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singles/eps - october 2008



One Day As A Lion – Self-titled (Anti- Records) 

Sometimes it is only in retrospect that you come to realise how great a band were. Rage Against The Machine fall into this category for me. Out of the embers of this phenomenal fourpiece, three quarters went on to form Audioslave with Chris Cornell. While on paper this sounds like an awesome proposition, in reality they flattered to deceive, succumbed to the law of diminishing returns and slowly disappeared up their collective fundament while proclaiming their omnipotence. The other quarter of RATM is now the frontman of One Day As A Lion. 

Zack de la Rocha writes incisive lyrics with a social conscience and delivers them with snarling hip hop attitude. This works best, as is the case here, with stripped back instrumentation and lo-fi production. The first track ‘Wild International’ is a perfect case in point with its classic hip hop beat and simple groove the backdrop for Rocha’s flow. The remaining tracks pretty much follow this formula with slight changes of tempo and mood. Rocha breaks into singing at certain points with mixed results, not something he sounds entirely comfortable with.  

On the plus side this is raw, heartfelt music with echoes of what made RATM such a great band. It is encouraging to see that Rocha has gone back to basics and is demonstrating that he is still a force to be reckoned with. It remains to be seen whether this is simply Rage #2 with less talent. I guess time will tell for One Day As A Lion, but this is a pretty decent start. 
www.onedayaslion.org 

Richard Ash

 
 

Officer Kicks – Pictures Of Me (We Make Things Records) 

This single is taken from Officer Kicks’ debut album The Six Grand Plot and also contains the song ‘On And On’. ‘Pictures Of Me’ begins with a rolling bassline and then wastes no time in delivering a good time rock ‘n’ roll vibe. The song bounces along merrily never once delving into the question of why the young female protagonist would possess photographs of the lead singer and spurn other advances. Nonetheless, I could imagine that this song would work well in the live environment. ‘On And On’ is more pedestrian with a balladic feel. There is nothing wrong with any aspect of this song but it doesn’t develop enough for me and is a bit overlong as a result. Overall then a band sticking very much to a tried and tested formula and making a pretty decent fist of it.  

Richard Ash

 
 

dEUS – The Vanishing of Maria Schneider (V2 Records) 

This single is taken from dEUS’ sixth album Vantage Point and finds the ‘Belgium Art Rockers’ in chilled out, melancholic mode. I have no idea what Art Rock is but I had the feeling it might be a little more exciting than this. The song plods along and is pleasant enough but never really captures my attention at any point. Perhaps it’s personal taste but I need my music to be more immediate and/or emotional than this.

Richard Ash


 

Deathretro – Night Terrors EP 

I am never going to be a big fan of Deathretro, and that is largely because I don’t get the singer. He sounds to me like a man who has got carried away with the band’s relative success and now has a somewhat over-inflated sense of his own talent. This would explain the often pretentious lyrics and excursions into spoken parts that I think are supposed to sound like a deep, contemplative man-on-the-edge but actually just come across as contrived. I can appreciate that he is experimenting with different moods and deliveries (I have criticised people for not doing this), I just don’t think it works. 

Allied to the above is the feeling I get through the EP that the band are still figuring out who they are. The general impression I am left with is a range of ideas that do not ever convincingly cohere into a flowing work. They are at turns rock, punk, indie and industrial without ever doing justice to any one of these. Very much a work in progress. 

Richard Ash  

 
 

Tommy Ludgate - Sweet Release

A new month and a new resolution to cut the crap out of the Tasty reviews mailbag. Then again, we may as well say why something is bad. Tommy Ludgate (a femme with a chap's name, no less) has a good voice and has performed in front of Simon Cowell (who hasn't?). But 'Sweet Release' is a nurdling soft jazzy late night number which should be consigned to radio 3. Next.
www.myspace.com/tommyludgate

SB

 

Ann Scott - Imelda (Raghouse)

Irish balladeer Scott possesses an eerie voice akin to The Cardigans' frontwoman Nona Persson and 'Imelda' is a refreshingly bleak single when what I was expecting was more schmaltz like Tommy Ludgate. Worth a sneeky peek on myspace.
www.annscott.net

SB

 
 

Dolium - El Vampiro Attack! (Parlour 9)

Although they've been around the block a while (long enough for the late John Peel to have been a fan way back), Dolium play with a ferocious intensity of a band who have just learnt the power of the music they can play. Punk rock with rapid fire riffs and just a touch of kitsch, lead tracks 'You've Got Holes' and '(She Can't) Stake My Heart' sounds somewhere between Punish the Atom and The Hellset Orchestra. And a whole EP of tracks dedicated to Vampires has got to worthy of some credit.
www.myspace.com/dolium

SB

 
 

The Fins - Adapter (Numerical Blue)

The Fins remind me a lot of Buck Brothers, another band who might not sound like the most fashionable band around at the moment but who can certainly write a great song or two. 'Adapter' is the single on what is a strong trio of tracks on this release. Gutsy guitars, slightly wobbly vocals and a strange rap over the chorus like Limp Bizkit might sound like a recipe for disaster but it al hangs together quite convincingly.
www.myspace.com/thefins

SB

 
 

Gemma Ray - Rise of the Runts (Bronzerats)

What a fantastic name for a record label. And the single isn't bad either - 'Rise of the Runts' comes on part Sheryl Crow part The Shangri-Las with some gorgeous vocal harmonies going on. This is less alt-country, more 60s pop. from Gemma Ray.
Watch the video to 'Rise of the Runts'

SB

 
 

Coney Island Sound - Introducing Mr Kellogg (Regular Beat Recording Co.)

As with all things from Regular Beat, this single from Hull-based instrumentalist, Ewan Gordon oozes the care and attention that has clearly been lavished over its production. 'Introducing Mr Kellogg' is made up of a whole junkshop of sounds, looped, sampled and cut together in a way that seems to mould the trinkety sound of Psapp with the analogue sound of BlackMothSuperRainbow. There's even a summery birdsong playing over the top of perhaps the first and last accordion outro this month.
www.myspace.com/coneyislandsound

SB


 

exlovers - sampler

Ok so this 3-track sampler is al by recent music recorded by boy-girl exlovers. Unfortunately as well as not having an EP title it has no track list either (I certainly can't be bothered jetting out the CD tray between tracks to make my own sleeve notes, even if the song titles are actually written on the disc itself). But the good news is, these three tracks demonstrate a band comfortable with themselves and with a profound sense of clarity about what they are trying to achieve. There's a restrained yet evident tension about each song, beautiful but slightly on edge. This isn't schmaltzy girl-boy love song pop - there's even a bit of scuzzy shoe gaze thrown in. I'd recommend you check out their web page for more info.
www.myspace.com/wearexlovers

SB


 

Reemer - Rockstar (Reaction)

Reemer. Sounds a little like rimmer (and that was definitely not a term of endearment when I was at school). And I'm afraid I'm finding 'Rockstar' a little bit adolescent also - 'and I'm a rockstar baby every saturday night'...blah blah plus a whole load of other lyrics which seem to have too many syllables to fit comfortably into the amount of time and music allowed to them. Less posturing and more diction required.
www.reemer.co.uk

SB


 

The Maddisons - The Witch (End of the Trail)

Hello hello, this starts off very promisingly with all members of The Maddisons blasting away at all of their instruments at once. Sadly after the first 20 seconds, The Maddisons, much like a European finance ministerial convention, then all proceed to go off in completely different directions, implementing each of their own plans at different times and speeds. Occasionally it all gels into brilliance. Mostly it sounds like a bit of a racket. But I'd take that combination ahead of 100% mediocrity anyday. And when you learn that all the band members are 16 or 17 years old, well, bless 'em, there's plenty of time for refinement.
www.myspace.com/themaddisons

SB

 
 

Hold Fire - Power Cuts (Trigger Club)

I'm not normally much of a fan of pop-rock but I've got to say that there is very little I can find wrong with Hold Fire. A little like the Foo Fighters with perfectly constructed songs immaculately performed and produced.
www.myspace.com/weareholdfire

SB

 
 

The Count & Sinden - Hardcore Girls EP (Domino)

Been a long time since the three tracks on offer on an EP have polarised my opinion so much. Title track 'Hardcore girls' annoys the hell out of me with it's chopped 17 year old vocal courtesy of Rye Rye. Similarly annoying is the monotonous grime of JME in 'Industry'.

However, sandwiched between these two bastardly slices of bread is a rather tasty filling in the form of 'Fool in Love' which superbly combines junglist  break beats, Bhangra and the dulcet tones of Ny who bares more than a passing similarity Mutya Buena. So if you can put up with the other two tracks then this is well worth sticking along with.
www.thecountandsinden.com

SB

 
 

Volcanoes - Fruits of the Fuzz EP (Indecan)

Coming from Sheffield as they do, Volcanoes will always be in the considerable shadow of the Arctic Monkeys and will be compared with them a lot And it's easy to see why from 'Long Live My Enemies' whose lacklustre drum intro serves to act as a fore warning of the rest of the track to come. However, things are turned around with 'Gunter the Shooter' where the band seem to let themselves go a little bit more with the result being a nice quirky riff and a real sense of fun. If they can kidnap the likes of Milburn and Little Man tate then Volcanoes might have a chance of getting in the spotlight a bit themselves.
www.myspace.com/volcanoes

SB

 
 

Wild Beasts - Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants (Domino)

Oh dear, after a brief and welcome respite from the falsetto vocals in 'Devil's Crayon' they are back with vengeance in this bizarrely named single. Sounds like a bad Morrissey impersonator doing karaoke.
Watch the video to 'Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants'
www.wild-beasts.co.uk

SB

 
 

Angel Pier - Emily

There are some bands who just sound derivative. Aside from the fact that the intro of the B-side of Emily follows the chord progression and guitars sounds of iLiKETRAiNS' 'Rook House for Bobby' almost perfectly it is at least a jaunty sounding rendering. But main track 'Emily' is all a bit moribund - the bass following the guitars just a bit to closely, the singer refusing to sound enthused in any respect and a general early 80's miserabilist sound about it. Should sell in thousands.
www.angelpier.com

SB

 
 

Tricky - Slow (Domino)

If ever evidence was needed to prove that Tricky had shed his previously murky sound for something a bit more upbeat then covering a Kylie Minogue single should dispel any lingering doubts. Although you have the nagging feeling that Kylie has done the real work here already, by adding a few electro punk sound effects and a slightly more upbeat tempo Tricky has real capitalised on an already popular track.
www.trickysite.com

SB

 

Ava Leigh - La La La (EMI)

Even the lure of a sexy little clear CD cannot overcome the fact that, as tasty scribe Boyle has already reported, Ava Leigh seems to specialise in reggae by numbers. All a bit dismal. And absolutely NO reason for an instrumental version. No wonder EMI are going bust.

SB

 
 

Officer Kicks - Dirty Sally (We make Things)

Hmm, I can see where this track is heading and I even get quite into it after the first few descending guitar lines. But...it sounds  little bit lightweight - not sure if it is in the production which brings the lack of clarity to the unremarkable vocals  and the bog standard bass line to the fore (at the expense of the far more interesting riotous guitar choruses and powerhouse druming - that's what I want to hear more of) And I'm sorry to say this apparent muddiness in the sound gives off a slight whiff of pub band. But get that sorted and Officer Kicks will be onto a winner here.
www.myspace.com/officerkicks

SB

 
 

The Dirty Skirts - Remember Your Name / Feeling the Pressure (Sony/BMG)

I can't ever remember reviewing any acts from South Africa before so congratulations to the The Dirty Skirts for this first. Now go and flagellate yourself for choosing such a terrible name.

These two singles both suffer from the same problem - good tunes and songwriting but horribly dated sounding performance. There is an over-fuzzed guitar sound which may as well come direct from a synth. Then the synths themselves could have come from my old music room at school. But despite these handicaps, The Dirty Skirts give an honourable Killers meets Coldplay account of themselves.
www.myspace.com/thedirtyskirts

SB

 
 

Smith 6079 - Ghosts

I seem to remember Smith 6079's last single being a wonderfully warped industrial little number. While there is a little bit of a distorted skew to 'Ghosts' there is also more than a whiff of rock opera campery about it. Mind you, it did occupy my attention sufficiently to make me burn the sausages I had been cooking under the grill.
www.myspace.com/smith6079

SB

 
 

Gunner SGT - The End of the Line EP (GSGT Records)

The rumbling guitar riffs of Gunner SGT instantly reminded me of the sort of drop tuning sound that Dundee's Stigma were knocking out in 2004's 'Bronx Cheer'. This even though Gunner SGT start the EP with arguably the weakest of their three tunes.

I don't want to be like the ones who were selected as captain and then had to pick teams right down until it got to the very last person who you had to pick because there was no-one left but...the vocals on this are shocking - like a disinterested Lemmy. So sorry about that to the individual involved. But sort them out and you could have some serious tunes on your hands here - the guitars in the 6 minute long 'Rebel in Jess' particularly are fab.
www.myspace.com/gunnersgtband

SB

 
 

Disturbed - Indestructible (Warners)

Strewth and blimey. I've never even heard of Disturbed before (apparently they've been around for 10 years). I'm not really a fan of hard metal. But 'Indestructible' is a doozy - all killer no filler as the band themselves describe it and a true lesson for bands like Gunner SGT above who are just starting out. I'd go straight to the edited version without the minute of air raid sirens at the start of the album track if I was you, but then that's not bad either. Moshtastic.
www.myspace.com/disturned
Watch the video to 'Indestructible'

SB

 
 

The Loose Salute - Why'd We Fight? (Heavenly)

A completely different beast from Disturbed above, The Loose Salute's 'Why'd We Fight?' is a lilting Americana twinged ballad that just does that; lilt. I'm not suggesting for a second that every single must have a rabble rousing chorus or a tumultuous finale. I can even see the lament from the song title invoked in the sound of the track. But blimey, it makes it a bit dreary.
www.theloosesalute.com
Watch the video to 'Why'd We Fight?'

SB

 
 

New Education - Today (Kids)

Cripes, this is jangly. The jingly guitars of 'Today' are all pervasive - I ducked through into a back romo while it was playing and still couldn't shake that rattly sound. And the vocals are definitely from the 'loud' school, shouted as much as sung. Suffice to say that subtlety may not be New Education's watchword. But as a tinnitus inducing lad-song it fares pretty well.
www.kidsthelabel.co.uk

SB

 
 

Ivor Game - I Like Being at Home

Now this is more like it - the complete antidote to all that noisy modern guitar nonsense. Tasty stalwart Ivor Game treats us to an intimate quickie, so to speak, extolling the virtues of just hanging out, watching TV, pottering about. All of this is done with a kind of George Formby matter of factness. The best yet from Ivor!
www.ivorgame.com

SB

 
 

The Keyz - Superstar Gazer EP

Well, the press release was certainly very amusing - all about splicing genes with a donkey to form a perfect bass player etc. Top marks - very funny. But there is always that difficulty when mixing humour and music - at some point you are going to want people to take you seriously. So starting off with a song called 'Monkeyfish' (maybe a further gene-splicing story?) does not add much gravitas. There's also a certain amount of gimmickyness about 'Superstar Gazer' - it sounds a bit like a pub band. A very good pub band but a pub band nonetheless. For instance, just because you have a keyboard player does not mean that they have to play along with every part of every song. The sort of band who provides great 'entertainment' perhaps.
www.myspace.com/thekeyzuk

SB

 
 

Sneaky Sound System - UFO Von She Tech Mix (14th Floor/Whack)

Pleasingly wobbling bleepiness in a Daft Punk kind of way with just enough Justice style chopping and cutting to render it just about unlistenable. perfect. As a friend of mine once said, 'if you're neighbours aren't complaining then you are listening to the wrong kind of music'.
www.sneaksoundsystem.com
Watch the video to 'UFO'

SB

 
 

The Hot Melts - (I Wish I Had) Never Been in Love (Wonderland)

What's not to like about this single. The Hot Melts fizz with energy but like a neon sign over a dirty whorehouse, this energy leads them into all kinds of scrapes with different styles which have no right to exist next to each other. Weezer collides with Eddie Cochrane with Presidents of the USA with Idlewild...it's fast, frenetic and fantastic.
www.thehotmelts.com

SB


 

Stephen Dale Petit - A Better Answer (333)

Apparently Stephen Dale Petit is legendary. He is, by all accounts, a legendary busker on London Underground. 'A Better Answer' is entirely funded by Petit's exploits busking and so, interestingly enough, was possibly paid for by your good self. So what of your investment? Well it's kind of a modern blues format but with traditional mouth organ elements and 3-chord progressions. A god toe tapper. A good busking song. Wouldn't buy it though.
www.myspace.com/stephendalepetit

SB

 
 

The Bishops - City Lights (W2)

I don't get it. This just seems to clickety cymbal and open chord guitar strum all the way through without any real shape or form. B-side 'Free to Do What You Want' does do what they describe in their PR blurb - very John Barry so fans of Last of the Shadow Puppets at least will lap this up.
www.thebishopsband.com
Watch the video to 'City Lights'

SB

 
 

Silver - Through the Storm (Razeone)

I'm not a big hip-hop fan so Silver is going to struggle here but as a fellow alma mater of Newcastle uni I'll give it a whirl. A big gangsta style backing track with fake choir and rapping over the top. Unremarkable.
www.myspace.com/itssilver

SB

 
 

Morning Call - A Little Late

'A Little Late' sounds like archetypal 'lad-rock' - dead simple, an earnest but cliche-ridden message and a verse that constantly threatens to turn into a massive singalong chorus (but in this case, never quite makes it). To cement the lad-rock tag, Morning Call are even playing live at Ewood park.

Personally I prefer the more heavily synthed B-side 'The Last Laugh' which has a bit of The Killers about it and adds an urgency missing from 'A Little Late'. Yes - definitely listen to the B-side before making your mind up about this band.
www.myspace.com/themcuk

SB

 

Operahouse - Change in Nature EP (Marrakesh)

Operahouse look a bit like a couple of their number belong in Simple Minds circa 1988. But there is nothing backward about their music - self described as 'a big epic sci-fi thing' this may be understating their true worth. There are definitely more than a few clues to their submersion in the influence of the Pixies, particularly in the Deal-esque bass playing. The title track is the most ostentatiously wibbly and sci-fi and it also has a chorus which lends from Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy the Silence' which in turn, in a roundabout way, is a pretty useful pointer to the general sound sound of Operahouse - quite kooky but still still serious. I'm liking it a lot.
www.operahousehq.com

SB

 
 

Yo! Majesty - Club Action (Domino) 

Oooh it’s the 80s with more swearing. A pair of LA Gears with the twisted together laces kicking a weak kid in the face. Minimal synth and a Neneh Cherry style groove fit nicely with the syncopated rap vocals delivered by Shunda K and Jwl B who are a pair of MCs from from the mean streets of err, Florida, home of Disneyland and old people. But hey, they like, like to say fuck, like, loads, and to rap about their lady parts, and shit. 

Couldn’t help getting the feeling that a whole album would get a bit tiresome and that they might have missed the CSS / Go Team boat a bit, but its still a fun single.

Ian Anderson

 
 

Long Day Gone - Don't Say Goodbye

Oh dear. More than a touch of the Robbie Williamses about this one. Which while being bad for music lovers like ourselves, will be very good for Long Day Gone who will surely make stacks of filthy wonga.
www.myspace.com/longdaygone

SB

 
 

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday (Fortuna Pop) 

A band from New York who sound exactly like they’re from England. Not that it’s a bad thing, it reminds me of Manchester, of the Smiths and Joy Division, the rain soaked pessimism in the structure of the song, the optimism glinting through in the intonation of the vocals, with the lyrics in chastening contrast. 

There’s also a bit of early-B&S era Stuart Murdoch about the singer’s delivery and a rounded lived-in feel about the guitar reverb.  It isn’t often that a band with ostensibly nothing new to bring and a pretty straightforward sound grab my attention, but that’s exactly what The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have done with this track. I’m quite excited to hear more.

Ian Anderson

 
 

The Lancashire Hotpots - Keys, Wallet. Phone / Chav (Townsend)

Well this isn't music is it? It's comedy done to a tune, like the Wurzels. Get back to your working mens clubs and stop wasting my time.
www.myspace.com/thelancashirehotpots

SB

 

Young Hollywood - Asleep at the Switch EP  

Vitriolic relentless hardcore, admirable for the vocalist’s sheer belligerence and seemingly impossible to destroy guttural rage. Young Hollywood are a young band, still relatively raw, but all the ingredients are there for them to be something a bit special. 

Perhaps only the drumming lets them down a bit, lacking the millimetric precision of the exemplary guitar shredding of Andy Menhenitt who warrants a mention for his craft. 

To be honest, I can’t be too objective, it’s not really my scene, no track in particular stood out for me, although the minute long build up to all out carnage on Retailer Park Trash was a highlight, the band building from a simplistic hacking beat up to unbridled fury with intelligent cutting in and out of the guitar and bass.  Basically, for one minute of one song they resisted the urge just to thrash everything out, which was an admirable show of restraint given the band’s propensity for destruction.

Ian Anderson

 

Pint Shot Riot - Holes (Life in the Big City)

Ah yes - who hasn't accidentally asked their friends out for a quick riot due to the foibles of predictive text? Fortunately 'Holes' is a whole lot more fun than Pint Shot Riot look like they are having on the cover of this single. Great slashes of scrapey guitar and rambling vocals make this a lively little outing that will get teenagers the length and breadth of the country leaping around in mosh pits. Apparently 'Holes' is about cheering up someone in a tired relationship. But my imagination prefers to put a different spin on the mantra 'we know where you dug those holes' - sounds more like catching out a serial killer's disposal methods. Or maybe I have been watching too much Hollyoaks.
www.pintshotriot.co.uk

SB

 
 

The Hustle - S/T EP 

I don’t like writing unconstructive scathing reviews, they’re easy, a cop out, anyone can slag something off, so I won’t elaborate too much. Nothing about this record made me take any notice of it for the entire duration of it. 

I even listened to it again while I wrote this, just to be sure that my recollection hadn’t been clouded by the circumstances in which I last listened to it which was after three hours on the M25 with a massive hangover, on a blazing hot day.   

They hadn’t.  All the awful 90s American frat rock that I hate, sung in fake American accents by people from Wales, the chugging guitars, the inane lyrics, they were still there, begging to be ignored. 

I actually began to question if it was me that was wrong, perhaps this is better than the music I like.  More populist, more, honest.  Perhaps this is what people really want? The PR stuff said it was for fans of the Fratellis.  Oh god, it’s me. This is actually really great and you’d love it and I’m just a total bastard.

Ian Anderson

 
 

Computer Club - Before the Walls Came Down (Split Records)

I'm not sure if I'm not listening to this loud enough but for all their atmospheric Doves/Joy Division/Cure trilled guitars and atmospherics Computer Club never really seem to get out of first gear. That said, 'Before the Walls Came Down' has the makings of a bit of a slow burner and promises enough to keep me interested in their next release.
www.myspace.com/iheartcc

SB


 

Daniel Land and the Modern Painters - Within the Boundaries/Benjamin's Room (Sonic Cathedral)

With a name like Daniel Land it is fitting that this CD is made up massive shoegazey soundscapes. 'Within the Boundaries' is all multi-layered and swirling with only a smattering of vocal. 'Benjamin's Bedroom' sees a more traditional acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement (albeit with plenty of airy synth adding atmosphere) to describe gay sex - it says so in the press release.
www.soniccathedral.co.uk

SB

 
 

Rod Thomas - Same Old Lines (Self Raising)

'Same Old Lines' is very gentle folk pop. If you like a good hard arse kicker of a song then look away now. But if you enjoy the quieter things in life then you will enjoy the gentle ukulele-led melodies, Rod's polite vocals and some pleasant looping. I'm going to put a pot of tea on to celebrate.
www.myspace.com/rodthomasmusic

SB

 

Attic Lights – Wendy

This Glaswegian five-piece creates a style of chirpy indie pop, with infectiously catchy melodies and flowing string arrangements. Produced by the drummer of Teenage Fanclub, the influence has clearly worn off onto the band’s recording of ‘Wendy.’ While sharing similarities with Teenage Fanclub, Attic Lights could also be mistaken for sounding like a slightly more mature version of McFly. The song is teeming with cheery harmonies, showing that the band is clearly familiar with the work of the Beach Boys. ‘Wendy’ is a mid-tempo pop song with a memorable tune, which is by no means outstandingly original. Very radio friendly, and not particularly adventurous.
Watch the video to 'Wendy'
www.myspace.com/atticlights

Yasmin Prebble

 
 

Roots Manuva – Let the Spirit

Based on the ‘gospel church essence’ this is one of the most happy (as happy as Manuva aka Rodney Smith can be) things he has ever put to tape. An uplifting piece based on spirituality and belief it’s a choice cut, if there is a single one, from his Slime & Reason LP. Metronomy give their lo-fi, bass, drum and synth approach on production duties which works on this far better than any of their own stuff – though they do try and sneak that really, really annoying high pitched voice into the chorus. They succeed but Smith overshadows it (thankfully).

The Hot Chip remix is as expected, sounds like Hot Chip only playing spot-the-instruments is a much more challenging game on this than anything they’ve recorded (not to put the Chip down, I love them). The Ross Orton and Toddla T remix turns the track into a dub-step via jungle club anthem. Both remixes are stompers which DJs will find invaluable. A nice package, while for once I’m going to warn you against the artwork – seeing Manuva with his brain carved out of his skull is getting a little weird.

Nick Burman

 
 

Enter Shikari – We Can Breathe In Space, They Just Don’t Want us To Escape

For once, a band such as Shikari may have made a silly, unnecessarily long single title which I can; one: understand and two: find vaguely amusing – until the kids who love this band continuously sing it while listening to it through their iPod touch. This is me trying to avoid actually reviewing the song though, as when it comes to post-hardcore dance-trance-happy-hardcore-punk etc it’s just boring to think about, isn’t it? And when it comes to listening to it I will never see the joy of putting this on in my own time and finding the repetitious lyrics (guess how they go) and same-old-same-old approach interesting. It sounds like the biggest cop-out for teenagers with ‘anger’ and I for one will hope to find a band with real philosophy to share (along with some right good musicianship) prompt.
www.entershikari.com
Watch video to 'We Can Breath in Space...'
 

Nick Burman

 
 

Silversky - Calling All Killers (SS)

Ahh, this all started off so promisingly with a sinister Victorian English Gentlemens Club meets Pixies meets Nirvana style guitar intro. But then the singing starts - and it's quite a stylised crooner style that can easily alienate people (even though it is not generally that bad). This really comes to the fore in B-side 'We Should Be Dead' which sees vocalist Pete Smith seriously polishing up his Morrissey impersonating both vocally and lyrically. There's clearly some talent here but I feel that Silversky may need a little while longer to find a sound which they are comfortable with.
www.myspace.com/silversky

SB

 
 

The Pigeon Detectives - Say It Like You Mean It (Dance to the Radio)

I've yet to find a Pigeon Detectives single that I actually like and this is no exception. All jumpy laddy noise and no substance - it really does typify everything that I despair about in 'indie music', pumped out for the masses to consume obediently without questioning. If you'd like to see The Pigeon Detectives live this autumn then their tour kicks off in Grimsby at the auditorium (which used to be a leisure centre) on 24th November - seems somehow apt (though I'm not quite sure why). Still, they must make more money for label Dance to the Radio than all their other bands put together and trebled.
watch video to 'Say It Like You Mean It'
www.thepigeondetectives.com

SB

 
 

The Quemists feat. Mike Patton - Lost Weekend (Ninja Tune)

Quite honestly this is fucking weird in the extreme. But in a kind of deranged genius sort of way. 'Lost Weekend' first breaks out of the asylum like a Prodigy track - all break beats and metallic synths. Mr Patton adds a bit of vocal rock action and then everything goes all drum 'n' bass with guitars (or 'Pendulum' as it should now be known.) But that's not the end of it - suddenly Electric 6 make an entrance with a bit of 'Gay Bar' thrown in. Well, they don't but it sounds damn like it. That's it, I'm out of breath and I'm lost. I'll just give it one more listen though...
www.myspace.com/quemists

SB

 
 

Charli XCX – Emmeline/Art Bitch

Kicking off like ‘Caroline’s A Victim’ (the hideous first single from now pop Princess Kate Nash) it doesn’t quite go down the route of that near career killer. If Charli XCX is a fan of Kate Nash (and at the age of 16, and I’m not trying to sound stereotypical but from experience it’s largely true, that’s highly probable) and if she is going in the same career direction then she should end up being a relatively original popshop artist. Although Art Bitch goes along the line of “you go on MySpace all the time, yeah, and talks and stuff”…or something… which isn’t that inspirational but the line “you use a needle and string and sow your dreams” throws up an interesting visual description.

Enough money, backing, hype, street teams and Bebo hits should leave Charli XCX some lee-way to base a career on – and I know enough teenage girls who’d buy this with the right image. She has an indie label behind her which should make musical purists be more open to her for interpretation. Charli also has that Sam Sparro electric-pop edge on her side, which will do her no damage.

Nick Burman

 
 

Will Kevans - Everything You Do (IRL)

Lots of people do not like country music and what is perceived to be its schmaltzy over-sentimentality. I'm not one of them - I love a good bit of country music. but then it has to be good. The trouble with 'Everything you Do' is although it ticks all the pre-requisite boxes for country (slide guitar, male, female vocal harmonies etc) it just fails to inspire me - it's too formulaic. Perfectly enough but I can feel no urge whatsoever to play it again.

SB

 

MGMT - Kids (Columbia)

Oh how I wished in the world according to MGMT - you get the feeling from 'Kids' that it would be one of long beautiful sunsets, kaftans, incense sticks and parpy 80's keyboards. Then every so often they give you a little reality jolt such as the beefy drum break that follows the parpy keyboard solo on this track. Brilliant. Or is it a bit Phil Collins? Oh, I don't know - I've been affected by MGMT's all pervading pleasantness. Nurse!
www.whoismgmt.com

SB

 
 

Answers on Postcards - She's All Mine - It's That Time Again

Depressingly banal indie guitar fodder here. The little drummer boy style intro is the most adventurous thing about this release. The best I could say is that Answers on Postcards (terrible name by the way) sound very proficient.
www.myspace.com/answersonpostcards

SB

 
 

Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee - Fine Young Cannibals/That's Why She Left Me (Fortuna Pop!)

About time too - bluegrass makes its first appearance of the month at Tasty. A beautifully winsome slow singalong inspired by a chance sighting of Roland Gift on a train, 'Fine Young Cannibals' has nothing else to do with the eponymous band. 'That's Why She Left Me' is similarly misleading in title, being an upbeat banjo-heavy little tune explaining 'why she left, and why she came back' - happy endings all round then.
www.myspace.com/haymanwatkinstroutandlee

SB

 
 

Mia Vigar - I Dare You (Hungry Audio)

It's no surprise to read that Mia Vigar has previously released on the Cherryade label - 'I Dare You' is exactly their sort of out-there twee pop. And this must be one of the only songs featuring hand-claps which doesn't really annoy me (a long standing emotional trauma - don't ask). Perhaps it is because of the fuzzy bass guitar breaks or Vigar's ability to make her voice sound like a mouth organ - 'warh, warh-warh warh warh' - uncanny.

The B-offering 'Seaside', by comparison, is far less cheery and incredibly otherworldly (or at least Nordic) - far more like I was expecting from Finno-English Vigar. Doleful reverby pianos and melancholy drones. Quite beautiful. plus she samples a cat and makes it sound like a seagull - now that is genius. Oh, actually it was a seagull - how disappointing...
www.myspace.com/trueadventures  

SB

 
 

Smudge - StayFeelRegret (The Animal Farm)

Five blokes from Wigan fell off the same skateboard and someone recorded what it sounded like. Snappy pop punk and anyone who ever bought a Blink 182 CD will possibly also buy this.
www.myspace.com/smudge

Jon Gordon