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Outsideleft Week in Music... Counting on Lloyd/Bean We're hearing from... Lloyd/Bean, Swans, Modern Cosmology, Nuha Ruby Ra, The Damned, Eater, Tape Runs Out, Elita, Bloody Bananas, Resurrectionists, Librarians with Hickeys, Jimin, The Ironsides, Darkplace, Richard Norris, Hannah Jagadu, Secret Machines, Forty Feet Tall and Baby Jake

Outsideleft Week in Music... Counting on Lloyd/Bean

We're hearing from... Lloyd/Bean, Swans, Modern Cosmology, Nuha Ruby Ra, The Damned, Eater, Tape Runs Out, Elita, Bloody Bananas, Resurrectionists, Librarians with Hickeys, Jimin, The Ironsides, Darkplace, Richard Norris, Hannah Jagadu, Secret Machines, Forty Feet Tall and Baby Jake

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: March, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Lloyd/Bean duets for the ages...

SINGLES

LLOYD/BEAN - Tears Like Stars (Bandcamp/Tiny Global)
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by Ancient Champion

Alright, I have completely the writer and broadcaster Adrian Goldberg to thank for drawing my attention to this last night, at the Pete Astor performance Adrian put on at the Rock n Roll Brewery. (more on that later...). The Robert Lloyd, the Nightingale, and The Janet Beveridge Bean of Sweetwater together on an LP of duets which this turns out to be simply beyond brilliant, oh wow. This is a little bit country and little bit rock 'n' roll. A little bit Nancy and a little Lee... Tears Like Stars is one of a couple of tracks available now, the other is Heavy Reckonings. The whole LP will be available at the end of May, but maybe you'd best order it now (from Bandcamp). Also featuring Pete 'The Tank' Byrchmore currently of the Membranes, and Mark Bedford of Madness. I am not as big a Robert Lloyd festishish as most, but this is simply a gorgeous, stripped down and so sonorously controlled sound and Lloyd has rarely sounded better. Lloyd/Beans' other great coup, Adrian mentioned, is a one off show (damn! bring it to Birmingham too) featuring Go Between Lindy Morrison on drums, for one night only in Shepherds Bush. Oddly, after the Galen and Paul Lonely Town record a couple of weeks ago, Alarcon and I began compiling a little list of our fave duets, as opposed to the modern idiom Artist Blah Ft. Blah... Lloyd Bean are surely gonna make most everyone's duet list. Sensationally gravelly good. Not when anyone asks I can at least say I have an LP I am looking forward to this summer.


MODERN COSMOLOGY - A Time To Grow ft. Laetitia Sadier/Mombojo (Duophonic)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Well this is rather splendid. Laetitia Sadier, singer/musician in Stereolab and maker of excellent solo records plus critically acclaimed Brazilian group Mombojó combine to beautiful effect. It drifts along for 4 minutes or so with Ms Sadier doing what she does best over a languorous backing before the big drums and choirs do what the title suggests.A lovely way to spend 7 minutes and 18 seconds of my life. Straight onto the best of 2023 playlist.


SWANS - Paradise Is Mine (Mute/Young Gods)
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by Alan Rider

There is something about Swans that always send a shiver up my spine.  Its been a while since we've had any new Swans material, with the previous album 'Leaving Meaning' appearing in 2019.  The enforced hiatus caused by the Pandemic and lockdown seems have rejuvenated their creative spark though, as it did for so many bands.  Whilst not actually a single, more a teaser track off the new album 'The Beggar' - their sixteenth - coming your way in June (watch out for a full review on OL then), 'Paradise Is Mine' is 100% shiver inducing.  Its classic Swans, from a gentle start, the intensity builds steadily and envelops you, swirling around the mantra "This Is Mine (Mind)".   As one of the comments on the Youtube video says, only Swans can make a 9 minute track feel like a 4 minute one.  "Am I ready to die?" intones Michael Gira at one point.  Please don't.  The world needs The Swans. 


JIMIN - Set me Free Pt 2 (Hype Labels)
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by Tim London

When Led Zeppelin’s brutish drummer Jon Bonham knocked out the rhythm to When The Levee Breaks in the stone walls of Headley Grange he would have probably thought someone had spiked his booze with acid if he  had had a vision of where the basic beat would end up in the 21st century. Read the rest of Tim London's Jimin review here⇒


HANNAH JAGADU - What You Did (Sub Pop)
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by Ancient Champion

Hannah Jagadu is excitingly fiercely indie, recording with minimal gear, principally her stratocaster and her iPhone. It's a relief. What You Did from her forthcoming LP Aperture (Sub Pop) has got a bit of an American Beabadoobee vibe to it. Good.

Hanna


BABY JAKE - We've got to get together to be free (All DSPs)
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by Toon Traveller

Love the old Hammond style driven organ opening, it's anthemic rallying call to unity. This could be straight otta the 70's, when we all wanted peace love and understanding.  Come 80s we realised, we gotta stand a fight, this song captures those moods, but transplant them 50 years on, sad, there's so little that's changed. Same sense of injustice, of powers turning back clocks, and scapegoating anyone who looks, behaves, believes, thinks differently. We DO all need to stand together, wonderful sentiment, great dream, and this is a powerful call to the struggle, and unity. So many miles to travel for justice
 


DARKPLACE - Arken Över Hesselby (Icons Creating Evil Art)
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by Alan Rider

Clocking in at just 1 minute 53 seconds, the instrumental Arken Over Hesselby (The Ark Over Hesselby)  has less of the feel of a single and more the portentous synth tones of a cinematic intro, making it difficult to get much of an impression of what Darkplace are about (hence the three hearts score), though I am intrigued. Hesselby is supposedly some form of alternative reality.  In their press blurb the Swedish 'dark dream pop/post-punk group' (their description) promise to "unveil a series of imaginative visuals based on animated digital paintings" for each of the eleven tracks from their upcoming 'About The End of The World' album.  There is also a lot of guff about them being highly secretive and enigmatic. Here's a tip guys, if you want to be enigmatic and secretive, don't send out press releases or employ a PR agency.


EATER - Ann (Holy Dotage Records)
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by Alan Rider

Oh dear.  Z list 1977 punk band re-forms with some new, younger members and releases a single about necrophilia.  The main thing that Eater had going for them back at the dawn of UK punk was their young age. That's obviously long gone now and all we are left with are the greasy cold remains of a 46 year old musical dinner.  Punk may have lasted about 10 minutes before it became a media cliche and post punk bands were left to deliver on its original promise, but once old punks retire from the day job they had to take, they reform the band and produce this sort of drivel.  File under 'Frisbee'.


THE DAMNED - Beware Of The Clown (Earmusic)
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by Alan Rider

The Damned these days have the air of a bunch of old mates simply having fun.  Their legacy as one of the few original punk bands to have consistently developed and delivered is assured, they have a fanatical worldwide fan base, and they don't give a fig what you or I think about them or who they upset (not that they ever did).  Its a nice position to be in.  'Beware of The Clown' is the second single taken from the new 'Darkadelic' album and is targeted firmly at Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, but could apply to any clown politician really (so all of them then!).  It is more political a song than we are used to from The Damned, but then I guess as you get older you tend to get more annoyed with politicians and idiots.  Its a classic Damned track though, and they are clearly having a laugh making the video and even show off a new dandy-ish drummer to boot.  Lets face it, who doesn't love The Damned?


FORTY FEET TALL - Shout (Magnetic Moon)
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by Alan Rider

So many bands produce cover versions that there has to be a genuine purpose to taking someone else's work and releasing it under your own name.  It has to be an original or twisted take on it (think of The Dickies speeded up version of Knights in White Satin), or totally subvert it so it is barely recognisable and takes on a quality all of its own.  Sadly, Forty Feet Tall do none of this, instead opting for a competent, but ultimately pointless Alt Rock version of Tears for Fears 'Shout'.  Guy's, seriously, you can do perfectly good material of your own, so leave the covers at the door.


THE IRONSIDES - Song For Adrian (Colemine)
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by Ancient Champion

I'm listening to The Ironsides' Song For Adrian, a B-Side I think, and I'm wondering why can't more records sound like this? Changing Light on May 19th (Colemine) is their forthcoming first full-length album, melding classic psych-soul sounds with sweeping orchestral arrangements – reminiscent of a cinematic soundtrack from a 60s European film. Is there a record label better at bringing it than Colemine right now? Big Crown maybe. They're right up there together for sure.


TAPE RUNS OUT - 90°C (Trapped Animal Records)
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by Alan Rider

Cambridge's Tape Runs Out are one of the most intriguing and beguiling bands I've come across in a while. With atmospherics you could cut with a knife, they stand out from the crowd by a few miles.  The third single taken from their upcoming album 'Floodhead' (review next week), 90°C channels the spirit of Radiohead, with cascading guitar, hammered dulcimer, and soaring textures weaving together to form a well executed sonic tapestry. Chart material it may not be, but if you read John Robinson's review of the current Top 40 elsewhere on Outsideleft, you will know why that is indeed a very good thing. 


BLOODY BANANAS - Can't Be For Real (No idea)
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by Alan Rider

The Strokes have a lot to answer for.  Bloody Bananas, a session drummer turned solo act, for one.  AI will eventually do away with humans having to waste their lives producing this sort of lazy drivel and you will just be able to press a button and out it pops, like a bag of crisps from a vending machine.  Until then you have the stale salt n'vinegar taste of Bloody Bananas lingering in your mouth.  Thank god for Listerine.


LIBRARIANS WITH HICKEYS - Can't Wait 'Till Summer (Big Stir Records)
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by Alan Rider

There is just something about some acts that can't help but be really, really, annoying.  Librarians With Hickeys have that in spades.  Crap name, super annoying video that makes me want to jump into the screen and work them over with a baseball bat, insipid and derivitive drivel of a song with a nausea inducing title, what's not to like?  Everything!  One heart awarded just for getting me going, but it doesn't mean I love anything about them.


EPs

NUHA RUBY RA - Machine Like Me (Brace Yourself Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Starts with phazey distanced echoed vocals, almost a dub effect, mysterious, disturbing, music, discordant,  unsettling, a repeated simple riff driving the piece. Listen and it has swing and rhythm, but not a dance track. A delight of sound and  vocal manipulation. The bass line, a base line, hypnotic low key pattern, simultaneously reassuring and disturbing. Two plays to review and it's drawing me to world that's dark, where fears and secrets long forgotten, lie buried, but need to confronted and conquered. It's gained a heart after the two plays... Getting better all the time.


NUHA RUBY RA - Machine Like Me (Brace Yourself Records)
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by Alan Rider

Hot on the heels of her confrontational single '6 In The Morning' (given a five star review previously on Outsideleft), this 5 track EP amply illustrates why Nuha Ruby Ra is one to keep a close eye on.   As Toon Traveller says in his accompanying review, she draws you into a "world that is dark", yet is also full of purpose and unafraid.  With genuinely threatening bass lines reminiscent of Tracey Pew era Birthday Party, mixed with elements of Lydia Lunch, Skunk Anasie, and even Delta 5 in places, its a heady brew that could very well warp young minds.  Standout tracks are the sinuous and screaming 'Rise' (no relation to the Public Image Limited track) and, of course, '6 In The Morning'.  I would strongly advise not turning your back on Nuha Ruby Ra for even a moment, as 'Machine Like Me' shows she is coming to get you.


LPs

RICHARD NORRIS - Deep Listening 2019-2022 (Own label)
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by Toon Traveller

Hmmm, this is one of those mindful track moments. I can see folks doing their Tai Chi to this, Lakeside, as the mist drifts and swans move across an orange streaked water in a spring dawn. Calm to the point of making Ambient Chill out seem like a '90's Ibiza party banger' this is just, just just.just.  Hmm  One of my friends loves Sloths, this could be dance music for those creatures. There's a inner calm in this music, that works as both background music, AND deep dive,and relax in the comforting cuddle of the music's candy floss touch, and embrace. Rather lovely. 


SECRET MACHINES - The Moth, The Lizard, and the Secret Machines (All the usual streaming services)
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by Alan Rider

Its taken a long time for Secret Machines to get round to releasing this. Put on hold in 2010 (thats THIRTEEN years ago!), its now been dusted off and released as a download only album, with no single or video.  That would normally mark it out as a low key release, yet there is a ton of pretentious existential drivel in their promo blurb about it.  You'd think they had discovered the Holy Grail in their local charity shop.  Musically, its an earlier incarnation of their current sound.  Quiet intro, then into slightly annoying multi tracked semi Beatle-esque vocals over layered guitars.  So many layers.  Way too many layers.  I can't breathe for all the layers!  Best get out before you suffocate.


ELITA - Dystania (Opposition)
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by Alan Rider

Elita can't make up her/their mind.  Is Elita a solo act or a band?  There appear to be three of them in one of the accompanying videos to 'Dystania', but looking at the cover you'd think this was all about her breasts as they loom large on the sleeve.  Are they/she a Goth, Pop, Shoegaze, electronic, or Indie act?  The eleven songs featured here try to cover all that ground one by one.  Dystania creates the distinct impression it is trying to land a hit somewhere, anywhere, as long as its successful.  Elita herself is a bit drippy to be honest, gazing glumly from the screen whilst crooning away in a reasonable impersonation of Lush.  Its not that any of the songs are that bad, or that they are not well produced and performed (its a three heart effort), but they are just, well, nothing special.  Relying on the chest measurements of their female singer to grab attention on the sleeve of their debut album and song titles like 'Orgasm' and 'She Bangs Like a Fairy On Acid' also smack of desperation and exploitation.  Its not a good look.


RESURRECTIONISTS - Now That We Are All Ghosts (Seismic Wave Entertainment)
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by Alan Rider

Now That We Are All Ghosts, the second album from Milwaukee’s Resurrectionists, is what they describe as "Doom Chamber-Americana". Its a fair description.  I always struggle to generate original hyperbole for every review so I'm happy to take that one for free.   Like a Country tinged Pixies crossed with Television, its a schizophrenic sound with steel guitar and western twang vocals battling to keep up with a lolloping drum beat on some tracks, dropping to stripped down crooning over wistful strings on others.   I get the distinct feeling that Resurrectionists simply can't make up their minds.  Come to that, neither can I.

Now That We Are All Ghosts is released April 3rd.


Essential Info
Main Image Lloyd/Bean, Robert Lloyd and Janet Bean (borrowed from Bandcamp)

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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