More Frightening Things...
Alan Smith talks about the Birds and Bees
Filthy Little Angels Just A Minute (Compilation)
Somehow this manages to cram 19 tracks into 17 minutes, surely winning
the (non-existent) award for the highest density of tracks on a compilation
album. These tracks have presumably been chosen for their length, which
unfortunately means you dont always have enough time to get a
real idea of the bands sound. For example, Shock And Awes
Nothing is barely 20 seconds long. Artists include Hyperbubble, Micropenis,
Rocket Uppercut, The Jesus, Geese and Listen Lisse. Billy Ruffians
The Windsor Uplift is a quirky and tongue-in-cheek look at the royal
family that manages to provide the required speedy innovation to make
them a recommendation to track down. Another highlight is CockMuffBumhole
by the upbeat female fronted exquisitely monikered Town Bike. A final
recommendation comes in the shape of The Affection, a woo-hoo-ing indie
outfit, appearing with their track Tell Me Again. Ultimately, whatever
your musical tastes, youre bound to find something on here that
you feel merits further investigation. Its great to know random
little compilations like this are still being made, a great outlet for
new bands. www.filthylittleangels.com.
Boudica Magic Beans / Love You Dead
They say you have to be cruel to kind, which is why Im inflicting
the memory of Skunk Anansie as a point of reference for this Southend-on-Sea
band. Firstly, I like Skunk Anansie. Next, to get this bands sound,
take Skunk Anansie, remove the high-pitched bits, then make it less
conventionally structured, add a rougher guitar sound and hey presto,
Boudica. Conventional but still unique, a clever trick to perform. The
producer of Idlewild is behind this, and it shows. With Yeah Yeah Yeahs
one of the only female fronted proper bands around at the
moment, some competition is required. This lot stand a good as chance
as any at giving it. www.myspace.com/boudicamusic.
The James Warner Prophecies Sing
Whilst their band name has probably got you thinking Really? They
thought that would be a good choice? its worth adding that
there isnt even a James Warner in this band. Now ask yourself
what a folky-flute-laden band would sound like if it was fronted by
the singer from Nickleback? You have your answer here. Odd, is the answer.
I cant take it away from them, this certainly is original. But
not at all to my tastes. However, with previous support slots with the
likes of Chas & Dave, Im thinking that perhaps Im not
their target market. Its nice to here people trying something
new, but they can continue to do so without me. www.jameswarner.co.uk.
Although the detailed information on bands that usually gets included
with CDs jostling for a review can be useful, its often nice to
try one that comes with no details at all, not even a track listing.
Soprano make lightweight MOR pop music that the likes of The Feeling
have been successfully flogging to the masses for several years now.
Guitar music didnt used to be like this. We wanted the mainstream
to catch on and realise there is more than boy/girl bands and that instruments
should not be a barrier to success. Sadly it turned out the mainstream
wanted bands so insipid wed rather theyd stuck to Take That
and The Spice Girls, so that Scouting For Girls would have no need to
exist. This has the required utter lack of any ambition to hit it big.
Maybe thats why there was no track listing, they didnt have
enough imagination to think of any song titles. www.myspace.com/sopranoband.
My American Heart There Are More Frightening Things
So here we have the American version of Soprano, still unoriginal but
in a completely different way. This time its bog standard riffs,
stupid lyrics, and an irritating faux-emotional vocal sound. Oh
oh, here we go again, being perhaps their most (unintentionally)
insightful lyric. Or maybe its But youd rather walk
away. Snore. Their website is myamericanheartrock.com, but honestly,
they really dont.
Screwd Birds And Bees
Back in 2006 I reviewed a previous effort by this band, From All Angles,
and found it to be full of promise. Sadly, it seems the last few years
havent brought them any further success. This 7 track demo shows
more of the same, low-key solid little pop and rock songs delivered
with conviction, honesty and an odd sense of calm. They show lack of
ambition, but in a really good way. They dont try to be anything
theyre not, instead concentrating on making music that is above
all enjoyable. Sometimes, such as on Audio Show, they can be a little
too un-polished, but this is an inevitable result of being a band that
clearly have to do everything themselves. Lyrically, Angels On Our Shoulders
is the standout, offering such gems as So I dont know what
to do now, and Im in a fucking state, but I dont have to
work, coz Ill just scrounge it off the nanny state.
This album has been sitting forgotten at the bottom of my review pile
for what appears, judging by the release year, to be about two years.
Sorry Bassboosa. I dont know why, as it has lovely packaging that
should have been the first to catch my eye. But its worth my going
back too, even if in all likelihood theyve since made a follow
up records, because its a very lovely record indeed. Vocalist
Jasmine Badir has an amazing voice, soft and gentle in places, soaring
and uplifting in others. First track and album highlight Cry is a perfectly
crafted pop song, showing quality mainstream songwriting talent. And
most of the rest of the album isnt far off; no track would sound
out of place on Radio 2. This is unmistakably a pop record, and not
going to appeal to the average Repeat reader, but it is a quality pop
record, full of hard work and genuine enthusiasm and belief, and they
deserve every success in their field.
By Alan Smith