CIVIL CIVIC cost LESS than a burrito, UNLESS you are buying crappy burritos.


♫ Civil Civic – Less Unless

Are you listening to this? Seriously, are you? Cause you should be. Civil Civic are a London/Barcelona duo who have whipped up this fantastic little number that will either make your ass shake or your speakers break, but probably both. Distortion has never sounded this good. The band nails it on the head:

We don’t have a music video for this song so it’s best to imagine one. Personally we recommend imagining a beach party being hit by a tsunami

Their debut EP is out soon on 100 limited edition cassettes (those beauties on the right) or digitally and the whole thing is like surf music on too many Red Bulls at the end of the world. Order both formats here, where you can also stream the EP to find out it is definitely worth the 1£ (USD $1.56) minimum download price. The best bit of pocket change I’ve spent all year.

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HOT CHIP’s latest could easily fill an ALLEY full of funky hepCATS

you painted a song, you painted a song

♫ Hot Chip – Alley Cats

After much hype, anticipation, and dancing to it’s two leaked tracks, Hot Chip’s 4th studio album is finally out. One could write pages on Hot Chip, their music, and it’s critical/popular reception, but to boil it down, One Life Stand is their most solid album yet. Coming On Strong introduced them with an “electro-soul” sound that seemed like a gimmick and was a bit too mellow for me. The Warning saw them up the ante with the instant dance classic “Over And Over” tucked into an otherwise pleasantly flat collection. Made In The Dark broke them to popular audience with a handful of great and quirky dance anthems but the album never felt cohesive. With One Life Stand they have toned back the dance tunes and honed in on the ballads to reach a balance that holds itself together perfectly. Hot Chip are clearly more confident then ever as they seem to be grasping at less straws and taking each musical decision to it’s logical extent. Their shortest track list yet sees all 10 tracks run over 4 minutes and none should be skipped. One Life Stand’s centerpiece is a 3 track block of tenderness that offers a well timed respite from the rollicking good times that bookend the album. “Alley Cats” closes out those 3 tracks and it’s dual vocals, delicate beat, and sparse instrumentation are a perfect example of Hot Chip at their finest. Many can do dance but few can also do this.

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LOCAL NATIVES convert energy from the SUN into great music to deliver into our HANDS

take into account that it’s all about to change

♫ Local Natives – Sun Hands

These dudes from L.A. just won’t stop impressing me. Looking back on it now I am kicking myself for turning down an invitation to see them play back in August. Somehow I just didn’t “get” the early tracks “Airplanes” and “World News” (of which the former has turned into one of my favorites). Eventually I heard “Camera Talk.” Then I heard “Sun Hands.” Then I started seeing all their fantastic artwork (Their MySpace is a good start). And then the other day I finally got their album, Gorilla Manor. It’s as if they knowingly named the opening track “Wide Eyes” as a prediction of my reaction. Gorilla Manor is full of those pleasant surprises but none so striking as in the middle of “Sun Hands” when everything goes off the rails in the best way possible. Local natives are growing on me exponentially with each listen but it’s that unexpected eclecticism that I worry will keep away listeners who prefer to neatly label their music. A lot of people (myself included) often need an album to have that one standout track to hook you in and to mutually appreciate when it comes on in a bar/club. The frustrating beauty of Gorilla Manor is that every track on the album can be that track and sometimes they even sound like they were made by different bands. How can Local Natives nail it so hard in so many different ways? My recent favorite is the lush “Who Knows Who Cares,” what is yours? I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a big range of answers.

♫ Local Natives – Who Knows Who Cares

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