Swine and Cockerel
Fi Beckett seeks to separate the ducks from the geese…

Soundbite - Red Raw

Not quite sure if I like this or not. An uneasy mix of ska and rock which leaves me with the feeling that this three-piece aren't quite sure where they're goin with it. And what's with the singer's voice? Genuine or not, it's the worst American accent I've ever heard, makin em sound a bit like The Mighty Might Bosstones if they were fronted by Jon Bon Jovi. But then my boyfriend nicked it for the car and absolutely loves it, and normally he hates everyone and everything so they must have something going for em. Just not sure what. http://www.myspace.com/soundbiteuk

Elliot Minor - Parallel Worlds

The fact that this record was mixed by Fallout boy's producer would normally be enough to put me off even listening to it, but I'm so glad I did cos, even though I know I shouldn't, I love it! although at first it does sound like just another generic pop-rock song, all fast-paced guitars and quirky lyrics (it's about a haunted attic, apparently), what sets it apart are the vocals. Parallel Worlds is awash with the most beautiful, perfect harmonies, sounding decidedly choral towards the end. So it comes as not much of a surprise then to learn that Elliot Minor (who I think get their name from their piano, fact fans!) were choristers together at York Minster, no less. I know this has been played to death on Kerrang! but don't let that put you off.

Mybe - 4 track ep

Mybe (pronounced 'mibe') have been together since they were 15 and have spent the last 12 years supporting the likes of The Damned, SLF, UK Subs and John Otway. And it's not hard to see why they've been a support band for so long - they're uninspired and completely uninspiring. The first 3 tracks anyway. Track 4 is marginally better, with more than a nod to the punk supremos they support, but you'd think, after 12 years a bit more of their influence would've rubbed off. Says here they are actually influenced by The Wildhearts, Green Day and Supergrass, but you wouldn't know it to listen to em. Shit name too. Ho hum. http://www.myspace.com/mybe

The Worldonfire - Live to Tell the Tale

Ooh, this is intriguing - the cd comes shrinkwrapped and although it's a 12 track album, tracks 4, 8 and 11 aren't listed. It even comes with a lovely handwritten not, hope it's worth the anticipation... Sad to report that it's not. All a bit samey, angst ridden lyrics about the shitness of life but without offering any possible solutions or desire to change it. Nice guitars tho, bit Smithsy in places and the singer is achingly earnest, so I gotta give em points for that. http://www.myspace.com/theworldonfire

Balor Knights - Tornado/Get Straight

I've heard the second track of this AA side before on a cd my mate sent so I'm already familiar with their sound. Unashamedly indie, with an infections energy that draws comparisons with Graham Coxon's manic style, this Sheffield band are rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting bands in the city. Not sure about that but they're definitely worth a listen, so check out their myspace. http://www.myspace.com/balorknights

Sometree - Hand and Arrows/Notion

Both these tracks remind me of a cross between Sting and that bloke who sang 'Tinseltown in the Rain', so not a good start. Which is a shame because, vocal abominations aside, this is really rather good. Lots of twists and turns so you don't quite know where it's going next, this would benefit from being purely instrumental. But then Mark Lanegan likes em, apparently, so what do I know? http://www.myspace.com/thisissometree

The Pigeon Detectives - 4 track ep

Not quite sure what to think about these cos they're currently bein shagged by the media, while at the same time it's cool to say they're shit. Ooh, I know, I'll listen to it and make my own mind up. Genius! Well, after two listens I have to say that I dunno what all the fuss is about, whichever side of the fence yr on. Jingly-jangly guitars romp along with a bit of over confident swagger, with lyrics reminiscent of Miles Hunt when he was good, or even their cheeky contemporaries, Arctic Monkeys. But they're not even interesting enough for me to have a proper opinion about at all, I can take em or leave em. So I'll probably leave em....

Anada - Demo

Don't think that there are any actual sitars involved in the making of this record, but it sure sounds like there are. I'm really enjoying this, like nothing I've ever heard before, like Evanescence doing the soundtrack to a Bollywood movie. Quite Metallica in parts and the singer's voice is at once at odds with it, but also perfectly suited. All a bit bizarre, yet it works beautifully, most atmospheric thing I've heard in ages. Being Cambridge based a lot of you may have seen em already, but if you haven't, you should. http://www.myspace.com/anadacambridge

The Straw Bear Band - 4 track ep

What the fuck is this all about then? Sounds like the music you would imagine Druids make. All a bit of a dirge really and about forty years too late. Sorry.

Captain Polaroid - Other Short Stories and Better Works of Fiction

Oh, this is lo-fi with knobs on! Home recorded Mozza-style wry observations on love, hate, war and peace, set to a backdrop of fucked up fuzzed up guitars and drum machines. Captain Polaroid says what he means and means what he says. So listen up. http://www.myspace.com/captainpolaroid

The Mighty Roars - Swine & Cockerel

Holy Fuck!!! Think I've just had an epiphany! No really, I'm half expecting to be bathed in golden light whilst bein serenaded by angels. With harps! This is everything I love about music; fast, ballsy, in yer face with attitude by the bucketload. They've been compared to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and while it's obvious why, I think this band are far, far better. And there's definitely more of Debbie Harry's punk princess to singer Lara Granqvist that Karen O's bonkers glam rocker. I can't even choose a stand out track, they're all equally energetic and exhilarating, like stagediving naked into the moshpit at CBGB's! If you love music then you MUST buy this, it'll blow you away. http://www.myspace.com/themightyroars

Fi Beckett