GIITTV: PODCAST: Night Vision – Episode One

Night Vision
is a new monthly podcast from Bill Cummings editor and Radio Glamorgan presenter Featuring new music and classic tracks, email

Episode One

1 Cracking Up by The Jesus and Mary Chain
2 Paresthesia by Wild Ones
3 Cherry Pie by Yassassin
4 Everybody Loves The Sunshine by Roy Ayers
5 Le Mans by Matthew Pastkewicz
6 Wash by Niterooms
7 Lucid by Kelly Lee Owens
8 Lazerbeam (Danger Mouse Remix)by Super Furry Animals
9 Spaceful by Manu Delago
10 It Makes Me Wonder by El Goodo
11 Ghost Rider by Suicide
12 Pink Fluffy Clouds by The Orb
13 Sugar Hiccup by Cocteau Twins

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GIITTV: Grave Pleasures – Motherblood (Century Media Records)

Those of you who have been sobbing into their mostly empty pint glasses since the demise of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, get ready to slap yourselves in the face, stand up straight and admit that your glass is actually a quarter full, for Grave Pleasures have your musical needs covered. Well, almost.

I guess you could say the sound here is something akin to the former Brighton band mixed with some seriously intense eighties goth. The only probelms arise when you hear incessant references to the likes of “Charlie Manson“, “teenage sacrifice” and their ilk, all of which strives to make the whole thing sound just a little too contrived. Occasionally it even manages to sound like early U2, in the days before they disappeared in a cloud of pomposity and built gold plated statues of themselves outside to worship on a daily basis.

While the rhythm section is at the centre of an exhilarating tribal pulse, and the guitars sear like a more agressive version of Will Sergeant’s work with the Bunnymen or perhaps Killing Joke‘s Geordie Walker, the lyrics are often problematic, borrowing every cliche in the book and wallowing in self pity to such an extent that you just want to grab them by the scruff of their necks and shake them, yelling “Oh grow up!” at them. That said, if you DID do that, they do at least sound as though they have enough of an attitude – a mischievous swagger at the very least – to laugh in your face and spit venom in utter contempt.

Not that some of this isn’t quite magnificent – ‘Mind Intruder‘ and ‘Falling For An Atom Bomb‘ in particular are thrillingly decadent, so much so that it somehow manages to camouflage a little of the ridiculous bombast, though I’m not convinced that the latter trait isn’t entirely deliberate anyway – a respectful, yet tongue in cheek nod to those who choose to live their lives in a phantasmagorical state through their immersion in goth culture. Hence we have tracks like the rather dubiously titled single ‘Be My Hiroshima‘ with its full on stadium rock singalong chorus and quite frankly ridiculous lyrics such as “I whisper prayers of death to you / Your hair is the colour of darkness / Our cries spill around the devil’s cup / As we drink to annihilation

Temptation here was to fling this record straight at our live editor, Dean Mason, for I remember the long black capes, Wayne Hussey hats and jet black hair of his youth, and I figured he was more grounded in this oft derided but sometimes unfairly overlooked genre, but I’m glad I gave it a spin in the end. Not for nothing have these guys been described as “bat-shit lunatics” in the past, and while it’s true that they’re hardly re-inventing the wheel, they are at least pumping it with TNT as an experiment in cause and effect. This can only end in tears, surely? Which, I guess, is what being a goth is all about anyway. Win win.

Motherblood is released on 29th September through Century Media Records.

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GIITTV: Gordon Raphael – Sleep On The Radio (Zero Hours Records)

Irrefutably best known up to this point for his work with New York trailblazers The Strokes, this is perhaps surprisingly producer Gordon Raphael‘s first foray into the world of the ‘solo singer-songwriter’, and it’s a baffling, sprawling mess. The thing is though, I don’t mean that as a damning critique; rather that it is somehow endearing. It’s just that it’s all over the place. Take, for example, ‘I Said‘, which is like David Bowie circa Tin Machine, a period of his career which was largely panned but actually holds up quite well today (honest!), or ‘Savage‘, which harks back to Tubeway Army‘s number one smash ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?‘ and feels like Raphael is giving you a playful wink as though its title is in itself a nod to Gary Numan‘s own present hit long player.

One thing you won’t be taking away from your first immersion into ‘Sleep On The Radio‘ is a deep rooted to desire to sing these songs out loud on your way home from kindergarten – there is no irritating nursery rhyme infectiousness about them, for they possess more of a slow burn that becomes so incessant that it feels like gradually conducting, unmyelinated C fibers. And no, I have no idea what that means either, but it came up when I Googled something to better describe something with a “slow burn”. Often they have that kind of prog-meets-punk thing going on – maybe best evidenced on ‘A Balanced Excess‘ – that Punishment Of Luxury (the band, that is, not the latest OMD album) attempted with varying degrees of success in the late seventies, except with an added element of rootsy rock and roll incorporated too.

I suppose you could argue that ‘Seven Stars‘ bucks the trend somewhat, for it does include several more immediately memorable passages than the rest of Raphael’s debut record, but it kind of sounds like it might have slotted onto ‘The Second Coming‘ or, to some degree, something by The Seahorses. After all, while the Mick Ronson style riffery is self evident, there’s definitely a John Squire vibe going off in several places here.

But then, just when you’ve eased into aoto-pilot mode, Raphael hurls a huge meteorite in front of you and we are forced, rather dramatically, to change direction, courtesy of ‘Ring Of Gold‘, which begins as though The Chemical Brothers have leapt into the control box but then becomes something more in keeping with eighties underground indie luminaries Kitchens Of Distinction. We’re back into Bowie territory after that, with ‘SWDWSWT‘, (effectively “she won’t do what she wants to”) and then it becomes apparent that this whole thing has more than likely been based around the great man’s so-called ‘Berlin‘ trilogy circa 1976-78. And hey, if you’re going to use another artist’s work as your template, then really, why look anywhere else?

Disjointed, at times a tad confusing, but somehow appealing enough to whet your appetite for a second album, should it be forthcoming.

Sleep On The Radio is released on 27th October through Zero Hours Records.

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The VPME Track Of The Day – Miss World – Lip Job

Miss World – Lip Job.

We thought out previous feature ‘Bubblebutt’ by Pink Kink looked like winning our shortest “track of the day” post ever checking in at 1 minute and 49 seconds.

We were wrong as Miss World returns with her follow-up to ‘Put Me In A Movie’ in the form of ‘Lip Job’ which shaves an impressive 11 seconds off the record clocking in at just 1 minute and thirty-eight seconds. Miss World is the project of London/Toronto based artist Natalie Chahal (also half of fellow PNKSLM signees Shit Girlfriend alongside Laura-Mary Carter) and ‘Lip Job’ from her forthcoming Waist Management EP once again shows her ability to craft dark rumbling melodic lo-fi pop. Thematically she concentrates on our obsession with the cosmetic in terms of looks and fame.

It’s another fabulous track, albeit slower paced than her previous release and again shows not only an ear for melody but the ability to capture an atmosphere perfectly. Despite its length, ‘Lip Job’ conveys the melancholy of fading glamour, the emptiness of its pursuit and the shallowness of fame for its own sake, which is, of course, emptier than Norma Desmond’s decaying mansion on Sunset Boulevard! On this showing, Miss World is definitely “ready for her close-up”

Debut EP Waist Management out October 13 via PNKSLM Recordings
Limited edition cassette released as part of Cassette Store Day

Listen to “Lip Job” via Spotify // Apple Music // Deezer // Tidal // YouTube
Pre-order the Waist Management EP via Bandcamp

Miss World
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PNKSLM Recordings
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram | YouTube | Bandcamp | Store | Spotify

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from The VPME

GIITTV: Track Of The Day #1086: Gulp – Morning Velvet Sky

Gulp, made up of duo Guto Pryce (Super Furry Animals) & Lindsey Leven are back with their new single ‘Morning Velvet Sky’. Mixed by Luke Abbott, the track is taken from their new album, which is coming out in early 2018. A celestial synth-pop gem built upon layers of blinking synth patterns, undulating drum loops and Leven’s evocative vocals it possesses hints of the work of Human League, early Goldfrapp and even Ray of Light-era Madonna. Its the soundtrack a disco that lasts until we catch sight of the morning’s rising sun, its a really cool shift for this ever-evolving group. In the words of the band “Morning Velvet Sky is a song about dawn, with arpeggiating machines. The intent of Morning Velvet Sky is to wrap the listener in a blanket of the fuzzy feeling created by waking up on a warm dewy morning and having an appreciation for the beauty in nature when things may not be perfect.”

After touring across the UK this summer with festival shows at FOCUS Wales, Sea Change, Festival No. 6, End Of The Road, Kendal Calling, Liverpool Sound City and more, ‘Morning Velvet Sky’ is the latest instalment of Gulp’s luscious psych-pop sounds and a hint of what to expect from their next full-length next year. The single is available now digitally and on 1st December on 12” Vinyl via E.L.K. records.

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GIITTV: Belle Game – Fear Nothing (Arts & Crafts)

Hoards of Canadians. If you look on Wikipedia, there is a startlingly large number of bands from the moose-infested regions sandwiched between the Great Lakes and the Arctic. A remarkably high percentage of which you will never have heard of. Are Belle Game likely to change that unfamiliarity? Short answer – doubtful.

Fear Nothing is a fine enough record. Some ethereal vocals from Andrea Lo come over a bit like a more powerful and less random version of Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins fame. Yet more ethereality in the swirling synths and guitars that drift in and out of focus. In fact, the whole is very much like looking up at a cold mountain as the mist grasps then lets go of the pine trees. It’s chilly stuff, poetic and glacial. Canadian, then.

The problem, if it is as such, is that it’s pretty much been done before. If this was 30 years ago, Belle Game would be headlining a tour of 4AD artists. Nowt completely wrong with that – great label, great roster. It’s not 1987 though.

Perhaps that is unnecessarily harsh. A track like ‘Bring Me‘ does offer a deal of hope. Whilst the anguished wails and reverb are present and correct, an intriguing pitter patter of modern percussion creeps in and teases. It’s great, in fact. The half-speed, dub rhythm that creeps in adds an even more left field and pleasing element. More of this, please, much much more.

There’s not enough of that kind of thing, however. It’s easy to see Belle Game being someone’s favourite. It is periodically powerful, it is sincere, it is emotive and it is very very artful in a simple way. Perhaps they are better than your reviewer gives them credit for? It’s just hard to escape the feeling that they are capable of creating a more pleasing record than this. Something that can be said about most records to be fair.

Fear Nothing would have made a great NME record in the distant past when such nonsense ever meant anything. Like that paper, the pretence of outsider-status can’t disguise the fact that it’s essentially just ‘fine’ and, within its own fishbowl, really quite conservative.


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