The Party's Over...
ISAACS AIRCRAFT- Two is a crowd
Cambridge-based Isaacs Aircraft have already had a Top 30 indie single and a Top 10 US internet college radio hit (try saying that in a hurry). They describe themselves as multi-instrumentalists whose sound is constantly evolving. You might also be amazed to know that Two is a crowd was recorded in only two days, Callum taught himself to play guitar, and IA have supported The Zutons and won a fan in Miss Amy Winehouse (though she is not exactly here to corroborate that fact anymore, now is she?). So, why does this acoustic full-length offering -(so produced because the lads didnt have enough money to record an electric record)- sound like Robbie Williams rogering a weeping Ben Folds?
Still, anyone that claims not to have Bum bum bum bum/Bum bum bum bummmmmmm-ed along to Road to Mandalay is a LIAR and a likeable Too many kiss is just one example of a song that cant help but appeal to the melodic cheese fanatic, i.e. me. I gleefully have all sorts of crap on my Ipod (my other halfs words, not mine), as I believe in a broad appreciation of music (honest!). Music snobs, ye be damned. As autumn approaches, I too have been pondering the question to divide all music lovers: do I want the moves like Jagger? As my little brother says, Jagger moves like hes itching for a skag-induced, er, poo (my words, not his). Regardless, my answer is a resounding yes; Maroon 5 have created greatness yet again and one finds that there are not enough hits with computerised whistling in. And Im not ashamed to say that I prefer them to Isaacs Aircraft. Take from that what you will.
Released 4th July, 2011.
KING POST KITSCH- The Partys Over
This review is late again. But what does it really matter these days? A band can still be discovered fifty years down the line and end up in the charts. And would King Post Kitsch actually even want that kind of success anyway? From hearing The Partys Over, its difficult to tell. Brainchild of sound engineer, Charlie Ward, and created in Glasgow via London, while these locations may be far-removed geographically, their respective musical scenes are well combined in an album that is both an antidote to the manufactured music industry and, in contrast, a pop/rock victory. Though gone are the days of sickly sweet Teen-C pop, KPK still acknowledge fellow Scots, Bis, in an infectious energy, yet with an understated Southern elegance, denying that the party is over at all- its just different and more grown up.
Not that this is a soundtrack for sipping wine with smug married couples. Instead, it has many qualities to reminisce of mid 90s indie discos when the shindig was in full swing. In chugging album opener, Portland Street Pt. 2, it could easily be the Dandy Warhols lazily strumming away, before jumping into the devastatingly grungey Dont you touch my fucking honeytone, merging a typically Glaswegian punk style with some gratifying American influences. Upbeat spiky guitars drive dirty Weezer-esque tempos (Brick and Bones and You talk too much), whilst Fantes Last Stand and The new gang add variety with pretty instrumentation and shimmering indie-rock melodies, also borrowed from 60s garage (The werewolf bop) and even The Kinks (Walking on eggshells) and The Beatles in final track Closing time. Catchy songwriting is therefore obviously the order of the day; ignoring the few attempts to be more experimental but drearily dying on their arse, KPKs general simplicity and unpretentious enthusiasm means I like them very much. You say hooray.
Released 13th June 2011 through Song, By Toad Records.
PAUL HEGLEY- Fallen angel
Paul Hegley has been playing guitar since the age of ten, first starting to perform with his Uncle John, including a couple of times at Glastonbury a few years ago. Not bad for a boy from Bedfordshire. And it is with this in mind that Fallen Angel should be listened to, an obvious love of music driving a collection of songs that are therefore transformed from something initially amateur and less remarkable to those more worthy of respect, if nothing else.
THE WIND-UP BIRDS- Meet Me at the Depot/Popman
The third single from Leeds self-professed super-literate postpunk genii doesnt interest me at all at first. Its sloppily played and rhymes belly with telly. So what? Indeed, so what? The Wind-Up Birds are, it seems, a stark reminder that not every turd has to be polished to be loved. Or something. Because, as Meet me at the depot gets played for a second and third time, what isnt perfect about it becomes obsolete in the face of its endearing passion, a passion shared with all the best punk outfits of the late 70s, so taken as influences by the beloved Graham Coxon for his early efforts, that he nicked from The Replacements and that were, in turn, nicked by The Libertines for their own remake of British songwriting. Upbeat, punchy and so grabbing the attention of old Steve Lamacq, TW-UB are a band that make a desperate promise yet promise nothing, romantic undertones subtle in a melodic post-punk grave. Go forth and download. Now.
Released 27th June, 2011.