JUB - FERTILIZE THIS E.P
As soon as this started, the very SECOND the laser in my cd player made contact with the information stored on the disc and began to read it, I didn't like it. A lot of the time, I try to make a concerted effort to sound sophisiticated, interested, lucid, all that sort of thing. I just try to make an effort but this is just depressingly bad. I can't even muster the energy to go and vomit. It sounds like everything else you're used to at the moment. All the trans-atlantic ball ache like Jimmy Eat World, Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy. That's what really does my fucking tree in about this E.P. They're from the south-west of ENGLAND so why in the name of sod buggering owl trousers should the lead singer have that nauseating, americanised drawl which makes him sound like he can hardly function under the weight of his own ego? You know the kind of thing; the voice sounds lazy, almost stoned, as though the singer can't even be bothered to get dressed to show up to gigs anymore. It's pap. Americanised bilge. Production's alright but y'know, it's too polished. It doesn't have anything going for it to set it aside. Try listening to Popular Workshop instead.
GRAMMATICS - SHIPPING FORECAST SAMPLE
This is a lot better. There's a lot more going on for a start and it's set itself aside from a lot of the other clap trap I have to sit through by actually having some structure and some thought behind the songs. In the blurb I recieved along with the c.d, there's a comparison to Arcade Fire, made by some Leeds publication. To be truthful, I didn't think the north of England were up to date with the rest of the country but you learn something new every day, don't you? The comparisons aren't entirely unfair. There's that sense of biblical, folkish, epic, bohemian, sort of musty atmosphere about them. It has a darkness to it which I quite enjoy but it's not that 'forced' darkness you sometimes come across. It's good purely for the fact that it seems to encapsulate the feeling associated with standing in the middle of a field in the pouring rain after having just been kicked in the balls by someone you've never even met before. I know what I mean. No, it's good. It's not as good as Popular Workshop but then again, not much is.
DRIVE THRU RECORDS - SPLIT SAMPLER
It's emo. Next.
THE BENCH CONNECTION - AROUND THE HOUSE IN 80 DAYS L.P
Jesus Christ, why is everything all so dreary and folky this month? My God, I've already used all my stock euphemisms for folk music! Right, ok lets think of some new ones...errr...right, it's...no, I can't think of anymore. I'm not even going to try. It's just melodic folk. There's not much else to say. I can't say it's 'interesting' or even revolutionary in its use of acoustic guitars, piano and gentle percussive flourishes but it's listenable. It's not BAD as such. It is good but I'm much more impressed by any band who make use out of applicable elements in their music so therefore, a folk outfit might want to consider using cut up samples of a tractor going through a field as part of their songs. Bring in the crazy beat with ol' toothless George, the nutter who lives inside a plastic bag! Again, Beck (more Sea Change Beck than anything else) and any other folkesque music you could care to mention or remember without slipping into a coma.
DANGER'S CLOSE - CLOSER THAN YOU THINK L.P
Bit of a punky one, this one. That's never a good sign though. When the band are dressed in tartan and leather trousers and have mohawks, it's less punk than the hair on my arse cheeks. Run of the mill, formulaic. Not 'bad' or 'wrong' by any stretch, just boring and outdated. They'll go down a storm with some of the old schoolers and the kids who just want to get pissed for the price of a copy of Maxim. No doubt they'll have energy and presence which is all fine and dandy but it's a little wasted. Like those morons who learn how to do double olly flip back spin kicks or whatever, on their skateboards. It's like 'yeah, great but who really gives a shit?'
THE CONWAY STORY - LANDING LIGHT SINGLE
After a quick flick through the parphenalia that accompanies this little cd cutlet from Londons answer to ANOTHER fucking Oceansize style band, the first thing that came to my mind was 'Hmm...I don't like them'. There's something untrustworthy about a band who talk about the sonc shifts in music and lyrics. That just smacks of thinking about it a bit too much. It is however, exactly as I put it to you. It's like Oceansize or various other 'epic' bands who sound like they're all fighting for control over the soundtrack to a new Cecil B. Demille film. I've come across a few solo artists or 'Artistes' as they would most likely prefer to be known, as if I'm going to be stoned to death at a dinner party of assembled solo 'Artistes' for making the terrible faux pas of not congratulating them on their wonderfully masturbatory record by giving them the respect of calling them an 'Artiste'. It's probably not even a simple 'record' anymore to these people. They probably think of it as something akin to carving your entire life story into the side of a mountain with a toothpick only to have the god's remove it with a lightning strike of disapproval, sending these pompous bastards into more spiralling fits of self flaggelation because not only is their mum dead but God hates them as well. Sometimes, God does some wonderful things. Anyway, yes I've met pompous turds like this before and not one of them couldn't be suddenly improved with a gunshot wound to the anus (after all, they might be able to find their way out if we make the hole just that little bit bigger, right kids?). So this is drivel. Well produced (but aren't they all?) drivel but fucking drivel none the less. Like Oceansize. Sounds 'nice' but in the end it's 'shite'.
THE PONY COLLABORATION - SELF TITLED L.P
It's a shame I've recieved this at the start of summer. Even though it has been compared to 'Americana' (whatever the hell that is) but with an 'English twist' and given that 'Americana' is supposed to be summery (as far as I know) it really has come at the wrong time. That is by no means a derisory comment. I rather like it. It's got a lot of qualities to it which make me think of Beck and again, Arcade Fire (must be the latest craze the kids are getting into). You won't want to set fire to anything after listening to it (unless you're wanting to set fire to old photographs of loved ones but no one has photographs anymore. It's all digital. So you'll be deleting photographs off your hard drive) but it's nice, melodic, gentle and loving. Like a nice, big hug whilst lying on a haystack. I imagine this is best listened to whilst your a little bit sauced or you're driving down a deserted highway with 'the top down'. As mentioned before, there's something autumnal about it. Something about the dying of the seasons. Yet it's not depressing. Not to me anyway.
DAN SARTAIN - THOUGHT IT OVER SINGLE
Woah! Wait a fucking moment, what's all this I read about Johnny Cash in the information pamphlet style booklet I received? Lofty comparison to be brought, doesn't one think? Lofty and a bit trivial. It's a lazy comparison, obviously made by someone who hasn't listened to his music (possibly his management). I detect a sense of humour to the songs but I don't quite know if that's intentional or not so for the time being, I'll stifle a bit of a giggle. I rather like it although it isn't really pulling my pud except for when it goes all Morricone on my arse towards the end of the second track. It's all guitary and trumpety and hispanic in places which amuses me beyond all reason. There must be a deep dark alcove in my mind which scoops up all the Hispanic music I come across and files it away under 'Latent Passion For'. The man is on his third album already and he's just finished a U.K tour so he obviously means business. I'm swayed into liking this by the artwork, the shallow little whore that I obviously am. I'm a sucker for really good artwork, especially when it's Germanic and minimal. This has robots on it and men looking all mean and moody with red eyes. Yeah, it's cool. Hunt it down.
REDJETSON - THE UNRAVELING / RACING IN THE MIRE
Oh, here we go again. All deep and moody and OBVIOUSLY tortured. You know what, I thought I'd heard all of this? I thought I was done with bands playing their instruments as if their pre-gig drinks had been spiked with Ketamin. I thought the delay pedal had lost all its appeal in contemporary music. Apparently, I was wrong. It's alive and kicking (albeit at only 20 bpm) and moving slower than Steve Austin in the action sequences. I'm compelled to say it's not tooooooo bad and I could listen to it if I was contemplating shitting myself before cutting my own throat with a wire coathanger but it's just nothing amazingly special. It's in the same vein as that other bloody band I reviewed further up the page (I can't for the life of me remember, nor be bothered to even move the mouse to find out what their name is) and I can already see what it would be like to meet this band. One of them, presumably the lead singer would be the mean, moody one with the weight of the universe and all its neighbouring parallel dimensions on his shoulders whilst the rest of the band would be quite larky and game for a giggle. It's just depressing to even think about it. The music doesn't really bother me in this sense, as such. It's just the certainty that I KNOW this is what the band members will be like. If it transpires they are not then they have been lying about their deep, dark moodiness and I'll have to end their lives swiftly with a cutlass.
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