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tasty 15 - singles reviews


  - Missy Elliot
- The 45s
- The 80's Matchbox B-line   Disaster
- Sonic Torpedoes
- British Sea Power
- Hefner
- Viva Stereo
- Energica
- Cornershop
- What If I
- Glissandra
- Persil
- The Supernaturals
- Tetra Splendour
- Elf Power
- Mouse Eat Mouse
- Seafood
- Solomon

- Longwave
- Badly Drawn Boy
- Pet Shop Boys
- Obsessive Compulsive
- Ian Brown
- Electric Soft Parade
- Baxxter
- Lovejoy!

Missy Elliot - 4 My People (Elektra)
A return to form for the wonderful Missy Elliot, who reminds me of Big Mo from Eastenders for some reason. Anyway, this is much more in the vein of ‘Get UR Freak On’, and the promo copy I have here features a cracking Basement Jaxx mix. Chuck Eva into the mix and you’ve got a storming track. 


 

The 45s - Waiting for My Heart to Break (Mercury)
Worthy, if a little dull, indie rock from
Brighton. The 45s make Shed 7 sounds like the Bonzo Dog Doo da Band, but have a fine line in farfisa organs, so I’ll forgive them. See them at a booze-sponsored 68-date tour of student unions near you soon.


 

 

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster (Radiate)
Now this is more like it! If the devil has the best tunes, then EMBLD are singing straight from old nick’s armpits. This is truly devilish stuff, in the best traditions of Birthday Party and Gallon Drunk, and is about as far from the perhaps better known ‘Morning Has Broken’ as it’s possible to be. B-side ‘Alex’ keeps up the momentum easily and is possibly a tad more scary. Mummy, fetch the rifles..the beasties are here...


 

Sonic Torpedoes - Hazy (Fat Sounds)
Something to do with Ten Benson are these lot. In truth I received this a long time ago, just after I finished tasty 14, and I’ve listened to it a few times since, but it simply refuses to get any better. It’s noise for noise’s sake - no direction, no meaning, no future. Sorry.


 

British Sea Power - Remember Me (Rough Trade)
This is truly a great era for Rough Trade. As if snaring The Strokes wasn’t good enough, the label may just have unearthed a British band capable of even greater things. British Sea Power are quite clearly crackers and all the better for it. ‘Remember Me’ is epic without being pompous, poppy without being throwaway and features the best guitar coda this side of Johnny Marr. An utter, no-holes barred triumph.


Hefner - The Hefner Brain (Too Pure)
A real dolly of an ep from Hefner, that will probably end the ‘Dead Media’ period. This five tracker features a remix of ‘When the Angels Play Their drum Machines’ which features more bleeps and bloops than ever before, ‘Dark Hearted Discos’ - a real 80s throwback, the beautiful ‘Baggage Reclaim Song’  which is pure Hefner, the achingly beautiful ‘Can’t Helping Losing You’, and the lullaby that is ‘All I Ever Need’. In retrospect, ‘Dead Media’ was a much underrated album and featured as many pure pop songs as its predecessors - it’s a pity some Hefner watchers can‘t see that.


 

Viva Stereo - Try Harder ep (Much Better Records)
Records like this always make me smile...those little eps that come along and charm you when you’re least expecting it. This is such a record. Viva Stereo have got me listening to ‘Screamadelica’ again - and that’s a compliment, for most of the stuff on ‘Try Harder’ is at least the equal of prime time Primal Scream in the way that it juggles genres whilst forging ahead. If you’re going to buy a single by a band you’ve never heard of before, make it this one.


 

Energica - My Demise (Scarlet Records)
What with Ikara Colt and now Energica turning heads in London, is it time for the sound of 1993 to return? Energica remind me sometimes of Huggy Bear and other times the lamentable S*M*A*S*H, but definitely have something to offer. Their racket is a good one, if only they would stop trying to be so clever they would be an altogether much more attractive prospect. ‘My Demise’ has the skeleton of a fine track yet suffers from a lot of pissing about. They’ll learn.....


 

The Supernaturals - What We Did Last Summer (Koch Records)
Blimey, where have this lot crawled from? This is hardly earth-shattering, to say the least. In fact, dull could be a word to use, if I wasn’t such a nice boy that is. I dunno what the Supernaturals did last summer, but I’ve a feeling they’ll have to find something to do next summer, if you know what I mean...


 

Glissando - Glissando (Gizeh)
More ambient post-rock from the Gizeh label, and I must say this is quite lovely in a ‘sit back with a syringe full’ kind of way. Dreamy, almost Celtic vocals, remind this listener of Slowdive, but I doubt that’s where Glissando get their kicks. There’s also touches of ‘Faith’-era Cure or early New Order here, which you don’t hear a lot of these days.  Most nice.

Persil - snapcracklepop ep (Star Harbour)
The third release on the new Shifty Disco off-shoot sees Dutch husband and wife ensemble fuck with your senses by managing to squeeze out four tracks of bubbly synth pop that ranges from cheesy listening to almost krautrock. Just say no.

Lovejoy! - Lovejoy! Plays the Hits of Biff bang Pow! (Matinee)
For those of you who are gracefully unaware, Biff Bang Pow! were Alan McGhee’s band when he started up Creation. They were widely regarded as shite, and so it is a great surprise that we see sensitive souls making a wonderful job of covering ‘Hug Me Honey’ and ‘The Beat Motel’ Quite why people continue to listen to McGhee is beyond me, however, if records like this little gem come along every now and again because of the big ginger lummox, then I’m not gonna complain.

Baxxter - The Girls Are Looking Good This Summer (Bearos)
Peel favourites, and utterly brilliant, Baxxter make the sort of frenzied indie pop last seen shuffling off with the Wedding Present and ‘Bizarro’. ‘The Girls Are Looking Good This Summer’ fair rattles along with just enough lulls to keep you interested. Vocalist Greg Smith also has a voi
ce like a cheese grater...a quality I admire greatly in my pop stars.

The Lollies - Channel Heaven (Evil World)
See elsewhere in this issue for all kinds of jolly lolly japes, but for now, this is a perfectly life affirming single, with Chris TT on vocals on b-side ‘Pearl’ for added value.
The Lollies make the sort of swirly, innocent pop that takes me back to the late 80s when this sort of thing was a regular thing and not sneered at like it is today. Thankfully we have partisans such as The Lollies to see us through these dark, dark days, and ‘Channel Heaven’ is a worthwhile reference point for others looking to take up the mantle. Pop music has seldom seen such grace and style...

What If I - You See Blind Anyway (demo)
Peddling music last seen fraggling away with Ned’s Atomic Dustbin in 1990 is a brave thing to do, especially as these lot were still in crappy nappies when we were all Killing Our Televisions. This ain’t bad, if you like that kind of thing, but one imagines - and this is where I get really patronising - that there are hundreds of bands up and down the country who are practising in their school halls after hours. Good luck to ‘em....

Cornershop - Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III (Wiiija)
This gets funkier with every listen, but is hardly a patch on any of the stuff on ‘When I Was Born for the 4th Time’. A definite step back, then, for the Morrissey haters, and what the hell is happening with the never-ending guitar solo here. Sounds like someone’s into shagging the dead corpse of the Rolling Stones’ brief early 70s heyday.  I await further developments with interest.

Electric Soft Parade - Silent to the Dark II (db Records)
I’m gradually coming round to this pair, especially after hearing that they loved the Boo Radleys. This is a scorched ballad - all melancholy and mournful, and they make good use of shitty old keyboard sounds - which is nice. On the down side I wish their singer wouldn’t slip into some kind of Liam Gallagher impersonator on the chorus. Still they’re only young - back in my day we used to imitate Carl McCoy you know....

Ian Brown - Whispers (Polydor)
Consistency has never been an easy thing to come by for the former Stone Roses man. For every FEAR there is this half-assed effort, wherein Brown basically rambles over a sub-funk background and breaks into the chorus when he can bothered. How can one man be capable of such genius one moment and utter shite the next. Someone should really let him know...

Obsessive Compulsive - Crash ep (demo)
These lot are hilarious - real 80s throwbacks when glam rockers were real and wore make up  that would make Joan Collins jealous, and for that I salute them. For their music, I’m afraid I can only offer the nearest dole queue.

Pet Shop Boys - Home and Dry (Parlophone)
I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing a Pet Shop Boys record, and so I am glad that I have lost my virginity to a little gem like ‘Home and Dry’, which also  features one of my heroes - Johnny Marr - on some gorgeously simple guitar work. This is much of a throwback to PSB’s early work - with it’s simple techno-pop backdrop and Tennant’s plaintive vocal telling the story of some lost love or other. I always feel strangely comforted by the best Pet Shop Boys singles....this is one of them.

Badly Drawn Boy - Silent Sigh (Twisted Nerve)
The second track from the soundtrack of the Nick Hornby novel turned book sees BDB in retrospective mood, with a downbeat number heavy on the old piano. This is all quite lovely of course, as are most of BDB songs, and sounds a little Lennon-ish in parts, but why oh why must he continue to wear that filthy hat? Put it in the wash man!

Longwave - Exit (Longwave)
I shouldn’t think support slots to the Strokes are easy to come by, yet that is what Longwave have managed to pull of with their dreamy indie rock. ‘Exit’ is crammed with mid-eighties atmospherics - in fact there’s bits of allsorts in here...but think Psychedelic Furs or Echo and the Bunnymen and you’re pretty much there. So, this isn’t a bad single at all - a little less of the bombast and we might just have something here...

Solomon - Being the Devil (Black Cat White Cat)
Solomon ooze class...there’s something incredibly languid about their particular brand of genius that mixes Trompe Le Monde-era Pixies with Portishead with Drugstore or Mazzy Star. ‘Being the Devil’ has vocalist Leila downing the pints, whilst ‘Piano 1’ is more raw, tense and likely to take off at any moment in a very PJ Harvey kind of way. Watch them fly.

Seafood - Western Battle (Infectious)
Surely the most underrated band in the UK release yet another storming single. Seafood really are your classic indie band. They crank the guitars up and hit the harmonies, and make incredible pop songs, that lilt, tilt, but never...erm...wilt (?). Quite why they aren’t megastars by now is beyond me. ‘Western Battle’ sees the band in more aggressive mood than of late and squirms all over the place in  way that belies much of the more formulaic fayre on offer these days. Treasure these people while you can.

Mouse Eat Mouse - Hush Nou (Starharbour)
Utterly compelling is this, and makes me want for yonder days of Prolapse and their manic Scottish vocalist Mick Derrick, whom could easily be Mouse Eat Mouse’s vocalist for all I know. ‘Hush Nou’ sounds like Prolapse’s gentler moments (and there weren’t many!) and seemingly apologises for all human errors in its lyrics, whilst equally ace b-side ‘Cubismo’ has the rigidity and odd groovesomeness of The Fall at their most tight. I would like to hear more please sirs..... 

Elf Power - Naughty Villain (Shifty Disco)
Thank heavens for bands like Elf Power who don’t have to sound like a load of arses from
York. ‘Naughty Villain’ is suitably frazzled, but the real gem here is a wonderful version of T-Rex’s ‘Dandy in the Underworld’ which, if this is possible dear readers, is better than the original. Sacrilege, I know, but very much worth it.

Tetra Splendour - Pollen Fever (Chrysalis)
Another band who sound like the snotty cousins of Shed 7, who rhyme ‘tie’ with ‘cry’ with, I should think, ‘high’. This, I think, is supposed to be what they commonly call ‘epic’, however, it’s as flat as a fart to me. Bless them...I bet they’ve all had their hair done ‘specially too...