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  singles - july 2004

Blind Jackson - Stop the Clock (Released Independently)
Crikey this is good. I’m sure there is a cheap pun involving Blind/Blinding….. But I’m not that desperate.

I really cannot say enough good things about this single, from start to finish it really is a joy to behold, the joy starts even before listening to it due to the art work being so bloody eye catching; check out the website for all the art work, and links to the designers website the work really is first-class.

I do feel like an apology may be in order for the amount of time that has elapsed since I actually received this, what can I say, some of us need to work…and I am lazy, so what can you do really. Its not to say that it hasn’t been played a huge amount. I can’t even begin to describe Blind Jackson. 

Its pretty scary. And you can dance to it. Genius, and I eagerly await the album.…I haven’t really done justice to Blind Jackson in this review.

Drew Millward

Radio 4 – Party Crashers single (City Slang)
With ‘Party Crashers’ we finally have the new single from New York’s Dance Punks ‘Radio 4’. It’s been a long wait and an eventful time, for both New York and America as a whole, since 2001’s ‘Gotham!’ and both the hiatus and the events seem to have affected their new material for the better.

‘Party Crashers’ is a no nonsense mix of crunching guitars and rhythm laden disco that is instantly addictive. There is no denying that they doff their caps more than a little to the likes of Gang of Four but that’s no bad thing, not when it sounds as good as this.

The ‘Ashley Beadle’s NY Dark Vocal Mix’ of the title track has a long title to match what turns out to be an overly long remix.

The final track ‘Rise Up’ gets this release back on track with a song that if you don’t feel the need to whip on your dancing shoes and shake your fat ass, well, you’re just not human.

A taster of what to expect from the new Radio 4 album and I for one am more than a little excited.

Shane Blanchard


 

Desert City Soundtrack / Settlefish / Sounds Like Violence - L/T Split (Deep Elm)
I can only apologize for the length of time I have had this CD. As I have said before I am both lazy and very busy.

First up to the plate are Sweden’s Sounds like Violence who are fucking ace. I have to say, I used to listen to and buy a huge amount of records put out by Deep Elm, but of late that has not been the case, and I cannot think for the life of me why. SLV are by the sound of what is on offer here a bloody great band, bringing to mind everything I used to love about most Deep Elm bands. There is a very Swedish sound that is present here, and certainly there are echoes of Starmarket (‘Four Hours Light’ still being one of my favorite albums of its kind), but the unique vocals and wailing guitars give SLV a very pleasing sound all of their own. A purchase may have to be made….

Settlefish are a band I have come in contact with before and their sparse, angular post rock certainly reminds me of The Appleseed Cast in their heavier moments, and that is by no means a bad thing. Chris Crisci from The Appleseed Cast once stole £5 off me, and broke some of my fags, and I still think Low Level Owl Volume 1 & 2 are pretty close to perfection. If that is the direction you are heading in there are a lot worse bands to be sounding akin to. Two out of three, ain’t bad.

Desert City Soundtrack are amazing! Piano + Dinner Jazz + Hardcore = DCS. Any comparisons would be useless. You need to hear this band, dismiss them at your peril. Ben Folds covering At the Drive In…. no that doesn’t work.

On the whole 8.5 out of 10, points lost for length of EP. Guess I will have to get the album.

Blinding.

Drew Millward 


X is Loaded – Thirteen Days (Music for Nations)
Not nearly as bad as I imagined. ‘Thirteen Days’ sounds a little like some of Idlewild’s better spazzy moments, and is nowhere near as over produced as it could be. There’s only one problem with X is Loaded, and that is my brother likes them. And that sort of thing simply shouldn’t happen. I’ll leave it to X is Loaded to make me hate them as much as he loves them.

Sam Metcalf


 

Various – Intercontinental Pop Exchange No. 3 (Endearing)
The latest in this excellent series of POP! eps features two more ace bands. First up it’s Heavy Blinkers from Canada who make a kind radio-friendly indie pop, full of sweeping orchestral parts and laid-back jazzy interludes that frankly makes me want to give them a great big kiss. Their three tracks also make me smile quite a lot.

Next it’s Orwell, the latest in a seemingly long line of great latter day French pop acts. Much like Souvenir, Orwell have a certain cuddliness about their cute little stuff. ‘Everywhere’ reminds me of lying on my back on the lawn in the summer when I was 13. Whilst ‘Attic’s Ballad’ could bring out the lounge lizard in even the meekest pussy cat. Enough of this silly animal-related nonsense. Plug yourself in to the International Pop Exchange!

Sam Metcalf


Razorlight – Golden Touch (Veritgo)
Chirpy, chirpy, cheep cheep. You just know that this is gonna explode into something rockist, never mind how long it stays like a nice little Kinks song at the beginning. And it does, like a great big hairy early 80s Who song. Which is a bit of shame, because of the all the vastly hyped rubbish that passes for music these days, Razorlight might just come across as one of the more interesting propositions. Worth one more shot, I think.

Sam Metcalf


 

Jesse Malin – Mona Lisa (One Little Indian)
One of the better tracks from ‘The Heat’, ‘Mona Lisa’ finds our Jesse rawer than ever, but – hey! – poppy with it. He still sounds like he’s got a gob full of cake, but that’s half the charm. Think Bruce Springstreen playing the many hits of The Monkees. How fabulous.

Sam Metcalf


I Am Kloot – Proof (Echo)
Inoffensive in only the most offensive way, I Am Kloot return with another single for 30 something bitter indie kids who can remember when Lee Mavers used his fruit cake status to his advantage. This is pretty, sure, but it reminds me of a frozen pizza. Lovely around the edges, but a bit soft and somewhat cold in the middle.

Sam Metcalf


The Eighties Matchbox b-Line Disaster – I Could be an Angel (Island)
Not half as scary as their other stuff, but enough to make me soil myself anyway. It’s this bloke’s voice that gets me all a shivver. I wonder if he talks like this. In fact, here, he sounds a bit like Vic Reeves’ club singer. And is ‘We’re gonna die together…’ a threat or a promise?…

Sam Metcalf

 

Lambchop – ‘Something’s Going On (and On)’ single (City Slang)
The first single to be offered from Lambchop’s latest albums Aw C’mon / No You C’mon has arrived and in true Lambchop fashion there’s a few surprises here with it.

Originally known as ‘Something Going On’, Wagner has reworked the track and we now end up with a more soul orientated version. Is it better than the original? You know I think it just might be. What we are given here is fuller and more realised and evokes more of a ‘Nixon’ era sound.

The B Sides to this release vary depending on which format you’re purchasing. The CD proffers a lush instrumental ‘January 17B’ and the bare, piano driven ‘The Puppy & the Leaf’, a compelling track whose hummed backing gives it a bizarre melancholic barbershop overtone.

For a different way to hear Lambchop, the 12˝ offers remixes of the two album tracks ‘I hate Candy’ and ‘Low Ambition’. Stratus’ remix of ‘Low Ambition’ is a fantastic feat giving a laid back, groove laden alternative to the album version. Equally brilliant is the Moabeat remix of ‘I Hate Candy’ which would struggle to be more removed from the original and we are now offered an hypnotic piece with hints of Ska and Dub that is completely compelling.

Two first class offerings that deserve everyone’s undivided attention.

Luke Drozd