January 2010 - my month in (a) list

So, a new decade, eh... why, Father Time, you are really spoiling us!


This month I heard new (less than a year old anyway) albums by The Bomb, Beans on Toast, Wye Oak & From Monument to Masses; older stuff by Unwound and Bridge & Tunnel; the demo by Weed Hounds; songs by Beach House, Demi Lovato, Adam Green, The Magnetic Fields and Alkaline Trio stood out for good reasons; Chris Brown, Vampire Weekend, Los Campesinos, Blood Red Shoes and 3OH!3 stood out for, ahem, not so good reasons.


Saw Changeling, L'enfant, Religilous & My Blueberry Nights.


Not a lot this month - Screenwipe, TV Burp, Chemistry: A Volatile History and Ice Road Truckers have all been watched off and on.


Just 5 live, the odd blast of 6music and the morning show on BBC Essex for snow updates.


theguardian Football Weekly & Kermode and Mayo's Film Reviews.

Change of tack

Evening all,

From now on this blog shall be updated a bit more often, but not in the same manner as before. At the end of the month there'll be a list of stuff I've heard, seen, read, and so on. Then the following month, there will be thoughts posted about those things. Hopefully this will make the site easier to keep updated. Anyhow, January 2010 to follow soon...


Jack (Hot Cuss)


Phoenix from the flames?

There's a lot to look forward to in music right now. A new Why? album, the eagerly awaited Thorns of Life debut album and UK tours for Deerhunter and Dillinger Four amongst others. So Hot Cuss will be making a return to the blogwaves soon, maybe with a different take on things than just reviews. Check back soon to see the developments unfold.


LOS CAMPESINOS! - Hold On Now, Youngster... CD (Wichita)

“I'm not Bonnie Tyler, and I'm not Toni Braxton” sings Gareth Campesinos! on 'We Are All Accelerated Readers', and unless either have suddenly begun to sound akin to Bis covering Pavement songs it's a pretty safe bet that he's telling the truth.

If you're a sensitive sixth-former desperate for a band to call your own and who thinks that the likes of Razorlight and the Fratellis are nought but yobbish cunts, or you're a 30-something indie-snob who believes that the advent of Britpop heralded an irreversible decline in the UK indie scene (and here at Hot Cuss we're somewhere between those two stools) then there's a lot to like about 'Hold on Now, Youngster...': slightly pretentious song titles ('This is How You Spell: “Hahaha We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics', for example), an old-skool DIY ethic (they've produced a cut and paste photocopied zine to give away on tour, an idea that their younger fans who've been brought up with the internet may find frightening and confusing) and lyrics that are perhaps not quite as clever as they think they are but sweetly endearing all the same.

It sounds like it should've come out a decade ago perhaps, but it's refreshing to hear young bands plundering the back catalogues of K, Sarah and Chemikal Underground instead of the Beatles, Stones and Pistols for the umpteenth time. It could be argued that it's not quite the amazing record that the singles promised – if you're not over-enamoured with their shtick it could be a bit of a slog getting through all 12 songs in one sitting, like eating 12 Wham bars in one go – but any album with an intro as splendid as that to 'Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats' can be forgiven almost anything. A fine debut then, but hopefully their subsequent releases will see them reach the heights that this record only hints towards.


ANTHEM RED - Dancing on the Dishwasher (The Company With The Golden Arm)

Without knowing the full story this might seem like a strange one. A bloke from Essex reviewing a Canadian band that are on a German label? Released in 2006? WTF indeed. But this record has recently grabbed me by the ears and demanded attention so much so that I am demanding yours: this might well be the best pop-punk album since 'Goddamnit' by Alkaline Trio. Maybe. Every song is amazing. The vocals are fantastic. The lyrics are sharp and memorable. And the tunes are huge. This band were born from the ashes of Sixty Stories who were good but this is a wholly different proposition. Truly awesome. If the proposition of Leatherface/Jawbreaker/Fifth Hour Hero tuneage done right floats your boat you simply must not go another second without hearing this. It's not the easiest record to get hold of in the UK but you can stream it here . Enjoy.