A Fog Of Ideas were kind enough to do a feature on Odd Box Records and they did a little interview with me for the site. You can read the whole shebang here.
For those that don't know, A Fog Of Ideas is a blog (and occassional fanzine) that is lovingly put together by Mr. Andy Hart. He's also a superb artist and has done some flyer and sleeve design for Odd Box in the past (the sampler 'Bless Me Iggy For I Have Sinned').
In the feature Andy did a slew of reviews (for which I am greatful!):
Proto-Idiot 'Is You Is My Is?' CD-EP (ODD010)
Andrew from Sheffield's Hipshakes/Creep Outs' solo 'project' in which he makes pop records like Frankenstein made monsters- whether Andrew likes it or not, this is a pop record, albeit a delinquent, scuzzed up, fucked up, gum chewing, won't sit up straight, can't stand up straight pop record... although I think v'kids call it 'rubbish rock'... it's some grate subterranean high goofery... I have it on good authority you can lose your shit to this... as with any purgative, euphoria may follow
Hot Booth 'The Whole Thing' CS-EP (ODD016)
Dan Fathom Down, the dirty Pocketbook, unleashes his secret (well, not that secret obviously) Hot Booth identity on the world by the medium of a bright blue tape cassette packaged in a very mucky sleeve (by one James Unsworth, here ). There were 50 copies of this, I managed (I'm never usually this lucky) to snaffle one. This cassingle kind of epitomises to me something utterly super right on and necessary. There are four songs, one of which is a Ramones cover ('Swallow My Pride' which can also be heard on the 'No more of your fairy stories: an indiepop tribute toRAMONES' compilation that came out last year). 'Moe Tucker' is a number one record on the hit parade in some perfect parallel dimension world we can only dream of.
Will there be anything from Hot Booth ever again? Probably not, which is maybe the point.
The Sock Puppets 'EP' CD-EP (ODD027)
Denmark's three girl/one boy army of effervescent incendiary punk rocking bobby socksing none more POP! proponents... four songs: short, sharp, no faffing, all killer, no filler, all phyllis, no diller POP! songs that'll stay a lifetime in your head and forever in your heart... enough typing already, abandon pretence, let's dance!
*proceeds to dance*
Baaneex 'Weird Dance' CD-EP (ODD026)
There's something splendidly right about Baaneex, they are a confounded mystery to me and rightly/wrongly the less I know the more I like it... so I've not even bothered doing internet searches or asking Trev who they might be or where they're from or what on earth they're playing at... instead, here's this EP with four songs 'Weird Dance'; 'Weird Dance II', 'Weird Dance 3' and 'Weird Dance Seven' that are less songs and more sort of mood music (I have some funny moods), the whole EP could be from the soundtrack to a film I really need to see but might be slightly afraid to
If Baaneex gigs consisted of them playing in robes while stood in a pentangle in an eldritch wood I wouldn't be surprised
Musically I'm getting bits of earlyish-Gorkys, Clinic, a strong whiff of sixties proto-punk avant gardeists The Godz and when I try to picture the band I see a cross between seventies Hawkwind and The Silver Apples (another band whose music Baaneex suggests, at least to these ears... they also throw in some heavy punk rock riffage too... definitely a band you can nod and then bang your head along to)
Jolly bloody good
Sarandon 'Sarandon's Age of Reason' CD/LP (BOX006)
A joint release with Slumberland records, 'Sarandon's Age of Reason' is- lumme lumme- a right corker! Like some of the very best hip hop LPs ever 'SAOR' has what is essentially a 'skit' running through it... a narrative thread... that a) makes sense of the album as a whole... yes, it's a concept album... and b) is an annoyingstop start to the sequence of frankly astonishing songs collected here... and c) that necessitates you listen to the album from start to finish
The first of these things is just helpful, the second is something you just learn to overcome (yeh, I am itching to get to the next song- these songs rush along, possess a kinetic energy and pummel you- but perhaps it's a mercy that the listener gets a little respite between songs) and the third doesn't really work (what with bloody freewill, etc) but does form a sort of pact between listener and band that if you're willing to invest the time and actually, y'know, play a record from start to finish without skipping the pay off/the reward is greater... Sarandon, it seems, want you to listen to their music, not to have it as a passive presence in your life or for you to be a passive presence in theirs
Isn't that the fucking point? That music should matter, not just be an accessory? I think I rumbled on about this in my Tunabunny review...
Sarandon are perceived by some as awkward, not just the stuttering stop start sharp angles of their music but the band themselves, that they're provocative, difficult, that they chuck a messy cheesewire guitar/heavy artillery rhythm section racket onto the calm, comforting, consensus indie funfest... if Crayola (Sarandon major domo) ever comes across as a bit of a hard taskmaster to gig promoters, audiences, defenders of twee then it's probably a lot more to do with the gossip, preconceptions and complacency amongst them than the lad himself... should he ever read this I hope this doesn't come as a surprise to him... I mean he can be very exacting but, y'know, that sort of rigour it's laudable... providing the results justify the means
Plus, Sarandon would never be unreasonable
So, yes, it's a really smashing record this, I like it
Secretly I do worry that Crayola's taken a tin opener to my skull and somehow scooped out all the inner dialogue from my brain for Big Trev's between song blether (Big Trev being no relation to Trev ODD BOX as far as I'm aware), it's a bit familiar...
Ultimately here is an LP about one man's journey to leave the house (and himself) and have a good time as far as I can tell
We can all relate to that
Sarandon it also has be documented are one of the few bands me and Hayley can agree on, they seem to have nods to a lot of things she loves (prog and more esoteric brutalist rock fayre) and to a lot of things I love (Bogshed, bIG fLAME, Ron Johnson Records, McTells, etc)
I suggest the first dance at our wedding is to 'Mustn't Grumble' but I suppose more wryly it should be 'Do the Dance' ('Do the dance, do the dance, they dance at death')
ODD BOX SINGLES CLUB
'Oh, Mr Trevor, with these ODD BOX SINGLES CLUB SINGLES you really are spoiling us'
From the ODD BOX website:
After hearing so many wonderful bands during the past 12 months we decided we wanted to release as many of them as possible on beautiful 7” vinyl. So the idea for the singles club was born.
There will be six singles released in the singles club, twelve bands in all, the first three singles have been released, the next three featuring The Hairs, The Medusa Snare, Gold-Bears, Bracelettes, The Ketamines and The Vignettes will follow
Here's a summary of those first three:
ODD020 - Singles Club #1 - The Blanche Hudson Weekend/Horowitz
The Blanche Hudson Weekend side is the gorgeous, sumptuous 'If You're Still Together', a sweeping yearning lush widescreen Douglas Sirk melodrama in just over four minutes- play it loud, PLAY IT REALLY FUCKING LOUD!
The Horowitz side doesn't seem loud enough, but that's what the volume control is for... both the Blanche Hudson Weekend and Horowitz are advocates of the 'can this go any louder?' approach and we salute them. The Horowitz song like all their songs fizzes and explodes, a rollicking Play for Today drama that ends with doomed lovers on the run in a stolen Cortina crashing in slow mo- cream egg hearts splattering onto a windscreen about to shatter... there's a note in the glove compartment... 'Get Cleansed!'
ODD021 - Singles Club #2 - The Give it Ups/Santa Monica Swim and Dive Club
The Give It Ups released a CD-EP on ODD BOX early doors (ODD005) and jolly marvelous it was too, but that seems like ages ago so it's a blessed relief to find them here... two songs, the first 'Why Won't You Go Out With Me?' is a delight, like Skinned Teen having a go on 'Something Going On'-era Pastels, a winning combination. 'Knives Chau' I deduct to be something to do with this Scott Pilgrim fellow that's very popular with the young people nowadays, I don't know anything about that but I do know this is a fingerpopper and Ben's cracked croon of a vocal (I'm presuming it's Ben that sings, I don't do research, or check facts, I'm a purist) is the bee's knees
Espousing research and facts I know very little about The Santa Monica Swim and Dive Club other than they have something to do with Saturday Looks Good to Me and this song here ('False Start, My Heart') is a peach... a rumbledethump dreamy eyed showstopper of a song... I think it's about the travails the singer faces in a diving and swimming competition but it's also a metaphor for, y'know, love and relationships
ODD022 - Singles Club #3 - One Fathom Down/The Humms
The shriek of the wave of the mutilated... run for your shorts here comes One Fathom Down on surfboards made of bone riding a darker wave of blood and gravel up the Kingsland Road
'Like a dirty three way between Dick Dale, Poison Ivy and Link Wray' One Fathom Down mix metal, surf, garage and leather upholstery polish to rather splendid effect
'Supercritical Ocean' and 'Breaking The Law' suggest, to these ears, The Fucking Champs playing Man or Astroman covers, which makes them essential
The Humms from Athens, Georgia have an album (BOX004) and a CD-EP (ODD004) on ODD BOX and play raucous fuzzy garage rock n' roll that'll make you want to get up and frug, Franny, frug... there's also some sweetness and some darkness too
'Jupiter' their side of ODD022 is bittersweet buttermilk and cinnamon infused... a wider more expansive song than most of their previous stuff, the space in 'Jupiter' is compelling and oddly moving... it's a cracking song and unexpected...