Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wichita Recordings is 10

Wichita Recordings was founded in London by Mark Bowen and Dick Green back in the year 2000. In the ensuing ten years, the independent label has been responsible for releasing some terrific music. Here's five of their best:

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

The tense, insistent guitars, the icy instrumental washes, the urgent, angst-ridden vocals, the dreamy soundscapes, the flashes of romance (‘This Modern Love’), the propulsive, supple rhythm section; for a debut record by a young guitar-bass-drums combo, it was both remarkably danceable and eerily atmospheric..

Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster

Youthful exuberance and wistful melancholy collided beautifully on the debut album from the Cardiff-based seven-piece. It could be called mopey, bratty or even emo if it wasn't so much fun, with delightfully self-deprecating lyrics and neat turns-of-phrases galore "I'm not Bonnie Tyler, and I'm not Toni Braxton/ And this song is not gonna save your relationship/ Oh no... shit!/ And this sentimental movie marathon has taught us one thing/ It's the opposite of true love is as follows: Reality!"

Lovvers - Think

This Nottingham-based four-piece called to mind the likes of The Stooges and The Germs on their first release for Wichita, the Think EP. Frenetic, sneering, feral garage-rock with an unmistakeable swagger.

The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever

With the addition of Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos on production duties, The Cribs' third album saw them smoothing out their hitherto defiantly lo-fi sound without losing any of their vital edge. 'Girls Like Mystery' and 'Moving Pictures' had the melodic smarts, 'Ancient History' and 'Major's Titling Victory' brought the noise, while 'Be Safe' boasted an unlikely cameo from Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo - not the first time rock royalty would join forces with the Wakefield trio.

Best Coast - Crazy for You

And one from the present. LA-based lo-fi surf-pop/garage duo Best Coast have been making wavves (sic) for some time now, mainwoman Bethany Cosentino singing songs “about summer and the sun and the ocean and being a lazy creep”. They've already released a string of well-received 7"s, and debut LP Crazy for You is now streaming at 'Tis the season.

Best Coast - Boyfriend by Ragged Words

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