OK, so we got ourselves some sort of credit crunching financial global nightmare, but what the fuck, let the music play. Spare the money-worries and get your attention onto this lovely slice of RECOMMENDER. Welcome back out of the darkness friends…

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Nothing new to the blog world here, but I couldn’t resist grabbing yet another wonderful Aussie band from Sydney. This 4-piece, signed to the massive Modular Records label, are well worth their Recommender posting. In recent years Australia has been throwing out quality acts at us like a Shane Warne spin bowl and Van She are flying directly for your middle stump. Totally blissed out guitar pop with a yearning towards the 80’s-era prog rock and synth catchiness. Think of the Presets holding hands with Ladyhawke and you get the shelf upon which to happily place them. They’ve an ear for a good chorus and the songs skip along like a high point from any Flaming Lips album. On a separate note, two of the band members regrouped to produce remixes under the guise Van She Technologic (or as Van She Tech). The remixes are totally ace and boy have they been busy, so perhaps I’ll reserve a separate post for those in a future Recommender. Van She have released their debut album, V, earlier this year in most parts of the world, having previously only released an EP. Search it out and get involved…

Find them here:    Myspace Last.fm

Hear them here:   VAN SHE – CAT & THE EYE

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

OK, so I don’t get it. Really. What is this electro-punk, jagged-edged, shouty business all about??? We should all know Crystal Castles by now right? The two-some from Canada, (Ethan Kath and Alice Glass) who discovered their sound by accident. (This was achieved by Glass accidentally leaving the mic on when laying down vocals over a bunch of tracks Ethan had recorded for them. With her mic still left on she spent time shouting experimentally over his beats and created the first single by chance. Hence the name of the tune – ‘Alice Practice’. The shouty/beat mixture was picked up and became said ‘sound’ for them). As much as I admit that I struggle with their ‘sound’, I cannot help but see something interesting here. I usually think I’m perhaps getting too old, or that my tastes have finally missed the boat, when I struggle to enjoy what seems a sensation to the rest of the world, but it’s sometimes good to see through the obvious hype and let the dust settle on these sorts of acts, (such as people did with say Klaxons). I saw Crystal Castles live recently and their whole show was done in strobe. And I mean the entire set. My eyes took days to recover. Was this good as well as different? I just can’t decide. She is very sexy and he’s strangely mysterious, so that’s something that entices, but to their credit they also have generated some interesting remixes, so I attach the LA RIOTS remix of Crimewave to give you a taster. Anything the Riots touch turns to dancefloor gold, so perhaps it roses the tint in my glasses, but judge for yourselves. Check the rest of their original tunes on the links provided…

Find them here: Myspace Last.fm

Hear them here:   CRYSTAL CASTLES – CRIMEWAVE (LA Riots Remix)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

This New York area 6-piece are an indie band that’s caught my eye recently (or should that be my ear?). Sold as Vampire Weekend meets the Arcade Fire is somewhat over doing it me thinks, but nonetheless gives a relatively good idea of their sound and influence. Cute, delicate vocals float over strings and a pounding echo. Like Arcade Fire they are nicely upbeat so they avoid getting too boring too quickly and survive any pointless drifting. Having regrouped after the death of their drummer, John Pike, in 2007 they have now put together a well produced debut album, The Rhumb Line, following previously released EPs. They’re backing this up with a new tour supporting Vampire Weekend. Check them out.

Find them here:   Myspace Last.fm

Hear them here:   RA RA RIOT – DYING IS FINE

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

On a separate note, I’d just like to thank the fans of The Recommender. Your input always helps, so keep the messages and comments coming and continue to spread the word etc. This blog has grown exponentially over the last few weeks and months and now generates thousands of visitors each and every month, so it’s nice to know you’re out there and long may it continue. As always let me know any thoughts…

Until the next one then. All the best,


7 Responses to “THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 11”

  1. 1 Rory
    October 7, 2008 at 12:44 am

    You said you appreciate comments, so I’ll be honest. -For the success of the blog.

    I don’t want to be or come off as an ass, but…
    Doesn’t everyone know these bands already?

    It’s just that I’d be more likely to come back if there were more new, exciting things to discover.


  2. October 7, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Fair enough Rory. Thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah this last post was nothing new or exclusive I know. I do try to keep things as simply contemporary, rather than being desperate for listing bands I discovered last week. Blogs that constantly chase the exclusive ‘first’ tend to end up listing a lot of crap that’s a waste of time. I try to be only good quality bands, with good quality writing.

    Saying that though, I think I was one of the first to break acts such as Grinny Grandad, Divinity Kent, Super Jupiter and The Hair, to name a few, so I ain’t doing too badly. It’s all mixed together with other stuff, but it should always be totally ace.

    Recommender 12 looks to be fresher so perhaps that will be to your liking a little more. Let me know…


  3. October 7, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    LA Riots are the best. Tho I have to say crystal castles are hard to like – both themselves and their music. They got a couple of great tunes, but some are just a fuckin racket. And they both seem to have an attitude problem – they’re like emo-electro kids. During the mixmag interview the whole time they jsut scorned and scowled at the interviewer (like they were above all this ya know – not cool).

    great post

  4. October 8, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    @Rory – Why do I like The Recommender? ‘Cos it’s music that’s been filtered through someone’s else’s ears whose opinion I trust. I know some of these bands already, some are brand new to me. If it’s on here it’s probably worth a listen, it’s as simple as that. It’s more about opinion than than wanting to scream “FIRST!”

    And if it’s cutting edge stuff you want you obviously already know there’s loads of blogs sniffing around for that and it’s very few of them that apply any sort of quality filter. Depends what you want I guess. It’s always worth remembering that Mike might not just recommend a band you haven’t heard of but that he’s given it a good listening too aswell. It’s his rep after all and I like that.

    I’m with Pelski on Crystal Castles tho. Christ, what a mess.

  5. October 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Yup gd point Mr B, way too many blogs are now all about being the first to find new music, i too sometimes do it on my blog, its hard not to slip into that bad habit of racing to post an unreleased tune, without giving it a proper once over. The Recommender however does provide us with a proper analysis of the track, so u can decide if u want it. Other blogs just post a track and then write one word like: “bangin”!! Well there’s tonnes of alleged banin’ tunes, but i wanna know what makes it worht downloadin. my itunes is bursting with too much music. I have to be selective and the Recommender helps with this, whether it’s a little old or brand spankin new. There’s alot of shite on the blogs, so im happy to listen to some older music if it’s of outstanding quality

  6. October 9, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks for the support. All of you. Couldn’t agree more…

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