone. A sense of purpose, delayed. And so ostensibly a Tunisian recording, percussionist Houeida has connected her revised An often mellow hybrid of Tunisian sounds and musical traditions with French electro producer, Olof Dreijer's western aesthetic. It is gorgeously cinematic of course. And not even ruined either. Each of the 8 tracks is named after a flowing river. Don't let that put you off. There's musicality in flowing water. There's drama in drowning or not drowning after all. It's apparent in the quarter notes and ambience here. "My music doesn’t take up so much space, it has nuance. If I had to put a nationality to my music, I would also put a gender to it." - Houeida Hedfi. A record to cherish for all times.

ORVILLE PECK - Bronco (Columbia Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

With a thick, warm voice that oscillates between Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, and Chris Isaak, Orville Peck scores big, again, with his sophomore album, Bronco. It’s far more rich and lush than 2019’s Pony. “Daytona Sand” and “The Curse of the Blackened Eye” are standout ditties, but the entire LP has a wonderful warmth throughout all 15 tracks. But let’s be honest, would Peck have shot to the top with critics and hipsters if he wasn’t a cowboy boot-wearing twink with cheekbones you could cut diamonds on? Is Orville the real deal or a tongue-in-cheek novelty act? Tough call, maybe he’s both. Alls I knows is that this could very well be the recording of the week! Yee-haw!

THE LINDA LINDAS - Growing Up (Epitaph) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Spanish Pantalones

It’s hard to believe that the oldest member of The Linda Lindas is 17 while the youngest – their drummer – is a mere 11. Grown Up, the quartet’s debut on Epitaph Records is a polished piece of riot grrrl pop-punk made up of 10 short, tight, loud blasts of guitar, bass, and drums. Sometimes it’s a bit too polished considering they’re kids, but the band is on Epitaph and their producer is also the father of the rhythm section so their debut sounds more like what most punk bands sound like by their difficult third album. (That’s what big label money will buy you.) That said, I love this album. I love its optimism. It’s perfect and it might possibly be my top recording of the week.

Essential Info
Main Image: Black Bombers (record of the week)

Jay Lewis
Reviews Editor

Jay Lewis is a Birmingham based poet. He's also a music, movie and arts obsessive. Jay's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

about Jay Lewis »»



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