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singles/eps - february 2009



Popular Workshop – Her Birthday (This is Fake DIY)

Utilising a razor sharp guitar hook and Steve Albini's caustically raw production, Popular Workshop bring us 'Her Birthday', a track which sounds like at any moment it could disappear up it's art-rock arse but instead gratifyingly comes out kicking and screaming defiantly. Lots of chaos, lots of scatchy guiytars and lots of fun – a band who sounds like they really mean it.
www.myspace.com/popularworkshop

 

 
 

innerpartysystem – Don't Stop (Island/Fallout)

Despite being a constant moaning git about Pendulum, I can certainly doff my cap in recognition to innerpartysystem's marriage of fizzing synths and soaring emo rock (if not to their abysmal lack of grammar). Where Pendulum swing a glow stick to the twin influences of happy house and rave, innerpartysystem stick with the darker industrial-based influences – Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode etc. And even though it might be just as contrived as Pendulum at least it sounds like it has some balls and wasn't made on a Casio purchased on Ebay for a tenner.
www.innerpartysystem.com
watch video 'Don't Stop'

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The Qemists feat. Wiley – Dem Na Like Me (Ninja)

It may not be my favourite track from the excellent upcoming album from the Quemists but 'Dem Na Like Me' will drag any remnants of weedy indie guitar bands into the 2009, give them a bloody good kicking then dance around on their skinny bodies. Guest vocals from Wiley and no less than 8 mixes on this release – grab it.

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Akira the Don – In the Morning (Something in Construction)

Erm, I seem to have lost the press release for this and coupled with a loss of internet connection I can't even look up any background info about 'In the Morning'. As it features heavy use of bells I'm slightly wary that it may have been a Christmas single and feel quite gratified that I've managed to delay it until February. But also a bit guilty. It's not your usual schmaltzy chocolate box nonsense but instead Akira the Don's heavily melodic and easy going style. Worth a listen if it's only for the fact that you may never again hear someone make the rhyming couplet 'I get up, it's bloody freezing and I'm shivering, I look outside and down the street a postman is delivering'. A whole new genre is born – banal observational rap. Nuff respect.
www.akirathedon.com

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The 39 Steps – Coming Clean (Bad Sneakers)

The 39 Steps aka the collaboration between DJ Kato and vocalist Laura Fowles have produced a very heady, atmospheric sampler here. There's obvious comparison with the trip hoppy sound of Morcheeba and Massive Attack but I'd say that 'Coming Clean' is more at the claustrophobic end of the scale occupied by the lies of the Sneaker Pimps. In fact, I'd even go as far to say that I found this CD a little bit oppressive – it's definitely a winter-type release but I felt the walls slowly coming in on me. Then there was something in the track 'Ghost Writing' – Fowles long drawn out vocal seemingly suffocating the potential for the melody in the track to ever get going at anything more than a steady heartbeat. But whatever you feel, you will definitely feel something after listening to this record, and that is the greatest compliment of all.
www.the39stepsmusic.co.uk

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Daniel Merriweather – Change (Allido/Columbia)

The voice of Daniel Merriweather may be familiar to you – he was the voice on Mark Ronson's version of the Smiths' track 'Stop Me' back in 2007. And herein lies the problem. If you like Mark Ronson and his rentabrass section production then you will like this – it is indistinguishable as a solo work. If not then, well, may as well give it a complete miss my chums.
www.myspace.com/danielmerriweather
Watch the video to 'Change'

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The Boy from Space – It's So Easy (Interstella Sounds)

It's quite clear to state that you will either like The Boy from Space or you will really dislike them, and I think the band would rather be like that than not provoke any reaction at all. The most interesting thing to come out of Stoke since oatcakes, TBFS manage to rant on for 3 minutes by basically repeating the mantra 'It's So Fucking Easy' – a diatribe against people who just immerse themselves in music and ignore real life going on around them. Slightly odd for musicians but pretty original thinking. Taking a listen of the other two tracks on the disc will give you a more rounded view of Boy from Space who after 'Don't Call me Sir' and 'Origins of the Sound of the City' come across something like a cross between Belle and Sebastian and Billy Bragg. Doesn't quite hit the pithy highs of its predecessor 'Wouldn't You Rather Be a Winner?' but demonstrates a great depth of style that will no doubt be built on further in their forthcoming album 'London Paris Tokyo Space'.
www.theboyfromspace.co.uk

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Sonny – Frost Fair

Pretty topical given the main news this week that the UK is incapable of spreading a bit of grit on the roads when it snows. I remember when we had proper winters and the Thames used to get frozen solid every winter. The ice would be so thick that special Frost Fairs were set up on the river and one year it was so cold the ice was able to take the weight of an elephant walking across it. Eeee. But I digress.
Sonny's 'Frost Fair' is an ethereal piece – very evocative of a misty Victorian morning over the Thames but not in any kind of hackneyed folk way. The airy choral vocals are massively reverbed and just sit over a constant guitar loop. It's so pure sounding it could have been sung by eunuch. Beautiful and completely unlike anything else you are likely to hear at the moment. Now, did I tell you about the time the snow drifted over the top of the lampposts?
www.myspace.com/sonnyminimal

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We Are the Physics – Bulimia Sisters (This is Fake DIY)

Great track from Glasgow 4-piece We Are The Physics who seem to have been listening heavily to Future of the Left records. And that is a great example to follow. Choppy guitar breaks and staccatto spat vocals – high velocity psycho indie punk.
www.wearehtephysics.com

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Defend Moscow – Manifesto (KIDS)

Infuriatingly toe-tap inducing yet unconsciously incredibly cheesey – step forward Defend Moscow. Sure the guitars scratch along in dancey vibe but the rest? It's so 80's that you expect it to be the incidental music over an A-Team scene (the one every week where the baddies lock away the A-lads in a barn improbably well stocked with oxy-acetylene cutters, sheet steel and grenade launchers). B-side 'Bittersweet Destiny' sits safely somewhere between A-Ha and New Order. If all things 80s are suddenly to become cool again then I will have to have a root around in the back of my wardrobe for my pair of flecked trousers and pencil thin white leather tie.
www.myspace.com/defendmoscow

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Marmaduke Duke – Kid Gloves (14th Floor)

I can't help but feel a little sorry for the Captains of Industry label while listening to this track. They were the ones who released Marmaduke Duke's first album, 'The Magnificent Duke' which was, shall we say, challenging, at best. Completely non-commercial and almost unsaleable it sounded a lot like the expression of a couple of musicians wanting to break away from their mainstream roots (which is exactly what it was – Marmaduke Duke being a vehicle for Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil and Sucioperro's JP Reid). And then there is the concept to beat all concepts; Marmaduke Duke is actually a surreal musical world, not a band. The 'band' as such, are now called 'The Atmosphere' & 'The Dragon'. It gets better. The three albums promised by Marmaduke Duke are each the musical interpretation of a trilogy written by the parents of oner of the band members (or something like that). So why feel sorry? Well, while Captains of Industry were taking a punt on the esoteric 'Magnificent Duke', 14th Floor can now reap the benefits of Biffy Clyro's rise in popularity (and the undoubted increase in exposure for Marmaduke Duke that this will bring). Plus the fact that 'Kid Gloves' is an excellent and dare I say it, listenable single. A minimalist synth pop built around a simple bass drone and key melody, 'Kid Gloves' could be the track that brings Marmaduke Duke our of the library shadows and into the mainstream.
www.marmadukeduke.com

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We The Faceless - EP

Not so much an EP as a mini-album, the 6 tracks presented here show a band whose abilities take them well beyond labels such as 'New Grunge' which, while it's accurate up to a point, might lead listeners to expect note perfect reproductions of (name your favourite 90s band here). Very far from the whole story.

Starting with 'Firefly', WTF are bringing a bewildering array of guitar structures together, some of which but not all are traceable back to the earliest days of SubPop. There aren't any gaps in the sound and the emphasis is that of sustained fury rather than plain old thrashing, creating a focused interplay of power chords and growling bass, while the double timed drummingkeeps the tempo at an all the more effective mid pace. 'Burn The Witch' is taken slightly slower and is the track which most recalls what I remember classic grunge sounding like, definitely in terms of its hoarsely shouted vocal and rumbling bass/lead. That and the lyric about a flower. 'My Girl' is heading towards more conventional rock territories, recalling Metallica and possibly Pearl Jam. All that's missing is a proper old school guitar solo and WTF are actually on the verge of real greatness.

'Taxi Driver' has one of those relentlessly uptempo rhythms that I can never quite prevent my head from nodding along to, but then breaks up into a more complicated arrangement that I couldn't quite place although its double timed drumming definitely put me in mind of some late 90s bands I heard/saw. 'Yellow House' is a ballad and it's also the song that convinced me that We The Faceless aren't just scene copyists, that they re more than capable of finding their won sound and (important) can write songs, real ones.

The new Grunge? The new Whitesnake if WTF keep on like this. Their full length album might just reveal a band quite seriously taking their influences forward and making a sound that's entirely their own.

Jon Gordon

 
 

The Run-Up - Pretty Story

Three words to describe The Run-Up: frustrating, intriguing, brilliant.

Their press spiel says they’re “for people who can’t get their hair quite right...who aren’t as cool as they’d like to be”. A call to arms for indie kids everywhere. But their appeal to the everyman is instantly shattered by mentions of New Cross as the band’s “spiritual home” and the fact that they use an 8-track reel-to-reel machine on stage rather than a drummer. It’s hard to think anything more pretentious.

Their single is equally baffling. The production quality is shocking; there’s so little treble in the mix it sounds like they’re playing in a giant Victorian bathtub. And one song (Made it to Monday) is such a blatant rip off of Oasis that Noel Gallagher should demand a writing credit.

However, it’s worth sticking with this group. The other two tracks on their single have the hallmarks of songwriting brilliance; they get better with every listen, and they buzz round your head days after you’ve heard them. They’re the sort of tunes most unsigned bands would kill for.

Lead track Pretty Story has an unusual structure, intelligent lyrics and a nice line in irony. There are touches of Morrissey and Marr, and the whole thing wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cure album.

Short Quick Summer is the musical equivalent of a Vitamin B shot where the sun don’t shine. Bright, breezy harmonies belie surprisingly deep lyrics that leave you in no doubt as to exactly how the writer was feeling. A moment of pure joy punctured by the realisation that the moment can’t last forever. Outstanding.

If this band really want to commit to their target audience, they should ditch the reel-to-reel, find a drummer, rehearse like demons and re-record their single with a producer who doesn’t have ears made of wool. Then, if they can keep writing songs as good as Pretty Story and Short Quick Summer, success is only a matter of time.
www.therun-up.com
www.myspace.com/therunup

Chris Moffatt

 


Thyrd Eye – Say Something (Levelsound)

Hold on a minute...that riff sounds familiar. After a few moments contemplating calling the copyright police I realised where I had heard ‘Say Something’ before. It seems that Thyrd Eye used to be called Forgotten Sleep and previously released a version of ‘Say Something’ on their ‘Hard Sell’ EP (not that any of this is mentioned in the press release – it’s just brushed over like they were never called Forgotten Sleep at all). So apart from the crappy new name (complete in gothic font) what has changed. Well ‘Say Something’ is still a belter of a song but has been updated with a slightly different mix which bring Hannah’s virginal vocals to the fore. She has a beautiful voice but it feels slightly uncomfortable with the heavily fuzzy guitars of the song, it’s all a bit Evanescence. But there’s no denying the song writing ability of this trio and the mathy start which gives way to a Queens of the Stone Age grungeathon of B-side ‘After Death’ only serve to reinforce this.
www.thyrdeye.com

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Telegraphs – I Don’t Navigate By You (Nighthawk)

There’s a pleasing urgency and satisfying proficiency about this song. Partly this is due to the production of ex-Idlewid collaborator Dave Eringa, who has managed to smooth out all the rough edges from the Telegraphs sound in much the same way as he polished Woomble’s mob. Some people might find this approach a bit too muted and not ‘raw’ enough but it rounds off what could otherwise become an ungainly mash of guitars, smashing drums and vocal parts in this instance. A good start to 2009 from the Telegraphs.
www.myspace.com/telegraphs

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Chapter Xiii – Valentine (Levelsound)

One man’s classic rock is another man’s dinosaur rock and sadly your opinion of this track will be swayed by which side of that argument you stand. Where some feel ‘heartfelt’ vocals, others hear metal man ‘cheese’. It’s also not helped by the fact that rock is not the current style du jour either – sounding like it has been done a thousand times before and without the Emperor’s new clothes of current fashion to dress over the raw truth ‘Valentine’ is going to struggle outside its niche market. All is not lost though as B-side ‘Just Because of You‘ fizzes and whirrs through a more complex marriage of synth and guitar – far more current. Now this shouldn’t matter but people are fickle.
www.chapterxiii.co.uk

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Ray Lamontagne – You Are the Best Thing (14th Floor)

Husky voiced crooner Ra Lamontagne returns with his 3rd album in February and, clearly sensing which way the wind is blowing, has picked up on Mark Ronson’s horny sound and produced a brass laden track of his own, a kind of Motown version of ‘Trouble’. Perfect gift material coming up to Valentine’s day – my missus will be getting my review copy of this on the 14th (as long as she promises not to play it in my company). A final point of note – Ray’s beard is now reaching legendary volume and lustre.
www.raylamontagne.com

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Tallulah Rendall – Time Away (Transducer)

I’ve never met anyone called Tallulah. But I have heard this kind of female singer-songwriter sound before. Rendall has fragile, tremulous voice perfectly suited to providing the incidental music to a tear jerking break-up scene on a teen angst drama. That chorus is damn catchy mind.
www.myspace.com/tallulahrendall

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Artery – Standing Still EP (Phantom Power)

For a band that have been going (on and off) for around 30 years, Artery could certainly teach the current crop of pop star wannabes a thing or two about creativity. Teased back into existence by Jarvis Cocker in 2007, this EP is entirely new material. Sure they keep a dark post-punk sound which somehow marries a John Lydon vocal style with the taut songwriting of Joy Division but this only underpins a frenetic energy which, perhaps holed up for the last twenty years, is now haemorrhaging out in these wonderful new tracks. ‘Who’s Afraid of David Lynch’ sums up Artery perfectly – a forward-looking backward-looking band.
www.myspace.com/arterysheffield

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Slashed Seat Affair – Forget You (Fill the Void)

Nice name that, like some 1950’s film. ‘Forget You’ is less complex but equally pleasing. A simple, if unlikely, mixture of 80’s band ‘Heart’ and the emo-tinged rock of Avril Lavigne. If anything it’s a little bit dry and too ‘professional’ sounding, style over substance. But better than sounding like it was recorded in a shoe box.
www.slashesseataffair.com

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Attack! Attack! – You and Me (Rock Ridge/ADA Global)

‘You and Me’ sounds heavily influenced by the likes of Biffy Clyro, resplendent as it is with its crunching guitars and uncompromising approach. There’s also that sense of slightly unexpected key changes which makes Attack! Attack! Sound like a turbo charged version of the Police.
www.myspace.com/attackattackband

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Royal Treatment Plant – Half as Much

So good they named her twice (though a bit stingily with just a single initial), Royal Treatment Plant’s leading lady PP lends her whispy vocals across ‘Half as Much’ but the track more than stands up on its own. Fizzing and bristling with energy and ideas, it’s the perfect 4 minute pop song. But the B-side ‘Hope is Not Enough’ is the far greater vehicle for PP’s undoubted talents where she single handedly carries a great acoustic number with a vocal that expands from soothing to deranged over the agitated guitar line. Nice stuff.
www.myspace.com/royaltreatmentplant

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The Bishops – If You Leave Today (W2)

I’m instantly suspicious of artists who seem to want to live in the past. Doesn’t that just defeat the whole purpose of trying to be creative? Anyway, The Bishops are steadfastly stuck in the 60’s with both sound and image. There’s a nice valve guitar amp sound to their rhythm and blues licks but it’s all a bit like using Photoshop to redraw a Picasso – you’ll get a reasonable representation but it will lack the life and vitality of an original.

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The Paraffins – Cardboard Cutout (Topplers Lite)

It’s true – nice things really do come in tiny packages. In this case, ‘Cardboard Cutout’ by the Paraffins comes on a cute 3inch CD (though I was slightly trepidatious that it would spin wildly off its berth in the CD tray and fly hazardously around the innards of the tasty CD player causing all manner of electronic skulduggery). It’s a simple track based around testcard electronic drone with a mesmeric understated vocal being spasmodically accompanied by little snippets of guitar, accordion and various kitchen sink percussion. Think Psapp meets Jean Michelle Jarre in Maplin.
www.myspace.com/theparaffins

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Brakes - Hey Hey (Fat Cat Records)

Kicking off with a repetitive, heavy riff, the comeback single from Brakes is quite an uninspiring affair. Sounding like a low quality Graham Coxon solo effort, ‘Hey Hey’ is catchy enough but does little to leave a lasting impression. The lyrical musings of singer Eamon Hamilton are captivating enough and the song could be popular at Indie club nights throughout the country, but there just isn’t enough durability about this tune to entice the listener back for more. Having said that, the supporting track ‘Set a Course’ is an altogether more pleasant affair with its jangly Belle & Sebastian sound. The band would be best served sticking to this.

Joe de Saulles

 

 

 

Le Reno Amps - Outlaws

Gallops in. Yep, yep. Keeping up with my impatience. Then the thick North East Scotland accent - "aah, the outlaws are comin' to my place / they're gonna make me feel such disgrace". It's a slice of that most violent and darkest genre alt-country, which two-thirds of the way through just says 'well, screw this', and lays down a huge dirty indie rock riff. It sounds a bit like a 'screw this' single, and, yeah, for what it's worth it ends with fifteen seconds of "they'll be coming round the mountain, yooow". Considering the cover, the two (one guy, one woman?) roped and taped captives in the woods with guns at their temples, and the title of b-side 'Trial and Correction', you'd expect, y'know, a slab of discipline, of cruelty or of finesse, but they seem to carry the same playful air of sinisterness that would've accompanied the scene in 'Silence of the Lambs' when Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins first met, had Hannibal been completely naked and scrambling around for a pillow to cover himself up with.

Phil Coales

 

 

The Foxes - Bill Hicks

The latest single from The Foxes is a fast, upbeat indie onslaught. The single Bill Hicks is a tribute to the late comedian but that doesn’t mean that The Foxes’ music should be considered funny. This well put together band clearly have talent, bursting into the song with shredding guitars and catchy vocals. Unlike most indie rock bands The Foxes don’t play music they think the public want to hear, they play music they want to play. The end result is fantastic- much more rocky music rather than appealing to the commercialised palette. The B side to Bill Hicks is just as catchy as the single, but in this song The Foxes really show what they are capable of. Currently one of the hardest working bands in the UK, it won’t be long before The Foxes are another indie band who everyone knows and loves.

Tim Birkbeck

 

 

 

The Hard Luck Saints - Life, Death, Sex and Whiskey

The Hard Luck Saints are a modern day rock ’n’ roll band, keeping the rock ’n’ roll spirit alive in the modern era of music. The use of fast pace, screaming guitars is the linchpin of this four track ep. The Hard Luck Saints are clearly heavily influenced by the southern rock sound of many American bands and use this to create a very edgy and hard sound. This just makes you want to head -bang along with every song. The Hard Luck Saints say they are the underdogs playing the underdogs’ music. This is very apparent in a time when rock ‘n’ roll is not at the height of it’s popularity, something that doesn’t seem to phase The Hard Luck Saints. They are clearly in the music business simply to make the kind of music that they enjoy playing, something that clearly comes across on this ep. Passion, energy and the love of music obviously mean a lot to The Hard Luck Saints and they are truly aiming to keep rock ‘n’ roll alive. It’s difficult to see The Hard Luck Saints becoming a household name, but for something original and fresh, look no further than this ep.

Tim Birkbeck

 

 

 

1877 – I Am an Antagonist (Dead Pilot)

I’m picking up a definite shift towards post punk artists like Kraftwerk, New Order and the like at the moment. And 1877 are one of the better bands to emerge from this gene pool. The electronic drums and snapping snare are pinned tight back and allow the phasing synths and streams of guitar to eddy around the deliberately low mixed vocals. It’s Depeche Mode picking a fight with Trent Reznor. It’s very dark. It’s very mesmeric. It’s very good.
www.myspace.com/1877

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Bell X1 – The Great Defector (Belly Up)

This is a curious one. Opening with a nice little Casiocore line, Paul Noonan’s crooning vocals soon come to the fore with some extremely bizarre lyrics: ‘you’re the chocolate at the end of my cornetto’ and ‘won’t you tell us about those rabbits George?’ being just two such examples. There’s little guitar trills all over the place, there’s bits of brass in the chorus and it all starts to get a little ungainly (though with polished production). A bit too schizophrenic for my tastes I’m afraid.

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The Voluntary Butler Scheme – Multiplayer (Split)

There’s some trends I’m liking at the moment (like the ones discussed in the 1877 single review above) and there’s some I’m not so keen. I’m afraid this falls into the latter, being one of those big band style productions for which we have Mark Ronson to blame for bringing to the masses at present. I suppose ‘Multiplayer’ has the positive point that it sounds like a Mark Ronson track fronted by Mike Skinner but that is all I’m afraid.
www.myspace.com/thevoluntarybutlerscheme
watch the video to 'Multiplayer'

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Thunderheist – Sweet 16 (Big Dada)

Although you might be expecting some Germanic rock band with a name like Thunderhesit, the sound of ‘Sweet 16’ is far removed, being bass heavy and frankly a little uninteresting. In fact it sounds a bit like Rick Dees’ ‘Disco Duck’ but without a chorus. One to miss.
www.myspace.com/thunderheist

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The Race – Rude Boy (Shifty Disco)

Seems everyone is raving about The Race at present which makes me instantly sceptical (contrary bugger, me). I thought this sounded a bit thin and whispy the first time I listened to it. But then I realised I had accidentally knocked out the lead to my bass speaker. And what a difference it makes – rounding off all the echoey vocals and slashy guitars. It’s fantastically polished but doesn’t really have any particular elements that you can put your finger on that really stand out. And that’s a good thing, a bit like getting mugged but by a naked Katy Perry.
www.myspace.com/raceuk

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Eugene McGuinness – Fonz (Domino)

I seem to have been looking at various images of the elderly Elvis impersonator on the cover of this track for ages. I even got a valentines card from him. All of which makes me suspect the sinister hand of a heavy marketing push at work. Fortunately ‘Fonz’ is one of McGuinness’ better tracks, bristling with energy and occasional yelps. It’s a good playlist filler but not sure it will earn back its marketing budget.
www.myspace.com/eugenemcguiness85
watch video to 'Fonz'

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Still Flyin’ – Forever Dudes (Moshi Moshi)

San Franciso 15-piece? 15 peploe? In one band? Completely pointless I’m afraid (apart from to amass a huge Scrabble score for their combines names, my favourite of which was ‘Heuvel Mookers’). What do you gain by having 15 people involved? It hasn’t introduced any musical complexity or innovative song writing. Rather smacks of smugness and a self satisfied sing-song around the camp-fire. Sorry – this has turned into a bit of a rant.
www.myspace.com/stillflyin

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Tilly and the Wall – Pot KettleBlack (Moshi Moshi)

Great expansive stompalong glam delivered with just a toch of sexiness here as Tilly and the Wall take a few tricks from their long time touring partners CSS and fully capture your attention from start to end of ‘Pot Kettle Black’. Good looking bunch too (apart from the dodgy looking geezer who is a dead ringer for a young Shaun Ryder). Great hook to the chorus – it’s a winner!
www.tillyandthewall.com

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Computerclub – Turn the Lights Out (Split)

Another example of that slightly glum 80’s post punk sound here from Computerclub who manage to successfully weld swirling atmospherics with a danceable beat, a bit like a speeded-up Redjetson. Leaves you feeling exhilarated and depressed at the same time, much like my adolescent years.
www.myspace.com/iheartcc

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The Tunics – Shine On (Manta Ray)

Where do aging indie bands go when they decide to hang up their sportswear and baggies? Well it seems that Shed Seven have resurrected themselves as The Tunics. The singer even has the same vocal inflections as Rick Witter – spooky. Sadly I’m not sure the songwriting is quite as catchy as Shed Seven who I personally look back on with great affection and that constant incantation to ‘Shee-ine On’ through the choruses frankly got on my tits by the end.
www.myspace.com/thetunics

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Shinedown – Sound of Madness (Atlantic)

From ‘Shine On’ to Shinedown – there’s no lack of variety reviewing for Tasty. And although it might sound at times like it is going to lurch towards the kind of dinosaur rock that only American bands from places like Jacksonville can seem to do without a hint of irony, there’s enough here to keep me my ears pricked. I can hear a little bit of Pearl Jam in the dropped tuning of the guitars, a little bit of Ministry in the industrial style of the percussion, a bit of Alice in Chains in the vocals. All packed into a breathless radio friendly 4 minute slot - good work.
www.shinedown.com
watch the video to 'Sound of Madness'

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The Hot Melts – Edith (Wonderland)

The Hot Melts follow up their previous single ‘I Wish I had never been in love’ with ‘Edith’ another track which looks likely to follow it’s predecessor onto my MP3 player for future play, surely the highest compliment any band could wish to have bestowed on them? There’s a simple formula – pick a hook, repeat, layer, chorus it up to the max and do it like you mean it. Easy.
www.thehotmelts.com

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Howling Bells – Cities Burning Down (Independiente)

A lusciously sweeping cinematic track with Juanita Stein’s vocals not cutting a swathe through the big guitars but more caressing and interplaying with them. ‘Cities Burning Down’ both fades in and fades out – it’s like passing by a beautiful view that slowly slips away from you. Luscious stuff which will strike a chord with fans of Siouxsie and the Banshees and ‘Joshua Tree/Unforgettable Fire’ era U2 alike.
www.myspace.com/howlingbells

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Will Young – Let It Go (RCA)

I may as well get this out right now: Will Young’s last single, ‘Grace’ was an absolute cracker. Words I never thought would be uttered in Tasty but there you go. And since then we’ve even been treated to an appearance on Question Time which (although mainly due to his popstar credentials) saw him generally talking more sense and getting more respect than his political colleagues on the panel. But ‘Let It Go; sees Young returning to familiar waters or the gentle pop ballad, and it was striking to me how much like a young Michael Jackson he sounds. We all know how that ended...more ‘Grace’ and less ‘Let It Go’ please.
www.willyoung.com.uk

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Rasmus Faber feat. Dyanna Fearon – Give it To Me (Farplane)

Oh no – I am in my own personal music hell with soulful meanderings from the unspectacular vocals of Dyanna Fearon failing to enliven this dismal effort. I knew a bloke called Frank Fearon once, not sure if he was related to Dyanna – he was a quantity surveyor whose job it was to do things like count bricks, measure grout and provide detailed costings for building projects. Even he was significantly more interesting than this track. There is absolutely no way I’m wading through the 10 remixes – maybe they thought if they mixed enough times that the law of averages would throw up at least one which would be half decent. I doubt it.
www.rasmusfaber.com

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