Autechre, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Rival Schools, Times New Viking, The Goldberg Sisters and Cass McCombs

Also Released: albums roundup 30 March 2011

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Autechre, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Rival Schools, Times New Viking, The Goldberg Sisters and Cass McCombs

Autechre

EPs 1991-2002 (Warp) ●●●●
Either a five-disc boxset or a 47-track download, this rich collection traces the non-album development of the influential IDM legends from the playful, techno/hip hop-inflected early years to their more abstract, experimental and divisive later work. A must for fans, this is much more than a collection of remixes and b-sides.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Belong (Play It Again Sam) ●●●
These New Yorkers ruthlessly exploit every indie pop angle since the year dot (1986). It’s like a heat-seeking missile aimed at the hearts of indie boys and girls everywhere, so if your Pastels, MBV or even, yes, U2 albums are worn out, this should have you back dancing with yourself in no time.

Rival Schools

Pedals (Photo Finish Records) ●
Rival Schools well and truly missed the boat when they split in 2002 after releasing only one album. Then their ‘post-hardcore’ sound had some currency but this, their first post-reunion album, unfortunately describes the point post-hardcore segues into humdrum, uninspired college rock. And the lyrics are rubbish.

Times New Viking

Dancer Equired (Wichita) ●●●
Less and less lo-fi with every release, Times New Viking remain, however, committed to their tried and tested aesthetic. As usual, it’s a cacophony of clattering, competing guitars and overlapping vocals with studied disregard for production finesse. Hard to fault but also tricky to celebrate, there’s really nothing new here.

The Goldberg Sisters

The Goldberg Sisters (Play It Again Sam) ●●
Crazy Eddie from Friends (AKA Adam Goldberg) joins Vincent Gallo, Ryan Gosling and Zooey Deschanel in the ranks of indie actors turned indie musicians. Not as silly as the Bacon Brothers but Goldberg’s keening vocals remind you why Chandler chucked him and there’s not so much as a ‘See ya, pals!’ in sight to remind you why you’re listening.

Cass McCombs

Wit’s End (Domino) ●●
More drawn-out, introverted melancholia from the over-praised American singer-songwriter. Song titles like ‘Buried Alive’ and ‘Hermit’s Cave’ are a strong indicator of the pervasive dourness of this repetitive and leaden record and while the music has a certain elegance, it wears one’s patience like a self-involved, over-the-hill actress.

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