In an effort to broaden my musical horizons, I have accepted the challenge of reviewing three bands that do not fall into my normal musical sphere (i.e. punk rock and nothing but punk rock). Will it be a success? Time will tell .
YOUNG GUNS Bones
Youve got to hand it to the band that they are not afraid to use a number of styles over the course of the album. Broadfields is very much slower in tempo and seeming started on acoustic guitar. Once more the swooping vocals are in evidence and, played live, Im sure this song launched a thousand lighters in the air.
I was born, I have lived, I will surely die seems more traditionally rock than the rest of the tracks, although it still contains the bands musical signature moves that have made them popular. Dearly Departed starts off like Blink 182, but (sadly for me) quickly reverts to type. Im sure next track Bones has the same intro as Big Pinks Dominoes, but that is where the similarity ends.
Towers (On My Way) is rather disappointingly not written about Donny Tourette. However the song seems more standard formula rock and I rather liked it. Penultimate number Hymn For All Ive Lost is a slower tempo, but only last just over a minute so appeared to end just as it was getting going. Finally the album concludes with You Are Not, with a return to the big sound that permeates the whole CD.
In truth not really my cup of tea, but they are apparently well followed and who am I to criticise. Safe to say if you like any of the singles then chances are youll like the album. If not then er ..you wont!
Still it was rather sweet of them to name the album after me!
JONNY COLA & THE A-GRADES - EP
Apparently a London glam pop quintet, who released their debut album last year, and now have a new EP on offer. In truth the word Glam summons up images of my childhood days sitting in front of the TV watching Top of the Pops. Thankfully, they dont appear to have been influenced by Gary Glitter (!)
Opening track Halo definitely has touches of Suede and Placebo about it. Quite slow but none the less bombastic, it contains the rather unique lyrics of something is growing on the top of your head. Middle section contains the kind of guitar solo that James Dean Bradfield used to perform in the Gold Against the Soul days. Not bad opener and in the video the bass player looks like a renegade from These Animal Men.
Being a cricket fan any track called Rain Stopped Play is going to get my interest. However, this doesnt appear a track in the same vain as say, cricket punk mirth-makers, Geoffery Oicott. Rattling along at a fair old pace the track comes in at barely over two minutes and for some reason the vocals remind me of early Move (anyone under fifty look them up on the internet). More to my normal musical taste, nice drumming and bass give the number a solid backbeat allowing lead singer Jonny Cola to constantly bellow Were drowning for sure over the top. My favourite track of the EP.
Penultimate song Ripples it much more Bowie circa 1975 with its piano intro. However not many songs at that time name check Iceland (the supermarket, not the country). Latter section is resplendent with feedback and howling guitar that Mick Ronson (RIP) would have been proud of.
Final track is a cover of Erasures Ship of Fools, with synths being replaced by guitars (always a good thing!). Still clearly recognisable as Andy Bell and Vince Clarks 1988 single. Not a lot else to say really.
So a good effort from the band. Apparently they have been short listed for New Band of the Year at the Pure Rawk Awards on March 9th. These are public voted awards, so they obviously have a sizeable public following. You can judge for yourself on the following websites:
CONFORMIST Savages Go Modern
I was wondering what happened to Art of Noise!
This apparently is the new single from Cardiff based electronic cut and paste wizard Conformist. And surprisingly it turns out to be rather good.
Hailing from the very non RocknRoll location of Pembrokeshire he now resides in the metropolis of Cardiff. Conformist uses samples from various sources including TV shows, shopping channels, talk shows and pornography (!). Its the kind of thing SPK was producing 25 years ago, but none-the-less no less enjoyable for the fact.
Theres only one track on the CD I received, but I have feeling his other output doesnt differ greatly from this number. Check out the Charlie Sheen goes Electro Rave Mental video remix from the Media section of his website. Winning!