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  singles - august 2005

Homespun - Effortless Cool (Homespun Recordings)
Neither the smoky vocals of Sam Brown (yes, the one of 'Stop' fame) nor the pedigree of ex-Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray can raise this offering above radio play also rans. Slide guitar on the title track and a brass part in 'Unfortunately Young' feature but you'd have to be pretty dedicated to listen the whole way through.

SB


 

Test Icicles - Boa Vs Python (Domino)
A twitching, glitching riot of joy, a metaller sexually assaulting Franz Ferdinand, Slayer come over all ‘Mercury’ on your ass, a line of sexy girls dancing on your groin. I want to get off but my legs won’t stop the dancing. Hell yeah…

LD

 
 

Math and Physics Club – Movie Ending Romance (Matinee)
If you thought that the quality quotient down at Matinee was every gonna wane, think again. This is the best single they’ve released in a while, and, amongst a throng of very great singles, too. ‘Movie Ending Romance’ by Math and Physics Club is quite simply stunning, and stunningly rips off The Smiths too, but that’s okay by me. The title track is an arch sideways shout to lost love, with the great line, ‘These lines on my face betray me, they’re deeper lately’, something I think we can all identify with.

But best track here among the four is ‘Graduation Day’, previously released, but very much worthy of inclusion here. ‘Sing me a song about the last five seconds of love’, sings Charles, and he even pronounces ‘tongue tied’ in a north west UK accent, bless him.

Sam Metcalf

Jynxt - Electric Knives (Halo)
Yeh! A family band like the Jacksons or the Osmans. Err, not quite. Jynxt are all children of Fleetwood Mac founder Jeremy Spencer. As if this should not be warning enough, they obviously spend their spare time talking in txt spk and making up shite band names. Turgid overdriven guitar and vocals which could be from Kate Bush on smack, this is bad beyond belief.

SB


 

Emporium - Wasted/Don't Be Alarmed (Whimsical)
Wasted starts off promisingly enough, sounding like a lost Associates' tune, but then the voice kicks in and it's uncertain who he's trying to be vocally. There is some nice keyboard going on here, but the recording/mastering isn't the best and the words are weak, and the only thing that's been "Wasted" is my time. But I shall press onto the AA side. The see through red 7" spins round for Don't Be Alarmed and some nice synth appears halfway through again, but the rest of the instrumentation and vocals aren't up to much. NEXT!!

Dave Procter

(www.emporiumtheband.com)


Clor – Outlines (Regal)
Making quite a name for themselves in half empty medium sized halls up and down the country, Clor make a pleasant enough electronic noise that veers towards early Depeche Mode at times, but never really becomes boring. Imagine doing that sort of jerky dancing movement that was popular with podium dancers on Top of the Pops in the early 80s to ‘Outlines’. It can’t be that bad, can it?

Sam Metcalf


Santa Dog - The Chemical ep
Thank the Lord for Santa Dog and their saccharine sweet  second ep 'The Chemical'. Hot on the tail of 'Delicate' this ep sees a continuation of the intricately woven guitar-bass melodies which are laced together with Rowena Dugdale's fragile yet evocative vocals. 'Nest' is a bit of a Beatles-ey upbeat number and 'Flame' has traces of French indie emo-hounds Call Me Loretta. Another strong showing from the Dog.

SB


 

Tokyo Eye - Vindictive EP - Rejection And Vindication/Kiss Kiss Kiss/Conversation/Heard It All Before (Vapen och Godis)
Gothenburg's Tokyo Eye have at least got a bit of snot about them. Opening track has double girl shouting action, and promises good stuff. Guitars serate and on Ono cover Kiss Kiss Kiss, they let go a bit more, Babes In Toyland/Sleater Kinney style. Nice. I turn over to side B then full of hope - and I'm not let down. Things get punked up a bit more and you get the feeling that a proper view live is needed for the full on effect. Simple enough Tasty, get them over.

Dave Procter

(www.tokyoeye.tk)


Hiem - Friendz/Radio Radio (Atlantis)
From the city which spawned The Human League and Sean Bean comes Hiem in the sordid form of Bozz and Nick. Wielding an impressive array of electronic gadgetry to produce a sound akin to Berlin-era Bowie wrestling a Casio off Daft Punk.

This is at the ultra dancey version of the electro spectrum and if 'Friendz' doesn't have the cool electro kids doing their funny ambivalent dancing then someone should take their Kraftwerk records away. I hope it's OK to like techno these days or I'm gonna look like a right geek. But I haven't had this much fun since I played Depeche Mode's 'Violator' in the 6th form com.

SB


 

Roisin Murphy – If We’re in Love (Echo)
Moloko girl in striking out on her own shocker. This is a very odd song. For a start it sounds like the instrumentation was recorded underwater. By Cameo. In 1986. Word up! This isn’t far removed from later Moloko stuff, in the fact that it’ll be played at proper, grown up dinner parties in the very near future. Or over a goal of the month competition on Match of the Day. The choice is yours.

Sam Metcalf


Sandi Thom - I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker With Flowers in My Hair (Legacy)
Scottish artist Sandi Thom has produced one of the most arresting releases of the year with this track which is entirely vocal with the exception of some sporadic hand claps and booming drums. I kept thinking it was going to turn into that car advert where some hammed up voice pleads for Mercedes Benz.

Flipside 'Little Remedy' further demonstrates Thom's awesome voice which warbles and soars at will. But sometimes more is less, if you know what I mean.

SB


Nir Graham - PopRockRockFolk (white label)
Decidedly lo-fi recording wise, but definitely some promise here. Some good ideas, alt-folky in nature, and sniffs of the Silver Jews and Sparklehorse can be smelt amongst these tunes. Re-record them is my advice. And write some more.....

Dave Procter

(www.sevenbigrooms.co.uk)


 

The Blue Van – Revelation of Love (TVT)
Produced in the garage of one of the MC5, ‘Revelation of Love’ screams 1969 psyche to me. Y’know the sort of thing, ragged guitars, a completely fucked Who guitar solo, and the sort of vocals that make Jimi Hendrix sound like the best orator in the world. Not half bad, all in all.

Sam Metcalf

Kayip - Kayip (Sonic 360)
This five track ep by South Korean Kayip showcases his version of ambient electronica. With the emphasis on ambient. He manages to achieve this light veil of electronica by deeply layering lyrical tracks and samples so deep in the mix that they never take over and eclipse the lulling beats and swooshes which make up the tracks.

Each song is long, as is the norm with this genre but never too long. Perhaps disappointingly there is no evidence of any particular Korean or oriental influence in the style but the ep remains an understated gem of intelligent ambient electro.

SB


 

Maximo Park – Going Missing (Warp)
I try so hard not to like this lot, but it’s mighty difficult not to like their off-kilter indie pop/rock. They seem to have an edge that most of their counterparts (you know their names, I don’t have to tell you) lack. Maximo Park have interesting little noodly guitar parts in their songs, and whilst this isn’t gonna set the world on fire, it’s a million miles from the sort of dull shit we have to put up with in The Killer Chiefs. And thank goodness for that.

Sam Metcalf


 

Interpol – ‘Slow Hands’ (Matador)
I find it hard to believe that there is anyone who hasn’t heard Interpol previously, so describing their sound seems somewhat superfluous. However to err on the side of caution I suppose I should just say that they sound like a more upbeat, less oppressive version of Joy Division. This single, taken from the new album ‘Antics’ is fairly representative of the group’s development since their 2002 album ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’. Their sound has become less hectic and moved towards a more considered rock style. That said anyone who wasn’t taken with ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ isn’t really going to like this. Although their sound has developed since ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’, the recent material isn’t that much of a departure. It sounds like a rather obvious thing to say, but those who like Interpol will like this single, those that don’t, won’t. 

Michael Pearson


Sons and Daughters –‘Taste the Last Girl’ (Domino)
Relentlessly chipper pop /post-punk, from Franz Ferdinand label mates Sons and Daughters. This kind of thing seems to be very popular at the moment, and normally drives me into something of a rage. Remarkably though this single didn’t have that effect. Possibly it’s the slight suggestion of a doo-wop sound which makes this stand out from other bands in this vein i.e. Franz Ferdinand. Either way this had me tapping my feet like a mad bastard. Most enjoyable.     

Michael Pearson


  Rouge - Don't Be Shy (Mona)
How the devil did this end up inthe tasty mail bag? Apparently summer 2005 is all about Rouge (I thought it was about England finally giving the Ozzie's a bashing in the Ashes) and they'll be tearing up the charts with their addictive R'n'B. Indieguitarelectronoisepop is what tasty wants. R'n'B is defintely not. Next!

SB