Better To Leave
DIGITAL BY BIRTH- Noise pollution
And we were completely taking the piss.
Either way, what DBB asked for very politely when sending
this CD in was that this is mentioned: 'Noise Pollution' can be downloaded
for £4 at www.cdbaby.com and that you can stalk them here:
JULIA STONE- It's all okay
Julia Stone is best known (at least to me) for her cover of 'You're the one that I want', recently used on Sky's telly advert. It was cute in a Bridget Jones kind of way and 'It's all okay', her second solo single, is arranged to convey the whimsical pining that follows a love lost. Taken from Stone's second solo album 'By the horns', despite being produced by the guys responsible for Mary J Blige and David Byrne, she still sounds like that other Australian singer who was featured in another advert, doing a cover of 'Wherever you will go', in the same ilk as Gemma Hayes, Heather Nova and their ilk. Extremely commercial then, needless to say that Stone makes the sort of music that would sound good on a chick flick like 'My sister's keeper' which, although you want it to be emotionally compelling because you should be moved by something so tragic and heartbreaking, you end up waking up with the telly on standby, the film over and a little patch of drool on your cheek.
Mostly featuring a repetitive melody and simple piano, vocal and drum-beat, 'It's all okay' builds up with more instrumentation yet fails to get more interesting at the same time, the most notable thing being that Stone sometimes sounds a bit like a softer Lou Rhodes and it's mildly amusing to count how many times she sings 'It's all okay'. Though a move from the folk she was performing with her brother, Angus -(as part of award-winning duo, er, Angus and Julia Stone)- it still veers towards the melodic pop that is going to make the same great chasms in the ground as any winner off the X-Factor. Though sell-out as many arenas regardless.
SCHOLARS- Blinda data
This taken from Scholars' bio: 'Having spent our formative years listening to bands like Braid, Hundred Reasons, The Dismemberment Plan, The Faint and Tears for Fears, when Scholars write songs they tend to leave traces of influences all over the place, but hope what they end up with just sounds like Scholars'. Actually, what Scholars sound like is around a decade of Britpop, starting with Franz Ferdinand and ending up having a party in the forest, or something, with The Wombats. Surprising really, considering that this single, along with their forthcoming debut album, is produced by Larry Hibbitt of Hundred Reasons. Who are a lot more rock and roll.
SIAN CROSS- Alcohol
Her forthcoming, as yet untitled, album is based on
stories from people who have been through stuff in their daily lives
and how this was overcome (she has been through some hard times herself,
which has also proved inspiring as far as songwriting goes). So it's
surprising then that this single doesn't get much deeper than the
spittle on a lonely drunk's whiskers (actually, theoretically, that
would be pretty deep). A song about a clouded vision of a boozing
(actually, that's also too deep), the chorus goes 'Drank too much
alcohol/ now I need alcohol', the melody sounding like mid-90's indie
bands circa Echobelly, the arrangement repetitive and dated. This
is not good. While Cross is beautiful and can sing her little heart
out in the most stunning way, she has better tracks than this in her
repertoire (which has seen more of a following in the jazz audience
for a smooth and classic sound). So don't let this pseudo-Chumbawumba
rip-off put you off if velvety-voiced divas are your thing. And now
I need to go and binge drink. Arf.
DEADMANS TEQUILA- Better to leave.
Though it pains me to say it, despite obvious and complete self-belief and commitment, the classic rock that 'Better to leave' and its sister songs display is, unfortunately, dated in a way that suggests that this is a band that are still trying to find their sound. They can play their instruments, they can string notes together but that is where the fascination ends in this four-piece. Apart from the drummer. He's fairly hot. But seriously, taking influences from Simon and Garfunkel to Red Hot Chili Peppers, neither are audible here; instead Deadmans Tequila have a long way to go before they leave the working man's pubs that they currently play in to a handful of people. And there's no shame in that- all the best bands do it. But I hope they do improve, because I can tell how much they, and their supporters, enjoy it. Even if I don't. P.S I think there should be an apostrophe in your band name?