I Am Error - Reviews May 2006 by Alan Smith

Fell City Girl - Swim
Fell City Girl are a band with a 'buzz'. By which I mean I've already heard of them, but of course not actually heard any of their music. Until now. This EP, "Swim" (Bizarrely this is also the name of an EP by Feeder, who fall immediately before them alphabetically), contains four tracks. The opening title track swooshes about the place without really doing much, but in a good way. A chorus is not always necessary. And "There Are Statues, I'm Told" makes up for this, being infinitely more poppy, despite its shite title. The singer's voice sounds American, but this is not as irritating as it can be and doesn't sound put on, it's just their sound. As such, it could be very successful (daft genre name waning) in these days of 'emo'. "Send In The Angels" is trying to put Muse influences to use, but doesn't quite pull it off. But I'm being overly critical; this is after all the third track on an early EP. For giving it a go they should be commended. The final track "We've All Felt The Voltage" follows the pattern of drawn out vocals soaring away towards the end in a pleasant enough manner. A nice little EP filled with promise and sellability. www.fellcitygirl.co.uk.

Warren Suicide - Signal
Warren Suicide are a new band who have already had their fair share of drama. Having gained much critical acclaim early on they had to deal with the disappearance of lead singer Lucki last August. The band have pressed on and this is their new single. It's an electro style rocker, with the guitars and drums overwhelmed by the synth sounds and backing beats. Nackt, who has taken the lead vocals role, sadly only has a reasonable voice, which doesn't stand out or excite. All electronic music tends to leave me cold. This is because the nature of the music means it never changes, simply carrying on the average music at the same pace throughout. I wish them every success, but this single will not live long in anyone's memory. www.warrensuicide.com.

I Am Error - Demo
First track "Call The Police" is a great little catchy pop/rock song. Clarinet interludes add fun to a jangly number with a rocking, sing along chorus. It's happy, carefree, and breaks out into skanking Specials style fast paced ska near the end. A great mix of ideas matched with a superb tune all in one song. "Making It Ill" is a soothing indie masterpiece, which for some reason reminds me of the gods that are Electric Soft Parade. It has "ba-ba-ba's", which are always well received, although it tails off a bit towards the end and perhaps could have been cut down from its excessive six minutes. The final track is "War On Sadness". This is a slow, more acoustic number with gentle lyrics and a relaxed feel. A great demo from a vibrant, eclectic unsigned band that has shown in three songs what a variety of quality music they can produce.

The Delilahs - Let's Tango
Let's Tango is the second single from female Swiss three piece The Delilahs, following up This Is It. For me, This Is It was hit and miss, and I wasn't quite able to tell how much they had to offer. But this proves they are a great prospect. Let's Tango is fabulous, a perfect slice of sordid rock'n'roll. It rollocks (is that a word?) along delightfully whilst the singer suggests "Hey now, why don't you and me go tango?" I likened their first single to Elastica, but this is calm, collected and doesn't have the quirky, jerky element that Elastica had which some found irritating. It sticks to a classic song formula, and this works wonderfully. The b-side is "One Nil At Home", which is a million times better than the Embrace footballing effort (but then so is a dog turd…). It's equally rocking, dirty and as damn enjoyable as the a-side. Check out www.thedelilahs.com, as a new UK tour is on the way soon.

Uniting The Elements - Rebel At My Core
This sounds like No Doubt fronted by a bad Anastacia impersonator. She 'sings' "Laughing Cinder" with her voice jumping all over the show, simply trying too hard and failing to stay at any one level for any period of time. The music seems a bit needlessly fast and I emerge from the song shocked and in need of a bit of a lie down. "Atmosphere" is a bit less crazy but unexciting. "Thank You" is a slower song, and they are certainly trying very hard, but sadly it's just a bit too bland and unimaginative. She does show off her wailing 'skills', more suited to a pop act than a rock one. The band play well and this is perhaps a sound well suited for festivals. "It's Over" and the title track are more of the same. United have to be praised for their dedication, they have UK gigs lined up all year which sees them playing something like two hundred, with no real break. So if you do like the sound of them, I can guarantee they will definitely be playing near you soon. Perhaps they work better as a live band, but based upon CD I'm simply not a fan. See the world's longest upcoming gigs list at www.uniting-the-elements.com.

The Lodger - Let Her Go
This is the third single from Leeds three piece The Lodger who claim this is "Your pop fix for May 06". And they 'May' just be right. This is glorious, unashamed indiepop. Melodic, tuneful and perfect for the impending summer. It's relaxed and carefree, not in-your-face or difficult to listen to. It follows the blueprint of all 'nice' music and is generally delightful. The b-side, "We Came From The Same Place" is just as joyful. They are fantastically 90's and definitely out of place in the current music scene, which I love them for. No doubt they'll stick to their guns, do their own thing, and, if there's any justice in the world, will do very well indeed. www.thelodger.net.

Th' Legendary Shack Shakers - Pandelirium
In the current music climate things change rapidly. Apparently Bromheads Jacket are the new Arctic Monkeys, My Latest Novel are the new Arcade Fire, and the new Morrissey is… well Morrissey. So with such a drastic turnover it's about time we had a new Gogol Bordello, who are soooo March 2006. And here they are. Opening with a scary cackle, the speedy punk rhythm kicks in, but with a distinctive carnival feel. The singer flicks between a creepy children's storyteller, one of the Muppets and Tim from Rancid. It's crazy, intense, varied, but above all FUN. You could list anything as an influence. Its country, rock, blues, pop, punk, hillbilly, gothic, ska and everything else in-between. As if you still question their 'gypsy punk' credentials, they have a song called "Jipsy Valentine", which is a hit single in waiting. Any of its lyrics are astounding, for example "Let pagan gods be given charge over heaven's shining stars". And that's one of their more 'normal' offerings! They cannot fail to be amazing and memorable live with such a unique and eclectic sound. I dare you to give this a listen and not say it's both the most strange and wonderful thing you've heard all year. Catch them on tour in the UK throughout May. All details at www.theshackshakers.com.

Mike Rosenberg Band - Stray Dog
This is a lovely, gentle acoustic sounding single from yet another promising new Brighton band. Mike's vocals are emotional, heartfelt and utterly captivating. The band behind him create soothing, swooning backing which manages to have many different layers to it but not sound overdone. It's not a rocker, but if you like something a bit more chilled this is a great little single. Follow the band's progress at www.mikerosenbergband.com.

By Alan Smith

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