Gainsville, Florida’s UV-TV obviously have great taste. Side one of their debut LP Glass bounds from Shop Assistants to Primitives and Black Tambourine. It doesn’t let up from the gas pedal once forcing its blissed-out sonic assault down your throat. Singer Rose Vastola has a saccharine sweet voice that easily breaks through the shards of noise put down by guitarist Ian Bernacett. Every song is a heart attack.

Side two stretches their pallet beyond the saccharine noise pop of side one. The songs are longer, more brooding and go for a different pop jugular. The Chameleons, Spacemen 3 and the Gun Club all pop into the frame of reference. No matter how you like getting your pop fetish tickled, I highly recommend tuning into this record!

Glass is out on Deranged Records, the same label that released Wildhoney‘s Sleep Through It.

Switched On by the Fireworks


I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to waste my time. So many bands these days go two or three songs into their albums before actually delivering a decent hook. There is no such problem with the Fireworks. The London band do not dillydally. Buzzy guitars blast out as soon as you hit play. Sharp pop inspired by the Buzzcocks and the Shop Assistants jumps out and swiftly grabs you and pulls you out of the dull world and into something kaleidoscopic and exciting.

The record opens with With My Heart and Runaround, the best one-two punch of any record in recent memory. With My Heart starts with a Mary Chain cacophony and then Emma Hall launches in with her cool delivery. Runaround quickly follows with its clamoring guitars and undeniable chorus, and it doesn’t let up. You might think that they couldn’t sustain this shockingly good barrage of great songs, but they do. Hall trades vocal duties with guitarist Matthew Rimmell to keep you on your toes and his Corner of My Mind and Let You Know offer up a more autumnal sound to even out the pace of the album

The Fireworks may sound like a throwback to the late 80’s UK underground and the C-86 scene to some, but a record this good never goes out of style.

stream: The Fireworks – Switch Me On (LP, CD and MP3 available from Shelflife)



“When You Lie” from Flowers first 7″ sounds like the band have a stash of Shop Assistants and Mary Chain records.  It’s got big echoing drums, cool distant female vocals and noisy guitars that will have you thinking that they must be from Scotland.  According to the internet the band reside in London and are on the fast track to indiepop fame and glory (whatever that may be). You can still order the trio’s debut single from Cloudberry. They have a single coming soon as part of Odd Box’s 100 series (which is sold out) and another one due out on Fortuna Pop’s singles club. Hopefully they won’t continue to make themselves obscure and release some more easily getable records in the very near future.

The band just played the NYC Popfest and have one more US date in Chicago at the Beat Kitchen on 12 June. If you are a resident of that midwest town consider attending, otherwise you can still order their Cloudberry single, or head over to their bandcamp page to download it for free.

stream: Flowers – When You Lie

Detective Agency

Anyone out there remember the Lucksmiths song Detective Agency from their album the Green Bicycle Case? New Seattle band Detective Agency don’t sound anything like that Australian band, but that was the kind of my logic going on in my head when I clicked on a link to listen to them a few months ago. Better points of reference would be Tiger Trap, Ramones, Tuscadero and perhaps the Shop Assistants.

Up until last week they had a few songs floating around the internet. I remember a week back in November of last year when I listened to Daggers about 20 times in a row. It was just a demo. They’ve re-recorded it and made it better. I think I may have listened to the new version 21 times in  row. Last week the band put up an official EP over at their bandcamp site as a free download for a limited time (the free part ends Valentine’s Day).

Daggers is on there, but a that ain’t it. Empty Apartment rivals it with its tasty pop licks. Summer Song is no slouch either, it chugs along with cocktail interludes while You and Me is a little melancholy but still hooky. For the final song Smoke a Cig they hand the vocals over to the one boy in the band and he doesn’t screw it up.

You’re still here? Go and download this thing already! It’s five songs that are so good, you’ll wish it was ten.

mp3: Detective Agency – Daggers (from the Daggers EP )

Vivian Girls at the Funhouse

Vivian Girls at the Funhouse, Seattle | 31 May 2008

I’m not sure what’s going on over in Brooklyn these days, but with the Crystal Stilts,the Vivian Girls and Pains of Being Pure at Heart it seems like a full on C-86 revival over there in New Amsterdam. The Vivian Girls who seem like the perfect combination of Shop Assistants indie pop, Lush attitude and guitar chops, and Undertones pop sensibilities brought their brand of blissed out pop to Seattle on Sunday night. The Vivian Girls have caught my fancy with a punk ethos, cool name (Go rent In the Realms of the Unreal) and even better songs, so I had been looking forward to this show for quite a while. With a couple seven inch singles and a sold out debut album under their belts, they seem to gaining momentum and following. Not to worry for those of us late to the party, that sold out album will get reissued this fall on In The Red on both vinyl and cd. Mark your calendars.

Even though the album is sold out (only 500 pressed), these girls are pretty much unknown at this point. They seem like an unassuming bunch and kept a positive outlook when the sound guy was having a little trouble getting the reverb just right on the vocals, so the trio stood around on stage made nervous small talk while the sound guy looked for the right button. With the reverb finally worked out they dove into their quick and too short eight song set. They seemed a bit nervous and in a hurry, but it was completely unwarranted. Their sharp harmonies and and catchy melodies won me and everyone else over with ease. The lead vocals were all handled by Cassie who also plays guitar, with most of the harmonies sung by drummer Frankie though Katy (bassist) did get her share as well. Eight songs in about 20 minutes, it was short but really, really good. Hopefully they’ll be back again once the album gets reissued, and play a little longer.

mp3: Vivian Girls – Tell the World

mp3: Vivian Girls – Damaged

mp3: Shop Assistants – I Don’t Want to be Friends With You (from Anything Will Happen)

mp3: Lush – Bitter (from Gala)

Also check out this Pink Couch Session of the Vivian Girls doing an acoustic version of I Can’t Stay. You can also download an mp3 of the track: Pink Couch

More photos and set list over at my flickr.