Alessio Natalizia makes haunting pop music under the name Banjo or Freakout. This 7″ has recently been released on Half Machine Records.
The ‘A’ side of the 7″ is entitled ‘Left It Alone’ which is a mid-to-slow tempo melding of beautiful guitars and electronic invention. The phrase beguiling dream pop springs instantly to mind. I wouldn’t know whether Alessio has previously heard fellow East London late 80′s innovators A.R. Kane – but if he hasn’t there must be something in the Hackney water supply – as this is strikingly similar in feel and sound – where gentle guitars, shuffling beats and a just a little sonic dissonance is the order of the day.
The ‘B’ side ‘Breathe Out’ is equally enthralling – with guitars and electronics combining to create an atmospheric piece that ebbs and flows whilst slowly building. Again, this is delicate and dreamy stuff. Banjo of Freakout are proving to be masters of swirling, inventive pop music.
Links: Banjo or Freakout | Half Machine Records
Jumbling Towers have just released a rather fine 7″ single on Half Machine Records. The band hail from St. Louis, MO in the USA. ‘Kanetown City Rips’ is a lopsided pop song that manages to be both challenging and accessible all at once – a beefy drum sound pounds and strange noises gurgle and whiz just under the surface of a awkward, yet catchy tune. Despite the slightly unconventional song structure that sees the song weave a complicated path this single is as addictive as it is odd.
On the flip side we have ‘Gilberta’ another rather inventive pop song – with heavy bass and catchy pop tones. Jumbling Towers have released a late contender for one of the best singles of 2009. After a year where I’ve been more and more drawn to that old garage rock sound it’s re-assuring to learn that pop music is alive and well and Jumbling Towers are living proof of this.
Links: Jumbling Towers | My Space | Half Machine Records
The latest 7″ to land on my turntable is the latest from Woods. It’s not on Woodist who I happen to think the band are intrinsically linked to. This time the record comes via a new London imprint to me – Half Machine Records. Woods as a band have been a curiosity of mine, since finding the band linked to Woodist who I have become familiar with via Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls, Wavves and The Oh Sees. You’d have to agree that’s a fairly good pedigree and one worth following up on.
So, is there much to Woods? ‘To Clean’ is a lazy slab of slacker indie rock with ample guitar burst. All in all it sounds vaguely interesting without fully engaging me after a few listens. Maybe it’s a grower. The B side ‘Rain On’ is what appears to be a live radio recording, acoustic. On this track Woods come across like a low rent Neil Young. Not bad, but hardly essential.
Links: Woods | Half Machine Records