Arts & Culture

Vienna Ditto – Circle Record of the month. OK, this being ROTM was more predictable than an Eastenders plot. But I don’t care, it deserves it. This is Vienna Ditto coming of age, getting slicker, more focused and better than ever. Even the older songs included here seem shinier than before and sit alongside the newer material like with comfort. Opener and single Oh Josephine is a masterclass in creative pop writing whilst in This Is Normal Hatty makes the line “This is Fucked Up” sound the sexist thing you have ever heard. With a beguiling mixture of pop, blues, soul, folk, gospel, electronica and rock ‘n’ roll this is exactly what we wanted from Vienna Ditto for their debut album. There is something for everyone too. I promise. The Incredible Disappearing Boy – The Incredible Disappearing Boy Local producer Samuel Bates steps into the limelight again finally with an EP of well-crafted Mid-Atlantic roots music, mixing the best Americana traditions with plenty of English folk and pop influences. This treats you to the double whammy of high class song writing and stupendous musicianship (just listen to the organ playing – goosebumps stuff). There are elements of The Beatles in the melodies whilst the vibe owes plenty to the likes of The Band and Neil Young and some of the guitars have a very classic blues feel. Then there are the burnished vocals, quite unexpected and full of sensitivity and soul – Monster is so powerful it puts that lump in your thoat. Hard to fault this really, and it is a record that lives with you for quite some time after listening. Cold In Berlin – The Comfort of Loss and Dust Notorious Ocelot music review alumni Bozley is in part responsible for this, so I am sure lots of slighted musicians are sharpening their critical knives in anticipation. Well put them back in the drawer folks, as this is a powerful slice of dark and doomy punked up rock that you wouldn’t want to tangle with. Laced with gothic horror it is the soundtrack for a post-apocalyptic hammer horror movie about the zombie holocaust. Not for the faint hearted or those who like easy-listening. But plenty of nuances lift this above the average. Think Siousxie Sioux fronting a Nine Inch Nails and Ministry supergroup and you would be part way there. Vagueworld – Regret Everything Immediately Forever Upbeat, fun indie rock that really has the ability to get toes beating time. Add this to the jangly guitar riffs and vocal melodies that are pure pop and it is like the early 90’s never left. And for me that is a wonderful moment. These guys transported me instantly back to my halcyon days of youth, and I am forever grateful for the smile they put on my face as those memories flooded back. Ghosts In The Photographs – Our Memories Are Here To Haunt Us As soon as the first notes are struck you know this is a band from Oxford. They have that vibe and tone that seems to pouring from the city at the moment. This is a short EP of the sort of chilled out, reverb heavy dream-pop that is littering festival bills all summer, all space and atmosphere, although it differs from most by being instrumental. This did lead me to be constantly expecting some sort of singing, which never actually arrived, which is a bit of a weird feeling. Luckily, I rather like that sort of thing, so I look forward to more from these. Although I really would have liked some vocals to hook on to.