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singles - november 2006


The Golden Age - Stella Stuntman ep

A few false starts with this one but what better way to kick off November's singles reviews than a slice of cheeky northern indie from Sheffield's Golden Age. The name instantly refers to lager-fuelled bravado and themes of 'northern grittiness' run through the EP.

'Hallamshire' pelts off at a hurtling pace, chronicling the scenes of a local boozer whereas the endearing stop-start of 'Used to be a Stripper' has cool flamenco-tinted guitar line. 'Don't Drink the Water' sees the band return to more mainstream indie territory, sounding a bit like a cross between Supergrass and XTC. 'Year of the rat' demonstrates some clever vocal harmonies reminiscent of Leeds' stalwarts Shatner. I've heard enough here to recommend you seek out the Golden Age if you fancy a listen to some slightly off-kilter rock 'n' roll.



31 Knots – ‘ep:Polemics’ (Polyvinyl Record Co) 

Having heard a great deal of good things about 31 Knots, but being too lazy to bother buying any of their material, I was delighted to receive ‘ep:Polemics’ to review. Thankfully it shows that all the nice things I’ve heard people say about this band are true. The material on ‘ep:Polemics’ is very mixed in terms of styles, but generally 31 Knots are a cross between poppy post-hardcore and progressive rock. So for example the track ‘Sedition’s Wish’ contains jazzy sections reminiscent of King Crimson alongside rather more savage and spiky elements, which are reminiscent of Fugazi or Karate at their most aggressive. The rest of the material herein continues in a similar fashion, except the final track. The EP ends on a rather quieter drone number, ‘Endless Days’, that reminded me of Windy and Carl, and which ends the EP nicely. An interesting combination of musical styles, 31 Knots have more than lived up to the expectations I had of them. 

Michael Pearson


Benjamin Wetherill - The Press Gang/Your Face Lizaveta

'The Press Gang' and 'Your Face, Lizaveta' mark a stark change in direction for the formidable talents of Benjamin Wetherill. Whereas previously we have heard Wetherill exercise his vocal energy and sublimely picked guitar or ukulele via the medium of traditional folk compositions, this release sees a dense pea soup of sounds both traditionally and electronically produced pervading the very soul of the song.

Perhaps this is the influence of spending too much time with arch sonic deconstructivist David Thomas Broughton? But 'The Press Gang' is a powerful and evocative conjuring of an other worldly atmosphere that is as mesmerising as it is confusing. 'Your Face, Lizaveta' is similarly beguiling with a repetitive guitar and organ loop over a backdrop of metallic clangs and bumps. This is an exciting new folk-noire sound for Wetherill which marks a massive sea change in his output. Whether he continues this voyage of discovery into experimental electro-folk or reverts to his tried and trusted ukulele, Wetherill constantly warrants close musical attention.



Murder by Death – Boy Decide (Cooking Vinyl)

Yee-haw! Strap down your chaps, or something, because Murder by Death are in town, and they’re here for your ears.

‘Boy Decide’ is a great big growling mother fucker, that reminds me a little of Hellset Orchestra with banjos. If that milks you cow, then you need to high-tail it over to the Murder by Death ranch and take a sip of there moonshine.

What the fuck am I talking about?

Sam Metcalf


Cortney Tidwell - Missing Link (Ever)

Possessing a voice enviably sounding like a cross between Sinead O'Connor and Bjork, even a few opening bars that sound like the Beach Boys cannot spoil this slightly off kilter single. Tidwell's voice oscillates effortlessly but arrestingly between octaves and works brilliantly against the droning keyboard sounds.

B-side 'Oslo' is a delicate acoustic number which again showcases Tidwell's formidable vocal talent, though this time erring more towards a Cerys Matthews sound. Impressive stuff.
Watch video to 'Missing Link'



Hayseed Dixie – You Wanna See Something Scary (Cooking Vinyl)

Christ. This is Hayseed Dixie doing some ‘scary songs’, including a bluegrass version of ‘Monster Mash’ I don’t think I need go on.

Sam Metcalf


TD Lind - Come in from the Cold (Tall Tale)

Whilst on the face of it this is a cute little blues-country cross-over release, there is something endearingly off beat about 'Come in from the Cold'. A buzzing guitar line that completely swallows the mix and forms the warm waters for Lind's vocals to paddle in, it almost sounds like a really low budget effort gone wrong. But instead it is a really nice touch that immediately elevates it above the predictable.

The heavy production has left for 'Let's Get Lost' and there is a strangely balletic lilt to the rhythm. The only fly in the ointment (and it is a huge bluebottle of a problem for me) is Lind's misfortune in sounding quite similar to James Blunt. Eeek. The piano ballad 'I don't miss you' does little to quash these fears and so ends the single on a bit of a downer after such an exciting start.



Twilight Singers - Stitch in Time (One Little Indian)

Now this is nice. Greg Dulli often frustrates me, cos he’s got so much talent, and he so obviously wastes it half the time. But this five track ep is just fine, thank you very much.

Opening track, ‘Live With Me’ opens up all sultry, like, and then explodes into a meandering, powerful torch song. It’s pretty ace, y’know.

‘Sublime’ takes it down a notch or two, and could quite easily be a horrible mid-80s AOR track if it wasn’t for Dulli’s cattle grid vocals. Oh, and it’s probably the sexiest song you’ll hear this year.

‘They Ride’, meanwhile, reverts to more typical Twilight Singers fayre, and rocks the big one.

A welcome return to form, then.

Sam Metcalf


Vasquez - Brand New ep

In the vein of Leeds crooners made paydirt Four Day Hombre, this Ep opens with some nice harmonies and twinkly guitars before what the kids call 'rocking out' for a brief interlude before the big finale. Fair enough, nicely done. The second track has a similarly interesting little riff but the verse vocals are little bit predictable and mix is a bit muddy during the chorus. Then there is a genuine, humdinger of a guitar solo. A guitar solo no less - I can't remember the last time I heard a solo - why have they become so unfashionable?

But like a bucket of cold water thrown over my head, the final track mixes things up with a completely unexpected but welcome dancey mix of 'Brand New'. It's got a bit of a retro trancey vibe but it's by far my favourite on the Ep and is a brave move by the band to allow someone to completely mash up their signature sound in such a comprehensive way.



The Young Knives – The Decision (Transgressive)

Isn’t it lovely when a band you know would be ace actually turn out like that? The Young Knives’ continued ascent is assured with ‘The Decision’, which twists and turns in all the right places, and mentions the New Forest. I really love this band for making refreshing indie guitar rock. There’s not many of their like left, and I think they should be cherished. Even if they are clearly hippies.

Sam Metcalf


The Sky Drops - Clouds of People ep (unparalleled)

An unlikely proposition from just the boy-girl partnership of Rob Montejo and Monika Bullette but the simple guitar/drums/vocals combo works an absolute treat on this ep. Clever use of atmospheric guitar effects help fill out the sound in a wonderfully shoe gazy way, reinforced impeccably by the androgynous boy-girl vocal harmonies in 'You Don't Crawl'.

'Now Would Be' is another tour de force utilising a clever dropped tuning and constantly oscillating guitar tone to produce a sound massive enough to grace the stage of  Soundgarden, not a duet from Delaware.  Final track 'Hang On' has an orchestral start like Morrissey's 'Every Day's Like Sunday', again courtesy of some clever guitars and effects. Wondrously trippy.



The Horrors – Count in Fives (Loog)

Shlock schlock horror, horror. Remember Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster? So do the Horrors, bless them. If you can imagine a band half way down the bill on a Cramps tribute night, then you have The Horrors. They really are piss poor. Never mind.

Sam Metcalf


The Long Run - demo

A proper demo, on a CD-R and everything. How will The Long Run make their mark? Good lord - with a hackneyed rock riff and, do my ears deceive me, a flute? Or is it a recorder? Either way, 'Billy the Kid' is a shocker.

I'm afraid 'Homecoming Light' and 'Dancing till Dawn' do nothing to dissuade me from my rapidly forming opinion that The Long Run sound immovably like a ZZ Top pub cover  band. Mind you, the riff in 'Dancing till Dawn' does sound a bit like the theme tune from the movie 'Convoy' - that's good.



Lost Penguins - Pleasurewood Kills (Fake Product)

Waayhay! Some art students have formed a band! This is Bis doing new rave and it's fantastic. I've seen this lot live, things breaking down, bits falling off, battling against sound men with pony tails. The energy coming off the stage and from the audience made up for it all. This seems to have been captured in this recording and without the broken bits it's one of the most exiting records I have heard this year. Two songs both loud, shouty and less than 2 minutes long. It's like music should be and it makes me want to rush out and see them tonight, wherever they may be. In three years they will be working in banks and call centres, but until they are brilliant.

Jimmy Jazz


These New Puritans - Now Pluvial (Angular)

Tech punk eh? It's a jagged, tough listen alright if that's what they mean. Not quite filling the gaping hole left in my heart of the disbandment of Punish the Atom but certainly plugging some of the ventricles at times, The New Puritans chop up and mutilate post punk sounds in a similar way to Test Icicles and their chums Damn Arms. It's exciting stuff but also quite scary - like being mugged by strippers armed with flick knives.



The Charlatans - You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty (Island)

In almost 20 years as 'popstars' the Charlatans have done nothing of any interest and we're not only talking musically here. I even asked all my 'Indier Than Thou' friends and they, between them all, could not recall one thing. They said ''Make something up'. Would I? A brilliant tune that sounds nothing like The Charlatans having a try for the Kasabian fanbase. It has a unique and original sound including the 'oooh ooohhh ooooh ooh!' and 'Aaaaawwwh!' bits and doesn't use bad samples from the 2nd Frankie Goes to Hollywood album. You're not pretty any more Tim, and we're getting bored. Retire.

Jimmy Jazz


Herbert - Something Isn't Right (!K7)

This sounds like someone trying to record an R'n'B track over one of their Dad's old James Bond theme tune tapes with the result of combining the two in a bastard union. Too schizo for my pleasure.



Agoria - Baboul Hair Cuttin' (PIAS/Wall of Sound)

What starts off as an Underworld b-side quickly morphs into an icy intelligent techno monster complete with glacial key sounds and super lo bass. Spoiled by the housey vocals though- zippit brother.
Watch the video to 'Baboul Hair Cuttin'



Juliette & The Licks - Sticky Honey (Hassle)

I've listened to this four times now and can't remember a single thing about it. It's just Suzy Quattro being played by session musicians who watched DIG! and thought the t-shirts were 'Cool!' oh, and there's almost a sweary word - obviously we couldn't have a sweary word, that would affect the radio plays and the billboard sales. You know, it's not bad as such, there are many, many worse things Ms Lewis could be doing, but personally I am hoping that the whole 'Juliette & The Licks' thing is some sort of method acting research for a movie about Joan Jett.

Jimmy Jazz


¡Forward Russia! - Nineteen (Dance to the Radio)

Despite ¡Forward Russia!'s seemingly endlessly rising star which would surely see more ruthless record labels package out the latest single on its own, Dance to the Radio manage to put this single out with 4 other interesting tracks. That's the advantage of keeping control over your own material I suppose. Which is probably a good thing in this case as I think it is fair to say that 'Nineteen' is not the Russia's strongest outing. A slightly slower vibe runs a bit at odds with the slashing guitars and Tom's full-on vocal style.

But step up peers Duels and Sheffield tech rock outfit 65 Days of Static to dissemble 'Thirteen' and 'Eleven' respectively with some glitchy, distorted trickery. Nice.



Panda Bear – ‘Bros’ (Fat Cat) 

Hold on to your hats kids as you’re about to ride the best damn pop rollercoaster in a long bloody time! That’s right Animal Collective’s Panda Bear (or Noah Lennox to his friends) returns with this sprawling, exquisite, off-beat pop gem, a 13-minute long single track which is sort of two songs seamlessly blended together to create a shifting and mutating bliss soaked wonder. It seems impossible not to mention the Beach Boys most adventurous moments but think this and then a whole lot more. Add to that a B-side of the track remixed by Avey Tare and Eric Copeland into a somewhat darker beast and what you have can only be described as breathtaking.  Single of the year.

Luke Drozd


Grand Volume - History/Fire Come Soon (Fat Northerner)

Good grief. 'Prog punk' now apparently, I find it very hard to keep up with all these labels. If prog punk means sounding like Queens of the Stoneage without their boring bits then description fits. In 'History' Manchester three-piece Grand Volume have all the twiddly guitar parts and slick production but also the manically tight songs more associated with US hardcore. 'Fire Come Soon' in contrast, is definitely more at the prog end of the spectrum but has some killer guitar parts in it to make the 4 minutes play time fly by. Good stuff.



Tunng - It's Because...we've Got Hair (Ful Time Hobby)

The ground has already been laid by fellow beardy nouvo-folk acts such as The Magic Numbers and King Creosote so it's no surprise that Tunng's particular brand of pop is garnering appreciative slaps of the tambourine and shaking of beads around the musical press. 'It's Because...' is a particularly vocal heavy track which lilts over a looped guitar part from start to finish. The bass part of the vocal weirdly sets it just slightly on edge to please the most twisted of folk like myself.



UXL- Can I Dream Again? (Mab Records) 

UXL draw their influences from a variety of places. Their rolling drums are reminiscent of Foo Fighters, their vocal style borrows heavily from System Of A Down, and the guitar solo definitely comes from Muse territory. UXL aren’t quietly slipping in the back door with this single, they’re bulldozing their way straight into your living room with a massive sound on all counts- delicacy is not their department.

Catriona Boyle


Paul Hartnoll - Patchwork Guilt (Kids)

Just as I was about to start an obituary of Paul Hartnoll and dispatch him to the sub-Moby soundalike bin, 'Patchwork Guilt' suddenly kicks into life with a few of the trademark sounds that made Orbital the festival headlining band they were. It was always going to be hard for Hartnoll doing solo stuff - too much like Orbital and he would sound like a rip off, too little and he would alienate a massive fan base. 'Patchwork Guilt' epically manages to combine those two problems and should keep everyone happy. Phasing and heavily echoed percussion parts are still in evidence but there is a more dancey melody to both these tracks as opposed to Orbital's more introspective ambient techno. If I were you I would try and get your hands on one of these lovely limited edition (1000 copies) hand stamped orange vinyls.



Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “Cold & Wet” 

My experience of BPB is limited although I do know he’s a weirdy-beardy type with many weirdy-beardy followers. This brief morsel of blues isn’t his usual type of thing and doesn’t lodge itself in the memory even after several listens. Backed by a live track and a cover of a Kenny Rogers song, it hardly screams “essential purchase”.

Will Columbine


Subtle - The Mercury Craze (Lex/EMI)

Sometimes great things happen after unlikely collaborations. Who would have thought that 'Walk this Way' would resurrect the careers of both Aerosmith and Run DMC, not to mention invent rap-metal. In this vein, 'The Mercury Craze' sounds like Outkast duelling with Death From Above. Unlikely but effective.



Silver Pyre – “EP 1” 

Isolation can do strange and interesting things to the brain. Silver Pyre aka GS Fawle takes inspiration from the environment and records the results in a barn in Somerset, some of which are quite unique. “Sovereign” kicks off sounding like Elf Power’s attempt at an Irish Jig, followed by “Shurton Bers Ammonite” which is Stereolab jamming on the Velvet’s “Sister Ray”. “Filament”, meanwhile, is perhaps where the rural influence is most felt…the sound of an abandoned power station slowly coming back to life. You have to hear it to see what I mean.

Will Columbine


Black Strobe - Shining Bright Star (Playlouder)

Black Strobe are Parisians Ivan Smagghe and Arnoud Rebotini and have be remixing other bands' work for ages. Listen to their upcoming album 'A Remix Selection' if you want prove. But 'Shining Bright Star' is in fact an original work (though even this is the Phones Industrial remix). A heavy metallic beat and some squawking melody pound throughout the entire 6 minutes quite entertainingly, though if I'm honest, 4 minutes would have been enough.



The Idlers – “Bright Tomorrow EP” 

Musically better than the usual indie blandness that regularly stains our doormats, with some particularly atmospheric guitar work on the title track, an otherwise promising collection of songs is dragged down by uninspired vocal melodies and a general resistance to rising above the ordinary. This is what alternative music sounds like inside Robbie Williams’ brain.

Will Columbine


Adjagas - Mun Ja Mun (Ever)

Not some Tibetan chant but nearly. Apparently Adjagas is the Sami word for the state that exists in between sleep and consciousness. 'Mun Ja Mun' is  half chanted, half twinkling guitar and key part with loads of background hisses and fizzes. Very dreamy - I look forward to hearing some more.



The Little Ones - Lovers Who Uncover (Heavenly/EMI)

Sparkly indie pop with hand claps and 'hey hey' choruses - oh my, this is very upbeat. If I wasn't slightly chilly and contemplating another night listening to the wind howling around tasty towers then I might even enjoy it a bit more. Listen out for The Little Ones providing the soundtrack to the next T4 on Sunday docusoap - they are bound to do it.



Sucking Diesel - Sick Romantic (Sucking Diesel)

For real? Sucking Diesel? Why on earth would you call yourself that? As if the band weren't handicapped enough by turning out bog standard rock (apart from some occasional highlights from Cherry's warbling vocals) they also seem a bit long in the tooth to change, certainly older than the average hopefuls to sling CDs in Tasty's direction. As Brian Clough said, 'If you are good enough you are old enough'. Or something like that. I do like their Sim City style website though.



The Fires – “Trick of the Light EP” 

Yes kids, it’s yet more Fugazi-related fun and frolics, this time from Cornish outfit The Fires who on this evidence are obviously a tight musical unit and throw all the right aural shapes. Despite that, it fails to raise my heart-rate, being some what sterile and predictable in its attempted unpredictability. Still, I’ll wager they spin a few heads on the Cornish live circuit and for this I congratulate them.

Will Columbine


Joe Matson - DTA

Stands for 'Don't Trust Anyone' apparently and is the metaphor for loss of trust in a relationship. I think it is definitely good to write about something that everyone can associate with. but it beats me how you can make it so bland as in this sound. Limp bongoish percussion and twiddly little key effects give this a very weedy and thin sound.



National Heroes - London Town

Quirky Adam and the Ants meets Damon Albarn meets Bowies glam punk anyone? National Heroes do not fit into any snug categories really which is always a good thing. Snare heavy drums rattle along while the vocal protagonists try and out-cockernee each other. What the Sun film guide would call 'An enjoyable romp'.



Legionseven – “Chemicals EP” 

Does anyone else at Tasty feel like they’re writing the same review over and over again when it comes to demos? Yet again, here are a four-piece who believe that sheer bluster will make do in place of genuine passion. In this instance, it’s the vocal styling of Mr Big hitched to the music of Keane that ensures Legionseven are forever destined to play venues far smaller than they probably believe their music befits.

Will Columbine


Cyann & Ben - Words (Ever)

The third exciting release from Ever Records this month sees the eerie beauty of 'Words' slowly build from their whispered lovers' vocals through shimmering guitars to a storming fiery crescendo. Very reminsiscent of the kind of dynamics that iLiKETRAiNS employ with such effect.

B'side 'Eyes' Should Be Flames' is a much more swirling psychedelic track that rattles into action like a noisy old Ford Cortina on a foggy Monday morning. Quite splendid.
Watch video to 'Words'



Spitfire Charlie – Demo 

Three guys that are trying exceedingly hard to fit into the current music climate, Spitfire Charlie sound like The Fratellis fronted by Matt Bellamy. The fact that said performers are all doing quite nicely for themselves may not necessarily mean there’s much call for another bunch of pretenders on the scene, but at least the drummer, whose over imaginative use of the hi-hat almost derails the otherwise decent “Childish Thoughts”, has been given the boot.

Will Columbine


Stillman - Stillborn Moon (TRL)

A pleasantly off-kilter indie ramble through unexpected key changes and homely vocals all set to the background of a theremin can't be bad. 'Stillborn Moon' sounds like so many other lilting indie songs but manages to maintain itself the right side of cliched and trite with some nice little moves.



Scouting for Girls – “Elvis Ain’t Dead” 

The band name is excellent and the accompanying booklet in the style of a boy’s survival manual is a nice touch (very “Ripping Yarns”!) but the music itself is neither as quirky nor fun as the image SFG has so painstakingly constructed for itself. “The Murder Mystery Song” wins points, at least, for sounding like Athlete without the annoying “I’m-from-London-me” vocals and for name-dropping several stars of Sunday evening murder-mystery TV.

Will Columbine


Lost Alone - Unleash the Sands of Time (Scorpia)

Despite the pompous title this single hits the spot. Derby 3-piece Lost Alone manage to concoct a very catchy mix of dance driven beats (a la The Rapture, Sunshine Underground etc) with some ball breakingly good guitar riffs and Mike Patten-esque howling vocal interludes. It's not metal, it's not emo. It's just good.



Chichino - Every Little Thing

Oh christ. I've spent years trying to avoid this kind of acid jazz/soul/funk schmuck in the bars and clubs of Leeds only to have it land on my very own doorstep. I can just imagine the uber-cool funkateers in Leeds Hi-Fi club or The Wardrobe doing their pointy finger dancing to this. Don't get me wrong - musically it is very accomplished but it has always seemed to lack the very soul that it is supposed to be named after. Nurdling nonsense for folk who wear with oversized sunglasses and retro clothing.



The Siegfried Sassoon – “Electrocuted Means Dead” 

The SS offer up a more stripped-down take on the output of The Mars Volta, so knowing how that band tend to divide opinion (Is it art? Is it wank? Is it art-wank?) I’d only approach if that kind of thing floats your boat. The rap-sheet calls it “jazz-pop” and I’d say that’s pretty bang on the money: think Tortoise with a firecracker up its arse. Just don’t go expecting “Flaming Lips quirkiness with radio sensibility”. Honestly…it makes one question whether all people are born with ears.

Will Columbine


Ben Lee Tyler - Not My Fault (Ivolution/Absolute/Universal)

Ben lee Tyler sounds older than the 22 years old he is purported to be. That is the most interesting thing about this release which highlights the fact that just because you can make moderately good mid-Atlantic rock doesn't mean that you should.



The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy! (Vagrant)

Widely tipped but, judging by this offering, I'm a little bewildered as to what. Some big chunky guitar lines and a 'ha-ho-ho-ha' chorus provide the backdrop to Craig Finn's uninterested vocals. A bit disappointing really.



LoveLikeFire – “Bed of Gold EP” 

Barely a year old, and having already supported The Brian Jonestown Massacre and earned praise from Death Cab for Cutie, this San Franciscan outfit consolidate all of that on this rather nifty collection. Perhaps due to Ann Yu’s PJ Harvey-meets-Delores O’Reirdon vocals, they sound more English than anything else, while, musically, they’re a blend of Pink Floyd (A Million Pieces”), The Dandy Warhols, Dinosaur Jr (the excellent “Bullet Proof”) and early Cranberries. Actually, they’re heavily reminiscent of shoegaze-to-Britpop chameleons Lush, which is just fine by me. There can’t be many other bands with as convincing an identity at this early stage.

Will Columbine


Protest the Hero - Heretics and Killers (Vagrant)

Jesus wept. This lot make a right row. Precision metal riffs and turn on a sixpence stops and starts are all executed with great skill and no small amount of damage to my hearing. Cheeky upstarts.



South Central - Nothing Can Go Wrong (ART/GOES/POP)

South Central are a mysterious pair of loopers and remixers who have got into trouble with their remix of Klaxon's 'The Bouncer'. Well that's a recommendation to start with. in order to avoid further strife they have put out this single 'Nothing Can Go Wrong' which is at least all their own work.

Suitably macerated sounds and a distorted vocal rant are all set to a pounding but bouncy beat. Sure to be popular with those who sport asymmetric haircuts but that beat got a little bit to monotonous for me to really recommend this too highly.



Rapid Fiction – “Pristine 18” 

Dressing a band up in off-cuts of fuzzy felt doesn’t help inspire confidence that they’re a musical force to be reckoned with, and my worst fears are confirmed when the title track kicks off like a cross between Mel C’s “I Turn to You” and the Big Brother theme tune. It’s Joy Division playing the music of Gary Numan from there on in, with Interpol, The Cure and The Killers all cropping up at various points and all being far too good to be mentioned in a review of music this dire…yes, even the Killers.

Will Columbine


Blah Blah Blasé - Grandad (Fake Product)

A side project of Twisted Charm's frontman and remarkably named Nathan Doom, Blah Blah Blasé have really hit the nail on the head with this one. Electro punk that snugly fits within that description while delivering a bolt from the blue. Doom's jerky vocals superbly animate the electro beats and bobbing basslines in both 'Grandad' and b-side 'Infatuations', the latter being infused by a distinctly Gallic flavour courtesy of electro duo Camille Chazara and Marine Cabour.



I Killed Pharaoh - Home ep

I Killed Pharaoh seem to have enough hooks and riffs to keep Iron Maiden in music for a decade. Unconventionally however, IKP choose to use all of them on this EP, 'Home' which has more twists and turns than Bohemian Rhapsody but a similarly operatic vocal melee without actually ever going anywhere.

'King Hell Breakthrough' reminds me of some of the parts of 'War of the Worlds' soundtrack or Black Sabbath, again, impressive in places but just meandering towards it's conclusion like a lazy river. 'The Blame' is a little bit better, but mainly because it is shorter. A few less withering chorused vocals and a few more crunchy dynamics would work a treat.



The Shadow Puppets – “This is my Life” 

Fans of Peep Show will recall the skinny one’s pathetic attempts at creating music in a Prodigy vein, but at least that had comedic value. Now, just place that outside of the realms of television and into the real word…ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Shadow Puppets! If I liked anything on this EP it was “Square City Nightmare”, by virtue of the fact that it’s an instrumental track with some weird helicopter noises in the background, but you’d have to be seriously coked-up to think any of this was relevant.

Will Columbine


Kinky Durakee - The Answer (Joe Soap)

I normally exercise a strict censoring system which weeds out anyone called 'Tammy', 'Josie', 'Julee' etc. But I thought I would listen to this for the novelty value of someone called 'Kinky'. Then I read further, she is from Kazahkstan. Is this some kind of cunning marketing plot to help promote the new Borat film? Unfortunately not. Kinky can sing but why any one would want to listen to this moribund single baffles me. High five!



Public Relations Exercise - demo (Field)

Blimey - since their last review in Tasty, Public Relations Exercise seem to have got even more hardcore. A heady mix of math-rock and screamo, mainly courtesy of vocalist Martin Smith's unparalleled raucous delivery, like a man vomiting acid. Which is a bit weird because at times during 'Sub 10', P.R.E. sound like a speeded up version of Pearl Jam, Smith undertaking Vedder duties like a professional impersonator but the fast paced bass lines also reinforcing the comparison. I need a sit down and a cup cocoa after that...



Imicus - Inveigle

Ahhh. The sound of a tuned down guitar and lots of overdubs is hard to beat. On top of their considerable musical prowess, Imicus massively benefit from Miller's vocals, a man more in the mould of Maynard than Motorhead. It's amazing how much more powerful the track sounds when the sinister whispering explodes into the choruses. 'Inveigle' is a superb effort.



Pray For Hayden - Promo-Sexual

Pray for Hayden manage to combine two wonderful guitar sounds in a way that few other bands can achieve. Firstly there's the oh-so trendy slashy clean breaks which form the bulk of the melodies but then there is a lovely wash of dirty guitar which forms a sublime backdrop and fills out the sound and allows the three way harmonies to play around at will. Super-assured as you would expect from a band made up of some of Leeds' music glitterati. But they have the talent and the swagger to pull it off too.



Assembly Now - Leigh-on-Sea (Label Fandango)

Not only have Assembly Now been garnering high praise from the likes of Rough Trade and The Fly but even Tasty's arch cynic and flat-cap wearer Metcalf professed to being partial to a little bit of 'It's Magnetic'. There's certainly no change in fortunes here as 'Leigh on Sea' builds on their debut with twinkling guitars smirking at the bitter sweet lyrics over a two and a half minute journey through small town life.