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  singles - tasty 23 (dec 2003)
  - Erin Mckeown
- August 81
- The Killers
- The Ghears
- Bleed 77
- The Cling
- Kaito
- Fionn Regan

- Alto 45
- Drunk With Joy
- Brand New
- Razorlight

- Carina Round
- The Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster
- Amigo

Erin McKeown - Born to Hum (Nettwerk)
Ah, this is quite lovely. A sort of country/folk little ditty with a bit of Paul Simon thrown in. McKeown has a lovely, pure voice which compliments the bluegrass bits of this record very nicely indeed. It's not the tricky things that impress on 'Born To Hum', it's the simple things. And that, in tasty's book, is just the way it should be. Hurrah.

August 81 - ep (Denial)
More rock-schlock, this time in the Muse vein, or maybe even mid-period Manics, but a lot worse. Quite where bands like August 81 think this is gonna get them is beyond me. Little 'uns may well lap it up. Me, I'm far too old to jump around a lot.

The Killers - 3 track sampler (Lizard King Records)
This is half as bad as I thought it would be. I was expecting more of the above, but The Killers (such an awful name!) make a kind of agreeable electro, metallic racket that I never thought I'd like in a million years, but is sort of quite attractive in an glam kind of way. Applying the glitter as we speak.

The Ghears - Inter:Flex
The young man out of the Ghears sounds a little like Brian Molko, and that, readers is not a good start, is it? And I'm afraid things don't get much better as the riff counter clocks up. There are a lot of records by new bands sounding very similar these days, and this is another one of them. It's not bad - it's certainly not offensive, but it's nothing that's gonna make me slip into something more comfortable and break open the shandy, either, and that's a prerequisite these days, I'm afraid.

Bleed 77 - La Ultimate Hora (Albert Productions)
My knowledge of metal is not what is used to be. And it used to be shite. All I shall say about this piece of shouty stuff with demonic vocals, is that I'm sure they're all very nice to old ladies and love their mums. Bless them.

The Cling - Happy Hell
The Cling sometimes sound like The Coral, sometimes like XTC, sometimes like themselves. They're quirky enough, and for this I shake them firmly by the hand and offer them a crisp. Buuuutt, there's not really enough here to keep me interested for a whole four songs. Best track, the Hellfire Sermon-ish 'Citizen' which pops around all over the place, the little scamp. Three more of those, and a change in name, and I'm yours for ever.

Kaito - EP (Blast First)
I don't think I'm over exaggerating when I say that Kaito are one of the finest live acts at the moment. And what's terribly exciting is that they're just as thrilling on record. All of which makes this cracking little single something to treasure. 'Should I' mixes Huggy Bear dynamic with a definite pop sensibility, whilst 'Driving Manual Auto' has the dirties guitar sound and reminds this listener somewhat of Luscious Jackson...but a bit noisiers, obviously...
Meanwhile, back at the homestead, 'Anamoy' is the sound of early Elastic and is all the better for it, and 'Try Me Out' gets all clever on us with it's stop/start bass and drums. All in all, enough to make me want to get rather excited again.

Fionn Regan - Hotel Room EP (Anvil)
Irish singer songwriting does not stop at David Gray, thank fuck. This is Regan's debut release in the UK and very agreeable it is too. He - Regan, not *spit* Gray, has something of the Suzanne Vega's about him, and that's always very nice. And when he's not busy being a woman, he can do a mean Coldplay. All of which means, by rights, that tasty should hate him, but it doesn't. It must be Christmas....

Alto 45 - Don’t Give Up Giving Up (Happy Capitalist Recordings) 
Pinback, The Postal Service, Arab Strap, Ben Lee. I like all of these bands and artists, and as such I like Alto 45, very much.

This is quite a treat; it’s laid back, a mixture of guitar and programmed electronics that works really well. I suppose it is the mixture of acoustic music and programming that brought to mind the list of bands I mentioned before, but luckily, Alto 45 don’t fall in to the trap of sounding too much like any of them.

The b-sides are again of a high quality, sounding a little like Syd Barrett, but perhaps that’s just the English accent. If only all pop music could sound like this. 

Imagine if you will: Pete Waterman’s head on a spike. 

Drew Millward

  Drunk with Joy - I Say Goodbye
I'm not sure what to make of this one - it's either very good or possibly quite bad but either way, I think that I like it. In a kind of Enya meets early Nine Inch Nails way (bear with me) Mila Oshin's folky vocals and Kris Jager's industrial sounding backdrop can make uncomfortable bed fellows. But maybe it is this bizarre mixture which makes it quite listenable.

Lyrics on the title track 'I Say Goodbye' could be written for anyone who has been too scared to tell someone how they feel about them but by the time Mila is going on about flower beds or something in the 'Nothing Like You' I had switched off a bit. I thought 'Lucky Ones' was maybe one track too far for a single with the Death in Vegas style scratched up techno-guitar sound on it but otherwise a worthwhile offering.

Shane Blanchard

Brand New - Sic Transit Gloria..Glory Fades (Sore Point)
What starts off as a very agreeable Fugazi tribute doesn't really go anywhere...except...oh yes, you guessed it - a nu rock chorus. I'm sure this sort of thing goes down well with my brother, but then he doesn't wash and wears a daft woolly hat. Would you want to join that sort of club?

Sam Metcalf

Razorlight - Rip it Up (Mercury)
East Londoners Razorlight have emerged with second single "Rip It Up," a three-track single, in two cd format. A mixture of 60's rock and roll, and new wave, Razorlight is not a band easily pinned down genre wise. "Rip It Up" is an energy fuelled offering, kick starts with electric riffs and is joined by frantic drumming. Despite the frantic guitars and drums, they are still controlled and produce a tight rhythm. Johnny Borrells's raw but well toned vocals match the vocally expressed attitude and a feeling of I don't care.

"That's what it's there for, so rip it up yeah,
So rip it up and tear it up, until you don't know why"

Underneath all the attitude, the single makes references to love and being heartbroken, showing the bands personal side.
This one to watch band is certainly that, with the quality of songs maintained, and often even more impressive live. This is something that helps them stand out from the influx of new bands this year. Enough variety for a whole album is expressed in six songs on this latest offering, and all the songs tell a different story, some personal, others something everyone can identify with, including Spirit, the story of a night out on the town, so it's not all deep.

Katherine Tomlinson


Carina Round - Lacuna (Dehisce Records)
There is indeed a sizable loophole that exists between the swooning pop sound of Christina
Aguilera and the enigmatic, little girl lost style of Bjork. Wolverhampton’s Carina Round boldly steps into the void with this poignant, bitter and instrumentally snazzy track extracted from her well received debut album ‘The First Blood Mystery’. The song creeps along at first with Carina’s slow and stern vocals tugging at the heart strings of the listener, as she tells the tale of the gaping hole left by feelings of loss and rejection. Then the track builds up to a crescendo of quick fire vocals and crashing instrumentals. 

Carina has been building up quite a reputation for her live shows and is taking to the road this month to play a handful of small venues around the UK. Her emotive style and passion for what she does make her a must see gig, as venues of this size will not be able to contain her forceful feelings and emotive sound for very long.

Dave Adair (

The Eighties Matchbox b-Line Disaster - Mister Mental (Island)
One knows what to expect from this band now. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have wanted to meet them down a dark alley, nowadays I would have no problems with challenging to a game of conkers....or even Snap. 'Mister Mental' is the Cramps crossed with Motorhead, as ever, and whilst it is remotely entertaining, I've been soaking my conkers in vinegar. Oooh...matron....

Sam Metcalf

Amigo - Deep Water/Shallow Moment - demo
The blurb mentions Kinesis, which put me off no end to start with. However, it's a misleading comparison. If anything, Amigo have more in common with 'Motorcycle Emptiness' era Manics, especially on the title track of this demo.
Second track, 'Flame' manages to keep up the boa and eye-liner count, with the vocalist - whoever he might be, does have quite a dinky voice, it has to be said. Destined for cult status in Norfolk, at the very least.

Sam Metcalf