Divided We Stand
Glitter Bitch dances in some dingy venues


THE VIVIANS: A Human Angle/Divided We Stand

For the first few seconds I think I've put the wrong CD in the player and I'm listening to Boy Kill Boy, which may be no bad thing but that sums up my experience of The Vivians who, whilst they may not be quite as soft as their name suggests, are not quite as edgy as their press release would lead you to believe either.

A Human Angle is by no means a bad song and the chorus and intermittent riff have me tapping my foot yet, despite some polished production, I feel like I've heard these jerky guitars and raspy cymbals somewhere before. The fact that the band hail from Scotland means I can't seem to get Franz Ferdinand out of my head for some reason! However the song itself is strong enough to see if second track Divided We Stand can bear out the claims they so boldly make and it is at this point I stop and feel smug with myself that my initial intuition was correct.

21st century rock 'n' roll? More like more indie by numbers.

Within the same sentence they claim to have a 'punk attitude' whilst creating a 'perfect musical concoction'. If it were worth the effort I'd still be searching for that attitude as it is clearly not evident in their music or their lyrics and, if it did exist, would be an ethos most likely to be in complete contradiction to any ideas of perfection!


KAT FLINT: Christopher, You're a Soldier Now/Shadow Boxing

Christopher, You're a Soldier Now begins with the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar before the voice of Scottish singer/songwriter Kat Flint picks it up and takes the listener on a musical march. It is a protest song born from Kat's inability to understand her brother's decision to enlist in the Navy in the midst of a war. Although he changed his mind at the last minute the plucky singer still dedicates this "to all the others, other people's brothers" and takes us on a poignant journey of modern politics and hypocrisy - "and if you're breathing in the morning, make your bed again."

Gradually the track builds with military drums dictating the pace and bugles acting as a wake-up call to all those listening. Like the pied piper Kat pulls us in and we all start to march with her as one by one more vocalists enter the fray until by the end everyone chants the words in unison. The image of thousands of protestors marching toward London forms in my head until suddenly the song stops, as if with the blow of a bullet, and we are left awake and thinking.

Shadow Boxing shows off Kat's ability to pull the heart strings as she laments the heartache of relationships in what is more of a slow waltz than a fight, even if it is at its most bare and exposed - "the gloves are off". Through her DIY folk beginnings, fan funding and living room recordings she provides that kind of universal appeal that even has my Dad's ears pricking up. Like a whimsical British country Tracy Chapman or Joni Mitchell, Kat Flint will gently grab you without you even realising.


LEVELLOAD: I Know You Know/Domino Astronomo

Just looking at the retro pink and yellow packaging I know what to expect from Levelload before I even hear a note but effective market isn't necessarily a bad thing. The first few synth beats of I Know You Know don't disappoint either and lead into three and a half minutes of electro rock/lo-fi pop. Think of the cross nation/gender/genre pollination of acts such as CSS, The Ting Tings and The Kills that is becoming increasingly more prevalent and you'll get somewhere close to the mark.

The song fizzes with saccharine verses, overlade with the voice of a sweet sounding Tokyo schoolgirl, before it explodes into a killer chorus which bursts with power despite its lo-fi groundings. It may not be unexpected but the fact I'm already singing along already after only a few listens confirms the success of the entire package. Whilst less instant and exciting, Domino Astronomo is still an enjoyable track which is bred from the same slice of slutty pop as the A side.

Levelload are, on first impressions, an interesting boy/girl combo that could have people dancing in dingy venues and clubs up and down the country, now to see if they can deliver…


Glitter Bitch