Album: Surfer Blood 'Astro Coast'

It’s an opportunity to share a room with a complete stranger. Witness their habits and organise a rota for which nights you are free to invite over lady friends. Despite the prospect of being coupled with an insomniac, or worse still a party pooper, American college dorms are viewed with an air of romanticism. Apparently they make for good recording spaces too, just ask Florida Uni Alumni Surfer Blood who’s January release ‘Astro Coast’ was recorded in theirs. Until this release I would have associated noises and college dorms with hearing medic housemates enjoy a kiss and a cuddle in the next room. However, Surfer Blood’s D.I.Y college ‘wall of sound’, and the resulting peach of an album, looks set to be one of the breakthroughs of next year. The University of Florida’s dorm application service is going to be busy.

‘Astro Coast’ has slowly been gathering hype online, especially since everyone’s favourite tip for next year The Drums tipped the band themselves. It seems in this ‘ones to watch’ culture soon music journalists will be forced to asked those who are bound for success to suggest more bands, who in turn will suggest a band, and so on. But Surfer Blood sound like exactly that, another band affiliated to this apparent surf-rock revival; Kelly Slater’s Haemoglobin with Shins-esque vocals. As a chap who has been lucky enough to sit through hours of ‘recommendations’ in recent weeks I welcome any Surf-Rock, Garage Revival, especially if it’s to sound like this.

Over the past month I’ve been internet-less. Modern day Tiny Tim I know, but it does mean I’ve given this album a fair old listen since I got it in November. As an album it’s incredibly easy to listen to uninterrupted, regardless of how much new music you have at your disposal. Tracks 1 and 2 ‘Floating Vibes’ and ‘Swim’ are perhaps the 2 most obvious singles, both catchy, punchy, retro-garage sounding tracks that draw similarities to The Shins and My Morning Jacket as much as they do Vampire Weekend. ‘Take It Easy’ is a personal favourite, a dreamy, afro-beat, hazy summer hit of a track complete with a long instrumental outro that I wanted to loop for the entirety of any journey I was trying to escape. Next ‘Harmonix’ and instrumental ‘Neighbor Riffs’ evoke similar influences and emotions, ‘Harmonix’ a drifting, slower track with prominent guitar work. Whilst ‘Twin Peaks’ is every bit as captivating as earlier tracks, with echoed Shinslike vocals and a chorus straight from Weezer’s blue album.

The test for an album like this has to be that I can listen to it in the rain and snow of the West Country, despite the fact it’s essentially a soundtrack to summer, more at home on Palm Beach than Weston Super Mare. It’s a brilliant album and one I will be buying officially when it comes out late January. Those of you who are lucky enough to live in London the band are treating you to 4 dates in early February. One, aptly, at Kingston’s ‘New Slang’ with Pete and the Pirates, that certainly is a gig worth attending. Alas, I will be back at University, attempting to record a Surf-Rock, lo-fi masterpiece of my own.

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Live Review: Good Shoes

It’s been over two years since Good Shoes released their debut album, Think before You Speak, and 3 years since they’re early demos dominated British music website discussion boards. For a band who have been extremely quiet throughout most of 2008 and 2009 tonight’s turn out is testament to their sound, especially in the stronghold for lad-rock that is Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. This considered the current tour is quite a change for a band that, in 2007, headlined the 2,000 capacity Astoria. It’s an opportunity for the band to almost start from scratch and play those kind of back of pub venues full of sweaty teens that their music led’s itself to.

Lead singer Rhys Jones fully embraces the intimate setting throughout the set, warning me in the interview prior to the gig that he’s prepared to join the crowd as many times as it takes to get them animated and rowdy. Despite the stagnant crowd’s best efforts the band remains upbeat and uses the opportunity to play a selection of tracks off the impending 2nd album ‘No Hope, No Future’. It’s difficult to judge them after one listen, and with the new wave of tracks ‘The Way My Heart Beats’ already seems like a classic. ‘Under Control’ has quickly found itself a crowd favourite and a couple of new tracks show the band perhaps going for a more angular, distorted sound with this follow up.

In with the new tracks were the expected, established hits from the debut album, Ice Age, Small Town Girl and Morden all sounding sharper and speeder than ever. An exuberant, enthusiastic gig marks the return of Good Shoes and on tonight’s evidence the band’s brand of jaunty indie pop look set to find it’s home once again on national radio playlists and in larger venues across the U.K.

Good Shoes Myspace

Good Shoes Interview Edit by nsrstationmanager


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Our Native Fellows

It seems like they appeared out of nowhere.

They probably didn't, they may of been blogged about since someone overheard them doing their first ever band practice.

I certainly would of if I had known these boys had so much god damn talent.

Blessing our shores with their layered and heartwarming songs Local Natives seems to be everybodys new favourite band and I for one couldn't agree more.

The great thing about the new album 'Gorilla Manor' is the fact you could press shuffle and be instantly wrapped in cotton wool and be wooed into a slumber by the vivid lyrics that hit you.

Stand out tracks from the album come in form of 'Airplanes' which starts with a chorus of boo's and then unravels a story in which many listeners will relate to, the dreaded 'wanting the ex back feeling' heartfelt and beautifully rolled out this was the turning point for me.

Other stand outs are Camera Talk and dare I say it A fleet foxes sounding 'world news' but hey! with a voice that amazing we can forgive and forget!

Gorilla Manor was released on the 2nd of Nov on infectious Records and they hit our shores in early 2010 where I will be welcoming them with open arms!


Local Natives Myspace

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The Men Who Stare At Goats

It’s not often that I’m genuinely disappointed with a movie but Grant Heslov’s ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ managed just that. Based on British Journalist Jon Ronson’s book on the U.S Military’s hilarious attempts to exploit paranormal abilities, the source material offered endless possibilities for the film adaptation. But although billed as an offbeat,quirky story of these military anomalies instead we are treated to a film which revolves more around self discovery.

The main problem is that the activities of the eccentric group of U.S Military ‘Jedi’s’ are not the focus of the movie. Instead it concentrates on reporter Bob Wilton (played by Ewan McGregor) much like Ronson’s position, and unnecessarily Americanized.

Life’s going all fine and dandy until his wife leaves him for a man with a prosthetic arm (should have acted as a warning) triggering him to do “what all men do when they have a broken heart” go to war, apparently. He meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney) who spends the evening telling stories of his time training as a psychic super-soldier, the most entertaining part of the film. The journey itself, a quest to find Cassady’s former mentor Bill Django (Jeff Bridges) in the Iraqi wilderness, just isn’t particularly interesting. A couple of entertaining moments are forgotten amongst the pedestrian plot and the extensive amount of voice over from McGregor, not helped by the fact his character is a little bland. There isn’t enough character development and what we’re left with is a series of unentertaining slapstick moments and an amusing incite into the U.S Military, already provided by the book.

Christian Allen

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Social Isation ftw


First time poster, long time follower here. Daviohead.

A month ago I came across the best album I have heard this year - Hospice by The Antlers. Hospice is a concept album about a 13 year old girl with bone cancer and her carer. Hearing the idea itself initially conjures a sense of distaste, as it's not the nicest thing to write about, but then you hear the music. The songs are tender and beautiful, think a mixture of bon iver with the sounds of arcade fire, and they cover the wide emotional spectrum the patient experiences with great skill and care. Highs and lows are covered, Imagining her 21st birthday (Bear), The carers denial (two) and her posthumous impression (Epilogue).

I never considered myself a sucker for a male falsetto, but it turns out it's a common denominator for my favorite albums both this year and last year (For Emma, Forever ago by Bon Iver). There is also another, deeper denominator at work here too - Social Isolation. Both Justin Vernon and Peter Silberman shut themselves off from the world (Wisconsin & New York respectively) in order to write their albums, both later recruited their bands and went onto great critical acclaim and on 'repeat all' in my ears over and over. So, going on this premise, I should finish a stonkingly good album by the end of the month. The antlers will shortly be playing a few dates in the UK, and Hospice is out now.


The Antlers Myspace

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The Cube

Here's a short article I was asked to write for the Newcastle student paper The Courier, which I wrote on the ITV television program The Cube. They didn't use it. Maybe I'm just not Geordie enough.
But it seems a shame to let this go to waste, seeing as I spent an entire afternoon of my life writing it, so here we are...

Phillip Schofield’s latest vehicle is quite the departure from his Gordon The Gopher or Fern Britton wielding days. Dramatically low-pitched voiceovers, big money prizes, Matrix-style slow motion, and a format so suspense-filled it makes 24 look like Tots TV.

But what it does have in common with many of Schofield’s works, is that it leaves the viewer perplexed as to whether they’re watching the best program currently on television, or the worst...because it’s ostensibly both.

The very concept of The Cube is simultaneously brilliant and ridiculous; contestants must perform apparently simple tasks, which are somehow made incredibly hard to perform purely because they’re taking place inside THE CUBE. As such, the show treats us to the spectacle of watching grown men attempt to catch balls in order to win £10,000, which by its very nature makes for tense viewing.

But because these games are seemingly so simple, the actual playing of them doesn’t fill up much of the show’s hour, and so – for a Saturday evening primetime slot – there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of slow motion and deliberation.

Which is just as well really. Gives me time to try and work out whether I love The Cube or hate it.


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Live Review: Mumford & Sons

The Cluny, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Interview For NSR:

21st September 2009

Gone are the stereotypes of middle aged, grass chewing, check-shirted men finger picking banjos to the delight of a gaggle of flowery dresses. Mumford and Sons are surely the figurehead to a new generation of lively folk acts, armed with beautiful vocal harmonies, talented musicianship and mood-altering, poetic lyrics. This is by no means a ‘scene’ more a community of musicians who join each other on tour and contribute backing vocals more often than an England football team on a novelty tournament song.

Tonight is a welcomed return for Marcus Mumford and Co, with various sound issues marring their last visit to Newcastle at an intimate Cumberland Arms gig. They announce their arrival with a hushed, almost acapella version of ‘Sigh No More’ before breaking out into ‘Awake My Soul’ which does more than just wake a dozen members of the crowd who seem intent in barn dancing, and strangely pogoing their way through the set.

Latest single ‘Little Lion Man’ is greeted with a merry chant along from the sold old crowd and looks set to become the bands anthem, the sort of song fans will pester them to play throughout their career. Indeed the band, like a conductor, has the crowd in their complete control. When the instruments cut out the gathering fall silent, hanging on every lovelorn word. Then as the banjo, drums, bass and guitar take over, the audience can’t help but stomp their feet along. The set finishes on the perfect final song, ‘Dust Bowl Dance’. A personal favourite of mine, it’s a track which comes into its own live with Marcus Mumford putting any of his remaining energy into the drum kit.

Tonight we’re treated to a set which plays almost the complete track listing of M&S’s debut album ‘Sigh No More’. A fitting name for an album which, live, perfectly expresses both a broken heart and sorrow before offering hope and optimism. Although the album has received mixed reviews, Mumford & Sons show tonight their gift for storytelling and performance which leaves the crowd spellbound and promises much for their future.

Christian Allen

Mumford and Sons Myspace

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You Tripped Over My Heart

Rose Elinor Dougall - Fallen Over

Rose Elinor Dougall must already be fed up of reviews linking her current project to her pokadot past as the lead member of the Pipettes, alas the transition from band to solo isn’t as easy as Phil Collins would make out. The Pipettes arguably were the first act of recent times to acknowledge and embody the sound of pre-rock/mid-60s girl-group pop which has now proved so fruitful for Duffy, Amy Winehouse and co. They brought back a forgotten girl group sound and made it contemporary and fun again before falling apart after one album and a handful of singles. They became perhaps a little too twee, almost a novelty act for the indie crowd. However Rose Elinor Dougall has successfully disassociated herself from this with her own work and this latest offering due out in November.

The first to go solo, I originally became aware of Dougall’s work with her previous single “Stop/Start/Synchro” and “Fallen Over” can only further her fan base. A nostalgic pop track, Dougall’s vocals float over the descending bassline and pacey drums perfectly as she sings of the difficulties that come with a relationship. How we often stumble, but these troubles are continually worth it.

Dougall has been careful to take her time with her return. Quietly making sure her sound grows organically with limited release singles, bedroom recordings and the like. She admits this single itself has gone through a few incarnations before its recording and right now she sounds like she's trying to find her own sound and style. But this single is encouraging stuff and with an album ‘Without Why’ due out next year, it seems Rose Elinor Dougall will dispel any notion of the difficulties that come with going solo.

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Here's a shameless plug for mine and Chris' band Candidates.

We recorded a couple of demos a few weeks back, and so we just thought we'd post them up here for you to listen to :)

01 My First Pair Of Sondicos by Candidates

02 Procrastination by Candidates

Let us know what you think in the old comments section there.

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The Boys Are Leaving Town...

Not only are Japandroids a garage rock two-piece, but they’re from Vancouver, whats not to like? Two members playing the loudest and fastest they can, this band has all the enthusiasm and velocity of a 5 piece punk outfit. The recent trend for no thrill, lo-fi recordings and indeed a two man setup obviously suits this band but there’s more to Japandroids. Their energy and enthusiasm is matched by their ear for a catchy melody and relaxed, often amusing lyrics ‘Let's get to France, So we can French kiss some French girls’. They embark on their first tour of the U.K late October.


Japandroids Official Myspace

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Here at Next Goal Wins Towers, we're quite fond of our sport.

Yeah, we're a 'music blog' (whatever that is), but that name didn't come from our hanging out down the park as 8 year olds looking for the latest TV On The Radio remixes on the Hype Machine; nope, it filtered through from our childhood, along with the phrases "Jumpers for goalposts!" and "Can Chris come out to play please?"

But even though football was 8 year old Gareth's first love, it did not own my heart entirely.
As soon as the sun burst through the clouds on a regular basis, and that famous Booker T and the MGs tune signaled the start of the BBC's coverage of the first test between England Vs Australia/West Indies/India/etc, I'd be enraptured (though I did not know by what at the time) by the sheer poetic beauty of the game of cricket.

And so that's why it breaks my heart to see English cricket in the state that it's in.

"BUT WAIT A MINUTE GARETH, England just valiantly won a thrilling Ashes series against an Australian side chock-full of world class talent, didn't they? How can you say that English cricket is in a bad state?" I hear you cry.

Well, my retort to that question is this: for all I know, England haven't won the Ashes, it's all just been a big media illusion. British sport's version of the moon landings, with conspiracy theories abound as to whether or not it all actually happened. I have no proof that it actually happened, because I haven't seen a single ball bowled.
And do you know why I haven't seen a single ball of the 2009 Ashes bowled?

Because in 2005, prior to that year's famous Ashes series, the English Cricket Board sold the rights to all of England's live test games to Sky, rather than to one of the terrestrial channels.

And as such I'm finding it really hard to celebrate. I really am. And yet I long to. Trust me I do.

2005 was one of the happiest summers of my life: the reclaiming of English patriotism from fascist clutches, as sporting events so often do, was riding high on the agenda of the nation's collective consciousness, and the feeling of pride and happiness induced by the novel notion that we English are actually half decent at some sports was something beautiful, and something wonderful that, for those six magnificent weeks we all had in common with one another.
Even people who had never cared for cricket before, could not help but be captivated by Flintoff, KP, Vaughan and co's antics in the fourth and fifth tests that summer.

Even my Mum shouted for joy when Rudi Koertzen pulled those stumps out of the ground.

Yet this year, there's been none of that. And it's all the English Cricket Board's fault.

And this isn't even the thing that breaks my heart the most.
What breaks my heart the most, is thinking of all of those children who were intent on emulating Flintoff with the ball and Pietersen with the bat, on council estates and in parks up and down the country in 2005; and then thinking about how many of them have probably given up those dreams now, and perhaps didn't even realise the Ashes was taking place this summer.
Simply because their parents can't afford Sky.

It's all the English Cricket Board's fault.
Good job on the whole promoting cricket front, chaps.
I hope you're happy with yourselves.


P.s. Just to legitimise this post as fitting in with the rest of the music blog, here's a cricket related song:
The Duckworth Lewis Method's Jiggery Pokery

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Right and Wrong

The Soft Pack - Right and Wrong

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Miike Snow "Burial" from Downtown Music on Vimeo.

It seems you can't go on a music blog without finding an article on Swedish 3 piece Miike Snow at the moment, and their new single 'Animal' is receiving more airtime than a Coldseal Windows Ad, but here's the beautifully shot video for their last single 'Burial'.

Miike Snow Official Myspace


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Stainless Style...

Delorean are a lovely 4 piece originally from the Basque Country currently making their music in Barcelona, their move no doubt influenced by the late 80s exploits of Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes! 4 chaps with exciting nombres that us En-Ger-Land inhabitants could only dream of, their new E.P 'Ayrton Senna' (this band are full of car references) is a beautiful record fitting for this time of year. Ekhi, Guillermos, Igor and Unai have created an E.P that is equally danceable as it is relaxing, both fitting as a bar's background music and as a disco floorfiller. The E.P opener 'Deli' is complete with atmospheric minamalistic guitars, hiprolling baselines, piano-house keyboards and delicate, breathy female vocal samples. Drawing more than a passing comparison to the synthpop of equally exotic St Albans' trio Friendly Fires.

The song that's gaining the most hype however is 'Seasun' a track which pretty much tries to encapsulate both these features, like a day out at Weston Super Mare in music form. It builds slowly to a perfect dreamy hook, a track which indicates the band arent afraid to limit the vocal influence in their songs. The guitars seem to fit in with the Passion Pit, Temper Trap sound which currently is more popular than a comparethemarket advertising campaign, 'glo-fi' or whatever it's been christened this week.

The E.P is available on everyone's favourite, Spotify. Which I've noticed, has started playing 2 ad's in a row. I mean, I can forgive being reminded that Fosters are trying to appeal to those of us who are a quarter Australian, but this followed by an ad where an actor poses as a friend wanting to explain 'acceptable drinking' is far from acceptable, and is threatening to ruin any listening experience!

Oh ok then, here's Deli for you.

Delorean Official Myspace


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Big Boots To Fill...

So its been a while...actually it feels more like decade since I last spoke my free mind on this wonderful blog. Summer it seems has brought about quite a few changes ranging from me actually having a job to buy and actually do things. I am in a stable relationship which seems to be going somewhere...and last but not least Man City and Real Madrid have spent about the same amount of money that it will cost me to finish university and it’s pretty obvious that they will finish in the same position next year.

However good as come musically and in the form of Bombay Bicycle Club. It seems that for some reason they have bypassed me for a long time now and it was only until they released ‘Always like This’ that they finally caught my attention. In all fairness they never seemed to have much about them, a poor mans Good Shoes if you will. However after watching them at Live at Leeds and playing their E.P’s ’ How we are’ and ‘The Boy I Used To Be’ I fell in love with Jack Steadman’s shakey vocals.

It would be easy to say that I have loved this band since they started and try and blag that I have ‘watched them grow’ into their new sound that they have on recently released ‘I had the blues but I shook them loose’ but I haven’t and instead found out about a wonderful band at the right time. It seems critics wise they haven’t found many friends with numerous reviews slating the album and ridiculously giving it 5 out of 10 or 2 out of 5.

This all comes about in a period in which the most lyrically talented artists such as Little Boots and La Roux are being rewarded with success. Give me a break please. ‘I’m gonna take you out tonight, I’m gonna make you feel alright’ she’s no Bob Dylan that’s for sure.

Album wise BBC are pretty tip top with ‘Lamplight’ and ‘Cancel on Me’ being standouts. The whole concept of the album is brilliant in a sense that no one song sounds the same. They should in all fairness be awarded for having the steel to be able to not just get a safe sound and stick with it which seems a common pattern of late.

Highlights for the summer easily come from The Maccabees, Passion Pit and Animal Collective with a sneaky little number from the Virgins(only one song mind) in the form of ‘Love is Colder Than Death’ at least they have musical talent for 5 minutes.

Next Goal Wins will be vacating our not so sunny shores in a few weeks to visit the Rhineland and maybe catch Hasselhoff on the Berlin Wall...or not. So expect tales a plenty as well as some fabulous holiday snaps.
Nathanial Day-Lewis (Thanks Andy)


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Massive tUnEs.

I came straight out of eight months of dissertation writing into a full time job.
There we go. It's not a particularly decent excuse, but it's an excuse nevertheless.
Sorry I've only posted three times during the course of 2009. I am tremendously rubbish.
But by way of a "SORRY" present, I've decided I'm going to write a series of short and straight to the point "I love this band! This is why! Now make your own assessment!" articles on my favourite up and coming acts of the moment.


Picture the scene. We're in the death throes of the the final day of the 2009 Breeders' curated ATP at Butlins, Minehead; I've fallen in love with Blood Red Shoes all over again, hugged Kimya Dawson, danced my socks off to Foals, been brutalised by Melt Banana, admired The Bronx, almost combusted with euphoria whilst watching Holy F**k, been told by a complete stranger that I'm "the cutest thing" she'd "ever seen" (this remains my life's pinnacle of experiencing humbling fear, my distinctly ridiculous shy awkwardness, hilarity and sheer cockiness SIMULTANEOUSLY), eaten my own bodyweight in chips and cereal bars, been guided through a game of indie bingo by my housemates, and just generally had a wonderful, incredible time.

And then there was her.

Merrill Garbus, or tUnE-yArDs to you and me, takes to the stage, with three tom-drums around her, armed only with her ukulele, loop pedal and stunning voice.
She resides in a perfect spot on the musical spectrum: halfway between lo-fi experimentalism and blissful pop sensibilities, halfway between the great soul-searchingly delicate acoustic songwriters of yesteryear and the current wave of hipster female artists, halfway between avant-garde eccentricity and mainstream acceptability. Just listen to her. Go on.

Her debut album bIrD-bRaInS, released on 4AD records was recorded on a dictaphone and
then collated together into the finished product on shareware music software ('Audacity' no
less, which this writer has used many times to record rubbish quality demos).
The result is a collection of charming lo-fi songs, distinctive from those of anybody else in
the contemporary music world, by their very oeuvre and musicality.

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Proverbial Ship of Fools...

There certainly is a threat that this blog becomes strictly a place for us to upload our various radio show podcasts, but whilst we think up a proper blog article here at NextGoalWins headquarters here's another podcast for your listening pleasure!


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Indepunxdence Day

Wednesday's are good for alot of things; Midweek football games, lottery draws, afternoons off school and ash. Another to add to the list is our very own radio show. The imaginately titled Stroud Alternative Show on Stroud Fm!
These are the edited down best bits of the last week for you!
Including: Swearing's health benefits, Chris Moyles, Boris Johnson, Festival News
and plenty of loads of new jingles.


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The Capital of Seagull Poo, Tramps and Dirt...

So all 3 members of Stroud Fm's Alternative Show are now back for summer, lovely. Here's the much anticipated podcast of the first show back with all 3 of us! Only the 2nd half, sorry I forgot to record the first hour hoho. Highlights include the debate over the capital of Gloucestershire, Vatican Radio, skips full of C.D's and hmm well thats essentially the whole podcast!

Stroud Fm - Stroud Alternative Show 8th of July 2009


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Stroud Alternative Show Does Breakfast...

The Stroud Alternative Show is back for summer...yessssss. We've even been given the opportunity to do the friday breakfast slot, which is nice. Here's a 20 minute podcast of our first attempt at being slightly more serious with our important 7-9 show, the day after Michael Jackson's death.


Christian & Gareth

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Welcome to the Walk Alone...

The Rumble Strips (also known as audio tactile profiled markings….who doesn’t know that?) are back, POW. Extra excitement is provided by the fact that the new album is produced by none other than Mark Ronson. Whose dad, despite his surname, is called Laurence. According to Wikipedia Ronson is related to Tory M.P Malcolm Rifkind. This and he’s worked with both Nate Dogg and The Kaiser Chiefs makes for quite a Christmas card list.

But between having famous connections and going out with pretty girls he’s become what the Daily Mail recently described as an ‘uber producer’. Only in Friedrich Nietzsche’s wildest dreams did he think his term would be used to describe a guy whose first hit was titled ‘ooh wee’. Stick uber in front of anything and not only does it emphasise the size and importance of what you’re referring to it also makes you sound like a tool. Still, on the evidence of this album Mark Ronson has made The Rumble Strips into…The Uber Rumble Strips, ahem.

Highlights include ‘Daniel’ and new single ‘Not the Only Person’ both catchier than any of the bands previous efforts. ‘Daniel’ in particular shows The Rumble Strips going off in a new direction, with bellowing vocals and dramatic orchestration throughout. ‘Douglas’ harks back to the sound of the 50s with slow paced Shadows like guitars, whilst bluesy ‘Dem Girls’ is another potential sing along hit.

So no ‘difficult second album’ for The Rumble Strips with this effort then. With the help of Mark Ronson ‘Welcome to the Walk Alone’ looks set to gain The Rumble Strips more commercial success, on the lines of Mystery Jets 2nd effort last year. Charlie Waller and co have returned with a more epic sound whilst keeping the sense of fun and charm that made them stand out of the crowd originally. Lovely, thanks Mark.

The Rumble Strips‘ new album, Welcome to the Walk Alone is out on July 13th.

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Got Struck By The First Volley...

Oh dear so somebody at Little Boots towers didn’t like my last blog entry on the plusses and (mostly) minuses of her new album ‘Hands’. Well here’s another Little Boots download hoho only joking. We’ve all moved on, my Little Boots review undoubtedly has become today’s chip paper and Little Boots is old news, tennis is all the rage now right?

It’s that time of year again, where the majority of BBC2’s evening coverage will be taken up by various tennis highlights from past and present. Like a first girlfriend you won’t be able to escape it for 2weeks. Then just as you think you’re getting the knack of it, it’ll end and you’ll forget what all the fuss was about. Never have I seen such an increase in the participation of one sport than Tennis in the last 2 weeks of June. As a kid I remember various epic 5set battles against my garden wall in between the busy Wimbledon schedule; as does the wall every time he see’s those runner-up trophies of his. A cruel reminder of those commanding leads he threw away.

It’s as if the sport hibernates for the rest of the year in Britain, in preparation for this event. But it really is something to look forward to. Maybe this is the year where the latest hopeful to be given a ridiculous amount of media attention and his/her own raised bit of land (see Henman Hill, Murray Mount and Rusedski Ridge) will end the tournament with more than an advertising deal with Persil.

Anyway, here are a couple of songs to ease you through any number of rain delays, and those loveable impromptu Cliff Richard sets that come with them.


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The Mac is Back

So today I got the best news ever.

My friend Calvin posted me a link for the new Maccabees album...

now I wouldn’t usually get this worked up over and album...nor would I of imagined in a million years that I would download the album for free before its release as The Maccabees are in my world on par with Jesus. No offence intended to anyone out there but I have ye little faith in the old big G.

I am currently sat in my university Library trying to reach a deadline for 12pm tomorrow and I have listened to 'Wall of Arms' 4 times in 3 hours.

I know I got a tad little bit worked up about The Horrors even though it still is a masterpiece but this Maccabees album is what I have been looking forward too since they released 'Colour It In' although that album ranks in my top five albums of all time it was released at a time where many people had already heard the majority of the songs in the build up.

What is different this time is that like White Lies they have only given away one or two songs for people to listen to which are 'Love You Better' and 'No Kind Words', each completely different and wonderful in their own right. This album is fresh, new and unheard materiel which nearly knocked me off my chair.

This 5 piece sound like they have matured into their sound and rather than try something completely different like The Horrors they have instead tweaked their songs to make them even more heartfelt than before which I didn’t think was possible.

I will be able to give more of a detailed review once I have maxed out the album but for now I am just sat here with a small smirk on my face wondering how anyone could of ever doubted they weren’t going to nail it...

P.s I wont be posting a song up on here from the album until after the release date as I feel guilty for even having it.X

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Worth Finding

I've only posted to good old NGW twice since the beginning of 2009 as a result of my life being consumed entirely by my dissertation; and one of those posts wasn't even about music, it was just a massive rant about how much I hated the first ten minutes of the new series of Skins. I managed to see the last ten minutes as well. They weren't much better.

But in the last few weeks I've stumbled across something so magnificently wonderful that I just had to write about it, so I've put my final draft and my textbooks down for a moment.

Now, this is perhaps the most pretentious piece of prose that will ever be entered on Next Goal Wins, but bear with me, as the music of Ólafur Arnalds is worth it.

Arnalds is an Icelandic neo-classical composer, who has (predictably for an avant-garde Icelandic musician) supported Sigur Ros on tour in the past, and is building up a critically acclaimed reputation for himself as creating beautiful, classically orchestrated soundscapes that fall somewhere between his post-rocking compatriots and the great neo-classical and post-minimalist composers of the last half century.

But recently he's excelled himself, electing to spend the week commencing the 13th of April 2009, writing, recording and releasing one new musical work a day, to be collated under the title Found Songs and available for free download over at

I urge you to visit this URL, and to download the songs for yourself.
I would review them myself, but when these tracks are a) so utterly FREE that it will cost you nothing but a few minutes of your day to download and hear them with your own ears, and b) so wonderfully incredible that my limited range of superlatives will not be able to do them justice, there just doesn't seem to be any point.

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Peaches & Mean

So after finally getting a chance to listen to the Horrors new album in full and to which I have since then put on loop for about 5 days straight, I can still safely say that it is the work of art that I thought it would be...and none of this Turner prize winning rubbish! I mean Andy Warhol scale art.

As I have said before I was never a big fan of the Horrors. Always over hyped and over dressed they seemed to have no real heart in their music when compared to bands around in the same period such as The Maccabees who just shone with passion. Not to lump them in the same category however or to dismiss them as they have obviously had big influence on bands such as SCUM and Ipso Facto.

The album Primary Colours brings out a new and creative side I never thought I would see from a band that cared more about how big their hair was than making something worth listening too.

Starting with an electro beat feel “Mirrors Image” is to perfect antidote for people who are used to listening to the franticness of the old Horrors, we are then sucked in by their new sound as we move onto 'Three Decades' which picks up the pace and reveals how good Farris’s voice is. 'Who can say' which is a personal favourite of the album sounds more like Joy Division than anything else with distorted Guitars and an eerie keyboard building up for Farris to declare to the world “and then I kissed her, with a kiss that could only mean goodbye”.

The album picks up the pace quite a lot with ‘The New Ice Age’ and we hear a more ferocious Ferris than we have in earlier tracks. Scarlet Fields which another personal favourite tones down the mood and allows the band to show their true colours with Rhys Webb on keyboards bringing a touch of magic to the track. It is at this point that the album really comes together and in which I realised how much of a complete and well thought album this is.

According to Interviews they recorded in a studio in Bath which had no windows and which sent them nearly insane and it is clearly evident on this album.
I can only assume that the influences from this album came from Farris break up with the Ditzy and rather unimpressive Peaches Geldof who is now currently dating The Lead singer of the Virgins who are hotly tipped but have as much talent as Mr Casablanca’s has in one finger. The lyrics aren’t as dark as their previous album but talk more of loss and desperation which is evident in ‘I only think of you’.

The next two tracks which include the Title Track and the newly released 'Sea within a Sea' are a brilliant way to round off such a stunning album. 'Sea within a Sea' lasts for exactly 7.58 minutes and it contains everything in one track that was needed to completely change my verdict on The Horrors and make me take notice and listen. You should too...

The Horrors Website

Horrors-Scarlet Fields mp3

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Another week, another radio show. Here are the edited down bits and bobs from our show this week on the beloved Stroud Fm. For all you busy bodies out there the 2nd part is a mere 20mins long. Happy Easter!

Stroud Alternative Show - 2nd Easter Show Part 1
Stroud Alternative Show - 2nd Easter Show Part 2


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Imagine my Horror...

I have never been a big fan of The Horrors. Its always been too much style over substance and I personally feel they have never lived up to their hype..

However after managing to get my hands on their new album a few weeks before its release it was to my upmost surprise and shock when I realised that they had made a beautifully crafted album filled with something that I would of never of thought they had in them.

Sea within a Sea which you can download at the moment for free from their website is a hauntingly yet wonderful song which lasts 8.23 but is as far as possible that they could of moved away from their average former self's. I will be reviewing the album in its full once I have given it a well earnt on repeat listen but to be honest so far they have been the biggest shock for of 2009.

Its always nice have a good surprise...

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And Now For Something Completely Different...

Well it seems with the release of 'The Boat That Rocked' being a radio d.j is all the rage nowadays. So in the spirit of things here's the latest edited podcast of our radio show on Stroud Fm, 'Stroud Alternative Show'. Music from the likes of The Doves, Animal Collective, Eugene McGuinness and Moreeeee.

Stroud Alternative Show Podcast - 2nd of April 2009


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Returnnnnnn of the Mac

So its time for the return of the big guns to the indie pop world.

With the imminent return of The Maccabees, Jack Penate and Jamie T we have to ask the question...has the indie world changed too much for these bands and singer song writers to slip back into the stream.

With band such as Kings of Leon and White Lies scoring number ones and trying world domination it seems that the bands that were big favourites a couple of years ago may of just faded into the background for far too long.

I personally cannot wait for the return of these 3 great talents to shake things up and show us the real talent that comes from the homeland rather than having to put up with the below average bands such as Glasvegas and The Ting Tings. I think it will be interesting to see whether or not these bands will be able to progress from their stunning debuts as they have all had quite a bit of time to find their feet rather than just throwing out a second album straight away.

This week I will also be seeing Wild Beasts who will be showcasing some of their new material at their show on Wed 11th at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. I am really really excited about this because their first album was such a mix of diverse talent and one of the most obscure but exciting albums to date. We will have to see how diverse their material is in comparison to their debut but I think they will pull out of something special.

The last couple of weeks have also been a big eye opener in terms of dub step and minimal. With Max and the boys upstairs giving me more music I have found out the talents of Rusko, Skream, Tiga and Proxy. Massive Massive tunes are now being dropped in my bedroom before we go out. It took me a while to get into dubstep but now I really can’t get enough of it and Wax On at New Year was when I really started to appreciate it. So I feel good that I have branched out into a completely different area of music and am getting really and truly on it.

Over and Out


Rusko Myspace

The Maccabees Myspace

Jamie T Myspace

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Wild Beasts Interview


I caught up with Wild Beasts half way through their U.K tour at the End Bar, Newcastle!

Christian: How has the tour been for you so far, do you sense people are enjoying the new songs?

Wild Beasts: It’s gone better then we could have dreamt of, people have been really open minded. It’s important for us to tour, realistically the album may not be out till September but when you’re in a band and you make new music you want people to hear it straight away.

Christian: So you’ve finished recording the new album, that’s a pretty quick turnaround from last year’s ‘Limbo Panto’, pretty prolific.

Wild Beasts: Well that’s our job; it’s easy to get embroiled in other things. But being in the studio recording new music is where we want to be.

Christian: For people who haven’t heard you before can you try and sum up your sound?

Wild Beasts: Fundamentally it’s pop music, 4 minute long songs with verses and choruses. But at the same time we want to think outside the box, and surprise people. We ourselves are very bored of what we’re being force fed.

Christian: What can we expect from the new album then?

Wild Beasts: Musically I think it’s more ‘groovy’ and danceable. More accessible and less of an intense listen from the last album.

Christian: What new releases are you most looking forward to in 2009?

Wild Beasts: One of the most underrated bands around are Junior Boys, they’re on Domino Records and have a new album coming out this year. If it’s anything like the last it will be worth a listen.

Christian: The first time I saw you was a couple of years ago supporting Maximo Park at Gloucester Guildhall and the crowd wasn’t really sure how to take you, is this becoming less the case now?

Wild Beasts: I remember that being a particularly difficult gig but that’s part of what we want, to confront people.

Christian: Any advice for Newcastle Students?

Wild Beasts: Make the most of it. Just keep on having a good time because you won’t get the chance to again.


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Doing His Best

Tom Williams & The Boat – Doing My Best E.P

Tom Williams deserves more attention. He’s released 3 ep’s since late 2007, that’s already over 20 songs to please everyone's ears. He's adding to this bank of songs with his new E.P 'Doing My Best' a statement which, after a few listens, is difficult to deny.

The E.P itself is a progression from last year’s 8 track ‘Got Fuel’, with a bigger band sound and tracks which explore a wide range of emotions. From the upbeat, autobiographical ‘24’ to the more sorrowful ‘Voicemail’ the songs fit together perfectly. A constant theme throughout the E.P is that of growing up and not being ‘cool’ a common subject matter but something easy to relate to. Title track ‘Doing My Best’ is catchy but tracks 1 and 2 show the band at their best. ‘24’ and ‘Concentrate’ highlight the strength of Tom Williams’ song writing and cement his place as one of the U.K’s most promising singer-songwriters and the added dimension of a band only strengthens this.

On this evidence, given the recent resurgence in the popularity of British anti-folk it won’t be long before Tom Williams and the Boat gain wider recognition, on a par with those they’ve supported.

Tom Williams and the Boat - Concentrate

Tom Williams and the Boat Official Website
Tom Williams and the Boat Myspace


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Yolk Yolk Yeahs

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have kept pretty quiet since the 2006 release of 'Show Your Bones'. Ok, so there was the Is Is E.P but not enough to keep dedicated 'KarenOites' happy.

The new single, Zero, is streaming away on their myspace and on first impressions all is well. Maybe not as experimental as was reported by various sources, but the 3rd album always tends to be the one where bands claim this anyway.

Producer of the moment David Sitek is on board and with contributions from members of TV on the Radio and The Bird and the Bee I'm under the impression that the forthcoming album has the potential to make Yeah Yeah Yeahs a household name. It certainly seems the right time for this synth heavy track, what with electro influence and female vocals being on every critics lips. Oh and the album artwork is pretty cool, I prefer scrambled too.

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Take a step back. I warn you this post is not about new indie bands, not about post-rock, not about student radio shows and not even about the state of youth-directed TV. In all honesty, It's just not cool...

Most of you at some point this week probably read it, heard it, possibly even tasted it, that yes, Blink 182 are back. Whether they’ll be better than ever remains to be seen, and that point itself is determined by whether you thought them to be any good the first time round. As a totally random twelve year old dude, who could only seem to wear clothes four sizes too big for him, I admit here and now that I was a fan of Blink. I laughed as much as the next way-cool, pop-punk loving teen with a “if we’re fucked up you’re to blame” attitude, at the way-cool naked adventures of the trio in What’s My Age Again? and at Delonge’s, Hoppus’ and Barker’s mockery of the so-not-cool pop scene of the time in All the Small Things. But in fairness I was twelve, and as I grew up I began to get a feeling that perhaps there was more to this whole music thing than merely the genre of pop-punk. I did infact, grow up... I started wearing clothes that fit me, I started reading literature for fun and not just at school, I began to understand things in a way that meant pop-punk needed to be forgotten and left in late nineties/early naughties California, and allow me to get on with my life. Thankfully the break up of Blink allowed me to forget. Because it seemed that this was the nail in the coffin of Pop-punk. And until this week in my life, and the music world, it has been the forgotten genre, it’s seemed as though anyone who wants to look like they have a vaguely respectable music taste tries to acknowledge the genre being more dead than Myspace. But now that they’ve reformed, the ghosts of my music taste past have returned to haunt me. No doubt the mass fan base they acquired originally, most of them young teens such as myself at the time, will for the most part return to listening to them, seeing as the return of this band will probably also be the return of a little piece of many people’s childhood. And heck, even for those such as me who see themselves as having a taste above the genre and the music produced by the band all those years ago, we’ll probably return to listening out of curiosity. Who knows, pop-punk could truly be forgotten and they may be reforming as a post-rock act.

Unbelievably, it seems another significant band to the same years of my childhood and to anyone who was a fan of wrestling have made their own comeback, Limp Bizkit. This combined with the rumours of a return to BBC prime-time for Noel’s House Party and the fact that a close friend of mine today actually exclaimed “TMI!” at me, make me feel like I’m in a really shit time machine that’s content on making me relive the childhood bands I’m most embarrassed about having ever listened to and annoying nineties catchphrases. I can only take solace in the fact that maybe, just maybe Noel will finally be back where he belongs.

It does however, seem hard to know what to say about Blink though. I’d love to launch a scathing attack on the genre, and I’m sure it would probably be the cool thing to do to rant about how it’s clearly just a big money-grab and that the friendships aren’t really repaired or make up some conspiracy theory about how they were never even truly on negative terms as it was, or state that the majority of their fanbase probably no longer lives at home with their parents so no longer feels the need to vent their misplaced juvenile rage, or that this will most likely tarnish my memories of them... but I can’t. I can’t bring myself the energy or the will to do anything but say hell, they were fun before I'd started growing pubes so now let’s wait and see what they do. Because for me they are a band that I did enjoy growing up, albeit from the ages of ten to thirteen, and as un-cool a band they are to admit you loved in the modern age, they were certainly a part of my childhood. And heck, concerning the majority of the music produced on their final unititled album, if you just gave them northern or cockney English accents you could quite easily pass them off as indie. And I mean c’mon, whose going to be forgetting in a hurry those such monumentally inspirational words, those words that got me through such hard times in my youth, those never to be forgotten words... “we started making out, and she took off my pants, but then I turned on the TV”... genius.

Oh guys, you're just TOO wacky

Here’s a track to remember just what blink brought to the table. A track I was no doubt singing along to whilst sitting alone in my room playing on Tony Hawks Skateboarding...
Graeme x

Anthem Part Two – Blink 182

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