Bob the Builder, with a Detol-soaked throat..
Jim Lockey/ Oxygen Thief/ Ben Marwood- Exclamation At Asterisk Hash
The Rumble Strips- Welcome to the Walk Alone
Lead single Not The Only Person is a humorous anthem with a soulful edge, and the stadium sized drums flourish with sweeping wizardry. As a single it not only stands as a reflection of the knife crime-London-alleyway small part of society with a charming question directed at the misunderstood youths, but it is twinned with a 1940s wartime melody sound that makes it so unique. It is however; the perfection of this song, that makes the rest of Welcome To The Walk Alone merge together into a mellow linear-mess.
Another minus to the album is the Dreaded Ronsons; toy-box jazz production which, just as with every fucking thing he does, spits trumpet phlegm in random parts of the songs, then ruining it (like he did with his awful cover Radioheads Just). If a band employs Mark Ronson for the production they should expect to be rammed into a quirky High-street chic meets New York Jazz-turned fashionable (and less poverty ridden) cage, forcing them into the fact that they have the same chance in getting bad publicity from both music magazines and the tabloids.
Although the Rumble Strips have taken a fuller-orchestra based sound there are still some of your typical staccato-bar chord led straight-edge pop- to curl the locks of your average indie-boho- which to the ears of any normal listener will fall frail with malnutrition.
The witty Sweet Heart Hooligan voices itself like a Phil Spector production of Charlie Chaplin fronting a Stephen Skip Spencer tribute band but whirlpools into the vacuous musical-frame that most of the songs on this album stay boxed into.
The Rumble Strips have produced an album with a few stand-out tracks,
but not much else.
What must be Sonic Youths twentieth album sails along with the familiar slack-jaw bemusement that Sonic Youth emulate so perfectly with their smooth yet discordant grunge.
The songs Leaky Lifeboat and What We Know would fit perfectly on the soundtrack to an early 90s Richard Linklater film and the 9-minute Massage the History is an calm nosedive into insanity with the vocals massaging the song in a drifty haze.
The Eternal is no epic. But it just shows Sonic Youth still have that breezy-cool aura thats graced their albums over the past few decades- and they're still the masters of it.
Elliot Minor- Solaris
The classically trained pop-punk toffs have produced a song more like the candy-dressed equivalent of a Coldplay number as opposed to the operatic-tinged cute melodies that scolded our ears with a corporate branding iron on their debut.
With this new musical direction Elliot Minor have traded the harmonies and guitar solos (the only attributes that distinguished them from the usual bollocks) for a straight structured shallow Pop song that couldve been ripped off McFly.
Everything about the song is formulaic and deathly.
La Roux- La Roux
A small percentage of Pop music, it seems, has taken a turn.
This is still manufactured cadence draped, hook-laden sugar-sprinkled temporary music for the easily influenced.
But there is an underlying difference, in that; the songs are embellished with interesting synth-leads and melodies, that in the days of SClub 7 would have been deemed alternative and very diverse to the common perception of chart trash. And not only that but the lyrics are, well, bearable.
La Rouxs debut is an easy listen which doesnt provide much feeling or passion, but a good set of danceable catchy-tunes.
It is the musical equivalent of Warhol ideologies, like with most pop-music, but young Elly Jackson also has a voice like no-other; a shaky falsetto yell with a lispy delivery.
It is also the substantial song writing element that she teams with catchy pop-music which makes her so diverse to the usual in-crowd.
Indeed Pet Shop Boys, I did see this coming.
After exhausting the back-catalogue due to the Brit-awards all the 10s of millions of fans were wanting some more tongue-in-cheek uberly-camp disco tunes, posing questions with an aura as smooth as craven dale.
And yes, here it is.
And no, they will never stop.
For it is the wonderful irony; that their superficial music can outstand any other superficiality in the music biz, and thats what keeps people fixated.
Killa Kela- Built Like An Amplifier
Beat boxing champion Killa Kela has discarded the originality of minimalist
beat boxing for layers of industrial trash compacted into a pulse-heavy,
agitating rhythmically-based pop song.
InME- Herald Moth
Inme are one of those bands who will continue to produce albums that
never get enough recognition. Albums that sore way above other metal
bands but lie below in the media.
Unlike Daydream Anonymous, Herald Moth is a match of extreme highs and extreme lows; while the musicality is amazing- guitar riffs erupting into scatters of musical confetti, some of the songs lyrics and hooks seem abit too sweet to digest.
When interviewing Inme a number of times, frontman Dave Mcpherson has always commented on how he channels the hardships hes been through over the past few years into his music, and with most of Herald Moth this is evident in the darker more epic sounds to the songs; which flourish with a grand earthy gritty tone matched with brooding sounds but there are also a few songs which rather go limp in their posture.
The songs Nova Armada and Belief Revival are 4 minutes of hypnotic, hulky metallic wonder; teaming lightning shots of riffs with harmonious choruses and big breakdowns into solo hysteria, this however contrasts with songs like Captain Killjoy and Single Of The Weak which traverse into emo-core and border on into soppy sulk-pop- a mistake Inme made with White Butterfly.
Inme are a different band altogether to how they were perceived in
the Overgrown Eden days, and it shows.
Dan Black- ((Un))
Most of ((Un)) is excruciatingly average minimalist electro. Taking
no twists or turns but rather casually drifting down a Usb drive into
the database for the mentally bland. Supposed Love song
U+Me= squeals with empty passion and Mika esq.
vocal trills. Every other song on ((Un)) subsides into grey
melody, occasionally borrowing beats and samples from other songs- The
first track (and second single) Symphonies uses the drum
beat from Rhiannas Umbrella.
The DevilRock Four- First In Line