Spinal TapThis split 12″ sees us working with the youngest folk who have released on the label since, umm, well I suppose Rob St. John actually. This is no problem of course – you don’t run a record label if you’re afraid of people younger than you – but nothing makes you feel like everyone’s dad more than when the bands get into the Toad Van and all sit in the back. Thanks Dolfinz.

Only Matt from Paws decided he was grown up enough to go for the front seat. And I’m quite glad of this actually, because he is a fine and sensible navigator. And I assume he’s just grateful not to be the one driving for a chance.

Anyway, you’d think driving bands about the place would make it tricky to talk much about music, but actually we’ve been ploughing through the tapes, so I thought I’d pass on a couple of the good ‘uns while I wait to meet everyone to drive up for the Manchester leg of the tour. Incidentally, whilst writing this I am sitting in a Turkish cafe listening to Michael Bolton and Cat Stevens and Christ-knows what else.

Apostille: this stuff makes an appearance on Comfortable on a Tightrope’s Birthday Tapes series, and I bought the tape itself down in Manchester at sounds from the other city. In terms of build and overall shape the songs are quite epic, but in terms of actual aesthetic they are scrappy and messy. Very nice indeed.

Hut: this is a tape I bought from Hooded Fang at the Great Escape in Brighton earlier this year, and I think it’s a side-project from one of the guys in the band. The tape itself is out on Daps Records (free sampler here) and is really, really good. It’s pretty lo-fi, inevitably, but still full of sharp pop songs with plenty of pace and vim. Pretty much the best of the bunch on the way down South, I think.

Niilo Smeds: I am going to keep going on about this guy until you lot start to agree with me. I reviewed his album a while back, but you can also get a six-song cassette from his Bandcamp page which contains slightly rougher, less disciplined versions of some of the songs on his album, and it’s absolutely brilliant. Gentle acoustic music a lot of the time, prone to digressions into noise and dischord, but never less than lovely.

Lab Coast: These guys are a Calgary band, and you know they’re good because they’ve released with two of the coolest record labels around at the moment: this tape on Night People (at the top of the cassettes section – you have to scroll down a bit) and a split 7" on Faux Discx. For the most part they make really nice, laid back guitar pop with just enough fuzz to make it fashionable (are you noticing a little bit of a theme here?), but on the second side of this particular they go a bit mental and deliver an entire side of conceptual noise music. I’ll be honest, it ain’t that good, well not to my taste anyway, but the juxtaposition with the disciplined pop of the other side of the tape is brilliant.

Right, that’s all for now. Back on the road with a van full of fuckwits.


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Song, by Toad

Song, by Toad is an Edinburgh-based music blog and record label run by Matthew Young

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