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Outsideleft Week in Music: Welcome Back Peter One We're hearing from... Peter One, Soft Cell, Beach Fossils, Alabaster DePlume, Mark Dresser, Doll Riot, Albert Hammond Jr, Sylvie Courvoisier and Cory Smythe, TEKE::TEKE, Tony Valentino, Magic in Threes, Geese, Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin, Bee Bee Sea, Mandy Indiana, Esben & The Witch, The Titillators, Sandwell District, Babe Rainbow,  & Belle Scar

Outsideleft Week in Music: Welcome Back Peter One

We're hearing from... Peter One, Soft Cell, Beach Fossils, Alabaster DePlume, Mark Dresser, Doll Riot, Albert Hammond Jr, Sylvie Courvoisier and Cory Smythe, TEKE::TEKE, Tony Valentino, Magic in Threes, Geese, Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin, Bee Bee Sea, Mandy Indiana, Esben & The Witch, The Titillators, Sandwell District, Babe Rainbow, & Belle Scar

by OL House Writer,
first published: May, 2023
A 30 year hiatus and now Peter One is back and singing, better than a bird...

SINGLES

GEESE - Mysterious Love (Partisan Records/Play It Again Sam)
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by Alan Rider

Geese have got it right on this one.  You may know how insulting I have been about the crap band shots usually included in the Press Packs we get sent with each release.  Geese have a shot of them all falling down stairs in a total parody of the usual pretentious or awkwardly posed standard photo session.  'Mysterious Love' certainly kicks it into touch too in a big way, with hardcore elements doing battle with dreamy mantras and grunge.  Its a close run thing which one comes out on top. In a sentence, its a wake up single for the morning after.


BEE BEE SEA - Time and Time (Wild Honey Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Power pop guitar intro, standard steady drums, a sense of post punk, power pop. A lot of good non total noise, post punk, early 80's UK. The Motors, Buzzcocks, The Ruts, amongst others. Songs played with power, slimmed down, pure, simple, raw, and real. The UKs new wave, washed into guitar sounds that sold albums by the shed load, but barely touched UK singles charts in 80's. Bee Bee See are on a path of revivalism of those days, and there's nothing wrong here. It's the vocals just far enough back in the mix, and the slight sneer, just enough to get your nodding, your understanding. It's all there, a piece well made, played and sung, and a great anthemic ending that'll go down a storm in a sweaty 500 standing club with fans dancing and moving to the whole feel of the music. Nothing new, no reinventing the wheel, but what the hell, it's rock, pop, and roll, and it's bloody fun.


MAGIC IN THREES - Push The Rock ft. Amber Woodhouse (G.E.D. Records)
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by Ancient Champion

One for clubs that are full of fun. infused with the joy you might have felt when first heard Grandmaster Flash, or the Breeders or anything where the bass was just so compelling it owned you. And. I can play this one on guitar.


BABE RAINBOW - Super Ego (All streaming platforms)
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by Alan Rider

The dreadfully named 'Babe Rainbow' (C'mon, what on God's earth is a Babe Rainbow?) describe themselves as "Australia’s favorite Psych-Pop Rockers".  Anyone who describes themselves as any countries 'favourite' anything, is obviously going to be a steaming pile of excrement (think of 'The World's Favourite Airline' for example) and Babe Rainbow don't disappoint.  In the admittedly niche field of Australian Psyche-Pop rockers, I very much doubt these are a household name even in their own household.  Now if you'd said 'Australia's favourite limp, spineless, dull and boring band', I'd have said it was a shoo in. You'd definitely need a 'Super Ego' to rate this as being anyone's favourite.


MANDY, INDIANA - Drag (Crashed) (Firetalk Records)
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by Tim London

Angry electro, the best kind. At a stretch, sonically you can trace the connection from here back to those bits in 1987’s Pump Up The Volume by M-A-R-R-S when A.R. Kane’s feedback guitars added something primal to the scifi cutups. It’s a thin stretch and the subject matter couldn’t be further away, though, with the Mandy’s singer excoriating (in French) dumb ass men who perpetuate misogyny (that’s most of us, then) with righteous seething that, somehow, doesn’t interfere with the possibility that you might do the wavy handed Goth-mosh to this on a very small dancefloor, somewhere dark.


DOLL RIOT - Those Days (Streaming Platforms)
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by Alan Rider

 Doll Riot are a cynically named all girl four piece punk band with a distinctly Riot Grrl influenced sound (hence combining the words Doll and Riot).  They are keen to point out that they happen to feature the niece of Agent Orange guitarist Mike Palm, which cuts no ice with me as that fact is only relevant because it means she probably pestered him for a support slot and keeps mentioning it to strangers when she gets drunk at parties.  What's this single sound like?  Think Bikini Kill, L7 and so on.  Basically, this is exactly what you'd imagine a band called Doll Riot would sound like and feels strangely dated.


ALABASTER DEPLUME - Salty Road Dogs Victory Anthem (International Anthem)
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by Ancient Champion

We have a winner. Alabaster DePlume's Salty Road Dogs Victory Anthem is lumpen, dexterous and svelte. All the while belying a wack job in the noblest possible of kind, those Synthesisers that lie beneath, imposing no threat with their guile. It's all together lovely and the melody? The saxophone melody line. Of course unforgettable.


JOE ARMON-JONES & MAXWELL OWIN - Grief ft. Lex Amor (Aquarii)
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by Toon Traveller

Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin's second single, Grief, is an unsettling, almost disturbing listen. Opens trippy, disconsolate, tired of life, rapped vocals, a stream of consciousness. There's a undercurrent of fear, regret, lurking in dark spaces around you, on the street, downstairs in your home, in the lover next to you, buried deep in your own heart. Grief is a most disturbing listen. Max Porter discombobulation set to music. Jordan Peele in a desert DJ booth. Spookiness is emphasised by ghostwritten keys, slightly off the beat percussion, and back in the mix, random electric piano. Light years away from standard pop timings, major, minor key compositional rules. A sax drifts, in then out, a door to the street opening, sounds, light, reality, fleetingly in, and in a whisper gone. Gloomcore shade and darkness return. There's a hauntology. The full length, Archetype is will be available on June 9th. 


PETER ONE - Cherie Vico (Verve)
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by LamontPaul

Peter One's Cherie Vico is from the LP Come Back To Me, the legendary Ivorian's first record in 30 years, and it is an almightily great beautiful one. Maybe this is a surreptitious title track of sorts as Comeback to me is the refrain here. Supremely delightfully melodic - a perfectly understated restorative here in the garden in the shade of my line washing. Peter sings like a Bird-Angel. Nothing quite so lovely, or so perfect in this moment. I'll be playing this all summer.


BELLE SCAR - I've been here before (Plastic Sound Records)
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by Alan Rider

Described by the New York Times as “a creature from another dimension", London based Canadian Belle Scar is certainly something else.   She aims for James Barry style cinematic and orchestral, topped by sultry and soaring vocals, which she achieves on this track with ease.  Its all a bit too overblown for me though and sounds strangely dated, like a James Bond theme tune from yesteryear.  Accompanied by a pricey looking video about her being chased around a night time London by her male shadow or something, it is sure to do well though as she has previously managed to sell out Sadlers Wells, accompanied by a 14 piece orchestra.  She could look a bit happier about it though.


TEKE::TEKE - Doppelganger (Kill Rock Stars)
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by Alan Rider

Bizarrely named Montreal based Japanese psych rock group TEKE::TEKE's Doppelganger' is like taking a nostalgic trip back to the 70's. "We are all dopplegangers that don't look like each other" they sing in Japanese in a ,frankly, utterly charming way. The video, directed by the band themselves (as is the trend these days) and with helpful subtitles, contains childhood footage of members looking way too cute to be in a band. Lets face it, to Western ears the sing song nature of the Japanese language means that almost any song sung in Japanese sounds exotic to us and this is no exception, yet there are some amazing, bizarre and ground breaking bands coming out of Japan fusing East and West with very unexpected results. 


THE TITILLATORS - That's The Night (Noodle Factory Records)
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by Alan Rider

I fear the most titillating thing about The Titillators may well be their name. 'That's The Night' is effectively 6 minutes of jazz tinged lift music that feels more like 12 minutes.  The only real point of interest here is that they send out physical review copies on cassette.  You see, I told you cassettes were making a comeback.  Of course, the great thing about cassettes too is that you can tape over them.


SANDWELL DISTRICT - Surrender To The Unknown (The Point Of Departure Recording Company)
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by Alan Rider

Sandwell District were a Techno collective who revelled in anonymity and being faceless, opaque, and impenetrable at a time before all Techno acts adopted that stance. Their influential 2010 album 'Feed Forward' blended post-punk, industrial and the early ‘80s avant-garde against a techno backdrop and is now up for re-issue, with a few unreleased tracks such as 'Surrender to The Unknown' added for good measure.  An expansive beat and string driven instrumental, it has more the feel of an idea for a track rather than the completed thing.  Re-mastered, 'Feed Forward' may well be worth another spin though and its influence has echoed down the past few years in much dance music so it deserves that chance at least.


ALBERT HAMMOND JR - Old Man (Red Bull Records)
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by Tim London

You know that huge glut of music being released every week? You know why it exists? Because someone with a little bit of profile associated with being in a fairly well known band has released a Dave Edmunds B side pastiche (yes, there is such a thing, I, also, am amazed to find out) that sounds like it was knocked out in between checking the books at his restaurant (I’m presuming he owns one) with a couple of mates who also used to be in bands. That’s why. Bust the glut! No more averagenessicity.


BEACH FOSSILS - Seconds (Bayonet)
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by Alan Rider

Previously I have compared Beach Fossils to New Order, in that they sounded derivative (and lost Brownie points for being so).  This one sounds nothing like New Order, so that's something in their favour. Its a bit bland though tbh, and quite inoffensive identikit alt rock - nothing to write home about.  Not that you'd know that from the accompanying video, complied of mobile phone footage of the band larking around on tour and coming over all rock star with screaming fans, sold out venues, and everything.  I am hugely jealous of course that such a nonentity of a band can command such a following.  Its one of life's great mysteries to be sure.


LPs

SOFT CELL - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret...And Other Stories Live - Live Album and film (LiveHereNow)
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by Alan Rider

Alan Rider's 'Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret...And Other Stories Live' review is here⇒


ESBEN & THE WITCH - Hold Sacred (Nostromo Records)
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by Alan Rider

Esben & The Witch always had a visceral brutality and beauty to their sound, from their first excoriating single and video ‘Marching Song’ taken from their debut album Violet Cries, way back in 2010, through the Steve Albini produced animalistic attack of the excellent ‘No Dog’,  to 2018’s suffocatingly gothic ‘Nowhere’ album.  Previously bassist and singer Rachel Davies has stated “I was getting a little disenchanted with boring wet music.  I wanted something with some kind of punch to it”. Fusing Swans with Radiohead, then twisting it out of shape, you can feel Esben & The Witches pain ripping out of every note and word.

It's been a long gap since ‘Nowhere’ though and a lot has happened to the world since.  That’s reflected in the stark and stripped down sound on Hold Sacred, which has been brewing slowly since 2019.  There is far more space to the songs than before, used to create tension you could cut with a knife.  The rough edges may have been shorn off, but the pain is still as real and as beautiful.  Rachel's vocals are to the fore, but now feel more like a whispered confessional rather than a screaming awakening from a nightmare.  From the opening single The Well, through to the jazz tinged closing serenade ‘Petals of Ash’, via the pulsating bass heartbeat of the second single ‘True Mirror’, this could be a different band. There is the ever present risk in toning things down like this is that it might end up the very boring wet music they so despised. Fortunately for us, the punch is still there, but wrapped in a velvet glove that hides razor blades.


MARK DRESSER - Tines of Change (Pyroclastic records)
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by Ancient Champion

Mark Dresser's sixth LP, Tines of Change is available now from Pyroclastic Records, one of the handful of exciting music recording labels on the planet right now. For the rest, you know, it is only business. Dresser is like the Lou Reed of the bass. Invested and experimenting with adjunct forms of an instrument to make the familiar at once more unfamiliar and beautiful. Simply one of the most exciting applications to and from music I've heard in a while.


VARIOUS ARTISTS - Cease & Resist - Sonic Subversion & Anarcho Punk In The UK 1979-86 (Optimo Music)
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by Alan Rider

Cease and Resist is released May 12. Read Alan Rider's full review here⇒.
Read an interview with Chris Low, here⇒.
Order Cease and Resist through Bandcamp here⇒.


TONY VALENTINO - Dirty Water Revisited (Big Stir)
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by Tim London

LOVERS, MUGGERS AND THIEVES... OH, VERY COOL PEOPLE - Tim London marvels in so many ways at Tony Valentino of the Standells' new solo LP, right here⇒


SYLVIE COURVOISIER AND CORY SMYTHE - The Rite of Spring / Spectre d’un songe (Pyroclastic records)
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by Ancient Champion

Remember when Stravinsky caused a riot? Full review of Sylvie Courvoisier and Cory Smythe's The Rite of Spring here⇒


Essential Information
Main image Peter One screengrab. Anyone have an actual photo?

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