Ash and Burn
Move over Joey Eyebank Ramone, R*E*P*E*A*T's newest and youngest reviewer Ash B Ramone gets ready to trash and treasure some new(ish) releases. Time to get with the kids, daddio.
The Automatic : Monster
The twiddly echoey guitar riff at the opening of this song, sounding a bit like early Miss Black America, makes for a feel-good start, but then there's a strange alien dude voice repeating everything in the background, and this can be somewhat annoying after a bit.
Fortunately, the highly infectious chorus comes along to make everything better.
The track is held together by some impressive drumming, while the vocalist sounds like he's auditioning for the part of Preston from The Ordinary Boys (who they just toured with), played in a pantomime at Cleethorpes Butlins by a snarly Joe Strummer.
6 / 10
England England Uber Alles : Geoffrey Mortlake and the Iron Jelloids (www.geoffreymortlake.com/iron_jelloids.htm)
A columnist in the Observer thought England needed a new World Cup song. He should have stuck to scribbling in his Sunday paper. Even Embrace are better, and Sham 69, and the Crazy Frog? Well maybe not, but this sounds like an aging man growling on about random crap. The backing music barely fits with the lyrics, and makes me think that the 'musicians' can't actually play their instruments.
0 / 10
Dirty Pretty Things : Deadwood (http://www.dirtyprettythingsband.com)
As you'll no doubt be aware, this is taken from the top 3 album 'Waterloo to Anywhere' from ex Libertine Carl Barat and a drummer no one can remember the name of.
Not surprisingly it's a great indie pop song; powerful trademark scratchy guitars and downbeat tuneful vocals from Barat and fantastic, pounding drums from the anonymous one.
You can catch The Dirty Pretty Things supporting (sigh) slap-bass noodlers Red Hot Chilli Peppers pretty soon now.
Despite this, this is a top single. Full stop.
10 / 10
Caffeine : Symphony
This band should concentrate less on looking (exactly) like Green Day, and sounding like them. And All American Rejects. And My Chemical Romance. You can see why record companies would jump on the bandwagon of this sort of thing; Caffeine's emo-tinged pop punk is flavour of the month - for now - and reminds me of no one more than the kings of commercial emo-pop punk by numbers, Fall Out Boy. Their lyrics are even similar, as is the unusual fact that the bassist sings.
Self proclaimed 'best kept secret' in the world of rock, Caffeine should have kept their dirty little secret to themselves; failing that, it's time they were now forgotten.
2 / 10
Fall Out Boy : Dance Dance
Speak of the Devil, here's the second single from the album 'Under the Cork Tree' by 'top' pop-punk emo band of the moment, Fall Out Boy.
The song starts with a nicely pounding drum beat, which is followed by an irritatingly grating bass riff and some somewhat strange lyrics [See just how strange here - Ed]. The vocals tend to have an annoying change of tone and volume, and the lyrics become far too repetitive, you are more likely to fall asleep listening to it than Dance, Dance.
Apparently all of angst ridden teenage America are Fall Out Boy fans, along with Jay Z and Beyonce. That tells you all you need to know really.
Sugars, you're going down.
-2 / 10
Razorlight : In The Morning
This opens with a great drum beat and immense guitar riff, before the vocals come in and a legend is reborn. Remember 2 years ago, a million album sales, playing at all the festivals? Well, this single shows that Johnny Borrell and the boys are back.
I'm not normally a fan of indie stuff like this, but when a song is pleasing as this, you have to say that the world of music can only be brightened by its existence.
9 / 10
Morning Runner : The Great Escape (www.morningrunner.com)
Trying to build on the Radio Two-friendly success of the likes of Keane and Coldplay, Morning Runner play acoustically to produce a slightly sickly mellow love song with a hint of rock in there somewhere.
Then some fuzzed up heavy electric bass and drums come in and ruin it.
Morning Runner have messed this up really badly.
And for them, there's no great escape.
0 / 10
Graham Coxon : You And I
Some members of the R*E*P*E*A*T team are big time Coxon fans (hello Anna C).
But I'm not.
The lyrics are predictable as is the music, tainted with effects that make it sound like out-takes from an alien's school disco.
This song is the stuff that little kids could write as a poem in a 20 minute Literacy lesson, complete with annoying and predictable playground rhymes.
So perhaps aging pop kids going on about 50 would like it?
And Literacy teachers
3 / 10
Orson : Bright Idea
Described as the missing link between The Rolling Stones and The Scissor Sisters (!), 'Bright Idea' is the second single from Hollywood based Orson.
The only thing that's bright about this song are the guitars; the drums are dodgy and unimaginative, the lyrics make no sense at all and the vocals a sludgy mix of blues, jazz, rock and pop.
Here's my bright idea - press 'stop' on your CD player as soon as the vocals come in.
And my #1 top pop tip of the day? Don't buy this song.
1 / 10
Maximo Park : I Want You To Stay (www.maximopark.com)
Yes I know this came out almost before I was born [I blame the editor - Ed] and to be honest we've not been missing much.
The twiddly guitar riff is great and there's a phat bass line and pounding drums. In fact, the song itself isn't half bad. However the vocals let the whole thing down, sounding like a cross between Preston from The Ordinary Boys [again? Ed] and Fall Out Boy [again again?! Ed].
You'll have to do better than this if you want me to stay.
So I'm off to practise my badger impression.
3 / 10
Ash B Ramone
(Tr)Ash these reviews on our message boards here