Third helping from One-man art-pop prankster'Alvin Spetz. Alvin Spetz is also the maverick singer-songwiter responsible for two of the most eccentric and original albums of the last 6 or 7 years.
Released under the moniker of Full English Breakfast, his self-titled debut and follow up Candy In Weightlessness'earned rave reviews from broadsheets to blogs. Now album No.3 The Mixtape of Things'is ready and Spetz likewise is moving on up through the daily nutritional cycle and this time will be known as That Will Be Lunch'.
Alvin's new mixtape is full of songs, some only just scraping past 30 seconds, that one moment remind you of children's TV theme tunes and the next sound like they might be playing in an industrial discotheque from the future. In this unsettling but always playful landscape you're almost half-expecting the whimsical paen to the snacks marketing division at Waitrose when it arrives in the shape of The Campaign for Plain Nuts'.
Nestled amongst all the strangeness is an inspired cover of Talking Heads classic One in a Lifetime'. Spetz has delved deep into the DNA of this ground-breaking track and extracted what can only be described as previously unseen footage'. Like an inquisitive kid he's taken the engine apart without a hope in hell of ever putting it back together again in the correct order. But this hasn't stopped him re-assembling it.
Spetz discovered music while studying at Aberdeen university in the 80s. Inspired by the fledgling indie sounds of Edwyn Collins, The Fall, Josef K and The Pop Group, he embarked on a journey that's included nascent recordings with members of The Shamen, dabbling with Sufism and the tabloids hounding him as a result, burning everything he's ever recorded (several times) and playing one gig. Ever. In Belgium.
Debut album from US indie rock-influenced uber-tunesmiths
Old school friends and long-time collaborators, Mark Rowland and Paul Webber formed The Volunteered at the tail end of 2019 when they started working on new songs channeling old indie rock heroes such as Built to Spill, Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Belle and Sebastian.
They put out the 'We Fall Apart' EP in 2020 as a modest self-release and now, what started as a way to keep busy during lockdown has been expanded into a full-length vinyl and digital album, out on Scratchy Records this February.
It's a varied listen, from the pounding, tuneful fuzz of lead single Going to Amsterdam to the atmospheric heart-string puller The Lights. Everywhere you look there are hooks waiting to pull you in and some great pop songwriting recalling everyone from Sparklehorse, GBV and Buddy Holly to The Triffids and Pearl Jam.
Tracklisting: Side A 1. Going to Amsterdam 2. Win is Easy 3. Bless the News 4. The Lights
Side B 1. Fall Back 2. Old Life 3. Bottleneck 4. Tell Them What They Want 5. Something New
New solo album from Bromide frontman Simon Berridge
"From the first sparkling chords, this draws you into Simon Bromide's world where the ghosts of Johnny Marr, Peter Perrett and XTC joust with the psychedelic sounds and neo-folk herein." Vive Le Rock 9/10
“Byrdsian lustre, psychedelic haze, far-flung exotica, gritty northern soul and Kinksy visions of London life on this wide-ranging debut solo album.. it’s quite the trip” Classic Rock 8/10
"Hits the sonic sweet spot.. blending the literate pop-rock craftsmanship of beloved British icons The Kinks with the propulsive punch and fuzzy crunch of classic American power-pop" Tinnitist
The album features drummer Fells Guilherme (Children of The Pope), bassist Ed 'Cosmo' Wright, multi-instrumentalists Dave Hale, Dimitri Ntontis and Stephen Elwell as well as folk-pop chanteuse Katy Carr on piano and Terry Edwards (Nick Cave, Tom Waits, P.J.Harvey) on trumpet. Scottish singer Julie Anne McCambridge joins Simon on the closing track, the William Blake penned 'Earth's Answer'.
Tracklisting: 1. The Waiting Room 2. Chinua Achebe 3. The Skehans Song 4. Not That Type 5. The Argument 6. Slow Release Love 7. Following The Moon 8. Reflections of Seating 9. Earth's Answer
Alvin Spetz (aka That Will Be Lunch) has already been compared to the likes of The Fall, Edwyn Collins, Devo and Wire (by the Sunday Times) and with the release of the superb art-pop cover of Wild Cherry's Play That Funky Music' he's likely to add both The Residents and (an albeit dancified) Denim to that illustrious list. Released together with B-side Discarded Things (which was presumably too weirdly contemporary to release on NME's C86 cassette compilation), the single will be made available on 7'green vinyl on Scratchy Records on Record Store Day, Saturday 29th August and then from Friday 4th September in the digiverse for download / streaming.
Maverick Spetz - not his real name, his real name's Alvin (ha!) - has released two albums as Full English Breakfast - 'a highly eccentric but thoroughly engaging electronic pop debut that aligns him with the Fall and Frank Zappa' (Uncut) - and another as TWBL on Scratchy Records and has been compared to everyone from Yello to Frank Zappa and Stereolab. Play That Funky Music is an inspired and outlandish Year Zero reimagining of that 1970s disco classic that firmly places itself alongside The Fall's unorthodox cover of Sister Sledge's Lost In Music - but with added cuckoo clocks.
One friend. Two bands. And so it was that Manchester's 'Easter' and London's 'Bromide' met in their mutual pal Dave Armes's address book (he of Last Harbour, LCR Records and A-Sun Amissa sidekick repute). Soon after Easter were on their way down t'smoke to play at Bromide's place, namely the Birds Nest in Deptford. And verily did they smash it! So much so that Bromide singer Simon immediately thought about putting something out on his Scratchy Records label.. and why not keep the threads twisting and make it a joint release!
Especially as both bands share a love of alt. sounds from across the pond back in dem 90s days. Easter feasting on Buffalo Tom's heavier riffs, Yo La Tengo and San Francisco's 'Swell', while Bromide reminded Easter's mainman Tom of 'Nada Surf and Big Star and that New Zealand power pop stuff..' So the split-single was born.. Easter taking the A with 'Doubt Rings', a propulsive guitar-lashed gallop thru the relationship forest with Bromide on the AA offering 'I'll Never Learn' from last year's 'I Woke Up' album on Scratchy, an up/downbeat reflective tale that dries solid on the choruses when the fuzz kicks in. Easter - 'A welcome throwback to the wry, self-lacerating alt.rock of the early 90s'Uncut Bromide -if you like Dinosaur Jr and The Replacements, you'll love this'MusicOMH
And there's more..! Easter had a whole EP ready to go so punters who buy the vinyl will get a free download code for the extra tracks. Then early next year both bands will be heading out fora few gigs to plug the single, joined by Southend's own fabulous guitar reverb-drenched 'Dark Globes' - who've also got wares to plug in the shape of newly released album 'Somewhere To Land'.