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click to enlarge Kate Nash Made of Bricks - Fiction Sounds like: - Lily Allen's cheeky little sister -  - Short take: A 12-song breakup letter -  - On Londoner Kate Nash's debut, Made of Bricks, - there's little besides piano melodies, a basic backing - beat and Nash's bratty storytelling. These are no tender - narratives: Nash sings/talks with defeated honesty about - crappy relationships and bad boyfriends. In - "Foundations," an on-air list-off of one's flaws, she often - sounds like she's reading from a note passed in class, - petty details and gossip intact. But she's not all sass. Her - approach works because she reveals her anger as - reactionary and vulnerable  her lyrics are ultimately - disarming. Often, she loses her nerve, sounding simply - sad and not bitter, over time wasted on miserable affairs, - the lame concession of sex in lieu of love, and the futility - of future prospects. Made melodic through song, these - messages sting like slaps in the face.  Matt - Martin -
  • Kate Nash Made of Bricks
    Fiction
    Sounds like: Lily Allen's cheeky little sister

    Short take: A 12-song breakup letter

    On Londoner Kate Nash's debut, Made of Bricks, there's little besides piano melodies, a basic backing beat and Nash's bratty storytelling. These are no tender narratives: Nash sings/talks with defeated honesty about crappy relationships and bad boyfriends. In "Foundations," an on-air list-off of one's flaws, she often sounds like she's reading from a note passed in class, petty details and gossip intact. But she's not all sass. Her approach works because she reveals her anger as reactionary and vulnerable her lyrics are ultimately disarming. Often, she loses her nerve, sounding simply sad and not bitter, over time wasted on miserable affairs, the lame concession of sex in lieu of love, and the futility of future prospects. Made melodic through song, these messages sting like slaps in the face. Matt Martin

click to enlarge Times New Viking Rip It Off - Matador Sounds like: - Your middle school band's best demo tape -  - Short take: DIY to its core -  - Today, in an age of MySpace and homemade Internet - promotion, the DIY approach is often considered divine - prerogative, the best thing new bands can do to maintain - their independence while spreading the word. Noise-pop - upstart Times New Viking takes this philosophy to its - bitter end, constructing an album that sounds like a - crude demo cassette you might happen upon in the - gutter outside a dive bar. The band does have an ear for - melody, but it's an immediate, thrashing melody that's - gone as soon as it begins, buried deliberately in lo-fi - recording. Times New Viking rejects any professional - recording quality, dragging their own good ideas - through a muck of distortion. If you find that kind of - nihilism appealing, you'll like Rip It Off.  - Matt Martin -
  • Times New Viking Rip It Off
    Matador
    Sounds like: Your middle school band's best demo tape

    Short take: DIY to its core

    Today, in an age of MySpace and homemade Internet promotion, the DIY approach is often considered divine prerogative, the best thing new bands can do to maintain their independence while spreading the word. Noise-pop upstart Times New Viking takes this philosophy to its bitter end, constructing an album that sounds like a crude demo cassette you might happen upon in the gutter outside a dive bar. The band does have an ear for melody, but it's an immediate, thrashing melody that's gone as soon as it begins, buried deliberately in lo-fi recording. Times New Viking rejects any professional recording quality, dragging their own good ideas through a muck of distortion. If you find that kind of nihilism appealing, you'll like Rip It Off. Matt Martin

click to enlarge Super Furry Animals Hey Venus! - Rough Trade Sounds - like: Welsh weirdos go fun-first -  - Short take: A zippy Britpop sampler -  - Hey Venus! is all about enjoyment. The brief - album features 11 unabashedly poppy songs, most of - which come and go quickly, as the Wales-based Super - Furry Animals forgo their usual electronic breakdowns - and studio strangeness for some giddy, hooky fun. This - means you get songs like "Run-Away" and "Show Your - Hand," which sound like '60s Britpop hits, losing nothing - for being 40 years late. There are howling rockers ("Baby - Ate My Eightball"), funky rockers ("Carbon Dating") and - anthemic rockers ("Suckers!"); there's even a Christmas - song, "The Gift That Keeps Giving," which is just that, no - irony or facetiousness about it. Though the Animals rein - themselves in, they haven't lost an ounce of the loony - panache that made them compelling to begin with. -  Matt Martin
  • Super Furry Animals Hey Venus!
    Rough Trade
    Sounds like: Welsh weirdos go fun-first

    Short take: A zippy Britpop sampler

    Hey Venus! is all about enjoyment. The brief album features 11 unabashedly poppy songs, most of which come and go quickly, as the Wales-based Super Furry Animals forgo their usual electronic breakdowns and studio strangeness for some giddy, hooky fun. This means you get songs like "Run-Away" and "Show Your Hand," which sound like '60s Britpop hits, losing nothing for being 40 years late. There are howling rockers ("Baby Ate My Eightball"), funky rockers ("Carbon Dating") and anthemic rockers ("Suckers!"); there's even a Christmas song, "The Gift That Keeps Giving," which is just that, no irony or facetiousness about it. Though the Animals rein themselves in, they haven't lost an ounce of the loony panache that made them compelling to begin with. Matt Martin

  • Kate Nash, Times New Viking, Super Furry Animals.

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