Singles & Downloads

Alex Smoke - aka Fool

Alex Smoke - aka Fool

It may be happy coincidence, or just a refusal to write about the new Rascals single, but there’s only good stuff left in the pile this issue, meaning everyone deserves a big sloppy one on the lips for their efforts.

Dead or American have run at right angles to fashion for some years now and their fractious post-hardcore demon is the kind of nasty, but incredibly incisive, death march that should soundtrack all children’s parties. Throw in plenty of lime jelly, turkey twizzlers and Irn Bru, stick this on and watch the wee buggers go. And it’s free goddammit! Download the mighty ‘Shiboleth’ (Predestination Records) ••••• if you dare from

Ursula Minor’s Kraftwerk meets Loop kraut-tronica on the ‘Laudaunum’ EP (The Foreign Office) ••••. Their experiments are familiar, if effective, and utilise every trippy oil lamp trick in the book in one gigantic, defocused headrush. Zoom!

Bringing the proceedings bruisingly back into focus is Sonnnyjim, whose bouncy but grim Brit hip hop is pretty near the knuckle. The Soul Trader EP (Dented Records) •••• might be lyrically roughneck, but there’s some quality beats on show with even a cameo from jazzer Soweto Kinch.

Take a gentle left turn to Land of Talk’s ‘Young Bridge’ (One Little Indian) ••••• which is the dreamy shimmer pop the Cardigans would have made had they been a bit more drunk and a bit less posh. Woozy indie pop to wink at boys to.

Glasgow duo Doghouse Roses do the melancholy country folk ballad with guile and grace. ‘Greener the Grass’ (Yellow Room Music) •••• is unashamedly Sandy Denny-tastic which is a fantastic thing.

The Notwist and ‘Where in This World’ (City Slang) •••• is Tortoise backing Erland Øye, filtered through the soundtrack to a Hitchcock movie, and the result is odd and beautiful, like all good things should be. It is pipped for Single of the Fortnight however, by something equally odd: ‘Drama’ (Hum+Haw) ••••• is one of the first releases from the new Glasgow label by Fool, which is Alex Smoke’s collaboration with sensationally grumpy Shadowhuntaz rapper MC Non. An inspired tirade against domestic grind set to a disjointed skeletal drumbeat and sinister, burbling electronics, it is a dark and twisted work of genius.

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