All week my earworm was Nick Lowe’s I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass, with ‘glass’ replaced with ‘eggs’, such was the eggcitement about Easter. However, my chocolate was tainted by the death of Jim Marshall, inventor of rock’s greatest amp and the man who shaped the music we love. So, as Easter is a time of resurrection, I went through my record shelf, choccy in hand, honouring the great guitar heroes I’ve idolised over the years.

But reminiscing is a false homage. If Marshall had looked backwards, his invention would still be a small town PA, crackling beneath the horn section. I therefore closed the record player and hit the streams to discover what is making music exciting now; proving great music is continually vibrant. Whether there’s a guitar on them or not, Marshall’s legacy lives on in these nine albums. RIP Jim.


Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light (npr.org)

A new Spiritualized album is never going to be ground-breaking. It’s going to be gently ambient, and shatteringly fierce. The key is, is it magnificently uplifting? Happily this is. 'Get What You Deserve' builds primordially before gracefully dissipating to become part of your DNA and Mary is a funk soul epic. Jason Pierce seemingly uses quantum mechanics to recreate every part of his career at the same time, while managing to sound essential, unlike another band. The melding or orchestration, space-fuzz and hypnotic vocals make Sweet Heart Sweet Light an album that always has been, and forever well be, great.

Eight and a Half - Eight and a Half (pastemagazine.com)

The debut from this supergroup of Broken Social Scene and The Stills members is a fantastical melodrama of gorgeous synths and lush layering. It’s galloping beats turn psychedelic for the hypnotic fuzz of Two Points while Oh, My Head appropriately pounds the senses. At times it resembles a MOR Secret Machines, yet veers into fast lane of uplifting synth pop.

Tigercats – Isle Of Dogs (fikarecordings.com)

Tigercats are good, REALLY good. Not a flash in the pan hip’n’happening scene band, but one you can dance to, timelessly encapsulating the wit of Hefner and energy of David Gedge. Isle of Dogs is as indie as can be without relying on clichéd xylophones to tick a twee box; its musical quality surpassing gimmicks. They aurally articulate East London through catchy hooks which are frankly perfect.

Black Dice – Mr Impossible (playgroundmag.net)

This slightly absurd album of non-beats and discharge from a pubescent photocopier is what I listened to in the 90s, but now it’s done properly. The Jacker is a modem dry-humping your wife, and Pigs is a comic book Ministry, yet there’s an aura of Wrong Music’s cheeky gabba gone art-house, both lofty and gritty. It’s easy to hate, but is truly exciting.

Lissy Trullie – Lissy Trullie (spinner.com)

Lissy Trullie has created a wonderfully breezy record which is part 80’s electro dub-pop, part Calexico stomp as well as every other genre. There’s a pop simplicity to her hipster sheen, which screams ‘please like me’ as though hosting a party and schmoozing everyone to their tastes. Although it’s a sporadic record, there’s a traditionally inclusive showmanship to her safe and accessible wonder-pop.

Schlachtofbronx – Dirty Dancing (stoneyroads.com)

Like Alegranza and The Very Best before them Munich’ Schlachtofbronx have an African dancehall, Diplo influenced, tip going on. However, it’s The Bug’s dub-hall dogma which has been primed to frame Dirty Dancing’s ceremony of invigorating sound-system bangers. An appearance by Warrior Queen tops of an exceptional record, making MIA sound like Miley Cyrus.

Dead Fingers – Dead Fingers (oxfordamerican.com)

This married couple’s alternating harmonies provide a passion lacking from their alt-americana contemporaries, giving their debut a refreshing angle. Alongside traditional pedal-steel and organ there are discordant solos and the engrained sincerity of a cowboy whistling on a dusky porch. Its indie core, from time spent in Conor Oberst’s band, gives a sunshine 60’s and urban feel which suits it perfectly.

Screaming Females – Ugly (spin.com)

When Steve Alibini produces a record, you know exactly what to expect, yet Marissa Paternoster guitar playing is something altogether surprising. Ugly is unashamedly proud of constant guitar widdling, displaying Mascis-esque solo’s throughout every song. You can almost feel the sweat dripping down venues walls to gutterally-angular vocals harassing pounding feedback and barroom rhythms. Yeah it’s only an indie-rock trio’s record, but hot damn it’s a goodun.

Devin – Romancing is a Gleeful Romp (rollingstone.com)

Devin’s as authentic as East-17’s new soft rock image, the result of meeting’s in rooms decked in alt-culture flow charts. Take Dan Sartain, add some Raw Power and put it in the East Village and a V Festival slot is secured. Devin makes Howler look cutting edge, but for an energetic garage-pop rumpus it’s brilliant. We all like a bit of pop so this is a great throwaway listen.


Know of an amazing album stream? Then Tweet me @HiDavidNewbury.