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  singles - may 2005

Clor - Love and Pain (EMI)

Sporadic, bizarre and unconventional are words that can be attributed to Clor and their musical madness. By taking the eccentric electronic qualities that made Devo so crazy and fusing them with traditional pop-rock rhythms, Clor have managed to generate a genre-bending buffet of a single. If robots ever danced to music at clubs then this song is the kind of stuff that would get them grooving and sweating oil on the dance floor all night long. Whether it’s the quirky electronics blips and beats or the indie rock sensibilities, there is plenty here to entertain the majority of fickle music lovers. But while “Love & Pain” mixes and matches styles it still maintains an accessible vibe that won’t alienate it from the mainstream and condemn it to the deep dark dungeons of obscurity. But this is definitely not the case for b-side “Magic Touch” which is riddled with awkward beats and effects and has enough uncertainty within it that it could easily send some people running for the hills in fear and confusion of what they have just heard. Thankfully it’s the a-side, which is our main priority, and it’s a bit of all right.

Simon Glacken


Funeral For a Friend – Streetcar (Atlantic)
Mummy, please make it stop.

Sam Metcalf


SLBC - Plastered (Un)
The first of a hat full of electronica this month, Sheffield's SLBC are remarkable as they include a guy called Copernicus Mugombe, a quite fantastic name.

Title track 'Plastered' has some remnants of Underworld about it, complex beats overlaid with more traditional guitar and bass. 'Dioxin' is a bit more upbeat and trippy with weirdo break beats reminiscent of Death in Vegas. 'This War' is a bit of an obvious attack on imperialist overseas policies with some pretty weak rapping over what I believe the kids call junglist beats. Oh dear, I'm getting out of my depth here. Not bad but not earth shattering either.

Shane Blanchard


 

Willy Mason - So Long
Touted and praised by NME and the broadsheet press, youngster Willy Mason is being lined up as the new Dylan, the new Guthrie and probably the new Cash. The song which brought him to the public's attention was Oxygen which was most definitely a brave, unusual choice of single which highlighted everything that was unique and unusual about this singer. After the hype and attention he's followed this up with So Long. It's a different kind of song and one that's not anywhere near as individual. It's a foot stomping hootenanny of a tune with the usual attention to lyrics but the backing is standard alt-country fare which doesn't particularly make you sit up and take notice. Oxygen was reminiscent of Beck's break through hit Loser - similar feel, lyrics etc, but in just the same way that Loser was the best thing on Beck's first album, it may be that after Oxygen Willy Mason has shot his load for his first album. If this is the case I wouldn't be worried - he's always got Odelay to look forward to.

Paul Binnion


The Kills – Love Is a Deserter (Domino)
Far be it from me to say that The Kills are copyists, but ‘Love Is a Deserter’ is the sound that is very much in vogue. In the fact that it could’ve been written in 1982. That’s not to say that it’s crap – far from it. It’s quite sexy and creepy in a heroine-chic kinda way. But I can’t help thinking that I’ll hear it on a telly advert some day soon…

Sam Metcalf


 

Maximo Park – Graffiti (Warp)
Much hype surrounds this lot of brit pop rockers, indeed, they’re up their with the Kaiser Chiefs etc etc etc. This isn’t a bad little single, up to a point. It sounds like it was recorded in The Monkees’ garage, for a start, which is nice. But I want more than just slightly better than average Shed 7 songs these days, I’m afraid. However, plus points for a decidedly northern accent on the title track. ‘Trial and Error’ is altogether more interesting, and actually tells a story – something much lacking in modern pop music. I’ll give it ‘7’.

Sam Metcalf


The Half Rabbits - Disclaimer (Quick Fix)
This record has nearly got me in trouble this month. The reason for my predicament is that it is so good that I keep listening to it instead of reviewing the also-rans.

This two guy, two girl four piece from Oxford verge on the dark side of guitar noise pop but cram in more hooks and riffs per song than your average Joe fits onto a whole album. This bestows epic proportions to each track yet not one song goes over five minutes. A bit like a sonic TARDIS if you will. Every time you think the track is ending another searing riff kicks into play.

Lead singer Michael Weatherburn possesses a highly charismatic voice that rightly garners a lot of attention from reviewers. Not just a withering doleful Jim Morrison soundalike, I think there's a lot more to it than that. On 'Evolution' I reckon there are more growly blues tones similar to Mark Lanegan of The Screaming Trees. But this is by no means a one man band. The sound is chaotic, frenetic, orchestral, confused and brilliant, a combination of all the band members playing at the very top of their game.

This is how I want We Will Be Pilots to sound. This is how I want everyone to sound. One more spin methinks...

Shane Blanchard


 

Caesars - Jerk It Out
I'm sure this is a cover version, but of what I'm not certain, maybe something by the Inspiral Carpets. I'm sure I've heard half of this song somewhere else. Hmm. Anyhow, it's punchy, poppy and in places sounds a bit dubby. It also sounds a tad too eighties inspired in the production - all gloss and no balls. After about a minute of this track we've heard all there is to hear and there's just lots of repetition. I know this is how three minute singles usually work, but you're not meant to notice the repetition or even better you're meant to look forward with anticipation to that catchy chorus or that great guitar hook, but this doesn't really have any of that going on. By the end of the three minutes all I can think of is I've heard this somewhere before but where? The big keyboard riff and the main vocal line are both from somewhere else. So this week, I will be remembering Caesars, not because of their so so single but because I can't get that bloody riff out of my head until I find out who they stole it from.

Paul Binnion


 

Morcheeba – The Antidote (Echo)
More dinner party smooching from Morcheeba – a band I really don’t believe anyone can get excited over. This, surely, is the sort of thing that middle managers from Surrey play in their convertible cars on a weekend trip to Paris. I knew there was a reason I didn’t get it…

Sam Metcalf


Vib Gyor - Insomnia ep
Not some Norse god but actually an acronym for the colours of the rainbow, Vib Gyor create a delicate blend of anthemic and minimalist rock. Clearly influenced by the likes of Radiohead, vocals are clear but unworldly while the melodies echo away with tons of sustain and reverb.

Certainly not groundbreaking but flawlessly executed and interesting enough to give it a listen. My guess is they would excel live where the rich compositions could really fill the room.

Shane Blanchard


 

Chemical Brothers - Believe
Yes, believe it or not, The Chemical Brothers are still hanging about with the indie disco kids and this track features rising star Kele Okereke of Bloc Party on vocals. This is a warmed up retread of the Chemical Brothers heyday and doesn't really add to their oeuvre. They've pinched a vocal sample from their own track Come With Us, used a synth line straight out of S-Express or Josh Winx and then bunged in a touch of funky guitar probably to make it sound like they're down with the kids but I found this single to be forgettable and sort of sad really. It's like watching Mick Jagger strutting on stage thirty years after he should have retired. I can't understand who would still be interested in this. In their day The Chemical Brothers were vital, exciting and on the cutting edge of dance music, but this is just lame. Kele sings "I needed to believe in something" and that's it, maybe this is their act of belief, an act of faith that they still make vibrant thrilling music. Either that or they're happy to churn out the same old stuff and pocket the cash. Dullsville.

Paul Binnion


 

Kaiser Chiefs – Everyday I Love You Less And Less (b-Unique)
Everyone’s favourite’s at the moment, aren’t they? Well, this may be one track too many off the album, as Kaiser Chiefs go through the post-punk by numbers routine. Choppy guitars, and even choppier vocals may well make sure they’re back on the cover of the NME, and that their badges adorn the bags of ten thousand 14 year old girls, but, like Franz Ferdinand before them, this is where the pressure really starts….

Sam Metcalf


 

The Cortez Loop - The Cortez Loop ep
An anthemic thing that stumbles along with no purpose other than to annihilate thought, lead track 'Home of the Blind' is four minutes of angst. Among the impassioned muffled vocals we hear that naughty word 'fuck' quite a few times which I'm sure is meant to make us sit up and take notice, if only we could hear the other words so clearly. Their press release handily gives us a summary of their influences (Jeff Buckley and the Doves amongst others in case you're interested - ah, so that's where they pinched those stomping drums from); second track 'Straitjacket' sounds like an outtake from the boy Buckley's debut album 'Grace'. It's ok but really doesn't do anything that Buckley didn't do with a lot more panache more than a decade ago. 'The Landing' is more of the same with a touch of the Beatles' 'Dear Prudence' about it. 'Turn You Around' is a maudlin ditty which has the hallmarks of someone trying desperately to create emotion but is let down by lyrics which aren't really up to the job. With better lyrics it would remind me of Nick Drake but as it is it's a bit more Noel Gallagher which is a shame as otherwise it's quite effective although the fella singing could do with a strepsil after all that heart wrenching emotion.

Paul Binnion


Quartershade - Machines to Live In EP (Yellow Noise)
I wonder what the king of minimalism, the architect Le Corbusier, would have thought about Quartershade pinching one of his most famous sayings to use as a title?

Three well constructed tracks are on offer here, and for me, each is better than the previous with Capetown being my fave. With production by Jez Burns, it's no surprise that the drums are dominant throughout the ep. Sometimes this seems to the detriment of some weedy guitar parts which have a habit of drifting off under the snares, but all in all a favourable first offering from Quartershade.

Shane Blanchard


 

The Long Blondes – Appropriation (By Any Other Name)
Perhaps the most British sounding of all the singles I’ve reviewed this month, The Long Blondes make a quite ragged, yet sophisticated sound. And always with an edge of menace. Russell Senior – ex of Pulp – plays on the title track, and, indeed, it has a touch of early Pulp about it. Meanwhile, ‘My Heart Is Out Of Bounds’ is a ridiculously good rockabilly little jaunt – and easily my favourite, thank you very much. All in all, this is wonderful stuff, y’know. Clever, arch and sexy. Just the way I like my tea.

Sam Metcalf


 

Dissociatives - Young Man, Old Man (You Ain't Better Than the Rest)
The blurb on the cd excitedly informs us that this song 'features several chords'. Hmm, I'm sure this was meant to be tongue in cheek but after listening to this new single from Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns that's about all I'm left with. For the record it also features a middle eight with chanting children, some drums and some big piano chords which reminded me of I Am the Walrus. Let me get that straight though, this doesn't remind me of the Beatles, it's just they've pinched a chord sequence ok? Utterly forgettable lite-pop which thinks it's more important than it is, this is the sort of tripe the Savage Garden would have rejected for being too wusscore.

Paul Binnion


  Switch - demo
Switch are apparently from North London. Which is odd because they want to sound like they are from North America. So they must be putting on the accent, apart from the rap parts which break up a pretty dull bluesey riff to the opening track. The watery guitar of the 'This Love' threatens to grab my attention though in fairness, the vocals are full of conviction if not originality. Excellently produced and no doubt talented musicians but this feels like formulaic verse-chorus-verse stuff at a pedestrian pace and the lyrics are a bit corny. On the plus side switch are still young though so maybe they'll develop into something a little more engaging with time.

Shane Blanchard


Bishi - Bitpop EP (Brainlove)
What the.... I'm left looking for the layered lush vocals promised in the press release but all I can hear is Bishi's shrill squawking. Bravely mixing contemporary dance pop with dancehall and Bengali influences is one way of looking at it. The sound of Kate Bush trying to break out of a tin shed is another. Not for the faint hearted.

Shane Blanchard


randomNumber - Charge ep (Vacuous Pop)
More bleepy delight for the ears in what must be a record month for electronic music in the bastion of indie guitar pop journalism that is the good ship tasty.

Charge is a collection of overlapping beats and maniacal mechanical outcrops that are given a softer human edge by some well placed melodies. Comparison are easily made with Slint, more sober moments of Aphex Twin. Ladytron and even 808 State in their use of clattering, colliding drum beats. This is triumph of harnessing a spirit and soul within electronically produced music. I'd rather listen to this than a million Muse-wannabes any day.

Shane Blanchard


Moe Foe - demo
Apart from a shocking name, Moe Foe kick up a few more surprises in this ep. Starting off as a stings heavy trip hop type number, 'Running' suddenly morphs into some electronic drum and bass beast that just won't stop.

Clearly under the spell of the Scissor Sisters, the second track slows things down a bit, but thankfully without sounding like a bad Elton John covers band. At times there is a hint of Morcheeba, especially in the electric keyboard parts, but Layla Morgan's vocals are far more crisp than Skye's.

There are quite a lot of influences to take on here, perhaps too many, especially for just a short four track demo. Breakbeat, Reggae, trip hop, bangra et al all vying for attention. Would probably make more sense over a longer record.

Shane Blanchard


 

Do Me Bad Things - What's Hideous
This track asks the question 'what's hideous?' For a lazy reviewer that gives the easy comedy option of saying 'this track'. I am that reviewer. This is frankly awful. This is like The Brand New Heavies being hijacked by S Club 7 and the Wee Papa Girl Rappers with an axe wielding guitar dude along for the ride. When the singer shouts 'breakdown' and said Mr Axe goes widdly widdly widdly I had to remove this item from my cd player before it contaminated my stereo. It frightens me that we live in a world where this bilge can be released. Still, give me this or the likes of Westlife and...well, it's a close call actually. I'll have to think on that one.

Paul Binnion


Dangerlust/Hinterland - The Lust vs The Land split single (Must Buy)
Sassy stuff from Sheffield's Dangerlust with a plunkety plunk bass line and sing along chorus that sounds suspiciously like it was drawn from a Stone Temple Pilots album. Hmmm, we'll forgive as it's a good track.

Hinterland play at varying volumes, loud, very loud and loudest. A much scuzzier sound then Dangerlust but all the better for it. Like early Manics with a hypnotically ranted chorus until the amps finally give out. Good stuff.

Shane Blanchard


The Graham Parsnip Liquidiser Torture Think Tank (Project) - An Evening at the Billy Ocean "Fully Licensed" Seafood Restaurant EP
Thank god they don't have a record label - we're already running out of room with the band and ep title (I feel that I have just tempted fate and a suitably long winded record label moniker will accompany the next Parsnip release). But hell, for the sake of the great man, Billy Ocean, get on with the review.

Clearly buoyed by the 'success' of their last release, The Parsnip return to rock out over subjects as diverse as men in leotards ('Wrestling'), a return to root vegetables ('Beetroot') and even a homage to the most noble of farmyard animals - 'Pigs'. Well more about bacon in truth.

The helium fuelled falsettos are still in evidence but I'm loathe to admit that there is even an amount of musicality beginning to surface (though admittedly I think the Parsnip may have been affected by some pesticides as their songs get more and more obscure I both content and composition. I am intrigued to see what is the next step, if only in a sick kind of voyeuristic way. The Kylie cover was truly inspirational and everyone knows a 'Psycho Dave'!

Shane Blanchard


Glitterati - You Got Nothing On Me
Oo, look at all that hair, they must be scary rock types who you wouldn't take home to your mother. I'm sure if some impressionable girl took one of these lot home to their mother they'd probably offer to do the washing up for her. This is an achingly polite tribute to an era when rock music could actually be scary. Think MC5, The Stooges, The Stones and the like and you know who this lot would like to be. Problem is they sound more like those tribute bands Jet and The Datsuns. At least when Primal Scream went through their Stones era they had the decency to write some top notch tunes. I'm sure the indie kids will be loving this on a Saturday night as their pogo around the dancefloor, and good luck to them - in that environment I'm sure this twaddle would be quite a good laugh, and speaking of which, second track on the single 'Skin Tight' is a great repository of cliche both musically and lyrically and is quite amusing for about thirty seconds. But no longer.

Paul Binnion


Scarlet Soho - Modern Radio (Human)
80's revival. New Romantic with a modern edge. Synths. massive production. Getting the picture? one of a slew of releases hitting the scenes at the moment. I know it's supposed to be a modern take on the whole 80's electro thing but I can't tell the difference to be honest. Apart from the fact that there's no tape getting caught up in my Sony Walkmen thanks to this record coming on those new fangled Compact Discs. You can use them as frisbees and beer mats you know?

Shane Blanchard


 

Johnny 4 - Born Without
This three track single kicks off with 'Born Without'. From a short slow burning verse it progressively builds in a way that only the Boo Radleys ever did. You keep expecting a big chorus to kick in but the song stays within a few chords. It's euphoria writ small, a tiny victory over the everyday. Awash with vocals and underpinned by gently driving guitars. 'Clock' is sparse and reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. Driven by understated vocals and quietly strident drums it somehow manages to create space and feel claustrophobic at the same time. Third track 'Useless Plea' is a slight change in focus and is built around epic backing vocals the likes of which I've not heard since Radiohead's 'Street Spirit', and indeed it is Bends era Radiohead that this song owes a big debt to. This is a song that the word aching was created to describe. Gorgeous and ethereal, it's the best of the three tracks on offer here and leaves you with an empty feeling when it abruptly ends without ever really having gotten going.

Paul Binnion


Santa Dog - Delicate ep
Santa Dog certainly know how to package a CD. not only is the cover in a luxurious printed card but the envelope matched too. Being easily impressed, that was half the battle won for me. The other half was easy once I heard the first track. Nothing ground breaking musically here but the vocals are sung like every word really means something, at times like the singer is going to cry. A little like Sarah Blackwood of Dubstar and Client fame. And she probably is with song titles like 'Delicate', 'Love Breaks' and 'Share in My Sorrows'.

Shane Blanchard


Razorlight - Somewhere Else
This is a stop gap single between Razorlight's Up All Night and their second album and it really does feel like it. It's pleasant enough but all too explicitly evokes other tracks from their first album - the chord progressions, the way it builds into a stompathon, the way Johnny Borrell phrases his lyrics, the way it breaks down and builds back up again. They've clearly made a few quid now and can flesh their sound out with a string section which doesn't really add a lot to the song. Like so many other bands before them it leaves you wondering if they've got anything new up their sleeve for a second album or of it's going to be more of the same. Given the success of Up All Night I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who wouldn't mind if this is the case, but for me I'd like them to develop and progress a little more before they present us with any new material. The fact that this track is being added as an extra track to a forthcoming reissue of the album rings the bell of cynicism; it's as if they had kept this song back just to make a few quid from the fans after the album had done well. Without the success of the stronger singles from the album this track really wouldn't attract a lot of attention.

Paul Binnion


Juliette and the Licks – You’re Speaking My Language (Hassle)
It’s most certainly a ROCK month at tasty. Not an indie pop single in sight. What a shame. It certainly helps to have a Hollywood actress in your band if you’re after column inches, but it also might help if you didn’t play Cramps b-sides. Which this probably isn’t nearly as good as. Like Hole without fun.

Sam Metcalf


Forest Giants - UFO Stories EP (Breaking Down)
A quick check of past reviews reveals a deep ambivalence demonstrated by the tasty hack Millward towards the Forest Giants. This EP has lots of fuzzy guitars and ethereal vocals floating around but certainly seems arresting enough for me to form an opinion.

There's a wee bit of the Jesus and Mary Chain about the Forest Giants sound - everything washing around in the mix with no clear stand out sound. 'Sunrise' may be an ode to the Velvet Undergound but carries on the same sameness as the rest of the preceding tracks. It's not until 'UFO Stories' that things start to get interesting. Could be described as a non-musical diary of UFO spotting shenanigans in Australia in 1976 - that is a pretty small niche.

As a recipient of the first pressing of this CD I benefit from getting an additional two tracks, the first of which is a particularly unpleasant low pitch rumbling which had me looking out the window for pass steam rollers before I realised it was coming from my speakers. Completely pointless.

Generally there's a bit of missing dynamic in this release. A constant washing of sounds coming and going, monotonous vocals and unremarkable instrumentation. It's like a concept album which doesn't have a concept. Not unpleasant but pretty unremarkable.

Shane Blanchard


Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - Let It Ride
The last we saw of Ryan Adams he was plunging from a stage in Liverpool and shattering his arm. I presume the lengthy recuperation process is partly behind his forming a new band for the release of his new material. This download only single is downright jaunty and if you like alt-country it's pleasant enough company for three and a half minutes. It's a little like vintage REM meets Steve Earle and as usual Ryan is in good voice. What this lacks is the intimacy, claustrophobia, romance and yearning that we've come to expect from Ryan Adams. After the beauty of his last album Love Is Hell this feels a bit too jaunty. Hang on, listen to the lyrics and there's still bleakness afoot: "27 years of nothing but failures and promises that I couldn't keep, Oh Lord I wasn't ready to go" and "Tennessee's a brother to my sister Carolina where they're going to bury me and I ain't ready to go". Songs about death wrapped in a veneer of sunny alt-country - what more could you ask for on a sunny Spring morning?

Paul Binnion


 

Utunc - Utunc
Oh lordy rock is back! Well that's no revelation but I wonder how bands like this continue to get signed. Close your eyes and imagine the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in the mid-nineties - I know it's not a pleasant thought, but just think of it for a moment - ok, got it? Now open your eyes. Yes, you're listening to Utunc. Influences are a dreary necessity but this lot don't seem to realise that you're meant to do something with them other than produce a song which is indistinguishable from their heroes. Down to the irritating guitar solos, and dodgy harmonising this piece of crap is made doubly irritating by being a by product of a band which have been ploughing the same territory for twenty years. If Utunc had released a piece of crap that sounded like their own work then I'd at least give them some credit, but when you release a piece of crap that sounds just like another band it just makes me want to retch. Yes, this is indeed a piece of crap. Thankfully it's so full of noodling and up their own arse cleverness that they forgot to write a tune so it will be a forgettable piece of crap.

Paul Binnion


Sunshine - ‘Victimisanothernameforlover’ (custard)
‘Victimisanothernameforlover’ is the new single from sunshine a band that fuses Punk, electro and noise rock to well very little effect. Victim.. is a song that fails to sonically sore and ends up being a lesson in mediocrity. It isn’t bad but it certainly isn’t that good either. Neither of the two remixes here including one from the much over-rated Fischerspooner manages to improve on this either. B-side ‘What you’ve Got’ lifts proceedings slightly but not by much. I advise you just buy Radio 4’s latest album instead.

Luke Drozd


Chickenhawk - demo
Haven't had much like this grace the turntables of tasty towers recently! From the unfashionably noisy end of the rock spectrum come Chickenhawk with this three track demo which is best described as guitar noise.

Sounding like it was recorded in a cellar (it possibly was) this is 15 minutes of hardcore guitar action which sees every band member taking their instruments (including voices) to within a whisker of meltdown. Good use of time changes and guitar break downs keep things fresh and stop it getting turgid, which can easily happen with this kind of sound. But at times it leaps above the mire and crosses genres approaching math rock. Thrash-tastic.

Shane Blanchard


Thee More Shallows – ‘Cuts Plus Two’ (Monotreme)
There are few bands on this earth as fine as Thee More Shallows whose second album out last year ‘More Deep Cuts’ was one of the best of 2005. Now as for those hankering for more we have ‘Cuts Plus Two’ an EP released to coincide with their UK tour featuring two of the finest from ‘More Deep Cuts’ plus two previously unreleased songs. Opening with ‘Two AM’ a building brooding song of claustrophobia and paranoia that will send a shudder up even the most hard-faced critic and followed by ‘Ave Grave’ a dark tale of mass graves and rising sprits that somehow manages to feel uplifting at the same time. But for me the real interest lies in the two new tracks here. ‘Phineas Bogg’ is hushed whispered fuzz more reminiscent of their earlier music from the debut ‘a History of Sport Fishing’, a track that feels like someone’s playing it next door and you’re pressed against the wall trying to hear it, and is a demonstration of intimate beauty. However it is final track ‘Deadbeat Water’ that is the EP’s crowning glory.  Duels vocals are particularly spoken over ghostly keys, which feels almost like a breeze licking through the room and that builds towards a muffled horn part like something from an old jazz album.

‘Cuts Plus Two’ is another demonstration of a band very much in a league of their own and suggest you go out and buy everything they have ever released or else remain an unenlightened fool for the rest of your miserable life.

Luke Drozd


Telex – ‘Byp / Ctrl’ (Fortune & Glory)
Hailing from the West Midlands Telex are certainly an interesting proposition. They are a band that like many others at the moment are trying to team indie guitar roots with a more modern programmatic sound. ‘Byp/ Ctrl’ features five tracks that quite admirably achieve this.

Opener ‘Motion Sickness’ sets the tone with a track which echoes American indie heroes Pinback but is slightly let down by an unsightly clangy guitar riff part way in.  ‘Reverberation’ follows which maintains these comparisons but with it’s slightly dronier edge also reminds of the likes of Elbow. What really keeps them on track though is the fact that all the tracks maintain a sense of going somewhere, usually helped along with a driving rhythm section that becomes hard not to nod along to.

While Telex are far from perfect and are not quite hitting the heights of those who it is hard not to compare them to, it is obvious this is a group heading somewhere and that has produced an interesting and ambient EP.

Luke Drozd


65 Days of Static – ‘Hole’ (Monotreme)
Obviously trying to win the busiest band in the UK award, 65Days of Static are back hot on the tale of their debut ‘The Fall of Math’ and single ‘Retreat! Retreat!’ with an EP to coincide with (another) UK tour. Those of you familiar with their previous releases will have a fair idea what to expect here. The usual glitchy, high intensity rock and laptop battle is the agenda and its every bit as enjoyable as before.

As well as a of couple remixes of tracks that were on the album we also get a liberal helping of some that weren’t. Opener ‘Hole’ is 65DOS at there finest, blending loud instrumental rock with a few programmatic interferences. Other tracks of note, if for nothing else then to demonstrate the scope of 65DOS musical outlook, are ‘The Wrong Side of the Tracks’ a dark, jerky dance track, and ‘No Station’ a sort of orchestrated low drone where distant noises can just be heard in the distance. Just another fine release from an increasingly interesting act.

Luke Drozd


 

The Fugue - Four Corner Races (RIYL)
This is totally ace! Exactly what I need on a wet Saturday morning. I was planning on getting a haircut today, you know, something sensible to offset the ridiculousness of my soon to be ‘ramblers’ beard, but I may well now opt for something a little more ‘out-there’ something asymmetric and probably involving bleach…..on second thoughts.

It may well bring to mind a hundred other bands that sound alike. It may well attract the ear of the slightly more fashion conscious music listener….but good god, its good!

The Fugue sound like a whole list of other bands I could list, but I can’t be bothered, just imagine an amalgam of The Seconds, Les Savy Fav and the noisier moments on your favourite Shellac record, and may be then you might be getting close to their sound. It makes you want to dance, fight and fuck in equal measures (although please don’t attempt these all at once, and may I recommend I ten minute break between each activity). The whole package is nicely packaged in a sleeve designed by those talented Canadians, Seripop.

…and RIYL Records continue on a winning streak!

Drew Milward

 
 

The Pathways - Productivity (RIYL Records)
POP! Ace!

I don’t think I could have woken up to a better pile of records to review this morning. After the brutal kicking administered by The Fugue, The Pathways come as a very welcome second package from RIYL, like Andrews Salts after a night on the Stella.

I really couldn’t fault any of the three songs that are on offer here, each brimming with joy, almost begging to be listened to on a sunny Saturday morning while reading the paper and contemplating what you are going to get up to the rest of the day.

The up beat happiness is never grating, which h comes as a great relief to me. It’s positive and happy without ever becoming ‘twee’ (one of my pet hates in all music; makes me want to listen to Slayer!). The press release mentions there influences being Orange Juice and the Go-Betweens, which is pretty apparent, but I think there sound is far from being a retro carbon copy of anything put out by those bands….which can only be a good thing. In places they reminded me of The Weakerthans, and since they seem to have somewhat gone down the pan, The Pathways may just fill that gap.

Drew Millward