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singles/eps - sep 2012


Exlovers - Emily (Young & Lost Club)

Tuneful mid paced guitar pop that unashamedly harks back to the heyday of Lush, Kula Shaker, even Skunk Anansie were Exlovers to speed things up a bit. Just needs a touch of flange in the guitar dept to fully recreate that heady mid 90s dreampop daze. Sort of drifts off a bit towards the end but then so did Slowdive.



The Wilderness Of Manitoba - 'Delaware House'

Folksy campfire singalong that takes the epically choral route we've come to expect from those bands notably influenced by Arcade Fire. Big production makes for an uplifting evening in the woods with this lot although I would like to hear them get a bit more inventive in the tune side of things as they wring every last drop of emotion and instrumentation from a repeated four chord sequence that might end with several of the band falling into actual trances, which probably isn't reccomended when actually spending a weekend in the Manitoba wilderness. We know what you did this summer, TWOM.



Holy Esque - 'Tear Mastered'

It really takes a Glasgow band to put religious imagery into a song lyric without making it sound unbearably twee, and Holy Esque are right up there along with their revered antecedents the Mary Chain (what if they'd just been called that?) with their seemingly quite heartfelt combination of despair and defiance of their fate as a support act on next years NME tour, what with all that darkness and light and angels hanging from holy ropes the lyric speaks of, over an incessantly angst ridden electro driven backing that's purposefully above average as far as that sort of thing goes. Definitely on to something, Holy Esque are.


Post War Glamour Girls - 'Tragic Loss; He Had Such A Lovely House' EP

We're deep in junkyard territory with PWGG, they're thrashing it out like Steve Albini and Nick Cave playing draughts in a Swedish graveyard, at 4am, in the middle of January, in 1985. Rockabilly styling provides 'Today I Am A Man' with a quite genuinely propulsive sense of rage while 'The Trawler Man's Code' is what British Sea Power really should've sounded like. PWGG are definitely more than just blues influenced shouters though, 'She Will Always Be My Anchor' reveals a more measured, subtly paced side to their guitar trashing histrionics, while 'Tremor' is nearly a ballad and its male / female duetted vocal verges on folk rock. Probably a very lively gig, check them out if they're ever in your town.



Best Coast – Do You Love Me Like You Used To?

So close was I to criticise this song’s lack of adventure and its unambitious song structure. But it is that basic, easy and predictable chord progression that actually makes the song difficult to stop listening to. What’s more, “Do you love me like you used to?” Is such a common thought conveyed in songs but here is it asked so directly that I feel listeners could immediately relate to Cosentino’s lyrics. It just sounds familiar; as if the lyrics came straight out of the listener’s head (assuming, of course, that the recipient is a bit of loner). It would be mistaken for a 60s song if it wasn’t for the reverb effect on the incessant, fuzzy guitar, and it also evokes a feeling of nostalgia and reminiscence of a younger time. I just do not know what to say. Yes it is a bit boring. Yes it is kind of bland. But, actually, it is kind of brilliant because of it. If you think this review is confusing, then good: that is how I feel.

Matt Bull


Ruarri Joseph – Anyway

Joseph wrote this song and the album it’s from, Brother, about a friend that recently passed away. That context really adds another level of understanding and beauty that otherwise could easily be missed. Without the story, it is still a very tuneful and reflective ballad with repeating, sing-a-long lyrics, however there is something so nice about his writing though that it comes across as naive or, at least, inaccessible. The verse at the end that has Joseph calmly and thoughtfully echoing “We all care about your soul” is almost gushy enough that it is difficult to bear. Especially as an atheist. The musicianship and sincerity is not at question here but whether it is real or provoking enough for listeners to enjoy as much as he does remains doubtful.

Matt Bull


Sucioperro - To Nothing

An act associated with Biffy Clyro and able to occupy the same air. Sucioperro could find themselves being described with the same words you'd use for The Biff. That would be unhelpful but also reasonably accurate. Seriously, think about a lot of the things you like about Biffy Clyro, and feel at home here. Only it's different and not quite as instantly poppy (but there is an awfully infectious pop-hook in here). Use words like Slab and off-kilter when thinking about it to fully impress yourself. Not exactly derivative, but you'd understand why they'd open for Biffy. I approve of their decision to keep it weird.

Christopher Carney