Spotlight Dec 2001


Mondo – This Is This (Mudhut)
N:         We must apologise. These guys are not exactly “unsigned”, in fact, finding a deal with small independent label Mudhut. Independent, or alternative, however you want to describe them, this group are that in the old sense of the word. Like Creation’s Swervedriver or any other pre-shoegazing acts you might care to mention. This band rock. The stereotypical four piece of Jason, Nicki, Lloyd and Nic cite influences as far ranging as Galaxy 500, Sonic Youth, Public Enemy and Elvis! But Swervedriver, to my mind, keeps returning.
T:         Ok then….I can see the Sonic Youth and perhaps Galaxy 500 influences, but Public Enemy?? And Elvis???  Can’t really see it. Still, like you say, it is very much an early 90’s retro type of thing. So soon after the event?  Whatever, the band produce some sparkling moments – in particular “Out Of The Down” and will undoubtedly catch the ear of any students that might be passing by.
N:         If this album whets your appetite, 7/10

check them out at

The Incurables – Fade (Crankypants Records)
T:         The band that always comes straight into my mind when I hear this trio is Portishead. There are also shades of The Cranberries in places and hints of Echobelly.
N:         What about early Throwing Muses circa “Counting Backwards”? Some questionable harmonies, but if that’s all I’ve got to put them down far, that’s not bad.
T:         I can see the Kristin Hersch comparison you refer to. This band has some great melodies, and, live, they do an absolutely cracking version of the George Gershwin track “Summertime”. Not to mention the wonderful crowd favourite “Smile”, found at number 5 on here. It is well worth seeing this band live, as you will always find the audience entranced by Louise Wilson’s hypnotic voice.
N:         It surprises me how there are some really great bands out there, and then we look at our charts- crap. Maybe it’s our place to put them right. 8/10 


  Dizzy Valise – Navigator
N:         This issue’s featured unsigned act. Their new recording, “Navigator” had the effect of making my jaw drop the first time I heard it. Well done lad, you’ve written a winner. I only hope those in power think the same thing.
T:         I have to go along with you there. I remember telling Nayim the first time I heard this that it was one of the best things I had heard all year by anyone! I wasn’t bullshitting either. It would be criminal for a band as talented and innovative as these guys not to be hugely successful. Watch this space.
N:         Another intricate, but this time straightforward arrangement (come on, I AM the master of double meanings). Honestly, quite remarkable.
R:         It’s a very uptempo kind of song that WILL hit uptempo kind of people.
T:         I can’t praise the band enough. You need to see them or hear them to really appreciate them. Well, what are you waiting for?  10/10

 Muleskinner Jones – Terrible Stories
T:         One review read “Julie Andrews meets Nick Cave”, and it is impossible to deny it! You could maybe say that Fiddler’s Dram of that truly awful “Day Trip To Bangor” fame perhaps popped by for a glass of cider.
R:         I’m quite surprised that anyone actually had the balls to put this out!
N:         The guy deserves a medal. Sorry James, but this is  Quasimodo and Esmeralda in the studio with the bells still ringing. Cool.
R:         It might be fun at a party but I think it needed to go off twenty minutes ago!
T:         It’s very strange because this is absolutely dreadful but for some inexplicable reason I love it!
N:         I think that goes for all of us.
T:         It’s pretty obvious the guy’s taking the piss and you have to respect that…….erm….he IS taking the piss, right?  7/10 for the music but 10/10 – the guy’s got bollocks. 


Things In Herds – I Can Dancing And Walking (G-folk)
J:          Are you SERIOUS about playing this? It sounds like a load of bollocks. (Finger hits play). Oooh this is nice!
N:         Unlike the others here this month, it DOES sound like somebody else. We all think it does, but just can’t put our finger on who.
J:          It takes me back to the eighties.
T:         He does sound quite a bit like Damon Albarn at some points. Hang on….I just realised, Nick. Your comment about this being the only one that sounds like someone else this month is possibly the most ludicrous statement ever, if you scan through the reviews we’ve already done! If I may throw something else in, Embrace are certainly in there somewhere too.
N:         This is definitely Blur circa “Coffee and TV”. Now can you sum it up?
J:          Quickly.
T:         Yes.  7/10


Theory Of Everything – The Failure Of Arithmetic (Addison)

N: It’s a blueprint of Afghan Wigs, but still with their own identity.
T: Excellent contradiction mate! They’re a very varied band at the start of the album. Gets a bit samey though. Just to contradict myself as well! It’s difficult to pigeonhole this band, - just to do so even more. There are a whole glut that rear their heads at various times whilst listening to this – Muse, Mansun, Radiohead, The La’s, Adorable and Travis to name but a few. I think it’s safe to say it’s very indie anyway!
R: It’s getting more Travisy by the minute!
N: Another reviewer said “Next year’s Starsailor anyone? Piss off!”. I think more Thom Yorke, but to be honest, and I don’t like saying this, nothing new.
T: It has its moments though. 6/10

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