Polydactyl Prejudices
Anna C and her cat tell us what we want

PYTHIA- Sarah (Bury her)

So winter’s here. It’s cold, it’s wet and I am still living in the wrong side of the British Isles. I need something to lift my spirits. Pythia was an ancient Greek oracle. Maybe I will find some enlightenment here? That said, as soon as I clapped eyes on this CD, I did have some stereotypical reservations, as you would with any single with the title of ‘Sarah (Bury her)’.

And what do you know? Those reservations were realised. Fronted by the albeit beautiful Emily Alice Ovenden- one-time member of the number one selling band, Mediaeval Baebes- Pythia were apparently brought together “by a love of gothic literature and Metal” (note the capital M taken from the band biography there) and so all tracks hereonin sound like a rather unsurprising and so unremarkable combination of the two. Dramatic female vocals reciting mystical lyricry- seemingly about competing for someone’s affection with a dead woman called Sarah (who was ‘the virgin in the icy tomb’ to boot)- and big but rather dated guitar riffs (and beards) make for an offering which could only be described as kitsch classic rock at its best, for those who are happy playing air guitar to Evanescence in leather waistcoats or worshipping the Winter god wearing some massive deer antlers or whatever. I.e. not me. Sorry.

Released 24th August, 2009. Which makes me shit.


ISOLATED ATOMS- Tell me what I want

I went to see Dirty Dancing last weekend. Live. And on stage. Oh; the twitching muscles were so appealing as was the ‘80’s revival, stirring up memories of innocent times in front of the box, taking a break from pretending to be Michael Jackson in favour of wishing I was Jennifer Grey instead.

Brummy band Isolated Atoms might have been also made the pilgrimage to Kellerman’s too, although their ‘80’s revival was always going to be less kitsch.

Although they all wear black just like dear old Patrick Swayze, it is instantly apparent that they prefer Joy Division and New Order and therefore would more than probably put baby in the corner. As if it wasn’t telling enough that their name is derived from Joy Division’s ‘Isolated’ album, the moody bassline, synths and vocals are all checked off in that it is dangerously close to sounding like a tribute act. There is nothing wrong with them- Isolated Atoms can play their own instruments, pen a catchy enough tune and still have all their own teeth- but what they are doing here on their debut single really doesn’t need to be done. And, as for ‘telling me what I want’, a rotating pelvis is preferable any day, I’m afraid.


EVERYTHING EVERYTHING- My keys, your boyfriend

I have recently adopted another cat. He comes from Northamptonshire so, in true Midlands fashion, he is a bit of a mutant. The most fascinating feature about him is that he is polydactyl. This is defined as having an extra digit- in his case, on both his front and back paws. So, in short, he has massive thumbs in addition to his normal cat feet. A bit freaky you might think, but it comes in handy, I have found, when writing reviews. Whilst my previous cats used to be helpful, of course, by meowing in approval or merely destroying the CD in question, he has the additional advantage of being able to display his enthusiasm for a certain tune by raising his huge appendages to the ceiling to say he likes or pointing down, down if I am to bin it.

Initially, upon hearing this single by Manchester’s Everything Everything, his thumbs were unmistakably in the direction of the ground, in the way that they might be if he hears N-Dubz or, making a fair analogy, when I haven’t changed his litter tray in a while. He said it was a racket and he hated the rather fait description of their music as “genre busting, cerebral pop music”. The jittery offbeat that dominated the title track didn’t make any sense to him and he couldn’t dance, which made him feel quite uncomfortable. He went so far as to say that their mathy approach to time signatures ruined any chance of him noticing anything else and whilst Everything Everything claim that they like to challenge the listener at every turn, he is a cat that feels that life is challenging enough and merely wants some uncomplicated music to enjoy.

In fact, it was not until the obligatory second listen that he admitted that it had grown on him and he started to wave not just his thumbs but his whole arms (it is fair to say that a cat with thumbs doesn’t have front legs but, indeed, arms). The now pleasurable ‘80’s inspired twinkly synth layered upon swathes of harmonies began to please him somewhat, particularly the sing-a-long chorus (even if he nor I could understand what was being sung about). He appreciated it all the more because, being only two-years-old, he doesn’t remember music from twenty-something years ago. In short, one to listen to at least twice.

Released 5th October, 2009. Which makes me slightly less crap.


Anna C