Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Various Artists
'War Tunes, Volume 1'

First, some good news. Not only is ‘War Tunes’ completely free, it picks up where Sink & Stove records’ own ‘Hospital Radio Request List’ left off in 2000 by highlighting some of the best music to be found coming out of Bristol right now. Even better, there’s not a single piece of sodding trip-hop on it. The bad news is that there’s not many copies left, and it’s only available at Choke promoted gigs in Bristol, which could be a bit of a fucker for some of you.

While you’re already feeling the disappointment wash over you we should dispense with the experimental lounge-core wank-silage of Madnomad. We could also pretend that the Hustler had seen fit to contribute one of their rather fine Mudhoney gone stoner thrashings and not ‘Turtle’, which does little more than drag a couple of pleasant guitar codas through a very predictable quiet-loud mangle in a we want to be Slint kind of way.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s concentrate on all that is great about ‘War Tunes’. Chikinki continue to refine their synth-driven electronica on new track ‘Drink’ while we try to invent a new word to describe their sound. We’d call it eclectonica, but that would be ridiculous, so you’re just going to have to trust us on this one. Bronnt Industries Kapital throw some Aphex shaped nastiness into their textured DJ Shadow flavoured grove and Psycho-Naïve even moved over from France to share his Parisian Metro inspired ambient beats.

Back with the guitars, Ivory Springer bring some taut hardcore noise, while their spiritual brothers, the Signal, come on all menacing as their post-rock goes all ultra fucking heavy on ‘Matching Claws & Beak’. Former Assembly Communications singer Nick Talbot turns up with his new band Gravenhurst (pictured above) and makes like Nick Drake fronting the Red House Painters. Elsewhere, the Raconteurs do their sleazy swamp-rock thing, John Parish crops up alongside the post-folk of Morning Star, and Soeza prove once more why they’re Bristol’s favourite sons and daughter on the luscious and restrained jazz-punk of ‘Now & Again’, lifted from their still awesome sounding ‘Founded by Sportsmen & Outlaws’ album.

As some old soul duffer very nearly asked, ‘War Tunes’, what are they good for? Nearly fucking everything, that’s what. Now be good little girls and boys, get your arse down to a Choke gig and find yourself a copy.