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singles - february 2007



Clinic – “If You Could Read Your Mind” (Domino) 

A driving beat. A pumping bass-line. A razor-sharp guitar riff semi-cribbed from The Beatles “Hey Bulldog”. All that’s stopping this from being one killer tune is a catchy vocal melody. But, lest we forget, this is Clinic and they don’t do that sort of thing, so we’ll just have to make do with the sound of a man trying to sing with his jaw wired shut.
Watch the video to 'If I Could Read Your Mind'

Will Columbine

 
 

Matti Roots – “See You Again” 

I don’t recall having reviewed many Soul or R&B records during my time at Tasty, and if I have they obviously weren’t good enough to commit to memory. Matti Roots dishes up some perfectly serviceable, laid-back “vibez” but nothing that I’m going to remember once the CD goes in the bin. In fact, I could probably leave it playing on a loop and not notice for at least a week.

Will Columbine

 

The Sugars – “Monsters” 

I like the way that The Sugars attempt to pay homage to the music of a (long) bygone era with this, a sort of swing version of the Monster Mash. I like the way they try to be different and don’t get caught up in current fads. If only the actual song in question was halfway decent then we’d be onto a winner. B-side “Serenade” is a slow number and slightly more appealing, but still not a million miles away from No Doubt.
www.myspace.com/thesugars

Will Columbine

 
 

I Was a Cub Scout - Pink Squares (Abeano Records)

There's a real spate of crap names among young bands these days and I Was a Cub Scout are guilty as sin. Thank heavens their music more than makes up for any, well, I couldn't possibly skirt around this one; lousy ideas for band names.  

IWACS' electronic effervescing throughout both 'Pink Squares' and 'Teenage Skin' is a joy to behold. They could have been a capable guitar-heavy emo/ punk angst band, but thankfully they chose to go electronic with keyboards and synths as main instrument, opposed to falling in line with the slightly more insipid electric guitar movements.  

It's noteworthy that at the time of this single release, both Todd Marriott and William Bowerman were only seventeen years old. In five years, they'll only be twenty-two and Lord knows how accomplished they'll be. I'd tell you to go check them out without hesitation, but I think they'll likely get to you first.

Alex Clark

 
 

Listen with Sarah - The World of Listen with Sarah (Cherryade)

And what a strange world it is too. An apparent obsession with Andy Kershaw, the words 'world wide web', childrens' TV show theme tunes and a bunch of loops and silliness that would make Vic and Bob look straight-laced are wrapped together in 6 tracks of supreme electronic frivolity.

Mr Kershaw takes centre stage with opener 'Ramblin' Andy' and lists various place names over the top of a rather infectious squeezebox sample. The city of Ougadougou deserves particular credit during this effort. There is a brief interlude of Holst in 'Tempus Trumus' before the theme from Trumpton kicks in. A kind of warped 'the essence of time meets childrens' television' discourse.

Some of the loops in 'Bored of techno/Can't Speak Now' are a bit raggedy and jump around a bit too much for my liking and what sounds simply like a bunch of Andy Kershaw's shows chopped and mixed back into each other on 'Real Jungle High Intro' actually is just that. But the Ep ends on a real high with 'Real Jungle High' proper, quite literally a braying, pulsating masterpiece that if it hadn't been prefixed by the rest of the bizarreness on this record would have quite happily sat on a Fat Boy Slim album.
www.listenwithsarah.org

SB

 

The Pigeon Detectives – Romantic Type

You’d think that this band had a fetish for leather jackets looking at the photo on their press release; they all look like generic ‘indie boys’ and their music to is just that. As much as that is a bad thing, the Pigeon Detectives make it explosive and their music ultimately is brilliant live and definitely pulls in the crowds. To be proclaimed the hottest new band by The Sun and the NME, I advise you proceed with caution but if you like your indie music energetic and sweaty then Pigeon Detectives will be a refreshing change. There’s songs on the single which also show a very good depth and array of songs from the punchy ‘Romantic Type’ to the Hope Of The States-esque ‘Let’s Go’ and mellower ‘Mislead’ Don’t judge them on first appearances.
www.thepigeondetectives.com

Gareth Ludkin

 

Tracey Thorn - It's All True (Virgin)

I was around during the 80s and trust me, it wasn't that good. Tracey Thorn was also around in the 80s as lead singer with Everything but the Girl but she had most success with Massive Attack as guest vocalist on 'Protection'.

In a bizarre about turn, Thorn sounds like she has managed to reclaim some genuine 80s synths and drum patterns along with big production and as a result 'Out of the Woods' could be 20 years old. Horrific thoughts of teenage spots and doing outdoor PE lessons clad only in nipple chafing airtex t-shirts come flooding back...
watch the video to 'It's All True'

SB

 
 

Forward Russia – Don’t Be A Doctor (Single)

They certainly haven’t lost their punch and dare I say it, they’ve mellowed, if only just a bit, less shouting more clarity and overall a nice song. For a change it’s also a song with a title, so you might even remember the title of if rather than the one that goes raar, raar, raar. The Forward Russia Bravado however has worn thin with me. Their music in places could do with a bit more substance in my opinion. Apart from in a few places you will all recognize this as Forward Russia, this single isn’t taking them in any new direction it’s just a bit tighter and a bit neater.

Gareth Ludkin

 
 

Tripped and Falling - Ashes and Ember (Juxtapositions)

An assured and impressive effort from Tripped and Falling who managed to combine enough parts Biffy Clyro with enough parts Deftones to produce a near perfect err, metal cake. And they are also the second most exciting export from Trinidad and Tobago (after Brian Lara obviously) - I certainly would not have guessed that. Give them a chance (as long as they skip the schmaltzy b-sides like 'Bleed Victoria'
www.trippedandfalling.com

SB

 

The Knife – Marble House (Brille)

It’s icy enough outside without The Knife sticking the… err… knife in. ‘Marble House’ is the sort of cool ugly kids like me can only dream about. Beautiful children, and let’s face it there’s a lot of them about at the moment, will no doubt love this with a passion, and have their hair cut like the band.

I can hear Abba playing the songs of Ladytron. I don’t dislike it…
Watch video to 'Marble House'
www.myspace.com/theknife
 

Sam Metcalf

 

Shy Child - Drop the Phone (PIAS/Wall of Sound)

A fuzzy electro slash and burn set to a ragga beat may not sound like a recipe for success but there is enough twinkly bits and cow bell bashing by New York's shy child to drag 'Drop the Phone' kicking and screaming out of the speakers.

'Down on Yourself' is a slightly more orthodox electro track in a Numanesque stylee, at pace. I suspect a Shy Child gig would be a hot and sweaty place to be.
www.myspace.com/shychildmusic
watch the video to 'Drop the Phone'

SB

 
 

The Envy Corps – Story Problem (Vertigo)

It’s a bit earnest, isn’t it?  Bit safe. Bit meat and two veg. Bit Ford Mondeo. Bit golf. Bit beige drummer. Bit The Feeling. Bit shit, really.

Sam Metcalf

 
 

SixNationState - Where Are You Now (Jeepster)

Gravel voiced rockabilly with punk rock overtones anyone? It's a rich broth of musical soup and I think that a chunk of uncooked  'Where are You Now' has got lodged somewhere in my gullet. Heimlich!
www.sixnationstate.co.uk

SB

 
 

The Violets – Foreo

The Violets love their Siouxsie Sioux. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is a punky, spunky, edgy Long Blondes type of thing, but, hopefully without the preening and prancing and daft clothes. If new goff is to be the new thing, then I hope that The Violets are at the forefront, hiding in the shades. There’s enough here to bring mystery back to modern music. Time to get dark.
Watch the video to 'Foreo'

Sam Metcalf

 
 

telley - aW MuM tHEY MAde ME rEAD (Hitback)

Despite the annoying caps/non-caps gimmick of the EP title this is top notch indie guitar pop. Just the right amount of light and dark, a perfect splashing of twinkly guitars from Spearmint guitarist Jim, a gorgeous mix of girl-boy vocals (especially on 'Primary Colours') and an insistent beat that refuses to let you stray far fro the stereo while it is on. Not a million miles from what Luxembourg are doing but a little less camp. We like.
www.telley.co.uk

SB

 
 

Love of Diagrams – ep (Matador)

More goff! See icy shards of guitar, sharp female vocals hidden well down in the mix, glum bass. It’s all here, and it’s making me want to hide myself in my bedroom and not speak to my Dad for three weeks. I feel young again. Hurrah.

This is pretty good, as it goes. If you like your music downbeat, then you’ll heart Love of Diagrams. Time to not get happy.

Sam Metcalf

 
 

Dead Wasps - Mexicola Bare Essentials (Deadwasps)

Breathy synth patterns and glamorous sounding female vocals in this electro pop offering from Manchester based Dead Wasps. They're not trying to be too clever nor overly cool and in so doing manage to put together a moody and understated track that is really quite good.
www.deadwasps.co.uk

SB

 
 

The Twang – Wide Awake (b-unique)

The saviour of guitar music, according to Ricky Wilson. Well, he clearly knows fuck all. This is appallingly bland, and manages to feature the worst guitar solo in the history of pop music.

If The Twang are the future, I’m gonna start listening to George Formby and declare the year to be 1940.

Sam Metcalf

 
 

Loney, Dear - The City, The Airport (CSS remix)/The Battle of Trinidad and Tobago (Something in Construction)

A whole A4 sheet of press quotes about their album and still no room for good old tasty's comments? Well fair enough I suppose seeing as we have also missed this single release date of February 12th. Suffice to say two tracks of wanton brilliance, particularly 'The Battle...' which is fast becoming one of my favourite songs ever. Gorgeous quirky Swedish nu-folk music with just a tinge of disco-pop - what's not to like?

SB

 
 

I Was a Cub Scout – I Hate Nightclubs (Abeano Music)

I’d had high hopes for these Nottingham types, and when they’re good they sound a little bit like Lardpony, and that’s a wonderful thing. But they very quickly slip into – oddly – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin territory. ‘One more night and I’ll be on tour’, goes the refrain. With The Senseless Things, perhaps?

Sam Metcalf

 
 

Great Bear - Shame (Onto the Tracks)

Blimey, this is a bit lo-fi - I could hardly hear anything even with my trusty Sony headphones turned up (well, you know - you've got to give the neighbours a break sometimes). A slightly louder volume uncovers the secrets of Great Bear - less is more during the verses with a spartan guitar hook that is only grudgingly embellished in the choruses with a bit of a vocal harmony. B-side 'Fingertips' has a much greater rock and roll swagger about it, reminiscent of the Scaramanga Six. I'm not sure there's enough here to get me waving an autograph book in their faces but I'd gladly spend an evening have my ears bashed at one of their gigs.
www.myspace.com/greatbeartheband

SB

 
 

M Ward – To Go Home (4AD)

This is a jolly old romp through what I have just coined as ‘drunk music’. I can just picture playing a good game of dominoes to this in the pub, and, despite the second track here sounding a little bit like Gomez, I give it the Metcalf seal of approval.

Sam Metcalf


The Pierces - Sticks and Stones (Lizard King)

Allison and Catherine Pierce display a winsome charm with their very individual style of gypsy folk while still maintaining an impressively complete and charming song writing offensive. Their voices work beautifully together and the fast pace of 'Stick and Stones' has just a tinge of dark bitterness that stops them sounding like a sugar coated cliche.
www.thepiercesmusic.com

SB

 
 

Screaming Mimi – Dorothy Millette (Phantom Power Records)

The Mimi return with another track of writhing sexiness that has this writer gagging to see them at their tasty event in April.

‘Dorothy Millette’ reminds me a little of mid-eighties Fall with Brix on vocals, and features a cute rockabillyesque guitar line that sounds oddly contemporary.

Could this be Screaming Mimi’s year? Let’s hope so.

Sam Metcalf

 

Biffy Clyro - Saturday Superhouse (14th Floor)

If eve rthere was a band at the height of its powers then biffy clyro must be that cliche. Nicely put by Kerrang!, 'Without hype, fuss or fanfare, Biffy Clyro have emerged as one of Britain's most popular bands'. 'Saturday Superhouse' utilises all of their trademark dynamic tricks and even throws in a few cunning studio tricks like the bells and synths in the central bridge to bump up the dropped guitars and powerhouse drums.
www.biffyclyro.com

SB

 

Charlotte Hatherley- I Want You To Know (Little Sister Records

Since releasing her Behave E.P., Charlotte seems to have undergone a voice transplant. The rough edges have been smoothed, the growl softened, and all that’s left is a sickly sweet pop voice. Sadly though, this just isn’t Charlotte, apart from the occasional Ash-esque guitar riff on B Side Sister Universe. I Want You To Know is a bright and breezy pop song with a catchy chorus and clap along moments, and given the right promotion could be a big hit. Those expecting great things from her will be disappointed though.
http://www.charlottehatherley.com

Catriona Boyle

 

Mumm-Ra - What Would Steve Do? (Columbia)

I'm sure I've heard this before. You know, maybe 7 or 8 years ago. Ocean Colour Scene? The Bluetones? I don't know but I do know that it is not a whole crazy new sound invented by the kids in Bexhill. Nice enough jingly guitars, vocal harmonies and an off-kilter bridge but for god sake NME - get over hyping everything up like someone has invented a new form of pollution-free energy or something.
www.mumm-ra.com

SB

 

Faze Action - In The Trees: Carl Craig C2 remix#1 (Juno)

Online record store Juno may be 10 years old but they have finally taken the step of starting their own label. This first release sees the classic dance track (apparently - I'm feeling a little bit of my comfort zone here) 'In the Trees' re-worked by Carl Craig. It's nearly 9 minutes of pulsing, sawing beats overlaid with some strings and synths. It's actually a lot better than I describe it but I'm suffering a bit of trance fatigue this month. Have a listen yourself at Juno Records.
www.fazeaction.com
www.juno.co.uk

SB

 
 

Shakes - Disneyland (Hot!Hot!Hot!)

Blimey - this sounds like The Rapture meets Josh Wink meets Carl Cox meets Black Grape. Indie guitar electro rock but with much more emphasis on the electro than the most other bands at the moment. This is what makes it stand out from a very large crowd - a bit like Orbital playing around with a Rickenbacker.
www.myspace.com/getshakes

SB

 
 

Jackson Analogue - Come On (I Hear Voices)

So Jackson Analogue have parted from Island records over 'creative differences' and this is the first of their new releases. It's got a joyous rock n roll ballsiness about it, leather jackets, beer stained floors and gravelly voiced Eddie Vedder vocal that harks of yesteryear. In fact the B-side 'All Alone (kill me)' sounds an awful lot like Pearl Jam - therein lies your greatest strength and greatest weakness Jackson Analogue.
www.jacksonanalogue.com

SB

 
 

Sounds Like Violence - Glad I'm Losing You (Burning Heart)

This kicks off sounding like a thousand other angular guitar tracks and briefly threatens to contort into a rasping searing beast of screaming and progressively agitated guitar. But then it doesn't really and ends up sounding like a folk song being sung by Europe. Which is kind of cool in its own way.
www.myspace.com/soundslikeviolence

SB

 

Voxtrot - Trouble/Your Biggest fan (Playlouder)

After the first EP 'Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives' I expected great things from Voxtrot. Although the bitter-sweet vibe is still present, 'Trouble' and 'Your Biggest Fan' just end up sounding a little bit loungey, a little bit camp with quite a lot of self satisfied nurdling.
http://www.myspace.com/voxtrot

SB

 

Sometree - Hands & Arrows (Dance to the Radio)

The first release from Dance to the radio not from a band based in Leeds comes from Germans Sometree. Hmmm, 'Hands and Arrows' sounds a bit like a cross between Radiohead and Redjetson to me - not a bad place to come from but not really pulling all the right levers in my mechanical music appreciation mind.
www.sometree.de

SB

 
 

The Burt Bacharak Fight Club - Psycho Mikal Ep

The title track to this EP sounds a bit like Fun Lovin Criminals' 'Scooby Snacks' and FLC were all classically trained musicians so praise indeed. There's also a hint of They Might Be Giants and REM about the command of delivery in these three minute pop songs. 'Diane Your a Ghost' is a particular gem - with a lush guitar sound and wibbly sound effect which sounds like it was lifted off a Tarentino film- great stuff.
www.myspace.com/thebacharakfightclub

SB

 
 

Ejectorseat - What Do They Care (On the Road)

Another post electro-clash/nu-rave/indie synth/fill in current description here band, Ejectorseat lean heavily on the synth sound and less on the guitars but very much benefit from the current insatiable appetite of the likes of NME and Radio 1 for this sort of thing. Another one for the pretty-well-done-but-hardly-ground-breaking filing tray.
www.myspace.com/ejectorseatband

SB

 
 

Furyon - 32 Hours

It's funny how being immersed in the current crop of NME/MySpace media savvy bands day in day out can make a metal band sound refreshing. There are some great riffs, nice chugging guitars and nifty soloing on display and Furyon have a whiff of Alice in Chains about them. The band claim that one of their gig experiences involves 'a shit load of balls' - not sure that is something I'd like to get involved with but you get the impression they aren't that bothered that people will think they are untrendy metal dinosaurs. They also have particularly nice hair in the press shot which must have been taken in some kind of wind tunnel. But it is easy to forget all this midway through 'The one' which explodes with a fearsome, impressive breakdown.
www.sparklepromotions.com/furyon

SB

 
 

Fahrenheit 451 - The Battleground is Everywhere

Named after Ray Bradbury's novel about a dystopian society where citizens only learn via the television, F451 start off sounding like men on a mission. 'W are Youth' has a driving guitar and bass riff which carries things along at a suitably nihilistic pace but the vocals really drag things down - mainly because they are mixed too high but also because they are just a bit over-egged and annoying.
www.sparklepromtions.com/f451

SB

 

Enter Shikari - “Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour” (Ambush Reality) 

Just a few seconds into the opening, with the frenetic synth bouncing through your headphones, if you close your eyes real tight and think real hard you might just about remember that this time last year, Enter Shikari were a well-kept secret of the underground, playing a show near you every other week for roughly the price of the bus fare it’d take to get there.  It’s hard to think that this is the same band headlined a sold out the Astoria last November without ever being signed. 

But only just as the magazines started taking notice, everyone was bumming bands like The Klaxons or ShitDisco and some bloke in an ironic D.A.R.E. tshirt and tight white trousers over at NME thought ‘wait..this band uses electro too!’ and Enter Shikari found themselves swallowed into the nu-rave fluorescent blackhole. 

‘Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour’ kicks off with vocals over a synthesizer beats that builds up and then spits out some crunching guitars and then growling starts. Any band can pick a synthesizer and scream over it, mixing Nintendo noises with guitar beatdowns. But Enter Shikari always guaranteed a good live show. Think Horse: The Band mixed with Funeral For a Friend and a glowstick. At an Enter Shikari show you would get the best part of metal-show mosh mixed with a few minutes of delirious raving, while frontman Rou howled and did backflips over the synth machine. Nice. 

But it’s not one of their best songs, and I kept turning the volume up hoping to get just a bit of that live kick they deliver. Unfortunately for Enter Shikari, all the excitement of their unique live show doesn’t translate onto recording and they just end up sounding like another band with a synth.
www.entershikari.com
Watch the video to 'Anything Can Happen'

Willa C

 
 

Make it Better later - Headlines & Lies (Periphony)

Sweet Jesus - it's not for me to say whether synth violin, metal riffs, sea shantying and ska/reggae beats are a good combination (in any order, let alone all in one song). Maybe there's a gap in the market seeing as it has been a while since the Levellers camper van last rumbled into town. Actually, no - it is for me to say whether or not it is a good thing. And it is not, absolutely not.
www.myspace.com/makeitbetterlater

SB

 
 

Bonse - Shoot Me (Craftydevil)

For a band brandishing a full rhythm section and guitars, Bonse have managed to make everything in 'Shoot Me' sound artificially sampled which is a bit odd. It's a bit of an enigma, definitely sounding more like a dance floor filler than indie fare with it's drop out effects and ascending riffs. But for all that, not entirely displeasing either. If I was Darren Bonse I'd fully dispose of the band and keep all those royalties to myself.
www.bonse.co.uk

SB

 
 

Snowfight in the City Centre - Six Seconds (Something in Construction)

'Snowfight the City Centre are a band uninterested in riding the latest wave of new wave or jumping on whatever bandwagon is limping through the mags to get themselves noticed' reads the press release. That's right - they just manage to do it naturally and sound so hackneyed that I find it difficult to write anything of interest about this track at all other than it sounds a bit like U2.

SB

 
 

Love Ends Disaster! - Ladders (Yellow Noise)

Love Ends Disaster! don't tend to do things by the book. Here chiming bells eventually give way to  ascending and descending guitar riffs and military drumming style finale. Song structures are hard to pick out - there's no verse chorus verse formula here. I don't think it is as strong as 'Faster Faster' EP but it's good to see that some bands are still willing to try new ideas and take a chance.
www.loveendsdisaster.co.uk

SB

 

This Et Al - Of National Importance

Rapidly following up the sublime debut album 'Baby Machine', 'Of National Importance' sees Bradford misanthropes really give free range to Steve's power house drumming. Double-A side  'The Mother Position' is equally as good and unbelievably even more threatening and sinister. It's reassuring to see such rugged single mindedness flourish and maybe 2007 will be the year that This Et Al join some of West Yorkshire's somewhat less substantial acts in the national spotlight.
www.thisetal.com
Watch the video to 'Of National Importance'

SB

 
 

Joy Surrender - demo

What starts promisingly with some choppy Biffy style guitars and pace changes gently settles into a tried and tested rock formula. Like wearing a pair of comfortable slippers - it might be practical but it's never going to turn anybody on.
www.sparklepromotions.com/joysurrender

SB

 
 

The Stopmotion Men - promo

As the name might suggest, The Stopmotion Men are heavily influenced by film and try to combine projections with as any of their shows as possible. In 'Attention', there's also the added historical resonance of the heavy piano playing, kind of harking back to the days of silent movies and the pianist trying to keep pace with the film. The music itself is truly epic with pianos and guitars driving away over the top of Geraint Connors' unmistakably Vedder-esque vocals.

'Fake Your Death' carries with it equal dynamism but perhaps a touch more pomp - like a cross between The Hellset Orchestra and Muse. I'm sure that some people will have trouble with the likeness of Connors' voice to the Pearl Jam front man but as long as he is not deliberately trying to mimic that sound then I say fair play. These songs are masterfully well written, delivered with real purpose and surely destined to be venue fillers.
www.myspace.com/stopmotionmen

SB

 

The Ripps - Loco (Catskills)

Ah yes, this is a massive improvement on The Ripps last outing with 'Vandals'. Lovely punchy bass playing, guitars sawing across it and background whooping and cat noises. Tres bien.
www.myspace.com/theripps
Watch the video to 'Loco'

SB

 
 

Radio Luxembourg - Diwrnod Efo'r Anifeiliaid EP (Peski)

Radio Luxembourg, much like their moniker, are like a sound from another age. A happy, brighter age where people wear primary colours and gaze lovingly at puppy dogs. The beautiful vocal harmonies laced with crazed synths and crisp percussion work unerringly well. I did think they were suffering from a speech impediment until I realised some of the lyrics were in Welsh, but the lovely crumpy brass section in the title track made me forget all that. Beguiling.
www.myspace.com/radiolux

SB

 

The Aliens - Setting Sun (EMI)

Made up of the dismembered parts of The Beta Band, The Aliens are so psychedelic retro kitsch that they have managed to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and become uber-fashionable. 'Setting Sun' drips electric organ, oozes clattery valve guitar and has a fabulous vocal outro. Still can't help but feel it would be more at home as incidental music on BBC's 'Life on Mars' though.
www.thealiens.co.uk
watch the video to 'Setting Sun'

SB

 
 

The Total Drop – Your Excellency (Snakes and Ladders Records)

After only a few listens this irresistibly catchy single becomes engrained in your brain. ‘Your Excellency’ delivers simplistic catchy hooks and you find yourself singing along to their basic raw riffs. The Total Drop Sound is fresh, and hook ridden with pop punk tendencies, which are brilliantly reminiscent but perfectly inventive. Mixing old sounds with new Total Drop will prove to be a brilliant success in years to come. Snakes and Ladders have again triumphed with another great find. 4/5

Gareth Ludkin

 
 

Mpho Skeef – What you waiting for?

A record for the clubs, this isn’t music which I particularly enjoy. It’s a kind of R‘n’B, break beat song and if you listen, it really offers little more than layered vocals on top of a repetitive beat, ok for the first few seconds, but a bland affair after that. I’m sure there’s an audience out there but it’s not my kind of thing. 0/5

Gareth Ludkin

 

The Irrepressibles – My friend Jo

This is an interesting single. This is a brave attempt to make popular music more than it is already, infusing, classical, folk and jazz genres together into songs with would not sound out of place in a film score or theatre stage. Their performance encases much more than just a musical performance. It use film, painting, dance, sound instillations and avant-garde costumes. The music is certainly more at home on stage but it does not do badly converting to CD. A nice listen in context and a collaboration I would have to have seen and heard more about before jumping on board with their orchestral, jazzy folk music. 3/5
http://www.myspace.com/theirrepressibles

Gareth Ludkin

 

Amp Fiddler – ridin’/faith mixes

yuk!!……it sounds like it’s straight out of the 80’s cheesy pop genre. Comparable with Jamiroqui it’s not worth a second listen. Again a record I’m sure there’s an audience for but you won’t find me there.
Watch the video to 'Ridin'

Gareth Ludkin

 
 

South Central – EP (Young Turks records)

The last single I heard from South Central I condemned expressively. It was drab, repetitive and plain awful but surprisingly this new offering is much more entertaining, aggressive, upfront and ear splitting this record would go down a storm at your local indie rave. ‘Castle Of Heroes’ is the stand out track and holds up the rest of the EP, which does not really follow suit. It is clearly a record for a night out not a night in or your personal collection.

Gareth Ludkin

 
 

Onions – Untitled EP

Onion, a well known delight for the taste buds, perfect with hot-dogs and an underrated vegetable in my book. However, onions (the vegetable) can often be much of a hit and miss affair. Onions (the band) however neither makes me cry or leaves me wondering just whether choosing onions with my sausage was a big mistake. Onions (the band) deliver jazzy pop indie guitar ditties, little ska riffs and up lifting tempos. This Manchester three piece create music that is fun and a delight to listen to. Each song through this EP is bouncy, tasty, a welcome addition to your musical pallet and definitely worth a listen, brilliant stuff and a favourite new band for myself. Find out more about Chris, Martin and James at www.myspace.com/onionstheband 3.5/5

Gareth Ludkin

 

The Answer - Be What You Want (Albert Productions)

I think this may be the straw the broke the camel's back in terms of ending my brief but heartfelt toleration of The Answer. Yet another Marlboro/Jim Beam/leather trouser fuelled rock and roll tribute that, and I'm sorry to break this to you kids, is not an amazing new sound, but sounds like an earnest Aerosmith cover. What's that? There actually is a cover of Aerosmith's 'Sweet Emotion' on this record? I rest my case.
http://www.theanswer.ie

SB

 

LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum (DFA/EMI)

Strikes me that some people are just plain greedy. Aside from being one half of DFA, label head, producer, remixer etc etc, James Murphy also has another string to his bow in the form of LCD Soundsystem.  His other projects mean that Murphy has to keep fully in the zone at all times and 'North American Scum' displays a perfect slice of pop zeitgeist with it's jerky nu-rave tones, equally at home in the clubs or played live. Talented git.
www.lcdsoundsystem.net
watch the video to 'North American Scum'

SB

 
 

TD Lind - Radio Proposal

Apart from sounding like an expensive chocolate, the other overriding feeling I get when listening to this single by TD Lind is based in my mother's record collection. There's something distinctly Foreigner about the arrangements. 'Last Kiss' has an interesting eastern European lilt over some fuzzy beats which are more interesting though and it builds into a memorable climax of pan clanging percussion.
www.tdlind.com

SB

 
 

Badly Drawn Boy - A journey from A to B (Virgin EMI) 

Fans of Badly Drawn Boy’s earlier work won’t be disappointed with his latest offering, however, those of you who were hoping for something new and exciting, will be.  His previous work casts no doubt on the fact that the man’s talented, both as a composer and as a producer of memorable pop tunes, but this release inspires no immediate feelings of, well….anything. Rather a comfortable listen which may induce feelings of déjà vu.
Watch video to 'A Journey from A to B'
www.badlydrawnboy.co.uk

Belinda Troup

 

The Magic Numbers - This is a Song (EMI)

Well here I am again, the Magic Numbers…

The latest offering from the second album is yet another pleasant, radio-friendly, slice of pop that camouflages a darker tale about ended love. The usual boxes are all ticked; a catchy guitar-driven melody with the girls putting vocal meat onto Romeo’s lyrics about love soon to end. But I can’t help thinking that this song is a formulistic, sleep walker of a track released solely to please the masses. It is not exactly dangerous ground.

What we really want to see, is for them to step out of the second album comfort zone and move away from the middle-ground of the UK indie scene and produce something that challenges their quite obvious talent; instead of the usual nods to the Beach boys and co. We want to see some gritty, blues-drenched material that practically smells of hot, sweaty, bourbon-fuelled nights on the Mississippi, that for those who have seen the Magic Numbers play live, will all agree they are very capable of producing.
www.themagicnumbers.net
Watch the video to 'This is a Song'

Steph Galbraith

 
 

Vessels - Yuki/Forever the Optimist (Cuckundoo)

A soporific, floating piano melody peeks through, peeling away layers note by note, chord by chord, to reveal ranks and echelons of crevasses, weaving in and out of a soothing and seraphic musical density. Instrumentals build and breakdown embrace one another with fluid correspondence, seamless and effortless. ‘Yuki’ unfolds to flood the sonic space with heavy-hearted distance and pulsates with flourishing spirit. This atmospheric dreamscape glides with whimsical cloud-like features, with instrumental peaks and bellows with modest vocals, seemingly batting gently behind veils of void. I can never confidently clear the precise wording, the works of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Tom Evans and guitarist/vocalist/keyboards/producer Lee J. Malcolm match the musical vibrations, contributing to what develops like a pristine and intricate mechanical operation, but still benignly organic and satisfyingly triumphant.  

In charge of drums/beats, Tim Mitchell’s work genuinely shines in ‘Forever the Optimist.’ Martin Teff, bass/guitar/synth, additionally excels in the second track, igniting an anchor-like foundation that comfortably releases the tune into flight. A percussive explosion, an obsessive line of cries and careful harmonies, it whirls like a wary heat of haze, a smoky state of phantasmagoria. In force to stew a slow build, it climaxes to exhale with ease without crashing and burning. Vessels’ brand of post-rock ascends with weightless directness as ‘Yuki/Forever the Optimist’ embodies a winning openness of vivid character that truly glows.

Rhyannon Rodriguez

 
 

The Ooohlas - Small Parts (So Sweet/Stolen Transmission)

A tingly pop-noir sensation is running through my headphones and into my mind as The Oohlas mix equal parts shoegaze guitar indie with bubblegum pop. For every sugary vocal line their is a slightly brooding change of key as the guitars and bass bristle. They can be forgiven therefore for B-side 'From Me To You' which starts off sounding like a Sigue Sigue Sputnik cover version.
www.theooohlas.com

SB

 

Good Shoes – Never Meant To Hurt You – Brille Records

This is the fourth release from good shoes. The southwest London four piece has their album in the pipeline at the moment and this will be their last release. The single only needs to be listened to once before you get into it, it wont be long before you will be singing the words as Never Meant To Hurt You is a very catchy tune. The single is a different style to their other releases such as all in my head, and they have put two of their best songs as their b-sides ‘Valley Boy’ and ‘Saturday’. They have really got pop punk down to a tee, and this single proves that they are not a band with one or two half decent songs as all three songs are very strong. I would also try and listen out for a track called Morden it’s a real catchy tune. This is a really good single that is definitely worth buying, watch out for their album and UK tour. 
Watch the video to 'Never Meant to Hurt You'

Lewis Carter

 

Hinterland - Vote with your feet

It’s a refreshing change to hear a band that sounds off angrily about important stuff, and makes sure to deliver it convincingly with loud riffs and copious cymbals.

They sound like a straight-up rock band: Noisy, guitar-led, with all the appropriate riffs and breaks, and lyrics that are half sung and half shouted.

The sound might be one that most of us are familiar with, but it’s been a while since new material of that ilk has emerged.

The title track, ‘Vote With Your Feet’, shows the most promise, but the vocal style might have benefited from a different approach: The shouted verses could have done with a bit more conviction, at times they did remind me of a time when Brit Pop was the order of the day, which doesn’t suit the busting riff that accompanies them.

Thankfully, they don’t fall into the same trap in the other two songs, which are both similar in style, which in this context, is no bad thing.

With upcoming UK and European tours in April, Hinterland would be worth seeing live just to hear the full force of their music.

Nick Wood

 
 

Redmojo - demo

These guys are a talented, well-polished band, with good ideas that produce well rounded songs.

‘Who Am I To You?’ opens with a cracking rhythm section which is complemented by a strained-sounding, whiny lead guitar, and a powerful, loud vocal sound - he’s got a voice with range on it.

Just as the song begins to decay towards the end, syncopated open hats kick in, and it’s played out with a nutty funky sound that is an unexpected but welcome twist.

‘Go Home’ introduces a piano sound you might initially associate with Keane, but as soon as the vocals come in you know you’re in for something a bit different, and sure enough, it culminates in a dramatic guitar driven chorus.

Staying with guitars - the licks at the beginning of ‘Dylan’ are reminiscent of something from Californication, which is no bad thing. The laid-back Wurlitzer fuelled style of this song shows another side to Redmojo, although the frustrated melancholy attitude of their music is still evident.

Their mature sound gives you the impression that Redmojo are a hard working band, either that or they’re just dead jammy when it comes to arranging good songs that sound like the complete package.

Although currently unsigned, Redmojo’s first album, due this spring, will be something to look forward to.

Nick Wood

 
 

Slow Down Tallahassee – “So Much For Love” 7 inch Single (Thee SPC) 

Sheffield, Sheffield, Sheffield. The steel city really is a good place to be at the moment if you’re in an up-and-coming band who sing about modern life for the working class. So picking up this – the latest release on The Sheffield Phonographic Corporation – it wouldn’t be a foolish preconception to expect it to be a song about a so-called “real issue” like being mugged or the busses being late. So prepare yourself to be surprised to find that when So Much For Love starts it’s actually 90s-influenced guitar pop with brilliantly throwaway lyrics, calling back to the days when Pulp, Suede and the Manic Street Preachers ruled the indie charts.  

In some respects, Slow Down Tallahassee’s sound is more Wakefield than modern Sheffield, with obvious comparisons to the West Yorkshire city’s flagship bands The Cribs and The Research. This, however, is immaterial, because with verses and choruses that snake into one another and a laidback vocal delivery above lovely uncomplicated music, any pop-lover will have a smile on their face after the 3 minutes and 10 seconds of wry brilliance.  

The B-sides continue in a similar vein, with Candy summing up the sweetness of Slow Down Tallahassee’s sound. If Slow Down Tallahassee keep on producing pop songs with the class that they are doing now, it’ll be green lights all the way.

Patrick Dowson