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  singles - feb 2004
  - Winnebago Deal
- The Boxer Rebellion
- Alcian Blue
- Merchandise
- Funeral for a Friend
- Flight16
- Death Cab for Cutie
- Harpies
- Engerica
- Tender Trap

- The Kates
- Forest Giants
- The Rapture
- Ryan Adams
- I am Kloot
- Inertia Rise

- Clarkesville
- Aubrey Lemmon

- Monster Magnet
- The Veils

Winnebago Deal - George Dickel EP (Double Dragon Music)
Thundering guitar riffs and pelting drum beats resulting in a downpour of emotion and intrigue produced by the two Bens from Oxfordshire; Perrier (Vocals, Guitar) and Thomas (Drums) is what the ‘Deal’ is all about. Titled track and EP opener ‘George Dickel’ is a moving and defiant start to the five track offering, in a Good Riddance meets Fu Manchu kind of way built around the simple yet catchy line and message; 

“What you lose is what I gain”   

Just when you thing Perrier’s voice is going to break as suddenly as a Johnny Rotten under pressure and that Thomas’ drums would give way under the relentless pressure, what happens? They only go and get even heavier don’t they? ‘Missing In Action’ sounds like Raging Speedhorn jamming with Metallica and being played back at 89 RPMs. ’Redneck’ far from being a “proud of my roots” country & western track is a neat post hardcore track containing ascending drumbeats and a limping guitar build up, sets things up nicely for ‘Perrier’s’ full on vocals telling the eery tale of a red pick up truck driver. 

Winnebago Deal having toured with the likes of Kinesis and The Burning Brides are currently embarking on a headline UK tour taking in several two or three hundred capacity venues. Although, this is one case where you may not need to rush to get tickets, just set yourself up in a warm dry spot within a three mile radius of the venue and you’ll be able to hear what all the fuss is about.

Dave Adair

Funeral for a Friend – Escape Artists Never Die (Infectious)
It’s emo, innit? I dunno. This sort of passes over me….it might not have done about ten years ago, when I had a fringe that was worth throwing around, but these days, I’ve got to be careful with my hair. It’s a listed building after all. Ermm...back to FFAF, who, unfortunately, include a pig of a guitar solo repeatedly throughout this single, which may get the youngster dancing, but makes me feel a bit giddy. There’s a compliment in there somewhere.

Sam Metcalf

Alcian Blue – Transluscent ep  (Safrinin Sound)
Four more excellent tracks from one of the prime movers of the UK shoegazing underground. On ‘Angelica Take Me Down’, Alcian Blue’ manage to find the sacred ground where the Jesus and Mary Chain shake hands with Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine. And it’s mighty fine place to be. Meanwhile, back at the fringe, ‘Silver’s Sleep Walk’ is more your traditional shoegazing fayre. Think Slowdive. Think 1991. Think hooped sailor’s tops. You know the score. Wonderful.

Sam Metcalf

Merchandise – sampler (Cityscape Records)
I just love it when this happens. I don’t really know how this cd reached me, but I’m so glad it has. Merchandise come to us from the north-west of the UK, and mooch a fine line between the sophisticated pop of Baptiste, The Real Tuesday Weld and Tears in X-Ray Eyes. ‘Beautiful Morning For a Bad Day’ kicks off with the sort of song that The Liberty Ship seems to specialise in these days, in that it sounds like it was knocked together whilst laying on the bed, staring out of the window. And that’s a wonderful thing. ’14:53’ cleverly takes the same guitar motif as it’s predecessor to offer another lounge classic. The tempo’s upped a bit with ‘Echolia’, which could easily be a Fosca track, and has a rather snazzy guitar solo half way through. Finally, ‘For the Shore’ comes over all Pipas on us. Fantastic pop music.

Sam Metcalf

To watch 'Pursuit' video click here

The Boxer Rebellion – Pursuit (Poptones)
Not half as bad as I was expecting, but not half as good as it should be, given the rather foxy name of this band. ‘Pursuit’ is one of those loud/quiet/loud/quiet kinda things, that might be Muse, might be Coldplay, might be Nirvana. Might be in the bargain bucket at Woolies. Ooh, I have got a sharp tongue on me tonight.

Sam Metcalf

Flight16 - Flight16ep (BamBam)
The year is 1992. I am wearing a lumberjack shirt. People wear dreadlocks out of choice. I buy 'Dirt' by Alice in Chains and I am a happy boy.

The year is 2003. I buy lumber from B&Q. Nobody except Rastas wear dreadlocks anymore. Except Flight16. They also sound uncannily like Alice in Chains. I thought Layne Staley died last year? There ep also has an awful cover.

February 2004. I play Flight16's ep. I am curious. I play it again. I find myself humming along. Sounds approximating singing along are to be heard emanating from my mouth. By Christ! I know the words. I consider growing dreadlocks.

No matter how much I feel like I should hate this, it is actually a really good ep. Fantastic production, well crafted songs and incredibly catchy riffs. I am a happy boy. I possibly also yearn after my youth too much. Nurse! Fetch the lumberjack shirt...

Shane Blanchard

Death Cab for Cutie – The New Year (Fierce Panda)
And a few years of getting people all aereated over in the US, Death Cab for Cutie make it big over here, and by flip if they haven’t started sounding a bit like Built to Spill. ‘The New Year’ is a great big walloping epic, with lovely guitars, and, in the lyrics, an ethic I cannot help but admire. Fandabidozee. Mmm...that doesn’t look as though it’s spelt correctly. Any Krankie’s fans in the audience this evening?

Sam Metcalf

Harpies - Lie Down (Fortune and Glory)
Blimey riley, these lot are scary. Harpies barely goes any way to describe just how mental these two lady vocalists are. There must be some kind of effects pedal at work here - either that or they smoke a thousand Marlboro Red before each song. Quite impressive in it's own way, I guess. Your Mum, however, would not be so happy...

Sam Metcalf

Engerica - The Smell (Kennel Records)
For some reason, tasty has a soft spot for Engerica. And 'The Smell' carries on this cosy relationship. If I'm don a fright wig and listen to something 'a little heavier' then it would be Engerica, for they shit all over The Darkness from a great height. The Smell sounds like Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start the Fire' being played by Black Sabbath, and includes the phrase 'bogey eater', and a kind of Metal Mickey sound. Good enough for me.

Sam Metcalf

Tender Trap - Como te IImas (Tell me Your Name) (Elefant)
Ah, back to life, back to reality. This is the first tasty has heard from the excellent Tender Trap for a while, but they're always welcome round here for a digestive and a cup of tea. 'Tell Me Your Name' is sung in English, of course....and SPANISH!!! How....European. It's wonderful, of course - a sort of downer disco that this band do so well. What's more, the single features two ace remixes of 'Face of 73'. Which makes it even more wonderful. Adios!....or something...

Sam Metcalf

Monster Magnet - Unbroken Baby (Hotel Baby) (SPV)
Anyone metallers in the house miss 1985? Welcome.....

Sam Metcalf

Intertia Rise - Receed (Team Hi Fi)
Piss poor 'melodic rock' from Wigan. Again, my brother would love this. Maybe he should have his own column. Then again, maybe not....

Sam Metcalf

Ryan Adams - So Alive (Lost Highway)
Sara Cox presents what I think the kids call a 'drive time' show these days. This is, I believe, proper driving music. Not that I'll ever find out what it's like to drive to music, you understand, but think of late 80s U2 and you'll find yourself speeding down the Autobahn like no-one's business, whilst eating a Yorkie Bar, or something. 2 Fast! 2 Furious!

Sam Metcalf

Liverpool was one of the last places the US alt country rocker Ryan Adam played live and it is likely to be a while before he plays live again after badly breaking his wrist. The title of this offering is turning out to be quite ironic, with the star being quoted as saying he could have died. It would have been intriguing to have been a fly on the guitar when he fell from the stage, if only to hear what noise came out of his mouth. He is known for having a tender Alex White (Electric Soft Parade) meets Jimi Goodwin (Doves) vocal style that are none more prevalent than in this latest offering, so it would have been more shocking to hear a Slipknot style yelp emerge from the likable American. The good news is that he is going to ok and will be able to play his guitar again soon. 

‘So Alive’ is taken from Adams’ latest studio album ‘Rock N Roll’ and has the potential to be the feel good album of the year. I am sure it is something he will play to himself during his recuperation, as the bouncy and tingling guitars will give you that Saturday night feeling on the bleakest of Monday mornings. A slower B-side with defiant lyrics ‘I’m Coming Over’ complements this offering and brings out Ryan’s more mournful side.

Dave Adair

The Rapture - Love is All (Vertigo)
What an odd song. Does he sound like Robert Smith or buggerlugs out of The Darkness? Or Robert Plant? And are they hippies? These and many more questions aren't going to be answered here, my friends, for The Rapture have obviously included a satanic message on their new single. I'm off out to sacrifice a goat. I suggest you go out and buy this and I'll see you down at the stone circle.

Sam Metcalf 

I Am Kloot - From Your Favourite Sky (Echo)
There are a raft of rather boring bands like I Am Kloot. Clearly, this is usually a great waste of resources and my ears. However, 'From Your Favourite Sky' is very nice indeed. It has that sort of late 80s Manchester indie sound to it, and I don't mean Crappy Mondays either. It also sounds a bit like Crowded House, and that's alright, isn't it? Don't tell anyone I said that....

Sam Metcalf

The Veils - The Wild Son (Rough Trade Records)
With bands such as The Datsuns and The D4 tearing up the world by being RockNRoll motherfuckers, Kiwi bands are gaining the reputation for being powerful and uncompromising. This stereotype will be dismissed quicker than Kilroy Silk by the BBC upon hearing this tender and thoughtful single by the Veils. Their main asset is their Fran Healy sounding front man Finn Andrews, who accompanied by Paul Weller style instrumentals is showing why their debut album ‘The Runaway Found’ that is due out on the 16th February, is more eagerly awaited by some critics than the announcement that Oasis are finally throwing in the towel. 

Dark yet uplifting is the best way to describe this track that tackles the topic emotional fragility and dependency upon a loved one. A tingling tambourine helps lift the song and the spirits of the listener despite the mournful subject matter. This is a good track for the colourful Kiwis to release as an advert for the forthcoming album.

Dave Adair

Clarkesville - Spinning (Wildstar Records)
The cool, calm and collective Michael Clarke and his merry band that makes up ‘Clarkesville’ have been pleasing people who don’t even know who he is, or that he is from the epicentre of independent music that is Walsall. Every Sunday as the nation sits down to its roast and stuffing, while peeled to the Sky Sports Sunday football round up, thinking “ I don’t care that Exeter city lost 6-1, this music is so soothing”. That, my friends, is the instrumental to ‘Secret File’ taken from the Brummie band’s debut album ‘Evergreen’. Having toured with the likes of Polyphonic Spree, John Mayer and Sheryl Crow it is easy to come to the conclusion that Michael and his merry men are going places. 

‘Spinning’ is one of the most upbeat offerings featuring pelting drum beats and tingling guitars, with the coup de grace being Michael’s uplifting and soothing Ian McCulloch style vocals. The topic of splitting up and how it leaves you feeling is given the compelling Clarkesville treatment; 

 “It seems so strange to see you here like this, we wonder how your world has been spinning without me?”

At the tender age of 23 the maturity and togetherness of Michael that is borne out in this track is very refreshing to see.

Dave Adair

Aubrey Lemmon - What In The World (Magic Number Records)
Considering that we are in the midst of times where indie/power pop bands are as numerous as a soap love triangle, it would be very shocking to learn that one band via the lyrics of singer/song writer Glynn Downing powerfully and proudly questions part of the ethos of Rock N Roll; getting wasted.  This is one of the reasons why Aubrey Lemmon is a refreshing band to listen to, spewing honesty from every orifice. With a vocal style somewhere between Johnny Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and Levellers front man Mark Chadwick, Glynn authoritatively gives us an account of a typical night out for so many; 

“He went to the bar to order a drink,
 He couldn’t remember to speak and
 When he got home his head in the sink;
 He couldn’t remember how to think.”  

This track is accompanied by a slower, maudlin B-side that has a sly dig at “try hards” after a slow and catchy guitar build up. Aubrey Lemmon could have what it takes to tippex out current NME front pagers Franz Ferdinand, had they not in these two songs just alienated 75% of its potential audience.  

Dave Adair


The Kates - It’s All Over Now (Invisible Hands)
Oh dear…. I fear someone has ideas above there station. This is quite some press release.  

Oh fucking hell, this is shit………  The Jesus and Mary Chain did this 10000% times better 20 years ago.  

Make it stop! 

“Raucous rock…” I think fucking not. I played this to my friend Edward and he thought it was “Poor”

Track 3 sounds like a nightmarish amalgam of Carter, Busted and Blink 182, but recorded in the mid 80’s.

Apparently the 12” single is limited to 1000 copies with (fucking awful) artwork by ‘respected artist’ Hinc. You can now rest assured that there are only 999 copies left in existence.

Cat Shit………. 

Imagine if you will……Hamburg in 1984, you’re broke and someone has recently informed you that your wife is dead on the phone that has now been stolen. ‘It’s good to talk!’

Drew Millward


Forest Giants - Postcards (Invisible Hands)
A lot better than their label mates The Kates, but that’s not saying much really.

I give up……

Its just the same as The Kates. But not as bad 

Imagine if you will……Not being stimulated enough to even form an opinion on a subject.

Drew Millward