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tasty 18 - singles reviews

  - Orwell
- Lupine Howl
Free Loan Investments
The Guild League
The Dead on Holiday
Badly Drawn Boy
Viva Stereo
- The Evening
- Primal Scream
DNA Doll
Death In Vegas
Members of Tinitus
Blood Music
Primitive Painter


Orwell - Toutes Les Nouvelles Parfent D’Hier (Star Harbour)
Never ones to release two singles the same, Star Harbour, Shifty Disco’s singles club offshoot, have decided to turn their hands to French lounge pop. Orwell, for it is they, sound like an even more languid and fragile Tahiti 80, and the title track, which I can’t be bothered to type out again, seems a little out of place as the darker evenings cover Nottingham, but it’s a song just as easy to snuggle up with. A single notable for the third track, an almost comatose version of The Prodigy’s ‘Breathe’. Wondrous in the extreme.


Lupine Howl - Don’t Lose Your Head (Beggars Banquet)
When a band, or hey, an artiste if you will, and I’m sure you will, can’t really be arsed to write a proper song, then it comes down to saying that this is a load of stoned nonsense that wouldn’t sound out of place in one of those bars the Duke boys used to frequent. Bad, in other words.



Fulc - The Fallen ep (Stunted Records)
Not that a lead singer called Duane should ever put you off, but it’s reason enough not to mention this load of sub-Bush (the band, not Dubya, although they’re as fucking mindless) bollocks. That is all.


Free Loan Investments - Ever Been to Mexico (Shelflife)
Aahh..back to sanity with new Shelflife starlets. This is pure jangle pop, that comes my way with a dinky little poster that adorns the wall to my left, for you information. Vocalist, Amanda Aldervall has the voice of an angel, no question, but she can still pack a punch with the Housemartin-esque, and charmingly titled, ‘Kick His Balls Out’. Six tracks of pop relief, administered with no little skill.


Churchbuilder - Microdancer (Shelflife)
Churchbuilder, on the other hand, would simply rather charm the pop pants off you with the use of a range of knackered old keyboard sounds and a distinctly distant vocal. All of which makes for something reminiscent of Stereolab at their poppy best. Music to lounge to is always fun, but rarely as much fun as this.

The Guild League - Jet-Set-.Go! (Matinee)
Whilst the previous two singles are pant-wettingly good, this new venture of a Lucksmith and assorted fellow travellers. Starting with the title of this teeth-crunchingly good single, to the fact that it mentions Robin Hoods Bay and Whitby and the Northern Line...and basically extols the virtues of travelling the world, The Guild League have made the simple seem so unattainable for others, in a perfect debut single. Hug it hard.


<209> - Bitch (Bohemian Records)
Heavy as a bag of bricks, this rock/rap crossover fandango reminds me somewhat of old Earache favourites and professional Welshmen, Dub War. And they were never really my cup of tea, as you might be able to guess. <209> do this sort of thing pretty well, I guess, but it’s just not gonna convert me to long shorts and those silly chain things....


The Dead on Holiday (Clownfish)
Nicely melodic, and somewhat melancholy, rocky stuff from The Dead, as they shall now be called. I don’t want to sound like someone from the Musician’s Union, but the chap behind the drum it is a bit good. Imagine the horror of a heavy metal Shed Seven (apologies to the band), and you’d be about there. Surprisingly good.

  Circulus - You Got it Goin (demo)
The press release made them sound terrible and I was expecting something as heinous as The Music, when in fact what we have here are three tracks of quite cute little slabs of psychedelia, that remind me of late 60s stuff, or maybe even some of the 70s madder moments. And when Circulus aren’t trying to disappear into the stratosphere they’re gently strumming out little folk songs like ‘Gently Johnny’ which is as sweet as it sounds. Beautiful stuff.


Badly Drawn Boy - You Were Right (XL)
It’s hard to dislike something as enjoyable as a new Badly Drawn Boy single, and as much as I know that it goes against every fibre in my body, I do have to say that I really do like him in small doses. ‘You Were Right’ is an immaculately written song, that seems to shimmer on and on, and reminds me of someone I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s The Waterboys...but maybe not. Whatever, it’s all very good and you should buy it by the pocketful.

Parva - Hessles (Mantra)
Discounting the now dropped Six by Seven, whenever we at tasty receive anything that comes out on the Mantra label, we wince slightly. Mantra could be the home for some really incendiary guitar bands, but all too often it’s the likes of Parva who end up benefiting from the plush packaging. ‘Hessles’ - only one word away from that lovely place just outside of Hull - is a typical braindead guitar thrash that tries so hard to be Therapy? or Rocket Against the Crypt but comes across as some fuck knuckled groups’ attempt at avant garde guitar rock. How annoying.

Viva Stereo - Try Harder ep (much better records)
Viva Stereo continue their ascent by releasing another classy single. I dunno what it is about this band, but they seem to make sense. Whether it’s the languid, introverted chimes of the title track, or the celebratory romp of ‘Viva Stereo’, Viva Stereo manage to combine the addictive shuffle of ‘Screamedelica’ era Primal Scream with something much more beautiful and sensitive altogether. In fact, I might just have another piece of toast in celebration....

The Evening - Let’s Go (Starharbour)
Fucking hell, this isn’t what you need first thing in the morning. A loping drum loop plays in the background, whilst a sample of some happy go lucky fool singing ‘la-la’ gets right on your tits in the foreground. And that’s just ‘Let Go’. Back at the ranch, ‘Confuse and Destroy’ - and I am confused and I am destroyed - is a kind of laid back drum and bass affair, and regular readers will know that I just don’t get drum n bass at all. Lastly we have the intriguing titled ‘Golf Audience Reaction to Missed Putt’, which sounds like one of those tracks that Mark E Smith puts at the end of the first side of every Fall album. I’m frightened. Maybe that’s the point.

Primal Scream - Autobahn 66 (Sony)
Very nice stuff indeed from The Scream, as I think one calls them. Wouldn’t sound out of place on the Viva Stereo ep - arf! But honestly kids, this sounds like Master Gillespie has had a nice Sunday dinner (sorry, L, lunch!) and is sat down with the dog, quite contented. But obviously on a German motorway.’s good, alright?

Sweatmaster - I Am a Demon and I Love Rock n’ Roll ep (Dusty)
A band called Sweatmaster? In tasty? I think not. Go away you.....sweaty young Finnish scamps. And take your fat arsed garage rock with you!

Kealer - God Help Us (Jive)
In-fucking-deed! Bollocks in the extreme. This sounds like John Cougar Mellencamp or something equally as awful. Hear it in your local ‘gas’ store. And then blow yourself up.

Idlewild - Live in a Hiding Place (Parlophone)
The continuing antics of the Woomble chap make for pretty dull reading, but that’s probably because they aren’t jumping about like loons anymore. Instead, ‘Live in a Hiding Place’ is the now usual introspective REM song. Nowt wrong with that you might say. And you might be right. But where now for a band that was once the darling of the ‘pit?

DNA Doll - Happy Valley (Marshmallow)
Heavy glam guitars, and someone who desperately wants to be Marc Bolan do not really cut the mustard these days. It didn’t work for Kinky Machine ten years ago, and it certainly isn’t going to these days. See them on a vast University tour....probably. Eyeliner a must.

Death in Vegas - Days Go By (Parlophone)
The vocoder lives on! In this funkdoobiest of singles, Death in Vegas use it is great big huge ways, to create an almost trancey pop single, that doesn’t quite go on as long as I’d have liked. I was just about to pull on my hot pants and the bugger finished. Make sure you’re wearing yours at all times, comrades!

Athlete - Beautiful (Parlophone)
A crushingly dull single that can’t make its mind up whether it wants to go all acid-jazz, as it does near the beginning and at odd intervals, or just go straight for the Coldplay jugular as it does for much of the rest of the time. Athlete? Cripple, more like.

Members of Tinitus - 28-37 (Promenade)
Much oddity from Sweden. Mental, quickly picked guitars across ghostly sounds and the odd scream is what you’re getting for your money here. If Members of Tinitus haven’t got ringing in their ears after playing this, then you will after listening to it. Oh yeah, and the vinyl comes wedged between two slabs of plywood. Most weird.

Veal - I Hate Your Lipstick (Six Shooter Records)
Ooh...guess what? Yes, that’s right children, this is a garage rock record. How fucking original. At least this lot are from the US and not bloody Crewe or somewhere I suppose. Still, makes for increasingly dull listening. Move on please.

Blood Music - Blood Music (Promenade)
The second release from Promenade is no less mysterious than the first. However, Blood Music make very nice lo-fin pop music. Indeed, ‘I’m Waiting Round the Corner’ sounds like Bis with a banjo. Proof, if it were needed, that pop is very much alive and well in Sweden.

Primitive Painter - Self Reference Hour/Pulby - Water From Different Falls (Dead Digital)
There seems to be a whole raft of new Manchester labels at the moment, and that can only be a good thing in tasty’s book. I think this is Dead Digital’s first release, and mighty fine it is too. Primitive Painter make a most pleasing mid-80s New Order sound with definite hints of Detroit techno, whilst Pulby offer a more straight forward pop brew, both maudlin in its use of guitars yet somehow futuristic and threatening in atmosphere. A label to watch methinks....