Bring Back Her Head
BRING BACK HER HEAD- Tied up tight EP
Bring Back Her Heads press release states that the quartet possess that often lauded but rarely evident quality- true originality. Of course, this is complete balls. I mean, come off it- even the best-loved artists fail to be original these days. There is little left in music that hasnt been done. And whats wrong with sounding like someone you admire anyway? I am sure that it is no co-incidence that Bring Back Her Head is also a single by indie rockers, Angelica, who sound vaguely familiar herein. Whats more, BBHH have apparently also got something that few of their peers have (despite being later described as peerless)- great studio recordings to back it up. Can this really be true from a band from Ipswich?? Yet, even after reading several hundred of these poorly composed accolades in the past, I still just have to find out. Let me finish groaning first.
Thankfully, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, opening track Jealous is pretty good. One thing the PR bod did get right is that BBHH are for fans of Pixies and PJ Harvey- influences that are screamingly obvious, by the way- as are Sonic Youth and bands of that ilk. Documenting the power struggle between man and temptress, it is quite an exciting introduction, Jen Baxters vocals certainly assured, backed with a capable rhythm section and some grinding guitar work.
So it is unfortunate that what follows is not quite in the same vein. Thats not to say its not good- its just that the rest of the EP is decidedly more amateur, again, no surprises considering the band formed about a year ago. Lethargy is crippling you/ Thinking of things you didnt do, Baxter sings over an accompaniment made to watch shoes by. Before I suspect she is reading my mind, body and soul, we are moved deftly on to Take me now, a raunchy little number about, well- it doesnt leave much to the imagination, does it? It is only here that one questions the capabilities of production staff as I, for one, crave an appropriate seduction in the powerful vocals that is sadly lacking and could be best achieved with some studio trickery. The lyrical content, though meaningful, could also be a bit more poetic, a potential that can only be developed with experience. And sacking your PR person.
The Tied up tight EP is available right the noo.
CASTROVALVA- We are a unit
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Jake Shears tried to cough up a tonsil? Thankfully, we have Castrovalva to solve the mystery. Named after the weird city on early 80s Doctor Who- neither a sanctuary or a trap apparently- there is a similar feeling of unease found on this eagerly awaited debut album. Eagerly awaited by who? is just another question I might pose at this point if I were cruel enough
Recorded and mastered at Ghost Town Studios (also responsible for fellow champions of the hard and the heavy, Rolo Tomassi), the Leed-based trio have been hailed by some as experimental for their odd bass-driven rock, the brutality of Death From Above 1979 merged with dark synths, orchestration worthy of a freakshow cabaret and schitzophrenic whispering courtesy of frontman Leemun Smith, right before he rips out his own vocal chords on the low notes, left only with the capability to resemble aforementioned Scissor Sisters frontman at his croakiest. And so the album is rather a noisy affair- a headbangers heaven to be precise; lots of angry energy occasionally gives way to standout tracks like We dont go to Ravenholm which has a more rhythmic Faith No More feel to it and In fact, that was the only one I really liked but you could do worse if you like your music slightly mental. You might enjoy it more if you, yourself, are also slightly mental. Or perhaps you will be after a listen. I will let you make that choice.
Released 12th April, 2010
JAPANESE VOYEURS- That love sound/Blush
Romily Alice, lead singer of Japanese Voyeurs, is a purveyor of the
dual personality. On this double A-side- the follow-up to the dubiously
named debut E.P. Sick and creaming- she lurches from squeaky-voiced
siren to gutterall ballbreaker before you can utter a word about how
many facial injections Courtney Love has potentially had recently. No
matter- Ms. Love can still do angry along with the best of them (well,
screaming is still a forte at least; just dont expect associated
facial expressions) and it is for this reason that I mention Ms Love
at all, as it is her emphatic passion that leads the London-based quintet
through their own chosen wall of sound; a little bit sinister, a little
seductive and many of the other things that float my boat.
Released 8th February, 2010 on Slimeball Records.